Monthly ArchiveAugust 2008
Christianity Johnson on 30 Aug 2008
This song/video asks the question, “Who would Jesus bomb?” It is a good question, and we can use it as a way to open a larger discussion.
When we consider the words and thoughts attributed to the man named Jesus, it seems clear that Jesus would bomb no one. Jesus was a “turn the other cheek” kind of guy:
 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.
 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Clearly, Jesus would bomb no one.
Therefore Christians, who follow Jesus, should be radical passivists. There should be no military at all in a Christian nation, as there is no need for one. If America were to follow Christian principles, we would not have a Department of Defense. Instead, we would have a Department of Love.
Isn’t it interesting that we do not have a Department of Love in the United States, given that the great majority of Americans are Christian?
So let’s change the question and ask this:
Who would rational people bomb?
To put it another way:
When is it right for a nation of ethical and rational people to use military force against another nation?
It would seem reasonable that the people of an ethical and rational nation should have the right to defend themselves against an aggressor. If attacked, acting in self-defense to stop the attack would seem to be a valid course of action. This would be one case where bombing would be appropriate.
It is interesting to note that, if everyone on the planet were rational, there would be no war under this philosophy, as there would be no one who would attack first. All disputes would be resolved diplomatically in a rational world.
In what other situation would it be valid for the people of an ethical and rational nation to bomb another nation?
[If you are a Christian who would like to learn more about rational thinking, this web site can help you get started:
Christianity Johnson on 29 Aug 2008
This article talks about God’s law of abundance:
It contains quotes like this:
A God who is omnipresent good can bestow only true riches and prosperity on His creation. There is nothing poor, limited, or lacking in God, or He could not be omnipotent. As God’s sons and daughters, we have a right to claim abundance as our birthright.
The only will of God for us is good, even the will that we should always have everything we need, at all times, wherever we may be. Accepting this fact enables us to naturally reject believing that we lack substance or that God’s laws can lead to times of need, whether they are called recessions or depressions. Nor does the good He gives depreciate.
The Apostle Paul described God as “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). This is a promise that we can expect to have not just a minimal supply for our needs but the infinite abundance of God’s provision for all of us.
How could someone write this article, and why would a usually-reputable publication distribute it, when it so obviously contradicts reality? The only way is to be deeply delusional, delusion being the foundation of every religion.
How is it possible to ignore the poverty all over the world and say, “The Apostle Paul described God as “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). This is a promise that we can expect to have not just a minimal supply for our needs but the infinite abundance of God’s provision for all of us”?
Here is a quote from Catholic Charities USA on August 26, 2008 that demonstrates reality:
Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, issued the following statement regarding new statistics released today by the U.S. Census Bureau that show 800,000 more people are living in poverty in the United States:
“It is unacceptable that in a nation that is as prosperous as ours that 37.3 million people, including 13.3 million children, continue to live in poverty. This increase indicates that reducing poverty is not a priority for this nation.
“For Catholic Charities USA, and our 1,700 local member agencies who serve nearly 8 million in need a year, the poverty rate is not just another economic statistic. This unacceptable figure represents the millions of families we see each and every day who are struggling just to make ends meet.
“Substantial decreases in these numbers must occur in order to alleviate the struggles that millions are experiencing. The downturn in the economy is making matters worse…”
Why doesn’t Rev. Snyder simply pray to God to bestow divine abundance on everyone? Why hasn’t God bestowed abundance already?
And the people living in poverty in the United States are well off. They will never see “absolute poverty” like that described in this article:
1.9 billion people were actually living in the worst kind of poverty back in â€™81, and the number dropped to 1.5 billion in 2005.
“The worst kind of poverty” means “living on less than $1.25 per day”. Imagine trying to live like that.
UNICEF reported another startling poverty statistic on June 2, 2008:
The UNICEF Country Representative, Ms. Min-Whee Kang, has revealed that every year nearly ten million children die in the world due to preventable diseases. Most of these children are in sub-Saharan Africa. She added that one in every six children dies before their fifth birthday. Sub-Saharan Africa still remains the most difficult place for a child to survive.
And there is this:
Two buckets of safe water a day â€“ 20 litres â€“ is the bare minimum a child needs to live. This is enough for drinking and eating, washing and basic sanitation. But some 4000 children die every day, because they simply donâ€™t have access to an adequate supply of clean water.
4,000 kids a day equals 1.5 million per year. And in this case, the “God of Abundance” could save them simply by making it rain.
How could anyone spout off about “God’s Law of Abundance” given a reality this stark? The only way is to be completely delusional.
Are you a Christian who is starting to become uncomfortable with the delusion of Christianity? This web site can help you to replace delusion with rational thinking:
Christianity Johnson on 29 Aug 2008
Bernie Ward is a Roman Catholic priest.
Bernie Ward hosts a radio show in San Francisco called “God Talk”.
Bernie Ward also distributes child pornography.
God’s all-powerful love, Jesus’ sacrifice, the Bible, prayer, priestly training, the threat of hell… it all failed. Now Bernie Ward is serving 7 years.
Science Johnson on 29 Aug 2008
Christianity Johnson on 28 Aug 2008
Religions like Christianity and Islam like to portray themselves in terms of virtues. They will describe themselves with words like “loving”, “kind”, “generous”, “forgiving”, etc. But then we find articles like these that tell the real story:
The goal: “Early on a late September morning, if all goes according to plan, 1 million Mormons, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, evangelical Christians, Sikhs and Hindus will open their doors, march down their front walks and plant “Yes on Proposition 8″ signs in their yards to show they support repealing same-sex marriage in California.”
Yes, these loving, kind people will all gather together in an attempt to deny a basic human right to a segment of the population. In the case of Christians, they will be doing it because they firmly believe that this segment of the population should be stoned to death. In Levitcus 20:13 God says:
If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death;
If this kind of discrimination were happening on the basis of sex, it would be illegal. If it were happening on the basis of race, it would be illegal. But because this discrimination is happening against a group of people based on religious belief, it is legal.
When religion discriminates against an innocent segment of the population on the basis of a meaningless characteristic (e.g. race, sex, sexual orientation), it is evil.
The amazing thing is that we are giving these evil forces money so that they can spread their evil far and wide. Their efforts are euphemistically referred to “faith based initiatives”, and presidential candidates are falling over themselves to promise even more money:
The article is depressing. Faith based initiatives are the government’s way to directly fund discrimination and proselytizing in return for votes.
Christianity Johnson on 28 Aug 2008
This is an interesting article that took a lot of research. It shows a body count of the people killed in the name of religion:
His calculated total:
Final tally for theism: 2,229,074,100
It’s a nice history lesson.
Science Johnson on 28 Aug 2008
This video explains what scientists are learning from people who have religious hallucinations:
“These people suffer from some of the strangest of all brain disorders. It makes them think that they have been touched by God. But their unusual condition is giving scientists a unique insight into faith and the human mind. As a result, researchers are now asking one of the most explosive questions of all. Could it be that the physical makeup of our brain programs us to believe in God?”
Christianity Johnson on 27 Aug 2008
God may not heal amputees, or save starving children, but he does appear to famous authors to instantly cure them of their addictions:
Here is what Joe Eszterhas experienced. His doctor discovered throat cancer. God would not cure it, so “Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic removed 80 percent of his larynx, put a tracheotomy tube in his throat, and told him he must quit drinking and smoking immediately.” Then God stepped in a few days later:
One hot summer day after his surgery, walking through his tree-lined neighborhood in Bainbridge Township, Mr. Eszterhas reached a breaking point.
“I was going crazy. I was jittery. I twitched. I trembled. I had no patience for anything. â€¦ Every single nerve ending was demanding a drink and a cigarette,” he wrote.
He plopped down on a curb and cried. Sobbed, even. And for the first time since he was a child, he prayed: “Please God, help me.”
Mr. Eszterhas was shocked by his own prayer.
“I couldn’t believe I’d said it. I didn’t know why I’d said it. I’d never said it before,” he wrote.
But he felt an overwhelming peace. His heart stopped pounding. His hands stopped twitching. He saw a “shimmering, dazzling, nearly blinding brightness that made me cover my eyes with my hands.”
Like Saul on the road to Damascus, Mr. Eszterhas had been blinded by God. He stood up, wiped his eyes, and walked back home a new man.
In a phone interview this week, Mr. Eszterhas said it was “an absolutely overwhelming experience.
He went from doubting if he could make it through life without tobacco and alcohol, to knowing that he could “defeat myself and win.””
So there it is. With a “blinding brightness” and an “overwhelming peace”, God cured Eszterhas. Eszterhas clearly sought no other explanation for the brightness and the peace, nor did it ever occur to him to think through the logical implications of a God that would behave in such a capricious way. Why wouldn’t he explore the possibility that he experienced a hallucination or a brain seizure? Or perhaps a drug interaction, exacerbated by withdrawal symptoms from two highly addictive drugs (the effects of which his doctors never bothered to anticipate or ameliorate? That seems highly unlikely)? No, there is only one possible explanation for Eszterhas : the almighty creator of the universe had reason to manifest his greatness upon Eszterhas, and Eszterhas is now a believer.
Given the above account, this paragraph is absolutely fascinating:
Although he is a devout Catholic, Mr. Eszterhas writes bluntly of his disgust for priests who are pedophiles and bishops who have covered up for them. He and Naomi decided they could not, in good conscience, donate a dime to the church because of the clerical sexual abuse scandal.
On the one hand, Mr. Eszterhas believes that God reached down and specifically appeared to him to cure his addictions. On the other hand, this same God allowed Catholic priests – priests! – to sexually molest hundreds of innocent kids without ever intervening.
Such is the delusion of Christianity. Christians are somehow able to overlook these incredible delusions in their own thinking. To the point where they write whole books about their delusions.
If you are a Christian, and if you are starting to understand the gigantic delusions and contradictions in your thinking, you can learn more here:
You may also want to watch this video, which could not be any clearer about the fundamental delusions underpinning Christianity:
Science Johnson on 27 Aug 2008
Using the Hubble Deep Field image to gain a perspective on the universe:
Christianity Johnson on 26 Aug 2008
Dennis Prager is a fairly famous person, with a nationally syndicated radio show, a book and a newspaper column. Here, he explores the question, “What if there is no God?”
If there is no God by Dennis Prager
This is his thesis: “So, while it is not possible to prove (or disprove) God’s existence, what is provable is what happens when people stop believing in God.”
Prager proceeds to present a list containing 14 items. For example, here is item 1:
1. Without God there is no good and evil; there are only subjective opinions that we then label “good” and “evil.”
Since it is a fact that God is imaginary, this first item is humorous. And it is humorous for two reasons.
First, even though God is imaginary, there is good and evil. Humans define good and evil. People understand that murdering fellow human beings is wrong. We understand that we need to stop at red lights. Etc. It is fairly easy for people to understand these sorts of things. And it is fairly easy for most people to agree to abide by them. No God is required. Atheists figure this out, as do Buddhists. In fact, by most objective measures (for example, ratios of prisoners), atheists do a better job of figuring out good and evil than Christians do. Most of the people in prison are Christians.
Second, the God of the Bible is one of the most evil, horrific beings ever imagined by human beings. God would be the very last being we would want arbitrating good and evil, because he is evil incarnate. You can get a sampling of just how much evil is embodied in this being in this video, entitled, “Proving that the Pope has never read the Bible”:
The other 13 items in Prager’s list are also interesting, when you read them with the knowledge that God is imaginary. The fact is that once we can help Christians, Muslims, etc. to realize that there is no God and to abandon their superstitious beliefs, the world will be a much better place.
Mr. Prager, there is no God. If you will sit down for an hour or two and allow your brain to explore this possibility without restraint, your common sense will lead you to the truth in short order. Your God is imaginary. Please adapt your list, and your thinking, to take account of this fact.
Christianity Johnson on 26 Aug 2008
It is likely that Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Whywontgodhealamputees.com all receive the same kind of email. Here, Richard Dawkins reads a little of his:
If you would like to see lots of email received by a web site like Whywontgodhealamputees.com, you can find it here:
It appears to run the gamut from Bible thumping to highly introspective and everything in between.
Christianity Johnson on 25 Aug 2008
The New York Times has an article on the effects of Christianity on science education:
The article does contain good news:
In February, the Florida Department of Education modified its standards to explicitly require, for the first time, the stateâ€™s public schools to teach evolution, calling it â€œthe organizing principle of life science.â€ Spurred in part by legal rulings against school districts seeking to favor religious versions of natural history, over a dozen other states have also given more emphasis in recent years to what has long been the scientific consensus: that all of the diverse life forms on Earth descended from a common ancestor, through a process of mutation and natural selection, over billions of years.
But it also contains bad news. Religion infects students with nonsense:
But in a nation where evangelical Protestantism and other religious traditions stress a literal reading of the biblical description of Godâ€™s individually creating each species, students often arrive at school fearing that evolution, and perhaps science itself, is hostile to their faith.
Some come armed with â€œTen questions to ask your biology teacher about evolution,â€ a document circulated on the Internet that highlights supposed weaknesses in evolutionary theory. Others scrawl their opposition on homework assignments. Many just tune out.
That’s just great. We find ourselves in the 21st century, where our economy and destiny are inextricably linked to science. Unfortunately, many of the kids who happen to have religious parents “just tune out” in science class, and many more actively oppose science. What an incredible waste.
Here is the document that Christians arm themselves with:
The NYT has been kind enough to provide answers to these ten questions here:
So what is the ultimate solution to this problem? It seems like the simplest path is to state the truth loudly and without compromise. Yes, science is hostile to faith, because “faith” is based on nothing but superstition and mythology. Any intelligent person discards superstition and mythology without question or concern.
Since the whole idea of an education system is to create intelligent people, the education system is actively working to purge superstition and mythology every day. “Faith”, meanwhile, is actively working to make people stupid (by injecting superstition and mythology), and that has no benefit for anyone. Therefore, faith must be expelled. It’s that simple, and that obvious.
What prevents us from speaking the truth, especially when it comes to something this important?
Christianity Johnson on 22 Aug 2008
Two reports on Christianity in China:
Christianity â€” repressed, marginalized and, in many cases, illegal in China for more than half a century â€” is sweeping the country, overflowing churches and posing a sensitive challenge to the officially atheist Communist Party.
By some estimates Christian churches, most of them underground, now have roughly 70 million members, as many as the party itself. A growing number of those Christians are in fact party members.
Christianity is thriving in part because it offers a moral framework to citizens adrift in an age of Wild West capitalism that has not only exacted a heavy toll in corruption and pollution but also harmed the global image of products “Made in China.”
China did think it could control God, first in the early 1950s by regulating the devout into religious “patriotic associations.” That launched a period of extreme persecution that peaked during the Cultural Revolution, when absolute atheism banned all religions. Today, registered churches, such as the one U.S. President George Bush visited before the Olympics, have more than 50,000 meeting points. Restrictions include not being able to acknowledge Rome as their bishop, not being able to baptize or evangelize those under the age of 18, and ensuring that all teaching is “compatible with socialism.”
It would be fascinating to study what is happening here. You take a Chinese adult who presumably has never heard of Christianity before. You expose the adult to the Christian meme. Apparently the infection rate is incredibly high on a percentage basis, and it must be nearly instantaneous to get this kind of growth rate. It is obvious that this should happen – this is why Christianity has two billion participants around the globe. But a lot of the normal recruiting is done starting in childhood.
In China’s case, the infection happens during adulthood. Presumably sane adults abandon rationality and voluntarily sign up for the superstition of prayer, things like misogyny and slavery in the Bible, the mythology, etc.
What would you say to people to get them to sign up?
If you are a recently converted Chinese Christian, or if you are a Christian who converted to the faith as an adult in any country, we would love to hear from you. It appears that you have discarded rational thinking and voluntarily signed up for a life of superstition and mythology. But obviously you see things differently. What caused you to convert to Christianity?
Christianity Johnson on 22 Aug 2008
“new atheists” are the dark under belly of atheism. In books, blogs, and public statements, they sell us ideological porn, sophomoric rants that feed our dark sides and reinforce our own unfair stereotypes about the “other,” i.e. the religious.
Yet all of this does far more harm than good. The addictive nature of their rhetoric radicalizes us and leads us to an ever more closed off conversation about how we are superior and everyone else is delusional.
And a rebuttal:
And a report on one of the largest atheist organizations: