Every now and then you might meet a Catholic (or in general Christian) person who will treat your lack of belief in a deity or a (supernatural) higher power with a solid bit of condescension.
There are many examples of such treatment, like saying you’re just angry with God for something bad that happened to you, or that you had a bad, unhappy childhood and problems with your father, or that you don’t believe in God so that you can sin all you want but deep down in your heart you still know that God exist.
But perhaps the most vile, obscene and condescending of all of them is claim that you may believe now, but surely you will turn to God in your last hour.
Since there are some ways of fighting other claims, this particular one leaves you both speechless and defenceless – you can’t prove to believers that you won’t turn to God. The onus here is on them – it’s their burden to provide proof for what they are claiming – but let’s be honest, none of them cares about that.
It might be a part of a defence mechanism, which is especially important when concerning family members that do not share their beliefs. Just imagine – your beloved child, sister, brother or whatever – comes to you and says he does not believe in God. You are now hit with an awful awareness of the fact, that their souls are lost, they will suffer and burn forever in hell and that you will not spend the eternity together with them in heaven. That sole fact is very often too heavy to carry so they refuse to accept it. They convince themselves that what you say is just a whim, a rebellion (even though you are 40, have happy family, are working and doing well and have nothing to rebel against), that you will turn to God eventually so that they won’t have to be separated from you in heaven (even though many Christian denominations, including Christianity and Protestantism, accepts words of Jesus that there will not be any family in heaven, no husbands, no wives, NADA).
So here is where the condescension kicks in – they refuse to accept your adult decision, they refuse to accept you for who you are and what you believe in SIMPLY because they don’t want to feel bad. It’s not only condescending, it’s also selfish and arrogant.
They don’t believe you, they convince themselves that they know better than you what you believe in and that you might actually think that now, but you will turn to God eventually, even if it is on your deathbed. They judge you to be a coward that now is all high and mighty, but when the time is up – you’ll run to your ‘sky daddy’ with your ‘tail between your legs’ asking for forgiveness, mercy and love.
However you look at it – it is condescending. Condescending like (nomen omen) hell.
Is there a way to deal with that? Well – kind of. Let me quote a Catholic Catechism:
The Douay Catechism of 1649
CHAP. XIX. The Sins against the Holy Ghost Expounded
Q. 915. HOW many are the sins against the Holy Ghost?
A. Six: despair of salvation, presumption of God’s mercy, to impugn the known truth,
envy at another’s spiritual good, obstinacy in sin, and final impenitence.
Q. 916. What is despair of salvation?
A. It is a diffidence in the mercies and power of God as also, in the merits of Jesus Christ,
as if they were not of force enough to save us. This was the sin of Cain, when he said,
“My sin is greater than I can
deserve pardon.” Gen. iv. 13. And of Judas, “when casting down the silver pieces in the
temple, he went and hanged himself.” Matt. xxvii. 4, 5.
Q. 917. What is the presumption of God’s mercy?
A. A foolish confidence of salvation, without leading a good life, or any care to keep the
commandments; such as they entertain who think they will be saved by faith only,
without good works.
Q. 918. What is it to impugn the known truth?
A. To argue obstinately against known points of faith, or to prevent the way of our Lord
by forging lies and slander, as Heretics do, when they teach the ignorant people, that
Catholics worship images as God, and give Angels and Saints the honour which is due to
God; or that the Pope for money gives us pardon to commit what sins we please; that all
which, greater falsehoods cannot be invented.
Q. 919. What is the envy to another’s spiritual good?
A. A sadness or repining at another’s growth in virtue and perfection; such as sectaries
seem to have when they scoff and are troubled at the frequent fasts, prayers, feasts,
pilgrimages, alms-deeds, vows, and religious orders of the Catholic Church, calling them
superstitious and fooleries, because they have not in their churches any such practices of
Q. 920. What is obstinacy in sin?
A. A wilful persisting in wickedness, and running on from sin to sin, after sufficient
instructions and admonition.
Q. 921. How show you the malice of this sin?
A. Out of Heb. x. 26, 27. “If we sin wilfully after having received the knowledge of the
truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins, but a certain dreadful expectation of
Q. 922. What other proof have you?
A. Out of 2 Pet. ii. 21. “It was better for them not to know the way of justice, than after
the knowledge to turn back from the holy commandment which was given them.”
Q. 923. What is final impenitence?
A. To die without either confession or contrition for our sins, as those do of whom it is
said, “With a hard neck, and with uncircumcised hearts and ears, you always resist the
Holy Ghost.” Acts vii. 51. And in the person of whom Job speaks, saying, “Depart thou
from us, and we will not have the knowledge of thy ways.” Job xxi. 14.
Q. 924. Why is it said that those sins should never be forgiven, neither in this
world, nor in the world to come?
A. Not because there is no power in God or in the sacraments to remit them, if we confess
them, and be sorry for them, (excepting only final impenitence) of which we read, “There
is a sin to death for that I say not that any man ask.” 1 John i. 9. “If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all iniquity.”
Why does it matter here? Well, because some dude called Jesus apparently said this:
New International Version (NIV)
28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter,
29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”
or, even better
New International Version (NIV)
31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
So, if you commit a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit – there is no way for you to go to heaven EVEN IF you turn to God in your last hour, although some of the priests that comment on the verses above say something different. Some of those priests claim, that if you turn to God, with a repentance and you truly wish to be forgiven – then the God will overlook your blasphemy against Holy Spirit and let you in. But fooled be NOT – those priests try to spin around Jesus’ own words precisely so that there is this “get out of jail free” card waiting for everyone. But it’s not.
So what are those sins? Here:
Q. 2. More specifically, what sins offend the Holy Spirit?
A. There are six sins that offend the Holy Spirit. These are:
“By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of his sins. Despair is contrary to God’s goodness, to his justice – for the Lord is faithful to his promises – and to his mercy.” (C.C.C. # 2091)
(2) Presumption of God’s mercy,
“There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God’s almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit).” (C.C.C. # 2092)
(3) Impugning the known truth,
(Clarification: To “impugn” the known truth means to attack it by word or argument, to resist it, to contradict it, or even to oppose the known truth or to challenge it as false.)
(4) Envy the spiritual good of another,
(Clarification: Regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians states, “All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually as the Spirit chooses.” To envy the spiritual good of another is to question the Divine judgment of the Holy Spirit in His distribution of spiritual gifts. It is to be jealous of another person who has a gift different than one’s own gift. Through envy, one rejects the gift that he has received from the Holy Spirit, determining in his own mind that the gift he has received is not good enough for him and he wants someone else’s gift.)
(5) Obstinacy in sin,
(Clarification: To be “obstinate” means to resist the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, to be stubborn, to persist in sin, to be unyielding.)
(6) Final impenitence.
(Clarification: “Impenitence” means to be uncontrite, unrepentant, hardened, unconverted, to be without regret, shame or remorse.)
Jesus himself said a very nice thing and you can utilize it to your advantage. Just as I did – while being perfectly healthy both physically (although that doesn’t matter much) and mentally, being fully aware of the consequences – I have proudly committed blasphemy against the Spirit. So now my family have no other option than to accept and maybe rationalize in some other way (even though there really is none but said pissing on Jesus’ words) the very simple fact that, here what is really important, they will go to heaven, they will be sitting next to God and be in an eternal bliss and happiness WHILE AT THE SAME TIME BEING FULLY AWARE that their beloved family is suffering eternal pain down in the hell.
I don’t know how much more immoral can you get – I know that some strangers I have never met suffer in Palestine, Israel, Syria, Uganda, Nigeria, India, Pakistan and all other places in the world and I am not happy about that. It brings me sadness and I couldn’t claim full happiness even if I wanted to. I would just be dishonest with myself. But it’s not even strangers – it’s your own family!
Almost everyone had some ‘family’ tragedy or disease when someone close to us (or even not so close) suffered from cancer, some other disease, had an accident, was paralysed, suffered from dementia or from any other misfortune this loving God bestowed upon us in his mys-fucking-terious ways. Either had or will have. So ask yourself – were you happy? Weren’t you sad, unhappy, disturbed, compassionate, caring? Didn’t you want to help? Relieve some of the pain? Of course you did – if you have brains – you did.
But when those people will be in heaven there will be nothing left of it. Nothing. If it were me – I’d say it wouldn’t be me any more – that person sitting in heaven would be someone else because my compassion, my empathy, my desire to help not only my family but also strangers – that is an integral part of me that my parents worked very hard to help me develop and I work very hard to maintain and develop it even more. If this God strips me off of those things – this will not be me and I will not be happy.
So tell them that. Hit them hard with the obvious consequence of their rotten, suffering-centered cult and beliefs and make them think how they will handle it when you have closed the only way to the Pearly Gates with your own hands (mouths) and there is no way you’re gonna go up.
You will disarm their condescension and make it useless – even if you turn to God, it’s useless. You have already committed the biggest crime the God thinks there is and you are doomed. Or so they should think, not that there is any truth in this whole God or Jesus thing.
As a marginal note it is worth mentioning that this is the perfect example of how rotten and obscene that faith is – you might have committed the biggest atrocities we human beings recognize, you might have raped a dead body of a child you have murdered a minute ago, hell – you might have gassed 6 million Jews, nuked hundreds of thousands of Japanese or made thousands of people not wear a condom and get HIV – those are nothing, those are petty, if you truly turn to God, if you repent, if you wish for forgiveness – that teen-shagger God (Mary was 14 years old when she gave birth) will forgive you and let you into the heaven. (So don’t be suprised if you meet Hitler up there – he was a Catholic and it’s quite possible he turned to God in the last minute – or at least Catholics and other Christians think people do that so he should not be an exception). But ‘God have mercy’ (as if) if you blaspheme against Holy Spirit – then you’re DONE! Forget eternity – I wouldn’t want to spend even a minute with this monster.
So the next time you hear those condescending words, just say to them “Mark 3:28-29, Matthew 12:31-32” and add “Holy Spirit can go fuck himself and the other two and better for him if he does not get close to me cause I’ll call damned Ghostbusters and put him down”. Or something of the kind – the list is up there and you can let your imagination roam, it’s all up to you how you will “make a reservation for yourself downstairs”.