Here’s my take on the alleged ‘morality’ of the Christian faith.
Here’s my take on the alleged ‘morality’ of the Christian faith.
And another tactic gets put in its place…
Oh, and by the way, please feel free to take part in the discussion in Current where I found this video.
Normally I find Keith Olbermann’s jabs at the world funny, except this little twist.
In his June 29th “Worst Persons of the World” segment, Olbermann decided to start out with a little slam on NYC Atheists and their new ad campaign on city buses to get more atheists to come out, even though their sponsor is anonymous.
The reason why the NYC sponsor is keeping quiet is because of what happens when such donors come out themselves. Such generosity is rewarded with attacks by a group of people that YOU YOURSELF know all-too well, Keith. They claim to be “producers”, but really they’re paid stalkers by those who work for a certain Aussie-owned network that you love to bash.
In fact, Keith, you actually had a survival guide out about what to do when faced with such hired stalkers.
But in truth, Keith, not every sponsor is willing to have their name in the klieg lights, even if they can remember that Bill O’Fraud doesn’t know Malmedy from Mustard or that a falafel is a food and not a cleaning tool. And when sponsors know that such funding of messages like the one generated by atheists can and will result in being hunted down and publicly challenged by supporters of Christo-Jihadists, and that such outspoken people will sometimes end up with a bulls-eye on their chests BECAUSE of those same supporters of Christo-Jihadists, they will often insist that their contributions be made anonymously for thier own safety.
Maybe someday, Keith, the sponsors will be courageous enough to step forward and be willing to take on the O’Frauds of the world. Maybe. But that day is apparently not today. And rather than browbeat the atheists for this, attention should be focused on those that make such anonymoty an option. THESE are the folks you should be focusing your scorn on, Keith.
But then again, I suppose he already did that with his bashing of “Joe the Political Attention Whore”.
There has been a little article that I’ve been working on involving belief versus non-belief that I’ve been trying to finish. And in working on that article, I came across two separate stories about the subject that I wanted to use. The first one fit perfectly with the main argument and was simple to explain. But the second one is one that I REALLY wanted to include in the article but just couldn’t do it without losing readers on the subject, because the point is so subtle, and it involves some thinking on behalf of the reader.
So I’ll go ahead and give it to you here…
The owner and manager of a men’s clothing store was called out front because of an argument between his best salesman and one of his best clients.
The salesman was a seasoned pro in the world of fashion. He could find the right clothes to make a person look and feel like a million bucks.
The client was a tenured astronomer at the local university, one of the finest minds in the area, twice nominated for the Nobel Award, and with an IQ of 140.
And yet, despite their intelligence and professionalism, the two of them were almost at each other’s throats over something that the manager wanted to get to the bottom of quickly. So he pulled them aside and talked with both of them. They both gave pretty much the same story from their own perspectives.
The scientist entered the store and told the salesman that he needed to get a complete set of clothes. He was going to be putting on an exhibit at the planetarium and he needed to dress appropriately. He specifically requested that the clothes he gets were without any kind of color.
The salesman nods, says he knows exactly what the scientist has in mind and shows him a wide variety of shirts and slacks. The scientist would look at the clothes, then give a disapproving nod and say that they looked good but were not in the color he requested. The salesman then would then point him to another set of shirts and slacks, but still the scientist would only say that they were not in the color he specifically requested. The salesman tried every shade and stripe, and yet the scientist did not approve of the choice. The salesman even pulled out clothes from the back that hadn’t even been put on the racks yet, but the scientist would simply say that, while they looked nice, they weren’t in the specific color he requested.
And that is when the argument truly started, as the salesman felt slighted by the scientist’s seemingly unrealistic expectation and then asked him to clarify what the scientist considered to be the “specific color”.
So now, my intelligent readers, you need to put your thinking caps on and figure out the riddle between the scientist and the clothing store salesman.
What color was the salesman trying to sell the scientist? And why couldn’t the two of them agree on what the “specific color” is?
With the recent actions of the Christo-Jihadists, including the murder of yet another women’s clinic doctor, I believe that it is high time someone sets down the rules when it comes to these self-righteous fanatics. Because, as crazy as it may sound, there are rules that these extremists adhere to.
The Christo-Jihadists like to talk about the Ten Commandments, but you’ll notice that despite their emphasis of those overrated tablets, they don’t really adhere to them. “Thou Shall Not Kill” you say? Even if you took the specific interpretation of “Thou Shall Not Murder” you still have to explain people like Scott Roeder, James Kopp, John Salvi, Paul Hill, Michael Griffin, and Eric Robert Rudolph, and how they each violated what they believe is “God’s Law” in order to “preserve” it.
The truth is that Christo-Jihadists, like all other extremists, have TWO different sets of rules. The first set is the one that they publicly champion and the one that they impose on others. For Christo-Jihadists, there are things like the Ten Commandments and the passages from the Bible that tell people how to behave.
But privately, they adhere to a SECOND set of rules. These rules rationalize and justify everything that they do, no matter how abhorrent they seem to be to the rest of us. These rules allow them to sleep soundly at night after committing all sorts of evil, without feeling even the slightest bit of guilt for doing them.
Now these rules are not COMMANDMENTS, because they’re not coming from some supreme being and dictated to EVERYONE to adhere to. These are DEMANDS from the self-righteous OF themselves, BY themselves, and FOR themselves as to how they are to treat those that are not like them. And while we are focusing on the Christo-Jihadists, these can also pretty much apply to any belief you wish.
These are… THE DEMANDMENTS!
MY RELIGION IS THE ONE TRUE RELIGION. Thou shall recognize no other religion but my own. All others shall be called “cults” or “fads” or “beliefs”, but they shall NEVER be given the same respect as the ONE TRUE RELIGION.
THOU SHALL NOT question my religion, or any aspect thereof, or any interpretations thereof. Nor shall you make my religion the subject of mockery or ridicule, for the ONE TRUE RELIGION is a VAIN religion, and it DEMANDS absolute obedience and unquestionable reverence.
THOU SHALL question, demean, and make fun of any and all aspects of any other belief that is not the ONE TRUE RELIGION. For they are NOT religions, and thus they are not deserving of either respect or acknowledgment. They are NOT equals, nor should they be treated as such.
THOU SHALL impose the ONE TRUE RELIGION in every aspect of society. THOU SHALL place any and all symbols, signs, documents, and references of the ONE TRUE RELIGION in every public place, every residence, every schoolyard, courthouse, and statehouse, and to do so by any means necessary. THOU SHALL demand that all laws be written to adhere to the ONE TRUE RELIGION. For all of creation is owed to the existence of the ONE TRUE RELIGION, and thus are obligated to reflect its glory.
THOU SHALL dishonor, disgrace, and demean anyone that does not believe in the ONE TRUE RELIGION. For they are not believers of the ONE TRUE RELIGION and thus are not deserving of either respect or acknowledgment. Only through conversion to the ONE TRUE RELIGION can they ever deserve respect.
THOU SHALL make any claim possible, no matter how fictitious, fraudulent, or outrageous, to justify the importance of imposing the ONE TRUE RELIGION in every aspect of society. THOU SHALL claim that the ONE TRUE RELIGION is the source of every facet and aspect and foundation of society itself, even if no such proof can ever exist. THOU SHALL claim that the world itself is in peril and that unless the ONE TRUE RELIGION is accepted and imposed into all facets of society that the whole world will be condemned to absolute death and destruction. And if the masses reject this premise, then…
THOU SHALL kill in the name of the ONE TRUE RELIGION. For the ONE TRUE RELIGION is all that matters in this world and the next. Those that stand in the way of the ONE TRUE RELIGION must be eliminated.
THOU SHALL steal in the name of the ONE TRUE RELIGION. For all of creation was created for the pleasure of the ONE TRUE RELIGION, therefore those that adhere to the ONE TRUE RELIGION are entitled to anything in creation.
THOU SHALL commit other crimes in the name of the ONE TRUE RELIGION. For the ONE TRUE RELIGION does not recognize or respect anything that claims to be above it. The ONE TRUE RELIGION is all and adhering to the ONE TRUE RELIGION is all that matters.
THOU SHALL NOT assume or accept responsibility for any actions done on behalf of the ONE TRUE RELIGION, no matter how incriminating the evidence or heinous the action. For those that follow the ONE TRUE RELIGION do not have to answer to anything or anyone not associated with the ONE TRUE RELIGION. Their BELIEF is all that matters in this world and in the next.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before… it’s a riot!
So it’s the first day of class at PC University and the professor starts off his course in Astronomy with a look at all of the wonderful sights from the Hubble Telescope. And, as was expected, there were a group of Christians that rolled their eyes in disgust at the descriptions of the splendors shown.
The professor knew this was going to happen. It always happens at the start of every semester. He pointed to one of the eye-rollers and asked him what the problem was, and the student stood up and said that while it was all so beautiful, he wondered why there is no talk about the splendor of God in the celestial heavens; because, after all, it was God that made all of these things possible.
The professor said “I’m glad you asked that.” He then asked how many of the students feel the same way, and sure enough about a quarter of the students did. He said he normally gave a politically-correct answer but he was tired of letting the matter set. He was, after all, an atheist, and he refuses to put his beliefs on the back burner just because they “offend” some of the students.
He then proceeds to go into a fifteen-minute lecture about scientific study and scientific method and how science dispels the claims made by Christians about the origins of the universe. He talks about facts and proof and he sums up his lecture by saying that he does not believe in God, and that if God has a problem with that, he should strike the professor down right that minute.
The class is silent for a minute.
Just then the door opens and a Marine shows up in full dress regalia and proceeds to punch out the professor repeatedly. He then grabs the bloody and battered professor by the collar, slaps him back to consciousness, and says to him…
“God couldn’t be here, so he sent me.”
Cue the rimshot.
Aw, come on! That was a joke! Aren’t you laughing? Why aren’t you laughing? Christians get a GREAT laugh out of it, and then they forward it on to every discussion board they take part in and to all of their friends on their mailing lists and recite it verbatim on talk radio! You sure you have a sense of humor?
But wait! There’s a follow-up!
The next day another professor showed up to teach the course, and he explains that he too was an atheist, and that he also was not going to knuckle under because his views “offend” the Christians. He then also openly challenges God to come down and strike him down.
Again the room was silent for a minute.
Then the Marine shows up again in his regalia and makes a beeline to the professor. Suddenly there is a loud pop and a surge of electricity, and the Marine falls to the ground.
The substitute professor stood there with a taser in his hand.
“My challenge was to GOD,” the learned man said loudly, as he reached for his cellphone to dial 9-1-1, “not to some neo-con asshole that can’t tell the difference!”
Now I’m sure THAT got a few smiles from the audience.
The problem, of course, is that the first part of that “joke” is not a joke, and it’s being spread to others.
But let’s go ahead and change things up a bit. What if it was a CHRISTIAN professor making the challenge, and instead of a Marine, a member of Hamas came in and beat up the professor? Suddenly it’s not so funny, is it? Oh, I’m sure it would be a riot over in the Middle East, but probably not on conservative talk radio in the US of A.
Oh but why not? It’s got the same elements! The same characters and the same punchline, only the beliefs have been changed.
Well it’s not funny because now it’s talking about someone ELSE’S beliefs.
And this is usually the part of the discussion when the self-righteous get on their high horse and they admit that it’s really not that funny and that maybe they should start practicing what they preach.
Maybe if they’re reminded of it as they lay on their deathbed, they MIGHT regret it.
But not right now.
And they certainly won’t stop laughing at that first joke, and they won’t stop passing it on to their friends and relatives and mailing lists and using it as a bumper for talk radio. It’s just too FUNNY for them to not do that!
It all starts with a joke. A funny line, a whimsical comment, a little slur amongst friends. A little dig that suggests that it’s okay to commit violence against someone of different beliefs. A little message disguised as comedy to suggest that you don’t have to be tolerant of other beliefs anymore… that yours are better, and if they aren’t, then a little force will make it so.
And then it’s passed on to others, and they pass it on to others… and so on and so forth… condoning violence against those whose views are not the same as ours.
And then people are surprised when the jokes turn to violence. When the punchline becomes the headline. Death threats, arson, assaults… even murder. And the self-righteous get indignant about it and say “Well the people who did that were not TRUE believers! OUR FAITH doesn’t condone that!”
And yet in all likelihood, THEY DID condone it. Because once upon a time they heard a joke, and they passed it around because they thought it was funny to bash a view that is not their own. And all the while they condoned the message that was contained inside. The message that said it was okay to inflict violence in the name of what they believe in. And it was condoned and approved with a rimshot.
The next time someone sends you that joke, send it back with the word “Terrorist” in place of “Marine” and ask them if they think it’s still funny. They’ll probably say that it isn’t, which is when you can point out that neither is violence in the name of religion.
It’s a simple question when it comes to what you believe in.
Are you willing to be wrong?
Believer or non-believer… are you so sure about what you believe in that you are willing to be wrong?
Let’s suppose that tomorrow there is a 500km asteroid that hits the planet. (Yeah, like you think NASA would spot it in time, right? Or that we’d be notified of it?) We’re all toast in a matter of minutes. There is no last-minute team of crackpots and astronauts launching to save the world with an Aerosmith soundtrack and some Made-For-Fox patriotic montages. Morgan Freeman will not be promising to rebuild. We wouldn’t even have time to meet with that long-lost family member that we disowned just so we could forgive them for being jerks. There would be no shelters or arks that would save humanity. There wouldn’t be any time for them. We’d be dead. All of us. Well, okay, maybe the folks at the International Space Station would live, but not for long. They would run out of air and food eventually and there wouldn’t be any left here to get.
Let’s suppose that out of some freak of cosmic nature, we are all given one minute (60 human seconds) after we are all toast to be told the ultimate universal truth of who was RIGHT about the hereafter. (I know it’s not a physical possibility, but work with me on this one, okay atheists?) If A certain belief is right about the hereafter, we all find ourselves subject to their judgment after that minute… and if the atheists are right, then after the minute is up, it’s just game over.
If the non-believers are right, that would suck for the believers, wouldn’t it? I mean, sure they might live virtuous lives and all, but that’s it. And think of all of the stuff that they miss out on. No sex before marriage… no booze… no eating certain foods… all of that money spent on donations… 60 seconds of denial, anger, and some regret… and then game over.
But if A certain belief turns out to be right, does it mean that ALL believers win? No.
For starters, A belief does not necessarily mean that YOUR belief is the one that is right. Obviously if it is your belief then you get to gloat. But you have to consider that with all of these different faiths, all of these different interpretations, all of these different dogmas, that any one of them COULD be the “right” one. Wouldn’t that be an ethereal kick in the mouth to find out that one of those little cult groups that you used to make fun of gets the free pass and you don’t?
And what happens to you then? You would probably be subject to whatever rule the “right” one has about non-believers. Again, great if YOUR belief is the one that gets the nod, but sucks if you aren’t.
Or maybe none of them get it! Maybe NONE of the current faiths are the right one.
Imagine finding out in that cosmic “grace minute” that the “right” belief was one that was practiced 1500 years ago in Europe that ended up being hunted down and driven to extinction by followers of YOUR faith. Boy that would REALLY be an awkward moment wouldn’t it? Good luck explaining that one.
But the believers I converse with don’t think such things… because they have it in their minds that they are right. Being “wrong” doesn’t even factor into the equation, because as far as they are concerned, they are RIGHT… PERIOD!
And if by some astronomically remote chance that they aren’t “the ones”, then they have a couple of ways they try to “game” the system.
The first is the neutralization and minimization of any other belief. This is the reason why they feel the need to have governments large and small endorse and sanction their beliefs at every corner and have symbols of THEIR faith at every plot of land and every piece of property. It’s more than just ego-gratification and narcissism-by-proxy. If everything in the world says that “X-belief” is the only one out there, then it goes that the followers of “X-belief” win. Or at least that’s the theory.
It’s essentially a “win” by attrition and branding. But it presupposes that the “X-belief” curries favor with that supreme being, because if not then they just condemned everyone on the planet.
The second way is sort of a “pass”. It’s a fallback to the attrition/branding effort. Think of it as a “Get Out Of Oblivion Free” card. It operates on the assertion that even if your faith is not “the chosen” faith that you still curry favor with the ultimate cosmic power simply by being the best that you can and that it should be “good enough” to get you in.
Let’s say that you’re a Baptist and the Lutherans end up being “the” faith. All you have to do is say “hey, we’re all Christians! I’m a Christian. They’re Christians. We should be allowed in anyway.”
Unless, of course, it’s YOUR belief that is “the” belief. Then you’re not-so generous about it, are you? No, usually you’re the one that would be saying “HEY, they may be Christians, but they’re not the RIGHT kind of Christians! They’re not like us! Go suck brimstone with the rest of the losers!”
BUT that’s only presuming that they could even possibly be WRONG… which they will firmly tell you that they are most certainly NOT!
That’s not to say that the atheists are any better at this. Some of them can be very boisterous in their convictions not just that they are RIGHT, but that those who believe are WRONG. However at least they know what is at stake here. They’re not trying to hedge their bets or to game the system. (By the way, atheists, please don’t get into this whole “non-belief is not a belief” debacle. That’s a subject for future discussion.)
So it all goes back to my original question… are you confident enough in your belief to not just be RIGHT, because it’s easy to be right, but also be willing to be WRONG?
IF it turns out that what you believe is not right, IF it turns out that the path to salvation was not a road but a cliff, are you confident enough to be willing to accept the consequences? That’s what it is to be willing to be WRONG.
Remember, that huge rock could fall tomorrow.
Just a little something for people of any kind of belief to ponder.