It’s finally happened. I’ve finally gotten real live hate mail!
Let me bring you all into the fray…
Do you remember this post? This was the post where I tried to elaborate on MY beliefs – emphasis on MY (in case the capitalization didn’t give it away).
Well… after all the intelligent conversation had pretty much subsided, I received this comment:
Actually, I was quite embarrassed for you in this response.
Your beliefs are indeed your beliefs, but to broadcast them as if they have any rationality is quite pathetic, and I am sorry for you.
If you claimed to follow Catholic rituals because they make you feel good, that’s one thing.
Broadcasting nonsensicalities like “Jesus was nailed to a two by four to absolve me of my sins” and other silliness just makes you look atavistic and superstitious.
My response was simply:
Scott, I appreciate your concern for my dignity.
You should really search for the word “vagina” on this blog. I’m most certain the entries you find related to that will reassure you.
And then, the emails started….
On 7/23/07, Scott wrote:
I was more worried about your rationality, actually. God knows, there are enough loonies in this world trying to tell the rest of us what God is and what he wants…
Someone(s) pens a story two thousand years ago, it gets coopted and ritualized, and silly people who won’t think for themselves repeat the nonsense over and over until it becomes gospel, literally…
The next thing you know, they’re dragging kids into a candle lit auditorium, and making him/her stare at an effigy of a mostly naked man violently nailed up on two by fours with thorns gouging his forehead… That’s Sadistic porn in any other context…
Science tells you the Bible got it wrong, yet there you all are, ignoring facts to worship fiction…
I’m embarrassed for you the way one gets embarrassed for a teen ager still holding high hopes Santa is real…
Tell me you’re too smart to be part of the problem…
(And I linked to one of your V stories already, because I thought it was funny…)
Because this person took the time to email me personally, I took the time to respond…
You know, I’m OK with the idea that other people don’t believe what I believe. That post was in no way an attempt to “convert” anyone. I’m not trying to tell anyone what God is and what he wants, or what is “rational” for anyone else. It was merely to make clear what it is that I believe because I’ve been “misquoted” over and over again and THAT pisses me off.
Tell you I’m too smart not to be part of the problem?
Well, Scott, I consider myself a fairly intelligent person. Test scores and what-not will categorize me as a very intelligent person with an uncommonly high “aptitude for learning”.
I suppose the real question here is, what is the problem?
I see a problem with people – be they atheists, christians, pagans, or whatever – running around with an ignorant arrogance proclaiming that They Know The Truth, and insisting that others follow suit. I see a problem with people denying others a right to their own path, their own journey, their own discovery of what “the truth” is for them.
I can tell you that because of my respect for my fellow man (stupid people aside, of course), I make a conscious effort not to be part of THAT problem.
I do, of course, take my own children to Church. As their parent, it is both my right and responsibility to raise them in a way that I feel is best for them. Obviously at some point, they will make their own decisions about faith and “truth” and God and probably what kind of music they listen to as well (although God help me if they choose techno or some shit).
Scott, you are not the first person to be surprised and even a bit disillusioned to hear me talk about my faith. I have been told I’m too smart to be a Christian, definitely too smart to be a Catholic, and CERTAINLY too smart to be a Democrat. I also laugh at cheesy sitcoms and swear. A lot. Which I have also been told is a contradiction to my apparent “intelligence”.
Here’s the thing. I AM smart enough to realize that I don’t “know” anymore than you do how this world started, what happens to us when we die, or who is pulling the strings in the mean time. I wasn’t there in the beginning and haven’t made it to the other side of death.
I have faith. And that is enough for me. Usually.
You have science. And in your “rational” mind, you believe fiercely in the science you choose to acknowledge. I’m not going to argue with you about the science I have read that holds up the Bible, or explain to you how I see Science as confirming my beliefs, because in the end, we’re all guessing. Even you.
And ultimately, I don’t need you to condone my faith. My faith is for ME. Quite frankly, whether or not you believe in the Bible or carbon dating or the Yankees makes absolutely no difference to me (Unless it’s the Vikings, I may actually fight you on the Vikings). The fact that I lean on my faith to get me through the ups and downs of MY life is for ME. If you can count on your own intellect and reasoning to get you through yours – yay for you! My hope for everyone I meet is that they have SOMETHING to get them through, whatever that may be for them.
I would expect it would be the same for you. I can see no reason at all why what I believe should have an impression on you one way or the other.
So, the teenager believes in Santa. As far as I’m concerned, if it keeps the teenager happy and she’s not putting plastic reindeer on YOUR lawn in September – what’s the harm?
Of course… I believed in Santa until I was 16.
I pretty much figured that would be the end of it. I mean shit, surely no one is losing sleep over whether or not I’m spending my weekends in a church or not. Right? (And, maybe a small part of me thought that my obvious wit and charm would be the last word.)
If only. This morning I received Scott’s carefully thought out reply…
So…. to be clear, here…. You take the Bible as “truth” for you, but get all warm and fuzzy (and rational) when you allow that others may have other views on the subject. And then you go to church on Sundays and within the context of your “faith”, damn people like me to all of eternity…
So which is it? You can’t have it both ways unless you want to split inside your mind and live either one or the other falsehood?
Either you are cool with the idea that people can come up with an infinite amount of ways to settle themselves within the framework of life, or you follow the tenet of your faith and damn all of us for eternity (that’s pretty mean, don’t ya think?)…
How can someone live inside their own skin with THAT kind of contradiction? It just plain ain’t healthy. In fact, some would call it insanity.
And no, science cannot be used to prove that Jesus was the son of God and that he was nailed up on two by fours to atone for the sins of man and that if you just believe all that crap, you’ll go to a better place when you die than everybody else- which is Christianity at its most simplest… Sorry. That’s just not rational either.
Anyway, I’ve got some disk sucking to do (though I hardly see how that’s gonna help me, in any way) so I’ll leave you to your feel good faith. I just wish y’all would let those fairy tales die the death of the dinasaurs. Humankind would be so much better off if we all grew up and stopped trying to manufacture reasons to differentiate…
Alright Dude, listen. I am not going to rehash this “argument” over and over again with you. I made myself as clear as possible in my first post about that whole “damning all of us for eternity” bit – and you’re obviously choosing not to pay attention. Convincing you otherwise is simply not worth the mental energy it takes to form a coherent sentence (and clearly you are of the same mind, what with all that pesky punctuation and sentence structure).
Quite frankly – I don’t care if you agree with me. I don’t even really care if you understand. Fuck, I don’t know you from Adam. Or Eve. Or Nostradamus, if you prefer.
I’ve joked for a long time that I never get hate mail. And I’m not sure if this technically qualifies since at worst I think I’m being called stupid. Maybe some kind of cultist, but it’s difficult to make heads or tails of the logic here so who knows. But whatever… this is the closest I’ve come to it so I am announcing it officially. I got hate mail!!
And now that I’ve received it? All I can muster up as far as a reaction or response is, “why the fuck do you CARE?”
I know in my own little head the world revolves around me. I spend hours thinking about how I think and feel about various subjects and how other people might perceive me. I guess I always just assumed that was because I was a little narcissistic and self absorbed.
I never would have guessed that my illusions of grandeur were based more in reality than illusions after all. Apparently, I DO matter. At least, I matter to Scott. And Scott is a total and complete stranger who has never met me, likely never will, and whose day to day life I would assume is in no way affected by me.
And yet poor Scott is embarrassed for me! Concerned even I might presume! And now I find myself thinking… am I supposed to return the favor?!? Should I be sending Scott tutorials on good etiquette and proper sentence structure?!?! I mean REALLY, I should probably be spending time being concerned for Scott and his potential embarrassment too, right?!!
Let me try. Let me dig down real deep. Let me see if somewhere in here there is room for me to spend more than the time it takes to write one email and one post on this Scott fellow…
Come on Britt… care, damn it! CARE! If you would just try hard enough you could find yourself embroiled in a real life blog drama here!
*pop* I think I may have just popped a blood vessel.
And still… nothing.
Sorry Scott. May I suggest you go out and find yourself a, um, what’s that called… a, um.. oh yes – a fucking LIFE.