Uncommon Sense

January 28, 2019

Stolen Gifts

Filed under: Religion — Steve Ruis @ 12:16 pm

I am a sports fan and still a sport coach at this late stage of my life. I find that the word “gifts” is lavishly applied to athletes. At the same time, I see athletes who have committed to thousands upon thousands of hours of labor to create their talents. The talents are, of course, built upon the physical frame bequeathed to an athlete from his parents (and their parents, etc.) but the idea that their talents are “gifts” given to them is part of a religious highjacking.

To theists who insist that all things flow from their god, it is an easy step to tell their children that they have “god-given gifts” as well as telling them what to do with their gifts. Certainly one shouldn’t squander one’s gifts, one should be grateful for them, etc.

This highjacks evolutionary programs already in place. We are supplied with hardwired responses to gift giving. We feel good when giving a gift to someone we think worthy of one. We feel “grateful” to the gift giver when receiving one. We wish to reciprocate by giving a gift back. All of these things got hardwired in because they help stitch tribes and societies together by reducing strife and increasing mutual devotion which increases survivability of offspring.

So, just as religions have highjacked a word like “father” and used it as priestly title (thereby acquiring unearned authority), they have taken any attribute of an individual that is laudable and called it a “gift from god” and laid the expectation thereby that you be grateful to the gift-giver.

Imagine how you would react to a child at a birthday party who insisted that all of the gifts received by the celebrant were from him? We are so used to this outrageous claim from the religious that we find it “ordinary.” It is not. It is a tool of psychological control.

These same people highjacking gifts are also quick to shed any blame for gifts that go wrong (in their eyes). If one is homosexual, the blame falls upon the individual for their poor “choice” and not the god who gave them that gift. If a child is autistic or clumsy, or poorly formed, these are not gifts from god by signs of personal failings of either child or parents.

If “all things come from god” then “all things” means “all things.” If you are going to cherry-pick the good things and claim they came from your god, then you must accept homosexuals into your church’s bosom because your god gave them that gift. It is your job to figure out what that means, not simply to justify your personal feelings by “blaming the victim.”


  1. Well sir, you sure struck a nerve in me with this post. That is not a bad thing, most of the time. Sure as hell woke me up! That is mostly a good thing.
    Yes, natural talent for some type of sport, music, or artistic works are “god given”. (My dead grannies hind end!). “Disorders like homosexuality are “personal choices”, made by said person. Bullshit!
    Being on home hospice for a full year now, I started getting a psychologist stopping to visit me once a week. They offered this in February last year, but the way they described him, I said, maybe later. Long story short, the guy is cool. He does buy into some sort of ‘higher power’ but he lets me be me. He better be, even at 71 and in poor health, I may not win a physical fight with him, but he’d be worn out and bloody himself.
    I was 100% up front with him on our first meeting. Cats rule and I don’t believe in any doG. Told him I was a former US Marine/Vietnam war vet and still often cuss like a drunk jar head.
    He doesn’t bring up religion and I don’t either. Dad used to tell me to not argue politics or religion. We CAN talk about either/both, just don’t argue about either of the two, it will just get you into deep trouble and/or a fist fight/shoot out.


    Comment by Walter Kronkat — January 28, 2019 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

    • Sounds like you are in good hands!

      On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 4:04 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — January 28, 2019 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

  2. Very good insights Mr. Ruis. I’d go a step further and make the claim that religion is a very successful parasite that has hijacked society in general. Going to take some industrial strength Deep Woods Off to take care of that shit 😉


    Comment by shelldigger — January 29, 2019 @ 7:33 am | Reply

    • Actually, religion does serve some purposes that are beneficial, so I think we have to find a substitute … NFL football seems to work but maybe too violent and divisive … hmmm.

      On Tue, Jan 29, 2019 at 7:33 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — January 29, 2019 @ 8:24 am | Reply

      • Well I suppose I will take all of the horrible people who would be raping and pillaging if it wasn’t for their imaginary friends, as a benefit…

        Violent and divisive? Hmmm indeed lol.


        Comment by shelldigger — January 29, 2019 @ 8:29 am | Reply

  3. To quote something someone said on another site: the evangelical rule is:

    Good things= God
    Bad things= Sinful man

    The ‘vangies have a hard time accepting “diversity”– homosexuality, for one — because they’re programmed to see any deviation from their norm as “sinful”, and you can’t just throw sin away, ‘cos then where would you be? Jesus’d be out of a job, for a start.


    Comment by ChrisS — February 3, 2019 @ 2:25 am | Reply

  4. […] my recent post, Stolen Gifts, I pointed out that religions have hijacked ordinary abilities and declared them to be gifts from […]


    Pingback by More on Stolen Gifts | Class Warfare Blog — February 3, 2019 @ 9:10 am | Reply

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