Wednesday, February 7, 2018

● Why go to church? [1/2]

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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 

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