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Religion & The Paradox of Submission

Religion teaches children that they should be independent from their biological parents, but totally dependent upon their "spiritual" parents, Mary and God/Jesus. (That Jesus is both Mary's son and God, makes the Bible a bit like Oedipus, of course.)

It is also a religion that teaches people to love freedom and hate authoritarianism on the one hand, even as it requires them to be submissive to the will of an authoritarian God (and his Catholic Church, at least spiritually speak anyway) in order to achieve "true freedom."

That a person can only be "free" by hypnotizing them self into believing the must always "obey" an authoritarian God, only demonstrates the miracle of how the human mind can make sense of pretty much anything it wants to believe, no matter how paradoxical or self contradictory it may be.

Such a claim is not merely an indictment of religion, of course, but of the human mind itself. For it is how all institutions, be they priv…

Have You Ever Noticed...

Have you ever noticed that the American Revolution is essentially the story of every conflict there is, was, or has ever been?

And our interpretation of that conflict boils down to our "beliefs" about which group of people - the indigenous or the foreigners - should rule.

And the ones we always think should rule are the ones we think are most like ourselves.


You Cannot Truly Love Someone You Fear

Love and fear are probably the two most powerful human forces we know of. But they are clearly not the same thing, and are very often the very opposite of each other.

But God is a paradoxical figure who commands (how can a person be expected to "love" on command?) that we engage in the paradox of both loving Him, and fearing Him, lest we be thrown into a lake of fire for failing to do so to His majesty's liking.

More interesting, however, is how this clear contradiction, is never a problem for the Christian, who is so afraid of the fires of hell and the immorality of secular society, that they actually mistake their "fear" for a "love" of God who will save them from both, even though He created both.

There is probably not a Christian alive who would ever "love" a Muslim Shah or Caliph or King, simply because he commanded them to, or be tortured and executed. Yet such a Christian expects the Muslim, and all others for that matter, to willfull…

The Fatal Yet Inescapable Problem with Beliefs

For "believers" the world over, the entire point of life comes down to nothing but what you believe. Regardless of basically ANYTHING else, one's life boils down to simply standing before a "God," who will judge how a person should spend eternity based on their "beliefs."

Those beliefs come down to having "believed" in the right religion, or the right god, or the right morality, or the right whatever. If anyone FAILS to "believe" the right things, then, they're thrown into hell for being such a dolt.

But if life is all about necessarily having the right "beliefs" about God, religion, morality, etc, than it can only work if everyone on the planet is willing to accept - necessarily! - that someone, somewhere, HAS the right beliefs. And more importantly, that person has to know exactly how to apply those beliefs in an ever changing and increasingly complex world.

Of course, the Catholics have their Pope, who can speak &q…

The Trouble with Marian Apparitions

Mary, the Mother of God, is said to have appeared to many people over the years. One of which was the apparations at Fatima to three children in 1917.  But looking at the transcripts, one is left with the lingering sense of "what the fuck!?"

First off, sending Mary to appear to children is a bit like Bill Gates sending his mother to tell an employee that their department is under-performing, and the big guy upstairs is getting pissed off.

But aside from that, if we look at the transcripts, as I said, it gets even harder to believe. In fact, if these transcripts were provided to Christians from Muslims who claimed they were spoken by Mohammad (or his mother, Aminah bint Wahb) while he (or she) appeared to three shepherds, not a single Christian on the planet would take them seriously.  

For example, one of the children apparently asks Mary where some people they know have landed after they died, and Mary lets them know they're not all love'n it in the Golden Arches…

The Pros & Cons of Thinking About Religion

I think too much. And in an information society, this habit of thinking too much can make a person's natural curiosity feel like quicksand. But that only happens "if," and after, a person realizes they think too much, and they begin to notice how much their own "desire to know" everything - a "desire" which led Adam & Eve loose Eden in a gamble with a serpent - can potentially sabotage all of their other desires.

Religion is, to my mind at least, the perfect example of this perfect paradox of thinking too much. On the one hand, the rituals, teachings, and beliefs of religion, serve to make "thinking" easier regarding morality, death, existence, love, and so on. Hence, a person can rest assured that their life has meaning, that their "salvation" is secured (as well as it can be), and that justice will be meted out to all perfectly in the end.

On the other hand, religion assures that same person that they can only rest their mind…

Fostering Our Dependence on God

One of the great paradoxes almost universally overlooked by stalwart Christian parents the world over, is how such parents strive to teach their children how to be independent in life but dependent in religion, as if the latter is the only and necessary means of obtaining the former. In fact, Conservative Christians loath the idea that anyone should be dependent upon "big government" for anything at all, even as they practically demand that everyone is, and should be, dependent upon God (i.e. their Church and their religion) for everything!

What parent thinks it is best to raise a child to forever need to rely on their parents? What parent thinks the best way to raise a child is by first teaching the child they are flawed and sinful, but by devoting themselves to loving and worshiping them alone, the parent promises to make that child better?  And yet, this is exactly what St. Augustine is applauded for doing to Christians.

Basically, St. Augustine argued that everyone bare…