And this "God" person lives in this wonderful place called Heaven, which we used to believe was above the clouds, but airplanes ruined that for us, so we aren't actually clear where Heaven is anymore.
You take this logical line of reasoning, and you make sure that people internalize it when they're young and not smart enough to spot any flaws (not that I'm saying that there are any, by the way). But for some reason, the people who believe all this have a tendency to completely lose their fucking minds. I just don't understand it.
Somebody recently aggregated a lot of information, and came up with a chart that shows that the more religious areas also have higher crime rates, poverty rates and murder rates. And stupider people. So I think I'll stay cheerfully non-religious, thank you very much.
That same chart also shows that if you're from a church-goin' community, you're also more likely to be conservative, unhappy and divorced - weird how all that stuff correlates, isn't it?
So, what do you think it does to them when religion is allowed to twist their tiny little minds for too long? Let's see.
You might have heard that they had a little shake-up in Haiti, right? Well, some Scientologists felt that, instead of food and water, what the Haitians needed the most was... well, Scientologists, who could diagnose their problems using e-meters, and then heal them with their magic touch. (In the words of one doctor, "I didn't know touching could heal gangrene.") Here's a firsthand report of their general quackery and ineptitude.
It's not just Scientologists, of course. Other people felt that, more than food or medical supplies, what they needed was solar powered talking Bibles.
And last week, we discovered that ten Baptists felt that God had told them to kidnap 33 Haitian children and take them out of the country. Now, this is a fine example of Christians thinking that they don't have to follow the "laws of man," which is just not a healthy attitude. They claim, of course, that they were just trying to give the children a better life, but we don't have a lot of evidence to support that. First of all, many of the children weren't orphans. And how do we know that our Baptist friends weren't just pedophiles or cult members? (OK, the "cult member" definition really fits pretty well, but that's neither here nor there.)
The Americans insist they were acting in good faith to try to rescue orphans from the chaos of Haiti and claim they had not realised they needed to official permission to remove the children, aged from two months to 12 years.Oh, bullshit. "What? We aren't allowed to go into foreign countries and kidnap children? I mean, they're poor. And they're black. Doesn't that mean it's open season?"
These people are just too stupid to be allowed to breed. (Sadly, they do. And in huge numbers.)
But those aren't the only ignorant things getting done in the name of Jesus. For example, if you happen to be Russian Orthodox, you're much more likely than other faiths to believe things like "Jesus wants me to drink stagnant water."
The Holy Spirit, coming down upon the water, changes its natural properties. It becomes incorrupt, that is, it doe s not spoil, remains transparent and fresh for many years, receives the grace to heal illnesses, to drive away demons and every evil power, to preserve people and their dwellings from every danger, to sanctify various objects whether for church or home use.Of course, the result of that particular belief is that, this year, 117 people in Irkutsk got sick after drinking holy water.
And our religious friends aren't likely to get any smarter, either, considering the number of books they try to ban. The Menifee Union School District in California, for instance, just recently banned the Merriam Webster dictionary because it contained the term "oral sex."
As one parent put it, "Pretty soon the only dictionary in the school library will be the Bert and Ernie dictionary." Until they find out that Bert and Ernie are two guys living together, that is...
Now, while the Christian Right seems to believe that you can pray the gay away through homosexuality aversion programs (you remember Ted Haggard, right?), they don't seem to be all that impressed by other types of counselling programs.
For example, the theocrats have come out in force against two bills that would put underaged prostitutes into diversion programs instead of sticking them in jail. They're making overblown claims like "Who will benefit from the passage of (these bills?) - the very profitable and growing pedophile industry!" and "Never in the United States... has juvenile prostitution been legalized!"
So jail is completely effective in turning criminals into honest citizens. Who knew? On the other hand, despite their high-falutin' words, they're opposing an effort which could get kids out of the sex trade. I think it's fascinating that the Religious Right seems to be in favor of continued child prostitution. Kind of puts a dirty little twist on Matthew 19:14, doesn't it? ("Suffer the little children, and let them come unto me...")
On that same subject, we have Bryan Fischer from the ever-entertaining Focus on the Family, who said:
It might be worth noting that what I actually suggested is that we impose the same sanctions on those who engage in homosexual behavior as we do on those who engage in intravenous drug abuse, since both pose the same kind of risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. I'd be curious to know what you think should be done with IV drug abusers, because whatever it is, I think the same response should be made to those who engage in homosexual behavior.Because apparently, at least in Bryan Fischer's world, there's no difference between doing something that some self-righteous hypocrite disapproves of, and actually breaking the law.
Of course, if we were going to start arresting homosexuals, we'd have to start with Bryan Fischer, because he's kind of a stupid cocksucker himself.
By now, everybody's heard of Trijicon, the military contractor who has reportedly always inscribed references to bible verses on their gunsights. Because they apparently have no sense of irony.
Let's be real here for just a second. If you read the bible (and, admittedly, many so-called "christians" never do), one thing stands out about this Jesus person. He was not a big fan of violence. He abhorred it, even in self-defense.
Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (Matthew 26:52)Even the two swords mentioned in Luke 22:36-38 must be viewed as symbolic, since Jesus specifically commanded his apostles not to use them later in that same chapter (Luke 22:49-51).
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. (Matthew 5:38-40)
So it's easy to see that anyone who counsels violence in the name of Christ (you know, like shooting a gun at another person) is either deluded, ignorant, or profoundly hypocritical.
But there are signs of hope out there. For example, Fred Phelps and the shrieking cranial-rectal inverts of the Westboro Baptist Church recently decided to picket the San Francisco offices of Twitter, because apparently God hates social networking. (Oh, and hockey, too.) But they were met with counter-protesters, who got more attention than they did. And for good reason.
(Click the pictures for larger, or see the originals here and here.)
Remember, children. When you're faced with this particular type of self-inflicted lunacy, the best response is "point and laugh." Keep that in mind.