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View Diary: I remember the day when....and I'm afraid (315 comments)

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  •  yes, it is (4.00)
    exactly. The whole central point of evangelicals IS to cram their religion down other people's throats. That is completely central to them, if they don;t try to convert people, they are not being good christians. I had a little run-in with them way way back in high school, and the amount of guilt they feel if they don't try to push their faith on other people is huge. It's hard to explain, but there it is. It's very very specific, too: to be a good evangelical, you go through a cathartic, very very public experience of surrendering your life, soul, everything, to Jesus. It's important you do this in public, and it is a very very emotional and powerful experience. It's not about personal faith at all. I did this, and I totally believed in it for a while. Then, you MUST get other people, your family, your friends, etc. to go through this, too, or else you are sinning. You must be pushy, you must try and try again. Even if you are saved, if you don't try hard enough to convert other people (again, get them into a situation where they go through this ordeal), you will burn in hell. I only am writing this in detail, because I think that there are a lot of people who don't know what Evangelism is. You really have to see it to believe it, and you have no idea how seductive it is to emotionally vulnerable people, how hypnotic. I was lucky, I had some really great friends who stood by me, who knew me really well, and who could tell it was just a phase. It's more than sticking your head in the sand, it is the answer to every question, it is the shortcut to wisdom, it is comfort, and it is DANGER, because it replaces critical thinking. This is the tent-revival people passing out speaking in tongues thing, you need to understand that it's not T.V., it's real. Competing religions that aren't pushy, like Catholicism or the Unitarians, are, in my mind, excellent alternatives, because they leave the worshipper free, sure there are problems with all organized religion, but compared to fire-breathing snake-handling evangelism, most religions are actually constructive forces in society, and we need to see the difference, and we need to know what we are up against, and yes, we are up agaist them. So go see for yourself, go to a heavy duty christian rock concert, go to a mega church, watch people get "saved", you need to see it to believe it.

    We can be like by beloved friends, we can be understanding, we can be real, we can help people come back to earth when they've had enough of this nonsense.  

    I recommend everyone try to understand this.

    •  I have a Catholic friend (none)
      with a pretty extreme personality.  Although her religion and especially her parish were non-pushy, she felt so terribly saddened by the fact that everyone she cared about was going to hell that she couldn't help proseltyzing.  So sometimes it's more than the religion's mandate to witness witness witness.  Sometimes it's a deeply felt danger.
      •  This is what they should be doing. (none)
        I have always said that Christians who are not spending their time and energy trying to get everyone into heaven, are either cold and selfish, or they don't really believe what they say they believe.

        I know it is annoying to the rest of us, but if they really believe that billions are going to spend eternity in hell, they damn well better be spreading the gospel.

        AND they better stop trying to legislate Jesus because no sould was saved by passing laws against sin.

    •  I was in the maternity ward (4.00)
      with five other women - one of whom was a fervent and energetic evangelical.

      By the time I was allowed to come home, I had threatened her life if she didn't STF up (and in those days, I NEVER used profane language but I got better) and another new mother had launched a full pitcher of ice water at her in a vain attempt at murder by ice cube.

      They finally had to move her into a private room for her own safety and our sanity.

      I'll never understand it.

      We must have stem-cell research. How else will Congress and the media grow spines?

      by bablhous on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:48:58 PM PST

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    •  I have 'flake insurance' (none)
      In the mid '70's, walking down Main Street in Newark, Delaware where I went to U of D.  a friend who was managing the State Theater literally dragged my companion and I in to see Carrie.  Bart was obsessed with the scene where Carrie's mom chastised her and locked her in a prayer closet.

      When the movie was over, we formed a pact called 'flake insurance', whereby the three of us agreed that if we saw either of the other two handing out Jesus pamphlets or preaching on a street corner or otherwise behaving erratically, the others would to the utmost of their ability, do their best to blow the brains out and put them out of their misery.  

      I can understand that evangelicals think they are acting on our behalf, but I really wish they'd fucking drop it.  There are much bigger issues to deal with, like the budget.  The rest is noise.

      Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else. --Will Rogers

      by groggy on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:04:52 PM PST

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      •  I have an answer for them (none)
        it's worked every time I've used it.

        If God wants me saved, he'll save me. If he wants me in your church, he'll make sure I'm there. Thanks for caring.

        It pretty much leaves them speechless.

        •  Great advice (none)
          I was in the campus watering hole, Deer Park, on night and a guy told me if he couldn't save me, he didn't want to live anymore.  I offered him my Swiss Army knife, he got the message.  

          But I'll try your suggestion next time.

          Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else. --Will Rogers

          by groggy on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 10:48:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I had a similar experience in College (none)
      With a group of Evengelicals who tried to convert me. They baited me in with friendship, then did the switch when a "party" became a bible-study group. The pressure was intense, and the guilt they lay on you was what turned me off from organized religion for the rest of my life. Evengelicals believe that if you are not actively being a "fisher of men" then you are going to hell. They even said my dead grandmother was in hell because she was not an Evangelical Christian. That was the last straw. Ever since then, religious zealots have been my nemesis.

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