Tuesday, February 10, 2015

“Don't judge people who believe in God." Don't get me started!!

If there’s one way to get my hump in a twist it’s to tell me "...don't judge people who believe in God.", as though they are due some special exemption from criticism and derision. .

What exactly does that even mean? That we shouldn't pass judgment on Pat Robertson, Rev. Hagee, Joel Osteen and his wife, or Ray "Banana Boy" Comfort, and their ilk who spread hate and lies and steal from the religiously afflicted - unencumbered by either a conscience or reality?

Nor should we judge those who kill abortion doctors in the name of their man-god; or those who decree that gays are not full citizens due equal rights because the bible says they should be killed? That we shouldn't judge those who want this to be called a "Christian Nation"; reject the “separation of church and state” as some kind of liberal ploy; and  who would deny the full rights of atheists? 

Or shall we ignore those who demand Creationism be foisted on the young instead of the scientific reality of evolutionary theory? Or those who kill apostates in the name of their god? Or those who let their children die from curable disease by withholding medical science, preferring prayer? Or those who would elevate to sainthood an old woman when in reality she was an abusive, sadistic, demented, money grubbing witch (Mother Teresa)? 
Why the hell should we not judge people who believe in god? Why are they exempt from being judged as imbeciles, ignorant throwbacks, and sheeple who are deluded by superstition and who follow the precepts of pre-scientific bronze age nomads and 2nd century cultists if it is to the detriment of freedom, reason, equality, and scientific advancement and discovery?

This is not to imply I endorse judging people simply because of their belief (or non-belief) and nothing more. To do so is to make snap judgment, prone to mis-characterization. I have been guilty of this myself.

We must judge people based on their actions and their speech. We do it every day. If their actions trespass on the rights, freedoms and equality of others, on the intent of the founding fathers, on scientific advance, on educational advancement then their actions should be judged and judged harshly - their invoking “God's intent” or citing their book of horrors and fable doesn't insulate them from judgment. To do otherwise would be to relinquish ones right to condemn those who make this world "less' ...never mind if they believe in a God or gods or not.
To hell with those who think they are somehow above criticism / AKA being judged. It is not only our right, it’s our obligation. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Amputating one’s genitals for Jesus: The godly thing to do?

The man pictured above cut off his penis.  He is a devout Christian, a member of the   Redeemed Christian Church of God in Lagos, Nigeria. His reasoning…if one can call it such…is that his penis was a distraction, leading him astray from God.  He expects it to grow back in three weeks. I’d proffer that he is in for a disappointment.  The whole story here:

There is a passage in the bible about plucking out ones eye if it "offends thee" or dismembering a part of the body that is doing evil. It’s a parable. Here's the preferred Christian explanation that evidently no one mentioned to this fanatic:
"The cutting off of the hand or foot, or the plucking out of the eye will not solve the problem of sin. Since Satan uses these avenues to make us commit evil and sin, Christ was advising us not to give the members of the body to be instruments of the devil. Our hands, our eyes, our feet, our tongue, our ears, and all our body parts need to be guarded and protected from the evil one as he uses these avenues to make us corrupt."


But there is also Matthew 19:12 in which Jesus is purported to have said:
For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”

Uh-oh! Sounds like an endorsement of genital amputation to me. Origen, a 2nd Century CE Christian and scholar, is purported to have castrated himself for the faith based on this verse.

Now some people would take a sympathetic view point on this unfortunate’s action.  I cannot.  People blow themselves up in the name of their god, they kill others in the name of god, and they initiate wars in the name of god.  Many obscene and tragic things are committed in the name of god/religion. My sympathy is reserved for their innocent victims, not for the religiously inspired / driven / obsessed perpetrators of religious horror.

Some would say that those who are entranced / deceived by scripture and who thus hurt themselves are also victims. Perhaps so. But then, shall we also shed a tear for the third generation adult Christian Snake Handler in the Appalachians, who after seeing his father and grandfather die from venomous bites, knowingly and gleefully takes up the cult practice because he was deceived by his progenitor and the scripture they embrace in spite of what his own eyes tell him? I'll shed not a tear for his demise. His religious affliction is ostensibly terminal. I will only hope that his child can avoid it, and that the cult will eventually die out either via extinction from snake bite, or abandonment through the recovery of long lost common sense. 

I'd rather 10,000 hyper-religious neurotics or psychotics castrate themselves than for one child to be born to them and be subjected to the madness inherent in fanatical superstitious belief - not only for the child's sake, but for the sake of civilization which will benefit from the prospective parent not procreating and thus contributing to the eventual demise of religion and its hurtful, often insane, practices.