Believe in Hypocrisy

Bloggified by Jake on Friday, May 21, 2010

I posted a link to this photo of a church's marquee on my Twitter with my standard caption for such things: "Keep it classy, Christian America."A friend of mine replied that "There are intolerant atheists also -- they just don't have access to signs."

I replied that I missed the part of the bible that says, "Be thou a jackass for some of the heathens are, too." It seems to me that Christianity feels it's purpose is to make its followers better than non-believers in Christ as the messiah, so I found this statement--sarcastic and good natured though it might be--a bit disappointing.

More importantly, it misses the point of my criticism.

As an atheist, I can choose what I want to believe and what I reject. My atheist friends may--and do--disagree with me on subjects like the death penalty, gun control, gay marriage, immigration, financial reform, health care--and to get away from political hot button issues--monogamy, child rearing, veganism, and pornography. Jen, David, Dan, Robert, Chris, Ryan, and others can all have differing viewpoints which have been shaped by our different experiences and feelings and philosophical beliefs. When we discuss them, we will need to put those viewpoints into words and explain to one another how we came to the conclusion that we did.

Members of organized religions do not get that freedom to choose and reject their beliefs. When you sign up, you are given a book that has stories and rules and lists of people who begat other people. You have a guy who stands at the front of your place of worship at least once a week and tells you what you believe, regardless of your experiences and feelings. It doesn't matter if you have met a lot of nice gay people, you hate them... or else. Unlike the above mentioned atheists, you can't put your viewpoints into words that explain how you reached the conclusions you did. Instead, it's all summed up as "The bible/Koran/Torah/Dianetics says so." As much as you might like to believe there is a big story behind your beliefs and your journey to Christ, anything beyond "The bible says so," is superfluous.

The point of my criticism wasn't that Christians are intolerant, and it certainly wasn't that all atheists are tolerant. The point was to cast a spotlight on the hypocrisy of Christians who claim to be a religion of love, peace, and tolerance while threatening eternal torture to anyone who offends them in the slightest.

Yes, there are atheists who hate niggers and faggots and spics and Heebs, but that's not because of a prescribed set of beliefs all atheists are expected to have because of an ancient set of writings we all must adhere to. I do not have to lump myself in with that guy. But when Fred Phelps and his followers site chapter and verse in the bible to justify their homophobia, racism, and intolerance, Christians cannot say, "Well... yeah... but I don't really believe those parts."

Often Christians like to counter discussion of the Crusades by pointing to Stalin's pogroms and gulags, and the resulting deaths of millions of tens of millions of Russians, most of them Jews. Atheism, they conclude, is to blame for many more deaths than the Crusades or even Nazism.

Stalin was an atheist, but his beliefs, his actions, his decisions, his life were not the result of an atheist system of belief. There is no such thing. On the other hand, a Christian who supported the Crusades in the 1100's because Luke 19:27 says:

"But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me"

is reading the same bible and claiming the same beliefs as Christians in 2010.

Understand, I'm not saying Christians need to accept gays. In fact, I don't think they should. The bible says homosexuality is an abomination, along with menstruation, eating shrimp, and women who don't marry their rapists. I am much more comfortable with Christians who fess up to the fact that they believe in witches and wizards but not dinosaurs than I am with those who try to justify their loving deity who will sentence the majority of his beloved children to eternal damnation.

As I've often said and will continue to say, the greatest case against Christianity is the bible.

1 sarcastic replies:

Chico Brisbane said...

I don't know about all of that. My experience is religious people fall into two main catagories. You got your batt-shit crazy bible thumbers, and then your regular old church goer that takes more of an al-la-cart approach where he can follow follow that basics of loving thy neighbor, thou shall not kill, do unto other, blah-blah-blah, yet still feel religious enough to avoid eternal damnation.

Look! - I look at God as Santa Clause for adults. It's something to believe in, make you feel good. The difference is that kids grow out of the Santa Clause phase when their ready to accept a more realistic view of the world. They eventually come to realize that it's not possible for one fat man and a red suit to deliver presents to every child on earth with the help of flying raindear. It's just not possible.

For reasons that escape me, grown people somehow manage to realize that there is no Santa Clause, no elves, no flying raindear, yet they believe that some guy could rise from the dead, walk on water, feed the masses with one fish and a loaf of bread, and that he is everywhere at all times. That being said, if God gives comfort to those unwilling to take 100% control of their own lives, then so be it. - But when you start hearing God telling you to drown you kids in the bath tub one after the other, it's time to set the bible down and go make a fucking sandwich or something. You know, just give it a rest.

That's how I see it at least.


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