Saturday, March 25, 2006

More Fun With Religion

So much of what we do is driven by fear. Religion is a response to the fear of death and what happens next. Of course, whatever you personally believe in is absolutely 100% true – who wants to get in a fight over faith – but you have to admit everyone else’s theories about God and the afterlife seem fairly silly, don’t they? I hear religious types scoffing about each other all the time: “Can you believe they think they’re going to be reincarnated and live again? How ridiculous.” “Can you believe they think they’ll get 40 virgins in heaven? How transparent.” “Can you believe they drink the blood of Christ and eat his flesh? How primitve.” Yes, people of faith do talk about each other, don’t you? As the local standup John Wetteland once noted: "Your magic story is the correct one. Everyone else is just nuts."
In fact religious types feel so strongly about their faith, that they are often willing to inflict a lot of pain on people who aren’t quite as righteous as they are. Take this case of the man in Afghanistan who secretly became a Christian in a country that believes in Islam. His execution may yet be averted but what a nasty spectacle from religion. Of course, other religions use that to reinforce the themes that they are being persecuted for their faith, and to point out how morally superior their faith is to others. Meanwhile, their people acted the same way in different parts of history. The Inquisition was just as ugly.
The odd thing about religions is that they’re designed to deal with our fears, and yet they are so frightening. I find the spectacle of a man getting beheaded for becoming a Christian to be scary. I also find the fact that our President believes with all his heart in Armageddon to be really frightening, too. Why? Because he could make it happen. What if this Higher Father he talks to tells him to launch an all-out nuclear strike as predicted in the Bible? Okay, it isn’t spelled out, but prophesies use vague language. The Bible doesn’t spell out cloning either. This is why I’m comforted by Bush when he helps the mega-rich, and ignores the poor. That gives me hope that he’s not a true Christian and might ignore the Armageddon bit, too. Frankly, I’d rather have a Dalai Lama-type in charge. For one thing, they wouldn’t run up the national debt so high because at least they believe they’d have to come back and pay the damn thing off.


At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to comment on the holier than thou christians in this country.

I do not agree with the Mr. Nice Guy position when it comes to confronting christianity as it is currently manifested. Many thinking people seem to be content to throw their hands up in despair when it comes to fighting the idiocy of the christian right. They say "it does no good, so why bother?" and those sorts of cop-outs. In my opinion, what the "christians" are doing to our country is getting closer and closer to calling for all out, bloody revolution. If we use the analogy comparing the US to a school, the school morons and jocks have tossed out the teachers and gifted students and are now teaching the class. They are pushing their unquestioned beliefs on unquestioning believers.

I front them WHENEVER I CAN! Sometimes it pisses them off. Guess what: I'M ALREADY PISSED OFF! They expect me to respect their beliefs and feelings when the don't give a rat's ass about mine. Fuck 'em. Make them as uncomfortable as possible with the lies they tell themselves and everyone else. I'm not saying be tactless, but rather be ruthlessly cunning and thorough if the door is open even a small crack. Obviously, you can't do that shit in the workplace where if you don't vocally proclaim your faith, you will not get promoted and will get abused (which has happened to me.) Maybe you will get fired down in Texas if you say anything at all against the dumb motherfuckers. After all, that is what the bushkies do to federal appointees who don't toe the neocon line - why shouldn't that apply in all walks of life? That's the behavior I see coming from goddamn fundies, and why I so despise religious christianity. Most self-proclaimed christians DO NOT ACT AS CHRIST WOULD HAVE ACTED! Many are totally selfish, money hungry, vain, self exaltating, etc. They are completely full of shit. Furthermore, they are willing to ignore the whacko actions of the leaders of their faith, and completely unwilling to take a stand against them. As far as I'm concerned, they are way more my enemy than any insurgent in Iraq ever thought of being.

I expect "real" christians to act out against the fundie neocons and try to take back their hijacked religion. If they don't, they will get only minimal respect from me - and that is this: As a human being, I respect each person's INDIVIDUAL right to whatever faith or belief they wish. This does not mean I must respect the faith/belief itself. In order for me to respect christian faith/belief, good christians who ACTUALLY ACT LIKE CHRIST WOULD HAVE ACTED must show their willingness to take it back from the bushki commandoes who have turned it into a fascist, warmongering, political tool to steal from the poor and give to the rich. There should be armies of good christians out there protesting the Iraq war. Any christian with HALF A FUCKING BRAIN knows christ would not support ANY war. Instead, the only christian protests I see are anti-homosexual, anti-scientific community, anti-abortion - and, the ultimate hyprocisy which is profoundly anti-christian: supporting the Iraq war.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Way to bring your A-game, Gorok.

At 5:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the words of Judge Hand as found in a dissenting opinion here.

"It is unnecessary to attempt a definition of religion; the content of the term is found in the history of the human race and is incapable of compression into a few words. Religious belief arises from a sense of the inadequacy of reason as a means of relating the individual to his fellow-men and to his universe. . . . (It) may justly be regarded as a response of the individual to an inward mentor, call it conscience or God, that is for many persons at the present time the equivalent of what has always been thought a religious impulse."

I too can only hope that Bush is only pandering to the folks who feel compelled to force the conscience of others to match their own. Everyone has one. I am not about to give credit for my own good deeds to a some non-existent being as that would deny me the pleasure of experiencing my own conscience, and my own consciousness. A antonym to "I Think, Therefore I Am" might be that "I Am A Mere Activist Robot And Thus I Do Not Exist."

Gorok, they (whomever they are) are just acting on their own conscience. We are all equally entitled to insist that others exercise sovereignty over their own thoughts . . . demand that they offer reasoning. To condemn them feeds their belief in some inherent right to condemn others (you and me). The challenge is like trying to make a sci-fi computer with artificial intelligence self-destruct as it processes something that does not compute.


At 8:54 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Deep, very deep. Especially that last thing with the artificial intelligence. I had to ask my computer Hal to explain it to me.


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