Color me confused...

In this thread, a poster makes a (clearly) outrageous claim about religious people in general and Christians in particular.

Now, his/her views are certainly not representative of the SDMB in general, but there does seem to be a large contingent here that holds the idea that most Christians are bigoted, right-wing, and unintelligent.

My question is: Where do you guys live?

While I certainly don’t live in a community that is a hotbed of religious activity, I have lived in the midwest (WI), the east (MA), and the (sorta) South (VA). Having said that, I have never been witnessed to in a public place, in fact the only time I have encountered people who do this is at my door, and they have been either old Jehova’s Witnesses ladies or young LDS men. Both types have been unfailingly polite at every occasion.

The only religious “tract” I have ever seen is The Watchtower (I think that’s the name), which was quite innocuous, no rabid screeds on gays or Democrats. I had NEVER heard of Jack Chick until I came to this message board, and in fact have never heard of him or seen references to him outside of here.

I have NEVER recieved Christian glurge in email (but I get tons of other urban legend crap).

My entire family, including cousins, are Christians, but I can only think of one Republican in the bunch. One cousin is openly gay, and she still goes to Catholic mass with her partner every Sunday. No one in the family has ever said an unkind thing about her.

The church I go to is the campus chapel for the University of Colorado, and a large number of the parisioners are faculty members. My (ex) father-in-law is a rather famous (in his field) anthropologist and a member of the National Academy of Science, and goes to church every Sunday. It goes without saying that he believes in evolution.

Now, I am not saying that these virulent types don’t exist, I know they do, it’s just that in my world I almost never encounter them. The closest I’ve been to a group of them was at the funeral for Matthew Shepard in Laramie, but they came from elsewhere and are by all accounts a small group of wackos.

So those of you who hold the view that most Christians are unpleasant, is that really the case where you live? In your cirlcle of friends and acquantances are there no “normal” people who happen to be Christian? What about professionals you deal with? Doctors, business people, teachers, accountants that you deal with and like - are they all athiests? Is my experience atypical?

We live on the internet. Unfortunatly, it seems that the majority of religious people we encounter, however tangentally are religious extremists/intolerants. The exeptions to this do of course exist, most notably in some of the Dopers, but there are a lot of very hateful, but more relevantly very loud fundies on the net.


here in the Bible Belt, it’s very common to be chatting with your neighbor/son’s soccer coach/pharmacist and have them suddenly throw down on you with the whole “jesuschristasyourpersonallordandsavior” thing.

As a gentle and private person, this is very intrusive and unpleasant.

Not all Christians are like that, but there’s a significant portion of them to annoy the bejebus out of everyone.

It should be noted that the thread concerned is in MPSIMS as such no matter how idiotic the OP is it must be treated with courtesy. I see few if any in that thread agreeing with the OP in the slightest. I also doubt you will find any people who believe “most Christians are bigoted, right-wing, and unintelligent.”, but instead you will find many that have been agrieved by Christians who are bigoted, right-wing, and/or unintelligent.

I’ve literally and on many more than one occasions had people come up and beat on my car window at intersections to witness to me. That was in North Carolina.

A few weeks ago here in Phoenix a couple jerks beat on my front door at 8:30 on a Saturday morning and when I answered (it was obvious they had woke me up, as my eyes were burning so badly from lack of sleep that they were literally watering), they just started preaching, and refused to be interuppted or let me shut the door. They asked me what I believed in and I told them I believed in science, so they flat out called me a fool. I was about one “you’re a sinner” away from calling the cops.

And to answer your last question, I knew an extremely small number of atheists growing up in the south. Almost everyone at least claimed christianity, whether they went to church or read the bible or practiced at all or not.

I’ve run into the Jehovah’s Witnesses and other door-to-doorers. I had my cousin give me the Gospel of John and tell me I needed to take Jaysus Christ as My Personal Lord and Savior. I’ve been bothered at colleges (just sitting around, minding my own business) by people trying to get me to attend their church. I’ve been handed various pamphlets while just walking down the street. I’ve had people walk up to me while I was browsing in the mall and say “Pardon me”, then start preaching at me. I’ve driven past signs in TN that say something like “SATURDAY IS THE TRUE LORD’S DAY” and something about the Mark of the Beast. I’ve driven through Alabama and heard three seperate “All Jaysus All The Time” radio stations. I’ve seen giant crosses and giant, neon Jesus signs, including one neon Jesus sign that, IRCC, finally had to be shut down by the FAA because it was interfering with planes making their approach into the New Orleans airport.

South, here. Louisiana, mostly. Surprisingly, my time in Georgia has been mainly religion free, though that’s probably because I live in Atlanta.

I live in Cambridge, England (when in university anyway).

My impression isn’t that all hristians are bigoted, right-wing and unintelligent. Most of the christians I know have just as much range over the spectrum as anyone else (to be fair, I don’t know that many devout christians very well).

That being said, until I came to uni I hadn’t really encountered the heavy fundamentalist “All non-christians will rot in hell, gay people are all sinners, etc” groups. At Cambridge (in the university) there are a significant number of them. They’re certainly not unintelligent as a whole, but they do have topics on which they’re not open to rational debate. i.e. Anything remotely relating to religion or morality.

So, yeah; there are some christians around here who are pretty bad, I just don’t assume that any christian I meet is. I give them exactly the same benefit of the doubt I do to anyone else - I assume that they’re reasonable, intelligent people unless they give me reason to believe otherwise.