I know I said I’d leave the Christian thing alone..

but my friend Clint has been drawing a lot of Christian – or at least self-identified-as-Christian – hate speech on his blog: http://clintjcl.wordpress.com/2008/03/25/onward-christian-soldiers/#comment-80202.

I wrote a response which I feel like is both Vintage Sheer and some of my better writing, so I include it here:

I have a number of comments.

First of all, in reaction to ‘God hates the world’:

Christians claim God is the superuser, the almighty Root in the sky. They claim he created everything (although they haven’t come up with a good explanation for where HE came from. Apparently it’s okay for God to have always existed, but not for everything to have always existed).

As the superuser, God sets things like physical laws. God doesn’t want you breaking the law of gravity, and he makes sure it’s enforced. Then religious people CLAIM that God sets spiritual laws as well. Interestingly, God doesn’t directly communicate those to us. Essentually, in order to believe that I’ve broken God’s Law, I have to believe that the bible IS God’s Law. That’s rather hard, because God is claimed to be a ethical being, and the bible shows God behaving in clearly unethical ways.

I have a very clear sense of what *I* feel good and evil is – and I feel being judgemental, speaking of torturing people for eternity, speaking of wrath instead of forgiveness, and speaking of the world as a evil place are all signs of, well, evil. Clearly my moral compass doesn’t have the same alignment as the people who are joyfully singing about how the rest of us are going to suffer, suffer, suffer for being who and what we are – presumably, if you believe in God, who and what we were created to be.

When I was young, I went to raves and was told about peace, love, unity, and respect. I naively believed that this is what all the world’s religions were about – I mean, clearly, it feels so right, it must be what everyone’s been talking about. What’s interesting in this is that I had already had – and rejected – a Christian upbringing, so some part of my subconscious knew better. But still, I talked with my friends about this whole peace & love thing, seriously thinking that that’s what Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc were all about. (In fact, Buddhism IS about peace & love – it’s interesting how much my mom, a very Christian sort of person, hates & fears it)

Now I have read the bible – or at least large chunks of it – and now I know. The bible is not about just peace & love. The bible is, as far as I can tell, white noise. It contains a little bit of everything, all translated until the original grains of truth are just barely visible and the dark lies are far stronger. You have to strain your mental eyes to find the PLUR in the bible – or just read certain, selected passages. It is there, of course, but it’s largely overshadowed by far darker things like the homicidal tendancies of God in the old testiment, or the mysogeny of Jesus’s early followers in the NT.

I think it’s really time to write a new one, but the Christians are convicned that this book is the Word Of God and doesn’t need fixed. Interestingly, the bible appears to be a informational virus.. just like those virii that appear on the net from time to time. It contains instructions that say “make a copy of me” and “don’t change me or awful things will happen to you”. This is bad because religion needs, very badly, to evolve with technology and social change.

I understand that there are a group of people that are fundamentally against ANY change – that the people who speak of our proud sinning in that song probably think the internet is wrong and evil, and aren’t really all that clear on whether they should really be using the microphones and video cameras with which they recorded it. For these people I feel mostly sadness – change is a constant that, if God is real, She built into the universe. By disliking this change instead of enjoying it, you’re setting yourselves at odds with the God that Is, and unhappiness almost has to result.

Also for the people who recorded that video: God hates the world, even though *e created it? God is, according to your doctrine, supposed to be perfect and eternally unchanging (even though *e clearly goes through a major design overhaul between the OT and the NT – or at least, our understanding of *e does). How could a perfect creator create a imperfect creation?

For my take on things, I continue to believe that God is the sum of all life, that we are all literally a part of God and thusly we get to decide, individually and every day, just how good God is or isn’t. And, in my opinion, we’ve come a long, long way since even the N.T. – but we have a long, long way yet to go.

I would like to encourage every Christian who is glorying in how much we will all suffer for our sin to look deep within their heart, and consider whether a perfect being would *want* others to suffer. The desire to see others unhappy, the action of taking joy from others misery, is in my opinion a fault, and something that we would all be better off without. Jesus never spoke of wanting to see anyone suffering in any of the parts of the bible I’ve read yet, and often spoke of ways to alleviate suffering, or performed actions that reduced it.

It is my belief also that the universe is neither matter nor energy, but entirely information. It’s convenient to call types of information matter, energy, atoms, elements, etc because it gives us mental models which allow us to manipulate the universe in fun and interesting ways, but in essence it is information. I sometimes think that the information is stored in digital form, and that the darkness in all of us is the zeros – needed to make the ones make any sense at all. After all, a digital computer without zero would be nothing but a paperweight.

So please, to the many Christians – or so-called Christians – attacking Clint & Carolyn: Grow up. Accept your responsability as part of God, and start working towards a better God – and a better self.

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