– The preacher’s wife on the Simpsons
I recently made the mistake of engaging in a business transaction with a Christian who believes that, because s/he is a Christian everything s/he does is unquestionably the Lord’s work, s/he cannot possibly have done me wrong. It’s not the first time this has happened to me, and sadly, it caused me to revisit my tolerance policy and decide that, until things in the US change, I will not engage in business with Christians if I can avoid it. It’s unfortunate since some of them are genuinely good people, and Christians are certainly not the only ones operating with that sense of entitlement. But as it happens, Christianity is a great disguise in the current US climate for people who want to screw folks right over with impunity.
Here’s the mechanism I perceive to be at work with these individuals. They have a powerful streak of entitlement they’re not comfortable expressing overtly, so they subvert it into the service of a cause they perceive as so noble no one would ever take issue with their actions, then they go forth and fight for their cause in exactly the way someone who thinks himself God’s gift goes forth and fights with anyone who won’t bow down to him.
Some of these people get in your face with their cause, relying on your desire not to “make a scene” to trap you into listening to their spiel, maybe giving them some money to go away. Others lie, cheat and steal, and justify it all with “But it’s for the children/God/the poor/the hungry.” In the worst case, they start crusades and holy wars. All with a perfectly clean conscience, because they believe they’re being unselfish.
But they’re not; they’re just transferring their “self” onto a cause, and then behaving in a privileged, entitled manner on behalf of of the cause rather than on behalf of their own ego. But the cause is their ego-extension, so they’re really no better than someone with a hugely swollen ego feeling entitled to take whatever he wants from lesser beings.