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Hard to be a Christian

Posted by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:15 PM
  • 12 Replies
The Weight

I pulled into Nazareth,
Feelin' 'bout half-past dead,
Just need to find a place,
Where I can lay my head.
"Mister, can you tell me
Where a man might find a bed?"
He just grinned and shook my hand,
"No," was all he said...
- The Band

It is brutally hard to be a Christian in America these days.

Yeah, I said it. It's true.

I'm a Christian. I was born and baptized, and then given First Confession and First Communion wearing my little white suit with the little gold buckles on my little white shoes. I learned the Bible at my grandmother's knee - her way of teaching me to read - and went out into the world thinking do-unto-others-as-you-would-have-them-do-unto-you and that-which-you-do-to-the-least-of-my-brothers-you-do-unto-me was the proper way of things.

In Bible study, I remember being impressed by a specific command from Jesus from Matthew 6:5-6. Not a request, not a suggestion, not a hint, but a flat-out command: "Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray while standing in synagogues and on street corners so that people can see them. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you."

And my Father, who sees in secret, will reward me. Well, thanks a lot, Dad, for rewarding me with this hideous, necrotic 21st century version of know, the version that has little if anything to do with what You tried to tell us in those four friendly books at the beginning of the New Testament. Do Unto Others has been replaced with Do Others In The Throat, and as far as prayer in secret so as not to be a hypocrite, well...have You seen CNN and Fox lately? They're praying all over the place, all the time, around the clock...but for war, death, punishment, and the castigation and flagellation of anyone who dares to, as You said in John 13:34, "Love one another, as I have loved you."

Yup, I'm talking about the "hommasexchulls" among us, the ones deprived of The Light Of American Jesus because of their sinful, sodomic ways. I can quote Exodus and Leviticus at you until your eyes bleed, two books that are wildly popular with this country's curious breed of Jesus-shouter...except Jesus came along to make sure four new books got written, right? The ones with all the loving lessons I learned at my grandmother's knee, right?

Those were the stories I was raised with. Maybe I missed a chapter.

Long-time Truthout readers know that I am a survivor of bullying. Well, it turns out that some of the stars of modern American Christianity have gathered their forces to blunt any state or local push to stop bullying in schools. Some of these festering, pestiferous frauds have even gone so far as to craft a prayer to God, so that He will intercede on their behalf to thwart laws that would keep LGBTQI kids from being harried to such an extreme degree that they commit suicide rather than face another day in the warm bath of American Christianity. Those kids kill themselves all the time nowadays, thanks to the endless and barbaric harassment they endure from Christians...just as Jesus intended?


The prayer:

May God help us to not to "bully" anyone, but to graciously yet urgently speak the truth in love to young people who are hurting themselves with the "LGBT" lifestyle. May believers across America not be "bullied" by our government's efforts to promote harmful and sinful sexual practices among our youth and instead determine to stand courageously against these misguided efforts which can only lead to God's judgment!

My favorite part of that is the way they put "bully" in quotation marks, as if crucifying Matthew Shepard on a fence in Wyoming was only kinda-sorta "bullying," instead of flat-out assault and murder. According to those who crafted that abomination of a prayer, Shepard's killers were just American Christians attempting to save a soul...oh, and the exclamation point after "God's judgment" at the end of that so-called prayer is just a nudge in direction. Direction? I should have said Way.

It is brutally hard to be a Christian in America these days. Some of us Christians take that bit about doing unto the least of us deeply, deeply seriously. Some of us Christians think that it is wrong, sinful, and in fact a brazen form of Apartheid to deny certain Americans the rights enjoyed by other Americans based upon who they love. Mostly, some of us think Christianity in America has gone barking-mad insane.

I am a Christian. I make no apologies for it. I'm not sure if I believe that Jesus turned that water into wine, or if He raised up Lazarus, or even if He rose from the dead. That all sounds like a lot of magic nonsense from two thousand years ago when you think about it, which is why they call it The Mystery of Faith.

But I believe that I am my brother's keeper, that I should worship without bragging about it, that the poor will God-damned-right inherit the Earth, and that what you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do unto me. I believe that the first four books of the New Testament are a wonderful blueprint for being a decent person on this planet, and that's what I live by, as best I can.

I am an American Christian, and it is a burden to bear.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to drink some new wine, hang out with a familiar whore, and listen to the dead.


William Rivers Pitt, Truthout Op-Ed
by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:15 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Bazinga! on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:17 PM

 It's not easy being green.   

by Satan on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Quoting Euphoric:

 It's not easy being green.   

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:18 PM
2 moms liked this

It's not hard when you have real faith.

by Bazinga! on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:22 PM

 Kermit the frog just popped into my head when I read the title, I have no idea why, lol. No dis respect I promise, I'm just feeling silly tonight.

Quoting Goodwoman614:

Quoting Euphoric:

 It's not easy being green.   

by Ruby Member on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Good post.

by Ruby Member on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:25 PM

The concept of hegemony describes the ways in which the dominant group, in this case U.S. Christians in general and predominantly Protestants, successfully disseminate dominant social constructions as being common sense, as normative, or as universal, even though an estimated 70% of the world’s inhabitants are not Christian. Christian hegemony also supposes that Christianity is part of the natural order, even at times by those who are marginalized, disempowered, or rendered invisible by it. Thus, Christian hegemony maintains the marginality of already marginalized religions, faiths, and spiritual communities. According to Beaman, “the binary opposition of sameness/difference is reflected in Protestant/minority religion in which mainstream Protestantism is representative of the ‘normal’”.

Other ideas about Christian hegemony relate to the thinking of French philosopher Michel Foucault, who described how dominant-group oppression is advanced through “discourses”. Discourses include the ideas, written expressions, theoretical foundations, and language of the dominant culture. According to Foucault, dominant-group discourses pervade networks of social and political control, which he called “regimes of truth”,and which function to legitimize what can be said, who has the authority to speak and be heard, and what is authorized as true or as the truth.

(source: wikipedia)

by Ruby Member on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:26 PM
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Quoting Goodwoman614:

It is brutally hard to be a Christian in America these days.

Yeah, I said it. It's true.

I'm a Christian.

40 Examples of Christian Privilege (source)

It is likely that state and federal holidays coincide with my religious practices, thereby having little to no impact on my job and/or education.
I can talk openly about my religious practices without concern for how it will be received by others.
I can be sure to hear music on the radio and watch specials on television that celebrate the holidays of my religion.
When told about the history of civilization, I am can be sure that I am shown people of my religion made it what it is.
I can worry about religious privilege without being perceived as “self-interested” or “selfseeking.”
I can have a “Jesus is Lord” bumper sticker or Icthus (Christian Fish) on my car and not worry about someone vandalizing my car because of it.
I can share my holiday greetings without being fully conscious of how it may impact those who do not celebrate the same holidays. Also, I can be sure that people are knowledgeable about the holidays of my religion and will greet me with the appropriate holiday greeting (e.g., Merry Christmas, Happy Easter, etc.).
I can probably assume that there is a universality of religious experience.
I can deny Christian Privilege by asserting that all religions are essentially the same.
I probably do not need to learn the religious or spiritual customs of others, and I am likely not penalized for not knowing them.
I am probably unencumbered by having to explain why I am or am not doing things related to my religious norms on a daily basis.
I am likely not judged by the improper actions of others in my religious group.
If I wish, I can usually or exclusively be among those from my religious group most of the time (in work, school, or at home).
I can assume that my safety, or the safety of my family, will not be put in jeopardy by disclosing my religion to others at work or at school.
It is likely that mass media represents my religion widely AND positively.
It is likely that I can find items to buy that represent my religious norms and holidays with relative ease (e.g., food, decorations, greeting cards, etc.).
I can speak or write about my religion, and even critique other religions, and have these perspectives listened to and published with relative ease and without much fear of reprisal.
I could write an article on Christian Privilege without putting my own religion on trial.
I can travel without others assuming that I put them at risk because of my religion; nor will my religion put me at risk from others when I travel.
I can be financially successful without the assumption from others that this success is connected to my religion.
I can protect myself (and my children) from people who may not like me (or them) based on my religion.
Law enforcement officials will likely assume I am a non-threatening person if my religion is disclosed to them. In fact, disclosure may actually help law enforcement officials perceive me as being “in the right” or “unbiased.”
I can safely assume that any authority figure will generally be someone of my religion.
I can talk about my religion, even proselytize, and be characterized as “sharing the word,” instead of imposing my ideas on others.
I can be gentle and affirming to people without being characterized as an exception to my religion.
I am never asked to speak on behalf of all Christians.
My citizenship and immigration status will likely not be questioned, and my background will likely not be investigated, because of my religion.
My place of worship is probably not targeted for violence because of sentiment against my religion.
I can be sure that my religion will not work against me when seeking medical or legal help.
My religion will not cause teachers to pigeonhole me into certain professions based of the assumed “prowess” of my religious group.
I will not have my children taken from me from governmental authorities who are aware of my religious affiliation.
Disclosure of my religion to an adoption agency will likely not prevent me from being able to adopt children.
If I wish to give my children a parochial religious education, I probably have a variety of options nearby.
I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence and importance of my religion.
I can be sure that when someone in the media is referring to God, they are referring to my (Christian) God.
I can easily find academic courses and institutions that give attention only to people of my religion.
My religious holidays are so completely “normal” that, in many ways, they may appear to no longer have any religious significance at all.
The elected and unelected officials of my government probably are members of my religious group.
When swearing an oath, I am probably making this oath by placing my hand on the scripture of my religion.
I can openly display my religious symbol(s) on my person or property without fear of disapproval, violence, and/or vandalism.
by Obama licker on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:27 PM
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Lol at American Jesus.

I got a vision of Jesus driving a giant truck with a gun rack and a Nobama bumper sticker through Kansas.

by Obama licker on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:27 PM
1 mom liked this

^^^ yes, I know. I think I violated some kind of comma rule there.

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:30 PM

I, too have huge issues with Amercian Christianity. But I can't say I agree with this article 100% because I do take the Bible very literally, and that is where I tend to part ways with Christians because most of them don't. Sometimes I find it is easier to talk to non-Christians because some of them respect the Bible more and they aren't offended by my convictions. 

Amy, mother to five beautiful blessings!
"Dani B" (8), "Topher" (7), "Lukie Bob" (4), 
"Bella" (2), 
& Baby "Sammy" Due December 5, 2012!!!!! 
pregnancy calendar 
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things [food & clothing] shall be added unto you.

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