Does it seem Non-Christians are more helpful than Christians

West - posted on 09/07/2012 ( 23 moms have responded )

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I'm a Chrisitian. I will help anyone I can if they ask and if I can't help I will at least try or offer some options. I find most "Christians" I meet don't offer help to those in need. I'm not saying be a doormat, all I'm saying if you own 7 homes and know a family that's homeless or near it , maybe lend them a home or if you have something you don't use give it to someone in need. I'm so tired of hearing " I'll pray for you". I had to go to my OB urgently and my very "Christian" sister in law wouldn't give me a ride. But she had to to go to chick fil a. I am ranting cause these couple of months have been very hard for us, but I have noticed this since 2008. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed?

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Johnny - posted on 09/07/2012

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That has not been my real life experience. The Christians I personally know are about equally as helpful, caring and charitable as the non-Christians. I find it's more based on personality and attitude than on relgion. I'm an agnostic atheist and in my daily life I've had about equal experiences with people of all sorts of groups. There are assholes everywhere, but people's kindness can also be enormous and surprising.



To be honest, as a group, the people who I've met who are the most charitable, the most giving, the most kind, and focus the most intently on helping their fellow humans are actually Ismaili Muslims (which make up the largest sect of Muslims where I live). We have a couple of neighbors who are Ismailis and spend a huge amount of their time fundraising for charity and helping the homeless. They treat everyone with respect and kindness and are often the first to step up when people need help. My former esthetician (before I had kids and I could afford that stuff) was also an Ismaili and she seemed to spend her entire weekend doing charity of one form or another. And everything she ever spoke was laced with compassion and tenderness for her fellow humans. It was very inspiring. Quite the opposite of the stereotypes people place.



I also worked for a few years for a church mission. I was a welfare advocate and worked with people whose deep faith drove them to dedicate their life to serving the poor as Jesus had. I also worked with people like myself who were not believers but strongly felt that helping our fellow man was the morally evolved choice and unarguably the right thing to do. Many churches and church groups spend a lot of time trying to help people who are struggling. And the humanist group I am a part of raises money for a number of non-religious based charities such as Doctors without Borders on a constant basis.



But from each of these groups, I've also known people who were self-absorbed, selfish, unwilling to share, full of hate, and who couldn't be bothered to even step over a man lying in the street. Honestly, I think those kind of people can mostly be found in any sort of extremist group. Extreme hardcore Christians, fundamentalist Muslims, strident anti-theists, etc. etc. They want everyone to believe exactly like they do, they can't care for humans beyond their differences, and absolutely everything is always completely about them and how they feel.



So no, I don't think that Christians are any less helpful than non-Christians or vice versa. I think you've just been running into some serious jerks lately. I truly hope that your fortunes change and that you start to find people who will treat you with kindness, compassion and dignity. I am sorry to hear that you're having a hard time, I hope things change soon.



As for the whole "I'll pray for you" thing, even if I did believe in God, I personally could never believe in prayer. It seems like a way of not actually DOING anything to help. Either to help oneself or to help others. The Christians I worked with didn't pray for the homeless, they helped them find shelter, permanent homes, clothes, access to hygiene faciilities, suppport for addicitons, etc. etc. etc. As an agnostic atheist, I don't even bother sending people "good vibes" all that often because I don't think they do anything either. If I can help, I will. And if I can't, I will just hope.

West - posted on 09/08/2012

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@Dove most Christians I know here in Charlotte wouldn't get a homeless guy a sandwich, they say that they really only want money for drugs and would waste the food. I'm not saying I've never met helpful Christians, I am saying the majority that I meet from different background, denominations and ages are only out for self. I've been taught when you're Christian you're suppose to change the way you live and the the places you go. I seem the find that the only good hearted people are the drunks, druggies, down right whores and the fighters. If this is how my brethren are I'd rather go to a bar than a church.

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Not really. But in my area they don't push their religion on you as say most evangelicals. They're all very helpful to me. Online it depends.



What' I think you're seeing since 2008 is a very very vocal Christian minority who like to pretend they speak for all Christians. Their views are easy to follow if you are someone who gets offf on not liking most people.

Johnny - posted on 09/07/2012

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Well Kathy, I suppose I should re-state this portion, "The Christians I worked with didn't pray for the homeless..." I'm sure that they did. They just didn't talk about it or focus on it or suggest it ever as a solution. They took actual actions when they could. They weren't out there trying to prove anything to any person, they focused on their work and their relationship with God was personal. You could see their love for their fellow humans in their actions. Their relationship with God was inside and wasn't about showing everyone their piety or how faithful they were blah blah blah.



Too often these days, it seems the Christians I meet online are busier proving how devout they are and how they've given their life to Jesus and how they've accepted God's grace and how they're praying for you because that's the only "solution" to actually step up and help people or even show that they care. Luckily, I don't know those people in real life. And I'm saddened to hear that is who West finds herself surrounded by. Bigots and self-righteous relgio-nuts. Not much help.



As a non-believer, it's next to impossible for me to see the prayer or good vibes or any of that doing anything but as a sign of caring. So for me,if I can't actually DO anything concrete, I usually just tell someone I am thinking of them. Which is a fact and is the best I can offer.



West, I spent a bit of time looking and I can't really find any organization in your area that specializes in transport for sick people at no charge. Here, there is a public transit service called Handidart that comes to the door to take people to medical appointments. If you get a letter from your doctor, they will set up people temporarily. So I looked on your public transit page. It looks like an onerous application process including an interview that would be hard to get to without transport (derps) but you guys have one too. Although I am not sure if you fall into their zone:



http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/cats/...



Hopefully that would do something for you. But it does look rather difficult and lengthy, which isn't much help in a pregnancy. My only other suggestion is to call one of those "crisis pregnancy centers" and ask if they can help. If there is a chance that walking could cause a miscarriage or that you wouldn't be able to access proper pre-natal care, perhaps they would want to help so as to preserve your pregnancy and the health of your baby.

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Kathy - posted on 09/08/2012

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"Yes, I've noticed this too. It's very easy for people to say, "I'll pray for you" because it involves little to no effort, yet makes them feel godly, sanctimonious and superior. " TRACIE



This is pretty presumptuous.



Unless you know the person quite well, you can have no idea of the persons intent when they say "I will pray for you." Most of them are trying to be helpful in their own way and nice.



It can mean everything from "I am thinking about you, and hey, maybe the prayer will help" to "I 100% believe in the power of prayer and am praying for you."



Heck, even the preachy types might mean it when they say it!



I think whether or not you say "I will pray for you" has little to no correlation to how much concrete help you offer people.



I am not saying "I will pray for you" is never used as a cop-out, but to focus on the probably small amount of people who are using it as a cop out/to make themselves feel godlier, seems harsh.



Edited to add:



I do have issues with the "I will pray for you" comment and it is this:



You should not assume someone is Religious

(I tend to "send good vibes" which is a little hokey, but more inclusive) unless someone has specifically asked for prayer requests. Even for prayer requests I keep it generic - I assume if you are asking for prayer requests, you believe in god in some way, but I do not assume you are Christian and start praying to Jesus.

Tracie - posted on 09/08/2012

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Yes, I've noticed this too. It's very easy for people to say, "I'll pray for you" because it involves little to no effort, yet makes them feel godly, sanctimonious and superior.



I always say, if you met a homeless person on the street and asked them, "Would you like me to pray for you or buy you a sandwich?" you'd get the same answer 100% of the time. And for those who are Christians, you know which of these two things Jesus would rather you do.



If you're not willing to walk the walk, don't talk the talk.



As a side note, I have to say the nicest, most sincere, genuine and helpful people I've met are atheists. They are kind and helpful because they want to be kind and helpful, not because they're afraid of punishment or trying to gain favor with some higher-up. They have typically reflected deeply on humanity. And they don't care what religion you are, they only see other people as people, just like them.

Kathy - posted on 09/08/2012

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Johnny - I was not arguing with you, simply stating a different POV to the whole "praying for you/sending good vibes" thing.



I think in real life it is often a cop out (but not always) particularly if it is not accompanied by offers of more concrete help.



Online, where you often cannot do anything, it seems more appropriate.



I do think some people like to broadcast their Christianity for all to see in some sort of pious, self-righteous, clicky way. They insert god into every thread and it is both preachy and irrelevant.



This is very different from when a woman is miscarrying, for example, and posters who usually do keep their religious beliefs to themselves send good vibes or prayers. Half the time the posters asked for prayers, and even when they didn't, most thank people for their virtual support. Praying and sending positive vibes when someone online is having a miscarriage ( for example) is often all you can do -it is not a cop out for real help, and it is not necessarily a pious "look at how devote I am !" display.

Jenny - posted on 09/07/2012

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I find it's more based on personality and attitude than on relgion. I'm an agnostic atheist and in my daily life I've had about equal experiences with people of all sorts of groups. JONNY



I agree, there are all sorts of people everywhere. People sometimes help me in day/day life (i.e if i accidently left my purse on the bench next to me and someone saw, they would come chasing me) and I never know what faith they are or not.



Sometimes it depends on how fundamental their religion is, and this apeals more to some personalities than others. Some Christians are too judgemental to help.



Something that struck me was when I told my christian brother about not believing in God, he got really mad and said something like, fine, I want to see you survive out there without Christians helping you. Don't you dare get any sort of help from christians, none, because no Atheist ever came to my rescue.

Just a horrible attitude about those outside of the Christian circle using christian help. But, im pretty sure most christians are not like this.

West - posted on 09/07/2012

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Thanks everyone. I will contact the hanficart services. I usually get to my pre natal appointments via taxi. It's just those times when I'm short on cash and it's an emergency appointment.

West - posted on 09/07/2012

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No Kathy I haven't tried secular services. ( most of them send a child welfare worker to your home, in this area) Im thinking about moving back to Atlanta where I'd be closer to friends.

Kathy - posted on 09/07/2012

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West….



Have you tried Secular places for help?



Here is a list of support organisation in Charlotte, hopefully one will work:http://www.thechildrensalliance.org/orga...



Be honest with your doctor on having to walk 1.5 miles to the bustop- he or she will probably not be Ok with that if you are on bedrest. Could a public health nurse visit you? The doctor may know of some resources for struggling families.

Kathy - posted on 09/07/2012

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"As for the whole "I'll pray for you" thing, even if I did believe in God, I personally could never believe in prayer. It seems like a way of not actually DOING anything to help. Either to help oneself or to help others. The Christians I worked with didn't pray for the homeless, they helped them find shelter, permanent homes, clothes, access to hygiene faciilities, suppport for addicitons, etc. etc. etc. As an agnostic atheist, I don't even bother sending people "good vibes" all that often because I don't think they do anything either. If I can help, I will. And if I can't, I will just hope." JOHNNY



I don't see it as not doing anything - but I do think there is a time and place for it.



I usually tell people I will prayer for them/send them good vibes online. I do it online because it is often the only thing I can do (I will advise and look up resources if they ask - but sometimes that is not what they need). I have no idea if it works - but I like to think it makes them feel a bit better, and hey, it might work. I am an agnostic theist.



In real life I offer concrete help, as appropriate.



I definitely find some Christian groups to be more giving than others. Some seem to be quite insular - and help their community, but do little else (and if they do offer help or resources, it is often to draw you into their community and a relationship with God) Others really do work for the benefit of mankind (us heathens included). The one that seem insular tend to be fundamentalist, but I could be projecting my own issues and bias here.

West - posted on 09/07/2012

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We do have salvation armies here but they don't offer what I need. It's just stupid little things I need really but no help. I feel scared if ever something happens while my hubby is at work and I need to go by ambulance cause it will take him an hour and a half to get her by bus unless we have extra funds for a cab. I got two small kids here and that's my biggest nightmare.

West - posted on 09/07/2012

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I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I'm I'm a mixed marriage so people already look at us odd. I'm on restrictions due to pregnancy complications and my husband usually works on Sundays so I'm not in church often lately. When we stop going no one even checked on us. I don't often need help it's mostly transportation issues. We don't have a car and to poor to afford one at the moment. Sometimes I need rides to the doctor cause if I walk the 1.5 mile to the bustop I usually start bleeding again. This week the DNC was in town so we could not get a cab to save our lives. My husband needed to wash his uniforms for work ( our place doesn't have washer connections). We called our church neighbors and some other people they all said no. I called this one lady to use her washer and she was eager to say yes and help. I have no mom ( she hates my husband so she's outta my life) I never knew my extended family cause my mom was the black sheep of the family and my in laws are useless or don't care. My main issue is a car really.

Johnny - posted on 09/07/2012

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Where on earth do you live?!?! There are some churches here that only help their own or don't help at all, but the vast majority have charitable wings and especially reach out to help their own members. Growing up the church I attended had a specific group of people whose voluntary role was to make sure that any members who were struggling were looked after, as individuals. They also had a separate group that co-ordinated external charity work and fundraising for supporting various things. Do they not have at least a Salvation Army where you live? What sort of help are you needing?

West - posted on 09/07/2012

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I guess it's just the people I meet Johnny. I meet people who help charities but will not help individuals. Im just going to suck it up and remember these days when I am asked to help. My answer won't be I'll pray for you cause I do that for myself. I just angry cause I remember at my former complex people would knock on our door all times of day cause they knew my family would share what little we had and half of them I didn't know they were sent by neighbors. It's churches around here who won't even help. But thanks for your input

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