Calling him ‘my’ pastor is a stretch, really. He works at the church my parents attend, but I stopped going years ago. Now I’m only dragged there for special events like Christmas, when we stay up late and have our minds choked with incense.
Whoever’s pastor he is, he doesn’t like me. Doesn’t like the idea of me. That’s the thing – when you attack a group of people, you attack the group’s members. I happen to be among his targets.
A few years back, while I still reluctantly attended services, I tuned into the sermon long enough to hear that “atheists are idiots who write trash”. I didn’t hear if he went on in a similar vein, because my mother called me away for a pep talk that boiled down to our priest being an ass. I stored the quote in my memory and used it as a powerful weapon in my campaign to break away. “What good does it do me,” I asked, “to go to church and listen to the priest say how much I suck? It’s not my idea of a great time.”
Not long ago, I learned that atheists had once again reared their heathenish heads in the weekly sermon. Apparently, the world is a void to them. “When they look outside themselves, they see themselves.”
I was rather alarmed, because I had not received this bulletin from the atheist hive mind. In fact, I associated the second criterion more with narcissism. But what do I know? The priest must be right.
Strangely enough, it’s a common practice for people to make certain statements about groups (or anything) that they know little or nothing about. I don’t think ‘our’ priest is even aware that I belong to the trashy, void-dwelling community. When most people make sweeping statements about ‘others’, they typically don’t stop to think of who it’ll apply to. Friends. Acquaintances. People passing on the street. It’s not much fun to hear people pass judgement on you without having any idea who you are.
It reminds me of fun times moderating a forum. (I may have mentioned this before.) A poster said that they found gay people disturbing and “kind of gross”. I reminded them that there were gay people present in the online community and they could have been offended. The poster was genuinely surprised and said they hadn’t meant to hurt anyone’s feelings. To this I replied, “You forgot gay people could read?”
I could ramble on and on, but I think you get the point. Sorry for the trash. 😉