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May 31 2012

Coping With Christians

cope: deal effectively or contend with. The New Little Oxford Dictionary

There are Christians who will kill you if you don’t agree with their understanding of the will of god. There is nothing new about this. Other Christians think these Christians are nuts who do not understand the Christian religion. The kill your neighbor Christians are more dangerous than the love your neighbor Christians. There are hundreds of groups, with wildly different beliefs and ends, all calling themselves Christians. The disagreements among these heterogeneous believers over correct interpretations of the supernatural makes coping with them confusing.

In general, Christians share a superstition, believed on faith not evidence (if it could be proved, there would be no need for faith), that human life will continue after death, with rewards from the deity for believers who believe that some twenty centuries ago the son of god (the Christ) came back to life after dying for their sins. The Christ went to heaven to be with god. People who die accepting this get to join him. The bible is the sacred text, the word of god.

A growing number of Christians treasonably want to establish their version of Christianity as the law of the United States, replacing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that guarantee Americans freedom from having to follow somebody else’s religion. These fanatics think the bible infallibly prohibits abortion, disproves evolution, regulates sexuality, and gives them the authority from god to tell everyone else what they can do, see, read or think.

Government by bible is a scary idea. A literal belief in the bible mandates that people be stoned to death if they don’t follow the religious rules, including rules prohibiting criticizing anything about the religion.
The bible also approves of slavery, and encourages the beating of children and the subjugating of women. It presents a violent, vain, bloodthirsty god who continually changes the rules, punishes people for the sins of their ancestors, and has never heard of computers or democracy. Christians who believe the bible teaches a god of love, mercy and tolerance and who understand that religion can only flourish when there is no official religion are baffled by the fanatics.

They had better be afraid–very afraid–they might be stoned for blasphemy along with those atheists. The coming civil war over religious freedom will make strange bedfellows indeed. The fundangelicals are at one with that Pope, Islamic fanatics, and the teachings of Hitler on prohibiting reproductive freedom. More reasonable Christians may join nonbelievers in defending the wall of separation between church and state that gives democracy its vitality.

Christians whose religious addiction has not become terminal can be shown that democracy and fundamentalist Christianity are incompatible. They must choose, in the coming civil war, if they are going to be patriotic Americans and support the cause of constitutional democracy that gives religious freedom to all, or if they will permit themselves to be controlled by a world view that rejects evolution and progress for the beliefs of prescientific Bronze Age nomadic tribes.

Neurotics build castles in the air–psychotics move in. Even paranoids can have real enemies, and it is not unreasonable to observe that Christians who take the bible as an absolute guide to faith and practice and believe it is god’s will that America be made into their idea of a Christian nation are capable of starting a civil war to further these ends.

They are already organizing a “militia” to defend their beliefs against godless humanism in schools, hospitals, libraries, and government. Believers are taught what firearms and ammunition are best suited for winning America for Christ.

These people are serious and will not stop. Proof of their intent is readily available in their literature and in their ranting on your local fundamentalist radio talk show. Further proof is seen on the national news as religious crazies commit acts of terrorism–bombing clinics, killing doctors, burning books and generally threatening and intimidating anyone who doesn’t consent to being governed by their superstitions. And their leaders urge them on, preaching encouragement to those who know god wants them to kill those who dare follow a different drummer.

Coping with Christians demands different techniques depending on the degree of progression of the individual believer’s addiction.

Coping with the lunatics may be a matter of pure survival and armed resistance if the rule of law fails to contain them. This would be pure civil war, a repeat of the dark histories of religious wars that the United States was established to avoid. Coping with more rational Christians involves understanding that while they do not want to hurt you, they do believe that they are going to heaven and that you are going to hell. This may limit dialogue.

The majority of Christians (you’d better hope) are decent caring folk of the live let live variety. They want what nonbelievers want: peace, happiness, meaningful relationships, expansion of knowledge, freedom from fear and hunger and the right to do their thing while permitting their neighbors to do theirs.

These Christians generally have only a limited knowledge of the bible (the feel good parts) and would be horrified at some of the brutalities it advocates and the absurd contradictions they would have to accept if they were to become true bible believing Christians. These cafeteria Christians take what they like and ignore the rest.

Nor do they fully understand what is at stake when fanatics want our country to have an official religion. These folks have accepted the faith of their fathers without critical inquiry; they see it as the basis of morality, community, and social order. Some spend their lives in a childlike faith (recommended by the Christ) and mythical fantasy world that prevents them from becoming self actualizing adults. This is why some Christians grow old without growing up.

So coping with Christians requires strategies ranging from tolerant acceptance and cooperation to self defense. The human race is constantly evolving and may eventually learn we can get along without a need for belief in the supernatural. But for many people that time is not now and should never come.

Religion is not the answer–it is the problem. Everything considered, we would be better off without it.

Edwin.

Edwin Kagin © 2012

14 comments

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  1. 1
    janiemiller

    As unpleasant as this sounds, I believe this is our reality. A religious war is coming. The foundation for this war is being put into place right now. If we don’t acknowledge and plan for this eventuality, we will absolutely be left with very few options. The cafeteria Christians don’t know us and they’re afraid of us. They will align themselves with those extremist Christians or at least tolerate them because we don’t speak up. They may know us as friends, neighbors and family members but they don’t know us as atheists.
    Cafeteria Christians need some help in realizing that they will pay a heavy price too if the war is won by the zealots in our midst. It is time for action.

  2. 2
    Jim Christensen

    Ed, I see no evidence that an Atheistic State, in which religion did not exist, would per se be any better than a state in which religion existed.

    People would still lie, cheat, steal and generally do what they could get away with.

    Your sweeping generalizations are actually an expression of bigotry, no “humanism”.

    1. 2.1
      Christoph Burschka

      Your assertion that an atheist state would not be a utopia is not at odds with the assertion that we would be better off without religion.

      There are plenty of evils that we would unequivocally be better off without, yet a civilization without them would still lie, cheat and steal.

  3. 3
    Jim Christensen

    Ah, I see you are “moderating”.

    So much for “Free”thought…an example example of the argument that an Atheistic State would try and control belief.

  4. 4
    Natty Bumppo

    I like the Reaganesque conclusion: “Religion is not the answer; it is the problem.”

  5. 5
    Uncle Glenny

    A lighter look at this topic:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2005/sep/29/comedy.religion

  6. 6
    Jouras

    One way of coping with them would be to put them in Gulags.

    Its been done before.

    It will be again.

    Of course, this time we will be ready.

    1. 6.1
      Monster

      Why would you say such a thing?

      Who are you saying should be put in gulags?

  7. 7
    timberwoof

    Jouras, I come from a country where they tried that, and the results horrified the world. The horror still stains that country’s honor. Don’t do that.

    Imprisonment over belief is not the answer to the problem. Indeed, sticking people into gulags is what the radical religious fundamentalists have in mind. If that is not what we want done to us—and if it is not the sort of thing we want to do—then let’s not do that!

    The only thing we can do to fight ignorance is to shine a light on it. The rest of what they want to do, we must meet appropriately. Corrupting government is a crime. Actions that restrict rights and subvert the Constitution must be publicized and shown as what they are. It’s not going to be easy … and we must resist the temptation to use the weapons of “the enemy”, lest we become the enemy.

    Sticking people in gulags makes us the enemy. Don’t do that.

  8. 8
    mutt50

    If there is a “civil war”, it’s between the wealthy elites and grifter/politicians with the rest of us over power. Religion is just one tool in their arsenal. Keeping people ignorant and scared is the goal. It works. Fear and ignorance always work.
    About half the people in this “advanced” nation believe that the bible is actually a source of useful knowledge and moral guidance, because trusted authority figures, (a lot of whom don’t believe any of it)tell them it is. Most of these people won’t even read the bible to decide for themselves; it’s that bad.
    School teachers are terrified of teaching critical thinking because angry fundy parents will complain. The parents are scared of everything and anyone not like them. The teacher fears for her job. The politicians and the priests laugh and cash in.

  9. 9
    rapiddominance

    There are Christians who will kill you if you don’t agree with their understanding of the will of god.

    They’re like fucking mice running all over the kitchen floor, aren’t they?

    What’s particularly disturbing to me is the escalating number of evangelical drive by shootings.

    Its like things are getting so out of hand that you don’t want to even walk out of the house anymore.

    I don’t, at least.

    Speaking of which, you should see my lawn. Its taking me about 30 seconds these days to walk to my car about twenty yards off because I’m trying to be careful and not get snake bit.

  10. 10
    Monster

    These are the same coping stradegies that I also need for dealing with the various types of atheists.

    I think their are violent crazies in all groups, so it’s best to be prepared for anyone to flp out on you.

  11. 11
    Caelidh

    RELIGION is a form of societal mind control.

    Spirituality is something quite different.

    I know that there are some very good wonderful people who are Christians and whose churches do great things and inspire beauty and good works etc…

    Yet whatever the origins of Christianity truly ARE.. whether there was a Jesus CHrist (a person who was trained in spiritual matters.. possibly traveled to India and was the inspiration of Christ consciousness.. OR is a veiled reference to entheogenic practices that brought about a “christ consciousness” revelatory experience (there is a LOT of interesting evidence for this btw.. see JAN IRVIN’s PHARMACRATIC INQUISITION http://www.gnosticmedia.com/the-pharmacratic-inquisition/)…

    and how there is a strong possibility that the ROMAN EMPIRE instituted the creation of the CHRISTIAN Religion in order to maintain control over their flailing empire…

    It is obvious that people are too easily swayed by propaganda. I fault no spiritual follower, Christian or otherwise, who is a good human being and does good thing.. what they believe is not for me to judge.

    What I JUDGE is the actions and words of those believers who use their mindcontrolled institutions to control and hate and use it as a weapon against others.. that is the most heinous crime of all!.

    I will not “tolerate” for tolerations sake and instead I will call them out on their hypocrisy and ridiculousness of their claims!.

  12. 12
    jamesskaar

    anyone thought of putting some of the more violent/weird/hateful stuff from religious texts on your cars, unattributed? maybe with a tiny attribution in the corner? perhaps some mock stonings with the reason posted? maybe a crier to announce the reason? it’d pay to have a special effects crew in. stone a few grannies to ‘death’ for cooking dinner on sabbath… when people complain, remind them that the ‘biblical’ laws that the christian fundamentalists are trying to have the country run by include these things. perhaps some examples of laws that are suggested by the right wingers…

  1. 13
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