This should be good. I’ve taken time off work. I’ve got nearly a full bottle of extremely yummy Columbia Valley winery late-harvest Reisling in me. And I’m shopping for Christian☨ science textbooks.
The thing that got me started is ACE. I know from Jonny Scaramanga that ACE is not the place you go if you want good geology. I mean, seriously – vapor canopy? Yeesh. I’m delighted Jonny’s the second result that came up when I searched “Accelerated Christian Education Geology” on Google. Oftimes, the Christianist textbooks are the only things that appear in the first few pages of search results, and it’s depressing that the criticisms don’t appear sooner.
A friend pointed me toward this story by telling me a Methodist church got a new pastor, who promptly ran the gay choir director out, and guess how many in the congregation left the church over it? I knew what she was fishing for. She wanted me to feel the warm fuzzies that a bunch of religious folk had protested the treatment of one of their own.
“Eighty percent!” she said, as if the number would change my mind.
Nope. Not impressed.
The conversation stalled shortly after as I refused to debate further whether or not one should encourage such basic human decency by praising it, lest the people involved give up trying to be good due to lack of kudos. I don’t like to have these conversations over chat to begin with, and when it’s chat at my job and I’m trying to work, I like it even less. It takes more time than I have to hammer the point home that I’m not going to give them cookies for doing the minimally decent thing.
All right, I’m appalled. I had a friend whose gradual slide deeper and deeper into Christian faith (Baptist, I believe) meant we gradually drifted apart. We’re still Facebook friends, and occasionally I see his updates. He’s got two young beautiful children – and is doing his best to raise them in the faith.
I don’t think he realizes how horrific that is, even though he just linked to an article explaining why.
The author dismisses the heroic Bible stories taught in Sunday School. All those messages of loyalty and goodness, he sez, are just awful. Total lies! Jesus is only a postscript! Of course it’s causing kids to leave the faith! Because what they need to hear, apparently, what’ll keep their butts glued to the pews, is this: Continue reading “Perhaps Because It’s Horrific Bullshit?”→
Smart people I know and love frequently pop out with some sort of “I believe in God” statement. If it’s not God, it’s some other gods or goddesses or numinous something-or-other(s), or an unspecified spiritual component to the universe. It’s like people can’t conceive of an existence without the supernatural.
I used to be that way. I have distant memories of that desire to find the entity behind it all, to relate to something far larger and smarter than me. I remember thinking I’d never want to live in a world without magic. I wanted to believe. Needed to. Desperately.
I can’t wait for the Mormon missionaries to show up at my door again. Usually, I don’t have the patience to deal with people trying to sell me religion – I’ve got kittehs to play with, rocks to pound, posts to write, food to savor… Who wants to spend a glorious summer afternoon arguing religion with two scrubbed (in mind and body) young people when you could be lounging on the patio with book, cat, and drink?
After two books and a website, I’m eagerly scanning the horizon for those poor innocent folks. I might even invest in two extra patio chairs so we can lounge outside with the Book of Mormon, the cat (granted neither are allergic), and drinks (non-alcoholic, of course. See – I can be accommodationist, too!).
“Dana!” I hear you cry in my vivid imagination, “what can possibly lead to such a dramatic change?!”
I shall tell you. What’s more, I shall arm you with fascinating, often funny, reading, and questions guaranteed to make missionaries sweat more than the weather warrants.
I’m tired of hearing people prattle on about “God is Love” and what loving, moral people religion makes. It isn’t true. It’s manifestly not true. What religion does is takes otherwise decent human beings and turns them into sanctimonious shits, when it’s not busy enabling evil. “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction,” Blaise Pascal said once. This is truth.
Let me just state this now, for the believers: I do not want to hear, “But that’s not True Christianity!” I do not want to hear, “But I’m not that kind of person.” The first is a bloody stupid No True Scotsman fallacy, and you should be better than that. The second is beside the point. And don’t even begin to tell me how the majority of Christians are wonderful people who would never, ever do the things I’m about to show you Christians have done. Stop playing defense for the home team for a moment. Sit down on the sidelines and listen.*
I thought we were in trouble. Guy P. Harrison’s introduction to his new book 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian set alarm bells a-ringing. “This book is not an attack on Christian people,” the first line says. Fair enough. But then there were all sorts of weaselly, mealy-mouthed words that seemed to shout “Retreat!” “Humble and far less threatening,” forsooth. “Clichéd and cartoonish angry atheist attack on crazy Christians,” indeed! “No interest in scoring debate points,” even so! “Proud to say I’ve walked away on friendly terms,” for fuck’s sake. Despite assurances punches would not be pulled, I was positive I was in for 324 pages of forelock-tugging, bowing and scraping deference to Christianity. This looked like it was going to be one of those kumbaya books, and I almost packed it up and sent it back to Prometheus Books with a note saying, “No. I can’t do this.” Continue reading “50 “Simple” Questions, Me Arse”→