Picking Christianity is like a game of Russian Roulette

Sent in by Alan B

As far as I can remember I have been asking questions. To set the scene, I am from the United Kingdom, which is a country whilst not free from religious conflicts is not as willing to show religion on its sleeve with the same pride that America does.

Both my parents raised me, and both my parents are Church of Scotland Christians. They are not the hell and damnation type, which seems to be a recurring theme on these testimonials, but the quiet type. In fact, you can barely tell they are of any religious persuasion. And this is where the questions would come. How come my parents were not as 'angry' as other Christians? Why did my parents not go to the same church as my Catholic friends? etc... The problem is, when you get two separate groups of Christians who both "love" their "god," but don't go to the same church, it is very hard to explain this phenomenon to a child. But here comes a sticking point: My parents would not go to a Catholic church any more than they would go to a mosque (a symbol of another religion where you "love" your "god"). Why not? If my Protestant parents and my Catholic friends practiced the same stuff, why did each not share this celebration instead of cold-shouldering the other party?

This is the key reason why I don't believe there is a god, or any basis behind religion. Surely, if we have three Abrahamic religions and one actually happened to be correct in its assumptions, then the other two are totally false. Picking Christianity would be like a game of Russian Roulette whereby there would be a one-in-three chance you actually got the "truth". This highlights the fact that "god" is VERY MUCH a human invention. People claim to know the workings of the brain of a super-deity, something which we are supposedly not able to comprehend, yet threaten people for acting against "god's will" as if suddenly they knew exactly what this god wanted! This is one of the many GLARINGLY OBVIOUS contradictions within religion which, unsurprisingly, is never mentioned by the religious.

Another thing which I never got hold of was the concept that religious figures commanded respect. Why? Surely if religion was all about the love of some invisible super-deity nobody would have any better grasp of religion than the next person, right? This all sounds a bit socialist all of a sudden, and hell, the churches would never be able to wring money out the elderly if they didn't offer some authority.

But, because both my parents are mild mannered, I was almost angered by their ability to still claim to have a faith, when most of the things they believed in were not the typical conservative Christian values we all know and love. Why do my parents have to call themselves Christian, and why do they have to get caught up in church?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Alan,
"Another thing which I never got hold of was the concept that religious figures commanded respect. Why? "

That's the problem right there. We respect other people's silly beliefs. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism should be treated with the same respect that tarot card readers, astrologers, and crystal ball seers get.

Christopher Hitchens says that "religion should be treated with ridicule, hatred, and contempt." I agree.

jason said...

Alan,
Interesting rationale. However, religion and truth in the same sentence is absurd. They are all false and filled with lies and deception! Choosing any religion or denomination over another
is basically irrelevant. All are damaging. The ultimate consequence of any given religion is the same across the board. Reality can not be avoided by any belief system. The religious are the only true loaded guns in our society. Pointed in any and all directions with the trigger constantly being pulled, it’s just a matter of time before the live round rotates into firing position!

Anonymous said...

the antichristian: respect is constant. to live in a society without it is to degenerate to the beastial level of humanity which we should all rue and fear.

jason: religions that sacrifice children, damaging. religions that ignore the poor and the orphans, damaging. religions that practice incest, mass suicides, and under-age sex... very damaging. religions that call for peace and love to ones friends and ones enemies, good. naive or not i'd rather take 10 Christians who are willing to learn how to really love their neighbor over one bigot who'd rather shoot everyone out of his confort zone; no. if societal damage upsets you re-evaluate where you stand. your loathing and, well outright hatred, of Christianity is rather bigoted and, quite frankly, childish.

if everyone loved their neighbor in the way that Jesus loved the world then this would be a pretty great place to live. and whether you believe he was the messiah or not has nothing to do with what i just said. anyone who even claims to be hanging on a cross for everyone's sin CANNOT be a terrible person and probably has more than one thing to teach us.


Alan: I'm sorry to address both the antichristian and jason first but in an attempt to approach this with a good deal of rationality and to set whatever emotions I have to the side it was necessary.

You asked why do your parents and your Roman Catholic friends not worship together. Well, it's simple and yet needlessly complex. Let it suffice to say that there are historical and theological differences that both religions view as being unharmonious; in fact many wars and councils were fought and formed in a futile effort to prove that one religion was right. (Please also take note that while Roman Catholics and Protestants have different religious practices that they are both Christians, though many may argue otherwise.)

As far as the claims that some people make to understanding a divine being like God, yes many PEOPLE do claim and on some level believe that they know the entirity of God's mind however most of these people, though they may have faith, are far more zealous than anyone should be. When people make this claim they nullify God's will by alligning it with their own will, so essentially they envision a God who's basically a bigger better version of themselves. Now opposed to this, and I'm sure that many people will disagree with my next point, is the Bible. The Bible makes the claim that it is the word of God and that it contains his truth, not that it is God's singular word and that it is his truth. The Bible neither claims to speak to every situation, for example it omits nuclear weapons, nor does it at any point claim to contain 100% of God's knowledge, otherwise it would infact be God.

You claimed that people like this are a glaring contradiction within religion, I assume that you're speaking of all religions but since your focus seems to be Christianity I think I'll focus on that. This is mentioned by people in the church, granted it doesn't come up every Sunday. In fact this is a huge problem but we're none of us perfect, and if anyone argues otherwise... well it speaks for itself. I think you've attributed the contradiction to the wrong source. You're arguing that the problem is with the religion but just by reading what you've said it seems fairly obvious to me that it's the people who are broken, not the religion.

Finally, why do clergy, command respect. Well anyone who demands it is really lacking in humility, but once again that's a people problem that they need to work on. As far as why it's given to them: these are men and women who have devoted their lives to the study and proclemation of God. There are some churches in which yes, people are stupid and they use their authority to exploit people, such as the elderly. There are other churches in which the elderly give freely because they feel called to, for the same reason that a grandparent would give a grandchild money, love.

No matter what respect must be given and earned, respect commanded isn't worth a dime. At the same time pastors and other clergy are in a position of authority; they are studying the Bible and are doing the best to live out God's will in their own lives as well as help guide others on their own walk. They shouldn't claim to be perfect, because they're not, they shouldn't claim to be masters, because they'll always be apprentices, but they're doing something that sets them aside from everyone else.

Finally you asked why do you parents call themselves Christian and why are they wrapped up in the church. Well, I hate to state the obvious in this, but it's because they believe there's something there. They believe that there is a God, one who claims to love them and who wants the best for them. Perhaps they recognize all the problems that you pointed out as people problems, I should copyright that term if I'm going to use it this much, but still believe that their faith goes beyond the people they're surrounded by. But I really don't know the answer to that question and at the very best I'm guessing so I'd encourage you to ask them. Whether you believe their answers or not there's nothing wrong with asking them, of course because that's the only way you'll ever know their answer.

I'm sure that my advice to ask them will be regarded as stupid, pro-Christian, a waste of time, ect. ect. ect. But even still I encourage you to ask. Knowledge is not a crime, nor is speaking with parents who have different beliefs than you.

So that's it. It's lengthy and I've tried to approach everything while leaving as many of by beliefs aside as possible if only to try to explain things rationally, which it seemed like you would resonate with more readily; but to remove one's self from any arguement is wholly impossible.

I hope you find the answers you're looking for.

"I... miss... him!" A quote from Chalres Templeton when speaking about Jesus shortly after the publishing of "Farewell to God". For those who know him there's something rather inescapable about his words.

Trancelation said...

acka:

There is no evidence that anyone named Jesus ever existed. Therefore, it is impossible to "love the world" as he did. Ergo, your entire post is pointless and without merit.

Christians have no real role model. Any goodness from them comes from their own humanity, not the "model" that Jesus set up. As far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as a Christian, because there was never a Christ. Sure, there are people who call themselves Christian - but this is a falsified title, a fake driver's license, an imitation product. There was never a Jesus Christ.

Secondly, there is no evidence that the Christian god is real. Therefore, your entire post is pointless. It is impossible to say that people misinterpret the Christian God's word - it does not exist. Are you catching on yet? You're trying to sound reasonabl and intelligent, but you're onyl suceeding in making yourself look like a fool, aka, a CHRISTIAN. Anyone that requires ASSUMPTION to form an argument is an idiot in my book, no matter HOW nice they are.

As a rule, I am civil to everyone, even to the most loud-mouthed obnoxious fundie, so long as they are nice to me. I can be nice to a murderer or a rapist. I can be compassionate towards a child molestor. And yes, I am putting Christians in the same boat as murderers, rapists and child molestors. MANY murderers, rapists and child molestors ARE Christian. Simply claiming Christian allegiance makes on a Christian. Sorry.

Point is, I can get along with anyone, regardless of their belief system, if they can play nice with me. As an atheist, I wholeheartedly embrace the concept of privacy and civility. These are HUMAN qualities, ATHEIST qualities. I have no problem with you going into YOUR house, worshipping an idol made from horse bones, dog hair and discarded tampons. Keep it to yourself. As soon as you make it your ideal that all that do NOT worship idols of horse bones, dog hair and discarded tampons is a worthless human being and must be converted, and then come to MY doorstep and get in MY face, then we have a problem. If you worship a magical kitten in the sky that farts sunshine and rainbows, I don't care; if you believe that you should rape every woman in a five-hundred mile radius, then you and the kitten worshipper are one and the same. BULLSHIT IS BULLSHIT. I don't care how "nice" your bullshit is to someone else's. ALL bullshit demands to be treated like bullshit. Of course, if you keep your bullshit to yourself, hey - it's all cool like Friday after school. I can't tell you how much of a morony ou are if you keep it to yourself, eh? But that's the problem; Christians, murderers, rapists and child molestors just can't seem to keep it to themselves.

So Christians come around here and spew their trash, just like you're doing. You DEMAND RESPECT FOR YOUR VIEWS. If you didn't, you wouldn't be arguing for them in the first place. It's how these things work. The way I work is, I will respect your bullshit when you give me a good reason to.

acka, you belong to a belief system that states, plain and simply, that all dissenters will be punished for their dissension. This is not something worth respecting. As such, I have no intentions of respecting your DISRESPECT. Stick around, and you WILL get your ass handed to you. you will be made to look like an even bigger fool than you ever could on your own. So FUCK OFF.

Franciscan Monkey said...

Ackachunter:

Jesus, as portrayed in the Bible, certainly didn't treat everyone with repsect. He called people a generation of vipers, serpents, fools, hypocrites, evil, adulterous, blind, faithless, perverse, swine, and dogs. Driving the money-changers out of the Temple area with a whip is not treating someone with respect. Jesus was often quite disrespectful.

Also, although Jesus did sometimes talk about peace and loving your friends and enemies, he also said:

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. - Matthew 10:34-36

Even if he existed, Jesus would not be a role model that I'd care to emulate.

Respectfully,
Franciscan Monkey

jason said...

ackachunter............ you moron!

I normally don’t respond to intellectually challenged idiots. With you I will make an exception.

asshunter says,
........naive or not i'd rather take 10 Christians who are willing to learn how to really love their neighbor over one bigot who'd rather shoot everyone out of his comfort zone; no..........

I know that god (or any gods) does not exist. The bible is only good for ass paper in a port-a-potty at a construction site. When both you and I die, the exact same thing that happens to me will happen to you, and visa versa. Can you and your 10 christian sociopaths love me without condemning me to eternity in hell? In fact, you can’t find 1 single christian who is not an irrational bigot that will not condemn his non-believing neighbors to fiery hell. That’s called shooting everyone outside of your belief system. Neighborly love.

asshunter says,
.......Alan: I'm sorry to address both the antichristian and jason first but in an attempt to approach this with a good deal of rationality........

This is the delusion that you suffer from. As long as you believe in the irrational, you can’t be rational.

Steve Holmes said...
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Steve Holmes said...
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Steve Holmes said...
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karekare said...

Oh, Ackachunter, I'm still laughing! Thanks for that! The Bible doesn't mention nuclear weapons? Well why the hell not? It's only the 2nd biggest problem on Earth that we have to deal with, after global warming. Oh, that's not mentioned either now, is it? Of course not! Nor was AIDS, Communism vs. Capitalism, Malaria in Africa that continues to devastate countries...shall I continue? And why weren't these global disasters mentioned? Because the sheepherders that wrote your book had no way of knowing it!
Your other comment made my day, too. Something about Jesus couldn't have been such a bad person to hang on a cross for all our sins. So if I go insane enough, then proceed to make a statement about how I kill myself for all of you, then I'm just a genuinely good person. Puh-leez.

Now stop trying to convince us. You guys thank Jesus for the great parking space at your mall, as if he would have anything to do with that even as thousands of children slowly die from cancer, AIDS, malaria, etc. each and every day. He'll help you with your fucking parking space, but won't lift a finger for an innocent child. Don't tell me Christians aren't completely nuts!

Anonymous said...

Ackachunter,
I would first like to make a distinction between disrespecting someone and disrespecting their beliefs.

My mother and all of my relatives, bar none, are Christians, Southern Baptists to be exact. I treat them with all the respect and affection that a family member could be expected of.

But they learned a long time ago to avoid the topic of religion with me. They used to condemn me for my beliefs, saying that
I was doomed to hell and that atheists are immoral, until I statred fighting back.

Of course, I would not use derisional language - I would simply explain why I thought God and Jesus never existed. Thus, keeping respect for them while showing my disrespect for their beliefs.

Needless to say,they began to see that their arguments were fruitless and that arguing with me did no more than to make them angry. They eventually gave up.

Ackachunter, my friend, I am going to give you a gift - the gift of enlightenment. Jesus never existed and the Bible proves it. The argument below is taken from an earlier post I made. You can only accept yhis if you read it with an open mind.

Cheers


The first century Christians did not believe that Jesus had actually set foot on earth. They believed in a heavenly Jesus.

If you read Paul's Epistles, you will find that there is no mention of the events found in the Gospels: no Bethlehem, no Nazareth, no Sermon on the Mount, no conversations with Pharisees, no Gethsemane, no Calvary, no Joseph of Arimathea. Paul apparently did not know of these things.

When Paul quotes Jesus, he doesn't refer to his teachings in the Gospels, but to Isaiah (Hebrews 2:12) Did Paul not know of the teachings of Jesus found in the gospels?

Also, Paul says that what he knows of Jesus entirely comes from personal revelation (Gal.1:12) despite the fact that Paul claims to have stayed with Peter and James (the disciples who allegedly lived with Jesus day and night for three years) for 15 days (Gal.1:18,19).

Don't you think that Peter and James could have told Paul something about Jesus if Jesus had actually come to the earth? Apparently, Peter and James didn't know anything about Jesus' life on earth either.

According to Paul, how was Jesus made known? By scriptures and God's command (Rom. 16:25,26). What about his three year career on earth? Also, Paul says,"my gospel", not "the gospel" implying that it originated from him, not Jesus.

Yes, it seems as though Paul sees himself as the chief arbiter of Christians' relationship with Jesus: "I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him." (2 Cor. 11:2)(NIV)

Also, "If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!" (Gal.1:9)(NIV) Why did Paul think that he should have a monopoly on the gospel? Wouldn't the knowledge of Jesus' three year career attest to the true gospel?

Paul apparently puts himself on the same level as Peter. He claims to have seen Jesus personally (1 Cor. 9:1). Furthermore, Paul has the audacity to "oppose him to his face" (Gal.2:11) (It was a disagreement over circumcision.)

Evidently, Paul didn't know that Peter had lived with Jesus day and night for three years and that Jesus claimed that he was "the rock upon which I build my church." Paul didn't recognize Peter's authority because Paul didn't know that Jesus had come to earth. (And neither did Peter, evidently.)

The epistles do not mention Jesus' return (with one exception, which I will discuss below). They mention the coming of Jesus. Look up these verses: 1 Cor.16:22, Phil 1:6, Phil 3:20, 2 Thess.1:7, 1 Peter 1:7
They are all anticipating the coming of the Lord. They do not say "come back," "come again," or "return." They say "come."

Hebrews 8 and 9 most clearly demonstrate that the first century Christians did not believe that Jesus ever set foot on earth.
"If he had been on earth, he would not even have been a priest ..." (Heb. 8:4)(NEB) or "If he were on earth, he would not be a priest ..." (NIV)

Furthermore, Jesus' sacrifice was in heaven, not on earth (Heb.9:11-14), (Heb.9:24,25). It says that Jesus will come again (Heb. 9:28). His first coming was in heaven, and his second coming will also be in heaven "... to meet the Lord in the air." (1 Thess. 4:17). It appears that Jesus never intends to set foot on earth.

What about the last supper and the death and resurrection? According to first century Christian thinking, all of that happened in heaven, too. It was quite common for other gods that were popular in the Mediterranean at the time to undergo death and resurrection in heaven, for heavenly beings had physical bodies(1 Cor.15:35-49). For example, Dionysus was born of a virgin, had meals including raw meat and wine, was murdered, and resurrected, all in the mythical, heavenly realm. The god Attis was another one who died and was resurrected in the mythical, heavenly realm, and there were a host of others. (http://www.pantheon.org/)

How did Paul know about the last supper? "For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: ..." (1 Cor. 11:23). He received it directly from Jesus, by revelation, it was not an objective historical fact.

At the end of the first century, the writers of the gospels probably took information from Paul concerning the last supper, death, and resurrection, and incorporated it into their gospel myths.

The first century Christians thought of Jesus as heavenly, mythical and never thought that Jesus set foot on earth. Why should you or I?

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