|We are all different|
The Page was created by a Christian who was frustrated by the misrepresentation of Christianity perpetrated by high profile, Religious Right Wing Conservatives. We needed an avenue to voice that frustration.
Along the way, we've attracted not just Christians, but others who are not Christian and appreciate the fact that (1) we are speaking out, and (2) we are happy to co-exist with those outside the Christian faith.
The very same question was asked to those who participate on the Page. The question was, "
Kristin B.H., “We left the Evangelical church to find a more tolerant, inclusive, peace and justice-oriented faith community. I'll share this in hope that my Evangelical friends will read and take heed. Their narrow bigotry and intolerance is doing nothing to lead others to the Christian faith.”
Dawn M.M., “Our pastor spoke a few months back about having non-Christian friends. He asked us if all our friends were saved, who exactly were we showing Christ to on a daily basis. That touched me as I came from an ultra-conservative background. I was always condemned for having non-Christian friends. Those that condemned those that did not fit the blueprint of Christians were intolerant, Pharisaical, loud-mouthed preachers. What I saw happen more often than not was a repulsion of people who were not actively seeking God and of those who questioned their upbringing in the church.”
Cathy O., “I hate to break this to you, but I'm the daughter of Progressive, Liberal Christian parents, and I have attended Methodist churches since 1964 since I was 10. When we moved South from Illinois in 1966, my family was pestered by Fundies. Many of my mother's family to this day who are Fundies who pray fervently that my sisters and I will someday be 'saved'. Unlike our parents who were lost to the Methodist & the (Horrors!!) Unitarian/Universalist Church. We ain't been saved or really know Jesus (this really pisses me off) unless we do it the Southern Baptist or the Church of Fill-in-the-blank way!”
Here are some of the responses we received from those who were not Christian;
Gina S.O., “Don't tell me why I'm wrong. Don't condemn me to hell. Don't judge me. Just tell me why Jesus is awesome, then show me consistently -be an example- of Jesus' love and presence in your life. It's simple really.”
Christie M.C. “Let go of the idea that your belief system is superior to any one else's. And to the idea that people *must* be shown the superiority of your belief system. That if you logic me enough the light bulb will come on and I will immediately convert right here and now due to some witty thing you just said. I get this from people of all faiths including atheists. What I would say is welcome me to join you at a service or suggest some reading you enjoy or offer the link to your faith's web site AND THEN DROP IT. If I am interested I will come back to you and ask you more. Stop beating me to death with your miracle faith.”
Kymberly L., "'How you feel about being on the receiving end of the efforts of Christian evangelicals to convert you.' I feel like they are wasting their time. I'm happy with my spiritual view of the world - and at the ripe old age of 49, if Christianity was going to appeal to my sense of spirituality, it would have done so by now. I like the Bible and LOVE the parables. That doesn't mean I want to be Christian...it's no different from loving the words of Walt Whitman but not wanting to be a poet. Christians who don't try to convert us are a better advertisement for the faith that those who do.”
Sarah C., “I just wish some Christians would bother to *find out* about other people's beliefs - and I mean from the people *with* those beliefs. I've come across evangelicals who come out with claims ranging from mildly inaccurate to nonsensical about what *they* think pagans, Buddhists, Catholics, you name it, believe and do - yet will refuse outright to listen to what people actually following those paths have to say about their own beliefs, read books written by them or attend their services or meetings to find out more. If you want people to listen to your views, please have the decency to learn the facts about theirs.”
Will R., “What would I like to hear from Christians? That's a good question. I can speak only for myself, and I say this: I would like acknowledgement that people who are 'not Christian' also work to make a better world; that we too feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and try to comfort the sick and dying. We even work alongside you in charitable causes, because we have the same core values regarding how to treat others, particularly the helpless and downtrodden. We do not proclaim our activities for vainglory; we do them and go our way, as should be the case with charity. I would like an acknowledgment that members of your faith and your holy people can be just as hateful and abusive as anyone else, and that it is not the fault of the victims when they are abused and hated by members of your faith. 'A real Christian wouldn't do that,' you say. This is true, but one might as well say to an assault victim, 'A good person wouldn't do that.' It is not helpful: everyone knows a good person wouldn't. Help the victim. Acknowledge their pain. Give what assistance you can. And please, stop telling people who are suffering that your god is testing them. That's not what they need to hear. They need your support, not your approval of a crime or tragedy on a theological basis. Such words are a cruelty to someone who is suffering. That applies to the sick and dying, and their family and friends as well. They do not need your smug self-satisfying assertion that your god killed their spouse, child, or parent. They need your comfort in a time of great pain. Please give them that, and leave off your church for another day. I would like for Christians to acknowledge that many of us 'not Christians' were raised in the Christian faith and that we willingly turned away from it for many reasons, and that those reasons were valid. While some might, most of us didn't turn away to live lives of evil and decadence; we turned away to find spiritual peace apart from the hatred, arrogance, and intolerance that existed in those churches. As such, we know where your churches are, when you meet, and what you believe. We simply choose not to participate in your religion any longer. Constantly acting as if everyone outside of your congregation is an ignorant savage or little child with no sense of right and wrong is not helpful, and wastes both your time and ours. And, please, tell me: where is your righteous indignation against narcotics trafficking and criminal gang activities? Against child abuse? Against prostitution, which is ~not~ a victimless crime when children are involved? Against modern incarnations of slavery? Against poverty, hunger, and disease? Why do you not speak out against these things publicly? Why do you, instead, focus on private relationships between consenting adults? Is it because LGBT people are worse than those who buy and sell children? Or is it simply because LGBT people will not fight back whereas truly bad people might? Think about it. And please understand this: I know these things do not apply to all Christians. But all Christians need to acknowledge that these things happen. 'I'm offended! We're not all like that!' does not address the issue - it just offers a way to dodge these issues and leave them unaddressed. So please, acknowledge that as well.
Sincerely, A 'Not Christian'"
Needless to say, we Christians have really missed the mark when it comes to reflecting Jesus Christ, the one we say we follow. Christianity is having an identity crisis. Because right now, we are not known for our Love.
John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." [Jesus Christ]