March 9, 2012

"Do you ever recognize how critical you are? Just curious."

"Thank you for sharing that. I have choir practice tonight."

Crack Skull Bob — the other Crack — eavesdrops on can't help hearing those Christians "of a certain type" over there at the next table. They're so earnest!

26 comments:

MadisonMan said...

If I knew someone was eavesdropping on me, I might be persuaded to say something outlandish.

Chase said...

Yes, and I am sorry.


WV: arightio.
Isn't that a martial arts term or something?

rcocean said...

What if they'd been earnest Jews, would crackskull have felt the same?

Chip S. said...

Earnest people always seem weird to assholes.

phx said...

In my tradition we aren't allowed to help improve anyone. The thinking is we have so much to fix in ourselves that it's useless to try to fix others. Leave that for the masters.

So if hear someone speaking or see them acting in counterproductive ways we are told to play the role of a nonjudgmental witness (unless we are spoken to or invited in).

It's a challenge but it makes a lot of sense to me.

Carol said...

I remember this sort of thing from the Christian evang crowd I was around in Texas. I was a California girl from a broken home, and had grown up cynical and negative. So yeah I felt like I didn't fit in, but I wasn't hostile about it. It wasn't them, it was me.

traditionalguy said...

That's funny.

The critical vein running through Christianity repels people. Christ literally came to show God's love for imperfect people. When Christ-ians major on the imperfections in others, they are deceived by religious tradition.

Ask Pat Robertson.

Kit said...

Phx, I've been taught the same thing - worry about cleaning my own side of the street. It's a pretty good philosophy and makes life a lot simpler.

cubanbob said...

gee phx if only government would follow your tradition....

Darrell said...

Mr. or Mrs. Fuck with a "P," thinks his/her side of the street is squeaky clean, though.

Unsolicited advice is always welcome from a guy that goes by the name of "Crack Skull." Too bad people don't take him up on that.

edutcher said...

Astounding how the people who are so critical of anyone who believes in God fail to apply their own advice to themselves.

MayBee said...

Crack Skull Bob should be grateful he sat near someone worth eavesdropping on.
There is nothing worse than being in the mood to eavesdrop and finding nothing of value in hearing range.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

tsWhen we Christians move too far beyond being one blind beggar trying to show another blind beggar where the bread is ... we get into a lot of trouble, not least of which with God.

Mitchell said...

I hadn't realized until now that folk in Iowa City can be so oblique.

Around here, the conversation would have gone:

"You're an asshole."

"Fuck you."

Maybe it's more of an earnest Christian thing and I wouldn't understand.

wyo sis said...

Somehow earnest and critical and Christian are all the same thing. And all bad. Are there no earnest and critical atheists?

Note that the speaker is apparently a teen child speaking to a parent. Nothing to see here.

Beth said...

One of the funniest convos I've ever overheard was when we lived in Texas and were at a middle scale restaurant. A group of "good" women maybe mothers and grown daughters was next to us. I had seen a great episode of HBO's Real Sex so my ears perked up when I heard one of the women at the other table say, "I can't begin to describe something I saw on tv the other night." And then went on to describe it in even more detail than I remembered. Too funny.

craig said...

C.S. Lewis' fictional demon Screwtape says this:

"We direct the fashionable outcry of each generation against those vices of which it is least in danger and fix its approval on the virtue nearest to that vice which we are trying to make endemic. The game is to have them running about with fire extinguishers whenever there is a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under... Cruel ages are put on their guard against Sentimentality, feckless and idle ones against Respectability, lecherous ones against Puritanism; and whenever all men are really hastening to be slaves or tyrants we make Liberalism the prime bogey."

Somehow, I don't think our society is in danger of an oversupply of earnestness these days. Yet another ironic snark from Crack Skull Bob doesn't help.

Alex said...

another Christian-bashing post. Thanks Althouse for fanning the flames of religious wars!

Triangle Man said...

I remember being uncomfortable around earnest people when I was younger. Then I decided to be less of a sarcastic prick. Now I prefer earnest people. I still occasionally feel the urge to be a sarcastic prick and mainly resist, but sometimes let it out here under a pseudonym. Thank you all, and I apologize.

Bender said...

Yeah, I've been trying to see the joke here all day.

Critical ---> being in a choir

??

Got me.

As for being "earnest," meaning "serious," "showing depth and sincerity of feeling" (I had to look it up for its precise definition since it is not a word I tend to use, unless I'm talking about the story The Importance of Being Earnest), I suppose when one is considering and discussing the supremely important questions concerning the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, and what might lie ahead, one might tend toward the serious, rather than the frivolous.

It is all well and good to sing "Always look on the bright side of life," but at some point one must realize that that life is so very short, at least in this world, and one might at least think of making provisions for the next. (Oscar Wilde himself made the journey of conversion during the last years of his life and was received into the Church on his deathbed.)

But serious hardly means grim, much less critical. Of course, merely recognizing the truth of a given situation might seem harsh to those who prefer to play or to those who have a frivolous disregard even when it comes to whether truth exists or not.

That said, any real Christian will admit that he or she can, at times, and perhaps too often in these times, be unduly critical and too lacking in charity and patience. They will admit that because they freely admit that they are not perfect, they are sinners and such undue anger and hostility toward others -- even if "deserved" -- is itself a sin.

As for my part in such criticality, I too confess that I have been unduly harsh and sometimes a jerk. And, as I did earlier today, I apologize to any who have thus been led astray from what is right and good and true.

Any real Christian is equally, if not more so, critical towards himself or herself. Being a light to a dark world, being a witness of love and truth requires a diplomatic touch, utilizing a variety of methods. While one cannot say that pounding some sense into people is never called for, it is not often the best method. What is needed is patience and persistence in love and truth.

phx said...

Don't mention it Triangle Man

phx said...

As for my part in such criticality, I too confess that I have been unduly harsh and sometimes a jerk. And, as I did earlier today, I apologize to any who have thus been led astray from what is right and good and true.

Bender finding religion too.

bbkingfish said...

"Oscar Wilde himself made the journey of conversion during the last years of his life and was received into the Church on his deathbed."

Speaking of Wilde on his deathbed, His last words are among my favorite of the genre:

"Either this wallpaper goes, or I do."

m stone said...

Any real Christian is equally, if not more so, critical towards himself or herself. Being a light to a dark world, being a witness of love and truth requires a diplomatic touch, utilizing a variety of methods. While one cannot say that pounding some sense into people is never called for, it is not often the best method. What is needed is patience and persistence in love and truth.

Worth repeating.

Thank you, Bender.

Erik Robert Nelson said...

My experience is that some Christians tend toward periods of extreme self-criticism, and that as such it makes them a bit under-sensitive to criticisms they level at others--because they are so much harder on themselves. Though, yes, some can simply be pricks.

As for this example--I still don't get it. When reminded of how critical they can be, someone offers thanks for the reminder, as there is choir practice that night (my assumption being that the person might be overly critical of those in choir who do not sing or perform as well). So ... what? I've heard the same sorts of conversations among friends who *aren't* Christian. It seems this whole thing says more about the listener than it does about the ones being overheard.

SGT Ted said...

I wish earnest leftists would apply their criticisms to themselves and their own faith based beliefs about money and people before they went after the Christians.