ON RELIGION AS A PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT
My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race. Bertrand Russell
The Christian Religion produces in many followers a kind of mass psychosis. Belief in fundamentalist dogma is a contagious, addictive disease that destroys all thought that might challenge the delusional system. The disease is so virulent and destructive to affected believers that it threatens the extinction of the human species through overpopulation, and must also be understood as a threat to the mental health of the public.
Christianity teaches an infantile belief in imaginary places and imaginary friends. Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Angels, Satan et al travel from Heaven and Hell to visit Earth, perform miracles, impregnate Earth girls, and teach that we are doomed for eternity if we prefer being alive in this world to being entombed in a scriptural world. Contentment is reserved for those who have died for Christ. Everyone else if cosmic flotsam.
Rather than remain silently smug in the knowledge they are saved and all non-believers are damned, Christians attempt to make all human beings play in their sandbox and to agree with their fantasy world. It really does make an enormous difference in how adults view the world if they were humanistically reared or if they were raised to think like children: to believe that a magical Being magically made everything, including them; that the purpose of their lives is to worship and obey the magical Creator so they can be with the Creator after they die in a magical place called Heaven, and that the Creator raised his magical Son from the dead– after killing him as a blood sacrifice for their otherwise irreversibly shamed and debased nature. This is a message guaranteed to scramble your mind.
Fanatical believers in this system recognize a duty to force others to believe it. This is a threat to the public’s psychological health. Of course the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution permits the free exercise of religion. But the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact. If we can, through law, try to protect the public from itself by regulating smoking, alcohol consumption, and sale of firearms, surely we have the constitutional power and duty as Americans to defend the wall between church and state and to protect freedom of conscience from the force of ancient myths.
Fundagelicals are pounding their battering rams at the wall of separation and at the pillars of democracy. They want people to surrender their personal power to them and share their pathological illness. They have seen many changes and have been against every one of them. What a difference it might make if their one life was seen as one to live for growth in relationships and for the discovery of knowledge that permits something beyond groveling before non-existent, capricious gods.
Our species may well be in a transitional evolutionary phase wherein we either use our minds to survive or become extinct in consequence of idiotic religious behavior. Easter Island is a tidy little microcosm. Space was limited. Islands are that way. The people destroyed themselves, their civilization and their environment by overbreeding and internecine wars. Religion was their fatal disease. It might be ours.
We might have settled the stars by now, but we have wasted the lifespace of our species with such nonsense as mythically believing God wants sex used only for making babies. This defect in rational though alone has produced tragedy for countless humans.
Despite overwhelming evidence that uncontrolled population growth will destroy the human race as it destroyed Easter Island, certain Christians will kill you if you believe in preventing this through contraception and abortion. That Pope, J2P2, has canceled a visit to the U.S. He is piqued because the U.S. didn’t support his deadly doctrine, at the world population control conference in Cairo, that population should be controlled by using no population control. Clearly, religion is a threat to public health.
Christians display another dead give-away symptom of an addictive disease — denial. Facts are not facts. Believers have not committed provable crimes. They are afraid of dying, and rather than deal with it, they invent a make believe world that Pliny described to the Roman Emperor Trajan (1st century, Common Era) as “an absurd and extravagant superstition.” He further observed, “In fact, this contagious superstition is not confined to the cities only, but has spread its infection among the neighboring villages and country.” Pliny saw it coming.
The ancient terrors are still here. The disease continues to threaten democracy, personal freedom, and life itself. How can it be controlled? The Chinese have a neat criminal law punishing theft by superstition. That might help. So might taxing religion and using their money for repairing their damages. Religious practices could be limited to certain times and places and be scrupulously kept out of public life. Under no circumstances should impressionable children be exposed to religious beliefs until they no longer believe in Santa Claus. Religion must be rated R. Reason is an effective inoculation.
Religious bigots must be exposed. They don’t like being called bigots, but they are. “Bigot” is defined in the New Little Oxford Dictionary as an “obstinate and intolerant adherent of creed or view.” Yup, that’s them. They don’t like what they perceive as “religion bashing” either. This, in their diseased view, is what occurs when potential victims refuse to consent, and fight back.
Would a rational, caring God really endorse what Christians believe? Fundagelicals are right when they say they are at war with atheists. If you are fond of freedom, you’d better pray the atheists win.