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It's a Small World after All

By Carl S ~

I'm an overt atheist. Sometimes I'm surprised to find out how many people approve. There have been objectors. At our local supermarket, the checkout lady, while scanning our purchases (!), noticed my "U.S. Atheist" ball cap and asked me, “Don't you believe in anything?” I told her I believe in goodness, kindness, truth, etc. And then: “Do you believe in God?” I said, “Which one?” That didn't stop her, since she followed with, “What about Jesus?” After thinking for a moment, I said, “I've never been into mythology,” and added, “There are Christians who do bad things.” Long pause, then she smiled, “None of us are perfect.” Out of time.

Being an honest atheist isn't bragging; it's kind of interesting. I was a Christian, fated to be boring. To all believers reading this, I ask: Do you think being a believer is something that makes you special? If you believe what your clan believes, this makes you just another club member. You may ridicule the wacko beliefs, dedication, and obedience demanded in cults, but you share their same clinging to irrationality. Their prophets tell them they're really special: the Elect, the Saved, God's Chosen Ones. Your Christian leaders tell you the same stuff. The difference between your faith and that of the Branch Davidians, Heaven’s Gate, Scientologists, and the Jim Jones selected, is only a matter of intensity. It's nothing to brag about. (Compare any religion to the telephone, an invention we can be proud of. That's something universally accepted because it works. Which is more than you can say for all religions.)

Christian religions’ reps can't care whether their members are moral or believe, as long as they keep their wallets open and their mouths shut about their doubts.Christian religions’ reps can't care whether their members are moral or believe, as long as they keep their wallets open and their mouths shut about their doubts. That's power. Keeping their professions, not morality, matters first. No choice. As soldiers are put in conflicts to die for their buddies, and told, “It’s for a cause greater than yourself,” so men who are their religion's reps must be hypocrites, for the causes of who they obey. How did a religion get power over a middle-aged checkout lady's mind?

One of the phrases used in describing AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is: “the closed-world assumption.” Whenever something is programmed for a particular task, it knows nothing outside of that world. As humans and not robots, we experience the world in a whole universe of ways from birth. Each religion inputs its own party line, programing humans to do its particular tasks, via customized closed-world-input. You hear its robotic playback when you question their members. We can call this indoctrination, brainwashing, and “Christian education.” No bragging rights there.

This is how fundamentalists “know” God and what he wants, intimately. They are programmed to not notice their clergy have them worshipping a small god. They're given a dogmatic toolkit that's useless for dealing with an ever-expanding knowledge of our universe and ways of solving life's complex problems. Their clergy are revered for saving them from being like the rest of men. Except for Rev. Al Sharpton, we would be hard-pressed to name a clergyman willing to speak out against social injustice or an amoral president. They, like their small god, keep away. And when they are caught abusing children, stealing from the savings of elderly church members, or otherwise acting immorally, they say they're sorry they have sinned against God, so they're forgiven and excused because, after all, they're “not perfect.” That's a faith to be proud to belong in? You can stop here. Or you can read about my dream:

I dreamed of a world where clergy are pimps for a prostituted god. (Oh how he pleasures!) They erect entertainment bordellos for this purpose. When a client is dissatisfied with his services, they blame the client's inadequacy! Their profession is the world's oldest guaranteed steady money maker. These revered pimps are always on the lookout for new clients. Some very satisfied clients are willing to pay millions of dollars to make laws for pleasuring this god, who cares about not baking cakes for gay couples, what rest rooms citizens use, who objects to women taking charge of their bodies, and other BS trivia. He's a small, petty, closed-minded, whored god. And he reigns over their small closed-world.