Earlier this year, I was getting a bit fed up with religions and Christianity in general. It was a period where I was in the last stages of breaking off from organized religion, and as one can expect, it’s a difficult process.
At one point, I finally just got so fed up that I decided to do a little rant to try and get the frustration out of my system. This is the result:
Okay Jesus, if you don't mind, I'd like to rant a little to get this out of my system.
For one thing, why on earth did you come to earth? Did you have even the slightest idea how your teachings would be taken and used for centuries afterwards? Did you foresee the rise of fundamentalists and evangelicals? If you did...aw geez, I don't even want to go there. Those guys used to creep me out. Now, they just annoy me.
Anyway, just why did you come here in the first place? I've heard so many answers and so many versions of those answers that my mind gets boggled down in thinking about it. Oh yes, i've heard the long toted "He died for our sins." one. After the first 2,947,281 times, it does get a bit irritating. Here are a few other answers on why you came to earth.
1. To restore our hearts to love...that seems to have half-succeeded.
2. To give us an example of individual Christhood.
3. To give humanity a new, better way to live.
4. To die for our sins.
5. To show humanity what it can do.
That's just five of them. There are probably thousands of them out there. Tell me Jesus, what is it? Which one is it? Which one of these answers is the one we're supposed to know?
And I want to tell you one thing Jesus: I have no interest in worshipping you. None. Nada. Zilch. Why? Because I am so tired of people turning you into some kind of golden calf to dance around, praise, and worship. When I see people holding up hands, swaying around and singing songs...to me, it looks like some sort of brainwashed cult ritual. Everyone is so focused on one guy that it frustrates me. People turn and worship you, apparently not getting up and trying to get going on their own feet and working out their own spiritual mission.
Oh yes, they are in a way, but it's by turning to an assembly line religion, a consumer based one. If you do this, you'll be saved. If you accept Jesus, you'll go to heaven! Nothing else required!
Please. From what I see, that's laziness. Turning to a guy and letting him do all the work for you. Anybody can turn to you and get off the hook. No need to pay back for any damage you've done, no need to take responsibility, nothing. Just turn to Jeeeezzzzuusss and you're saved!
Damn, I'm angry. Sorry Jesus, but i'm angry. Spirituality is about finding yourself, understanding yourself, and knowing how you fit in with God and the entire universe, with all of existence. It's about answering the question "I am? What am I?" Spirituality is not about depending upon other beings or other people to do the work for you, or to make your life suddenly easier. It takes effort, discipline, focus, and a desire to know, to experience, to overcome.
And yet...when I look around I see a cult of Jesus worship.
Of course, i've probably got it all wrong. But then again, I don't even really know why i'm angry at Christianity. Maybe it's the feeling of self-righteousness (We're saved and you're not! I'm saved and you're not! We're the chosen ones! Etc.) that it can give some people. Maybe it's the use of power and fear to control. Do this. Do that. Don't question heathens or the unsaved. Read your bible. It is true, blah, blah, blah.
Oh, and don't forget the kicker. If you don't follow this religion, you're damned to hell for all eternity (while we get to be with THE LORD in heaven!). Why? Because you've sinned, and the wages of sin are death. And in death you'll have to pay off those sins, and the only thing that will warrant is eternal punishment.
Horseshit. Pure and utter horseshit. No God is so enormously cruel and unmerciful, especially if he is perfect, that he condemns people to hell for all eternity, especially for finite human mistakes. He certainly wouldn't send people to hell just because they weren't christians.
Oh yes, i've heard the phrase "God doesn't send us to hell...we choose to go there." Wait a minute! We "choose" to go to hell?! Okay...how does that work? How does one "choose" hell? Who in their right mind would choose hell?! Just because we chose not to believe in christianity does not mean we've chosen to go to hell. We just don't believe in that faith. We didn’t "choose".
Now, I am of the belief that some may go to hell because they fit in. Because in the spiritual world, you go where you fit in, right? You go where you fit in. If you don't like where you are, you can choose to leave.
I find it sick and disgusting that some believe that God will not allow any soul to be released from hell, no matter how much begging, pleading, or tearful apologies are given. What kind of asshole God would be so cruel as to keep genuinely sorry people in hell forever? A true asshole, that's what. A psycho God who's not even worthy of being worshipped.
Yeah, I made a cuss word. But it's an insult to a false god, a crazy human made god who has human traits and human emotions like anger, regret, and all other crazy traits. If God is as great as I have come to believe from NDE readings and research, then God really is without limit, without end, and infinite. A being of infinite love and acceptance, of forgiveness and understanding. A God who is not crazy, who is not psycho, and definitely NOT an asshole.
Yet why are people not following this kind of God? Why have they instead focused on you, rather then the being who they should be turning to? I just can't understand it. We should worship God, not the messenger. We should give thanks to God for helping us, not his supposed son. The focus should be on GOD, not, and I mean not, a man.
People sure do have an interesting way of turning people they admire into idols. It seems to have happened with you. You've been turned into an idol that automatically saves everyone who pledges allegiance to you. That seems to encourage spiritual laziness, of staying with the same thing year after year when one should keep evolving, keep searching, and keep moving upwards, not staying with the same rituals, the same books year after year. If there's one thing i've learned in this short time on earth, it's that everything is changing and evolving. Those who do not adapt and evolve die. It is inevitable.
Yet people turn you into an idol and keep you like that. They've written an entire book surrounding you. Why can't people just see that the book is the works of people, giving you their own opinions and their own interpretations on things? They are telling you what THEY think about things. The authors are telling you what THEY believe to be true. And yet people take this book to be the infallible word of God. Please. I just can't accept that. No ifs, ands, or buts.
In fact Jesus, I find it funny how there are ARMIES of people out there to explain every little thing about the bible that's hard and clearly the work of humans. Apologenists really amuse me. It makes me shake my head that there are entire dictionaries and encyclopedias based completely on bible difficulties, showing that it is not a perfect, timeless work.
And please people, for the love of God, please stop saying that the bible is "true" or that it is "the authority" or whatever you can come up with. I hear "the bible is God's word" or "the truths of the bible" so often that I oftentimes want to take whatever is saying it and chuck it out the window or smash it with a hammer.
And you know Jesus...the thing is...I don't know why i'm so angry at religions, at Christianity, or you.
I don't know why i'm so upset and angry at. Is it the self-righteousness? The threats? The fear? The saying that if you don't accept Jesus you go to hell? What is it? What do I detest, what do I dislike so much that I feel compelled to lash out, to rant and rave at what I...what I...
It's a nasty word. It's an extremely negative one. In all our languages, in all our customs, there are few things as negative as hate. "I hate you." "I hate this." All such negative things. Where love is not, fear, anger, and hate take it's place.
I know hate is bad for me. After all, it's the opposite of love. It's the opposite of who we really are, what we really should be. Humans are once both the most beautiful, and the most ugly creations on earth.
We are the only creatures that hate. We are the only ones that kill each other over petty issues such as fossil fuels, disagreements, and what we believe in. We go to war, we dress up in uniforms and get loud sticks and kill each other. Slaughter each other. Butcher each other. We soak our soils and our dirt with human blood. And for what? For thinking that one of us is right and the other is wrong? That we need more fuel for our cars?
We pollute our planet. We dump waste into our water. We suck our resources dry like there's no tomorrow. We are, as Agent Smith so correctly pointed out, a virus. We suck up all the resources and move on when there's nothing left.
We are, in a way, so ugly.
...we also are the most beautiful things too. We can love each other. We may be the only species on this planet that has the best grasp of what love is. We may be the ones that treasure it and value it the most. We have the ability and the capacity to love each other.
When we love each other, then we undo the damage. We can work together. We can agree to do things to make life better for everyone else. We can put our combined talents, our own efforts and skills to make everyone's life better and more happy.
When we are at our best, we shine like stars in the dark night. When we are united, we are beautiful and wonderful. We have so much potential within us. We all have the spark within us. We all have the power of God. To create, to marvel, and most importantly...to love. To love what we create, to love ourselves, and most important...to love each other.
Why can't we get that?
Why can't we just see that this is all we have? Why can't we see that we shouldn't spend our time debating endlessly about who is right, who is wrong, and what faith will save us?
Maybe that's what I don't like about Christianity, or any religion for that matter. It separates us, places us into different camps. Saved and unsaved. Believer and non-believer. We are good and you are wicked. You are damned and we are saved. We have the truth, the way, and we're the only place you can find it.
Maybe I don't like that some religions call some saved and others wicked. Maybe I don't like how people use the Jesus idol as an excuse to do all sorts of atrocious things, to do unspeakable acts of cruelty.
There's the obvious stuff of course. The inquisition, the witch hunts and the burnings at the stakes.
But...sometimes the damage is not seen. The cruelty is not witnessed, yet it is there nonetheless. This type of cruelty may be more awful then that which can be seen.
It is the cruelty against the soul. Of spreading the cancers of fear, uncertainty, and of separation. It's the cruelty of telling someone that they are damned. It is telling someone that you know everything and they don't.
My younger sister was once told by one of her closest friends that because she wasn't a christian, she was doomed to hell. My sister cried for hours. That act of supreme cruelty bit just as deep as any inquisitor’s blade. Yet the friend thought it was true.
And this is what I don't like. Her beliefs placed people into separate camps. My sister was damned and she was saved. Such an attitude is toxic and corrupts. It can drive people apart, which happened with my sister and her friend. They no longer talk to each other. The beliefs of separation, of grouping and classes drive people apart.
I don't like that. We are all one, whether we believe it or not. What we do affects each other. Why can't we just get rid of the excess garbage of endless debates about why this guy is right and why this guy is wrong, or how this person had an axe to grind against christianity.
Why can't we just get rid of all this? Why, Jesus, can't we just get rid of it? These kinds of arguments waste our time. Precious time that we can put to good use helping others, of helping make everything all right for each other. We refer each other endlessly to writers like C.S. Lewis. I don't care about C.S. Lewis. I could care less about the guy. I don't care what he said or why he said it. Christians point him out endlessly and tell people to read his books.
So what? Really, so what? Why should I care? I have much better things to do with my time. In the time it would take to read one of his books that promotes christianity, I could make a person laugh with a joke of mine. In the time it would take to read his views on why Jesus is savior, I could help brighten a child's day by finding a book he's looking for.
Aren't these things more important? Helping other people over reading the books of C.S. Lewis? Is reading a man's "lord, liar, lunatic" theory more important then comforting someone who is sad about something? For that's one thing i've realized Jesus. When one can spend endless debates about what faith is right, what is right and wrong, what is good and evil, one can do other things like helping a person out, by helping them discover their true selves, by awakening that little light within them, by helping them to love others.
The one thing I have learned is that these debates about the damned and the saved, of the christians and everyone else, is that they leave a negative energy. These debates try to place people in groups. They try to separate, when we should be coming together. When we should be uniting and helping each other, we simply talk about who is saved and who is not. And I see now that it's a waste of time. We are all one. Why can't we act like it?
When I read books about faith, or even glance at them, I see that they are trying to prove that they are right and others are wrong. It's a frantic scramble to get high up, to be an authority, to get to the top of the hierarchy. It's about power, and showing that you are right while others are wrong.
We insult each other, put each other down, try to make each other look like idiots and proclaim from our pews and our buildings that we are saved and they are not, while the others are doing exactly the same thing.
And for what? All we're doing is separating each other. We're pushing ourselves apart from each other, rather then tearing down the barriers and coming together. We proclaim that when the final judgment comes, God's chosen people will be saved while others will burn forever. Don't people know how much that separates us? How much that drives people into fear and terror?
If the God you know Jesus is perfect and benevolent, loving and caring towards his creations, then I can see no reason why there would ever be a last judgment. I cannot see why you would come down here and solve everyone’s problems for us. We made the mess here on earth, and we need to learn to clean it up. I need to learn to be more environmentally focused. I'm not perfect. Nobody is. Yet our species needs to learn about responsibility and taking care of our possessions. Religions paint the hope that a guy on clouds or chariots is going to come down and magically solve all our problems (including chucking all the non-believers into hell).
When I see end times, I see threats. When I see the last judgment, I see the inquisitors blade, cutting deep at the mind, and I see cruelty with that blade.
When I see Billy Graham at his mega speeches, I see a man who is turning others to christianity by fear. Turn or burn. If you are not a christian, you go to hell. I see people like him turning humanity against itself. I see people like him spreading the cancers of humanity. And it's in your name, no less.
Aren't you sad about that? Aren't you sad at all?
If we're not careful, one day humanity will be made up of groups, each convinced that we are right and everyone else is wrong. If such a day comes, then perhaps it's best for our species to go extinct, to fade into nothingness.
What would our final legacy be? Billions of years of history, thousands of years of human thought, philosophy and ideas would all serve one thing...we would be a warning. If aliens came to our ruined cities and our empty tombs, and if they would find what we left behind in books, films and thoughts, they would see a species at war with itself. Primitive, angry, torn against each other. Instead of uniting, these people had separated, convinced that only one group, one way, was right. Instead of learning lessons on how to be good and responsible to our beautiful planet, it spent all it's time focused on this system that said not to bother with today, think only of tomorrow.
And perhaps those aliens would wonder why we spent so much time on that instead of helping each other, of loving each other, and helping to make our lives better.
They would probably wonder why we spent so much seeking to put each other down and convince each other that everyone else was wrong. They would probably wonder why we just didn’t get together and help each other.
Our only legacy, our only memory would be a warning to others. A warning not to separate each other, to apply labels to each other. To say we're saved and you're not.
That's what I don't like about christianity Jesus. I don't like how it separates, how it places humanity into different classes. Saved and wicked.
It's like cancer.
That's why I found NDE's to be so refreshing. They emphasized love, oneness, and how we will all come home in the end. No idol worship. No rituals. Just a simple message of love: Love God and love others.
Isn't that what you said? Isn't that what you said was the most important commandment, that was more important then all the others? And yet...whenever I point that out to christians, they usually just say "well yes, but..." Why? Why can they not see that it's all about love? About loving each other, helping each other, and accepting each other?
Why is it that when I try to promote universalism, some try to put it down? Why is it that some say only a group of people will be saved, while others will not? The cancer of separation shows it's head in the ugliest of ways.
I admit that i'm not perfect Jesus. I am not perfect now, and I will most likely not be perfect during this lifetime. But i'm going to try. I am damn well going to try to do the best I can. I am going to try and help the others around me, even if it is only with a joke, a smile, or a shared laugh. Couldn't the world use more of those things instead of more idols to worship?
I am not going to worship you. Why? Because I want to focus on God, not on someone who is apparently God's only son, a claim that I find ridiculous. We are all one. We are all God's children. We are all God's sons and daughters. And looking over some of your teachings, there are some I don't agree with. I don't want to hate my family. I find your saying that if someone does not hate his family, he cannot be your disciple. I don't agree with that.
If you could directly intervene here on earth Jesus and change one thing, I think I would ask you to please show people to stop placing you into such a high, unreachable position. I would ask you to please show that you are there to help them if they want it, and that they can go to God in their own way if they don't want to do it your way. I would ask you to please just stop all the idols and the separation between people.
We are all one. Why can't we act that way? Stop the threats, stop the hellfire and brimstone. Stop dividing people into groups of saved and unsaved. And just stop all the fear and the superiority.
Stop trying to prove each other right or wrong. Stop trying to put others down. Stop saying that Christianity is superior to other faiths. Stop with the books that say Jesus is the only way to heaven. Stop with the smug superiority of essays putting others down.
Stop doing those things for God's sake, and for our sake. It's killing us.
Why can't we all just get along? We're all children of God, no one is unloved or loved less then the others. We all have to play together nicely and share our toys. We don't have to spend hours debating which toy is the best, or which way pleases our daddy the most.
We're all children, and our mother/father loves us all. Why can't we just get that? We're on the playground, endlessly threatening each other and dividing each other into camps when our daddy is just outside the playground, where we can all come to him in any way we want. He is there, arms open, just waiting for us to come. All we have to do is walk to him.
Why would we need you to get to our daddy Jesus? Can't I just come to him as I am? Can't I just go to God's safe arms and be with him as I am, in the way that works for best of us? Can't I just be with my God?
Can't I just love others without being threatened with hell?
Can't I just help others without worrying about damnation or separation from others?
Why can't I just be as I am? Can't I go through life as I am, as I have been forged and created to be? Can't I just be myself?
Why can't we just be kind to each other?
Why can't we all just get along?
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)