Like most men in their mid-twenties, I play video games (probably a little too much), and one game that I particularly enjoyed playing through was Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. During the quest line involving the (lamely-named) “Fighter’s Guild,” your character is tasked with infiltrating a rival organization and seeing how they operate. While “under cover,” you are ordered, along with a small squad of compatriots, to rid a town of goblins. So, you take part in this ceremony, drink some magic juice, pass out, and wake up in the town and surrounded by goblins. Of course, you easily dispatch of the gross green men and pass out again. When you come to, it becomes apparent that you were slaughtering the townsfolk; apparently whatever you drank made you, despite your character’s good (or evil) intentions, murder a bunch of innocent people.
What, you might ask, does this have to do with religion? Well, pretty much everything. Religion has the uncanny ability to make otherwise good people do awful, terrible things. The only differences are that the perpetrators don’t have to drink anything and that those awful actions are real and have very real consequences. Continue reading
Zombie Jesus Resurrection Day Easter Everyone! Here’s a post about Jesus!
Christianity is, simply put, the cult surrounding the life and death of a 1st Century Palestinian Jew who supposedly was both God’s son and God himself, born of a virgin, performed a few miracles, died for our sins, got resurrected, and ascended bodily into heaven. More specifically, he was born of a virgin whose lineage probably (if you buy the story, which I don’t) never actually left the middle east.
So how in the Hell did we get a Jesus that looks like this?
The Jesus We All Know and Love
Well… it was racism, actually.
So, I saw this post on the Friendly Atheist blog about a stupid Christian Bus Ad (showed later) that basically tells kids to ask God, and only God, for help when their parents are addicted to, and exposing them to, illicit drugs. Frankly, you don’t have to be an atheist for this to piss you off; you just have to have a few functioning brain cells…
Over the past decade or so, the New Atheists, including the prolific “Four Horsemen”, have made their non-belief, and their relentless assault on silly religious beliefs, a very public (and very loud) affair. High School students, and others, have subject themselves to harassment and vitriol in order to stand up for the Separation of Church and State. A little over a week ago, ~20,000 atheists gathered for the largest rally of nonbelievers in history. To many, it seems that there is an atheist movement, possibly similar in scope to the Gay Rights Movement or Civil Rights Movements, is on the horizon.
But is it really? Sadly, I’m not very optimistic.
Now, I tend not to be an angry guy. However, I assume like most people, there are certain things that, well, kind of piss me off. Sentiments like this rank high among those things that get under my skin.
Simply, this guy named Cal Thomas (who apparently gets paid to write his silly beliefs on paper) calls me, and everyone who doesn’t share his belief of the logically impossible benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God of Abraham, a fool, and then wonders why we’re “so angry.” Well, it could be the fact that we’re routinely called fools or that religious people view that atheists are only “about as trustworthy as rapists” because we tend not to believe that the God of the Gaps actually exists.
We have a reason to be angry, and it is, in a word, bigotry.
Regrettably, I must say that it seems that Christians have a persecution complex. Now, how a group that comprises nearly two-thirds of the population of the United States, has places of worship almost everywhere you look, and often controls the public discourse on several key issues somehow sees itself as a persecuted minority is beyond my comprehension, but I’m going to take a stab explaining it simply: If you’re used to being given special treatment, then being treated like everyone else feels like an insult.
That’s it. Christianity has had such a prominent place in our national zeitgeist that, with the increasing pluralism in America (and the western world), it had no place to go but down when it comes to cultural influence, and it hurts to be dumped. So, like a heartbroken preteen who just got dumped by their first crush, that insular, contemptuous strain of Christianity that colors the “Christian Right” has been lashing out, sometimes violently, at anything that does not fit in to its narrow, uninformed, and bigoted worldview (repeat, this is only an excoriation of some, not all Christians).
Sure, they are just trying to restore the “rights” that they had before the Civil and Gay Rights Movements and the Sexual Revolution, but, as I’ll demonstrate, these invented rights are only coming at the expense of the real rights and freedoms of others.