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Posts Tagged ‘religion’

the-angry-mob

There are a number of folks who have disagreed with some of my statements and some of my methods. I treat the absurd with absurdity, I ridicule the ridiculous and whenever someone is being obtuse to the level of it being profane, I response with the acute use of profantity – e.g. ‘Fuck that shit!’

con-man4When debating particular ideas, concepts and the corresponding societal movements that all-too-often spring up as a result of them, I tend to be rather particular to not only attack the ideas themselves, but to then specifically condemn the people that ‘follow’ such ideas.

Whenever an idea exists, not based primarily on the self-evidence that is good or right, but instead leans upon consensus as a means to gain prominence, there is inevitably some charismatic figure making a good pitch leading the charge. It is the general practice of others when addressing such ideas being broadcast from a primary source of one or a small number of individuals, to attack the source. The problem is, the ideas don’t exist on evidence, they exist on consensus. The slickest con-man in existence is entirely irrelevant if no one swallows his magic elixir!

More specifically, whenever anyone is making a claim that will not stand on it’s own, it can only stand as a result of others supporting it. It can only resonate in society if a ‘mob’ gets behind it and forces it to become an actionable reality. Thus whenever anyone claims to support the idea, they aren’t simply supporting the assertions of the charismatic figure, they are taking on those assertions and becoming the means by which they achieve relevance.

Furthermore, were there not so many willing idiots, there wouldn’t be a market for the snake oil salesmen to begin with!

Let me give an example to get to the heart of what I mean. Someone comes up to me supporting some statist idea that the government should be empowered to collect taxes from me under threat of force. Those who disagree with my methods are making an assumption that the individual is simply enabling the use of force by not standing in the way of it being carried out. They aren’t the ones directly responsible because it is someone in a statehouse somewhere that proposed it, and it’s someone in a police force somewhere that will enforce it and make it actionable.

But in reality, especially in any society with representative governance, such ideas will never ever exist unless a significant enough number of people – individuals – either support it or allow it. Whether it be authoritarian concepts of statist politicians or similar principles being stated from pulpits by evangelical preachers, the ideas themselves are irrelevant until individuals make them actionable.

philosoraptor-choose-not-to-decide

To quote RUSH from the song ‘Free Will’,

“If I choose not to decide, I still have made a choice”

In other words, as the passive thinker stands there and tells you “I think this politician is right when he says you must be forced to help others” or “I think this preacher is right when he says you should not be selfish and sacrifice for the needy”, the most important part of either of those sentences is the first two words, “I think”. They are in essence telling you “You need to be forced to comply with what ‘I think'” – supporting the third party is simply a convenience to that individual in that someone else is energetically telling them ‘I’ll happily force them on your behalf!’

Thus, I don’t play nice with such people. If you say you support someone else doing me harm – you, in my mind, are saying harm should be done to me. If you help propel ideas to prominence that only propel to prominence because people like you help them get that way, you are the one making the concept actionable.

I still hold the statist or the theist responsible for promoting bad ideas and will challenge them regularly on the falsity, absurdity and profaneness of those ideas, but it is the individual that ‘believes’ the bullshit that I hold the MOST responsible for it’s existence!

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No doubt we’ve all see the zombie Jesus by now

but seriously folks – same concept if done without the sardonicism:

  • that out of this huge, trillions of years old, trillions of trillions of miles across universe full of literally countless numbers of galaxies each of those full of countless stars – many with dozens or even hundreds of planets, some with surrounding moons….
  • that it was all created by a single God (and here’s the good part):
    • who looks just like us!
    • who built it all just for us!
    • and just because of us.
  • and that despite the absolute immensity in both size and age of the universe, it all is here just so a little ape that learned to walk upright and come up with a few thousand word vocabulary can eventually die in a few short decades and go to some magic place (outside this immense universe mind you) where nothing ever goes wrong.
  • and of course, on this little rock alone, there are over 5000 different versions of that particular type of story – and the vast majority of any group believing any partilcular story, each thinks they are the only one(s) that have it right and thus the only one(s) going to the ‘magic place’.

uh, yeah. riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight

(and to think I’ve been called arrogant and self-righteous by the religious.)

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In the aftermath of the Catholic-condom scandal, I think I’ve come upon a clue as to how things work in America. So I have an idea. If you can put sufficient pressure on the government simply because you belong to a religion (in spite of the 1st amendment establishment clause) then perhaps instead of fighting religions we should follow the “if you can’t beat them, join them!” creedo.

It’s about time those of us that seek to understand reality by way of rational and objective observation of fact, find a way to get equal protection under the laws that seem to be becoming more and more inclined to pander to religious pressure.

Since religions always seem to have pretentious, hoity-toity names, thus I bring you….

Independent ManThe Manifest Cognizance of the Evident Percipience

As members of the MCEP, we believe that it is essential to our spiritual wholeness that each man or woman should be held accountable for meeting his or her own responsibilities. Each one of us accumulates a sum of these invisible, non-corporeal things known as ‘concepts’. And among these includes a special sub-sect known as OESWs. (objective evidence of self-worthiness)

These OESWs are essential to the mental condition of humans as spiritual beings. They improve one’s mood and increase motivation, help overcome depression and inspire achievement. A low quantity of OESWs tends to leave individuals susceptible to hoaxes, lies, misrepresentations, frauds and can lead to dependency, drug use, suicide, alcoholism, violent behavior and many other social maladies.

The view of the MCEP is that there is no greater moral sin than to willfully act in a manner or to participate in any action that will lead to a decrease of OESWs in themselves or in other human beings.  Therefore, it is strongly against our conceptual belief system to support, participate or otherwise contribute to any government programs (such as welfare, medicare, medicaid, social security, unemployment programs, foreign aid, minority endowments, social redistribution, public housing, public education, etc.) that will only serve to decrease the quantity of these OESWs in other human beings and therefore do them harm!

(feel free to suggest your own tenets of MCEP in comments)

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I have spoken on this before in other threads, but I was updating the comments on a picture by repeating it so I thought it might also be worthy of a blog post to re-iterate the statements. (not to mention, I have been busy with work and haven’t had the energy to post much, so why not?)

Religion supersedes self-esteem by replacing the source of it with what I call ‘God-esteem’. When you combine the church notion that you can’t understand God or his mysterious ‘plan’ with the fact that the purpose for being is to ‘please God’, the notion of anything that is good or bad, including yourself and all your choices, actions and behaviors, is only good if God says it is good. Then you end up with a surrogate esteem through the perceived ideal that is the religion’s notion of ‘God’.

Of course, without proof of this God or proof of the alleged consequences of him (proof that it is his ‘word’ in the bible/torah/koran/book-of-the-dead, etc, proof that he/she/it speaks through the religion’s priests/ministers/missionaries/rabbis/monks/imam, etc.) then you are just as bound to the notion of faith to believe in this God as you are bound to rely _only_ on faith to know what this God wants and that what you are being told he wants is in fact true. (and I have as of yet to see a single instance where what is wanted is communicated by anything other than ‘other men’ or women)

For some time I was confused as to how people so boldly and arrogantly hung on to beliefs and stubbornly not only disagreed with, but ultimately “shut out” any valid or reasonable criticisms of those beliefs — and then in turn called that process of shutting out alternate views as virtuous! It was like they cling to their faith-based ideas as though their lives depended upon it.

But if their entire sense of self-esteem, all they have lived for and based their choices upon is hinged upon the existence of this being and the faith-derived notion that this being sees their life as good, then their entire sense of esteem does in fact rely upon that God existing, and existing as they perceive it to exist.

They cling to those beliefs as though their life and all that is good about it depends on it…. they cling to it as such, because in fact it does!

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Three young kids are being asked what they did on Christmas. One is a protestant, one is a catholic and one is an objectivist.

The first kid gets all excited when it’s his turn and says:

Oh oh oh, …we got up in da mornin, we has our brekfests – then the hole famiwee goes down to da church and we prays really hard to thank God for our presents. then we hurry home and we opens our presents and we play with all our presents all day!

The second kid is all excited too and says:

We got up an has our brekfastes too! Then we gots to opan all our presentes, then we go to da church and has da Christmas mass and we tank Jesus for our presents. Then we hurried home and we played with our presents all day!

Finally they ask the objectivist kid what he did on Christmas. He nonchalantly said:

“oh we got up and had a nice continental breakfast. Then dad said ‘It is time to celebrate!
So we got in the limosine, and he took me down to the toy warehouse and we looked at all the empty shelves.”

(all due homage to Dave Allen, R.I.P. for the original joke, slightly reworded for my O’ist friends)

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I have decided to seek evidence to support a new theory that suggests religion and collectivism have a common source…

I wanted to write these down before I lost track of the verses so I thought I might as well do so in a facebook note.  I got involved in a couple of discussions where I brought up a common [trick] question I ask of many Christians, mainly:

     Where in the bible does the following quote come from?:

The good lord helps those that help themselves

It’s a trick question because it’s not in the bible, but like so many other things believers believe, the fact of that eludes them and they presume that it does.  The sentiment shows up in various writings going back thousands of years and the first similar reference to it shows up way back pre-BC in Aesop’s fables in a story about a man with a cart that gets stuck in the mud.  He prays to Hercules for the help of his strength and Hercules actually shows up and tells him that his cart will not go free if he just sits and prays all day.  (it’s also where the phrase, ‘put your shoulder to the wheel’ comes from Hercules and the Wagoneer)

The reason I find this question pertinent is because the Christian bible and the Judea old testament that it springs from don’t say this.  In fact, they tell quite a different story entirely.  Namely that you are not supposed to help, do or think for yourself but simply obey and serve.  The message(s) repeated throughout suggest that one is not supposed to think for themselves, not supposed to do for themselves, one is told that judgment is not theirs to make, greed and want are sins, self-motivation or self-determination are the acts of a fool and the ability to ‘know’ is the original sin.

So I’ve started collecting the various verses that pertain to this type of thinking and I will add more later as I find them.  If you know of any other good verses in this vane, please feel free to let me know and I’ll check them out and add them to the list:

Old Testament

proverbs 3:5

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding

proverbs 3:7

“Do not be wise in your own eyes”

proverbs 21:30

“No wisdom, insight, or counsel can prevail against the LORD”

proverbs 28:26

“Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom [of God] are kept safe.”

Psalm 53:1

“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.”

Jerimiah 9:23-24

“This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows [God]”

Jerimiah 10:23

“LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.”

Jerimiah 17:9

“[Man’s] heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”

Isaiah 5:21

“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”

Isaiah 44:25

“[I am the Lord]  who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense”

Isaiah 47:10

You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’”

New Testament

John 15:5

“If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

1st Corinthians 1:19

For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

1st Corinthians 1:20

“Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”

1st Corinthians 1:25

“[the] foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”

1st Corinthians 8:2

“Those who think they know something don’t really know very much.”

1st Corinthians 3:18-19

“Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.”

1st Corinthians 13:8

[with the coming of God’s ‘perfection’] ” if there is knowledge, it will be done away.”

2nd Corinthians 3:5

“Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.”

original sin in the Old Testament

Genesis

2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

3:4-5 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

(amazing that right there in the beginning of it all, we not only learn our greatest sin is our own sentience and daring to exercise free will, but in the process we meet the so-called evil Satan through the serpent – by way of God telling a lie and the serpent telling the objective truth and being the cause of man gaining knowledge and exercising free will.  That should tell you something right there about the ‘true’ nature of Judea mythology.  If that doesn’t convince you, try counting just how many people the ‘good guy’ God kills in both books some time and compare it to the number killed by the ‘evil guy’.

Who killed more people in the bible?

And no, this is not a ‘pro-Satan’ sentiment. Both notions – the existence of an all powerful God and the existence of an evil adversary that the all powerful God allows to wreak havoc on the so-called beings he created and loves – are equally absurd! I point it out merely to show the idiocy of bible doctrine. It might make for good fiction but for a way of life that you are told to follow blindly and never question? Are you serious????)

Additions:

I was driving behind a pickup today with a bumper sticker that read ‘pride kills’ then referred to this proverb:

Proverbs 16:18

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

This is not quite as immediately obvious in relation to the others until you look up ‘pride’ in the dictionary. Although it acknowledges modern connotations of an inordinate self-evaluation, it also refers to “pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself”

This translates to a condemnation by religion in any self acknowledgement of doing things well, or taking joy or pleasure in your achievements and the possessions you earn as a result of it. Thus it is in fact the same principle – you should only be ‘glad’ according to the church, if you ‘glorify God’. And since only God can judge your adherence to these things – well, I guess you are SoL, you just can’t be glad! Your only joy is the joy of the obedient, non-thinking moron!

Further comment: [2/22/2013]
This list is specific to those verses that describe man’s pursuit of knowledge and use of his brain as being ‘foolish’ or otherwise discouraged and worthy of condemnation. If I get time, I will try to put another one together that spells out all the instances in both books of the bible that depict man as worthless, deceitful and otherwise gutter trash without the almighty revelations of ‘God’ and these unsubstantiated mythologies. I say ‘if I get time’ because I can see already that any post of that sort is probably going to be at least 10 times as long as this one due to the number of times it occurs.

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Some time ago I stumbled upon a picture on the internet of a sign in front of a church somewhere.  Below is the picture of the sign:

I posted a copy of this sign to a folder dedicated to such things on my Facebook profile to show an example of the absurdity sometimes exhibited by religious logic.  I saw it as an example of such absurdity due to the inherent flaws in this kind of a statement.

Well, this morning as I was on my way to the grocery store I saw that one of the local Churches along the way has apparently found it admirable to emulate this sign and now bears a similar message.  (I will try to get a photo of it tomorrow to replace this one in my facebook as well as possibly to add to this blog post – first hand evidence is always superior to the anecdotal kind)

I figured as long as I am going to be going by that way to take the photo anyway, it might be worthwhile to drop a quick note to the pastor to let him know that his posting of the message may not have the desired effect(s) he intended.  The following is the text I am considering sending in such a letter if I do decide to leave one behind:

To whom it may concern,

  I couldn't help but notice that the marquis sign
in front of  your Church is emulating a message
that has been making the rounds of the internet
by way of a similar sign seen in front of a
small Presbyterian church in eastern Ontario.

  I think it may be of value to inform you that this
message may not have the intended result you desire
for a couple of reasons, not the least of which are
two inherent flaws in the statement itself.  Flaws
that any reasonable person should quickly realize.
  To address the flaws first, let me begin with
the obvious one of the two.  Google is not an
'answer' engine, Google a search engine.
  Although I understand the intent of the message,
the way it is worded immediately jumps out to me
as inaccurate. I realize the intention is to
say that there are some things that can't be
answered by 'using' google, but then why not
instead have the sign read:

 "SOME QUESTIONS EVEN USING Google CAN'T ANSWER" ?

The second flaw in the statement is a fallacy
that is implied when putting such a message out
in front of a Church like yours.  The implication
being that the Bible and the Church 'can' answer
such questions.
  I will not speak to my own opinion as to whether
or how well notions of faith and belief in God
may or may not answer such questions, but I
shall address the fallacy of this implication.
  This is a typical "Because Not A, therefore B"
type argument and is a fallacy.  Using such
reasoning, one could just as easily imply:
"because you cannot find all the answers on
 Google, therefore you 'can' by way of Astrology"
  or "...asking a stranger on the street"
  or "...flipping to a random page in the nearest book"
  Because you cannot find all the answers using
Google does not automatically equate that you
can through any suggested alternative.  Any such
alternative still needs to establish that it is
not only a consistent and valid source of such
answers, but by way of that wording, that it is
an all inclusive source of such answers as well.

Again, it is not my desire to hash out whether or not
the Bible or a Church does this.  But with both of
these flaws addressed, I would like to point out one
other possible 'effect' that you might not have
considered.
  As I stated, any reasonable person can quickly
see one if not both of these flaws.  Any reasonably
connected person (on the internet) may well have
seen this sign's message and thus realize your's
is not original, but flattery through imitation.
But have you also considered that it might be seen
as 'self-righteousness' on the part of the religious
or your particular parish?  (if I am not correct,
self-righteousness is discouraged in Christian
doctrine as a form of vanity, is it not?)

What do I mean by this?  If you examine the two
flaws, and if you consider it plausible for people to
discern them, then it is not a leap to consider
that only people who already believe
'God and the Bible 'do' have all the answers'
will be the most likely people to agree with such
a statement on face value.
  In other words, the wording will likely not 'convince'
anyone that is not already convinced.  If it's not
there to convince anyone (or, if convincing them
was an intention but is one that will not be likely
to achieve such a desired purpose) then what other
purpose can the message serve other than to
'brag' or 'boast' about the about religion/church's
self-perceived ability to be the sole source of
answers to such questions?

In other words, for a reasonable person capable of
critical thinking, your sign might actually turn
people away from the idea of turning to the
church for answers.
  Just some thoughts for you to consider.

Sincerely,

one of your friendly neighborhood atheists...

P.S.  I thought it might also be of interest to
  you to know that I have a copy of this sign that
  I post as an example of the flaws of religious
  logic - due to very the two things I mentioned.

And I don’t think it’s a leap to consider that the two reasons I mentioned are also part of the reason the original version from Ontario has gotten such circulation on the internet.

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There was an old sinner in the eighteenth century who declared that, if there were no God, he would have to be invented.
– Fyodor Dostoyevski from Brother’s Karamazov

Often misattributed as “”If God does not exist, everything is permitted,” this is a contention that is either stated or implied in a lot of pro-religion arguments. Namely, that without religion as a source of positive moral values — or at least without the unseen hand of God influencing the acts of men — good things and good behavior is not possible.  That in the absence of religion, society would be incapable of doing the right thing and existence would be downright intolerable.

Despite the fact that many periods in history seem to demonstrate that under one religiously influenced or empowered regime after another life has been quite intolerable indeed, you could still make a reasonable argument that in some primitive societies, religious values have served as a moral compass to help maintain order and improve behavior in such societies.  But what about modern society?

Argumentum ad Nauseum

If you have ever had the misfortune to get into a semantic debate on specific verses of the bible, you will often run into the various ‘interpretation’ arguments.

  • Was Jonah really swallowed by a fish?
  • Did Noah really have 2 of EVERY animal on earth on his ark as the ENTIRE planet was flooded?
  • Were there really giants living in Jericho?

Any semi-reasonable Christian or Hebrew will say ‘of course not!’ and point out that such lessons are allegorical or parables.

You also run into the anochronistic-relevancy type argument when addressing various rules or verses.  “Well that applied to tribal societies in the desert, not to modern life in a technological age.

The general answer that you get from people who admit to not taking the ‘entire’ bible as rote is that the stories told in the bible are often times symbolic or serve as period-specific lessons that can be related to real life, even present day scenarios.  (yet, the same people will often rely on ‘certain’ verses to the letter when addressing specific things they do not like and want to demonize or change)

But Jesus re-wrote the book!

Even if you buy into the argument that Jesus brought forth a new age via the New Testament, there are still many verses of that testament which people do not take literally or follow as absolute rules governing their behavior.

For example, you will not find many modern Christian women that abide by the verses in 1st Peter chapter 3 that tell them to be submissive to their husbands and not wear adornments such as jewelry and make-up or to style their hair.

Another example is the focus on ‘family values’ predominant in western Christianity which seems to disregard the message of Jesus to a gathering crowd in Luke 14:25-33.  He tells them that if you are to truly be a disciple of Christ, you must hate everyone else in comparison — even your own family and even your own life.

Yet another example is the complete disregard of the lessons of selflessness and altruism repeated throughout the preachings of Christ, but especially repeated in Acts and 2nd Corinthians.  Multiple passages implore the followers (of Christ) to sell all their belongings to give to the poor, often times based specifically on ‘need’.  You don’t see too many people on the religious right repeating these verses as they condemn the social redistribution policies of their political opponents on the left.

This differentiation between old testament vs. new testament dogma is just further support of the kind of thing that I am referring to.  Determining which verses are relevant and should be taken literally and which are symbolic or dated and should only serve as a metaphorical lesson are ‘choices’ — either of the individual believer or of the particular denomination or theologian.

It’s all a matter a choice

So what does this mean amidst a culture that often uses religion as a justification for banning gay marriage or effecting the healthcare decisions between a woman and her doctor?  What does it say for a society that still fights with pockets of antisemitism and a growing xenophobia toward followers of Islam? [1]  What does it say for a culture that still struggles between views of creationism and theories of evolution and natural selection?

The reality is that most people ‘will‘ tell you that verses in the bible are often symbolic or open to interpretation.  They ‘will‘ say many are allegorical in nature or speak of only references to philosophical or moral and ethical lessons and truths.  Yet, as mentioned, the religious will still cite specific references to support their arguments on various topics. Often when challenged on those topics.  And generally such notions are challenged due to a question as to the moral right or ethical good of a given behavior or philosophical view.

What I am getting at is, that when it comes to some choices regarding what the bible seems to regard as being a ‘good Christian’ — such as selling all of your possessions, disowning your family and humbling yourself before God — the ‘believer’ makes a choice to disregard those parts of the Bible that do not suit them or the culture and age in which they live. They choose to see such concepts as metaphorical.  The same person then abdicates their choice in reference to other passages, deferring to ‘the will of God’ in support of that which might not be as acceptable outside of the context of the religion.

When such a person skims through the Old Testament they choose to see the instructions to stone the infidels or to cut the throats of adulterers as ‘dated’ concepts but then call upon the lines in Deuteronomy to condemn same-sex relationships or rules in Leviticus to demonize abortion procedures and those that participate in their practice.

By their fruits you shall know them…

History is full of examples where religious ideals or specific biblical passages have been and still are used to justify genocide, slavery, segregation, rape, barbarism, sexual and racial discrimination and many other concepts that are no longer considered [chosen] to be acceptable today by the majority of civilized society.

The word ‘chosen‘ is the important thing here.  People choose what they seek to identify with as as good moral behavior or good ethical decision making.  And the religious choose to see a verse as a referential lesson rather than a firm law from God.  And when they do so, they choose to instead include observations of reality as a means to determine what really is truly good and what should be deemed bad.

The important thing to observe, which is why I keep repeating it, is that the same religious people will willingly quote from their book verbatim to justify that which they do not consider to be a choice — as justification for that which might be subject to challenge by the others in the society in which they live. They defer to the bible rather than exercise the responsibility to prove their case for those questions which are most likely to be seen by others in our society as questionable.

The ‘Good’ stems from choice, the bad relies on dogma

As someone who uses reality as a compass for my moral code, I am of course going to assert that when you utilize your senses and your capacity for reason that you will arrive at more accurate premises and conclusions when it comes to moral and ethical decisions. People can and should question anything presented to them ‘as fact’, seeking proof of said fact for themselves. (especially when such things come without a basis of evidence to support them)

Thus I think it is a reasonable thing to assert, religion is not a source of good moral behavior or sound ethical lessons.  Even the Christians demonstrate that they choose what is ‘good’ for themselves.  But when it comes to ‘bad’ behavior, what better source than the Bible (or the Torah, Koran, book of the Dead, etc.) to rationalize it, justify it and make it ‘seem’ reasonable.

In other words, people ‘choose’ what they see as good, they use the ‘bible’ to justify what others know is bad.

[1] Yes, I am aware that there are sound reasons to be critical of fundamentalist Islam and even Islam as a whole for not condemning the extremists under their fold.  But what I refer to specifically is, given the history of both Christianity and Judaism, do people speaking from either of those religious perspectives have the integrity to criticize Islam for fundamentalist extremes?

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(originally posted to Facebook on Friday, November 26, 2010)

I figured having a reference for all the ‘socialistic’ altruism in the bible might be useful.  I’ll add more as I come across them.

Old testament

Exodus 22:25
“If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest.”

Leviticus 23:22
“And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not make clean riddance of the corners of your field when you reap, neither shall you gather any gleaning of your harvest: you shall leave them to the poor, and to the stranger.”

Leviticus 25:25
“If your brother becomes poor and sells part of his property, then his nearest redeemer shall come and redeem what his brother has sold.”

Leviticus 25:35-37
“If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you.  Do not take interest of any kind from him, but fear your God, so that your countryman may continue to live among you.  You must not lend him money at interest or sell him food at a profit.”

Deuteronomy 15:1
“At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.”

Deuteronomy 15:7-8
“If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs.”

Deuteronomy 15:11
“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”

Deuteronomy 23:24-25 *
“If you enter your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat all the grapes you want, but do not put any in your basket.”

   * I need to remember this one next time I’m at a devout Christians house – the fridge is free game baby!

New Testament

Matthew 5:42
Jesus said, “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

Matthew 6:2,3
Jesus said, “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do… when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

Matthew 19:21-24 (also Mark 10:21-25, Luke 18:22-25)
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Luke 14:13,14
Jesus said, “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Acts 2:44-45
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.”

Acts 4:32-35
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had… There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”

1 Timothy 6:17-18
Paul says, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”

2 Corinthians 8:13-14
Paul says, “Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Paul says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

That last one is a cute one.  ‘not reluctantly or under compulsion.’ And what’s the alternative under Christianity?  BURN IN A FLAMING HELL FOREVER!!!!  Translation:  “God loves blind obedience.”

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(originally posted to facebook on Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 2:39pm)

In light of the hullabaloo over the mosque at ground zero, someone attempted to point out to me an alleged difference between Islam and western (Judea) religions.  Their claim was that Islam promotes ‘Jihad’ against the ‘infadels’.  In other words, the actual nature of the religion encourages the followers to kill the non-followers of Islam.

In that allegation was the implied notion that ‘Judea’ based religions do not do this.  So let’s examine this notion shall we?

 Ya better pray on Sunday!!

Exodus 31:14 You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death.

Kill in the name of God or be cursed!

Jeremiah 48:10 A curse on him who is lax in doing the LORD’s work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed!

Abraham and Isaac

Abraham and Isaac

Kill even your family if they do not follow the Lord or be killed!

Exodus 32:26-27 So [Moses] stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him. Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’ ”

Worship Yahweh or perish

Numbers 25:1- 4 “the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate and bowed down before these gods. So Israel joined in worshiping the Baal of Peor. And the LORD’s anger burned against them. The LORD said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the LORD”

Follow your parents beliefs or die

Leviticus 20:9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death

Stone to death all followers of wicca, psychics, astrologers, etc.

Leviticus 20:27 ‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’

Exodus 22:18 Do not suffer a witch (sorceress) to live.

Stone to death any who speaks ill of Yahweh

Leviticus 24:14-16 Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: ‘If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death.

Followers of other prophets (uh, like say, Muslims who follow Mohammud???) must die!

Deuteronomy 13:5 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you [..],
and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” [..]
It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. [..]
That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God [..]
You must certainly put him to death. [..]

Deuteronomy 13:12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known),  then youmust inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town.

(it goes on to speak of raising the entire town, and again in Deuteronomy 13:12-15, the same thing is again re-iterated in Deuteronomy 17:2-7)

Kill even your own brother if he is of another religion

Deuteronomy 13:6-9 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known,  gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other),  do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death.

Only make sacrifice to Yahweh!

Exodus 22:20 Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed.

Holy vanquishing!  It’s not just for Muslims!

(and before you say “but this is all in the old Testament” remember that Jesus affirmed the old testament as the true word of God.  Just one example:

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
18 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. 19 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. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

And of course, if you want to throw out the old testament for the sake of the new, along with it goes all the Eden myth, all the arguments against homosexuality, transsexuality, abortion, and those sticky 10 commandments)

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