Over the past four or five years since I became fascinated by religion, and Christianity in particular, I have become struck by the impression given off by those who attach a religious label to themselves that they fall into two distinct camps; overriding indifference and overriding misery.
Those who live in the indifferent camp are what I always was with regards my religion. ‘Oh yeah, I’m Christian. Of course, what else? There’s Jesus, his dad …er what’s his name, again? God, yeah, and … er… Oh, look, football’s on, sssh!’
I would venture that the vast majority of religiously affiliated lean towards this form, which is more of a cultural affiliation
rather than any form of spiritual devotion.
I would also venture that the majority of such people if informed that Jesus and his dad and Moses were really fictitious they would respond with similar apoplexy, full of wailing and teeth gnashing. Not.
‘Oh, look, football’s on, sssh!’
Which is backed somewhat by the number of people leaving religion; hundreds of thousands if stats are to be believed ( including professional pastors. vicars and what have you) the empty pews and the number of people who list ‘None’ under religious affiliation on their ballot card, library card renewal form and Reader’s Digest subscription.
Then we have the other camp – or the Dark Side as I like to think of them.
They seem to inhabit the internet; blogs, chat forums, conservative Facebook and Twitter groups and odd looking family gatherings from the Southern States of America who might be inclined to wear ”I hate Burt Reynolds” T-shirts and are only holding hands with their cousin because they needed to jam up close for the photograph. Honest!
These lot always seem to be miserable. Especially on the internet.
Oh, they put on that Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam face but this has all the hallmarks of a constipated grimace caused by a carrot up their backside.
Now, you would think that having found their god they would, be truly joyous. I mean, they have become enlightened through revelation. This is like perishing Christmas every day. Not if the blogs are an indication.
Almost all of them are waiting for Jesus’ return. Waiting for their saviour to obliterate every living soul except them. They become fanatical about the bible and can quote – and do – reams and reams of scripture at the drop of a coin in the collection box.
They are invariably very conservative and the more militant openly vilify homosexuality, feminism, abortion, liberal politics, socialism, the general school system, (tacitly) revile every other denomination/sect of Christianity, consider the unemployed part of a failed political system, but appear to have little sympathy, are more prone to believe in conspiracy theories, think climate change is a liberal plot.
Oddly enough, on the Dark Side there is more divorce, more depression and associated mental illness, more misogyny more spousal abuse and the (US) prison population is almost exclusively Christian!
Hate is another thing they seem preoccupied with, have you noticed?
How often do you read: ”Why do atheists hate ‘God’?”
I don’t hate anything and have mentioned this innumerable times, but still they insist that one must hate christians and hate their god.
Because this is what atheists do, right?
I have never read a non-religious blogger that stated they hate any god or any religious person, but if one were to judge solely from certain Christians sites – and the fan mail Dawkins gets – atheists and non-believers are the vilest people on the planet. And because we don’t believe in their god, every non-believer is going to Hell for eternity.
When I think of bloggers like IB22, Wally, Colorstorm,SOM, Isaiah53, Tribulous,CitizenTom, Naivethinker,unklee and similar what comes to mind is ”miserable people”.
Truly. Everything is a trial. They are always fighting – demons, conscience, the devil, the
cable company for cancelling their subscription to the porn channel
When I think of JohnZ over in Brasil, walking his dog and leaving food and water for strays, Mak up in Kenya, designing homes and buildings and things for people, Roughseas over in Gibraltar giving chocolates to her neighbours and finding no mistakes in a piece of my writing,( okay that bit is fantasy) Tish in the UK down at her allotment growing veggies or sitting writing like me, Nate Owen playing with his kids and listening to Hendrix, Notestoponder up in Canada looking up at the stars almost wetting herself with excitement, Victoria looking at the image of a brain scan as if it were a Rembrandt and all the other blogpals I have and especially Arch who is probably laying out dog poo landmines and setting the timer on the garden sprinkler for when the Jehovah’s Witness’s walk up his path, I can only smile.
And I wander out on to my stoep, cup of tea in hand and hear the baby cuckoo meep,meep, meep all bloody afternoon outside my office … and I smile. I am content.
And … oh … football’s on , Sssh!