The Bible and the Sociopath

Bloggified by Jake on Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm house/dogsitting on the southside again, which means when I go to get the mail I have to brace myself for another run in with the Crazy Born Again Christian Neighbor. For previous run-ins go here and here.

Today's encounter was a brief one, but raised an important point about the ethics and values of Christians. (For the record, while I was writing this, Jen Grunwald linked a post with a similar theme on Twitter.) In a statement he's made many times before, my neighbor claimed that Jesus changed his life. I'm not sure of many specifics from his previous life. I know he was in a gang and that his brother-in-law was shot in the head by gang members, but other than that I'm left to speculate what "bad, bad stuff" he's done in the past. Maybe he's knifed a fifth grader for crack. The important point isn't what he's done, but rather that he considers it evil and that he believes he couldn't have stopped without Jesus.

My argument was that Jesus didn't change him at all. When someone makes a change like the one seen in my neighbor, the more important factor that the magical manipulations of a mythical sky man is self-awareness. Recognizing that one should not stab one's fellow man is not a lesson taught only to those who follow Christianity. I have never stabbed anyone in my life and I haven't been to church for anything but weddings, funerals, and Easter egg hunts since 1991.

Implicit every time a Christian says he or she does something good or doesn't do something bad because he or she wants to go to heaven is that if heaven were proven not to exist is a streak of sociopathy.

A sociopath is unable to relate to the feelings and understand the rights of other individuals. This is why sociopathic killers feel no remorse murdering a random person on the street. In their brains, that person had no inherent right to live and they feel no sympathy for the victim.

If fear of angering of God is the only reason you donate money to charity, if the threat of banishment from entering the pearly gates is the only reason you don't slaughter your family in your sleep, you are a sociopath. If you can't think of any good reasons not to rape the pretty woman you see at the bus stop other than Jesus might be upset with you, you need to be locked away from society for everyone's good. The scariest part of this is that God will forgive anyone who asks, so the fact is there's no good reason not to rape that pretty girl as long as you pray afterward.

I am happy that my neighbor has gotten his life on the right track. I am proud of him for the fact that he's turned his back on his evil ways. But he deserves the credit himself. For whatever reason, he came to recognize that his previous behavior and its lack of regard for those around him had negative effects on the world around him. For him or anyone else to indicate that a lack of God's presence would erase that recognition is pure insanity.

1 sarcastic replies:

Chico Brisbane said...

You're preaching to the choir Jakester, no pun intended. Whenever I hear someone preface a comment with "the bible says" my asshole puckers up tighter the Tweety Birds. Not because I hate religion, but because in my experience it's those that go out of their way to create this image of being at one with Jesus that are most likely doing all of the sinful nasty shit that they spend all God damn day warning others to avoid. Look at Ted Haggert, he wrapped himself in Jesus for years and spoke endlessly about the evil of homosexuality and what the bible says about such devience. But in the wee hours of the night while his wife and kids were tucked into bed. Old Teddy could be found at some seedy motel. And not just with a male prostitute, but with a crack pipe in his mouth and a dick up his ass. Go figure...

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