This article and its associated Metafilter thread make interesting reading, and are germane to the roots of my rant yesterday, perhaps. Really, though, I was just havin’ a bit of fun.

You know that feeling you get when a telemarketer interrupts your dinner? I get that feeling sometime when my Pentecostal/Charismatic friends are trying to persuade me into their camp. It’s not that I don’t know they are good, decent, law-abiding people who like me. I just want them to quit treating me as a target or a project and start treating me as a person who is free to be myself and different from them.
People Say Stuff Sometimes

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Liked the Spencer article quite a bit; it’s nice to see some honesty within the evangelical camp.

    I tried to be an evangelical Catholic (oxymoronic, but true) for a while a couple of years ago. I handed out gospel tracts at subway stations to those would accept them. Why did I do it? Because I wanted to love God and help people, particularly those who had no hope, and I thought that through DOING, I would GET a better spiritual experience. N.B. Not all evangelicals are quite as grabby.

    I didn’t accompany the handouts with any type of sales pitch, largely because I really had very little conviction of my own. A few people would yell at me or deride me, but most either declined the tracts politely, accepted them (then threw them in the trash), or actually made a positive comment. The key was not to make people feel wrong or stupid, although I’m sure that some people did feel that way anyway. I’m responsible for what I say, not for how you hear it, etc. I got into some good conversations with people, too, and I hope that I exhibited a caring, not condescending, presence.

    I’ve since moved on fairly thoroughly from my lukewarm attempts at evangelical Christianity. I’m more of an animist these days, although the lack of conviction about anything I can’t see continues to dog me. My bad.

    So, anyway, why are evangelical Christians hated so much? A few MORE reasons below:

    • Associations with the Bush camp
    • “I’m right, you’re not” (Spencer mentioned this one)
    • Fear of lack of cool by association
    • The most threatening, and the one that true-hearted evangelicals unwittingly take a lot of flak on: “I believe in something good, it makes me happy, and you’re secretly afraid of your own lack of belief in anything other than death and taxes.”

    In the end, though, an evangelical with a loving spirit will reach a surprising number of people, not necessarily to convert them but to get them to think.

  2. I found the thread and the article fascinating as well. Largely, I think, because I grew up in an evangelical christian home and a culture (small-town rural midwest America) that was conservative and evangelical to the core. So there’s a degree of personal reflection involved in my interest of this particular issue. A lot of bitterness and some uncertainty as well. It’s always rather fascinating to see outsiders discussing the finer details of your ‘roots’ (in a civilized manner even), even if you’re not really part of that culture anymore.

Comments are closed.