Friday, September 25, 2009

Christian Idol Worship: What ARE They Thinking?


A recent story posted to Fighting Ignorance message group http://fightingignorance2.ning.com/ about the erection (and I use that term intentionally) of some hideously giant cross along some interstate in Texas caused me no small amount of irritation.

What is it with these Christians who are devoid of sensitivity? What is it that prevents their brains from processing that erecting their giant religious symbol doesn’t represent their community, state, or nation; it doesn’t appease their God; it doesn’t put food in the mouths of the poor; it doesn’t cause instant conversions; and doesn’t end divisiveness or intolerance. In fact, it actually encourages the latter.

I am forever amazed that these zealous Christians have zero empathy, are unable to put themselves in the place of non-Christians, to understand how we feel when such a symbol is imposed on us. It’s a wholly good and wonderful thing to these Christians. They can’t fathom it being anything else.

But, just imagine their outcry if a giant 110 foot Islamic Crescent, Star of David, Wiccan Totem, statue of Buddha, or effigy of Brahma were erected along an interstate … illuminated no less. To these Christians that would be just unacceptable, damn un-American no doubt. I can imagine they would be moved to hysteria, if not violence.

Beyond that, there’s this: Isn’t their love of Christ suppose to be within their “hearts?” Isn’t it enough that he “lives within” them? Do they need to be reminded who they worship, lest they forget, by the sight of a gigantic grotesque execution device, or an overblown statue of their man-god for whom no physical description exists? What is with the idolatry that these fanatics seem to be so devoted? How does it differ from the glorification of statues of Zeus, Isis, Moloch, or Baal etc., that the pagans used to view as the symbol of their deity, if not its very essence?

Then there is the cost. Hundreds of thousands even millions have been invested in these monstrosities -- and for what? For the edification of the ministers who reap the publicity to bring more sheeple to their church? To teach those godless heathens, and Jews, and Muslims, and pagan peoples a thing or two about their death cult’s symbol? To stake their claim to their religion’s superior numbers and influence? Could no better use for that money be found?

Sure, people can do what they like on private property. They want to put a “Mary on the half Shell” next to their garden gnome, fine. They want to put a manger in their front yard next to their junk car up on cinder blocks, super. They want to paint a face of their imagined man-god on the side of their doublewide, go for it. But when it comes to imposing their grandiose oversized mega gargantuan death devises and imaginary man-god on the public use a little fricken discretion and humility.

I'd wager if their Jesus existed, and came to Earth, and saw these things glorified in his name, he’d have some really ugly flashbacks… then smite those hideous monuments. But since he doesn’t exist, I hope someone does it for him.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd donate to a fund set up to purchase a nearby lot and the erection of a guillotine, or some such symbol of sarcasm. Those crosses annoy the hell out of me also!

NewEnglandBob said...

But why did they erect a statue of Abe Lincoln, ready to fly, wearing a robe and have A-cup breasts?

Don't they have zoning laws in Texas? Around here everyone bitched and moaned about a Mormon temple high on a hill overlooking Boston. A monstrosity like "Abe" would either not be built or knocked down. They hardly allow cell phone towers unless they look like big trees.

zarton said...

Hey Hump,
Could I get your personal e-mail? I have some things that I would like to run by you before I go public with (or even private). If so then send to: zarton72@yahoo.com if not then have a great night and I will shut_up.
zar

Tracey said...

Is that the Christ of the Ozarks statue? Now that NEBob mentions is, it does look like Abe Lincoln with small boobies. However, hanging my head with shame, yet another southern (Arkansan in particular) waste of resources to build a massive monument to their invisible hippy in the sky.

Dromedary Hump said...

Zar,
You can reach me through my book site email address:
atheistcamelchronicles@msn.com

Bob..that's not Abe, thats Cornelius from "The Planet of the Apes."

and yes, Tracy.. that's the Ozark dude. He is also commonly referred to as "Gumby Jesus" and "Our Milk Carton with Arms" due to his bizarre proportions.

Glenn Livingston said...

25 years ago I had a professor (Bruce Hare) who warned that the sociology of minority oppression requires the oppressed to become co-conspirators in their own oppression.

I've seen such idols erected on public property many times over the years, but this is the first time it's occurred to me to be concerned.

Which alarmingly says to me "Glenn, YOU are now the minority and YOU are the co-conspirator"

Thanks for the wake up call!

Your fellow NH freethinker,

Dr. G :-)

Dromedary Hump said...

Glenn,
Thanks for your comment.

I resigned from the American Legion because the national headquarters opposed the removal of a giant cross that was errected over a military cemetary. They insisted that it was a timeless "symbol of our country."

They went on to try and enflame passions by saying opposition to that cross (over the graves of jews, atheists, et al) was a "first step" in removing crosses on headstones in national cemetarys.

Itwas a lie, of course, and an intentional perversion of why the one massive cross was being opposed.

My letter of resignation called them on it...but of course, they never reponded. Likely they were happy to see my atheist ass out of their organization.

We must remain ever vigilant against the religious fervor that confuses their brand of theology with national identity. Or that insists we must all accept and hold in reverence the majority religions symbol that they seek to impose on all of us... even the dead.

Hump

Anonymous said...

We could buy the lot next door and erect a huge letter A. That would really piss them off. They are already filled with so much hate. They seem to love hating other people. So why throw more fuel on the fires of their anger? They need to be de-programmed, but I don't know how it could be done.

Dromedary Hump said...

I think the "A" may be too ambiguous.

A 200 foot long 100 foot high "Darwin fish" with legs protruding with the words "Choose Reality" would probably do the trick.

But I'm wondering now if all the money spent on these Xtian monuments isn't some sort of indication that they sense the end of religious enslavement is nearing an end. I wonder if this isn't some last gasp of protest and defiance as they see supernaturalism in decline all over the industrialized world.

Tracey said...

Hump said: "But I'm wondering now if all the money spent on these Xtian monuments isn't some sort of indication that they sense the end of religious enslavement is nearing an end."

I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but now that you mention it, I think you're onto something. That whole "mark the city for Jesus" stuff sure does sound like desparation. I don't think they even care about the spiritual aspect of things. The end of religious enslavement translates into the end of the power and profit of those pimping it.

Joyce said...

I got you beat for once, Drom!

Several miles up the road from me, we have a 65 foot Jesus in front of a church called 'Solid Rock' on I75. He's been nicknamed 'Touchdown Jesus', 'Drowning Jesus', and a number of others. Heywood Banks did the best song about it called ''Big Butter Jesus'' with lyrics such as 'I can't believe it's not Jesus', 'Imperial Jesus', 'Promise Jesus' ... well, listen (and watch) for yourself. It's hilarious. They actually had to take the nightlights that highlighted it because it caused too many car accidents. The first two pictures are the actual statue. The rest are the fun they had photoshopping it. The video and song can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq01UYiMyHg . For more fun pictures, google Jesus Ohio in images. HILARIOUS!

Dromedary Hump said...

Joyce...

Yep, I know all about "Touchdown Jesus", and when it comes to really over the top depictions of man-gods, yours takes the cake!

Imagine Jesus appearing, looking at that monstrosity and saying: "Who the heck is that and where's the rest of his fricken body???!!"

Dromedary Hump said...

JOYCE...that video is a riot!!!!!
hahahah...thanks.

Texas Mike said...

Have you seen the giant cross just south of Effingham, IL? You can actually go up inside the thing and gaze out on the countryside. If you look out to the southeast you can see the glowing pink sign on the 24 hour sex emporium. Gotta love that.

HoleyHands said...

Religious gallows humor...

Rachelle said...

I wonder how these idiot zealots would take it if lightning struck and blasted that Jesus structure into a million pieces?? LOL!

HoleyHands said...

I wonder what the rednecks would say about this...

HoleyHands said...

One more...

Dromedary Hump said...

Holey Hands!!

Once again... you took my thoughts and made them LIVE!!!

HoleyHands said...

Last one, I'm done........I promise.

NewEnglandBob said...

Yes, please, be done. I personally find these childish.

Dharma said...

YES! YES! YES!! I could not agree more. I am also sick & tired of the religious sticking their crap everywhere thinking that they have the right to do so AND that everyone will love them!!

They would be the first to cry and stomp their feet if some other religious symbol were to be erected nearby.

Tracey said...

Need one more, HH...what if jeebus had been beheaded? P.S. love the gallows!

zarton said...

If Jebus were beheaded then people would be wearing little guillotines around their necks, or as Lenny Bruce said; "What if Jesus were executed in Texas in the sixties, would the Christians be wearing little electric chairs around there necks?"

Joyce said...

Actually, Dharma, I am a Christian and also the one who posted about the Big Butter Jesus.

Not all of us think that every piece of crap posted is a beautiful testament ... you should see the lovely Christian kitsch collection that I have in my home (several of the ugliest, er, I mean loveliest) pieces being gifts from our favorite camel himself.

Please don't think that all of us Christfollowers lack a sense of humor. If you visited our church office, you would find all sorts of irreverant portrayals of Jesus -- Red Velvet Jesus, a large pink "Talk to me Jesus'' (the equivalant of a magic 8 ball with such answers as 'Ask my Dad' or 'I died for THIS?! and many others. (BTW, I'm also a proud owner of Answer Me Jesus, courtesy once again of my camel friend.) I'm also the proud owner of 'Miracle Jesus' with glow in the dark hands, a vase that changes water into wine, and fishes and loaves that multiply!

They crack me up. And as a follower of Jesus, I think He's cracking up, too!

And I happen to like juvenile humor, Bob, particularly HoleyHands. You should see some of the photoshopping he's done of me (at the Last Supper) and my home, among others. Juvenile humor makes me feel like Beavis and Butthead. Yes. I like them, too.

Rachelle said...

LOL! A vase that changes water into wine sounds pretty cool to me. LOL!

Glenn Livingston said...

It's Glenn again, with a question I've been ruminating about (hope this is where you want it posted).

As a marketing consultant I frequently repeat the adage "You Can't Sell Religion without Heaven and Hell". (You need some pretty big carrots and sticks to get people to move)

In other words, religion has a distinct advantage over Atheism from a marketing perspective because it comes with (a) promise of eternal reward; (b) the threat of eternal punishment; (c) constant exhortations to spread the word as part of your salvation

Atheists, on the other hand, tend to leave people alone, live and let live, take comfort in science and logical thought, and generally go about their business peacefully.

Without the viral mentality, and "heaven and hell" to fuel the spread, what hope do we have of ever winning this game?

In other words, I'll give you a hug and some stimulating logical discourse, but the other guy'll give you eternal reward and save you from the lake of fire.

If I were consulting for Atheism, Inc., I'd tell them they didn't have a prayer against that.

"The truth is a poor competitor in the marketplace of ideas" (Camus)

Which is EXTREMELY depressing.

Do you have any good cheer for me today?

Dromedary Hump said...

Glenn,

In my book I reference a couple of studies that show that religiosity is on the decline in the US. Atheism went from 8% to 14% of the population (this is from memory) from 1998 to 2008.

At the same time, those clainming to be believers declined, especially among Christians. If we extrapolate that in 80 years or so atheists will be the vast majority of the US population, and theists the small minority.

Meanwhile,the European Union, the seat of Christianity, is in the neighborhood of 52% non-believers / non-religious. Think back 50 to 100 years and imagine what that percentage was.

Add to that the end of blasphemy laws, elimination of laws against homosexuality, and the acceptence of evolutionary theory over Creationism in all the industrialized nations (except the US) and it's obvious that the civilized world (at least) is moving toward reality and away from religious ignorance.

The very doctrine of Christianity has brought this upon itself. Its dependence on paranormal / superstitio/ and erroneous descriptions of the natural world just can't stand up to scientific discovery which keeps exposing the nonsense of their fables. The Church's threats for using contraception is falling on fewer and fewer receptive ears; church attendence is falling; priests connection to God has been crippled by exposure of sexual misconduct; Televangelists continue to be exposed as hypocrites, blood suckers and hate mongers. Only the most ignorant among believers deny the handwriting on the wall and still defend and cling to those things.

We've come a long way in three centuries. Where civilization is prospering, religion is in rapid decline. As third world nations beome more educated and industrialized, the growth in religion...yes, prompted by false promises and threats... will slow and eventually reverse.

I wouldn't underestimate the power of reason. The religious know this, and it scares the hell out of them. That's why they are doing desperately crazy things like doctoring copies of Origin of Species and building Creation museums. It's a defensive measure, not offensive.

No, we don't have the threat / reward carrot and stick to rely on. But, to quote John Henry Newman a Catholic priest from the 19th century: "Knowledge is its own reward."

Hump

Rachelle said...

Well said, Hump. :)

Glen you're right...Atheism, Inc. probably wouldn't last long if it were a company...UNLESS you tried a different marketing strategy. LOL!

You said: "In other words, I'll give you a hug and some stimulating logical discourse, but the other guy'll give you eternal reward and save you from the lake of fire."

The other guy is selling snake oil. He's a fraud making promises he can't possibly fulfill because he has no evidence that there is life after death...He has many conflicting "products" as well (The Bible vs. the new and improved Koran) that don't help him either. However the atheist is promising something real....even if it's just a hug and stimulating logical discourse. LOL! But wait...there's more!! How about living the life you know you have right here, right now to the fullest? No delayed gratification.

Atheism, Inc. isn't simply about science, reason and logic (although that's fun too, LOL!). It's about not wasting precious time on nonsense and "products" that don't work (such as prayer). Sure, there are no sky fairies, grilled cheese "Mary" sandwiches, or magic underpants being sold at Atheism, Inc...but there are other "products" one can enjoy...and you don't have to be an atheist to enjoy them: laughing, biking trails, reading, watching telly, walking in the park, singing, dancing, stargazing, making love, playing board games, swimming, working, volunteering, blogging, eating, spending time with loved ones, etc. LOL! Atheism, Inc. sells living your life right now. The other guy is selling fear of dying. He's a fraud trying to sell you "eternal life" because you've wasted the one you have worrying about ancient, vengeful, man-made gods and Dante's seven layers of hell.

But judging by all the billions in currency that people give to religious institutions, this "product" is still selling well. All I can say is "let the buyer beware."

Glenn Livingston said...

Hump/Rachelle ...

Thanks so much for your inspiring comments, which actually did lift my spirits today :-)

In fact, I think I'm closing my office tomorrow and heading up to the White Mountains for a hike to enjoy one of those majestic Atheist Activities!

My take-a-way? In the grand scheme of things, psychosis is collapsing under the weight of truth. (We just need another hundred years or so... I guess I should take those vitamins my wife gives me after all)

Hump, I'll leave you with one last thought to ruminate on... what's the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT action you'd like your readers to take to further the cause?

HoleyHands said...

Say Hey, everyone.
Thanks, for watching my back! Below you will find my childish answers to each of your request.
Tracey
Joyce
Zarton
Rachelle

Dromedary Hump said...

HH!!

Unfricken real! There's gotta be a way for you to make money from this. Have you considered selling these to churchs? :)

Dromedary Hump said...

Glenn asks: "...what's the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT action you'd like your readers to take to further the cause?"

Glenn,
Thanks for asking. There vare actually TWO actions that I'd like all atheists to take, of equal importance--
1) Join at least one atheist/freethinker organization (i.e. Freedom from Religion Foundation; Freedom First Foundation; Americans United for the Separation of Church and State). These organizations are at the forefront of fending off theist intrusion into our freedoms and government.

2) Do not remain silent. When letters to the editor, or articles touting religious absurdities and falsehoods appear in local newspapers respond with intellect and rationality. Complacency is surrender.

Have a great and safe trip north.

Bart

Rachelle said...

Love those images, HH. LOL! The pope looks like "The Crypt Keeper." LOL!

Cheers, Glenn and Hump. :)

Dromedary Hump said...

Rachelle...
the pope IS the crypt keeper!

NewEnglandBob said...

OK, just to register my thoughts here.

I do not like photoshopping changes to people like the pope because I hated people making Obama look like Hitler a few weeks ago on posters.

I dislike it because it is dehumanizing to the individual. We can dislike their actions but making fun of their physical attributes or faking changes is poor taste.

I had my say and will no longer discuss it.

Dromedary Hump said...

Bob,
You're entitled to your perspective, of course. I understand your position.

But I respectfully disagree that the obscene representations of Obama are in anyway akin to using a mythical figure for lampoon. There is nothing about the jesus myth that justifies our reverence or respect.

As for the pope; any one whose power is used to enslave the minds,bodies and reproductive perogative of millions, and whose denial of reality has condemned millions of third world people to HIV/AIDS through the misrepresentation of condom use, should be more than photoshopped, he should be imprisoned.

Holey Hands has a creative talent. That he uses it to express his and many of our feelings is his way of communicating what so many of us think.

Joyce said...

I happen to LOVE the photoshopped picture of me and my husband. I think it might be our Christmas card picture this year!

Thanks, HH!!

Glenn Livingston said...

Thanks Hump (Bart?) :-)

I've been a member of The Brights for a year or so now, but I find them a little hard to follow, I think because they're trying to be so academic. (Where's the passion?)

I'll look into the other three you suggest, and I WILL start writing letters to the editors.

When time permits, perhaps I can also mount a marketing project to spread the word, though my Christian partner will probably Crucify me :-) (I'm the CEO and 50% owner of a moderately influential marketing firm)

In any event, I really DO see your work as an oasis in the desert and plan on joining the fight in a progressively more active way.

G :-)

PS - The hike was just gorgeous. The mountains were on fire! (Not literally, I didn't see any burning bushes or anything, and no one gave me any rules to pass on to you all from on high)

You're up near Dartmouth right? I'd like to buy you lunch one day in late October or early November if you're up for it.

Dromedary Hump said...

Glenn,

I live in the Alstead/Langdon area, 10 miles from Bellows Falls, VT.
Drop me an email when you have an an afternoon free, we WILL do lunch. I'm always free :)

regards,

Bart
atheistcamelchronicles@msn.com

Spinmonkey said...

I'm a non-believer and I guess I don't see what the fuss is all about. So some sheeple put a statue up near an interstate and I may have to drive by it and it might be in my line-of-sight for a couple of minutes, big deal. I wouldn't care if it was a SOD, cross, bust of Elton John, or a giant likeness of my anus. If I don't like something, I turn away. I believe in freedom of expression for everybody, even sheeple.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny (and sad) that the author is convinced that jesus is a made up man.... funny because it is the same arrogant thinking that he says christians put forth. Sad, because if he is wrong, well.... (for the record, the statue is hideous and some christians can be insensitive, angry people....but not all of them)

Dromedary Hump said...

Anon...
this will be your last post here without a name.

If you can provide eye witness corroboration / proof outside the bible that Jesus was historical, please do. No one else has.

That you find it "sad" is peculiar. Why would you be sad that many people doubt the existence of a historical Jesus? Afterall there's as mucn independent proof of a historical Jesus as there was a historical Hercules. Are you sad about that as well?

Frankly, if there was a historical jesus likely he was a Cynic preacher, of which there were many in the region, or a reformist Jew, who, after his death, was embued with divine status by cultists. Its happened time and again through history (that's likely a subject you know little about) up to and including the Emperor of Ethiopea Halli Salasi (sp) who, post mortem, became the diety for Rastafarians -- unbeknowns to him.

Anon... suck it up, dry your tears, read some scholarly works by Robert M Price, or Bart Ehrman, or Jon Kirsch, and get to know what biblcal scholars say about your supposed man-god.
You won't learn shit from your Bibble or from your mindless apolgetics sites... as evidenced by your inane posts here.

Angel said...

When I saw that pic of the statue and read your post I immediately wondered afterward how the locals would react if a bloody guillotine appeared under that statue one night with a sign over it pronouncing DEATH TO ALL HERETICS!"

LOL It'd be pretty damn funny, that's for sure. I mean, seriously. Who's more put out? The Christians or the zealots?

We shouldn't have to roll over and play dead for a rabid bunch of morons.

Sampson Greenovich said...

"In reason we trust, ourselves we worship." Should be the new motto of your blog. You call yourself an "athiest" but you only pick on christians. By that reasoning you're a bully and an antiChrist. You're whole existence is based on hating something you don't understand, an catering to others like you. Go serve somebody.

Dromedary Hump said...

Sampson,
actually, if you read my blog regularly, or scrolled down the sides you'd see I "pick on" all the abrahamic religions.

They all dispense the kind of ignorance, non-tink, and backward imbecilic doctrine that is responsible for things like your comment.

Sounds like you're feelings are hurt, and you're angry. I bet you're just angry at god. If your religion and faith can't stand up to the criticism...the "bullying" (LOL)... from a one humped camel, I guess you and it aren't worth the time you spend braising the Lard.


"Go serve somebody" ...Ummm..ok, I pick Moloch. And if you let me know where you live and are willing to share in my service to Moloch, I'll come by,pick up your first born, and sacrifice him to the Lord Moloch. I guearentee you goodcrops,many more male children, andvictory in war. A win win for you.

Have a Happy Dec 25 Winter Solstice celebration, and remember the reason for the season is the wlorship of Sol Invictus, as the Romans did for centuries before your imaginary dead Jew.

Oh, and thanks for your comment.