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.