I keep seeing this. "Don't judge me along with them, they're not real Christians."
What makes a "real" Christian?
I do not want your personal individual definition of what it means to be Christian. I am asking for a workable metric by which to determine whether or not a person can and should be classified as "Christian." A reasonable and rational means of separating "real" Christians from... whatever it is "real" Christians want to call all the other people calling themselves Christians.
To me, it seems pretty simple. Where does Christianity come from? The Bible, right? Is there a source of the ideas and doctrines that compose the religion besides the Bible? There are older forms of it and/or related texts that tend to be connected to other religions, but does Christianity have a source other than the Bible? At the very least, I don't think it's unfair to say that, other than accounting for a VERY negligible small number of exceptions, just about anybody who considers themself to be "Christian" would say the Bible is where it all comes from.
So, if the Bible is what tells you what God wants, how he thinks, what he expects of you, how he wants you to behave, then how would it make sense to define "Christian," or the degree or level of one's Christian-ness by anything other than how well you follow the instruction manual?
The moment you acknowledge that any of the book could be just the corruption of man adding/changing/making up passages to suit their own desires, you have to acknowledge that all of it could be just as bogus. It makes no sense to pick and choose what you think sounds good and what you think sounds bad, and then declare definitively that the only "True" Christians are the ones who ignore precisely the same bits that you do.
Really, can anything be more pretentious and full of yourself? This religion, defined by this book, has been around for over 2000 years. The book has been altered countless times, but somehow it still supposedly holds some universal truth. People the world over consider themselves followers of this religion. But you, well, you read the book (right? because nobody who says who is or isn't a "true" Christian could possibly have not actually read the thing cover to cover), and you decide that you don't like this part. Or that part. Or those parts. Or maybe you don't like pretty much any of it except just this one part here. So you declare that anybody who follows any part of this book that you have decided doesn't sound right (but of course the parts you agree with are 100% Gospel Word of God and can't possibly be wrong) is "not a real Christian."
If you have enough brains to be able to see how so much of the book is evil and wrong and reject those parts, you have to be able to understand the ridiculousness of trying to declare who is or isn't a "true" Christian. If you insist that the book ISN'T full of all kinds of outright evil and hate and bigotry, then you Have Not Read It. Period, no argument, if you say that book is love and acceptance and fellowship you HAVE NOT READ IT.
Basically, I'm just really past my tolerance for apologists that aren't even apologizing, they're just trying to say they're totally unrelated to the "extremists" or "crazies" that are fucking everyone over all the time. "Oh, no, they're not with us. That's not what we are. They worship... well they worship the same book we do, but they follow it much more closely and faithfully, and they obey the parts that we think aren't good so they're... somehow less Christian than we are. Go ahead, they're bad, go get them, but hey, you can't tell us WE'RE wrong because... well we ignore more of the book our faith is based on."
"There's nothing wrong with our religion just because the source of our religion is the same source that justifies all these hateful extremist crazies to believe the evil they do is the Will of God. The book DOES tell them to do all the things they are doing, but we only look at the parts that tell us to do nicer things. So we're more Christian. And there's nothing objectionable about the religion itself."
Teach a man to ignore all fact and evidence and argument and opposition, teach him to believe he is doing The Will of God, and that the more people oppose him, the more that's a sign that he's on the path of the righteous, and you have Ruined that person. You've made them an obstacle to reason and progress. It does not matter how benign your personal beliefs may be. So long as people are taught that you are entitled to believe things based on >nothing,< and that such beliefs deserve any credence or consideration at all, humanity will be hindered.
If you measure how much of a Christian someone is by how much of the Bible the ignore, and the MORE of it they ignore and disregard, the MORE Christian they are, then how does it not make sense to just throw out the whole damned thing and use your own intelligence and sense and reason and empathy and compassion to determine right from wrong?
If you can have a good, useful, reasonable, logical and rational functioning morality without needing a book that is FULL of hate and judgment and bigotry and plain old fucking Evil, why in the shit does anybody need the book at all? It justifies and validates endless acts of evil, and yet ALL of the good that supposedly comes from it can be seen and learned and taken to heart without needing to even open the damn thing once.
It's like having a huge bucket of Shit. Some people >coat< themselves in shit from this bucket, and run around slinging and smearing it all over everything and everyone - which is actually carved onto the bucket as instructions for what you are supposed to do with this shitbucket. Others ignore their shitbucket's instructions and only very gingerly reach in and try to minimize how much shit clings to them, saying that it's worth it for these little nuggets of corn in the shit. These "True" Shitbucketians wash the shit off to get at those kernels of golden corn, and try to say how it really is worth digging through the shit, and putting up with the "extremist crazies" slinging the shit everywhere, because this corn is Just That Damn Good, and is vital for life and happiness, and you can't get corn from anywhere but the shitbucket.
And the rest of us are pointing to the corn field outside and losing our minds trying to convince you to just let us throw the shit bucket out so the "extremist crazies" can't use it against anyone, and you can come join us in enjoying the corn fields without having to dig through shit for it.
So please stop failing to understand why people don't count you as separate from the "extremist crazies" or why we don't seem to grasp how "true" Christians are harmless and good while those others are oh so bad and wrong and they're missing the point of being Christian by actually doing what the Bible does tell you to do. Because to us, you're all pulling shit from the same bucket, and there's just absolutely no need for it.
EDIT 10-26: This one's run its course. Comments locked.