just drop me off and leave me here for the day
Reading Time: 8 minutes (Rumman Amin.) A nice bookshop. Not the one in today's story though.
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Hi and welcome back! Gosh, being a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ is so hard nowadays. Not only do TRUE CHRISTIANS™ have to Jesus harder all the time, but they have to make sure everybody around them knows they’re the most Jesus-ified Jesus-ers who ever Jesus-ed. And there’s no better way to demonstrate their Jesus-ification than inserting themselves into situations that aren’t their business. Today, we look at a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ facing a crisis of conscience over doing her job, and why situations like it are such problems for Christians like her.

just drop me off and leave me here for the day
(Rumman Amin.) A nice bookshop. Not the one in today’s story though.

(Special Request: Please don’t give today’s original poster (OP) any hassles. She’s nobody, really. Countless Christians just like her manufacture similar crises every single day. I chose her post simply to kick off a discussion of an all-too-common manufactured crisis in that end of Christianity. Also, see endnote for a definition of TRUE CHRISTIAN™.)

OMG Satanic Bibles, Y’all!

A couple of days ago, a Redditor on a subreddit dedicated to discussions of ultimate Jesus-osity brought up a crisis of conscience she’d manufactured for herself.

It seems that she works at a bookstore. It’s not a Christian bookstore, so it sells all sorts of books that do not meet Queen Her’s executive approval. Indeed, that very day a man had come into the shop and asked her to show him where their Satanic Bibles were located!




Now, normally when a customer dares to seek out and purchase stuff that does not meet Queen Her’s approval, she quietly asks her invisible friend to strong-arm them into behaving more to her liking. Presumably, she does this after they’ve left the store, but she doesn’t specify the timing of these requests — so who knows? This time, though, she explicitly reveals that she totally prayed “silently” for this customer while she was ringing up his purchase.

That’s obnoxious enough, you’d think. She’s probably not very subtle at all while she’s doing this performative song-and-dance (and it’s one that violates Jesus’ direct command in the first place).

But you’d be wrong.

She now wonders if she was obnoxious enough to this customer.

The Big Question.

Indeed, now she’s wracked with self-doubt.

Should she have done more to insert herself into this customer’s private business? Maybe lectured him on how he’s living his life and what media he’s chosen to consume?

Should she have disapproved at him more explicitly? Prayed loudly in tongues while staring directly at him, perhaps?

I bet there are people out there who’d totally be down for that.

Or should she have lorded her superior Jesus-osity at him by refusing to ring him up at all?

I mean, fetching another coworker to do her job would certainly inconvenience the greatest number of people possible. And it’d make the customer feel extra-imposed-upon and marginalized by his cultural masters, which is of course the whole point of these charades.

But then we run into the dilemma she’s facing:

All of these actions, as gratifying as they’d be for her, could easily result in real-world repercussions that she doesn’t want to experience.

Gosh, y’all, what’s a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ to do in these situations? 

The Argument That Flowed.

In response to OP’s fretting, one person wrote a long essay about how she should inconvenience every person she possibly can — or else quit that job and work only for shops run by other TRUE CHRISTIANS™.

However, to their credit, most of the subreddit leaned heavily on the side of just do your freakin’ job already. That pleased me. I especially liked the short comment from a Christian who pointed out that a wingnut could buy a Bible from her and then decide it’s telling him to murder his whole family. (How how how can Christians know this and yet still think of the Bible as anything special?) A few others accurately pointed out that the Satanic Bible isn’t actually occultic at all anyway, so it’s hardly worth her fuss.

Still others noted that in their own jobs, they have to interact with customers doing all kinds of illicit things. They know that nobody else is responsible for customers’ private purchasing decisions except those customers themselves.

But ohhh, see, that’s the problem. Our OP really wants to be responsible for other people’s private decisions! She really wants to insert herself into other people’s lives against their will! She really wants to make a big fuss about her religious affiliation.

How else could she demonstrate her tribe’s ownership of that bookstore?

(Maybe she even aches for the fallout of a big fight over her religious liberty.)

Most of all, she wants to pretend she’s a mini-me of Jesus himself. Indeed, she even references Jesus as an example of how she thinks she should behave around sinful, Satanic-Bible-buyin’ heathens customers.

We Can’t Miss Them If They Won’t Go Away.

Bookstore-Lass isn’t anyone special. And the problem she’s manufactured for herself is one faced by millions of TRUE CHRISTIANS™ every single day.

Millions of Christians just like her act like they believe that they, personally, are responsible for other people’s private decisions, and that they, personally, are authorized by their invisible friend to interfere with anybody else’s life whenever they want because they are the Designated Adults for the whole world.

Indeed, in this Christian’s post we see its writer fretting about potentially being the person to damn her customers to Hell forever by selling them materials she views as evil.

(Obligatory Sir Pterry quote: “Evil begins when you begin to treat people as things.”)

I went through this same dilemma as a Christian, and I’m sure millions of Christians today do as well.

As I was back then, these Christians — like OP — are caught between their need to dominate others and their fear of repercussions. 

Gosh, what to do, what to do…

A World They Don’t Want to Create.

I guess the thinking here is:

Hey, why should TRUE CHRISTIAN™ bakers, healthcare providers, and pharmacists have all the fun of stomping on their tribal enemies?

But this isn’t a world TRUE CHRISTIANS™ want to create. Not really.

Lately, there’s a proposal in Congress regarding fair access to banking services. Zealots on both the right and left side of various issues are pressuring banks to refuse to offer services to their enemies.

And I’m not sure I like the idea of banks denying service to customers. I’m not sure I like the idea of a world where any business owners (especially ones who get taxpayer money) can broadly refuse service to entire classes of customers — even if those customers are people I don’t like at all. That kind of unfairness can easily swing the other way, and on a dime at that.

I don’t think TRUE CHRISTIANS™ realize that every perk they claim for themselves is a perk their enemies can also claim for their own groups.

But no matter how often that fact pecker-slaps them in the face, as it did so hilariously in 2012, control-hungry Christians just never understand that point.

Aww, That’s No Fun!

If Christians refuse to ring up purchases of materials they view as “evil” or cause trouble for customers conducting lawful commerce with them, then they could easily find themselves not able to buy products from shops run by people who don’t like TRUE CHRISTIANS™ either.

Maybe these Christians would even find themselves on the return end of a fervent believer from some other religion (or flavor of Christianity) staring right at them while praying “silently” and sullenly ringing up their purchases.


The first time or two someone did to these Christians exactly what they (want to) do to their own customers, they’d probably find it a fun fight to get into. But that fight would get tiresome very quickly, I suspect. I know it was for me.

The first time I landed on the other side of that particular manufactured crisis, it sure put a lot of things into perspective for me. It was absolutely mortifying to realize just how obvious my motivations must have been to my own victims — and how absolutely, spectacularly those stunts must have backfired.

Nobody ever comes out of these one-sided engagements dazzled by the TRUE CHRISTIAN™ Jesus Auras of the Christians involved and eager to check out their beliefs.

However, recruitment isn’t really on these Christians’ minds. If it were, they’d be using way better sales techniques than interruption marketing with an involuntary audience.

No, they just don’t get a lot of opportunities to dominate other people, that’s all. Retail is just one of the few environments they have left that even sorta-kinda allows for the behavior they want to pursue.

To borrow a phrase from Lambchop, it’s like they’re masturbating with other people’s hands. And they don’t even ask first!

(Not) Winning Friends and Influencing People.

People need to just do their freakin’ jobs already.

We figured that out a few years ago with Kim Davis. Nobody cares what religion employees happen to be. We just want ’em to do their freakin’ jobs. And like look, I understand perfectly that that’s the entire problem TRUE CHRISTIANS™ face. The last thing authoritarian narcissists want to be is irrelevant.

But seriously, nobody cares about the Happy Pretendy Fun Time Game that TRUE CHRISTIANS™ play.

Or will care.

Or can be made to care.

Creating crises and dramas will do the opposite of regaining TRUE CHRISTIANS™ the power they crave. But it’s all they know how to do, so we’ll likely see more of this behavior as they grow more and more alarmed by their decline in power. As much as TRUE CHRISTIANS™ may speak glowingly of persecution and being cultural underdogs, that’s really the last thing they want.

NEXT UP: A big-name pastor whines that people are using his redefined version of love less and less these days. See you tomorrow!


Definition of TRUE CHRISTIAN™: A TRUE CHRISTIAN™ is the ultimate expression of Christianity. But with so many different flavors of Christianity around and so many ways to express the religion’s various tenets, how can anyone tell who the truest Christians of all are? Luckily, I’m here with a surefire way to identify them. A TRUE CHRISTIAN™:

  • Believes the same doctrines that the judging Christian believes and displays similar levels of fervor
  • Hasn’t gotten caught doing anything the judging Christian thinks is completely out of bounds
  • Dies in the traces with the previous two conditions intact

If someone doesn’t meet all three conditions, they are/were never the real deal and must be rejected. Obviously.

(Less sarcastically: I use the term TRUE CHRISTIAN™ to describe the most authoritarian, control-hungry Christians in the whole squawking, barking lot of them. These Christians consider themselves far superior to other Christians and like to gatekeep the religion — yanking the title of “Christian” away or awarding it at their whim. I think it’s hilarious, personally, to watch them in action. TRUE CHRISTIANS™ are like Mean Girls on steroids. Very little demonstrates just how non-divine Christianity is like the behavior of its most fervent adherents.)

(Back to the post!)

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ROLL TO DISBELIEVE "Captain Cassidy" is Cassidy McGillicuddy, a Gen Xer and ex-Pentecostal. (The title is metaphorical.) She writes about the intersection of psychology, belief, popular culture, science,...

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