My quartet sang for our Bass’s church this past Sunday morn (two services), nothing complicated, just our Gospel Medley and the Irish Blessing. Both were very well received, and we sold some tapes and CDs to boot.
However: Part of the deal was that I actually had to sit through each service and do my best to look like I was paying attention. The problem with it is that occasionally I actually did pay attention, and what I heard pissed me off.
The pastor was in the middle of his sermon, and started talking about some Christian radio talk show he had been recently listening to, and went on to mention this woman who called in and said that P.C. no longer stands for Political Correctness, but instead stands for Persecuting Christians. The pastor then went on to say that this kind of comment, while extreme, is not entirely without merit. He said there are people in our country who would like to prevent Christians from practicing their religion, from promoting the “Word of God ™”, from actually being Christians, and that all Christians must be strong and fight for their right to preach their faith!
It was that last line that really got me hot under the collar. I’ve been a practicing Agnostic for many years (that’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek), and one thing that has always bugged me about Christians (in my experience, it’s always that bunch) is how many of them force their faith and beliefs on unsuspecting bystanders. I had a friend when I was about 10 who, when he asked me about God and I replied “I don’t believe in god, I need more proof”, proceeded to tell me that I was going to hell if I didn’t believe in God, and that I would be forever damned. He was my age. His family wasn’t a crazed bunch of bleeding-edge religious lunatics, they were “normal” chuch-going folk. They moved from our street a few years later, and his parents actually attend the church that my girlfriend’s parents/grandparents attend (and prior to meeting me, my girlfriend had known this family…of course, Lauren and I lived just a few blocks from each other for about 7 years when we were much too young to have been dating, but that’s another story for another day).
Don’t worry, Lauren isn’t religious :-)
I’ve been preached to so many times by so many different people that I’ve completely lost count. My ex-girlfriend was a Catholic (she was a lovely girl, but I still think Catholics are the worst of the bunch), and even she couldn’t resist the occasional reminder that I was probably not going to heaven, even though I was more of a ” Good Christian” in my behavior than many church-goers she knew. All because thinking otherwise went against her belief system.
Now, I don’t want people to have to stop believing in their faith, nor am I going to tell people that I think they are wrong, and that it’s sad to see so many intelligent people acting like a dumb flock of sheep, etc. etc. What I do want is for people to keep their beliefs to themselves.
I don’t force my silence or neutrality upon others, and I would appreciate if others would be so kind as to not force their beliefs upon my ears.
This item was posted byon Wednesday, August 14th, 2002.
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