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So, my post about Southern Baptist, ying_ko_4  rightly took me to task for violating one of my own rules.  When it comes to religion, I try to remember the church is not its people.  Just because church authorities act one way, it doesn't mean those following it necessarily have those values.  I pointed out in another posting that I know Catholics who support reproductive rights or love their gay children.  In one of the Hannah Singer stories, she explicitly states that the hardest thing to keep in mind is that, just because someone is a particular religion, it does not mean they share those values (note to ying_ko_4:  it's in one of the stories in the sample pack I sent you).  So it is a lesson that is important to remember, but is very easy to forget when the ire shoots into the Red Zone.

Well, ying_ko_4 called me on it very respectfully.  However, my teacher is not so subtle.  She also read the post and the comments, and she decided to remind me of this very simple rule about stereotyping people because of their religious beliefs and give me a Gibbs-smack.  So she sent me a link to a news article.

Music lovers are familiar with the Insane Clown Posse.  I remembered them being signed by Disney's record label a looooong time ago, then the contract got dropped because of how "controversial" they were (I didn't hear anything that bad compared to Straight Out Of Compton, but whatever).  I've heard their stuff every once in a while, most recently because one of my supervisors at the warehouse is a fan, and put them over the PA system so everyone could listen to them as we closed up for the night.  They have their fans, I don't get it, so I just move on. People either really love them or really hate them, there is no middle ground.

So, what did this controversial rap group do recently that has set their fans on edge?

They have announced that they've been evangelical Christians the entire time.

I read the headline, and the first thing I thought of was,  Uh-uh.  My teacher is fucking with me.  Then, I thought, okay, the article is legit, but the ICP is fucking with me.  This is an irony troll.  Is it?  I have no clue.  But reading some of the quotes from them and their attempts to validate their faith?  I'm not convinced this isn't a put on.  Although, if it is true, we have a new mark for how insane Christians can be.

Apparently, the fans ("Jugalos", possibly the trendiest subculture to hate on.  Yes, even more than furries) are debating whether or not this revelation, in the form of a song called "Thy Unveiling", is true.  Does it matter?  People are fans of the ICP's act.  They weren't listening to them for guidance (at least, I'm hoping they aren't).  Back when I was in the Pokemon League, one of my co-workers said she wasn't sure she should let her kids play because "Wizards Of The Coast is owned by hardcore Atheists".  I pointed out people do not play AD&D or Pokemon for religious instruction, they play them to have a good time, whether or not the owners had an anti-Christian agenda didn't factor into it.  I mean, this is one song by the ICP making a declaration like this, and its apparently isolated from the rest of their catalog.  Does it really matter what their religious beliefs are or that they made a song about them?

Religion is a tricky area.  It shouldn't matter what people believe, but it does.  What religion we follow, how we worship, reflects our values.  It's a shorthand.  And people gravitate to others like them.  EQ2Flames had a forum for discussing religion.  People of all stripes, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, whatever, met there to talk.  Then the founder of the board admitted he was Christian.  Participation in the forum dropped.  Nothing changed.  He didn't ban anyone, no changes in policy, the only difference was the awareness of where on the religion map the founder was.  And suddenly, people who weren't Christian left.

Religion makes us do weird things.  Our reactions make us regard people as a checklist of beliefs instead of actual people, and makes it that much easier to regard them as worthless when nothing should change.  Maybe the greatest awareness that can be achieved is not so much gaining consciousness as leaving a defective one behind.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
True, people seem to want to pigeonhole others based upon their religion. I had someone recently question my beliefs on LJ because I mentioned "God" in a post. Not questioning in a bad way but they seem genuinely surprised I would believe in God and I felt like I had to justify my eclectic belief system, which I shouldnt have.

Now, never having (knowingly) heard ICP, I can't make this statement a fact but just because a band acts "controversial" or "weird" or "alternative" doesnt automatically make them devil-worshippers, or that they can't be Christian. People can't seem to wrap their heads around that.

When i was heavily into the goth scene (or rather, into dressing the part), I always had non-scene people thinking I had to be an atheist at best, a devil-worshipper at worst, maybe pagan. But the point was, they made assumptions based upon the way I dressed. Alternately, if you said you were Christian to a group at a club, some people would stop talking to you because again they had pre-conceived notions (this didnt happen to me but to a few people I know).

It's just so odd (and interesting) how humans think and behave.
Oct. 12th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
Your statement about mentioning being Christian? I've lived through that. Mornblade and I met when we worked at the same pizza parlor. He knew I was a Christian because I simply mentioned it, I didn't really try to hide it and thought I might be "one of those."

Then he heard how many times I said "goddammit!" in a row when an order got screwed up and thought, "Maybe he's not one of those." We've since become close as brothers.

Lately, I do the opposite. I tend to not mention being Christian in certain environments because I am aware of the baggage the label has.

It's an odd contradiction -- in order to have a more honest relationship with people, you can't be completely honest about yourself....
Oct. 12th, 2010 10:28 am (UTC)
I'm a Christian. I usually have some way of letting people know. I do say goddammit now and then. ^_^ What can I say no one is perfect. I try not to mention God too much if others don't want to hear it, and have heard it all before. That is because mentioning God too much will just aggravate. I'm not the type either to say hallejuah every 5 seconds. It's just not me. I praise God when I should, and I have quiet moments when I should. Where it is just God and me. ^_^
Oct. 12th, 2010 01:21 pm (UTC)
I am suddenly reminded of the musical Spamalot, in which Patsy is asked by Arthur why he hadn't said something about being half Jewish earlier. Patsy's reply is something like, "It's not generally the kind of thing you say when surrounded by a group of Christians with swords."

After having been hassled by Christian zealots when I was a Christian, and then later turning to Agnosticism, can you blame me for being uneasy when someone is happily letting it be known that they are proud to be a Christian? But one past the uneasiness, I will give a person a fair shake.

My view about the forum is simple, if you are on a forum that is dedicated to religious diversity or comparative religion, Then you have to expect Christians to be present (as well as Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Norse, Buddists, and sadly, even Scientologists). And you have to judge each individual on their individual contributions to said forum, not on what some other nutball that is of their same religion has said or done.

blood_of_winter - I was into the Goth scene before it became that. I was an 80's Rural Goth. It got me through high school with less hassle than I would have had otherwise, as people tended to leave the weird guy dressed in black alone. I found out years later that they all thought I was a Satanist. At least they left me alone. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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