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I Make No Apologies for Being a Curmudgeon

Yesterday, I posted the following on Facebook:

I love wearing my rainbow suspenders. Sure, Iโ€™m an LGBTQ ally, but I just like wearing them. And they keep me from exposing my ass to the world. That said, wearing them during Pride Month brings out the glares. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I take great joy, pleasure, and smug satisfaction in irritating the Heaven out of bigots, homophobes, transphobes, and religious Fundamentalists. No one has yet confronted me, but the glares are telling. And if someone stupidly, ignorantly, and foolishly confronts me? โ€œI pity the fool, โ€œ to quote Mr. T. I am an old, cranky curmudgeon. And I know words. Lots of words. Youโ€™ve been warned. ๐Ÿ˜‚

David Young, an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) evangelist — married to my wife’s cousin — responded to my post with this:

You may be old, but you donโ€™t have to be a cranky curmudgeon. ๐Ÿ˜

My friend Dale D. responded:

Yes, he does! Otherwise, heโ€™s not Bruce!

Dale understands me. We’ve been friends for years. I appreciated his willingness to defend my curmudgeonly ways.

I posted two comments. Let me give you the second one first so you understand my use the word curmudgeon:

My definition of curmudgeon: cranky and opinionated โ€” you know, in a good way.๐Ÿ˜‚ Iโ€™ve been blogging since 2007. Iโ€™ve been a prolific writer most of my life โ€” both as a Christian pastor and as an atheist preacher. ๐Ÿ˜‚ One thing people learn about me, shit on my doorstep or attack my family and I will likely respond. Turn the other cheek is overrated, often how loving, kind people are abused by assholes. Iโ€™ve always stood up for such people, and Iโ€™m more than willing to stand my own ground. Need someone to charge hell with an empty squirt gun? Iโ€™m your guy. ๐Ÿ˜‚According to those who know me, Iโ€™m a nice guy. Iโ€™ll leave it to them to say whether my curmudgeonly personality gets in the way of our friendships. I only have three friends, but who is counting? ๐Ÿ˜‚

And here’s my response to David Young:

Spend every day getting hateful, nasty emails, comments, and social media messages from Evangelicals, and you might be a cranky curmudgeon too. Walk in my shoes, David, and then weโ€™ll talk. When Jesus-loving people have threatened to murder you, assault your wife/daughter, or tell you they hope you die a painful death, then weโ€™ll talk. When people tell you that the incurable diseases that are killing you are deserved judgment from God, then weโ€™ll talk. When you are the subject of sermons, blog posts, forum articles, and social media posts (often containing lies and distortions), then weโ€™ll talk. You see, you have no idea where Iโ€™ve been, where I am, or what Iโ€™ve experienced. We havenโ€™t seen each other, in what, a decade? The last time weโ€™ve had a meaningful conversation? 2005? No offense, David, but you donโ€™t know me (or my family). As a Christian, I had to endure abuse from church members and colleagues in the ministry. What would Jesus do, right? As an atheist, I no longer have to silently endure bad treatment by others. I am free to be who I am. And at this juncture in life, this means Iโ€™m a cranky curmudgeon. ๐Ÿ˜‚But, I can be a nice guy too. To quote the Bible, do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Iโ€™m sure this is far more than you bargained for. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Lesson? Don’t tell an old cranky curmudgeon that he doesn’t have to be a cranky curmudgeon — as if there is something inherently wrong with him. My tombstone will one day say:

bruce gerencser curmudgeon

Sure, I will be in Hell with my fellow curmudgeons, but to quote Frank Sinatra, I will say, “I did it my way.” ๐Ÿ™‚

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen 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.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

16 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Trenton

    Props on that tombstone. Anyone who makes it to your age has earned the right to be a cranky curmudgeon, no questions asked. Of course if any took the time to maybe think about the root causes of why people become curmudgeons in the first placeโ€ฆ

  2. Avatar
    BJW

    Excellent. My husband is a bit of a curmudgeon too. Sometimes I have to be the curmudgeon whisperer! ๐Ÿ˜‰ As for you Bruce, you get to wear that label with pride. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Avatar
    William

    ‘You may be old, but you donโ€™t have to be a cranky curmudgeon.’

    Fundamentalists just can’t help but not allow you to be you, even with passive aggressive comments like above. They have a sin to answer for, always interfering in business which should not concern them.

  4. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    Well, Bruce, considering what you’ve been through, and what you endure with your illnesses and all, who could blame you for being a curmudgeon once in a blue moon ?? As for this David Young he’s a dolt, with a total lack of empathy. If being a curmudgeon means not taking crap anymore, on your own behalf or someone else’s, good for you ! I know for a fact that stress is a killer, and being a chronic people- pleaser will put a person in the hospital. Seen it often enough. Used to be one, now I have an edge to me, and I’m learning as I go not to take anymore crap from others. This is opposite to ” doormat teaching” that our ears were banged with ! It feels great to go independent minded, and grow a spine. I also notice that Fundies themselves are often loudly angry anyway. Talk about calling a kettle black ! Of all people, they have NO right to label you.

    • Avatar
      Kel

      One of the pastors in my home church once said in a sermon that it is easier to please God that to please the congregation (my mom wagged her finger at this โ€“ inappropriate to say from the pulpit, she said. Well ๐Ÿ˜‚).
      The same man later confessed to me that he doubts his calling, partly triggered by the disrespectful treatment he received from the elders.

      Iโ€™m sure he has never received even a fraction of the hate mails that Bruce must have endured. So I surely canโ€™t blame Bruce for being a curmudgeon.

  5. Avatar
    Dennis Russell

    As a curmudgeon myself I give you my full support as a fellow of curmudgeoness. We could start a church called The Fellowship of Curmudgeonly Behavior. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  6. Avatar
    Sage

    I think that tombstone would be fabulous. It would become a must see destination for those weird people that roam cemeteries, not that I know anyone that roams cemeteries or anythingโ€ฆ

    Anyway, I think itโ€™s better to be a cranky curmudgeon who cares about people and equality instead of a cranky Christian who hates.

  7. Avatar
    Obstaclechick

    So it’s not ok for Bruce to be a curmudgeon, but it is OK to worship Trump who went way beyond curmudgeon status to a$$hole status. Huh.

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away!

Bruce Gerencser