Message #8226 - HolySmoke Date : 16-May-93 04:34 From : Sean McCullough To : All *conferee

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Message #8226 - HolySmoke Date : 16-May-93 04:34 From : Sean McCullough To : All *conferees* Subject : Cynicism v. Christianity Location: FidoNet's HOLYSMOKE Echo Hail, HolySmokers! One question which has occasionally arisen in our various adventuring here on HolySmoke is: Why is it that [whoever] is so hostile towards Christianity in general, and so-called "Bible- believing" Christianity in particular. This question has been exhaustively addressed by some of us skeptico-cynics here in this Forum, especially Steve Rose, Steve Quarrella, Fredric Rice, David Rice, Martin Goldberg, etc. THIS line of inquiry has always ended up with the universe as represented by the Bible being compared with the universe as discovered by observation; and the latter, being based on observable reality rather than blind unquestioning faith, always ends up victorious. (Assertions of vindication of the Biblical accounts arriving in some future time are NOT to be considered significant here!) At the same time, what we are hearing now in this tack of argument is the same as what we have heard in this forum, over and over again, before. All that changes is the name and writing style of the poor fundamentalist idiot who was dumb enough to stumble into the trap of trying to convert the educated amongst us THIS time. Hence, I think it is fair to state that the line of inquiry referred to above HAS in fact been exhausted. Please be so kind as to allow me to address this issue of the validity of Biblical religion and teaching from another angle. Bible believing Christians, when faced with Atheists, Pagans, Freethinkers, and others who are irreparably not of their ilk, almost always ask: "What is it that drove you from the 'One True Faith' ?? " First, this is a most arrogant statement, today heard only in the United States of AmeriKKKa. In most of the rest of the industrialized world, religion is no longer taken seriously by much of ANYONE. In Great Britain, only about half the people believe in God at all (Michael Wolff, , Bantam Books, New York, 1992, ISBN 0-553-08199-5), and most Europeans and Australians find it somehow sadly amusing that we Amerikkkans permit religion to have any effect on our public policy making AT ALL. (Ibid.) Furthermore, it is STILL an arrogant statement, even so; how does one -- how CAN one -- know that a certain person wasn't brought up, say, Jewish, or Muslim, or Hindu? Further, even if we grant the fundamentalist this more-than- arrogant assumption, and assume that, if a child is brought up as an American, that this somehow implies that (s)he was also brought up as a fundamentalist Protestant Christian; assuming that we *do* in fact grant this solely for the sake of argument, we still face the fact that in ever more cases, the Protestant upbringing isn't "taking". And it is only fair that we ask, in more and more of such cases, WHY it is that it isn't! The answer isn't, as it turns out, hard to find. One must look no further for it than the basic "facts of life" about ANY/ religion. Specifically, that NO religion, regardless of what it may teach, can long or healthily survive the loss of its hold on the hearts and minds of its adherents; and that no religion can long survive if it cannot duplicate this hold on the hearts and minds of future generations as they arise. With this in mind, let us consider the history of the fundamentalistic Protestant religion for a moment. The sects of the Protestant faith which teach Biblical inerrancy are, none of them, very old at all. The TERM "fundamentalist" was coined early in the twentieth century of the common era to describe what were then the newest growth sects of Protestantism - - those which taught that the Bible was inerrantly, word-for-word, ironclad Truth. The sects in question were almost all American in origin, also, deriving their major inspiration and doctrines from John Wesley, founder of Methodism. In fact, most of the fundamentalist sects were either various offshoots from Methodism (Assembly of God, Church of God, Church of God in Christ, etc.), offshoots from the European Anabaptist movements (Baptists of various kinds), or brand-new movements entirely American in origin (Pentecostals, Foursquare Gospel). These latter are an entirely twentieth century phenomenon, arising from the preaching and teachings of one Aimee Semple McPherson in the earliest years of that century of the common era. As humanity in general, and Americans in particular, became better educated and more literate, they began to discover that the world described by their religions, and by their Bibles, was NOT all that there was "out there". The former unquestioned authority of the Christian religion in general was also under siege from other fronts as well. Science began making all manner of discoveries both about humans themselves, and about the world in which they live, which in no way whatsoever could be reconciled to the literal wordings of the Bible. Social movements began demanding that women have equal rights and powers to men -- categorically denied by the Bible, which unequivocally taught that women were to be the chattels of men all their lives, never to be allowed self determination. The hideous atrocity of absolute indissoluble marriage was now coming to be known in public, as the lack of civil divorce in Amerikkka resulted in ever more marriages ending when a DELIBERATELY CAUSED death (usually by way of a well-aimed bullet) did the couple part. Homosexual and bisexual men and women discovered, with the aid of free-inquiry science, that their sexual orientation was just as natural and just as right for them as Bible-sanctioned heterosexuality was. Humanity learned that just because the Bible permitted the practice of slavery did not make it any less of an inherently inhumane, atrocious practice. Medicine and psychology began to make headway against sociopathic mental illness -- and discovered that almost all such illnesses could be causally traced to abrasive and abusive childhood experiences sanctioned by the Bible, such as beatings and incest. (I challenge any Bible-believer reading this to demonstrate to me exactly where the Bible literally and directly states that it is wrong and/or prohibited to have sexual relations with one's own children!) And most Americans could no longer resolve this dilemma. Either the Bible was inerrant (in which case these things could not be at all), or it wasn't (the only option whereby the above mentioned things could be true). And the things I mentioned in the above paragraph were before the eyes of the American public; the truth of these things could not be denied, except by those amongst us who were so insistent on the inerrancy of the Bible that they were perfectly willing to deny what they were seeing with their own eyes, in order to vindicate the Bible in which they believed. And these were a TINY MINORITY of all Americans; the vast majority of us placed trust in what we could observe -- where that trust by rights BELONGS. Ever more children born to Americans began to place trust in what they could observe, rather than what some ancient book tried to tell them. Jesus was no more real to most of these modern-age children than King Arthur or Paul Bunyan; an ancient legend's hero, nothing more. The homosexuals, weary of silently taking huge amounts of abuse from a society upon which they inflicted NO harm, began speaking up and taking action to regain the rights and respect that was rightfully theirs as the peaceful, productive members of society that they were. Women, locked in abusive marriages, refused to buy the Biblical lies that they were permanently destined to be nothing more than their husbands' punching bags. The rights of children to grow up free of violence, abuse, and neglect -- DENIED by Biblical religion -- were being demanded to be honored. And all of this is STILL going on, and will be, forever hereafter. WE AREN'T GOING BACK, EVER AGAIN. This FACT is causing the masters of the Bible-believing dangerous cults -- for now postmodern humankind KNOWS that this is what they are, and ALL they are -- to take unprecedented actions in various arenas of public life in order to try and turn back the clock. School censorship, to damage the freedom of children to learn that the Biblical world view isn't all that there is. Stealth Candidates in political elections -- an effort to render freethinking secular government and law impotent. Megadollar media acquisition -- to try and slip into the minds of the public via the "back door" of radio and TV. But it ISN'T working -- and WILL NOT work. Even if the Bible cultists get the political power that they are now seeking, all that will happen is that Amerikkka's Revolt Index, already dangerously high, will rise to the point of violence in the streets (as it already has -- consider the aftermath of the Rodney King verdicts!). The clock CANNOT be turned back, ever again. The next two generations will see the end of "Bible believing" religion as a viable force ANYWHERE. Nature and Earth Religions, which celebrate humankind as a beautiful and good creature exactly as it is; which celebrate, rather than teach denial of, the various human passions; which teach that each human is inherently GOOD, and in need of no external "redemption"; it is THESE which will speak for Theistic humankind in the twenty-first century, and beyond, of the common era. Skeptical cynicism, the idea that nothing is true except that which can be duplicably demonstrated everywhere, will be the rule in religion as well as science. Homosexual relationships will be recognized worldwide as having the same right to exist as heterosexual ones; and the FACT that non- reproducing relationships are SUPERIOR to reproducing ones WILL be recognized EVERYWHERE. Reproduction will no longer be looked on as a right, but as the RESTRICTED PRIVILEGE which it SHOULD be. If we would just admit it and "keep the ball rolling", so to speak, we Cynical Unbelievers will win this and all future days........ .....and it's ABOUT TIME we got rid of the yoke of that ancient book of folk tales! Long live Science! Long live Cynicism! Down with Faith! --Sean --- FMail 0.94 Origin: Coalition for a Bible Free America--Vox Anarchistica! (1:128/68.2)

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