Christian Crazy Propaganda Part I.
One of the many ways Christians affirm their faith when faced with criticism is to take refuge in psychology, whether possessing any clinical understanding or not. Not merely a fallacious means of arguing, this armchair psychologist role produces propaganda meant to show the Christian as correct and the critic (regardless of their argument) as the troubled person. Worse still, playing the psychologist evokes the natural passive-aggressive behavior found in Christian culture meant to gaslight critics into submission.
When faced with criticism that reveals Christianity’s illogical and contradictory nature, many Christians need to justify their religion’s difficult-to-accept incoherencies: this is rationalizing. For this reason, Christianity sprawls the US with unknown numbers of sects and interpretations: personal and by denomination. If you don’t like the message of the Catholic Church, you convert to Baptist or some other new brand of the same theology. While this inherent ideological incoherency might appear as a weakness that fractures churches, which occurs often, this flaw also serves as the greatest inspiration for Christian propaganda by promulgating rationalization amongst Christians.
One of the strongest forces fueling Christianity’s pervasive, infectious growth is the ability to turn adherents into propagandists. Like an alien from science fiction taking humans as hosts, Christianity controls adherents, forcing them to protect beliefs and convert others, often just to affirm their beliefs. Challenged with conflicting sects and nonsensical aspects of Christianity, followers turn to psychology to rationalize and disprove contradictions by diagnosing critics.
Diagnosing the Critic
One of the most significant problems is the layperson’s misunderstanding and oversimplification of clinical psychology that generates diagnoses of oneself and others via superficial reading and media intake. The clearest example of this self-induced pop psychology forms in nonclinical opinions and assumptions concerning psychopathy, e.g., falsely believing all psychopaths are serial killers. So problematic is this issue that researchers Keesler and DeMatteo discuss the “legal, practical, and ethical implications, including the potential for biased jurors,” that can arise. Psychopathy forms only the tip of psychology’s misunderstanding and faulty applications, seen in the science’s ironic misapplication by Christian armchair psychologists rationalizing or, more aptly, diagnosing away religious critics.
You don’t need to search much to find the problem’s evidence; just locate a critic of Christianity and examine their social media. One of Christian Pollution’s primary goals includes exposing Christianity’s negative influence, accomplished by collecting photos of responses that reveal the Christian armchair psychologist problem. These few “diagnoses” taken from the many Christian Pollution remarks pale in the vast number of Christian comments across the WEB.
From Christian Equals
W.A. Hayes shows us the most common form of playing psychologist in which Christians argue some bad experience involving Christianity must have occurred in childhood to make a person critical of Christianity. Any attack on Christianity means the person was traumatized in youth and now unjustly points the finger at the religion.
From Why God Reveals Himself to Some & Not Others
David Thurman provides a great example of the Christian armchair psychologist’s creative creation of propaganda by claiming the religious experience “normal,” or as he says,
Christianity isn’t outside the house of mirrors of civilization it is the creator of the house of mirrors it finds itself in and is civilization,
thus inferring any criticism of Christianity that separates the religion from society must be abnormal since there is no separating secular from the religious experience. Using the assumption that Christianity is the creator necessary to society, Thurman essentially dismisses the Christian critic by saying he is arguing abnormally.
To believe Christianity “normal,” even the most liberal believer must justify HOW an ancient book filled with contradictions claiming God created people to read and obey this book (ironically written by men inspired by this mysterious God) to avoid burning in a hell (also created by this God) contains relevant, intelligent wisdom to guide a modern age filled with nonChristians.
From Limit Contact with Christians
Gary Hunt cites Catholic clergy sexual abuse, indicating he belongs to another sect. This diagnosis is interesting for exposing the individualized nature of these propagandists who often act of their own will in no organized fashion. Gary exemplifies how Christians become armchair psychologists regardless of sect.
From Dumb Christian Philosophers argue, “If you judge Christianity by Christians, then judge Atheism by Atheists.”
Terry JP gives incredible insight into the Christian armchair psychologist’s propagandizing. He accuses the critic of being made delusional because of being queer, which confirms the Christian belief that homosexuality is a mental defect AND somehow a choice since, as he claims, “your mistake.”
From Are Christians stupid, gullible, or just liars?
Here also is a fantastic embedding of armchair psychology into a comment with Sharon L. Shelly using adjectives and jargon to insinuate a mental aberration. “Emotional-splitting anger” combined with “cognitive dissonance” is a conflation of hyperbolic language with psychological terminology to create the illusion the critic is disturbed.
From Dan Foster & the Half-Wits of the Outhouse Church
Amazingly, Christian armchair psychologists possess the ability to diagnose and blame the person simultaneously. Notice how Sherryl Bell combined the cause of “deep hurt” with “hubris” thus playing both the psychologist and the gaslighter.
From Dan Foster & the Half-Wits of the Outhouse Church
Gregory Kapphahn fully embraced the armchair psychologist role digging deep into the causes of the Christian critic, using jargon he clearly understands only superficially, e.g., psyche, trauma, and dysfunctions. No psychologist valuing her practice and reputation would dare make a diagnosis, a profoundly ignorant one at that, based on one article. Gregory exemplifies the Christian armchair psychologist spewing propaganda because he not only cannot make a clinical diagnosis but also gaslights the critic claiming,
…you suffered at the hands of certain people who called themselves “christians” (but were nothing of the kind or else they wouldn’t have been traumatizing you).
The Christian Gaslighting
Christians gaslight in numerous ways, but armchair psychology forms a large area of this practice. To affirm their faith in an incoherent belief system, Christians naturally gaslight to reinforce armchair psychology propaganda that rationalizes their beliefs. This gaslighting readily appears in the above diagnoses containing blame that further discredits the “disturbed” critic.
Perhaps the most prevalent and vital-to-understand form of gaslighting espoused by Christian armchair psychologists is the denial of any wrongdoing when divining people’s psyches. The immense Christian population claiming normalcy despite abnormal (at the minimum irrational) beliefs purports credibility when they claim everyone plays the armchair psychologist role. While true that everyone is prone to this problem, Christians rationalize with abundance unknown in other areas of debate because to argue in this manner is not rational.
No one in their right mind debates a point by diagnosing opponents with a mental illness that causes them to hold their position.
Christians do — all the time — when faced with opposition to their faith or religion. Their propensity for arguing in this manner highlights the immense, tragic irony of Christianity’s negative psychological impact that turns believers into armchair psychologists propagandizing and gaslighting others with their faith.