This strange . . . parable(?) was sent to me several months ago by a Kansas family member. I hung on to it for weeks, considering sending a "reply to all" as a correction to the many logical flaws in this irrational rant, but decided that the Rat is a better place to "publish" my response. The "letter" is highlighted by lines beginning with ">" and my response is found in the bits without that weird punctuation.
- Imagine this happening to you...
- One Sunday morning during service, a 2,000 member congregation was
- surprised to see two men enter, both covered from head to toe in black
- and carrying submachine guns. One of the men proclaimed,
- "Anyone willing to take a bullet for Christ remain where you are."
- Immediately, the choir fled...
- the deacons fled...
- and most of the congregation fled....
- out of the 2,000 there only remained around 20.
- The man who had spoken took off his hood...
- He then looked at the preacher and said "Okay Pastor, I got rid of all
- the hypocrites... Now you may begin your service. Have a nice
- And the two men turned and walked out.
- Funny how simple it is for people to trash God ...
- and then wonder why the world is in the condition it is today....
Funny how a powerful majority religion can be so paranoid about its status in a country that it clearly rules with fear and repression. Even non-believers are afraid to express disagreement in the current climate. Like Islamic fundamentalists in Iran or Saudi Arabia, neo-con Christians continue to push their agenda on everyone who thinks like or unlike them. When anyone questions their ethics, honesty, fantasies, or superstitions, they cry "persecution!" and act like "freedom from religion" is the worst crime Jefferson perpetrated against humanity.
Even worse than owning slaves. A psychologist might diagnose this as either paranoia or megalomania. From my perspective, it seems more like the kind of insecurity that has driven religious despots since the beginning of human communities. Vicious historic actions like witch hunts, the Inquisition, England's purge of all churches other than the Church of England (not long before the American Revolution attempted to separate politics from such oppression), and Hitler's purge of Jews and other non-white, non-Christian citizens in 1945 are examples of this insecurity in action. I'm unconvinced that a significant number of people in any culture "trash God." However, it's obvious that all people do not believe in the same gods. Or the same ideals from a shared God. If that's trashing God, I guess my last paragraph explains this statement. If the writer hopes to create a unified human mind, she's living a drug-addled superstitious fantasy.
- Funny how we believe what the newspapers say...but question what the Bible says...
The history of this often-edited book is anything but clear and unambiguous. Which makes it easy to pick and choose what you want from the version that most suits the crime you want to commit. Depending on the section and the edition it's not difficult to find arguments for "loving your neighbor" or "killing the heretics." The argument you choose probably says more about you than it says about your faith. Aside from Christianity, we have the Book of Mormon, the Koran, the Torah, the sacred documents of 60-some Indian (not Native Americans, India Indians, you dolt) religions, the Buddhist Bible, and only the gods know how many other religious documents exist.
There is no shortage of gods to celebrate and everyone seems to think the believers of other gods are heretics. Personally, I don't have time to sort out who's right. Living in the here and now is tough enough without inventing and justifying the "next life." People of faith have used the Bible and other famous religious books to justify slavery, genocide, infanticide, homicide and assassinations, war, theft, greed, selfishness, and every other human fault. How, exactly, do you know when a person is acting in good faith or in self-interest?
Obviously, Christians are not particularly good at making that determination, since they picked a marginally recovered drunk and drug addict who swindled his home city for his share of the $7.5 million dollar debt for a publicly financed baseball stadium. Choosing a man who executed 250+ people, while claiming to be "pro-life" is equally inconsistent. Bush's list of un-Christian acts would go on for pages and pages, but he's just one piece of evidence that life is, apparently, more complex than defining the hereafter. As for the claim that "we believe what the newspapers say," most people rarely believe much that newspapers say. The press has a credibility rating that is considerably beneath used car salespeople. Maybe that's because so much of the press is dominated and owned by the same folks who want us all to bow to the same religion? Rupert Murdoch and Sun Myung Moon own right wing newspapers that are regularly quoted as "unbiased Christian sources." Right. If the Klan is unbiased, so are those sources.
- Funny how everyone wants to go to heaven...
- provided they do not have to believe, think, say, or do anything the Bible says.
Having read a good bit of the Christian Bible, I think it's impossible to not "do anything the Bible says." The Bible can give justification to just about any act, if you look for a specific justification. Murder ("an eye for an eye"), genocide, incest, it's all there. The Old Testament, in particular, is specially ruthless and wide open for interpretation.
- Funny how someone can say "I believe in God"...
- but still follow Satan (who, by the way, also "believes" in God).
- Funny how you can send a thousand 'jokes' through e-mail and they
- spread like wildfire... but when you start sending messages regarding
- the Lord, you think twice about sharing.
- Funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through
- cyberspace... but the public discussion of Jesus is suppressed in the
- school and work place.
- Funny, isn't it? Funny how someone can be so fired up for Christ on
- Sunday... but be an invisible Christian the rest of the week.
- Are you laughing?
- Funny how when you go to forward this message...
- You will not send it to many on your address list because you're not
- sure what they believe...
- or what they will think of you for sending it to them. *Funny how I
- can be more worried about what other people think of me...... than what God thinks of me.
- Are you thinking?
- Will you share this with people you care about?
- Or not?