Sorry I have not posted in a while, life got busy. For those who are new to my blog, I can be opinionated at times, but am always up for a good honest debate.
I've notice lately that many christian & catholic extremists are getting even more defensive and outraged by anti-theist, equality and free thought movements. I personally believe this is because they feel they are being attacked and have realized that less and less of their friends are following mythical beliefs.
We will see the end of mass organized religion in my life time as long as we are not all killed in a nuclear jihad first. We are seeing less and less young people fall into the trap of religion. There is so much more to life than faith in mythical vengeful deities. I'm not saying that there isn't a lot of good people out there that have decent morals and belong to a religion.
My issue is that for every tolerant christian out there, there is at least one that is intolerant. This is because the bible is a messed up book with some good morals and a lot of bad or weird stuff. Some people are willing to do literally anything for "salvation" and to not go to a "hell". The bible was written by mortal men claiming holy influence. The First Council of Nicaea was a meeting of influential christian men and Roman Emperor Constantine in 325AD. They worked together to agree on what would be considered Christianity and instilled it as the official Roman religion. Less than 70 years later humanity lost a great ancient library to religious intolerance when the Library of Alexandria was destroyed.
Ask any "moderate" christian in North America and most will have one of two views on the bible and old testament. They ether believe that the bible is a book of good moral stories, fables and old testament is to be ignored because "Jesus came to save us from our sins & the world has chanced since ancient times". Or they believe the bible is the unfaluable word of god, old testament and all.
If the bible is all moral stories to live by, then I don't want to be moral...not that idea of moral.
Deuteronomy 22:28" If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; 22:29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days." So in other word, if a man rapes a woman and finds she is a virgin, she must marry him.
Luke 14:26 "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Don't hate your family? Sorry no heaven for you!
Psalm 137:9 "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." Sound like unconditional love?
Exodus 31:15 "Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death." If you need to work Sundays to feed your family, you are to die?
Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place." In other words...Jesus says respect the old testament because it still applies.
I could quote many more hateful and twisted shit in the bible, but the above gives you an idea.
And when you get someone in power that believes their religious doctrine way too much, you get intolerance, cruelty and even death. Of course we have recent examples like Osama bin Laden, but many people don't know Hitler was a Catholic. “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” –Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)
To pick and choose what you want to listen to and live by is a supposed sin. Many extremist believe this to the core and that why there has been so many horrible acts done in the name of god, following the the words written in a holy book. It would be no different to claim to be a "good nazi" because you like Hitlers views on automotive production and social order but dislike his hateful ideas.
A example of a very recent event of a christian following the bible "to a T" would be Anders Breivik, the Norwegian that killed 77 people last summer at a camp. He is a supporter the of Tea Party Pamela Geller's anti-Islam website Atlas Shrugs. He claimed he was cleansing Europe of the Islamic people in god's name. Deuteronomy 2:25 "This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee."
Which brings me to my final point for today. Extreme religious belief/behaviour is a delusion, a mental illness. Delusion is defined as a belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. Moderate average christians; you may not believe everything in the bible is fact and may not be violent towards "sinners". You're not likely mentally ill, but you are supporting a system that encourages such behavior.
I'll pick nether and rely on true morals to be a good person because its the right thing to do, not because I fear hell.
Philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote:
"'Religion is based...mainly upon fear...fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand.... My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race.'"
Here's some pictures I thought were interesting :)