Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sold to the Highest Bidder

I believe eHarmony has sold my e-mail address.

For the last several days, I've received spam with the subject line "Date REAL Christians with REAL Christian values".

Thank you, no.

I'm not even certain what "REAL Christian values" means...and frankly, I'd be a little afraid to find out.

We were not a religious family. My father was raised Mormon in the heart of Mormon country. My mother was raised Episcopal. When they married, Mom converted so that they could have their marriage sealed in the temple1 and there was church going sometimes. But by the time I came along, there wasn't too much of the church going and there certainly wasn't much of the religious talk.

When things started to get really rocky between my parents, Mom went back to the Episcopal church and I joined her occasionally. When I got to junior high, I even sang in the choir and liked youth group because...well...Scott Johnson went to youth group too. Then I went back to the Mormon church. Then I stumbled into the clutches of the pentecostals. I even dabbled my big toe into the Catholic waters. For awhile, I considered the convent (shutup).

Later, because of a boyfriend whose parents thought he and I needed some o' god in our lives and mandated our attendance, I even cast my lot in with the Baptists. Mostly he and I sat in the balcony and surreptitiously made out in between marveling at how much the picture of Jesus hanging in the vestibule looked like Gabe, our friend, Gabe...with a mohawk. Which is a relatively pleasant way to spend a morning if you have to. Plus, there was always a free lunch after2.

Anyway, my search for god is not the point of this entry. Clearly, I went on a search for god - was baptized three times in three different churches and even had my very own bible personalized with my name stamped into the imitation leather in gold leaf3 - but it was a very personal search with a disheartening conclusion and not one I want to share. Suffice it to say, I did not find what I was looking for there.

The point is that I obviously have a lot of experience with several different kinds of Christianity. If there'd been opportunity in central Wyoming, I probably would have had experience with judaism, buddhism, and islam too. But yeah that. Wyoming's pretty heavy on the middle America white thing so I was stuck with all the flavors of Jesus.

And do you know what always bothered me? It was the indoctrination and glorification of discrimination against the non-followers of each faith. Even in the Christian faith, the Catholics hate the Lutherans and the Lutherans hate the Pentecostals and the Mormons...well everybody hates the Mormons. I would listen to the preaching of "treat thy neighbor" yada yada but really the message was treat your neighbor as you would want to be long as your neighbor believes as you do.

It just...never made sense to me.

Even now, during the presidential election, what a stink was made about the possibility of Barack Obama being a Muslim. You know, because being a Muslim is the same as spawning from the depths of the hell mouth apparently. And my question, whenever that supposed point was made against him, was so what? So what if he is a Muslim? Someone please tell me why this matters!!!4

Religion I guess just scares me. The phrase "Christian values" scares me. What does that mean? Does that mean hate everyone who doesn't believe as you do? Does it mean license to kill for Jesus? Does it mean we're going to have to avoid talking about abortion or homosexuality?

And honestly? I'm offended that I keep receiving these e-mails from an online Christian values dating site trying to solicit me and inferring that other men, the ones who don't subscribe to REAL Christian values are somehow inferior to those who do. My experience has been that a good person is a good person is a good person...regardless of his faith or lack thereof. And really? This online dating site clearly does not understand who I am or they would not be seeking me as an audience as I am the exact kind of person they are trying to exclude. Because, you know, since I don't have REAL Christian values, I'm not a good person.

Now. Pass the wine and the xanax please. I need to, as they say, take a chill pill.

1: I think that's why...I never really asked her why.
2: But not really free. It was bribery plain and simple...which I'm fairly certain is not a Christian value.
3: I threw that bible away. Even though I no longer had a belief in Christian ideology, the act of tossing out that bible was disconcerting and I half expected to be struck dead.
4: Not really. I seriously do not want to hear any kind of biased opinion about why Muslims are the devil.

1 comment:

Diva said...

Real Christian values are removing the founder of a mega-church from his home and life because of his sin, rather than forgiving his transgressions and helping him get back on his feet. Ted Haggard was hounded out of Colorado Springs by the people who preach "forgiveness seven and seven-fold" and to "turn the other cheek."

Not that I care for Mr. Haggard or his beliefs, but it is a shining example of how Christians treat each other....[insert deity's name here] help a heathen like me. *laugh*