There’s been a handful of things that have caught my eye that demonstrate why religion is silly. And lest, anyone be confused, religion is defined for *this* post as the beliefs, actions and practices that are based in belief in the supernatural. So, if you think that there is a soul, that there is a god/s, that there are spirits, that there is some magical place you go after death, that’s the supernatural that I’m talking about. The other definitions of religion, the obsessive fascination with sports, tooth brushing, My Little Pony, etc – all built from the original definition – do not apply here. Shame I have to explain this to some of my theist readers.
Okay, that out of the way, here are the bits of silliness thanks to religion:
When you didn’t think “reality” television couldn’t get any more ridiculous with the advent of “Preachers of LA”, (thou shalt be a greedy twit) and the National Geographic channel any more pathetic (show after show of how to be a greedy twit), we now have the show “Church Rescue” where failing churches get some very human help. Again, effectiveness of prayer no where to be found, no miracles to be had, and new carpeting the ticket to get more people in the pews and more collections in the plate. After poking around on the ‘net for info and opinions about this show, I did find one thing to be amused by. A Christian is surprised that a synagogue is on the docket for this show “Yet the fact that a synagogue is in line for a “church rescue” tells you all you need to know about the show’s theological acuity.”, and that Christians (the consultants are supposedly Southern Baptist Convention, a group that really doesn’t like other religions, including other versions of Christianity) would help such a place.
In a segue from Christians and Jews to more Christians and Jews, we have former President George W. Bush will be speaking at the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute tonight (unless he actually gets a clue). The lovely MJBI is a conservative Christian organization that “loves” Jews, as long as they get with the converting to Christianity and guaranteeing that the end times come right when these Christians want it (last year’s speaker was noted “get your gold for the end times” shill Glenn Beck). You see, these Christians aren’t content to wait for “God’s Will”. No, they want their magical reward of “heaven on earth” and they want it now. How dare this god make yet another generation up and die waiting. Doesn’t it know how special they are?
Now it seems that everyone is “shocked! shocked!” that Bush would do this. I’m not surprised in the least. There is this myth that conservative Christians love Jews and love Israel. Some likely do, as individuals. However, the fact is that they see both as needed ingredients for their end times fantasies, aka Revelation. No Israel and no converted Jews? then no cities of gold and gems where all TrueChristians will live happily ever after, and everyone who is not a TrueChristian is dead and damned. Now, one can see just how the MJBI reacted when the news of Bush’s appearance broke. We can see that the claims of religious acceptance and tolerance only work if the other side agrees that one side is right. And this again shows that religion has no business being involved in government and that religion is built on creating an “us” and a “them” based on believing in the “correct” set of stories.
And finally, more about those pesky holidays again. My brother’s family is afraid of Halloween (they would also prefer their kids read about kids killing each other in the Hunger Games than fighting against evil in Harry Potter). Their kids are in public school, but they simply must take them out on that day in case they get exposed to something different than what their parents want them to know. Now, this is amusing since evidently every other day is just fine, and gosh they can’t learn anything different those days, right? 🙂 This year they took the kids to see a theatrical show about Noah and the ark. Because teaching kids that your god drowned everything except one family (complete with drunkard father and possibly cuckholding son) in a fit of pique is ever so much better than wearing costumes and having a party or learning that Halloween was based on a pagan holiday that celebrated harvest, the dead, etc. Not the debbil or anything nonsensical like that.
There was a recent column by the rabbi who is now “The God Squad” on holidays. Per the rabbi, there are three types of holidays, secular, religious and mixed. Secular are fine for everyone to celebrate. Of course, the rabbi forgets that some of the religious have trouble with those too, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Religions holidays should *only* be celebrated by the believers of said holidays, so put away those chicks and bunnies oh non-believers! We’ll just ignore that Easter comes from a good ol’ pagan word and has nothing to do with capital punishment and a supposed resurrection that Christians can’t remember when it happened.
The rabbi also thinks that Christmas is only for Christians. Which would be fine if there was anything actually attaching December 25 to anything Christian other than myth. All we have is a co-opted date of a pagan holiday, and a mash of stories claiming that a birth happened at a time of year where the details don’t match reality. He claims that Christmas has “obvious Christian roots” and a “constant meaning as the birthday of the messiah”, which if one actually looks at the history of this, isn’t exactly true. The b-day of JC is pretty much up for grabs of when, and even if, it happened. The “real meaning of Christmas”? Well, that depends on the person you ask. At its base, the Christian meaning condenses down to “here’s the guy you need to accept as savior or else”. I much prefer the santa Christmas which is “give and receive”.
The rabbi also says “It may seem like a close call to some, but I think twinkly trees should be reserved for those who know what the light really represents to believing Christians.” Really? what does that light “really” mean to Christians? The “nativity star”? Not even the purported gospels all noticed it. And the wise men in that lovely nativity scene that sat on my parents tv set? Not even around for the birth. Seems like putting lights on trees is not Christian at all, but quite pagan, with lights, fires, logs, fresh greenery inside, etc.
To his credit, the rabbi loves Halloween. It’s a “old pagan holiday” so anyone can celebrate its new version. It seems he doesn’t realize that Christmas is quite the same. It is a time for all people to hopefully find their better natures and celebrate the return of light (aka the sun like those old pagans) and each other. I rather find that even a better idea than becoming “bands of underage candy bandits”.