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In Which I Provide Some Clarity On This Whole Religious Thing

July 27th, 2012 No comments

I don’t believe in a god or gods. That’s pretty much the working definition of an atheist. What I believe in (and maybe it was drugs or whatever) is something intangible, unnameable and unknowable. Threads wend through all of our lives, connecting us, separating us, showing us joy and showing us heartbreak. Why do bad thing happen to good people and good things happen to bad people? Beats the hell out of me. Focusing on those types of questions strike me as useless detours. Personally, I don’t need a framework called religion to make sense of the world. And if you do, that’s great. [Insert your deity] bless you.

The concept of some monotheistic big-g God makes sense. You’re a caveman. The skies darken. A bolt of lightning comesout of the fucking sky and sets a tree on fire. What other conclusion could you come to than there’s something up there that can kill you. And it’s unpredictable. It makes perfect sense to me.

Except, as Robert Wright points out in The Evolution of God, early man (the ones before Jesus or even the Jews showed up) saw that lightning bolt as only one of many gods/things that promised to cause them harm. I don’t want to get too off track here, but as early man discovered one another, their gods met and merged. In many cases, it came down to a game of “my gods are bigger than your gods”. And it wasn’t always winner take all. They traded gods like baseball cards. The best example comes on the showdown between Baal and Jehovah. It went something along the lines of

Baal Fan: Dude – when I make the right sacrifices to Baal, we get rain.
Jehovah Fan: Every single time?
Baal: Wellll, ya know. Baal. Sometimes I don’t do it right and it doesn’t rain.
Jehovah Fan: Pffft. Jehovah always comes through. He never stood me up once.
Baal Fan: Yeah?
Jehovah Fan: 100%

And thus, another Jehovah fan is born and the god pool is reduced by one.

~~~~~~~

If you’re a Christian, I’m happy for you. I truly am. I honestly have no desire to denigrate your faith. It makes you happy. It gives you structure. It gives you a community. All of those things are important for people to have. I understand that one of the pieces of Christianity involves telling everybody you run into about how Jesus makes everything better and how living your life for Him gets you into Heaven where the sun always shines and you praise Him all day. Again – good for you. If you feel compelled to tell me about Jesus, you’re welcome to. However, let’s keep it civil.

You: Can I witness to you about the glory of Jesus Christ?
Me: Hm. Let’s have lunch and see a movie instead.
You: Ok.

See? That’s pleasant! You don’t push your beliefs down my throat and I don’t push mine down yours. It’s not even “agreeing to disagree”. It’s simply not talking about it.

Let’s try another scenario.

You: Can I witness to you about the glory of Jesus Christ?
Me: Hm. Let’s have lunch and see a movie instead.
You: You really need to hear this.
Me: Actually, I don’t. I get that you want me to. But, I’d rather have lunch and see a movie instead.
You: So, you’ll willing to risk the eternal torment of Hell.
Me: Basically. So…are you coming?
You: Let’s see The Passion of the Christ.
Me: Let’s just part ways.

See? Not that pleasant.

Those who read this blog (when I write) know the whole Christian/xtian thing. Briefly – an xtian is a fake Christian who perverts the Word of God through knowing deceit or blithely ignoring the teachings of Jesus. xtians, in general are the Republicans that hijacked an otherwise perfectly good religion and turned into a launch pad for bigotry and hatred. Child abusers aren’t all gay. Muslims do not want to destroy America. Democrats aren’t all communists and, despite what some xtians say, can be Christians, too.

Sadly, big mouthed xtians eclipsed Jesus’ message of loving one another and helping the poor, turning it into a message of the “urban” poor that are too lazy to work while they take drugs and have gay sex on a cross. How many millions, maybe billions, of dollars that might have gone to help those who Jesus would have helped went instead to insure that gays couldn’t get married?  Is that really where Jesus’ priorities fell?

I write a lot of anti-xtian stuff but here and on Facebook. It’s not that I particularly want to but, frankly, my sense of justice (possibly misplaced) compels me to. I grew up in the Christian church. And I liked until I realized that the way Jesus expected me to live approached the impossible. And that bothered me. A lot. It didn’t seem to bother anyone else in my church. The kids still beat up those they assumed were gay. They stole. They lied. They cheated. Then, on Sundays, they went to church and barely modified their behavior. Over the course of the next few years (and I don’t mean to sound like Martin Luther, here) it occurred to me that, since only God could judge me, church was unnecessary.

And that’s the high level point. xtians strut around pretending that they speak for God, mixing up the Old and New Testament and just making shit up sometimes. They judge at the drop of a hat and they’re allowed to do it because, despite proof to the contrary in the Bible, they know the mind of God. However, judge an xtian, and you’ll be told that only God can judge them.

And that’s not only bullshit, it’s impolite.

I don’t mind having debate about this stuff either here or on my Facebook wall. But understand, if you come into my metaphorical house and start criticizing the couch and throwing food on the walls, then you cannot expect me to shuffle and smile. Yes, I troll World Net Daily incessantly. Yes, I post stuff on my wall that may strike you as offensive. I’m not oppressing you. Stop whining.

Think about this – you’re an aboriginal Australian. Some white guy you’ve never seen walks up to you and tells you that you’re no better than an animal and your soul will be destroyed unless you learn this magic word, “Jesus”. That’s rude. You have no right to do that. And yet, you do.

It’s not just.

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