So Father Frank was in town, and I made some comments here and there on social media. Nothing harsh. Jokes about traffic and whatnot. But, because absolutely nothing offends me, I’m not always good at knowing what other humans might find offensive, so I hid those posts from a select group. The God group. The heavy duty ones who seem a little humorless. Because… I don’t know, you know? Why even go there? When in doubt, block.
But then something peculiar happened. Those same people posted about the Pope all weekend long, and it was some of the nastiest stuff I’ve ever read. They called him a false prophet and a blasphemer, a braggart, the antichrist, a liar and even a secular liberal (ooh, burn!). They clearly want to rip Pope Francis a new…. Let’s just say they want to make him holier. (One actually suggested this very thing, using very childish terminology) They made me feel kinda bad for the guy.
I read all of it, and the comments, and the sources of the memes, and other posts from those sources, and the comments to those. And the more I learned about the differences between the Christian subcategories, the more ridiculous it all became.
“Why would we listen to him? He’s just a man and a sinner!”
“Why must you judge him so harshly? He’s just a man and a sinner!”
“I will not blindly follow any man!” (Except the imaginary ones, I guess? You can blindly follow one of those because you can’t see them anyway.)
“I will NEVER call him Father. There is only one Heavenly Father. Why do people call him Father?” (Uh… You mean Pope, from the Latin papa? From the Greek pappas, a child’s word for father? I can’t imagine.)
And so much worse. And all ridiculous. And nasty. Just plain mean. Very up-with-Jesus. And even though I don’t know much about Jesus besides what I’ve seen in Jesus Christ Superstar, I’m pretty sure he never advocated violently making new orifices in the bodies of those we don’t agree with.
Well, this is what you get for trying to understand people. Sometimes it’s best to step back, take a deep breath and then…
Jump back in and make things worse. Okay, well in all fairness, this one was right in my face, on my newsfeed. A friend posted about Ben Carson and Muslims and the presidency and her friend said without a belief in God we would all be thieves and murderers, because why wouldn’t we be. And as much as I try to stay out of arguments I know I can’t win, I did feel the need to quietly stand up for myself. She and her friends live in the deep south, so it’s possible they’ve never met an atheist in real life. I thought it might be educational just to say, you know, I exist and I don’t kill people or steal shit. And I did it really pleasantly. Humbly.
And my friend wrote back that she didn’t mean to offend me (I believe that, and I don’t get offended), and that she believes all my goodness comes from God, whether I know it or not. Fair enough. She’s allowed to think that. And then her friend said that he didn’t mean to offend me (Pretty sure that one was a total lie, but again, I don’t get offended), but without God we can’t possibly know how to be moral, so he wasn’t saying I haven’t ever BEEN moral, just that I have no basis for morality. So I guess he thinks I may have been moral by accident. And as for killing people, I guess he just thinks I’ve been too busy? And he mentioned Hitler, because they like to do that.
There’s just no point in it. I have no interest in debate. And just existing and being decent only convinces them that God is good and I’m just too clueless to realize it. God is love. And Jesus is love. And Jesus loves me, too. Oh, and the Pope is Satan’s plaything and deserves to have an extra asshole ripped because fuck him.
So much love.