Focusing on Who Matters and not Wasting Time on Who Doesn’t 

cant change christian mind

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:13:

He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

As a Christian, I tried to live by this verse, listening and investigating before I came to a conclusion or made a judgment about a person or a belief. I felt then, and I still do, that it is important to hear people out. Unfortunately, Evangelical Christians rarely grant me the same courtesy.

When an Evangelical leaves a comment meant to set me straight or pass some sort of God-enlightened judgment on my character or past/present life, I always take a look at the server logs to see what they have read. Without fail, they’ve read a post or three, formed an opinion, and are now ready to pronounce their God-directed judgment. In most instances they don’t even bother to read the ABOUT page or DEAR EVANGELICAL page or COMMENT RULES page. No need, they have a direct line to God and know all they need to know.

When I call them out on their lack of due diligence, they often lie, saying that they have read everything on this blog and are sufficiently educated in all things Bruce Gerencser. The logs don’t lie, but Christians sure do. If a person isn’t willing to invest the time and effort necessary to understand my story, I see no reason to indulge their ignorance. I give them one comment to say whatever they want. I know my writing constipates Evangelicals so I view their comment as an enema of sorts. By letting them say their piece, it clears out their constipation and they can them move on to some other blog or person they think is in need of hearing a good word from God.

I hope regular readers will understand if I don’t waste what limited time I have each day attempting to pour water through solid, cured cement. When Evangelicals use the contact form to email their missive from God, I try to be polite and let them know I have no interest in corresponding with them. In some cases I have to be blunt, as was the case recently when I told a repeated emailer, “let me be blunt, fuck off.”

Being accessible is important to me and this is why I have a contact page. Many atheist writers don’t have such a page because they don’t want to deal with reams of preachy or caustic emails from Evangelicals. I choose to endure the preachy or caustic emails because of the OTHER emails; those from people savaged and hurt by Evangelical Christianity; those from people trying to break free from the Christian cult.  They have been and will remain to be my focus.

While Evangelical commenters do provide, at times, entertainment and amusement, I’m not interested in spending time trying to disabuse them of their ignorance. As I have said many times before, until they are willing to consider that they could be wrong there is no hope for them. Their certainty and unwavering faith blinds them to anything other than what they perceive is THE way, THE truth, THE life. I’m content to let them read, if they dare to do so, what I have already written. If something I have written puts a chink in their armor then perhaps we can have a meaningful discussion. Until then, I have no intentions of wasting my time on argumentative, judgmental, holier than thou, sanctimonious, arrogant, self-righteous, pompous, smug, pontificating Evangelicals.

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8 Comments

  1. Ami

    It takes a special type of person (nutjob) to keep putting up with that kind of shit from other nutjobs. 😀

    Thank you for what you do. Although I don’t consider myself traumatized by my religious upbringing, I have an understanding of the things that really did affect me, thanks in part to this blog and your writing. The comments of others have been helpful, too.

    Religion is a crazy thing. Regardless of which flavor.

    Reply
  2. Steve

    I’m so with you, man! Have this problem occasionally on FB, UGGGHH!!

    Reply
  3. Troy

    To be fair, in the rare instance I visit a Christian (or other religion) web site I don’t read very much of it either. Just no appeal and rarely do they say anything compelling.
    One reason it is futile to argue with most Christians is the psychological factor known as the schema. Our understanding of the various facets of the world is like a heap of ideas that gets synthesized into a cohesive outlook and it is very resistant to change. As we acquire new information it is squeezed into the existing schema, even if it doesn’t quite fit.
    There are some Christians that are beginning the process of questioning their beliefs. Some of their questions will still have some remnants of their old schema, this is understandable. This type of person is worth the trouble, the rest just ignore.

    Reply
  4. August Rode

    “As I have said many times before, until they are willing to consider that they could be wrong there is no hope for them.”

    Absolutely true, Bruce. Such people don’t actually care whether what they believe is true or not. They’d rather have comfortable beliefs than true beliefs.

    Reply
  5. Canadian Atheist

    The paradox here is that 99% of Christians (or folks of other religions) are never going to change their mind on anything. Then there is that minute minority (including some of us who use to “Believe in the Truth”) who actually do end up changing their mind. Perhaps those who are even capable of leaving their faith have to do so of their own volition and curiosity, rather than through discussion with the heather. But, I struggle with the difficulty of not wasting time beating your head against a stubborn wall versus engaging with those who might one day come to see your point of view.

    I’m no fan of litmus tests, but in this case I think there is a simple test that is worth considering. If someone accepts both evolution and anthropogenic climate change, then I think they are worth engaging with. For me, those two “litmus tests” indicate some understanding of the realities of the world we live in. Someone who has rejected the accepted science of evolution and climate change probably lives in such a fantasy world that they are beyond change (there are exceptions of course). But a Christian who is full of faith in God but also understands and accepts the basic scientific truths surrounding us should make for an interesting and respectful conversation even if they don’t ever decide to convert over to the Dark Side.

    Reply
    1. Troy

      I’m not sure evolution is a good litmus test at all. Many conversions come from the fundamentalist camp (more likely to have anti-evolution views) Seth Andrews, the “Thinking Atheist” in particular comes to mind. A liberal Christian can easily accomodate evolution into their religious outlook, but a curious fundamentalist can’t. Anthropogenic climate change isn’t really a matter of religion at all, and it is a mistake to lump it in with conservative Christianity, though obviously there is a lot of overlap.

      Reply
      1. August Rode

        …but there is a religious overtone to anthropogenic climate change. After all, why should any resources (time, energy, money, etc.) be put into correcting a problem that won’t be of any consequence once Jesus returns? That’s any day now, right?

        Reply
      2. Canadian Atheist

        Yes, I can see your point about evolution. Perhaps there are curious fundamentalists out there who are ignorant of evolution and yet are still capable of questioning their faith. However, I guess what I’m thinking is that if someone isn’t even open to the possibility of evolution, then isn’t that a litmus test on their curiosity to begin with?

        In terms of anthropogenic climate change, it may not specifically be a matter of religion, but again for me it does act as a bit of a litmus in terms of the individual’s general curiosity and openness to considering new ways of thinking about things. If someone is dogmatic about their views on evolution and climate change to the point that they willfully ignore all the data, then I think it is extremely unlikely (though maybe not impossible) that they will ever come to the point of examining their religious beliefs objectively.

        Reply

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