Religion is Getting Dumber

The Dark Dungeons thread brought some things to mind.

Seriously, I wish people would actually read their religion’s Holy Book.

First, in regards to Jack Chick, I recall one of his tracts about the occult (and how paganism is leading children into the clutches of Satan). In one picture, he (Chick, supposedly) bursts in and confronts some kind of hellish minion that has just been summoned by some kids Who Don’t Know The Dangers.

Problem? For one, the punishment handed out to the Grigori (the Fallen Angels) was to never have a body and never procreate again. And then they were thrown into the pit (consistency wasn’t the strong suit of some of the writers/transcribers). End result: no, you can’t summon demons. They can’t step out onto the mortal plane, because that would require them to have a physical body.

Spirits and ghosts? While Jackie boy was spreading his tripe (oooh, pleasant image), most branches of Christianity were trying to push the concept that spirits and ghost couldn’t exist: you go to Heaven or Hell, or Purgatory/Limbo if your church used that model.

Personally, I think Jack was a flaming lunatic.

Another recent development that makes me laugh my ass off. Anybody seen the NOTW stickers? They’re usually using a tribal tattoo motif, with part of the letters forming a cross. NOTW stands for “Not of This World.” In other words, Jesus was not of this world, he was not a mortal human.

This doctrine got a whole mess of people executed for heresy back in the Middle Ages. Because if Jesus (I prefer the original, Yeshua) was not human and mortal, then he could not have sacrificed himself. Voila, original sin is still in effect and you’re all going to the flamey-flame place because Eve couldn’t control her food cravings.

And then we have all the people who try to put things in the Bible that were never there, like our good man Jack. Roleplaying games are against the Bible. Halter tops are against the Bible. Playing cards are against the Bible. Gambling is against the Bible. Big government is against the Bible. Too Big to Fail is against the Bible.

Then we get to the folks who blindly follow what somebody else, such as inept translators, says is in the Bible. There’s a guy who has an entire list of the Aramaic words that were mistranslated into Greek, and boy is it eye-opening. Then the Greek was translated into Latin, and Latin into English, German, French, etc. This is the linguistic equivalent to Whisper Down the Alley - there are so many points-of-failure there that it’s a miracle (pun intended) that Yeshua didn’t come out of it as a cross-dressing Fuller Brush salesman.

I’ve actually read the Bible, front to back, several times, but listenign to some people it’s obvious they haven’t read even one chapter (you have to hand it to Ned Flanders, he actually has read it and quotes chapter and verse - not bad for a cartoon character). These street-corner preachers I see several times a week obviously have not read Matthew 5:6. A lot of people get the parable of the Prodigal Son wrong.

It used to be that Catholics had to go through mandatory catechism classes at a young age (3rd grade if I remember correctly) before being allowed to take Communion. I don’t know what happened, but it’s obvious quite a few have suffered from Will This Be On the Test.

The Book of Mormon is so internally inconsistent (not to mention divorced from reality - repeatedly) I’m surprised the pages can stand to be next to each other.

And no, I’m not singling out Christianity. I happen to agree with Gandhi regarding Christianity.

I’ve read pieces of the Qur’an, and read some of the discussions by Islamic clerics. Somewhere along the line, the faithful have suffered from visual and auditory hallucinations.

Several of the Islamic jihads are currently following a doctrine that says women can not get into Heaven (a few have compared women to dogs, and since dogs don’t go to heaven…). A cartoonist lampooned this short-sighted dogma with a cartoon, with a suicide bomber being welcomed into heaven and presented with his allotment of virgins - who are all guys.

Islam and the Qur’an have the same plague of translators, which is odd since it’s been in Arabic the entire time. Quite a few clerics have tried to dispel the myth of virgins in heaven, but that doesn’t fly well on terrorist recruiting posters. Same with the concept that martyrs for Islam equals suicide bombers. No, that’s suicide, which is still an unforgivable sin. Thank you for playing, we have a lovely parting gift for you - Ann Coulter as your roommate in Hell.

I’ve read the Life of Buddha (the translation by Burton). It is laughable how many people claim to be Buddhist, including two of my exes, while not doing a damn thing to follow the Buddha’s teachings.

I’m willing to admit that pagans have more than our fair share of blithering idiots. Part of the reason behind this is that pagans do not have a Holy Book. There are some myths and legends, of course. But paganism involves self-discovery and working out what you believe and why. That doesn’t fly well with people who have grown up in a pseudo-State religion whose only entrance requirement is saying you believe what they say.

Another part is that paganism routinely experiences cyclical floods of people who are only in it to shock others (like parents), show off how non-conformist they are, or do it because some of their friends do it. We also get a lot of gullible (i.e., too lazy to think) people, and not a few professional con artists. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

I know some of you are adamantly atheist. Good for you. What I am saying is a lot of people blindly follow a system of beliefs… that isn’t the system of beliefs they think it is.

1 Like

no, this isn’t stupid at all

Kind of makes my comment of “the McDonalds’ of religions” redundant.

You bring up good points, and the biggest that I take from what you’ve said is that there are plenty of sheep out there who have no idea who or why they were following and, for whatever reason, have never questioned it. To me, a worthy belief shouldn’t be something restricted from questioning, but subjected to it constantly.

Yes, that is basically what I see.

The other part is that I see a lot of avoidance of responsibility for one’s own actions. “Jesus died for my sins” and “I’m sorry” are sufficient to avoid responsibility, so one can go right back to doing whatever it was. And then the same people point fingers that others are sinning.

People like that I think would be just as annoying and fun to push down stairs without religion. Same sort that push for Atheism Plus.

And yeah, I’m sorry doesn’t count without effort. Even if you aren’t successful, you still have to at least have tried.

It’s like nobody has heard of repentance lately.

Wicca doesn’t have sin, per se, but there’s still (or there was) a strong sense of “you better own up to it, and you better make it better”.

I’m in agreement with you here! Personally, we’ve been fleeing very complicated religion, seeking the less complicated “Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself” mentality – and trying not to be stupid about it. I dislike gimmicky religion as much as I dislike legalist religion. The happy medium suggests you can be forgiven and love and be loved, but you will need to face the consequences of sin in your life and be a responsible member of society and a steward of the Word (speaking from a perspective of Christianity).

TANSTAAFL. Someone had to sacrifice for your handout.

Heinlein fan?

Isn’t everybody?


Do we have a point of agreement across the forum here?

It’s a religion thread, out the unbeliever!

Do I look like Donald Sutherland?

As far as I know. :wink:

Nope, just a BS in Environmental Science. :slight_smile:

EDIT: I mean, I AM a Heinlein fan, but that’s not where I learned that.

Oh, for crying out loud! Supposedly, the fight for equal rights for LGBT citizens is not a civil rights (or human rights) issue… but the Liberty Council is saying that the fight to allow people to discriminate, because of their “religious views”, against LGBT citizens really really is a civil rights issue.

And their spokesman, Matt Barber had the gall to hold up Martin Luther King Jr. as an example:

“What would have happened if Martin Luther King, Jr. had just stood down and said, ‘No, I can’t participate in all of this, I’m just going to remain silent’?”

This is another example of the “it’s not okay when you do it, but it’s okay when I do it, because God wants me to be happy – not you.” (I call this the Umpteenth Commandment - written by the same sages who wrote the Umpteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution)

A friend of mine, may she rest in peace, called it the Law of Finite Divinity - that there isn’t enough God to go around, so some people have to hoard it and protect it from anybody else they don’t like.

1 Like

I think the government forcing action is wrong, like the cake maker and photographer a few years ago. I don’t know how to fix that so it’s fair, but that’s my general stance.

I personally don’t care, since everyone’s money is green. As long as no one is getting hurt I’ll DJ your party and bake your cake with two dudes on the top, and take pictures.

If you are an asshole then I’ll refuse service, and if there is a law that says I can’t refuse you service because you are gay, that sucks. And essentially that’s what a lot of civil rights laws become. I can fire the 30 year old white guy easy, but to fire the black chick or the gay asian dude, or the old lady I need a nice solid paperwork trail.

1 Like

I don’t mind the “refuse service to anyone” thing. But more than a few of those have taken the money first, then cancelled or refused to deliver. They have either refused to refund the money, or refunded the money minus a “cancellation fee” or a “restocking fee” or some other b.s. Some businesses have deliberately waited until the last minute to cancel.

That’s one of the things that the RWNJ’s don’t mention. This is a situation where civil cases is more than warranted. It’s an abusive business practice, and it’s meant to obstruct the customers’ happiness.

Then there are the ones who turn it into a “preaching moment”. Quite a few folks have gotten preached at in a very public manner. And then these people claim that their rights are being violated. Nobody has a right to publicly shame and verbally and emotionally abuse others. Again, a civil case is warranted.

There are laws that prevent discrimination in housing and accommodations. I can see a reason for those. Housing is a basic necessity, and it is easy to run into a situation where no housing (or substandard housing) is available due to prejudice.

From the personal anecdote file: I worked at a restaurant in Ann Arbor that was very popular with the late-night crowd. One night a group of gay guys, on their way home from the bar, stopped in for some food. I knew some of the people involved, and most (if not all) of the guys were very flamboyant, loud, and overly-confrontational - they actually were the type to “shove it in your face” and they didn’t stop there.

Another customer was also there, on his way home from a bar, with a couple of his friends. He took exception to the first group: maybe he didn’t like them being loud, maybe he didn’t like the way they were loudly and obnoxiously commenting on the relative attractiveness of everyone else in sight, maybe he didn’t like the fact that they were gay.

After that, details got a little hazy. The gay guys claimed he assaulted them. Two managers told me that there was no physical violence, just a bit of shouting. The gay guys claim that the managers refused to do anything. The managers told me that they diffused the situation, but the gay guys just got more obnoxious. Everybody agrees that the gay guys were asked to leave finally; the gay guys later (much later) claimed that the managers had pushed and shoved them out the door.

Both managers were gay, mind you. One of them had even attended the meetings of our gay social group regularly.

There was never enough evidence to file a human rights complaint. However, one of the gay activism groups (which was big on activism but short on gay) had a list of demands for compensation, which included having the company charter a bus to transport a contingent for the large gay rights rally in Washington DC that was happening later that fall. The rest of the demands were solely meant to humiliate the company and the managers.

A few weeks later, we arrived at work to find the doors locked. It took a month before we received our final paycheck, and it was short.

The gay guys were pissed off, because they couldn’t go to the restaurant on the way home from the bar anymore.

@ClockWorkXon, that is wrong on so many levels, and yet, that is how our society operates somehow.

shrug. The rights group mentioned was rather infamous for extreme demands and extreme interpretation of events.

Yes, there are rights groups that demand special privileges, that are not available to other groups. I have seen a few. Are they in the majority? I don’t think so.

But a lot of the “special rights” people have been griping about in the last couple years are rights that most people take for granted.

After reading the Malleus Malleficarum, The Book of Deadly Names, and Revelations, I get the distinct impression that a lot of people think their God does acid a lot.

Or the authors imbibe heavily.