Religion Is Full of Crap (imho)

I’ve been thinking a lot about religion lately. I’m not sure why, I haven’t had any recent run-ins with religion as either a positive or negative, and I haven’t been to church for a long time. But whatever the case, there it is in the back of my mind, mulling over and over, as if I’m on the verge of discovering something new about myself that’s just over the horizon, and I can see the light pollution from it but haven’t caught a clear view. So I just keep letting the thoughts chase themselves around until they get tired of running in circles or reach some solid conclusion.

Actually I’ve been listening to The Noose by A Perfect Circle a lot lately. I realize it’s about a guy who gets out of rehab believing he’s been cured and transformed into a newer, better person, not acknowledging all the destruction they have caused. Actually it holds quite a lot of relevance to my own problems, but I still kind of enjoy interpreting it as being directed at either a newly born again Christian or a religious leader offering their own shady past as proof of their current legitimacy. That’s the fun with music, you can get whatever you want out of it. So since it partially inspired this post, have a little listen while you read.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I am no stranger to religious culture, specifically Christianity. I was raised in a deeply religious home, my parents both active in their churches, both preaching at times, and doing their best to spread their allegedly good word in an effort to make it into heaven. I’ve had some good experiences, and some very bad ones, but overall I think I got a pretty good inside view of how Christianity operates. I understand that other religions are all going to be unique, and not necessarily comparable to the one I know, but as a whole I think most religions operate on pretty much the same principals, and here’s the conclusion I have reached. You’re all full of shit.

I’m not saying there is no God. I’m not saying people shouldn’t live based on basic principals of good and evil, on moral codes necessary to keep up society. I’m just saying that if you are in a religion, and you honestly believe it to be the true way to heaven or nirvana or paradise or whatever, that you are completely full of shit. You may be smarter than me, and live a better life, but that does not mean your religion isn’t a lie based on lies and an exercise in arrogance. It just means you’re better at accepting something for truth than I am willing to be without carefully examining it for lies.

Let me explain how I feel with what I know of the Bible and common Christian theology. Cut down to the most base ideas, Christianity believes that there is an omnipotent, omniscient creator god who is perfect and holy, without evil or sin, and that his son, who is also God, was sent to earth to live a perfect life, and go to hell where his absence of sin would roshambo the devil and create a way for imperfect mankind to wipe our immortal slates clean so we can all go party in heaven, eventually. And if you ever have even one chance to hear this good news, then it’s your responsibility to devote your life to serving this God and his ridiculously vague purposes here on earth, as well as donating at least one tenth of your income to his church, so you don’t get sent to a fiery pit of never ending torture and torment. Anything less than a complete surrendering of your will results in unimaginable suffering. Of course if you do everything necessary to make it past judgment day, don’t forget that in a thousand years Jesus is going to let Satan out again, so he can weed out a bunch more of the people who were good enough to make it through the first time, and then you can still be sent to Hell.

Except, why would a holy, omnipotent God with foresight somewhere outside of time create the devil in the first place. If he really was so loving that he would send his only son to die for our sins, why would he create sin, or suffering? In fact, as the creator of everything, wouldn’t he be directly responsible for every evil, sinful deed ever committed? If I build a gun, and make some bullets, and then decide that some baby out there somewhere needs to die, and I shoot the gun at the babies facial area, and the baby then loses it’s skull, brain, and most of it’s blood, and then dies, most people would consider that evil. But in fact, I did not kill that baby, the bullet I created was the one who did the poor stinker in. No, that’s retarded. If you create something that causes pain, suffering, death, or anything else bad, you are the one held responsible. Giving people free will, as we perceive it, is not enough to absolve God of any blame. If he is the creator of everything, including our human nature, and the devil, and he had foreknowledge of everything that would happen, and he had the power to stop it all, how can you say he had no hand in evil? I could argue myself in circles for hours on that point, but to me, if you create a negative situation, you have foreknowledge of it’s end result, and you have the power to stop it, then you are in fact responsible. I’d love to hear arguments against that though, so please feel free to debate me on this.

So that’s why I feel God is either not omnipotent, or not benevolent, and either way his very nature would contradict the account provided by the Bible. In fact, nothing about the Bible ever really explained my deep questions about life, and why we are here. I’ve never found a good answer in the bible regarding the meaning of life, or our purpose for existing. Was it just a big fucking game for God? Did he simply create life as we know it just to watch us run around for eighty years, give or take, and then flip a coin to see if we live in paradise forever or burn forever? What the fuck kind of universe is that man? I don’t want to be living in an ant farm with some seemingly random magnifying glass roving the landscape. Was it just to prove God was the shit? Was it because God was bored? I’ve even heard Christians tell me creation exists for the end result of glorifying god. Essentially that a shit ton of people will suffer through a miserable life with little or no direction, and then most of them will suffer forever so that in the end an unimaginably more powerful being can have a heaven full of saints singing his praises. Um, not to be crass, but fuck that. That’s the worst explanation for life ever. I’d rather there be nothing after death and no purpose at all than to have all that bull shit to deal with just so someone can essentially sit in his La-Z-Boy and high five himself for being so awesome. Where’s the big answer we are all looking for? Why the fuck are we here?

I’ve now explained why I think God’s very nature (as I see it) contradicts the Bible, and why the Bible doesn’t actually answer my questions about life but pretty much just distracts me with a bunch of stories and an impressive list of things I’m not allowed to do. How about the very idea of taking the bible literally: WTF? You don’t even have to look hard to find huge contradictions in what it says you should do, and what the people in the Bible actually do. Abraham is a hero, promoted as the founding father of Judaism, selected by God to lead his chosen people. But upon instruction from God, he is willing to murder his own son as a human sacrifice. I was under the impression that thou shalt not murder. In fact violence is an overall theme of both the new and old testaments. On the one hand murder is forbidden, and we are told to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. In fact Genesis practically starts off the whole shebang with the tale of Cain murdering Able and being cast out. But capital punishment is a common place occurrence for what would to modern eyes seem relatively innocuous behavior, like for instance, being raped. God repeatedly condones genocide, war, pillaging, and rape. King David is chosen by God to lead his people, but has an affair with his close friends wife, impregnates her, and has her husband killed to cover it all up.

Elisha uses the power of God to call two bears out of the woods and maul forty two youths who were making fun of him. God decides to completely destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for being a bunch of butt pirates, and sends two angels disguised like men to save Lot and his family, judged to be the only good people in the whole bunch of cities. The men of the town come to rape the Angels that night, and Lot offers to let them rape his two virgin daughters instead, and still gets saved by God. Then later he gets drunk in a cave and fucks his own daughters. Seriously? He was righteous enough to save? And I’m not cause I don’t take your story book literally?

Even Jesus gets in on the violence action. He becomes so frustrated at the temple, because people were selling animals for sacrifice, that he calls them all a den of thieves and chases them out with a whip. Let’s just take that one incident and apply it to modern Christianity. Have you ever been to a church where they don’t sell shit? Christianity has become an industry in and of itself. Come on in and sit right down. Put your ten percent in the basket when we come by, or else, and you know who you are, and maybe afterwords we can interest you in our selection of fine religious books or videos, all offered at barely above cost to us. Would you also like to buy a little fish for your car so everyone will be filled with the love of Christ when you cut them off on the highway? Or perhaps one of our manyย  bumper stickers that share the guilt of Christ through smarmy and pious slogans and cartoons? How about a WWJD bracelet, or a t-shirt illustrating the degree of your faith on one hundred percent cotton? Don’t forget that most rock and roll is the devils music, and you should only listen to contemporary Christian worship CD’s recorded by the most lucrative, I mean illustrious worship writers over at the Vineyard music group. And for the kids, a wide array of upbeat christian artists doing their very best to emulate secular (real) music with rock beats, righteous rhymes, and some of those keyboard things that make electronic sounds but aren’t pianos. If you have anything left over, please consider a prayer retreat, men’s retreat, women’s retreat, couples retreat, young adults retreat, general conventions, (I’m talking to you Acquire the Fire) or classes. And go ahead and pick up some chips and soda to bring to Wednesday night home groups, cause if you don’t we’ll know you aren’t really a true Christian, just one of those half assed weekend Christians, or worse, a Chreaster. (they only come on Christmas and Easter)

How do you think angry-Jesus would dig the new scene with his crazy, temple whipping self?

You might argue that me standing against the majority of mankind saying that all religions are equally untrue is arrogant. Well, let’s go ahead and say you can some how rationalize everything I’ve said above, which is by no means a complete list of the contradictions or plot holes I’ve found in Christianity, and you’re dead set on believing that yours is the only true way to heaven and the mercy and forgiveness of God. At that point you are saying that out of all the religions on the planet, which nobody can accurately number, but let’s ahead and say at least twenty fairly good sized ones exist right now, not including the rest of history before now (who the hell knows that kind of stuff, you’d have to major in some kind of religious college for that, the point is, a LOT more) that only your religion is the true word of God, and an acceptable way to get into heaven. And not only that, but that out of all the different sects of Christianity (over 30,000) yours is the correct one that I should be following. Put aside the fact that it’s impossible to find even two people who completely agree on religion. What you are saying by trying to convert me or force me to follow laws based on your religious morals, is that out of all of human history, only you and a handful of others have been savvy enough to discern the true meaning of life and the nature of God. That there is a being complicated enough to create everything that we know, so vast and powerful that he could speak into existence a creation so complex that after all of mankind’s history we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of how it works. And this almighty God, thousands of years ago, passed on his infallible word in such a way that it should not only be taken literally but would fully explain to you exactly how he, his creation, and his moral judgment worked. That you “get” God. Only you have been able to hear and interpret his holy words. Only you have the clarity of thought and spirit to discern the right way to live, and if I disagree with your official stance on life, the universe, and everything, I deserve to suffer eternal torment.

That my friend is arrogant. I know I haven’t figured out the universe, but I have figured out enough to know that’s not how you’d impress a Holy judging god even if they really did exist like you believe. And that is why I think religion is full of shit.

Now if you want to discuss the merits of my opinions here, please feel free. I’ll talk with you, I’ll even debate you if you want, to the best of my ability. This is all just my opinion right now, it was different last year, and it will undoubtedly be different next year. I certainly don’t know everything, and there are bound to be some stupid mistakes in factuality and logic throughout this post. This isn’t my doctoral thesis, just some guy’s blog post. I’m always open to changing my mind, IF you can present me with a better opinion that makes sense and isn’t based on blind faith. I don’t see any reason why a God capable of creating a universe based on order and logic can’t be explained in simple and rational arguments. I welcome your feedback.


8 responses to “Religion Is Full of Crap (imho)

  1. One of the basic principles of the Buddhist philosophy is to critically examine any theology, moral code, or set of beliefs presented to us in order to determine if it truly reflects our own personal set of ethics and beliefs. The Buddha himself said “when I die, burn my writings” and “if you meet the Buddha on the path, kill him.” In other words ‘don’t just follow, figure this out on your own.’ He was not a god, just an enlightened person.

    So of course, there are a few sects of Buddhism with rules that don’t make sense to me – but that’s the beauty. I don’t have to meditate 8 hours a day to figure out the meaning of life. For those who want that path, it is there, and other versions as well. Overall, there is acceptance. I can celebrate other festivals with my family, be it Hannukah, Easter or Kwanza, without being told I’m ‘wrong’. There is nobody to lie to but myself. Buddhists are not particularly well known for launching Crusades.

    The only thing I can honestly say I believe is that I don’t know, and I’ll just have to do as good a job at life as I can based on my own sense of right and wrong, and just wait to see what comes next.

  2. I think I have similar beliefs as Emerald on this.

    The points you make in this post you make well; unfortunately they are kind of pointless. Not to discredit any of your opinions, but they are all apparently obvious arguments. Anyone who would disagree with much of it would not be intelligent enough to understand the ideas. Like anyone who believes in a literal interpretation of the bible. I think Jesus would roll his eyes in frustration at that, seeing how they are completely missing the point. Subtleties are lost on those people.

    I reread that and think maybe I’m coming across as arrogant myself, although it isn’t my intention at all. I don’t feel like I know anything any better than the next person; I only know what I believe (along with a mind that is sound enough to reason.) I just feel that some people argue for the sake of arguing, and religious beliefs should be more personal than that. It shouldn’t be about who is right or who is wrong, but what makes sense to you.

    I can’t think of any better words than those of Buddha himself:

    “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

  3. Emerald: Word up darlin. Who knows. Not me man, I don’t have your answers. I’m just doing the best I can, and trying to maybe catch a buzz and get some tail while I’m at it.

    Birdpress: Dude, I know it’s kind of pointless arguing the finer points of religion with anyone, especially over the internet, but that doesn’t make me want to stop. I’m not much good at keeping my opinion to myself. Unlike you however, I have no problem pointing out when I know stuff better than other people. Screw other people. Mostly just when they try and get all high and mighty on me though, which does happen a good bit here in the bible belt. I think there are pretty much two reasons I bother writing posts like this. One: it helps me work through what I’m thinking and organize it better so I can make some sense of it all instead of just having a million discombobulated thought bouncing around in a shower of pent up emotions. And two: because I like to get people thinking about what they believe, and talking about it with people who disagree. I seriously bought into a lot of this bull shit for a long time. It wasn’t until my late teens that I stopped accepting it as truth and started questioning everything I had been taught. (some before that, but I was really too horny and energetic to focus on philosophy in my early teens) I really wish I had come across some people who could have pointed out the flaws in what I had learned and believed. I wish I had been exposed to material that made me question more at an earlier age. And I still enjoy opportunities to stop and really think hard about what I believe and why I believe it, because I’m still finding tons and tons of things I’ve been taught or bought into that have little or no merit. I don’t talk about this kind of thing as an attack on the Christian faith although it comes off like that, I do it as an attack on complacent thinkers and dogma.

    Plus I like stirring up shit cause I’m an asshole sometimes.

  4. Its interesting that you bring this up. I was having a conversation about religion just a few days ago.

    One of my workmates told me this..

    Please bear in mind I dont beleive in this..

    God is a shamrock. He is the holy spirit, he is god and he is jesus. The reason he had to split himself into three was so he could send jesus down to get rid of all the bad in the world. Now that jesus has walked on earth God no longer sees the bad that is done down here he only sees the good.

    (at this point i interupted and said “So gods skitzo?”)

    God is so perfect and so holy that he cannot deal with any type of sin whether it be picking your nose to murdering someone (bit judgemental dont you think? especially when one of the commandments is love thy neighbor, if god cant deal with sin why the fuck should we?)

    Everything that happens in the world has been written down and is gods word. He cannot change anything because it has to happen.
    (I really dont like the idea of us being his puppets or something. I dont agree that everything is written in stone. things change)

    I cant remember what else she said but she has quite the fuckd up view of god.

    This may anger some ppl that come visiting you but what the hell i dont care.

    I think Christians are wholy selfish people. Why?? Because the only reason they do good things is so they can ensure their seat up there with god. They dont want to be burning in hell with the devil. The only reason they help that old lady across the street is because they think god will see it and put a tick next to their name.

    I prefer to do good things because I want to, not because I think god will save me a good seat.

  5. @ Birdpress: Thanks for finding that quote, that’s pretty much what I was trying to sum up. At the time I didn’t feel like opening up the Google or my books, especially since I was actually on the phone with Josh at the time. We communicate in multiple forms ๐Ÿ˜‰ I should really write the quote down, considering it’s what I live by.

    @ Le Boyfriend: Don’t worry, you can have as much tail as you want as soon as I can get it down there! And I do adore our philosophical conversations. I like that we can be really smart and then really retarded in a ten minute span. โค

  6. jksiee koewl feske gfiic aheiws fkdoel fakeig fjuiix kwsod vfjies!

    *you have to speak in tongues to decipher that comment!*

  7. it’s funny I’ve been having some discussions about religion recently too. I agree with Birdpress that it is a personal thing, and thus I totally agree with your right/motivation/choice to rant about it as much as you want…good for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    And while I am here anyway, why not publicize my personal views as well? I think I will because you won’t mind ๐Ÿ˜‰

    For me it goes like this: I don’t care what book you read, I don’t care what building you go to pray in, I don’t care what you pray about, and I don’t care what language you do it in. None of that affects me, what affects me is whether you live your life as an asshole or not. What matters to me is whether or not you spend your lifetime on planet earth (i.e. THIS lifetime, as in before the apparent “eternal afterlife” one), doing a little good and being a little kind. Anyone who can do just those simple things, is as as good as God in my eyes. As for the rest of it, I’m sure there’s something out there, some other force, some spiritual presence, but I would rather attempt to interpret it on my own, vs. spreading my findings to the world at large, as organized religions tend to do.

    Happy Thursday Josh, I’ve missed your rants! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Queen Bitch: You bring up another good point. You’re somehow supposed to do good things to live according to God’s plan so you can get into heaven, but you aren’t supposed to do them JUST so you can get into heaven. That’s some bull shit a woman would come up with. I don’t want you to do it because you’re supposed to do it, I want you to do it because you want to do it. WTF? I always hated that concept.

    Em: I am never really really smart, just really really blunt.

    This buddy of mine: You follow Zoltan too? Z (((ZOLTAN)))

    Romes: Preach it sister. Don’t be an asshole. That should pretty much be as far as religion takes things. If your interpretation of God makes you an asshole to me, try fixing that before you come converting me, and then never come convert me, cause that makes you an asshole. More rants coming btw, I just made myself my very first schedule, as in, a format for how I spend my free time. Hopefully I will now have time to get two posts up per week.

Share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s