Faith and Respect

  1. Jjnzdr says:

    I am a Christian and I agree with you that Christians have gotten a bad name.  I think it is because we became mixed up with politics.  It made it difficult on all of us because some Christians took one political party as God’s party.  There is a lot of resentment because of this.  It is as if the only way you can be a good Christian is if you think the way that they do.  
    I think that you should just keep writing the way you have been and include your faith whenever you want.  I love your snarky blogs but your blogs in which you share your faith are good too.  Try not to worry too much.  People who want to judge others, do so regardless of what we do.  So let them judge.  You can’t change them and you only get to go through life once so you might as well do it the way that you want to. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you! Sometimes I just can’t move on with this blog until I’ve written a certain post- I have no idea why, but I always feel better once I’ve gotten it out. 🙂

  2. Andrea says:

    Oh this has SO been on my heart the last 6 months!  Thank you for so eloquently putting words to it.  I personally love the example of merging faith and “real” life on a blog and hope to get a better idea of how to do it myself.  

    • Anonymous says:

      I most love personal blogs where people write what’s in their hearts, no matter what that might be. I think if you do that, you’re good. 🙂

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  3. Knewman4 says:

    Interesting post.  I feel like my own core values (pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion, pro-Obama, pro-Socialist) are attacked, ridiculed, legislated against, and protested by media outlets and politicians who often claim a Christian God as their primary allegiance that I haven’t been on the lookout for prejudice against Christians.  But I’m sure you are right, and I’ll try to work on myself, where all work should begin!

    • Anonymous says:

      There are definitely people who use “Christianity” as a license to attack or judge or even hate others for their beliefs. I think this is true of people within other belief systems, too. But this kind of behavior goes against true Christianity as it’s outlined in the Bible. The sad thing is that if everyone who called themselves Christian truly tried to act like Jesus, we wouldn’t have any of these problems.

      Behind these loudmouths that get media coverage are a bunch of real people with good hearts who are scared for anyone to publicly label them as Christians because it has become such a negative, close-minded term. So many Christians I know believe what I do- that Jesus called us to love one another. That judgment is reserved for God. It’s a way of thinking that I think any of my non-Christian friends could appreciate (just as I appreciate some of the facets of their beliefs, even if I don’t share them), but too often it gets overshadowed by the negative stereotypes of Christianity.

      • Jools says:

        I think the loudmouth, hypocritical, sometimes hate-mongering “Christians” who are in no way truly living the faith are the reason Christianity has become an easy target for shallow thinkers. I look at the Christians in my life, and not a single one uses his or her faith as a means belittle others. But it’s the loudmouths who get the attention, and I just wish more folks would think a bit further before concluding that those people are representative of real Christians.

        In fact, a good friend of mine, who happens to be an atheist, came to Nashville with the Red Cross last year to help when the city flooded. She had always been a pretty strident atheist, very closed-minded toward the concept of faith, any faith. And after a week in Nashville, she was a changed person. Most of the volunteers she met were from churches — churches in the area, churches from around the country. And she was truly touched that everyone was simply there to help. She had a few conversations in which she acknowledged being an atheist, and she was surprised that no one seemed to be put off by that — everyone was just glad that she was there to help, just like they were; everyone was kind to her. To me, that is a true representation of what it is to be Christian — being kind to others, helping others, making the world a better place.

        My friend is still an atheist, but I believe she has a new understanding of and respect for people of faith, and that’s because she got to know people who truly represent their faith.

  4. Allison says:

    Bravo.  I heartily agree.  I often find myself almost “hiding out” b/c frankly I wonder what my non-christian counterparts would think.  Would they find me a hypocrite b/c I often say and do things that they may not see as “Christian enough”?  I certainly know that sometimes Christians (or other faiths for that matter) use their faith as a weapon.  “Well God wouldn’t like such and such”.  I think there are certainly some people who need to check themselves, but generally I think that it’s coming from a place of good. 
    Perhaps the best way to wrap it up is a story from Penn of Penn and Teller.  He’s an atheist, and one night after a performance he received a bible from an audience member.  The link below is a better synopsis but the end point is that the gentlemen TRULY believes that he’s trying to protect Penn’s future.  HE means no malice.  Penn gives a great example and I was very impressed with how he took this.  Point is, while there are some out there who may use their faith in a way we wish didn’t sterotype us all, for most it’s from a place good.

    PS-if there’s concern about the link just google Penn Jilette receives a bible.

  5. Melissa says:

    Been there. I can’t begin to count how many disparaging comments I’ve heard about Christians and conservatives – especially in the workplace –  when people know I’m a Christian and I’m relatively sure I’ve never done anything bad to them. I made a decision a long time ago that no matter where anyone comes from or what they believe, I will always treat them with the kindness and respect I would like to be treated with. Am I always perfect at that? No. But is anyone? Really? No? Then nobody gets a pass to throw stones, so to speak. 

    People like to call Christians “hypocrites”, but isn’t it also hypocritical to promote tolerance but then be rude to Christians who have never done anything to you and to lump them all together under the same negative banner? When we all look in the mirror, no matter what we believe, there’s going to be at least a little bit of hypocrite looking back at us. Because we are all human. Each and every one of us. 

  6. Thanks for your honest post, Lindsay. Took me back to BlogHer last summer and the breakout session for Faith Bloggers. This came up and I figured I might be the only one who struggles with mentioning faith and possibly alienating readers. Turns out that’s what we discussed for 2 hours, led by a Jewish moderator and with attenders including atheist, Christians, other religions. We all had the same quandries. I still don’t have answers but it was eye-opening that this struggle goes across so many religions.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is good to know. I think that there’s a silent majority of men and women of all different faiths who just want to do the right thing, to be kind to others, and to raise our children to be kind, compassionate adults. And we all hate to see our beliefs twisted into something ugly. I have realized over the last few weeks that I’m so used to Christianity being twisted that way that I had just learned to expect it- but if I’m honest, it affects me and how I interact with others when it comes to my faith. And I don’t want to feel that way. I want to be proud of what I believe, to continue to respect others’ beliefs, and to really believe they feel the same way about me. I’m tired of feeling like I’m cowering when it comes to Christianity.

  7. Mary A says:

    “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you because of me.”  Matthew 5:11

    Boy do I get it.  Christians get it bad, Catholics (who are also Christians) get it worse. 

    I’m not trying to one up you — I’m just saying that I understand. 

    I think part of the problem is that Christianity is a faith of choice, rather than birth.  You can be born into a Christian family, and it can be part of your culture, but to be a Christian, you have to decide for yourself.  And it is SO counter-cultural.

    I am a devout Catholic. I also swear like a sailor.  Is it inconsistent?  Yes.  But the thing is, Church is not a museum of saints.  It is a hospital for sinners.  (thanks Father Randy!)  God loves me, warts and all.  He gave Adam & Eve free will and loved them even tho they used it to damn themselves. 

    So. . .when they persecute you, REJOICE!  You are following your master.

  8. Jenny Lomax says:

    Lindsay, I am so glad you wrote this.  I see this all the time, in person and online, but I am finding it more online than not these days.  There are so many bloggers who I find to be funny and smart and I’ve enjoyed reading their blogs when, wham, suddenly a post mocks Christians. Or comments where people state this is why they can’t stand Christians, or that Christians are the most judgmental people, etc. It always makes me feel like the equivalent of standing in a room full of people that I like and then feel like I should start backing out of the room slowly, like I’m the outsider, or not wanting to speak up about what I believe in fear of alienating myself.  It makes me sad too to think that Christians are suddenly this stereotype of being dull, or having no sense of humor or levity, or that we all have an agenda to make others born again, or that we are passing judgment. I don’t make assumptions on others based on their faith, and I don’t want anyone making assumptions of me based on mine.

  9. Kristina says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve commented. The past few years (I’m only 21), I have thought of myself as a spiritual Christian, and I consider my faith to be very strong. I moved down to Georgia for college, and I find it especially hard here to call myself a Christian openly because of the expectations. And back north where I’m from, people will assume I mean that I am Evangelical Christian because that’s what many people think of with the south and religion. I prefer calling myself spiritual most of the time because I am afraid I will scare off my friends (especially at my age, it can be weird to have such a strong faith), and I am afraid people will automatically put me into a certain category. But I have been trying to be more open and honest with my faith because that’s who I am, and I completely agree with your statements that people need to respect Christians more (and all religions as well).

  10. Your feelings are legitimate, but I would venture to say that being an atheist means keeping your silence at an even greater level.

    I have finally begun to be open about my atheism because I live my life in a way that many people would consider to be typical of a person of faith (in terms of my personal values) and I want them to see that living by the golden rule is what is important in being a “good” person–not a belief in a god.

  11. Jenna@CallHerHappy says:

    I often think about this too. My husband and I are young (early/mid twenties) and we feel that we are singled out all the time. We are so glad we have each other when we are singled out for what we believe. Our biggest struggle has been our decision to use NFP for family planning. We believe in it, and feel we are doing what is right. It’s hard sometimes though when we are chastised for it. Why would someone talk negatively of the way we brought our daughter into the world? She’s our daughter! We are so blessed to have her!

    Oddly enough, we get told all the time that we have such a wonderful relationship. How do we do it? When we tell people that our lives are centered on Christ, we get weird looks. “Well, you asked!” is what I want to say!

    Anyway, I feel that  am just rambling right now. Basically, I agree with your sentiments, and I am glad you wrote this 🙂


  12. Jill says:

    I so appreciate your honesty, Lindsay, and I agree with much of what you say.  Christianity is one of the few acceptable “mockery” topics in America.

    I find comfort and challenge in the fact that God tells us we will be mocked, and to count it as a blessing rather than a curse.  If we keep quiet and don’t talk about our faith, we are not doing the one thing Jesus commands us to do in spreading the Gospel.  And in America, although we are likely to get eyerolls and irritated sighs and belittling comments, we are free to open our mouths (and blogs) and speak about it.

    As we discuss this, Christians around the world are and have been tortured, killed, brought to poverty and more because they have the call of Christ on their lives and are not keeping quiet.  I say this not to belittle our feelings as Christian Americans, but to give a bit of perspective in what we consider persecution.  When I am feeling a little discouraged about our country and how we are perceived, I try to remember it’s not about us; we are called to give everything we have to Christ.  And others around the world are paying a much higher price than being the butt of jokes on David Letterman, know what I mean? Let’s take courage from those around the world who are standing up when life is on the line and declaring their love for Jesus and their belief that others need to know the same.

  13. HopefulLeigh says:

    Yes, yes, yes.  I don’t make fun of other faiths and I appreciate those that don’t make fun of Christianity or cast all Christians in a negative light.  We do seem to be the punchline these days and my only response is that “we’re not all like that!”  So I guess we must each continue living out our faith in whatever corner of the world we reside in and show the world that Christians are not one-size-fits-all.

  14. Sally Rogers says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more and thank you for writing it.

  15. Shelley says:


  16. Cathy in Shrewsbury says:

    ..I think, (for me personally) it’s made it hard for me to embrace Christianity like I did with ease as a child, because right now in my family I have someone who literally has almost “brainwashed” my closest family member into truly believing because my husband and I don’t regularly go to church, that when we leave this Earth, we won’t be reunited in Heaven. It really hurts that my Dad believes this to be true, now. Since he’s very late in his life, what happens in the hereafter has become pretty darn important to him, and he constantly urges me to sign up with a church, preferably THEIR church, but at this point, he’d take my belonging to ANY church.

    As for the real topic  you’re bringing up, it’s such a valid point. My take…what makes Christians recent “easy pickings” of negative publicity is the contstant battle to “out Christian” eachother 😉 My tithe is bigger than your tithe, etc. etc.  Good topic and a brave one, Lindsay. You keep writing whatever moves you, I’m quite sure, we’ll keep on reading because we <3 you!

  17. NancyB says:

    The more I listen to Beth Moore and our bible study, the more I read the bible, the more I read what you have had to say these 7 or so weeks – I get it.  I really get it.
    Laugh if you will but shortly after the bible study started, a Jehovah’s Witness lady and her friend came by my house.  Now they have been stopping by since before Easter of this year and I have always thanked them politely and said “some other time”.  Well this time I said “Come on in!” I’ve taken it slowly and had to postpone them for a time (as they wanted me to do homework and I couldn’t do homework for both!) but I realized — I really enjoy this! My husband is still trying to reconcile himself with it all but if I could just get him to see that the NIV bible is understandable, I might just have a chance with him.Coincidently there was an opinion piece in my local Catholic transcript this week entitled “Tim Tebow and Christophobia “ talks about how he is “a target of irrational hatred because he is an unabashed Christian who’s calmness and decency in the fact of his Christophobic detractors drives them crazy.”  It was an eye opener. People would rather fall all over the thugs of the NFL and hold them up to their kids as heroes rather than someone like Tim Tebow – it’s crazy.

    Rambling on but I have to say I admire you and people like Tim Tebow who wear their Christianity and their faith on their sleeve.  Maybe if people see it more, they will follow suit.

  18. Pia says:

    I am a cultural Jew which means I love my background but have problems with G-d.  That said I would never diss any religion or person for believing.
    I believe this so much I moved to the bible belt. A large growing church has at its stated goal a want to convert every person in the town. Is that right or fair? Don’t I have the right to live peacefully without being talked to, told that New York where I come from is a sinful city–it’s not or that Jews don’t see the light and need a Christian G-d?
    Tolerance works both ways. I don’t mean to be disrespectful but as you stated every person has a right to her beliefs or non-beliefs

  19. Jenn says:

    Just came across your blog by way of googling rejection. Love your blog! Refreshing!!

  20. Aljxn says:

    I’m so glad that you wrote that–This is something that has been bothering me lately.   I think it started when I participated in a phone survey from CNN.  They asked me which candidates I was supporting and then what religion I was.  The choices were Catholic, Evangelical Christian, Jewish, or Other.  I asked her if there were other Christian choices besides Catholic or evangelical Christian.  Apparently no.  I had to say Other. 
    This conversation also reminds me of a movie review I read for a controversial movie that came out a dozen or so years ago (I can’t remember the name, sorry), but Alanis Morrisette played God.  The reviewer made the observation about how it didn’t bother anyone about how the movie ridiculed Catholicism.  And how we wouldn’t tolerate that in any other religion. 

    Thanks for tackling the touchy subject 

  21. Esther Monroe says:

    Thank you for this terrific piece of writing.

    Esther Monroe

  22. Maria Ladwig says:

    I am new to your post via the wonderful Syrup advertisement!  What a funny way to find someone who loves JESUS as much as I do! But then, he can always do the IMPOSSIBLE. I grew up in a VERY conservative Catholic home where my mom thought everybody BUT Catholics were going to heaven because they didn’t find the right religion.  I think she has changed her mind now at 79.  I love her so much for sharing her faith with me and for you sharing your faith with everyone else.  How are we suppose to get our kids and ourselves to Heaven if we don’t STAND together.  I work in a public school and had a very short conversation with a high school teacher that my daughter TA’s for.  I was seriously doubting my daughter helping her out when I heard her convictions and support of our current President.  My daughter is growing up and as much as I try to guide her to GOD and to be his child of grace, I have to let her go.  Anyway…thanks so much for helping people stand up for our beliefs.  Do any of you ever write to the TV shows, magazines, the President and let them know how you feel?  Lindsay, do you mind if I let people know about a stand that people can take for Christianity and the constitution on March 23rd?  I did not want to Grandstand.

    • Jjnzdr says:

      You do realize that our president is a Christian?  

    • Jtski1 says:

      Yes, he is Christian, not that it would matter if he wasn’t. In fact, I am anxious for the day that we elect a non-Christian president, just so that people will be forced to understand that it is okay and Christianity is not a requirement of the office.
      That line of thinking (especially laws for religion), is why Christianity is getting a bad rap. I was raised devout Catholic and I can say the rosary in English and Spanish. While I still greatly cherish the teachings of Jesus, I cannot presently align myself with organized Christianity- ironically, because of the way that much organized Christianity goes against Jesus’s teachings. 
      Lyndsay, I think that your faith is a beautiful aspect of your life and the fact that you respect the beliefs and choices of others, imo, shows that you do understand the heart of Jesus’s teachings and you are not intent on marginalizing and judging others. The unfortunate fact that many leaders of Christian churches do not share your beliefs is the root of the issue.
      There are pioneers in Christianity who do honor others, like the nuns who are currently under attack by The Vatican . 
      While it is not fair to assume that all Christians condemn homosexuals, birth control, non-Christians, etc., when the leaders of the major Christian organizations do, it’s understandable that others will be concerned about what values and judgments you might hold.
      I’m glad that you wrote and posted your blog and I hope that it will help any wary readers understand that you are not that way. 
      I believe that all prayers go to the same place and I rejoice and celebrate any religion, spirituality and philosophy that spreads love and good will. The politics and power-plays make that more difficult than it should be, but the voices of those who are loving and accepting certainly help, which is why we write in the first place.

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  24. Heather Meyer says:

    Wow. It’s like you’re in my head! The same sentiments are largely what prompted my blog’s very quiet nature the past few years.

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