The Wayward Willis Podcast – Page 12 – Irreverent Secular Humanism and Pop Culture

Snipers for Jesus?

Something’s really bugging me. It’s the blatant disregard for the sanctity of life displayed by religious people. I’m not talking about the sanctity of their family’s or their friends’ lives. I’m talking about everyone else. Take, for example, the fine, upstanding Republican Christian military wife and mother’s view of how to handle immigration (the checked answer is mine, not hers). Is this what Jesus would do?

snipers

Fuck no! What the barnacles is going on here??!! You know how many other people answered the same way? 3,700! That’s right, there are almost four thousand blood-thirsty motherfuckers out there who would much rather set Mexico up as a human shooting gallery than really try to figure out a solution to a legal and social problem. As if shooting people isn’t a social problem in itself.

This is not an isolated incident. I see things like this all the time from the I’m-more-moral-because-I-know-god-personally crowd. Topics like welfare, immigration, war, poverty, and women’s rights are dominated by the inane, mind-numbing garbage spewing from the mouths of people who proudly wave around their “WWJD” banners. Am I an angry atheist? When I see shit like this, hell yeah I am. What would Jesus do, my ass.

For the record, I’m currently in a discussion with this same person who is arguing that religion doesn’t amplify insanity and promote anti-social behavior. Huh.

Taking the Plunge

Once you’ve accepted Jesus into your heart, your next step is showing your obedience and symbolizing your rebirth through baptism.  The Christian denominations in which I grew up believed that baptism was only valid as a personal decision.  Some denominations practice infant baptism or sprinkling, but in the context of what I was taught that practice seems to have no significance whatsoever (except to upset the baby).

 

Crying Baby
"Mommy, don't let the penguin drown me!"

 

The basis for baptism is vague and consists (like most Christian doctrine) of cherry-picked verses scattered throughout the New Testament and inferences from dialog contained therein.  This site contains a lengthy discussion on why believers must be baptized and why immersion is necessary.  A quick glance tells you right away that the ritual is heavy on symbolism and light on substance.  Here’s the gist:

You are “crucified” (standing upright in water), you are “buried” (immersed into the water), and you are “resurrected into life” (raised out of the water).

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You Don’t “Have” to Go to Church

As soon as I was old enough to figure out how much fun weekends were and how much shorter they seemed when you have to spend more than half of Sunday sitting in church I began to ask my parents if we really had to go to church. The conversations usually went something like this:

Jon: Do we have to go to church today?
Parent: No, you don’t have to go to church today. You get to go to church today.
Jon: But I don’t want to go to church.
Parent: You ought to be happy we have such a nice church to go to. Besides, you’re not staying home alone. Now get a move on!

This was exasperating every single time. I’m sure it was frustrating for my parents as well. They wanted to raise their children in the church with good, Christian values and their children seemed to want to be little unwashed heathens. What irritated me the most about this exchange was the unreasonable nature of the argument. I, as an autonomous human being, didn’t have the desire to spend most of my day cooped up in a building listening to people talk when I could be running around the woods with a toy gun, saving the world. My parents, as dictatorial heads of the family, didn’t acknowledge my autonomy. How unfair.

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Small Soldiers

Now that I was saved (theological debate surrounding the sincerity of the act notwithstanding) from Hell, it was important to those charged with my education to ensure that I became the best possible Christian.  In order for this to happen, I had to become familiar with the doctrine of Christianity — namely, that god created me and loves me and that Satan is trying with all of his might to destroy god’s creation and claim the souls of believers for himself.  This means war!

 

Sparta
War? This is Sparta!
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Telepathy’s Not Good Enough

Speaking of prayers, there was one thing about Christianity that always either embarrassed, frustrated, or confused me: public/group prayer.  It always seemed that a spectacle was made of talking to god whether in a church service, at home, or at an event.  Nobody appeared to be capable of just communicating with god in a personal way — quietly, in their heads — and instead we were always being led in group prayers.

When I was a little kid the prayers were like advertising jingles.  I memorized a phrase one to four sentences long with catchy rhymes so I could remember what to say.  For instance:

Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Bedtime Prayer

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Oh, You Silly Catholics!

So I just saw a TIME article on a priest in Geneva involved in two things:

  1. Making rules for how the Catholic Church will handle sexual abuse cases, and
  2. Sexually abusing young boys.


“Ooh yeah, just like that baby!”

What…the…fuck?! Who knows if it’s true but if it is it has to be the most horrifying and disgusting case of abuse by the Catholic Church ever. I mean, it’s horrible and disgusting when someone in a position of power abuses that power and preys on children anyway, but isn’t there some kind of amplification of horribleness when the abuser is one of the people on the committee for deciding how to stop sexual abuse and punish offenders? Come on!

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. This type of thing is common fodder. I just can’t help but think that if this is true then there’s absolutely no hope for the Catholic Church at all and the people sucked into its moral black hole are all doomed. Why are people still Catholic??


Why Catholic? I don’t know!!

Oh, and I have a headache. Have a nice day!

Repeat After Me

Getting saved through Jesus Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit sounds like it would be a really big deal.  I mean, the sheer mechanics of opening up one’s heart and having the Holy Spirit move in like a college kid moving into the dorms is difficult to wrap your head around.  Oddly enough, Christians seem to think it requires nothing more than the ability to repeat phrases told to you by another person.  This applies mainly to children who are too young to formulate a sentence based on the premise that a person died for you thousands of years ago so you won’t go to Hell when you die.  It goes something like this:

Heavenly Father, I know that I have sinned against you.  I want to be a better person.  I believe you sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sins, that you raised him from the dead, and that he hears my prayers.  Please forgive me and let Jesus come into my heart and life.  I give my life to you, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

Organ Donor
Give your heart to Jesus!
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Inferiority Complex

When you grow up in Christianity, one thing is made very clear to you over and over: you are a horrible sinner and deserve to burn in Hell forever.  This sentiment rears its head pretty early on, as soon as you’re able to understand and repeat the name “Jesus.”  The adults begin to prime you for the doctrine of salvation through grace.  In order to do this, you must first accept that you are undeserving of anything but the worst punishment imaginable.  Just to clarify, this punishment can be presented in a number of ways.  My family subscribed to the “lake of unquenchable fire, eternal torment and darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth” doctrine.  Other sects of Christianity view Hell as simply the complete lack of the presence of god.  Still others view Hell as obliteration (which, Heaven aside, aligns quite nicely with the atheistic view that once you die you simply cease to exist).

Hell
"Please, just a single drop of water!"
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Explicit Lyrics

Soo there I was: a kid spending every Sunday morning and evening, Wednesday night and every major (and some minor) holiday in church.  At this point church was still fun because I was doing arts and crafts, seeing flannelgraph stories and singing those great children’s songs that virtually everybody knows.  Oh, the songs!  They’re catchy, they’re cute, and they’re memorable.  Regardless of how I may feel now about religion I can still sing all of those songs on demand.

Song is arguably one of the most effective ways to drill ideas into a kid’s head.  There’s a reason you teach a kid the alphabet in song before they can read.  When you want to remember something it helps to put it to music.  For instance (and I can still sing this one too), children are taught to memorize the books of the Bible with this little number:

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Atheist Predation

A Web site named Eternal Earthbound Pets claims to offer a service for the pets of Christians who will be raptured. For a fee, these people (atheists) will come and get your pet and care for it in the event of your rapture to Heaven. Kind and caring, right?

NO!


Indifferent cats are indifferent.

These atheists are preying on credulous believers who have been convinced they’ll be whisked away to Heaven and are concerned for the safety of their pets. It’s akin to trading someone a nickel for their hundred dollar bill because you can convince the other person that metal is worth more than paper. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

I’m seriously upset at these people and would love nothing more than to have their customers victims’ money refunded in full with an accompanying written apology. One of the big problems I have with this con is that, as atheists, these people have no reason whatsoever to believe that anybody will ever be raptured and are therefore selling a service that they fully intend never to have to provide. That’s dishonest. I could probably sell crocosaurus insurance to someone gullible but I wouldn’t. You know why? Because I have ethics!


Look at the size of them snappers!

To make things worse, their FAQ page touts their morality:

Q: How can we trust that you’ll honor your service agreement, afterall, you ARE atheists.
A: Being an atheist does not mean we lack morals or ethics. It just means we don’t believe in God or gods. All of our representatives are normal folks who love and live for their family, are gainfully employed, and have friends of varying beliefs. Some of us are married to believers. Many of us volunteer our time at food banks, animal shelters, meals on wheels organizations, etc. We fully endorse the “Rule of Reciprocity”, also known as “The Golden Rule.” We just happen not to believe in God(s). Belief in God does not ensure righteousness, nor does non-belief imply immorality. Jesus understood this. Please reference Luke 10, re “The Good Samaritan.”


ORLY??

So, as moral and ethical atheists who believe in the Golden Rule, you not only endorse but personally practice taking people’s money for services you’ll never provide and preying on their insecurities and irrational beliefs? How nice of you. I’m sure that given the opportunity to be someone else’s victim you’d jump on it, right? Do you even know what the Golden Rule is?

Another big hole in your scheme is that not even the vast, overwhelming majority of Christians believe that the rapture will be occurring on the 21st of this month – or anytime in the next 10 years. Nearly every Christian knows that this numerological woo-woo is the raving of a mentally deficient individual and you know it. Since you know that, offering this service also means that your entire business model is based on a false premise and cannot be considered anything other than fraudulent.

Regardless of how transparent this scam is, they appear to have at least 250 victims so far. At $135 each, these assholes have collected $33,750 (not to mention that people with multiple pets will pay an additional $20 each). While I feel that the people who have paid for this service are idiots and undeserving of respect I have even less respect (read: none) for the atheists running this site.

I’ve got an idea for you guys: go fuck yourselves. I actually am a moral atheist with ethics. You’re giving atheists a bad name.


Go fuck thyself!