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The One Evangelical Behavior that Annoys the Hell Out of Me

annoy me

I am sure some of you are saying, “Just one?” There are more than a few Evangelical behaviors that annoy the hell (and heaven) out of me, but there is one that really irritates me, and that behavior will be the focus of this post.

I interact with Evangelical Christians every day; day in and day out, seven days a week. Emails, blog comments, social media comments, social media messages, and even letters sent via snail mail. Every day I am told I am a false prophet, a reprobate, a tool of Satan, and a deceiver. These loving, kind, thoughtful followers of Jesus attack, criticize, and judge, rarely trying to thoughtfully engage me in meaningful discussion. Sadly, their assaults have hardened me a bit, making me much more likely to tell them to “go fuck yourself” than I was years ago. When I first started seeing a counselor a decade ago, I expressed to him my naive frustration over how Evangelicals responded to me telling my story. I thought, at the time, if I just shared my story, people would understand. My counselor chuckled a bit and said, “Bruce, you think they give a shit about what you think? They don’t.” He was, of course, right.

Over the past two weeks, I have engaged in discussions with Evangelicals on my Facebook page. Whether out of boredom or wanting to reach them, I responded to comments they left on my page. Other readers did the same. They commented, and I responded. I thought, at least they will understand my viewpoint. The latest discussion was over gun control in light of the latest mass shooting. The Evangelical man, of course, was anti-gun control; a man who has a blow-up doll called Sexy Second Amendment he sleeps with every night. God knows what they do under the sheets. 🙂 Another man also weighed in on the matter. Minds weren’t being changed, but we were making the case for the regulation of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; reasonable opinions in light of the continued slaughter of school children by murderers using weapons of war. And suddenly, the discussion was over, and all the comments disappeared. The Evangelical gun nut deleted his comments, and since our comments were in response to his, our comments were deleted too. The man also blocked me.

I have a limited amount of physical capital I can spend every day. If I take the time to respond to an Evangelical, the least they can do is not delete their comments. I realize that some Evangelicals quickly find themselves in over their heads when interacting with me. I am a former Evangelical. I know the Bible inside and out. Many Evangelicals think I am just an ignorant atheist. I am not. When such people finally realize they stepped in it, they are embarrassed, and what better way to cover up bad arguments and poorly thought-out beliefs than to delete them and pretend they were never uttered?

I think I have reached a point where when Evangelicals come in hot on social media, I am inclined to just delete their comments and ban them. Then they can whine about persecution or some other complaint butt-hurt Evangelicals are known for. I simply don’t care.


Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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.

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    Yeah. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that people don’t change their opinions when presented with facts. In the end, they go with what they feel. They feel like they are right and their cause is just. which negates everything, even children getting massacred.

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    I don’t engage with evangelicals, since I’m not on their radar like they are with you Bruce. I do engage with some right wingers, my childhood home town in rural Michigan is a hot bed for MAGA, and when I talk to people my age from my town I’m dismayed how much they turned into their parents. Redistricting has also given me a traitress for a congresswoman who likes to post a Bible verse on her official Facebook page. One thing I’ve noticed is that they are drinking from the same well. You hear the same terms and word order. One popular during Trump’s impeachment was “duly elected President”. Lately I’ve been hearing “woke communist” as well as how bad the economy is doing (or will do). The problem with engaging such people, while you do get a dopamine burst from giving them a good zinger, a good zinger will never change anyone’s mind. The comment deleting is trying to sweep it under the carpet. They’ll forget that they lost in a few minutes and they can retreat and delight that their world view is left pristine and unadulterated by nuance or reality. The recent revelation that Fox “news” is afraid to tell their viewers the truth confirms what we’ve known for some time. It isn’t about giving fair and balanced news, it’s about confirming the audience’s current prejudices. In fact Trump’s success in 2016 was largely about just making issues of what the right wing media was preaching. While Trump is not an intelligent man, his malignant narcissism does give him a tool that can be quite cunning.

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    Yes, I agree that it is better, when possible, to simply not engage and remain silent. In the end, they believe whatever they believe based on faith. Faith is a nebulous black cloud that will never respond to logic and reason. Christians believe what they believe because they believe it.

    But it’s not always appropriate to remain silent. That will allow some dangerous beliefs to remain unchallenged and that can be harmful to people. So in your example, while your effort to debate them ultimately was deleted, people will still have seen the debate and may have found the help or strength they needed. Ultimately, your debate shamed them into silence when, for whatever reason, they realized their comments. Sometimes it is better to debate, even if it feels futile, so that the harmful beliefs of Christians are not left in challenged.

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    Merle Hertzler

    I never seem to get away from discussions with Evangelicals. And yes, I have seen the same type of behavior.

    I regularly participated in the old Apologetics section of the Christian Forums website. It was a great place. The head of that site made an open commitment to fair and open dialog with atheists. I had a blast there, starting over 20 threads on every major subject covered at my old website. There were some amazing conversations, with Christians often joining in to refute the radical content posted on the boards. I linked to all those threads from my old site, so that, from any page, one could find discussion of each topic.

    The site had strict policies on respectful discord, so it was often a safe place to debate without the usual nonsense on the Internet. As word got out, the site became a haven of skeptics, with Christians quickly becoming outnumbered on any thread. The administrators were constantly shutting things down that didn’t go well. Then one day they had enough of it, and shut the whole thing down. They removed the entire Apologetics section from the board. I lost all those threads and thousands of posts.

    Years later they brought the section back, and I cautiously entered some of the debates. I got involved in a debate with a Calvinist who continuously lied about what I was saying. After multiple attempts to show I was not saying what he claimed, I finally wrote, “Good sir, with all due respect, you are lying. You know that you are lying.” Shortly after that, the apologetics forum was shut down again. I suspect it happened because my opponent complained and the administrators got tired of the fuss. This time, they left all the old threads on the board.

    Anyway, that thread is still on the net at

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    MJ Lisbeth

    Living in New York City and traveling mainly in enlightened (or at least informed) circles, I rarely have to engage with Evangelicals or Fundamentalists directly. But I occasionally do; there are some, mainly among the religious communities and in the outlying areas. Also, some are relatives of mine.

    But I don’t get into discussions about faith unless I must. Some of them can’t even acknowledge the findings of the best researchers in any field or that I know the things I know in the areas in which I am schooled and practicing. So how can I or anyone who isn’t vastly more skilled or patient than I am hope to have a meaningful, respectful dialogue about matters that are, by definition, ones of belief?

    Then there are those who believe I am “confused” or “wicked” because I have “chosen” to live in my gender identity. Now, if science doesn’t trump (pun intended) faith for them in matters like climate change or epidemiology, how can they see that people like me don’t simply wake up one morning and decide to put on our male or female identities–or that other people don’t suddenly decide to change their majors from Johnny to Joanie while they’re in college.

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    Yulya Sevelova

    One can’t reason with fanatics, especially those who expect and desire Civil War 2.0. I think that’s really what a good many of them want. An excuse to use those guns stored in a room somewhere. They believe they can turn America into the real- life ” Handmaid’s Tale.”. I watched the series on DVD. As with Stephen King’s “Running Man”- a must read for anyone who finds dictatorships a threat, the book is so much more than the movie,which Hollywood turned into a parody. It was written under the pseudonym Richard Bachmann. It proved prophetic, as does the Handmaid’s Tale. You can’t reason with fanatics.

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Bruce Gerencser