This is NOT cool. February 1, 2009 5:10 AM   Subscribe

This is poor advice, deceptive, and probably would backfire, to boot.

It's not a great idea to tell someone to misrepresent themselves as a Christian in order to find clients. First, it's deceptive; second, a lot of times we can TELL if someone is faking (in other words this would be harder to pull off than it sounds) and thirdly-sadly-many of us in the faith have learned that if they are using their faith to advertise blatantly that more times than not it's a sign they....well....are NOT the best at what they do. Ouch.

Anyhow, all around a terrible, terrible suggestion. (If it were tongue in cheek, I would laugh, maybe flag, and move on, but the poster of the comment sounded serious.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies to Etiquette/Policy at 5:10 AM (70 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

if they are using their faith to advertise blatantly that more times than not it's a sign they....well....are NOT the best at what they do

Absolutely.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 5:32 AM on February 1, 2009


You can tell?! Do you have, like, Christian radar? ...Do you have Christdar?!?

Also, it was a fine answer.
posted by kbanas at 5:35 AM on February 1, 2009 [8 favorites]


Shouldn't you be resting today?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:38 AM on February 1, 2009 [50 favorites]


There are enough people pretending to be Christian that I hardly think one more is going to hurt anything.
posted by toomuchpete at 5:39 AM on February 1, 2009 [107 favorites]


Q: How can you tell if someone is faking being Christian to get a job?

A: They're polite, don't ask for too much money, and don't leave the little details up to God.
posted by adipocere at 5:41 AM on February 1, 2009 [15 favorites]


If this claim is based on the same reasoning by which you say "we can sniff out impostors", I'd like to bring Ted Haggard, Jim Bakker, George W. Bush, most of the popes and all of the pedophile priests, and the host of other fake Christians that having been duping people of faith for ages. Perhaps these Christian powers of perception you are claiming are not as attuned as you believe.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 5:41 AM on February 1, 2009 [21 favorites]


my guess is that not all christians are as savvy as you, st alia. (see: ted haggard)

is the advice ethical? probably not. is it worthy of a callout? definitely not.
posted by msconduct at 5:48 AM on February 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


McGillicuddy - not a huge fan of the people you mention, but didn't they at least believe themselves to be Christian? That seems like a key difference between what you (and the hundred other comments I'd like to prevent) mean and what the answerer-in-question meant.
posted by amtho at 5:48 AM on February 1, 2009


PonyRequest: If you post a call-out thread there should be a poll attached. If, in 6/10/24 whatever hours more people vote thumbs DOWN to you, then you should have to buy everyone who takes the poll a fudgesicle, or you have to post a picture of yourself giving a fake handy to ceramic Ronald McDonald to keep your account or something.

Seriously, flag and move on, send a memail if it's that important.

We are not your huckleberry.
posted by TomMelee at 5:52 AM on February 1, 2009 [10 favorites]


I like the idea of this. Question asker comes over to repair computer. Customer answers door. "So, I noticed a bible verse on your card.... if you're so Christian, you should be able to recite the lord's prayer." Question asker shrieks and bursts into flame. FIN.

On re-checking the thread, it appears the sense of smell is involved. I apologize.

Also, the question-asker never stated she/he is a non-christian. So, there's a certain amount of assumptions going on here.
posted by Humanzee at 5:53 AM on February 1, 2009


We can sniff out impostors

If only.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 6:05 AM on February 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


I totally thought this callout was going to be about the advice to go hang out at Home Depot to get day labor.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:06 AM on February 1, 2009 [18 favorites]


Anyhow, all around a terrible, terrible suggestion.

Yes, you said so in the thread.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:12 AM on February 1, 2009 [14 favorites]


second, a lot of times we can TELL if someone is faking

Really? How many times have you actually sniffed out an imposter? You say "a lot of times" -- how many times have you personally done this? I'm not joking -- I'd be fascinated to hear about all the various circumstances in which you've outed fake Christians. And how do you verify this, by the way?
posted by creasy boy at 6:14 AM on February 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Sounds like a sound targeted marketing strategy to me. Especially if the person isn't misrepresenting themselves. The commenter may have been putting forth a possible solution assuming non-christianity, but despite their assumption, the OP could benefit from this tack.

I don't think we need to babysit the OP, who I'm sure is entirely capable of weighing the pros and cons of the answers they get. If (if!) the OP isn't Christian, they could look to their own identity and apply the answer to fit their values. Target their own faith, or their political allies, etc.

This callout is crap.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:16 AM on February 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


sadly-many of us in the faith have learned that if they are using their faith to advertise blatantly that more times than not it's a sign they....well....are NOT the best at what they do

wfgrms didn't imply that it'll make the asker look competent, just that Christians will be more likely to hire him. It's an in-group thing. 'Yea, he sucked, but at least the money didn't go to some godless heathen!'
posted by jacalata at 6:16 AM on February 1, 2009


Also: yes, this callout is crap.
posted by jacalata at 6:17 AM on February 1, 2009


What are you, the pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Do you all point and shriek when you sense a non-believer in your midst? I knew the Mormons did this, but I didn't think your average run-of-the-mill Christian did.
posted by JeffK at 6:18 AM on February 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Xdar?

I really didn't need for there to be another detection-of-something that I'm no good at.

Thanks for nothing.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:18 AM on February 1, 2009


a lot of times we can TELL if someone is faking

Every Christian community I've been a part of care about only one thing: outward profession of faith. They don't care what happens when you bow your head.

People fake all the time. It's called passing, and it's been key to survival throughout history for many peoples who would otherwise have been killed or deported for failing to profess the faith. At base, many members of any community are just Maranos, trying to survive.

I had to edit this comment a half dozen times to remove the expletives and personal attacks, because your callout hit a nerve for me. I faced employment discrimination for three years based on my atheism. I chose not to lie and I could afford not to lie. But don't kid yourself: it would have been easy.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:19 AM on February 1, 2009 [42 favorites]


a lot of times we can TELL if someone is faking (in other words this would be harder to pull off than it sounds)

If this were true, these folks here wouldn't have gotten away with that they did for as long as they did.

Did you really think this callout was going to go well? Really?
posted by waraw at 6:20 AM on February 1, 2009


Also: this call-out is crap.
posted by JeffK at 6:20 AM on February 1, 2009


This is a poor idea, you've been deceptive in your choice of screen name (because some of us know who you really are), and the callout will probably backfire, to boot.
posted by adipocere at 6:24 AM on February 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


My last link should have been to here and not back at this thread. I don't doubt that you are indeed a christian, other than the whole judge-not-lest-ye-be-judged thing.
posted by waraw at 6:25 AM on February 1, 2009


Moral judgment aside, not bad advice at all (though better in certain parts of the country). This isn't just a christian thing; people like to support people they feel a kinship with.

In college a friend ran a small computer repair business out of our apartment to help pay for expenses. The only advertising he did was a bumper sticker on his car placed right next to a Jesus Fish. Time after time customers that called him mentioned that he was a fellow christian, or a believer, or God fearing, or whatever.

And they'd bring him their computers to be fixed. I don't remember any time where he was found out to be faking (he had no interest in religion). I don't remember any time he had to prove he was a christian. I do remember him being paid.
posted by gtr at 6:30 AM on February 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


This call-out has really got me thinking about what a low hurdle Christianity is in America. Most people are raised Christian, so faking wouldn't be very difficult, particularly as understanding the Bible isn't exactly a requirement -- cf. the pro-war Christians, the pro-torture Christians, the pro-capitalism Christians, etc. In other words, your typical professed "Christian" in America isn't exactly a theologian of the highest caliber, and acting the part aint exactly brain science. Actins is all the religion consists of for most of them anyways.

If the public face of Christianity in America were remotely serious -- if they actually respected the Gospels as much as I do as a complete outsider -- I might be offended by this advice. But in America? In 2009? No.
posted by creasy boy at 6:31 AM on February 1, 2009 [17 favorites]


I'd like to bring Ted Haggard, Jim Bakker, George W. Bush, most of the popes and all of the pedophile priests, and the host of other fake Christians that having been duping people of faith for ages.

Mostly, the only people "duped" by those who fall short are non-Christians who wallow in smug arrogance and relish pointing out failure because they labor under the ignorant assumption that Christians believe themselves to be untarnished and pure. Mature Christians, for the most part, realize full well they are surrounded by weakness, by other Christians actively caught up in sinful and very often secretive practices, because all of mankind is in such a state. The only people who seem to be surprised by this over and over are non-believing mockers.

Perhaps these Christian powers of perception you are claiming are not as attuned as you believe.

Perhaps you don't know squat about the topic at hand.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 6:40 AM on February 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


"a lot of times we can TELL if someone is faking"

Yeah, you guys sure sussed out Bush and Cheney.
posted by orthogonality at 6:49 AM on February 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ, please save us from these call-outs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:50 AM on February 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


You don't need experience, you just need to be able to lie on your resume and in person.

This is the real problem with the comment.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:50 AM on February 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


You said in the thread you thought it was a bad advice and gave your reasons why. I'm not sure why you think that does not take care of it.

I'm tired of people running to metatalk every time they get their nose out of joint over some comment by someone that happens to touch on their personal bugbear. As much as I enjoy reading them some times, I'd rather see fewer call out threads here and more people acting like adults who don't need to run to the authorities every time they have a disagreement. Were you people never kids? Did you always need your parents to settle arguments on the playground?
posted by modernnomad at 6:53 AM on February 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


Holy crap, have you ever BEEN to economy-failed michigan before? They will use anything to deny you a job offer. I don't blame the OP of the other thread for thinking it's a good idea- if I hadn't when I grew up in bible belt michigan, i'd have a few less teeth today.

See you on the ground, soldier.
posted by mezamashii at 6:54 AM on February 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


If the question was, "I have a gay friend and I'm trying to find something in common with him", people would be up in arms if I responded, "Pretend to be gay; they love their own kind."

Leaving aside the "being Christian is a choice" vs. "being gay is not", I can't tell the difference between blatantly lying about your faith in order to make money and blatantly lying about your sexuality to make friends.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 6:57 AM on February 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


What I'm saying is, both are highly unethical forms of behavior, belittle an entire swath of people (Christian and gay), and probably don't belong here as answers.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:00 AM on February 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Very few religions can claim any sort of authenticity. American Christianity is one of the top offenders (most new age religions can also line up, for this discussion.) This Cube's been a fake almost anything you can name, outside of professional things that would be a legal bad idea, in situations that it will work in. It always does. It gets me free stuff. A fish and a verse is just a symbol and it is just advertising. It is advertising to a weak crowd willing to spend money on a like-wise person. It is no different than Hot Topic for the edgy crowd or dressing a little retro to gain the confidence of oldsters. All groups have their signs and using a fake sign to advertise is 100% what advertising is about. You don't like it, you try to make your religion less commercial.
posted by Weighted Companion Cube at 7:00 AM on February 1, 2009 [8 favorites]


However -- i don't what to pile on too hard here: point three is an interesting one; it suggests that whether or not people lie about their Christianity to sell their services, those proclaiming their Christianity are more likely to be lying bout their competence.

That raises the question, is there some correlation between public profession of faith and being (to some greater or lesser extent) a grifter? My thought is, yes, there probably is such a correlation, but that that reflects on those who are self-promoting more so than on Christians as a whole. In other words, I suspect there are good honest Christians who don't parade their piety (Matthew 6:6), and then there are self-promoters, many of whom in a Christian majority society, latch on to parading their false piety in the majority faith as yet another avenue of self-promotion.
posted by orthogonality at 7:02 AM on February 1, 2009


SeizeTheDay: perhaps imagine a question more like 'I really desperately need a job' with an answer of 'well, there are a lot of gay people in your area. Print advertising materials that make you appear gay, and then they will hire you.'

A lot of people might argue that the premise is false: gay people won't hire you preferentially for being gay. But I don't think people would argue that it was wrong to pretend you were, in order to get past some moronic prejudice.
posted by jacalata at 7:03 AM on February 1, 2009


Other than perhaps Adam Sandler, who on God's Glorious Green Earth has ever lied about being gay? What a bizarre turn this thread has taken. My Lord in Heaven.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:03 AM on February 1, 2009


How do you know that the OP in the question is not Christian? Just going by the numbers in a state like Michigan chances are high that he is (although just going by the numbers on MeFi probably gives a far different result). wfrgms did say "your favorite Bible verse" which indicates that this is advice to someone who actually has one, not someone faking it. I don't see this as bad advice because it promotes hypocrisy, I see it as bad advice in that it probably won't work to get more business.
posted by caddis at 7:04 AM on February 1, 2009


And I think the essential difference between your suggested analogy and mine is that people are allowed to choose their friends based on stupid prejudice, but they are not allowed to choose their employees on that basis.
posted by jacalata at 7:05 AM on February 1, 2009


who on God's Glorious Green Earth has ever lied about being gay?

Jack Tripper.
posted by gtr at 7:06 AM on February 1, 2009 [37 favorites]


Anyway, whom among us hasn't dropped the odd bit of Leviticus at a job interview, in order to get a dishwasher job? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:07 AM on February 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I agree, it was a hastily conceived analogy, though I appreciate the fact that you got it, despite the messiness. (And looking at it a third time, I'm shocked that you got it, since now I think it's among the dumber things I've written here.)

A lot of people might argue that the premise is false: gay people won't hire you preferentially for being gay. But I don't think people would argue that it was wrong to pretend you were, in order to get past some moronic prejudice.

There are quite a few jobs out there that engage in preferential treatment because it's part of the job (modeling agency is the only one that can pop into my head right now); the premise is, you have to be "one of them" to really make the Christian pitch work. So yes, I think that lying about your faith in order to get a position is unethical, because it's not just a "moronic prejudice". It's part of the job.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:23 AM on February 1, 2009


amtho - It is true that those people believe themselves to be Christian and many Christians believe that accepting Christ is sufficient. I don't believe Jesus of Nazareth would agree.

Hovercraft Eel : Perhaps you don't know squat about the topic at hand.

Well jeez, that's a very "Christian" sentiment you've shared, but my belief is based on my careful reading of the Bible, the Talmud, Gnostic texts, and a great deal of Christian philosophy.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 7:24 AM on February 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


The power of Christ compels you
(The thread is closed to new comments!!)
The power of Christ compels you
(The thread is closed to new comments!!)
The power of Christ compels you
(The thread is closed to new comments!!)
The power of Christ compels you
(The thread is closed to new comments!!)
The power of Christ compels you
(The thread is closed to new comments!!)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:24 AM on February 1, 2009 [9 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon writes "Anyway, whom among us hasn't dropped the odd bit of Leviticus at a job interview, in order to get a dishwasher job?"

God hates washing shrimp? We'll need to wash the meat dishes separately from the milk dishes? Where are you going with this?
posted by orthogonality at 7:25 AM on February 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Personally I think kono...err... bunnyf....err... St. Alia of the Bunnies is sitting back reading this thread thinking "see, I am right. Everyone hates me because I am a Christian. It has nothing to do with my poking the hornet's nest."
posted by terrapin at 7:25 AM on February 1, 2009 [50 favorites]


Well, for one thing, if someone saw that fish, first question is: What church do you go to? And it will go on from there.

In other words, there would have to be a LOT of lying going on for this scheme to work-again, assuming the OP does not consider him or herself a Christian.

I just don't think it's a great idea to tell folks to misrepresent themselves to get work. Because when it gets out-and it will-who wants to hire a liar? Then the OP is in worse shape than he started out.

(And I was dead dog serious about point #3. Unless I KNOW the person in question and know their work. Sad but true.)


Now I have a 12 0'clock service to go get ready for...carry on.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:26 AM on February 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


OMG terrapin!
My spidey senses were telling me the same thing.
posted by special-k at 7:27 AM on February 1, 2009


Where are you going with this?

Straight to hell, probably.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:27 AM on February 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Speaking of being able to sniff out fakes or not, is St. Alia of the Bunnies a Konolia sockpuppet? The whole finely-calibrated-detection-apparatus assertion is somehow reminding me of her line about Ted Haggard definitely not being gay.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 7:29 AM on February 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Also I think Jeebus would hate people who misrepresent themselves here.
posted by special-k at 7:31 AM on February 1, 2009


The guys looking for odd jobs as a freelance PC repair technician: anywhere that needs their external IT guy to be a Christian to 'make the pitch work' probably isn't using technology yet , or gets everything done for free by cult members anyway. I think lying in your faith for a job where religion was relevant (eg: Catholic school teacher) wouldn't work and would be unethical, but in this case, I would count it as circumventing an irrelevant prejudice.
posted by jacalata at 7:33 AM on February 1, 2009


We can sniff out impostors...

I know 'sniff out' is just a figure of speech, but I'm still creeped out. WE CAN SMEEEEELLLLL YOUUUUUUUUU!

Still, sinner-sniffing has a long and proud history.
posted by ShameSpiral at 7:35 AM on February 1, 2009


It's highly relevant: Jesus said that his followers would be able to cast out daemons.
posted by Humanzee at 7:42 AM on February 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well, the OP can probably uninstall daemontools
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:46 AM on February 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Get thee behind me, cron.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 7:47 AM on February 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


I am up front that my cult is fake, fwiw.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:50 AM on February 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


So Christians smell fishy?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:55 AM on February 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is a poor idea, you've been deceptive in your choice of screen name (because some of us know who you really are), and the callout will probably backfire, to boot.

Ooooh, is there going to be a Scooby-Doo ending?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:55 AM on February 1, 2009


Well jeez, that's a very "Christian" sentiment you've shared

That's a human sentiment, and you have just proven my point completely. You apparently believe there exist sentiments a Christian could not express. You really don't know squat about it!
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 7:58 AM on February 1, 2009


who on God's Glorious Green Earth has ever lied about being gay?

*Raises hand* Well, not an outright lie, but as a straight guy who worked as a florist for many years, I learned that adopting certain mannerisms could increase consumer confidence and profitability. The difference in this case being that more often than not it was allowing straight people believe what they wanted to believe, rather than trying to pass myself off as gay in the gay community.

Straight guy bonus: When working weddings, the mother of the bride would sometimes bring me into a room with the half-naked bride and bridesmaids, to make sure everything was just right, saying, "It's ok, he's the florist!"

/shameless
posted by Balonious Assault at 7:59 AM on February 1, 2009 [81 favorites]


"Mostly, the only people 'duped' by those who fall short are non-Christians ..."

Wow, thank you for the best example of "No True Scotsman" I've ever seen in the wild.
posted by adipocere at 8:05 AM on February 1, 2009 [14 favorites]


You apparently believe there exist sentiments a Christian could not express.

I believe that "a man will say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith." It is not the sentiment I deplore, it is how it has been repeatedly expressed.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 8:05 AM on February 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


The suggestion struck me as unethical, but there's no rule saying all answers must be pure as the driven snow or that other respondents can't say refute answers they perceive as being wrong in the AskMe so long as they are respectful and stick to the facts. The points articulated here would be entirely valid and probably far more constructive ('It may not work because...') if St. AotB had made them in the AskMe rather than coming here.

Seriously, what is up with the run on MeTa lately?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:07 AM on February 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I had a fling with a Christian guy once. He couldn't tell.
posted by juliplease at 8:07 AM on February 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Upon reading the AskMe further, I see the discussion was directed here, so hell, whaddaIknow?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:09 AM on February 1, 2009


Seriously, what is up with the run on MeTa lately?

Tacos.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:11 AM on February 1, 2009


This meta callout happened before jessamyn's comment directing things here.
posted by Stewriffic at 8:12 AM on February 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Poster has more or less stated she's not coming back to the thread, and I don't think the thread itself was a very good idea in the first place in this case anyway. Let's go ahead and close this sucker up and everybody can have a nice argument with their family during the game in person or whatever instead.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:12 AM on February 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


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