Come, let us Cringe Together

Calvin Kneeling Praying At Cross 2As I have been thinking about it, there are many things that are cringe-worthy in the Christian world, well, probably the religious world, but Christianity is usually my point of reference and so I’ll stick with what I know. It’s so strange to think that at one time many of those cringe-worthy things seemed like a good idea to me and now I am faced with how embarrassing they all are. There are expressions of Christianity every where I go and I’m not even looking for them.  They are constantly thrust in front of me, even just driving around town, on the bumpers and windows of cars:  Calvin kneeling at the cross, “NOW–Not of This World,” “I’m Not Perfect, Just Forgiven,” “Body Piercing Saved My Life,” etc. (I’m serious.  It really said, “Body Piercing saved my life” with Jesus on the cross—crucified.) I think Christians believe they are making some sort of powerful statement that is a witness to the world, or at least to those who see their message.  I know I did.  Now, it is a reminder of just how brainwashed (for lack of a better word) I was.

One that bothers me the a lot is the Calvin decal. I really cringe when I see it.  I did when I was a believer too though–for different reasons.  Anyway, poor Calvin, portrayed as kneeling at the cross, I mean, I really don’t think Calvin would ever want to do that. His creator isn’t a believer, so I’m pretty sure Calvin isn’t either.

Calvin once said to Hobbs, 
 “This whole Santa Claus thing just doesn’t make sense. Why all the secrecy? Why all the mystery? 
 If the guy exists why doesn’t he ever show himself and prove it? 
 And if he doesn’t exist what’s the meaning of all this?

Hobbs replied: 
I dunno. Isn’t this a religious holiday?

To which Calvin said, 
”Yeah, but actually, I’ve got the same questions about God.

If Calvin were real, I think it would piss him off that he is portrayed at the foot of the cross—kneeling in submission.  He is the poster child for rebellion and non-conformity after all.   Perhaps he is praying for forgiveness for all of that…Now, that’s a strong message.  Hello?  HE’S NOT REAL, but Jesus is…ummmm…never mind.

The irony here is that this decal is a perfect example of blatant copyright infringement—you know, stealing? Hmmm, Christians stealing to get their message out.  I guess they get a pass though.  All bets are off when you are glorifying god and witnessing to a lost world.

I never had that ridiculous Calvin decal on my car window. I had something way more articulate and rational: A bumper sticker that said, “Darwin is Dead and He Ain’t Comin’ Back,” with a Darwin fish, legs in the air.   What?

Oh, there’s more…

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. juliesamazed
    Jan 17, 2013 @ 09:54:24

    I never did get around to buying and posting that Jesus fish on my car, back in the day. I guess that’s one thing that I don’t have to cringe about now!

    And now when I see the Jesus fish on any car, I look closely and hope to see the little legs extending at the bottom . . . maybe I found a comrade!

    Reply

  2. ... Zoe ~
    Jan 17, 2013 @ 20:09:28

    In some ways I think Christians think they own the copyright because God owns it. God owns everything. A pastor once told me it was okay to lie if it was for Christ. Naturally he made a life out of lying while involved in an adulterous affair while still in the pulpit. I’m sure there’s a Christian out there that would say it’s okay to “steal” Calvin if the ultimate outcome is the salvation of even one soul. All the commandments are up for grabs if they can be evangelically justified.

    I found this cartoon startling when I first saw it. Picture a small wooden and weathered bench in front of that cross. Then picture my friend at age 13 on her knees like Calvin. Beside her is our camp counselor who grabbed her out of thin air and made her kneel there. He would not let her go until she accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Saviour. She resisted for a long time and eventually caved in when he would not let her go. Picture 13 year old me standing over by the cabin watching all this go down. *sigh*

    I’ve seen the Darwin fish here in Florida. I’ve seen a whole lot of bumper sticker stuff here. Yikes.

    Reply

    • ... Zoe ~
      Jan 17, 2013 @ 20:11:04

      Oops. Didn’t mean for all of that to be in italics. 😳

      Reply

    • notabarbie
      Jan 18, 2013 @ 00:59:08

      See? Some people would look at that decal and say, “yeah, it’s lame, but what’s the big deal?” Hearing your story about your 13-year-old friend, brings home just what a big deal it is and how damaging religion can be. Hugs to you 🙂 You’re free now; hopefully she is too.

      Reply

    • lisawoody
      Jul 22, 2014 @ 06:12:37

      Lying, forcing someone to pray a prayer, and committing adultery are not Biblical and certainly not representative of Christianity. There are people out there who profess to be Christians but are not. Their behavior and words are used by critics of Christianity to tell people that Christianity is hollow, meaningless, harmful. When it’s not Christianity they’re holding up at all. Jesus said, “Love one another. Forgive one another, even when someone doesn’t ask for forgiveness and isn’t even sorry. Show kindness to those in need. Keep my commandments. Love one spouse for the rest of your life. Don’t cheat in business. Put your own needs aside and put others first. Be humble.” That’s true Christianity. Jesus isn’t damaging. It’s self-centered “religion” that’s damaging. And that includes secularism and humanism.

      Reply

      • notabarbie
        Jul 22, 2014 @ 10:44:00

        You say,”There are people out there who profess to be Christians, but are not.” I see, but you are? … A Christian that is. Hmmmmm, I find it interesting that when “Christians” are faced with the hard truth about their common behaviors, they either say that that is not what “true Christians” do–true Christians like them. Or, that those who call them out, were not ever really Christian, or just hurt, or angry, etc., etc. You are not original. You say that a true Christian is humble. What about judging not, lest you be judged? Or are you not judging when you say that secularism and humanism are self-centered religions? Does your finger hurt from pointing it so much? Or perhaps you can’t tell because you are too distracted trying to see around the plank in your eye? Just sayin’.

      • ... Zoe ~
        Jul 24, 2014 @ 21:30:15

        Lisa: Lying, forcing someone to pray a prayer, and committing adultery are not Biblical and certainly not representative of Christianity.

        Zoe responds: Thank you for taking interest in my comment Lisa. For me, during my time within Christianity I certainly agreed with this. Of course, I witnessed these behaviors often within Christianity and found them quite representative. We all have different experiences to be sure.

        Lisa: There are people out there who profess to be Christians but are not.

        Zoe responds: I hear this a lot. I heard it as a Christian. It appeared to be a way to dismiss those Christians outside a certain denomination and in many cases even within the denomination.

        As a former Christian it is a common statement made to those of us who once believed. ‘Well if you left Christianity you never were a believer in the first place.’

        The people I referred to (though I can’t speak for the young man who forced my friend to pray because I no longer know of him) are still committed and professing Christians. I think they would strongly object to you saying they are not.

        Lisa: Their behavior and words are used by critics of Christianity to tell people that Christianity is hollow, meaningless, harmful. When it’s not Christianity they’re holding up at all.

        Those who I mentioned earlier would agree with you that their behavior and words are used by those who have and use a critical eye towards not only Christianity but most belief systems. I suspect with good reason. But those Christians I mentioned were dedicated, committed Christians regardless of their behavior and words. They would be mortified to hear anyone suggest that they were not holding up Christianity. They would likely inform you that they were/are sinners and repented of their sins. Their behaviors and words do not dismiss their confession.

        Lisa: Jesus said, “Love one another. Forgive one another, even when someone doesn’t ask for forgiveness and isn’t even sorry. Show kindness to those in need. Keep my commandments. Love one spouse for the rest of your life. Don’t cheat in business. Put your own needs aside and put others first. Be humble.” That’s true Christianity. Jesus isn’t damaging. It’s self-centered “religion” that’s damaging. And that includes secularism and humanism.

        One doesn’t have to be a Christians to practice forgiveness, to show kindness and to meet the needs of those who are suffering. One also doesn’t need Jesus to be moral and ethical, to love one’s spouse for the rest of your life or to be honorable in business. I suggest to you that one doesn’t need Jesus in order to practice the art of being humble. I think many people do believe Jesus is necessary to maintain the above character traits and if it makes them a better person than without I’d prefer they keep their belief in Jesus. It’s when one believes that they can only be good with Jesus that I wonder what part of “good” are they missing in countless humans around the world who don’t believe in Jesus and are good. That includes secularists and humanists.

        Is Jesus damaging? Maybe not. Is His religion damaging? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

        In closing, about putting the needs of others first. Do you remember that Bible story (assuming here that you believe the story is true) where Jesus is overwhelmed by crowds? Remember how he escaped them by having his disciples row across the lake to get away from them? Seems that even “God” Himself had to put His own needs first. But oddly when it comes to my experience within Christianity the teaching was much likes yours here asking us to put our own needs aside for others. I saw countless people and I include myself here putting their own lives at risk following this kind of advice. It sunk in one day as I realized that in an airplane emergency I’d run around helping others save their lives by first putting on their oxygen masks. Of course in a very short period of time I’d pass out into unconsciousness and die and a lot of help I’d be then eh?

  3. Ratherbedigging
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 01:30:15

    My favorite cartoon probably ever:
    “Oh no, everything has suddenly turned neo-cubist!” “It all started when Calvin engaged his dad in a minor debate. Soon Calvin could see both sides of the issue! Then poor Calvin began to see both sides of EVERYthing!”

    I’m just pointing at some other blogger’s copyright infringement. Aiding and abetting, if you will.

    Reply

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