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Aug 03 2013

Millennials leaving organized religion

Fundamentalists have become their own worst enemy in the battle for market share among young people. At least that’s what atheist writer Hemant Mehta posted on CNN.com:

While this sounds good philosophically, the myth surrounding Jesus is part of the problem with Christianity. To believe in Jesus means believing that he was born of a virgin, rose from the dead and performed a number of miracles.

There’s no proof of any of that ever happened, and atheists place those stories in the same box as “young Earth creationism” and Noah’s Great Flood. To be sure, if Christians followed the positive ideas Jesus had, we’d all be better off, but it’s very hard to separate the myth from the reality.

Actually, I think most of what Jesus said is fine. If Christians lived by that template wholeheartedly,  I would hold them in higher esteem.

But too many don’t.

Indeed, the most visible form of Christianity in America today is about as anti-Gospel as I’ve ever seen in my life. Pity the billionaire, hold the poor in contempt. Punish the middle-class for the sins of Wall Street big-shots. Might is right the world over. Fuck over education, fuck over workers, screw women and minorities. Forget about turning the other cheek, rather, stand your ground. With hold healing, pursue the Prosperity Gospel. Destroy the planet, for a few more precious shekels.

These aren’t just fringe outliers in Christianity, it’s what much of apparatus has been bent to the breaking point to serve (Nor is that unique here and now). Until small town pastors get away from the frothing gun nut, anti-science, xenophobic, anti-gay, anti-everything crowd and the easy money that often comes with it, they will continue to wane. Because, if we honestly ask what would Jesus do, the answer is crystal clear to any objective person who takes the time to read a few passages in the New Testament: Christ would preach against practically everything the right-wing wealth dominated politico-religious complex professes.

12 comments

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  1. 1
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Can I swear here, DarkSyde?

    Because my response to this is F___ yeah!

    Spot on.

  2. 2
    grumpyoldfart

    Actually, I think most of what Jesus said is fine.

    There are a few tricky bits:
    Believe or be damned – Mark 16:16
    If you’re not with me you’re against me – Matthew 12:30
    The rich shall receive more; the poor will lose everything – Matthew 13:12
    Unbelievers should be drowned – Matthew 18:6
    Snakes cannot kill you; poison cannot harm you – Mark 16:17-18
    I came not to send peace, but a sword. Matthew – 10:34
    If you want to castrate yourself to get into heaven, then go for it – Matthew 19:12
    Let the dead bury their dead. Matthew – 8:21-22
    He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me Matthew – 10:37

  3. 3
    Marcus Ranum

    Actually, I think most of what Jesus said is fine.

    Nobody knows anything about what jesus said or didn’t say, we only have doctored second-hand reports from people whose agenda it was to make him (and through him, themselves) look good. I know it’s “done” to offer a mandatory hat-tip to jesus’ alleged “philosophy” but there’s not any actual philosophy there: it’s just a bunch of argument from authority and some very very weak moral arguments that accept the notion of inherited guilt, collective punishment, and third party redemption. That’s not “fine” – that’s bullshit.

  4. 4
    Jackie

    A-fricken-men.

  5. 5
    Holms

    Pity the billionaire, hold the poor in contempt. Punish the middle-class for the sins of Wall Street big-shots. Might is right the world over. Fuck over education, fuck over workers, screw women and minorities. Forget about turning the other cheek, rather, stand your ground. With hold healing, pursue the Prosperity Gospel. Destroy the planet, for a few more precious shekels.

    I thought that was the whole point of the American Dream.

  6. 6
    R Johnston

    You know there’s no actual evidence that Jesus ever existed, don’t you? All there is at best is a lot of assertion that there must have been some real entity who inspired the Jesus story. That exists because the people doing the asserting are not very smart and can’t imagine how a story totally made up story by some combination of accretion and deliberate fraud could become a successful religion if the religion happens to be mainstream christianity rather than mormonism or scientology.

  7. 7
    yellowsubmarine

    I was talking with my mother about a month ago about the things that jesus said. She believes that gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry, while I believe that that’s UTTERLY ABSURD. She also only thinks that the things jesus said are the things that matter, so naturally I asked her about her gay marriage opposition. She then tells me that the things that jesus DIDN’T say can be as important as the things he did, and since he said a man and WOman shall leave their families and cleave to their spouse, then he was anti-gay marriage. O_O <— that was my horrified face. I have got my work freaking cut out for me.

  8. 8
    magistramarla

    “Christ would preach against practically everything the right-wing wealth dominated politico-religious complex professes.”

    Yes, and they would be clamoring to have him tried and executed, too.

  9. 9
    Randomfactor

    Truth is, we don’t have a clue what “Jesus” said. Only what someone whose name and background we don’t know says he said, if he even existed at all outside of myth.

    And then there’s Paul. Too many Christians are actually Paulists, and even PAUL made too much sense from time to time for the early church, which edited him to hide the few good bits.

  10. 10
    jenny6833a

    Why do you assume that some ‘Jesus’ actually said what some ‘Jesus’ is alleged to have said? Why do you assume that the ‘Jesus’ of the bible even existed? And, why, on why, do you call him “Christ”?

  11. 11
    catlover

    Just wanted to add my 2 cents to what others have said. There is no credible evidence at all that “Jesus” (“Yeshua” in Aramaic, “Joshua” in English, FWIW) ever existed. Just another myth. So this imaginary person”s words — although sometimes wonderful — are just what some people made up to suit their own needs and purposes.

    It’s sad that so many people have to lean on imaginary entities to figure out what is moral and what is not.

  12. 12
    Karen Locke

    We’d all do a lot better to pay attention to the Golden Rule, which predates Christianity and has been around in some form or another in most religions. Not that most people have paid any serious attention to it.

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