I’d Rather Be Godless Than Godly

Lately I have found within myself a strange, masochistic yearning to read through sermons. I say masochistic because, generally, they do nothing more than make me mad- someone actually taught this crap to an entire congregation of people?? But, I still enjoy reading them to a certain extent because they offer a sort of validation for me that I made the correct and logical decision in becoming and remaining an atheist, despite potential backlash from friends and family. So, this morning I came across a sermon entitled, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Godlessness” by Joel Smith, a pastor of a Baptist church.

You can read the entire sermon here, but basically it is about how easy it is to be an atheist. Now, I think that assertion is up for a whole different debate, but I want to focus on the part that disturbed me the most: He spoke of atheism as a way of life in which god is not present which, to a certain extent, is true. However, he claims that even though many of the congregate members sitting before him believe in god, they do not allow him fully into their everyday lives and are, therefore, atheists.

Holy shit did that offend me!

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an atheist as, “one who believes that there is no deity” NOT “one who believes there is a deity but does not welcome it into their daily lives like they should”. I am very proud to be an atheist and I will be damned (by no god in particular) if this pastor can just go around asserting that perhaps atheists do believe in god, they just do not welcome him into their lives! No sir. He is not welcome in my life BECAUSE HE DOES NOT EXIST.

After Joel introduces his new definition of atheism, he goes on to explain how to be an atheist:

“Why does Genesis tell us that Cain built a city?  Nice info, but so what?  The reason Cain built a city was protection.  Prior to this he killed his brother Abel and God cursed Cain for it.  He was cast out of the area where his family dwelt and into a harsher, crueler world.  He would have even less of God’s provision and protection than his parents.  Therefore Cain built a nice little fortified wall around a collection of houses and other buildings – the first city.  It was the absence of God in his life that led him to this.  Keep in mind that Cain believed in God, but he lived his life apart from the Him.  In his mind he was a believer, but in his practice he was an atheist, without God. This gives us our first principle in becoming a practical or practicing atheist. Focus on insulating yourself from the harsh realities of life on earth… Not only do the godly refuse to insulate, they refuse to worry about the harsh realities of life.  They look to and call on the God who is more than adequate to meet their needs.  They live lives of adventure as God takes them from one assignment to the next.”

Atheists “focus on insulating themselves from the harsh realities of life.” Just let that stew in your brain for a bit… After that stews for about 2 minutes, add this next ingredient:

“That’s the outworking of godlessness: self-reliance rather than dependence on God.  The godless person relies on their own wisdom, experience, skill, and strength to navigate life.  The godly person, on the other hand, admits their inability and seeks God’s help more and more.”

Now, let that cook for the rest of your life and take pleasure in knowing that you are self-sufficient and can rely on your “own wisdom, experience, skill and strength to navigate life”. (For extra sweetness, add a dash of uncontrollable laughter and disbelief- I did and it turned out great!)

Before I end up disclosing all of my secret recipes in this one post, I’ll move on by saying that this guy is completely bat-shit crazy. Since when has it become a bad thing to live your life based on experience and wisdom and skill? Shit, you can’t even get a job without skill and experience! And how are addicts supposed to accept the things they cannot change without the wisdom to know the difference?? Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for admitting inability. If I ran into someone on the street needing emergency brain surgery, I would immediately admit my inability to perform that task and then proceed to wonder how this person even knew they needed emergency brain surgery to begin with. Although, given the rationale of Mr. Smith, perhaps if I just prayed that I could help this person, my hands would magically know what to do!

“I sometimes think God probably love[s] my wife Laura more than any other person I know.  She constantly cries out to Him.  If she has a big or little decision, she seeks Him.  She teaches Drake and Anna Gray to cry out to God if they’ve lost something.  If it’s dark or rainy at Wal-Mart she cries out for a parking place and gets it.  She even cried out for His direction on which watermelon to buy.  Two summers ago she cried out when we were at a financial and emotional breaking point and God gave me a new job.  God answers people who admit their need. “

God gave this guy a new job, gave his wife a good parking space so she wouldn’t get too wet and he even offered his almighty guidance on which watermelon is best. Now, I know what you are thinking: “But, Missy! What about those poor people out in the rain that day down the street from that Wal-Mart with no car or no home to run to for shelter?” The answer is simple, my friends: they are not praying correctly. They may believe in god, but they are not asking him to be present in their everyday lives, therefore he is turned off to them. Instead of filling out job applications and wasting time in interviews, they should be praying and leaving it in god’s capable hands! Until then, he has more important things to worry about! He can’t just let Laura buy that dingy looking watermelon!

This is where the masochism comes in to play. SOMEONE ACTUALLY SAID THIS TO A BUNCH OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM TO SHOW THEM THE WAY TO BE CLOSER TO GOD AND UP THEIR CHANCES OF GETTING INTO HEAVEN (yes, I just screamed that at the sermon). Joel Smith says it is godless to depend on your wisdom and experience or on your skills and strengths and advises that they do none of these things, that instead they rely solely on god. For to be unknowing of the world is to be closer to god. This kind of teaching is EXACTLY why people trash the earth and remain ignorant to the horrible things happening in the world today. Not only ignorant, but uncaring and unyielding. THIS is why there are churches out there teaching their children to protest dead soldiers. Sure, they are extremists, but aren’t sermons like these where it all starts??

Biblical Hermeneutics

bible-interpretations-610x915“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed,which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:16-20

The next time someone tries to refute your arguments against the teachings in the Bible by saying that you are interpreting it incorrectly or you are taking the words out of context, remind them of good old 2 Peter. The next time a Christian tries to tell you that the teachings in the Old Testament are metaphorical and reflective of a different time in the world, remind them of good old 2 Peter. The next time someone tries to argue that the word of god could have been written into the Bible incorrectly due to the imperfections of man, remind them of good old 2 Peter.

It is clear in the Bible that interpretation is not allowed and god does not discount the Old Testament as most modern-day Christians do. In fact, he stands by it proudly and so should those that say they truly believe. But what about those that devote their lives to interpreting the Bible?hermeneutics

The pastors, priests and reverends? Those that take part in biblical hermeneutics everyday? Well, too bad so sad. Better keep those interpretations to yourself because they are not valid or acceptable in the eyes of your religion. In fact, you are doing nothing but infecting your followers with dangerous interpretations and ultimately probably damning them all to hell. Oops? Well, if you had actually read the Bible you are interpreting, wouldn’t you know that already?

Customary Impurity

“If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. Everything that she lies on during her impurity shall be unclean; also everything that she sits on shall be unclean. Whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. And whoever touches anything that she sat on shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. If anything is on her bed or on anything on which she sits, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening. And if any man lies with her at all, so that her impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean. ‘If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, other than at the time of her customary impurity, or if it runs beyond her usual time of impurity, all the days of her unclean discharge shall be as the days of her customary impurity. She shall be unclean. Every bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her as the bed of her impurity; and whatever she sits on shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her impurity. Whoever touches those things shall be unclean; he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. But if she is cleansed of her discharge, then she shall count for herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. And on the eighth day she shall take for herself two turtle-doves or two young pigeons, and bring them to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then the priest shall offer the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for her before the Lord for the discharge of her uncleanness. “Leviticus 15:19-27

shameOk god, you got me. Now I am really stumped. How is it that you “created” me in your image (even if only to help pacify the dude you just created), made all of my parts and functions and now you are telling me that what is happening to me naturally is a sin?? Not only is it a sin, but I should feel embarrassed and ashamed about it and to take my embarrassment and shame one step further, I am to be set apart from everyone and everything because I am a dirty, dirty creature and everything I touch or come into contact with must be cleaned as if I am spreading some communicable disease! Why not just create a cleaner, more efficient way of disposing of our unused eggs, or create our bodies so that we never have to dispose of them in the first place? Why not just create us more to your liking so that you won’t look at us with such contempt? Why claim me to be unclean when my actions did not create the uncleanliness, yours did?! And why must we kill those two poor birds because of your poorly planned and executed creation? More innocent creatures felled by the hand of the all-powerful, all-loving god….

To me, these verses in Leviticus are written by some poor, ignorant, uneducated man that is confused and disgusted by the natural workings of woman. You know, the kind of guy that “doesn’t trust anything that bleeds for seven days and lives”; the kind of guy that won’t take a woman camping because she might attract the bears. Don’t go swimming in the ocean, you’ll attract the sharks! …Yeah, you know the kind. It is so blatantly obvious that the Bible was written by man, especially in this book, that I find it shocking that others have not yet caught on to the rouse. Especially women. The Bible expresses a TON of hate for women- this is merely a small piece of that.

On another note, did anyone catch this jewel of a verse?

“If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, other than at the time of her customary impurity, or if it runs beyond her usual time of impurity, all the days of her unclean discharge shall be as the days of her customary impurity. She shall be unclean.” Leviticus 15:25

Let me repeat that first part again: “If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, OTHER than that at the time of her customary impurity… She shall be unclean.” Now, correct me if I am wrong here, but if a woman is bleeding for days at a time other than her time of “customary impurity” wouldn’t she be DYING?! I mean, god should be less worried about how unclean she is, she could have been stabbed, she could be suffering from kidney failure, she could be bleeding internally somewhere! This woman needs help, not seclusion from the world for her uncleanliness!

That kind of shit really makes me hope, not for my sake, but for the sake of believers everywhere, that my previous point about the Bible being created by man is true. Man is likely to make a mistake like that. One that surely, back in the day when people took the writing of the Bible more literally, was responsible for the loss of many female lives. But a god? It wouldn’t be so stupid, would it? And if it was/is, people wouldn’t be so stupid as to believe in it or trust in it, would they??

Offensive

I was reading a blurb from a sermon by Tim Keller on Preachingtoday.com (sermons can be quite interesting) in which he talked about how the Bible will inherently contradict and offend every culture at least once. I was incredibly intrigued by this as I have trouble reading the Bible and not being offended myself. Here is what he had to say:

“Many of us read a certain passage of Scripture and say, “That’s so regressive, so offensive.” But we ought to entertain the idea that maybe we feel that way because in our particular culture that text is a problem. In other cultures that passage might not come across as regressive or offensive.

Let’s look at just one example. In individualistic, Western societies, we read the Bible, and we have a problem with what it says about sex. But then we read what the Bible says about forgiveness—”forgive your enemy;” “forgive your brother seventy times seven;” “turn the other cheek;” “when your enemy asks for your shirt, give him your cloak as well”—and we say, “How wonderful!” It’s because we are driven by a culture of guilt. But if you were to go to the Middle East, they would think that what the Bible has to say about sex is pretty good. (Actually, they might feel it’s not strict enough!) But when they would read what the Bible says about forgiving your enemies, it would strike them as absolutely crazy. It’s because their culture is not an individualistic society like ours. It’s more of a shame culture than a guilt culture.

Let me ask you a question: If you’re offended by something in the Bible, why should your cultural sensibilities trump everybody else’s? Why should we get rid of the Bible because it offends your culture? Let’s do a thought experiment for a second. If the Bible really was the revelation of God, and therefore it wasn’t the product of any one culture, wouldn’t it contradict every culture at some point? Therefore, if it’s really from God, wouldn’t it have to offend your cultural sensibilities at some point? Therefore when you read the Bible, and you find some part of it outrageous and offensive, that’s proof that it’s probably true, that it’s probably from God. It’s not a reason to say the Bible isn’t God’s Word; it’s a reason to say it is. What makes you think that because this part or that part of God’s Word is offensive, you can forget Christianity altogether?”

Tim Keller, in the sermon Literalism: Isn’t the Bible Historically Unreliable and Regressive?, PreachingToday.com

Really good stuff there. Stuff I hadn’t really given much thought or consideration before. I would agree with Tim that various cultures interpret the same text differently and may have more or less qualms about particular parts than others might. I would even take that a step further and, instead of comparing North American culture to Islam (which is really like comparing apples to oranges) I would compare different regions of America itself. The south has a far different culture than the west. California girls are much different from southern belles; They hold different values and insights about the world and the way it ought to be. So, to this degree, I believe Tim is absolutely right. However, the things that I take offense to in the Bible are not about culture to me- and that’s not just my culture talking either!

The things I take offense to in the Bible are about the infringement on universal rights, no matter what, whom or where. When the Bible describes a woman as being unclean and inferior and the origin of all sin, people should take offense because it is so blatantly hateful and wrong. Now, are men in the Middle East likely to agree with the Bible on this one? Sure. But does that make it right? Absolutely not. Not even one hundred years ago, we as Americans were hardly offended by the passages in the Bible about slavery. In fact, the Bible was used as a defense of it! Nowadays we have laws forbidding it but who’s to say that if those laws were to somehow magically disappear that we would not resort back to it? Would that be considered a cultural opinion? Shouldn’t everyone be repulsed by the idea of “owning” another human being? Cultural or not?

I think the problem with this sermon is that it had a good foundation for an argument, but fell severely short. Just because a book says something that offends some but not others based on their cultural beliefs, does not make what the book is saying right or just. As a human species, as a whole, we should not ever be unaffected by inequality, rape, murder, social injustices or anything of the like, regardless of cultural background. People should always be treated with respect, no matter their differences, and we should NEVER, under any circumstances, turn the other way when they are not. THAT is what the Bible should be about. There should be nothing in it that can be viewed as “regressive” because if an all-knowing, omnipotent god spoke it, it should outlast the test of time and be relevant in any age and in any culture. This is what makes me think I can “forget Christianity altogether”.  And, it’s what made me do it.

The Gold Calf

The story of the Gold Calf in the book of Exodus has to be one of my favorites. It is a story of an incredibly jealous god and a ridiculously stupid group of people, which ended up raising a ton of red flags for me about god and Christianity.

It starts off with a group of people waiting around for Moses to return to them from the mountain conversation he is having with god. They are getting a little antsy and are starting to think that Moses will not return. They clearly have no other purpose in their lives but to praise and blindly follow anything and everything because, after a while, they approach Aaron begging him to make them a new god since this one is taking so long. Aaron, who is one of god’s newly appointed priests, says, “Sure” and tells them all to break off their gold earrings for him. They do so and Aaron then proceeds to melt it all down and shape the gold into a calf. The people then immediately start praising this calf, dancing, giving it burnt offerings and proclaiming that it is the savior of their people.

Adoration_of_Golden_Calf_Poussin_1629

…Huh??

If these people are so easily persuaded into praising anything that comes their way, what does that say about god at this point?Clearly he is no more impressive than a little golden calf or any other god for that matter. Most Christians will look at this and say that this is not a reflection of god’s power but a reflection of the stupidity of people- and I would agree. However, I would take it a step further in saying that the stupidity of people is also to blame for the praises given to god as he “exists” today. These people were so ready and willing to offer their praises to anything because they were desperate and needed something to look up to and something to believe in. This part of the story says to me that god is interchangeable with any and everything. The only common denominator is a group of desperate, weak, like-minded people ready and willing to listen to anything anyone has to say- anything that will make them feel better, or give them an excuse for being or acting a certain way. Which is why there are so many different factions within Christianity.

Are you really inspired by the Virgin Mary? Join Catholicism! Do you sort of like Catholicism but don’t love the idea of all those saints? Well then perhaps Lutheranism is the religion for you! Or, do you enjoy the Old Testament and finding a good sale? Give Judaism a try! Maybe you really hate celebrating your birthday, or any holiday for that matter, and you could see yourself talking to people door-to-door? Jehovah’s Witness would be perfect for you! Or, perhaps you believe there was more to the Bible and you are thankful that Joseph Smith discovered those missing parts? Well then I think Mormonism is for you! Whatever your fancy, feel free to choose your religion and your god. And don’t let that pesky religion you were raised on get in the way of your choice; what do your parents know anyways?

Ok, back to the story. As these people are praising this calf, god sees them (of course) and it infuriates him:

And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.’ ” Exodus 32:9-10

God is a very jealous god and now he wants to kill them all- after he insults them first. Sort of like when your ex finds out you have a new boyfriend/girlfriend and the jealousy consumes them. They have invested so much time into you and now you have just simply moved on? No way Jose! (Jesus??)

Well, Moses sees that god is angry and is going to kill all of these people and he’s like, “Woah. Wait a minute! I just dragged these people through the desert and the sea for christsake! And now you just want to wipe them out? Hell no.” Well, actually he says it a little more like this:

Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said: ‘Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ ” Exodus 32:11-13

Basically, Moses uses the old, ‘What will the neighbors think?’ number on god to talk some sense into him and to not let all of his earlier efforts go to waste and it works! Really?! The supposed omnipotent, all-powerful, all-knowing god just listens to Moses?? Couldn’t he have come up with that reasoning himself before he let his anger get to him? Wasn’t it Jesus, not god, that was supposed to bear all the human characteristics so that we could relate to him/it? And, what good is a god if he has no sense of reason? It seems to me that god is the hot-headed, jealous type. The type you can’t break up with because you might end up in a battered women’s home. (But, he loves you!)

The story continues with Moses returning to the people and dividing them up, asking those that are with god to join him and those that aren’t to leave. Then, with the group of followers, proceeds to murder thousands of people.

“And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion and every man his neighbor.’ So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day.” Exodus 32:27-28

Then, to add injury to insult after they just murdered everyone they knew, Moses tells them that they still have not satisfied god and that they will need to atone for their sins. Moses summons god and ask him to forgive them and god says something like, “Fine. You go and take these people to the place I told you to take them, as planned.” But he adds this,

” ‘Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin.’ So the Lord plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made.” Exodus 32: 34-35

Angry-God1

Is that a threat? It sure sounds like a threat to me… If you are a god, why threaten at all? Why not do something? And, more importantly, isn’t god supposed to be all-loving? Or, is it just that we haven’t gotten to that part yet? How can I believe that god “loves us” when he goes around acting like that? Why the crazy jealousy, the temper, the fits of rage, the controlling, the anger, the threats if you leave and the threats even when you stay? Again, I refer back to the angry ex and the dangerous, jealous relationship- If we are taught that when humans treat us this way it is bad, then why is it OK for our god to do the same?

Christianity’s God Awfully Awkward, Nightmarish Question -John Zande

Great read.

JesusIt’s the most overlooked question in the Christian world, the stuff of nightmares for Sunday school teachers across the planet: If Jesus was God, why didn’t he say anything useful?

He didn’t mention bacteria, pasteurization, or the importance of dental hygiene. He didn’t explain lightning, the tides, the sun, our position in the solar system, the galaxy, gravity, the composition of the atmosphere, or dispense the formula for sun block. He didn’t point anyone in the direction of morphine, teach a soul about the nature of asthma, epilepsy, atoms, genetics, subatomic particles, the periodic table, volcanology, the causes of headaches, muscle cramps, prenatal care, plate tectonics, architecture, evolution, or tell a single living being about the science of corrective-optics. He didn’t mention anything about better, faster, safer forms of transportation, communication technology, math, the metric system, a new swimming technique, scuba diving, blast furnaces, magnetic compasses, quartz watches, wind turbines…

View original post 671 more words

Jesus is a Prick

041110

I constantly hear arguments from proponents of Christianity that Jesus is some all-loving, all-accepting (unless you are gay or vote Democrat) dude and no matter what I do in my life “He loves me and wants me to love him back.” Sure there are lots of verses and stories outlining those arguments in the Bible, but there are also tons that show otherwise. Take this one for starters:

Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man’s enemies will be those in his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 10:34-39

Basically, Jesus is incredibly selfish and doesn’t even want you to love the people who raised you, who you have known your entire life, more than you love him- even though he bailed before you were born and left you with nothing but a book full of ridiculous stories. And, god forbid (pun intended) you find meaning to your life and are successful and love it. Jesus never got to do that because he was too busy dying for you and now he wants you to return the favor. Only if you die miserable, like he did, will he decide you are worthy of saving. Yep, Jesus is a prick. Here is another example from the book of Luke in which he describes his same intent for division as in the book of Matthew, but in a more I’m-going-to-throw-a-temper-tantrum-about-it kind of way:

I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” Luke 12:49

Both the book of Matthew and the book of Luke describe this desire of Jesus to make it known that he did not come to earth to make friends, he came to show-off a few miracles, die, and then proceed to hold it against us for the rest of time. But, before he dies, and alongside performing some of those miracles, he is going to go right ahead and take the opportunity to screw around with everyone. He does this by describing the desires of god and explaining how to utilize those desires to spend an eternity with him in heaven; the problem is, he refuses to just tell it like it is. He insists on using confusing parables that make no sense, setting most of his would-be believers up for failure. After being asked by the prophets why he speaks in such confusing parables, Jesus responds,

Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore, I speak in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:11-13

When I read passages like this, it only further concretes my belief that religion was made up by man as a means to control the population. It is so blatant in this passage (there is also a similar one in the book of Mark) that in order to fully know and understand these teachings, one must never doubt, or look too deep into it. One must simply take the lesson at face value and interpret it as Jesus wants you to, not as you actually do. Because, in actually interpreting stories on your own, you are bound to interpret incorrectly and maybe, just maybe, you may begin to doubt the validity or the importance of the lesson. So, the less you think about it, the better off you (and the)y are. It’s genius if it actually works, and sadly, it does.

tumblr_lizpcqwaZ51qda2v1o1_1280

Another reason I believe Jesus is a prick is because he has a horrible temper. Take the infamous story of the fig tree for example:

Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, ‘Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.’ And His disciples heard it.” Mark 11:12-14

He knew there would be no fruit on it because “it was not the season for figs” and yet he still got pissed at it for not feeding him in his time of hunger. To give him the benefit of the doubt, I have said and done some pretty mean things out of hunger, too. But, this man is supposed to be the savior! The healer! The prince of peace and love! He can’t have normal human instincts… and if he does, he certainly can’t let them get the better of him! Which brings me to my next point: If Jesus was real, and that’s a HUGE if,  how can we hold him on such a high pedestal? He is just like us! What makes him so different and so special? He is no god; sure he did some lame tricks turning water into wine and walking on water but, wouldn’t a real god simply create a fig on that tree to then pick and eat? Or summon a nice turkey dinner to appear on his table? How can we be so faithful to a god so human when humans are constantly failing us? Wouldn’t this then imply that either, A. This god would end up failing us as well, or B. That perhaps a god so human is that way because he was created by humans and is therefore whatever we want him to be? The Hindus certainly would never stoop so low; their gods are constantly doing far more miraculous, god-like things on a daily basis and would never submit themselves to petty hunger or any other human feeling for that matter. Hindus have textbook examples of gods. Why didn’t the creators of the Christian god/Jesus get together with the creators of the Hindu gods and exchange game plans?

But, I guess that’s the point of Christianity, isn’t it? That god sent his only son to us, made him as human as possible so that we could relate and see our children in him, just to then sacrifice him for us, even though we never asked him to, so that we may live in guilt of it forever. Therefore, god is also a prick. Like father, like son.

God Loves Killing Children, Part 2

God loves killing children, but he wants you to believe that other gods love it more. In doing this, he is attempting to assert himself as the less blood-thirsty of your options. But, I’m not buying it. Here’s why: In the midst of all this child killing going on throughout the bible, god says this:

When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘ How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” Deuteronomy 12:29-32

huh2

He is using the example of burning children to convince people that other religions/gods are bad; a fear tactic, if you will. And yet, god himself is guilty of this very action. He has allowed it and even welcomes it as a tribute and offering. I give you the story of Jephthah:

And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, ‘If you indeed will deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.” Judges 11:30-31

God holds up his end of the bargain, so…

When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, ‘Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the Lord, and I cannot go back on it.’ So she said to him, ‘My father, if you have given your word to the Lord, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, because the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the people of Ammon.’ Then she sad to her father, ‘Let this thing be done for me: let me alone for two months, that I may go and wander on the mountains and bewail my virginity, my friends and I.’ So he said, ‘Go.’ And he sent her away for two months; and she went with her friends, and bewailed her virginity on the mountains. And it was so at the end of two months that she returned to her father, and he carried out his vow with her which he had vowed. She knew no man.” Judges 11:34-39

So… how is this offering of a burnt child any different from the offerings to the other gods he warned his followers about? Oh, that’s right- it’s not.

Bite_Your_Bible

God Loves Killing Children, Part 1

scared-child

It seems that once god got a taste of killing children in the book of Exodus for the tenth plague, he just couldn’t help himself- he had to kill more. The bible is full of stories depicting god’s demands to kill children, his preference of death as a consequence for children that misbehave and his allowance and acceptance of those that kill children in his honor or in his name. Here’s a fun example about a man killing a bunch of kids in the name of the lord for making fun of him:

Then he (Elisha) went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, ‘Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!’ So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the Lord. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.” 2 Kings 2:23-24

This passage is almost comical to me. Some kids call you baldhead so you send bears to maul them to death? Gnarly. I mean, it can’t really be an insult if it’s true, right? Why not ask for a new head of hair in the name of the lord instead of a gruesome death sentence for a bunch of brats?

This is an interesting take on what we should do to those nations we are at war with. I wonder how the UN would feel about this:

Everyone who is found will be thrust through, and everyone who is captured will fall by the sword. Their children will also be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished. ‘Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not regard silver; and as for gold, they will not delight in it. Also, their bows will dash the young men to pieces, and they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb; Their eye will not spare children.” Isaiah 13:15-18

In these three verses alone, there is a clear message that the children will die. In fact, it is mentioned four times! What is with his obsession with killing children anyways? Wouldn’t he have just spent all that time molding them and making them into his perfect little images? Planning their lives for them as so many modern-day Christians believe? What would be the point in killing them all off? Could it be that he is so adamant about killing them so that they don’t grow up and hate him for killing their parents?? Hmm?? Scared are we, god?

Scared Inside Final

Here is another example of god using the death/eradication of children as punishment for the actions of adults he doesn’t like:

As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird- no birth, no pregnancy, and no conception! Though they bring up their children, yet I will bereave them to the last man. Yes, woe to them when I depart from them! Just as I saw Ephraim like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place, so Ephraim will bring out his children to the murderer. Give them, O Lord- what will you give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts! All their wickedness is in Gilgal, for there I hated them. Because of the evil of their deeds I will drive them from My house; I will love them no more. All their princes are rebellious. Ephraim is stricken, their root is dried up; they shall bear no fruit. Yes, were they to bear children, I would kill the darlings of their womb.” Hosea 9:11-16

Here’s what I am having a really hard time grasping: Weren’t these people his creation, too? Didn’t he already know that they would betray him? If god has a plan for us (“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11), why would he make this his plan for them?

It’s OK, I’ll Pray For You.

Prayer is just another one of those strange religious anomalies that firms up the notion in my mind that religion is pure bullshit. I actually find that I feel sorry for people who depend on prayer, the ones who believe in it whole heartedly. It’s a weakness.

To me, praying is like wishing on a shooting star or making a wish after throwing a penny in a well or blowing out the candles on your birthday cake; there really is no point to it. Wishes aren’t granted by stars or wells or gods, they are granted by the Make a Wish Foundation and Extreme Home Makeover. No matter how much people desperately wish or pray for a turn of events, it will never get them anything or anywhere in life. Yet, people still insist on it, some even risk their lives for it. Some even decline medical care for it! I mean, how desperate (Ignorant? Stupid?) do you have to be to honestly believe that speaking to someone/something in your mind will get you what you want/need?

But still, people insist on it. They believe in it. Why? Because when they pray for something and it doesn’t play out like they had hoped, well then it just wasn’t a part of god’s plan. But, when they pray for something and it does happen, then it’s a goddamn miracle! And all it takes is one of those “miracles” to make them a believer for life. Ok, now I know what you are thinking: “Didn’t any of them ever take a math class? Were they sick the day the class learned about probabilities and odds?” I mean, you throw a quarter in the air so many times, it is going to land on heads eventually, right? Nope. It will land on heads when god wants it to land on heads. You just have to keep being faithful and keep praying that one day this quarter will land heads-up. And, if you are really good, and you aren’t gay, and you don’t use birth control and you never have an abortion, well then god might just look down upon you with favor and flip that coin for you. …People actually believe this stuff and I think it’s sad. Sad and scary.

Well actually, I stop thinking it’s sad the moment they turn and try to focus their prayer magic on me. When someone says, “I’ll pray for you” or, “God bless” I actually take offense.  Why go there? I mean, your waitress can’t even say “Merry Christmas” to you in the restaurant but you are going to take it upon yourself to let me know that you pity me enough to ask your god for help with my life? I never really understood why people say they will pray for you. If I’m in a shitty situation, wouldn’t it be sufficient for me to pray for myself? Or is it that the more people who pray for you the more important god thinks you and your problems are? And honestly, are you really going to pray for me? Are you really going to fold your hands and close your eyes and pray to a god that my life gets better? And are you going to be specific about my issue? Or are you just going to add my name to the list of names you rattle off in your nightly prayers? Does that matter to your god?

I also love (insert sarcasm here) how people credit their prayers to your successes as well. Thank you for praying for me to graduate college, I couldn’t have done it without you and your prayers… and Sallie Mae… and all the countless hours I spent studying. Oh, and thank you so much for praying for my marriage that you thought would never last. I’m glad god made it work, too.

Yep, god sure does work in mysterious ways. And the chances are about 50/50 that he’ll work in the ways you want him to.

PrayingHands%20prayer%20request