Bad Irreligion

When I think about how I was able to stay Christian for so long, there is a critical factor that comes to mind–it was not the only factor, and it is not a factor that could have done it on its own, but without this factor I may not have been able to keep on keeping on. That factor is the bad examples set by atheists and secularists.

Many of you are terrible people. I would see your c0mments on the Internet, and I would get depressed. I would swear that I would never be like you (and in the aspects that I find meaningful, I am still not). I would hear your arguments, and I would be unimpressed. The only thing you had going for you was that you turned out to be right about a few important things–whether you had good reasons for it or not.

Most of us human beings are terrible. It is hard enough to be “good” when you have an all-knowing God who loves you, threatens you, and may reward or punish you. Even this is not enough to prevent gossip, cliques, pastors running off with secretaries, income tax fraud, gay sex scandals with prostitutes, power struggles, guilting, and so on. How much better would I have expected anyone else to fare? You may run ad campaigns about being “Good without God,” and you may post comments about how you don’t need a God with a “big stick” to do the “right” thing. Whatever you say. In my life as a Christian, I simply saw too many self-identified irreligious people who I didn’t want to be like, and didn’t want to think like.

Nearly every one of you believes you are intelligent, but this is emphatically not the case. You all believe you are upstanding and empathetic human beings, but this is also not the case. A great many of you are hateful, superficial in your thoughts about key issues, selfish and prejudiced.

You were a reason to keep the faith.

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2 Responses to “Bad Irreligion”

  1. I suppose it depends on your definition of good. As you pointed out there are a great many “God-fearing” individuals who seem…well…hateful, superficial, selfish and prejudiced. By the same token there are a great many people who fear no divine retribution nor expect any divine reward who are compassionate, concerned with the human condition, who are intelligent, giving and fair.

    I agree there are many self-identified irreligious people I wouldn’t want to identify with, but I had no problem identifying with people for many years who did the exact same things and called themselves Christians. I’m not sure which is worse. It occurs to me that since I’ve become irreligious I don’t have to identify with anyone. I’ve become an individual.

  2. rwzero Says:

    I agree. Although this is written like a moral judgement, it is not meant to be one, at bottom–my point here is that when I looked at active atheists, or people who make a conscious effort to discuss these issues and argue against Christianity, the overall picture was unattractive. This affected me, and it was a factor in my not accepting their arguments for a long time. If they had acted differently, I may have thought about things differently.

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