The religious right has left the building

Thursday, 4 December 2008 06:56 by The Lunatic


I was looking back through some of the comments on my November 4 posting of "Same Sex Marriage - Why is this an Issue?" and I'm amused by some of the banter. 

As a very devout "Born Again Atheist", I don't have much patience for religious ramblings.  Christianity is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned - religion is just a tool to pacify and control the populace, and there are a LOT of weak-minded people that just love drinking the cool-aid.  It's unfathomable that people still believe in this (excuse the expletive) crap.

Religions get their power from telling people pretty much any story that will control the downtrodden (and open their wallets, of course) - with no regard for what the "truth" may be.  Over the years, they've gotten really good at making people believe that these random bed-time stories in the Bible (or Koran or Torah, take your pick) have some significance, and they fight like hell to protect the belief in their stories whenever anyone shows any little bit of actual evidence to the contrary.  

As an example, it was pretty obvious in the 1600's that the Earth moves around the Sun - but one of the many freelance contributors had written "the world is firmly established, it cannot be moved" in the bible (translations vary, but that's the general concept).  Sure, at the time it was written, it was a good theory. But when Galileo publicly proposed the idea that the Earth not only moves, but revolves around the Sun, the Catholic church freaked. They didn't disagree with the data, they just didn't want to admit that something in the bible was wrong, which could mean losing their chokehold on the population. Galileo was imprisoned, his work was banned, and worst of all he was made to listen to Christmas carols all year long. It was 359 years before he was officially forgiven - in 1992 the pope apologized and said that he regretted how the whole thing was handled. By the 1800's it was pretty obvious to anyone with an IQ higher than that of the average jellyfish that the Earth does indeed revolve around the Sun, so the apology was still about 200 years too late.

And now, all the evidence available to humanity says that there is no god and by golly, there is absolutely zero evidence that even hints that there is one. The world was not created in seven days (duh!) and it is NOT ok to keep spewing out babies left and right, overpopulating the planet and killing off thousands of other species. Why would this god have any reason to care about OTHER species, if it means that we have to use (oh no, don't say it ... don't SAY it!) birth control?

I really struggle with this - I just don't see what the attraction is to religion.  The whole concept of a "god" is just ... illogical.  It's a great story, but so is Star Wars.

Here's another great story, a true one this time: I'm actually related to a pope!  My grandfather lived in the Vatican as a teenager, and his second cousin was Pope Pius XI. Really! The family story is that my grandfather beat up a priest that snitched on him for skipping school. So, they sent him off to America to live with his uncle, who owned an ice cream factory outside of New York City .  This was around 1920 or so. He never re-joined the church. When my grandfather was on his deathbed in the mid-70's, the hospital brought in a priest to give him his last rites and he basically said, "Get that asshole out of my room!"

Ah, grandpa, I do miss you!

There was a time, when I was younger, that I wanted to be a priest.  But I didn't have enough experience molesting children. I couldn't even get past the first round of interviews. 

It's funny, but oh so true! I came up with that line over twenty five years ago - well before the string of accusations against the priests and allegations of cover-ups by the Pope.  It was pretty obvious what was going on and completely outrageous that it was allowed to go on for so long.

But the Catholics aren't the only ones that are easy to make fun of.  How about them Mormons?  In some ways, you have to respect a religion whose motto is "I don't care how many you bring, just bring 'em young!"

And how many Mormons (or Muslims or Baha'i's, take your pick) should you take with you on a fishing trip?  Two.  Because if you take just one, he'll drink all your beer!

But on a more serious note, I've always thought that there is a fundamental difference between the concept of god as a "creator of the universe" and a god who is watching us, judging us, listening to prayers and making little bells ring whenever an angel gets its wings. These are two very diametrically opposed ideas (although both are completely illogical).  As a "creator of the universe", I don't believe that god would even know that we exist.  When we make a television set, for example, we can formulate the chemicals needed for the plastic, purify the glass, and engineer every transistor in the control circuitry - but do we have an intimate awareness of every single molecule in our creation? Of course not! The human mind has a problem really grasping how many billions and billions of stars there really are in the universe, many more than the number of molecules in a television. And could this god simultaneously monitor two planets, billions of light-years away? Wouldn't it take billions of years to find out who's been naughty or nice? For more on this train of thought, see my previous post, What Do You Believe.

I have many friends and relatives who don't consider themselves to be religious in any way, but they consider themselves to be "spiritual". Ok, that's fine and dandy, we get along great although we do tease each other quite a bit. These aren't the people telling me that I'm going to Hell, putting up billboards proclaiming that their church has the only "god approved" audio/visual projection system in town (yes, I actually saw such a sign), or christening dead jews (back to those lovable Mormons again!). I just want people to be ethical and honest, peaceful, intelligent, and willing to say "that doesn't taste good" when someone tries to spoonfeed them some reconstituted crap.

Hey - I actually wrote the above info yesterday, but just today I saw a great poster on a city bus here in Washington D.C. - it was for - I love it! This is a cause I can actually feel good about donating money to! It will be so nice when more people wake up ... it'll be even more "uncool" to be christian than it is now (or scientologist or hare krishna, take your pick).

12/6/08 addendum:
Everyone is proud, rightly so, that we've made so much progress with eliminating discrimination that we've elected a bi-racial president. But everyone is still so concerned about what denomination he is and what church he will attend in Washington D.C. Here's the next milestone: an atheist president. It can happen!


Categories:   Religion
Actions:   E-mail | Permalink | Comments (1) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

Comments (1) -

December 7. 2008 11:53

My son attended a Christian school when he was younger because the other schools were crap. I actually had to go down and see one of his teachers when he told me that one of his teachers said dinosaurs did not exist because they are not in the Bible. Thankfully the school principal was successful in getting her to not share her "religious" beliefs about dinosaurs but it did scare me to think what else she was saying. My son appears to not be affected, BTW, thank god! ;)

Mike G

Add comment