Those Darn Religious Folk
Posted by spritzophrenia on December 31, 2010
I’m reading the wonderful Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich, courtesy of Happygirl. Early in the piece she’s working as a waitress in a bland hotel restaurant where, despite her best intentions, she discovers “customers are the enemy”.
“The worst, for some reason, are the Visible Christians– like the ten-person table, all jolly and sanctified after Sunday night service, who run me mercilessly and then leave me $1 on a $92 bill. Or the guy with the crucifiction T-shirt (‘Someone to Look Up To’) who complains that his baked potato is too hard and his iced tea too icy (I cheerfully fix both) and leaves no tip at all. As a general rule, people wearing crosses or “What would Jesus do?” buttons look at us disapprovingly no matter what we do, as if they were confusing waitressing with Mary Magalene’s original profession.” ~ p 36
Depending on whose statistics you read over 75% of the USA identify as Christian. That’s three out of every four people you meet! So: How come the USA has the huge crime rate, divorce rate and sectarianism it does? Why do political debates there turn into hate-fests? Why is racism, homophobia and sexism still so common? Why is the US military still killing thousands overseas? Why is the USA not a paradise of love and acceptance? Why are there so many poor and homeless people and drug addicts there? Why is alcoholism and spouse abuse rampant? Why is the USA the world’s largest producer and consumer of porn?
Why, if the USA is largely populated by people who follow Jesus, do so many working people struggle in poverty and debt even while the richest 1% earn hundreds of millions annually? I don’t mean to offend anyone, I dearly love both the country and my friends who live there. There just seems to be a huge disconnect between beliefs and practice.
When I was a churchian, this sort of thing would make me sad. It still makes me sad. There’s something about hypocrisy that rankles us worse than many religious crimes.
What about you?
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