I'm an empath. In fact, I register rather high on the empathy spectrum. That means that I was born with the capacity to not only sympathize with the pain of others but to FEEL the pain and suffering of complete strangers in my own body. It's a mixed blessing. Often, even as a child, I was confounded, perplexed and infuriated by the apparent lack of empathy and compassion that many people of faith seemed in desperate need of, especially if they were to follow in the path of their mentor and moral model, Jesus Christ. 

This morning as I await the message on the decision about DACA ...

I feel the pain of 800,000 young people who I know are suffering mental anguish and uncertainly. I feel sad today. I feel sad today because I know that these young people are waiting for someone, some god, some inspired resolution to intercede on their behalf. I'm sad today because over and over and over again, human inflicted suffering is our story. I'm sad today because as an empath, I woke up feeling the pain in my body of thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands .... of children down through the ages, across the entire planet who were brought into this world where adults can't be trusted to do the right thing.

Furthermore, I am once again disturbed at the number of believers, people of some sort of faith, who can close their hearts to the suffering of others.

I'm not surprised but forever disappointed that some of the most devout choose to take a stand on the wrong side of history. I have to remind myself that according to recent research it may be possible that humans are either born with the empathy gene or not, making it impossible for them to ever feel much empathy. Maybe they can be taught to sympathize but not empathize.

Those that live in that gray area as largely apathetic humans are only able to feel their own suffering.

They constitute a good portion of any population, Christian or not. They tend to either not care about issues that don't directly affect them or if push comes to shove will often take the wrong side because they fear the sociopaths who are in power. Historical outcomes are clearly influenced by this large group of people that sit on the moral fence waiting to see which side of their bread gets buttered before they'll take a stand.  

I know all of this but it still bothers me to see such outright hypocrisy coming from those who claim to have a moral compass that is divinely inspired.

I'm a myth buster. My recent published book -  Have We Been Screwed? Trading Freedom for Fairy Tales - can be purchased on Amazon. 

http://amzn.to/2wDEabD

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Comment by Daniel W on September 5, 2017 at 9:58am

Teresa, I cant fathom that anyone would regard Christian culture as empathatic.  Some Christians, yes, and very much so, but it would surprise me if they were more prevalent than, say, empathetic Atheists, or Buddhists, or Muslims, and certainly not Hindus.  Evangelists and megachurchists preach and promote a personal god:  " He is with me everywhere.  He loves ME.  He will keep ME safe, and watch over ME, and heal ME, and by extension, MY family."  

For Calvinists, Catholics, and fundamentalists, it's about following the rules.  If heathens and lessor beings break the rules and are punished, that's their own fault and their own problem.

For prosperity gospelites, christianity apoears to be "I want god to find me worthy and make me rich!".

I don't think christianity is the cause of narcissicm or tribalism - or even A cause - but rather a product of those characteristics of the often psychopathic human psyche.  Sometimes, for some people, their faith may foster empathy, but it seems just as often, even more, foster narcissism, judgement, tribalism, authoritarianism.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on September 5, 2017 at 8:48am

Besides pissing all over Occam's razor, religionists have metastasized hypocrisy into the highest virtue. I especially love the ones who are so quick on the draw with Leviticus but conveniently forget about the Judge not lest ye be judged department.

Comment by Loren Miller on September 5, 2017 at 8:42am

Teresa, the second I see crap like this going on, and ESPECIALLY when putative Christians are taking such action, I am reminded of the following:

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
-- Matthew 25:40

It amazes me how selective some Christians can be with their references to the bible and how badly they fail at being their brother's keeper.

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