Sunday, April 10, 2016

Leaving the Church Again - Christian Hate in America

I've said it many times and I stand by it, I have never lost my faith in God but I have no faith left in the Christian church. Especially not as it is in Bible Belt America. I've lived in 5 southern states and encountered enough churches to know this is rampant and wide spread and is not new.

At least, it's not supposed to be

I grew up Holiness Christian (because Pentecostal was something different back then). This is/was one of the strictest Christian denominations. For my Indian readers, a denomination is similar to the division by deities in Hinduism only Christianity doesn't have deities, so the different denominations have different rules and ideals they adhere to instead. Denominations are simply a way of dividing Christianity into different sects with slightly different values.

Anyway, Holiness Christians don't believe in women cutting their hair, dresses need to be ankle-length and if you're going to church you need to be in your finest clothing and looking your absolute best. You're in God's house. Members in my church spoke in tongues, the preacher washed member's feet, we burned secular items that were considered 'of the devil' and such. These churches still exist, now they've just broken down to different names.

I remember seeing these things. I remember the trauma I felt seeing a woman wear a pants suit to church at age 7. I also remember being cognizant of things we were doing that were against what the preacher was teaching us was God's will. Like fundraisers and illicit affairs between church members. I was a child and I was not ignorant to those issues. As a teen, I left the church with no real reason to feel like I belonged there.

With my first marriage I began attending Southern Baptist churches. I had the preachers daughter attack charity work I was doing and make fun of it. I saw old ladies attack old men for eating foods leftover from church dinners that she had wanted. (He was not her husband.) I saw so many things going on that just NEVER should happen and in no way represent the Holy Bible or what Christianity is supposed to stand for.

I again left the church before ending that marriage but that didn't stop church members from calling me and telling me that I needed to stay with my ex because they didn't feel like I had don everything I could to save the marriage. It didn't matter he had tried to kill me 3 times at that point, I clearly hadn't done enough. That's another can of worms I won't open here. 

When I met Rohit, I did at first become a little inquisitive about Hinduism. I learned a lot of good and bad about it. In the end I converted and I'm still happy with that decision. However, now that he's in America, my husband has chosen to attend churches here.

First it was with a truly amazing person. The one true Christian I have met in all of my life. They went to different churches every week, sometimes several times a week and Rohit loved learning about my culture this way. He would come home and ask me about things he had seen or heard and I'd explain it to him. He was impressed by how much Christians liked to gather and eat and he loved meeting new people.

Then he met Arav (which is not this mans real name). Arav was the worst kind of Christian and the worst kind of NRI all rolled into one. From day one Arav was telling my husband he had to keep breath mints in his mouth, wear deodorant and cologne and other similar crap. Arav insisted that Indians stink and Rohit would never make it in America if he didn't do these things.

Arav happened to be one of the founding members of one of the churches Rohit attended the most. As time went on and Rohit continued to visit this church, Arav decided that Rohit was somehow his pawn. If he needed something done, he would call Rohit and ask him to do it. When he wanted a certain food, he would demand Rohit make it and bring it to one of the church gatherings with food. He constantly insulted my husband and Indians and our family or our home. It became absurd.

Rohit was not the only one. Many Indians had fled that church because of Arav's behavior. Then Arav decided he was called to preach at the church and God help us all. The hate speech that spewed from Arav's mouth was appalling. He decided that he needed to be a hellfire and brimstone preacher - against Muslims, Hindus, and just about anyone else he deemed beneath him. He twisted bible verses. He spoke in a condescending tone.

Everyone in the church knew his behavior and attitude was wrong. No one did anything. No one discussed how damaging it was to the church or how many members had left because of it. It would seem no one feels as if it's their job to show him how the Holy Bible says this is not how Christians are to behave.

After attending a few times with Rohit so I could get a handle on what was happening, I encouraged my husband to leave as well. This is not the Christianity of the bible but is quickly becoming the Christianity of America. Maybe not in every church but there is an underlying system of hate going on. There are a lot of unhealthy, unGodly and down right demonic attitudes emerging in the American Christian atmosphere. No one seems to care enough to do anything to stop it.

You won't hear preachers preaching against it They're actually encouraging it subtly. Campaigns like 'hate the sin not the sinner' are well-meaning but still perpetuate a lot of negative emotions towards people who sin. It also eludes to 'sinners' being beneath those who don't engage in that particular sin. It's a form of judgement cleverly disguised as an act of tolerance.

It's sickening. So again for the 3rd time in my life, I am leaving the church and I'm taking my husband with me. I would love to say the experience hasn't damaged him but it has. He spends a lot of money on gum and colognes that he never did before. He's overly concerned with the smell of his body - which never stank before. He has new confidence issues stemming from his experiences there that really upset me. He's been scarred permanently by  the Christian faith and his own experiences with it.

How can you expect the Christian church to maintain it's standing when this is becoming the norm? You can't.

5 comments:

  1. I rather like Christianity. There is a sense of community and service which is commendable. I also find the story of Christ beautiful. Christ was born in a stable krishna was born in prison. They both met violent deaths. so there are parallels between these two divine beings.

    what I found disturbing is the emphasis on who is a good Christian which invariably leads to comparison between religions. everyone needs to be saved and there is only one way. We don't know the destination but are fighting on the path.

    Hindus have hate speeches too. We have said a lot of things about lower castes and women. about Buddhists too when both Hinduism and Buddhism were competing for religious domination. It was mutual. However they are all in sanskrit and we are unaware of it. There was lot of friction among different sects of Hinduism too. thankfully u come to know about it if you are a serious student of history.


    hindu preachers talk about spirituality even those who are of slightly dubious nature. only those who have political agenda make hate speech. It is as if other religions do not exist in hindu world view. there is certainly less animosity. We have directed all our hatred towards our own people.

    It came as a surprise to know that religion was big in AmErica. I rather liked the funky way in which the preachers both men and women perform on the stage. It is more like theatre.

    The hindu hatred of other religions is historical and not religious. It is not in our religious books but borne out of historical events. that is a major relief.

    I am in no way suggesting Hinduism is superior.

    apple

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    1. Christianity itself could be very good, if it was followed the way it should be. Most of it is not here in America. I've also seen very disturbing things done in the name of Christianity. Those things are horrible. The theatrics and false people are ruining the way Christians are perceived.

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    2. what about those countries which teach their children that their religion is the best and categorically identify certain religions as "enemy". children of minority community also have to read them even if it is derogatory about their own religion.

      children do not have any other source of information till they grow up and read from alternate sources.

      This is far more dangerous than grown up people getting radicalised. A whole generation grows up hating a country or religion.

      apple

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  2. What on earth is going on in the US?
    Where are all these ignorant, hateful, narcissistic people coming from?
    And why are Americans giving these assholes platforms & listening to them?
    I think it has to do with the "dumbing down" that started with Reagan and fear.
    The educational system in the US has been completely gutted & rendered a babysitting service.
    The poverty level in the US is now the same as it was in 1967. I think living in poverty or near poverty is where a lot of this fear is coming from. I met so many people when I was in Georgia in 2012 barely making it paycheck to paycheck, taking out loans on their cars & other valuables. These people really fear for their survival & that leads to anger. Especially anger towards Muslims & any other minority they can scapegoat to divert themselves from the real issues.

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    1. You nailed it! Things definitely aren't going so good around here. It takes 2 paychecks to survive and there is no thriving for the majority. It's really quite absurd the level of stress that's normal here. It's as if humanity no longer matters, only serving your government/public does. Schools have become much closer to abusive institutions than anything resembling an education and there's just very little true quality to life left.

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