The Hubris of the Religious

Over at Brick Window, I read two posts that show rather grievous examples of the hubris of many religious believers.  In the first post, the author explains how she lost a friend over the following quote by Dan Barker:

“I know what love is, and that’s why I can’t be a Christian. Love’s not self denial. Love’s not blood & suffering. Love’s not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love’s not a wrath consigning billions to eternal torture because they offended your ego or broke your rules. Love’s not obedience or submission. True love is respect, compassion & kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being.”

The friend referred to the above quote as hate speech.  WTF!  Are we reading the same words here?  In explaining what love is, or at least should be, Dan offers a beautiful definition of love that I think we would all hope to aspire to in all of our relationships.

In the second post the author tells about how her daughter was being bothered by her ex-boyfriend at a Young Life group meeting.   Young Life is an Christian ministry organization that offers places where teens can gather.  The mother asked on Facebook if there were a Secular Student Alliance in her area.   For this, she was unfreinded by the boyfriend’s mother who told her that she was “antagonistic and hostile toward religion.”.

Cognitive Dissonance obviously is at play here, but so too is an arrogance that comes with being a part of the majority; the supposedly “good and decent” people.  What these examples show is that it is the believers here who are antagonistic and hostile.  It is they who are spouting hate speech when they automatically label anyone who isn’t a believer as evil, depraved, and morally deficient for no other reason than that they don’t believe in god(s).

To hear people like this who are not only offended by what they see as “hateful speech”, but also have the gall to claim that they are being persecuted!   Holy Fucking Zombie Jesus!  Christians make up something like 80% – 87% of the people in the U.S (that is a guess based on a survey I saw sometime in the past year, so please don’t quote me on it).  They have more political control than every other religious, political, and social group.  Their beliefs and rituals are so ingrained in our culture that it would be impossible for that culture to survive intact if they were all removed.

There must be a word somewhere for what to call it people who have all the rights and privileges, but yet claim that they are being put upon and persecuted.  I can think of a few (like motherfuckers, cocksuckers, and assholes), but I’m looking for an acceptable word, something that can be used in polite conversation or on news broadcasts.  If anyone knows of such a word please leave it in the comments.  I’ll also accept suggestions for new words to describe these people (and please, no new rearrangements of many of the various curse words that I know you are thinking about!)


2 thoughts on “The Hubris of the Religious

  1. Thank you for posting this, Jay. I have to tell you that I literally laughed out loud when you said Holy Fucking Zombie Jesus, so now my dog is awake and waiting to be walked. (It’s only 6am as I sit here.)

    You have no idea how good it feels to read these words. I have been reeling from these unfriendings for weeks now, and everyone I talk to says it’s my own fault and I have no right to be upset. Granted, everyone I talk to is Christian. Except my husband, who’s response is, “Why do you have to put that shit on Facebook? Just tell people what you had for dinner, like everyone else does.”

    I find it appalling that we have this Sacred Cow of Religion, so unassailable and so protected that just whispering a question mark makes you a pariah.

    • I’m glad if I can help. Us atheists are in a difficult position where we have to often hide our beliefs because they are so unacceptable to so many people. It isn’t a matter of shame, but of practicality. We have to live in this society that is saturated with religion so we find ourselves having to grit our teeth and bear it when we just want to yell, “What the fuck is wrong with you people?!”.

      This is why having blogs like ours is so important. As you make more connections with people in atheist/secular blogsphere you will find so much support and will most certainly end up making friends. I know I have.

      I don’t know where you live, but here in Omaha I am lucky that we have the Omaha Atheist group. Maybe there is something similar where you are. Check for atheist or skeptic groups.

      You are not alone. There are more of us than you think, it is just most are too afraid to say anything to anyone. And, of course, you always have me. 🙂

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