Preaching through the Internet

I abhor those emails and posts that circulate, "repost if you love God," the ones that are constantly preaching at us, questioning our current lives.

The posts that are usually something like this:

Why do we sleep in church but when the sermon is over we suddenly wake up?

Why is it so hard to talk about God but so easy to talk about sex?

Why are we so bored to look at a Christian magazine but find it so easy to read a playboy magazine?

Why is it so easy to ignore Godly messages, yet we repost the nasty ones?

Why are churches getting smaller but bars and clubs are growing?

Think about it...are you going to repost this or ignore it because you think you'll get laughed at? Just remember God is always watching you.

Repost this, and title it as "Don't look if you have a weak stomach!" If you truly love God and you know he's always there for you.

To begin with, I don't believe in God. I'm quite proudly an Atheist, and while I easily respect and honor other religions and their beliefs, and find it interesting to learn about each of them, I don't agree with quite a bit of what they believe.

However, I have what one could easily call contempt for the Christian religion, or in the very least many of its followers. It is truthfully the hypocritical ones that I hold such disdain for, those that go to Church for selfish reasons, not always because they believe in their Lord and savior, but to further their own lives; the materialistic side, not the spiritual. It's these people usually, or the fanatics, that shove their religion on you, stating that you should believe exactly what they do, telling you that it's either their way, or the Highway to Hell-quite literally. They expect us to be the peaceful little sheep, converting easily from the "heathens" we are to the God fearing Christians they expect us all to be. We are expected to keep our own beliefs behind closed doors, not able to exercise our own freedom of speech or freedom of religion, yet they are free to spout their beliefs in our faces, telling us, such as in the message above, that our ways of life are wrong and that we must convert or face the wrath of God.

I took the time to reply to this message, knowing the responses I would get. Let me tell you of my statements, and then of the replies I received.

Why do we sleep in church but when the sermon is over we suddenly wake up?

You fall asleep in church and awake when the sermon is over because obviously the preacher is monotonous and his words lull you into sleep, and when finally his dull voice is no longer resounding through the halls, you awaken. Besides that, as quite a brilliant reader pointed out, many priests, while they are preaching loudly from their podiums, do not always believe what they sermonize themselves. Thus, you are listening to someone who is lecturing you on fearing a God that they don't really hold a true belief in. What is more hypocritical (not to mention dull) than that?

Why is it so hard to talk about God but so easy to talk about sex?

Sex is much simpler to approach, for a simple reason. In today's society, sex has become a much more open thing (for that matter, religion has, also). A very thoughtful reviewer pointed out to me that sex is something we experience directly, while religion we do not. Furthermore, sex is not an easy subject to discuss, in polite company at least. Sure, most teenagers make very crass comments about it, while religion is often avoided in their so-called "decent" conversation (and you will often find the same is true for adults). Despite that, however, conversing of such things around others is often frowned upon. This is the fault of the Church, reaching as far back as when the Church began; Christianity believed that such lewd acts as sex were wrong, quite likely for the reason that they desired to exercise their dominance of the people of the time. Whatever the reason it was, sex (especially gay sex) is often frowned upon.

Why are we so bored to look at a Christian magazine but find it so easy to read a playboy magazine?

The obvious reason being that the pictures are better in a Playboy magazine, obviously. Most people don't enjoy reading, and would much rather enjoy the images. What type of these would a good Christian magazine offer?

Why is it so easy to ignore Godly My space messages, yet we repost the nasty ones?

We are teenagers, or at least most of the My Space users are. Sex is something we are naturally curious about. On another note, all of the godly messages are exactly the same; "repost this if you love God." Then, it is generally followed by a "if you don't repost, you will burn in hell"…then quite possibly include a crude word.

Why are churches getting smaller but bars and clubs are growing?

I haven't seen the churches getting any smaller. Actually, I've noticed the exact opposite occurring. They are actually building three churches that I know of right around my neighborhood, while the only bar near it is part of a restaurant, and no club is within the surrounding area.

Think about it...are you going to repost this or ignore it because you think you'll get laughed at?

I truthfully detest this question. Why must they always assume that we are so shallow and self-centered that our only reasoning behind not reposting this would be because we fear the mockery of our peers? It couldn't be, of course, because we find the whole thing ridiculous, or don't believe in their God. No, it must be because of our superficiality.

Or even the reason that, yes, we do believe in this religion, but don't agree with reposting stupid articles such as this, just to "prove" that you do. Proof of faith should be shown by actually following, or attempting to follow, the word of God, not by attempting to push it off on everyone else who you claim to be "non believers".

Just remember God is always watching you.

I've heard this one quite often, and truthfully, the only thought that comes to mind is this: "Well, that sounds a bit perverted!" (And no, that is not my only thought on the manner, and actually, somewhat of a joke, for those curious.)

Now, they would claim that this was through the fault of my shallowness and sex obsessive attitude that can be blamed on the current society and my own atheistic views, and that if I truly believed in God I would not have such sinful thoughts. Of course my views on religion are always to blame for every fault in my person. Why not; they believe in their God and their savior, and are the epitome of perfection in human society. Why should my own discredit of such things, my heretic thoughts not be to blame?

I expected many angry reactions, and that was what I got. Incredulous and demanding messages, furious as to why I would blaspheme in such a way. After all, it is offensive and wrong to have radical thoughts that differ from what is said in the Bible. Never mind that their Holy Book was written thousands of years ago, by man, and has been changed hundreds of times since then, also by man.

Even if it has not been changed purposefully, the Holy Book has been translated hundreds of times over the past two thousand years; as such, some words are bound to be mistaken, not even intentionally, when it is translated so many times. For example, the word holocaust (not in speaking of the actual period called the Holocaust, referring to the genocide of the Jews by the Nazis in the 1930's), has two different meanings: a massive slaughter, or a sacrificial offering that is consumed totally by flames.

Now, in this sentence:

"Because of the sinful behavior of the people, a holocaust was demanded by their god, Mitran."

No, interpreting that, you could come to one of two conclusions: that these people's god demanded that the entire race be entirely wiped out, or that they demanded a sacrifice to be burned. It is at the readers discretion to translate, and the exact meaning is not given forthrightly.

There however can be no fault in the Bible, because it's God's word, and such a thing can't be corrupted or distorted.

God would strike down any such offender with a lightning bolt, I'm sure.

I wrote this letter because I am quite sick of people preaching me on such manners, telling me that my way of thought, my own convictions are totally incorrect, and thrusting the proper way to behave and believe on me. I am tired of these people thinking that they may say whatever they want to me on their religion, replying when someone else gets angry that 'you didn't have to read it,' or 'this is the right way of life.' Well, they did not have to read what I had said then, what I say now. It was through choice that they did such a thing, and now I cannot be blamed for their choice, nor can anyone else be blamed for mine. It is a freedom they have, and I did nothing to control it, as it is a freedom that I have, and you do nothing to control that. They have no right to be so furious with me for such a thing, yet still many are, like the hypocrites I knew them to be. Then again, no one likes someone preaching to them on something they don't believe.

For those of us that are Americans, we all have the freedom of religion. We have the freedom of speech, something we much enjoy and should use to our power; I am in fact using both currently to express my feelings and myself. Unfortunately, these things do not always get us the best reactions, and despite the fact that yes, we do have the freedom to do it, it is often frowned upon by those around us, made to seem wrong just because it is not agreed upon by the majority of society.

However, we also have a little thing called tact, something that should be exercised more regularly by everyone when speaking on such matters.

Just so everyone is aware, I realize I had no tact in writing this; that would be why I added everyone. I didn't mean to offend anyone, by writing this, however, I do want to open your eyes to how others think. I do realize that some will be offended by this, and that is fine. I was blunt, I was to the point, I expressed myself as I saw fit. You, however, made the point to read it. I made no effort to disguise what this was, to trick the reader with using titles such as "Don't Read if You Have a Weak Stomach!" simply to get others to pay attention to it, to read it without realizing what they are getting into. You knew exactly what you were reading, the ideas of an atheist who has a very low opinion of the hypocrisy of religion.