“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” – Steven Weinberg
I have a former business partner who I unfortunately still have to have dealings with that considers himself a “Christian” with a capital C. He attends a men’s bible study every week, which is really just an excuse to eat breakfast with other old white guys. He figures between the bible study, attending church when he is not drinking beer on his boat and his prays every night asking for God to wash his sins away that he is in good standing with the Man upstairs. Never mind that Monday through Friday from 7 am to 5 pm he will try to screw you six ways till Sunday, every night his slate is wiped clean, “washed in the lambs blood” as they say in the Southern Baptist Church ready for a new day of being an asshole in business.
As I have mentioned on more than one occasion, I live in a very conservative Christian community with an ultra conservative Christian college in the center of our universe. In my thirty years of living here and doing business I have had my run-ins with pious business people who truly believe, with all their heart, that all the success they have had, and all the money they have made is just a blessing from God above. And for those of us below, those of us who stand between them and all those blessed dollars well we can simply be run over, screwed, sued, or just ignored because they are on a divine track, glorified and anointed by God.
I have always wondered how these “Christians” reconciled their “relationship” with Christ with how they treat people in business. When I would confront my former business partner about how he treated people he would recite the line from the movie The Godfather, “It’s not personal, it’s just business”.
The problem, as I have pointed out to him and others is what is just “business” to one can and is usually very “personal” to another. Paying for what you think it was worth might be considered “good” business unless of course you are the person owed the money for the work or service. Better yet, not paying at all because you think you didn’t get what you were paying for is very “personal” and in my opinion, it is stealing.
In his mind this separation between work and church is justified, he earned money to provide for his family, and tithe to his church which glorified the mission of God. But here is the rub, what is God’s mission here on earth? Ask a thousand “Christians” and you will get a thousand different answers and none will move the ball forward for the other or for anyone else, but them.
We used to have a car dealer here in town that not only wore his Christianity on his sleeve but would throw it in your face as well. His business cards had that Christian fish on them, you know the symbol that means ΙΧΘΥΣ, translated “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour”. His office was filled with expensive mahogany furniture and leather chairs, a real ego room. On the shelf’s were his collection of old Bibles and artifacts from his trips to Israel which he needed to give you the history on and their significance to “our” faith. It was always a show, and at times you got the feeling his faith was a show as well.
Though he owned one of the hottest Japanese auto franchises around his overall customer service ratings and sales always ran well behind dealers who sold the same make in the smaller towns around him. Why? Mr. Christian Auto Dealer was an absolute dick who hired other absolute Christian dicks in his sales and service departments. This knucklehead even had a minister on staff with the title of “Spiritual Manager” who had the authority to approve or disapprove “deals”.
But apparently what he didn’t do when he was busy thumping his Bible was read it. Car sales already has a shady, slimy feel too it and when you add some righteous salesperson who gives you his Christian oath that he is going to “take care of you” and “give you a great deal” that might play well with some but certainly not everyone. Fortunately “everyone” is why he got his franchise pulled two years after he built his new, shiny and very pretentious building.
These are just two examples of bad apples in the Christian apple barrel. I would say there are more good apples than bad, but we remember the bad, we grab and hold on to our wallets around the bad.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council stated that “The weight of the government is being used to quarantine faith within the four walls of the church, and that is not religious freedom.” Certainly Christians should be able to practice their faith however they see fit but the last time I checked their “freedoms” end at the tip of my nose and I got to be honest with you, I am tired of having my nose rubbed in it.
“My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ … Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I’m anti-Christian. I think they might be right.” – Erwin McManus