Home » Religion
Category Archives: Religion
In the 16th century, many in Europe thought that the earth was flat. Columbus and others proved differently. We’ve grown since then, and learned the truth, haven’t we?
In the 17th century, we didn’t know that gravity existed. Newton proved differently. We’ve grown since then, and learned the truth, haven’t we?
In the 18th century, we believed that we could subjugate the natives who lived here and justifiably kill them by the millions We’ve grown since then, and learned the truth, haven’t we?
In the 19th century, we thought that black people should serve white people, by force if need be, via slavery. After a while, we capitulated to some degree, “allowing” blacks to become 3/5 of a citizen. We’ve grown since then, and learned the truth, haven’t we?
In the early 20th century, we believed that women should be subservient to men, that they weren’t smart enough to vote, go to college, or own property. Later in the century we still treated blacks like third-class citizens, hanging one for whistling at a white woman, keeping them from voting, and referring to them as “niggers”. We beat and discriminated against gay people, just for being gay. We’ve grown since then, and learned the truth, haven’t we?
In the 21st century, we still have people who believe in a book that was ostensibly written nearly 2000 years ago, before any of the above enlightenment occurred, when we still didn’t know where the Sun went at night. When we stoned infidels. When you would kill your wife for infidelity. When eating shellfish or pork was tantamount to murder. When prostitutes were stoned to death. Where stealing or taking the lord’s name in vain was a sin, but raping a woman wasn’t.
We really haven’t learned a fucking thing, have we?
I’ve read about the healing power of Jesus Christ in various areas of the New Testament. In some cases, according to legend, he laid his hand upon the sick person. In some cases he waved his hand over the sick person and in some cases he just spoke some words to the sick person, and they were ostensibly healed.
Now, if you are disposed to believe that these occurrences are true, then I would like you to ponder a few things. Keep in mind that I don’t doubt whether Jesus lived, or whether he had followers or whether he was truly considered by many to be the son of God. I have no information to dispute any of those things and, although the burden of proof is always with the declarer of a supposed fact and not the denier, I’ll leave that debate for another time.
What I want to discuss is the premise that a person, or spirit if you prefer, could have been imbued with the ability to remove a disease from a human being and, if so imbued, why he or it would have been so selective in doing so, especially for that person or spirit who has been labeled the “son of God” and a man of peace, forgiveness and love of all creatures. Why would that person, that spirit, that god, forgo all of the presumably thousands or possibly millions (I’m not sure how many people supposedly lived on earth during so-called “biblical times”) of others who were sick or injured. Since medical science was much less advanced than it is today, I would imagine that a much greater percentage of the population was in need of such healing. But it was only bestowed on those who were fortunate enough and actually came into contact with Jesus and were humble enough to beg for this healing. Why not the rest of humanity who was in such dire need?
Many will answer this question using platitudes and hair-trigger responses which have been concocted and stored in the arsenal used by believers to counter arguments of logic. They will stretch credulity and suspend disbelief in an effort to avoid any doubt or logical dissonance associated with the story of Jesus.
The question at hand is why, given the powers that the new testament assigns to Jesus, would anyone with these powers, whose motivation was presumably as pure as the driven snow, not simply decree that all sickness on earth, now and forever, be stricken and cast into hell? If Jesus truly had the power to heal, why did he limit the use of those powers to the few people who were fortunate to have heard of him and be in his presence?
Isn’t it much the same as the answer for so many of these questions? Doesn’t it make perfect sense that this thoroughly logical and reasonable question will go unanswered for eternity because if Jesus could, in fact heal the sick then it would be logical that he would heal all who were? But then there would be actual evidence, would there not? If every human on earth had suddenly become devoid of illness now and forever there would be a historical record of that occurrence, would there not? Something as profound as the eradication of all disease from humankind is something that theists could point to and say, “see, there’s your proof that Jesus was the son of God”.
And that’s why the story, as told, is so far from being even remotely believable. Yet it is also why, once again, in order to believe it, we must, in that small window in our minds, forgo logic and reason, and just accept that something which can’t possibly be true, is.
The other day I heard one more in a series of diatribes from someone who had gleefully concluded that she had figured out the proof, the proof I tells ya, that creationism is the only true answer to questions regarding how we arrived here, and that evolution is simply illogical. I won’t spend too much time on the juxtaposition of creationism and the root word “logic”. It’s just too easy and snarky so I’ll leave that alone for the time being.
This woman’s evidence to back her theory? That the Earth is so perfectly designed for human habitation that it could not possibly have become that way through evolution. After all, how could something so perfect for us become that way in the slow manner that evolution would require? That would mean, in her severely restricted interpretation of nature, that there would have had to be a time when the Earth was not suitable for human habitation, and so could not have supported life as we know it.
This woman’s poor grasp of her surroundings has somehow led her to believe that our home, the Earth, is the most perfect place to live for human beings, and that only a loving and benevolent god could have made it that way. Let’s look at that, shall we?
Here in Florida, the summertime temperatures usually peak at around 95 degrees. Not too severe if you think about it, unless you’re naked and have no knowledge of how to build a structure to shade yourself from the sun. In the winter, temperatures get down to freezing in many areas, rendering our little planet uninhabitable for any animal which does not have a natural fur coat. And I’m just talking about Florida! How much hotter does it get in Equador, or the desert regions of the planet? How much colder does it get in New York, or Canada, or Alaska? This planet that offers us so much is completely uninhabitable by humans over most of its surface, until we learned how to build shelter and make clothing, initially by killing the animals who were better adapted to Earth’s environment and using their skins for protection.
What about the oceans? 70% of this wonderful place is covered in a substance that will kill us if we try to inhabit it. By that I mean sea water. The oceans of the world are effectively off limits to human beings for drinking, living or gaining nourishment, until we learned to swim, build boats and to fish. What a shitty way to make a planet for human inhabitants!
All of this says nothing about predators who would kill us for food if we hadn’t made tools with which to defend ourselves. We are some of the weakest animals on the planet. We have little or no resistance to poisonous insects and attacking animals or a myriad of other predictors and diseases.
And what about a natural environment in which to live? Lions and tigers survive quite well in their natural habits. Birds live and nest in trees. Snakes live under vegetation and rocks. Bears hibernate in caves. Where is our natural habitat, other than a three bedroom ranch with central AC and an attached garage? What part of Earth was designed by god for us to naturally inhabit?
The point is that our natural environment, as it was presumably designed for us by god, is a horrible place in its natural form. If we hadn’t learned to create artificial methods and tools to protect ourselves from it, we would have never survived as a species. Hell, even the lowly rat can survive in warmer and colder temperatures than we can without the addition of clothing. This god was apparently more concerned with the comfort of rats than of us.
We, my friends, are an anomaly. We developed through centuries of evolution for only one reason-our ability to modify the environment to suit our needs. We are only alive today because we can reason. If god were designing a place for us to live, wouldn’t he have given us more moderate temperatures, or a natural way to cope with temperature fluctuations, as he did with dogs, cats and rats? Wouldn’t he have given us a ready source of nourishment and shelter, and fewer enemies? Would he have made so much of the Earth covered in an uninhabitable ocean instead of providing fresh drinking water in abundance?
The only two things with which the earth provides us without any effort on our part are air and water. How can anyone, when he looks beyond the tip of his nose, think for one second that Earth was made specifically for us?
Wonderful Originator of the heavens and the earth; how can He have a son when He has no consort? He created all things, and He hath full knowledge of all things
They say, ‘God has begotten a son.’ God forbid! Self-sufficient is He. His is all that the heavens and the earth contain. Surely for this, you have no sanction. Would you say of God what you know not?
Such was Jesus, the son of Mary. That is the whole truth, which they still doubt. God forbid that He Himself should beget a son! When He decrees a thing He need only say: ‘Be,’ and it is.
I don’t use these passages to pitch one religion against another, but only to illustrate that another Abrahamic religion, one which, when scrutinized, is extremely similar to Christianity (no, the Quran does not say anything about 73 virgins) can so contradict one of the most fundamental tenets of Christianity.
I’m trying to illustrate that not only Atheists have problems with the entire premise of God having a “son”, but that those belonging to the second largest religion on earth (1.4 billion members) can contradict the premise that the most powerful force the earth has ever known needed to impregnate a mere mortal to have his word spread throughout the earth, then die for some sin that God himself perpetuated.
This is a common thread with those who must anthropomorphize their fantasies in an effort to make them more palatable. God the Spirit needed some walking around flesh in order to make him copacetic to the unwashed masses. Whatever this purported God did to this purported Virgin to create this purported Second God who is, Himself, the only God seems to be so blindingly lacking in necessity and logic as to beg suspension of disbelief.
The premise that an all-powerful God needed the mere flesh of a mortal woman to create a son, whereas he, God, had already created man by the snap of a divine finger, is idiotic to say the least. Oh, right, that was the Old Testament, which we seem to have decided was written when God was young and naive. As Gilda Radner’s character Emily Litella used to say in the early days of SNL, “Never mind”.
Even Thomas Aquinas could only justify this extra-biologic occurrence by suggesting that since sex is so dirty (now we see where that came from) there is no way that God could have gone through history as having gotten a little nookie, so he invented virgin births for one-time use. He claims to have had nothing to do with it. He just laid it all on the bitch (and now we know where that came from too).
To the many of my friends who are asking if I’ve gone off the deep end over the last few weeks, with respect to postings on Facebook, Twitter and my blog, regarding religion and Atheism, I feel as if I should offer a response.
The killings at San Bernardino had more of an influence upon my thinking than any mass shooting since Dylan Roof in Charleston, South Carolina, and here is why:
1. The killers are alleged to have been aligned or sympathetic toward ISIS.
2. As soon as this was discovered, the right wing went insane about Muslim killers and what all good Christians should do about them.
3. Christians were on television talking about killing Muslims
4. Donald Trump floated the idea of stopping Muslims from entering the US.
5. Christians everywhere were telling us to pray for the victims-after they were already dead, ignoring the fact that if prayer had any value at all, it might have been used to prevent the killings
6. The general consensus was: Christians=Good. Muslims=Bad (imagine the voice of Cookie Monster or Kevin on The Office saying that and you’ll get a better idea of how it sounded in my head).
The duplicity originating from the religious contingent is simply stunning. The time-worn, insincere, predictable and xenophobic verbal detritus that has spewed from these philistines was simply more than I could deal with quietly.
I am, apparently, becoming radicalized. Radicalized against the beliefs-as-practices that the religious among us defend with every fiber of their being. Against those who consider me and my ilk to be uninformed, misinformed or naïve to dare not believe in those ideas which have no basis in fact other than centuries of repetition by those who’ve anointed themselves as conduits for divine dogma.
Some years ago I determined that I shouldn’t call myself an Atheist because my feelings about religion were not limited to disbelief, but rather to the aggressive desire to see it relegated to places where people go to do other things not typically done in public, like masturbating. I wanted to see it go underground, to the same places where pedophiles keep their rancid desires and longings. I wanted it to be something that was confessed on Oprah, with the requisite audible gasps and tongue clucking of the audience. I thought it only proper that I, accordingly, called myself an Antitheist.
In recent years I have, however, moderated my feelings a bit after having come across some of the more thoughtful theists who seem to be willing to discuss their belief and show some respect for my lack of it. I also got tired of having to explain, to the more synaptically-challenged of my acquaintances, that the word with which I was describing myself was not in fact “Antichrist”. Dolts.
So, yes, these recent events have caused me to become, in the parlance of those who read or listen to news reports, “radicalized”.
But, not to worry. Radical Atheists lack the religious fervor that others in the same situation may embrace. We don’t burn down churches or murder priests. We don’t advocate that women get pregnant for the sole purpose of obtaining an abortion. We don’t interrupt religious services with cries of, “that’s a fucking wafer made in a fucking factory you feeble-minded, dim-witted lemmings!”
Nope. We just talk louder, more frequently and with greater stridence. And sometimes piss people off to the point that they ignore us.
Or at least they claim to…
“The bible will humble you, and a gun will tumble you”. That’s in quotations because it’s not original, but I can’t remember where I heard it, so there’s no attribution. Sorry.
I’ve concluded that religion and guns are opposite sides of the same coin. They both purport to protect those who fear the most fundamental aspects of life.
One pretends to protect you from the wrath of your fellow man. The other pretends to protect you from the wrath of that which you’ve been persuaded is your savior. How ironic that you’d feel the need for protection from either.
Both suggest that life is an entitlement. Neither has ever been able to prove it.
I’ve never checked, but I’d bet quite a sum that the overwhelming majority of the NRA membership self-identifies as Christian. On Facebook they can usually be found clicking away in pious outrage. I know. I am the recipient of more than my fair share of it.
To many of my Christian friends, that may reek of irrelevance. To me, well..
Dear Conservative Americans
We here at the Islamic State (praise be to Allah) also known to you as ISIS or ISIL want to reassure you that we have no intention of coming to your country to attack you. We realize that many of you think we are already there, since that phony ex-CIA agent on Fox, Wayne Simmons (recently arrested for impersonating a CIA agent), told you about these so-called “sleeper cells” all over your country. We got a really good laugh about that, but recently realized that none of that is necessary.
This revelation came after the most recent attack by one of your “deranged lunatics” (you know, since that is what you call your Christian terrorists), upon a Planned Parenthood facility. We realized that rather than spend all the money on travel, suicide vests, bomb-making laboratories as well as the explosives themselves, plus risking our own lives on the transport and detonation of these devices, that our work would be redundant.
We could never bring as many guns into your country as you already have. We could never import as many haters of your government as you already have. We could never, in a thousand years, kill as many American as you kill in a year, all by yourselves. The kind of hatred and distrust that you have for yourselves could never be duplicated by a few thousand ISIS members, so why bother?
We do have our differences though. We, at least, are willing to die for what we believe in, whereas you are only willing to kill for what you believe in. But hey, even the best of friends can’t agree on everything!
What is it that you say? “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”? It appears that you have done just that. You have helped us tremendously by constantly invoking our sacred name (praise be to Allah) and spreading fabricated terror about us, all the while helping us do our sacred duty (praise be to Allah) by doing it for us.
Nobody hates Americans and America more than you sacred Second-Amendment patriots, and we thank you for it.
From our God to your “God,” we thank American Conservatives for making our job easier, and allowing us to concentrate on killing Syrian women and children!
Allahu Akbar motherfuckers!