In line with the principles and ethos of Atheisthaven, I have decided to initiate my own "Thank Gawd for Shit" Campaign.
As most atheists can attest, religious folks are apt to flood us with a deluge of "Thank God for this and that" praises when things go in their way: Win a soccer match, and watch with child-like wonder as the religiously delirious lucky guy or girl jumps up and down, screaming "Thank You Lord" as if he or she has just received a ecstatic, orgasmic experience. The same goes for a patient who, instead of thanking the good doctor for saving his life, prefers to thank the cosmic godfather instead.
But, but.......reality does kick you in the teeth. Between flashes of good fortune belies a whole array of bad news and booby traps. Hurricanes sweep aside all and sundry, leaving behind a legacy of death and destruction. Dabble in the stock market, and watch as wall street crashes right before your very eyes, leaving you with a bunch of worthless paper stock options.......
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, shit happens, and when reality sinks in, do Christians and religious people take the time out to take the Lord, the Maker of the Cosmos, for the shit that has just caused them to suffer some form of irrevocable loss?
In line with this train of thought, I have decided to initiate my own "Thank Gawd for Shit" Campaign.
Rules and Regulations
Participants can post their own personal loss or shitty events in the guestbook I have created (link on the right side of this blog). Any submission will be posted on this blog; kindly note that all submissions will be subjected to minimal editing (grammar, vocabulary checks) and there will be no censorship for profanity.
For submissions to be considered valid, they should consist of the following:
1. Name of author: It need not be a real name; a fictitious pen name will suffice. The key is identification, so that readers can better relate to the sufferer of Gawd's shit.
2. Location/Nationality: The author will need to give us a rough idea where he or she is from; there is no need for very specific locations, but at the very least, leave your nationality behind.
3. Write Coherently: Minimal spelling or typo errors aside, readability is essential. Kindly proof-read before submission.
4. Submission of photos: Not necessary, but if you wish to submit photos, kindly email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Follow the theme of the Campaign: For submissions to be posted on this blog, make sure you understand what the campaign means: Thanking God for Shit. We don't want to read posts of Christians thanking God for the good stuff. We want the shitty stuff. Thank you.
While it is not compulsory, it will be nice if you can end your submission with "Thank Gawd for Shit!".
6. You may post your submissions in the guestbook link; alternatively, you can email your submission at email@example.com
Without further ado, let's get the Shit Campaign going!
Sunday, 28 September 2008
Thursday, 25 September 2008
Very often, when Christians proselytize the "good news" to us infidels, they often highlight the "love" of God: This omniscient, omni-benevolent deity, it seems, is all filled to the brim with love, so much so that he was very much inclined to send his son, Jebus, to this accursed planet so that a couple of Pharisees can engineer his death at the hands of the Romans.
While few can dispute with the emotional quality of such a "personal sacrifice", all too often, these Christians fail to realize that God of the Old Testament variety (Of course, Christians will tell you that the OT counts for squat because Jebus was the architect of a then-nascent Jebus-loving movement, but then again these Christians fail to explain why they still lug their OT or combined NT & OT bibles around; and they get all feisty when you catch them quoting scriptures from the Old Testament. Bumper.) is hardly a God of love: Morose, vindictive & often wrathful, the bible is replete with stories of God's "exemplary" love towards Man.
The story of Job illustrates God's love for mankind succinctly: Piety and love is, in the eyes of the OT God, nothing more than a cheap bet with the Devil.
God's Bet with Satan
The book of Job of the Old Testament begins with Job, a holy man of sorts. He is described as a typical bourgeois clansman: Well off financially, with 7 sons and 3 daughters (No birth control, folks!), plus a couple of thousand of a variety of cattle, donkeys and camels.
An insanely pious man, he regularly sacrifices burnt offerings (Meat, not vegetables, is the best choice. God hates vegetarians!) as penance after each family feasting or food orgy in a bid to forestall the sins of his children.
His piety unquestioned by God, Satan hence engaged in a little taunt against the All-Almighty Lord of the Cosmos: Fine, God, he's the best of the lot you say? Inflict a deluge of nasty disasters upon him, and see him curse your name in vain!
Incredibly, the God of the Cosmos fell for it, hook, line and sinker!
Job Chapter 1:6-12:
6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."
9 "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. 10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."
12 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.With these words, our good Lord literally handed over Job's welfare straight into the welcoming arms of Lucifer.
Having secured Job's vulnerability from the hands of the Almighty God with a glib tongue, Job's fate was sealed.
In one fateful, single day, Job lost all his cattle, camels, servants and lastly, his own sons and daughters:
Job Chapter 1: 13-22 describes the mass orgy of disasters:
13 One day when Job's sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
And if Job thought that God's "test" for him wasn't enough (After all, he was under severe stress and duress, and at this point he still resisted the temptation to curse the Cosmic Godfather and even managed to praise him, due his foolish piety. Poor Bastard), the worst was yet to come.
Bodily Torture Awaits for Pious Job; Wife Tells Him to Blaspheme and Die
Lucifer and a cohort of angels met God for a second round of crisis talks: God was understandably delighted that after the fire-and-brimstone treatment inflicted upon the pious Job, Job was still as besotted with him as ever. Ha! What have I told you, you ignoranamus of a Devilish Fool! I told you so!
Alas, for all his purported wisdom, God was indeed not so wise: Satan goads God further; inflict disease and pain upon the beleaguered man of Gawd, & watch him spew a torrent of abuse at the Cosmic Godfather!
Once again, God relents, much to the chagrin of the victim (and the perplexed reader, me!).
As described in Job Chapter 2:1-10:
1 On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. 2 And the LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
3 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason."
4 "Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face."
6 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life."
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
9 His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"
10 He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
The Moral of The Story: God Loves A Good Bet, Followed by Torture
The story ends with God compensating him for his loss: The birth of a new set of 7 sons and 3 daughters (his wife survived the Lord's folly), his property and a further 140 yrs of life.
The story of Job is often cited by Christians not as a prime example of God's willful and careless behavior, but more as an example of how God "tests" the faiths of his minions with trials and tribulations. Such a barbaric twist in an otherwise atrocious story seems a tad difficult to stomach, until you stop for a moment and realize that Christians who perpetrate such nonsense are always trying to explain away natural disaster upon natural disaster when faced with the usual "why did God inflict shit" question.
The Bible: A Disturbing Book?
-It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me,
it is the parts that I do understand.
Sunday, 21 September 2008
As human beings, we find it almost impossible to discuss the spectral of death. Death is, after all, a terminal cessation of life, and beyond that lies an infinite unknown. Religious people will contend that there is a life after our bodily deaths, and secular folks like myself are apt to scoff at such delusional, fantastical transcendences of a mythical soul, which is worst if you bring into the picture a stark image of hell, which is essentially an eternal bonfire divinely created to burn the souls of unbelievers for eternity.
Regardless of our beliefs or non-beliefs, we can all agree to one thing: Death is real, and as the saying goes, there are a thousand ways to skin a cat. Death strikes us in all manner of conditions, from debilitating diseases, such as Alzheimer's, to horrendous accidents, whether it is a fall from height or a vehicular accident.
While a swift, almost immediate death eliminates most of the pain for the impending death victim, all too often, people do not die a swift death. A cancer patient, for example, can undergo months and months of chemotherapy, suffer from its horrendous side-effects (Which can be more devastating and agonizing than the cancer itself) before drifting off into oblivion. Unfortunately, patients who suffer from terminal illnesses do not have access to a "choose-to-die" option, and are typically consigned to the ignominy of wasting away and wallowing in sorrow and pain as they journey towards the inevitable.
While there are calls from secular organizations to legalize euthanasia (which is already legal in some secular countries, most notably Holland) for terminally-ill patients, many religious folks, particularly of the Christian-Judeo front, are dead set against the idea of clinical-assisted suicide, and I shall begin by elucidating the rather erroneous and archaic tenets behind their misguided objections.
The Divinity of Pain
If history is anything to go by, one of the pillars of Christianity has always been about pain.
Oh yes, my friends, Christians have a serious penchant in both inflicting and receiving pain. In fact, I would go so far as to declare that Christianity is built primarily on the basis of its morbid fixation of pain.
The Flagellants, a 13th century cult group founded on behalf of their master, Jebus, were actively promoting self-flagellation: It was believed that self-immolation constitutes a form of penance against Sin, & such a practice reached its fervor during the Bubonic Plague, when it was believed that the disease was a punishment of God for man's proclivity towards Sin.
(And if you think that such an archaic practice is scoffed at by Christians, check out these Filipino Christians who willingly nailed their asses to the cross during every God-damned Good Friday).
Christians love to sprinkle a good, liberal dose of sadism too: All manner of tortures and punishments were meted out for a wide-ranging list of misdemeanors (Check out this post I wrote: Feel free to choose your favorite torture tool) against the common masses. A seemingly innocuous crime of, say, looking like a witch could earn you a place in the burning bonfire, where you can be slowly roasted alive, much to the delight of the audience (If you manage to flee, an effigy will be burned in your place. Praise Jebus).
Whipped, and be whipped. That is the standard mantra of the Jebus cult.
Suffering & Death Is God's Divine Plan, Not Man's
Most religious folks will often invoke the "Man Playing God" argument: Man, it seems, is to be servile and humble in the presence of an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent deity who can do no wrong.
Just to play along with this quaint little argument, if God was to direct you to commit atrocity, such as dispatching troops to fight in an unnecessary and mass-killing war (think Iraq), you should obey with unflinching and unquestioning loyalty. Same thing goes, if God tells you to kill your son (In the bible, God orders Jacob to kill his son as a blood sacrifice, only to stop him at the very last min. What a way to prove thy faith!!!!).
I wonder if this "Playing God" argument comes into play if the Christian gets sick, or is in need off a blood transfusion? Besides the few morons who tend to refuse medical services (Particularly of the Mormon/Moron variety), how many Christians truly do not want Man to "play God"?
Clearly, most Christians are pretty selective in using this half-assed argument. They will play God as long as their asses are on the line, and they refuse the right of Medical Science to extend this privilege to a dying man who obviously has no hopes of a cure left to die a painless, dignified death.
The Sanctity of Life
Life, according to religious folks, is sacred: God creates us, and it would be a moment of folly for us frail humans not to recognize this supposed "fact".
The sheer ludicrousness of this sanctity bullshit argument can be easily dismissed: 300,000 lives were lost in an instant when the 2005 Tsunami pounded the coasts of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and even places as far away as Somalia, considering that the underground earthquake which triggered this water deluge took place of the seas of Indonesia. Millions of children will die every year because they don't have enough to eat. Witness the lives of elderly people suffering from Parkingson's Disease, and one begins to ask:
What kind of fucking sanctity are these morons taking about!!!?
Nazi Pope Loves Suffering?
When it comes to being "pro-life", we know how "pro-life" our favorite Nazi pope is: Save the fetuses, but really, who gives a damn about the rights of the Mothers?
& as always, he does have something very "enlightening" to tell us secular folks:
Pope to sick: 'Accept death at hour chosen by God'
In his homily, the pope said the ill should pray to find "the grace to accept, without fear or bitterness, to leave this world at the hour chosen by God." The Vatican vehemently maintains that life must continue to its natural end. ...The pope urged the ailing to remember that "dignity never abandons the sick person." "Unfortunately we know only too well: the endurance of suffering can upset life's most stable equilibrium, it can shake the firmest foundations of confidence, and sometimes even leads people to despair of the meaning and value of life," the pope said. "There are struggles that we cannot sustain alone, without the help of divine grace," he said.
Ah, some dignity indeed. As the terminally-ill patient lies there, immobile, shitting or wetting his diapers, the nurse swaggers in, gives the patient a disgusted look, and changes his or her diapers because the patient can no longer control the movements of his or her bowels.....I wonder if the pope is talking sense here. What kind of dignity is there left in a hollow body which can no longer function normally?
Divine grace my ass, really. The irony of it all: The Pope was making his speech at Lourdes, home of the Catholic-inspired miracle capital, where a drink of the water could supposedly cure you of diseases (assuming the water, which is consumed by millions, isn't contaminated enough to kill you first!).
The Real Issue With Euthanasia
The issue of Euthanasia is definitely uncomfortable and should be seriously debated. How should Euthanasia be applicable, and on what basis should it be enforced? These are questions which legislators, not popes and priests, should be discussing so as to limit abuse and legitimize assisted suicide for terminally-ill patients.
That said, it would be a disaster if religious irk who are more enamored with the Rapture and God-sanctioned BDSMs try to bull-doze their way into such issues. When religion is involved, every legitimate issue will become bastardized beyond recognition.
Like abortion, Euthanasia is not a comfortable choice, but it should not be denied to patients who refuse to endure the pain and indignity of an ignominious end, and to choose to die painless and with dignity, and not leave their ends to Mother Nature or the whims of religious bigots and their stupid Godfather in Heaven.
Priests ... these turkey-cocks of God.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist (1888), quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Cynical Quotations
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
With the recent furore over the presidential elections in the United States, one of the major talking points over the presidential candidates involves the selection of a certain former beauty contestant, Sarah Palin by Senator McCain as vice-presidential candidate. Much has been said about her inexperience and right-wing stance, which, all things considered, isn't all that surprising, considering that George W. Bush, the commander-in-chimp, wasn't all that outstanding to say the least.
Presidential credentials aside, Sarah Palin's stance towards abortion is, to put in bluntly, archaic and anti-feminist (Which really screams in the face of what she consistently trumpets: A woman's champion in the midst of male, chauvinistic democratic pigs, such as Barack Obama and his lipstick-on-a-pig slur. Tsk tsk). In 2002, she wrote a letter to FFL, stating that she had "adamantly supported our cause since I first understood, as a child, the atrocity of abortion."
The sheer audacity of such a statement beckons belief, if statistics of abortion rates are anything to go by.
Abortions & Contraception
From a social point of view, abortion is generally considered an uncomfortable procedure to terminate a pregnancy. It is usually seen as a last resort, either as a means to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, or a necessary one to protect the mother. Because of our instinct to procreate, abortion flies against all life stands for: To live, procreate and subsequently pass on our genes.
Besides the ill-conceived idea that fetuses are genuine, full-fledged human beings (if a newly-fertilized embryo is a bawling little baby, feel free to commit homicide the moment you scratch yourself - you have just "terminated" the lives of millions of skin cells-cum-human beings), abortion is a medical procedure, and like all medical procedures it does carry a certain element of risk, especially for pregnancies that are more than a couple of weeks old.
From a humanist point of view, it is always better to nip the problem in the bud, and all the better if you can prevent the problem, which in this case is an unwanted pregnancy, in the first place.
& herein lies the magic word: Contraception. Prevention is, after all, better than cure. Secular sex education requires, besides abstinence, the introduction of contraceptive methods, including condoms (a great tool in the prevention of STDs and pregnancies) & contraceptive pills.
Unfortunately, religious hoodlums, particularly of the Vatican variety, refuse to acknowledge the use of such "creation-defying" methods. As a result, the religious right-wing fanatics device all manner of lies to delude the masses.
1. According to Mexico City Archbishop Norberto Rivera Carrera, all condoms should come with the label, "Use of this product is harmful to health" attached to them.
“Use of this product is harmful to health.”
2. One would think that Africans should be more open towards the use of condoms, considering the fact that the African continent has been the scourge of the AIDS virus for decades.
“[W]idespread and indiscriminate promotion of condoms [is] an immoral and misguided weapon in our battle against HIV-AIDS. …[C]ondoms may even be one of the main reasons for the spread of HIV-AIDS.”
- From the text of a statement issued by the bishops of South Africa following their semiannual meeting, where they considered a change in their official condoms policy in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic [Karen DeYoung, “AIDS challenges religious leaders,” Washington Post, August 13, 2001].As a result of this stigmatization of contraception and its purported evils, is it hardly surprising, then, that religious people have higher incidents of abortions than, say, more secular, "heinous & evil" folks?
According to a survey reported by Guardian, the relationship between high religiosity in a region coincides closely with high abortion rates:
A study published in the Lancet shows that between 1995 and 2003, the global rate of induced abortions fell from 35 per 1,000 women each year to 29. This period coincides with the rise of the "globalised secular culture" the Pope laments. When the figures are broken down, it becomes clear that, apart from the former Soviet Union, abortion is highest in conservative and religious societies. In largely secular western Europe, the average rate is 12 abortions per 1,000 women. In the more religious southern European countries, the average rate is 18. In the US, where church attendance is still higher, there are 23 abortions for every 1,000 women, the highest level in the rich world. In central and South America, where the Catholic church holds greatest sway, the rates are 25 and 33 respectively. In the very conservative societies of east Africa, it's 39. One abnormal outlier is the UK: our rate is six points higher than that of our western European neighbours.
Allow me to summarize the points:
1. Contrary to the "evils" of secular culture which was so happily derided by the Pope, abortion rates dropped worldwide during the period of increased secularization.
2. Western Europe, long dominated by secularists brought up as children of the Enlightenment, have the lowest abortion rates; Americans, with their fucking megalomaniac churches, have the highest abortion rates amongst capitalist, first world nations. & for regions in central and South America, traditional bastions of the Catholic Church, abortion rates are far higher than those reported in the United States.
Hypocrisy & The Religious Right
The irony of anti-abortion campaigns and right wing nutters is that when it comes to bungling up and making a social mess out of perceived social evils, all too often, God-inspired campaigns often has this distinctive knack of crashing down from the heavens right down to good, solid earth.
The truth is, in most cases (barring abortions carried out due to rape, fetal deformities), an alarming increase in abortion cases can be directly attributed to a distinct ignorance of contraceptive methods and a chronic absence of sex education, which generally translates into spiraling unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and deaths for desperate women who happen to choose unlicensed doctors to terminate their pregnancies (Some countries actually do ban abortions. Such barbarity!). This abject ignorance, plus the failure of abstinence-only classes, have contributed to the increase in abortion rates amongst the religious right. A holier-than-thou attitude towards sex & abortion not only exposes the hypocrisy of these religious campaigns (Since religious folks are the ones who are having the most abortions in the first place!), it highlights the silliness and naivety of the idea that sex is only confined within staid, archaic, marriage-only, pro-creation settings.
As human beings living in the 21st century, it is definitely criminal to deny women the right to abortion simply because some stupid ignoranamous religious morons stubbornly choose Ku Klux Klan values over secular, humanist values.
I will let Bill Clinton sum this one up really nicely:
-Abortion should not only be safe and legal, it should be rare.
BILL CLINTON, speech at DNC, Aug. 29, 1996
Friday, 12 September 2008
As a continuation of my previous post, "Thank Gawd for Hurricane Gustav!", I would like to perhaps expound on this conundrum of thanking God for events or phenomena which are beneficial to the faithful (though not necessary to those who have failed to benefit from the phenomena, or worst, suffered at the hands of a supposedly benevolent God, provided, of course, God is existent).
The Logic Behind the Myth of Divine Intervention
As homo sapiens, our brains have involved to harbor a tendency to deduce patterns in otherwise random phenomena. From attempting to decipher faces out of crumbling crusts of old bread (a phenomenon known otherwise as pareidolia) to unraveling random comets in a bid to relate to our mundane fates (a process known as astrology), us humans are apt to attach some level of reasoning and rationale of natural phenomena into our fragile, mortal lives. Clueless to our existence from the day we are born, it is an inane, all-too-human instinct that perhaps leads us to discover our roles in this little green-blue planet of ours.
Being part and parcel of Mother Nature's minions, it is important for us to recognize this irrevocable fact: That in the survival of the fittest, he or she who can adapt most efficiently to the environment has a longer shot at survival and ultimately the passing of the gene pool. In that sense, natural selection favors those who can find a connection to the environment, either through changing the environment to suit our needs, or vice versa.
Humans tend to relate our non-anthropomorphic surroundings with a more personified being: We have no problems, for example, calling a ship or a nation "she", or eulogizing the beauties of Mother Nature as if she was a beauty queen. This inane tendency to relate things and objects at another more intimate level may perhaps explain our need to thank an imagined deity in the cosmos.
Praising Gawd for the Good Times......
When religion is concerned, all too often, it is more or less utilized as an aphrodisiac of sorts: People look to this cosmic Godfather as a "feel-good", all benevolent deity who really gives a shit to our total well-being and happiness. Strike lottery, & witness the lucky participant sink to his freaking knees and thanking the high heavens (There is, after all, no sense to thank his or her good luck on anything other than random statistics). Score a goal in a football game, and watch in ecstatic awe as the footballer unveils a white T-shirt underneath his jersey that spells "Praise God for the Goal" (Wonder what he would do if he was on the losing end.....Guess God's task is a lot tougher than we thought!!!). A patient who recovers from a debilitating disease is more likely to thank the divine for his prolonged mortality than the doctor and the medication that has contributed to the patient's dramatic recovery.
In sum, religious people are apt to thank the deity for the good deals, partly because as humans, we like to find some meaning, some connecting feature that binds us to the dealings and wheelings of the environment around us.
But What About the Bad Times???
While it is easy to remember the good stuff that happens from time to time, more often than not, shit happens, & the sad truth is, life is not always a bed of beautiful red roses.
We all know how it feels like to flunk a test paper, and exam, or lose a soccer match. Crash a car in the middle of a busy street, and watch how instantly many so-called pious folks are apt to curse in the name of some perceived deity (Jebus fucking Christ!!!!) Shit happens, and when things don't go well for us, it becomes almost inevitable that as humans, we would often find something or someone to blame for our misfortunes.
Some shitty events however, can be more dramatically detrimental and in most cases contribute to irreversible loss: The loss of a pet cat, a loved one through disease and death just puts a dent to our miserable lives, and is a stark reminder that all will not be spared in the cycle of life and death.
& when shit does really hit the fan, how will the average religious dud react to their loss?
While reactions may vary, the most common excuse to divine bullshit are as follows:
1. Gawd has unleashed this unfortunate episode/disaster to test our faith in him (Try using this excuse to a victim of the 2005 tsunami.....sure is a comforting thought to 300,000 victims who had their "faiths" tested and perished along with their faiths).
2. The Sin Factor: For example, some religious leaders blamed the gays for causing all manner of disasters, including the 911 terrorist attack and Hurricane Katrina. (When all else fails, it is often good to blame the gays, the atheists and other hedonistic members of society. Hey, someone has to be the fall guy!!!)
3. The devil did it (Great excuse if you are a reformed gay, say, like Ted Haggard????).
While Christians and monotheistic folks are ever ready to credit the Cosmic Godfather with Creation, they sometimes get wishy-washy when it comes to attributing the bad things that happen from time to time. It is as if, for all the omnipotence of God, he doesn't seem quite capable of producing nary an ounce of evil in his portfolio, even if the bible or some religious book might say otherwise.
Thanking Gawd for Shit
The conundrum of "Thank Gawd for the Good Times" shit is clear: Religious people who wish to voice out their gratitude towards the unseen deity should acknowledge that yes, Gawd can and will not hesitate to unleash death, destruction and terror upon his faithful as and when he sees fit.
& being piously faithful theists, wouldn't it be the solemn duty of these fools to thank Gawd for all the bad stuff that happens? The next time you flunk your exams, or lose your job, stop for a moment and think about why God wants you to fare so badly, and perhaps, in a sadistic sort of way, you, as a religious folk, should thank God for this irrevocable shit that has been inflicted upon you by this erstwhile deity.
Or better yet, thank God for the really big shit that happens from time to time: Hurricanes, Tusnamis, earthquakes, starvation and a whole multitude of death-inducing phenomena that is bound to delight the blood lust of this invisible deity (As one atheist pointed out to me, Gawd of the OT has a fixation with blood and animal sacrifices, but incidentally has no stomach for vegetarian ones).
In sum, don't just thank God for the rolling good times. Thank Gawd for Shit!
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
Every so often, we are reminded by erstwhile, pious folks that, as mundane creatures on this fragile little planet, our fate rests on the hands of an imaginary deity, who, in his loving kindness is responsible for the creation and survival of our kind. As homo sapiens, we are supposedly the Anointed Ones: Created & blessed (or cursed, if you ask me!) to bear the image of a Cosmic Father who is supposedly bedazzled by our every move. He loves us to itsy bitsy bits, but curiously, he suffers from a credibility problem, because some sections of his beloved Creation just don't seem to think he actually exists, while the majority of his creation are often embroiled in wars to determine just who really is the real "God" (The game "My God's dick is bigger than your God's" is still a terrific ice-breaker for starting wars).
In addition to his great, boundless, "love", he is perceived to be an omnipotent entity: Come rain or shine, hail and storm, droughts and floods, this deity is also a designed weather controller (kind of like the Norwegian God, Thor, when he wields his hammer is responsibly for thunder and lightning) of sorts, which, if evidence of late is to be placed under scrutiny, hasn't placed this all-affable deity in a very flattering light.
Mother Nature's Murderous Ways
From time to time, Nature tends to unleash its wrath upon its hapless victims: Earthquakes swallowing up and demolishing buildings over large swaths of land; tsunamis, such as the one that was unleashed in 2004 due to an undersea earthquake near Sumatra, are constant reminders of our vulnerability in Nature's grand scheme of things. Indeed, she's always been an evil bitch, and heck, that has always been the way she has conducted her business since the advent of this blue-green blob of a planet: Birth, evolution, destruction, extinction. She's one vicious bitch, and hell yeah we'd all love women who can engage in catfights!
Having said that in jest, we all know that Nature isn't some anthropomorphic deity; it is just a generic term used to describe the general mechanisms of our planet (kind of like describing a ship using "she"; for millennial the sea faring community has always deemed ships to be females, thanks in no part to their "heavy bottoms"). Nature shares neither prejudice nor favor in terms of carnage and murder, and if we observe Nature in her pristine conditions, we are not inclined to attach benign terms, such as "loving kindness", as one of her traits.
Replace Nature with a Cosmic Godfather, however, and one has a huge philosophical problem in his or her hands: How does one reconcile a loving and all-powerful God with the murderous nature of natural disasters?
Praise the Lord for Hurricane Gustav!
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, USA in 2005, it unleashed a water carnage, turning the once-famed jazz country into a watery grave.
Undaunted, some Jebus fans in New Orleans have never ceased in loving God despite his seeming callousness: Either the deity didn't have the cow sense to turn off the celestial tap after shitting, or he simply thought better; a couple of thousand dead folks isn't going to hurt the population of his erstwhile, jewel-in-the-eye humans one bit!
Come 2008, the very town that had suffered the full wrath of Katrina has to endure the rampaging effects of Hurricane Gustave. While much of the town has been evacuated, some stubborn, pious folks seem quite emboldened by the Lord's supposedly divine, weather-altering powers.
According to a Reuters article, window cleaner, Julio Iglesia, is placing his faith on God, who three years ago had pretty much sent much of New Orleans down under (assuming God does exist, albeit a incompetent weather controller!):
"Katrina was here, but God won't let that happen again."
Such comforting words indeed. If a robber robs a bank and gets away scott-free, what are the chances that it will strike a second round, hoping to strike a jackpot. Very high indeed! Even more so when it comes to the game of murder: If God was indeed responsible for the first Hurricane, what is the fun of wrecking a torrid, murderous deluge of water with nary a casualty on a wet, gloomy day?
Ah, the power of faith. For better or for worst, pious sheep will forever be enamored with their Cosmic Mc Muffin. May I suggest one step further: Since religious folks love to pray and thank God for just about everything under the sun (Free sex, good test results, you name it, they will pray and thank God for his supposed blessings upon us mere mortals!), it is no more than an afterthought that pious folks should thank God for the Hurricane!!!
A suggested Lord's prayer:
"Dear Gawd, we thank you for the deluge you have indulged us with in the form of Hurricane Katrina 3 years ago. Unlike the infidels and our damn enemies of your Son, we love you to bits irregardless of the weather, and we thank you once again for this celestial deluge you have heaped upon us. Clearly, Lord, we are part of your Divine Plan, and your continuous plans for us to die, suffer, suffocate and immolate have clearly left an indelible impression upon us: Clearly, your love and benevolence knows no bounds. Amen!"
"I am patient with stupidity, but not with those who are proud of it."