The common mistake of Christianity-bashing “independent thinkers”

The common mistake of Christianity-bashing “independent thinkers” October 20, 2014


This is relative to the conversation begun with my recent post Leaving Christianity is going viral (for which I most heartily thank those of you who shared there some of your own story relative to Christians and Christianity).

As I say, I am constantly hearing from people wondering how in the world I can continue to call myself a Christian, given the latest outrage from Pat Robertson/Bob Jones/Tony Perkins/Focus on the Family/some dipshit fundamentalist pastor certain to have remained in total obscurity if not for the Internet’s ceaseless frenzy to find yet another ignorant Christian “leader” spouting something which proves beyond question that he wouldn’t know Jesus Christ from Jimmy Dean the Sausage King.

How can I do it? they ask. How can I stay with Christianity?

Below is a summation, or aggregate, of what such people most often say to me.

How pleased I will be if ever one such person follows the logic of their assertions to the conclusion that I here imagine him or her reaching:

Boy, that [dipshit Christian leader] sure is reprehensible, isn’t he?

How can anyone believe the stupid, stupid things he says?

But people do! That’s what Christians do! They blindly follow their leaders!

And that’s why I—a smart, rational person—will never be a Christian, or even acknowledge the validity of choosing Christianity as a viable response to the phenomenon of life.

I refuse to be just another mindless follower.

I’m my own person. I form my own thoughts and ideas about things. I don’t let other people tell me what to think.

Besides, as a kid I had more than enough church-going in my life, thank you very much. I’m so glad to be away from all that authoritative bullshit.

I’m still really spiritual, though. I always have been.

I’m spiritual; I’m just not religious. Organized religion is for sheep. I’m no sheep.

Now, Judaism has some really deep and profound truths in it. So does Buddhism—probably the most of all. And have you ever read any of the Sufi poetry? So much deep wisdom and awesome mysticism there.

But Christianity? Gimme a break.

Sure, I admire Jesus as a moral teacher. But the whole idea that he was divine, or performed miracles? That’s not awesomely mystical. That’s just another dumb thing Christians believe.

And that is so not me.

I don’t let others determine for me what I think.

I don’t, that is, except when it comes to crappy Christians.

The bottom line is that I let crappy Christians determine for me what I think about Christianity. My thoughts and feelings on Christianity are in response to crappy Christians—they’re a reaction to crappy Christians; they are formed by, and exist solely in relationship to, crappy Christians. My thoughts on Christianity have little if anything to do with Christianity itself. (Because, for one, let’s face it: could the Bible be any more difficult to read? Who knows what that thing really says?)

But wait.

Isn’t allowing my thoughts about a thing to be determined by what others think about that thing the very opposite of my thinking independently about that thing?

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

unfair-cover-xsmallPaperback. Kindle. NookBook. Signed and inscribed by me according to your direction.

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