I'm pretty patient with people who want to leave religious'y comments on this blog. But eventually my patience wears thin.
I don't mind a few "I love [insert name of divine being] so much!" kinds of comments. Hey, I've been there and done that -- wanted to share my religious zeal with the world.
Eventually, though, the situation becomes akin to an alcoholic coming to a 12-step group where the members are dedicated to weaning themselves from a dependency on excessive drinking. And supporting each other in finding non-alcoholic ways of living life.
The first question is: why is an alcoholic coming to a place where people don't drink a lot? That's the same sort of question I ask myself when a religious person starts leaving comments on this blog.
Giving them the benefit of the doubt, members of a 12-step group first would assume that the alcoholic wants help in breaking his addiction. If not, why isn't he in a bar or at home getting drunk? Likewise, I figure that anyone who visits a Church of the Churchless blog is interested in churchlessness.
At first, though, an alcoholic might want to talk some about how much he enjoys drinking, how good it makes him feel, what delights he gets from losing himself in an inebriated state of consciousness.
After all, it isn't easy to break free from a long-established excessive-drinking habit. Nor is it easy to release oneself from the bondage of religious dogma. Hey, it feels good to think "I'm special! God has a plan for me! I'm going to heaven while others are going to hell!"
However, what if an alcoholic never stops talking about how much he likes to drink? What if he shows no sign of wanting to become sober? Or at least a controlled moderate drinker?
Then members of the 12-step group would be justified in viewing him as an intruder, a trouble-maker, an alcoholic who is in denial about his alcoholism and only is interested in justifying his addiction to other people.
Other people who know what it is like to be an alcoholic. Other people who have "been there and done that" with excessive drinking. Other people who aren't interested in regressing now that they've progressed to a healthier way of living.
They'd be entirely justified in saying to the preachy alcoholic, "You need to take your act to a bar. Other drunks likely would enjoy what you're saying. We don't."
This is how I feel about preachy religious people who try to dominate comment conversations on this blog. I'll tolerate them for a while. Proabably longer than I should, because I prefer to let people have their say, so long as their saying is at least somewhat related to the purpose of this blog:
Preaching the gospel of spiritual independence. Not preaching religious dogmatism.
Try going into a biker bar and screaming "Guys who ride Harley's are pussies! American cycles are crap!" Try going into a meeting of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and yelling, "Animals have no rights! Eat them and beat them!" Try going into the Vatican and loudly proclaiming "The Pope is a fraud! There is no God!"
I deeply respect freedom of speech. But there's a time and a place to freely speak. Not all times and all places are appropriate for certain sayings.
So if you're religious, have at it. Proclaim your religiousness. Just not here. Not much, at least. When your dogmatism gets obnoxious, your comments won't be published. Time to find another place to preach.