5.02.2006

Mormons and immigrants

These guys put the Rah! in ROCK!
It's so hard to hate Mormons. I mean, I can't lie. They're usually nice, genuine people. But I have a problem with all Christians. I had a conversation with one of my Christian friends the other day, and this is what I told him...

The fact that 90 percent (and don't debate me on this) of Christians do good things—take mission trips, give food and shelter to those in poverty, help storm victims—with a motive other than benevolence is detestable. Think about it. If you told me that these people did this kind of work without thinking they were bettering their chances to go to "Heaven," I'd call you a liar. "God would be so proud of me!" You know that's what they're thinking internally. If you disagree, you're probably one of the people I'm talking about.

It's mind-boggling the audacity they have to go to poverty-ridden countries on missionary trips to spend time with these communities that have nothing compared to society in America and shove their beliefs in their faces and make them think that their lives would be more like ours if they believed in Jesus. Of course, I know, they don't tell people this. But that's what their demonstrating. The missionaries drive into town in beautiful vehicles, with CD players and air conditioners, and hop out and sing songs and tell these people that their god isn't real—no, the God that provided those nice vans and healthy children and two-story brick houses with white picket fences is the real God. Fuck off. Religion is arbitrary. It's given to you by default. Your fate was decided for you before you were concepted, nights after your mom and dad made sloppy drunk love after a night of binge drinking.

... Whew! Anyway, look at this Mormon's pictures. Make fun of him. Encourage him. Do what you will. I've already commented on a few of his pictures—check "The Group @ Sylvan Hills," "Us and the Beckwiths," and "Wings of a Butterfly I."

Also, a new style of preaching: Toothless ex-con shouting vulgarities. (I swear he's not joking.)

• • •

OK, Lindsay brought up a good point in her comment on my Bush rant. "Yeah, we would all like to beat the shit out of Dubya. While America is diverse in its population, the official language is English. Do you not think that its citizens and immigrants should at least know the official language of the country they inhabit?"

My point, Lindsay, is not that they shouldn't learn English. What I was trying to say is we—as in the nation as a whole, and George Bush—should be humbled by the fact that people who've YET to learn English would like to be able to sing our national anthem in their native language. Of course, any country an immigrant moves to, he or she should make a valid attempt to learn that country's native tongue.

But don't ridicule them because they can't (and I'm not saying you are, Linsday). Don't take a good-hearted attempt by them to honor this country and shit all over it. That's my point. To me, his comments could compare to your mom spending all day baking you a cake and the moment you see it, snapping, "I fucking hate that flavor. You should know I only like vanilla!"

Ya see, folks?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I do good things for people, it is because I want to help them, and yes, it would be serving my God as well. That's the whole point of being a Christian, serving God and letting others know about your God.

The way you let them know is not by "shoving it down their throats" as you put, but by showing them what's available and if they choose to take it, so be it. I would agree that some people do try to shove, and that isn't right.

In fact, to be a true Christian, you have to be the one to accept God, no one can make you. It doesn't work that way, as you are aware. I accept you for who you are, and I could care less if you worship a radial tire. That's your choice, and I'm not going to try to convert you.

But please, don't condemn Christians because of organized religion. I agree that most organized religion has ruined the whole Christian experience, but trust me, there are Chrisitians like myself who do good deeds, yes, to please our God, but also we do them because others need help.

When I help an elderly lady with her groceries, I don't look up at the sky and say "Yea did you see that shit, God,?" "That should make up for that orgy and cocaine binge I went on last night. Oh, it doesn't? OK, I will help some more old ladies today then."

Many do, but still again, many don't. And not all missionaries are as you described.

And if these people bother you so much, why not ignore them. Don't waste your talents ranting about something you obviously cannot change. You are much too bright for that.

Let the false do-gooders alone. If they are serving their God under false pretences, as you said, to make themselves look good and score brownie points with God, then they do have problems. And the world is full of people like that, unfortunately.

Di-Spencer said...

"I agree that most organized religion has ruined the whole Christian experience"? I think you have that backward.

Literally, I know you don't look up to God and say, "Wow! Look at me, I've been a good boy." Any Christian I've talked to about this always says, "Well the people you're talking about are the Pharisees-type. But there are Christians like me who don't do that."

It's not just a problem with Christians, either. I harp about them more because that's what 80 percent of Americans claim to be. That's a problem with all religions, though. People spend their lives doing good works for, well, brownie points. The fact that makes me sick is the old lady that you'd help with groceries would go home and tell her husband that a nice little Christian boy helped her with the groceries. It's almost as if I can't be a good person unless I'm religious. Unless I'm serving someone. And that's ludicrous.

If you're going to help someone because they need it, then do it. Despite your personal motives, your underlying (perhaps subconscious) motivation is that you are doing it to elevate your stance with God—that's the essence of your religion.

I'm not saying that numerous Christians aren't good people. I just find their motivation to be despicable.

Anonymous said...

I guess the point I am making is that number one, you do the good deed because it needs to be done. That's the way it should be.

You do the good deed whether you are a Nazi, an atheist or whatever.

It's something you do because you want to help someone. Then, if you happen to be a Christian, after that deed is done, you can hope that God knows you helped someone because you wanted to help them, not because you wanted to impress Him.

That's the key, at least in my personal beliefs. God doesn't count the deeds you do just to please him. He only counts the ones you want to do for yourself. So it would do me little good to do a good deed, whether conscious or subconscious, just to score points with God.

For example, if a group of youths go down to build some homes in Mexico only to impress God, they might as well stay home. But if they go down to help a village because they want to help that village, while at the same time spreading some of God's word around, then that should be OK. AS LONG AS they don't cram anything down anyone's throat.


You said: "Despite your personal motives, your underlying (perhaps subconscious) motivation is that you are doing it to elevate your stance with God—that's the essence of your religion."

I'm doing the deeds for humanity, for myself, for the one who needs the deed performed, as I said before. My religion did teach me to do these good deeds, but I don't perform them in the name of Christianity just to impress God.

Also, on the little old lady: I would hope that she could accept a good deed for what it is, not for whatever religion the person who performed it is. Perhaps she would just go home and tell her husband a nice young man helped her and not bring up Christianity.

This debate could go on forever, I guess, but I just wanted to make one last reply. Thanks for thinking. Too many people don't think anymore, and that's another thing wrong with our world.

Di-Spencer said...

If only more people shared your beliefs, perhaps my detestation would be minimal.

"If a group of youths go down to build some homes in Mexico only to impress God, they might as well stay home." Exactly. But they're taught that they're impressing God. Any church I've been to, and I've been numerous times (I was a devout Christian at one time), the pastor would slam home that going to church on Sundays is, in itself, not enough to get right with God. Therefore, many (not you, I guess) do good deeds to better their relationship with Him. In their beliefs, that's what they're supposed to do. It's a commendable act. But I find it grossly self-fulfilling and lacking palpable altruism.

I just wish that all these relief efforts could be done atheistically—or maybe more accurately, secularly. In my opinion, it's wrong to help someone in need with your ulterior, or maybe secondary, catalyst being to instill your beliefs in them.

... All in all, nice debate, though. See, I'm not a bad guy (in my opinion haha). I think any further debate would result in redundancy, and I'd really like to avoid that. But thanks for commenting. I gotta get back to cussing.

Chas said...

For someone who hates the idea of God, you spend a lot of time taking about it ... hmmm.

And "Anonymous" ... if you're going to defend your beliefs, put some backbone into it!

Anonymous said...

Chas, how do you propose I "put some backbone into it?"

Marla said...

If you are doing good deeds because you truly care and you truly want to help people, that is admirable. Anyone that does good deeds for praise is an ass, and they may as well not have done anything at all. God knows what is in our hearts.

Oh, and I totally agree with your opinion on organized religion. I quit going to church several years ago, because I realized that some of the biggest hypocrites I'd ever met were church-going folk.

One of my friends was kicked out of his church for divorcing his wife, who was a psycho-hose-beast that ruined his life and mistreated their children. Aren't churches supposed to be there to support us when we are in need? That particular incident COMPLETELY turned my stomach, and made me realize that my decision to quit attending church was a wise one.

In this day and age, with churches that "request" that new members provide them with W-9's so that they can ensure that their members are giving their 10%, it's not difficult to understand why so many people are disenchanted with organized religion.

Just my 2 cents.

scott said...

Hi Spencer, found your blog after hearing you read at the Pub or Perish thing last week. Interesting stuff...

I understand what you mean about the selfish motivations not sitting well, and I also understand the distaste for organized religion--I was raised a Southern Baptist, but luckily I got over that. But on the other hand, I can't help feeling that if good is being done, whatever the motivations, it's still a net good, right? I mean, I don't think it'd be better for the folks getting food and water treatment plants all all that if the hypocritical missionaries just stayed home, even if they do have to sit through a "My God is an Awesome God, yours not-so-much" sales pitch.

But it does burn me up when people preach and testify and make clear that the only reason they see for doing good is the threat of eternal punishment or the promise of a reward. It's no wonder they think all the atheists want to rape goats and eat children--apparently that's what THEY'D do, if they weren't worried about Hell or working for Jewels in Heaven. I've actually heard sermons where preachers claim that you can't be an atheist and a good person, that is to say a moral person. I know a lot of very moral atheists who do good because they think they should. Of course I know a lot of atheist assholes too. Same as Christians.

scott said...

Oh, and I mean to say, I agree with your take on the Spanish National Anthem as well. Is it so bad to be admired so much?

Chas said...

"That's the whole point of being a Christian, serving God and letting others know about your God."
~
"I accept you for who you are, and I could care less if you worship a radial tire. That's your choice, and I'm not going to try to convert you."

Hmmm, "Anonymous" ... you sound confused. If the point is to share your love of God, but you don't care IF others worship ... you're trying to have your cake and eat it too. Either be apathetric or die-hard. There's no in between — unless you feel like spending some time in Limbo.

Do yourself a favor and read some Jonathan Edwards. He put some "backbone" into his opinions.

cgocio said...

I love Spirtit of Truth! I'm trying to get local access to pick it up. "I come in the name of the Lord, bitch!" Fantastic.

Don't forget what Johnny Lennon once wrote:
"God is a concept by which we measure our pain."

Anonymous said...

The point is, Chas, that Christians do talk about their God, but they don't judge others if they choose not to worship their God.

Of course I will tell someone about God, but if it falls on deaf ears, and they only look to their precious radial for support, then I will not pester them about my God anymore.

What good would it do me to try to make someone worship God? It doesn't work that way, man!

You see, I can just tell them about God and the great things He can offer. That is all I can do! Once I do that, it's up to that person to choose to invite God into their lives.

This is why I said, "The whole point of being a Christian is serving God and letting others know about Him"

Then, I went on to say that I don't care who you worship.

Once I tell you about my God (and how I serve him) and you choose to go on with your radial tire, we can still be friends, yes, and I will no longer talk about God to you because I will know you could care less. I have already done my Christian deed by telling you about God.

I was taught as a Christian, all we can do is tell others about God. It's their own free will if they want to go with Him or not.

Does this make my point a little more clear?

God said...

Your point is NOT clear. I don't exist, dumbass!

Lindsay said...

Bitch, it's chocolate and my momma can't bake.

Chas said...

"Their God" ... "my God" ... what kind of Christian are you, anonymous? Here's an idea: Go back and study the Ten Commandments. Make sure to pay particular attention to numero uno. Then, do the rest of us a favor and stop claiming.

It's that "laid back" attitude toward others not believing that's allowed the world to become what it is today -- immoral. When Judgement Day comes, those riding the fence won't be allowed to enter the Kingdom, you know. God's looking for do-ers on His team. Don't be afraid...