To Vent or To Act?

Please excuse me one moment, I am afraid I am going to indulge in a little hypocrisy. Well, not that hypocritical, as you will see, but a little nonetheless! If there is one thing that really, really annoys me, it’s when people post comments in which they whinge and moan but offer no solutions. I have tried to make it a rule that, when I blog on here, I don’t just whine about how bad or unjust something is, but pause to offer my view on what the alternative is. (My call for others to do the same is my token offering for this post!)

Now, it’s bad enough when you have to read a moan that offers no alternative or critique of what is happening or a suggestion for what the reader can do to change things, but I was recently very depressed by a series of postings by one individual that really carried this to the extreme. In this case, it was an atheist out to bash religion, largely through the medium of reposting various cartoons, an unrelenting stream of them. In itself, it was a pretty banal, even pathetic indictment of the person posting – for whatever reason, they really hate religion and were keen to vent that vile… only very little of what they were posting was actually funny or insightful. The main problem, of course, that most of it was predicated upon the notion that religion is, in itself, stupid and silly. You might agree. Unfortunately, “I think something is stupid – look it’s a stupid thing!” isn’t much of a joke. The best satire isn’t about attacking something from a different viewpoint, but from attacking it from its own assumptions. Saying “Catholicism is stupid for banning condoms!” isn’t much of an indictment – within the context of Catholic belief, you don’t need condoms because sex is reserved for reproductive purposes within marriage – casual sex is a no-no. Now, a cartoon about a child-abusing priest refusing to wear a condom because it is ‘a sin’ would be a biting indictment of Catholic hypocrisy for reason I hope will be obvious. Sadly, there was nothing like that here.

But, what really got me wasn’t that the attempts at humour were pathetic and the whole torrent was a depressing expose of the poster’s neuroses, but one particular post that showed not only a blatant disregard for fact but, in addition, showed an apparent lack of self-awareness.

The post that struck me most was one that claimed that you never see Christians going out and doing good (in other words, all they want to do is ban things, shout down science and generally act as killjoys ruining everyones’ fun). You really have to be in a hate-filled little world of your own to say that. Whatever your views on religion, the one thing that has to be admitted is that there are many extremely altruistic religious groups and individuals out there. Not nearly as many as there are people who claim to be religious, I’ll grant you, but certainly far more than none. To take just one single recent example, there was the congregation of Plymouth Brethren who went to the aid of motorists stranded in their cars when the emergency services were nowhere to be seen.

However, it was the lack of self-awareness that really made this stand-out from the crowd. Okay, so religion (meaning in this context Christianity) is stupid and silly and generally bad. Oh, and despite the evidence to the contrary, no Christian has ever done any good for anyone. Alright. But, hang on a  moment! Are you out there doing good deeds and making the world a better place? Um, no. You’re sitting online for hours on end just reposting vitriolic attacks on religion. Not even things you have created yourself! Now, that is silly and pathetic.

Rather than sitting back and spewing hate, people really need to get out and doing something about the world in order to make it a better place. Hate just breeds hate, and that gets us nowhere…

One Response to “To Vent or To Act?”
  1. cocacolafiend says:

    Some people are very bitter, and who can really blame them? When you’re very invested in a religion and then realize you’ve been lied to, it’s very hard to see any positive side to the experience.

    I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s not surprising and those people often need sympathy.

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