Tuesday, September 18, 2007
On the Subject of gods (an anti-theistic rant with some naughty words)
Recently, in a conversation with my mother, she assured me that she really, truly believes/has faith in her religion "Orthodox" Christianity. I made dismissive remarks, but I rarely feel like I can accurately express myself on the spot. So here goes.
First off, the name is a dead giveaway that these people (albeit like almost every other religious group) believes themselves to be the ONLY right-thinking group there is. Period.
They believe in the Abrahamic god and identify him as a trinity. Three gods for the price of one, I guess. They of course have had (and in some places such as Serbia/Kosovo, continue to have) violent conflict with the Catholics of which the main issue is over just exactly how these three personalities interact. There are of course other socio-political tensions, but that's not what I'm on about at the moment.
As far as I can tell, the "orthodox" christian church teaches that the bible is more or less true. This, of course, is silly in its own right, since this collection of primitive stories, among other things, insists that the earth is flat and held up on four pillars (1 Chr 16:30, Ps 93:1, Ps 96:10, 1 Sam 2:8, Job 9:6).
Of course, the Old Testament is rife with all sorts of evils, oftener than not perpetrated by the god character himself. This sick, meglomanical, vindictive character is certainly no sort of deity I'd ever worship. Even in the extremely, EXTREMELY, infinitely unlikely event that he did exist, there would be no way I would ever revere or worship such a evil and cruel figure as that.
But point out the evils of the OT all you like, and you're likely to get a comment to the tune of "Oh, that doesn't count. When Jesus was born, he fulfills some such and brought about a new covenant. All that other stuff doesn't count." Why read the OT at all then, if it doesn't count any more? What, the good stuff still counts, but you get to pretend the bad stuff never happened. Like god's prolonged fucking with Job, or Abraham's attempted murder or god drowning everything because he didn't like how his stuff turned out, even the fluffiest of kittens and koalas and little adorable bumbling hedgehogs (but not the things that could swim, due to a Divine loophole...), or the "just and righteous" Lot offering to kick out his daughters to be gang-raped by an angry mob, or killing everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah- even women and children and babies, or turning Lot's poor wife into a pillar of salt(!) because she looked back at the ruination of her home behind her, or all the innocent Egyptian children (especially since this god "hardened Pharaoh's heart" i.e. usurped his free will, so he could go on with all the killing), et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
But no, they say this god-son-of-himself gets them free taksies backsies, so there, neener neener.
This Jesus fellow says that looking at a woman and feeling lust is committing adultery and that if your eyes commits offence, that you should pluck it out. He says that he comes to turn families against themselves. He threatens punishment of cities that he says "shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city." (And you remember what he did to them). He says that he speaks in parables in order to confuse people so they will go to Hell. He also says that nonbelievers will go to Hell, no ifs, ands or buts. (John 3:36, and that means me). Not to mention the ritual cannibalism (that the Orthodox and Catholics believe is REAL. Foolish [trust me, it tastes like wine-soaked bread, not blood soaked long pork], but ICK!) Also, in the NT: Homosexuals must die, murmurers are destroyed, people who "know not god" will be destroyed in fire. He totally approves of the flood and says things to come will be worse. Not to mention the loads of passages of being washed by his blood.
And, of course with all the others, Jesus doesn't care about women. (And don't go saying "it was a different time" Treating people as chattel is wrong. One would think that an omniscient being would be a little more, well, enlightened.) He says to leave your wife and family and you'll receive a heavenly reward, he also says his pa will make it awfully hard on pregnant and nursing women in the end days. And males are born holy, but not females. Oh, and "the natural use" of a woman is a sex object for men. (I should mention that females are not allowed in the alter area of the Orthodox church, lest they defile it with their woman-ness. Seriously. If you don't have a penis and testicles and a y-chromosome, you're impure and unworthy? Fuckers.) It's no secret, Paul reeeeeally hates women. From him we have that it is better not to touch women, but to avoid fornication, every man oughta have a wife. We're also supposed to be silent and obedient, he says. Husbands are supposed to be the head of the wife. Wives are supposed to submit. We're supposed to dress modestly, and not braid our hair, or wear gold or pearls. In the end, says the New Testament, "silly women" who are "ever learning" will be "led away with diver's lusts" (whatever that means). Peter says that Lot (remember him? He offered his daughters to be raped by a mob and later impregnated them himself) was a "righteous man."
And then of course there is the bad acid trip that is Revelations. Seriously. This is the work or drugs, a deranged mind, or both.
So that's what the Bible has to say. What about the specific teachings of the Orthodox church? Well, for starters it says that all souls will be reunites with their resurrected bodies. It doesn't allow for cremation. I guess if you were cremated or died in a fire, or if you were eaten by bears, no body for you. On the flip-side, it has a nicer version of Hell, being simply a metaphor for the inability to comprehend god's glory or some such. Let me be the first to say fine with me: I have better things to do than contemplate how durn kewl the insecure, vindictive, evil man-god is.
Of course, it almost goes without saying, I don't believe any of it and I see no reason why I should.
I could go on, but it's late and I'm sleepy. I'll post pics from my trip to Santa Cruz within the next couple of days.
-A silly, ever-learning woman