Activist Publishes Book of Hate Mail from Bible Believing Christians, Bible Believers Respond By—You Guessed It

Hate mailWhen devout fundamentalist Christians find their evangelism thwarted, all hell can break loose—along with some surprisingly nasty language.

Bonnie Weinstein is married to Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which brings a special set of challenges to their relationship. The mission of MRFF is “to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.” Some people don’t like that.

They don’t like it because ensuring religious freedom in the military means among other things that:

  • No religion or religious philosophy may be advanced by the United States Armed Forces over any other religion or religious philosophy.
  • No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to conform to a particular religion or religious philosophy.
  • No member of the military may be compelled to endure unwanted religious proselytization, evangelization or persuasion of any sort in a military setting and/or by a military superior or civilian employee of the military.
  • The full exercise of religious freedom includes the right not to subscribe to any particular religion or religious philosophy. The so-called “unchurched” cede no Constitutional rights by want of their separation from organized faith.

Why MRFF is Needed

Mikey Weinstein founded MRFF in response to rampant violations of these principles by Evangelicals and other “Great Commission” Christians at the United States Air Force Academy, where their two sons (both Jewish) and future daughter-in-law and son-in law (both Christians) were cadets and, like Mikey, later graduates.

Great Commission Christians are those who think it is their responsibility to save souls by converting others to their form of belief. They typically are biblical literalists who believe the Bible is the perfect and complete word of God. Their behavior often stands in contrast to Great Commandment Christians—those who think that the prime directive of the New Testament is not evangelism and right belief, but love. Many of these Christians perceive the Bible as a human document, an imperfect record of God’s relationship to humanity and the ministry of Jesus. Because of U.S. demographics, the vast majority of MRFF’s clients are Christians of this latter type, followed by religious minorities including Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Native American spiritualists, atheists, agnostics and Wiccans. MRFF also represents 861 LGBT armed forces clients.

For years, Great Commission believers have been engaged in more and more bold attempts to convert the U.S. military into an army of Christian soldiers—pressuring subordinates to attend Bible studies; promoting Christian-themed media like Mel Gibson’s torture porn, “The Passion of the Christ;” and converting the chaplaincy into a cadre of missionaries on the public dime. And they had been getting away with it. After Weinstein—a former Air Force JAG officer and member of the Reagan administration—started making waves and then launched MRFF, many were, not surprisingly, displeased.

Unhappy Believers

From the beginning, the Weinsteins and MRFF staff have received a barrage of hate mail filled with curses, imprecatory prayers, graphic descriptions of bodily harm, death threats, gloating promises of eternal torture and more—all in the name of Jesus and often accompanied by Bible quotations, chapter and verse. Some of the ugliest messages hone in on the fact that Bonnie and Mikey are Jewish, stating, for example that the Holocaust didn’t go far enough; that their children should be turned into skin lamps; that “their kind” are not Americans and can’t be; and that Hell will be worse than the gas chambers.

At the suggestion of appalled supporters, Bonnie Weinstein finally compiled a selection of choice missives into a book, To the Far Right Christian Hater: You can be a good speller or a hater, but you can’t be both. I was a conservative Evangelical for many years. Over that time, I imagined saying nasty things to people, and sometimes did. I imagined swearing, and sometimes did. But it never crossed my mind that a believer might combine swearing and denigration with the name of Christ. The kaleidoscope of variations found in Weinstein’s book would have been unfathomable. Even today, if I hadn’t read them myself, I wouldn’t believe it still.

“Christian Built This Country”

One might think that seeing their words in print would shame self-proclaimed guardians of God into silence. Or they might consider that such words make a mockery of their claim to moral and spiritual superiority. Or, if nothing else, they might realize that spewing hate is a poor way to win converts as directed in the Great Commission. But apparently not. Because offended believers responded by sending contents for Volume 2.

One took the time to explain why the work of MRFF is so wrongheaded as to merit the barrage: [Note: I have left all spelling and grammar as received.]

It was Christians on the wagons west and Christians who built this country of and for the Glory of Christ. Christians saved the American indians from going to hell and Christian stopped the nazis and commies from taking over the world. Christians liberated negroes from slavery and gave the jews Israel and are the only ones protecting the unborn and trying to keep marriage pure. It was even Christians whom put men on the moon. And now its Christians who die to stop the moslems from beheading us all. The common theme for you Bonnie is Christians. And do not believe that lie about ‘separation of church and state’. Not even in the constitution. Nowhere there. In America noone have to be Christian but they do have to hear and consider His Word.

What is “His Word?” For those who take the Bible as a literally perfect revelation from God, as do most of MRFF’s detractors, God’s Word is the Good Book, and that’s where things get complicated. The texts assembled in the Bible promote love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance and faith—qualities that one New Testament writer calls the fruit of the spirit. By their fruits you shall know them, says another. Christians are exhorted to be a light shining on a hill, without which the world would fall into (moral) darkness. Regrettably, the Bible also endorses holy war, death to blasphemers and infidels, vengeance, and torture. With these mixed messages bound together as a package, the net effect of thinking that the Bible is God’s perfect Word can be hard to predict.

Piling It On

Here are some excerpts from recent messages to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation from those who see themselves as defenders of God and goodness. The letters arrive with different fonts and tones, and from different email addresses, but the themes are painfully consistent:

  • Mr. M Weinstein I am a spirit-filled ordained pastor of The Gospel from the great state of Nebraska. Stop your attack on God Almighty and His only Son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  Stop your attack on His holy Christian wariors in our armed military forces! My congregation includes many military from the nearby air force base. We pray as one for you to die tonight in your sleep leaving a bloody mess for your family to find at daybreak.
  • To the enimy of Jesus The Christ – Let’s all watch how Jesus makes you pay for taking Him out of the Army. Your hellbound ‘religious freedom FROM religion” followers too. You all try to fool everybody and hide behind the contitution. Your afraid of the Gospel. Why is it you give a jew a chance to recrusify our Savior and he’ll do it ever time. And your the worse of jews in the world. Blood thrifty for inocent Christians bringing The Word to the Army. damn you and die. And burn for youre sins against Christ Jesus. For all time.
  • For god and country and in god we trust. Maybe if the Jews fought in the revolution and wrote the constitution he would have a right too speak. Other wise shut the f up.
  • When We see a jew like mikey wienstien we know that Hitler was right. Leave US soldiers alone mickey. Get you a nosejob hebe. And why not swindle someone in business? While eating a bagle and showing off your jew diamonds.
  • This country was founded on the belief of God, if you and your people do not believe in the Christian God maybe you should move to Iran or Syria where your shallow thoughts will last but minutes since you will be but an infidel, soon to be stoned for your beliefs.
  • Athiest jews are servents of satan. They do not deserve America. Mikey weinsteen does not deserve life any place but espcialy in the USA. He is THE leader of all which is wrong in America and all who fight Jesus Christ which is the only true God in the universe. Weinsteen will destroy our military and the whole country if he is not deported. Send him to Cuba which niger Obummer loves so much. Or send him and all the other athiests to North Korea to rot and starve.
  • Eat shit and don’t die. Just keep eating shit Michael Loser Weinstein. Fun to watch you eat shit. For all time. Since you and your little family of mfrr shit eaters are nothing but shit anyway. Your only hope is to surrender to Jesus Christ. Your a stiff necked jew so you will not (Exodus 32 and verse 9). Thus you have no hope. Keep your shitty self out of Christ’s military and Christ’s nation you dirty shit bag.
  • Fuck your crybaby slut ass wife and fuck your crybaby spoiled children. Who got their fancy air force academy educations all paid for by the GRACE of Amercan CHRISTIAN taxpayers. And just look what we got for our tax money. The family Whiningsteen jew traitors from HELL. Cry cry cry cause you have it so bad in a CHRISTIAN made country. You know what you all happier in North koria or back in Jewsrael. get OUT of our country! Here Jesus is KING and if you dont like it than fuck you.
  • Your day will come when you have to face Our God Almighty and would not want to be in your shoes. You and your ilk think you are so intelligent and stand above the rest but you are sickening and nothing but a joke and a huge one at that. By the way, where is your stand against the muslims? you either are one like your golden idol charlatan closet muslim obama or you are afraid of them.
  • Thankfully, judgment is a certainty and Mr. Weinstein’s future – and the rest of your staff – is secure. And eternity is forever.
  • Our Spirit-Filled Church prays to Christ Jesus thru Psalm 109 for His Hand to curse Judas Weinstein (Matthew 27: 3-5) down as per Scripture in 2015 for sins against His Church and His armed forces and His America: We Pray Thee Lord Jesus To Lay Thy Avenging Hands (Revelation 19:11-16) on unbaptized (Mark 16:16) Michael Weinstein his evil wife and evil children (john 8:44) and all of the evil doers who work at MFRR (Revelation 21:8);
  • Christ will slay Mikey Weinstein with The Sword of Righteousness. Your serpant husband will be cut down by Jesus and mutilated for his evil doings. Then him and they all will be cast wiggling and screaming into the Lake of Fire to burn for all time. See John 3:36 and Revelations 20:14. You still have time Bonnie and so do your kids. This is ‘Truth’ mail from those Christians who love you so much and your kids and grandkids too.

The writer of this last missive wanted to make sure that nobody misunderstand his intent. “This is not ‘hate mail’ Bonnie Weinstein. Do not dare to call it that! This is LOVE mail. We are showing truest Christian love.”

Hate is love. War is peace. Ignorance is strength. The outpourings from self-described Christians sound Orwellian because they are, literally. In his book, 1984, George Orwell coined the term doublethink, which has been defined as not just the ability to say that black is white, but “also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink. Doublethink is basically the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

The people who wrote these letters honestly believe that they serve the God of Love and Truth. I know, because I once shared that belief as an Evangelical biblical literalist. Such conviction can be all-consuming, and blinding.

Religion that is based on authoritarian hierarchies and sacred texts has tremendous power to produce doublethink, to translate love into hate and to redirect the human moral impulse into words and actions that are patently evil. Parents who kick out their queer children think they are doing a good thing. Jihadis who murder cartoonists do so convinced that their actions are righteous, as do ordinary fundamentalist Muslims who throw acid on women, as do ordinary fundamentalist Christians who pray for the death and dismemberment of their enemies.

The Power of Belief

Beliefs are powerful, and the power of absolute belief is absolute.

Far too many well-meaning lovers of peace fail to understand this. In their desire to promote tolerance they insist that harm done in the names of gods isn’t really motivated by religion, that it is motivated by tyranny or desperation or a host of other socio-political factors. Most certainly the relationship between religion and violence is complex.

But consider, if you will, the fact that the writers of these letters are not oppressed minorities, nor the victims of colonialism, nor destitute and hopeless. And consider that the only harm they experience from the work of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is harm not to persons but to religion itself—the kind of religion that mandates evangelism and dominion.

Religion is powerful in part because it takes command of primal moral emotions including moral disgust and outrage. These emotions can get activated in the service of justice, or compassion, or fairness, or ahimsa, or love. But they also can get attached to matters that serve no purpose save that of protecting the religion itself—violations of ritual purity, or blasphemy rules, or god-ordained gender hierarchy and rules about sex—or an army captain’s obligation to preach the gospel to his underlings.

Obligations like these can feel as morally compelling as a father’s responsibility to protect his children, and when they are obstructed, true believers can feel equally crazed. Hundreds of thousands of Chechens took to the streets last month to protest blasphemy against their Prophet, which many perceive as a crime greater than mass murder.

Paths Forward

Such passion can be met only by confronting the beliefs that drive the behavior. Organizations that work to constrain specific harmful actions, like MRFF, play a critical role in maintaining secular pluralism and rule of law. But make no mistake—as devout believers seek to follow perceived moral mandates they will push to the limits, and sometimes beyond, while simultaneously working to change whatever rules or laws constrain them. That is the nature of moral certitude.

In the long run, the only solution lies in replacing harmful beliefs with those that actually serve peace and wellbeing. Secularists like me see the path forward as one that increasingly relies on science to help us understand and advance human flourishing within a complex web of life. Progressive people of faith, some of them clients or supporters of Mikey Weinstein, embrace the fabric of wisdom in ancient traditions like Christianity and Islam and believe that the best path forward is reformation from within. Either way, the inbox of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation stands as a stark reminder that this work could not be more urgent.

Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings, and the founder of  Her articles about religion, reproductive health, and the role of women in society have been featured at sites including AlterNet, Salon, the Huffington Post, Grist, and Jezebel.  Subscribe at

About Valerie Tarico

Seattle psychologist and writer. Author - Trusting Doubt and Deas and Other Imaginings. Founder -
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53 Responses to Activist Publishes Book of Hate Mail from Bible Believing Christians, Bible Believers Respond By—You Guessed It

  1. Ed McGaa says:

    Glad I am a Sioux Indian. We do not make our lives (Creator’s gift to us) so damn complex. Like most Jews we simply flat refuse to Proselytize. We go so far as to admit that we truly Do Not Know who Creator (If there is one) : who- IT (Not He or She) exactly is. Who is God? Response: We do not know for sure but do supposition that a Higher Power does exist; but will not condemn those who think otherwise , of course, and leave us alone in our beliefs. Creator (to us) is All Truth and All Knowledge and of course a Mystery; Indescribable. That is our major concept.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Would that all spiritual practices were so reflective and humble.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Gunther says:

      We humans have a tendency to complicate a lot of the simple stuff and simplify a lot of the complicate stuff with disastrous results.

      I am glad that I left Christianity; however, I should have done it a long time ago considering the fact that I have seen too many people praise the Lord on Sunday and then lie, cheat, and steal from their fellow human beings from Monday to Friday.


    • Ed, thanks for that eloquent post. Although I am not a Native American the belief that you wrote is exactly the vision I have of my Higher Power. Don’t know who, what or how It works, all I can say is that it works for me. Live and Let Live.


    • Peter Hockley says:

      Sounds very sensible to me.


  2. Dawkins latest upload. He shares excerpts from emails he’s received from religious fundamentalists.


  3. drgary777 says:

    Mikey Weinstein would be at odds with George Washington and even Ben Franklin.

    Gary Butner, Th.D.

    Sent from my iPad



    • godlessveteran says:

      How so? Seems to me they would be in full agreement with Mikey against religious coercion. But considering your apparent degree in fairytales, I’m not surprised you would make such a claim.


    • Geek Goddess says:

      Not really. George Washington instructed that no prayers be said over his grave. Ben Franklin was not in the military.


    • Gunther says:

      Our Founding Fathers did not believe in religion nor in God so Weinstein would not be at odds with them. However, Mr. Weinstein would have been in conflict with the Puritans and the Calvinists. BTW, I was never told in school that our Founding Fathers did not believe in God and religion. If that was told to people like me, it would come as a culture shock since we were taught to revere our Founding Fathers and the various Christian a faith would be losing members left and right because people would be asking the question why should I have to go to Mass when our Founding Fathers did not?


      • mlshatto says:

        I believe that is an over-simplification. The Founders represented a range of belief, though the majority of them appear to have been Deists of one flavor or another. John Adams was a devout Unitarian. Thomas Jefferson famously cut out of the gospels all the supernatural passages. But most of them acknowledged some kind of divine power.


    • RobertX says:

      A quote on the subject directly from Ben Franklin. I’ll supply a few from George Washington too, if you’d like:

      “Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle’s lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough deist”


      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        “Lighthouses are more useful than churches.”
        — Ben Franklin —


      • Sha'Tara says:

        “When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, ’tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.”
        —Benjamin Franklin, Works, Vol. XIII, p. 506


  4. chibelah says:

    Won’t these bible thumping ‘Christians’ – and I use that term ever so lightly – be surprised when they finally cross over and things just aren’t as they figured they’d be. Anyone who has ever read a book about ‘dying’ and coming back, because it wasn’t their time, can tell you that God, Jesus, Mohammed, et al, hate no one. Period. The prophets didn’t invent religion, mankind did – for controlling others.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. pyotrz says:

    Besides the engineered outrage, I hear the voice of the Bottle in a lot of those letters.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Murphy says:

    This stuff almost makes me want to say “Holy Jesus!!”, but I probably won’t!! As usual, Valerie, you’re right on target!


  7. Reblogged this on Public Work and commented:
    We have a long tradition in U.S. Christianity that says the individual believer and his/her Bible are all that’s necessary. How’s that working out? It’s working out as self-righteous hatred. Take a look. Please read:


  8. PyotrZ says:

    In many of these letters I hear, besides the engineered outrage and the licensed hatred, the voice of the Bottle.

    Proverbs 20:1
    Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.


  9. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Christians liberated negroes from slavery” – It’s a fact, they liberated them from the other Christians who had enslaved them.


  10. Ron Taska says:

    Egads! These “love letters” are really disturbing. I really like your division of Christians into “Great Commission” Christians and “Great Commandment” Christians.


  11. juliew810 says:

    wow!!!!keep on informing us girl! this should get some wider coverage – upworthy? the title is so funny and great and the topic is so horrible! i think these folks should be outed in a major way

    Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2015 18:13:56 +0000 To:


  12. King Billy says:

    If these hatemails were sent in the Netherlands, the oldest democracy in the world from where the American forefathers stem, there would have been solid ground for formal persecution by the authorities. Specifically the racist mails, referring to what brings a ‘Godwin’ to life.


  13. Mike Challman says:

    Great piece. As a Christian myself, it is painful to see folks, who claim to be my fellow believers, behave in such a reprehensible way. And it seems to me that a big part of the problem is that people are unable to distinguish between a lack of preferential treatment and persecution. The fact that Christianity should not be given preference does not mean that Christians are in any way persecuted. I agree with Ed’s comments about the inscrutability of God — too often, those who claim to know the most about Him are those who act in the least Christian manner.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Z54 says:

    Who’s form of christianity are we talking about here? Roman Catholic? Protestant? Lutheran? Baptist? Anabaptist? Methodist? The Church of the Dyslexic Dog? Or the Evangelical Sky Fairy (denominated in $5, $10, $20, $50 or $100 bills)? They all claim to be the true christian religion. I suppose we could just give a representative of each cult a knife and lock them all in a dark room for eight hours. At the end of eight hours unlock the door and the first representative to stumble out alive is the winner, the one true christian religion!


  15. Pingback: 2/3/15 VALERIE TARICO – Activist Publishes Book of Hate Mail from Bible Believing Christians, Bible Believers Respond By—You Guessed It | Military Religious Freedom Foundation - Protecting the Constitutional Guarantee of Separation of Church and S

  16. Allan Avery says:

    WOWEE! – that’s some kind’a HATE! BRAVO and How do you do it? As usual! (I don’t have a blog so I guess I don’t get to add a “Like”? Still slowly emerging from computer- and elderly brain- Purgatory & trying to catch up w/your posts. Several earlier are still in my new email inbox.)


  17. Lowell Bushey says:

    Thanks for pointing out the similarities between Muslim fundamentalists and the Christian fundamentalists in this country. No doubt you and I aren’t the only ones who find it scary.


  18. Karen Griffin says:

    I was married to an Air Force officer whose colonel had Bible study during the lunch hour. My ex-husband was a declared Atheist, yet felt he had to attend these sessions to remain in good stead with his commanding officer. This was over 20 years ago; I hope things are better now. Thanks to the MRFF for the work they are doing. From a devout Unitarian Universalist.


    • Gunther says:

      From what I have read on the MRFF, the USAF Academy is still a hotbed for right wing Evangelists. In addition, you also have the Green Berets and other elite special forces in all branches of the military being a hotbed for that religious stuff. Furthermore, you have 15,000 officers belonging to the right Evangelists who help each other get promotions and covet assignments. There is this book titled American Evangelicals and the U.S. Military, 1942-1993 book by Anne C. Loveland which talks about how the the Evangelicals took over the chaplain corps and then expand out to include other parts of the USA.


  19. Sara Robinson says:

    The anti-Semitism on display here is really striking. For the past century, American Evangelicals have believed that God will judge them harshly for not taking the side of Israel and the Jews; and this belief, in fact, was instrumental in enlisting American financiers and presidents in the cause of establishing Israel.

    But what’s obvious here is that there’s a wide difference between being told by God to play nice with somebody, and actually liking them. The seething hatred of Jews just permeates these letters.


  20. Pingback: Feminist Friday Posting – Misogyny Rampant | Experiential Pagan

  21. dkiechle says:

    Dear Dr. Tarico,

    In your excellent and eye-opening article, you write, “Far too many well-meaning lovers of peace fail to understand this. In their desire to promote tolerance they insist that harm done in the names of gods isn’t really motivated by religion, that it is motivated by tyranny or desperation or a host of other socio-political factors.”

    While you may be right in some cases, I do not feel that your statement is universally applicable. In France, my country of residence since 1990, roughly 9% of the population are Muslim, most of them French citizens. Many of these are well educated, hold respectable jobs, and are in no way different from the vast majority of their countrymen. Most, however, are on a dire socio-economic level. It is those people that often pose a threat, simply because they are vulnerable to being recruited by radical Islamists — they literally have nothing to live for. Religion is just the hook by which these people are baited. If it were the root cause, practicing Muslim of all social levels would be equally represented as participants in terrorist activities. Clearly, this is not the case.

    I have written about the subject here if you are interested. This situation is not comparable to the one you are writing about. Gunning down people is hardly the equivalent of praying for someone to die! I’m not aware that any of the misguided people you are writing about have engaged in terrorist activities or have come close to follow up their juvenile rants with physical violence.

    Are you familiar with the work of Scott Atran? He has studied the relationship between terrorism and religion in some detail and has written a number of books and articles on the subject. I think his views on how exactly religion, terrorism, and politics fit together are spot-on and deserve to be made available to a larger audience. Though his conclusions may appear surprising at first, they do make a great deal of sense.

    Thank you for an interesting, if disturbing, article.


    PS In case you are wondering: I was brought up a Protestant, but I am now an atheist, though definitely a non-militant one (meaning: closer to Dan Dennett than to Richard Dawkins).


    • Thank you, Daniel. I agree that the relationship between terrorism, or for that matter any violence, and religion is complicated. And as you point out, differences in degree are highly consequential as, for example, the difference between sending hate mail and gunning people down. I would challenge you to consider one point: You cite the fact that there are millions of Muslims in the world who are not engaged in terrorism as evidence that Islam isn’t the cause of the violence being done in the name of Allah. But I would point to the fact that there also are millions of desperately poor people in the world who also are not engaged in terrorism, and that terrorism is strongly correlated with Islamic belief (although it certainly can be related to other ideologies). I think that religion provides a narrative framework that explains our circumstances and feelings, and that suggests suitable behavioral responses, which can nudge behavior in many different directions. You might find this analysis that I wrote interesting, although it oversimplifies the case: And it sounds like I should dig more into the work of Scott Atran. Thank you for the suggestion.


  22. Perry Bulwer says:

    From their perspective those haters are righteously justified because hatred is a biblical virtue. The cognitive dissonance doublespeak Orwell wrote of is evident in the scripture below.

    Psalm 139 (KJV)

    19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
    20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
    21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
    22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
    23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
    24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      Translation: “Please tell me, O God, what I have to do to kiss your ass!


    • Wow. I didn’t even remember that passage.

      Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________


      • Perry Bulwer says:

        Like you Valerie, I was steeped in evangelical dogma for a long time. I once had large passages of scripture memorized. And I heard and read a lot of extreme hate sermons by ‘righteous’ believers. Although its been about 25 years since I escaped that psychological prison, a lot of that junk is stored in the back of my mind, and sometimes it pops out without thinking. Hate was the trigger word in this instance.

        Even as I typed the word ‘righteous’, another scripture that was pounded into my head repeatedly came to mind, a verse that also displays the cognitive dissonance of believers, who seek to be righteous even though their righteousness is nothing more than “filthy rags”. I was taught that phrase referred to menstrual cloth.

        Isaiah 64:6 kjv

        But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.


      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        I can’t think of anything that demeans Humanity more than the Judeo/Christian religion.


  23. Joe Walker says:

    This was a great article, Valerie! Thank you for your insight. I shared the article on my Facebook timeline, along the following comment:

    This article, written by Valerie Tarico, is interesting and makes me think of the parallel psychology of fundamentalism, in its most extreme capacity, as it drives the current horrific actions of ISIS members. The author has also created a website ( which focuses on the positive commonalities between people of different beliefs and cultures. I’ll have to check that out this week.

    While reading ISIS victims’ accounts of sex slavery in the news lately, I’m reminded of Old Testament barbarism allegedly guided by God himself. (I think the word “allegedly” is powerful and should be used much more often, if just in thought, whenever speaking of anything resembling myth or religion. It puts things in the right perspective.) The whole situation in Iraq and Syria is just horrific, and I do really hope that the Middle East takes the lead in standing against ISIS, as our every attack only provokes more hatred and rage towards Western ideals. Apologists like Reza Aslan cry racism (a ridiculous comparison) in their attempts to silence critics of Islam, but I think it’s important for “moderate believers” to face the actual results and consequences of fundamentalism. Like the “Great Commandment Christians” in the article by Valerie Tarico, maybe followers will see humanity, civil equality and, most of all, love prevail as fundamentalism fades in the presence of 21st century reality.

    As of today, I only received one “like” on the posting, which makes sense, as many of my friends and family members come from religious backgrounds- typically evangelical- and might feel personally attacked, just as some of my more liberal friends may feel I’m out of line in saying anything questionable about fundamentalism, as it pertains to Islam. Thanks again for your efforts in writing intelligently about your own experiences and related thoughts.


  24. Pingback: 3/2/15 Valerie Tarico – Moderate Christians Condemn Hate Mail and Threats against Military Religious Freedom Foundation | Military Religious Freedom Foundation - Protecting the Constitutional Guarantee of Separation of Church and State in the United

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  26. Dr. Gonzzzo says:

    As an Atheist and Norwegian, this almost makes me want to go Norse Pagan and start sacking rich, fat churches again. Like in the “good old days” before Christianity had destroyed the whole of Europe.


  27. Pingback: 4 Reasons the Christian Right’s Claims of Moral Superiority Over the Rest of Us Just Don’t Hold Water | Freethought

  28. Pingback: Evangelical Hate Speech towards Muslims? Does Wheaton College's case against Dr. Hawkins signal a Problem? | Informed Comment

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