Good morning/afternoon/evening (depending upon when you read this, of course).
I’m afraid the lack of civility is not restricted to the pro- and anti-Jesus crowds. My sister once told me of a blog she read that was devoted to the subject of breeding dogs (which you would think would not elicit much emotion) that degenerated into an exchange of name-calling.
Just to briefly summarize my own position: I am a Christian, but I’m not overbearing because I’ve been cognizant of my own shortcomings for many years (actually, for most of my life). Several of my closest friends include guys whose political or spiritual views have differed from my own or whose backgrounds are considerably different. I have cherished these relationships.
You say that you’re unable to believe stories about Jesus anymore. I might be able to relate to that, although my own spiritual journey has taken me in the opposite direction. I was raised in a theologically liberal mainstream denomination by my parents. Their congregation was a country club church whose membership was exclusively affluent. I was appalled by the hypocrisy there. I was actually bullied in my grade’s so-called Sunday morning Bible class for about five years. Yes, I kid you not. I could go into more details, but I shall spare you. When I was a sophomore in high school, I stopped attending that church. Thankfully, my parents did not force me to continue attending. Incidentally, both my mother and my sister got fed up with them, too.
As a result of the hypocrisy at my parents’ church, I became an agnostic for ten years. When I was 26, my best friend (who also was a refuge from our parents’ church) invited me to another church where he and his wife were members. This church was very conservative theologically and morally, but did not bind political conservatism upon its members. I soon noticed that the conduct of the members of this church was honorable and quite conscientious and that they did not engage in the sort of rank hypocrisy that I had witnessed at my parents’ church. I became a Christian before the year ended.
I’d be interested to hear if you have any specific reasons for your own change. I might be able to relate to that. I might have an answer for you; but, then again, I might not. Just remember that I don’t go around looking down on people if they happen to disagree with me. (Of course, there is
a difference between disagreeing with someone’s views and personally attacking him.) I believe very strongly in the old adage of walking a mile in the other guy’s shoes.