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preaching hate as a virtue

If you look hard enough, you can find meaning in anything. The great - and bad - part of humanity is that the meaning can change from person to person. A rock may be a paperweight to one person, a weapon to another.

It's all in the interpretation and, for the most part, people interpret things to fit their own needs. Some people look at Harry Potter and see evil and witchcraft and the icon that will bring our children to hell. They see that because they need evil to be personified. They need to shove something in the face of their kids and say "see, this is what is going to bring you to your knees in front of satan!" Rather than give them something good to emulate, they would rather give their kids something bad to fear.

Fear and loathing are both awesome tools. When you hate and fear something at the same time, the mere mention of that thing will send you running for the holy water and garlic. Those emotions will eventually rule your life and you will most likely spend that life teaching others the same feelings.

It is unfortunate that most of the time, these teachers of negativity base their knowledge of what is wrong, evil and immoral in religion. To them, religion is power, a means to an end. If they can't rule the world, they may as well rule a small fraction of it. Prey on the weak and vulnerable, prey on the slight of mind, feed on those who already had the seeds of hatred sown within them. And do it in the name of God, because when you invoke God, no one will question you, right?

At LetGodBeTrue.com, religion and the teachings of Jesus have been entwined and mingled with hatred, bigotry and fear. Mixed in with the psalms and sermons all available with a click of your mouse, are words that teach just the opposite of what was probably Jesusí intention. Ignorance, bigotry and intolerance were probably not high on the list of virtues that Jesus had in mind. Yet here, on this site proclaiming to be "dedicated to the glory and praise of the true and living God and His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior," we find the following:

It is a terrible tragedy for the seven astronauts and their families, for whom we have prayed. But it is a very modest judgment for a nation that condemns public prayer, requires the teaching of evolution, kills over one million babies each year, caters to moon-worshipping Muslims, promotes Harry Potter, protects sodomites, allows witchcraft, defends labor unions, entertains itself with unbridled fornication, fosters rebellious children, loves pleasure more than God, and only has a form of godliness, among many other sins.

There is a God in heaven! What if He is just half of what the Bible describes? He is very angry at this wicked nation. This was not an accident; it only appears so to us. It was another warning of impending and irremediable judgment.

I may be an atheist, but I had been involved in organized religion for enough years to recognize twisted words and judgment when I see it.

When I was growing up Catholic, it was at a time when the idea of a vengeful god was more prominent than the idea of a loving and graceful god. We feared him, we were made to feel as if he were watching our every move and judging us accordingly. If you fell and skinned your knee or caught a cold, it was because God had seen you do something wrong. You were being punished accordingly.

I did not welcome the idea of a vengeful god. I was sure that if such an entity did exist, he would not kill people on purpose. Why would he kill the very thing he created? I asked a priest that very question once and he replied, "Because he can."

I am no longer part of the church and declared myself an atheist a long time ago. But I still recognize the fact that as much as I can be right that there is no god, I can still be wrong. And I'm pretty sure that if a god does exist, he would not wantonly kill seven innocent people in order to prove a point that America is a bad, bad country.

The point here is I have a special place in my pity file for people who feel the need to use religion as a vehicle for hate. Not only do these dark souls live each day consumed by hatred and bile, but they drag others into it. They manipulate and twist words until the weaker minds they are working on no longer know what the truth is; they are brainwashed into thinking that animosity and loathing are virtues when they are aimed at those who do not think like you.

If I am wrong in my non-belief and there is one all-powerful, all knowing entity who greets you at the gates of the afterlife when you die, I can only hope that when the people who preach intolerance make their way up there, they are summarily kicked in the teeth and sent packing to the darkness where they belong.

Comments

The "God Hates Fags" church people had similar rants.

Fucktards.

I'm not a religious man, but one of the things I love most about you, Michele, is that you aren't a religious bigot.

That seems a rare thing, these days.

This is exactly the reason why I cannot be "religious". super religious people always come across as so immoral!! They say and do exactly the opposite of what their god teaches. I can't be a part of something so hypocritical.

ummm...lemme see... BULLSHIT???

I agree with Dean. All the Christian-anti-everything-but-beer-swilling-redneck-with-a-KKK-hood-hiding-in-his-closet people need is someone to demonize.

People like us make it easy, don't we? I left the south to avoid spending my life being strangled by the bible belt. I'm slowly finding that the west isn't much better (we have LDS).

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

Here is a thought. The Lord of the Rings was written as a allegory for the World that existed as a preceding, during and after WWII. The book, using a pagan world, gave us both Western virtures, Western vices and Christian morality and was written by a devout Christian. Hmmm, something to think about.

Jim, the Vegas Leatherneck: That's pretty funny. If Las Vegas is not sufficiently non-religious for you, I don't know what to tell you. Maybe San Francisco? Seattle? Hong Kong?

Michele: What the folks whom you quoted miss is this: If God were going to punish this country, I think we'd be in for more than knocking a space shuttle out of the sky. Wrath of God in the Old Testament is a little more serious. Boiling seas, raining fire, dogs and cats living together ...

The folks you quoted also seem to be missing this idea: God is on the side of those who doublecheck their math. Their point would only hold if the list of sins they mentioned impacted the space shuttle flight, e.g., the engineers in Houston were watching porn instead of monitoring readings, or key personnel were furiously fornicating on the equipment, or forming a labor union [labor union? how is that wrong?], etc.

Zander: Super religious people always come across as so immoral? The word always is the problem here. There is a long, proud history of Christian saints who were humble, loving and so courageous that they died for what they believed. There are many such people still here with us, including those dying in the Sudan at the hands of Muslims. I'm not going to write them off as immoral.

I stumbled across this site by accident, but was quickly sucked into the "Preaching hate...." article.

My wife and I spent the first half of our lives under the influence and narrow mindedness of Pentecostal churches.

I remember hearing week after week, how until Jesus returned, it was this constant daily battle between "us and them". "Us" being the true believers, and "them" being the sinners that we had to come in contact with every day. I remember always getting the feeling that Christian acts of kindness were pretty much a waste of time on non-believers, because they were already condemned to enternal hell anyway. What a terrible thing to tell a 10 year old kid... "everyone you know is going to hell, because they are not saved and they do not know the truth." It was very troubling when I would visit kind elderly neighbors to help them with yardwork etc, and to try and figure out what kind of God am I worshipping, that would send a kind old woman to hell, because she went to the wrong church.

If there is a God, and let's say for the sake of argument, that he might be Christian, Muslim, etc., this would be a great time for him to make an appearance and tell all these people that use his name as a vehicle for their hate... "Hey! Get the hell off my side."

I am religious. And people like the ones at LetGodBeTrue.com really, really piss me off.

All religious people are not immoral or hypocritical. The kind of people who say things like "God hates fags" and who consider themselves morally superior to anyone would do well to pick up a bible and READ it instead of making up crap that isn't there. To those who think that way: piss on your superiority complex. YOU ARE NO BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE. I am angry beyond words that I, and my religion, are linked to people like that.

To the religious zealots who would pronounce Harry Potter as evil: please practice some consistency. You better take a look at Disney movies; most children's fairytales (Rapunzel? Cinderella?); and the rest of the hundreds of books and movies that include some form of magic.

And to all of you who would characterize all religious people as "religious bigots" or as people who simply need something or someone to demonize: please don't overgeneralize. We really aren't all like that.

Labor unions? Whatthef...

Oh, maybe they were referring to the labor union that the strippers here in San Francisco were striking with. Now it all fits together...

'Mother is the name for god in the hearts and minds of all children'('The Crow' - 1993)

Sometimes, sure, it's great to have role models to encourage and drive you to improve yourself.

But, hell, if your 'best friend and almighty protector' is actually a vengeful snob that hates you for your faults and is convinced that you're not good enough, then it's not going to do you any good in the long run, is it?

To be honest, what's the point of inventing an all-powerful mothering deity if you're convinced that all it's going to do is throw you down the stairs when you accidentally spill the milk?

It's kind of a drastic step, dontcha think?

They see that because they need evil to be personified.

Hell, if the religious fanatics need evil to be personified, they need not look toward Harry Potter books. I'll loan them the photo album of my wedding! Oh, or is it just me that thinks my ex husband is Evil Incarnate? ;-)

I saved a drawing from a "How Kids See God" competition. It depicts two children one saying "I heart You God" and the other saying "oh my". And God is huge above them saying "I AM GOD! DON'T BE AFRAID". It is funny and sad all at the same time. I found it to be quite provocative..........

not to turn things odd but the lord or the rings was written as allegory for nothing. it was meant to provide a mythology for england. it is metaphor only to itself. Tolkein despised the ripping apart of literature to find an 'underlying meaning'.

The monotheistic god, however cloaked in goodwill, is always a vengeful god. He exists in a black and white world--belief in him is right and everything else is wrong. Human nature rebels at this and the religions espousing the mono-god become repressive to prevent it--or they collapse.

Since no one has yet found a way to eliminate human nature they all eventually collapse. Judaism is shrinking rapidly, Christianity is feeling the need to impose its mores--and Islam has given in to the urge completely.

Polytheistic religions do not suffer from this--many gods mean many paths to enlightenment.

Bob-

I was wondering the exact same thing. The rest of was all pretty...standard. But God blows up space shuttle 'cause he's pissed about the idea of raising the minimum wage?

I don't get it. Yet another sign I'd make a crummy raving hatemonger.

[sigh]

i guess i'm really unqualified to join this discussion, but some of the misperceptions i see over here really bother me.
i'm jewish, not christian, but as far as i've seen, religious people don't HAVE to be small-minded bigots. you have people like that in every society, and these people just happen to base their view of the world on their version of Christian thought. that makes them small-minded bigots, not the spokesmen for the religion itself.

that said, i'm religious, and i see major problems with american society today. does that mean that we can say that the Columbia disaster was God's vengeance upon us for our sins? of course not! it's a terrible thing when people start trying to do God's calculations for him- and it takes a certain amount of presumptiousness as well.
moral of the story: the letgodbetrue.com people have it all wrong... but i'd be wary of making decisions about God or religion on the basis of what they're spewing.

Having read all of these comments (and agreeing with most of them), I felt that I could not close this window without releasing my views as well. Not all religion is as narrow-minded, hypocritical and bigoted as it has sometimes been made to look; but in my experience, most of the bile forced down people's throats when they enter a Church is just as evil as the things they are being told to avoid. My daughter went, until recently, to a private Catholic school because I believed that a religious environment, though not one practiced at home, would be better for her than a public. This was a decision I stood by until when coming to pick my eleven-year-old up one day I found her in tears: apparently she had been singled out during reading period by her instructor (an obese woman with greater ease in growing a beard than my husband), made to hand over the Harry Potter book we had waited until midnight to get, then told to pray for herself, her mother and her father because we were 'most assuredly going to spend all of enternity in hell' for reading such a 'satanic' book. Needless to say Rory no longer attends that vile establishment. I am wondering just how these people can spout their acclaimed religious beliefs, preaching left right and centre about loving one another and how all people are equal and not to judge others, and then turn around and make a little girl cry for enjoying a well-written novel concerning three friends who fight against the forces of darkness. If God created everything, is it not accurate to say that he is also responsible for all those who are viewed by 'Good Christians' as demonic?? If a person is gay or capable of the extraordinary, they were made that way and have no choice in the matter. If anyone is to be blamed and called evil for the nature of mankind, it is God. And that ends my rant on the matter.