Monday, February 18, 2008

The Bleating of The Sheep: A Primer on Christian Platitudes

Platitude: A trite or banal remark or statement, especially one expressed as if it were original or significant. See Synonyms at cliché.

One trademark of the most vapid believers is the hackneyed phrases they use to express their credulity and devotion. We’ve all seen them, the one-liners that unintentionally expose the user as possessing all the intellect and originality of the ewe or ram with which they identify.

My favorites are the ones sprinkled with “biblical” language like “thou”, “thee”, and “ye”. They imagine it makes them sound more apostle like, or like some biblical figure. They equate antiquated verbiage with a higher degree of holiness, not realizing they are mimicking the syntax and speech common to the Elizabethan and post Elizabethan Age … aka King James era speech. It’s always a hoot.

Anyway, having witnessed, or been on the receiving end, of countless Christian platitudes, I have become something of a connoisseur. As such, I have classified them into four main categories and provided some of my favorite Christian inanities.

I. Pious Platitudes:
Used with fellow believers it’s the sheep’s version of sanctimonious one-upmanship, offered as proof that their devotion and relationship with Gawd is more than just skin deep. Examples:
“God is bigger than my natural eyes can see.” [versus “unnatural” eyes ??]
“You have encouraged my faith in God.”
“Jesus just loves and receives me- as is … Right now … Period.”
“When we try to write God off as an emotional response, He still pursues us.”
[Yep ... its called the “religious meme”, look it up.]

II. Playbook Platitudes:

When faced with social situations that call for pat one-liners, like when attempting to comfort a deceased believer’s family, or stupidly mumbled to non-believers out of ignorance. Examples:
“Don’t be sad, Little Timmy is with Jesus now.”
“Just trust God.”
“God called Little Bobby home.”
“Little Susie is in our prayers.”
“She’s in a better place now.”
“Jesus holds you in His loving arms during your hour of grief.”
“I’ll offer blessings of comfort and strength.”
“I’ll pray for you.”

III. Proselytizing Platitudes:
Used in discourse (I use that word generously here) with non-believers, to attempt to divert attention from their failure to deal head on with the tough challenges; or to try and induce instant conversion to their delusion. Examples:
“Just open your heart to Jesus.” [also known as the “Stop Thinking!!” gambit]
“The proof of Him is all around you.”
“Jesus is my personal Lord and Savior, let Him be yours as well.”
“He died for your sins.”
“Why are you angry at God?” or Why do you hate God??”
“If a Christian hurt you at some time, I’m sorry.”
“You deny Him with your words, but you know that He lives.”
“The Lord loves you and He is quite capable to communicate that to you and to cause
you to believe, whether you want to or not.”
“I’ll pray for you.”

IV. Pissed Off Platitudes:
Any expression of distain using secular vernacular is discouraged among the faithful. Thus phrases such as “Fuck your logic and higher IQ, you non-believing hell bound shit bag.” would be considered bad form. Instead, they roll out some tried and true Christian phrases that they wield like a flaming sword to express their anger or frustration. Examples:
“Begone, Satan!!”
“So you know the Bible, so what?! Even Satan can quote scripture!”
“I shake the dust from my feet.”
“You’ll see the error of your ways when you standith before Him and tremble!”
“Every knee shall bend … you just wait!”
“Only a fool says there is no God! Thou art a Fool!!”
“If you don’t believe in God and Heaven, why don’t you just kill yourself!?”
“I’ll pray for you.”

And on they go, the bleating of minds drained of reason replaced with slavish superstition. Yeah, you pray for me, or kill a chicken, or sacrifice a virgin, silly theist … and I’ll think for you.


Joyce said...

Tsk tsk. FAR more effective than "Begone Satan!" is the ever popular King Jimmified "Get thee behind me, satan!".

Silly camel.

BTW, I'm praying for you. Ha! (No, like really ... erm, uh ... yeah).

Hey, look, when you decide to take on a Christ follower on as a friend, you DO have to expect such things. Even such smart and thinking ones such as myself! ;)

DromedaryHump said...

Damn it!! I forgot the "get thee behind me, Satan!" line. I love that one!!!

By the way, I sacrificed a chicken for you and jeff last night. Ok, it was extra crispy from KFC; and ok, we ate it, but it was still a sacrifice.
I hope it was as good for you two, as it was for us.

May the Colonel bless and keep you


(PS: BTW, if a Kentucky Colonel hurt you at some time, I'm sorry.)

Joyce said...


Leo said...

Sorry, this doesn't go with your post but I thought you may find it interesting.
The world is flat.

DromedaryHump said...

Thanks for that. Scary that people like that still exist.
And proof that one doesnt have to be a Fundamentalist Christian Creationist/ID'er to be devoid of intellect. You can be a Fundy Muslim too.


John Stephenson said...

One of my favorites: "God won't give you more than you can handle."