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Keep Leaping and You'll Never Have to Grow Up

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel the Elder
By Carl S ~

Children are still being taught the Tower of Babel tale about building something so high it would enter God's realm in the sky. For thousands of years it's been a warning: Don't ever go there. Be afraid, don't even think of going there. What's up doc? What if we do?

Pictures coming from the James Webb Space Telescope are available for the whole world to see. So why aren't the Christians broadcasting them in their megachurches and singing "How Great Thou Art" to the one they claim created everything? Do you suppose it's because there's no relation between their puny biblical deity and reality? And, oh look! No “Heaven" in the Universe with "many mansions," nor Paradises for Muslims, JW's, or Mormons! No god is in control in the billions of light-year distances. Certainly, not their "God" who cares about the sex lives of humans occupying a pin-prick of its vastness.

I'm past 86 years old, and have no more patience for con's-sense. It's one reason religious beliefs and their militancy are near the top of my hit list. Sure, superstitions enjoy playing with emotions and give comfort, fabricated answers and cocained entertainment to congregants. But they also create and feed anxiety and paranoia. All that trouble, just to avoid unpleasant reality, thrills in new discoveries, the disappointments and unfairness of life, the as-yet unanswerable questions; to deny evidence to propagate ignorance as bliss. There are believers so addicted they'll sell their minds and consciences to keep the habit.

Here at assisted living, I might just become like the protagonists on BBC's comedy series, "Waiting for God." (Just last week, my wife and I passed her pastor in the foyer, and I quoted Ingersoll to him: "I know that you don't know.") We have a resident who recently turned 91. He talked about his experiences as a small plane aviator and test pilot over many years of aviation history. His daughter comes around weekly. At one lunch, she mentioned one time when she watched her father flying and the plane went into a near-fatal accident due to mechanical failure. After he landed, she said she still remembers his advice: "Never panic."

"Look before you leap" is an ancient adage, but so is, "He who hesitates is lost." The first is related to "Never panic." The second applies to religious indoctrination, with its emphasis on “is lost" and taking "the leap of faith." Many former true believers have said it doesn't stop there; they had to keep leaping. That sounds backwards to me, like panicking and jumping off shaking ground into the volcano causing it, or crippling oneself trying to.

After he landed, she said she still remembers his advice: "Never panic."Christian indoctrination teaches to jump away from, rather than deal with, very serious questions we confront, in order to dwell in their pretend-land. Haven't you noticed how scriptural texts keep jumping from each bizarre unreasonable claim to another? No pauses allowed to ask important questions, like, "What did you just say?" "What if you're making all this up, what if we interpret for ourselves?" “What happens to me if I react to the panic you create and leap into your faith- port in a storm, like a fly into a web?”

One more old saying: "Jumping to conclusions." Habitual jumping to conclusions explains religions, including knee-jerk reactions. There's nothing holy, sacred, or spiritual about jumping to conclusions, nothing relating to ethics or morality! Certainly not something to be respected. Everything is emotions, and emotions are easily exploitable. Some obvious examples: "The world, everything in it and the universe exists, therefore someone had to create it, duh!" "If you don't accept what doesn't make sense, some day you'll be tortured forever and ever." "When tragedies like this happen, it's because humans are naturally evil, and deserve punishment." "Don't worry about going to Hell because God never gives you more than you can handle."

Oh, grow up!