Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christianity is more ridiculous than all other religions


Sure we know all religions are pretty crazy, if it isn’t a volcano burying, nuclear bomb detonating aliens, it is the land being made of slain giants and children being born of the sea froth on a severed certain part of the genitals. Whereas Christianity, a benevolent Zombie is going to come back and save you from his dad, yeah makes about as much sense. Sure my opponents here will say their ex-religion is the most ridiculous. I am sorry but they can’t compete.
Judaism came before Christianity, and all Judaism’s craziness has been inherited and enhanced. Islam came after, but tries too hard to be the new crazy kid on the block.

Plus how can you compete with the idea of the trinity. Something so confusing that there have been innumerable tomes written on it, so confusing that entire sects of Christianity have made it their core doctrinal difference to remove, according to them and Islam the trinity didn’t happen. In fiction they call this retcon, retroactive continuity, changing a past event to fit the current story.

I am not going to try and explain it as it was tough enough to believe when I was a believer.
I actually had a desire, in high school to go into the seminary. I discussed it with my School priest, and seriously considered it. The priest actually talked me out of it, advising me I should get some life experience first. I am glad he did, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.

 I found out pretty quickly that a lot of the religions of the world are mutually exclusive, that even some denominations of Christianity are, they actually proclaim others are wrong so they can’t all be right. This and the shear logical inconsistencies of an Omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipresent deity, that somehow still allowed evil to exist led, me to realise Christianity was ridiculous.
Christians can’t even agree with each other, sure there are different denominations of Jews and Muslims, orthodox Jews, Reform Jews, Karaite Jews, Sunni Muslim, Shia Muslim and others. But Islam and Judaism can’t compete with Christianity due to the number of versions, anywhere from 10-30,000… or 2.1billion if you believe as some current theories go, that every Christian justifies their belief in their own way discarding pieces of doctrine they can’t reconcile. Heck there is a test on line to see which denomination you should try out;  tinyurl.com/xiantest
PS it thinks I should be in the Unity Church, not Unitarian Universalists, but still liberal Christians that don’t believe in a Trinity, but do believe in spiritual healing and well god…

Some of these denominations try and follow all of the laws of the Old Testament, some don’t. Some disagree on such minor differences as days in which you should worship, words in prayers and who is the boss, and how many super powers he has. Some like the Mormons who call themselves Christian are like the unwanted child, with other Christians denouncing them, due to their “crazy” beliefs. Is it any crazier to believe that after Jesus ascended into heaven after he had already resurrected, that he then flew to the Americas to spread the same word to the lost tribe of Israel? It really isn’t that much of a stretch. Really they have just written a poor bit of Biblical fan fiction, you can’t blame them when the crazy groundwork was already laid out.

Hell is much worse than anything in the Old testament. Some Christians don’t believe in hell, others that we are living there now. Only through faith… err no good works…err no a combination… err no it is written and we have no say… can we be saved from eternal torment of the levels of hell. They can’t even agree on the rules of the game, how is anyone supposed to play.
Oh and don’t forget Jesus was sent to save us from Hell… a hell he introduced into the doctrine. The comparable Jewish Sheol is a walk in the park.

(Matthew 5:22, 18:8, 25:41. Mark 9:43. Luke 3:17)

Sure the Muslim hell is “worse”, but again they are trying too hard. Besides which one is more ridiculous, the one that came up with hell or the one that expanded on the theme, there is even some
evidence the Christian hell influenced the Nordic creation of Heck, yikes the crazy bled into the myth with the almighty Thor that ain’t right.


Heck the Christian idea of hell didn’t even fully come from the bible. The only mention is of an undying worm and an unquenchable fire. Reminds me of a story from my youth. A friend and I were on a train and a man of questionable sanity got on at a major station, and started chanting "The Zombie and the WORM"... Needless to say we moved from the rather empty carriage we shared with him to a different one. Of course now I know the worm as from the bible is Satan, and the well the Zombie must be the Zombie Christ, back for your brains.



Back to hell, with us.
The levels of hell for different sinners and the other ideas come from the known works of fiction “Dante’s Inferno” and “A Paradise Lost”. How crazy is that, the place that you are going to get barbecued for all eternity and yet you get most of your tourist information on it from a known work of fiction.
Even Satan isn’t really in charge, he and the angels that rebelled are prisoners too. He was only able to tempt Jesus and the rest of us via a whisper from hell… like a creepy obi-wan. It makes it interesting to think that these demons can somehow effect events on earth even though they are imprisoned, doesn’t make God a very good gaoler, even us fallible humans find prisoners cellphones and confiscate them.
The claim that Hell is out of God’s site has been bandied around a lot, but how is this possible with an omniscient/omnipresent being, unless he decides to put that place out of his sight, unless he decides to basically turn a blind eye to a torture he could stop, something most would consider condoning the act… other religions have basically designated hell as Gods dungeon, he is still in charge and can let people out if he wants… Fritzl eat your heart out.

That’s another point of contention, can you get out once you are sentenced, some denominations say yes, some say no. Some like a lot of Anglicans agree with us atheists and say hell doesn’t exist, they go on to say that if you aren’t worthy you are annihilated. To quote an American catholic priest “Hell was just an invention to keep people in line”

There is an interesting argument, supposedly Satan fell to hell imprisoned for all eternity, well given enough time, oh say an eternity the chances are 100% that everyone will eventually fall, thus heaven as it is outside of time is empty.
While we are on the topic of an afterlife. There are also other destinations in Christian doctrine
Limbo, no not that one but close enough; which is hell adjacent and split into various sections. Mainly for those who died unbaptised, but not evil enough to be condemned to hell. So unbaptised infants, and foetuses that died before birth… yep Church of England retcon’ed Limbo a while ago and actually had tearful pleas from adherents who had come to terms with their stillborn child residing there, but now it was gone they had to mourn the abolition of this child, very sad in an odd sort of way.

Purgatory; heaven adjacent part of Limbo, that is the celestial waiting room. Somehow you are supposed to be able to be purified enough here to enter the preferred postmortem destination; the supposed club med in the sky… Heaven.

We have the same issue with Heaven as we had with hell, different Christian religions have different takes. Catholics claim you have to be a perfect Saint to enter heaven, I was taught that you remain in purgatory till the end of days when if you have redeemed yourself you will be judged, but the Catechism that the Catholics follow is a bit vague on this and seems to allude that you can be deemed a saint by God without the need for canonization… it is rare that a religious text would be as vague as a horoscope…

Then there is what you’ll be like in this heaven, without sin or urge to sin, never sad, maybe even becoming a full blown psychopath as you look down on your relatives and children in hell to be entertained by their suffering across the eons. (Tertullian 155AD)
Then there are other denominations of Christianity that say only a relatively small number of elect can get into heaven; the small number of 144 thousand. The rest kick around till the end of days, to live a heaven on earth in new bodies, an idea stolen from the Jewish idea of a bodily resurrection when the messiah comes.
Onto some more biblical specifics of heaven; yeah it isn’t a 24/7 party with loved ones, as most Christians are led to believe, at least not according to the scriptures, it is just a story as it has evolved, just like Hell.

Jesus only talks about his father having many rooms in house and being together with him in paradise…show off.
Paul says that Jesus will be seated at Gods right hand, and then in the, some would say certifiably insane book of revelation we get a better peak at what heaven is supposedly about. Long story short, you can’t see God as he is a fire that would burn your soul, so he is surrounded by Seraphim… no not pretty little angels, beasts with six wings, that are so terrifying they also cover themselves with a set of these wings, lest you catch a glimpse of their bodies and burn, then around them are 24 elders seated on thrones chanting praise to the Lord saying “Holy, Holy, Holy is the lord God almighty, who was and is, and is to come”, and then in a torturous round, every soul that has gone to heaven sits around this spectacle praising the lord with the different verse “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and Honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”… Sounds like a blast. I wonder how many suicides they have among the elders and elect?

Then of course there is the aforementioned proto-Christian Mormons, who if they are really good Mormons, they’ll get their own planet to rule over as a god… What I want to know is who gets the lifeless hell hole of Venus or the frigid dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt? You only get this highest of heavens if you tithe as well as you can, this is actually in their doctrine…
Then there are two other heavens, one for the ones who followed Moses laws, so you would have been OK for that one Steve and Hussain, then the lower heaven for the rest of us who don’t do too badly but don’t follow Moses law.

Catholics even argue at the highest levels on who can get in, can you get in due to only your good deeds as the Pope claimed some of us good atheists could, or do you have to believe as one of his Cardinals later corrected?
So seems they can’t agree on the rules for heaven either…

On to something else before I finish.
Sure there has been some violence done by my opponents ex-religions, they both pale in comparison to the wrongs so far wrought on humanity by Christianity. Just Catholicism alone has killed approximately 50million people due to the inquisitions and witch hunts, 15 million South American Indians, and 7-12 million in the 30years war.


Not to mention the centuries of Crusades from 11th-13th centuries and the additional 15th century crusade. The aiding of the Nazi’s during World War 2 and well the Nazis themselves and the general recommendation in Africa that condom use will condemn one to hell and not stop the spread of HIV, plus pushing for “witches” to be punished and homosexuals executed.
Remember what Hitchens said, “Remember what they did when they were in power”, Islam has a bit of power now and is flexing its muscles, and Christianity had power for hundreds of years and had a lot more unfettered practise. (Gustave Dore crusades Richard and Saladin at the battle of Arsuf)

The Vatican and most fundamentalists Christians also espouse opinions on demons and exorcisms, believe in magic, witchcraft, telling the future, demons, including funnelling them into pigs, and talking snakes and donkeys.
Besides neither of my colleagues ex-religions have the divine actually sacrificing himself to himself to appease himself… think about the utter-absurdity of that for a second. Add to that the Catholic doctrine that the wafer and plonk becomes the literal body and blood, and you have for one absolute LSD induced, ridiculous belief system.

The mythos around Christianity is certainly extensive. There are angels, demons, spirits and sorcery, witches, devils. Then there are things that actually exist, although to same level of effectiveness as the previous monikers, monks, brothers, sisters, Priests, bishops, cardinals, arch-bishops, pastors, lay priests (no not what you think), and of course the pope, picked by God… yet he can make mistakes and leave the job when he no longer feels like it… what is the phrase, what God puts together let no man put asunder.

To finish off this bit, both Islam and Judaism have their crazy leaders, none that can compare with a magic-smoke/God appointed infallible leader like the pope. What is the phrase his own boss supposedly said while on earth, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven (NOTE, there was a comment about this usage, yes the eye of the needle may have been a real place that it was difficult to traverse by camel, but the issue with the popes wealth still remains, although regardless there is some evidence and other uses of this eye of the needle phrase in the bible http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_a_needle#Christianity ). Yet popes get sainted all the time, thus under the rules of their religion, free ticket to heaven. Although they live in luxury and can claim they are poor, they never want for anything, and are usually adorned with fine clothes and jewelry. Sure Pope Francis can claim he washes the feet of the poor, is he truly poor like the 3billion people that live on less than $2.50a day?

The current Pope has been praised for his better attitude, yet still refuses to share sex abuse information with the UN (http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE9B304620131204?irpc=932 ), and preaches fire and brimstone from the pulpit (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/10441960/Pope-Francis-corrupt-should-be-tied-to-a-rock-and-thrown-into-the-sea.html).
So peace be with you, my brothers, sisters, trans and intersexed… but fuck the pope.

I should appologise for using the lower second image in my talk, I have recently found it to be false. He did say the other things, and this;
I have previously done a couple talks on ridiculous aspects of Christianity, they are up on my blog here and here.

Second section:

Christianity has American gun nuts on their side who make things like this, so I think on the ridiculous front, we win.

To counter my opponents points;
Jews don’t as far as I am aware resort to creationism very often, plus they don’t have the rich tradition of creationist apologetics. Apologetics that include answers on how all the animals got distributed from the Ark via volcanoes, I kid you not. Koala’s, Platypus, Kangaroos, and all Australian marsupials got launched into low earth orbit to reach Australia, somehow avoiding burn up on re-entry and the skeletal issues a sudden deceleration on impact with the ground would cause.

There was lots of punishments doled out in the Torah, but not much recently, Christians have metered some out recently. Besides Hell is much worse than all these ancient tortures combined, and as I mentioned in the first section Jesus invented it.

I know I rambled on about an afterlife in the first piece, it is an obsession of people of all faiths, a carrot for their end. This section will be more generic.
Sure Judaism introduced Yahweh, aka Jehovah (depending on how you pronounce the Tetragrammatons, if you are even allowed to, what is he Voldermort, sorry he who must not be named), aka Adonai, aka Elohim, aka I AM… that is a lot of aka’s maybe he is on the run. So sure maybe Judaism introduced this mess, but Christianity made it popular. About 50% of Jews are non-believers according to some surveys, Christians run the gamut from those who believe in belief as Dan Dennett would put it, to fundamentalists who kill for their cause to this day in abortion clinics, and 3rd world countries.
Christians are also quick to claim persecution, sure they were persecuted long ago… so many Christians so few Lions, but they are not persecuted now because stores prefer to keep all their Muslim, atheist, Hindu, and Buddhist customers happy by simply saying happy holidays.
Christians also happily push other ridiculous and contradictory beliefs, anti-abortion, but pro-gun, pro-war. Heck they have setup pickets in front of legitimate abortion clinics, setup fake clinics, setup “help lines” to guilt helpless women out of the procedure and then the extremists will simply go kill a doctor, because nothing says pro-life like killing someone.
Christians are divided into different denominations, which I already mentioned. But these are divided even further… with different sects inside these denominations. I mentioned Opus Dei in my previous talk on Catholicism, and it is on my blog. But there are also loads of others. Yep that is there whip for self-flagellation.

That is the St Francis, or Franciscan cross, complete with apparent Jesus penis (encircled). Then there are the Augustinians, Jesuits, and Dominicans. Even the Catholics that usually present as a united front behind the Pope aren’t united, there is the Old Catholic church, splinter Catholics in Africa, South America etc. Even Catholics that are Geocentrists. These Geocentrists beat the earth splitting/Neil Armstrong was a Muslim conspiracy theorists hands down… they deny we even went to the moon, and satellites are pinned to the firmament or rotating beneath it.
Muslims see the Quran as the perfect word of God, some branches of Christianity see the King James Version (first translated in 1611) as the perfect word… something that has been translated from a translation from a copy… At least Islam is somewhat consistent.
Muslims make pilgrimages to the Kaba or the Dome of the rock, at least these places are interesting, not a stain on a door or a burnt piece of toast.
The claim of our ex-Muslim representative that most Muslims see the Quran as the final unedited word of the Abrahamic God, is quickly trumped by the Mormon’s who see Islam as a precursor to their own religion.

Catholicism is obviously my forte, what with being steeped in it for 20 odd years. With Pilgrimages to holy sites, discredited relics… you will notice the background I chose for my slides looks a little like the Shroud of Turin, no accident I assure you. A shroud that was subject to radiocarbon testing that came back with evidence it was made between 1260 and 1390.

I shall try and wander from Catholicism out into the wider ridiculous Christian environment… Let’s start with my favourites, creationists. Though this isn’t a far wander as the aforementioned Catholic Geocentrists are also creationists… even the infamous creationist Ken Ham said the Bible is silent on geocentrism. It isn’t but that is another argument.

Creationists, who we have debated before, check YouTube here.
To break down their beliefs, they believe in a worldwide conspiracy by atheist scientists to suppress belief in creation to push the atheist agenda, I guess as I am not a Scientist I don’t get the cut of this lucrative cover-up money… This is so ridiculous, even other Christians make fun of them. They not only have to ignore a mountain of evidence in multiple areas of research, they have to deny evolution or wiggle it into “micro evolution” when it comes to evolving pathogens…

Christian mega churches are another middle child only phenomenon. Ridiculous structures, the size of university campuses, they will regularly see more than 2000 attendees on a single weekend, this includes one in our own neck of the woods Hillsong, which gets 24,000 in a single weekend. They even managed to fill the allphones arena a while back for a one night only event with attendance topping a ridiculous 21,000. These mega churches can’t compete with old money though, St Peter’s has held 60,000 for Christmas mass before, and its adjoining palace has an estimated 11,000 rooms… Besides without all these mega churches you wouldn’t get real pastors saying things like that.

To wrap up this section a bit about Jesus…
How many Jesus’s are there, every insane ward is filled with them, every small little cult like the Divine Truth in Brisbane (AJ Miller) or the Branch Davidians in Waco have their own Jesus at the helm. We need to sit all these Jesus’ down together and get them to hash it out, see which one can come back from the dead zombie style, quick ferment water into wine and pirate loaves and fishes.



Then there is the supposed reason for his coming to earth…
Your kids do wrong, so in your infinite power you make a chosen child, which is actually you, whom you then send to earth, pre-destined to die as a sacrifice to yourself to appease your own lust for vengeance… What drugs where the writers of this text on. Absolutely ridiculous, really puts the Pegasus ride and the mountain of foreskins to shame

As we saw from Raphael’s talk a couple of months ago, and I am sure by now you have all read his book. The case for Christ is a rather tenuous one. There is a lot of evidence against the story being accurate, even Christian theologians will quickly stand down if you push them on the legitimacy of the birth myth with; the fact that there was never a census of the entire Roman Empire, such an event is not recorded anywhere else and having the entire population of the empire travel across Europe and North Africa just to return to the land of the father's birth is ridiculous. There was a Judean census, but then we fall into different problems. One Gospel states that this happened during the reign of King Herod, but another account says that this happened during the rule of the Emperor Augustus. This is an issue because there was around 40 years between the death of one and the rise of the other. Essentially, according to the Bible, Jesus was born, lived, died, rose again and ascended into heaven allowing a full 7 years before the next account suggests he was even born.

Ridiculous time line, ridiculous beliefs, ridiculous traditions, ridiculous religion.

Closing:

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"
He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" 
He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" 
He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?" 
He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" 
He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"
He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" 
He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too!"
Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" 
He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." 
I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.
By Emo Phillips.

All religions are crazy, but are they ridiculous.
Are they able to be ridiculed? Sure plenty of comedians make a living off of ridiculing Judaism, plenty more make plenty more of ridiculing Christianity, you don’t see many ridiculing Islam, none is that brave.
In this respect Christianity is the most ridiculed, thus the most ridiculous.
More ridiculous in the fact that there pantheon of sects is larger than any of my opponents religions, the fact that there mythos is so convoluted it would take several lifetimes to get up to speed, the fact that they expect you to buy imperviousness to weapons, poisons and harm, to buy a wafer becomes real flesh, that there adherents speak unknown languages or talk to the creator of all, or that you will live on forever in worship of this insecure, viscous, psychopathic, all-loving, all-knowing being. I think it is clear from the small number of examples I have given that my ex-religion Christianity is by far the most ridiculous, not just of the religions here, but all of the ones that have ever been… even with its legitimising 2 billion adherents protecting it from wider criticism.

Full debate here

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