Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Atheist...on Easter Sunday

Thank God we're not all atheists, bishop says

Atheists Hit back at clergy criticism of non-belief

So today is Easter. It is a day that most non church goers actually go to church, one of two days in the year-Christmas and Easter. It is a day that most Christians celebrate the death, burial and "resurrection" of Jesus Christ. It is a big day, actually a big WEEK, for churches around the world. High attendance usually means high collections (or offerings as some call them). I being an atheist am pretty much the odd man out. I don't go to church at all, not even for social reasons. I do not support it personally but I do not begrudge those that do. I respect every person's right to faith, and even every person's need for faith. Unfortunately, that is not the case for the majority of those that will be involved on this "holy" day.

I had debated touching the subject of Easter simply because I DO respect people's right to faith. However, The article above reminded me that there are those in religion that will not give me the same respect I will give them. I will still try to be somewhat respectful but I have decided I am going to speak my mind on this issue.

(1) My issue with Easter Week/Sunday let's state the obvious, to begin with, I am an atheist. So obviously I have a problem with Easter Week based on purely intellectual and "theological" reasons. I do not believe in the sacrifical death of Jesus Christ, or the miraculous resurrection any more than I believe in the virgin birth. Simply put I reject these concepts and as such have nothing to celebrate during Easter. But my issue with Easter goes beyond the religious and intellectual.

It gives the Partimers a reason to look down their long nose

Let's face it...nobody has any right whatsoever to judge another person. Simply put we all make mistakes and nobody's mistake is any more "evil" than another's. But we all know that most people that are faithful church goers to some extent feel they are better for it. So be it. I would be willing to consider the possiblity that anybody that puts the amount of dedication into religion and church as some of these people do, that while not necessarily "better" they have at least something to be proud about, and I will tolerate a minimal amount of looking up their big long nose at them. However, some dip wad that goes to church twice a year and spends the rest of the year swearing, drinking, partying, fornicating and doing a whole grocery list of shit he isnt supposed to do if he adheres to the christian faith needs to just shut his mouth! He or she have no right to talk down to me and I have a zero tolerance level for their sanctimonious bullshit!

It is just as comercialized as any other holiday

Ok...a rabbit that lays eggs is about as believable as a man that circle the globe in one night stopping at every house to leave a personalized gift and about as believable that man was born with no father and his mother was a virgin and he died to save the world and resurrected from the dead. Now before you get all on the defense, this is my belief and my blog, so deal with it. The point is that any holiday should be a family time for fun and togetherness, and the comercialization of these holidays has put it to such a point that the kids are all about wanting and demanding and the parents are running themself ragged trying to meet expectations. Take it or leave it but that is my take on it.

The nutjobs come always

I come from a very religious background as many of you know. In my home there was no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. Those were fairy tales. Fairy tales are good for children. It opens their imagination. There is plenty of time for them to grow up and face reality. I never have had any problem with it. However, due to financial situations and life changes I have been renting a room from my parents (keep in mind my dad is a pastor). Due to the lack of a significant other in my life, my mom helps me with my daughter, particularly when I am at work or school. So when Christmas came along my mom tells me I am free to tell my daughter anything I wish about Santa Claus but when she goes to her she will tell her the truth and has no qualms in making it clear to her that I lied to her. The same goes for the Easter Bunny. So there you go...the attitude that their version of truth is the only thing that matters and the rights of all others are subjugated to their own...'nuff said.

(2) My rebuttal to the clergy

Now I will tell you, Bishop Anthony Fisher, Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen and Catholic Archbishop George Pell.

To Anglican Archbishop Peter Jenson...and the myth that Atheism is idolotry

Atheism is the rejection of myth and superstition in exchange for an acceptance of reason and logic. Atheism is not a religion, it is not in competition with Christianity, it merely does not acknowledge Christianity as anything other than what it is. As the Atheist Foundation of Australia aptly responded, we cannot hate or be in competition with the Christian God because you cannot hate or compete with what does not exist. To say you hate god is to acknowledge his existence. Reason precludes hate...simple as that. It is refreshing to see somebody from the clergy refer to religion as dangerous though, even if they had to put their own spin on it.

To Catholic Archbishop George Pell

I find it interesting when Christians refer to an "assault on God." If God is so powerful and mighty, then how is that even possible? It is amusing to watch the clergy and their flock bring their mighty god down to the level of man, empowering us with the might to attack and assault their god. Once again, however, the reply is simple, you cannot assault what does not exist.

In response to his Eminence's claim that atheists do not participate in charitable activities I respond that we choose to do so quietly not flaunting our goodwill so as to pat ourselves on the back and show how much better we are then everybody else. We actively seek out charities that are not bound down by religious institutions because we do not want our hard earned money going to organizations that take acut of it to pay for their expensive cathedrals and decorations of gold and jewels to promote a superstition and mysticism which we do not agree with. If you wish to brag about your charities that is your business, but I bleieve your Bible says something about doing your "deeds" to be seen of men and how when they praise you that is your reward.

To Catholic Bishop Anthony Fisher

Now I won't lie to you, this cat pisses me off. The audacity to take the woes of the last century and blame it on atheists...seriously? He blames Nazism, Stalinism/Communism and Pol Pot (which I had to look up, turns out was some Cambodian Communist dictator that was into mass murders) on Godlessness or atheism. Well I have news for you your Eminence, you need to go back and read history...undoctored by your theistic thugs at the Vatican.

Adolph Hitler was NOT an atheist. Adolph Hitler was a good Catholic and he ran his regime within the the good graces of the Roman Catholic Church. I found the following link interesting, (Roman Catholic Hitler)and the evidence is not is there in black and

Pol Pot was a hideous beast and an extension of the communist arm. Interestingly enough, he was not just an animal against religion, but was also a racist and hated anybody with an education. He hated intelectuals and thinkers, so to blame his acts on "atheism" rather than psychosis would be a gross oversimplification and an evident attempt to find a scape goat.

Stalin was an atheist yes, and the state was officially an atheistic state but the Roman Catholic Church was one of the few religions that were recognized and allowed to operate in this atheistic state. If your god is so powerful it would seem to me that since you were able to operate within this communistic state you would have made a difference. But fine...I will give you Stalinism/Communism...

(3) A World without Religion: The Pros and Cons

So I stop and consider this question: What WOULD the world be like without religion? Sure religion does do some good in the world we live in. It is not all bad...despite what some may say. I think religion has some pros and cons...

1. A world with religion...the positives

1. Religion is a Control mechanism

Let's face it, people can be pretty cruel and nasty by nature. Religion takes the basic rules of society, the rules that any inteligent, civilized individual would follow anyway and puts eternal consequences behind them. Now those of us that look at this as ridiculous should stop and consider this: imagine a world where the basic rules of society had not 'eternal" consequences. Look around you, look at the people you know that would have no qualms stealing, killing, raping etc. if there were not consequences. I hate to sound snobbish, but I don't need a god for me to behave as a sane and upstanding member of society. Unfortunately, a large portion of the human population does. You can take that how you wish, but it is the truth. Religion is ultimately about control of the baser passions of the human psyche, which is a big reason why the most important political issues to the extreme religious right are in some way connected to sexual issues (i.e. gay and lesbian rights and abortion)

2. Religion is a Comfort

Karl Marx once stated that religion is the opium of the masses or of the people. There is a lot of truth in that. The mind is a powerful thing. And if a person leans on their faith in god enough they will find comfort in it. Death of a family member is comforted by the thought of a better place and an all powerful being that is in control. As humans, by nature, we have a need to understand why things happen. When there is no explanation, faith is something these people can lean back on. Most people find comfort in their faith, and as long as it does not result in bigotry and hate, no harm no foul. Really and truly, like the child that finds comfort in a teddy bear or a blanket, a vast majority of our population finds a comfort in religion, and there is little reason to "liberate them from the matrix", as it were.

3. Religion is a Coping mechanism

When I lived in Kansas my manager there had not had a drink in 15+ years. When I asked him what had happened, he answered that God had given him the strength. It was odd because he was not really a religious man, not really a go to church and preach type of man. As we discussed it he showed me his "coin" from AA, and explained they had taught him coping mechanisms...among which was god. There are a lot of people with the same story. God and religion is their coping mechanism and is generally much more harmless than the bottom of a vodka bottle (or several for that matter.)

All in all, relgion probably does a lot in avoiding anarchy, social chaos, mental and nervous breakdown, alcholism and drug abuse among other things. It could be argued that religion in many ways is not much different then the child with an imaginary friend that helps them deal with problems. Is it healthy? In most cases it is harmless, and some of them see it as a fail safe...if they are right and there is a god then they win, if there is not a god then they still win because they had mental help to cope with issues in their life.

1. Imagine a world without religion...the negatives

But let us not gloss it all over as fun and beauty. Religion is about control and while there are some positives that come from it, control can be an ugly thing. And when control is challenged those exercising that control can be cruel and brutal. There are those wielding the control that use it as a blanket to cover themselves in anonymity and thus get away with some pretty sick and hideous things.

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Steven Weinberg

Let us consider...just a short list...9/11, The Holocaust (by Catholic backed Nazi's killing the 'Jesus Killers'), the Inquisition, the rape of children all over the world, the Dark Ages (also ALL orchestrated by the Roman Catholic Church dear Bishops Pell and Fisher.

So let us not turn a blind eye to the faults of religion, and let us not blame all of the last century's horrors on "godlessness". Let us see it for what it is...the huge capacity of negative behavior that is in all human least we don't hide behind a god or a church...for..let's say...immunity..

In addition...on strictly the religious and historical views...let us consider the historical validity of Jesus Christ on this "solemn" holiday...please read the following article and just consider the possiblities...and I challenge the most devout to read it objectively...I just dare you...

Did a Historical Jesus Exist


Anonymous said...

There's another positive to religion: double time. For us non-churchgoers, working on all these bogus christian holidays really pays off.

Will Shealy said...

I read the article. My own opinions are irrelevant in the eyes of others as far as I'm concerned. They have no place in others' lives, because they are MY beliefs and MY faith, if you will.

I have no need to share it with others, I have no desire to talk to anyone else about it. The last thing I ever want to do is try to convince someone else that my way is right.

So why is it so important to so many others... be it Muslim, Christian, Agnostic (yes, I've even heard Agnostics preach indifference to others) and Atheists.

Just sayin'


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