Note: This is a personal rant in which I pick on certain people in my life, both religious and non-religious. Please do not take as a generalization.
ETA: I think you should know that I wrote this shortly after I got shat on over the subject. I support the right of all people to (politely) assert their rights and express their religious beliefs (or lack thereof). I really, really didn’t mean to sound like a dick here.
I had my last class today, and it was in chorus.
I’m relieved to be on break. It’s not just because I burnt out in the middle of semester and I’m glad it’s over. It’s not because I have major plans for the holiday (which I don’t.)
It also means I get a break from a particular student that has getting on my last nerve with his pissing and moaning about TEH CHRIIIIIIIIIIST!
All semester, he has been complaining that he has to sing Christmas music because he’s not Christian, he refuses to celebrate Christmas, he doesn’t care, etc. Repeatedly. He can’t hear the words ‘Christian,’ ‘Jesus,’ or ‘Christ’ without shitting on himself and the rets of us.
He had every opportunity to suggest that his holiday, whatever it is, be included in the program, but of course he didn’t take it. We perform music from all different cultures and traditions…so nothing was stopping him from making a suggestion.
Whos’ fault is that? His. Bite me.
Anyway, I know another girl with a similar attitude. I asked her a question that came up over the course of a discussion totally unrelated to what I was asking.
I asked her if she was taking the new course “Historical and Literary Survey of the Bible.”
Simple yes or no question, right? Well, I was wrong. She got enraged and started sputtering, “NO, BECAUSE I THINK THE BIBLE IS A…IS A…CROCK OF SHIT!!!”
Really loud. She refused to talk to me for a while after that.
Since I was not Christian at the time, there was no possibility that she thought I was trying to convert her. The topic for discussion, like I just said, was about something totally unrelated to religion. But apparently, she has a grudge against Christianity.
Seriously? Get over it.
Whether these dipshit teenagers like it or not, Western civilization is dominated by Christianity. Much of our art, literature, and even science are inspired by it. Out of those who are religious in the West, most of them are Christian. Christianity influences our politics and our way of life, as it has for centuries. Granted, that’s not always a good thing, but how can you challenge it if you are unaware of it and don’t care about it?
That’s part of life. You have to do things and learn about things you would rather not be involved in. Your personal little grudge against Christianity is not some special license to be an ignoramus.
There ARE non-Christians who have contributed in a positive way to Western civilization. I find it interesting that neither of these teenagers have any interest in including non-Christians in a discussion of Western civilization. They have never once suggested anything that would accomplish that goal. Their sole interest is in attacking Christianity and, by extension, most of Western civilization, indiscriminately.
That’s just sad. These are people that deliberately exclude anything remotely Christian from their lives. How many works of literature, art, music, discussions of science and politics do they miss out on? What else do they miss out on because they hate Christianity so much?
I don’t give a rat’s ass if they don’t like or practice the religion. I really don’t. But get this. In the adult world, no one cares about your little political statement. To them, you’re just another dipshit teenager with a sense of entitlement that needs her ass kicked. Just bite the bullet and do the class. Sing the songs you are supposed to be singing. Okay?
Of course, you are perfectly free to continue pissing and moaning on your own time, but I still think it’s pathetic. Why would someone be so proud of knowing next to nothing about their own history and culture? I don’t care what it is or what religion is responsible for it.
Okay, I done picking on non-Christians. Now I get to pick on my own.:)
Christians do the same thing as the aforementioned teenagers, namely keep themselves as ignorant as possible and have shit fits over the slightest offense. Christians ask me, all the time, why atheists do this or think that, usually in an indignant tone of voice.
My first instinct is to tell them, “How the hell should I know? Why don’t you ask one?”
Christians have this odd idea that all atheists think alike. They think that I have some special key to the minds of atheists and that I am like a spy for the side of good against the side of depravity. I am much coveted in my local Catholic circles, but I get sick of discussing it.
Because even when I explain it, they don’t get it. Many atheists don’t get religion because they cannot see it through the eyes of the religious. The same dynamic exists in religious circles. They do not get atheism because they cannot see it through the eyes of an atheist.
To religious people, all good comes from God. Therefore, if you do not believe in God, you do not believe in good. In fact, I actually had a woman come up to me and start talking to me about how she knows that someone can’t really be an atheist.
I asked her why, and what she said next made my jaw drop to the floor.
“She’s so nice and so happy…atheists can’t be like that, can they?”
I think that speaks for itself.
Sorry, dudes. I wish my religion had more to offer than that. Well, we do, but they’re hard to find. They’re too busy being tactful.
The problem is that *atheists* don’t think like that. Most atheists are good and have most of the same virtues and values as anyone else. The difference lies in the source of that good. Secular humanists believe that humans evolved a natural capacity to love and serve through Darwinian evolution. Humans are valuable because they are part of nature and part of each other through these genetic connections. Other atheists believe that people have the free will to choose good or evil, and that we learn through trial and error what bears good fruit and what does not. Other atheists don’t have specific beliefs about how good got here, but they know good when they see it.
Secular humanists are atheists, but not all atheists are SHs. Not all atheists are liberal, either.
In other words, ask ten atheists about why they are atheist, where goodness comes from, etc. and you will get ten very different answers. So, again, how the hell should I know why atheists think this and do that? I’m not a goddamn mind-reader.
Earlier, I said that my first instinct was to tell Christians to go ask atheists what they think instead of harassing the fuck out of me. Well, I lied. It wasn’t just my first instinct. I actually asked it once.
They told me they don’t pay attention to whatever garbage they are spewing because they don’t want any part of it anyway.
Well, how do you know it’s garbage if you don’t pay attention to what they are saying? How can you challenge misinformation and attacks if you don’t know what they are? Do you know how stupid you look when you take stabs in the dark like that? How can you truly understand your own beliefs if you do not understand the paths you have NOT chosen? Lastly, how many atheists have said the same about Christians? Do you like hearing those comments?
If it sounds familiar, it should.
I can personally attest, an a Roman Catholic, that I find splendor and goodness in atheist and secular humanist thought. I love listening to Jewish liturgical chants. I wish more Catholics practiced Buddhist meditation and knew about pagan influences on their faith. I see parallels between the legends of the Hindu gods and the Catholic saints. All that is just, beautiful, glorious, and GOOD has a place in the life of every Catholic. They have a place in everyone’s lives. I focus on Christians here because they have a nasty habit of assuming that if it’s not explicitly Christian, it’s anti-Christian. Really, it’s not.
Most atheists are normoal people. So are most Christians. So are most Muslims, Jews, Hindus and pagans. Most people are normal. Wow. Whoda thunkit?
Oh, and for the record, if I were Satan, I wouldn’t use an atheist to fulfill my agenda. Too obvious. I would rather go after another Catholic, preferably a reall powerful one with a good reputation like, say, the Pope?
Mortals are so silly!
Anyway, this is Joanna, your diplomat/interpreter, signing off. Happy holidays!