Christianity, part 4 – or, why I’m no longer speaking to my mom about religion

Okay. I get it. Many people aren’t capable of considering any ideas about religion that aren’t the ones already programmed into them, and are programmed to speak scornfully about any ideas that aren’t theirs. I probably fall under that umbrella.

I genuinely gave Christianity a chance. I read sizable chunks of the bible. I tried to wrap my head around the concepts. I see that there is in fact a implementation – not the majority one – of Christianity that isn’t particularly evil. It still isn’t my religion.

I decided I’m not going to debate it any more. Hopefully that will help me move on, because thinking about it all the time isn’t doing me or anyone else any good. There are better and more positive things for me to spend my energy on.

I do have a couple of criticisms that I feel the need to mention, though.

1) Many Christians speak of how, if there was no God, there would be no reason for being good and not evil. People, this is pathetic. If you’re only being good because you’re afraid of the superuser, you must have a awful lot of trouble respecting yourself. I’m not good because I think God will come stomp on me, I’m good because I want to be.

2) Many Christians speak of God’s “divine plan”. I’m here to say that if the universe is running on a plan, the planning entity is more than a little bit evil. Look around – all life lives at the expense of other life, people and kittens starve to death all the time, there’s a host of horrible and painful diseases, and we all get to go through a horribly painful process as our bodies shut down.. one could come up with a whole lot of criticism to the Divine Plan theory – I’m pretty sure *I* could design a much better universe – at least for life on earth – given infinite time.  What we’ve got here, by all indications, isn’t so much a plan as a whole bunch of ‘we hacked it together, added some duct tape, and this is what worked’.

3) The only scenereo that makes sense to me is that we all, aggregated together, form God. As in, there’s not this superuser out there in left field running things – *we* are running things. When we pretend we aren’t, bad things are going to happen. One of the things that makes me angry about Christianity is that the Christians aren’t taking responsibility for their actions.  They are claiming, for example, that it is ‘God’s Will’ that people die of AIDS or in stupid wars over resources or whatever rather than admitting that they, the Christians, are partially responsable *. I could go on a long list here – for example, I suspect many Christians feel more okay about recent wars because they’re making war on non-Christian nations – but I hope that if you don’t take anything else away from this long and meandering blog post, you take away this: ultimately, comforting as it might be to abdicate your responsability as Part Of God, you can’t. Your actions directly impact the other people in this world. 

4) I’m not so sure that preaching uninhibited forgiveness of sins is a good thing. I’m still working my way through this one, but I think that while it’s a good idea for everyone’s mental health for them to forgive each other, it’s not such a good thing if said forgiveness means none of us ever grow and we all keep hurting each other in the same ways over and over and over again.

5) Parents: Don’t force your kids to go to church. It’s brainwashing, and it’s wrong, and I wish it were illegal.  Churches should have a non-brainwashing area for minors who happen to be nonbelievers to hang out in while their parents get their sermons. This ought to be legally required, but would anyone like to talk about the odds of *that* happening?

6) God: Feel free to email me. Or call. Or write. Or send smoke signals. However, given that voices popping into one’s head are a sign of mental illness, expect me to be somewhat skeptical and require you to do a fair amount of authenticating before I believe you. Also, just because you’re more powerful than me, doesn’t mean you’re better than me. I could probably be convinced that this whole huge mess is in fact a brilliant strategy that will ultimately lead to everyone’s wishes coming true and sex on a stick for a nickel- but you may have to talk for a while. I also completely understand if you don’t feel the need to convince me, or have better and bigger things to do. But I do hope that if you torment me for eternity for not believing what you want me to – despite having made me so that I won’t – you’ll at least have the decency to feel guilty about it.

Hopefully that wraps up the religion topic for a few years. It’s been fun, but, really, there are some things that are just unknowable – and people pretending to know them anyway and then being all snooty about how wrong my opinions are – using the same old tired arguments, and openly ignoring my answers and challenges to their tired arguments – really piss me off.

Grateful *that’s* over – I hope –


* = at least, by quantum causaility. If you deny funding to sexual health organizations because they support gay rights or abortions or whatever acts the Christians have decided are immoral, and people die of aids because the lack of funding means that no condoms were given out, then I’d say the Christians are responsable.

2 Responses to “Christianity, part 4 – or, why I’m no longer speaking to my mom about religion”

  1. ClintJCL Says:

    This was a really good post.

  2. Cygnostik Says:

    1) That one drives me nuts too. I think people who talk like that must be really aweful people if they need a reason NOT to be “evil”. Because of the way so many people act, I can understand people not wanting to go out of their way to be particularly good – but I say hollow are the souls of those who go out of their way to do well by others for reasons other than their own. I also say, don’t fuckin’ try pretending to be NICE to me because you think your GOD wants you to, I’ll kick both your asses.

    2) That is a lame angle for them to take. Divine as it may seem the universe sure looks, to me, a lot like things falling into place according to nature- a pattern based on the geometry of the origin of things. To me the origin of the universe and the state of mankind are connected and related enough that the idea of gods plan is an insult the beauty inherent to all things.

    3) Nobody wants to take responsibility for anything; so it’s gods will. People don’t like to apologize or right their wrongs, they can’t confront their sins, apologize nor expect forgiveness they wouldn’t be able to give; it’s so much easier to create some invisible listener who will forgive them in private for even the wrongs they wouldn’t otherwise admit to doing. Most of all, for many people it is extremely difficult to comprehend the motivation, actions, feelings or beliefs of others and the insanity that plays out like a horror flick leaves many people with the one conclusion that their must be a devil – because nothing else could explain peoples actions. I know someone who after seeing what happened 9-11 turned born again christian. He was so unable to comprehend how anyone could do something like that he decided satan could be the only answer. Obvlivious they are to the fact that this ‘free gift of salvation’ really isn’t free. The cost is your connection with reality. Like a loophole around free-will.

    4) Forgiveness yes, forgetting no. Without forgiveness we’re bound, tangled in energy wasting feelings that need to be dealt with. Whoever said “forgive and forget” was an idiot, they must not go together. Forgetting is anti-productive, selfish and the way out for those who’re unable to forgive, burying them deeper under the trouble of their own bad feelings.

    5) That’s a bit much to ask. If someone truely believes with all their heart that belief in and love for jesus is the only way out of hell; is it not automatically their duty to bring this truth and salvation to everyone they care about? If you knew absolutely that the only way to avoid an eternity of pain in hell and damnation was belief in this way of life: wouldn’t you be a horrible person to let your children roast? What kind of parent or friend wouldn’t do everything they could to secure a place in heaven for their loved ones? That’s likely one of the biggest problems. You’ll even find good people acting like this; convinced for one reason or another this is the way of things, they just want to do what’s right, they just want to protect the people they care for based on a rational that they can’t see any wrong in because they believe it. If only they could really understand how similar they are to say, the suicide bombers they figure are the work of satan, hm?

    6) Fuck god, and by god I mean the gods created and worshipped by men looking for an excuse to be in denial about one thing or another. The older I get the less I can imagine even what the point is, of thinking there’s any intelligence behind anything in the universe. If you’ve looked around you lately you probably know we’re setting the bar for intelligence pretty low too, there isn’t even usually any intelligence behind the wheel of any random 4000lb car. I for one am not going to take my cues from any of these mutants, in fact: I don’t even think I’ll bother limiting myself to the confines of their gods – just plain FUCK GOD. There, I said it. If he’s got a problem with that he can get bent. If there is some kind of great god – he’ll know from where I come and quite readily understand my take. If not, who cares? What does he matter? He takes no active role in life, not this one physical, one known, singular life. If by some bizarre chance there’s more after this physical experience it would have to be entirely different and I’ll base my opinions of it on experience once I get there. Until then; this one life is what matters and it is what we make it – so I will continue trying to remind myself every day to make the best of it since’s all I’ve got. If I’m wrong, good, I’m ok with that. Faith manages.

    One of the worst things about trying to talk to god people about this stuff is that we have a strong need to make some sense. In order to do so on the subject it has to get extremely complicated in such a way as to negate functional/coherent conversation given the amount of time & energy typically available – and lets face it who really wants to engage in a long drawn out conversation with someone who will either come out at the end as a blasphemer doomed to hell or someone who still thinks you’re evil?

    Maybe some effort should be focused on putting together a short, concise paint by numbers your god is wrong cheat sheet complete with references to cited facts for reference and elaboration. We can print them out on little flyers to have handy for the random god loving know-it-all. Save the time, give them the gift of reality quick reference card & move on. 🙂

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