4/28/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Carl S. ~
I just got back from an emergency situation, involving my sister-in-law’s health. All’s well that ended well.
As usual, this trip provided some educational opportunities. For example, on day seven, in the rehab facility, my sister-in-law shared a room with a Catholic. An older woman brought in a small round case containing broken crackers which she handed to the Catholic patient and her daughter, saying, “The body of Christ” to each of them. They then held hands and bowed their heads, while saying words. Strange behavior.
Later on, I met the “distributor” in the hallway, to ask a question. I wanted to know if a man standing in the back of a church and holding up a cracker would also have his personal cracker “consecrated.” She couldn’t answer this, and I told her not to worry about that, because I wrote a letter to the Jesuits with that question, and they didn't reply. Since she was on her way to somewhere else, I told her that the matter was nothing to me personally. Now I realize that I should have taken my query to the Lutheran church just down the street from hers; the one with the marque posting: “Have questions?” They would have had the answer, right?
But I did want to tell her, “Isn't it bizarre that adults will believe a cracker is a living person who died two thousand years ago? That even a ﬁve year old child knows it's a cracker? And what the hell makes it so important to you that you believe it isn't? (Well, I'd like to think that it doesn't get much crazier than that, but it does. Try reading “The Apostle's Creed,” which the apostles, if they existed, never heard of…) I desperately wanted to ask those questions, but... It's impossible for me to unweave the tangled webs of dogma the believers continually wrap themselves in.
Some observations: Believers deﬁantly believe simply because there's no evidence for whatever they believe, and that's evidence enough to believe. They practice confirmation-bias reinforcements to the nth degree and call it “truth.” Honesty disturbs them. Atheism is in-your-face honesty, and disturbs them most of all. The atheist tells them that all god-beliefs have always been b.s., whether about other gods or theirs. That's just plain reality. Their precious theology is just another word for elaborate b.s.'ing. For thousands of years, trusting people have taken “holy” men (most of whom belonged in mental institutions) seriously. Religious practices have consisted of imitating mentally ill behavior, like rocking back and forth, hallucinating, babbling nonsense, repeating phrases over and over, etc. In olden days, churches encouraged imitating the self-ﬂagellation practiced by the violently insane. The hallucinating experiences of saints have been recommended as lofty goals to achieve as portals to “divine” secrets and relationships. Honestly.
Take the founder of Christianity, St. Paul, for example. A man who knew, “the mind of Christ” and urged his followers to take his word for it; a man who never met “Jesus “except as a vision. (According to him.) This is a man so gullible, that when he was told, “500 people witnessed the risen Jesus,” he believed it without question! This is the same guy who solidly believed his body was at war with his “soul;” A really messed-up- emotionally individual. He is the eloquent preacher so often quoted from pulpits and stages worldwide. (What a gift from god to have such a gullible, charismatic personality as your puppet!) Like music from a violin, he made beautiful sounds, being strung out tight as a violin's strings himself. But strung tight is no way to live life; it's mentally debilitating. And over-tightening leads to...sproing! Snapped sounds of irrationality. This irrationality goes so far that he and the rest of his followers teach that suffering is worthy of veneration because, after all, Jesus suffered for a few hours. That's craziness, whether one person copies it or many millions. That's what Christian holiness is about: Sacriﬁce. (Sadists, sign up now.) Total b.s.
Many years ago I read an interview with a master con artist. This was quite fascinating to me, because I wanted to understand how such a person operates over others. When this con man was asked how he ascertained who was a “mark,” he explained: First I tell them something outrageous, and if they believe it, I have them. (He didn’t remark about how they were willing to be conned in the first place.) What, dear reader, is more of a con than dogmas? If you disagree, you haven't really thought about dogmas.
So...Would you believe... ( Let me look you over. Five, no, twenty-ﬁve. No, how about...) 500 people really witnessed a dead man walking? Trust me. How about the true explanation of how everything came to be? No witnesses, just oral traditions, ergo, written on the wind and running water, but all true? God's word. A man ﬂoating up through the clouds, unaided? Ditto. (This is way too easy.) How about: A spook that knocked up a virgin, as she claimed? How about thousands of babies drowned and slaughtered as being morally justiﬁable? You have no problem with that? Or with the Jews being responsible for your celebrity idol's death and deserving punishment. Would you believe that an invisible force exists with a personality, outside anyone's access by senses, a silent abstraction like all the other gods, and is a “mighty fortress?” (The pile gets higher and higher.)
Without evidence, one “explanation” is equal to any other. Without evidence, a gigantic cloud of bacteria is responsible for reality. Without evidence, anything goes. And as for those who have bought and sell faith: they have lied to themselves so much that they can't tell truth from their own P.R.
Throughout my two weeks time away from home, I wore my “out of the closet Atheist” cap without getting one negative comment. I do want to remark that, LGBT’s are out of the closet and atheists, agnostics, and humanists are coming out of the closet, but “God” and gods are still in the closet and will remain there forever, as usual.
We are told to not question faiths or to point out they are b.s. It is tragically sad to point out that many have died and killed for their dogmas, and that those who praise their examples will see this as reason to hold onto them themselves. With all this in mind, I will say that if they are willing to be that dedicated and serious about those dogmas, surely, fabricating beliefs and outright b.s.'ing about them ought to be s.o.p. And is. Evidence be damned as the enemy of faith. They're buying this. Bernie Madoff would be envious of the sellers.
Some call it faith. I call it Total B.S.