I was raised in what I believe to have been a very religious household. As a result of that, at a very young age, I embraced Christianity. I wanted to know all there was to know about the religion my parents were practicing so I did tons of research every day. I looked through bound volumes of information, cross referenced scriptures in the Bible, and even went to the library to peruse information that could be verified from a non-religious standpoint.
However, since I was a child, I take a LOT of things at face value. In my mind, it was far easier to view things from a 'black and white' standpoint versus always trying to assign meaning to things and getting the interpretation wrong. It worked well until I ran into my first hypocrite. Unfortunately, it happened to be a fellow Christian and for the longest time I could never quite wrap my brain around the fact that this person was a Christian JUST LIKE me but acting SO un-Christlike. This person was a DEVOUT Christian too so it confused me even more. Even though I was young, I held firm to that experience because it made me so uncomfortable. I had always believed that if nothing else in the world seemed right to me, my family and my religion would be my stronghold.
When I brought my concerns to my father, he attempted to get me to adjust my thinking by saying that people would be human and make mistakes; that I shouldn't dwell on their actions when it came to religion but put all my faith and hope in God. It was kind of hard to do when the very people preaching to me every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday about how to live my life according to God's principles were going against the very same things. I eventually let my disdain for hypocrites disrupt my love for my religion. Religion became this big ugly thing that MEN who craved power and control, hid behind. I just couldn't do it anymore. However, the spiritual side of me didn't die. I still believed in the principles I was taught, the truths I came to know based on the knowledge I had previously researched and I swore that I would NEVER NOT acknowledge that there is a more powerful entity than any man on this earth.
So....when I hear people like Pat Robertson or the woman who told me that "nothing good will come of you...or your situation" and I KNOW they are Christians, I am thrown back to that very first experience with a hypocritical Christian.
I can't fathom how people like this justify in their minds that it is okay for them to speak so negatively to another human being like they are God's appointed judge and juror of someone. While there are other religions that have hypocritical individuals amongst them, because this is an acquired human trait, Christians have always been looked at as THE most judgmental religion. I think it is because they take their bashing of other humans to an extreme that is evident would NEVER be associated with Christ's docile demeanor.
Take my example for instance. The woman who basically cursed me, considers herself to be God-fearing and believes she has an unbreakable bond with the Lord. Within hours of "cursing" me she was praying to the Lord telling him to forgive her of her sins because he knows she is not perfect. I've NEVER been able to stomach when people do this. No matter what denomination of Christianity you choose to practice, across the board, it is understood that when you are truly repentant of your un-Christlike behavior, you are to ask for forgiveness from whomever you've wronged and THEN go in prayer (or confession) and ask for forgiveness of your sin. In her mind, just asking the Lord was okay and I should be fine with that too because SUPPOSEDLY, the Lord had forgiven her for being "ugly". However, when you ask for forgiveness, it is with the thought in mind that you are going to STOP what you are allegedly sorry for. Within 5 minutes of her praying for forgiveness, she was still expressing THE SAME un-Christlike qualities. I can't take people like this seriously; especially when they hide behind their religion as their stronghold in life.
Honestly, if your relationship with God allows you to feel okay acting like this and God actually approves of your wonky behavior, I don't think I want to EVER practice Christianity another day in my life.
I mentioned Pat Robertson earlier...for all those who didn't hear by now, he had some truly heinous things to say about the Haitians. As if they haven't suffered enough at the hands of a natural disaster, this clown basically states that they deserve their current misfortune and it is "payback" from something their ancestors did. Again, who made him judge and juror of another human being? NO ONE. He took it upon himself to cast judgement on some people he has never met in his life. How is this hypocritical? He's a televangelist and KNOWS better than to cast judgement on ANYONE. He reads the Bible just like anyone who watches him regularly and I can bet money that he has had some "sermons" about how to treat your fellow "brother/sister"....and here he goes speaking matter-of-factly on a matter that is highly irrelevant to the tragedy occurring. In his mind it's relevant so he wants others to place some kind of importance on what he's saying. This isn't very Christlike behavior either. Jesus had compassion for anyone he came into contact with and he preached about showing love to one another...not judgement, hate, or hypocrisy.
While I've only listed two instances of hypocrisy, my reason for keeping religion at arms length is more in depth than this. I'll never speak ill of the religion I was raised to believe in but I do believe that because all religions are run by humans, there is always going to be something fundamentally wrong with them. I would never speak ill of anyones religion but the things some people do in the name of their religion are truly horrific. This is why I choose to embrace my spiritual side. At the end of the day, if Armageddon comes and God judges me as unfit to live because I didn't put faith in a religion, I will take my punishment unflinchingly.
Until then I'll keep my distance because I can't stomach hypocrisy...