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Crazy Christians

What do you do with them?
There was an insanely angry man at the Sunday peace march. He was carrying a Bible and shouting about how we were all going to Hell. I was very impressed with how some of the march organizers (I think) stuck with him and keep him from the marchers who he was clearly trying to inflame.

I am a very nominal Christian and have not done any Bible studies. I call myself Christian in that I think Jesus was truly a man of God and spoke for peace. I have not a clue about all the fine print and regulations that the Bible thumpers carry on about.

I am sure that if Jesus were here in person, he would have been preaching peace and walking with the march against the war.

What totally baffles me is what to do and say to people like this crazy man? They should not be ignored. There are times when we can have calm conversations with people like this and could possibly influence them in a positive way. What do you say to get past their insane rhetoric? I think it is important to change minds like this because they in turn have the energy to influence many others.
You can't reason with them.... 22.Sep.2003 08:38

APC

When I was younger I spent a lot of time around right wing Christians, and while they may not have been as zealous and tormented as this guy was, they share his tunnel vision. That all of life's answers are found in a book written 2000 years ago, while dismissing the importance of education, and the wisdom of life experience. They do not want to see things your way, they see the Bible as an absolute, and if their ignorance is called on, they'll come up with some scripture to "validate" it. Many of them are hateful, prejudiced people who wear their racism and homophobia on their sleeves but under the illusion that it is love.

And besides, who ever seen anybody kneel down and become "saved" after listening to one of these street preachers? Mostly they are just so ridiculous and ignorant it's entertaining, and I wouldn't feel threatened by them.

reason is not their goal 22.Sep.2003 10:04

Christian Pastor

When I encounter people such as the man waving his Bible and shouting, and engage them in conversation, it frequently becomes clear that they are suffering from mental trials of their own. The influential right wing fundamentalists are much more sophisticated than that poor soul.
There really is nothing you can say that will change their minds because they are not coming from a place of reason.
I usually nod and say "I will pray for you, brother (or sister)." and then move on as I would do with anyone who was not quite rational in their speech and who was not in need of something else I could provide.

Let them be... 22.Sep.2003 11:13

mcj

As Thomas Paine stated in 'The Age of Reason': "It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe." Many of the street corner beraters are not secure in their beliefs and must 'convert' the infidels to validate their own shaky faith. Anyone that is indeed secure in their faith does not need that sort of reinforcement.

mcj 22.Sep.2003 13:04

ranger

good comment. The same goes for those who bash gays; many of them are insecure about their own sexuality, or those who worship the flag. Many of them want to feel that something is bigger, stronger than them to make them feel safe. It's all insecurity from within. This country, of course, creates the insecurity in people by sabotaging the very things that would make us strong, such as education, arts, justice, employment, et al.

Question 22.Sep.2003 13:26

Mark

What was this man's rationale to claim that you were all going to hell?

Some so-called christians 22.Sep.2003 14:20

PoohNTigger

Some of these so-called christians feel that if you don't follow their exact teachings, then you're going to hell. Never mind if you're a good person, do the right thing or make a positive influence in your community; You don't belong to my church, you're going to hell.

I figure hell must be a pretty crowded place by now if that's the case. When it comes to these people, I tend to simply ignore them. Eventually they get tired and move on.

If Jesus Saves, He'd Better Save Himself 22.Sep.2003 17:22

Jesus Christ!

I am the bread of life...(SO EAT ME!)

Labeling is less useful than ranting 24.Sep.2003 11:51

Peter Marks

To the original question: What totally baffles me is what to do and say to people like this crazy man?

First ditch the labeling. It isn't terriblty helpful to resort to calling people crazy for their beliefs or worse yet, generalizing that label to others. Calling Christians "those right-wingers" or "crazy whackos" or whatever other pugorative term you can come up with does little to foster dialogue. Whatever fills the need within all of us to be passionate or cause oriented (and I believe humans are wired to be cause-driven) should not be derided.

Second, give up on needing to change the opinion of everyone else around you. Your life will be easier when you do.

Third (and finally), get informed. There are huge minorities of Christians who have been dedicated peace activists, environmentalists and social justice workers, well, ever since religions were organized. Learn about some of the historical Christians for peace and justice who changed the world some obvious ones are Rev. Martin Luther King, Father Oscar Romero, Desmond Tutu, and about Christian movements involved with Social Justice like: Christian Abolitionists; Christians in Women's Suffrage; Christians in Civil and human rights nationally and internationally. Also learn about contemporary progressive and liberal Christian groups (there we go labeling again) like:

Evangelicals for Social Action www.esa-online.org
Sojourners  http://www.sojo.net
Mennonite Central Committee www.mcc.org

Christian Viewpoint 21.Nov.2003 06:36

lauren

Obviously, you are the one who is closed minded if you are ignorant enough to generalize a group of peole by calling them bible waving freaks. If you advocate peace and equality so much, don't walk around trying to force your ideas on everyone. Respect others beliefs and ideas. You are correct in the fact that Jesus did advocate peace, but he was also a person who promoted justice. He made the ulitmate sacrifice for our sins, and all we have to do is put our life and trust in him. I challenge you to pick up your Bible and find out more about Him before you make more assumptions anout his viewpoints and teachings.

another christian veiw poin 09.Dec.2003 07:24

rosie flying_pink_pigs@hotmial.com

im a christian and have never waved a bible at any one! i alow any one to challenge my views people seem to think becouse we dont change them we havent listend to what youve said the bible teaches about going to heaven thru forgiveness you dont get there simply by following the rules if heavens a sin free place how can you go there if you human coz surely all humans have sinned thats y j.c died so we could be washed of our sins to get to heaven and you dont have to go to church to get salvation most christians actually like to go coz believe it or not sum churchs r very fun ne way yeah ive sed my lil bit im am only sixteen and have total faith in my lord and nothink can change that just like i cant change wot u guys think but i am safe in the knowlage of where im going when i die and also safe in the knowlage that im not crazy