A New Direction December 3, 2010Posted by irreligious in christmas, faith, inconsistencies, introduction.
I started this blog about two years ago with the intention of exposing the insanity of religion around the world. But I broke one of the sacred rules of blogging: don’t simply link to news stories. Accounts of religion’s insanity are a dime a dozen and can be found on Clipmarks, Digg, and Reddit, not to mention the countless online new sources and blogs. There are plenty of stories about pedophile priests, homosexual Evangelical pastors, ignorant Creationist Tea Party Republicans, and “peaceful,” tolerant, stone-throwing Muslims.
But simply linking to these stories isn’t enough to convince some people of religion’s insanity. In fact, most theists simply brush off such accounts as aberrations, unworthy of closer scrutiny. Their faith is left unshaken because they simply choose to ignore the widespread insanity happening all around them. After all, they are perfectly happy with their religion and see no need to examine it more closely. Why ruin a good thing, right?
But religion is a lot like smoking. As long as people are enjoying it they ignore the inevitable consequences. Perhaps this isn’t such a good comparison, but when you think about it this is really how religion works. You begin when you’re young, experiment with different brands, and soon find yourself hooked. It brings satisfaction and makes you feel good. Sure, you may eventually realize that it’s bad for you, but it’s nearly impossible to stop. You continually long for that feeling and after awhile you accept it for what it is: an addiction.
Yes, I called religion an addiction. What would you call a strong belief that alters your perception of reality? Religion allows perfectly normal people to believe and act in a way that defies conventional logic and wisdom. It turns people who are usually skeptical into people who don’t question things like supernatural beings, paranormal activities, and fantastic tales. These are the same people who don’t believe that Evolution is scientific fact, but believe that a man was swallowed by a giant fish and lived inside it for many days.
Christmas will be arriving shortly, and Christians all over the world will share in a mass delusion constructed around a fairy tale involving a virgin birth, shining angels, and a mystical star that led a group of wise men to the Middle East. Yet none of these Christians will ever question the validity of this story or the events it alleges. Why? Because it’s in their “holy book,” and that book was literally inspired by God.
Most of these people don’t know that the doctrine of the virgin birth was not part of the teaching of the first Christians and was only added to the gospels of Matthew and Luke almost a century later. The apostle Paul, who Biblical scholars claim knew James, the brother of Jesus, and whose epistles were written before the four gospels, makes no reference to the virginal conception. You’d think that would be important enough to mention, especially if he knew the brother of Jesus.
In fact, scholars don’t even know when or where Jesus was born. Matthew says that the birth of Jesus occurred during the reign of Herod the Great of Judea who died in 4 B.C. Luke says the same thing, but adds that Jesus was born during a census of the population which was decreed by Emperor Augustus at the time that Cyrenius was the Roman governor of Syria. But this has to be a fabrication because Cyrenius was not governor of Syria and Judea during Herod’s reign.
As for the hometown of Jesus’ parents, neither gospel can agree where it was. Matthew has them residing in Bethlehem, while Luke says they lived in Nazareth. So to make the story fit the Bethlehem scenario, Luke has Joseph take his wife Mary, in the last stages of her pregnancy, on a tiring four day journey by foot to Bethlehem because of a “census.” And Matthew has Jesus being born in a house while Luke says it was a stable (“manger”). Luke also mentions nothing about a guiding star or the wisemen (magi).
There are more inconsistencies and questions surrounding the birth of Jesus, but each year Christians continue to celebrate Christmas as if it were the gospel truth (pardon the pun). They gather around nativity scenes and sing sacred Christmas songs, and bask in their certainty that all of this actually happened. Many of them even get upset if you wish them “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” They simply won’t accept the fact that there’s something fishy about the whole story behind Christmas.
For them it’s a “faith” issue. They see no biblical inconsistencies, only different interpretations that point to the same “truth.” And this, my friends, is why I believe religion is like a drug. A very powerful drug that alters the mind in such a way that perfectly normal people will think and do very abnormal things. That’s the insanity.
And I’m here to expose it.