Tag Archives: christianity

Vicarious Redemption of Sin

A lot of times I talk about the immorality of Christianity. Most of the time, Christians and even a few atheists jump to defend Christianity by talking about various good deeds particular Christians have done and continue to do. But I wasn’t talking about Christians being immoral; I was talking about Christianity being immoral. What can be more immoral then the vicarious redemption of sin?

The whole idea that I can go and murder someone or work on Saturday and have my sins forgiven vicariously by someone else is a license for crime. Christians often use the analogy of some small offense like a drunk driving charge (which for the record isn’t really a small offense) and they talk about how Judge God lets the offender off the hook because Jesus paid his or her fine. But that isn’t how the world works.

If someone went and murdered someone else and was found guilty, no one would be able to pay the fine of prison time except that person who was found guilty. There is an old expression, “If you do the crime, you will do the time.”

But that isn’t the worst part of the Christian redemption system. The way Jesus allegedly pays for your sins is through blood sacrifice. It is funny that when most Americans hear about some cult sacrificing an animal to the Gods they laugh and think such a ritual is absurd and yet 80% or more believe the same thing.

The whole Christian belief system centers around the idea of blood sacrifice. Back before Jesus allegedly came, the Abrahamic God wanted people to sacrifice goats to him so that he could forgive them for their sins. This is where the term scapegoat comes from. Everyone in the village puts all their sins on to the goat and kills the goat as a sacrifice to God. But God wanted more than just a goat.

Lambs were more desirable to God apparently, because he wanted the people to sacrifice an innocent lamb to show how much they care instead. Let me repeat that last part. God wanted people to sacrifice an Innocent Lamb.

Now of course there is no need to sacrifice an Innocent Lamb or any other lamb for that matter because Jesus is the “Lamb of God.” In other words, he is the innocent blood sacrifice that God needs for the redemption of sin.

Some people will say that not all Christians believe this and that I am generalizing. But the fact is that this whole blood sacrifice thing is a pretty central point the Christian belief system. I really don’t think one could seriously be considered a Christian if they don’t buy into the idea that the death of Jesus was a necessary sacrifice to God for their sins. That is pretty much the whole grounding of the religion. God forgives those who have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus for payment of their sins.

In reality, there is no vicarious redemption for sin. God can’t forgive you for your wrongs. Only those who you have wronged can forgive you. Next time you lie to a friend or family member about something, instead of asking Jesus for forgiveness, try slaughtering an innocent lamb instead. Let me know if that works out for ya.

Check out my Daily Blog @ DangerousTalk.net and my atheist news blog @ Examiner.com

God Personified

Why is it that the Christian God is supposed to be all-powerful and yet it took him a full 6 days to create the world? Shouldn’t he have been able to do it with a snap of his metaphysical fingers? A real god should be able to think it and it happens. And while we are at it, if God is so all-powerful, why does he have to rest on the seventh day? Humans need rest, not gods.

However, the people who created god could have simply personified nature and if that were the case, than since people do rest, a personified deity might need to rest too. In the ancient world, deities like Zeus lived on Mount Olympus and deities like Odin lived Valhalla. So where does Yahweh live? Heaven. But God’s don’t really need to live anywhere, right? I mean isn’t an all-powerful deity supposed to be everywhere?

As you can see, Yahweh like all the other gods that have come before him are all personifications. Ancient people who couldn’t understand the world used these deities as an attempt to explain the world. They created elaborate stories and gave their deity of choice personalities based on human stories and personalities. That is why God is a jealous God, a vengeful God, a wrathful God, a Just God, etc. These are all human traits. The war in Heaven is based off wars on Earth. God has a son? Humans have sons. God’s live forever and always were and always will be, so how can they give birth to a divine child?

These are ancient stories told to explain what was unexplainable. Now science can explain much of what was unexplainable and so now God is forced to fill the gaps. However, even though science can’t explain everything we should be mature enough as a race to simply say that we don’t know the answers to all the questions without the need to make up answers with stories of divine intrigue. God is no longer even needed to fill the gaps as long as we are mature enough to accept the gaps and curious enough to attempt to fill those gaps through the continued exploration of science and philosophy.

Check out my Daily Blog @ DangerousTalk.net and my atheist news blog @ Examiner.com

There’s a storm coming…a gay one…

As usual, it’s time for me to drop in with some light and simple humor to break up the deeper thoughts of my fellow FSGP bloggers.

Be scared, everyone. There is a storm coming. And it’s going to rain gay on everybody.

The Anti-Intellectualism of Christianity

One of the biggest issues that I have with Christianity is the anti-intellectualism that it perpetuates. It isn’t hard to miss. For starters, the majority of Christians in America are ignorant and proud. The fact that the most idiotic President in our nation’s history was elected mainly because of the support of the Christian Right, speaks volumes. A quick look back at history also shows that the Church and various organized religions have done everything they could to restrict science and knowledge. At every stage of scientific achievement, Christians were always their persecuting those who wish to expand human knowledge and human progress. One of the Humanities biggest loses came pretty early on too. In 415 CE a Christian mob brutally murdered Hypatia of Alexandria (I would go into more details about the brutality of that murder, but it is a bit graphic) who was one the bright lights of Science in her time. Even today, almost half of Christianity stands against the science of evolution and medical stem cell research.

The fact is that the more religious someone is, the less value they tend to place on science and education. According to the National Academy of Sciences, 93% of scientists express disbelief or doubt in the existence of a personal deity. 72% outright disbelieve in a personified deity. These are among the brightest minds on Earth. Both Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking (widely considered the two smartest men who every lived) had issue with the personified deity of Christianity. These men joined the company of many of the most intellectual founding fathers such as Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and other.

The concept of “faith” is a slap in the face to science and intellectual curiosity. Faith stops questions while science encourages questions. Faith provides dishonest, unsupportable, and unquestioned certainty while science leaves every conclusion open to change with additional evidence and discoveries. With faith, no education is necessary because education is often a determent to faith. This is one of the biggest reasons why Christian fundamentalists are so keen on censorship and control. Even in the Bible, the character of Jesus elevates blind faith above intellectual rigor, reason, and evidence.

“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.” – John 20: 29

This is not the only instance in which the Bible attacks the intellect. Corinthians is full of such examples. “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise” – 1 Corinthians 1:27 and 5 “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 2:5, etc.

Science, reason, and intellectualism support the concepts of continued questioning, education, and human curiosity. Through the scientific method, the rules of logic, and the thirst to understand, people of reason are continually pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and helping to make life better and longer for us all. Yet, example after example, the Bible and Christianity stand against the intellect and continue to propagate ignorance, fear, and unreason. Between the Creation Museum and the absolute unquestioning certainty of a divine deity, Christianity remains one of the biggest oppositions to human progress and the greatest threat to intellectualism.

Checkout my Daily Blog @ DangerousTalk.net

Christians: Read Your Bible Again… For The First Time

I find that most Christians get so wrapped up in their bronze aged mythology that they seem to have a really hard time taking an objective look from a non-Christian perspective. There is an old saying about walking a mile (or some such distance) in someone else’s shoes or something. The fact is that the Abrahamic religions have so much influence in the world today that most atheists were at one point or another in their lives a believer in some type of deity. Many atheists were even hardcore believers who studied to be in the profession of religion. So we know what it is like to walk in the shoes of belief.

Some Christians will claim that there was a time when they didn’t believe in the Bible and Jesus and I don’t want to take away from their claims of atheism. But at the same time, those Christians also live in a society in which the Bible is taken somewhat seriously. There was never a time in which we came upon the Bible without knowledge of the vast numbers of people who believe in it. Billions of people can’t be wrong right? If over a billion people believe in something, we tend to think that maybe there is something to it. In other words, most Christians have never really stepped back from the Bible and viewed it as alien.

I think it might be helpful for a Christian to take off their Christian hat for a little while and pretend that they are reading some other religion’s holy book. Maybe they should pretend that it is an alien being’s holy book or a tribe from an obscure African country’s holy book. Perhaps we can even forget that it is a holy book at all. Imagine if you will, that you found this book in the fiction section of your local Boarders Bookstore and you never heard of it before.

I want Christians to read their Bible again… for the first time. Does it sound like a plausible story? Is it entertaining? Would you pick it up off the bookshelf and after reading it think that perhaps it doesn’t belong in the fiction section, but seems to instead fit in with non-fictions books? Christians should remember to keep their Christian caps off. From an objective standpoint doesn’t the Bible really seem pretty silly? Be honest.

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My Favorite Bible Verse

Many people think that because I believe that the Bible is fiction that it automatically means that I haven’t read it or that I do not like it. The fact is that I love the Bible… as a book if bronze aged fiction. As a book claiming to be divine and historical truth I think it is a pretty weak book. To demonstrate just how weak a book the Bible is on those grounds, I will take a page from one of America’s greatest patriots, Thomas Paine. In Paine’s work, “The Age of Reason part II” I discovered my favorite Bible verse. It seems that Paine found it amusing too:

“Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” – Numbers 31:17-18

Out of all the verses in the Bible this one is my absolute favorite. The reason? It is the most indefensible verse in the entire Bible. Here God has ordered Moses to murder then entire Midianites village except the virgins and then to rape the virgins. I try to bring this verse to the attention of many Christians that I talk to and over the years I have gotten a variety of attempts to explain away this most indefensible verse.

One Christian response that I have gotten a few times was, “it was war and shit happened.” But if Barack Obama or George W. Bush had told our US Generals to take the troops into Baghdad and kill ALL the men and ALL the women except the virgin women and then to have sex with the virgin women (i.e. rape) we would surely think that our leaders were horrible people. There is no way our soldiers would even follow those orders because those orders would seem so immoral and would be completely illegal. The President would be impeached in a second and on trial for war crimes. But if God gave those orders (and he did according to the Bible) no one seems to have a problem with that? In fact, people would still worship a perfect being that gave such a completely morally reprehensible order?

Then I get the “Context” argument from many Christians who seem to think this the argument for anything an atheist like me has to say about the Bible. The Bible clearly gives the context for why God gave the order of genocide and rape. The Midianites didn’t “hate” the Jews. They didn’t care about the Jews at all. They worshiped Ba’al Zebul a fertility God. Yahweh (aka Yam) was jealous God (by his own admission) and decided to order his people (the Hebrews) to wage war. The raping of the virgins was like an extra fuck you to Ba’al Zebul. Yahweh is your God. While the Bible makes mention of sexual atrocities that Midianites committed in the name of their deity that was very clearly not the reason Yahweh gave for his command. Besides, what possible injustice could anyone do in which mass murder and rape would someone be considered Just? I can think of no possible context, which would bring me to the conclusion that, “Oh mass murder and rape was a well deserved divine punishment for those people.” Rape is one of the few things in which there is no justifiable context for.

Next we have yet another attempted defense of this indefensible verse. This horrific verse is old. It was in the Old Testament and not the New Testament and for some reason we should ignore some of the verses, which we really don’t like, that are in the Old Testament despite the obvious fact that God is supposed to be perfect and some Bible verses even say that he can’t change, these Christians are claiming that even though he ordered this horrific act (and many similarly horrific acts in the Old Testament) now he is different. If Hitler were alive today and didn’t bother to say that he was sorry for the Holocaust, but just went around and told people to “turn the other cheek” should we forgive him for the Holocaust? Let me ask, how many times in the Bible did Jesus say Rape and Genocide were bad? The answer is zero, zip, zilch, none, not a one. Instead, Jesus defends the actions of Yahweh (God) many times. He even stated:

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18

The Christian claim that the Old Testament doesn’t count, but Jesus seems to think it does count. He seems to be saying that ever “jot” of it still counts. Besides, it is quite a big leap for God to claim that rape is cool and then to for him not to say anything against rape later and for Christians to somehow interpret that to mean that rape is sinful. Plus, Jesus always talks about doing his father’s work. If Yahweh were my father, I certainly wouldn’t be doing his work if he ordered genocide and rape to a bunch of people who worshiped Cupid.

And what about the big Ten Commandments? They are in the Old Testament and not a one of them states that, “Thou shall not rape.” Besides most Christians still think that the Ten Commandments are pretty worthy of following despite the fact that they are in the Old Testament.

Finally, some Christians claim that atheists take the Bible too literally. The whole claim to fame of the Bible was that it was written/inspired (through the holy ghost) by God the most perfect being to ever exist. Clearly, when the Bible talks about Jesus not coming to send peace but instead coming with a sword (Matthew 10:34) that is not to mean that Jesus is literally holding a sword. It is a metaphor. But what is it a metaphor for? If he had said that he came with a rose, I would assume that he meant love. But one does not love with a sword. A sword is a weapon of violence. Plus Jesus specifically stated that he didn’t come to bring peace. So that makes his metaphor pretty clear to me. And with my favorite verse, I think that story is supposed to be some sort of literal history and if that wasn’t the purpose, than I am at a loss for what such a metaphor would be saying. Moses is clearly the good guy in the story. We are supposed to be routing for him.

Fortunately, there has never been any evidence that suggests that the story of Numbers actually is a true account. Like the Mormon accounts of religious wars in the Americas, not one shred of archeological evidence has turned up to confirm these atrocities. But still, Numbers 31: 17-18 remains my favorite verse even though I am reasonably certain that it is a fictional account and that the Bible as a whole is fiction.

Check out my Daily Blog at DangerousTalk.net

Jesus, a zombie?

It is quite common in the online atheist community, and possibly even in the liberal-Christian one, to refer to the god of Christianity as “Zombie Jesus”.

This name, besides being hilarious, is on the surface an incredibly apt and accurate way to describe the god that around 80% of Americans say they believe in. After all, the Jesus character is written to have died and returned from the dead, and is deeply linked in some circles with the eating of human flesh. What could be more ghoulish than that?

But rather than simply using the title “Zombie Jesus” like all those before me, I thought it would be prudent to actually research the issue.

Is the Jesus character a zombie? Or some other member of the living dead? A vampire or Frankenstein-like monster, perhaps? How can we tell?

Simple. We turn to the font of all zombie knowledge. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks.

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A zombie, according to Mr. Brooks, is not a supernatural or magical creature. It is a human that has been infected with a virus that kills the body and mutates the brain into a new organ:

Once mutation is complete, this new organ reanimates the body into a form that bears little resemblance (physiologically speaking) to the original corpse. … This new organism is a zombie, a member of the living dead.

Alas, this criteria does not seem to apply to Jesus. According to the story, he was killed by Roman soldiers by being crucified. Presumably, he bled to death. No indication is given that he suffered a bite from another zombie, or was infected by the virus in any way.

Still, the biblical story holds that Jesus comes back from the dead.

So let’s look further.

Another aspect of the zombie is that it eats the flesh of humans. There are certainly no writings that indicate any of the apostles were eaten upon Jesus’ return. And yet, Catholic and some Protestant traditions hold that Christians are supposed to eat the flesh of their god.

Could this be a form of zombie eating? Not according to Max Brooks.

Humans have been infected by brushing their open wounds against those of a zombie or by being splattered by its remains after an explosion. Ingestion of infected flesh (provided the person has no open mouth sores), however, results in permanent death rather than infection. Infected flesh has proven to be highly toxic.

The fact that there are not whole masses of Catholic dying due to infected zombie flesh seems to suggest, at least, that Jesus’ zombification may be exaggerated.

Still, one is always served by keeping vigilant. Christians will often speak about Jesus returning once more. If this is the case, we best be on our guard.

Jesus may not be a zombie. But if he is, don’t make the same mistake that the Romans made. Crucifixions don’t work.

You can only stop a Jesus by destroying its brains.