Dangerous Thought #3 – “The Crazy People are not Misinterpreting Their Religion. They are Following it”

Extremist –  “Someone who accepts God’s Word exactly as written.”

January, 2013

Up to this point it had been inconceivable to me that religion was the reason for the awful behavior of certain Christians and Muslims I had been reading about in the news. I thought I had understood, as most people do, that suicide bombings and that sort of thing are done by religious “extremists.”

It never occurred to me before that these immoral actions were the natural end products of the doctrines taken literally.

The heart of faith is just a brain on autopilot.
Don’t think. Just believe.

The vast majority of Muslims and Christians don’t follow the literal instructions as they exist in the texts. Thank goodness. But I’m beginning to see that even peaceful interpretations of religion can be cruel and toxic. And people employ them with no thought at all.

I can now see the more common, smaller harms  – suddenly all around me.

“They are in heaven” 

Though the killer in Newtown was not religious apparently but simply a madman…religion was being bandied about all over the place in the news last month as if God would have protected the children somehow if the murderer had instead been a believer.

But this isn’t clear to me at all as my previous entry articulated. It makes no sense; madmen are mad. As we have seen from extremists, madmen are more likely to use religion as part of their excuse for doing evil in the first place.

And all over the place, even in churches, Christians are using the blood soaked bodies of these beloved children to elevate their god – as if God had anything to do with it.

For example, I’ve heard it for 3 weeks – these children are now called “Angels in heaven” and for believers, this instantly calms and validates some claims in the bible, putting this heartless horror to some greater, divine purpose – to some use. Yet there isn’t the slightest reason to believe any of it is true.

Angels for the Glory of God? But this is cruel!

It seemed completely out of place to bring god into any of the story of Newtown. For anyone who ever prayed for a parking spot, one had to wonder why God would have provided one to the killer in Newtown who found one so easily at Sandy Hook Elementary.

But that is what Christians did. They saw a God behind all of it.

And it struck me as zombie-headed and cold to so glibly use these sweet little lives this way. Using their dead bodies, destroyed and cut short as they were, and to force their little sweet lives upon an altar for the worship, glory and benefit of a do-nothing god who should have (and would have) intervened to stop this crime had he truly existed!

This lie is transparent. Anyone who could accept such a god should be shaken awake.

I felt bitter. And now I saw the cold heart of it. The glib “they are in Heaven” could have been uttered by me not long ago.

The heartbreak rips. But these claims about god are adding to the unfairness. How selfish to blindly lend these children’s deaths to the service of a theory so clearly untrue.

Treasure their lives! Don’t diminish them with nonsense about a ‘better’ place. Treasure THIS place. This place is where we wanted them to live.

Something is wrong with this Jesus stuff if this is the best it can do for this world.
I’m really an outsider now.

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About Atheist Max

I'm a former Christian who became Atheist in middle age. My blog is a journal of how I lost religion and discovered a better life. For Peace, Civility and the Separation of Church and State
This entry was posted in agnostic, Atheism, god, godless, Nonbelief, Positive Atheism, religion, Right Faith, Science, unbelief, Wrong Faith and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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