Wow, the comments for the Kevin Roose giveaway were awesome. When I put them in a word document to read through of all them the document was 82 pages long. I picked out 6 that I thought were the funniest, most exaggerated, so off base stereotypes about Christianity.
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Answers to the question, “What’s your favorite stereotype about Christians and Christianity?”
If you are a Christian, if you are evangelical, heterosexual, if you got married young, if you are anti-abortion, if you don’t believe in evolution in the Dawkins sense, if you do think that men and women are different; if you believe that Jesus rose from the dead and that what was recorded in the New Testament was literally true and that no matter how hard you try, you’re never going to stop being a “sinner” and that works just aren’t enough – YOU ARE A FUNDAMENTALIST. YOU ARE AN EVANGELICAL. THEREFORE, YOU MUST BE IRRATIONAL, NARROW-MINDED, AND STUPID.
The thing that bugs me the most about this stereotype – it’s Christians who bring it up the most, judging other Christians and being so quick to label each other. Who cares about rational argument? Who wants to actually converse with the “other side”? Must! Not! Appear! At all! Unfashionable! Instead, just call them names. Buzz-words, that immediately throw negative connotations on somebody, without the need for skill or rationality.
Am I bitter? Perhaps. I’ve just had enough of being told – “if you’re smart, you will think these things”; “if you’re progressive, you will do this”; “if you’re RELEVANT, you will lose these uncomfortable, controversial beliefs of yours”.
This isn’t a “Christian” stereo-type, per say, but the one that hurts my heart the most is the stereotype that the bible is just a list of rules set out to prove to us all what big failures we are.
I am so thankful for the preachers and teachers that dedicate their lives to showing us the incredible love story that God wrote to His children (yes, I intentionally capitalized the “H” in His, I am one of “those” Christians…) :)I don’t care what the world thinks of me or even Christians in general, I just want His people to know how loved every single one of us are.
On a less serious note, however, I also enjoy the stereotype that because we desire to save ourselves for marriage, and some of us also do NOT get married just out of college but also believe and trust in the Holy Spirit to bring us our spouse… that we are somehow asexual beings with no real desires and thus abstinence is as easy slipping that purity ring onto our left hand.
Oh if that were only true… (well, not the asexual part, but the purity being easy part…)
Andrew LONGHOFER said…
Favorite stereotype: the archetype of the homeschool family.
You can spot this particular family a mile off. On the surface, everything is good: the children are well behaved, well groomed, and well polished as they emerge from their full-sized van with velvet tension-rod curtains. However, things begin to look ominous when the drained homemaker-turned-schoolteacher-turned-zookeeper mother steps out of the front passenger seat. Because after all, she can’t drive. That’s a man’s job.
From her steel-grey, tightly tied bun hairdo to her denim jumpsuit to her Birkenstock sandals, this woman means business. Narry a vanity has blemished her firm Protestant sensibility: no makeup, and no putting on of gold (except her wedding ring, of course… you wouldn’t want those lusty bachelors thinking she was available). Her mouth is puckered in a way that hints that persimmons are too sweet for her.
Upon closer examination, the children, too, seem estranged from the world they stumble into. Their 4-H tee-shirts are tucked into their jeans that fit all too tightly. When they speak, their grammar is nearly robotic in its perfection. Their family humor is limited to wordplay with last week’s memory verses. Hair is parted at the center, shoes are spit-shined, and every collar is starched. And there are not only two or three children.
This family is a small army, reminiscent of the Irish family in Monty Python’s “Meaning of Life.”
As they march into the all-you-can-eat buffet, you can’t help but feel like a pagan sinner when the children each offer a private, silent prayer before eating, given that not everyone has been able to serve himself yet, and then all pray again once everyone arrives.
Then, in the line for desserts, the eldest notes to you that there are four kinds of jello available– reminiscent of the Four Spiritual Laws.
In order for an adult to “find Jesus”, they have to be brainwashed by the Christians during a season of particularly extreme vulnerability. Such as a divorce, or loss, or unemployment, or criminal conviction of some sort.
God, as it were, never seems to seek out the healthy, happy, successful types.
My favorite stereotype is that we have no sense of humor! I invited a non-christian friend over to a house where a bunch of my “jesus-friends” (that’s what she calls them) were.
After leaving, she explained that she had a really great time, and was surprised they were all so funny. She explained, “I thought y’all just made Jesus-jokes about the bible!”
Eric P. said…
I cannot believe that anyone who calls himself a believer in Christ would write something this worldly! Your carnal humor is displeasing to God. It is unbiblical even to suggest that any Christians should ever be stereotyped by ungodly standards. The BIBLE says that in the last days there will come MOCKERS such as you and DECEIVERS such as Kevin Rose (Jas. 5:14, 2 Chron 14:11, Eph 3:26)! You need to REPENT for dragging the church, the bride of Christ, through the mud like this!
[My second-favorite stereotype of Christianity is the guy who thinks it’s helpful to make that comment on a humor post. My very favorite is the people who take his comment seriously and try to reason with him, starting a Holy Flame War.]
I’d have done televangelists, but I suspect someone else has– has anyone else done televangelists? If not, put me down for televangelists. Call today and receive your free(*) Miracle Water from the Holy Land.