A distinction

Published December 5th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

A distinction:

I appreciate what you’re saying, and I think it’s important to hear. In writing with such wry and caustic humour, you’re able to really effectively reveal the absurdity of what’s happened. There is a difference, however, between parody and ridicule. At points your sarcasm (“one third time for logical conjecture,” etc.) becomes quite harsh and implies that the religious view denies logic and reasoning wholesale.

You’re dealing with something that, more than being a “precious belief” per se, is an important part of many people’s identity. Many define themselves, not just peripherally, but primarily as “Christians.” Attacking that belief system without at least giving it some hint of respect or sensitivity is akin to mocking a person’s chosen lifestyle, personality, or preferences as not just different but illogical and wrong. You can’t in one section write ironically about the deductive demerits of believing in written scripture as a priori truth and then claim to avoid attacking the very heart of a person’s belief system and philosophical identity. You have literally brought the very basis of not only Christian teaching but religious belief in general into question, and in a fairly patronising and uncompromising way.

I’m not asking you to “present both sides” or any equally bullshit measure. But I am asking you to be empathetic. When criticising the core of a person’s self-identity (what they believe in), it’s important to be a little more humane.


112 Responses to “A distinction”

  1. Jacobian says:

    Sometimes, being blunt is the most effective way of getting the message across.


  2. John Phillips (aka Iron John Bonney) says:

    Why is criticising someones religious belief any different to criticising their political beliefs. After all, there are plenty of people who consider their political position more important than religious belief but you don’t hear anyone calling for automatic ‘respect’ for anyone’s political beliefs. That is the problem with religion, it expects a free pass from critcism for something that has no evidence to support it, a position we accord nothing else. If anyone’s religion isn’t strong enough to take honest criticism and questions, then what does that say about that belief.

  3. Iron Mike says:

    I find it interesting that many of those with Christian faith have such a hard time with criticism and feel that they are being persecuted. They are the ones making unsubstantiated claims. When they complain it just shows me that their proclaimed faith is weak to non-existent.

    Speaking of “persecution.” especially for Christians, it is required (John 15:20-21*). Thus they tend to look on any slight as persecution.

    There is a church on every corner in this country (U.S.), they receive tax breaks, and other special considerations. If they were really being persecuted, I would be one of the first to stand next to them and work to protect their right to believe.

    *John 15:20. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my word, they will keep yours also.
    21. But all these things they will do to you for my name’s sake: because they know not him that sent me.

  4. Niteshade says:

    Religion should be a compliment to your life. It is something that inspires you but it should not define you. If it defines who you are you have lost your sense of balance. At that point you have turned something that was meant to enrich your life into a crutch. No single facet of a person’s life should server to define them; if it does they are very myopic.

  5. Fregory says:

    Well… Pastafarians aren’t attacking religion; the point is simply to question Creationism as a science. If Creationism, which really doesn’t provide all that much “scientific” evidence, gets a spot in science classes, then why not Pastafarianism? (Frankly, I don’t know nearly enough about Creationism to delve deeper in discussion, but that’s basically all FSM is trying to say.)

  6. Captain Noodle says:

    So….it’s wrong to question religious beliefs….cause it’s not nice?

  7. Maxglobs says:

    This would only affect anyone who, for some reason, has built their life around ID, not Christianity. Besides, none of us condone the derision of the religious, only of those who wish for their faith to be taken as seriously as scientific consensus. Even atheists and agnostics in general only encourage people to look at their beliefs critically, but we don’t automatically jump to the conclusion that they are dumbshits.

  8. Lazor says:

    Yeah, let’s change our entire religion, because it offends some people.

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