I Have Had An Epiphany About Religion

I don’t dislike religion, I dislike the people that believe in religion. And while this may seem like a small point, it is not. As I read the words of the icons of religion, I kind of nod my head and think, “these are not unreasonable thoughts and, if implemented correctly, would probably lead to a better world”.

Then, of course, man comes into the picture and completely screws the whole thing up. Man decides to “interpret” the words of the great religious leaders of our time and that is when all hell breaks loose.

Take this simple quote. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him”. Pretty straightforward, no?

Except that somehow, “everyone” soon became a much smaller group. “Everyone” quickly became “those who think in the same way I do”. You believe in Jesus but are pro-choice? You are not everyone. You are gay? Again, not everyone. And the list gets smaller and smaller as the fractions multiply. Are you a liberal? Then you are not everyone. Fornicating with the neighbors wife? Hey…no one’s perfect. You can still be in the club.

And, remarkably, the second line even addresses this hypocrisy. God specifically told Jesus not to judge the world but to save it. Yet man spends the vast majority of his time judging. If Jesus was told not to do it, who the hell is man to do it?

Here is my other beef. I have spent years of my life being open to the concept that I don’t know very much. So, much of my time is spent trying to learn. Religious folks, in general, seem to spend little time trying to learn outside of their comfortable parameters. Distressingly, atheists have started taking the same approach. In essence, the argument is “I’m right and you are not”. At this point both sides cover their ears and make “nah, nah, nah”, noises so they can’t hear the other side. It is a scene straight out of kindergarten.

This would all seem to stem from ego and insecurity. We all have huge egos and, particularly in America, seem to be afraid of every damned thing. From the Y2K scare, to Anthrax, to H1N1, to Mexicans, to losing our gun rights, we walk around in a state of panic all of the time. The only solace we have is getting with like minded thinkers so we can stroke each other into feeling better. (Normally, I am for stroking but not this kind).

Being inquisitive and saying “I don’t know” is for pussies and weaklings. Well then strap a tampon on me because I am a giant pussy. I don’t know hardly anything but I enjoy learning about new ideas and concepts. Because I am not rigid in my beliefs, anything is possible. Am I sucker waiting to be had? Maybe. But it sure beats the hell out of being afraid of what’s lurking around every corner in my life.

So to all my friends of whatever faith you do or don’t belong, a challenge. Ask someone you disagree with and actually listen to their answer. Mull it over and consider the relative merit of it. It may or may not make sense but your mind will appreciate the little walk you just took it on. At the very least, you will be the proud holder of new information.

Frankly. if there is a Jesus or Buddha or Allah, I would think they are quite distressed at what has been done in “their” name. Personally, I would like to see the 3 join up and put one big ass smoting on all of the offenders of the world. That would truly be the greatest story ever told.

Frankly, we need to be more like these guys:

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29 Responses to I Have Had An Epiphany About Religion

  1. Sarah says:

    Bravo, TL! What an outstanding way to start a Sunday morning!

  2. CatGod says:

    Damn fine post TL. I’m beginning to believe that we would all be better off with no religion at all. I believe in the truth and one truth I know is if you smack a camel’s ball’s while he’s drinking… Well I’ve said enough.. Ha! Think about that for a while!

  3. delicate flower says:

    You expect me to step out of my comfort level, indulge some asshole with a different opinion and then consider their rants as “learned, new” stuff?
    Really? Can I get drunk first?

  4. elizabeth3hersh says:

    Our family just finished watching Richard Dawkins book tour lecture (C-Span, if you care to record it) on his latest book “The Greatest Show on Earth” (would make a wonderful Satanmas present) which deals with evolution. Richard Dawkins is one of the most brilliant men who ever walked the face of the Earth (cue music: ‘Personal Jesus’ by Depeche Mode). He starts the lecture off by stating that according to a Gallop poll, 44% of Americans believe that the Earth came into existence 6,000 years ago. 44%!! He further goes on to state that this is the equivalent of believing that the distance from NYC to San Francisco is less than 8 yards. That is the scale of the error. How do I have a conversation with such a ‘believer’? I would have to guide them through elementary-middle/high school science. Frankly, I don’t have the time or patience. I’m just hoping for some sort of ‘mental evolution’ to take place, but even that is suspect as it is no longer the survival of the fittest anymore. Those who have the least intelligence/resources tend to have the largest families with society providing a generous safety net. How will it all play out? Perhaps Capitalist can venture a guess. In the meantime, humor is a great starting point (LOVED the photo).

    • nursemyra says:

      Wait… aren’t NYC and San Francisco neighbouring Burroughs?…just a coupla bridges between them, right?

      • tannerleah says:

        On my map, NYC and San Francisco are way less than 8 yards apart. Are you calling me a liar?

        Oh, by the way, Richard Dawkins is a pompous ass. Remember the part about listening? He doesn’t do that.

    • Bearman says:

      Didn’t Ben Stein in his documentary, get Dawkins to admit he wasn’t 100% sure.

      I always said, I have my beliefs and I question them often but then again maybe the Moonies have had it right all along.

      • elizabeth3hersh says:

        I took the liberty of copy/pasting from Wiki…couldn’t really abbreviate it…hope you don’t mind (your answer is toward the bottom):

        Dawkins’ formulation

        Richard DawkinsDawkins posits that “the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other.” He goes on to propose a continuous “spectrum of probabilities” between two extremes of opposite certainty, which can be represented by seven “milestones”. Dawkins suggests definitive statements to summarize one’s place along the spectrum of theistic probability. These “milestones” are:

        1) Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung, ‘I do not believe, I know.’
        2) Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. ‘I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.’
        3) Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. ‘I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.’
        4) Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. ‘God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.’
        5) Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. ‘I do not know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be sceptical.’
        6) Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. ‘I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.’
        7) Strong atheist. ‘I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung “knows” there is one.’

        Dawkins notes that he would be “surprised to meet many people in category 7.” Dawkins calls himself “about a 6, but leaning towards 7 — I am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about fairies at the bottom of the garden.”

  5. Spectacular post, TL. I couldn’t have said it better. The “Christians” are always so busy with the judging that they forget about the “love.”

    How the hell is that possible? “God is love.” It’s right there in that book. You know, the Bible. The one with all the nice quotes that you can cherry-pick to handle any argument. All those quotes that you can distort to fit your agenda or hide behind when someone comes at you with a thoughtful argument.

    To make the world a better place without removing the Christians (and without bringing back the lions), we just need to toss out the Old Testament. That’s where all the judging is coming from.

    You won’t find it in the New Testament, where Jesus has come to eliminate heaven’s middlemen and the many, many rules they had clung to in spite of the world’s progress.

    Jesus promised a new way, a path thru Him to heaven without all the meaningless baggage that comes with pages and pages of tedious micromanagement.

    But once you start talking to these “Christians,” it becomes apparent that they don’t want to be like Christ, but rather like the religious leaders of the Old Testament and lead stonings and banishments and segregation.

    They want to point fingers and shout “Unclean!” They want to make brash statements to be treated as God’s own truth. They want the power over life and death. Heaven and hell.

    As for elizabeth’s question: most of these people have taken God’s “be fruitful and multiply” commandment to mean that they should get busy (and “get busy”) working on forming their own race of people, starting at their wives’ wombs.

    Never mind that God was telling Noah to repopulate the earth after He had killed everyone for pissing Him off.

    Their aversion to family planning, sex education and birth control is only making this worse.

    I’m not sure if this means that those in power will get even stupider (which would be tough but manageable) or whether natural selection will kick in and a rash of incredibly moronic accidents will cull the herd.

    I guess, stay tuned. (As if we had the choice…)

    • tannerleah says:

      All that matters to the average Christian is that they are either better than you or have some secret knowledge that you can’t have.

      Now, if they could only get God to be a little better in covering the spread on NFL games. I mean, how many prayers does a guy have to make to get Randy Moss to catch the freakin’ ball?

  6. I actually agree with you TL, really. The photo is priceless, I couldn’t stop laughing. Thanks for the perspective.

  7. theenie says:

    I just hope when the story of Buddha, Jesus and Allah’s big ass smoting is published they release a companion colouring book. Throw in a pack of crayons and it would make an awesome stocking stuffer for the wee ones.

  8. bschooled says:

    “God is love, but remember…love is bias.”

    Award-winning post, TL. For real.

  9. nonnie9999 says:

    the ones that get me are those who want to have it both ways. jews for jesus?! 😯 they’re missing the entire point!

    • tannerleah says:

      I think Muslims for Jesus has a better ring to it.

      • elizabeth3hersh says:

        I couldn’t resist researching your suggestion: there is a Muslims for Jesus movement (www.muslimsforjesus.org). I also found a Jews for Allah web site (www.jews-for-allah.org). I also found Jews for Jeter, Muslims for Israel…

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