3/25/2008                                                                                       View Comments

Christianity: blaming the victim

By Dave, the WM

Christianity lauds itself as the panacea for the world’s woes, but Christianity’s approach to rescuing poor humanity is riddled with degradation. Before offering its “so great a salvation” Christianity first condemns, denigrates, and belittles people into believing they are vile creatures, wearing the filthy rags of a pointless existence. Self-confident non-Christians are redefined as “haughty and arrogant.” Sincere human compassion that is bereft of evangelical rhetoric is labeled as “selfishly motivated” and incapable of real or lasting good. Difficult circumstances and obstacles in a person’s life is seen as part of primordial curses put on creation by an unconditionally loving god.

What can you, a pathetic sinner, do to overcome the problems in your life? YOU? Nothing! You are completely powerless, the helpless victim of a spiritually fallen world.


Instead of building people up and empowering them with the tools and confidence to boldly address life’s obstacles, people are told they are powerless victims of evilly motivated demonic forces. The only escape, says Christianity, is total surrender to an invisible entity that is supposedly the sovereign lord of all reality. You need a savior, because you are a victim of sin.

We are all supposedly born “condemned already” with a depraved, sinful nature that is somehow inherited from a “morally perfect” man and woman who somehow became morally imperfect by disobediently picking and eating some forbidden fruit. All this happened quite long ago, and although no one alive can be said to be at fault for the decision of these prehistoric fructose lovers, everyone born since that fateful day is declared guilty-by-association. “Hey, your long dead forebear did a no-no, so you will be punished with everlasting, horrific torment!”

Talk about blaming the victim!

A case could be made that the mythical Adam and Eve were also victims. They were put in a situation against which they had no defense. I mean, what chance did a couple of innocent, ignorant, hairless, naked people have against a supernaturally talking snake? And what was so evil about eating a piece of fruit, anyway? Or was it disobeying GOD that was sooooo evil? So, if GOD gives a stupid command, then disobeying it is EVIL? Well, regardless of the individual guilt or innocence of either of these storybook characters, surely billions of subsequent human beings cannot be justly condemned for that one ancient, ancestral crime, can they? I’m pretty sure that I had nothing to do with whatever happened in that cute little garden. I think I'd remember something like that.

So, we are counted as guilty before GOD because we inherited a sinful nature from our free-spirited, nudist ancestors who ate bad pineapples, or persimmons, or something.

And that leads me into thinking about free will. If we have a sinful, depraved, fallen nature, devoid of the ability to do good, then once again we are hapless victims, yet held accountable for our position of helplessness.

Christianity insists that “all have sinned and fall short,” that “there is none that does good, no not one,” and that there is nothing any of us can do to save ourselves from the terrible judgment of GOD. (He’s still mad about the fruit thing, I guess.) Yet, these same Christians insist that we all have the free will to choose God, and all we have to do is repent and believe and all will be well.

Wouldn’t repenting and believing and choosing GOD be the greatest good that a person could ever do in his or her life? I thought I had a hopelessly depraved nature, that I was dead in sin, and that my thoughts are only evil continually!

God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. – Paul, Romans 9:18


So, on top of being born with a wicked nature, without the capacity to do anything good, I have a crippled freewill that is confined to choosing only among evil choices, unless God wants to have mercy. Otherwise, HE’ll elect to leave me in my depravity, or worse, harden me more.

One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” -- Paul, Romans 9:19


Yes, exactly. It’s because Bible-God does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, to whomever he wants, and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it. You’re a helpless, powerless victim! Unless you bow, you will be crushed to powder by the loving fist of God!

I refuse to think of myself as a victim. I refuse to return to the Christian victim mentality.

What about you? What do you think?

19 comments:

Spirula said...

I'm wondering why people who adhere to Worm Theology find the evolution of humans from "monkeys" so degrading. The primate orgins of humans seems like a vastly improved outlook to me.

On a more serious note, I think the depravity of man doctrine is both a means to guilt-play people (lording it over the congregation/family) and a means to look down your nose at others (particularly unbelievers). I've noticed that churches which emphasize this typically have very arrogant and oppressive leaderships. This includes whole denominations.

Me, I'm content with my "Third chimpanzee" designation. Keeps my expectations of myself and others realistic.

Christopher said...

Very precise perspective from Dave here, and the review (spirula) that followed. I could go on a long-winded set of reasons why I'm in harmony, but this would be redundant. Hard to hit-home the message better than already prescribed here.

Nice job, Dave.

Lorena said...

As usual, excellent writing, Dave!

Reading your article, which so well reminded me that the Christian God is nothing but a blood-thirsty, totalitarian dictator, I thought again of how well the religion serves the powers that be.

You gain the sheep mentality from the religion. In church you learn that you are nothing, in desperate need of guidance and forgiveness.

Then you translate the doormat mentality to the rest of your worldly affairs. So, when an oppressive government, an evil spouse, a despotic boss, or any other manipulative creature wants to take advantage of you, you are ready.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Roman empire adopted the religion because it saw its potential as a tool for mass manipulation.

stronger now said...

"I refuse to think of myself as a victim. I refuse to return to the Christian victim mentality.

What about you?"


You're FUCKIN' A right! I'm not doin' the bow an' scrape boogie anymore!

Christianity almost drown me in undeserved guilt.

I consider myself a survivor.

Stephen_Richard_Webb said...

@Spirula

Yeah, the total depravity doctrine is a demoralizing tool, but it is also a means by which men may justify their own shortcomings - its easy to blame ones faults on mans natural inability to do 'good' works. My father is a fundie, and he continuously tells me that christians arent perfect, but they are forgiven...bunk if you ask me. One thing that gets me is the debate about wether universal atonement or limited atonement is correct - one church says universal, and another says limited...regardless, if christ took all of his believers sin to hell, then how the hell do they still sin [so that they need the "forgiven" status as procliamed by my father]? Evidently jesus and the sacrifice was wasn't powerful enough to totaly destory sin...now if what the christians beleive is true, then every true christian would be absolutly perfect...but they are FARRRRRR from it!

Telmi said...

Excellent post, Dave.

There is not much anyone else can add to that. You have said enough about the Spoilt-Brat. What he needs if he exists is some good adult spanking.

Astreja said...

Spot on.

Christianity uses the methods of torturers to spread its doctrine, and the practitioners become traumatized and addicted to its violence.

xrayman said...

I first came to this site two years ago as a newly born again atheist, but I did not fall from the hardcore Christian faith described here. I had a very generic God belief in which good people went to Heaven and bad people went to Hell, and those bad people didn't include kind and decent folks who choose the wrong religion or none at all.

It has only been as an atheist that I have learned the true extent of the lunacy known as Fundementalist Christianity. I can't imagine the bitterness I would feel had I ever actually fallen for it. I would be so fucking pissed. I owe great thanks to my parents for never allowing me for a minute to believe in that vile vindictive Bible God. My parents never gave me the complex of being a vile sinner simply for being born because of the acts of some naked cave woman. They were very high on building my self esteem from day one.

Great letter Dave. Thanks so much for your site.

Shaggy Maniac said...

Nice post.

It got me thinking about my own religious background which is Lutheranism. Lutherans are always on about the "grace" of God and what a wonderful gift it is in the face of the sinful nature of humankind. Your post struck a chord with me because it seems to me, having left my previous faith, that the doctrine of "grace" really is perniciously self-destructive and psychologically unhealthy. It is really a recipe for self loathing polished up with the false facade of being forgiven by God. Once I came to admit my doubt about the existence of a god, the unhealthy nature of the "grace" doctrine stuck out like a sore thumb.

Thanks for the post.

billybee said...

This reminds me of how A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) uses the same crappy thinking. I was told I was "powerless" to overcome my addiction.
(If this pisses off any "A.A. believers" then so be it.)
I overcame my destructive lifestyle of drug and alcohol abuse by using my BRAIN! 17 years clean, sober and superstition free!
If anyone is unfamiliar with AA, it is just a variation of the same bullshit we believed as Christians.
"Powerless....?" Well, kiss my higher-powered ass.

No god/ No fear said...

I've never understood the value of the creation story. The moral of the story is the equivalent of me, as a parent, leaving a loaded gun out in the open, telling my toddler not to touch it and then blaming the child for defying me.


Sophia

notabarbie said...

Thanks Dave. Great post; it is so concise and rational. When I read posts like this one, I think, WTF was I thinking? How could I have swallowed such a line of BS? I do remember asking questions like, “Just because Eve ate the fruit, why do all women have to suffer?” or “If god knows everything that’s going to happen and is powerful enough to stop it if he wants to, why would he allow such a horrible thing if he loves us so much? I mean, he obviously knew he didn’t create Adam and Eve strong enough to resist sin and yet he allowed the whole scenario to unfold, dragging all of humanity into it AND then holding us all responsible.” I would always get answers like, “Who are we to question god?” or “His ways are not our ways,” or, “it’s all in his perfect plan.” Okay, we are completely hosed the day we are conceived and will be wretched sinners until we are finally glorified, IF we believe it all AND we persevere to the end….no wonder I used to feel so bad about myself all the time. As a wise webmaster once said, “Christianity is a gross religion.” Amen, and I for one am glad to be free of it.

Dave8 said...

Dave, great article. I find it interesting that Christianity has a caste-system; the elected elite who role-play a God character and those who follow the leader.

The elected elite, who play God, are always in a position to victimize their followers, who are trained to ignore and reject critical thinking. Have a great one.

cipher said...

This reminds me of how A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) uses the same crappy thinking.

To be expected, as it's simply another form of addiction - although a particularly contemptible one.

I've never understood the value of the creation story. The moral of the story is the equivalent of me, as a parent, leaving a loaded gun out in the open, telling my toddler not to touch it and then blaming the child for defying me.

Yes, absolutely! I've been saying this for years. Free will, no free will - it doesn't matter. It's completely irrelevant. It's like giving a child dynamite to play with, waiting until he blows himself up, then saying, "It wasn't my fault. I didn't light the match!"

But they never, ever get this.

Brother Jeff said...

Right on, Dave! Glory!

xrayman said...

Billy B. Said,

"(Alcoholics Anonymous) uses the same crappy thinking. I was told I was "powerless" to overcome my addiction.
(If this pisses off any "A.A. believers" then so be it.)
I overcame my destructive lifestyle of drug and alcohol abuse by using my BRAIN! 17 years clean, sober and superstition free!"

Hats off to another rational recovering drunk !!!!!

Don't you just love it when we attend our first meeting and are immediately fed the self fulfilling prophecy that we can't do it without the higher power? Fuck that I did it all own my own with no rehab either. It was simple with me, it came to a point where either I quit drinking or die.

Wow how much we have in common. I too am Billy B and have been sober for 17 years as of this month.

billybee said...

Hey Xrayman,

Check it out....My first ex) wife was a state champion in womans cycling. I use to ride but kinda got out of it. Shoot me an email sometime..

billyandelly@msn.com

We can start a billy b club...

exrelayman said...

Test message. Good post. Who put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden? Who demands obedience of those who can't know disobedience is evil since they do not yet have the knowledge of good and evil? Who decided that the correct consequence for this original sin was a sinful nature leading to hell for everyone (unless they can believe an illogical and unbelievable doctrine). Who believes that such a tale does credit to a loving god?

riley_jensen said...

Nietzsche really hit on this victim thing in one of his books. Xtianity created an ailment to give them the power to heal it. It is very delusional.

They want you to feel helpless and they play god to heal you. Its a vicious cycle. Its the same way the US portraits third world countries. They are helpless and need our help. The rich get richer by getting charity from us and give little to the helpless. I say little because we give them a fish, rather than teaching them to fish.

The xtian becomes the new of victim when converting. They run around saying they are persecuted for their belief. In reality, they are shoving their justifications and beliefs down people's throats. People don't like that. The built-in mechanisms are amazing. When there are hundreds of different beliefs who claim to have the only truth, there will be a feeling of victimization. To prop their religion up, they talk bad about the other. In turn, they bring on the same and feel like the victim.

It'a all about PITY. Xtianity takes pity and plays it like a puppet. Xtianity in a crude way victimizes the xtian (telling them they are a victim of the world and sin) takes the pity, gives the pity, the xtian finds relief, thinking its being loved by a god (church). The pity is given and the ego is super sized. But the mechanism is a vicious cycle. The xtianity is the problem in the first place. It constantly breaks down and builds back up to again break it down. The xtian has to have the fix and dependent upon the system. Another clever mechanism. The pity is released through the ego by expressing the holier-than-though belief. Unstable converts become unstable in another way and are acceptable by the masses. The instability is therefore justified in xtianity. They run back to the pity when they fuck up their life. Their ego is then built up again on Sunday. Some need more on Wednesday and Friday.

Pity feeding the ego and the ego seeking out more pity. Again, its a vicious cycle and can be very abusive and damaging. "Religion poisons everything."