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Will the Real Slim Christians Please Stand Up? (Please stand up, please stand up...)
2006.01.17 (Tue) 22:27
Last week we happened to be tuned in to Air America, listening to the Randi Rhodes Show — no, we haven't changed our opinion of Air America or Randi Rhodes, but we listen in on a regular basis to see what's going on, at least as far as the staunch liberals are concerned. That is not the crux of this Rant.
Randi seemed to be discussing Pat Robertson's recent comments concerning the relationship between the health and the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, as well as Robertson's generally spiteful and misanthropic behavior. Robertson is an asshole, and we wouldn't lose a second's sleep if someone "took him out," as the kids (like Pat) are saying nowadays. Still, that is not the crux of this Rant.
Randi took some calls, and a piously irate individual — who happens to believe in an Invisible Super-Daddy™ living in the sky and that a man who was nailed to a tree two millennia ago had (has?) Keen Magical Fun Powers™ — took it upon himself to denounce fellow Super-Daddy/Magical-Fun Believer Pat Robertson for his abhorrent behavior. So even Christians can recognize when some Christians go way over the fucking line. Yet even that is not the crux of this Rant.
No, the crux of this Rant concerns this piously irate guy's claim of true Christianity, and the innate power to tell a Genuine Christ Fan™ from those who are just, er, claiming true Christianity...like this piously irate guy.
We're paraphrasing here, as combing the Internet for a transcript of Rhodes' show became quite tedious, but this caller essentially said:
I just want to say, I'm Christian, and these people [referring to televangelists and other such hard-core conservatives] aren't real Christians!
With which Randi pretty much agreed, in a very milquetoast show of capitulation: "Yes, definitely, they're not the real Christians."
Us? We're just getting quite fed up with this whole "They're not the real Christians!" claim which is somehow meant to excuse an entire belief system for the words and actions to which it inspires a great number of its adherents. They're not real Christians? Guess what, folks — they are.
They're doing exactly what "real" Christians have always historically done: they crow about their belief system, demand that all others convert, and vehemently (sometimes violently) exclude, demean or persecute any who refuse. Not to mention (if they're at the top of their local hierarchy) fleecing the flock for all they're worth.
Like any religion, "real" Christianity, while making the faithful feel all warm and fuzzy, has always been about making outsiders feel...um, cold and hairless, on every level of scope and import — from burning someone at the stake for witchcraft, to the much less severe but no less annoying amazement and outrage displayed by the good Christian on the elevator when we didn't offer a spontaneous prayer for her sudden and involuntary nasal expectoration. (Excuse us, lady, but fuck you — if you feel you need a special dispensation from God to continue living after a sneeze, go see a fucking priest.)
Think we're getting too personal? How's this for personal:
The chronicle of those who were consumed by fire [in "witch trials"] in the single German city of Würzburg in the single year 1598 penetrates the statistics and lets us confront a little of the human reality:
The steward of the senate, named Goering; old Mrs. Kanzler; the tailor's fat wife; the woman cook of Mr. Mengerdorf; a stranger; a strange woman; Baunach, a senator, the fattest citizen in Würtzburg; the old smith of the court; an old woman; a little girl, nine or ten years old; a younger girl, her little sister; the mother of the two little aforementioned girls; Liebler's daughter; Goebel's child, the most beautiful girl in Würtzburg; a student who knew many languages; two boys from the Minster, each twelve years old; Stepper's little daughter; the woman who kept the bridge gate; an old woman; the little son of the town council bailiff; the wife of Knertz, the butcher; the infant daughter of Dr. Schultz; a blind girl; Schwartz, canon at Hach...
On and on it goes. ... There were 28 public immolations, each with 4 to 6 victims on average, in that small city in a single year.
Is that personal enough for you?
Oh, but these witch hunters weren't the real Christians, right? Unless, of course, you count Pope Innocent VIII, who was instrumental in instigating the massive upsurging of witch trials (he even commissioned Sprenger and Kramer to write the Malleus Maleficarum) and supporting the Spanish Inquisition, among other wonderful deeds. Don't think Catholics count? Heck, everybody was doing it — name a fucking Christian sect that was around back then, and they were most likely humiliating, torturing and murdering innocent people on the basis of completely ludicrous beliefs that happened to be in vogue at the time.
Let's be clear about something — we certainly are not trying to say that all Christians are the same as, say, Pat Robertson. We do not subscribe to that brand of nonsense. There are certainly many good Christians out there, and we could point to more than a handful that we call our friends. However, why should the sane group get to corner the "real Christian" market? Frankly, it's all a matter of perspective, and if we were to ask one of the Ultra-Super-Christy "God Hates Fags" Christians what he thinks of the more moderate, less hateful Christians that we tend to associate with, we're willing to bet that we know what his answer would be: "Hell, they're not real Christians!"
Hey, we're not blind to that fact that nearly all religions have similar hateful or harmful beliefs — but damn, the Christians seem to gobble up more than their fair share, don't they? Yes, they are one of the world's major religions, and they also happen to be the most prevalent religion by far in the United States, but damn. The Crusades, the Inquisition, burning witches, "celibate" priests molesting children, Jerry Falwell, Jim Bakker, Pat Robertson...how many more times do we have to go around this pious merry-go-round before the "real" Christians notice what their fellow riders have been doing through every single revolution?
Ah, but they're not following the real Teachings O' Jesus! Or are they...? Gee, it's awfully tough to tell. The Babble is so full of contradictory admonitions we can barely keep straight whether Super-God the Triple Threat was into slavery or dead set against it.
Hey, if you're really a peaceful, kind, gentle, polite Christian, and you never have a bad word to say about anyone, let alone a fist clenched in anger, we've got little to no problem sharing the world with you. But let's face it — if you want to say that you kind, non-proselytizing, "live and let live" Christians are the "real" Christians and that those violent, hateful asswads who force their brand of bullshit down everyone's throats every chance they get are not...well, you've got over a thousand years of history to rewrite. Better get cracking.
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[ Filed under: % Greatest Hits % Religion ]
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Skeptico, 2006.01.18 (Wed) 01:29 [Link] »
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Eve, 2006.02.17 (Fri) 20:49 [Link] »
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