Just kidding…he’s kind of an evil asshole:
Just kidding…he’s kind of an evil asshole:
Nothing controversial here…
“Ten Foot Cock and a Few Hundred Virgins” – Tim Minchin
One of my big problems with religion is that it demonstrably makes people more gullible – about east Indian call centres telling you that your computer has a virus and psychics charging $0.99/minute and even the “official” word you hear on the evening news and in the daily newspaper.
Because if you believe the Bible’s explanation for how animals got their stripes over the scientific explanation, is there anything on this planet you won’t believe?
Some of the people who say religion gives them their moral code seem to be lacking a certain amount of common sense…
Today’s big announcement that Pope Francis has been named Time’s Person of the Year is great timing, coming roughly halfway through my series of Atheist Advent posts.
I was already thinking about doing a post about the new Pope and how, in light of yesterday’s post about the hypocrisy of many religious people (including religious leaders), Pope Francis seemed like a breath of fresh air.
But the fact still remains that he’s the leader of an incredibly wealthy, influential organization that treats women, gay people and others very badly, continues to cover up disgusting sex scandals and so on.
So perhaps the new Pope isn’t all he’s made out to be and instead, I have to wonder if there’s ulterior motives at play, especially given the fact that a Fox News Media Adviser was recently hired by the Vatican to control and improve their messaging:
It’s a strategy job. It’s very simple to explain, not so easy to execute: to formulate the message and try to make sure everyone remains on message. – Greg Burke, Vatican Communications Strategist
I’m not so strident in my atheism that I can’t acknowledge that Christianity (and most religions in general) have decent principles behind them, have done a lot of good in the world, and that many religious people are to be commended for how they move through life – generous, understanding, kind, compassionate, etc.
My problem is with what I feel are the vast majority of hypocritical “Christians” who practice none of the values I just listed (or only practice them selectively.)
There are numerous stories of “Christians” behaving in what I would call a less-than-Christian manner. From congregants ignoring or chasing off their pastor when he disguises himself as a homeless person to denying the pagan roots of many of their most cherished symbols (including the Christmas Tree and other Christmas traditions right down to the date of Jesus’ birth) to the fact that some charities closely linked to Christmas have less-than-stellar approaches to their fellow man.
Right or wrong, being an atheist gives me a lot of freedom to decide on a course of action without trying to remember what I’m “supposed” to do. If I choose not to give money to a homeless person today for whatever reason, that’s my choice and I’ll own it. Tomorrow, I may give something.
(Maybe I’m defeating my own argument as I think many Christians do the same thing – acting inconsistently depending on their mood/circumstance/whatever.) I guess the difference is that I try to be self-aware when I do this without portraying myself self-righteously (“I’m a *Christian*! Of course, I’m charitable!” But I just saw you step over that homeless guy. ”Well, not *that* kind of charity. Duh.”)
I don’t know – I feel like I’m getting away from my original point, namely, that there are many good Christians but, as in so many other areas, its the bad ones, the hypocritical ones, the fake ones – that ruin it for everyone else.
This story of Sam’s has but a single explanation: a surgical God who digs on magic explanations. It couldn’t be mistaken attribution of causation, born of a coincidental temporal correlation, exacerbated by a general lack of education vis-a-vis physics in Sam’s parish congregation. And it couldn’t be that all these pious people are liars. It couldn’t be an artifact of confirmation bias, a product of groupthink, a mass delusion, an Emperor’s New Clothes-style fear of exclusion. – See more at: http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=14661#sthash.q18BuuKS.dpuf
“Thank You God” – Tim Minchin
Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.
As usual, the Vatican was decades late to the party “forgiving” Lennon for his comments in 2008:
Lennon never stopped provoking people, especially on the topic of religion. As The Beatles were nearing the end of their run, Lennon included the chorus: “Christ, you know it ain’t easy/You know how hard it can be/The way things are going/They’re gonna crucify me” in his song ”The Ballad of John and Yoko” which became the Beatles’ 17th and final #1 hit.
As a solo artist, Lennon continued expressing his doubts about a deity, most notably in the song “God” which is a litany of things that he doesn’t believe in in which he describes God as “a concept by which we measure our pain” and most famously in the hugely popular anthem, “Imagine”:
Early on, Lennon openly described himself as an atheist but later, he softened his stance to say “God” to him, was more a shared value of humanity:
I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.
Of course, Lennon was also a commercial songwriter and would occasionally include references to God as he knew this would make them more palatable to a wider audience.
One of the last songs he ever wrote, “Grow Old With Me” even had the refrain “God bless our love”. But Lennon admitted that he was mostly envisioning this song as a wedding standard when he included this line. (And it became exactly that. In fact, Shea and I used the demo version of “Grow Old With Me” in a slideshow at our wedding – even though we ruled out almost every other religious tradition from having the ceremony performed by a Minister to saying a prayer before the meal.)
Naturally, the quote above and Lennon’s willingness to include references to God in a song to make it more commercial means that some people take these things as evidence that he was a theist or that he converted later in life or something.
But it’s pretty clear that Lennon wasn’t a believer, definitely in the traditional sense and likely in the broader sense as well.
Content from my old blog was recently merged to this one Unfortunately, that has left many internal links broken. You can figure out where the broken links should point by changing the URL (eg. /blog_archives/2012/01/01/123456.html to just the date - /2012/01/01).
Entries might also be a day off from where you'd expect. As well, links to sections such as the Fred Eaglesmith Tab Archive other documents (eg. a few library school essays) are no longer working. Apologies for any inconvenience - hopefully this will all be fixed eventually.