This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Being Human

I love reading my BFF Audrey's blog. Especially the religious issues.

She is a unique person in my book: daughter of a minister who became an atheist. She keeps herself in tuned, however, to the religious fronts and I get a lot of good reads from her interests.

About a month ago (I just read it today), she posted about a Christian psychologist who, himself, posted an article about Christians NOT being decent to their fellow man, yet express their devotion to god. So essentially, it fits the stereotype that I have regarding religious folks: they are hypocritical MFers who have the nerve to feel that they have the sanctity to be better than anyone else.

And the funny thing? I am NOT an atheist. Nor am I agnostic. I am the only one in my house that actually says a prayer every night...and have since I was a young girl.

But I also have such animosity for religious groups that I side on the side of anti-religion.

So when I read her blog post about Experimental Theology, I got excited. YES! I thought to myself. But even more so, was the article she cited. We enjoyed different parts of it. You must read hers to understand her point of view, based on the article. But for me, this is what I LOVED LOVED LOVED. It spoke to me. And the whole irony is that it came from a man that I wouldn't typically have faith in...a Christian.

"Christianity" has essentially become a mechanism for allowing millions of people to replace being a decent human being with something else, an endorsed "spiritual" substitute. For example, rather than being a decent human being the following is a list of some commonly acceptable substitutes:

Going to church
Spiritual disciplines (e.g., fasting)
Bible study
Voting Republican
Going on spiritual retreats
Reading religious books
Arguing with evolutionists
Sending your child to a Christian school or providing education at home
Using religious language
Avoiding R-rated movies
Not reading Harry Potter.

The point is that one can fill a life full of spiritual activities without ever, actually, trying to become a more decent human being. Much of this activity can actually distract one from becoming a more decent human being. In fact, some of these activities make you worse, interpersonally speaking. Many churches are jerk factories.

I abhor any organized anything that separates themselves from others. Or that think they can pray for others and think they are responsible for their well-being. Prayer should be done out of a relationship you have with your higher power and not for a pat on the back as to how good of a person you are for doing it.


  1. Your post reminds me of my roommate in college. She was very Baptist, active in the Baptist Student Union, and judged most people through her Baptist eyes. A very good friend of mine was extremely interested in her, for almost all of college. He is the greatest guy ever - total catch, but she wouldn't give him the time of day because he wasn't a Christian. She ended up with this "great Christian" who was a jerk, cheated on her, and was just a really lousy boyfriend, then husband, then ex-husband, and now husband again. My friend the non-Christian is happily married to someone else, has never cheated on her, has two sweet children, and a great family. I think she missed out on a truly great guy by focusing on the "Christian" jerk.

  2. I loved that whole article - i'm glad you found it interesting, too. His whole site is actually quite amazing, if you have time to read it. I'm learning that not all Christians are as closed-minded as what i grew up with. Sometimes i wonder what my beliefs would be if my family had had this guy's attitude instead.

  3. Ann: I have similar stories like yours. One not-quite-the-same-but-close is a friend I worked with who wanted her husband to come to church every Sunday. Even if that meant he slept through the service...'at least he was there'. Never made sense to me. They are now divorced and perhaps, she has sought a relationship with, um, her own kind (gender). "not that there is anything wrong with that!"

    Audrey: your rearing is so close to how Tim was brought up and he is also atheist. Despite the fact that I grew up in a Catholic family, I think my dad's ambivalence helped me come up with a relaxed version of my own faith. But it took years...probably still is!!