So Dana Hunter wrote this awesome post about “Christian Love” that I really liked. I think the most important part is this:
It doesn’t matter how friendly you are. It doesn’t matter how much fluffier your Christianity is compared to their (supposedly fake) Christianity. It. Doesn’t. Matter.
And I’m not speaking just to her. I’m speaking to all of the Christians who have responded to the worst Christianity has to offer with, “That’s not really Christianity.” Or, “Not all of us are like that.” Let me tell you something: distancing yourself from your fellow believers accomplishes so very little other than making you look like a self-absorbed jerk. You sound like you don’t give two shits about the people harmed by the behavior of your fellow believers. Don’t tell me not all Christians believe that way, and not all of them are like that, and you’re not like that. I know this. If you were, we wouldn’t be friends. If you were, you’d be too busy telling me I’m going to burn in hell to tell me how awesome your brand of Christianity is.
Tell them that. Tell the people who threaten harm, and do harm, in the name of God that they’re despicable shits. Read them the riot act over their behavior. Tell them this isn’t what Christian love is all about, if that’s what you believe, but please don’t tell it to me.
Please read the whole thing here.
My comments are after the fold…
I find myself just as annoyed by the so-called “Good Christians™”, for exactly the same reasons.
Look… I get that you’re not like those Christians. I get that you’re a good, loving Christian who’d never send death threats. I get that you’re pro-choice, that you don’t have a problem with non-straight marriage, that you’re open and experimental in life. I’m really glad that you don’t have a problem with atheists. I’m even happier that you think works is at least as important as faith, if not more. I’m especially happy that you don’t believe in hell. (Please note that all of these are “or”, not “and”, so you might believe some and not the others, etc.)
But I also don’t care. Just like Dana and other atheists, I don’t highlight the fanatic Christians just so you can come in and try to explain to me, in a misguided attempt to defend your faith, that they aren’t “True Christians™”. I’m gonna quote Dana again, here:
Let me just state this now, for the believers: I do not want to hear, “But that’s not True Christianity!” I do not want to hear, “But I’m not that kind of person.” The first is a bloody stupid No True Scotsman fallacy, and you should be better than that. The second is beside the point. And don’t even begin to tell me how the majority of Christians are wonderful people who would never, ever do the things I’m about to show you Christians have done. Stop playing defense for the home team for a moment. Sit down on the sidelines and listen.
Why don’t you yell at them? Why don’t you Good Christians™ yell at those other Bad Christians™ about their behavior? Why do you spend your time defending your religion from us atheists when we’re simply responding to the shit that your fanatics spew on a daily fucking basis?
When you comment on a blog post about Christian-based bigotry written by an atheist to defend Christianity, distance yourself from the fanatics by calling them Bad Christians™ or False Christians™ (which they would call you, BTW), you’re just making it worse for us. A lot of you then go on to scream “and what about The Atheists?!?”, which just makes you look like one of them. You are giving the fanatics the platform they need. You’re even encouraging them.
See, when atheists get all snarky and start ridiculing your religion, instead of jumping on the defensive, why don’t you step back and maybe look at what we’re responding too. Because more often than not, it’s a response to Christian bigotry.
And if you really are separate from that, and you really don’t believe that they represent Christianity, then stop yelling at us, and start yelling at them.
I think an underlying structural issue is what scope each person gives to a particular word. A cuddle-bunny leftist Christian might read the word “Christian” in a blog post and interpret it to mean “me, me, me” or “Christians like me” or “members of my Congregation”. Careful use of adjectives to limit scope does not seem to do much to damp down the differences in how words are perceived.