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More Historical Fiction

This one is from Evid3n3ce’s discovery of the origin of the Judeo-Christian God.

The more you see, the harder it is to unsee.  That’s why, as Evid3nc3 himself found out, as the pillars of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition are eliminated one by one, there is a point at which the whole construct falls apart.  A person who gets to this stage experiences the world with an entirely different perspective.  There is no going back.  And all attempts by Christian relatives and well meaning friends to bring you back into the fold are going to meet with failure on their part and frustration on yours.  As far as the non-believer is concerned, there’s nothing left to talk about unless the believer also wants to have his or her eyes opened.  To the non-believer, the believer is living a cramped existence, covered with an almost impenetrable shell.  It prevents the truth from getting in and for the believer to get out.  But once you’re out, the shell is not big enough to contain you anymore.

It has occurred to me, well, several things have occurred to me lately. The first is that with the age of the internet, it’s very easy for people to learn things on their own.  The guidance of a spiritual mentor is almost entirely absent on the internet.  That’s why Jehovah’s Witnesses are strongly advised to avoid YouTube.  There are way too many apostates giving their testimony without a filter.  And when you inadvertantly stumble on something like the Documentary Hypothesis, exploring it on your own can give you all kinds of ideas that organized religion would prefer you didn’t have.  And let’s not even get into liberal Christianity with it’s complete abstraction of God to the point of near non-existence.

The internet could be a real threat to the Judeo-Christian organization.  People will get wiser.  They will be harder to control.  They will start skyping people in foreign countries where God is just a fading memory.

Secondly, right now, our country doesn’t resemble the pre-American Revolutionary era with it’s anti-tax with no representation fervor.  No, right now, we resemble pre-Revolutionary France.  We have an extremely powerful religious faction that owns a lot of property and conducts its business tax free.  In the last few decades, this first estate has joined forces with the wealthy and well connected in politics.  The religious are determined to keep their property and tax exemptions and their hold on the lives of their flocks and in turn they hand their votes over to the new American aristocracy.  Now, I see the Catholic bishops in a whole new light.  It’s not reproductive rights they’re concerned with.  It’s protecting their own piece of the American pie at regular citizens’ expense.  After all, when the rich refuse to pay taxes and the social safety net becomes a tattered shred, who knows what citizens might demand of their churches? It’s better that the faithful demand comfort and solace and turn their thoughts away from the tax exemptions and exemptions from secular authority.  If history is any guide on this, that strategy is not going to work for too much longer unless the right wing can really lock up the electorate to the point where political change is impossible.  But then, nothing is impossible.  Just ask the French.

Finally, some really fanatical religious people, especially the apocalyptic variety who are waiting on the Rapture, seem to have a fascinating compulsion to protect themselves from death.  Now, why would that be?  It is very anti-Christian to resist the one thing that proves the faith you profess.  What kind of person who believes in the resurrection wants to skip the pre-requisite step?  The kind of person who immediately comes to mind is a homophobic person.  That is not to say that such Christians are closeted homosexuals who are projecting their hatred of themselves onto others.  No, I’m thinking that Rapturist Christians are closeted atheists and agnostics.  They fear death because they don’t really believe there’s an afterlife.  They’re smart enough to know that the whole religious construct doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.  They frantically try to protect themselves from other points of view that may challenge their faith.  They’re sticking their fingers in their ears singing “la-la-la, I can’t HEAR you” because the last thing they want to think about is the possibility that death means nothingness. The Rapture gives them a way out.  If they believe fervently that there is a Rapture, they never have to worry about finding out there is no heaven or hell.  Or God.  Scary thought.  Somehow, it never occurs to them to calm down and wait to find out what happens when we die.  The thought simply terrifies them.  Something to think about the next time you meet one of them.

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11 Responses

  1. I was just wading through the spam filter. Some of the tortured English of the spam crowd is unintentionally funny. It kind of reminds me of David Sedaris’ chapter in his book Naked when he and his sisters found a porn “novel”. The editor left in things like “feck me harder” and “glisten my tots”. Too funny.

  2. I remember when I first started looking into Christian history and reading stuff like the God Delusion and feeling both relieved that I hadn’t been crazy for not believing this bull crap and also kind of depressed, because so many people seem to live in lala land when it comes to religion.
    It’s the fact that it has been proven wrong repeatedly that makes it frustrating. I’m of the opinion that people are entitled to their beliefs, but believing in obviously false things can be dangerous. As this video points out, the Bible has no real factual foundation and a lot of it has actually been proven to be historically inaccurate.
    But you just can’t tell people. Right now I’m reading a book called “The Way” which is the story of Jesus with a twist. In it, a girl named Anna with an androgynous appearance has to dress up in drag and name herself after her dead brother Jesus and… well I don’t really know what will happen because I am still in the process of reading it.

    • I have no problem with people believing things that are obviously false, That’s their constitutional right.
      The problem comes when they expect other people to believe things that are obviously false and then throw a fit claiming that they are being persecuted when other people won’t believe the same false things.

      • True, but believing things that are obviously false tends to lead to that kind of behavior. Isn’t it a solid 20 or 30 percent of voters who are fundies? And they ALWAYS show up to the polls.

  3. Wow, RD, what a great read! And a gutsy thing to write in this religion-obsessed country. A nice blast of fresh air.

  4. Uncovring from a life of these comfortable Myths requires some lonely courage and maybe even the rest of a Life.

    Sociological studies (and Census figures) clearly show that very few purported/claimed Religious Americans are actually practitioners. That is why we hear the shrill claims of a falling away from YAHWEH these days from the very small minority of Religious folks and their Guardians—like the sad Catholic Bishops.

    Fascinating
    The NEW Babylonian Captivity is now exciting the Zionists and a few Jews. And the Crusaders reluctantly ride to the defense of Jerusalem…all the while the Muslims run asunder!

    Get out of the Way!

  5. “Nothing is impossible. Just ask the French.”

    How well did that work out for the French?

    The revolution quickly degenerated into blood-soaked totalitarianism (the Reign of Terror), followed by corruption (the Directory), followed by a dictator (Napoleon) whose ambitions led France into wars that finally ruined the nation, followed by–ta dahhh–the return of the Bourbon monarchy.

    All that sacrifice of blood and treasure to go back to Square One.

  6. Had wanted to post the part of Ricky Gervais’ “lecture” Animals, where he reads from the Bible (part 3), as I find it somewhat related to this post, very funny, and non-offensive. (But then, as an irreligious person, how am I to know?)

    But what I found … interesting, is that everything else from this show – including, among other things that might offend: making fun of gays and showing animals copulating – is available from YouTube. Just not the religious part. Kind of head-scratching weird. At least to me.

    • That’s pretty ominous but you’re not the only person who has noticed that youtube pulls things that some religious people might find offensive. I find that dangerous overreaction to what might be a strategic offense to take religious criticism off the web.
      WordPress hasn’t censored me (yet) but I don’t think I’ve said anything that the big God boys can’t take. Still, keep your eye out. Here’s one video you might find interesting. Oddly enough, many well known atheists come down particularly hard on muslims. I’ve noticed this happens with european and british atheists in particular. Perhaps you have noticed this? My best guess as to why that is is that here in the US, it is the Christian fundamentalists that look dangerous and intolerant and possibly violent. But in Europe, that Christian fundamentalism is much less active, having burned itself out since the 1500’s, and Muslim fundamentalism is much more obvious due to waves of immigration. In fact, Christian and Muslim fundies aren’t all that different. Here in the US, there’s a lot of bad behavior towards Muslims as not just a religious but ethnic group because of 9/11 but that’s usually limited to the Fox News viewers. I live in NJ and know muslims, see them in convenience stores and behind the makeup counter in macy’s and you know, I just think they’re too busy with work and other family obligations to drop everything and go on jihad. I don’t have a bigoted bone in my body towards muslims. But some atheist videos do come off as having a slightly bigoted undertone. And fundamentalists of any stripe tend to take offense to that. If there is even a whiff of ethnic prejudice, that could be interpreted as a violation of terms of service for youtube and you can be sure that fundies will jump all over it.
      So, all you atheist youtubers out there, criticize religion all you want but be careful to not take that generalize that criticism to an entire ethnic group.
      Here’s a recent video on the issue of youtube censorship of religious criticism:

      BTW, the other day, some Catholic wrote a comment that he was offended by my comments about Catholics. Has he seen Stephen Colbert’s recent episodes about Catholics? And Colbert is a devout and observant Catholic. Even he thinks the bishops have gone too far. If I’d been his priest, I’d have advised him to not take the eucharist for a couple of months to think about his comments.
      On the other hand, I’ve even had people on this blog talk about atheists as if they can’t be trusted to be in government or other authoritative positions. They can’t be trusted, they’re not moral, they’re deceitful, sexually promiscuous, etc, etc, etc. And then I look at my kid whose been an atheist since she was 9 years old (her own decision and I’m an panentheist) and I think, that’s what these commenters are thinking about Brooke. My Brooke, who is one of the funniest, lively, curious, honest and moral people I know. They wouldn’t trust my Brooke? I’m not supposed to be offended by that? Please.

      • Actually that’s new to me! But even though I didn’t know about this ahead of searching for the Gervais “lecture”, I sensed that I could be walking into a minefield (… and yes I did see the commenter who was offended. And yes I did scratch my head, as I’ve done so many times before in similar situations) and decided in advance, before knowing that the video wasn’t available, not to embed, but only make a link and then warn you of the content, in case you preferred to remove the link. Alas, I didn’t have to worry as YouTube had already taken care of that!

        Usually I stay out of religious debates on blogs. I read and listen but don’t comment. I am truly irreligious, not atheist, partly because I’m not “into” isms (ok humanism, but that’s for others to decide and for me to strive towards) and partly because I don’t deny other people their beliefs. I like to think of myself as “ukristnelig” (unchristianable) a made-up word, that plays on the similarity with the word “ukristelig”, without the n in the middle, which is a proper word that means “ungodly”. (Shhh, I’ve probably already revealed all too much about myself.)

        I find your observation about atheists being particularly hard on MusIims in Europe interesting. I never thought about it that way, but I do think it has more to do with “the original people” of any country being afraid that their traditions and sense of national unity/equality will be overrun by MusIims. A fear of the “multicultural” society. As you’ll notice, many of the right-wing parties in European countries have names that allude to nationalism, many including the name of the country.

        I’m like you: “I don’t have a bigoted bone in my body towards musIims”. At the same time I’m not a naive “Halal-hippie”. Another made-up word I like very much, made up by a former member of our parliament, who’s originally from Syria and a MusIim, and who find people uncritically “slobbering” all over MusIims as painful and unacceptable as the haters.

        I also love the German word “Multikulti” for multiculturalism. Speaking of which and speaking of Brooke: Any news? Still crossing my fingers.

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