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Why do so many people hate Christians?

(455 Posts)
WingedPig Tue 11-Feb-14 17:48:12

And save a special amount of vitriol for the Catholic Church? Is it purely down to the abuse scandals or is there something more? I don't see the same amount of hatred aimed at other religions, apart from perhaps Islam. Genuinely interested on opinions on this.

SuburbanRhonda Tue 11-Feb-14 17:49:56

What is the evidence base for your thread title, OP?

specialsubject Tue 11-Feb-14 17:50:47

no-one normal hates anyone for their beliefs. However if people bang on about their beliefs, and show no tolerance for anyone else's then they will be deservedly hated.

and people hate many religions - you may recall that the Jews have had a bit of trouble...

Catholic Church has done some bad stuff, though.

littleredsquirrel Tue 11-Feb-14 17:51:57

I'm not aware that they do. People who speak out actually tend to be anti organised religion.

Custardo Tue 11-Feb-14 17:52:28

the catholic church has been a special kind of shite (im catholic)

however i hold tambourine toting evangelicals in the highest disregard

WingedPig Tue 11-Feb-14 17:52:51

The evidence base is from my personal experience.

WingedPig Tue 11-Feb-14 17:54:29

I was raised an atheist and have converted to Christianity. My family and a lot of my friends think I'm an idiot and have told me they have no time for Christianity. This kind of echoes what I've been hearing all my life and I just wanted some outside opinions.

scarletforya Tue 11-Feb-14 17:55:34

They probably see them as being sanctimonious and hypocritical. Plus the abuse scandals in the Catholic church, there's really no coming back from that one. Organised abuse covered up very deliberately.

I say all that as a 'just about' Catholic myself.

MaidOfStars Tue 11-Feb-14 17:57:59

I do not hate Christians. Nor do I hate Muslims. Nor do I hate anyone based on their religion.

I hate religion though.

Bogeyface Tue 11-Feb-14 18:02:14

The only people I know that loathe christianity and the Catholic Church are ex Catholics like my father and Uncles. Only one uncle has not particular feelings either way and he wasnt sent to the abusive (physical in the case my Uncles, sexual for other pupils sad ) Catholic school that his brothers went to.

I am an ex christian turned atheist, I dont hate Christians, or indeed people of any other faith. I mistrust organised religion, but that is a different argument.

I think you would have been better to put "Why do my family hate Christians?" and my answer to that would be that they are probably feeling uncomfortable that something they do not understand has made you happy and given you a focus to your life. It probably makes them question their own beliefs (or lack thereof) in a way that they dont like.

littleredsquirrel Tue 11-Feb-14 18:03:03

But wouldn't your family say the same whatever religion you converted to?

We are a non religious family. If a member of our family converted to any religion they would in all likelihood be on the receiving end of a lot of queries about why they would believe such rubbish and are they not aware that the bible is just a story (and that's just from the DCs).

Bogeyface Tue 11-Feb-14 18:03:36

Sorry that should be (Physical in the case of my father and uncles.....)

JohnFarleysRuskin Tue 11-Feb-14 18:04:33

One million catholic children weren't murdered in gas chambers, just for being catholic, were they?

Some people hate all organized religions. Some might hate the Catholic Church for how it behaved during the 2nd world war.

I think the main reason you see a difference in the way religions are treated is that most of them are just not encountered in the UK. I've never had anyone knock on my door and ask me if I believed in the Buddha, Thor or Baron Samedi. I don't know of any schools run for Pagans or Satanists.

On MN there are a few different beliefs, but they have no effect on my life outside the forum.

Mainly I have to contend with the CofE interfering with legislation and schools. Demanding to be exempt from Equality and Discrimination laws and so on.

The Roman Catholic church also has influence in schools and in politics. As well as enabling abuse - which I hope you will agree is no small thing - they encourage discrimination here and abroad.

Islam is an emerging problem. It never used to be - when I was growing up I barely knew there was such a thing, but now it is having a real effect in the country I must live in.

You will get two kinds of anti-religious feeling. That from other religions who know that theirs is the one true religion and that from atheists who generally can't see a significant difference between one religion and another.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 11-Feb-14 18:10:04

There is a difference between mistrust/hatred of organized religion you an idiot OP.sad. Have you spoken to your family about how their comments impact you? What did they say?

QueenStromba Tue 11-Feb-14 18:29:22

I hate the Catholic church for all of the damage it has done to women's rights in traditionally Catholic countries such as Ireland. Things like imprisoning unwedded mothers and using them as slave labour until a man came to claim them (sometimes this never happened) even if their child was a product of rape. The last Magdalen laundry closed in the 1990s so that's something that women who are still alive today have gone through.

Preventing access to contraception - in the late 70's/early 80's doctors in Ireland could only officially prescribe the pill for menstrual problems.

Making abortion illegal to the point where they can prevent pregnant women from leaving the country if they are suspected of travelling to get an abortion and making women carry babies to term that will die within hours of birth.

Then there's the taking collections from people who can't really afford it when the Vatican is sitting on billions in cash and assets.

Specific Christians that I hate are the holier than thou types who use their religion as a veil for massive bigotry against entire groups of people such as homosexuals. The sort of people who would send their gay sons to Christian camps to have it beaten out of them.

Then there's the ones who try to convert you, who bother you in the street or knock on your door.

My feeling on the matter is believe what you want as long as it's not hurting anyone (including psychologically) and you aren't shoving your religion down other people's throats.

I loathe the churches that exploit and abuse their members. The catholic church has a terrible reputation as an organisation for tolerating the intolerable. There also seem to be a number of christian churches that wed modern religion with ancient superstitions and use it as a reason for physically and mentally abusing children who do not conform - because that makes them a witch or possessed or some other hocum and the demon must be driven out.

Pigeonhouse Tue 11-Feb-14 18:42:27

I'd hold a similar position to QueenStromba on Catholicism, though I would probably still self-describe as a cultural Catholic. But you aren't asking about general hostile attitudes towards organised religions, you seem to be expecting us to know your own family, and why they don't like your conversion, better than you do...?

Perhaps they find it strange that a previously secular/unreligious person has suddenly begun to believe in something they regard as essentially a valueless scam dedicated to a big imaginary Sky Pixie? Perhaps you are being holier-than-thou all over the place and trying to boss them into saying grace and Bible study? (That was a joke, but even when I was practising, I certainly often found converts terribly tiresome in their demented zeal...)

Did you say you had converted to Catholicism specifically? Perhaps they think that, if you are attracted to Christianity, why wouldn't you choose a denomination that isn't run by a bunch of elderly celibate men, and opt for one of the liberal varieties of C of E, with married men and women priests, and a socially progressive theology?

But you know your family, we don't.

TSSDNCOP Tue 11-Feb-14 18:42:35

See my family and friends would question my decision, but they certainly wouldn't be rude. Could it be just your family and friends OP?

WingedPig Tue 11-Feb-14 18:46:55

Thanks, these are interesting posts. Yes, perhaps the fact that my family, their friends and my own friends are predominantly atheists is the main problem.
I think the Magdalen Sisters scandal and sexual abuse within the Church is utterly horrific.

SuburbanRhonda Tue 11-Feb-14 18:54:47

You say you were raised an atheist, OP. So are you only bothered about this perceived hatred now that you think it's directed towards you? hmm

KissesBreakingWave Tue 11-Feb-14 18:56:32

The basic problem with religions - not just christianity - is that they are all, without exception, visibly making it up as they go along but claiming to be getting it all from a Supreme Moral Authority who nobody can see, hear or touch but you have to believe he's there or (insert post-mortem torture of choice for the particular religion). Only a few of them have given up on the pre-mortem torture, and that relatively recently. And, of course, any position that allows someone to speak on behalf of Supreme Moral Authority is going to attract the sort of scum that want to prey on the kind of people who are swayed by authority. Hence evangelists, priests and so on. People who don't want to work for a living but haven't the moral courage for regular fraud.

WingedPig Tue 11-Feb-14 19:04:57

SuburbanRhonda - I'm not sure what the hmm face is for?
It's not something I've ever really been aware of or particularly interested in until now.

madhairday Tue 11-Feb-14 19:12:46

<eyes Vicar DH playing silly games on his phone waiting for his mate to pick him up to go to the pub>

I knew it! No moral courage. Workshy scrounger. I'll have to ltb, hey?


OP, I've not come across hatred such as you describe, apart from the odd post on mumsnet wink - in general, I can see people seperate out their hatred of religion from hating the person as most sensible grown ups would. However, in some countries there is far more hatred, to the extrent that people of faith are imprisoned/tortured/murdered. A few hmm faces about my faith doesn't seem much in comparison, really.

I think there is more general suspicion around, and sometimes for good cause. I don't know a lot about the Catholic Church but I can understand why there is so much hatred of it as an institution. This, in extreme cases, may spill over to hatred towards its members. I'm sorry you're coming across so much vitriol from your family, OP. Maybe it will settle down as they get used to it, and realise you haven't joined an outlandish cult and aren't going to preach hellfire at them over Sunday lunch. It can't be nice for you sad

<totes tambourine and dances away>

SuburbanRhonda Tue 11-Feb-14 19:15:16

That's what I thought, OP. So you weren't bothered about hatred towards Christians until it affected you personally. Not very ... Christian, is it?

And FWIW, you say your evidence base is your own experience. That's not an evidence base. That's your own experience.


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