Too Cool for School: The Ex, Quasi, or Liberal Christians (and Atheists) Who Think Their Snarkiness Against Christians Makes Them Clever (But It Doesn’t)
This post contains some vulgar language.
edited to add: I’ve already been told by two different people that this post is too long. Sorry, being concise has never been a talent of mine.
Someone in that Reddit thread thinks my title of this post is “an atrocity,” but I feel it pretty much accurately sums up what I’ve seen online the last decade or more
In my faith crisis of the last few years, I’ve visited more sites, blogs, groups, and forums that are critical of Christians or Christianity. I sometimes find myself agreeing with some of their criticisms of evangelical, Protestant Christianity (sometimes not).
One of the recurrent tendencies that crops up in such blogs, forums, and groups that disturbs or annoys me (or has me doing a lot of eye rolls) are that many of the people who post to these types of groups act as though they are Too Cool for School.
Before I get to that, however:
If you’ve been to my blog before, you know that I am critical of the saccharin-sweet, G-rated nature of most Christian blog posts, articles, or responses.
For example, I once wrote this:
Obviously I recognize that a large swath of Christians and Christian culture does not deal with pain, problems, or suffering realistically. And as such, Christians inadvertently hurt hurting people or drive them away from the Christian faith.
A lot of Christians are uncomfortable seeing or hearing other people (especially other Christians, I think) showing their true feelings, especially if it’s deep or intense.
Most Christians feel uncomfortable reading about or hearing a Christian scream in fury over missing a dead loved one, for example.
Most Christians think it’s wrong or selfish for a hurting or angry person to express their pain or anger openly (I’d say this is doubly true for women – women are discouraged from expressing anger openly, even more so than Christian men).
So, these Christians who feel awkward over a woman sobbing uncontrollably in their midst during a Sunday School class (because, let’s say for example, she had to divorce her husband of 30 years, who she just discovered had been cheating on her the last ten years) will be shamed or scolded into silence, over her show of emotions.
The Christian women in her group will feed her platitudes to get her to shut up, such as tell her, “God won’t give you more than you can bear.”
Yet others will try to shame her into silence by saying her hurt and pain over her spouse’s adultery and the end of her marriage don’t amount to any thing, since some where in the world is an orphan with no sandwich to eat. So, by comparison, her pain and hurt mean NOTHING because she has life so much easier than sandwich-less orphans.
I have been on the receiving end of this sort of this emotionally abusive garbage from my family (all of whom are Christians) as well as from Christians I’ve met at churches – even after my mother died. I got shamed, scolded, and I got platitudes when I broke down crying in front of people over missing my mother.
No, the cheery platitudes I received from Christians, like, “Just trust Jesus more!,” or (said in a chipper tone of voice), “Just read two chapters from your Bible every night, and every thing will be all better!,” did not work or help.
I do not support the Christian tendency to water down people’s pain by cheapening it, downplaying it, or trying to brush it under the rug, by acting Happy Smiley and offering cheery, Bible-verse laden platitudes.
I don’t support the evangelical, Baptist, and Protestant tendency to discourage folks from expressing negative feelings and emotions.
I don’t support the Christian habit of using simplistic, naive, G-rated, chirpy comments towards hurting or angry people.
I don’t think Christians should tell other Christians to stop criticizing life, God, the Bible or church, and they certainly should not do so by saying things like, “You sound bitter.”
Christians need to stop implying that God is unhappy with folks who publicly or openly share their negative feelings.
For those Christians who think it’s shameful or wrong for a person to express negative emotions in front of other people or online, have you never read the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament?
That book is basically one big, negative bitch-fest of how meaningless life is. (Pslams also contains a lot of open sadness, anger, fear, and so on.)
I would like to think when I gripe about the annoying G-rated flavor of most Christian blog posts, it at least is constructive.
It’s always coming from a place of hurt or anger, because my pain and problems have not been dealt with compassionately by most Christians I’ve gone to in real life (I usually get the sappy sweet, naive cliched type responses).
I don’t generally take swipes at the Smiley Happy type of Christianity just because I can, or to look cool.
In the few years I’ve had this blog, I’ve had two or three women complain that they find my blog too negative, so they won’t be returning to read more of my posts.
Well, okay. I never forced you to read the content here in the first place.
This blog is sort of a diary of mine that is open to the public where I am writing through some of my Personal Business by venting about a few select topics that bug me (such as how Christian culture mistreats single adults, for instance).
I’m not here to cheer you up or give you answers. (If you do get something out of my blog, that is fine, but I mean I am mostly doing this for me and my benefit.)
If you find me negative, bitter, and angry, I so wish I could have you spend time around my big sister. She is the single most hostile, bitter, angry person I’ve ever known. I am little Miss Mary Sunshine and a font of optimism compared to my sister.
I know what bitter looks like – my sister oozes with bitterness – so I make a concerted effort to refrain from becoming bitter. Trust me, I’m not bitter. You’ve not seen bitter until you’ve spent time with my sister.
THE SNARKY LIBERALS, EX CHRISTIANS, OR ATHEISTS WHO THINK THEY ARE COOL FOR MOCKING CHRISTIANS OR CHRISTIAN BELIEFS
This brings me also to blogs and forums by ex Christians, or by quasi Christians.
One such site I probably visit the most often is Stuff Christian Culture Likes (SCCL), though I have been to other sites that are similar to it.
I tend to use SCCL as an example the most often on my blog because it’s a site I visit more so than other sites or blogs by ex-Christians.
A lot of the people there at SCCL are liberal Christians, some are ex Christians, some are atheists, some are semi- Christians (they’re like I currently am and don’t know if they are in or out of the faith).
Please, if you find me angry, bitter, and depressing, you need to invest some serious time lurking at SCCL on a regular basis – and I mean reading all the comments by people who leave comments there, too, not just scrolling down the main page gawking at the headlines.
To really see the muck and mire, you have to read the comments that visitors compose and leave there, because a lot of the mocking and ridicule breaks out in the comment section under each post.
You’ll also see groups of the regulars there gang up on a hapless person to verbally abuse the hell out of that person if that person even politely disagrees with the group’s group think (which is usually left wing / liberal) – it’s like sharks on chum. It’s one reason I refuse to post there.
(I will concede that on occasion, people will sometimes show up to leave unprovoked or unnecessarily hostile or rude comments at SCCL, and some of them deserve the thrashing they get from the other members as a result. But on several occasions, I have seen the group rip someone apart who did not deserve it.)
The guys like the ones at SCCL are, at times, fed up with the naive, G-rated, “wholesome” shtick that a lot of Christians engage in.
They are tired of Christians – like the ones at TGC ((Link): TGC) – who frequently write these blog posts telling ex-Christians who say they were hurt by the church, to stop being negative, stop criticizing the church, etc.
So far, so good. I am pretty much on the same page as the SCCL-like groups out there on that. I don’t think it’s healthy or fair for Christian blogs, preachers, or churches to lecture others to never criticize the church.
TOO MUCH SNARK – AND SNARK FOR THE SAKE OF SNARK, NOTHING MORE
However, I do think that some of these ex-Christian type groups and persons have such an extreme, unreasonable grudge about Christians or Christianity itself that they go over-board into being snarky for the sake of being snarky, and it’s annoying.
With these types of people, it’s open season on any thing and every thing done by self-professing Christians, to the point I feel it’s just plain old mean-spirited-ness and petty.
MOCKED FOR THE GREAT SIN OF OPINING ABOUT “OMG”
For example, several days ago at the SCCL Facebook group, Drury (who owns the group), posted a link to a post by some lady over people who type “OMG” online or who say the phrase “OMG” in real life.
The way that group works, any time Drury posts a link to or by a Christian, you know the Minions who post there have a Pavlovian response to mock whatever it is (which is one big problem with that group or their mind-set).
And this time was no exception.
Drury posted a link to this (the discussion on her Facebook group is (Link): here):
(Link): What Does The Bible Say About OMG – a post by a woman named Leslie
Here is how that post by Leslie opened:
[written by a blogger lady named Leslie]
I was sitting at a sporting event, when the lovely, Christian lady beside me shouted, “Oh, my God!” as her child made a mistake. I cringed inside. And then I wondered, “does she know?” Does she know that the Bible tells us not to use God’s name in vain?
I personally do not have a big opinion either way on the OMG topic. I don’t particularly know or care if God considers “OMG” to be taking his name in vain or not. That is not why I am bringing this up on my blog.
Here we have some Christian lady who seems pleasant enough. She’s not hurting anyone with her blog post.
She may be what the New Testament describes as being an immature believer in Christ, as opposed to a mature believer, who recognizes the freedom she has in Christ (so she, the mature believer, won’t go into huge moral shock or be terribly offended if someone around her says “OMG”).
And of course, after Drury posted a link to that post in her SCCL group, the members of SCCL took it upon themselves to mock the blogger over it, or to just be negative, nasty, or condescending.
Here’s a sampling of some of the visitor comments about Leslie’s post:
Ellen Polzien wrote:
I guess the hungry are fed, the blind can see, the prisoners are free — now we can zero in on the scourge of ” OMG”?
Kaitlyn Bianchi wrote:
Oh ffs. People actually care about this? What does it matter to anyone else if someone says omg. I hate the fact that christians are so concerned with frivolous shit like what someone else is saying. (Or eating, or drinking, or who they’re sleeping with).
Annalise Torres wrote:
The comments are a gold mine.
“When I see someone use OMG in a text I wonder what idol they have made a god in their life and I pray for them.”
Sure you do.
Juana Moore wrote:
I love the commenter who is now wound up about ‘holy’ as well. Perhaps if these folks restrict enough words, they might just shut up.
Amy Austin said:
OMG, unclutch the pearls. With all the problems in the world, this is what you’re upset about?!
You can (Link): click here to read more of the SCCL community’s comments about Leslie’s ‘OMG’ post.
As to the comment by Polzien (and the one by Bianchi and other like-minded people):
I’m not sure what her politics are, but I will guess (this being SCCL), she is a left winger and turns her Facebook avatar to a Rainbow Flag every time the homosexual community goes into pearl-clutching mode over whatever the latest manufactured LGBT-related crisis is.
I feel it’s making a mountain out of a molehill for the guys at SCCL to have a conniption fit (as they almost always do) any time a Christian baker refuses to make a wedding cake for a homosexual marriage ceremony.
I can reason right back to her,
“I guess the hungry are fed, the blind can see – now we can zero in on the scourge of, “Homosexual dudes may not get a wedding cake with buttercream frosting specifically by a Christian baker who doesn’t feel comfortable with homosexual weddings.”
It’s interesting to me how the average SCCL commentator thinks that only they should or can arbitrate what is okay to get upset or infuriated by.
My impression of an average SCCL commentator:
“Get upset or out-raged by Christians who don’t want to bake LGBT wedding cakes,
get upset by Pure Flix releasing a “God’s Not Dead” movie sequel and ridicule it,
get upset by Hobby Lobby not wanting their funds to pay for employee birth control, and get upset by Christians publishing books claiming they had N.D.E.s,
but don’t get upset by someone using OMG in a text chat! That is crossing a line!“
Says who? And why? (Rhetorical questions.) The participants at SCCL (and ones like those at SCCL) are pretty choosy about when, if, and what they get worked up over, too.
As for Kaitlyn Bianchi’s comment about sexual behavior:
… I hate the fact that christians are so concerned with frivolous shit like what someone else is saying. (Or eating, or drinking, or who they’re sleeping with).
That’s funny considering a lot of you left wing, ex-Christian, and/or secular feminist types expend a hell of a lot of energy trying to shame or scold girls and women (or boys and men) who choose to sexually abstain.
A lot of the types of folks at sites such as SCCL are precisely the types who rail against “sexual purity culture” and encourage women and girls to sleep around a lot, or shame the concept of remaining a virgin until marriage.
These types of people are supposed to be about defending choice (they say they are for choice), but concerning the topic of sex, they often don’t respect or support a person’s right to not have sex – that choice gets ridiculed.
Here is one more comment from that comment thread at SCCL:
Tracey Forrest wrote:
It would have been helpful if she had defined what “in vain” means. I am much more offended by men and women using the name of God to justify abuse and manipulation than by someone texting OMG. It seems that the writer was straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. Imo.
I feel that her comment was more constructive, so I can give one like that a pass. She wasn’t being a snarky bitch or using the original post (about Leslie’s OMG post) just as an excuse to rip on Christians. She’s making a decent point there. That is usually not the tone or tact of most of the people who post to that groups (or ones like it), though.
A year or more ago, I wrote this post on my own blog:
I wrote that post because Drury and pals at SCCL were ridiculing a book by a ten year old kid about the kid’s alleged NDE experience.
At some point, Drury, I think, linked to my post there on her SCCL group, where-upon a group of SCCL Minions beat a path to my blog to leave me rude comments (one lady was polite, though).
My problem with these types of disenfranchised or disillusioned Christians (or ex Christians) is they are knee-jerk judgmental and snarky against any and all Christians on about every and any topic.
If you want to go after Christians where they legitimately drop the ball in helping the hurting, fine.
But picking on a ten year old kid’s purported Near Death Experience by posting stuff ridiculing his book (or the boy himself), or picking on this Leslie lady over her views on “OMG” is unnecessary, petty, mean-spirited, and shows a level of arrogance.
THE CHRISTIANS WHO ARE STILL IN A BUBBLE – GET OVER AVERSION TO VULGAR LANGUAGE BECAUSE…
Because a lot of Christians live in a bubble, they are not in full touch with reality.
I believe a lot of Christians are too sensitive to vulgar language, for one thing.
No, I don’t like a lot of cussing myself, but I don’t get thrown for a loop if I’m reading a page and it contains the occasional “fuck” or “shit” in it.
If you’re reading this and you’re a Christian, you need to get over your delicate flower sensibility about vulgar language.
There are a couple of reasons I say that.
One of which is, a lot of you will quickly back away or be intimidated by these snarky assholes online – the Stephanie Druries and the SCCL members who will pepper their come-backs with the word “fuck” in them, for example.
Christians don’t know how to deal with in- your- face hostility or raunchiness – and this leaves them at a disadvantage in several areas.
One reason of which (that Christians cannot cope with vulgarity) is that ladies like Leslie at that blog are so upset over the use of the tame “OMG,” there is no way she could handle a straight up, “fuck off!” or, “suck my balls” type come back from your average SCCL person.
The Bubble Christians don’t venture out of their G-rated, wholesome, June Cleaver 1950s era, safe Christian bubble to read, listen to, lurk at, or engage with the truly angry, potty-mouthed cretins who inhabit the internet.
As I’ve slid into doubting the faith more the last few years, vulgar language doesn’t bother me so much.
(I also have a big sister who cusses like a sailor and has for years: every other word from her mouth is, “fuck this, fuck off, fuckity fuck, fuck you, motherfucker, where did my fucking car keys go did you see those fucking things,” and when you hear it that often, you become immune from its shock factor.)
That’s why when I am talking to people like Drury online, she cannot stump me or throw me for a loop by tossing the word “fuck” at me or some other vulgar phrase.
Further, I may be apt to tell someone else to go fuck off if they tell me “fuck you.” They can’t get to me with this language.
(I do tend to watch this on my Solo Twitter account, however, because I am aware I have several Delicate Christian Flowers who have friended me on there, and they are not comfy seeing words such as “fuck” come through their Time line.
So out of respect for them, I try to watch my language on that Twitter account.
They are fine, nice people, but I wish they would get over the, “Oh dear me, I cannot stand to see the occasional naughty word in social media or in a blog post. I simply faint if I hear a naughty word!” mentality)
My annoyance with this vulgar language usage is that some of these ex-Christians or semi-Christians act Too Cool For School, and part of that is the F-bomb dropping.
They think it makes them cool to casually use words such as “shit” or “Motherfucker.”
I get the sense from them that they think they are daring or out of the box thinkers and really sticking it to Christians when conversing with Christians and using words such as “fuck.”
They really think they are shocking the Christians out there, to use “fuck” in conversation with them.
And it’s actually really lame of them. They are behaving like idiotic shock jocks, the guys on the radio shows who tell obscene jokes.
We’re talking about people age 35 and older who do this – we have 40 year old ex- or quasi- Christians who toss the word “Fuck” at Christians like it’s a grenade.
You probably wouldn’t know it from how I usually blog, but deep down inside I am, or can be, a giant lovey ball of gooey marshmallow.
Several months ago, I did a blog post on this very blog about a ten year old girl who was raped and murdered, and it was all arranged by her biological mother.
(The mother said she enjoyed and got turned on watching men rape her own daughter. She would hire men via ads in “Craig’s List” type sites to rape her child. Sick, sick, deviant stuff.)
I was angry when I typed that post, but before I composed it, as I was reading the news stories about it, I cried. I was very upset by what I read, about what that girl went through.
Since I’ve been young, I’ve had a soft spot for innocence or innocent people, and it bothers me to see adults (or kids) being mean-spirited, catty, grouchy, mocking, or picking on things or people, who are innocent or innocuous.
When I was about 12 years old, my school bus used to stop in front of a community center for mentally handicapped persons.
Our bus would get there just as their classes were getting out, and you could see groups of mentally impaired folks of all ages (ages ten to 90) waking out the front door. You could tell from the body language and facial features of the people walking out that they were mentally retarded.
The cool kids, who always sat in the back of my bus, would roll down their windows to shout insults at these mentally disabled people.
One time this happened, one kid on my bus (one of the cool kids, he was 12 years old), screamed at one mentally retarded man, who appeared to be frail and 85 years old and was wearing a straw cowboy hat,
“Hey retard, nice hat!”
That bothered me, it still does.
I came oh- so- close to sitting up in my seat, spinning around and telling that kid to shut the hell up, to yell at him that it’s cruel to pick on people period, but especially senior citizens and doubly so mentally disabled people.
I kept quiet, though (because I was afraid of retaliation).
It wounded me and angered me that this kid would scream hateful, mean things at some mentally retarded older guy he didn’t know who wasn’t even doing anything to him.
I can’t figure out why people are mean to other people, when those people are innocent, they’re not harming you. There is no justifiable reason or excuse to roll down your window and mock an 85 year old mentally retarded man, over his hat, or anything else.
About 15 years ago, I came across a site by a guy who would take crayola drawings by little kids, art they had posted online, or their parents did, and he would post them to his own site and then mock them.
Some of his art was by five year old kids. As we all know, most little kids are not very good at art and can barely draw stick figures accurately.
The douche canoe at this site (which name escapes me), thought it was so hilarious to post this rudimentary art of stick figures, trees, cars, and horses drawn by little children, just to leave rude, condescending comments below each one.
And he knew damn well the art was made by five year old children.
Now, these kids who made this art did not know this guy. They had not done any thing to him.
But here he was using their art for the precise reason of ridiculing it (and them).
That bothered me.
You have a sweet little drawing some kid did of his pet dog, and it looks wonky, because kids can’t get proportions right and so on, but that’s not the point of their art.
The kid or his grandma uploads it to some site to share with friends or whatever, and along comes this colossal asshole of that site to yank it down and re-post to his site all so he can put his snarky little comments below it.
I just despise shit like that. DESPISE IT.
I seldom engage in this sort of behavior – I did one time on this blog do a negative lampoon over an anti-sexual purity lampoon site (I was lampooning a lampoon site). But on that, I was going after their views. I was not just picking some nice, average joe on the internet and ridiculing him or her just to ridicule him or her.
But I sometimes see people (ex Christians, quasi Christians) engaging in this very sort of behavior on a common basis.
They think it’s fine, acceptable, or cool to mock and ridicule any and every thing Christians say, think, or feel – even if what they are mocking is harmless, comes from what seems to be a guileless motive.
I don’t know if I agree with that Christian woman’s post – the woman named Leslie who is against people saying “OMG.” Maybe she is right on that issue, maybe she is wrong, but I sure as shit don’t like seeing people such as her (who’s doing nobody any harm with her post) being mercilessly lampooned and picked apart by catty, bitchy, or arrogant ex-Christians (or liberal Christians, or quasi Christians).
I do think there is such a thing as being TOO cynical.
And yes, I think often times, the tone at SCCL (and groups and sites like it, because it’s not the only one), is overly cynical.
I am not a smiley, happy sort of person. Well, not often.
I am all for letting your negative emotions out.
I am not going to shame you for expressing negative emotions in general terms, but I believe too often that disillusioned Christians, or people who derive some kind of weird pleasure over eviscerating Christians online, go over-board with their negativity.
At least when you see my posts calling out the fakey, phony, syrupy sweet sweet sugar gum droppiness in Christianity, I have more to my bitching and griping than using it for an excuse to ridicule Christians.
That is more than I can say for some other sites, blogs, forums, or groups out there which seemingly exist only to bitch about Christians or Christianity just to bitch, and because they like turning all their snarkiness into a clever turn of phrase to impress the other mal-contents.
JUST LIKE BRATTY SCHOOL KIDS
These folks who display this “too cool for school” attitude remind me of the jerks I went to school with as a kid and teen.
I used to be a nerd when I was a kid. I used to have frizzy hair, I wore glasses, I was quiet, I was well mannered, I liked to read books, loved science fiction shows and movies, and I made Straight A grades.
I was not a rule breaking, vulgar- mouthed snot who talked back to teachers or skipped classes.
I was picked on a lot by the “cool kids.” (The ones who did skip classes, always wore the latest trendy clothing, talked disrespectfully to teachers, who thought Science Fiction was geeky and for losers.)
When I’m at these SCCL-type groups, I see the same mentality in them by these disillusioned Christians that I recall seeing in the bratty cool kids who used to beat me up or spit on me in my school days.
You may think you’re cool because you wear the latest trendy clothing, you smoke cigarettes behind the school gym, skip classes every other day, say the word “fuck,” and listen to all the right rock bands, but…
When you go around being mean-spirited to the quiet kid in the corner and smacking her glasses off her face, the kid who is causing you no harm, you’re not being cool.
You’re just being a huge, arrogant asshole.
Some times, the participants in these liberal, quasi- or ex- Christian sites are right on target with some of their criticisms of Christians or Christian culture, but other times, by being unnecessarily harsh on harmless folks, (like some lady who wrote a post concerned over the prevalence of “OMG”), they really break down and miss the mark.
Picking on that Christian blog lady for her “OMG” post is a little too close, in my estimation, to the 12 year old kid I rode the bus with years ago, who screamed sarcastically at the 85 year old retarded man leaving the community center, “Hey retard, nice hat.”
It’s cruel. (It’s not witty, cool, hip, funny, or clever. That sort of reaction and treatment of another person says more about you than the person or thing you are mocking, and it’s not anything positive.)
Unfortunately, this snarky attitude and take down of geeky but harmless Christians or Christian ideals is fairly common in these blogs, forums, or Facebook groups that are populated by anti Christian atheists, liberal Christians, the doubters who don’t know what they are, the agnostics, and the ex Christians.