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Leaving Christianity is going viral

Leaving Christianity is going viral October 14, 2014

Woman leaving travels from there with her luggage

In yesterday’s post, I wrote:

And don’t make the mistake of confusing bullshit “Christian” leaders with Christianity. (Yes, I’m a Christian who curses.) Jesus Christ wouldn’t know most of Christianity today from a McDonald’s. Washington is packed with politicians so crooked they can’t take two steps in any one direction. But does that mean that democracy or the Constitution is invalid? Of course not.

When someone pees in the pool, you don’t blame the water.

About which this morning my friend Dorothee Benz (of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Methodists in New Directions, cuz that’s how hard she rocks ) and I had this little Twitter exchange:

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 10.14.53 AM

So just a quick note by way of explicating what I meant in response to Dorothee there:

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of notices from Christians telling me that they no longer want to be Christian. It’s remarkable how many people I know—people who for years if not their whole lives have been Christian—who have been so beaten into the ground by the relentless toxic rhetoric of the Christian right that at this point they’re just … giving up on Christianity.

Their hearts have turned away from the faith. They feel like, “If Christianity is so good, how come so many Christians are such complete dickweeds? If the Holy Spirit is supposed to be at works in the hearts and minds of Christians, why isn’t the Holy Spirit doing a better job of making a lot more Christians be at least decent human beings?”

As one of the kindest, most patient and intelligent Christians I know put it in a comment to yesterday’s post: “Is the whole thing [Christianity] just BS?”

Ouch. (If you’re Jesus, anyway. Or … well, me, for one, given what I believe.)

And it’s happening all at once, too. That’s the astounding part. I’ve been Joe Online for a long time now, and, as far as I can tell, ditching Christianity is going viral. In the last two weeks I’ve heard the same thing from I’d say thirty Christians, who’ve written to me either, “I give up; I’m no longer Christian,” or, “I’m about to give up; I don’t think I can take being Christian any longer.”

Oucheth!

So I really, really want to talk about that.

For now, though, I just wanted to say, about that “Fence Around Your Pool” thing: Fuck other people.

Um.

Didn’t Jesus say something pretty much just like that?

No?

Didn’t Buddha?

Confucius?

Yoda?

I know Gandhi said it. Somewhere along the line, he must have. And I’m pretty sure Martin Luther–King or 16th century monk—is on the record for having said it.

Anyway, I’m saying it.

And it is, of course, the hyper-abbreviated version of what I would say if I had a bit more time.

The idea of letting other people tell me, or in any way decide for me, who God is, or what the nature of God is, is … repelling to me.

I mean, I get why eventually any sane person would just go, “Something’s wrong here. Christianity appears to be a solid FAIL. I gave it my all. But enough is enough. I’m out.”

But, for me, screw that. If people keep peeing in my pool, I don’t abandon the pool. I refresh the water, and then build a fence to keep people the freak out. I stop letting strangers in my … pool area. (Um … to be clear: I’m not advocating keeping people away from Christianity–as if anyone in this culture could, given that, you know, it’s everywhere. What I mean is that I have no interest in … letting, well, pee-ers—by which I mean toxic people whom I don’t know or don’t respect—to … sully my waters, pee in my pool, get into my yard, define for me my Christianity–which, for the record, is unimpeachably rational and militantly non-invasive.)

Life is entirely too short to suffer fools. 🙂

Now I know somebody’s said that before.

Anyway, this is a real conversation that needs to be had. Jump in if you’ve anything to say, and let’s at least start having it.


I’m the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question:

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