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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.
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).
So, if I have this straight, according to Mike Huckabee and his minions, if my religion says that interracial marriage is a sin, then I can refuse to make a wedding cake for an interracial couple, give them a marriage license, or just about anything else that I opportunistically decide constitutes my religious freedom. Well, thank god he cleared that up for us! Fuck all that civil rights legislation from the 1960s!
After all, it’s no different than if I were to decide to refuse those services to a gay couple. If I’m wrong, please explain the difference to me. If I can claim an imposition upon my religious freedom for one, why not the other?
The reason that more people are identifying themselves as Atheists is the fact that they see the hatred that is behind religious thought. They are understanding, finally, that religion is used to separate us more often than unite us. It is used as a screen to hide behind in order to justify our intolerance of each other. It is used to tell us that OUR beliefs are correct, moral and righteous, whereas those of others are, by necessity, suspect and treacherous.
There is no difference between refusing to marry a gay couple and refusing to marry an interracial couple, or a couple belonging to a religion that you believe to be evil, or one that you don’t agree with, or any other so-called religious freedom excuse yo can muster.
Religion tells us that we are smarter and better people than everyone who has a different belief than do we, yet preaches tolerance and love.
Tell ya what. Do me a favor and stop tolerating me. Just get the fuck out of my way, will ya?
It’s quite convenient that each and every religion in the world teaches its followers that it, and it alone, is the only true path to God. How can anyone with even a handful of connected synapses believe that that could possibly be true? How can any thinking person continue to delude himself that his way is the best when everyone else is equally convinced that there’s is as well? How can everyone be, simultaneously, right and wrong?
To paraphrase Rene’ Descartes, “I think, therefore I am…an Atheist”.