The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a zealot as a person who has very strong feelings about something and who wants other people to have those exact feelings, otherwise known as a fanatic, militant, and the rather fitting synonym of “true believer.” Many fractions of religious folks can be defined as being stingy zealots, and among these groups, fundamentalists of ANY outfit surface in my head. For the purpose of my personal opinion, my focus are religious fundamentalist zealots, but especially Christian zealots.
As I have unlearned horrible brainwashing techniques used by sects of the Christian faith, as well as, man-made dogma, a self-realization has awakened in my mind, body, and soul: religious zealots are soooooo annoying.
This comes from someone who could have been labeled as a Christian zealot at one point in time, and I was probably more annoying than the average zealot. Think about this, and as I AM thinking about, I shudder at my past zealotry in “God’s name.” Seriously, I was a disgusting misguided soul who perpetuating this false ideal that *my* beliefs in what I falsely believed Christianity/God was, was the ONLY belief that mattered.
Even more instrumental in the zealotry belief, is the ideology that one’s belief in Christianity (or choose any religion, for that matter) only matters if it MATCHES the intensity and passion of my (plural) personal belief.
Basically, it’s like this:
I believe in God.
Cool. Do you tithe 10%?
I don’t believe in monetary tithing that may or may not benefit the church.
Oh. You’re not Christian enough.
Are you baptized?
Oh! Were you baptized being completely submerged?
I don’t know…I was like seven when it happened.
Oh. You’re not Christian enough.
Is red your natural hair color?
Are you a natural blonde?
Cool. Cool. That means you’re probably Aryan and Jesus loves just the Aryans, so you’re Christian enough…for right now.
How much do you love God?
That’s between me and God. Sorry.
NOOOO! If you really love God, you’d sacrifice your first-born *cough* and have sex with me *cough*
Sorry, I have this horrible cough.
If you really love God, you’d be completely pure, are you a virgin?
I’m married with four kids, sooooo.
Were they immaculate conceptions?
What do you think?
If you aren’t pure, you’re not Christian enough.
Wait, weren’t you trying to ask me to bone you?
NOOO! WHORE! BLASPHEMER!!!
Do you read the King James Version of the Bible?
I’m against the KJV of the Bible.
WHAT!?!?! You’re covered with Satan. YOU AREN’T CHRISTIAN ENOUGH!?!
So, what is “Christian enough, O’ MAN OF GOD??
You’re such a lowly woman. You MUST worship LIKE ME. You MUST love God LIKE ME. You MUST tithe LIKE ME. You MUST read the Bible like me and most importantly, you MUST have opinions LIKE ME.
Obviously, the embellishment is purposeful in the above imagined conversation, though, it’s not as imagined as one non-religious individual may think.
At one point, and I feel so shameful and embarrassed admitting this, I was one of those delirious zealots admonishing people’s independent thinking and wanting thinking JUST LIKE mine; basically religious conformity.
How awful does that sound?
Christian zealots crave and perpetuate this notion we all should be conformed to their asinine – and unreasonable – theologies and if we aren’t?
We’re “sinners” or “heathens” or “doomed for hell” for simply NOT prescribing to THEIR degree of religiosity.
When put in that simple lens, doesn’t that zealot-mentality sound incredibly limiting, intolerant, and historic?
So, how do we deal with Christian and other religious ( and even fanatics not within the constraints of religion) zealots?
Simply, you extend them boundless love, but don’t ALLOW anyone to tell you WHAT YOU ARE!!
No one, and I mean no one, has the right to tell you how you are seen in God’s eyes. Christians DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT have a monopoly on God or Jesus of Nazareth, and in fact, when they state they do, they are actually marginalizing and oppressing EVERY, SINGLE PERSON who may not concede to their dogma,BUT who may breathe, live, act, and partake in an authentic and living God in a way the aforementioned zealots have not embraced.
Shew! That was an incredibly long-winded sentence, but the truth still remains and that truth IS instilled within you, not within others fanaticism as they project that zealotry upon you.
Dealing with Christian zealots isn’t an easy task, in fact, dealing with any zealot in any specific group isn’t easy, but if you understand what YOU are while not allowing others’ opinions to subdue your own boldness to inner truth, then their zealotry becomes like a vexatious house fly.
That bothersome house fly is annoying, but doesn’t come detrimental to our innermost beings. Moreover, you understand by using the proper safeguards like screens without holes in your windows and doors, those standard houseflies are a significant safe distance away from you.
Zealotry in Christianity are like those pesky houseflies, and just like those houseflies, they can never deny you of your inner truth and your personal narrative with God.