I know I'm going to piss a few people off, but this is not my intention of this post.
[Dons fire-retardent suit]
From what I can tell, modern religion - from 1000 AD to today - has gone from being "something with which to guide people in their lives towards altruistic moral purposes" to "something for me to get what I want".
Look at the bible.
That book has been translated, re-translated, modified, changed, re-written, re-compiled, and bastardized so much that there were people arguing over whether the King James version is better than the "original" version back when my parents used to take me to church - presbyterian.
I think the simple fact that a lot of people seem to be ignoring the Big Ten*, or justifying transgressions of them, says a lot about modern day christianity and like-minded religions.
Yo, look at the Busted Commandments.
1. Well, I think maybe a lot of christians have got that one right.
Leave "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." in there.
Oh no, wait. I just saw a bunch of people idolising a pop star cock-knocker.
2. Every time I look at a christian bookshop, what do I see? Paintings of christ. I think number two is pretty damn clear on the subject.
Strike "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." off of the list of things to follow.
3. Oh yeah, whenever those good christians I hear say "Jesus Christ", they're praying, sure.
Strike off "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."
4. Er, seven day work week? Working on the Saturday which is the calender end of the week?
Sorry number 4, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." but out you go.
5. Hmmm. Ever told your parents off? I've seen so many assholes who proclaim they're wonderful christian people telling off, or just flat out lying about their parents it's not funny.
There goes "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." on a wave of abuse.
6. Look at the amount of wars that our supposed "god-fearing" leaders have initiated or partaken of. Look at the death penalty for crime. Look at our police forces being armed with lethal weapons.
Oooo, listen to "Thou shalt not kill." get blown up in an orgy of ultraviolence. Booyah!
7. Oh yeah, they're going to leave their wife/husband.
With divorce rates on this planet being so high, you just know that "Thou shalt not commit adultery." is getting fucked right up the ass on a regular basis.
"Congratulations! It's a sin."
8. I just love this one. Have you ever "found" anything that didn't belong to you? Did you hand it in to the authorities? Have you sampled from the non-sampling lollies, fruits, vegetables at the supermarket?
Don't mind me, I'm just taking "Thou shalt not steal." to get washed, yeah, that sounds good.
9. I can't count with my calculator how many times I've heard this one broken, and it's a scientific counting device too.
Let's face it, when you gossip, nonchalantly air a rumour, or just flat out lie about something a neighbour has done, you've trod on "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."
10. This one I'm sure we all do all the fucking time and yet not one of us would admit it, except me. I'm a covetous little bastard.
Ooo, I really want "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's." for myself.
Hypocritical? Not I. I've never said I was a good christian. If hell exists, I've already got my first class ticket on the handbasket.
Every day though, every damn day, I hear or see someone ignoring the bible, ignoring their faith, and ignoring their god.
`Hey you! God boy! That bum just asked you for a buck. What about Jesus's lessons about the intangible reward for giving?'
Yeah, you're a god-fearing christian all right. You're afraid that he really can see in your black heart and knows about all the shit you've done, said, and thought.
How does this relate to science and common sense?
I don't believe in god because I cannot see him, call him on the phone, or prove in any way scientific that he exists, and yet my mother would say "He exists because the world exists and he made the world."
That's like saying that my phone exists because I had the money to buy it, not because a company hired a bunch of engineers, marketers, and shops to produce, advertise, and sell the thing.
Where's the proof that god made the world?
"It's right here in this book called The Bible."
Er, so this book, co-incidentally called "The Book" is proof of an all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing being?
"Yes. Isn't it wonderful he wrote it?"
At which point I pull out Terry Pratchett's Guide to the Discworld and ask if it proves the existance of Rincewind the Wizzard.
Sure, it's all mathematically possible, but probable? I doubt it. I have seen absolutely nothing in my life that could prove the existance of god that cannot be explained scientifically - and I've been to revival meetings. Talk about showmanship.
The reason that religion today is seemingly making a come back is quite simple. We've got fear-mongerers who say they've got a direct line to god telling people what to think, what to feel, and what to do.
And these "leaders" are doing it for the sum total of what they get back from the masses, whether it's power, money, or unquestioning loyalty.
Don't kid yourself. They're not doing it for you, they're doing it for themselves.
Christianity and many other religions probably started out as well thought out moral lessons to guide people towards a wholy common goal of love and peace, but they've been perverted and twisted by those who've got the money and the media needed to con the masses.
You wanna follow the bible? Fine, follow it, but read the whole damn book first, and then do what it says.
Don't pick-and-mix like lollies. This isn't a party favour you simp. It's your eternal soul - if you believe in that - and you're treating it like something to wear on a sunday, wash on monday, and hang in the closet for the rest of the week while you wear other personas.
Okay, I'm done now.
[Steps down off soapbox]
* Referenced from here where I'll be using the Protestant/Hebrew combo for discussion.