Bruce, God and I Agree: How Evangelicals Excuse Their Boorish Behavior

peanut gallery

Email From the Peanut Gallery

Most Evangelicals are decent enough people, despite their religious beliefs. I live in an area where Evangelicalism dominates the religious and political scenes. Corner most local born-again Christians and they will tell you what they believe. Don’t corner them, and you will likely never hear a peep from them about Jesus. This is the nature and substance of cultural American Christianity. That said, a small, rabidly vocal number of locals are Fundamentalist zealots. These in-your-face Christians are not afraid to unzip their pants and expose their beliefs for everyone to see. They love being spokesmen for God. Armed with certainty, they believe that they are the arbiters of morality and the holders of absolute truth. Cultural Evangelicals I can live with. Live and let live, right? Zealots, however, are another matter. They are rabble rousers, defenders of anti-human, anti-progress religious beliefs. These theocratic zealots will not rest until King Jesus rules and reigns over the United States of Jesus.

Cultural Evangelicals rarely comment on this blog. Most of the vocal Christian commenters are Evangelical zealots. Commenters who shit all over the comment section are almost always Evangelical Christians (or conservative Catholics). I started blogging in 2007, a year or so before I divorced Jesus. During the past eleven years, thousands of Evangelicals have stopped by to let me know what they think of my writing and me personally. I have been accused, threatened, and attacked to no end. If these Evangelicals had their way, God would rain fire down from Heaven and turn me into a charred marshmallow. Frustrated over God not hearing their imprecatory prayers, these zealots turn to sending me angry, judgmental emails.

Years ago, my email inbox was daily filled with letters from outraged Evangelicals. Not so much these days. I suspect one reason for this is that I warn Evangelicals that if they email me that I reserve the right to make their missives public. The Contact Form states:

If you are an Evangelical Christian, please read Dear Evangelical before sending me an email. If you have a pathological need to evangelize, spread the love of Jesus, or put a good word in for the man, the myth, the legend, please don’t. The same goes for telling me your church/pastor/Jesus is wonderful. I’m also not interested in reading sermonettes, testimonials, Bible verses, or your deconstruction my life. If you email me anyway, I reserve the right to make your message and name public. This blog is read by thousands of people, so keep that in mind when you email me whatever it is you think “God” has laid upon your heart. Do you really want your ignorance put on display for thousands of people to see?

More than a few zealots have rued they day they ignored these words and emailed me anyway, especially letter writers who have atrocious grammar or use language they wouldn’t want their Christian friends to know about. Personally, I find it quite satisfying when I can eviscerate such people. More than a few of them have tucked their tails and run whimpering into the night, never to be heard from again.

I don’t mind Evangelicals disagreeing with me as long as they do so respectfully and politely. Unfortunately, far too many Christians wear boorish — ill-mannered, coarse, contemptible — behavior as a badge of honor. If I politely ask Evangelicals to NOT send me emails and they do so anyway, what am I to make of their behavior? I would NEVER go to Christian websites and email them anti-Christian quotes or excerpts from Christopher Hitchens’ or Bart Ehrman’s books. Why can’t Evangelicals do the same here? I suspect the answer is that many Christians have a sense of entitlement. Thinking that God speaks to them and he wants them to be his mouthpieces, these believers spread their dogma far and wide, regardless of whether it is welcome.

Yesterday, an Evangelical woman by the name of Vicki Frazier emailed me the following:

I just want to say that by rejecting anyone from sharing Scriptire [sic] with you, you have determined to close yourself off from the truth.  Regardless, not just for you, but those who you listen to you, there’s no such thing as “I used to be a Christian” according to the word of God.  This Scripture is about those like you.

1 John 2:18-20 King James Version (KJV)

18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things

It clearly deals with those who, like you, go out from us.  I must go with God on this, you haven’t ever been a Christian.  If you were, you would have stayed..  It’s not my personal opinion, it’s right there in the word of God.  Do I believe God or the claims of a man.  I hope you repent and come to Christ and believe on Him.  The Bible is the absolute truth, sir, as you’ll find out after you take your last breath.

Vicki read all of three pages:

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Women Are the Property of Their Husbands by Larry Solomon

Why I Hate Jesus

Dear Evangelical

and then sent me the aforementioned email. No need to know anything more about my story. The Holy Spirit revealed to her that I was a man who had lived a lie for fifty years; that I had everyone fooled; that I never was a Christian. How could Vicki know for certain her judgment of me was correct? Why, the Bible says _________ and this lines up with what she thinks of me, so her judgment is infallibly and authoritatively correct.

Zealots such as Vicki would make great Vulcan characters in a Star Trek movie. Vulcans (Spock) practiced mind-melding: becoming one with a person. The Vickis of the world think they are so connected to the Christian God that they are one with him. Believing the Bible to be the very words of God, when people such as Vicki read/agree with the what the Bible says, they see themselves as mere spokesmen for the Big Kahuna. Take issue with what Vicki says? Hey, your argument is with God. This kind of thinking, of course, allows her to ignore common conventions of respect, decency, and propriety. When God — the EF Hutton of the universe — speaks, everyone must listen, even if they don’t want to. In Vicki’s mind, God said it, I didn’t. Don’t like it? Tough shit.

As Evangelical zealots are wont to do, Vicki concluded her sermon with a threat: The Bible is the absolute truth, sir, as you’ll find out after you take your last breath. Either I believe what she is saying or I am going to burn in the Lake of Fire for eternity. Here’s the thing, if Heaven is where the Vickis of Christianity will be, why would I want to go to there? Why would I want to spend eternity with people who have such loutish, swinish behavior? No thanks. Of course, there is no Heaven or Hell; there is no afterlife; there is no judgment to come. Too bad when the day comes for Vicki to die that she will not be given a glimpse of the horrible reality that she lived her entire life according to a lie. Instead, she will draw her last breath believing that a mythical God will usher her from this life to the next one, giving her a paid-for room in Heaven’s Trump Tower, complete with room service.

I now there’s nothing I can say that will cause Vicki to reconsider her ways. She’s certain that she is right — end of story. The only hope for her is that something happens in her life that causes her to question her certainty; to ponder that she might be wrong. Until the door of her life becomes cracked a bit, she will remain safe within the Evangelical bubble.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 61, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

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  1. Trenton

    Scriptire, sounds like the unholy marraige of scripture and satire, the gospel according to the GOP(god’s own party) full of truthiness, white american jesus( looking rather orange today) and militaristic displays of all american patriotism and nationalism. Get the athiest comedians on scriptire immediately Its a minefield that can write itself.

  2. Kittybrat

    Oh, those zealots! I can remember being admonished to be a zealot, because otherwise we were merely lukewarm and of course, would spit out! LOL! (Revelation 3:16 KJV “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

    Vicki reminds me of too many self-righteous LOUDMOUTHS for Christ. Notice how she “warns” you in that last statement, yet it reads like so much gleeful declaration?

    1. Ellen

      Kittybrat- Perhaps Revelation 3:16 is the biblical source of the “swallow/spit” church sign controversy? In my neck of the woods, a local church recently made headlines with that unfortunate phrasing on its sign, but a quick internet search shows that it’s been showing up on other church signs (or has been photoshopped) for months.

      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        A local Methodist church had this on their sign several years ago. I, for one, hate church message signs. My series On the Road Looking for God’s True Church collates the stupid church signs I’ve come across over the years.

      2. Kittybrat

        I am certain that is the source. Ridiculous, but also hilarious!

  3. ObstacleChick

    And the winning tickets are as follows:
    No true Scotsman fallacy for 100 pts
    Threat of hell for 100 pts
    Scripture quote for 50 pts

    Tune in next time for more opportunities to guess which arguments the evangelical zealot will use on atheist Bruce!

    1. Tammy

      We need a bingo card for these self-righteous emails. Too funny. I love the way she decided to give everyone the Christian version of “f*** off” in her last comment. Beautiful and a classic.

  4. maura

    thank you for your good work. i hope you can always keep it up.

  5. Vicki

    Sad to say, you folks will tell yourselves whatever you need to about those coming to you with the truth of God’s word. Your contempt is duly noted. There is no “gleeful declaration “ , just God’s truth and concern for those who reject it. But have a good day. I won’t apologize for caring about people’s eternal destinies. I’m certain that God is right, just as you’re certain that you are.

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      The focus of this post was your boorish behavior; your lack of respect for the owner of this blog. Your comment (and email) betrays a commonly held Evangelical belief: I can do and say anything I want to because God “tells” me or commands me to do so.

      You don’t care about our eternal destinies. Your faux concern is an attempt to cover up your need to be right. You seek out atheists, not to evangelize them, but to reinforce your certainty.

      You ignore my request about email content. To what end? Do you think you are going to say something I haven’t heard before or make an argument that up until today I have never heard? Sorry to break the news to you: there is nothing you can say that I haven’t heard already or didn’t use myself back when I was a Christian pastor. Do you think you are the first Fundamentalist zealot who has quoted 1 John 2 to me or attempted to ignorantly suggest I never was a Christian?

      You read the post Dear Evangelical so you know the things Evangelicals have said to me in the past, yet you go ahead preach away anyway. What, then, in your behavior would I find attractive? That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.

      Your comments harm your cause, driving people away from and not towards your God. Have you had great success evangelizing atheists? Of course not. Most of the atheists who comment on this site know the Bible quite well. One of the reasons we’re atheists is because we have actually read the Bible. Many of us were either in the ministry or active in the church. We know all we need to know about God/Jesus/Christianity/The Bible. Thus, we are not good targets for evangelization. Your time would be better spent evangelizing people who are ignorant about the Bible and its pernicious anti-humans teachings.

    2. Jada

      The only thing going on here is you feeding your ego. Perhaps what you should apologize for is being a malignant narcissist.

    3. przxqgl

      ROFLMAO! 🤣

    4. Jada

      Your histrionics are duly noted. And dismissed.

  6. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

    Here’s Vicki’s email response to me:

    Regardless of your scathing diatribe, I’d say most Christians post here because they care about you and feel that God wants them to say something. Where one spends eternity isn’t a laughing matter. No threats, disrespect, bad language, or whatever. Just sharing of God’s truth which you’re free to reject and make accusations about. I’ve listened to atheists online before and most are just downright nasty and spend their time seeing who can blaspheme the God they say doesn’t exist the most. Not all, but most. As a book author says, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist. The universe, galaxies, earth, and us didn’t just bleep ourselves into existence. But I know that atheists have fortified themselves with all kinds of arguments that sound good to themselves so they can continue to reject the Creator. In reality, not all professing atheists are true atheists. They just show they’re angry with God about something and how can you be angry with someone who doesn’t exist? I’ve heard them rail about how God did this or that to them or a family member. I’m not saying that‘s you, but it’s true of many professing atheists. As for those who claim they were once Christian, I stand with God and will continue to stand with Him on that issue. Either He is lying and doesn’t know what He’s talking about, which is impossible, or people are simply deceived. See Matthew 27: 22-24. I’d like to say more but I’m sure it’ll all be twisted through your atheist lenses as you twisted my first communication to make me to look a certain way before your readers. May you and your readers have a very nice day.

    Mark 6:11
    “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.”

    King James Version (KJV)

    1. Jada

      No one here is “angry” at “god.” What we are angry at are godbotherers who trample every boundary known to man. You’re toxic and divisive and you actually exist, unlike the psychopath you worship.

  7. NealR.


    I can tell you are quite convinced your position is indeed the correct one, and I know what it is like to be in that position. I told myself for years that Christianity was true just because I was afraid of going to hell if I was wrong. Truth is, you will never be able to discover the validity of a truth claim if you are in a constant state of fear. I will tell you, I had to put aside my fear of hell to even get anywhere when I was a believer. There are thousands of ideas about salvation and what YHWH really wants. All using the Bible to justify their pet beliefs. It drove me crazy trying to even determine what Christianity even really was. Who knows what people in the 1st century even believed.

    In your bible references, you mentioned the one about antichrist rising, and more to come. John, correct? I don’t have my Bible in front of me. Did you ever consider the implication of this syntax? The more I read the NT, there seemed to be a running theme of an expectation of Jesus’ imminent return, and the kingdom of heaven established at any moment. If all of these writers were “inspired,” how did they all seem to get that prediction so wrong? That theme and the dead saints in Matthew coming back to life to loiter in Jerusalem was the beginning of the end for me. Once I started reading material outside of evangelical bubbles, I realized how bizarre all of it really was.

  8. Vicki

    The blog owner hAs made up his mind about my or any Christian’s motives but he’s incorrect about mine.

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      No, I actually know a lot of Christians who are thoughtful and kind; who don’t evangelize; who don’t disrespect people. You might be surprised to know a lot of the readers of this blog are Christians — not your brand, but Christians nonetheless.

      The fundamental issue is that you knew I didn’t want to receive emails such as yours, asked that they not be sent, yet you emailed me anyway. That you did so says a lot about you as a person and how you view people with different beliefs from yours. Don’t want to be seen in such a negative light? Change your behavior.

  9. Kittybrat

    When all one knows is the faith, that is the lens through which all life is seen. Period.

  10. Vicki

    And what is a Christian to do when we feel God compelling us to say something? You say you’ ve heard it all but how can we be be sure of that? And as far as Christians go who don’t make some attempt at evangelization in some way however small it may be… ever, they’re not doing what the Bible says , to go to the world with the gospel. Yes, I know you don’t believe the Bible, but we do. So I’m sorry to go against your wishes but I felt God wanted me to speak. Surely the other Christians who come here, if they believe the Bible, can’t be content that you’re lost according to the Bible they believe in. It’s not about us “needing to be right.” It’s about what we believe the actual truth is. They really never say a thing to you about it? Then I’m curious as to what they do say.

    1. Jada

      Say it and don’t be surprised and/or butthurt if you’re told to bugger off. That’s what a mature person does.

    2. Henriette

      Vicki, the Bible also says, “Don’t throw your pearls to the swine.” You could have kept your pearls to yourself (just as the Bible says). The result? You – happy, Bruce – happy. Everybody happy. By sending your email to Bruce you don’t change a thing – he’s received countless emails like that before. Maybe you simply misheard God on the matter of writing to him. Bruce is helping people (see Matthew 25:34-36), do not judge him (see Luke 6:37) and leave the rest to God.

      Bruce, I’m just curious what percentage of the emails you’ve received over the years contained judging and threats? How many was it in terms of numbers since 2007? Thousands or tens of thousands?

      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        I wish I had hung on to all the emails from years ago. The volume was much higher back then, I’d wake up each day to an inbox stuffed with emails from angry, offended Evangelicals. In recent years, the volume has greatly dropped. I suspect my warning about me publicizing their nastiness helped in that regard. I get a lot more THANK YOU emails now. I find these emails encouraging. I also get “I need your help” emails. Many of them are heartbreaking, tales of how Evangelicalism ruined their lives.

        The negative email used to cause me psychological harm. Several writers over the years knew this and they would continue to send me nasty, judgmental emails even after I send them to stop. These days, I just feel sad for such letter writers.

  11. ObstacleChick

    Vicki, I wish you had read more about why Bruce and his guests no longer believe in deities in general and in whatever specific Christian version of deity and spirits that you believe in. I hope you avail yourself of the local public library and expose yourself to books outside Christian apologetics genre. Read about church history from the inception of the organized church. Read about how agents of the bible were written.

    As for conversing with us, you are coming from a preconception that your version of deity and afterlife and subsequent penal system is truth. I would wager that you have been taught these doctrines your entire life. I would wager that you have read little to no scholarship about religions, specifically Christisnity, outside apologetics. Bruce and many readers of Bruce’s blog, be they atheists or progressive Christians, could put together a massive reading list to help you educate yourself
    Vicki, it is scary to start researching scholarship that differs from the limiting dogmas you have been taught. Indeed, your version of religion commands you in a variety of ways NOT to read divergent ideas and threatens you with punishment of hell in eternity or of punishment on earth or both. I get your fear I had it too. Ask yourself, what does it say about a “truth” that commands and threatens adherents not to study other ideas? Is that really truth?

  12. Kittybrat

    You are claiming to and (as I used to do when I was also an Evangelical Fundamentalist Christian), go tell EVERYBODY how to go to heaven and avoid hellfire. I feel for you. And herein is the problem. You decided that what Bruce requested was not going to be honored because “God”. That is absolutely and blatantly disrespecting his autonomy. You have decided that, through God, you have the absolute right to barge in and tell him he lying. He never really was a Christian. How the hell do you know? Because of an ancient text that has dubious origins and fits what you already believe, apparently.
    What if I say YOU are lying? Here’s one for you, Vicki, now pay attention, Proverbs 18:19 (KJV)
    “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.”
    You call someone a liar and wonder why the offense? You come in here claiming to know the truth and we do not and anyone who says they were once Christians cannot have really been…
    Listen up. I say “Don’t touch me.”. Somebody touches me because “God”. Is that OK? Hell no!
    So when someone says to you not to do something and you do it anyhow, that is rude, aggressively disrespectful, and arrogant.
    Yes, we are being honest.
    Some of us are Christians here. Some of us are atheists. Some are former-Christians. You, Vicki, do not get to use your version of what your god has said to be boorish and then declare how all of US are the ones who are rejecting a god that does not even exist. YOU make people mad, not your god. How can somebody be mad at something that doesn’t exist? It’s easy to get mad at you, though, because you’ve behaved abominably. YOU have behaved dishonorably. Not your god, Vicki, YOU.
    What makes people mad about you? Not your speaking about your beliefs. Have at it. But when someone asks you not to and you do it anyhow, that is all on YOU, not your imaginary friend.

  13. Matilda

    Respectfully, Vicki, we’ve read the bible, studied theology for years in some cases. I want to disabuse you of a commonly held fundy delusion, namely, that The Word Of God Has Power To Save. So chucking a few cherry-picked verses at us is demeaning, we know them as well as you do. The words of the bible have no more power to ‘save’ than reading me a golf manual would convince me to take up golf. I’d give up on us happy heathens if I were you. Maybe you could go onto a vegetarian blog and tell them your favourite meat recipes and see how that works out.

  14. Vicki

    Well bottom line, I believe the Bible is the word of God and atheists do not so guess I’m done here. Have a nice day.

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      You believe what the human authors of Bible said about God. God didn’t write anything.

      Don’t forget to shake the dust off your sandals as you leave.

    2. John Arthur

      Why are you going behind Bruce’s back and discussing these issues over on Spaniard VIII’s website called Spiritual Minefield? (see his section on Atheism: The Darkness of Atheism, Part 2)

      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        Vicki and Spaniard VIII, two peas in a pod. Evidently, “thou shaft not lie” isn’t in their Bibles.

        At least they recognize my magical powers 🙂

        1. John Arthur

          Spaniard tells Vicky that he used to see demons running around his house. He needs to visit a psychiatrist. I think that he might be mentally unhinged.

        2. John Arthur

          Yes, he’s a “liar for Jesus”. He claims that he knows the heart of atheists. He says “The condition of the hearts of Atheists are as follows: Haters of God, Greedy, Revilers, Sexually Immoral, Hate what is good and clings to what is evil.” (See his post, Satan’s Hidden Signature in Evolution, Part 2).

          Maybe, he should read your posts related to the sexual activities of Fundamentalist pastors before casting stones at atheists. He’s a complete fruitcake!

      2. GeoffT

        I’ve just been across to Spaniard V111’s site and, wow, what a jumble of ill-considered gibberish it is. I got as far as how evolution is something to do with Satan (of course the writer is so illogical that even his reasoning on this is difficult to understand). On evolution he makes the creationist simpleton error of saying there are ‘no transitional fossils’, presumably expecting something like a horse with the head of a bull. In fact, every single fossil is, strictly speaking, ‘transitional’ but, ignoring this possibly over technical point, there are literally thousands of transitional fossils! Google ‘archaeopteryx’ and go from there! Idiot.

        The irony is that I spend large proportions of each year in Spain (the joy of walking round in a t-shirt in November!) and I find that most Spaniards, certainly the younger ones, share my views.

    3. Becky

      What is hateful is Christians coming to Bruce’s blog and arguing with him. You say atheists want to shut up Christians? Atheists merely want to have equal rights. Christians think they deserve to have the power in this country and rule everyone else. And Bruce merely wants his BLOG free of lecturing and harassing. You think your words are twisted? No, atheists don’t need to twist your words. Evangelical Christians have proven how hateful they are in the last 2 years.

      PS: I’m not an atheist but a theist. But seeing how little love many Christians have convinces me day by day that I want no part of that religion anymore.

      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        Vicki, who can’t figure out how to properly comment, said : Whatever you need to tell yourselves.

        1. Becky

          It just really struck a nerve in me, her and that other dude (can’t remember his name and don’t care) happily gossiping about you, how lost you are etc etc on his blog. And then she’s incapable of taking any responsibility for her words. Seriously, what happened to Christians who believe in loving their neighbor? (I know, they can’t be found in the fundamentalist/evangelical Christian community anymore. Any that believe love matters have left and denounced them.)

          1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Atheists don’t count as neighbors. Many Evangelicals view me as Satan’s emissary. Thus, they show me the same decency and respect as they do Satan. The only difference, of course, is that I’m a real flesh and blood human and Satan is a myth.

            I do plan to use their little gossip session as fodder for a blog post. 🙂

          2. Becky

            Yeah, I know. I just get upset when a friend (you) is unjustly maligned. That’s when I’m mostly likely to denounce those evangelicals/fundamentalists doing the denouncing of you. But I’m not interested in debate as they use logical fallacies. I’m interested in facts and reason. They appeal to “faith” which is a feeling and a decision to believe unsubstantiated myths.

  15. Brian

    Belief in the book as magic manna from the commander in chief in heaven is a remnant of a general acceptance of gods in history. People have always admitted to Gods and often powerful leaders were assigned the position. I believe that as a very young child, I thought of my parents as God for a time and it might be that this human phenomenon is one basis for the concept itself. Any cursory reading of Bart Ehrman displays the pattern very clearly. If Vicki truly wanted to honor the Truth and not just her feelings, she might read a bit of Ehrman history, Start with, How Jesus Became God. Vicki, don’t worry that this book will threaten your faith: It will not because your faith is based in your feelings, your complete conviction that the book is God speaking Truth to you. Bart Ehrman does not want to change your faith, only improve your understanding of history. I was once told (at Baptist Church) that the only book worth reading is the Bible. I suspect that the person who said thismeant that the Bible captures all that realy matters in life, at least that is my most generous acceptance of the words. So. If indeed this book is so essential as to be called the only book worth reading, then does it not follow that someone like you, Vicki, would be inspired to increase and enhance your faith not just through reading it but by reading scholars who write about it and explain in great detail the history of the book? Any idea just how the Nicene Creed came into being? It’s a very interesting history and worthy of your attention as someone who believes the Bible is the word of God. Happy trails. And, on this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend I would like to acknowledge my thankfulness for this forum, to Bruce and the generous commenters here.


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