By Bill Jeffreys
I was thinking about god recently. I was wondering why Christians, like I use to be, don't see the hate, genocide, rape, murder, contradictions, false writings, and so forth in the bible? Why don't they look at the origins of the bible and see how messed up the process was, or how many other gospels and thousands of spiritual writings were circulating before the council of Nicaea, under Constantine who authorized the New Testament, or how the gospels weren't even heard of by ancient people for hundreds of years after the supposed death of Christ, or how the Apostle Paul never cites the gospels in his letters to the churches.
I used to think of Jesus as loving and forgiving and my personal best friend. I never looked at his anger, or his killing and damnation of unbelievers. Just look at the book of revelation. Jesus comes back with a sword and plagues to murder people and send them to hell forever. He tells his disciples that they must hate their parents if they are to follow him.
He sends people to hell because they don't accept him as god. Ok, why not just erase them if they are so offensive. Who says people who don't believe have to spend FOREVER in burning agony because they don't say, Jesus I am a sinner and please be my magical sky god?
It's hard to look at this if one is in the cult of Christianity, but I eventually did and it was like waking up in a stranger's home. I was shocked to realize where I was in life.
I finally understand why people cherry pick the bible, or Koran to support their view of god. I finally understand why I viewed Jesus as loving and my personal best friend. It's because we all want purpose, love and the need to feel that we are special. So rather than do the hard work of becoming authentic, rational and take responsibility for ourselves, we put our faith in something we can't see, hear, touch, feel or get accurate information on. We place in Jesus, god, Allah or whomever, all attributes we want to feel good about. We simply do this to feel good, have control over our lives and feel superior to others, aka special. We followed ridiculous rules and values thinking that we are pleasing our magical sky god and he/she will be happy with us. Knowing that we are making our god happy makes us happy. Well, not always, but that's another discussion to write about.
When we finally look at the facts with an open mind, we can no longer ignore the other facts of the bible or Koran. You know the ones that show god as a jealous, angry genocidal mythical being. We can no longer ignore the errors and contradictions in the bible or other spiritual books. We are forced to put away childish thinking and be responsible for the choices we make. We are forced to realize there isn't a second chance after this life. This is what we get, fair or not, for better or for worse. No one is going to rescue us and give us unlimited love and pleasure.
I really think some people just can't handle the truth. That is why they get so angry and sometimes violent when questioned about their beliefs. That is why they search for beliefs that make them feel good (what makes people feel good is unique to the individual) while ignoring the facts that contradict their beliefs. How can anyone believe in something that there is no evidence of or proof of? You could easily substitute the tooth fairy for god and support its existence with the same reason people use to support god or allah. All we need is an old collection of writings that say the tooth fairy exists.
As a professional counselor, I commend people who aren't afraid to examine their beliefs and make changes that support the evidence. It's much harder to live with the reality that this is our only life and we have to do the best we can with what we have. That takes much more courage then putting faith in an invisible god.
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)