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The Mystery in the Box

I was just looking in my neighbor’s yard. There is a large wooden crate behind his deck that hasn’t been touched in the last 6 months. As far as I can tell, it is there to stay. This got me thinking about people’s belief in god.

If my neighbor told me that inside his crate was $1 billion, I would probably call him crazy. But if he told me that I could have the $1 billion, he might pique my interest for a moment. I’d want to see some sort of proof or obtain some form of collateral, but he would have my attention. Here’s the bombshell: he tells me that to obtain the treasure, I would have to spend an indeterminate amount of time cleaning his house, mowing his lawn, doing other various chores, and finally giving him 10% of my annual income.

Well, screw that. Sure he lets me play basketball on his nice court, gives me a meal once in a while, and takes me on his annual ski trip with his family, but I’d still want some sort of evidence that the $1 billion actually existed before I donated vast amounts of my time and resources to obtaining it.

I know this isn’t a direct parallel to the god belief that so many among us hold, especially considering that the rewards of most modern religions don’t come until after death (if at all). Add in to that the uncertainty of whether our actions are predetermined or based on free will, and you have an even stickier situation which should give more people pause before devoting their livelihoods to the religion of their choice. Unfortunately, it does not.

People, for the most part, tend to carry on the beliefs of their ancestors and hold them dear without ever taking a moment to question them (After all, questioning those beliefs is a sin in itself.) What does it take to actually get someone with such a deeply internalized belief to question it? A traumatic experience? A trip to rock bottom? Too often, these events further entrench beliefs rather than diminish them.

I guess atheists need to start having a ton of babies.

Christian Child Acts Like An Ass

Christianity prides itself on being a religion that quickly molds its youth into slave-like automatons. Within mere years, Christian children are professing their absolute love for Jesus in order to fit in with their friends and go on ski trips.

Basically this child is just mimicking what he (I think it’s a “he” anyway.) sees the adults do at church, and he’s making about as much sense. What bothers me the most is the audience reaction. Instead of some light chuckling, the crowd is actually cheering the child on as they would the preacher. Also, how much time is this kid spending in church for him to be picking up the mannerisms of the preacher?

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)

Avatar: Demonism, Satanism, Paganism

My friend Megan sent me a video two weeks ago that I have just now got around to watching. It is a preacher by the name of Mark Driscoll of the Mars Hill Church ranting about how Avatar is contrary to the teachings of Christ. Now, I never knew that Avatar was presenting itself as the Christ-alternative, but perhaps I’ve missed that in the advertising. I did finally see the movie without knowing what to expect. Not only were the visual effects stunning, but I was rather pleased at how good of a job the producers did at making me believe that I wasn’t just watching another rendition of Pocahontas or Dances With Wolves.

One thing I did notice was the obvious allusion to a Pagan or Earth-centric (Pandora-centric?) belief system. There was a sense of connectedness with all living things and one’s surroundings. This preacher believes that not only is this movie promoting (that’s debatable) Paganism, it is Satanic and demonic and any good Christian should distance themselves from its poisonous effects.

Pastor Driscoll seems to have forgotten the meaning of the word “fiction.” I bet he creamed his jeans when the Harry Potter and Twilight series came out. After all, those both market themselves as convenient alternatives to Christian belief, don’t they?

Not only do I believe that this man doesn’t actually have a clue what “Pagan,” “demonic,” and “Satanic” mean, I think he thoroughly believes that his sheep will turn into James Cameron’s sheep if they see this movie. He knows that the people to whom he is speaking will swallow ideas like a fish swallows bait, which is fine, as long as it is his ideas that they are swallowing. Where I think he underestimates his huddled masses is in their ability to distinguish fiction from reality, a feat that he obviously struggles with himself.

He believes with all of his heart that mere exposure to something less-than-Christian will lead to a complete internalization of a new worldview. I could understand that if the problem was people being lured into a cult, but the problem – for him – lies in a piece of fictitious cinema. “That any Christian could watch that without seeing the overt demonism is beyond me,” he says. Aside from confusing Paganism with the fictitious demons of his own twisted beliefs, he is suggesting that Christians cannot enjoy a film which presents a different idea of god and society. They must immediately be insulted and enraged that such sacrilegious filth is even allowed in theaters.

Apparently, a film that takes place on a different planet, with a foreign indigenous species, is supposed to follow the same religion that only a fraction of our own planet follows.

“The visuals are amazing because Satan wants you to emotionally connect to the lie.” That quote alone shows that this man cannot be reasoned with in any way. He genuinely believes that Satan is working through the evil producers and directors of Hollywood to bring anti-Christian propaganda to the big screen for the sole purpose of converting all viewers to a sin-laden lifestyle.

I can’t possibly speak any more about this man’s belief that fiction is taken seriously by all that view it. He believes that people will view a fictitious lifestyle and try to reconcile it with their own religious beliefs, instead of doing what normal people do, which is regarding it as a story with moving pictures and lots of bioluminescence.

Of course to solidify that this man is a charlatan and a profiteer, he admits that he has two home theater systems and three Tivos. I’m happy for him and all, but does his congregation not realize who bought him all of that way cool stuff?