Why Do Christians Insist On Speaking To Us Like This?

Why Do Christians Insist On Speaking To Us Like This? June 14, 2019

I can’t stand condescending adults. You know the sort… the ones who talk to you like you’re five years old even though you might even be twice as old as them? It’s that tone, that waitress tone,

“How are the first few bites tasting, here?” said like she’s operating a feathered puppet to coax a toddler into sharing his Lego Buzz Lightyear. That grating tone that adults usually reserve for small children. I don’t know what it is about me, but I attract this tone from people. Tenfold since I began writing as Godless Mom.

This week I got the thirtieth email in as many days, asking me why I hate theists. Only, this time it was typed in this condescending tone like I was being reprimanded for not eating my broccoli,

Hello, I’ve looked through your page and want to ask why do you have so much hate? I’m a religious man, I see God everywhere and one thing the bible does say is to accept everyone. I don’t appreciate everything your saying about religious people’s choice, people who really do follow god and listen to the word would never treat you the same.

Continuing on, I once had hate in my heart. But one you reliquesh it and realize god has a plan for everyone you feel amazing

In case you couldn’t pinpoint the condescending tone, it’s right where this guy assumes I hate him because we differ in opinion on religion. You know what? Assume isn’t the right word. He is literally telling me that I hate him. He hasn’t asked if I do. He hasn’t asked what my opinion of religious people is. No, he’s just decided for me that I hate him because I’m just a little girl who couldn’t have sorted out her own feelings without him.

You know, it’s weird, I have never gotten an email from a Seahawks fan asking why I hate them. Even though I have been known to verbally pummel the Seattle Chickenhawks as often as life will give me the opportunity. This team, I believe, is the NFL’s version of Satan, with their neon green uniforms that violate the Geneva Convention in three places and their unappreciated domination of the airwaves around here. I don’t like this team and I’m not shy about it. But I’ve never had a Seahawks fan ask why I hate them.

I have also never had a Madonna fan wonder why I hate them. I make no secret of the fact that I believe this woman’s shrill voice is only popular because she liked to grab her leather-wrapped vajayjay on stage. I’m fairly certain there are prisons around the world that use “Like a Virgin” as part of their interrogation process. I talk often about how there’s nothing remotely enjoyable about her music, and I have never had an email from a Madonna fan telling me I hate them.

I’ve never had a conservative tell me that I hate them, either. Being a liberal, I loathe a lot of what conservatives stand for and yet, here I am, friends with conservatives in real life who would never question whether or not I like them. I don’t like many of their ideas (except their smoker recipes, goddamn), but they’ve never decided I hate them as people because of it.

I’ve never had a note from a country fan declaring that I hate them, despite the fact that I’d rather go bare-assed on a sandpaper slide than listen to popular country music. I can literally taste the inbreeding when Tricia Yearwood starts wailing about dead daddies and lame horses and cheatin’ hubbies. I bet there is a handful of you out there reading this thinking, “How can you hate country music?” but I’d be willing to bet my next paycheck none of you thinks I hate you.

I’ve never been asked why I hate city people, even though I’d likely commit Hara-kiri with a fidget spinner if I ever had to live in the city again. I like the city about as much as I like the idea of performing a synchronized swimming routine with Mitt Romney in a vat of fry-grease at the Holiday Inn Chernobyl. If you want to spend half your life sitting in traffic and paying over-inflated housing costs for a beautiful view of concrete, you do you, boo. It ain’t for me. But none of you city folk is gonna ask me why I hate you.

No one has ever asked me why I hate fans of the television show Orange Is The New Black, regardless of the fact that despite trying a dozen times to get into it, I just couldn’t do it. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t feel the, “haha, prison!” theme. I liked the book, don’t get me wrong. The show is… well… it’s like those frozen hors d’ouvres you get at Costco: looked good on the box, but wholly underwhelming once consumed. I don’t like the show but there’s a curious lack of OITNB fans asking why I hate them in my inbox.

I can disagree with people on many topics: the death penalty, abortion, legalizing drugs, socialism, animal rights, taxation, health care and immigration, and yet none of these disagreements ends in the other person assuming I hate them. No, that only happens when I express my opinion on religion. Religion is the one topic you must either agree on or keep quiet your disagreement, else you’re a goddamned hater.

Here’s the thing, though: I don’t hate you. I don’t like some of the ideas you hold dear, but that does not mean I hate you. You are more than your religion as is evidenced by the fact that people convert to new religions and leave religion behind often. You are more than your belief in god. You are more than your traditions and rituals and holy books. You are so much more than these things and it appears it takes an evil heathen to tell you that.

I’m sorry I don’t like the idea of your god. I’m sorry I don’t like your religion. I’m sorry I loathe these ideas of yours, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to get me to hate you. I loathe these ideas precisely because I love people and I believe strongly that these ideas you hold dear are a threat to our world.

You know what I think, though? I think you want atheists to hate you. I think you romanticize the idea because it gives you a reason to look down on us. That’s why you never ask, “Do you actually hate me?” instead of condescendingly telling us we do, because you know as well as I do that our answer isn’t going to fit your narrative.

But that brings about an important question: when your faith leads you to literally fantasize about groups of people hating you, is it any wonder we are critical of it? Not really, right? Because that’s what decent people who don’t hate you would do, isn’t it?

So, no, I don’t hate you. I think some of your ideas are poor is all. Plus, I like to talk about it. So, maybe next time you’ll ask an atheist if they hate you instead of telling them that they do. Maybe next time you’ll drop the condescending attitude and try to speak to us as though we are equal to you. Because if you don’t, one day you might actually find an atheist who hates you, but it’s going to have nothing at all to do with your religion and everything to do with your complete inability to speak to an adult without sounding like you have your hand crammed in a puppet.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • RainbowPhoenix

    Sounds like at least half the homophobes I’ve dealt with when I called them out on hiding behind their religion to justify their bad behavior. And you’re absolutely right that they want people to hate them. It’s all part of their persecution narrative. Because, you know, being told to mind their own business is just the worst thing ever.

  • WallofSleep

    “… people who really do follow god and listen to the word would never treat you the same.”

    Apparently there aren’t any xtians left in the U.S., then.

    And ömg, all those “I would rather…” statements are hilarious.

  • MystiqueLady

    I don’t generically hat Christians. Actually, I feel sad for most of them. I feel they are missing out on so much life. However, there are a few Christians that I loathe — NIFB, Ham/Hovind, just to name a few. I feel that the hate and ignorance that they’re pushing is harmful to people in general and individuals in particular.

  • Milo C

    There really is no other person like a religious group member for internalizing or confusing belief as part of their personal identity.

  • WallofSleep

    Your post reminded me of this classic:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWhpk-8QLFQ

  • Michael Neville

    I’d rather go bare-assed on a sandpaper slide than listen to popular country music.

    Why do I get the idea that you don’t have any of George Strait’s albums saved on your phone?

    Seriously, I don’t hate religious people. I’m not too fond of how some of them use religion to excuse their bigotry nor am I happy that all too many of them try to impose their beliefs on the rest of them. However I realize that most religious people are trying to live as good, as moral a life as possible

  • Cozmo the Magician

    I would have responded : Ohh aint you such a dear! Did you send that e-mail all by yourself? You must have spent days getting it almost right. You did make a few mistakes in grammar and spelling, but we both know that can be hard for a mind like yours. Keep up the good work and maybe someday you might even grow up to sound like an adult.

  • trog69

    I grew to detest Comfort after reading a few of his posts, back when he had a blog. He’d post something. Quite a few non-believers would post comments showing evidence that Comfort was wrong. He’d then find the one commenter that was easiest to argue against and write another post, faithfully ignoring the presented evidence. After three or four instances of his blatant dishonesty and seeing his grifts I had no choice but to loathe him as much as I loathe C/W music. My ADS L810’s refuse to play that stuff, anyway.

  • persephone

    Having gotten out of the JWs, my opinion is that it’s a couple of things:

    1. The people most adamant about you hating them are likely the ones having doubts themselves. The Bible is a mess of contradictions, and anyone who reads and studies it without preconceptions is going to have to acknowledge that. So, they have doubts. They also have doubts because, despite what their preacher says, non-believers are living happy lives, maybe lives much happier than theirs.

    2. They also love a good persecution, but most atheists won’t give them that. We can’t be bothered to persecute them, because we have lives and we just don’t care, unless they’re causing us problems. So, in this case, he’s trying to get a response:
    a. an angry response that will tell him he’s being persecuted
    b. an angry response that he will tell himself means you aren’t as happy as you appear to be
    c. a kind response that will make him think he can talk you into converting
    And any of those responses are brownie points with God that he can talk about at church.

    They love to talk about all the stuff that happens when they’re Christianing online, and scoring points with God and with other church members is their favorite thing.

  • persephone

    I had some nut case in another forum telling me that all atheists were anarchists who just wanted to burn everything down, we had no morals, we were evil incarnate, we couldn’t possibly have jobs, we couldn’t possibly have friends or families, and on, and on, and on. Really.

  • persephone

    I pulled the grammar thing on some duggar fans at another site. Some woman posted about her grandchildren being homeschooled and how much better it was and they were learning so much. Yeah, except that she was one of those people whose only punctuation is an ellipsis, and her spelling wasn’t much better. So my response included her comment with an editorial type markup containing grammar and spelling errors, but also recommending better phrasing and such.

    Then some guy stepped in to support her, so I responded the same way to him.

    She tried again, and I did the same thing.

    They quit talking to me.

  • Ann Kah

    I know the feeling. Here I am in my seventies, and have had JW visitors at the door who are barely into their twenties, asking if I’ve ever heard of Jesus. Face it, there is absolutely no nice way to tell your elders that they are wrong and you are right, so there! And they do it in tones that suggest they’re conferring a great favor upon us, when really they’re just being rude in the extreme.

  • Jim Jones

    You are attacking the core of their being. They have access to the “secret knowledge” – well, one day maybe – and you are telling them that the emperor has no clothes. Sure, no one understands a lot of their stuff – a 2 in 1 Jesus and a 3 in 1 god where one third is the 2 in 1 Jesus – I can’t even do the math on that but they’re sure they’ll get it one day. Real soon.
    You have to stop telling them it’s all total cr4p – that’s like telling them that their lottery ticket has the right numbers, but the wrong date.

  • Jim Jones

    Adlai Stevenson:

    “The strange alchemy of time has somehow converted the Democrats into the truly conservative party of this country — the party dedicated to conserving all that is best, and building solidly and safely on these foundations. The Republicans, by contrast, are behaving like the radical party — the party of the reckless and the embittered, bent on dismantling institutions which have been built solidly into our social fabric. . . . Our social-security system and our Democratic Party’s sponsorship of the social reforms and advances of the past two decades — conservatism at its best. Certainly there could be nothing more conservative than to change when change is due, to reduce tensions and wants by wise changes, rather than to stand pat stubbornly, until, like King Canute, we are engulfed by relentless forces that will always go too far.”

    — Statement during his 1952 presidential campaign, quoted in Unadjusted Man in the Age of Overadjustment: Where History and Literature Intersect (1956) by Peter Viereck; 2004 edition, p. 253; also quoted in his “The New Conservatism: One of Its Founders Asks What Went Wrong”, The New Republic (24 September 1962)

  • Jim Jones

    Religions are spread by four basic methods.

    1. Deceit

    2. Fear

    3. Tor‌ture

    4. Mu‌rder

    It is always thus.

  • Jim Jones

    > Apparently there aren’t any xtians left in the U.S., then.

    Not since Fred Rogers died. Although maybe Jimmy Carter.

  • I feel ya.

    I’m disabled. People routinely talk at me like I’m five. Or shout, because using a wheelchair… somehow means I can’t hear?

  • wolfypuppy

    Enmeshment, trauma-bonding, codependence: Abusive religions leave followers with no individual identity. When you attack their beliefs, they think you’re attacking them personally. Sad.

  • Meena 2016

    I have found, as a former Catholic with pieces of Catholicism still in my head from infancy, that when you question aspects of Catholicism on an RC website, you are immediately labelled by Catholic priests as an “anticatholic”.
    For a long time I was simply questioning parts of traditional belief, attitudes and Church rules.

    Maybe the religious do this so as to frighten others from questioning any part of the Church’s current teaching and also to encourage others not to bother reading your ideas.

  • Meena 2016

    Is this thread still working?

  • Robert Voss

    That was a great rant Ms Heard. Inspiring. I hope this is OK to say, you reminded me of Greta Christina (whom I admire) when she spoke at her alma mater a few years back.

  • Brianna LaPoint

    Christians think that people that dont think as they do are intellectually inferior to them. Give them no respect, they dont deserve any.

  • MystiqueLady

    Some of the Christians I loathe are the YEC types. Especially Ham and Hovind. I do watch them every time a science/fact based person debates them, except if you’ve seen one debate for each of these two, you’ve seen them all. But i still watch because their opponents use different fact/science based arguments and I do learn something new (most of the time).

  • se habla espol

    I don’t bother to hate christianists; I pity them for their gullibility and their acceptance of the grift they’re fixated on.

  • Tim Howley

    I have been an atheist for a long time. I got the message when I was around 16 I am 66 now. Hate theists? No, I would have far less friends than I have. I have lost friends because I am an atheist, but the number that I have gained has made up for that. the only theist I ever hated was the one who abused me at age 11. But that wasn’t why I became an atheist. I currently have a baptist neighbour who keeps shoving religious tracts through my letter box. I just keep giving them back. She doesn’t seem to be getting the message, but I still humour her.

  • “I’m sorry I don’t like the idea of your god. I’m sorry I don’t like your religion. I’m sorry I loathe these ideas of yours, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to get me to hate you.”

    Why be sorry? Not liking those things is part of who you are. Do you ever think, “I’m sorry I’m me”?