New article at Raw Story is titled, “These are the 12 worst ideas religion has unleashed on the world.” If only religions would divest themselves of these tendencies. But then, if they did so, they wouldn’t be considered religions.
Blasphemy – Blasphemy is the notion that some ideas are inviolable, off limits to criticism, satire, debate, or even question.
Male Ownership of Female Fertility
Bibliolatry (aka Book Worship)
“Challenging long-held views on the origins of divinity, biologists at the University of California, Berkeley, presented findings Thursday that confirm God, the Almighty Creator of the Universe, evolved from an ancient chimpanzee deity.
The recently discovered sacred ancestor, a divine chimp species scientists have named Pan sanctorum, reportedly gave rise over millions of years to the Lord Our God, Maker of Heaven and Earth.”
Explosive headline concerning the alleged transubstantiation. Here’s the title and opening sentence:
Vatican reeling as DNA tests show communion wafers contain 0% Christ
The Vatican is this morning facing a further crisis after routine DNA tests revealed that the communion wafers used in Sunday mass contain 0% of the body and blood of Christ.
Not much is new on Catholic radio.
Here in St. Louis, we have a Catholic radio station. Sometimes I listen to try to understand how Catholics think (I was raised Catholic). Yesterday, a woman called in and reported that her parish priest was serving up grape juice instead of wine to the 7-year old children who were about to receive their First Communion. She was upset because it isn’t proper to drink grape juice. Ten minute conversation ensued, with the radio hosts urging her to confront her priest, and then report this to his superiors if he didn’t change his ways.
I was thinking, “What would Jesus do?” (assuming that there were a divine Jesus). I couldn’t imagine any person with any heart sending a child to hell because she drank grape juice instead of wine.
Next caller wanted a clarification about the doctrine of papal infallibility. Another 10 minute discussion–it left me completely bewildered. Metaphors heaped onto metaphors, framed with utter vagueness. It reminded me of Daniel Dennett’s characterization of theology as “tennis without a net.”
Today, a caller wanted to know why priests couldn’t get married. The expert answer: Ao that they could focus on the important work they do. The voice in my head then said, “That’s why all the CEOs of all the big corporations are celibate and unmarried (as well as all professional athletes, entertainers, politicians, doctors and computer programmers).
Wendy Thomas Russell came out as an atheist flu years ago and has found it to be a positive experience. “I can candidly say that, for me personally, being “out” has been one of the most surprisingly gratifying choices I’ve ever made.” Here are her four main reasons:
1. It turns out I really enjoy shattering people’s assumptions.
2. I like religious people more now.
3. I’m setting a great example for my child.
4. I’m opening the door for others.
No “under God” in the original. That bit of obvious conflation of church and state was jammed into the pledge in the 50’s:
If saying the pledge makes us better citizens or makes our country better, maybe we should say it 20 times per day, bowing in homage as we chatter those words. Or, of course, we could actually do the hard work of making ourselves better citizens or making our country better.
And here is a version of the pledge that reflects my feelings about forcing kids to repeatedly recite jingoistic formulaic speeches they don’t understand:
I don’t believe in heaven, but many people do, and they can’t wait to get there. But not so fast. What is heaven like? This article suggests that heaven is not all that it’s cracked up to be.