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.