sent in by Zoe Grace
Are you 100% sure? Well, I don't know, are you? In this country since most of us have already heard about Jesus and yet there are those of us who think its bullshit, Fundamentalists have taken a new tactic, the "are you 100% sure tactic." They think this will put the fear of god in us. They are mistaken.
For one thing what does 100% sure mean? I'm not even 100% sure my car won't break down on the interstate, but generally it doesn't so I don't worry too much about it. Generally they appeal to Pascal's wager, a faulty piece of logic if ever there was one. They are following the "if I'm right then yay, If I'm wrong, nothing bad will happen." principle.
Actually that's not exactly true. The muslims could be right and then the christians will go to muslim hell. Hell, ANYTHING could be right and christians would be punished just like the rest of us "non-believers" But is living in this kind of state of paranoia and fear conducive to mental health?
"if i'm wrong nothing bad will happen" Not only is it illogical, but it is emotionally unfulfilling to live a lie just to be "sure" and play the odds against eternal torment. I was once a fundamentalist christian, and in that time (having nothing to do with individual christians and everything to do with theology) I was miserable.
I worried constantly. I was terrified of the rapture and hell and maybe I wasn't really saved, but no that was the devil attacking me. I was scared of demons and every possible stupid thing. What's more I was scared of biblegod. I mean it's a logical conclusion. Anyone willing to drown the world and torture most of it in a fiery hell can't be too damned dependable right? I was overwhelmed with guilt over stupid little things. I couldn't think straight. I couldn't enjoy life. I felt unfulfilled and a prisoner of my own mind.
Now I can't speak for every fundamentalist (and lets face it, they are the only ones getting in our face about "well what if you're wrong." moderate christians don't give a damn and mind their own business.), but most people I've met who are fundamentalists show signs of the above kind of behavior, and almost everyone i've met who has left christianity admits to the above.
I wonder honestly, does a christian think, if this is the only life there is that they want to waste it like that? Is what I've described really "no big deal"? Is it worth selling your emotional well being and mental freedom for something that's most likely just a big pipe dream in the sky?
What got me started on this essay was a tract that was left at my work. and it was called...do I even have to spell it out? "are you 100% sure" Here is the thrust of it.
they say: "here is how you can be 100% sure that you are going to heaven" (one would think that they would include some kind of proof that there is a heaven, but nope, just their holy book is used as evidence.)
1. realize and acknowledge: "all have sinned and come short of the glory of god"
um, no. must i even dignify this with a response? sin is an imaginary concept. an impossible yardstick where we are supposed to measure up to an imaginary deity.
2. realize and acknowledge: "the wages of sin is death."
since when did death equal torture for eternity? are they using a different dictionary than I am? and last time I checked all people die. (of course they bend and twist all of this to make death and life mean different things, but come on, this isn't kindergarten we surely are capable of logical thought.)
3. realize and acknowledge: "Christ died for our sins"
yes i'm familiar with this insane troll logic. Someone telling me this is enough to make me not interested. I try hard not to follow immoral systems. You can't pay off "sins" substitutionally. Just like you can't pick a random guy off the street to serve your prison sentence if you commit murder or molest a child. The whole concept is immoral. And that's not even getting into the concept of a substitution is a substitution, in order for it to work jesus would have to still be in hell, a three day death of an immortal being is not impressive. of course then there is the whole: there's not one shred of proof that this jesus man existed in the first place. and this tract hasn't given me one reason to put christianity above the myriad other superstitions vying for my approval.
4. realize and acknowledge: "the gift of god is eternal life through jesus christ our lord."
They also note that this gift is yours just by believing in a risen christ who arose on the third day and is alive forever more. Oh is that all? I have to have a lobotomy to get to heaven? neat. Also, I'm sorry but unlike most fundies I actually give a damn about the other people in the world, and I wouldn't spend eternity with biblegod laughing and singing and cavorting knowing that even ONE person was writhing in eternal pain. And I question the mercy and compassion of any human being who would. If they want to be honest and say: "Listen I don't want to roast in hell. I'm weak and can't follow my convictions. I just don't want biblegod to get me." well then at least I would respect their honesty.
5. realize and acknowledge: "whosoever shall call upon the name of the lord shall be saved"
(let me point out here that when you ask them about all the people who haven't heard about jesus you get this lame response: "god is no respecter of persons, everyone will have some opportunity before they die to accept jesus." um...ok. so what they are saying is, everyone but christians are supposed to...are expected to question the set of ideals they were raised on and deconvert from whatever it is they believe in and accept a whole new way of thinking. You know...if the moonies are right, I'm just going to laugh and say..well everyone had an opportunity, you saw them at the airport, why didn't you believe?
Of course christians aren't ALLOWED to do this (question etc.), what arrogance. maybe other faiths aren't allowed to question either. they just want to do the right things. are they going to be punished?)
and finally we come to the big payoff, the part we've all been waiting for:
6. confess and ask:
"why not pray this prayer (um because i'm not delusional), "Lord jesus, I am a sinner. Forgive me for my sin and come into my heart and save me. thank you for saving me. amen."
Dear fellow heretics...just so you can cover your bases and be 100% sure, please pray this prayer with me:
Dear imaginary man somewhere up in the sky: This moron who gave me this piece of paper says I'm a sinner, I don't know what the hell THAT means, but I'm assuming it means I've done something to offend you. Now ordinarily I wouldn't care if I'd offended someone I didn't know and who probably didn't exist in the first place, however I'm told that I will be tortured forever if I don't do this little prayer song and dance here. So here goes...please don't torture me forever for being what you supposedly made me. Don't roast me for eternity for using the brain you supposedly gave me. And please don't cast me into the firey lakes of hell for having the compassion and mercy to think such concepts are immoral and therefore, if you existed, so are you.
Became a Christian: 8
Ceased being a Christian: 20
Labels before: pentecostal, church of god, baptist
Labels now: agnostic pagan
Why I joined: was brainwashed from an early age, didn't know any better
Why I left: I decided I prefered logical thinking.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)