My good friend JohnEvo (a/k/a The Ancient Atheist, tho’ he’s not so ancient) sent me a link to this video. This is a really good example of the contention that religion has simply become a big business. Here we have a doctor, one schooled, presumably, in science and the necessity of basing the application of medicine on evidence, who’s simply shilling for a book he wrote that supposedly presents evidence for human resurrection. He travels the Extreme Christian circuit of talk shows, web sites and other forms of media hawking his book. The video blogger who created it makes a good case that there’s big bucks in the process, which, to understate it, somewhat diminishes the credibility of the claims.
Of course, there are frauds and cheats in almost every profession, and I’m sure in the Christian religion, even Christians would agree that they have to be careful they aren’t taken in by charlatans. In fact, with the exception of their belief in Jesus, I suspect many Christians would admit that they don’t believe humans can be raised from the dead, though they have to compartmentalize that belief in their brains, it being contradictory to the primary underlying belief in their religion. Christianity is really nothing without the belief in the resurrection of their leader. But I digress…
If this so-called doctor, or Pat Robertson, or Ken Ham, or Kent Hovind, or any other leaders of the religious idiocracy were not able to relieve the people who really want to believe this shit of their hard earned cashed, placing it in their own bank accounts in the process, they couldn’t exist. They’d have to find other work, other means to earn a livelihood. Like ditch digging, or sewer cleaning, or garbage hauling (to name three comparable areas of work – with apologies to honest ditch diggers, sewer cleaners and garbage haulers).
It’s about the money. It’s all about the money. Take the profit motive out of religion, and it will disappear as fast as a puff of smoke. One would think that if religious contentions were true, they wouldn’t need earthbound institutions to maintain and perpetuate them, but they do. As George Carlin said “god loves you but always needs money”. Why? Because his representatives here on earth need money to live.
Many of them, like the pastor at your local church, are just trying to make a local, middle class living, enough to feed, clothe and shelter their families. Well meaning and someone innocuous, but still, they are relying on people to buy into and believe religious bullshit in order to make that living. And to a certain extent, I don’t really care if some people attend church on Sundays for the psychological comfort it provides, in return dropping a few bucks in the collection plate to continue to obtain that comfort. Whatever floats your boat…
But some of them, Like Robertson, Falwell, Ham and Hovind, take it a step too far, making not only a living in the process, but actually building up huge personal fortunes. And of course, like Bill Gates at Microsoft, in order to maintain that fortune, you have to create a larger and more widespread need for the product you sell. That requires, at least in the case of religion (this is not a commentary about Windows), a bigger and more bloated product. Voila’! Humans rise from the dead! Gays cause hurricanes and earthquakes! Man rode dinosaurs 6000 years ago! And by the way, I need your cash.
That’s taking religion and building it up way beyond the personal spiritual message people seem to crave.
I’m sure these frauds have actually convinced themselves that they are right, and that they are doing a good thing. That’s the insidious thing about religion itself. It paves the way for these people to prey on the gullible, by softening up their critical thinking abilities, in the process diminishing their capabilities for skepticism and the use of reason, logic and critical analysis. It makes it more difficult for us to protect ourselves from these hucksters, making it more difficult to see the lies they tell. Platitudes like “faith is a virtue” turns minds to mush. Concepts like “eternal torment” and the afterlife use a big stick to get people to turn off their brains.
I left a comment on John’s YouTube site that said,
“When we admit to ourselves that Christianity is simply a big business, whose sole purpose for existence is self perpetuation and a continuing stream of income, we’ll become a more honest society. Until then, it’s simple self delusion.”
A societal, as well as individual, self delusion that costs us a lot of money.