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Fundamentalist Christian Values

By Carl S ~

“What glory is there in an omnipotent being torturing forever a puny little creature who could in no way defend himself?” - Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

This “glory” of God is a Christian value. I have been asked, “Don't you believe in something (meaning 'someone') greater than yourself?” Let me ask you, “How long would you, or even those higher animals in the wild, be able to watch a person or animal being tortured before you'd say “Enough!”? Would it be after minutes, hours, days, weeks? What about forever? At which point in the torturing would you say the torturer is “greater” than yourself? Believing someone who tortures for eternity is all-loving is a Christian value.

On the subject of an afterlife, I'll add my comments following Mandy's “Atheists in Hell.” Be glad there is no hell, heaven, and no eternal life. The worst scam perpetuated on humanity is “eternal life.” It's the most famous religious b.s. beside which all others pale. This scam is a curse because, once accepted, it's a trap, there's no choice, no way out of it. The eternal life scam creates scary uncertainty. Insidiously it's there, a parasite gnawing at the mind and psyche. It will ruin and drain enthusiasm for the only life we have to live. It also wastes time and energy in worrying or hoping over imaginary futures which will never materialize. Believing in an eternal life scam is the major Christian value.

Let's look at Christian values. The president was speaking (again), at a Christian Values Summit. I asked my wife, who's heard about them, “What are Christian values?” A shrug, no answer. She distances herself from “those” Christians. As for me, I detest their hypocrisy. Another thing about the leaders of those Christian values organizations gives me the creeps: None of them show the slightest bit of empathy, compassion, or tenderness we see with chimps, bonobos, elephants, and other higher animals. I suppose we should expect this, because the particular god they stand for is devoid of the empathy and compassion and flexibility of chimps, bonobos, elephants, etc. Would they drown their own children or throw them into a fiery pit?? Compared to their alleged creator, who is loving? Bonobos have no problem with sexual orientation. Their god is greater than the Christian right's.

What are some values these Christian values voters value? Worship, speaking in tongues, repetitions of platitudes, being possessed by the Holy Spirit, inspirations, and revelations. Who do most people think of when they think of those “way out of their minds?” The insane, of course. Is it sane to copy the insane? What behaviors would we expect to find in an institution for the insane? Patients constantly rocking themselves back and forth, agitated. Worshipers in a mosque do the same, but they call it “adoration.” Mentally disturbed patients babble. In a church, congregants “speak in tongues.” When a mentally ill patient repeats the same phrase over and over, it's a sign he's disturbed. In a church, the pattern is called “litany.” When someone suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, the person persistently repeats compulsions and obsessions before acting. In christ-insanity, OCD is “Praying without ceasing, examining one's conscience, and spiritual exercises.” An individual's wild, uncontrolled behavior in public life may be called catatonic. In religion, it's “The Holy Spirit, or a devil, entering into a human,” depending on the interpretation of the worshipers. In religion, hallucinations become “revelations,” and the addled mind's biased convictions become “inspirations.”

The Value of Faith? Suppose an international survey asked, “What is the greatest romantic song of all time?” Two billion, 61 million, 921 thousand, 223 respond with 33,567 song titles. Which will win the prize for number one? And then, the judge, (who is not elected, heard, or seen), has “the final word.” He decides to reward all of them first prize, even if all of them contain lyrics that don't make sense. Then everyone praises the judge! Now, isn't this an argument for respecting each faith? When all faiths are rewarded with first prize, what is the value of first prize?

Maybe you were told your life had no value after you “failed” christ-insanity. As a child, your environment is shaped by parents, social norms, and traditions. If they are dictated by a religion, any religion, you are in the “security and freedom” of a thought control system. That's “normal” for them, but not for you. Irrational faith creates senseless suffering. For you, something didn't feel right; you had an itch that must be scratched. Did you secretly ask yourself, “Is this all there is to life?” Maybe you didn't see it, but the minute you voiced your doubts, only to be answered with evasions and confusing answers, insults to your intellect and conscience, you became a threat to the system, which is on the lookout, 24/7. Unsatisfied by the saltwater answers to your thirst, you got this urge to look outside the system. Excavating, you found yourself outside the labyrinth, in scary freedom you'd never known before. You can't explain the freedom to those who are within, naturally. Don't even try.

The danger that comes from putting too much value in faith: Christian fundamentalists are fighting a war by stirring up fear. They become paranoid each time LGBT or women’s' rights, or equal rights advance, since these changes mean, each time, “God” goes, and all social order will collapse. You can't debate their fears. They believe the “blessings” their country enjoys come from their god. In reality, they come from secular rules, taxes, and corporations.

What are some values these Christian values voters value? Worship, speaking in tongues, repetitions of platitudes, being possessed by the Holy Spirit, inspirations, and revelations. The wall between church and state is like a dam holding the power of floodwater at bay, and the fundies are punching holes in it. The wall needs constant patching and reinforcement. How long will it be before the dam gives way and shatters? Will the “value” of theocracy replace the values of democracy? And then, which denomination's values will reign? Will Gore Vidal's “Messiah” religion replace Christianity? I'm ready for worship of the non-judgmental and maternal Isis or Asherah to replace these male chauvinist religions. Those religions want to stop all scientific progress they feel threatened by, as if science is opening Pandora's Box, rather than achieving discoveries of reality and the continual blossoming of knowledge.

No religion can keep up with the progress of human rights and of discovering reality. It may take hundreds of years of innocent humans suffering from the effects of worshipping ignorance. In the entire span of human existence, religions are ephemeral, faiths are ephemeral. Gods and priests and houses to worship them in are abandoned like fads and fashions.

Faiths are nothing more than make-believe, in any time and place. “Holy” books belong on the children’s' library shelves, under “Fantasy.” Those who put their faith in faith are grasping at clouds and hoping they're answers. To proclaim they're of permanent value is bullshit. Men eventually destroy the gods they create. They may make new ones or variations on the old, but their “essence” is the same old invisible fantasy.

You might ask, “Will 'religion' survive?” Well, as long as humans continue to believe their Wishful Thoughts and Words have magical powers to change Nature - yes. Human values survive. Romance is perennial. Adaptation is workable. Evolution is eternal.