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GodisPretend.net is 4 Years Old!

I hadn’t really realized how long I had been running this site until I looked up a few older posts a few weeks ago. This website has changed shape, servers, and domain names in those four years, but the central theme has stayed the same: religion is inherently violent and has no place in modern civilized society. As sort of a blast from the past, I present to you the first four blog posts I ever made on this site.

Subservience of Women
“What better move to make when writing the bible than to include a post to keep women in submission for all of time than to include the obligatory “men are better than women” verse.

The first epistle to Timothy brings us this travesty.” (Read More)

Evolution vs. Creation
“Life. Where did it come from? What does it have in store for me? What can I expect after life on earth?

Don’t know. It depends. Decomposition.” (Read More)

Don’t Pray For Me, Argentina
“I’ve got to hand it to Christianity. They have a pretty good racket setup. What most likely started as a simple way to keep the uneducated working class in check has become a self-perpetuating machine with all the right gimmicks built right in. Such as ‘We are right. Everyone else is wrong.’ Gotta love that one. No tolerance for diversity, no compassion for your fellow man, no ‘love thy neighbor’ (wait a tick…)” (Read More)

What Foxholes?
“You’ve probably all heard it. “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Oh really? What foxholes? And why wouldn’t they be down there? Are foxholes lined with Holy Water or some atheist repellant? I understand what this message is trying to convey, but that doesn’t make it anymore based in fact. The fact that people keep repeating this drivel only continues to lend to its credibility.” (Read More)

New Conversion Tactic: Lies and Trickery

I found this video at The Good Atheist thanks to a tweet from @deanpence. I had tweeted asking for nominations for a new poll — “Creepiest fundie pastor?” — and @deanpence found the following video to be on the top of his list.

This guy is an Egyptian Muslim cleric named Mahmoud Al-Misri. His monologue starts out innocently enough with reminding Muslims not to be tough on sinners but give them treatment like a doctor cares for the sick. Pretty common religious malarkey. But then the BIG REVEAL! Don’t be tough on them, just outright lie to them and threaten them with torture and death!

If I hear another person ever claim that Islam is a “religion of peace”, I am liable to lose my shit.

Islam a Religion of Peace? Excuse Me While I Laugh

I am not a troll. I do not search out internet fora, Facebook and MySpace groups, or any other online community with the intention of creating inflamatory comments or rousing rabble of any sort. That doesn’t mean that I’m not tempted to do so from time to time. Usually, I just like to gain some perspective, see how people debate and support their positions (on all sides), and sometimes get some good ideas for blog posts.

I came across a doosie of a group a while back while browsing MySpace groups about Islam. There is a section devoted to the groups “rules”, some of which are very telling about not only the religion of Islam, but the sacred protection religion thinks it deserves in discourse.

The first few rules are reasonable enough:

  • No hate speech
  • No bigotry
  • No attacking another person’s religion

While I do not think that there is any such thing as hate speech in the way it is typically defined, I don’t think that every forum should have to be a stage for debate. No big deal so far, but the next few are quite revealing.

  • Non-Muslims are welcome and will be protected
  • Non-Muslims have the right to ask anything they wish. However if they abuse their privileges they will be banned!!!!!!
  • Anybody insulting my religion of Islam or my holy prophet Muhammad (saaw) will be banned !!!!!!!!!

It doesn’t say great things for your religion if you have to reassure non-adherents of their protected status when joining for discussion. Oh, and as for that discussion, ask anything you want, but don’t abuse those privileges. What the hell does that even mean? Is this like Scientology in that they will answer questions until one of the questions pisses them off or makes them reveal something embarrassing or heinous about their belief system? For instance, if I wanted to ask “How does the holy prophet Muhammad taking a child wife and consummating the marriage with intercourse when she was only 9 years old fit in to traditional Arab marriage roles during that time?”, I would probably be banned.

Even though it is a perfectly valid question whose basis is well document in the Hadith (Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64), this question would almost certainly be seen as an affront to Islam. As a non-adherent, this is a topic on which I would like more information, and what better place to ask questions than in a forum of Muslims?

Well, thinking about all of this again got me wanting to visit the group and put forth my two cents. Having bookmarked the link, I clicked through only to find that the group is no longer accessible. The group still shows up in search results, but cannot be viewed, which could possibly mean that the group has been made private. I’ve included the link in case it should ever be accessible in the future.

Shady Land Deal in the Bible

I came across an interesting Bible passage today. Matthew 13:44 states, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the whech when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”

This, to me, seems to be very un-Christian behavior. Finding treasure on someone else’s land, concealing it, withholding knowledge of such from the rightful owner, and then buying the property to gain ownership. This reeks of dirty dealing, secrecy, and back stabbing; things I was always led to believe were not becoming of good Christians. Moreover, the man that said the above quote is Jesus himself. So God (via his son) condones this sort of behavior.

Say the above happened, and this asshole bought the land with the treasure. I would like to know if any kind of mineral rights existed in ancient Palestine. Would simply purchasing the parcel of land entitle one to any treasures that were contained below the surface? If petroleum, gold, silver, uranium, etc. are to be considered precious commodities, then certainly a treasure comparable to heaven would be included in such rights.

Yes, I know that is an absurd comparison, but, to me, it illustrates that people, including Jesus Christ himself, will say anything to make the prospect of an afterlife as appealing as possible. By appealing to mankind’s lust for treasure and conquest, Jesus lays out a situation in which an underhanded transaction takes place with clearly concealed ulterior motives with the goal of enjoying a treasure while excluding others from said enjoyment. If this passage is to mean anything else, then it could have been written so many different ways.

Of course, no matter how much Jesus was trying to wow his starry-eyed observers, he certainly resorted to an appeal to force mere passages later with, “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:49-50)

When push comes to shove, if the promise of treasure can’t convince someone to do something, threatening to burn them eternally should prove a useful tool of persuasion.