Christians say their bible is The Word. Most modern-day believers admit the bible is open to interpretation, and perhaps parts of it are, but there are many clear rules, even outside the Ten Commandments, that pretty much mean the same thing regardless of which language it’s read in. Some things cannot be bent or acclimated to fit modern times, and I feel these Christians who skew the meanings to allow themselves to flit outside of the rules of their faith and still call themselves adherents are dishonest folks and are frankly the biggest reason I am turned off from organized religion. These cherry-pickers expect you to respect their beliefs, and they feign a sanctimonious right to bastardize their holy book as they see fit. That irritates me, and here’s why:
I know if I was absent of any skepticism and prone to being infected with the strong phenomena of “belief in belief”, and had the kind of epiphany religious followers claim to have experienced when they felt the pull of God and married their brains to the word and scripture in the bible, I am certain that I would be downright FANATICAL about it. The stakes are quite high if you subscribe to the punishment/reward aspects of it, even if you were to place the idea of heaven and hell into the metaphorical category that most loose Christians do. The black-and-white of it is that the bible is either the word of God, or it isn’t. There is no in-between. If you are to be judged on faith AND by works, you’d best be following that shit to the letter, because the consequences - even with the whole forgiveness margin - are pretty dire. I’d either be all in, or not in at all. As it is, my skepticism puts me in the latter position, and I’m perfectly okay with that. No qualms about it.
Those people who call themselves followers of Christ and children of God who just go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays while living the rest of their lives being liars, hypocrites and haters are just posers. I can’t stomach that at all. I can’t honestly extend them the respect and tolerance they feel they deserve, because they aren’t who they say they are. I don’t expect them to be infallible; but if you want one shard of acknowledgement from me for being as righteous in your faith as you claim, then you’d better not only talk the talk, but walk the walk, as well.
I have respect for the priests and nuns who swear their lives over to Christianity, who take vows that they actually adhere to, who donate their entire lives and their selves to a life of strict piety and devotion. These people aren’t fucking around, they are living their truth and there is no margin for interpretation of what following Christ means to them.
While I consider it an act of psychopathic murder and wrongdoing when extreme fundamentalist Muslims are willing to strap explosives to themselves and make the ultimate sacrifice in the spirit of jihad and in the name of their god, I can only acknowledge how invested they are in their devout mindsets to actually follow through on what they consider the unerring truth of their religion. That’s not to say that I condone it, or tolerate it, but rather - it helps me understand better the phenomenon of belief, and shows the difference between those who really, truly invest their lives in it, and those who just loosely tinker with religious commitment. I still think they’re wrong, ignorant, misogynistic, batshit crazy motherfuckers for taking lives, treating females like rats, and sacrificing themselves for their god, but I can’t make light of their powerful intentional resolve, because it’s present in how they truly live through it. I can only hope to avoid them, because challenging them with what I consider reason is futile. They’re too far gone.
I most admire the peaceful cloistered monks, who spend their entire long lives taking selfless vows of silence, poverty and chastity. They are actually following their faith in a way that literally defies their natural drives and instincts as a human being. That’s a pretty hardcore belief node, when it usurps your actual physical tendencies as a species.
So when the Christian Right call themselves religious people who “follow” Christ and claim to be doing “God’s work” get in my face with their watered-down version of adherence as they trumpet their allegiance to whatever Holier-Than-Thou denomination they are members of, I immediately write them off as brainwashed jerks, and I can’t even begin to admire them because I know that it’s one big giant ruse. I don’t only know it, but I know that deep down, THEY know it, too.
That, in a nutshell, is the problem I have with most modern-day Christians. I know what kind of world I want to live in, and I know that’s really what kind of world they want to live in, too, because it just makes better sense to have secular laws for the good of the whole while allowing believers and non-believers alike to live in something closely resembling harmony. But these half-assers continue to straddle both sides while not really contributing to either except by way of lip-service and shaming others. It allows the crazies to keep functioning under the “religious freedom” rule, and it works to further prohibit any progress as far as us all co-existing peacefully goes, because it thwarts the efforts of the secular community whenever we’re forced to deal with these so-called Christian beliefs when some slithery underhanded shit is pulled like it was with last week’s Supreme Court ruling. You might be voting with us, or agreeing with us on matters of equality, but if you’re truly ashamed of the bigoted, hateful, exclusionist behavior of your more radical brethren, then recognize that the only thing that keeps them going is that NO ONE has properly called them out on their shenanigans. When they talk the talk, demand them to either walk the walk, or shut the fuck up.