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christian cliches that grind your gears

Keith&Co.

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How do you mean 'the world' as a cliche?

My hackles rise when i'm told to say a certain prayer to oen my hear to God and it's "never been known to fail."
Because when it does fail, they place the blame on me (not sincere, not a true effort, not truly open, you're rather Satanic), and continue to claim "it's never been known to fail."
 

southernhybrid

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Oddly enough, despite living in the heart of the Bible Belt, I rarely hear any Christian cliches, other than a few expressions that have long been a part of southern culture. The only two I can think of are "have a blessed day", which is simply another way of saying, "have a nice day" and the often insulting, "bless her heart." For example, if someone is a hopeless mess, you might say, "Poor Jennie really looks bad today, bless her heart!" Imo, these are simply cultural expressions that have been influenced by Christian culture but have become part of mainstream culture.

However, I did see my casual nurse friend who lost her fiancé' to COVID, probably due to their refusal to take the vaccine, say on FB. "I was supposed to be married on Nov. 6th, but God had other plans." I guess that gives people like her comfort. If I was a believer, I'd be mad as hell at my god for not telling me to take the vaccine, for making me very sick and for taking my fiancé away.

I was also part of a group that exercises at our senior center, that was asked to pray for a woman who had metastatic cancer a few years ago. The group all prayed, while I kept my cool without pretending to pray. Three weeks later the woman was dead. Oh well. I guess god had other plans for her. What's the point of praying if god is going to do what it wants anyway?
 

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"God works in mysterious ways..."

IOW "I don't know shit about any gods, but am well trained to pretend they exist".
 
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I'll start with "the world"
Google defines cliche as a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought. Much of what Christians say does tend to fit this definition. In other words, many Christians are just parroting what they are told. So when they talk about "the world" they just think it sounds like something that is evil in a vague sense. The "evil world" is something they seek to escape and want to warn others to flee from to escape God's wrath.
 
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"Prayer works!"

"Sometimes God says "No"."
Speaking for myself, it's basically impossible to tell the difference between God saying no to a prayer or my not praying correctly and prayer simply not working. I could use similar logic regarding my having bad luck despite having a rabbit's foot: I didn't use that rabbit's foot correctly!
 
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I was also part of a group that exercises at our senior center, that was asked to pray for a woman who had metastatic cancer a few years ago. The group all prayed, while I kept my cool without pretending to pray. Three weeks later the woman was dead. Oh well. I guess god had other plans for her. What's the point of praying if god is going to do what it wants anyway?

I like to call it "deferred blessings." God's blessings are sure to come, but they will arrive at some indeterminate time in the future under circumstances you cannot now know. It's a slick way to smooth over failed prayers.
 

Keith&Co.

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"Prayer works!"

"Sometimes God says "No"."
Speaking for myself, it's basically impossible to tell the difference between God saying no to a prayer or my not praying correctly and prayer simply not working.
So, if you don't do it correctly, then it's your fault God says no.
Thst's not distinct from God saying no. That's just Him judging your effort, vice Him judging your request.
The Books does insist True Christains get what they ask for, as long as God approves of the requedt. So they have two out's that don't bring His existification into question.
If God won't end abortions for those who pray against it, either God approves of abortion, or not a single REAL Christain has ever prayed for an end.
 
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So, if you don't do it correctly, then it's your fault God says no.

That's a standard rationalization for failed prayer. I wonder why if people aren't praying correctly, then why God doesn't correct them.

If God won't end abortions for those who pray against it, either God approves of abortion, or not a single REAL Christain has ever prayed for an end.

That's a very astute observation. Those Christians who pray against abortion should be ashamed of themselves for not praying the right way!

In any case, if person A isn't praying the right way, then why can't some prayer expert B pray for A? There should be at least some people who get prayer right who can make up for all the flunky pray-ers, now shouldn't there be?
 

excreationist

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"God doesn't want anyone to go to hell"

It is easy to find Christians saying this with Google.

They believe most people are going there eternally but think God is perfectly loving and free will might be involved.
 

thebeave

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"God doesn't give you more than you can handle". Or some variation of that.

I always have in mind a morbid picture of the absurdity of that statement. Two guys have just began leaping out of a window together on the World Trade Center on 9/11, due to the intense flames licking at their backs. The Christian one says, "Don't worry, God doesn't give you more than you can handle.". The atheist says, "For the last time, will you please kindly fuck off with that statement?!" Or something to that effect.
 

steve_bank

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The thing is some of those Christian cliches actually are helpful to them. They are part of the western culture. Having the patience of Job or the wisdom of Solomon. Baring your cross wene under stress.


They are being replaced by things like drug metaphors and cliches. Having a bummer or 'ODing' on something not related to drugs. Excessive indulgence.

Pop culture cliches like Rambo-ing a situation.

Cliches abound. God only knows where it is all going....

When somebody says something like god loves you if I am in an ornery mood I might say "Which one?"
 
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"God doesn't want anyone to go to hell"

Where exactly is hell, anyway?

They believe most people are going there eternally but think God is perfectly loving and free will might be involved.

I understand that God is too loving to force anybody into heaven. Does it then follow that forcing somebody into heaven would be hateful?
 

Keith&Co.

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The thing is some of those Christian cliches actually are helpful to them. They are part of the western culture. Having the patience of Job or the wisdom of Solomon.
A fading influence. My wife taught metaphor to tenth and eleventh grade English classes. They don't read much of anything anymore, and certainly not Bible stories.
So they don't know what the wisdom of Solomon means. They don't know who Moses is. Adam and Eve, maybe, not Abel.

They can tell you all about all the Pokemon, but if they hear the cliche, they prolly think the 'patients of JOB' refers to people helped by a Jewish OB-GYN.
 

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However, I did see my casual nurse friend who lost her fiancé' to COVID, probably due to their refusal to take the vaccine, say on FB. "I was supposed to be married on Nov. 6th, but God had other plans." I guess that gives people like her comfort. If I was a believer, I'd be mad as hell at my god for not telling me to take the vaccine, for making me very sick and for taking my fiancé away.


That, of course, would feed into the cliche that athiests are just mad at god.
 

excreationist

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"God doesn't want anyone to go to hell"
Where exactly is hell, anyway?
I think it used to be under the earth but now it might be in another dimension. (like in the Doom games)
They believe most people are going there eternally but think God is perfectly loving and free will might be involved.
I understand that God is too loving to force anybody into heaven. Does it then follow that forcing somebody into heaven would be hateful?
I don't think many people would prefer to go to hell rather than heaven.... (maybe some metal fans) also a lot of unsaved people (e.g. Moslems, Mormons?) would really really want to go the heaven but many Christians would believe those people have to go to hell....
 

southernhybrid

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However, I did see my casual nurse friend who lost her fiancé' to COVID, probably due to their refusal to take the vaccine, say on FB. "I was supposed to be married on Nov. 6th, but God had other plans." I guess that gives people like her comfort. If I was a believer, I'd be mad as hell at my god for not telling me to take the vaccine, for making me very sick and for taking my fiancé away.


That, of course, would feed into the cliche that athiests are just mad at god.
Are you for real? I would say that makes the atheist position the more rational one. Why would a loving god destroy the happiness of two believers who made a mistake by not taking a potentially life saving vaccine? Atheists aren't mad at god because it's impossible to be mad at an entity that doesn't exist. No Christian friend of mine has ever accused me of being mad at god. Sometimes we are frustrated or saddened when we see our Christian friends being taken advantage of by their religion. It's just hard to understand why or how some believers are able to consider that "god had other plans for them", when those plans cause such pain and suffering.

I do know a man who immediately went from conservative Christian to atheist after his two year old son died quickly from a common infection. The man was rational enough to come to the conclusion that if a god existed, that god would have listened to the his prayers and healed the child. The man realized that his prayers were in vain because there was no all powerful, loving entity there to help him.

Let me end by trying to keep in the spirit of the OP. Believing in an invisible entity that is supposed to be loving, and in control of all things, but then allows very painful, tragic things to happen, is not a rational way to see the world. So, it's easy to understand why an atheist might feel triggered or despondent when a friend or acquaintance says that the horrible tragedy that happened to them was "god's will".
 
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Where exactly is hell, anyway?
I think it used to be under the earth but now it might be in another dimension. (like in the Doom games)

Now that we know a lot about the earth, there's no room for a subterranean hell. We've looked under the earth's surface, and there's no hell to be found. Not to be dissuaded, Christian theologians have moved hell to that other dimension you speak of. It's awfully hard to disprove hell when its located in some place we cannot check.

I don't think many people would prefer to go to hell rather than heaven.... (maybe some metal fans)...

Marilyn Manson, for example?

...also a lot of unsaved people (e.g. Moslems, Mormons?) would really really want to go the heaven but many Christians would believe those people have to go to hell....

Since different religions have different heavens, I think it's safe to say that each religion's unique version of heaven is more appealing to that religion's members than some other religion's heaven. In fact, another religion's heaven might seem downright hellish to those members. After all, Christians like Baptists no doubt hate the Roman Catholic idea of venerating the Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven while in heaven. They might rather go to hell!
 

steve_bank

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'atheists hate god' is an old Christian fallback cliche.

Atheist politics, atheist science, atheist sexuality, aethst media, atheist movies....etc,etc,etc. I am sensing a pattern here, one big cliche.
 

excreationist

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I don't think many people would prefer to go to hell rather than heaven.... (maybe some metal fans)...
Marilyn Manson, for example?
Well there's this AC/DC song - Highway to Hell
My friends are gonna be there too
I'm on the highway to hell
On the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell
....
Hey satan
Payin' my dues
Playin' in a rockin' band
Hey mumma
Look at me
I'm on the way to the promised land
...also a lot of unsaved people (e.g. Moslems, Mormons?) would really really want to go the heaven but many Christians would believe those people have to go to hell....
Since different religions have different heavens, I think it's safe to say that each religion's unique version of heaven is more appealing to that religion's members than some other religion's heaven. In fact, another religion's heaven might seem downright hellish to those members. After all, Christians like Baptists no doubt hate the Roman Catholic idea of venerating the Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven while in heaven. They might rather go to hell!
I thought a place with no suffering (including boredom) would be preferable to eternal agony.

The saying is "God doesn't want anyone to go to hell"

So they're saying that God really doesn't want to send anyone to hell but he just has to send them there.... he had no choice....

BTW there is also the case of so-called Christians who don't put Jesus first. They like singing hymns, etc, but they aren't properly saved....
 

southernhybrid

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Where exactly is hell, anyway?

I've heard it's in the meta-verse!
Well the "metaverse" is what Facebook calls VR worlds.... I think if hell exists it would exist in a kind of VR world.....
Yes. That was pretty much what I meant by my sarcastic post. Plus, Zuckerberg would make a pretty good Satan, but, I digress.
 
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Well there's this AC/DC song - Highway to Hell
My friends are gonna be there too
I'm on the highway to hell
On the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I'm on the highway to hell
....
Hey satan
Payin' my dues
Playin' in a rockin' band
Hey mumma
Look at me
I'm on the way to the promised land

Yes, that's a classic from the Satanic-Panic era. Rock musicians were devil worshippers. AC/DC, in particular, stood for "Anti-Christ, Devil's Child."

I thought a place with no suffering (including boredom) would be preferable to eternal agony.

But wouldn't you suffer from singing off-key hymns to a God you knew was torturing your friends and family?

The saying is "God doesn't want anyone to go to hell"

So they're saying that God really doesn't want to send anyone to hell but he just has to send them there.... he had no choice....

Christians can't blame God for torturing people, so the latest apologetic is to tell unbelievers that they've chosen to go to hell. Choosing to go to hell would be hard to do if one doesn't believe in hell and doesn't know where it is.

BTW there is also the case of so-called Christians who don't put Jesus first. They like singing hymns, etc, but they aren't properly saved....

Salvation is tricky business. I understand that Jesus will reject even many of those who are convinced they are saved.
 

excreationist

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I thought a place with no suffering (including boredom) would be preferable to eternal agony.
But wouldn't you suffer from singing off-key hymns to a God you knew was torturing your friends and family?
Revelation 21:4
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

It seems in paradise people have a new glorified body and mind.... that way they can be content or happy all of the time.... which is impossible with our current minds... anyway it is about the lesser of two evils... (even if there are problems in heaven it would be preferable to agony in hell)
BTW there is also the case of so-called Christians who don't put Jesus first. They like singing hymns, etc, but they aren't properly saved....
Salvation is tricky business. I understand that Jesus will reject even many of those who are convinced they are saved.
At my sisters' church the "prophet" teaches that Christians who have a religious demon are going to hell.... here he said his Christian grandmother went to hell (you can get a taste by watching 2 minutes)
 
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I'll start with "the world"
There are so many! Here's some more:

You don't really believe in God.
You believe in God but won't admit it.
You know God exists.
In times of trouble, I just give it all to God.
I will pray for you because God answers all my prayers.
If my prayers don't help you, then it's your fault.
Hell isn't a torture chamber but separation from God.
Separation from God is absolutely terrible.
If you fail to help those in need, then God will hold you accountable.
God sometimes answers no to what people need.
You're a fool if you don't believe in God.
I love you.
 

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It's been awhile, but if I remember correctly it was something along the lines of "you seem like a really nice person. Are you sure you're an atheist?"
 

Elixir

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“Evolutionism is a Religion”
(Alternately “Darwinism”)

Ofer crissakes… religion’s a bad thing now? (If it was even remotely true)
Only theists posit the existence of “Darwinism” or “evolutionism” anyhow - why is that? Is evolutionism required for God to exist? ?
 

FwL

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Why should it Matter?
However, I did see my casual nurse friend who lost her fiancé' to COVID, probably due to their refusal to take the vaccine, say on FB. "I was supposed to be married on Nov. 6th, but God had other plans." I guess that gives people like her comfort. If I was a believer, I'd be mad as hell at my god for not telling me to take the vaccine, for making me very sick and for taking my fiancé away.


That, of course, would feed into the cliche that athiests are just mad at god.
Are you for real? I would say that makes the atheist position the more rational one. Why would a loving god destroy the happiness of two believers who made a mistake by not taking a potentially life saving vaccine? Atheists aren't mad at god because it's impossible to be mad at an entity that doesn't exist. No Christian friend of mine has ever accused me of being mad at god. Sometimes we are frustrated or saddened when we see our Christian friends being taken advantage of by their religion. It's just hard to understand why or how some believers are able to consider that "god had other plans for them", when those plans cause such pain and suffering.

I do know a man who immediately went from conservative Christian to atheist after his two year old son died quickly from a common infection. The man was rational enough to come to the conclusion that if a god existed, that god would have listened to the his prayers and healed the child. The man realized that his prayers were in vain because there was no all powerful, loving entity there to help him.

Let me end by trying to keep in the spirit of the OP. Believing in an invisible entity that is supposed to be loving, and in control of all things, but then allows very painful, tragic things to happen, is not a rational way to see the world. So, it's easy to understand why an atheist might feel triggered or despondent when a friend or acquaintance says that the horrible tragedy that happened to them was "god's will".

The entire premise of the movie God's Not Dead rests on the atheist professor being mad at god for allowing his wife to die.
 

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Well then, that movie is bonkers, and I don't watch silly movies like that.

I'm not suggesting that no theist has ever made the stupid claim that an atheist is mad at god. I've just never been told that I'm mad at god and when I was still working, all of my close coworkers knew I was an atheist. Most of them were cool with it. The few who weren't, either amused me or made my work life miserable. But, considering who those few were, I have a feeling they would have been a problem regardless of our different beliefs.
 
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No shortage of contradictions.....
I think Paul's faith-based Christianity differs from the works-based Christianity of Jesus because Paul was either ignorant of what Jesus said, Paul disregarded what Jesus said, or the Gospel Jesus was invented after Paul wrote his epistles.
 
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