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Atheists and Monobrows: Sunday School Lies

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A Sunday School teacher I know has to follow the basic curriculum set by her church. How she presents the material is up to her. Recently, her 3rd and 4th 5th and 6th grade students were told to draw pictures of what people look like when they have Christ versus when they don’t. They were given a blank “gingerbread man” type outline and told to fill it in.

Think about that for a moment. How can you tell if people are Christian (or not) just by looking at them? You can’t. And the Sunday School teacher knew this. She wasn’t a fan of the assignment, but she had to teach it. So she spent some time stressing to the kids that they cannot know if someone is a fellow Christian simply because of how they look.

At least one of the children missed that point. [Because I Have Christ I… (image)] Holding a cross. Saying, “I LOVE GOD!!” (They teach the Christian kids to use ALL CAPS when making their points early in life, I see). And what’s that in his hand…? Oh. My. God. It’s a banana. Ray Comfort has invaded the church.

Ok, ok. Enough of that. What did this child draw on the person who didn’t have Christ in his life? [If I Didn’t Have Christ I… (image)] Wow. Drugs in the form of alcohol. Barbed wire tattoo. Crazy wild hair. Unibrow (truly the mark of an atheist). Cigarette in hand. Brow piercing. Multiple, asymmetric ear piercings. A mouth “cussing! God isn’t real!” No sleeves (because we all know sleeves are too damn Christian for us). The guy’s clothes aren’t even colored in all the way! (What’s up with that?) …

In my friend’s defense, she was appalled by this. She did what she could to teach the kids that the very idea of drawing these images was misleading from the start. Christians, atheists, and people of faith come in all types. You can’t label people unless you talk to them and find out what they believe. Somehow, though, this kid has these perceptions. He got them from somewhere. Maybe his parents. Or church. Or Kirk Cameron.
Is it any surprise that so many children from religious households grow up to fear atheists?

-post from http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/

This is exactly what my post Dear Christians, Come To The (Not So) Dark Side was about. Christians cannot seem to comprehend a moral person, indeed a moral world, without their God. It breaks my heart that these kids are sucking it up so well.

I remember at youth group once we had to describe the way a Christian would treat their family compared to how a non-Christian would. The results went something like this.

Christians: Love them, respect them, help out around the house, care for them, obey, spend time with them, buy them presents,

Non-christians: Disobey, talk-back, do nothing to help, ungrateful, sneak out, swear at them,

Around the time of this youth group session, I was beginning to question my faith. I thought of the non-Christians I knew and I realised that they treat their families in the same way we do. This was one of the first times I “smelt a rat” in Christianity.

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About Ellen Rose

Blogger curious about how travel helps us to lead more meaningful lives.

18 responses »

  1. What you have here is an example of how to teach bigotry to children. This is a prime example of how all monotheism is wrong, even the fuzzy liberal Christian types.

    Reply
    • criticofchristianity

      Exactly. They think they’re better than everyone else because their lives are supposedly more pleasing to God. It’s bullshit and it’s ridiculous. Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Reply
      • In fairness to monotheists, I don’t think they all think that way. Your teacher friend doesn’t, apparently. I, largely, agree with you, but we have to be careful not to paint all theists the same way certain theists paint all atheists.

        Regards

      • criticofchristianity

        Good point. Very true. Will be careful of that. Thanks.

  2. Your quote from Nietzsche is a bit astonishing. Why the either/ or fallacy? I dont understand why atheists insist that evil in the world is God’s fault but at the same time no one wants to give up their individual willpower and become a robot or a sycophant of whatever they construe a submitted (trying to submit) person is.

    Reply
    • criticofchristianity

      As a Christian you would view God’s process of saving us all as planned and perfect, so I have a feeling you won’t accept this. But to me it seems like God mucked up with humanity a bit. He had to wipe us all out (except for Noah’s family) once it got so bad. We’re not all great people and I would expect better from an all-perfect God.

      But yeah if you believe in free will then this can be attributed to us. Some atheists don’t believe in free will – our decisions are just the natural processes of the brain that we can’t control. I’m not sure I believe this, but it makes sense in a materialist worldview. If God is all-powerful, why couldn’t he make a universe where people have free will but are still good? Isn’t that what heaven will be like? Or will there be no free will in heaven? I don’t know. More questions of mine.

      Also, I think it might have been better for us to have never had free will. If it would save millions from eternal suffering in Hell, I’d give up my free will for sure.

      Alternatively, man made God, and this has deluded lots of people and that is a blunder.

      You’re probably used to talking to atheists a bit more articulate and with their ideas a bit more together than mine, so I apologise if I’m a bit all over the shop. Just trying to work it through. Also I don’t want to repeat arguments you may have already heard lots and lots from atheists, so if I’ve been a bit vague or need to elaborate on anything, let me know.

      Reply
      • No actually, I think I’m the disorganized one. Thanks for writing back. Yes, I think the question of free will is a big one. God made a world where people had a free will. I really don’t think anyone is interested in giving that up. I’m not. I really wonder about your willingness to hand over completely your free will. I’ve never seen anyone do that. It’s so completely off the charts. Everyone enjoys self-determination — even in totalitarian states. People are always happy to exercise as much free will as they’re allowed, and they’re always grasping for more. You have teens demanding independence. Nobody is trying to give their freedoms away to the government.
        So the equation for me is very different. It is not: God being all powerful can’t keep evil from happening in the world, therefore He is not all-powerful. For me the equation is: God gave man free will, and man destroyed things, and God is redeeming things, but he waits on man’s free will to submit to his plan.
        Hey, my wife just came in… I’ll get back with ya!

      • criticofchristianity

        Haha yes, I am basically a teen demanding independence, so I know all about that. Lol. I like the idea of free will and I like the accountability it brings with it. But if the existence of free will means things like the holocaust have to happen, I wonder if it’s really worth it. Would I give up my free will to stop the suffering of humanity? I think I would have to be very selfish to refuse to so.

        God gave us free will because he wanted us to truly love Him. It isn’t real love if it isn’t freely given, right? So our free will, which has caused and will continue to cause extreme suffering, exists because God wants our love. So I suppose that means that the reason humanity has to go through suffering is so that God can feel loved? Isn’t that selfish of Him? If we never had free will in the first place we wouldn’t know any better. It would just mean no more suffering and no one going to Hell.

        I don’t know if I’m right here, just some thoughts.

        Yeah I see how your equation makes sense too. What about suffering that clearly isn’t caused by man, like natural disasters or cancer? Isn’t God responsible for those?

      • Hey, been busy, so I haven’t been able to write. Ok, I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed like everyone is picking on you. I think you ought to be able to seek, as you say you are doing, without feeling like a bunch of my followers all gang up on you. In any case, I guess this topic generates a lot of passion. In any case, as I stated earlier, I explore many of the same questions but from the side of faith, not from the side of lack of faith.

        First off, your question about being condemned. Here’s my perspective: I don’t want to be cornered by you into saying you’re condemned because you don’t believe BECAUSE your life is not over yet. You may very well come to believe, in which case you are not condemned — not eternally, not now. God sees the finished product. So… it seems you are trying to trap me into words. I don’t want to be trapped. I’d rather take you with all sincerity and congratulated you for your sincere search and encourage you to keep searching. I don’t think there is anything wrong with really having some struggles.

        Second, in regards to suffering. I am quite happy to see you buzz over human suffering. Again, my perspective is different. It seems like you are trying to trap me into a logical argument about suffering (it proves there’s no God). Suffering makes me buzz too! But, because I’m a Christian, because I feel the love of God, I try to alleviate suffering. I give to groceries to the divorced single mother with the deadbeat husband. I teach the poor. I try to rescue the gang-banger youth. Suffering is a BIG thing for me. I try to do as much as I can to help the suffering. So the issue is important for both of us. I certainly hope you try to help suffering and not just use it as an argument to prove your case. I’m very sorry for what I’m going to say, but I truly believe that if you are not actively involved in trying to help the suffering, you probably shouldn’t say anything about it because you’re just spouting words and don’t really feel anything for them in your heart. Having apologized beforehand for saying that, I am going to assume that this is not the case, and I want to congratulate you for helping to alleviate human suffering as much as you possibly can. Congratulations! We are actually extremely close to each other in our thinking. We live in a fallen world (my perspective) or a cruel, arbitrary world (your perspective), and we are doing all we can to change it into one with less suffering (both our perspectives).

      • criticofchristianity

        I’m not meaning to corner you or trap you into an argument, I’m just saying what I think and asking for your opinion. I’m really sorry if came across wrong.

        I don’t think the question of suffering proves that there is no God, it just gives me some doubts about his character. That’s all. Don’t worry, I do my best to do what I can to alleviate suffering. I went to Cambodia on a missions trip a couple years ago, I’ve been involved in Samaritan’s Purse and organised LOTS of fundraisers for various charities. I write to politicians about Australia’s cruel Asylum Seeker boat arrivals policy and cutting the foreign aid budget. One of the reasons I’m totally excited to move somewhere bigger is so there’s more opportunities for me to volunteer. There isn’t a lot in this small town I live in. I totally agree, if you aren’t doing anything about the suffering of the world, then don’t complain about it (or use it as evidence against God). I’m hoping to one day have a career in human rights/international relations so I can do what I can to help people who desperately need it. I would’t say such strong words about suffering and how it makes me feel about God if I didn’t feel them in my heart.

        Yay! We have common ground 🙂

    • From my perspective, Nietzsche’s aphorism is not fallacious because those are the only two choices. Nietzsche’s aphorism succinctly expresses the problem of evil. Surely, you see that?

      Regards

      Reply
    • criticofchristianity

      Well I just googled it and apparently he had a mental breakdown and got dementia, then got pneumonia, had a couple of strokes and died. Why do you ask?

      Reply
      • I think he is implying that Nietzsche’s writings were the product of syphilitic derangement. Maybe so, MSB, but I haven’t seen any convincing evidence that this is the case. Of course, Nietzsche suffered from a number of illnesses and later in life, dementia, but the extent to which this played a part, if it played a part at all, in his overall philosophy is hard to determine.

        Nietzsche, just like most philosophers, had some good arguments and some bad ones but his overall philosophy, whether the product of illness or not, was highly innovative, revolutionary, and philosophically and artistically influential. Many people disagree with Nietzsche, but the implication that his works are ineffectual because he suffered from dementia later in life is a trivial objection to his philosophy, in my opinion. There are much more pertinent criticisms than that.

        Regards

      • Also, he was a primary inspiration for Hitler, who saw himself as one of Nietzshce’s “overmen.” The Bible says, “You will know them by their fruit.” Nietzsche made some astoundingly bold comments, but I wouldn’t want to follow him, nor do I think he was right.

      • criticofchristianity

        I don’t know a whole lot about him. Just that he was an influential atheist philosopher. I’m studying philosophy this year so I guess I’ll learn more. That quote hit the nail on the head for me and how I feel about God: I struggle to see any way he could be good so it’s all a blunder either way. I’m not supporting Hitler or anything.

      • As a bit of a Nietzsche fan I’m sticking me oar in here! Old N was dead against German fascism and militarisation and often praises the Jews in his writing. His sister was a Nazi and purged his writing of all these kinds of comments to sell it to Hitler, and we know her success.
        His Übermensch, like many of his ideas, provoke questions rather than give conclusive answers. But the idea behind it seems to be the person that is capable of setting their own values and in doing so being able to influence the world. They are willing to risk everything for the enhancement of humanity. The concept surely has resonances within Christianity. The fact the Nazis perverted this concept, the same way Christian murders have used the Bible to justify murder and torture, should not be a negation of the man’s overall writing. Should we also know the bible by the fruits of those who use it negatively?
        No one should follow N or anyone else for that matter – we should think for ourselves. What is important about him is the questions he raises not whether he was able to provide conclusive answers.

  3. Pingback: My Life Is Not A Donut | Critic of Christianity

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