Childlike Grace

Bible

When I was a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Blogger Barry, in a recent post, said that he’d halted on his path to becoming an Atheist. He does not say that it was because he was taught that Atheists are evil, nasty or sinful, but that is the reason that many ex-Christians won’t admit that they have become Atheists.

Tired of the judgemental, accusatory, denominational bureaucracy and hypocrisy, he still wished to identify as ‘spiritual.’ It is quite possible to be spiritual, without being a member of any Christian sect.  His last stop before getting off the Christian bus, was at Mormon.

He still visited Atheist websites, and admitted that he had remained a Christian. He was amazed at the vehemence of some militant Atheists, who insisted that any and all religions were harmful.  He admitted that, being ‘inside the box,’ perhaps he did not understand the claim.  He asked, if he was not harming himself, or anyone else, how could his being a Christian be harmful?

When we tell small children that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy exist, are we harming them, or society in general? Probably not, or only a minuscule amount.  However, when children get to be 7, 8, 9 years old, we tell them the truth, and show them reality.  To allow them to grow into adults who still believe in things like the Tooth Fairy, can cause harm in a variety of ways.

If an individual or sect is allowed to treat their particular and peculiar superstition as reality, then both the believers and society are harmed. It also inserts the thin edge of a wedge.  If one is, then all religious opinions must be accepted, no matter how strange or unreal.  The more people there are, who treat fantasy as fact when dealing with life and the general public – the fewer people who cannot and/or do not, deal with secular reality – the more harm is caused, both to the believers and to society.

Critical thinking is incredibly hard, but also incredibly important. We can’t learn and grow without it.  We have to question our own ideas and motivations, so that we don’t get stuck on there being only one correct, acceptable idea.

Next comes the slippery slope. Once strange unprovable beliefs are allowed, the holders quickly try to turn acceptance into licence.  If politically powerful enough, they try to pass laws enforcing membership in their sect, and making disagreement with their views into heresy and apostasy.  Kindly old George H. W. Thousand Points Of Light Bush once said that Atheists should not be allowed to be American citizens, or patriots.

My opinion of Blogger Barry’s intelligence and mental strength, based only on reading a few of his posts, is that he is not, and probably won’t ever be, directly harmful to society. Sadly, he’s one in 10,000 – or maybe a million.  There are countless hordes, who are only too willing to use their religion as a justification to inflict physical, mental, emotional, social, or financial pain and damage to countless other victims.

God is for the wise. Religions are for fools.  If only more people would grow out of the childish need for an imaginary friend to protect and guide them, and become adult enough to face the universe and life as it really is, and not just how they wish it were.   😦  😯

Ass-U-Me

I told myself when I started blogging, that I should stay away from politics and religion.  Politics isn’t too bad; folks in Australia or Indonesia don’t give much of a damn about Canadian Provincial government, but, as soon as I mention religion, everybody’s got a dog in the fight.

There are good things and bad things about all religions, including Christianity, the majority Canadian belief.  The good parts are the social support net for like-minded worshippers.  It’s always nice to know that you’re part of a group.  Churches visit shut-ins, send flowers and cards to people in the hospital, and have programs to feed the poor and homeless.

The bad parts are when the corporate/politically-styled upper management demand the sheep-like surrender of all individuality and cessation of any and all critical thinking by accepting mindless dogma to ensure their increased secular power, lavish lifestyle and job security.

Actually, I don’t even want to rant about any of that.  What truly irks me, are the unthinking assumptions that all or most of their beliefs are valid, and anyone with a contrary opinion is simply wrong.  What is important to the faithful is not important because it’s important.  It’s only important to them because they believe it’s important to them.

What set my teeth on edge was the fact that I heard two particular songs within an hour.  The first was Alannah Myles’, Black Velvet, with its line about “a new religion that’ll bring you to your knees.”  Why does any religion need to drive us to our knees??!  Why couldn’t we have a kind religion that will lift us up and support us and inspire us to soar into the sky?  It’s a nice goal to aspire to.  Not all of us would make it, but the few who did would make a better life for all those who didn’t.

The other song that set me off was Joan Osborne’s, One Of Us.  I’ll probably have the Copyright Police banging on my door tomorrow, but I’ve included the lyrics below.  Have a look at them, and I’ll jump back in at the bottom to resume my bitching.

One Of Us

If God had a name, what would it be?
And would you call it to his face?
If you were faced with Him in all his glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?
And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on a bus
Tryin’ to make his way home?
If God had a face, what would it look like?
And would you want to see if, seeing meant
That you would have to believe in things like heaven
And in Jesus and the saints, and all the prophets?
And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin’ to make his way home?
Just tryin’ to make his way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to heaven all alone
Just tryin’ to make his way home
Nobody callin’ on the phone
“Cept for the Pope maybe in Rome

Okay, I’m back!  What a stupid-ass piece of shit this song is.  Just how chemically-enhanced do you have to be to write all those Yeah, yeah, yeahs?  And the God is great, God is good, comes straight from the Islamic, Allehu Akbar.  It’s really nice that you feel all warm and cuddly with the opinions that God exists, and is great, and good, but they’re just opinions, and a lot of other people have greatly differing opinions which may be as valid as yours.

The grammar-Nazi in me insists that the line should be, What if God were one of us, to indicate possibility, not assumption again.  I suppose that she was trying to personalize God, and bring him closer to the masses.  They could relate better to a bum, or a blue-collar bus-rider, but the whole concept is ridiculous.  Nobody phones God, and if nobody but the Pope were phoning God, there’d be no Pope and no Pope-job, so he wouldn’t be phoning either.

What if God had a name?  Would you call it to his face, in all his glory?  You just said he’s a slob, a stranger on a bus, what glory?  What if God had a face?  It’s that slob on the bus thing again.  I’m pretty sure he’d have a face, and why would merely seeing his face force you to believe in Jesus and the saints, and all the prophets?  They can all be mutually exclusive.  And the question!?  If God really showed up in person, why would we be limited to one question?  Is this like a genie thing, but we didn’t rub the lamp hard enough?  The Weird Al Yankovic satire version, What If God Smoked Cannabis?, makes more sense than this.

I have a God’s face, God’s name, one question scenario that could blow hyper-Christians’ minds.  What if God had a face, and it was olive-skinned, hook-nosed, and half-covered with a scraggly beard and cheesy mustache, topped with a keffiyah?  What if your one question was, “Are you really God, and what is your name?”  What if the reply was, “Yes, yes, I am truly your one and only God.  You may call me Allah!  Look, I gave all this to a nice boy named Mohammed a little while ago.  He was supposed to write it all down so that the rest of you could study it.  Have you not been paying attention?”

I would assume that no *good Christian* would take my hypothetical situation seriously but, between U and Me, one of us may be an Ass.