And yet another great video from TheThinkingAtheist.com
Archive for Christ
Within the last year or so there have been several high profile murder cases brought to the fore involving “faith healing”. Innocent children, victims of “faith healing” parents whose selfishness and zealotry take precedence over good responsible parenting, are murdered. These children are denied appropriate medical treatment in the name of a skydaddy and face cold blooded murder at the hands of their parents and religion. Sadly, in some States, this kind of murder is legal.
Religion kills thousands of people every day. Throughout the world, people are murdered for religion, in the name of religion, or for speaking out against it. This is nothing new. But, how many die as a result of faith healers and their hollow, ignorant prayers? How many children, already slaves to their parents beliefs, are abused, neglected, and enslaved by the irresponsibility of adults who live in a religious delusion? Thousands? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? Without a doubt, there is no such thing as an acceptable number. Even one person or child prayed for/murdered in the name of a skydaddy is cause for reaction. “Faith healing”/praying IS murder if it results in the death of an individual.
In my post “Suffer the Children of Religion” I wrote about the fact that children are pawns for religious idiocy. They are victims of religious dogma, thrust upon them by parents who take pride in ignorance and zealotry over logic, reason and science. Parents who raise children as mirrors of their own religious beliefs ARE abusers, religious pedophiles whose sole purpose is to demean, subjugate, enslave, and mentally rape their children. Now, add to the already despicable acts I just mentioned, the horrific act of “faith healing”, and you can add murder to the parent’s list of crimes. Now, enter the State. Some States allow the better known religions leeway when it comes to the matter of “faith healing” and the law. Religion, already exempt from taxes, bathed in legal protections (some legitimate, some not), has a “get out of jail free” card in some instances of “faith healing”. The lesser known religions, now in sharp focus over the “faith healing” issue, have suddenly become a target for prosecutors who are finding it difficult to know where the Constitutional line of religious freedom is drawn. When does freedom to practice religious belief cross the line to abuse and murder?
The answer is simple from my perspective. The line is drawn at fact. The fact is that prayer is bullshit. Prayer does not work. It does not work because there is no such thing as a god. Therefore, ignorance of this FACT should not preclude ANY prosecutor from filing charges of neglect, abuse and/or murder under any and all circumstances where a child’s health and welfare are jeopardized by religious beliefs. Is it not heinous and despicable enough that the law protects parents, allowing them to indoctrinate, program, subjugate, enslave, and mentally abuse their children with religion to begin with? Do we really have to throw these fuckheads a bone and let them pray their kids to death? I say charge these godidiots with pre-meditated, first degree murder. Make them face the consequences for their murderous ways. To do otherwise is making murder palatable. And, as I’ve said many times before, religion makes all things that are humanly reprehensible, acceptable and palatable. All one has to do is hide behind the mythological shield of a supreme being to make anything legal.
Murder in the name of the “Holy Western Empire” was committed by 88 year old James von Brunn today. This white supremacist/ neo-Nazi decided to take his anti-Semitic hatred to a deadly level and entered the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC armed and ready to kill. Confronted by security guards, the murderer exchanged gunfire with the guards, killing one, before he was shot down in the firefight. von Brunn is in critical condition as of this writing.
How many people have to die in the name of religio-politico ideologies before Americans finally get it?
From x-tian abortion doctor murderers, to anti-semitic white supremecists, to “x-tian nation” right wingnuts, threats are now becoming a regular occurrence, and some are being carried out. Shepard Smith of FAUX(FOX)News said on-air today, “There are people now, who are way out there on a limb. And I think they’re just out there on a limb with the email they send us. Because I read it, and they are out there. I mean, out there in a scary place…I could read a hundred of them like this…I mean from today. People who are so amped up and so angry for reasons that are absolutely wrong, ridiculous, preposterous.”
Yep. The nuts are out there all right. But, ask the x-tians about them and they’ll deny that there’s a problem, brushing off any suggestion that their religious beliefs are at the very core of these heinous acts. No. They’ll try and place the blame on the mentally disturbed, the poor, or anyone other than themselves. They distance themselves from these acts of violence, on one hand condemning them, while on the other they try to make it seem as if these acts are their skydaddy’s justice. Shepard Smith’s assessment of the nuts isn’t based on a small number of email respondents to FAUX(FOX) news, as one might expect from the mentally disturbed, right? I mean, there couldn’t possibly be that many folks who are delusional? Actually, there are. Millions of them. They’re called religious, and they actively participate in the delusion every day and in varying degrees. They believe in an all powerful, all knowing, totally vengeful and jealous entity. And, when they think their skydaddy calls them to action, no matter how despicable, deceitful, hateful or bigoted it is, they’re ready to jump up and execute their self-induced delusional orders. Moderates claim that they would never do something so hateful. They claim that they believe in jebus’ love and forgiveness. But, where the fuck do they think these nutjobs do their apprenticeship? It ALL starts with the delusion, the hallucination, of a skydaddy. The moderates feed the “faith” SUV, pumping it full of fuel every 20 miles. Eventually, they can’t keep up with the “faith” demands of the guzzler, and it has to venture out on it’s own, looking for more “faith” to keep it running hard and fast. From the day a child is born to a jebus loving parent, it is subjected to the ultimate indoctrination, fed enough bullshit by the only human it knows and blindly trusts. No matter the context, no matter the delivery, the child is the parents captive audience, a slave to authority and to the idea that a skydaddy exists. The child, soon to become an SUV, becomes the x-tian soldier, born, bred and trained to carry out whatever it thinks the skydaddy wants.
So, the delusion stays alive. And with each minute that passes, another “faithful” servant of the skydaddy prays themselves closer to doling out the skydaddy’s justice. The right wingnuts will continue to fuel the combustion chamber with their vitriol rhetoric, then ducking and/or retreating to the safety of “But jebus loves everyone”, while at the same time silently cheering for the predators. In the next few months, I can easily predict that these horrible acts will be repeated, and they will go on and on as the “faithful” rise to the delusional, self-created mandates of their skydaddy’s vengeance.
My wife was always trying to be perfect at everything she did. It was a never ending delusion born of, and nurtured by her father when she was just a child. It was an unrealistic expectation driven by a demeaning attitude toward anything she did or said, under the guise of making her “better”. My wife Sherry is EXTREMELY intelligent, inquisitive, skeptical, driven to succeed at all she does. Her determination and skill have been beneficial to her career as an Electrical Engineer. But, the unrealistic goal of perfection has been destructive to her self esteem. When Sherry graduated from a small rural high school in 1979, she was the graduating class Valedictorian. Regardless of the size of the graduating class, this accomplishment is truly great. It does not pale the academic achievement necessary to be bestowed this honor. With that said, Sherry’s Valedictorian speech was delivered before students, faculty and the Attorney General of the State she haled from. After the speech her father approached her and said “You sure had them snowed”. This simple but destructive statement finished laying the groundwork for a life of unrealistic expectations, driven by her father’s words, that anything less than perfection was unacceptable. It also became a catalyst for a future “workaholic” and a self-destructive method of dealing with her own ego as college called.
Sherry’s college years were enlightening and educational to say the least. But, as graduation loomed, her excessive drive had run out of steam. Her grades began to plummet, pushing her into a depression. She struggled to stay focused. The words her father uttered on high school graduation day echoed through her head. It seemed that everything she did, whether in high school or college, was never “perfect” enough. The mental stress of such demands came very close to laying waste to a rich and talented mind. Fortunately, Sherry pushed on, managing to do more than salvage her education. She graduated with honors.
There is an important lesson in my wife’s story. It’s one that calls to our attention the demands of religion. Religion claims superiority based on the alleged absolute authority figure, an Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent entity. Believers claim this entity is “perfect” and infallible. Just like Sherry’s father, an authority figure in her life, the skydaddy’s “perfection” comes with an expectation to appease. One must make the “father” happy as opposed to satisfying ones own desires. Rather than embrace positive self-reinforcement, realistic goals, step-by-step processes to achieve personal success, and realizing that perfection is unrealistic, the person’s self-esteem is discarded in favor of a servile guilt driven subservience. The goals are no longer the individuals, and neither are the successes. This leaves the individual to look toward the authority figure for approval, rather than relish the success as a personal achievement.
Religion cannot survive without the false notion of perfection. This is why Evolution is so dangerous to religion. Nature is always in a state of change, adaptability, flux. While humans may perceive perfection in nature, it is far from perfect. As a whole, human perception of perfection in nature is fraught with error. From birth defects, to environmental changes, to a whole host of other things, failure in nature is common. Nature, being what is is, and humans being a part of it, is always adapting, changing, succeeding and failing. So, religion had to fabricate “perfection” in order to reinforce another fabrication…life after death. Here’s where fear comes into play.
The notion of perfection requires a fear of failure. Failure is the enemy, but it’s AOK if you fail and ask for forgiveness from the authority figure. To fail in religion without asking for forgiveness is to be excluded from the life-after-death scenario. In religion’s eyes, if you aren’t trying to live up to perfection, then you cannot have life after death. Death, thought of as terrible without a skydaddy by the religious, is the tool with which to manipulate the faithful. Instead of treating death as a natural occurrence, and devoid of mysticism and fear, religion uses it as a weapon. Religion wants people to believe that it can free you from the natural process of death by accepting the false notion that perfection must be striven for, and when failure is at hand, a “perfect” being must be appeased to avoid the sentence of no life after death. Enter the problem.
Let’s start with “perfection” as an ideal. If a perfect being, all powerful, all knowing, all everything created all things, things that can be PROVEN to be imperfect… What does that say about the perfection of the being? It says that imperfection comes from perfection. Confusing huh? Yep. As it should be, because it is not logical. What’s more, the very idea that this entity has failed to create anything perfect, from the Earth to the entire universe, says something about the error in this claim. What’s more likely? An entity created the false notion of perfection, or humans created the false notion of perfection? The fallacy of perfection was designed to usurp the individual in favor of the collective UNDER another individual or collective. It is a control mechanism.
Now, some of you may defend the idea that striving for personal perfection is a good thing. Is it really? Is it really a good idea to strive for the impossible? Is it beneficial to have unrealistic goals, and to be shattered each and every time you fail? Would it be more advantageous to set goals based on constraints of the imperfection of all things? Would it be better to try, fail, and learn, as opposed to try, fail, and appease? Whether appeasing a skydaddy, your father, mother, family, friends, or even yourself…you’re still APPEASING someone. Failure in anything should not require appeasement. The realistic, logical, and reasoned approach is to determine for oneself what goals might be achieved, try, embrace and learn from failures, then try again. Being better at something should not mean being better than someone else. It should mean being better than YOU were, and for YOU.
Unfortunately, religion has a stranglehold on the vast majority of the world populace. Perfection is held up as a goal, and religion knowingly uses this as a manipulation, a weapon, to prey upon low self-esteem, guilt and human imperfection. As long as religion makes bullshit claims of an all-perfect being, humans will wallow in their imperfection, trying desperately to live up to an impossible, unrelenting, desperate ideal. Fortunately for my wife Sherry, the torturous journey through perfection is near a close. And she is better for it. She’s been an Electrical Engineer for 27 years, as long as we have been together. And in that time, she has become one of the most talented and sought after professionals in her field. She’s highly thought of and regarded as a major contributor to the defense of this nation and the safety of commercial flight. And, she doesn’t do it to please daddy. Nor does she do it to please a skydaddy. She does it for her, her pride, her self-esteem, her dignity, and the insatiable desire to learn and grow. Perfect? No. Human? Yes. Real? ABSOLUTELY!
A good friend of mine from Canada described me as “America’s noisiest Atheist” in his outdoor adventure television series “Angry Planet” back in 2006. I doubt I’m the noisiest. There are others more qualified I’m sure. Anyway… George Korounis had invited me to join him for one of his inaugural episodes during the first season of his show and I was thrilled for his new found success, agreeing to participate if he’d return the favor and do my Internet radio show “American Heathen®”. We made the deal. George is a resident of Toronto, and a non-believer himself. In Canada, non-belief is typically a non-issue according to George, and he couldn’t quite understand why I was so passionate over the issue here in the States. I explained to my dear friend that the reason for my ravenous rantings was the religious zealotry that has become so prevalent over the past 25 years in politics and society in general. Without the checks and balances of voices like mine, our freedom would wither away. The noisier, the better.
I have had many people ask me why I’m so passionate, why I have such a big mouth. I have had many ask me why I have to make so much noise, why I can’t simply “leave it alone”. All are believers in a christian skydaddy of varying degrees. In any event, the question of “why?” is an easy one to answer. It’s called the Separation of Church and State. From abortion and stem cell research to the teaching of creationism- from prayer in schools to “One Nation Under God” in the pledge of allegiance- from gay marriage to “family values”, the United States Constitution is under attack, and the Separation of Church and State, the cornerstone of our republic, is the only tenet that stands between American citizens freedom to believe or not, and theocratic rule under one sole interpretation of a skydaddy. Without the protection that this explicit, and implicit, Constitutional ideal bestows upon our way of life, NO ONE is free to THINK for themselves.
My issues with religion in general are simple and straight forward. Believe what you want, but keep it to yourself. A person’s beliefs in supernatural beings have no business playing out in a political arena. Would you accept a political agenda based on stories of a Tooth Fairy governing you? More importantly – for those who are of the more liberal/moderate christian persuasion – why do you casually watch from the sidelines as your freedoms are threatened thinking to yourself , “I’m not an extremist. Why should I care? These folks aren’t really christians.” What is a christian anyway? And, who’s version of the bible is really christian?
One of my most passionate rants against religion, christianity in particular, is the false notion that if a believer doesn’t subscribe to fundamentalist belief, they are somehow NOT part of the problem. I constantly hear from the liberal/moderate believers about this. The fact is that either they believe the bible is the word of god or they don’t. If the believer does, then they are one stone’s throw away from extremism. If believers don’t believe the bible is the word of god, then they are CHOOSING to second guess the bible and therefore have created their own version of a god, in their own image, to best fit their lifestlye. Don’t believe me? Then the 33,800 versions of christianity are an aberration huh? Picking and choosing one’s way through scripture is NOT accepting the bible as the word of god. Exclusion of ANY scripture is second guessing god is it not? But, the liberal/moderate will argue that the bible was written by man to explain what god wants, right? Once again, if the believer resorts to this dodge, then they have completely destroyed the supernaturally inspired premise of the book. Injecting human interpretation into the equation creates error. If there is error then, how will the believer know what is in error and what is not? Oh yeah, prayer! Or, as I like to call it, self-fulfilling, self-aggrandizing, self-absorbed schizophrenia (a group of severe mental disorders characterized by reality distortions resulting in unusual thought patterns and behaviors).
Liberal/moderate believers claim that their version of jebus is loving, caring and compassionate. They claim that this version (read new testament) is the “right” one to celebrate. However, there is a real problem here. Jebus was a moody guy. He may have said some nice things from time to time, but he also affirmed and endorsed the old testament, a violent book:
“For truly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes on of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”
The teachings of the bible are full of confusion and contradiction. Think about it! Christards happily burned alive non-believers, heathens, and heretics for 500 years! If you don’t believe me, read some fuckin’ history! Liberal/Moderate believers are one cult-of-personality away from repeating history! They will join the extreme and it will be based on a 2000+ year old dime store novel, and the word “faith” will be used once again to validate the atrocities.
So, why am I supposedly America’s Noisiest Atheist? Do you really have to ask?