Deleting Your Religious Ranting Comment

Someone asked me the other day how come I almost never talk about God or religion on this blog. One reason I don't is that I really dislike arguing about God and religion. To me, talking about God or religion should be a unifying experience. It's not something to argue or debate for style points. Once folks want to argue about it, I'm already done with the conversation.

And in case you haven't noticed, the anonymity of the internet seems to bring out bad behavior in people and they just think they can say whatever crazy, rude, psycho stuff they want to with no consequence at all. I get bored reading the same old same old comments online that either anyone who believes in God or religion is an idiot who needs a crutch in life because they're too stupid to figure it out for themselves... or if someone doesn't belong to the faith that you do, they're going to hell.

In my real life, you know, the one outside of Blog Land, I have friends who are both atheist or agnostic, as well as from pretty much every religious background. The atheist and agnostic folks respect that I do definitely believe in God and try my best to live my life as a Baha'i. If I screw up something in my life, as I am apt to frequently do, they are still my friends because they don't say, "A-ha! Gotcha! You effed up and so that is PROOF that God does not exist and religion is a total sham."

I also have friends who are pretty fundamentalist Christian. They don't sit around pitying me because I'm not a Christian. The don't tell me how I'm going to hell or try to anoint me with oils or anything like that. And again, if something is not going so well in my life, they don't automatically say it's because I'm not Christian.

We all rub along together because we all like each other as people. We talk about God, religion, morality and the progress of the soul a lot. We're able to have normal conversations about these things because we genuinely love and like each other and we respect each other.

That genuine love and respect is what's missing from the online discourse. And I can't imagine any of my friends leaving weird, anonymous comments here on my blog ranting about God, their religious beliefs or what appears to be psychotic superstitions. None of my friends would make threats about punishing people for being non-believers. None of my friends would make crazy anti-Semitic comments either.

And to the individual who keeps coming to this site and leaving these comments, guess what, this is NOT the place for that. You are NOT welcome.

Let me be clear: If someone wants to disrespect Jewish people, they're automatically on my "You need an azz whooping" list. I love my Jewish brothers and sisters a whole lot and I'm appalled that anyone would take the time to post the trash that's getting posted in my blog comments .

It's a scary time in our society with a lot of uncertainty, so maybe this commenter thinks religious extremism and anti-Semitic attitudes are going to take us all back to the good old days. But they don't. I believe in loving each other and working together -- atheists, agnostics, Baha'is, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Zoroastrians-- to build a better world than what we have right now. Because we have no choice. This planet is only so big and we are all here together, for better or for worse.

In the meantime, I am going to keep deleting those ranting comments. I wish they didn't get left in the first place, and, dear readers, I'm sorry if you had to read any of them.


nick said…
I'm right with you, Liz. I'm an atheist/ Buddhist and the whole God/ supreme being thing makes no sense to me, but like you I don't see the point in getting heated about it. Everyone has a little bit of the truth, none of us has the perfect worldview, so why not just live and let live, share each other's perspectives and come to a richer understanding of humanity as a result? Self-opinionated ranters are such a turn-off.
I don't understand rude/crazy comments.

Those people need to write their own blogs and then they can say whatever they want.
Pedraum said…
Well said Liz.

Like I say to my son, you can be part of the process integration or disintegration happening in the world right now. It's not so much a question of named faith but, rather, the type of work you're engaged in (using the term in the broadest sense).

Your dirty work of deleting off-color comments is appreciated.
Milan said…
Well said and I agree 100%!
Mes Deux Cents said…

Anger and hatred has been apart of this country since its inception and we never seem to address the causes of the anger and hatred so they go on unchecked.

We Americans need a year of mass therapy.Okay maybe two years.
Shiona said…
I wish I could be around Christians like your friends. Since I am constantly hearing people say they'll pray for me I have become totally jaded to God and prayer in general. I don't want it to be that way but it just comes up when the conversation has nothing to do with religion b/c my family members are like "Well if you'd get baptized and follow God then.." I'm gone from there.

Yeah it's pretty sad that this person has nothing better to do than go leave derogatory comments on your blog.
Lotus Flower said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lotus Flower said…
Since I am constantly hearing people say they'll pray for me I have become totally jaded to God and prayer in general.

Story of my life.
Remnants of U said…
You have done a great job of deleting the comments, because I don't recall seeing one. But discussions about religion have to be done with people that can be rational even when you disagree.
Lotus Flower said…
I think I know which loon you're talking about, Liz.

I'm agnostic myself, and while I hold to this strongly, I don't push my views on anyone else and pretty much leave religious discussion out of the equation. It brings nothing to the conversation but arguements and bitter feelings. Sad to say, many don't show the same tolerance towards me. Funny how I've never had a problem with Muslims, Jews, or Buddhists but have gotten my car vandalized by self-proclaimed Christians and have been called Satan's child, blasphemer, devil's incarnate, "that n-word atheist", etc by self-proclaimed Christians. Of course that's not to say every Christian is like that. I've also met good Christians who don't give a rat's behind who or what you worship. But the nastiness has been my experience at hand with quite a few of them for sometime. However at the end of the day, I'M living my life and what they believe I should be is not what I'm living for.

As a Bahai, Liz, just do you. Shake the haters off.
Jen said…
"I believe in loving each other and working together -- atheists, agnostics, Baha'is, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Zoroastrians-- to build a better world than what we have right now. Because we have no choice. This planet is only so big and we are all here together, for better or for worse."

Liz Dwyer said…
I tend to think that when people start arguing about religion/spiritual practice they are motivated by something else, usually either pride, greed or a desire for political advantage -- well sometimes all those things. I'm happy to share my beliefs with people, but it can't be a one way conversation and I want to learn something from the other person. Otherwise, it's just boring.

There's a part of me that rather uncharitably hopes they drop dead instead of starting a blog and putting that sort of vileness out into the world even more. That's wrong of me, isn't it?

I like how you put it to your son. Yes, it really is more about the actions you're engaging in/the work you're doing. What is the fruit of what you're doing, saying, thinking?

Sadly, I doubt my comment deleting days are over. I wish they were.

Milan Angel,
Thanks. :)

I'd say a whole generation of therapy is needed. There are things going on right now and being said that are SO full of hatred. We're closer to being like pre-Nazi Germany than we realize.

I don't mind folks saying they're going to pray for me. Please do. I need prayers for real. But the tone they say it in can get me some times and I think that's what you mean. There's a difference between praying for someone because you genuinely care for them, and saying you're gonna pray for them as the exclamation point on the stick you just hit them with.

Yeah, you know which commenter I'm talking about. The comments left yesterday were BEYOND ridiculous. Sigh, I hope people spend as much time praying for themselves as they do for you. At the end of the day, they're accountable to God for one person, themselves.

I am appalled that you have had your car vandalized. What is wrong with people? No spiritual practice could possibly condone such behavior.

I have tried to be on it as far as deleting them, but I've been kind of busy the past couple of days and so there were a few that sat there. And now they've started commenting on older posts, too. Like, what's the point of that?
I haven't seen the comments here, but I'm sure the same person has left me some. He/she always finds a back post and the rants are longer than the posts. I have never read any of them all the way through, just enough to feel as if this person pooped on my blog. It isn't pretty.

I agree with you, Liz. The reason there are so many belief systems is so we can learn from and honor each other's, including the UNbelievers. We are all trying to make sense out of our existence in the best way we can, but none of us has the right to put down anyone who is different. Besides, the world would be a very boring place if we were all clones, or all crazy in the same way.
Liz Dwyer said…
Sorry I missed seeing your comment earlier! I second your amen because coming together in pursuit of a common good is the only way any of us are gonna survive.

Yes, the rants ARE longer than the original posts and reading even a little bit of them definitely makes me feel gross. Sorry you are getting them as well. I believe the world's religions come from the same source and have the same essential truths so to argue over social differences is more about individual ego than anything else.
Good words! I am "Jesus-y" myself, but I am mortified by the way Christians push their faith on other people's blogs and leave anonymous comments, disrespect the views of others, etc.

Yes, I agree on the need for mass therapy right now!
Liz Dwyer said…
I think it's unfortunate how all Christians get lumped into one box of folks who are like that when it's clearly not the case. Tt's like it is with anything, it's not what you SAY you are, it's how you behave!

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