I have mentioned how religion serves as a way to empower the manipulative psychopaths among us and as a way for the immoral to feel good about themselves. This morning I was reminded of a bumper sticker I had seen in the past and realized that this bumper sticker was essentially an admission that my observation was correct. The bumper sticker states:
"Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven"
You can buy a similar bumper sticker at this website. Though I don't recommend it because it has a couple of grammatical mistakes. Here is what the bumper sticker at that site actually says:
"Christians aren't perfect were just forgiven" [sic]
Presumably, "were" is supposed to be "we're" and, of course, there should be a comma or semi-colon after "perfect".
(Once again, I have to ask how Christians can expect us to respect their intelligence when they say and do things like this? One of their primary "arguments" (in the "religion is useful--though it may be a delusion" category) is that a person can't be moral without a belief in god. They tell us this repeatedly and insistently both for the purpose of telling us how superior they are to us and how their persecution of us is justified. Then they turn right around and tell us that religion doesn't really work for that purpose, but they forgive themselves--and you can forgive yourself for your sins too! At the same time, they reveal that, as a group (because surely a whole group was involved in writing, printing and advertising these things) they couldn't pass a junior high school level English class.)
In fairness, however, I should note that the Christian who wrote this essay that I found on another website clearly got both the grammar and the moral quandary correct in his analysis of the statement. Being a Christian, he tried to explain it away as merely a misunderstanding of Christian teachings.
Unfortunately, the implications of his essay are merely that Christians have to try much harder to be good and can't just feel good about themselves. He failed to deal with the underlying real world problem of those who have done great wrong then go to church to go through some ritual of forgiveness but never suffer any real punishment or provide any meaningful reparation to their victims.
A mere admonishment (and an infrequent one at that) that this is not what the Christian church means by forgiveness is hardly sufficient. Especially since the Christian church--and his essay--fail to make it clear just what believers should do to make proper amends if they do wrong. His "explanation" is also rendered less effective by the "logic" taught in his church. People who have been raised to accept the idea that facts and reality are determined by what you want them to be can hardly be swayed effectively by occasional admonitions from a few scriptural references.