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.
One of the comments I’ve gotten, both in person and on the internet, is that atheism (and it’s moral equivalent: Secular Humanism) is an inherently egotistical position. I went here, to some sort of Christian Publication, looking for the basis of that belief — only to find the complete lack of an argument (just a series of claims that atheists are arrogant and angry without any real backing and hold Christianity up as the humble opposite). From what I can gather, here is the basic argument for atheists being arrogant:
- Christians (and other theists) believe that their achievements and positive qualities come from Jesus and God (or their theological equivalent for other faiths).
- Believing that their achievements and positive qualities come from a higher power makes Christians (or other theists) humble.
- Atheists believe that their achievements and positive qualities come from their own hard work and introspection.
- Not believing that their achievements come from a higher power makes atheists not humble.
- The opposite of humility is arrogance.
- Therefore, atheists are arrogant.
There are, of course, other arguments as to whether or not atheists are arrogant (including the one that we are audacious enough to say that the majority of the world is wrong, which is absolutely laughable–Who would speak out about something if they didn’t think they were right and others are wrong?), but this is the one that I’ll focus on because it so clearly exposes the arrogance of the belief in a personal god. Continue reading
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.