Thursday, July 17, 2008

Evangelical Christianity preys on the weak

Recently got an invite on my social networking site, which is much more explicit and more objectionable than this one, from a church who saw this poor soul and wanted to extend a helping hand. Well, I'm not that desperate. I think that the whole Jesus saving even the worst sinners thing is being abused by them to bring people into the fold who in fact need counseling and possibly substance abuse treatment, not Jesus. If you're so low that you feel no one cares about you at all and your life has gone down the toilet, leading to an increasingly bad spiral of events, secular counselors would probably do a better job at helping to change that than churches. Every conversion story that tells about a person being in the depths of alcoholism and leading a very bad life who was saved by Jesus and the church, or a church in this case, seems to revolve around the power of positive thinking as reinforced by a social group that's compassionate. The catch of course is that to gain access to this community you need to totally change your life in order for it to be in line with biblical principles as interpreted by the group. This you may in fact do, and do to a greater extreme than you would otherwise, because of your condition. When you get back on your feet this brainwashing causes you to become an ultra-christian, again to an extent that you would not be if you encountered these folks when you were mildly bad off. None of this needs to happen.

People who are addicted to things need to believe in themselves.

While the idea of an intervention by a higher power isn't something to necessarily dismiss, the potential use of that experience or an experience simulating it by folks to raise others into their fold is exploitative and dishonest, being the spiritual equivalent of being a "dry drunk", someone who has stopped drinking but who hasn't changed their mindset to something that's not the one that chronic alcohol abuse produces in a person. The drug has just changed from alcohol to Jesus.

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