I recently finished two books, one after the other, about the historical (as opposed to theological) existence of the man we call Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth is the historical man. Jesus Christ in the theological man. The two books, in chronological order (but in my reverse reading order), are Bart Ehrman’s “Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth“, and Reza Aslan’s more recent “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth“. As you can surmise, both of these books explore the question of who the actual man named Jesus was, as opposed to the myths and religions we’ve created around him. In short, they attempt to analyze the latest historical scholarship about him, while regurgitating it for the layman. In the process they give their own considered opinion about exactly who Jesus was.
Because I was BORN an atheist. Two people I loved unthinkingly indoctrinated me into believing in something that didn’t exist. Key word – “unthinkingly”. The state of my knowledge at birth was the correct one.
Because religion, super-naturalism, has never explained anything. From the very beginning of civilization to the present, whenever religion has tried to explain previously mystifying natural phenomena (from lightning through mental illness to the size of the universe) it has always gotten it wrong. Always. It has not been right yet, and the odds are it will never be right, if we ever get to the point in human knowledge where we know everything.
Because religion is an inherently anti-human phenomenon. I’m a human, not a spirit. Religion explains spirits. There are no spirits, and there’s never been any evidence of spirits. As a human, there is a natural, logical way to treat other humans, and it does not involve burning them at the stake, making them believe what I believe at the point of a blade, or flying airplanes into buildings. Religion is cruel and inhuman, in almost all aspects of its justifying rationalizations.
Because I don’t need religion to be a good person.
I’ve been drawn into an interesting discussion on a few other blogs. It started the other day while watching the TODAY show as I dressed for work. Matt Lauer had his panel of “experts” addressing controversial topics of the day, and one of them involved “outsourcing” Christmas obligations, like shopping, card sending etc, and the propriety of doing so. In the course of the conversation, Nancy Snyderman said she didn’t like the religious element of Christmas, in effect, it’s what ruins it for her. It was a short exchange, not well fleshed out, but it was clear there was a disagreement between Star Jones, who felt “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” while Snyderman did not.
A friend sent this link to an article on HuffPo to me this week. I took me awhile to read it, then a little longer to reply to my friend. I thought that since my reply was lengthy, and I havent posted anything in awhile, I’d reproduce my response.
Everyone knows who the Duggars are, don’t you? You should. They are the clan (and I do mean clan) of 19 children, and a few grandchildren, that have made a career out of being big (i.e a large family from one womb) and Christian. They have their very own reality TV show that showcases their big family and their Christian values.
We all have heard the recent news about Rep. Todd Akin over the past two days. In an interview, he opined about pregnancies caused by rape:
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
I was lying in bed this morning, listening to the Morning Joe Show on MSNBC on the tellie, trying to go back to sleep after my wife woke me up with…well, the TV. I had a pillow over my head trying to muffle the sound, when I heard him say that there was a new, surprising statistic that came out recently about abortion. I cracked a little space between my ears and the pillow.
In my last post, I hinted that Obama should do the right thing, and come out for marriage equality, but I allowed that since he was trying to get elected, I’d understand if he waited until the election is over.