9/24/2018

Begging for Respect

In a recent Atlantic Magazine video-article, titled “Why Don't Democrats Take Religion Seriously?” Emma Green asks, "Why haven’t liberals tried harder to reach the broad percentage of Americans who identify as religious?' Democrats in Washington often have trouble speaking in religious terms, and they reflect a broader liberal culture that doesn’t take religion seriously.'" The answer lies in reality. Liberals/educated people don’t take all sorts of silly shit seriously. We argue about exposing our children to Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, ghosts, vampires, zombies, talking animals and inanimate objects, along with various gods and semi-gods like Jesus and Mohammed. We worry about the slippery slope of letting kids believe in “harmless nonsense” when they are young enough to imprint on that crap. The upside to believing in nonsense is so small it appears to be immeasurable. The downside is immense.

dissentIt is absolutely true that the Civil Rights Movement was driven, mostly, by religious conservatives like Martin Luther King. That was then, this is now. Today, religion has joined forces with the opposite view. Evangelicals and other so-called Christian groups have thrown their hat in the ring with Trump and the Republicans who are trying to turn the US into an oligarchy. Not that this is news, but from the Catholic Church to evangelicals to more traditional Protestant churches, sex scandals, financial scandals, and political wingnutery abounds. For the most part, the practitioners of religion have abandoned any pretense of moral character and its priests have turned religion into a poorly-disguised money machine; just like Republicans.

god warsThere is a reason liberals don’t take religion seriously, it is not a serious thing. It’s dangerous, it holds the whole society back, but it is not a subject for serious philosophical consideration.

Just to sum up the argument, you believe that there is a just, kind, jealous, vengeful god who randomly punishes little kids and other innocents with disease, starvation, war, and general mayhem for “mysterious reasons.” You believe that when Jebus comes back you will rise up from the grave (in prime condition, not the rotting mess your physical body became in the grave or the pile of ashes your kids were supposed to preserve) and go to a heaven that is designed to be ideal for every person (with a god who looks exactly like you). Belief is a funny thing. However, no matter what you believe the universe operates on the laws of physics and could not care less about your faith.  

Ijust practicet’s not the delusions or the superstition or even the arrogance that puts off many liberals, intellectuals, and generally sentient humans, it’s the celebration of death. Not just of death of the self but of the whole world. All of the Abrahamic religions have cults that believe the end of the world will be the beginning of Nirvana or whatever they’ve named their Big Rock Candy Mountain.  Christianity, as it is practiced in the US, is particularly driven to end life on this planet in the hope that the “faithful” will drift up to the sky and sit at “the right hand side” of their god for eternity. With the usual poor math skills exhibited by conservatives everywhere, I suspect they haven’t bothered to visualize how remote a position they are likely to have with the billions of believers stacked up on that side of the god’s throne.

If Christians were able to settle on eliminating themselves, leaving the rest of the planet to get along without them, the aversion to their belief wouldn’t be nearly as strong. Fundamentalist Christians appear to have a weak grip on their “faith” so, in case they are wrong and the whole Rapture thing doesn’t happen, they seem to be convinced it is important to turn the planet into a smoking husk before they drift off to where ever they will be going. That is the reason liberals and other rational thinkers are hostile to religion. If you want to Jim Jones yourself into oblivion, please be our guest. If you want to take the rest of us with you, get ready for a fight.

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