Wednesday, February 14, 2018

● Why go to church? [2/2]

    The Truth Will Set You Free...
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…from Religion
 📖 Why go to church?  [1/2] previous
📖 Why go to church? [2/2]
This article is Part 2 of an email thread that began with the question, “Why go to church?”. Read Why go to church? [1/2] first.
This was the response to my initial response:

"We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.  You quote much of the old testament. Jesus changed that, He died for our sins.  I pray that you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior."
This was my response: 

It’s true that I quoted the old testament. I’m glad we can agree that the old testament can be dismissed as irrelevant at best, but my main points deal with the new testament. The new testament condones slavery, yet claims god is love. Love does not condone slavery. This should be obvious to any thinking person. If you’re going to personify love, you have to do better than the new testament god, because that’s just another obvious failed attempt. It’s certainly not the word of Love. I hope I don’t know anyone who condones slavery.  So, as far as I know, I don’t know anyone whose morals could be improved by this deeply flawed book. The god of the new testament as well as the old, has repeatedly fallen short of the most basic principles of morality, and that’s not love.

You don’t have to pray for me, because no one’s sins have ever been absolved by the killing of an innocent person. No human sacrifice was ever good news. That’s not how morality works. Every human sacrifice (murdering the innocent as atonement for sin) has been and still is a sick twisted act of unimaginable lunacy. Jesus did not end the belief in human sacrifice. The story of Jesus has prolonged this belief, as you exemplify by saying, “He died for our sins.”  It doesn’t make it any better if it’s a good person (or a pure person without sin), as the sadistic theory goes. It doesn’t matter if it was last week or at the dawn of the age, it’s still an immoral act that would never be condoned by Love, let alone required by any moral being. Why couldn’t he just forgive people? Do you want to know how to forgive someone? You just decide to forgive them. That’s how you do it. How is it that the almighty god doesn’t have the power that every other living being has? At some point, your faith has to hold up to your questions, and if it doesn’t, then it’s time to change your belief system to a more rational moral view. To accept a human sacrifice as a legitimate effective act, is a moral low point to which I cannot stoop, and neither should you.

I understand why you believe it. Your parents, grandparents, and family going back generations probably believed it, because it’s embedded in the culture. In fact, the only difference between a cult and religion is size. Once a cult becomes large enough to influence an entire population’s culture, it acquires the status of religion. Popularity doesn’t make the beliefs any more rational. Thinking for yourself is difficult, which is why so few people do it. Even though, everything I said should be pretty obvious, it’s difficult for anyone to think outside their own cultural paradigm.

Your belief system requires you to not question. "Blessed are those who believe without seeing.”(John 20:29). Blind faith is seen as a virtue, when it’s actually a dangerous requirement of any religion. Since they are all made up, unquestioning blind faith is imperative to keep up the big lie. An honest belief would welcome scrutiny. "Lean not on your own understanding."(Proverbs 3:5). This fear of thinking should be your first sign as to the dishonesty of the doctrine. The fear of questioning is built into religion, as it is with any propaganda system. Allegiance to a party, team, or group, rather than principles, is not morality. Admiring the rich while obeying authority is not morality, it’s authoritarian. Anything worth doing in life (aside from immediate concerns of survival) ultimately deals in some way with questioning authority and the status quo. The least we can do is advocate for improving the system, while dismantling authority whenever it’s found to be illegitimate. And, that also holds true for any imagined celestial dictator.  Don’t forget I went to church for twenty years, and every sermon had at least one message about the dangers of thinking, and the danger of any person who might make you question. Beware of the fast talker. It’s a ploy to make people afraid of rational thought, or any honest question about religion. Because, if you allow yourself to think for two minutes without fear, everything I just said will become absolutely clear.
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Post by: Kurt Riebel: artist, activist  

 #ThinkLove #ThinkLoveIdeas #Atheism #Resist @uResist

  T H I N K     L O V E     I D E A S  
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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

● Why go to church? [1/2]

  T H I N K     L O V E     I D E A S
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This article was written as a response to an email forwarded to me touting the benefits of going to church.  Use of the terms, “church” and “the Bible” here generally mean the Christian church and Christian bible. Although, the most general sentiments could be applied to almost any religion.  The email starts by saying
“If you're spiritually dead, you won't want to read it.
  If you're spiritually curious, there is still hope!”
    and ends by claiming, without evidence, that church provides spiritual nourishment.
So, I reexamined the question, “Why go to church?”. 
This was my response:

📖 Why go to church? [1/2]
 📖 Why go to church?  [2/2] next  

This is a good question.
Church goers rave about the benefits of church, and the importance of fellowship and communion with people who share a belief from which they claim to derive morality and truth. That sounds enriching. Finding the truth is enlightening, and generally only arrived at through an honest search. The search for the truth begins by questioning every idea you’ve ever held dear. If an idea doesn't pass the test of evidence, deduction, and logic, it should not only be discarded, but you must then question why you ever believed it in the first place. If you’re able to be honest with yourself, then there’s still hope.

So, why go to church?
Another reason might be to reflect on “the infallible word of God”, the Bible.  The best verses in the Christian bible are the one’s that talk about love, peace, and equality. Love thy neighbor (Mark 12:31). The Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12) encourages fairness and equality. These verses are beautiful ways of simply saying, "Don’t be a hypocrite”, and “be kind and care for one another”. Seek peace (Psalm 34:14), God is a god of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33), and care for the sick and help the poor (Matthew 25:35-40). There’s a lot of evidence to show that living this way improves your life.

But, let’s see what else the bible says.

† : “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

That’s funny, because I remember women teaching Sunday School. Why didn’t they teach me that this verse is false? Perhaps they were afraid to question. According to the Christian Bible, God kills 70,000 innocent people because David ordered a census of the people (1 Chronicles 21). You can understand why anyone might be afraid of this God.

God also orders the destruction of 60 cities so that the Israelites can live there.  He orders the killing of all the men, women, and children of each city, and the looting of all of value (Deuteronomy 3).  He orders another attack and the killing of all the living creatures of the city: men and women, young, and old, as well as oxen sheep, and asses (Joshua 6).  In Judges 21 He orders the murder of all the people of Jabesh-gilead, except for the virgin girls who were taken to be raped and forcibly married. God also told men to hide alongside the road and kidnap virgins to rape and forcibly marry.

In just about every other page of the Old Testament, God is killing somebody.  In 2 Kings 10:18-27, God orders the murder of all the worshipers of a different god in their very own church.  In total God kills 371,186 people directly and orders another 1,862,265 people murdered.

God allows for slavery, including the selling of your own daughter as a sex slave (Exodus 21:1-11), child abuse (Judges 11:29-40 & Isaiah 13:16), and bashing babies against rocks (Hosea 13:16 & Psalms 137:9). The "Word of God" condones slavery in the New Testament. "Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.” (1 Peter 2:18)

God (in the Bible) is indirectly and directly responsible for pillage, plunder, mass-murder, rape, ritual human sacrifice, animal sacrifice, and child abuse. ...and, has no problem with slavery, yet does seem to have a problem with disobedient slaves.

Why go to church?
Here are some other good questions.
Why don’t we celebrate women who drown their children in bathtubs? After all, God told them to do it. Why do you need proof? Don’t you have faith? Abraham almost killed his son because he heard a voice in his head. This act should not have inspired religions. Abraham should’ve been arrested and his son given a lifetime of therapy.

In order to be a Christian, you have to believe in the efficacy of ritual human sacrifice (not as a metaphor, but as the actual murdering of the innocent), as atonement for sin. From Abraham to Jesus, ritual human sacrifice is a mainstay of Christianity. If this act was never effective (which it wasn’t), then the crucifixion was not only pointless, but just another sin committed by God (or men, since God was nowhere to be found). Why choose to believe in a god who also just happens to be a big fan of humanities worst ideas?

Luckily for us, this immoral god doesn’t exist. If God is Love, then Love would never do these things, let alone, require us to believe absurdities without proof, or damn us to eternal torture for rejecting ridiculous claims. If God exists, she clearly doesn’t want us to know it, and has never authored a known book. Faith is required because there is no proof, logic, evidence, or reason to believe. Faith, or belief without reason, is extremely dangerous, especially when placed in such a violent book. Sure, the Bible has some good verses alongside a ton of life destroying nonsense, but it only takes one flawed immoral passage to prove it’s not the infallible word of almighty Love. And, there are many. This is why you can be certain that the truth will set you free from religion, if you let it.

Of course, there are good people who happen to be Christian, but no one’s perfect.

By picking and choosing, you can make the Bible say whatever you want, but it’s impossible to accept every contradictory verse and still claim to be coherent. Talk about no absolutes. Religious texts were meant for a time when most people couldn't read, so that the elites could control the masses. With all of its obvious flaws, it’s easy to see that the Bible is not a good guide for life. Why be involved with an organization or associate with a group who uses this book as their guide, or claims it’s infallible or sacred?

So, why go to church? Why go, when they refuse and are afraid to edit out the obvious immoral flaws in their own book? Why go to church, when not going is clearly the moral choice?
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Post by: Kurt Riebel: artist, activist  

 #ThinkLove #ThinkLoveIdeas #Atheism #Resist @uResist

 The Truth Will Set You Free  …from Religion