Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Crude secret

It's not so much of a secret, but it's worth stating bluntly.

I dislike New Atheists. In fact, I dislike self-identified atheists in general. There are exceptions, but my universal experience is that their arguments are bad, their attitudes are obnoxious, and their displayed confidence manages to so outstrip the evidence that it's easy to ignore all the signs that it's also feigned. I can get along with the irreligious and agnostics at times - and yes, even some atheists - but most of the time they just get on my nerves.

That's not the secret.

The secret is that I've got a similar attitude towards quite a lot of Christians too.

Obviously, I like many Christians, and much Christian thought. I better, since I'm Catholic, with all my failings. And some who I used to dislike, I've changed my mind about - I used to have that culturally inculcated fury at YECs, and that's gone now, without changing my views on creation or evolution in any meaningful way. Obviously I dislike SJW Christians, who I view as a kind of cancer which manages to befoul everything they get their hands on.

But other kinds of Christians just bug me, and this probably is because I'm a misanthrope more than anything. I do not like the tendency towards drama, with people tearfully pleading for prayers owing to their dark night of the soul moments, which always treats their faith as something they have zero responsibility for and which teeters on the brink whenever they have shitty experiences. I do not like the tendency towards me-tooisms, where every faddish or prominent 'cause' is a signal to rush in and make it a matter of urgent Christian concern. I do not like the moral cowardice at being perpetually afraid of being called racist, or sexist, or homophobic, or anti-scientific, to the point where they not only will drop positions or doctrines which earn secular ire, but will prove their purity by playing witch hunter at anyone accused of being such things. I dislike the Christian addiction to self-mortification without justice, and apology without wrongdoing.

Granted, I'm not exactly the most pleasant guy around either. But the West has rotted on Christianity's watch. At least some Christians-in-name played a role in that, and my dislike of New Atheism does not blind me to that.


Son of Ya'Kov said...

>But other kinds of Christians just bug me, and this probably is because I'm a misanthrope more than anything.

You are not the only one buddy.

B. Prokop said...

What is your opinion of the "Rad Trads"? Full disclosure: I've never cared for people who tell me I'm somehow not a genuine Catholic because I'm not lobbying for the Tridentine Mass or because I like Saint JPII.

Crude said...

I don't encounter them enough to comment. I think criticisms of the NO and praise of the Tridentine Mass are often legitimate, but I'm Byzantine so a lot of this is outside of my consideration. I think JPII was a good man who clearly made some mistakes, but he did his best and had generally noble goals.

I tend to be sympathetic to people who are concerned that their centuries- or millenia-old beliefs and practices are under attack or that people are trying to subvert them, because they are and they are.

The Deuce said...

There are two sorts of self-identified Christians I'd say I truly detest.

The first are the "progressive Christians," aka the SJW Christians you mentioned. I don't actually consider these guys to be Christians, or even theists, at all. They're essentially atheists who just lie about believing in one God further. I'll take a social justice atheist who is straightforward about hating God any day of the week over one who hates God but tries to hijack and redefine the word "God" in terms of secular social justice bullshit. At least an admitted atheist isn't going to tell me that abortion is a sacrament, or (even worse imo, because it involves yet another lie) claim to be "pro-life" but make up all sorts of bullshit about how totally unrestricted abortion laws actually decrease abortion, while trying to rationalize and justify everything Planned Parenthood does. Imo, these people are pure poison and every effort should be made to drive them out of the church entirely. Examples include Barack Obama, 99% of Episcopalian clergy, and pretty much every single "orthodox Catholic" I've ever met who's a Democrat.

The second are the Not-One-Of-Those-Christians, who's primary overriding concern as Christians is that their secularist associates know that they're "not like THOSE Christians." Run-of-the-mill Christians who are terrified of being seen as "racist" or "sexist" etc by the Left's reckoning are obnoxious enough, but at least most of them are worried about Christianity being seen in a bad light. The Not-One-Of-Those-Christian is fine with Christianity looking bad, as long as they can look good. In fact, they want Christianity to look bad, so they can stand out and look good by comparison, and they help make that happen by spending most of their time attacking other Christians. These guys are basically the John McCains of Christianity, constantly badmouthing their nominal allies to their nominal opponents, so that they can bask in their praise. They live for the words, "Wow, you're so reasonable! Why can't other Christians be more like you?" These guys like to play the "token Christian" in media and PR organizations that are plainly hostile to Christianity. Jonathan Farrell and Kenneth Miller spring to mind here.

On the other side, there's the name-it-claim-it Prosperity Gospel folks. I dislike them strongly, but they don't quite have the pretentiousness and hypocrisy that causes me to have contempt for those first two groups. Also, they're really just cousins of the social justice "Christians" who hijack Christianity for materialistic ends, minus the totalitarian politics.

Crude said...

and pretty much every single "orthodox Catholic" I've ever met who's a Democrat.

I will make one concession here. I've run into some Catholics I regard as sincere who are Democrats. I think they are hugely mistaken politically, typically, but I do not doubt their sincere belief in Christ. I'll add that there are plenty who are, however, full of shit about that. Clergy included.

Jonathan Farrell and Kenneth Miller spring to mind here.

Funny, I put them both in the Obama category. I don't trust Ken Miller or Farrell at all. Farrell used to heap praise on Ed, and that praise seemed directly and explicitly tied to Ed knocking ID. Once Ed made it clear he wasn't interested in that fight, Farrell's interest apparently evaporated.

Son of Ya'Kov said...

Crude we strongly don't agree on "certain things" but I hope you will speak on the ISIS attack on the gay nightclub.

I have some thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Well, "radtrad" is a deliberate pejorative to describe people who take their "traditionalism" too far, so by definition they would fit the description. Of course, by implication the term also entails that the existence of "normal", non-radical traditionalists who don't go too far. It shouldn't be any surprise that precisely because there are important issues involved, some people will get worked up and go off-track, while other people will care too little and not pay attention where it is merited.