Hypocrisy, thy name is often "evangelical or 'born-again' christian"
I'm going to rant and rave about Evangelical Christianity. If you are one, and you find this rant hits too close to home, then instead of yelling at me about it: take a good long look at your life, and change it to be more like your Jesus and less like the fabled Pharisees.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans*, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."
[Matthew 6:5-8, NIV, emphasis added *Pagans at that time meant people out there, not like us, those who followed other religions, or were Gentiles/not Jewish]
Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
“Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony,
honour your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’”
“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
[Matthew 19:16-24, NIV, emphasis added, of course]
I am not a fan of American football. I am polite and remember (most of the time) to call football, "soccer" when I'm talking about it, or FIFA, or the World Cup, with someone how probably doesn't have the faintest what I'm talking about. I used to follow American football, though; I got interested and randomly picked the San Francisco 49ers to follow. When I say randomly, I mean randomly. I closed my eyes spun the newspaper around and rooted for the team name my fingers landed on; it was something akin to divination, really, but it worked.
I was never a rabid fan; the game just didn't interest me that much. I liked to watch the games themselves, but the stats were confusing to me. So I was a more casual fan; these days I might watch one game a year-- if I can bring myself to watch the Super Bowl, it might be two. I'm just not that into it any more. [I haven't been a 9ers fan in a very long time. Their internal politics and the prima donna attitude of their quarter backs turned me right off.]
However, I can't get away from football these days. Part of it is because of it being play off time; part of it has been going on since training camp, and his name is Tim fucking Tebow. I can't stand that little git, not even a small amount. I find him so loathsome that I wouldn't piss on him, if he were on fire-- and pissing on someone can't be that hard to do, right?
Now, before you get defensive: I don't give a shit about his athletic ability. It seems, looking objectively, that he's a middling player who just happens to be able to pull off the great plays, when it's absolutely necessary-- and every team needs several of those. He is, or could be, their workhorse quarterback, always there, putting in the time, but never really being the star. There wouldn't be a damned thing wrong with that. I don't care if the guy's got "The Golden Arm", that'd justify his big salary, though, wouldn't it?
What gets me about this kid, is his evangelical christiantiy. I've found that many people who are evangelicals also like NASCAR, listen to country music, and in other ways embody the stereotypes of "southern", regardless of where they're from. This means looking at everyone who doesn't go to their church, isn't "from there" as foreign; finding intellectual pursuits to be only for "those damned libruls" and being generally conservative in every single way possible. Many, although far from all of them, have a couple basic beliefs about the world:
1- Jesus loves them so much, he's always right there, holding their hand, as they navigate life, meaning they are special.
2- America is also special, so special in fact, that it is a "christian nation", and Jesus himself is the king.
3- Jesus actually has a hand in their lives, in fact, every good thing that happens to them is because of Jesus, but everything bad, well, that's just Satan, or Gawd testing them.
Therefore, because they're so special, and Jesus loves them so much, he's busy helping them get home runs in little league, or get music awards and sell records, or even win football games. He doesn't give a shit about the people suffering from famine, or the women who are raped to death in Darfur; he can't be bothered with AIDS in Africa, or with the millions of people who were killed in the heinous Iraq war. Nope, their Jesus is macho, he's OK with war, and he lurves them
My Dad is a Christian, probably an evangelical, because he does consider himself "born again", as are my Love's Mum and Grandmum. I am extremely well acquainted with evangelical Christianity-- having been raised in it-- back when it was called being Christian, or just born again. The Evangelical title came later.What I'm about to say is not a castigation of people like my Dad; people who are so busy living their lives, doing right for the sake of doing it-- because it's right, so wrapped up in being the kind of person they can look at in the mirror, that they don't have time to be hypocritical. They just don't have time.
I spent many years around men who wore short-sleeved button downs with ties, pocket New Testaments in their shirt pocket, praying loudly in the Denney's or IHOP, after a desultory Bible study showing how right they are, and noting aloud, how holy their wives are (women with puffy hair, wearing "modest" clothes and gossiping behind their hands about everyone in a "Oh, we'll pray for them" tone). I had to sit through those prayers, waiting for them to shut the fuck up, so I could eat my rapidly cooling pancakes. I watched them be holier than the world around them, as they tried to stiff the waiter's tip. I got into the habit of bringing my baby-sitting money with me, and actually getting a separate ticket, so I could tip the poor girl, when my grandparents would drag me with them. What Would Jesus Do? I guess Jesus would only tip 5-10%...
The thing is, the more these people, men and women, were loud and public, and showing the world how much they Looooooved them some Jezuz, the less of a real christian they were. Oh, they knew all the right phrases, and could tell you, chapter and verse why gay men are all going to hell (they use Leviticus 18:22, and you can see some good info, here at Religious Tolerance). They could tell you why Jesus loved the whole world, but would totally throw all of you heathens and eee-evil doers straight into hell! They could even show you why they were so much better than everyone else, because Jesus loves them! They were "the elect", the chosen people!
These are the same people who would cheat on their taxes (oh, it's only a little deduction, the feds can completely handle it), refuse to tip the waiter they ran around in circles for three hours (what? She makes 3 dollars an hour, and if she wanted to make better money, she'd do something else), stiff the baby sitter who pulled an all-nighter for them (my personal favourite, the excuse I got was, "Oh, I thought you were watching them as a favour for us, because we're brothers and sisters in Christ". Really, that was what they said). They're the same ones who buy a dress or suit (not bespoke, usually, they don't want to appear vain), wear it once and return it, pretending some thing's wrong with it. They're the people who show up at your door, asking you, "If you died today, do you know if you'd go to heaven?" If you answer any other way than, "Yes, praise Jesus, I'm born again!" they try to save you, even if you go to the church down the street-- evidently Jesus can only work the saving miracle if you attend their blessed building.
That is what I see, when I see photos of this Tebow clown. He prays in public, and last I heard, he had a multi-million dollar contract. He doesn't give all that to the poor. He collects his own cheque.
Shouldn't he, instead, turn that over to the local homeless shelter? Go half and half with the food bank? Oh, I'm sure he can keep some of it, we wouldn't want him to starve. But a single person can live quite comfortably on 30k a year-- so think of all the people he could help with his money! And how much closer to his God he'd be. Not at all like that rich man; he'd be like that camel, slipping right through that needle's eye.
But, but, but, I've heard the christians say-- his supporters. He can pray in public! He's thanking Jesus! It's legal, and we like it, so there, nyah! He's earned that money! You're just jealous! [No, I don't know how he's earned it. I can't see any way to justify $30 000 a year salary for those guys, let alone 30 millions over the contract. As for the jealousy thing, sorry. I'm not. Why should I be?]
After my eyebrows come back down to their play, and are off my forehead in incredulity, I always ask when did Jesus amend the "Do not be like the hypocrites" bit. When did it become OK for them to loudly praise Jesus in public. I thought that only Gentiles/Pagans/Other people did that. Besides, if Your Father In Heaven knows everything, and is all powerful; then why in the hell ask him for anything? I mean, he's got a plan for you, right? His plan is awesome, and wonderful, and Cannot Be Changed! So aren't you sorta pestering him when you pray? If the plan doesn't call for you to have that Bentley, and you pray for it, every day, then you're being like that little kid who keeps after their parents for a lolly.
The silence is usually deafening. Or, and this is the fun bit, they go off on how it's completely acceptable, because they love Jesus, and they have Freedom Of Religion!, and this is a christian nation! Founded on the Bible, and George Washington was Jesus's Right Hand Man! And you can just not look. Just don't read/look/see/pay attention. Because we can totally do this if we want to! [Valley Girl accent is up to you.]
I admit it, I love love love it when they start in on the Jesus said it, I believe it BS. The second that "This is A Christian Nation" comes out, I am all over that like cats on catnip. First, I say, "No, it isn't", and watch them have a mini-stroke. That's it, just No, it isn't; I don't even start the explanation until their face stops being purple, and they sputter out, "What?! Of Course it is."
Then we get to Madison's signing of the Treaty of Tripoli, the explicit exclusion of a religious test to hold office in the US Constitution [You'll be looking for Article VI, paragraph 3], how freedom to follow your religion doesn't mean you can shove it down my throat. [Below is an actual exchange that I have had with my mother and grandmother.]
I'm usually just getting started at this time in the "No, the US is not a Christian Nation, and often pull out the, "Didn't Jesus even say, render unto Caesar what is Caesar's?"
Evangelical Christian: Nu-uh, that totally meant taxes, they were supposed to pay their taxes.
Me: They were? Huh... and here I thought you believed that book. Every. Single. Word.
EC: I do!
Me: Then why aren't you rendering unto the government?
EC: Because it's an illegitimate government, they've thrown God out of it!
Me: Wait, what? Then how in the hell is this still a Christian Nation?
Silence usually follows. The same is the case when I'm told, "You can't have morals without God".
The question that needs to be asked, Every Single Fucking Time some so-called Christian fucktard asks you that, is:
Then, you mean to tell me that you'd be out there, murdering, raping, stealing and being genocidal maniac if the Bible didn't tell you not to do those things?
Kinda scary thought, isn't it?
Of course they'll say, NO! It's illegal, and wrong, and I would never!
Then why do you need a book to tell you not to, in the first place? Conversely, why do I need a book to tell me not to? I'm not a Christian, but usually I'm more like Jesus than they are. I'm actually a pacifist!
Same goes for the defending of this Tebow shit. I keep wanting to call him a twat, to tell you the truth; but I think he's gay-- he pings pretty hard on my gaydar--, and so he's 1- probably never seen a vulva, and 2- I don't want to insult all the beautiful vulvae out there by calling some asshole hypocrite by the same name.
This asshole, he thinks that god is so invested in him, that Jesus helps him win football games?! What kind of arrogant, flippant, evil shit is that? He's so damned important to this Jesus person, that the starving children of the world are being ignored every Sunday or Monday so Jesus can lend strength to this guy's throwing arm? What the Fuck is that?! What the Fuck happened to "Suffer the little children to come to me, forbid them not!" [That meant let the kids around Jesus talk to him. He liked kids, I guess. That doesn't mean what the RCC seems to think it means: No, Jesus didn't sanction child rape as far as I can find.]
The same goes for all of those people who post devotionals, bible verses, and Jesus loves me this I know, all over their Facebook pages. One woman recently told me, "Well, you don't have to read it! Just don't read it!" Right, you posted that shit on my Wall, how could I not read it?
Do these people give time and money to food banks, domestic violence shelters, the fucking animal shelter?
They even complain about food stamps being used by anyone who isn't white. It's OK, if you're white. Everyone else, though, Jesus said pull yourself up by your own bootstraps!
At least until they need help, or decide they deserve it. Usually when they deserve it, they're skimming the system... fraud in the name of Jesus! Yay!
I recently told a couple of LDS missionaries that came to my door, that until their church stopped being misogynistic, and discriminating against LGBT individuals to get away from me, and stay away. I do not need to be saved, I told them.
I've told evangelicals the same thing.
Maybe, if they spent more time on that beam in their own eye, as the parable went, they'd be decent people to hang out with, instead of trying to legislate my uterus, and trying to criminalise love. Maybe then I'd be more OK with them, and agree to live and let live. If they were more concerned with feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring about the people who need help-- well, then I'd be right there with them!
But you don't hear about those Christians. The ones who go out and wash the feet of the homeless, and wash their clothes, and make sure they have warm socks and shoes, and food in their bellies.
You don't hear about the little old ladies who dedicate all morning to dishing out and delivering meals to the needy in their communities, before going home and making dinner for their own families, especially on the holidays.
You don't hear about the people who drop off people and animal food at homeless shelters, so people and their beloved pets will be fed.
Those people, now, those ones are Christians.
The rest of these assholes... they're evangelicals. And I couldn't say that with more venom than if I was spitting acid.
If you need a good idea of what an Evangelical really is, what they are like, how they feel and think of people like you and me, remember Rick Santorum, he of the frothy mix, is Evangelical catholic. He wants to criminalise gay marriage, consenting sex between two adults (regardless of genders) if it's not procreative (this is a catch all definition for sodomy-- anything that isn't penis-in-vagina sexual intercourse). He wants to criminalise abortions, for any reason, even if it's to stop an ectopic pregnancy. He wants to give the states the right to criminalise birth control. He wants to send bedroom police to make sure you're not doing anything he doesn't approve of, in your bed, with your partner.
If he thinks it's icky, then it's icky. But don't worry! You can absolutely take your dead fetuses home with you, let your kids play with them, kiss and cuddle and have photos taken with them. That's A-OK fine with Santorum. Just as long as you're not having fun in a sexual way. Can't have that...
That's an evangelical. They whip out their faith, swinging their religion around in public, smacking everyone, and trying to shove it down all of our throats.
Then they cry persecution if we balk! Oh yes, they're persecuted. Let us count the ways. They've been hounded to suicide? Murdered because of being christian and getting caught coming out of a church? Raped to correct that faith-choice? Nope... nope and nope again. They wouldn't know persecution if it bit their pretentious little faces off.
Disagreement is not Persecution. It's disagreeing. Telling you to knock that shit off, isn't persecuting you, either. It's telling you, that you're an idiot and need to quit.
Religion is like a penis.
It's OK to have one, and even OK to celebrate having one.
It is never OK to whip it out in public and wave it around.
It's also never never never OK to try to throat fuck me, or my kids with it.
All these words from these people, and not one good action that I would say was really something that Jesus would have done.
Doesn't sound very Christian to me.