Woe is me; I'm a persecuted American Christian.

I had to go to church this morning because I'd agreed to assist with the music while the choir was off for the week. I grew up in this Episcopal church and it used to be a nice atmosphere to spend a Sunday morning in, even for an atheist. But the current priest is an idiot that nobody likes. There's a long story there, but for now, suffice it to say that his sermons are always terrible. He was absent today, but he wrote a sermon and had someone else stand and read it. It didn't have a coherent point; first it was on about Jesus sending out the 70 followers with absolutely nothing, not even a bag of supplies, to do deeds in his name.


His point about this was that God sent those 70 people out to do his work empty-handed because he wanted them to know that whatever good they did had absolutely nothing to do with their own efforts; it was all about God doing the good things by using them as pawns. How could anyone view a being so unabashedly arrogant as being worthy of worship?*  I hate this attitude so much, and it was annoying to have to sit there and listen to it without arguing. Anything good can't possibly have been our own doing, and anything bad that we do is our fault for being weak and succumbing to temptation. Horrible attitude to have, and horrible attitude to teach your children. Sets people up for badness later in life.I know firsthand; that shit was what opened me up to the brainwashing I received in high school.


Then, somehow the first amendment was thrown in there, and he was going on about how it was there to protect freedom of religion, but that America had erased religion from the public eye and told Christians it should be private, and shouldn't have any place in public affairs, and that it is because of this that we have religious extremists because the moderate majority is silent and confused about the role their faith should play in their daily life, and blah blah Christians are so persecuted. I swear, it was like I was sitting in a goddamned Baptist church, not an Episcopal one. He, like so many other misguided Christians in this area, conflated "keep government-run affairs secular" with "you have to shut up about your religion at all times."


Why do these people forcibly miss the point? He went so far as to equate those of us who value secular approaches to state affairs to the intolerant religious extremists who keep trying to push their beliefs on everyone else. Why is it so fucking hard to understand that secularists are PROTECTING their right to worship their own way by keeping religion in church where it belongs? If we let the religious moderates inject their faith into public/political affairs, then at least it's not an extremist version of Christianity, but it's still exactly the same principle as if those extremists were to take over and do the same thing.


I almost clawed my atheist husband's hand off during that hateful tirade. It was either that or cause a disruption among people I love and respect, and I didn't want to do that...




*If we were supposed to be made in his image, why are we held to a different standard of morality than he is? YHWH displays very human thought processes (obviously that's because he was invented by humans, but let's take it as hypothetically true for the sake of this point), and he's allowed to indulge in those while we're supposed to resist and be sinless, because he "hates" the "sins" we commit, even though they're due to exactly the same thought process he has? I can understand loving an imperfect being, because we do that with our fellow humans all the time. We overlook their flaws and forgive them their transgressions. But to worship an imperfect being, and to delude ourselves into believing that this being is actually perfect, which he demonstrates by having the same human impulses that he condemns as sinful in us? No fucking way. The only way someone could worship a being like that is by either being brainwashed into believing he's not a tyrant, or by being made afraid.

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Comment by Ian Buchanan on July 4, 2011 at 8:19am

@William C. Walker:

I don't even go to funerals anymore if I know there will be a Christian pastor performing the service. The last funeral I went to was for a dear friend of mine. She contracted HIV years ago from her ex-husband, and left behind her teenaged sons. During the service, rather than trying to console the grieving family, that dickhead pastor actually had the gall to say that she got HIV because she was a sinner, and that he didn't know if she was going to go to heaven, but he did know that if her kids didn't accept Jesus, they were going to go to hell and never see their mother again. And this was the pastor of the church that they attended! I found it HORRIBLY offensive that this piece of shit pastor would use a funeral as an opportunity to instill the Fear of Christ (TM) into the grieving children of the deceased. I'm of the opinion that Christians really SHOULD be oppressed and discriminated against, just so they can get a taste of their own fucking medicine.

Comment by John Colman on July 4, 2011 at 8:24am
I attended a church as an atheist for many years. The vicar knew.
He was a lovely man, very intelligent too, I often wondered if he truly did believe in God. His sermons rarely contained scripture, he'd leave bible readings to the congregation, and he was a genuine, caring human, not just a god-puppet.
I miss going there but after a while something soured, I'm not certain what it was, perhaps it's paranoia, but I started feeling judged by everyone.
Comment by anti_supernaturalist on July 4, 2011 at 12:37pm
why xians feel persecuted -- they fear the courage to rebel

According to Danish protestant theologian, Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), xian practice demands subordination. Turning away from an alleged xian message implies not just impious doubt, but rebellion against “God”:

“They would have us believe that objections against Christianity come from doubt. This is always a misunderstanding. Objections against Christianity come from insubordination, unwillingness to obey, rebellion against all authority. Therefore, they have been beating the air against the objectors, because they have fought intellectually [against] doubt, instead of fighting ethically [against] rebellion. . . .So it is not properly doubt but insubordination.” (Lowrie 122)

Exalting in irrationalism, a xian assault on selfhood begins with Saul of Tarsus (pseudonym ‘Paul’ fl 50-65 CE). Preaching a little known doctrine of resurrection already present in judaism as a new truth of which he was now (subjectively) certain, Paul was laughed at by Epicurean and Stoic philosophers in the Agora of Athens. (Acts17:18 NIV)

P/Saul created a hellenistic christ-cult. He was a mentally ill (hysteric) jewish zealot whose morally diseased god is himself writ large:

Brothers [!], think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are…1Cor1:26-28 NIV.

We xians "nullify the things that are." We stink, but stinking is godly.

Ultimately what turns one against “God” is not good reason, but a good nose.

the anti_supernaturalist
Comment by Ian Buchanan on July 4, 2011 at 2:20pm

Seriously? This idiot thinks that people object to Christianity not because they simply can't believe in all the nonsensical fairy tales in the bible, but because they actually do believe, but just feel like rebelling against god? What the fuck?

This has got to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever fucking heard. My faith in humanity slowly dwindles away day by day after hearing shit like this. Just when I think, "people really can't possibly be this disingenuous and dumb," they find a way to prove me wrong. Always. Christians are always saying things like, "This is a Christian Nation! Believe or get the fuck out!" I think we freethinking atheists should take the crazy, wacky, fundamentalist Christians up on their offer of getting out of the country and starting our own country. We'll be taking all the doctors with us, of course, except for maybe three or four who are dumb enough to buy into the bible, all the scientists, all the people responsible for driving progress in our society forward. They'll be left with drooling Christards who don't even know how to operate a fucking motor vehicle, let alone treat illnesses or invent new technologies. Then we can take over America and institute a new government. I'm thinking the one our Founding Fathers originally intended. You know, the one with all the freedoms and whatnots.

Comment by Justin on July 4, 2011 at 2:25pm
@William C Walker: My mother recently died, and part of her funeral wishes included a pastor that she had known all her life. That was fine, and he agreed to do the service. When the funeral started, he spoke for just a few minutes on my mother's life, and spent the next thirty minutes preaching. More than once, he referenced me by name, and just assumed I was a believer and said that one day I would see her again. I had never even met the man!

I understand that I live in the Bible Belt, but the arrogance to assume that because my mother was a believer I was also, irritated me greatly at a time I was already emotionally unstable. On a positive note, in his opening prayer (which was roughly two minutes long) he said "father" 26 times.

Yes, I counted.
Comment by Ian Buchanan on July 4, 2011 at 2:28pm
Not to mention that if we atheists left the country, that would put a huge dent in America's economy, thus making it so much easier to take over America once we decide to take back what's ours. Plus, we'll have all the smart people, so we'll be better organized and better equipped. We could implement a new constitution that grants freedoms for ALL people, even Christians, and ensure that it is strictly enforced.
Comment by Ian Buchanan on July 4, 2011 at 2:39pm

@Justin Burgin:


Yeah, I've been there before. I find it to be incredibly tactless and tasteless when pastors use funerals as an opportunity to preach about Christianity. These people are grieving over the loss of a loved one, and not everyone believes in all that fairy tale nonsense. I've made out my final will and testament already, and I've made sure that my funeral will be one hundred percent secular. I do not want my memory tainted by some asshole pastor trying to preach the word of god to all my friends, most of which are unbelievers like myself.

Comment by Derek on July 4, 2011 at 2:40pm


@Mellisa M.


I think the above sums it up nicely.


Comment by Ian Buchanan on July 4, 2011 at 2:43pm



That comic is so true. Though it makes me sad when I think about it.

Comment by Kairan Nierde on July 4, 2011 at 6:30pm

Derek, I love that comic. 


As to the OP, I think the "we're so persecuted" whine fits into the ideology of evengelism:  in reality everyone knows it's a bunch of b.s. but it gives Christians a great justification for their loud and proud belligerence.  And I suppose that ever present ticking of the clock marking our forward advancement into modernity would make an ancient cult a bit paranoid.  I would translate "we're so persecuted" into "we're so insecure."  


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