Why are Christians so Stupid?

Photo of a dunce hat on a stool in a cornerYou’ve talked to them. You’ve heard about them. You’ve seen them on TV. Heck, you were raised by them! The nutty and nitwitted Bible-thumpers not only want to prevent everyone from having fun; they want to keep you from learning and exploring!

Why are Christians so stupid? Why are Christians so ignorant? What in the world made them this way? Why do they cling so tightly to their extremely conservative philosophies, ignoring and preventing societal progress?

Is there any way to get through to them? Will they listen? Why do they deny science and reason and statistics and just plain facts? Believe it or not, there are understandable reasons behind the madness of the super-religious. And especially Christians.

Rational Thought

Give me a break.

The mark of intelligence is difficult to spot and track. Does it show in a master’s degree? How about a doctorate? Does the answer lie in IQ points, personality, success and effectiveness, or lifestyle? Can you really measure how smart a man is by what he believes?

I often wish these young progressive “brights” were able to actually see on the other side of the colored and biased looking glass they put on us Christians.  You mock us, twist our scriptures, belittle our God, and then expect us to see your point of view in the same light you do?

Not so fast.

Before I say anything else, I’ll be brutally honest. I’m not proud of it, but I admit: we mock you, too. We belittle your beliefs. And we certainly make fun of all your little gods like new atheism, humanism, secularism, and the joke that is evolutionary theory. (Most of us, anyway. There are a few small voices of humanistic or evolutionist Christianity. For the most part, though, their beliefs are rejected by orthodoxy.) We shouldn’t, of course; we are to be loving and understanding. Maybe it’s just our way of coping with what we see as a darkly smoldering world.

Related: Seven Myths about Christianity

It’s Not Just Us

Look around you, though. People say “knock on wood,” or “seven years bad luck.” Every rational person knows this is absolute hogwash, yet we say it because we heard it from someone else.

photo of a tagged flock of sheep being herdedYou see a lot of stupid Christians, and I do too. I see a lot of stupid atheists! And I hope you do, too. Maybe it’s our culture, maybe it’s our country, maybe it’s our failing education system. I’m really not sure. But you should realize it’s not just Christians that are stupid: it’s everyone.

Rational, reasonable, easygoing, studied, well-read and highly educated intellectuals are not exclusive to any particular belief system. Even I must admit that Islam, which I do not by any means subscribe to, had periods of enlightenment with considerable scientific and artistic renaissance.

Notable Scientific Christians

Similarly, one cannot refute the impact of Christian scholars and scientists on the modern world, the industrial revolution, and even the advancement of scientific discovery. Please view a list of great Christian minds throughout history and tell me again that Christians are stupid and have contributed nothing to the world stage. Tell me again Christianity hinders progress and scientific advancement.

A couple of notable examples: Francis Bacon, for one, is considered to be the father of the scientific method. No, he didn’t totally complete and refine it, but he advocated and paved the way for a verifiable scientific method to prove observable hypotheses. Perhaps he was not one of the great theologians, evangelists, or revivalists of the time either; he was, however, at the very least in a shallow sense if not more, a professing believer.

(As a side note, let me point out that the strange myth of modern evangelicals rejecting the scientific method and science itself is absolutely false. We do, however, reject a range of popular hypotheses and theories that cannot or have not been proven by the scientific method.)

Another is Benjamin Silliman. Founder of the American Journal of Science, he was a chemist and devout scientific explorer. He is known for successfully distilling petroleum and studying the Weston meteorite in 1807. For the record, he was also opposed to slavery.

Finally a more modern example is Raymond Damadian, who had a large role in inventing the MRI machine (although some dispute that-could it be because he is a young-earth creationist? very likely).

Conclusion

I don’t need to cite a list of well-respected atheist scientists. They’re pretty much the only ones given credence in the media and elsewhere anymore. But for the most part when they open their mouth about God or the Bible, they get pretty stupid.

Although so many of the most popular argumentative points among today’s atheists are ignorant and easily refutable, they are still adored as the world’s celebrity geniuses. Hell, a lot of the more popular atheists aren’t even scientists as much as they are talking heads.

Look, here is the point: while you’re asking questions like “why are Christians so ignorant? and “why are Christians so stupid?” we are asking the same questions about people like you. If we are able to abandon our xenophobia and communicate we might find more truth and struggle than expected.

When you lump an entire group of people together under false pretenses, assumptions, and butthurt feelings about a few people you’ve met in the past, you’re potentially allowing the same kind of fallacious group-think behind genocidal WWII regimes, Jim-Crow era racism, and endless middle-eastern slaughter into your pool of thought.

No, I am not comparing you to Hitler (even though that’s popular these days). I’m just saying that you can’t accurately label and compartmentalize people like that. You need to learn to empathize and understand. And yes, we do as well.

There is absolutely an endless supply of stupidity out there. But there is plenty of it that does not belong to Christians.


photo credit: Dunce via photopin (license)
Sheep on the road courtesy of Ali May via FreeImages.com (licence)

10 thoughts on “Why are Christians so Stupid?

  1. Tennyson,

    This is Dallas, from Frontline. I really like your points, but there is one I truly feel you have left out.

    In my (considerably limited) experience, it is not so much that Christians are not given the credit they deserve, but more so that they are misrepresented. A GLARING example of this is Duck Dynasty, the stars of which have, on occasion, been asked to represent the entire Christian community.

    Just a thought, but good article, I enjoyed reading it!

    • Absolutely true point. I definitely see where you’re coming from and I’m not sure how I would word it… However, I feel that only Christians and the American church as a whole is to blame for said misrepresentation. I’m not sure if you grew up Christian or not (I didn’t, not overtly anyway) but before I really found gospel culture I was more familiar with a shallow surface of church culture. There is a BIG difference. It’s difficult to explain, but I think I can summarize: it seems that there is a surface to Christian culture in the US that is very trite and -to be brutally honest- meaningless. The spirit of God had to intervene in my life to pierce that culture like a vault and show me the reality of the true church and how it moves and grows in Christ.

      Sadly, that “surface” culture full of casual and half-hearted believers is what I see to be the norm today. And what we see in movies and media (think main character in God’s Not Dead) definitely matches up with that norm. Not that those people are unsaved per se, but you have to really search for those fiery-hearted believers who are truly changed and moved by the spirit. Of course, you might have had a completely different experience!

      Regardless, thank you for reading and commenting. I am honored. ^.^

  2. “The joke that is evolutionary theory?” Are you joking? You are refuting mounds and mounds of evidence for your silly beliefs. The thing is, evidence does not care about your beliefs. This one quote sealed your grave of stupidity. When asking your self why people think Christians are stupid, point to this quote.
    Christians ignore irrefutable science for biblical stories and they do it in confidence; now that is dumb. Christianity is dumb because it is all based on belief and faith for no reason what so ever. You people believe simply for the sake of believing, because someone told you to believe, and your strength of resolve is rooted in how much you believe. Therw is no reason towards it, no progress for society is gained through it, it is in a sense. Useless.
    Actually one could easily argue it detracts from society, limits rights, limits scientific progress, it simply puts limits on others all for the sake of “belief.” Thats why people call it dumb, because even if they dont believe it imposes on them whether they like it or not. Non religious people essentially hate religion because it benefits them in no way and it inhibits their rights indirectly.
    To give an example, look at how christians treat marijuana. Doing all they can to ban it and limit peoples use of it. How do christian people feel they have the right to limit my use of my herb. Oh, because God said they could? Absolutely ridiculous.

    • You know what? You’re right. At the time I wrote this, I was a little more sure and dogmatic about the young-Earth theory and, although I still see it as a viable theory, I don’t necessarily think it’s something that matters that much or that we can know for sure. So yes, I need to change the phrasing on this article.

      Now, as for evolution… No reasonable Christian disputes the idea of micro-evolution, that is to say environmental adaptation. In fact, I would venture to say that a large amount if not a majority of Christians actually support evolutionary theory. As for the rest of us, yes, Darwin’s finches and plenty of other examples prove that species can change over time. However, Darwin’s finches were still finches. There is no concrete and observable proof that one type of animal can eventually adapt into a completely different creature altogether (single-celled organisms eventually turning into frogs, etc). We can verify through the scientific method that species bred in generations in certain environments will eventually change some of their characteristics and genetics… but we currently have no verifiable evidence proving that, for example, something like an amphibian could eventually evolve into something like a mammal. Every supposed link scientists think they can make has convenient gaps which are too wide to make any sort of concrete assumption. So what we have when it comes to evolutionary theory are assumptions based on assumptions ad infinitum. What it comes down to is that the processes required for the theory take thousands and millions of years to test, so it is currently unverifiable.

      Although your comment is a real angry mess of a rant, I’ll attempt to answer some of your other allegations. For a learned and scientific mind, you actually spout a lot of assumptions and cliches which prove your ignorance of religion and specifically Christianity. Did you take biology but skip out on the world religion classes? Did you even read the article you commented on, or did you just start typing when you saw something you didn’t like? Many of history’s most profound scientific minds (who have contributed greatly to society and human progress) have been Christian, and many more have been dedicated to other religions. In fact, western society as a whole has been impacted by Christianity to such an extent that it takes an extreme amount of cognitive dissonance to ignore. Our very system of democratic republic and our justice system is based on morals found in Christian scripture and literature. You have to ignore a baffling load of history to believe that religion limits science and progress.

      Let me also respond to this statement: “You people believe simply for the sake of believing, because someone told you to believe…” That may be true for a lot of Christians in the west, and I am cautious with them because faith handed down by parents can often be nothing more than a cultural norm. However, in my case this is not so. I was not raised with any sort of religious slant and I came to faith around the time I was 18 after being agnostic and disliking religion for years. There are also many people who convert to Christianity from atheism and other religions, as any Christian will tell you. Unfortunately statistics about this can be difficult to track but there are hundreds of thousands of first-hand accounts of conversion written about and witnessed.

      As for cannabis, your statement about Christians being against it is a fallacious, wide-sweeping generalization. It tends to have more to do with age and political beliefs than on religion. I support recreational cannabis (I signed the petition and voted for the measure which led to medical usage becoming legal in my state) and I know many other Christians who do. Lots of older folks are still hanging onto all the propaganda from the “reefer madness” era and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that lots of older people tend to vote where younger folks abstain or never register. In my opinion an honest reading of scripture cannot find issue with medicinal usage of mind-altering drugs, including alcohol, other than a general ethos of being responsible, of good reputation, and “sober minded” which I don’t think are so strict as to discourage the use of certain substances in moderation for pleasure or illness.

      For someone who thinks I’m ridiculous, you spent a decent amount of time writing up a rambling several paragraphs so that it would be seen by virtually nobody on a website which hasn’t been updated in 2 years.

  3. So, I know this post is 4 years old but I still wanted to say something. You brought up a lot of important points and facts that most people tend to ignore. I really liked the post as a whole and your rebutals in the comments. I came here after reading a long comment thread on Reddit talking about how christians are insane and all that stuff. I was a bit baffled about how negative the general picture of christians seemed to be, so I searched for some other point of views to see if the general image really was that bad and then I found your blog post. I am a christian/believer or whatever you want to call it, but I just wanted to say that I really appreciated the post and I hope that more people would see things like this and listen to our arguments instead of blatantly saying that we’re insane. *thumbs up*

    • Thanks for you comment, it means a lot. In 4 years not much has changed as far as the popular view of Christianity in the West goes. Although I haven’t made a new post in awhile I still keep an eye on any comments that come in and try to reply when I can. I do hope to be writing some new content again soon, so I appreciate the encouragement.

      Anti-theists can laugh all they want. The way I see it, the facts and logic are not in their favor. I don’t mind debating, but most people don’t know how to do so properly and just scream with fingers in their ears. It’s dumbfounding to me how many people who are obsessed with “reason” have none of it. Often all they can do is mock and whine about things they do not understand. When I find atheists who are polite and respectful (when it comes to discussions of religion and science), I always commend them because they are quite rare.

      Another thing we must understand is that this is really a subject of deep emotion and spirit. Many if not most of the people who are so bitter about religion and Christianity in particular have been hurt by religion or religious people and are still angry about it. Often events from their past cloud their mind and urge them to deny Christ whatever the cost. We must always keep this in mind to help us be graceful and understanding. There are a lot of people who call themselves Christians who treat others very poorly and unfortunately it reflects on the entire Church. That’s why it is so important for us to speak up and denounce evil, and to care for those in need.

      Based off your IP and email domain, it looks like you are from Sweden. I’d be interested to learn what the cultural temperature is on Christianity there. If you read this, please let me know.

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