I was brought up Catholic so I know something about Angry Christians. It’s something to do with absolute moral rights, the certainty that there is a right and a wrong and God is on your side. It’s harder and takes more moral rigour I think to believe that the world is several shades of gray. I’ve only ever met one truly Christian person in my life – her name was Meg and I went to college with her. She was gentle, non-judgemental, kind and forgiving. Proper Christian virtues that are sadly lacking in far too many God loving people. Instead they seem full of rigid
self-righteousness and sometimes downright hatred of anyone who thinks differently. Their spelling usually stinks too.
When I worked at Random House we got a lot of manuscripts from religious people who wanted to spread the word through children’s books. They were all terrible, all of them. I suppose if one of the central tenets of Christian faith is conversion, the poor children are a target audience, and alas, too many people think that a preachy book is perfect for children. But nobody wants to be preached at, especially children. We used to get tomes with titles like:
Hell and Damnation (Illustrated)
Does Fluffy Have a Soul?
I used to get hate mail occasionally from disgruntled authors. I was going to hell, I was the ‘hore of babbylon’ and a ‘f***ing bitch c***’ (I kid you not) for not publishing their books. All were written in the kind of crabbed, obsessive hand that makes you think of an unshaven middle age man with a twitch in a tiny cellar and the dead body of the last woman who said no to him, rotting in the next room. No that’s not fair – one of them was from a woman (I think) who said she was a ‘devotid momma of Kymmie the beauty queen’ but I was still going to burn in hell for not wanting to publish her book on cosmetics for toddlers.
What is it about Christians and hate mail? They seem to think that with God being on their side they have the right to send vile, abusive letters to people, littered with horrible grammar and bad spelling to anyone who doesn’t agree with their world view. Or swears. Or is David Attenborough. Can you believe that this lovely man, who makes the best programmes in the history of the world gets hate mail from Christians?
Atheists don’t behave like this. You don’t get Christian groups complaining about being deluged in green inked moronically spelled missives accusing them of being thickoes because they happen to believe that the world was created in 6 days and God says in the Old Testament that anyone who works on Sunday should be stoned to death?
Exodus 31:13-15 (Six days my work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.)
However, since the Pope has un-excommunicated Bishop Richard Williamson, a Holocaust denier who remains firmly convinced that feminism is linked to witchcraft, and trouser wearing (oh and women shouldn’t be allowed to go to university) it must be a bit embarrassing for God. I mean who is really on his side? Fat, red faced Neo-Cons, hate mail senders, Holocaust deniers and George W.Bush. I’d be well embarrassed if this was the calibre of my fan base.