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Things The Godly Say Part 1
Recently I went on reddit.com and asked readers “What’s the most shocking thing a religious person has ever said to you?“.
This was prompted by the following story told on a forum that I frequent:
“The most shocking situation I had was with one of my friends I knew for years. She is super religious and doesn’t think outside of the box. So she and I was talking; I was trying to explain to her, if god is real we are have more morality than him. So I brought up Abraham and how god told him to kill his son. Before I go on, I also told her that Abraham could of been suffering from schizophrenia and said it was god talking him and told him to stop moments from killing his son. So I ask her, what if supposedly “god” was to tell you to kill you daughter. She didn’t think twice about it. She said if that’s what god wants because if that has to be it must have a higher purpose. So I stood there looking at her and said so you would willing kill you daughter just because of a voice in your head. I told her that is morally wrong and evil. Nothing about that is good or positive but like I said before she doesn’t think outside of the box so she just said if it’s gods will. So I just walked away just hoping that she was just joking with me”
Here are some of the highlights from reddit:
I lived right next to a Catholic church where the most shocking thing I ever saw and heard with my own eyes and ears is when a priest raped a teenage rape victim that he was suppose to be counseling, while I of course did not see the rape, I did however see the catholic church goers protesting in large numbers that the priest should be freed. (By the way he was completely guilty, and even confessed soon after which still did not change the minds) outside the church at which this priest was… teaching/raping from
The nasty things that were said and aimed at the victim (one of their own flock mind you) but the most shocking came from a middle aged woman that I knew at the time. I approached the group because I just couldn’t believe my eyes and there she was amongst them and when I spoke her to her trying to wrap my head around it she exclaimed that it was a faith test by god to both the child and the priest and that law enforcement should stay out of it and that he should be freed. The crowd seemingly all agreed to it, I didn’t hear one objection or even see a standoffish face.Can you imagine someone to your face seriously telling this to you that and it’s not just some lone crazy they get a entire group of people to agree. It was the most shocking thing a person ever said to me by far.
A woman I used to work with was assuming I was christian because I am a nice person. When I mentioned I wasn’t, she was shocked, and proceeded to tell me she would be standing at the right hand of Jesus and laughing down at me while I burned forever in a lake of fire. She said it with a big smile, like she was thoroughly enjoying the thought. Extremely disturbing.
not to me but i witnessed a nun telling a severely disabled from birth 9 y/o. that she was that way because god was punishing her for her sins.
My atheist brother attempted suicide after my mother passed away last year. The first thing my staunch christian father said was “Well that’s what not believing in God leads to! It takes away your hope.” I was shocked for sure, but also disgusted.
I am already an adult and moved out for several years, so I let loose with my rebuttal. He didn’t talk to me for a couple months, then apologized for saying that.
“It’s not that gay people are evil, its just everything gay they do is” – My Mother in Law.
“Sickness is put on earth because of people who sin”, said my catholic aunt to my mother who was dying of cancer. – Author unknown
During my last couple years as a Christian, unbeknownst to the people in the church where I grew up, I was moving toward an atheistic nonliteralist practice in which the biblical text is understood as a central point of departure for organizing one’s understanding of life. (I had been reading Thomas Altizer, John Robinson, and John Shelby Spong, among others.) When some of the authority figures there asked me to lead one of the children’s Sunday school classes, I accepted, and then had a great time walking the kids through Old Testament stories and prompting them to ask hard questions. The kids seemed to like it too.
But the services occurring after the Sunday school hour just seemed less and less edifying to me, so I stopped going. I came early to teach the Sunday school class, had a great time, then split for coffee. Those were good times. Apparently the bigwigs in the church didn’t like it, though, so one of them showed up to “observe” my class. I did nothing different than usual. Afterward, he pulled another bigwig in, and they sat there to tell me how nothing I was doing in the class seemed out of line, except that I did not pray with the children, but that I was setting a bad example by not going to the services after. One of these two old guys, both of whom had been respected authority figures throughout my childhood, started crying. And they asked if they could pray with me. Sure, I said. Do whatever you like.
Next thing I knew, they were praying for Satan to leave me. Which really did shock me, and continues to be the most shocking thing a Christian has said directly about me, in my presence.
Afterward, I stood up, issued some pleasantry like, “Have a nice day,” walked out of there, and never went back. I had already been an atheist for several months, and rather enjoying Christian atheism, but having those guys try to pray Satan out of me was pretty much the end of that experiment.
You watching porn is like being addicted to heroin. We can get you help – ex mother in law. Btw my porn addiction was what crumbled the marriage, addiction = once and a very long while.
I expressed my distaste for the God-driven violence in the OT, and here’s what my mom said in response:
I think it’s also important to realize that all the violence that Israel executed on surrounding nations at God’s command was God using Israel itself to bring justice to a sinful nation. God never brings judgment on sinless people. And Israel learned from this that a) God is gracious and longsuffering to those who love Him, b) God is holy and just and we have no business trifling with Him, c) God will bring judgment on those who turn from Him.
I was trying to explain why evolution is not compatible with the idea that suffering is due to sin by pointing out that evolution requires millions (or billions) of years of suffering before humans (the only species capable of sin according to most Christian theologies) even existed. The response I got was “animals don’t suffer”.
If that wasn’t bad enough, this same person later asked “could gravy evolve into mashed potatoes?” as if pointing out that it couldn’t was a valid argument against evolution.
Last night I was at a party where I was the only atheist. Actually had someone tell me that there is proof that humans kept dinosaurs in cages.
Asked the person an in-depth question regarding unneeded human suffering, and God’s omnipotence. The person proceeded to tell me;
“God gave us free will, because he doesn’t have the time to watch over every single person.”
“I didn’t like my neighbor so I prayed for something bad to happen to them and before long they lost their job and the whole family moved away. The Lord Jesus always answers my prayers!”
Then she laughed with glee.
Not really to me directly: My grandmother told my parents they “really fucked up” by not raising my brother and I in church while both of us were in the room. At the dinner table.
God bless you. (But in that sort of “fuck you,” type of way.)
A pastor of a Baptist Church was witnessing to me. When he came to the topic of salvation through Christ I told him my grandfather wasn’t ‘saved’, nor was my 5 year old cousin who died in a car wreck. He proceeded to tell me that they would be in hell because they didn’t know Christ. I then asked about all the people who existed around the world before Christ, and he said they’re also in hell. i told him that didn’t sound like a loving God, and he had the audacity to get upset with me. Like I was the one who said something offensive.
“People like you should be wiped off the face of the earth. And god willing, one day you will be, and you will find out all of the ways you were wrong – but too late.”
NB: I’m an out atheist biology teacher in a small town public school, who did graduate work in evolutionary biology. Three strikes, you’re out.
A few years ago I worked with some incredibly religious people at an elementary school. One day I came to work carrying my astronomy textbook. The most outspoken coworker sees the book and immediately says, “no real Christian believes in aliens.” I just responded by saying “what? Do you think the study of astronomy is the study of aliens?” He said “isn’t it?” I was laughing so incredibly hard. I did not ever com out as an atheist at work, but some of my coworkers figured it out. Though I openly complained when my supervisor was giving our students (5 to 11 years old) coloring pictures of jesus, noah, Abraham and the apostles.
A few years back I was at my parents’ house and they have a rule that if you’re home, you have to go to mass. This was right after I had gotten out of the hospital for severe depression and suicidal ideations, so I was in no state to want to go to church at all, so I calmly asked my mom why I had to go. No kidding, her response was “For the same reason you wear a seatbelt in a car, for your safety!” I was floored. Also, shortly after I got out of the hospital she tried to convince me that my depression and desire to end my life was “God’s way of calling me back to his flock.” I still can’t believe that my mom, of all people, said those things to me.
My personal favorite, not exactly to me personally, but something I heard:
Every once in a while, my mom gets extremely bad pain in her feet, and cannot drive herself to church, so I drive her instead. Rather than drop her off and leave and have to come back, I’ve decided to go in just to see what its like.
Having been to a church that encouraged people to speak in tongues once, I thought that I had seen it all, I was sorely mistaken.
The pastor was comforting a group of parents whose kids had been killed in a car crash. It was a van full of about 6-10 kids of about high school age. 2 of the kids ended up surviving, and I got to “Experience” the pastor praising “god” for letting the two kids miraculously survive the crash.
But that wasn’t all, he basically said that “god” was punishing the other kids for their sin, with their parents all standing there grieving, and not one of them got mad at the pastor, not one of them spoke up about it. They not only stood there and took it, several of them ended up hugging the pastor. Pretty sickening if you ask me.
I had a co-worker tell me that my wife’s breast cancer was a test. And that all the science that was used to treat her was all his god’s guiding hand. I told him he was out of his mind and that I would never speak to him about anything faith related again.
The most shocking thing wasn’t said to me directly but to my mother.
My father had recently died, falling down the stairs after a heart attack and one of the members of his parish said that he must have done something terribly wrong for god to have killed him when he was still so young ( My dad died age 53 after battling with depression all his life and still being there for his parish supporting people who needed him. )
The worst said to me personally is nothing compared to that. Just some street conversionists telling me I’d better convert because I could get run over at the next crossection and go to hell for being an unbeliever.
I asked a friend (who I still like and get along with) if he would obey a direct order from God to kill me. He said yes. Not needing an explanation of why it was the better thing to do, not requesting other solutions. Just “If it was certain it was God, yes.”
I prefer my mum’s answer “I’d tell God where he can stick his request.”
I went to a catholic school and apparently the school priest told his theology class that atheists should just go around killing everyone because there’s no god. Everyone came up to tell me this and it stunned me. I’m not sure how anyone can be that fucking stupid.
and from Twitter:
A woman with a fetus poster told me I was raped by gods plan.
My paster said “a gay person would just as soon as kill you as look at you”
Feel free to add your own shocking/weird/outright stupid thing that a theist has said in the comments section.