I decided to write this while the topic was still fresh in my mind.
NOTE: If you are a Christian and are easily offended, then I would encourage you to work to put your offense to the side and read this in its entirety, as it might end up being helpful to you. If you comment and I can tell that you didn’t read this, I will not approve the comment. Conversely, I will do my best to not be offensive.
The assertion that American Christians do not practice their faith correctly is a big assertion. Can I prove it? It I can’t prove it, then I must retract it.
The person making the positive claim shoulders the burden of proof. This is my positive claim, and so I am burdened with the proof. If I were lazy and asked others to prove me wrong, then I would be guilty of being disingenuous.
HOW AMERICAN CHRISTIANS CURRENTLY PRACTICE
The American Christian appears to go through four phases during the course of their lifetime.
The first phase is where they are presented these ideas as a child. It’s called “Childhood Indoctrination,” which is a nice word for “brainwashing.”
They get Jesus songs and stories. They are shown images of animals on an Ark, with clouds in the sky and sometimes a rainbow.
They’re taught that “prayer” is being in their knees at the edge of the bed with their hands together. “And god bless grandma, and grandpa, and my family, and my bicycle.”
The second phase is a continuation of this childhood practice into the teen years, with an introduction to the more scary elements. They’ll learn about god smiting non-believers.
As for Noah’s Ark, they will see images of animals on the Ark in a dark storm, waves crashing, and people in the water begging for their lives as they drown to death. Fear used to be an effective took to retain believers, but it’s starting to not be so effective.
The third phase can go a few ways. In adulthood, they could keep going to church, but end up decreasing the frequency. Many will just go during Christmas and Easter.
The other possible path is that they could stop attending completely.
The fourth and final stage is where they get older and closer to death. They begin to become afraid of all of the things they were taught, most of it during a time when they were incapable of intellectually defending themselves. This is also know as “child abuse.”
Because of their age and proximity to death, they will fall back on what they know. They might find comfort in this, thanks to self-gaslighting.
Religious belief is VERY fragile, which is why they demand church at least ONCE per week, and why they discourage you from hanging out with non-Christians like me.
I can understand that, as I de-converted a girlfriend to become an Atheist without even trying. I was just being myself, and she was inspired. This is a testament to the weakness of religions belief.
WHAT AMERICAN CHRISTIANS DO WRONG
They judge. They gossip. They bear false witness, aka lying, which is against one of their Ten Commandments. They discriminate. They are full of hate and fear, and sell this hate and fear for membership purposes.
Lately, they’ve replaced Jesus with Donald Trump. Some of them created a golden statue, akin to a golden calf, which is a graven image of someone they worship. Along these lines, they also worship wealth and celebrity.
Christian Conservative Republicans, under inspiration from their Messiah Trump, stormed the Federal Capitol building in an insurrection, in an effort to overthrow the United States Government. This goes against Romans 13, which basically says that god put all of the leaders in place for YOUR sake. Should you go against them, or disobey, then not only will you be severely punished, but you must also understand that you brought it upon yourself.
Nowhere in Romans 13 does this have a disclaimer that Democrats don’t count. So since Joe Biden is president, it would stand to reason, according to this superstitious mythology, that god put him there.
American Christians get it wrong.
In supporting Trump, American Christians have chosen to side with the rich man over Lazarus. American Christians have GREAT contempt for the poor, the homeless, the sick, the disenfranchised, and more.
One big recurring theme in the bible involves caring for the homeless, the sick, and the sojourner [traveler]. Hospitality was a big recurring theme.
American Christians will NOT talk to a prostitute about finding god, and instead choose to associate ONLY with their own kind. They don’t save new souls. Not ONE person tried to save me for the 21 years I spent growing up in the Midwest.
A Pew study indicated that fewer than 7% of American Christians have bothered to read their bible in the first place. I have read the bible, and I read it so that I could have educated discussions with Christians, back when I had an Atheist YouTube channel from 2009-2011.
What I encountered was that I would bring up something from the bible, and they’d get angry and say, “Where does it say THAT?” Some would even suggest that I was reading the “wrong bible” or “the dark bible,” whatever that means.
I got my information from a King James Version bible, and I also own a Paraphrase bible from 1969. The Paraphrase bible is easier to read since it uses more modern language to convey the same idea, mostly.
This is why I gave up on discussing the bible with Christians. They simply don’t know it.
They continue to side with the rich man over Lazarus by practicing what is know as Prosperity Gospel. This is the idea that god said it was okay to be rich. I’m sure they’re twisting a bible verse around, but I’m not going to go digging for it, since I’ve not opened the book in 10 years. But I do know the bible says something about how it’s easier to send a camel through the eye of a needle than it is to get a rich man into heaven. This is a more popular passage, and I think it’s very, very clear on where this god stands.
Then again, the bible contradicts itself all the time, and can be used to justify anything. It was used to justify slavery, and is still used to argue in favor of slavery. Their favorite argument is, “Yes, but was it HARSH slavery?”
Yes. All slavery is harsh, by definition.
Christians pray for flippant things, like lottery tickets, finding their car keys, or a sports team winning. But I had more than a few Christians pray for my suffering and death.
One was quite specific, that his 300 YouTube followers would be praying that I would get in a horrific car accident, and would suffer and linger for a few weeks before dying.
As for their private messages, they are nothing short of horrific. They are so bad, in fact, that I will not be sharing any of the really pointed ones. But I’ll have a few others peppered along the way.
CHRISTIAN MISTAKES, SUMMARIZED
I know, I’m just an Atheist, so how could I know this? Again, I did read the bible and have an understanding of it. But I have also encountered THREE examples of people who practiced Christianity in the proper way, and I will get to them at the end.
In order to get to what they need to do in order to practice this faith correctly, I must first distill what I wrote above into something more concise that can be argued against.
Would it be fair to suggest that Christianity is a GIFT?
I think that many Christians would say that this is a fair and accurate description. It’s simple, but to the point.
What do you do with a gift?
The average person will admire the wrapping paper and bow for a minute. They might even read the card to see who it is from. But then they OPEN the gift, tearing the paper, opening the box, removing the gift, and then casting the box aside.
What do you do after you’ve opened the gift?
A person will typically experience heart-felt gratitude, and will express that.
When you open a door, what do you do with the door once you’ve entered?
The average person lets go of the door and steps inside.
HOW AMERICAN CHRISTIANS LOOK
This is the best and most accurate image that I can conjure up to describe how American Christians appear to me.
Imagine someone clutching an unopened gift with a death grip. They look angry and afraid. They’re clinging to a revolving door, never setting foot on the other side. And as they swivel around your direction, they flip you the bird and cuss at you. There is no gratitude or happiness to be found.
I feel it safe to say that this is NOT a very flattering image.
As I write my how-to on practicing Christianity, keep in mind the three items above:
- What do you do with a gift?
- What do you do after you’ve opened the gift?
- When you open a door, what do you do with the door once you’ve entered?
You will be reminded of these things in the segment headings.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A GIFT?
In the case of Christianity, the gift is inside a box. This box is not made of carboard, and the wrapping paper isn’t paper. The box is made up of a bible, a crucifix, and other Christian symbols and trinkets.
One act of “opening the gift,” for the sake of clarity in my analogies, is reading the bible in a way where you are in deep study. Consider this the act of ripping the wrapping paper off. Be warned that this could take years. Reading. Understanding. Figuring out how this applies to your life today.
This act of opening the gift would also involve deep prayer. Consider this the opening of the box.
This is NOT the kind of prayer that children do. It’s not a Facebook post of “Thoughts and prayers” with a praying hands emoji. That’s childish, and quite frankly, insulting.
This prayer would involve setting aside at least ONE MONTH, where you do nothing but pray. You do this privately, in a closet, as instructed in Matthew 6.
Matthew 6 also warns you about people who make a public spectacle of their prayer. They’re doing it to show you how good they are, and it’s to cover up something worse. Why do you not heed that warning?
Once you’ve opened and understood the gift, it is to let go of the door and step onto the path.
HOW TO LET GO OF THE DOOR
You start by giving away your bible. You don’t need to cling to it any longer, because you’ve read it and understand it. Also, you get rid of crosses, crucifixes, and other trinkets.
If you don’t want to get rid of them, then you can put them away. This is because you read your bible and prayed about it. Now it’s time to give your god a knowing wink, suggesting that you understand, and then live the life of example.
Putting these physical, earthly artifacts away is the letting go of the door handle. Next, you put your foot on the path. This is all about “living a life of example.”
Letting go of these earthly artifacts is the ultimate act of faith.
THREE AMERICAN CHRISTIANS WHO GOT IT RIGHT
I’m going to start with the least famous of the three, which was a girl named Rita. She went to my high school. When I was a kid and was bullied a lot, she would always give me a ride home, even though she lived all the way across town and she lived across the street from the school.
I’d email Rita every 8 years or so. She would send me photos and tell me how things were going. Religion never came up, not once. This was impressive, considering how demonized I was in town. I was the devil-worshipper, so far as they were concerned, and I wasn’t even a Satanist!
The other two are so famous that I won’t need to describe them. In fact, I don’t even need to write their names.
What was or is it about these three Christians that makes them different from the average American Christian, the Trump worshipper, or the televangelist?
They never preached. President Carter may have mentioned being a Christian a few times, but he never beat his chest.
They never condemned anyone or told them they were going to hell.
They never told me that I was a sinner, evil, broken, wicked, and they never dehumanized me.
They never told anyone that they MUST read the bible or go to church.
They never promoted the idea that their religion needed preferential treatment by the American government.
They never pushed for a Ten Commandments statue [a graven image] on public or government property.
They never used their god, bible, or anything else as a shield.
They weren’t mean.
They were never smug, judgmental, or carried themselves as if they were better than others.
They did NOT look forward to the end of the world.
They did not sell or sow fear, hatred, or the practice of “othering” those who are different in any other way.
They took their faith seriously. They read their bible, consumed the information, processed the information, and figured out how it could be best applied by the modern world’s standards.
They lived a life of example.
IN THE END
From 2009-2011, I made Atheist videos under the moniker “TheOtherSide100,” and was also known by friends as TOS100. During that time, I made a lot of videos. Not all of them were good ones.
I ended up deleting the channel in mid-2011, when I started working for a video-based website. Part of their hiring process was to scan the internet and see if you make videos, because they had hired video makers who would steal their content. I wanted them to have no question, so I deleted it.
While some of my takes were solid, others may have missed the mark. During this time, I treated Christians the way they treated me at times, and it wasn’t pretty.
All of the videos are gone, but there was one video that I feel the Christians might have appreciated, had they been capable of getting past the Atheist label. And for what it’s worth, I hardly use the label anymore, because lots of lies get attached to the label by Christians, which is bearing false witness.
The video I made was called, “How to Get an Atheist to Shut Up.”
The basic sentiment of the video was simple. If you believe that YOUR religion should run the government and the lives of everyone, or if you work to interject your religion into the infrastructure of a free Secular society, then I will speak up against it, not only in the name of my own freedom to NOT believe, but also in the name of the freedom of all others who believe differently.
However, if you tell me that it’s something special to you, that it warms your heart, gives you comfort, and serves to motivate you to be a better person today than you were yesterday, then as an Atheist, I don’t really have anything bad to say about that.
For the sake of America and the world, I hope that the fear, hatred, anger, judgment, and other negative attributes of American Christianity will go away. However, I am not hopeful that this will be the case, for those attributes are used to control others, and are VERY profitable.
So long as you keep listening to Megachurch profiteers, televangelists, politicians, and newscasters, you will continue to be kept in this state of fear, anger, hatred, and more. The same will be true if you continue to wear a cross as a virtue signal, waive a bible around instead of reading it, and judging others.
As I ssaid earlier, letting go of all of these earthly things is the ultimate expression of faith.
I might be just another non-believing Atheist, but I know that the Jesus you claim to worship would be against everything that American Christians are doing and saying right now, and he is most definitely against the idea of profiting off of the “good word.”