As we’re coming up on the holiday season, I figure this is a prime time to unleash a rant I’ve have bottled up for some time.
I think we’ve all got that one friend (unless you’re surrounded by un-preachy religious or secular friends…which if you are, lucky you) that is always carrying on about what “Yahweh” commands. I’ve got one that I used to work with—we’ll call him Carl—who I had to unfollow on my Facebook because my feed was clogged with his holier-than-thou preaching because he had chosen to “follow the true teachings of Yahweh” so everyone else is wrong and needs to be schooled.
While growing up, I never quite understood why people found the Mormon missionaries so annoying, knocking on the door and offering to share the gospel. But once I went inactive, as it’s called when you’re a member of the church but don’t attend, the missionaries started targeting me as well. It wasn’t until my coworker’s constantly biblical Facebook posts that I started really getting annoyed by the entire “preach the gospel” commandment.
With Halloween just days away, Carl’s wall is packed with meme after meme, scripture verse after scripture verse, all telling all his friends how the lord forbids celebrations that he hasn’t commanded. One goes so far as to say “And to honor death and darkness is to cast your lot with Satan.”
…..Excuse me? Just who are you to tell me that my beliefs are any less true than yours? Who are you to tell me that I’m going to hell for passing out candy to little trick-or-treaters? Or in a couple months, for hanging stockings and putting up a tree?
I’m so frustrated by this attitude that I’m at a serious loss for words. His view isn’t a tangential one either, as there are other people I know who believe the same way. They are, thankfully, much quieter about it. I am all for religious freedom, and freedom of thought and speech, but there are times that it’s too much. How is being so caustically vocal about how you’re so holy by not celebrating these holidays doing you any good?
I don’t have children yet, but I have several nieces and nephews, and I can just imagine the reaction of the younger ones were they to come in contact with this attitude. They’d come home crying, scared that because they played dress up and got candy for it that they will be spending their eternal afterlife cast out from their family. What right does anyone have to tell someone else, especially someone else’s children, that sort of crap?
And before you tell me that his comments are on Facebook, a medium that’s meant for older children and adults that won’t be traumatized by such words, do you really believe that the other Carls this opinionated keep this to themselves offline as well? I can guarantee they don’t. They teach their children this. If their children have friends over they will hear it too. If their child is invited to a party and has to decline, they will tell the reason.
This same story repeats itself year-round. Halloween. Christmas. Easter. Even birthdays. And by Carl’s attitude, I have no doubts that it applies to secular holidays as well. Independence Day. Veteran’s Day. Memorial Day. Now those aren’t celebrated as much, outside of barbecues and fireworks, but they are national holidays. Many businesses are closed, but where I worked with Carl, we still had to work. It was a 24/7 kind of job. So there was holiday pay when we would work on national holidays. This makes me wonder, would he renounce the extra pay?
I’m not sure how much of this made sense, or how well I was able to express my frustrations and offense at Carl’s holier-than-thou-because-I-don’t-holiday attitude, but I hope I was able to get a bit of my annoyance out in an understandable way. The only thing I can come up with, I’m borrowing from my friends at the Inciting Incident podcast…
Carl, take your lack of holidays and the fun, joy, and memories that comes along with it. But quit telling me that I’m wrong and facing eternal damnation. You’re free to practice your religion, but it isn’t mine so quit trying to guilt me with it. That said, there’s only one thing left to add….
F*ck you, Carl.