Monday, June 11, 2007
A Sad Lot
It seems to me Christians never think critically about the fundamental premise of Christianity, that God has to resort to an extravagantly operatic scenario (which demonstrates extreme cruelty in addition to a lack of both absolute power and divine imagination) in order to relieve mankind of the burden of sin. If someone does something wrong, do you set out a hundred year plan filled with tests, culminating in something where blood can be spilled? Blood sacrifice is an ancient practise, yet we are barbaric enough, us human animals, to still believe in it. Sacrifice a man, and what's wrong is restored to right. Wow, very progressive. The only way to restore justice to the universe is through a negative - so a negative cancels out another negative. Interesting mathematics. Using that logic it's hard to imagine a species capable of surviving a particularly tough challenge, and a number are lining up right now.
If we find someone has done something bad, can't we just have him do Community Service, or write an apology. Do we have to spill blood, whether by whip or by (wood)chip. Can we not simply forgive? Apparently not: apparently it boils down to baying for blood, nothing less.
I agree with the letter above, the one below has some interesting contradictions:
First, this I respect: "I have no problem identifying atheists as some of the most intelligent people..."
Then again: "Can we not agree to respect each other..." but then he calls other opinion (that he does not agree with) 'disseminating misinformation' as though he [Stengel] has the sole proprietorship (sorry, in addition to all other Christians) on the The One And Only Truth. And then, worryingly, makes reference to religious war, as though people with certain beliefs can logically go to war with other people who simply have a too different opinion on who made what, when.
You can't have your bread buttered on both sides. "All societies that banished God were guilty of atrocities?" Really, is that a fact? Hitler as I understand it used God for a lot of justifications (when it suited him) to expand the German 'Livingspace'. He also understand the power of belief to reinforce - thus he had himself referred to as the Fuhrer (Father), and had his soldiers declare a personal oath to him, to serve him above country, and God.
Stalin btw meant to study to become a Priest, but then changed careers. There's a fine line between God's work and Man's handiwork, some would say none at all.
The danger is not in banishing God, but banishing sense and sensibility when we begin to look beyond blind faith. Of course without the habit of believing in God, we are tempted to believe in nothing. But without ever practising living in the now, living in the real world, it is hard to deal with it. Human beings, after all, can't stand too much reality.
Back in Bloe, the NG Church has decided that gays can go to church, but they just may not be openly gay. The Synod of the same church meanwhile has launched an investigation into the existence of Satan. This is important work (although possible 2,007 years overdue, since it may be important to put the blame on people finally, and not some floating spirit that drifts around, and could theoretically be netted and jailed. If satan does not exists of course, all the hullaballoo chanting and casting out demons will make for far less theatre in the churches growing most. And no one will be able to claim: the devil made me do it.