Polimicks

Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

One of my big problems with Fundamentalist Christians…

Particularly of the Jack Chick tract reading variety.

“Being a good person won’t get you into Heaven.”

That is a line used in several Chick tracts.

“Being a good person won’t get you into Heaven.”

However, apparently being a child-raping, axe-murdering douchebag who at the zero hour proclaims, “Jesus, I’m sorry forgive me!” will.

This use of Jesus as a “Get out of trouble for being a hypocritical, cruel, lying douchebag for my entire life,” card is what really annoys the fuck out of me. I’ve had this debate before. Many times. And it never makes any more sense to me. Well, it does, but not how most of these people think it does.

It’s much easier to live your life as a douchebag and then ask forgiveness than it is to just not be a douchebag for a lot of people.

Me? I’d really rather just not be a douchebag and trust that whatever primal creative force in the universe there is is actually just. Because if it is, then a whole lot of these fuckheads are in for a rude awakening. And my primal creative force is totally OK with gloating.

I’ve talked about my best friend in Jr. High before. Her folks became born agains when we were 14. And their preacher ran off with all the church money and his mistress. Then, when the money ran out came slinking back with his tail between his legs, and they forgave him, his wife took him back and they let him be minister again. Which, I’m guessing, lasted until roughly about the time the church treasury held enough money for him to buy another sports car, run off with another mistress, and burn through it all in about six months again.

See, here’s the thing. I don’t know who’s right, but I do ascribe to the sort of God who allowed us to develop modern medicine to fix diseases rather than refusing treatment and just bugging him with prayers. The kind of God who sends two boats and a helicopter to someone trapped in a flooding house, but my God would also slap the fool who refused all three of those in the back of the head, a la Gibbs on NCIS, when they showed up at the Pearly Gates, and then send their prideful “God will save me personally” ass right on down to Hell.

And I’m also a firm believer that if you live your life as a fucking doucheclam, then whatever happens in the afterlife will probably not be pleasant no matter how many times you say you’re sorry to Jesus.

Honestly, we all just need one commandment: Thou Shalt Not be a Shithead.

And if being a good person won’t get you into Heaven, then I don’t want to go. I mean, who the hell wants to spend eternity surrounded by a bunch of hypocritical fucksticks who pulled a fast one on God? Or more to the point, a God who would allow a bunch of hypocritical fucksticks to pull a fast one on him? Oh, and I’m sure they are sincere in their deathbed conversions. I really am. For that five minutes I am sure they are the most sincere mother fuckers on this planet. Like the saying goes, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

And the idea that God is so petty that if you don’t use the right name, you’re doomed. Like God’s some sort of socialite who’ll snub you for mispronouncing her name. I mean, seriously. God is in charge of everything everywhere and he’s going to get his knickers in twist because you call him “Allah” or “Buddha” or even “Cerridwen?”

This is NOT how I feel about all Christians. I’ve known some pretty awesome, very actually Christian people who live good lives, are kind to children and animals and do it not because it’ll get them to Heaven, but because being a good person is the right thing to do and they view Faith as a means to this end. These folks, I respect.

To Jack Chick and all his ilk, fuck off and die in fire. Seriously.

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22 comments on “One of my big problems with Fundamentalist Christians…

  1. kurosau
    October 21, 2008

    I concur in general. I’m commenting, however, to explain that I can’t really conceive of a god that didn’t want to save everyone. For some reason, it just doesn’t make sense to me that a god of compassion would also like to roast people over eternal flames. And when I consider that further, I realize that I can’t conceive of such a god even wanting to lose someone, despite everything that’s wrong with them.
    Ultimately, no matter how assinine, horrible, rapacious, profane, or downright shitty someone is, somewhere, there’s a part of them worth caring about.
    I apologize for not thinking up something that’s really relevant to your point.

    Like

    • sirriamnis
      October 21, 2008

      “Ultimately, no matter how assinine, horrible, rapacious, profane, or downright shitty someone is, somewhere, there’s a part of them worth caring about.”
      I think this is going to have to be where we part ways on this, because I fully believe that there are limits.

      Like

      • kurosau
        October 21, 2008

        I think, when you view someone as a whole, it’s true that there are people beyond caring about. But one of the things I imagine a deity that’s all about compassion would have is…well, an infinite compassion.

        Like

      • cochese
        October 21, 2008

        That belief comes up a lot in Buddhism. It doesn’t mean they get the Enlightenment cookie for free or that you should let them hurt others. It just means they are no less worthy of your compassion than the most noble of saints. (Different traditions may vary on that point.) Conversely, it was possible for the most evil people to work towards Enlightenment. There are at least a couple figures in Buddhist tradition who were serious villains that ended up becoming Enlightened, though. (The one that comes to mind is Angulimala, who was effectively a serial killer.)

        Like

      • sirriamnis
        October 22, 2008

        Yes, but they have to WORK toward enlightenment.
        Not just say, “I’m sorry, Jesus. Save me.”
        Fuck that.

        Like

      • cochese
        October 22, 2008

        No argument there. I was primarily citing the Buddhism with the notion that even the most vile people are worthy of compassion. (And, to tie in with what says farther down, forgiveness as well.) As I said, infinite compassion isn’t a Get Out of Jail Free card.
        I don’t know that *I* have it in me to have that sort of forgiveness. But I can at least explain my understanding of Buddhist thought as I commonly see it explained. I don’t think all traditions have the same attitude as what I described above, but it’s the approach that I see most often.

        Like

      • cochese
        October 22, 2008

        I should add: Forgiveness, as I describe it above, does not let go of accountability. There’s a difference between holding someone accountable and hating them for it. As part of compassion for all living beings, there’s a level of “doing the best you can with what you got.” Sometimes some must suffer for the betterment of the whole. Which means animals get killed for food, muderers go to jail for murdering. It doesn’t mean you hate the animals or the murderer, but it’s better to kill an animal than to let people starve and it’s better to lock up the murderer than to let him murder.

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      • rae_beta
        October 21, 2008

        I think there can be something abstractly worth caring about in everyone, but whether it’s something that’s worth it for you (or me, or any given individual) to care about is a different issue altogether.
        That someone possesses some redeeming humanity doesn’t entitle them to forgiveness when they fuck up their life or other people’s. Sometimes, all it does is make drawing necessary boundaries more painful.
        Can I request a future column about how bullshit it is to expect survivors to be saintly and forgive their assailants? The whole “forgiveness is a necessary part of the healing process” is used way too often to worm around accountability–and is tremendously disrespectful and horrid to survivors.

        Like

      • sirriamnis
        October 21, 2008

        I will work on that.

        Like

  2. garpu
    October 21, 2008

    Honestly, we all just need one commandment: Thou Shalt Not be a Shithead.
    Can I hear a big “A-fucking-men” to that?
    I wanted to put a bunch of panels from “The Death Cookie” on cafepress stuff with the proceeds going to my parish’s “fix the damn roof NOW WTF” fund, but others didn’t see the humor in it. I think that tract, in particular, is hysterical.

    Like

    • lesleymac
      October 21, 2008

      oh, it’s true. “Death Cookie” is right up there with “Dark Dungeons” (D&D makes you evil) and “Fairy Tales” (letting your kids believe in Santa will make them killers– killers, I tell you!)

      Like

      • garpu
        October 21, 2008

        THe D&D one is awesome. Can’t believe I forgot about it.

        Like

  3. staxxy
    October 21, 2008

    when I run across these people the thought that runs through my mind loudest is “have you even READ a fucking BIBLE??”. I’ve read several. None of them even imply that this sort of behavior is okay.

    Like

  4. madarab
    October 21, 2008

    That was something that always bothered me about Dennis Rader, the BTK killer. After he got caught, he went on and on about even though he’d committed a series of gruesome murders that God was ok with him now that he’d repented and found new life in Jesus. It didn’t help that when he said that he looked as if he was gloating to the families of the victims…

    Like

  5. cochese
    October 21, 2008

    I like the term “doucheclam.” I’m tempted to steal it.

    Like

    • polimicks
      October 21, 2008

      Feel free.

      Like

      • cochese
        October 21, 2008

        I’d say something insightful but, well, preaching to the choir.

        Like

  6. kashma
    October 21, 2008

    Ya know, I was going to write some big post in my journal about this, but decided upon some further reflection to just post here.
    I could go a couple of different ways on this. One way could be to try and explain (as best as I can) where folks like Chick get their ideas. Honestly, I’m not sure I’m up to that task – there’s this sort of American folk version of Christianity that doesn’t really ascribe to theology, per se, and is more of a collection of not very well thought out (IMHO) beliefs, which makes it hard to parse. So I don’t think I’ll go down that route.
    I could theoretically go into great detail about the Catholic, or Orthodox, or Anglican, or various Protestant denominational views on salvation, forgiveness, justification and sanctification. That’s a pretty big topic, and wouldn’t really address what you’re getting at here, though.
    Or, I could just tell you what I think, as someone who identifies myself as Christian, but can’t stand Chick tracts either. Maybe that’s the best approach.
    Simply put, I don’t know or care what happens to me after I die, and I don’t think that this is, or should be, the entire point of Christianity. I don’t think that this was Jesus’ message, and moreover, I think that it’s ultimately a rather doomed way of going about things. It’s a grave. It’s meaningless. It’s death-worshipping.
    Having said that, it’s clear that I have nothing to say regarding whether or not God will be damning anyone, for any reason. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I will leave that as a mystery, one that I may, or may not, get the answer to when I die.
    What I care about is right here, and right now. Forgiveness is a marvelous thing, but it’s a two way street, regardless of whether it’s between people, or between the divine and a person. Confession, admitting your faults, is only the first step, and it’s not a get out of jail free card. You still have to deal with the consequences of your actions. You still have done the wrong. While I might forgive, this only has meaning if there is a change within. It doesn’t change anything, and yet, somehow, it does.
    It’s a means of short circuiting rage, hate, and revenge. It’s a tool to allow for new life. Not a “new life” that’s completely disconnected from your old one. But a new life that allows some possibility of change for the better. It’s still up to us to take advantage of it, to come to terms with what we may have done, and what we do. It is a way of trying to value all life, even if that life is broken, horrible, and full of evil.
    One can argue if this is of more benefit to the one forgiving or the one being forgiven. I don’t personally know. I’m tempted to suggest it’s the former, often.
    And, frankly, it’s pretty near impossible. “Love your enemies” is, I think, one of the craziest, most radical, and just plain hardest things that has ever been asked of us. I just happen to think that it’s true.

    Like

  7. morinon
    October 21, 2008

    One thing I read in Carpe Jugulum was from Granny Weatherwax talking to a priest of Omnianism, the Crystal Dragon Christianity of Discworld. This, to me, is the best quick definition of sin I’ve ever found.
    “And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.”
    “It’s a lot more complicated than that-”
    “No. It ain’t. When people say things are more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.”
    “Oh, I’m sure there are worse crimes-”
    “But they starts with thinking about people as things…”

    Like

  8. wire_mother
    October 22, 2008

    obviously, i agree with you, for the most part. while it may be possible for any particular individual to be “redeemed”, it’s not our place, as humans of limited awareness, to say anything about that. we can only go on the information we have, not information that is yet to come.
    not to mention the tendency of that particular sort of Christian to only forgive those who are already part of their local community, but to condemn everyone from the outside world.
    neopentecostals (a better, more descriptive term than “fundamentalist”) worry me, mostly because they intend, as part of their agenda, to make their “Kingdom of God” on this Earth, and by their own efforts. their “Kingdom of God”, though, is not a paradise. it is, rather, a method of sifting people with whom they feel uncomfortable from those with whom they feel comfortable.

    Like

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This entry was posted on October 21, 2008 by in Uncategorized.

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