- Category: Articles Essays Etc
By Garrett Fogerlie
I remember when I was 15 or so and I met a person that not only wasn't Christian but was an Atheist! I was shocked, I said, "Shouldn’t you just accept Jesus into your heart so that in case your wrong you may go to heaven?" It is only later that I realized that certainly if God is God he would notice that someone who believes in him for that reason is just hedging their bets and God would certainly not except that person into heaven.
I grew up in a Christian home, members of my family were missionaries and the majority of those who weren’t were at least heavily involved in the church.
I went to a private Christian school from kindergarten to my freshman year in high school. My school had a ‘bible class’ that was just as important as any other class if not more, and you could be held back if you did not pass it. And its science class was mostly misinformation which main points were mostly how to mock evolutionists with phrases like, “how do you know, where you there?” Even at that age, I thought that phrase was a bit useless since I wasn’t there for any of the stories in the bible. I hated that school completely; the principle had a paddle that had holes drilled in it to give it better wind resistance. A paddle that I soon became well acquainted with.
But because I was so immersed in Christianity, it gave me a view that I think few people get. I started to notice how every person twisted and manipulated the bible to conform to what they wanted:
“Did you have a child that died before he believed in God? No problem God understands that he was a child and would certainly save him from Hell.”
“When you get to heaven you will not remember your previous life, because God doesn’t want you to be sad, thinking of loved ones that are now burning in Hell.”
Or one of my personal favorites,
“The Old Testament is no longer valid because Jesus changed everything in the New Testament so we don’t need to follow the Old.”
This is a view that seemed to flip-flop every year with each new bible teacher. Not to mention that they use this to exclude all the atrocities in the Old Testament, but I haven’t heard anyone say that the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) is null and void. A view that I’m sure many people out there have though.
These contradicting ideas may be laughed off by some people thinking, “Oh that must just be what a couple nuts think.” But it isn’t! When you believe in something like you do, and go to a church, you assume that everybody there shares your same believes. It’s shocking that out of the hundreds of people who’s beliefs I am very well acquainted and the thousands more that I’ve heard, they disagree on some major key issues. Things like, “if you accept Jesus into your heart, and then grow up, change your mind and denounce him; you will still get into heaven.”
Surely if God is real and the bible is his spoken word; than it should be precise, cut and dry exact! He wouldn’t want you to go to Hell over a minor misunderstanding, especially if you lived a good life. Right?
Religion does do harm! If it didn't I would have less of a problem with it. The harm that religion causes goes far beyond all the wars, genocide and murders made in its name. It causes ‘hidden’ harm; harm that is interlaced in common society. Like the Pope going to Africa, a continent most ravaged by AIDS and telling them they cannot use condoms!
"When I hear from people that religion doesn't hurt anything, I say really? Well besides wars, the crusades, the inquisitions, 9-11, ethnic cleansing, the suppression of women, the suppression of homosexuals, fatwa’s, honor killings, suicide bombings, arranged marriages to minors, human sacrifice, burning witches, and systematic sex with children, I have a few little quibbles. And I forgot blowing up girl schools in Afghanistan." –Bill Maher
Religion removes the amazing-ness of the universe, strips it of its complexity and says that a God snapped it into existence and we could never understand how so don’t bother to try. Religion makes life un-special, takes away its uniqueness and leaves it far less important. It is no wonder that the vast majority of all murders are created by religious people! In short, RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING!
Reason's Whore said...
Not only does it do obvious harms like those you have listed, it also causes a great deal of stress to people who have to spend their entire lives worrying 1) what god wants (since it isn't at all clear from the bible) and 2) whether they will go to hell, since it's obvious that we're all "sinners".
But I wouldn't say religion poisons everything. I think that's going a bit far...if humans don't have religion, they make up some other ridiculous dogma to follow. Witness the nontheistic societies throughout history.
April 20, 2011 8:37 AM
Happiness Is The Natural State said...
Don't forget guilt. Guilt for being designed (by nature) to reproduce, as with all of the animal kingdom. So, certainly we get horny once we hit puberty. Certainly we have sexual thoughts. One can't help it, it's built into our very DNA to reproduce. Naturally we think about it (all the time!). Yet, we are to feel guilty for this, cause it's "wrong"? It's 100% natural/normal. It's a terrible injustice to make kids feel guilt for something they simply can't help. This is just one example of human desires/wishes branded as sin, or "lack of faith" or self-control.
April 21, 2011 7:10 AM
Garrett Fogerlie said...
Happiness Is The Natural State, it is interesting that you brought up sex, I have been working on an article about how sexual desire is so motivating, and that's why most all the religions try to control sex. I should have it posted in the next few days.
April 21, 2011 7:45 AM
Church of Liberty said...
Nice article, I totally agree, religion is insane, mentally destructive, morally abusive, counter productive, and just plain bullshit.
April 23, 2011 10:09 AM
I was raised a Hindu but sent to a Christian school from kindergarten to 8th grade. The school made it clear to my parents that their mission was to convert me and my brother. I resisted but was told everyday that I would go to hell by the other kids. When my mom complained to the principal, it fell on deaf ears. I've always been the questioning sort and couldn't understand how anyone could readily believe all the crap I learned in Bible class. Telling kids they are going to he'll because they question things they hear is evil.
April 23, 2011 11:00 AM
Garrett Fogerlie said...
Okayharmakit, its bizarre how religion does not what people to question ideas and learn anything that's not in the Bible.
April 23, 2011 9:56 PM
Alejandro Sanchez said...
There are two principles in psychology that goes, 1. We are all hypocrites, and 2. We notice only the hypocrisy in others, never in ourselves. This is true whether your religious or not. As a Catholic, there are many things in our history that I am not proud of, but many more that I am proud of; e.g. being part of the biggest charitable organization of the world, establishing universities, hospitals, orphanages etc. But what strikes me when I hear atheists bring up arguments against Christianity is their own failure to remember their more recent history. Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Jung Ill, Castro, all of these men where atheists and were collectively responsible for the murder of over 100,000,000 people in just the LAST century. Atheists thrive on bringing up crimes of Christians from centuries ago but fail to look at their own history. Also, atheists show a complete disregard for real history when bringing up the Crusades which was a just military campaign and the Inquisitions that killed approximately 6 people per year over the course of 350 years. Sure that is about 2000 to many but how about Mao in China who killed 77 million people in a few decades. Atheists can run from their violent bloody path but they can't hide from it.
April 30, 2011 12:32 PM
Alejandro Sanchez said...
"Richard Dawkins argues in The God Delusion that Christians killed in the name of Christianity, but many tyrants who happened to be atheists did not kill in the name of atheism. From a historical point of view this is unsupported. All you have to do is read The Communist Manifesto and look at the behavior of Communist countries to see that their atheism wasn’t incidental at all. On the contrary, the whole idea was to create a new man and a new utopia liberated from the shackles of traditional religion and traditional morality." - Dinesh D'Souza
April 30, 2011 12:51 PM
Lee Spaner said...
I was an orthodox jew, now atheist. I have my reasons for not believing anymore, some are the same as above and others more unique. The point being it doesnt take much investigation to see its a delusion.
May 6, 2011 2:18 AM