I Don’t Mind God, It’s God’s Fan Club I Can’t Stand


Image credit: Kissing Fish (Facebook Page)

I wonder if any hard-core Christians ever take a few steps back and see how they look to the rest of the world. Probably very few do. I’ve known a few very conservative Christians, and have universally found them to be among the most judgmental and closed-minded people I’ve ever met. Not all Christians are this way, mind you. I’ve known many who are among the most generous, tolerant, and open-minded people I’ve known. I’ve also known a few atheists who could learn a thing or two about brotherly love and tolerance.

I wonder, however, how many Christians, such as our friend pictured above, really have studied Jesus’s teachings. Here’s a nice example from the Sermon on the Mount that I highly doubt he/she would like: “(1) Do not judge, or you too will be judged. (2) For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1, 2 ~ New International Version) The Jesus I remember from the Bible preferred to hang out with and help the lepers, the whores, and the sinners rather than to consort with the Pharisees, scribes, and other nobility. Too many Christians, especially those who occupy the pulpits, have become the Pharisees of today. They stand in harsh judgment of people who are different from them, people they have never known. They express no love, except for their own opinions, and for money.

It is people like our friend above, others like him, and people like this gentleman (see linked story) that make me abhor what all too often passes for a Christian in this day and age. I’d like to see more people like one friend of mine who is a former Christian Scientist who is a mainstream Christian, living in the southeastern United States. We attended Christian Science Class Instruction together, and she left Christian Science a few years later after becoming disenchanted with the soulless reactions of some Christian Scientists she was close to in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In the mainstream Christian church she started attending, she found love, compassion, and understanding–things that are sadly scarce in Christian Science churches. While she and I have taken vastly different paths since leaving Christian Science, she deeply rejoices in my path and the happiness it’s brought me as I do in hers. Neither of us harbour a desire to change the other’s path. True Christians are loving, compassionate, and tolerant. Yes, I’m sure my friend would be overjoyed if I chose a Christian path, as I would if she chose a more secular path, but, we deeply respect each other’s paths however divergent they may be.

I think also of another friend who, while she largely eschews churches and organized religion, is a devoted follower of the teachings of Jesus, and claims to have been saved by him. She spends much of her time in service to others, and is working to establish a business which will source its raw materials for the items it manufactures from ethical sources, and put most of its profits back into developing business and social opportunities for people in the developing countries from which she sources her raw materials. This is true Christly love.

Both of these people are real and genuine, and don’t seek to impose their will or beliefs on others except to share them, sometimes passionately. On the theological and political issues upon which we disagree, we agree to disagree. They are as convinced of the veracity and inerrant nature of the Bible (well most parts of it), as I am that the Bible is largely a collection of old tribal legends with some valuable lessons to teach, most of which do not depict actual events. I would no more impose my will and beliefs on them than I would desire them to do the same to me or anyone else.

I think of the churches that truly practice what Jesus preached, like the Salvation Army. This was one charity that my Dad consistently gave to. The vast majority of the money donated to their relief and outreach efforts actually goes to the people they help, not to paying salaries of administrators or pastors. Yes, it is a church, yes they preach Christian values–some of them quite conservative, no I don’t agree with everything they preach. However, they practice what Jesus preached. They help the poor, they lift them up, and that is a side of their operation I will support. I personally know people who have been helped by the Salvation Army, who owe their improved lives to the efforts of this church. Another church here in Canada that I know of that comes to mind that really practices what Jesus preached is Metro Community Church. They minister to the homeless, the excluded, the addicted.

All too often it is the shrill, anger and hate-filled spew from ultra-conservative Christians that overshadows all others. It is the same with the radical Muslim terrorists and street protesters who call for death to those who denounce Mohammed–they overshadow the moderate, average Muslim who genuinely loves and practices their faith, and works to live up to the tenets of that faith that call for love and respect for others. The moderate, even-handed, and honest voices are the ones that need to drown out the radicals. Even though I personally do not adhere to any religious faith, and myself do not care for religion, I do care about the people who do right by their faith and practice it genuinely and compassionately. I want to see their voices drown out the zealots.

1 thought on “I Don’t Mind God, It’s God’s Fan Club I Can’t Stand

  1. Your article hit close to home as I was in a very vulnerable position few months back, with 2 kids and at the hands of government assistance and so-called non-profit organizations. I had to leave my marital home due to abuse and was left with nothing, homeless and without family or a support system. Luckily, my little family didn’t end up sleeping in my car, because of a government program that would help us for almost 1 month worth of hotel vouchers. I hated to even have to stand in line at the county office, but I had to loose my pride for my children.
    The horrors I experienced during this first month at Extended Stay hotel are difficult to describe in words, but the following month rained more heart-wrenching false hope, starting with an organization called Project T.O.U.C.H. that was supposed to help homeless and disempowered families to get back on their feet. At first it seemed like faith based, good-willed organization. Where churches and others worked together to shelter those that needed help. A place where prayer was encouraged and safety measures were in place. But, within the first few days I witness first hand the flood of obvious drug-users. Many of which were given positions of authority as ‘Watch Guards’ that paraded the hallways, lobby area and outside grounds. Although many of the homeless that came in were kind, some barely 18, some left to find their way after being in Foster Care/Group Homes, they were forced to share rooms (up to 9) in one room. They were told they were not allowed to leave personal items, and were only allowed in their rooms basically to sleep. No offers to assist with employment, resumes, healthy groups where they could share experiences and possibly connect. In fact, it was the opposite. Feeling more like a jail, where favoritism was obvious, rules were bent and twisted for certain people, and no proper safety measures were in place for families in family rooms that were right in the middle of everyone else. During my stay there I witnessed a fight, a few different drug users having fits of rage, and one of the ‘volunteer’s’ that was given authority for night watch OD’ed, but then was back on duty a few nights after and even was one of the ‘volunteers’ that were known to use drugs that barged into my room, after my children’s bedtime, accusing me of harboring someone. I didn’t have the option to go anywhere else and was dealing with getting resumes out, keeping my kids in school, applying to apartments and other housing in Temecula and Murrieta, and then having to take my daughter to the hospital. Shortly after, and while my daughter was still in the hospital, I was told on a Saturday night that I would have to leave the very next morning. With NOWHERE else to go, most county and charity/missions closed during the weekend, I reached out multiple times to Anne Unmacht, the CEO/President who originally told me I had until the end of the program (which at that time was still a good 10 days away). However, I did not receive any communication back from her. Only her volunteer worker Jen, who told me “they’re Anne’s rooms and she can do with them what she wants.” I was then pressured into an offer of sleeping on a couch in one of Anne’s ‘group home properties’ that were owned by her, and that were ‘rented out,’ but I immediately and obviously felt safer sleeping in my car with my son than being in a living room with others who may be drug users, felons or other.
    Luckily, I pushed through, found and moved into a home, and felt a little softer. But I still kept in touch in some of those that went through the hotel ‘shelter’ run by Project TOUCH. And, months later, and after hearing other horror stories from other people that had been given false hope by this organization, I wanted to research more into this non-profit and found out that their name is not even registered as the non-profit, but listed a TAX ID number 73-1681483, that was under a completely different name: GOD’S FAN CLUB A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION. I also uncovered that this so called charity, Project T.O.U.C.H. was listed as a privately held company in Menifee, CA, and that this company only had 1 employee. And I am sure you guessed it, the Director of Project T.O.U.C.H. or Project Touch and the signee for the tax forms for “God’s Fan Club a Non-Profit Organization” through the CA state Department of Justice, Attorney General’s website, Anne Unmacht.
    I cannot say whether or not for sure that this organization is doing something illegal, however, after a fundraiser for the organization, Anne went out and bought a brand new Mercedes Benz. So, maybe someone can point me in the right direction?

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