Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Why are you so angry?"

The Carolinas Secular Conference is an annual event of the growing secular movement in North Carolina. This year's conference theme is "coming out," and we'll be in Charlotte from October 4th - 6th. I will be available throughout the conference and speaking briefly about MetrolinaRfR (at 11 am on Saturday) as part of the Opening Plenary Session. This is the third in a series of posts about my own disbelief and experiences "coming out."

Don't get me wrong, praying for me doesn't make me angry. But I do think it can be condescending. And I do get a little angry with people who insist on praying for me even after they know that I sometimes find it condescending. And I get a little angry when people actually ask but then just can't understand why I find it condescending. However, I typically just smile when someone tells me they are praying for me: I don't get angry at all.

But like Greta Christina, I do get angry about some things. Anger is a completely appropriate response to religiously-motivated child abuse and assassinations. I am surprised that more religious people are not even more angry than I am about these things. It makes me angry to see any bigotry, privilege, or abuse in the secular movement. I try to hold "my own side" to a higher standard.

But in my view, the trick with anger is first to recognize it, and then funnel it in directions that make a positive impact. I do not think it is healthy to suppress it. In my experience, people who ask "Why are you so angry?" are usually just trying to discredit your argument. And ad hominem arguments directed at me can sometimes make me angry. So please stop asking me why I'm so angry, or shut up and listen if you really want to know! :)

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