Subject: Jesus Loves You, Pamie

Pamie,

You appear to me to be an open-minded and accepting person, which puzzles me as to why you seem to be such a fan of Christian-bashing. If someone were to try to use your blog as a forum for racial or homosexual slurring, you would put a stop to it immediately. Why, then, do you feel it is okay to print emails (along with your supportive comments) ridiculing people who possess certain religious beliefs?

If you’re going to lambast religion, why limit yourself to just Christians? Please, for the sake of fairness, don’t hold back from ridiculing Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Buddhists and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Don’t waste all that anti-Jesus fervor on the Christians alone – there are a wide variety of gods and higher beings on which to heap your disdain.

Part of me is wondering what happened to you to foster all of this Jesus-hate. Where you held down as a small child and forced to watch “Jesus of Nazareth” for hours on end? Did a roving band of Baptists kidnap you and force you to go to Bible camp? Were you traumatized by someone singing “Jesus Loves Me” slightly off-key while standing uncomfortably close to you in an elevator?

It is unacceptable in this day and age to harass someone based on their skin color or their sexual orientation. Common decency demands that we treat each other with respect. Why does this not extend to religious beliefs, as well?

I understand that there are some Christians out there who are ruining it for everybody by spewing messages of hate and discrimination. I take issue with that, as well, and agree with you that it’s not right. But please understand that just as all Muslims do not share the beliefs of the 9/11 terrorists, not all Christians are Bible-beating gay-haters preaching fire and brimstone.

I respect your right to make choices regarding your religious beliefs and to share those decisions with us if you desire. What I do not respect, however, is giving a forum to and encouraging the disrespect of Christians simply because their beliefs are different than your own, seem strange to you or perhaps even make you feel uncomfortable.

I enjoy reading your blog, Pamie, but I will stop if I continue to feel hurt, insignificant and/or the object of ridicule because I love God, was a member of the FCA and have a “Jesus fish” on the bumper of my car.

Praying for you,
Veronica

Veronica,

Your intuition is correct. I’ve had several encounters with Christians, with Southern Baptists in specific, who told me that I was going to burn in hell forever, that my parents were going to burn in hell forever and that I was a horrible, dark soul until I accept Jesus into my life forever. I’ve had an entire classroom stop lessons, surround me and ask what it feels like to worship Satan, since I don’t go to Church. I’ve had Watchtowers left on my desk, a co-worker tell me that she could see my soul burning when I participated in the office Halloween party, and classmates stuff pamphlets into my locker at school. I’ve had church groups show up at our house when we moved to a new neighborhood, informing us that it would be in our best interests to choose a church soon “before people began to make conclusions.”

Then there are those Christians who feel the need to keep people of the same sex from marrying. The Christian agenda has been pushed into our schools and government, and I know that it can be incredibly intimidating if you don’t know there are others who share your beliefs, who feel okay not to believe in the Christian idea of God.

“You’re already a good person,” an ex-boyfriend once said to me. “Why don’t you just be a Christian?”

I don’t think you have to be a Christian to be a good person, but there were several times in my life when someone of that faith told me I was dead wrong about that. And as for why my disdain of organized religion seems to have a Christian focus, it’s probably because I’ve never been told by a Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or any other non-Christian that my beliefs were incorrect. Wait. A Pentacostal turned Islamic, after having a long discussion with me about the amount of oppression she has to go through in both religions for being female, then asked me how I was going to feel when my parents were both rotting in hell. That might be the best example of what I’ve gone through. I try to talk openly and honestly about how I feel, knowing that it is just how I feel and not the law, and I’m met with the same “Burn in Hell, Sinner” answer because at a certain point, it seems people who are religious just to be religious get scared of questions that don’t have easy answers.

My father was Catholic, my mom an Atheist, and at thirteen I was allowed to find my own religion. I went to several churches, temples and Vacation Bible Schools. In the end, I couldn’t find a single religion that didn’t say that I was the weaker sex. I wanted to find a belief system that didn’t single out one group as better than another. That’s my main problem with religion.

It is my blog, as you pointed out, and if I went through years and years of being told that I was a bad person for who I was, then I can certainly write about it, talk about it, and make fun of my scary past. There are Christians out there who aren’t as open-minded as you are, and perhaps I should be more specific about who I’m referring to when I joke about those who take the word of their Lord as reason to hate and judge.

I certainly don’t hate those who love God. I don’t think that people who believe in such things are delusional, or worthy of ridicule. I do take issue with those who use their religion against me or my friends, who think they’re worthy of more rights, better laws, better education, or a better afterlife. I’m sorry you have felt slighted by my comments, but I’ve never called you out by name. I think it’s wrong for public schools to enforce a Christian-only education. All it encourages is a backlash, which I think you’re responding to as you’re reading it on the blog.

There are Christians and Non-Christians who post on pamie.com, and we’ve certainly gotten into more than a few religious-centered debates on the site. I am pretty sure that I haven’t ever bashed a particular religion, but just as today I bashed Brittany Murphy and her low-rise jeans or myself when I do something particularly lame or geeky, or bad television shows or Renee Zellweger just for having the career I envy, I will continue to make fun of the ridiculous. From the Power Team, to the girl who thought the Jesus Fish came from the car dealer, to my high school banning the Star of David for being “Satanic” — everything has its silly and stupid points, and nobody’s excluded in the name of comedy.

Hope you stick around, but I understand if you don’t want to.

-Pam