“Gee, Ain’t It Awful” is one of the games listed by Eric Berne in his book, The Games People Play (1964). The version I’ve seen most goes like this:
Isn’t it just awful! The divorce rate is 50%!
Oh, just look at that outfit!!!It’s just awful the way those people dress. They must just TRY to be ugly.
Well, you know how those Catholics are….they live like hell all week and confess on Sunday! It’s just awful.
Well, you know how those AG and Foursquare people are….they wave their arms, and dance and carry on like Fiji Islanders! Just awful.
Well, you know how LUKEWARM all those mainstream church people are. JESUS says that’s just awful.
Those Muslims are ALL a bunch of murderous fanatics….just awful!
Those awful atheists! It’s just awful how they complain about God.
I think it’s awful how Pastor has switched from the Hymnal to a PROJECTOR!!!
Isn’t it AWFUL how those UNBELIEVERS just REFUSE to accept God and His Word! And how they say RELIGION is a dirty word! Awful!
It’s US vs. THEM.
Which makes it important to be RIGHT (sing…My God is better than your God, my view is better than yours!)
Which makes US better than THEM (more knowledgeable, insightful, CLOSER TO GOD!)
Which becomes US bearing TRUTH that we must impart to THEM.
Which creates DOGMATISM and CONTROL.
AND HOW DOES THAT SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF AN ABUSED WOMAN, OR SEARCHING SOUL, A CHILD OR ADULT SEX TRADE CAPTIVE, OR POTENTIAL MURDERER, OR MURDER VICTIM OR FAMILY? OR?
IT DOESN’T. It’s JUDGEMENT. It’s SIMPLISTIC. It’s DEHUMANIZING. It’s addictive.
If you want to get really judgmental…..it is sin.
I am really, REALLY, R E A L L Y tired of some Christians, with wide gaping mouths, who speak absolute trash as if they were the Oracles of God. Not because it is my right to return their “righteous indignation.” Because it HURTS PEOPLE. It pushes them farther from faith in a God they can trust to love them, care for them, be patient with them while they deal with the suffering of life, and who might even SAVE them. It ADDS to suffering, and isolation, and FEAR. It is love of DRAMA, not love of God or of people. It is defense of ego, at the expense of unity.
I know they have their own hurts and illusions which motivate this behavior. I’ve done it too. But PLEASE, let’s educate and support one another so we can do much better! Christian or non-Christian, there is no law against learning to be more effective AND more kind.
Sounds kind of like I’m trying to persuade you to switch to MY team, doesn’t it? (I have to laugh!)
We hang with others “of our own kind” for a variety of reasons, among which are comfort and support, as in “fellowship of believers.” But when we only hear one another’s voices, opinions, testimonies, life experiences – all through the same filter or paradigm, our thoughts become inbred, probably magnifying the strengths we cultivate, but also weaknesses we don’t. We are protected from negative thoughts (theoretically) but also from really good information from others. We reinforce each other’s errors in logic; we play the game.
What I advocate is refusing to play.
So I’m listening to different “kinds”. And the “some Christians” a few paragraphs above? The ones with the “gaping mouths.” Sorry, I have to laugh again – at myself. I hearby renounce my intensity and reaffirm my respect.
I’m not an US or a THEM, if I can help it. I’m just ME. And I’m listening for God/the universe. And for the first time in decades I can accept that maybe I don’t have to reconcile the “merciful, but JUST…REALLY JUST, potentially angry and punishing” God I have perceived Him to be. Maybe I don’t have to reconcile confusing scriptures. Maybe I can BE, be open, and learn something new from the One Who knows.
A couple of refreshing posts by Judy whose blog is Connecting Dots….to God:
http://wp.me/p1xX5U-1cm Would You Vote for Jesus?
http://wp.me/p1xX5U-1cL Would You Still Vote for Jesus?
I welcome your comments.