Image via WikipediaA few days ago, I went to work and when I got there, I started spouting off about Christians. Then the other day Valerie made a post and off I went again on another rant (she can take it, I’m sure), once again and in part due to her encouragement, I am yet again writing (people want me to write, yet I’m a starving artist). This time it is a rant and the outcome of both incidents. Ah, well… maybe it will do someone some good. Maybe me, if I can get out of my cynical mood.
In response to my rant at work, a younger co-worker said, “Oh tell me about it!”
I started to back down on my rant, realizing that I was at Taco Bell across from the Assembly of God’s (A of G) Theological Seminary. This is a temporary job until the economy gets better and I can find something more fitting to my degree fields, but I have to keep this job.
My young friend called me on backing down and I said, “I don’t wish to offend anyone.”
She spouted off some more about me backing down, but the last thing I want to do is step on someone’s toes.
Suddenly she defensively shouted, “I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN!” and started her own diatribe as though she felt I was going to preach to her about something.
I softly said, “Hey, it’s OK. I’m a Humanist.”
She softened a little and said, “OK” and that was the end of her angry rant.
If our boss, who is a churchgoer, had heard her shouting in such a manner and went to the point of threatening to fire her, would I have stood up for her and taken some of the blame or would I have coward like I usually do? After all, it was partly my fault.
I have yet to see any Evangelical actually give help to anyone. Most of the time, they are either preaching or on their knees. Neither one gets anything done and to say anything about it gets you at the very least verbal abuse, if not more. This city is a difficult place to live in as a non-theist, because religion is all around, so much so that it seems God is the only thing on people’s minds. I walk out my door to walk to work and there, in front of the A of G College is a sign that says, “Nothing is too hard for God”, with someone sitting on their butt fretting or something. You turn the corner onto the business highway and there is another. On another busy street is a bigger sign of the same thing! Downtown, where the A of G headquarters is the same sign and then these same people who put the signs up complain there is no food in the food banks. They wasted all that money on signs, when they could have been helping to feed the poor instead. Honestly, these people need to get off their knees and do something for their fellow human being before they get housemaids knees. I learned over 30 years ago that there is no god who will save us, we must save ourselves, and the way to do that is to take action. There is not going to be any manna falling from the sky. Therefore, unless these A of G’ers stop wasting money and put it into the food banks, there isn’t going to be any food in the food banks to give to the poor. Oh but leave it to them to screw up that too! For what? Because the Bible says the poor will always be with us? Well that is a horrible way to help humanity, in my opinion.
Everywhere you go in this city, you see nothing but Christian dogma, right down to “right to life” propaganda and more. Get on the bus and someone is talking about their “relationship” with a zombie Jesus, putting new meaning to necromancy. There is always someone carrying around the Bible or their copy of “The Purpose Driven Life”. It is Borg-like Collective mentality at its finest and whatever their church is feeding them, they spit back out just like a Borg drone.
I take the payments for food and get a debit card that is AGCU. This is the A of G’s Credit Union debit card. I cannot help but think, “Almost as bad as Sharia Law” when a delusional brainwashed theist hands me one. The A of G has a whole system to keep people delusional and brainwashed in this town. They have at least two neuro-stimulating mega churches, at least one brainwashing bookstore, the Christian version of Sharia banking, at least one mind-numbing school… the list goes on and on for what seems like forever, not to mention a plethora of businesses with half a Pisces on the front. The Council of Churches runs a food bank, as well as other things around here and even the Catholic Church has their own system much like the A of G. You cannot escape religion in this city, no matter how hard you try. It is there all day, every day, and I seriously doubt they actually care about anyone. They only care about keeping people in the delusional zone and that is about it.
Even our boss talked about church and how none of her employees would “know where a Good Friday Service is being held” on Good Friday. I know of five places, more if you count the Catholic Churches around here, but I had no plans to go. This was not the only time she talked to us that way either. It just does not stop with her or any other Christian. They do not even see the flaw in the very basic part of the violently barbaric and hideous theology they celebrate! That being “Jesus died for our sins”. Try to point that out to them and they refuse to see it as they quickly contrive crap to patch in the holes you punch into it or even become venomously angry.
The business next door to our home is a BBQ place and the owner is a Pentecostal minister also, whom I tried to work for once. Every single day he would come in and spout religion, in his Southern Black preacher accent. “Have you heard of a Testimony Sermon?” Of course I have. Hasn’t everyone? *rolling eyes* “He is risen! He is risen!” I looked out the window to see the late morning sun and thought, “Yes, the Sun has risen.” Another day he came in and said as he swayed excitedly back and forth, “I’m immortal! I’m immortal!” I thought, “Step outside during a drive-by and we’ll just see how immortal you are.”
Now I really would not wish that on him, but my mind just could not resist. I felt smothered and had to get out before I ran my mouth. Therefore, I gave him two weeks notice, after only working about two months for him, with the excuse, “I’m not cut out for this job” and with stuff like that every day I was not, but I was not going to tell him that.
Leaving did not escape him though, because when my sons, their friends, and I walked by to go to the store or something, he would see us, and confront the teens, “Do you know Jesus?” UGH! One of the teens said, “I know of Jesus, but I don’t know him personally.” WRONG ANSWER! I wanted to run and hide while the man went on a sermonette to the youths. GRRRRR! Boldly, yet cowardly, I said, “They have their own churches.” Steve gave me a dirty look, but let it pass and we were on our way again.
Another day, I was talking to someone I considered a friend about my headaches with my younger son and she said something religious. I forgot what it was, but I must have had a facial reaction because she suddenly said with an expression that was both threatening to me, yet seemed to ask if I was sick, “You do believe in God?” I coward. I did not give her eye contact as I sheepishly nodded my head without any vocal responds. I kicked myself for not standing up to her and being honest. I cannot keep from having the same response as a child no matter what. I wanted to run then, just as I do now, but just as I did then, I freeze like a doe in the headlights.
Then there is my mother, who just loves to give a modern day Inquisition if you say something that is contrary to her beliefs. Not long ago, she practically pinned me to the wall, as she angrily demanded to know what I believe and I am almost 43 years old. I felt panicked and gave her lip service. She heard the words she wanted to hear, but I was not happy because it was a lie and I was a hypocrite.
How was I a hypocrite? I do not believe in lying, yet I lied to her, just so I could get her to back down. I am so scared of what believers will do to me, especially with behaviours like that, if they knew I was not a theist. I have seen what they do to others and it literally scares me, because it is very much snake-like behaviour. Thank goodness, I do not live with my mother or I would have a harder time “charming the serpent”. However, it was from her relatives that I ended up relating “a brood of vipers” to Evangelicals and to this day, I have a snake phobia that is as bad as my fear of Fundamgelicals. My mother tried to relate my snake phobia to Freud’s theory. HA! I have the same paralyzing reaction to a garden snake as I do to a perceived Inquisitor. I know full well it is not Freudian in nature.
Yet every day of my life, Christianity is all around that it feels like that is all even I can think about as I think of rebuttals to them. Yet, those rebuttals go out the window when confronted directly. However, I must admit, when my mother called Easter Sunday and asked, “Did you go to church?”, her reaction to my saying “no” was better, even after I ranted about the last church my sons and I attended several years ago.
I want out of this city so badly, but it is not feasible at this time and I seriously doubt anyone is going to listen to my rant and change things. I truly believe that if I could get out of this town and move to a place where religion is not predominant, I would not think about it almost constantly. The Fundies would probably run me out of town, rather then listen to what I have to say though. Damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Hopefully, wherever I ran to, religion would not be in my face as much and people would not wear it like a badge of honour, but this is part of the Bible Belt. It is the Belt Buckle of the Bible Belt in my opinion, in part because the A of G has their headquarters here and practically runs this place, right down to the movies that come here. They got that movie, Hunchback Mountain or whatever it is, banned from theatres here and when the local university showed it for free, the Religious Reich here was outraged about it.
Religion, at least its extreme form, is like a thorn in my side and I would love to remove it, if I could. As is, religion is a constant that I wish would go away and worst of all, it did not stop the abuse I suffered as a child. In fact, religion was an enabling factor, which left me with loneliness and despair, because the adults were too deluded in their beliefs about God to do what they should have done.
Returning to my young friend at work, I found it rewarding that I could calm her with a few code words of my own, but I also wish I could tell her about this site. It is not that I am afraid. I do not know how old she is or if she lives with her mother, who goes to church. I took an opportunity to feel out her mother one day while we were on break together and told her about the incident with her daughter. Her mother said, “Yes, she gets that way, but her father shoves it on her.” Amazingly, my telling her daughter I am humanist did not appear to bother her either.
The young woman has so much anger and I truly feel that if she had a place to vent, it might help her in some way. It might also tell her she is not alone, but how can I when I worry about her mother getting upset? Well, I eventually found out what I needed to know and I slipped the young woman the URL without permission from anyone. When she saw what was on that slip of paper and understood what the site was she beamed with joy and thanked me. I hope that we will see her here soon, because at the same time, she has a lot of guts too. More than I would probably ever have.
Two people at work know I am a humanist, so I must have some strength somewhere within me. I dared to calm someone’s wrath, with six little words. Out of compassion for the young woman, I even dared to talk to her mother, who incidentally appears to be a Christian, and outted myself to her too. Neither one of them asked me what a humanist is, so they must have some idea what the word means. I must be gaining some strength from somewhere to do that much.
Yet at the same time, even though I am tired of religion being a constant, I have no backbone to stand up to the religious, face to face. The desire is there, but when faced with it head on… I’m a coward. I always cop out of saying what is really on my mind and lie out of fear just to get them leave me alone. Just once, I would love to be “Stands With a Fist” from “Dances with Wolves” and give the vipers my “Ghetto Gospel”, metaphorically of course, because I refuse to submit to mental slavery.
The thing is I look back on that incident with the young woman and think, “If our boss gave her problems and some threat concerning her job, would I have backed her?” Yes, I think I would. I would at least claim part of the responsibility for the incident, because I started it. My young friend would not have started screaming about Christians and all if I had not said a word. The day would have begun without incident and without risk of insulting however many Christians were in the building at the time if I had not come in ranting about Christians to begin with. She would not have screamed, “I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN!”, for everyone to hear, if I had not started in on a rant, but luckily it did not cost either of us our jobs. It could have though, especially in this town, but I believe I would have taken partial blame and risked my job with her.
However, I am also glad to know I am not alone at work and there is another non-theist. The question is how do I get the strength to deal with invasive and pushy Christians? I have no clue. Thus, I continue to hide, cry, and rant behind the religious people’s backs concerning their behaviours towards others and keeping my sarcastic remarks as inside jokes, never verbalizing them aloud until the pressure gets to be too much for me and I rant verbally, only to back down so not to offend others.
Maybe my young friend is right. Maybe I should not back down when I start to rant aloud about Christians, but I do not like confrontation anymore than the next person does. However, when it comes to the consequences of such things, I am chicken sh**. A chicken with a lot of pent up anger due to the injustices I see being committed in the name of a very human concept. The inability to speak my mind without fear saddens me more than anything else does and it would be nice just to be myself, without fear of others, not even of my own mother.
The thing is, I have yet to see any Christian do anything for others or if they do, they do not take any credit for what they do, leaving the door open to low self-esteem and other issues. Those who place what they do all on God, it makes me wonder if they did it out of the goodness of their heart or if they did it to gain brownie points with whatever their god concept is. However, I have yet to see any Evangelical actually give help to anyone. Most of the time, they are either preaching or on their knees. Neither one gets anything done and to say anything about it gets you at the very least verbal abuse, if not more.
Religion truly is a source of misery and has yet to resolve any of the world’s problems. If anything, it has enhanced them and has even created people who are terrified and distrustful of the religious. It has helped to create many a mental health issue, yet people refuse to face that reality because religion is to be off limits, creating a vicious circle between guilt and depression. Children die due to abuse, but if religion is involved, that poor child goes unsaved by humans, as they leave him for a mythical deity to take care of. It is all a sham right down to their so called charity, words for them are lies, and I say it is time to confront all these atrocities, yet I am scared to death of the religious extremists. The same people who would leave me to die at the hands of an abuser are the very same who would spout verbal abuse and in extremely rare cases more.
I maybe able to come out and express my thoughts to those I trust and/or know are not theists, but I do not know if I will ever be able to express what I feel and think to those I do not trust, which is generally theists. Evangelicals did not put the fear of God in me. Instead, what they put in me is the fear of religious humans, especially those with serpentine behaviours. I have yet to see a brood of vipers do the world good.