We Don't Expect Perfection

My dad penned this the other day.  Thought I’d share.

I read this comment on a blog the other day:  “Non-Christians expect us to, I don’t know, be perfect. That is impossible as no one can do that.”

I have heard this, and variations on it so much, that I wanted to address the concept.  I think the most common way it is expressed is,”We aren’t perfect, only forgiven”. Usually this line is delivered with enough smirking smug superiority to gag a maggot.  Other variations are statements like, “Well, that is man….not God.  Only God is perfect.”  Bring the barf bucket, would you, please?

NO.  We DO NOT expect you to be perfect.  Your claim that we DO expect that is just plain false.  Not True.  Made up of whole cloth.  And what makes your lie worse is that when  you speak that lie, you also play the victim card.  That’s right:  PLUM Disease (Poor Little Unfortunate Me).

“You mean ol’ atheists expect us to be perfect when you know darn good and well it is impossible for anybody to be perfect.  You are so, so, so unreasonable with that expectation and those lions!”

Ugh.

Okay, you can’t have it two ways.  If…..repeat, if….none of us can be perfect, are  you going to follow that on out and just admit we are equal?  That you are not a whit, nor a jot, nor a tittle better than us?  I can somewhat accept that, although I think by and large atheists are more logical.  However, other than that, in order to get along, I could probably agree to us being generally equal.

So far I haven’t gotten reciprocality from Christians on that point.  So what we are left with is that they want to claim they are better than us, and if we expect them to live up to that claim, then we are expecting them to be perfect.  Of course, that is a bunch of horse  pucky, and it smells like….horse pucky.

Here is what we expect:  in light of your claims to be better than us, than Muslims, than any other religion (you know, all those ones with false gods)…..we expect you to be less evil. Not “perfect”, but a damned sight less evil than what you are.  We probably all have  a short list of Christian evil–a long and comprehensive list would take too many weeks of  my life I could never get back–but things like the Catholic Church protecting pedophile priests and the reputation of the church at the cost of continued child molestation. There is “expecting perfection” and  there is expecting you to stop child molestation and to call out those who molest children and protect their molesters.

I don’t think those are even close to the same thing.

Another example, is that we watch you manipulate the government to institutionalize  discrimination against atheists, homosexuals, and members of other religions. To take away privileges and rights from American citizens based on their sexual orientation or lack of belief in your god.  To prevent people who love each other from being able to legally express that love and to legally be responsible for the person they love.  What we call equal rights for American citizens you call “expecting perfection”.

Who presses for legal protection from prosecution for the people who pray their sick kids to death?  Kids who could have been saved by medical treatment instead of dying while being prayed over?  If we expect you to stop doing that, and to press for legal consequences for those who do so that those kind of deaths stop……is that “expecting perfection”?

The list could go on indefinitely.

We don’t expect you all to be perfect, but we do hope for you to be less than rabid.  We do expect you to be less evil.  And, much more than that, we expect you to condone less evil. We know we can’t blame all Christians for the pedophile priests, the homophobia, the praying deaths, the FLDS, Tony Alamo, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and their followers, hate groups like Focus on the Family,Westboro Baptist, churches that break the law by political endorsement, and on, and on, and on.

Expecting you to do something about these and all the other evils promoted by your religion  instead of condoning them is not the same as expecting you to be perfect. Shame on you for pretending it is.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Ani Sharmin

    I totally love this post.

  • Steph

    JT, I would like to shake your father’s hand. And also, shamelessly pilfer his amazing vocabulary for my own use. The world has a great deal of P.L.U.M.s, and I until this day was unaware of the correct terminology for them ;)

  • Pteryxx

    Excellent post. (…has your dad got a blog? <_< )

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      He doesn’t. He crosses swords with people in the forums of his local newspaper back home.

      I do intend to start posting more of his stuff here though. :)

  • Laurence

    Good post and good message.

  • http://the-heretics-haven.blogspot.com/ Ben Crockett

    I like your dad. He’s got some good perspectives.

  • Pteryxx

    “Not Perfect, Just Forgiven Willing To Learn Better”

    • Pteryxx

      Wait, I can do better!

      “Neither Perfect Nor Forgiven”

      CelticHound image

    • https://utopianscience.blogspot.com Jessica Murphy

      “What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.” ~Bertrand Russell

  • Robert B.

    “We expect you to be less evil” is just a phenomenal line.


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