Shame, shame, shame!

Shame, shame, shame! September 10, 2011

I came upon this video via The Friendly Atheist. It’s about what Christians are really thinking about during worship. The Friendly Atheist watched it and laughed; I watched it and wanted to cry. Why? Because this video was produced by a church. It’s no simply “funny song,” it’s a blatant attempt to shame parishioners. And it’s not like this sort of thing is uncommon – it isn’t. In fact, it’s common practice. Watch at least a little bit of the video, and then I will explain further.

I spent many years in a megachurch with a worship band just like this. They did skits like this too. Watching this video, I was sucked back to that time. The message this video carries to believers is as follows:

You only think about God on Sundays. How selfish you are! You only surrender part of your life to God. How can you spit in Jesus’ face like this? He gave you his EVERYTHING, even his life, and you can’t give all? What kind of person ARE you? You think about your hair and nails at church. You ungrateful ingrate! You think too well of yourself, and think you have no need of salvation. How can you even be saved, you prideful pharisee? You don’t go to church every Sunday, because you are too busy. Jesus would CRY if he knew how you are living! You sing these songs without meaning them. What a wicked person you are! How can you do this to your SAVIOR?! You are a faker! You only care about yourself! You are a horrible, terrible person!

You have no idea how many times I received these messages from church, Bible club, and family worship time. You have to understand how intentional these messages are. In fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity, you have to make people feel like worthless losers, because if they don’t feel like they are wicked ingrates in need of Christ’s salvation they will spend eternity in hell. I’ve written before about salvation anxiety.

There’s one more aspect to mention. It is this exact process that is used to drive people deeper into fundamentalism and into the world of Christian Patriarchy. You aren’t good enough, the church tells people. You are living like the world. Are you facing persecution for your beliefs? No? Then you’re not LIVING them! Live your faith! Let it affect every single minute aspect of your life! Dare to be different, and to be criticized! It’s really no surprise so many Christians go to the extreme. They’re shamed into it through videos and skits like this one.

Evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity essentially yells “You’re not good enough! You’re not good enough! You’re not good enough!” in your face, well, forever. Sure, it follows this with “but that’s okay because Jesus died to save wretches like you,” but that doesn’t change the fact that the entire belief system is about convincing people that they are horrible, worthless pieces of dirt in desperate need of divine salvation. I mean, that’s the central message of evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity. In contrast, I am a humanist. Rather than celebrating human worthlessness, I celebrate human potential.

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