9/13/2010 | Share this article:By Carl S ~
My sister-in-law goes to a Catholic Church, ”St. Mary’s.” Its full name is “St. Mary’s of the Assumption.” Now, this “assumption” has to do with a belief that the mother of Jesus didn’t die, but was “assumed,” i.e., floated up through the clouds into heaven. This belief is an old peasant tradition which suddenly became a matter of dogma some years ago, probably as a means for the Catholic Church to rake in more money from the gullible. Now, even if a giant slingshot and a sizable amount of people were available to launch it, you realize that she would have died there in the upper atmosphere. (But an astronaut did report seeing a woman fitting her description, floating suit-free, in space. This has been covered up by NASA). They build churches to commemorate that non-happening.
Image by Urijamjari via FlickrIf you think about it, there are all kinds of churches, synagogues and mosques dedicated to non-happenings and non- beings. I remember a parochial school and church, “St. Philomena’s.” The Vatican, years later, declared that there was no St. Philomena, just as they later reversed themselves on a doctrine, probably centuries old, stating that there is no limbo. It’s very troubling when these things don’t really matter, that believers aren’t interested in the truth, so long as their comfort and “spiritual” security blankets aren’t ruffled. They’ll buy it, no matter how ridiculous.
Look at any religion’s statements of beliefs, their credos, and you’ll see not just bullshit, but piles and piles of it. It’s as if someone had asked them to believe a ridiculous thing just one time, and after finding out they would, added another and still another, to see how much they’d accept, how gullible they’d be, before they cried out, ”Now that’s just plain STUPID!” But they don’t. They have become so habituated to nonsense that they don’t even recognize it. And just imagine those “assumption” believers making jury decisions on your guilt or innocence, when evidence means so little to them!
Well, as long as big mouths with long traditions say things and make buildings to back them up, they MUST BE TRUE! Right? These same “authorities,” backed by those who believe in them and their claims, are trying mightily to force their creationist agendas into our public schools and their convoluted beliefs into our justice system. And, they are attempting to deny a woman the right to use her own body as she sees fit. All of this and more is promoted under the cover of a privileged status of beliefs in non-beings, unprovable allegations, and non-events.
Nobody should be able to get away with this. There should be a “truth in advertising” law covering the products they are selling, a malpractice challenge to their claims, as they do damage. It’s long overdue to break the cycle in which esteem for invisible beings trumps respect for human rights. We put up with too much, and shouldn’t depend solely on the experts among us to speak up, to insist on truth in advertising, evidence, and respect for reasonable doubt.
Men who believe Mohamed floated up through the clouds on a horse are stoning women to death for adultery and slitting others’ throats for dating. Catholic members of our Supreme Court, who, presumably, believe that a wafer can become a real human being who died two thousand years ago, are in the position to make decisions for the moral future of our country. These are people who, in their belief, deny evidence is necessary. And what was noted many years ago is still true; ”Those who can make you believe absurdities can also make you commit atrocities (Voltaire).
Today we have finally arrived at a point in history where we can discuss many previously taboo subjects: cancer, acid-reflux disease, flatulence, pedophilia, the minds of serial killers, pornography, beliefs of previously unknown faiths and their histories, etc. There should be no barrier to criticizing the beliefs or behaviors of religions or their spokespeople, no privileged status anymore. We have arrived where we can, we must, challenge the previously unmentionable, to challenge the un-challengable, to ridicule the ridiculous, to stand up to the superstitions that replace reason. Our very individual rights are threatened by these superstitions, and if you don’t think so, you need to look at those times and places in history where “God’s revealed truths” were written into laws.