Do you ever get sick of Christianity?
Are you a Christian, but embarrassed to be seen as one?
Are you a non-Christian who secretly (or not so secretly) wants to run the other way every time someone near you self-identifies as a Christian?
Are you tired of the politics that seems to have overtaken compassion in religious circles?
Sick of the televangelists who rake in money from people drowning in debt?
Angry at the hypocrisy of self-righteous loudmouths who are quick to talk about other people’s sins but slow to recognize their own?
Do you long for a Christian leader to stand up and say, “Enough!”? Someone with the guts to call out his or her own people and lead the church back in a more generous, compassionate direction?
Ever wonder why no one seems to do that?
I’m right there with you.
But you know, it’s not fair to say that no one is standing up. I know a lot of Christians who are standing up and saying those very things. All too often, though, their voices get drowned out by others who claim to represent the same faith but do so in a way that, in my opinion, makes us look really bad.
I’ll give you a great example. I know a young pastor who grew up in a religious family and was upset by the rampant hypocrisy and legalism he saw in the church. Instead of just grumbling about it, he decided to do something about it. In his sermons, he began preaching about religious hypocrisy, calling out his fellow church leaders for their self-righteous attitudes, all the while spending his personal social time getting to know the most non-churchy members of his community and not only inviting them to become members of his church, but naming them some of its most visible leaders.
This created no minor controversy with the local pastors, who insisted that God’s people aren’t even supposed to eat or drink with sinners. They pushed him to publicly condemn people who (like me) were considered by his denomination to be “living in sin.” When he refused, they accused him of being soft on sin, and called for him to be disciplined. They successfully turned the community against him, claiming he wasn’t a true believer and that his teachings were of the devil.
He ultimately lost everything, including his dignity. Yet through it all, he continued to practice the compassion he preached, refusing to get political even under tremendous pressure, and spending his free time tending to the needs of the hurting in his community rather than worrying about what others might say. In my opinion, he’s the kind of guy we ought to be listening to, someone who truly gets the meaning of grace, someone who says that my job as a Christian is to strive to live my own life as morally as possible, while showing you grace when you sin, not the other way around.
If he were the head of the Christian church in America today, I think it would be a much different place to be.
And that’s why I call myself one of his followers, even though in the 2,000 years since he walked the earth, so many people have used his name to justify the very behaviors he so strongly opposed.
The shooting at the Sikh Temple is truly heartbreaking. Realize that this could have been any one of us. This is America, “Land of the free.” By no means is it okay to be targeted and attacked for your faith. Support systems need to be established. It doesn’t matter if you’re Muslim, Christian, or Sikh. We’re all human beings, made out of flesh and bones. I’m hoping and praying that the families of those who were lost in this shooting can get through this.
I’m not going to lie, I have never been a fan of Muslim people but no one should be killed based on their religion or race. This is coming from a Christian woman.
Sikhs are not Muslims. Just like Christians (like yourself) are not Muslims.
Also, Jesus would be a fan of Muslims. He said you should love everyone equally, remember?
….Can I ask why exactly you aren’t a fan of “Muslim people”, who are not the same as Sikhs?
Also, Muslims believe in, love, and respect Jesus, just like you. Try and learn a little bit about us, you’ll see there is nothing to dislike.
how are you not a fan of Muslims. did you meet all 2-3 billion people
@l0velaughliv3, have you opened your bible recently? Get it. Read these:
Even Leviticus (19:34) seems to encourage welcoming foreigners and outsiders, which, when it was written, meant religious minorities. Is it generous to say you are not a fan of the world’s many Muslims? Is it neighborly? Is it how you would like to be treated? Do you enjoy people judging you without knowing you on the basis of one trait? Does it follow Christ’s example? Consider the questions. I will be praying for you.
Gonna go to school for transgender sorcery woop woop.
Okay, but why does the “militant homosexual” look like an ice skater?
And why does the ACLU guy look like the ice cream truck driver in that Skrillex music video?
Why is the ~Islam conversion~ guy tossing dice?
What the fuck is happening?
dude the islam conversaion guy and the atheism rules guy look like they’re having a rull intense dice game i wanna get in on some of that
What fresh hell is this?
I almost missed the money symbolizing evolution (well I hope it symbolizes evolution). What the fuck is this?
The dice game is from the Bible. Centurions cast lots for his clothes. Who posted this? Who are these people? Who created this hideous corruption of my religion? BlessedCause.org may get a lecture.
Relevant Magazine published an article I wrote today! Check it out if your interested:
Thanks so much to Relevant!
I am an autistic Christian. The way we are is not caused by demons. It is irresponsible, offensive, and condescending to allow for that possibility in an article. Has it occurred to you, or the author, that God is infallible? Autistic are a part of creation that could not exist if God desired otherwise. Human diversity is no mistake.
Anyone want to start a betting pool on how long it takes before I get disgruntled Christians spewing the salvation message at me and telling me how I’m distorting Christianity and obviously I don’t know what I’m talking about?
I think it might take a day or so since it is Easter and most of them will be spending the whole day at events or dinners.
Great post, by the way. I also wanted to add on the one paragraph that I have also found that I tend to have a love-hate relationship with the genera of Christian-Horror as well.
You don’t just make them fear and doubt their choices— you also reduce them into either/or good/evil binaries. The reduction of choices into a false dilemma fallacy is a classic abuser and oppressor technique. If the abused can’t even recognize that there’s things outside of a limited spectrum, then they resort to choosing that which causes them the least pain or suffering (often the safest, least risky decision that continues to keep you under the abuser’s thumb).
Sin is inescapable by Christian beliefs. It is impossible to be perfect in a flawed world. That is not so much divine mandate as fact of life. For example, we keep the autism tags liveable for autistic people by making it unpleasant for ableists. My harassment of trolls is sin. It is failure to turn the other cheek. I still do it because it is better than seeing the most vulnerable members of our community harmed. Harming others is wrong under any circumstances. Getting by without doing it sometimes is impossible. Wrong is tangled in everything. God did not do that. We created a system where the production of goods within the means of the American working class means slave-labor or something like it in the developing world. Helping one person often means hurting another since we are all grasping for ourselves in ways that make resources a zero-sum game. That was humanity’s doing. According to Christianity, divine grace is the only way out of the maze. God is the liberator, not a monster who tries to control us.
I have no interest in converting you. Live as you see fit. Stop misrepresenting my religion in the process. If I knew as little about something as you do Christian theology, I would not make strong assertions about it. Some Christians do think we should tolerate earthy injustice, wait for a heavenly reward. Joe Hill wrote a great song about it:
Those people have not read their Bibles. Jesus spends much of the New Testament talking about overthrowing oppression. Learn about my faith before you criticize it.
The problem with peaceful, kind, religious people promoting their holy texts, is that they’re still promoting their holy texts.
The problem with people that don’t like religion is that they’re still promoting thier dislike of religion.
See, that wasn’t very nice, was it?
My belief is my belief. Your belief is yours. Nobody ought to be beating anyone over the head for believing or not believing in ANYTHING. It’s not your place to say. Being different doesn’t make it invalid for either side of this coin
Live and let the fuck live, please. >.>
Also, this critique fails to recognize the complexity of scripture. In the Christian Bible, the word of God is usually filtered through mortals. Outside of a few Old Testament passages and the words of Jesus, everything is something a divinely-inspired but human person thought. Even the direct quotes from Jesus, the parts we take most seriously and try hardest to obey, were recorded by others. These were people within time, influenced by culture and experience. According to our faith, God has nothing against people with issues wanting to be His servants. He takes outcasts, misfits, and freaks. Some of them had bad ideas just as some sincere Christians do today. Read Paul on women if you want an example. Interpreting scripture is not blindly ignoring parts. It is considering the sources.
People with ‘mild’ forms of autism are more likely to be atheists, according to a controversial new study - and more likely to shun organised religion in general.
The study, which looked at posts on autism forums, focused on people with high-functioning autism such as Asperger’s.
The study, from University of Boston, speculates that common autistic spectrum behaviours such as ‘a preference for logical beliefs’ and a distrust of metaphor and figures of speech, could be responsible.
Autism quotient (AQ) scores among the surveyed adults are plotted against their declared religious beliefs - atheists are a clear majority
The study authors, Catherine Caldwell-Harris and Patrick MacNamara studied discussions by 192 different posters on an autism website. They also looked at a survey of 61 people with high-functioning autism, and graphed against results from the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) test.
The results appeared to show that those with high AQ scores were ‘more likely’ to be atheists.
In the group of high-functionining autistic individuals, 26 per cent were atheists, compared to 16 per cent of ‘neurotypical’ individuals.
They said this is the first ‘systematic study of the religious beliefs of autistic spectrum individuals who have normal or near-normal intelligence.’
The paper, ‘investigates the proposal that individual differences in belief will reflect cognitive processing styles, with high functioning autism being an extreme style that will predispose towards nonbelief.’
Caroline Hattersley, Head of Information, Advice and Advocacy at The National Autistic Society said: ’Autism affects people from every sector of society and people with autism represent the full range of religious and non-religious beliefs.
The metaphors and figures of speech found in religious texts may deter people with autistic spectrum disorders from religious belief
‘It is important that people with autism have the freedom to make their own choices about their beliefs and receive the support they need,’ says Hattersley.
Rajib Khan, writing on Discover Magazine’s ‘Gene Expression’ blog wrote, ‘I doubt this is going to surprise too many people. Additionally, we need to be careful about generalizing here.
‘This doesn’t mean that a huge proportion of atheists are high functioning autistics (though there may be a larger proportion than the general population).’
Christian and ‘mildly’ autistic here!
I am, too. We may be rare, but we exist.
Have you ever heard of people having different spiritual gifts? If she is never a preacher, she could be a musician or scholar. She could teach, feed the hungry, become a scientist and cure diseases, fix computers and give them to poor kids to make sure they have equal access to education. She could invent the best water purifying methods the world has ever seen and save thousands of lives. She could develop green energy sources or write books that inspire others to do great things. God did not intend all Christians, or people, to be identical. Also, the idea that you get to decide what gifts are most important treads dangerously close to heresy.
Autism Speaks makes my hair stand on end. When Dani inspired me to become less judgemental and a better Christian, I knew their forum was the place to go.
The site is structurally different from other forums. Tightly-controlled and with odd quoting rules, the only stickied thread is called “Dreams for Our Children.” That struck me. They dream for their children. In how many of their households is it allowable for the children to have dreams of their own?
I learned whose child is doing well, whose is not, who wants a cure, who needs help. Their handles, pseudonyms like ”koolaid” and “vaccineskill,” filled me with the imagery of lives so shattered that reasonable people had come to believe unreasonable things. I may be the only person on the forum who uses a real, full name and is open about where I live. Why not? My card is all over Atlanta. Everyone from wealthy, Decatur neighbors to homeless denizens of Little Five Points have my number. I have no privacy to protect. Everyday creeps respond well to a firm “no.” I am too young, obscure, unimportant, itinerant, and poor to attract the attention of credible threats. If the shadowy hand of big pharma exists, it has no reason to pull me under.
They claim to speak as or for autism. My voice is my own. The spectrum is so wide and diverse that I would never dare speak for anyone else. I know parents struggle but care more about the children. Life is hard. Adults are supposed to muddle through as best they can. I agree with them that they should recieve more help than they do, but their upper echelon could set a better example for keeping kids out of the ideological crossfire. I spoke to them as equals. I reminded them that even the most beneficial change costs, to pick their battles with the care that comes from knowing they may be chipping away pieces of another person’s soul every time they ask a kid to be more normal. I implored them to do everything they could to make their children aware of their unconditional love. Then, something happened.
“Zonk,” like the Dunesburry character, started attacking parents on the forum. We seem to have a lot in common. Zonk is an aspie, smart, well-read, articulate, and generally anti-cure. Whatever his age, he is young in the worst sense of the word, boy* enough to miss the distinction between fighting wrong and tormenting a mother who has been up until two with a crying child. I could almost see him, a fifteen- or sixteen-year-old kid with plenty of strong opinions and no experience meeting daily struggles with grand, philosophical arguments, judging what he cannot understand.
A familiar, powerful impulse began to glow like hot coals in the pit of my stomach. If Zonk said one more word to these frightened, desperate people, I was going to unchain the hellhound of my vocabulary. The goal was a blow to his adolescent self-esteem he would recount at dinner parties twenty years hence. One more word and I would send him to his room for an evening of crying and listening to emo music in the dark. I was ready to lash out at someone like me on behalf of members of an organization I view with enmity. That may be the most Christian thing to ever skim the murky surface of my mind. It has also had my head in knots for well over a week.
*or possibly girl