Saturday, August 24, 2013

Take two prayers, and call me when you have full blown AIDS.

I get a lot of inspiration for my blog articles from the Huffington Post Religion Section, and the comments left by the devout.  It’s a veritable font of religious idiocy that keeps  me informed of the latest spiritually inspired craziness.
Yesterday there was this doozie: 

Pentecostal Minister Convinces HIV Patient to Refuse Medicine Leading to His Death Bed
This article prompted lots of comments. One of my favorites was from a Xtian who posted the oft repeated hackneyed internet parable about the drowning man who prayed for god to save him - refusing all human aid - only to drown. When he reaches heaven he asks god why he didn’t save him, and god replies “I sent the Coast Guard, a Life Guard and a Helicopter…what more did you want?”  The story was much longer of course.

The point being that god thing provided man with all medical knowledge and technology we have, thus failing to partake of it is man’s folly. Naturally it generated baaas approval from the religiously wooly. 

I asked for, and am still awaiting, the parable that explains why god infects and kills millions of children with the HIV virus he created. I won’t hold my breath.   But I digress…

Back to the article.  In reality the Pentecostal minister’s advice is totally in keeping with the basic premises of religion: delusion and false hope.

After all, only with religion do people refuse their critically ill child medical aid that could save his life in favor of "prayer healing," which invariably allows him to die. Only in religion is the fabled mass extinction of the planet's inhabitants, human and animal, acceptable behavior; the genocide of tribes by Hebrews good and necessary; the handling of deadly snakes reasoned; and instilling in children the fear of some eternal torture chamber for simple lack of belief reasoned.  Nothing like that kind of bizarre thinking exists outside of the "spiritual" world.

But there is a kernel of logic behind the minister's advice. If prayers are always answered and one dies by substituting prayer for medical treatment it was god’s will.  The shaman would no doubt justify it by proffering god answered his prayer with “No!”, and thus he would have expired from the disease even with medical treatment. With god, any crazy thinking is sound.  

Why should any of us be surprised that a religious fanatic shaman councils a fellow religious fanatic to ostensibly commit suicide by faith? I’m only surprised it was news worthy enough for publication. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Religious Persecution: Christianity’s just desserts?

"I don’t see how you can turn your back on the persecution of Christians in foreign countries simply because others who have held their same faith at another place and time in history were atrocious."

Above is a paraphrased comment from a Christian bemoaning the persecution of Christians and condemning me for my reference to Christianity perhaps receiving its long over due and just desserts.

All right thinking people oppose persecution for any reason: ethnicity, race, religion (or lack thereof), sexual orientation, etc.  I am no exception.  But the fact of the matter is when people embrace a world view that has been the cause of pain, suffering, genocide and simply bad manners for some 1700 years, don’t expect me to cry a river when “karma” bites  believers in their collective asses. 

Here’s my reply:

Your "faith" is washed in blood and has been since its inception by your cult’s founding fathers. That you prefer to ignore that fact is simply a function of typical religious denial...or lack of education.

The persecution and killing of those who held varied views of Jesus' divinity; 1700 years of Jewish persecution thanks to Christian doctrine; misogyny tantamount to the all out persecution of women; the eradication of indigenous peoples and their culture all over the planet; condemnation of the natural condition of homosexuality which relegates gays to 2nd class citizenship even today; US fundamentalist Xtian clergy who encourage African nations to eradicate gays - and African Xtian clergy who are supporting their killing while imprisonment of gays in other countries is endorsed by good Christians following their Lard's words.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

You dare cry "persecution" while you wash your hands of these Christian inspired and propagated acts as  though they are ...what … one offs?  Bullshit.

Call it "karma", or "what goes around comes around". Or "you reap what you sow" or "those who live by the sword - die by the sword." -  one doesn't have to believe in boogie men and dead man-gods to see the truth of those sayings and apply them to the faithful upon whom wrath has fallen.

”It’s unfair to hold a grudge,”  you might say “for the actions of others long ago.” But how different is it from the actions of your god who in your scripture condemned Jews for generations because of some Jews' supposed roll in your man-god’s death. Or your god’s condemning all humanity with an eternal curse, because of some supposed disobedience by the supposed first man and woman millions (Oh, that's right..thousands) of years ago. Talk about grudges.

I don’t endorse retribution by persecution. I deplore it.  But perhaps the anger and actions taken  against Christians are directly due to your perverse religion's bloody and unjust history.  Perhaps it is simply a matter of the offending culture taking proactive measures to prevent its resurgence. After all, history has a way of repeating itself.