Monday, September 10, 2007

Stop...You're Killing Me

Another installment in the ongoing series Why Fundamentalists Drive Me Crazy:

I'm on a Christian discussion forum. Someone going through an emotional crisis has written quite poignantly about struggling with suicidal feelings. Various posters have offered wise, compassionate advice and support.

Then along comes a Real Christian[tm]. This individual's counsel to a desperate, hurting person (paraphrased, but you'll get the drift): Are you ready to die? Are you ready to be judged by God? Probably not -- so you'd better pull it together and shape up...or else. This person compared life to God's timed test; when God tells you to put the pencil down you'd better be sufficiently holy...or else.

When I read this post, I thought, "Who on earth would respond to a suffering, suicidal individual in this way?

Oops...rhetorical question.

You know the saying that if the only tool in your toolkit is a hammer, all your problems will look like nails? I guess if the only tool in your theological toolkit is a big can of industrial-strength Wrath-o-God Whup-Ass, everyone's problems become an opportunity to mace them in the face with it.

I recently read a comment on Kelly Fryer's blog , about how religious fundamentalism has the potential to kill people -- emotionally, spiritually and even physically. Does she have a witness? Oh, yes.

What is with these people?


Reverend Dona Quixote said...

For some folks, the distinction between holiness and ass-holiness is difficult to grasp ...

LutheranChik said...

Got that right, sister.

And here's where I think the Lutheran concept of uses of the Law can break down. The Law is supposed to, among other things, act as a mirror held up to ourselves, showing us our brokenness and need for God's help. But it seems to me that too often when people look in that mirror of the Law they merely develop a case of reaction-formation and project what they see onto everyone except themselves.

toujoursdan said...

I took a look at Christian to Christian Debate, saw the thread on Mother Theresa and the usual cast of characters and realized that, for blood pressure's sake, I think I need to stay away.

I am convinced it's a different religion that happens to share the same objects and symbols.

Spirit333 said...

"I am convinced it's a different religion that happens to share the same objects and symbols."

I agree 100%. I'm also staying away from the Christian-to-Christian debate for a while cuz it just brings me down. But I love you guys posts on the Anglican, Lutheran and other boards.


LutheranChik said...

Hi, MJ! I recognized your Beliefnet handle!

I once read an essay by a social scientist who suggested that fundamentalism (of any variety) is a personality disorder; I tend to agree. It makes me wonder if psychotherapy and pharmaceuticals could change fundamentalists' thinking patterns in any way. (And in case new/random readers are wondering, I'm in therapy and take "happy pills" myself, so my suggestion isn't an attempt at snarky/perjorative humor; I'm serious. Because therapy helps me with my own issues.)

toujoursdan said...

I got to the point where I realized I was responding in ways that were increasingly angry and nasty, and I didn't like the way it looked. If fundamentalism is a personality disorder, it certainly tends to, in a rather cancerous way, cause healthier people to behave similarly.

P.S. an after-thought said...

Ha,...I was reading "christian" blogs of many sorts when I started blogging and I also found myself getting snarky when there was un-grace. My pastor told me several times that I needed to stay away from reading "those" blogs. And some of them were "Lutheran blogs." You can't catch flies with vinegar, and that applies to the blogger and the commentators.

I've noticed that the most prominent snarky (female) conservative blog is off the 'net.

My reason for looking around originally is that I sincerely want to find a conservative christian writer who actually explains his/her point of view without resorting to name calling, and the other false arguments that consist of hitting people with a plank.