Monday, November 15, 2010

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?

I understand that this entire blog up to this point has been me complaining about things in a cranky manner. Continuing with that theme, I absolutely detest it when people integrate Bible verses into otherwise normal occurrences.

You love the Lord. That's fantastic. Really, very sincerely, I'm glad that some people feel like they have a close and personal relationship with God that's not completely dysfunctional. It's probably also a positive thing that these people choose to integrate this relationship into their daily lives. I integrate my relationship with the Lord into my daily life, but I don't think he and I have the best relationship right now, so it tends to manifest itself as anger and confusion, rather than light and joy, or what have you.

What I don't necessarily love is the proclivity that people who feel that they are very close to the Lord tend to have: the proclivity to shoving their personal beliefs down other people's throats. I guarantee that if someone is at a baseball game, he or she is not there looking for a spiritual awakening. I can also guarantee that if I come to a friend looking for advice or emotional support, telling me to read a scripture is not going to do the trick. I read the Scriptures on my own time. Quoting a Bible verse to me, unless the issue at hand is legitimately spiritual, is not going to do anything except annoy me.

It comes across as terrifically sanctimonious. There are a few people that I trust have made religion such a huge part of their lives that them referencing scripture as a part of a normal conversation might not come across as such, but those people occupy a tiny, tiny minority.

You see, that's why I tend not to like really religious people: they tend to be self-righteously pious and they feel like their personal relationship with their Savior gives them a free pass to be as intolerant and narrow-minded as they want to be. I don't feel like that's always the case, but frequently, it is.

Over the summer, I was working at Macy's. I was alone on the floor; I think the other girl I worked with was at lunch at the time, and a woman came in. She said she hadn't been shopping in like seven years or something like that, and she really heavily relied on my help and advice in picking things out and deciding what looked good. It was really obvious that she was a very nice, sweet woman, and I think she assumed that I was fashionable because I worked in a retail store. As she was checking out, after like two hours shopping in the tiny, tiny Petites department, she gave me a little pamphlet from her church. She said that once, someone gave one to her and it changed her life for the better, and she wanted to give one to me so I could at least have the option to learn about it if I wanted it.

I do not mind people like that in the slightest. In fact, I love people like that, because I knew that she was being 100% sincere with me. She was not trying to shove her beliefs down my throat, she legitimately wanted to share something that had improved her life in the hopes that it would improve other people's lives as well. I feel like she was a perfect example of how religious people should be. She didn't try to sell me on it, she didn't try to make me feel stupid or inferior for not subscribing to her particular brand of Protestantism. It was a very simple delivery, but it's stuck with me because of her obvious sincerity. If everyone felt about their religion the way this woman obviously felt about hers, I feel like Christianity would not have the terrible reputation it currently has.

1 comment:

  1. See, people like the woman you described are a rarity. The type of people I encounter who are religious tend to be complete and utter douchebags. The actual denomination or persuasion doesn't seem to matter much, i've found jerks in all of them.

    It used to really bother me to go to church and meet all these pseudo-pious, pushy, hypocritical types. Until I realized that those were the type of people who needed to be in church. So I cooled my jets regarding others and just let them be.

    Overall, I enjoy it and appreciate it when others feel the need to "witness" to me about their long as it's done in a specific manner. I won't deal with pushy nonsense, but a sincere request to consider another position with respect to what I already believe will always be honored.