Three Poisonous Vestiges of Christian Implementation That Live On

Here are three poisonous vestiges of Christian implementation* that people who are no longer in the faith still often exhibit:

The protestant reward ethic.  There was nothing wrong with the protestant work ethic initially, especially when one had a guaranteed way to be a gainful member of society.  When there was a farm there were avenues to be productive by default.  In industrialization where there were jobs as well.  But as time went on implied reward for hard work became part of this ethic.  Eventually the rewards were seen as more important than the work.  A person who is working a tough retail job will be looked down upon in church while a person who got an easy better paying job through connections won’t be (little wonder working class people have been leaving the church).  If you can’t find a job you’ll be treated very bad in the church, particularly if you’re male.

Intolerance.  The intolerance and pettiness of Christian implementation is alive and well in those that have left the faith.  Now these people are just directing their intolerance different places.  Take the flak the moderators of the anti porn subreddit are getting.  Or how shallow and vapid our celebrity culture is and how gleeful we all are to pounce on anyone who offers an opinion that differs from our subculture’s dominant narrative.  The punk live-and-let-live ethos was never a part of Christian implementation (at least in America where people were Christian by default) and unsurprisingly is not part of post-Christian culture either.

Loaded metanarratives.  Most stories are not neutral spaces, particularly the important stories in our lives.  They are are loaded.  There is a right side and a wrong side to them and you’d better expend all your effort making sure you get and stay on the right side of them.  The most obvious of these is the Christian story which presents you with the right side (heaven) and the wrong side (hell), and a choice.  What happened in the late 1800’s is evangelists had sons who went into advertising.  Now the stories involved always being the bridesmaid and never the bride, just for not using the advertised mouthwash.  Because of the massive amount of money to be made, the best of art and science got poured into advertising and it became so good that rebellion became commodified.  Consumer culture may be even more pernicious than religion because by design it doesn’t allow doubt, but does so by making you think you’re thinking for yourself.  The shame and rejection once characterized by hell is mediated through peers channeled from the mass media.

* I say Christian implementation because people defending the faith seem to think that Christianity was pure and got corrupted and thus the corrupted element (including Christians’ behavior) doesn’t count for anything when ascertaining the value of the faith

 

Romanticizing Suffering Part 2

Suffering’s fallout hits men hard.  It’s easier for women to have romantic views of suffering than it is for men.  This is because, while suffering is horrible for either gender, the fallout of suffering hits men particularly bad.  This is because suffering often makes a man a less vocationally successful member of society and there is a lot more stigma for being an unsuccessful man than there is for being an unsuccessful woman.  Men are also expected to be strong and suffering saps strength and often engenders behaviors that in women would be rewarded but in men are seen as weak.  Not that suffering doesn’t hit women hard, it does but in ways that I wouldn’t understand because I’m not a woman.

Suffering hits Christianity at its weakest line of defense.  The problem of evil might not be the biggest problem religious people have to grapple with but it is one of the most existential and a problem everyone has grappled with.  People running the faith made a calculation and decided the best defense is a good offense.  So they turned the tables and called pain good.  This works because generally the people who experience the least pain hold the most power.  And those people drive the narrative.

See: Romanticizing Suffering

 

Consumerist Shaming

Little disgusts me more than consumerist shaming.  Looking down on people for valuing wealth and material things.  This is so hypocritical because we all need to have a certain level of material success to be accepted in this society (especially as you get into your 30’s).  You get all these articles saying how consumeristic people are using material things to fill some hole in their soul that could be filled with “love” or whatever the new vague in vogue trope is.  Let’s face it, in American money is the state religion.  People who are unabashedly consumeristic make us well aware of this fact and so we like to denigrate them because we want to feel better than them even though we would be the exact same way were we given more money.