Posted by farid from customer-148-233-78-66.uninet.net.mx (126.96.36.199) on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 12:18PM :
Sermon From Hell
I'm having a private discusssion with a Catholic. I'd decided to lay off awhile ago because it seemed cruel to argue with a person's faith...whether in what some Jewish laborers said 2000 years ago or if the '57 Chevy was better than the '56. Why bother? You can't argue faith anyway...that's why it's the killer it is.
But then he made the mistake of forwarding a recent article about censorship in school textbooks and not just the usual smutty stuff but other ideas and thoughts that are deemed improper now as well. I assumed he was outraged. That set me off all over again because the institution he goes down on was notorious for burning books, their authors and sometimes the publishers as well...and only stopped and then grudgingly, because the Secular Arm broke its. It amazes me how close people came to being fricassied or homogenized during the one period on earth, before today, when the Church almost got it's wish. That would be during the aptly named Dark Ages and how courageous it was of a handful of people to take on that killing machine.
These days our State is becomming a Church...just like them fundamentalist Muslim countries and Israel we're so up in arms over and up to our chins in.
I don't mind hypocrasy or even bigotry...might as well rail against body odor...it's there, it's a fact of life. But I refuse to have my face jammed into someone's sainted armpit and told to sniff deeply of the righteous stuff. I've tried valiantly to find what makes Christianity tick and crash and boom right over people's lives and through their homes and countries. The stuff they tell each other, as they lock and load, about love and charity and Christ can't fool even them...or else we're really in for it. The only thing I've been able to find and this same Catholic had to explain it to me, is that Christians believe they're going to live forever in the sky after they die, if they'll agree to be washed in Christ's blood as it leaks out the holes made in his body...body and blood they have to be willng to eat and drink as well. Not a one of them requires anything more certain to believe in this yuck and gore than the word of some Jews 2000 years ago that they actually saw Christ rise from the dead...which couldn't have been much of a trick because he was a god, right? So where's the big deal? It would have been news if he'd rotted away instead.
Immortality being the eternal quest of fools, beginning well before Gilgamesh (but wisely stopping with him...for us), these fools believe that believing a god is immortal will make them immortal also, will rub off...or just enough so they'll cheat Death too. They won't be able to peform miracles, make loaves into fishes or wine... walk on water etc., but they WILL live forever. How that's supposed to work none of them can tell, except to say, "it just does, a Simon called Peter said so". If you can swallow that idiocy what WON'T you be ripe for?
Which brings me to the term "Christian Intellectuals"...a moronic, goring, ox if there ever was one. That's like, "Cannibal Moralists"...the two words sit together uneasy on the mind. Certainly there can be such a thing, but it's not going to be much of an inspiration beyond the roasting spit. It's hardly intellectual to let the world know that, come hell or high water, you already know the truth of what you can't prove and, further, since it's a matter of faith anyway, you don't need proof and shouldn't require any. A scientist who thinks like that is worth shit...unless he's a Nazi scientist in which case he's worth two shits. A Christian intellectual is just such a shit. If you're going to start Med School believing in ye Four Humors, the efficacy of bleeding and leeches and such stuff...why bother? What good are you going to do anyone and what damn fool, besides the Church, would put you to work...in a Pediatrics clinic no less?
I figured out some time ago what made me ill every time someone tried to make a Christian of me...what I hated about it instinctively. It's this benefiting from the murder of an innocent child or man or girl or woman...hell even a goat or sheep, that's so despicable. I'm also tired of hearing about Christian ideals and virtues like they were invented by Christ or those day laborers. There was a world away from that barren hillside in Judea...a fantastic, rich, complex and fully developed world that rivals our own in many ways.
The belief in polytheism was one such advanced idea. Monotheism is a curse because it infuses it's believers with the insane idea that they and only they know the ONE true god..that the rest are mistaken and that if they remain obdurant, your one true god allows you to kill them. If you believe in lots of gods you're bound to be more tolerant of the gods of others...you take it all in with a secret grin and a large grain of salt. But if you believe there is only one...and that he is yours...obviously everyone else is wrong, morally bankrupt...and worse.
It's no accident the idea was born among the perenially impoverished Hebrews on that desolate, sheepsit covered hillside where, surrounded by countless examples from Egypt to Mesopotamia and the Aegean of all that they lacked, they hit upon the novel idea that their god, the one true and universal god, prefered people who were barefoot and ignorant and killed their firstborn sons, like he did, to show their devotion and moral superiority. What was lacking in the world up till then, apparently, was a religion that enshrined infanticide (you have to work down to a Madeliene Albright...it takes centuries).
When there were many gods everyone accepted it and was comfortable with the variety... living and letting live, which made kiling people for godly reasons sort of silly...people knew it was just a matter of personal preference made up from a rich imagination and where you were born that determined your religion. If you have lots of pants in your closet you'll always have something to wear...if you have only one pair sooner or later your arse is going to show and you'll get self-righteous about it and out of sheer envy rail against those with well stocked closets. The Hebrews looked around them, saw rich Egypt, bountiful Mesopotamia, cultured Greece, all of them with a host of gods who were apparently doing right by their followers..and got pissed at the howling, empty wastes they had to make do with. Out of spite they created a spiteful, petty, vengeful god under whose orders and at least in three separate manifestations, his followers have made a hell on earth, sacrificing their own chilren and then everybody else's.
The Assyrian way, as one example, was a far better way. They accepted lots of gods, their own...yours, hers. All they said was that their god was supreme...just as they recognized other kings but made it plain their own was king among kings. No need to rip your wife's belly open over it...go ahead and respect and pray to your god...just accept Ashur as chief. Very humane that because it shows tolerance and respect for other people's faiths and feelings, people you've conquered and could crush if you wanted to. There was no rabid need to grind those whom you'd defeated into mush for wanting to keep their own religions intact...as you'd want to do if the wheel of fortune shifts...as it always has. Monotheism makes people intolerant, murderously so. You have to be half looney to still believe in gods anyway...but to insist there is only ONE...and he talks to you, is to be unhinged and dangerously so...look around you...Christian is fighting Muslim is fighting Jew, when Christians Muslims and Jews aren't fighting each other...for 2000 years and going strong.
Even the Roman Emperors, not the insane ones, knew they weren't gods and tolerated other people's beliefs. It was a sane approach to human psychology. They never persecuted Christians anywhere near to the way Christians were itching to persecute each other. All Rome asked was that you also light incense to the emperor...no one told you to throw away your own god. That was all that was asked of Christians too and it's plain that the ones walking around today are descended from those who lit the damn incense and escaped burning by their own Church later.
I'm told Christians are supposed to imitate Christ's example...this is the basic teaching of the Church and a fine example they've been. When I hear the word "imitate", I think of "fake"...like imitation fur...or imitation tortoise shell. Looks a little like the real thing, but is made of plastic. Why would anyone want to imitate anything, unless he or she is going to be a student forever? Did Christ imitate anyone? How do you live up to the best example Christ left us...by faking it, by doing the opposite of what he supposedly did? When people asked Krishnamurti to teach them what he did to reach whatever state he was in, so they could get there too...he said, "do what I did...don't ask a teacher...go find out what is right for you"...or something like that. If Christ was Christ...he'd have said the same thing.
There were plenty of Jews for Christ to imitate...but he wouldn't. Like any true intellectual he was on a personal quest to find his own authenticity. Maybe that's the problem with these Christians, especially the intellectuals...you get the feeling you're talking to a recording...one that plays back what's been crammed onto it's tape, and tries to imitate, to mimic, as if the ideas were original to him or her only they come out hollow...and the more you question the more the person falls back on "faith"...which sounds noble and all but is really a way of saying, with increasing vehemence, "I just don't know, don't want to know, don't think I CAN know...but need to believe anyway." What's intellectual about that? That's Church Intellectualism...like Church Morality...about as far from the real thing as you can get.
The only startlingly new idea Jesus had was that you could go live in the clouds when dead...but that wasn't even what he said. He said the End of Days, promised by Moses...another Jew, were coming so you better watch it. The earth was supposed to be transformed into a "paradise" with the Jews ruling over everybody (a taste of which and as a preview for the rest of us, the Palestinians are getting right now)...it was only after waiting for over 1000 years more for this to happen...with the dopey Faithful beginning to "wonder", bless their silly heads... that the church hit upon the clouds as your express destination. And THAT reassured the good people, intellectuals among them. Go figure.
Then there's the sacrifice thing...the cornerstone of Christian ethics. You're supposed to imitate Christ and go get sacrificed...or better yet, sacrifice someone else. Christ didn't get sacrificed...he got executed. It was no more of a sacrifice than the thief, "gives up his life willingly", in exchange for your wallet. Jesus was technically a criminal who spoke out openly about things the Romans didn't want to hear said (Ashcroft would understand) ...especially not in a land infested with messiahs, where rebellion was an expensive, ever present, side-effect of occupation and everyone had to be patriotic and pull in one direction. Even if Tiberius had been a saintly man himself, or if Marcus Aurelius had been emperor instead still, for political reasons, (ask any pope)...they would have had to put down potentially disruptive figureheads who could be used to spark rebellion...nothing personal.
Jesus probably knew he'd be in for it if he kept it up for Judea was dotted with crucified felons...but did it anyway. So...that's never happened before? Giordano Bruno knew damn well he was risking his life by writing about things the Imperial Roman Church didn't want to hear...yet he persisted and was burned at the stake...guess by whom? And he went to his death without the consolation of knowing he was an immortal god, no resurrection in store for him...he knew it would hurt and that he'd stay dead but he believed so strongly he did it anyway and made it into Paradise before he died, which is the only way you CAN get in. I don't think for a minute he, or hundreds of thousands of like-minded people believed for a minute they were going to a Heaven anywhere once they died...it was just a worse death to say so...a more cruel death if you didn't at least pay the Church lip service...you know, "imitate" sincerity. If you recanted and kissed the popes arse, you might at least be hanged first and then burned...not much of an approximation, even, of Christ, but a sure indicator of what makes Christianity hum and boom and crash.
Christianity works at all...as all three sisters do, because they provide the necessary cover for human depredation. We've come far enough, at least, to know we need to hide behind something...that's to the good. But not if it persists. At some point, before we're all reduced to cartoon characters and this thing blows up, we're going to have to start being for real...no more imitating, no more faking it. Human kindness, decency, gentleness...which were all alive and well before the first sister was born, are always with us and will be...we'll just have to do them for real...for their own sake...not because we get to go to heaven, riding on the tortured corpse of a Jew, or in fear to avoid hell, where by all rights these sorts of Faithful belong.
Believing this stuff is like a test, not of your faith...but an indicator of how weak your head is and how depraved your morals...how corruptible they may be under the right circumstances...of your ability to commit murder, or participate at a distance in the murder of others. That's all...that's why religions, these three from hell especially, are so damn popular and why our leaders, and everybody else's, are increasingly sold on them.
End of Days anyone?
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