Friday, November 24, 2006

A humourous poke at religious evangilism through door knocking.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Probably the biggest challenge to people of faith is when the foundation for their faith gets questioned. I'm sitting here watching Meet the Press and there is a debate going on about the Michael J. Fox political ad for the past week. Specifically, the Republican candidate for the Maryland Senate senate is being questioned about his resistance to stem cell research unless the embryo isn't destroyed. He's tap dancing about the issue, even when directly asked how he can allow the 40,000 embryos that fertility clinics will destroy this year to be 'killed'. The suggestion is that, based on Mr. Steele's religious belief, this should be mass murder on a scale seldom seen in the modern world and yet there is no cry of outrage.

One might suggest that Mr. Steele is being hypocritical. Not me. I suggest that the problem is trying to resolve his tenets of faith with the realities of science and politics. Faith tends to be black and white while both science and politics allow for the shades of gray that color our realities.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The suggestion was made, in a comment to my last post, that it's "the extremists and blind believers" who are the reason why faith has a bad name. The implication is that it's not really 'faith' that kills abortion doctors and bombs mosques. That it's people who have taken 'faith' too far.

I would suggest otherwise. Specifically, I would say that any person of faith who feels this way does not truly understand the tenets of their beliefs.

The starting point for most faiths is that there is a 'book' containing the written word of God (where God is a stand-in for any of the other names given to the supreme being of a particular religion). This book is the one and only true word of God. And putting aside the fact that there is no win-win possibility from this scenarios, the content of the book is always good for the believers and bad for the non-believers.

Consider Deuteronomy 13:7-11

If your brother, the son of your father or of your mother, or your son or daughter, or the spouse whom you embrace, or your most intimate friend, tries to secretly seduce you, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods,” unknown to you or your ancestors before you, gods of the peoples surrounding you, whether near you or far away, anywhere throughout the world, you must not consent, you must not listen to him; you must show him no pity, you must not spare him or conceal his guilt. No, you must kill him, your hand must strike the first blow in putting him to death and the hands of the rest of the people following. You must stone him to death, since he has tried to divert you from Yahweh your God.

Think that statement is not meant to be taken literally? Think again. Or rather than thinking, read Deuteronomy 13:1

Whatever I am now commanding you, you must keep and observe, adding nothing to it, taking nothing away.

Nor do the gospels remove this burden from the believer, as can be found in Matthew 5:18-19

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

To avoid being labeled as anti-Christian, let's consider the Islamic version of the same scenario. All protest of being a religion of peace to the contrary, the basic message of the Koran really is hatred of infidels. The infidel is fit only for the fires of hell; the creator of the universe is in the process of mocking and cursing and shaming and destroying and not forgiving and not reprieving the infidel.

From Koran 9:73

O Prophet, strive hard [Jihad] against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate.

Or Koran 2:191

And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.

I could go on, but you get the point. No religion is immune to this type of rhetoric. Or should I say 'commandment from the hand of God'. If you are really a believer in your faith, then these are the tenets that you hold. And I should be on the lookout for stones hurled my way and buying a fan for the afterlife.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Why Faith is Evil

Since I'm being bold in naming my blog, it only seems fair that I spell out my rationale. For many years now, I have been an atheist. Just to be clear, this means (to me) slightly more than not believing in God. It means that any explanation of how the universe began must include evolution starting from nothingness. But I'll dive more into that is more detailed in another post. Suffice it to say that God is not a possibility for me.

While I have been quite comfortable in my atheism for years, I have also been tolerant of the belief systems of others. Christian, Muslim, or Buddhist, it didn't make a difference. So long as you didn't bring your belief system into my world, I was fine with the precept of 'live and let live'

Unfortunately, this has become a dangerous position to take.

In recent years, faith in its many forms, has increased the likelihood of my being injured or killed. I live close to a big city. I travel on planes throughout North America and Europe. There is a possibility that, at some point, someone of 'faith' will do something to cause me harm.

I don't want that to happen. Most people don't want that to happen.

Many of your reading this will see Islam in what I just wrote. Certainly the terrorism aspect of my concern falls squarely on their doorsteps. However, if I'm going to condemn one religion as being wrong, it would be hypocritical not to reject all others as well. It's true that I don't expect to be attached by Christian fundamentalists. But that's because I'm not a doctor performing legal abortions. So Christians should loose that feeling of superiority regarding the harm of others. Any religion that was the driving force behind the Inquisition for 400 years and still has adherents that murder in the name of God should look inward before pointing fingers.

So my 'Faith is Evil' title comes from the fact that faith is ultimately responsible for any evils. And, by itself, almost no good. Religion provides nothing that can't be achieved through other means. The result is that the eradication of faith is the best home for the future of humanity.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Over the course of my life, I have gone from growing up in a Christian family to professing agnosticism to a complete conversion (if that's the correct word) to atheism. What more, I have become fervent in my atheism. I belive that faith, in its various forms, is one of the most dangerous forces in the world today. It is responsible for millions of deaths. It pits people against one another in violence that would, in the absense of faith, be working together to better their circumstances.

This can't go on!!

If we are going to survive as a civilization, faith has to be removed from the political and cultural equation. There is nothing that faith brings to the table that makes it unique as a force for good.

That's important enough to state one more time.

There is nothing that faith brings to the table that makes it unique as a force for good.

I see the purpose of this blog as a means to bring this message to the mass. To expose faith in all of its forms to the blinding light of reason. Because when exposed to rational thought, the reason for faith's existance falls away. And that would be beneficial of all of humanity.