My alarm went off and I woke up to a local United Methodist Church advertisement, which stated, “If you have values, then people trust you.” Then some mumble jumble about Methodist doctrine concerning values and the man ended with, “Come visit Schweitzer United Methodist Church...” This was not the dance music I like to awake to of a morning with one or all three of my cats wanting my loving attention, nor was it the sound of birds celebrating the spring morning, much less my values, but rather an assault to my morning senses and thought processes. Not to mention, my cats had no clue as to why I suddenly jump to smack the radio with annoyance.
First thing in the morning, before one has a chance to become fully conscious, they are told that unless they have Christian values — in particular, Methodist values — they are not trustworthy. This is a very bad message, especially when one first wakes up in the morning, and it begs the questions, “Values? Who’s values? Are you telling me, first thing in the morning, that one has no values unless they are Christian, in particularly Methodist? Nice! NOT!” Of course, at this point, smart people shut off the radio alarm, probably with some irritation due to the early morning wakeup message, which is not necessarily discussing their values. I suspect what kept me more or less sane at that moment was one of my beloved cats purring close beside me, as one does or all three do most every morning.
Such a message makes no sense at all when so many philosophies and religions share common values, such as the Golden Rule, which I prefer to say, “Do no intentional harm.” The Christians would quote the two New Testament commandments, if not the Ten Commandments too, but even those do not appear to be followed as literally as Evangelicals say they take the Bible, either that or they do not think. For me, this “no intentional harm” includes animals and not just humans, but not all philosophies or religions include animals in their “Golden Rule.”
Humanists do consider animal rights in varying degrees, depending on the person. Hindus, Jains, and Buddhist do too, again in varying degrees, but Evangelical Christians, not to mention many Islamic people and some Jews, do not appear to share this value. Some will tell you that animals are here for our use and have no regard for animal welfare on any level. Apparently, they do not realize that what hurts animals could eventually hurt humans. Gee, I wonder if such Christians ever take time out to enjoy the wakeup call their pets give them?
Then there is care for this earth. I have found very few Christians care about the earth, especially Evangelicals. Their attitude seems to be, “Why bother when Jesus is coming back?” Well, it has been nearly 2000 years, their Jesus has not returned, and other worldviews do not share the same values concerning the earth or nature in general. So what are they going to leave their children, their children’s children, and all other generations with their lack of consideration for others? Probably some nuclear holocaust, as Gene Roddenberry surmised in Star Trek: The Next Generation, because they do not take into account that what they do affects others, are not other people’s values, and usually ends up in some sort of Crusade or Jihad in the case of Muslims or war in general. Do these people take time out to smell the roses even or appreciate spring flowers?
Torture does not appear to be an issue for some Christians, especially Evangelicals. They practiced it during the Bush Administration and some even act as though they think, “If you don’t believe as I say, then you will go to hell and be tortured for all eternity.” Ironically, they seem to torture people, in various ways, here on earth before they die. Yet this is doing harm to others and they do not appear to care or comprehend, because they see it as “God’s Will” and apparently, this early morning torture is also in that category, in my opinion. It was not only a form of torture for me, because it was not my wakeup routine I enjoy so much, but also most likely their means of doing their deity’s will, which they do not consider as doing harm to others. They only take into consideration what they believe their so-called god wants and any other individual who has different values does not matter. I was nice and just turned them off a bit roughly, instead of lying there for a few minutes, listening to the radio and other sounds around me as I do most mornings. Some people would have cursed them first, and then turned off the radio. Do these people even have one ounce of compassion for others, especially of a morning?
Lastly, since we could go through a list of so-called Christian values, especially Evangelical values, that are harmful to others, is the imposition of their religious views, especially early in the morning when one is just waking up to a beautiful spring day, with purring cats, birds celebrating the warmer weather and the return of life to nature. This time of day is a vulnerable time because people are coming out of sleep mode and sounds that are pleasant to them are more preferable. Thus, whatever they hear from their alarm sounding, be it an annoying sound, music, or some stupid church advertisement, could easily trigger a dream about what they are hearing. In this case, it cannot be good, because one is being told, while they are arousing from slumber, they are bad unless they follow Christian doctrine, specifically Methodist doctrine. I can imagine the dreams some people could have due to this, but I do not remember if I had a dream before I awoke in the middle of this advertisement.
I also do not know how one can trust another if the other is going to harm others in various ways and call that “values”, of course in the name of whatever deity they worship. Torture so early in the morning does not help with the trust factor either. It is like saying, “GET UP! Go to THIS church this week and accept OUR values, or we’ll torture you various mornings until you do.” I rather hear my cats begging for their breakfast, if I must hear something other than purring and chirping. Forbid I wake up to a dominating male of any Abrahamic religion with an ad for a particular dogma playing. I could easily have my head chopped off for blasphemy. Trust dogmatic ideology and call those values? NEVER! Sorry, but my catma can claw their dogma to shreds as far as I am concerned, especially that early in the morning.
Obviously, I was not a happy camper waking up to this nonsense, instead of my usual music, purring cats, and singing birds I enjoy hearing when I first awake. These people have no sense of reason and compassion for others, much less do they even consider other people’s values. Secondly, I like to be in a good mood when I turn off the alarm this time of year, so I can hear the birds having their early morning spring party and my cats purring their morning song to me. I do not want to be assaulted with anyone’s dogmatic ideology first thing in the morning, especially when I have my own set of values. I only end up annoyed and the rest of the day does not go as well after I start out the day irritable, “for they know not what they do”. I could very well snap at the next religious person who crosses my path talking about their dogmatic values, which probably do not mean didley to me, nor do I trust a person who imposes their dogmatic values. Humans have mercy, especially early in the morning!
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)