Posts Tagged ‘ Same Sex Marriage ’

The First Christian … Ever

Christians manage to quote their holy book quite a bit in conversation and blog posts. It often seems like they might have read it. I don’t think they have. Yes, I’m walking out on a limb here. Today I had an exchange with a believer who said “you don’t understand what you’re reading or you’re not willing to believe” when I posited that reading the Christian bible was a fast track to atheism and that their certainty that their faith was right should be questioned. I think that moments like this are double face palm moments. There is no reasonable manner to read the new testament and think that Jesus and Paul were talking about the same things. Google is your friend. There are many Christian websites and blogs talking about how they definitely were not talking about the same things.

Sometimes I want to scream at believers asking them whether they are followers of Jesus or Paul. Most of them I run into don’t seem to know the difference. For those that haven’t read the book it might not seem a big thing. If you have read it you will know that Jesus and Paul had quite different messages. Conservative Americans will be fans of Paul. Liberals and socialists will be fans of Jesus. It’s not really a book for anarchists or those with the will and desire to face life on it’s own, on their own. It’s really a self help book with rules about how to not spend eternity burning alive, and of course some ways that you should punish your neighbors if they do stuff that Paul didn’t like. It’s not really a pleasant read and right at the end it gets downright loopy. Once you discount the repeat stories and plain crazy stuff, Paul wrote most of the rest of it. He had a lot to say to various people, quite a bit more than what we supposedly know that Jesus said.

I think Paul’s episode on the road to Damascus is a bit dubious, I always have. The most prolific writer in the NT and his conversion story has two versions is something I find more than a little bit interesting. There are people that talk about hermeneutics. They want you to interpret the stories in just the right way. The whole thing is up for interpretation and the way I read it Paul was a pretty ambitious man. He went from persecuting believers to telling them how to live. In some ways that’s not much of a change but in other ways it was pretty radical. What makes a guy who is pretty much a dick change tactics and go completely the other way? It’s interesting to think about. He not only did an occupational about face but he also taught differently than Jesus did. This guy was coloring completely outside the lines, and he brought his own crayon box with him. He was off the reservation right up to the Council of Jerusalem around 50 C.E. That’s where he got his street cred and off he went. That’s where Christianity took a left turn.

The story of Christianity is not a single, homogeneous story. Basically shards of stories, letters, stuff that you have to piece together to get a picture or glimpse of the authors and what they were like, what life was like and so on. It’s all up for interpretation and it takes a lot of study to make sense of it. That is something that most believers just don’t have in them. It’s stuff they aren’t going to do. They are going to regurgitate what they hear from the pulpit each Sunday.

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That doesn’t mean that nobody has ever sat down and read it and thought about what it all means. Let’s run to a quote that inspired the title of this post. Read it a bit carefully, the language is a bit of a run-on but if  you go slow it makes sense.

    The first Christian. All the world still believes in the authorship of the “Holy Spirit” or is at least still affected by this belief: when one opens the Bible one does so for “edification.”… That it also tells the story of one of the most ambitious and obtrusive of souls, of a head as superstitious as it was crafty, the story of the apostle Paul–who knows this , except a few scholars? Without this strange story, however, without the confusions and storms of such a head, such a soul, there would be no Christianity…

That the ship of Christianity threw overboard a good deal of its Jewish ballast, that it went, and was able to go, among the pagans–that was due to this one man, a very tortured, very pitiful, very unpleasant man, unpleasant even to himself. He suffered from a fixed idea–or more precisely, from a fixed, ever-present, never-resting question: what about the Jewish law? and particularly the fulfillment of this law? In his youth he had himself wanted to satisfy it, with a ravenous hunger for this highest distinction which the Jews could conceive – this people who were propelled higher than any other people by the imagination of the ethically sublime, and who alone succeeded in creating a holy god together with the idea of sin as a transgression against this holiness. Paul became the fanatical defender of this god and his law and guardian of his honor; at the same time, in the struggle against the transgressors and doubters, lying in wait for them, he became increasingly harsh and evilly disposed towards them, and inclined towards the most extreme punishments. And now he found that–hot-headed, sensual, melancholy, malignant in his hatred as he was– he was himself unable to fulfill the law; indeed, and this seemed strangest to him, his extravagant lust to domineer provoked him continually to transgress the law, and he had to yield to this thorn.
Is it really his “carnal nature” that makes him transgress again and again? And not rather, as he himself suspected later, behind it the law itself, which must constantly prove itself unfulfillable and which lures him to transgression with irresistable charm? But at that time he did not yet have this way out. He had much on his conscience – he hints at hostility, murder, magic, idolatry, lewdness, drunkenness, and pleasure in dissolute carousing – and… moments came when he said to himself:”It is all in vain; the torture of the unfulfilled law cannot be overcome.”… The law was the cross to which he felt himself nailed: how he hated it! how he searched for some means to annihilate it–not to fulfill it any more himself!

And finally the saving thought struck him,… “It is unreasonable to persecute this Jesus! Here after all is the way out; here is the perfect revenge; here and nowhere else I have and hold the annihilator of the law!”… Until then the ignominious death had seemed to him the chief argument against the Messianic claim of which the new doctrine spoke: but what if it were necessary to get rid of the law?

The tremendous consequences of this idea, of this solution of the riddle, spin before his eyes; at one stroke he becomes the happiest man; the destiny of the Jews–no, of all men–seems to him to be tied to this idea, to this second of its sudden illumination; he has the thought of thoughts, the key of keys, the light of lights; it is around him that all history must revolve henceforth. For he is from now on the teacher of the annihilation of the law…

This is the first Christian, the inventor of Christianity. Until then there were only a few Jewish sectarians.

from Nietzsche’s Daybreak, s.68, Walter Kaufmann transl.

But we’re just not reading it right apparently. Only believers can read it right, so I’m lead to believe. The problem I find with that is that whenever a smart person reads the book then end up not believing and tend to have the same kind of interpretation as I do. I’m not trying to say I’m smart or something, just that confirmation bias seems to really skew what the book says. Nietzsche doesn’t seem to have a high opinion of Paul – the first Christian. I tend to agree with Nietzsche. Moreover I think that modern day Christians are not really doing what they ought to be doing as Christians according to their Jesus.
That won’t stop them from trying to tell the rest of us that we’re doing it wrong.

Somehow, I just don’t believe it. How is my interpretation wrong? Oh yeah, I don’t believe but I think I’m in good company.

 

 

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Christianity Out Of Context

I’ll admit this up front, I’m going to base this post on a paragraph taken out of context from another post (read it here) I’m not even going to mention the blog named ‘Roll To Disbelieve’ or that the OP is about Ryan Bell in some way. Nope, not going to do any of that. I’m going to take this all kinds of out of context. Here is the paragraph that woke me up like a bucket of cold water. (emphasis is mine)

I should not be surprised by this comparison. She genuinely thinks that as her religion loses cultural dominance that “iniquity will abound,” and even cites a Bible verse (Matthew 24:12) she thinks props up her assertion that Christians today are living in the “Endtimes,” that mystical apocalyptic ending of the world that will involve the Rapture, then (or before or during the Rapture, depending on exactly what Christian you’re talking to) a period of great persecution called the Tribulation, and then the Battle of Armageddon and the final destruction of the planet Earth, which in the minds of many Christians like her will start when her religion experiences a great “falling away.”

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I read the above paragraph (whole post actually) and as I did it occurs to me that the belief that without religion that iniquity would abound in the world is a belief that can ONLY be held by people who are absolutely, positively, without a doubt, beyond repair, ignorant of the news.

We are living in, one of the most peaceful time in human history, but there is this:

Studies demonstrate the world is becoming less violent, and that human warfare is on the decline. There is one aspect of the human existence, however, that continues to ignite humans to commit violence and atrocities against fellow humans. A major new study published by the Pew Research Center shows that religious hostilities reached a 6-year high in 2012.

We can look at the news and see ‘random’ ‘psychotics’ attacking police officers while chanting to their deity. There are no stories of atheists attacking cops while shouting there is no god.

Then there is Evangelicals trying to kill the gays wherever they can:

The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 (previously called the “Kill the Gays bill” in the western mainstream media due to the originally proposed death penalty clauses) The legislative proposal would broaden the criminalisation of same-sex relations in Uganda domestically, and further includes provisions for Ugandans who engage in same-sex relations outside of Uganda, asserting that they may be extradited for punishment back to Uganda, and includes penalties for individuals, companies, media organisations, or non-governmental organisations that know of gay people or support LGBT rights.

Do we need to look at how much money the LDS wasted trying to prevent same sex marriage in a different state?

It is estimated that the amount of money the US government loses in tax exemptions for religions could feed the hungry, clothe and house the homeless and improve our medical services every year, year on year, because the amount that religion steals from the rest of us is perhaps as much as $71 billion a year.

I’m just getting started. Do we have to mention the mess that the Roman Catholic Church has made around the globe by abusing and raping children? Do we need to put links to every Christian pastor who raped or stole? Do we have to example every mega-church pastor’s problems? I don’t think so. The news is littered with stories about the religious doing iniquities left, right, and center.

That doesn’t even begin to cover the self proclaimed religious politicians and lobbyists and their iniquity. There are more convicted felons in the houses of congress across the US than there are employees in most small businesses. Go ahead, Google that one.

Back when everyone was a ‘believer’ and religion ruled Europe they had a name for it, it was called the dark ages. Toward the end when humans began to decide that we needed a different way, one of the first was some pissed off barons who took King John out in the woods and made him sign the Magna Carta and it is these precepts of law (and others) which were spread around the world, refined here and there by various colonists as they gained freedom. Forget the believer’s god and its hell, people should be afraid of law enforcement and citizens with guns. Those citizens do not like to be robbed, raped, and treated poorly. Those citizens created revolutions across most of the globe now. While they did not choose to eliminate religion most of them  have removed religion from government… for a reason.

Before you get all huffy, from this we can easily conclude that being part of a religion (even an integral part) does not make you a good person.

Now, to say that iniquity would happen if religion disappeared is blindingly stupid. The laws don’t stop these people and religion certainly doesn’t stop them. In fact, for much of it, it is religion that makes their crimes possible or often enough the religion hides their crimes.

Why do we allow such people a public speaking post? This is exactly the kind of person that should be laughed at and mocked and shamed into silence. That one thought is so stupid it is offensive.

 

 

What the F is Egalitarianism

It is not an easy word to say, doesn’t roll off the tongue and does not appear in the daily 24 hour news cycle. So? What is it?

I always go to Merriam-Webster for definitions because I like them

1:  a belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs
2:  a social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people
This seems quite reasonable. So why is it so hard to achieve?
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I don’t want to cast aspersions where they are not warranted but I should point out that religion has been in charge for over 2000 years. Perhaps we should try this without religion?
Thoughts?

This Made Me Cry…

Laughing….

 

 

Dear Mr Putin,

Please learn what the word decorum means to most of the rest of the world.

We don’t care about your religion. We want to see sports. If your little country can’t handle it… well, no point in letting you host the games now is there?

What Did You Just Ask?

What Did You Just Say?

To Celebrate My 500th Post

Well, it’s here. Some time back (see link above), I said that I’d like to celebrate 500 posts with an Ask Me Anything (AMA) of sorts. I Think that I’ll not put any limits on what kind of questions, but I will say that I might not choose to answer in a way that you like … don’t be sad, sometimes that happens.

You can see the topics I post on for inspiration or just pull a question out of your hat.

You can ask here in the comments or at the email address: myatheistlife at G mail dot com

Please, if asking in the comments, start a new paragraph with QUESTION: at the beginning of the line.

QUESTION: Please ask your questions like this.

Heads Up

There are  a couple of topics which the men in black will not allow me to talk about:

  • Faster than light travel
  • Cold fusion
  • Tasteful mother’s day gift giving
  • Why your sports team sucks
  • How I know that you need to do laundry

Other than that, ask away.

MAL

Are You Guilty?

In the USA there are lots of people who still discriminate against GLBTQ members of society. No, they don’t make them use different bathrooms or sit in the back of the bus but there are situations which happen every day that show discrimination is loud and clear to this group of people.

 

 

Outside of raging bigots, the main support for discrimination against GLBTQ people is from adherents of monotheistic religions. I get flack from time to time for stating that even calm, mild, happy, liberal Christians are just as bad as the fundamentalists. The story of Amanda Brown’s Fathers is exactly what I’m talking about. There are far too many people who act inhumane to these groups. There are far too many people who are simply bigots to these groups. These inhumane bigots feel justified in their in/actions because of their monotheistic religious beliefs. That’s right. Mild mannered aunt Jane is an inhumane bigot. Maybe she doesn’t appear that way when you’re around her, but give her a chance to act on that bigotry and you see what happens?

That’s right. Kindly aunt Jane worries about the homosexual agenda when the only real agenda is that of monotheistic religions to oppress GLBTQ people. If anyone wants to give me flack for that stance they had better be calling the Kansas City Mo Police Chief and emailing/writing to the Police Chief their concerns and outrage at the very poor way their officers handled this situation. If you are liberal monotheist and think you’re not part of the problem, you’d better be speaking out in support of these loving husbands. If you’re not religious and think secular and faith communities can work together you’d better be all over this making sure your faith-y friends are speaking up in support of these loving husbands.

I’m sick and tired of being told that I’m negative and then having to read about news stories like this. I’m on the right side of history here. Bookmark this article and others like it. When the apologists and accommodationists talk about working together – show them these articles and tell them their work is cut out for them. They need to get off their bibles and out in the world stopping this kind of bigotry and hate from ruining the lives of others.

That’s right – mild aunt Jane is a bigot and if you’re not going to tell her, I will. Take this opportunity to break the news to her in a kindly manner. She _IS_ going to be told.

On Love The Sinner But Hate The Sin…

<rant begins here>

I have heard this once too often: god loves the sinner but hates the sin. Christians keep saying that they don’t hate the sinner (homosexuals most often) but they hate the sin. Even American politicians have used this line of argument.

Well, their god isn’t going to let them into heaven is he? No, he wants them stoned to death before they can repent.

Leviticus: 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Clearly then, the god of Abraham does not love homosexuals and has no compassion for them. To say that he does is a blatant lie. How do you feel when you KNOW that someone is lying to your face? Yeah, me too but that is illegal and in most cases not morally good.

In fact, all of Leviticus 20 is fairly sickening.

Now, if the god of Abraham is perfect and all his creations less so and even he cannot love the sinner, what exactly do you think those smiling, lying Christians believe? There is no way that they can love the sinner for they cannot best their own god… they are imperfect.

I would be most pleased if any of my readers would, when confronted by the ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ epithet, turn and accuse them of lying to their face. The scripture passage Leviticus 20:13 demands they kill homosexuals so their egregious little lie is also a sin against their god.

To the believers of the god of Abraham: You don’t love the sinner, you never have and never will. Your petty, insidious, small minded thinking makes me sick. I will not forgive you for it. Rot in your hell!

Addendum:

Oh, dear Christian believer. The god of Abraham does not love you either for he will only show compassion on you if you are willing to accept abject slavery and adore him forever without fail. If you fail, he’ll kick you out. Just ask Lucifer. If fail to show enough adoration and appropriate slave manners you won’t even get into heaven. If you are not near perfect in your adoration of him you’ll burn forever. He does not love you and has no  compassion for you. He never has and never will. If you think you’re going to heaven, you’ve sold your soul to the one being who would torture you forever, for only the god of Abraham and his Jesus doppleganger has promised this.

Let me translate the bible for you: love me exactly like I tell you to and if you screw up any of the many contradictory rules I’ve given you then I will burn you in hell for eternity.

Anything past that is either a contradictory law or some parable of what happens if you break one of those laws. The god of Abraham does not love any human.

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