“Christians,” Christianity’s Worst Enemy


In my daily life and in my counseling practice, I regularly see people who dismiss all religion, but especially Christianity as worse than irrelevant, actually harmful to the whole human race. Articles in the media, confirm this. Most of the media, at least that I see, equate Christianity with “Evangelical,” Conservative, Fundamentalist, and Right-Wing. But they don’t make the distinction between this and non-dogmatic religion which can be progressive, liberal, understands the metaphoric and only slightly historical  nature of the bible. (If you think the bible is historical, let me know in the comments. If enough people want it, I’ll dedicate a post to the best biblical scholarship; it supports my previous statement.)

On a personal level, I tend to avoid people whose early or primary self-definition is “Christian”.  Those who do this are likely to think that their understanding of Christianity is the only correct one, and it is their task to “bring Christ to the world.” As much as possible, I avoid associating with these folk. I no longer have time in my life for conservatism. It has brought far too much misery to the world.

Why is this phenomenon of the so-called “Christianity” of the right so prevalent. It’s hard to fault the news media. The examples of Christianity which are loudest and gaudiest do come from that group. Remember, the human eye is drawn to shiny baubles and bangles, so what is a poor news reporter supposed to do? This same phenomenon occurs in many arena: Most people seem to think that street crime is rampant and ever increasing. They read about it in the headlines. The facts are that according to the FBI’s databanks, street crime is diminishing and is already drastically lower than it was 10 years ago.

So here’s a story from Alternet–one of the best news aggregators on the Web.

By the way. “What Would Jesus Do?” was a conservative slogan some years ago. But after a careful consideration of the best research into the historical Jesus, I think that it is a great rule of thumb for a good humanistic ethic. It goes right beside, “What Would Gautama Do?” If they were each resident in the early 21st century and had the knowledge that is the norm for now, they would be making excellent choices because their underlying value systems were/are great.

 


What would Jesus do? Remind everyone they’re going to hell, clearly.
Apparently, when some conservative Christians ask themselves, “What would Jesus do?” the answer they come up with is, “Put up absurd, offensive billboards, preferably reminding passersby they’re going to hell.”We’ve rounded up some of the more controversial billboards that have grabbed headlines lately. 

1. Jesus hates tolerance almost as much as he hates you!billboard in the small town of Clyde, North Carolina doesn’t seem to get the difference between verbs and nouns. It asks Coexist (verb)? Tolerate (verb)? Sexual perversion (adjective and noun). But it sure knows what God would say about all three and that’s “NO!” Like mortals, God uses all caps when he’s angry. This billboard doesn’t hide behind that “hate the sin, love the sinner” stuff. This is straight-up, “hate the sin, and refuse to coexist with and tolerate sexual perverts.” It’s not clear how one goes about doing that. Stoning? 
 
 
Image via WLOS

2. Jesus is (at least trying) to watch you: Just this past Easter Sunday, the fire department of Farmington, New Mexico, responded to an act of vandalism. The Roman Catholic Churches of San Juan County had decided to place a billboard with Jesus’ face right outside of an adult book store. Eschewing the cryptic tradition of the parables, the billboard had a more direct message: “Jesus is watching you.” On Sunday, passersby noticed something lodged between Jesus’s disapproving eyes: an arrow. Police have still not discovered the identity of the bow and arrow owner. But even if he’s not found on this earth, there will be hell to pay later.

Click to enlarge.

Image via KOB 4

3.Atheism creates war: E.F. Briggs, a reverend, and as you’ll see, amateur logician, put up this billboard in West Virginia. Briggs makes his intended audience crystal-clear: “Attention: Lunatics Atheists & Their Lawyers.” Then he makes some totally unfounded and nonsensical claims, which he presents as if he were Rene Descartes: “Anti-God is Anti-American. Anti-American is Treason. Traitors Lead to Civil War.” So, basically, if you don’t believe in God, you have the blood of a civil war on your hands. I wonder if Briggs considered the secessionists in the Civil War godless traitors. Something tells me he didn’t. 

Interestingly, the company which placed the billboard, Lamar Billboard Company, refused to sell billboard space to the DNC. After Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) called decorated veteran and former marine John Murtha (D-PA) a “coward,” the DNC prepared a sign which said, “Shame on You Jean Schmidt.  Stop Attacking Veterans. Keep Your Eye on the Ball—We Need a Real Plan for Iraq.” Lamar refused to run the DNC sign because the company doesn’t run “negative ads.” If only the DNC had followed the positive example of Briggs’ kindler and gentler treason-convicting billboard. 

Image via CafeMom

4.From God’s lips to our… billboard. It looks like lots of Christians are comfortable speaking for God these days. Take this Fort Lauderdale ad campaign funded by an anonymous donor, which consisted entirely of billboards with quotes that God never uttered in the Bible.  Turns out God isn’t a big fan of the whole Big Bang Theory. You’d think he’d want to take credit for it. But apparently not. 

Click to enlarge.

Image via MarkDraught.com

5. Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there was the magical thing called evolution: God’s not the only one totally not impressed by the Big Bang Theory or the whole evolution thing. According to this billboard in Kansas City, “Evolution is a fairy tale for grownups.” Except that it’s based on fossils, facts and science, not fantasy. But, yeah. Kinda.  

Image via AnsweringGenesis

6. Keep Christ in Christmas! This is a fairly straightforward billboard brought to us by the Knights of “ColumbusLong.” I think they mean “Knights of Columbus Long Branch,” which is in New Jersey, a state that needs all the Christ it can get given its proximity to the atheists, gays and other followers of the Anti-Christ who populate New York. 

Image via Beliefnet

7. Keep… baby Jesus fetus in Christmas?This sign, however, is a little less clear. According to this anti-choice Cleveland organization, Christmas starts with Christ, so we should keep Christ in it. And it also starts with baby Jesus as a halo-rocking fetus, so I guess we should keep him around too? So, no aborting baby Jesus on Christmas. Which sucks for atheists because that’s apparently how they celebrate the holiday. 

Image via Patheos

8. Atheism will literally shoot you in the face:That’s funny. I always thought there was an extraordinary amount of violence based on religious conflict, not atheism. 

Image via cafemom

9. You can’t masturbate with one hand:This ad applies to people who either have one hand or require two hands to masturbate. 

Image via Christian Pundit

10. Are you confusing apes with monkeys?These billboards were put up by the organization, Who Is Your Creator, which aims to “raise awareness of the serious misrepresentations and lack of empirical science for the Theory of Evolution and its creation story for the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and common descent.” They’d probably have a lot more credibility if they didn’t conflate monkeys with apes, since we are more closely related to apes, not monkeys. And we didn’t actually evolve from apes, we evolved from a shared ancestor. But one thing at a time. 

Image via patheos

Katie Halper is a blogger, comedian, filmmaker, and the cofounder of Laughing Liberally. Her latest documentary is Commie Camp. Follow her at @kthalps.

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One Comment

  1. Posted May 4, 2014 at 6:23 am | Permalink | Reply

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