It makes your head hurt, the inconsistencies do.
That’s the problem with most ‘faiths’, religious myths and other fairy tales; They can be so doggone irrational. They sure can produce some pretty irrational 'followers' too. Some faiths like Christianity, can also be pretty damned inconvenient for those followers who venture beyond the rules. It’s no wonder God-Bothering Christians like Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush and Michele Bachmann get so conflicted and confused. We probably should not even mention Franklin Graham or Jim Bakker. The clincher though is there’s always the fact that you can always redeem yourself in the Christian God’s eyes for ANY sin except - wait for it - disbelief in the Christian God! Now, how convenient is that? Thousands of Christian ‘Holy men’ have taken in tons of treasure from this very concept alone over the twenty-odd centuries or so since the Christianity was invented.
Another big problem with Christianity is, if you don’t subscribe to the proper flavor of Christianity - according to and decided by the individual Christian ‘Holy Men’ and other Christian leaders, it can mean your livelihood if not your very life.
“What? You’re a Huguenot (Baptist Mormon, Jew, etc.)? Off with your head then!”
“Praise God and have a blessed day!”
Quite literally Christians, especially the evangelical types, have historically been more than willing, even eager it sometimes seems to me, to kill you if you are of the wrong flavor in their eyes. The Muslim world calls the wrong flavors 'infidels', in common with some Christian and other religions. Most secular societies have almost gotten a handle on the issue of persecution of infidels today, however. Still, you can be condemned and heavily punished because you are not a ‘perfected Christian’. Ann Coulter can give you instruction on that point, as she has done for some Jewish people over the years, even when they really didn’t ask for the lessons. Few people voluntarily ask evangelicals for their ‘instruction’ It is merely forced upon us gratuitously and completely unsolicited. The Latter Day Saints (LDS) and the Jehovah Witnesses (JW) are perhaps the best known flavors of those in our country.
Here’s a fun little true story about my own encounter with two women from the Jehovah Witnesses. Several year’s ago my wife became irritated with strangers coming to our door for various reasons. She bought a little metal sign reading ‘No Solicitation’ which she simply laid inconspicuously on our porch floor next to the door. That seemed to work well until one afternoon when the doorbell range. I got up from my chair to see who was at the door, who turned out to be two lumpy middle-aged women with severe hairdos carrying the JW literature in their hands. I was a little irritated because our sign hadn’t stopped them, so I simply pointed to it.
They’d obviously seen the sign, because one then said, “Oh, we’re not soliciting.”
That lie just flew all over me at the time - I have a sort of short fuse most times anyway so, without even thinking I replied,
“Well, here you are whoring for Jesus aren’t you?”
You can probably imagine the look they both gave me before they turned around and angrily stomped back to their car idling in our driveway with a man behind the wheel. It was literally the visual equivalent of ‘Well, I never!’ My wife was a little nonplussed when I told her about the encounter. The great thing though is that the word must have gotten around because we have not been bothered with one single unsolicited knock on the door in the two years since. Even the LDS kids leave us alone now. Whoo Hoo! Best thing we ever did!
Many people don’t want ‘a ticket to any Christian ‘Heaven’ even if some folks believe we're in urgent need of them. No Sir, thank you very much. Many of us would rather take our chances with the world of reality. Besides, can you imagine having to put up with all those sugar-mouthed cynically insincere Christians for eternity? I wouldn’t want to be in any ‘Heaven’ which allowed such sanctimonious God-blatherers in no matter how many times they might have been ‘born again’. Who would ever volunteer for that kind of punishment? That would surely be Hell indeed!
Non-Christians are justifiably offended by some Christians constantly and agressively evangelizing everyone else. What right have CHRISTIANS to inflict their ‘beliefs’ on anyone else? Are they special somehow? The fact is, they aren’t and they DON’T have any right. To put it in a way that’s easier to understand - it’s like some insidiously persistent salesman constantly haranguing you every day to buy something you don’t want because, first, you strongly suspect it's fake, and secondly, it’s something you don’t need, or would ever use, and thirdly, it's something you never asked for in the first place!
The Christian God is a mythical, invisible, intolerant dictator existing mysteriously (and miraculously!) in the sky (heavens). Proof of God, according to Christians, is the ‘Holy word’ written in a book of stories by the hippies of their day, and other itinerant (unemployed) herdsmen over 2000 years ago, passed down in many translations, iterations and editions since. The Christian God has about the same gravitas as the Norse god Odin, except having a much more aggressive and threatening sales pitch. Odin at least had a host of other lesser gods around him who liked to gather to party at Yggdrasil, the magical tree which reached from the Earth to Heaven. They didn’t need all those lightning bolts, floods and thunder in the sky and other grand and stupendous displays, just a great big magic Ash tree! I probably should mention Thor’s Hammer though, which was pretty outrageous.
Odin even had a wife named ‘Frigg’. Right there you can see that Norse men, in Odin’s world at least, really were made in ‘God’s image’! For Ragnar’s sakes he had a wife, and her name was FRIGG”! How fitting and proper, and far more satisfying that is, especially when you consider Frigg’s name has continued to construe a pertinent meaning to almost everyone in the English speaking world to this very day!
No rational human person has ever actually seen God (or Odin), but the Christian God is said to be a fierce, uncompromising, jealous old white male guy (of course!) with a long unkempt beard, armed with a sword, lightning bolts and a 10mm Glock automatic pistol when in the United States. In the US he’s also waving an American flag - and don’t try to wave one of those damned pansy-assed Canadian maple leaf rags at our US Christian God! Nosirree Bob! That ain’t gonna pass muster!
If the Christian God were to actually appear in the flesh anywhere on Earth today, he would immediately be either, shot, jailed or institutionalized by authorities as a deranged lunatic and menace to society. The strange thing about that is that almost 100% of Christians (at least the ones who have convinced themselves they are personally ‘saved’) pray daily for that very thing - that their Christ will appear, gather all the faithful to his bosom - even the dead in their graves for two thousand years(!) - and levitate that entire ghastly load - the living AND the dead - to Heaven instantaneously! The Zombie Apocalypse ain’t got nothing on evangelical Christians!
Then He will destroy the Earth by fire! I told you Christians say He is a real bad ass, didn’t I? Well, he must compete with Odin and Thor, not to mention Buddha and a bunch of other gods too.
But, who am I to say those things won’t happen? Nobody, and I may well regret my sins of disbelief and suffer hellfire for eternity. But, I am a rational, thinking man and apologize if I hurt your feelings by believing and saying that any mythical god is just that - an insufferable myth! I’m not the only one who feels that way, or has felt that way in the past. For your reading pleasure, here are just a few:
"As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?"
- John Adams, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816
"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
- James Madison, letter to Wm. Bradford, April 1, 1774
"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose."
- Thomas Jefferson in an 1813 letter to Baron von Humboldt
"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."
- Benjamin Franklin
Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.
- George Washington
To Follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.
- Ben Franklin
I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absented myself from Christian assemblies.
- Ben Franklin
(Yes Benjamin. I did exactly the same thing myself at the age of 16!)
*This post contains my personal opinions regarding religions, Christianity, and especially evangelical Christianity. The story about the Jehovah Witnesses women and the appended quotes are all true.)