Religion: Best Intentions, Useless Today

© Jordan Smith

I feel like religion definitely had a purpose, many years ago. Its inception was our first attempt at scientific exploration and philosophy. Before our species had the scientific knowledge to ponder such questions as why items fall to the ground? Or how does it rain? We first had the thirst for knowledge – curiosity. This is a lovely statement about the good nature of humanity and in fact most life on earth. We are a curious bunch. Ignorant of basic facts, and without any true measurements or understanding of life, we, as a species attempted to fill the gaps in our knowledge with explanations – sadly this lead to a one size fits all answer ‘God did it’

 

As we know from religious scripture, all 3 of the monolithic religions tried and completely failed to understand science. From the old Jewish bible which claims men come from dirt & women come from the ribs of men, to the Quran which claims the sun sets in the mud & sperm comes from the back bone & ribs (spot the copycat pattern?) To the new Testament which claims men can rise from the dead and walk on water.

 

Funnily enough, religious claims of astounding miracles happened often up until the invention of the camera and video camera, then suddenly, God stopped letting people walk on water or showing himself in the clouds – then Photoshop was invented, and back came the claims of divinity – along with airbrushed supermodels and images of teenagers with oddly placed beer cans in their hands. I’m not saying there is a connection between the fact miracles disappeared when humans had the opportunity to prove or disprove them … Actually I am, miracles are bullshit, the connection is clear.
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Freedom to Discriminate

© Jordan Francis Patrick Smith

Freedom of/from religion was a beautiful idea, supposed to rid the world of idiotic shamanism and inspire scepticism, or at best a move towards deism.

 

Sadly, the beauty of an idea is only as great as its safeguards. None of which were put in place; therefore freedom of religion or non-religion led to privatised preaching. The uneducated were sold lies by richer charlatans who not only had freedom to say whatever bigoted or outdated thing they professed to believe, but had tax incentives to boot. The hole left by deregulation was filled by the very thing the country stood against. Now the U.S. is arguably one of the most religious countries in the world. Regarding deregulation you only need to look at the banking crisis of recent years; the free reign of children for priests in the church; the misuse of billions by right-wing Christians in the U.S. taken from pious believers ; All of this possible when regulatory powers are taken away from higher bodies.

 

This recent misuse of freedom has resulted in anti-gay laws in the U.S. Obviously nothing new, the U.S. has always had some sort of anti-homosexual tendencies, from the ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ armed forces attitude, to the mental disorder diagnosed to gays in the U.S. until 1974; truly disgusting.

 

These laws are different; in Indiana (and other states that have began to follow suit) companies are placing signs in their front windows proclaiming ‘No admission to Gays’, ‘No Gays allowed’, or my favourite of the bunch – a rainbow symbolising the LGBT community with a red X through it. (who puts an X through a rainbow? I mean really?)
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How do you view the future? (Jehovah’s Witness Leaflet)

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Everything from the leaflet will be typed in italics. How do you view the future? Will our world… 

  • stay the same?
  • get worse?
  • get better?

Well already we don’t have much of a choice do we? My first reaction, if this had been spoken at the door, or I mean to say if they were unlucky enough to have me greet them at my door, would be “why is it any of your concern what my view of the future is?” Regardless of my rudeness, I can see why they point towards the future to get followers. As I have been known to say, if the human race had found a cure for death, or no fear of it, religion would become obsolete. It is our fundamental flaw of fear (poetic no?) which the religious plays upon. I don’t fear hell as I know it is fiction, it holds no weight with me. I fear death in a normal sense: missing loved ones, them missing me, having to leave once the party is still going on, knowing I will miss the next Batman movie etc. I do not fear death enough to make believe I will attend a theme park afterwards, which will be even better than this life. My fear isn’t strong enough to make me deluded or irrational. So using peoples’ fear of the future is a cheap tactic of the shameless.

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A Late Merry Christmas – Even to Non Christians

I thought it would be best to post this after Christmas lest I ruin someone’s day,even when I say nice things I seem to wreck something or other. Being an atheist who celebrates Christmas I may be looked at as a disappointment from a secular point of view; in truth most atheists I know also follow the holiday out of tradition. For me, the most important thing is to spend at least one day a year with your closest family – I don’t say all as that would be a nightmare. Giving thoughtful gifts to loved ones; drinking a silly amount of alcohol (although I drink much less than others and I’m relatively t-total all year round); trying to be a better person or at the very least trying to convince ourselves to be the person we aspire to be. That is what the season is all about for me; I can safely say I took the Christ out of Christmas many years ago.

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Forever 21: The Bible on Your Bag

It seems I am always the last to know; after some research I have found that one or two national newspapers in the U.K. have already discussed this topic – I am ashamed to say it passed me by – maybe because it is regarding fashion. High-street fashion retailer ‘Forever 21’ has already fought off criticism in the U.S. & despite local coverage has seemed to have done the same here in England. I first heard of the store when my girlfriend explained she just had to wake up early to make the ‘grand opening’,

“really?”  was my response, I didn’t even know people actually did that (other than for iphones)

The shop which my partner frantically woke up to attend has fallen upon the fury of many secularists who have found it deplorable that the shop prints Bible Verses on their bags. This not only is an invasion in my opinion, but it just feels creepy.

Imagine my confusion as I looked around my room and found a bright pink plastic bag that my other half had brought with her, on closer inspection I wondered “does that say John 3:16? It can’t.”
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Rula Jabreal: Another “Moderate” Muslim Lying for Her Extremist Comrades

 

By Fabrizioferri [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Once again one of my favourite shows has been hijacked completely by the topic of Islam. In a career spanning three decades Bill Maher has criticised every religion he can manage, but now it seems he has taken a step too far, because he has insulted … gasp … ISLAM. Oh dear.

Islam: the lovely peaceful religion that asks its followers to kill anyone of another faith, the woman-loving religion that claims one man is worth two women, the tolerant faith that orders the death of anyone who draws a cartoon or writes a book about the Prophet big Mo, the child friendly religion that makes excuses for its most famous Prophet marrying a six year old girl (even moderate scholars deem Mohammed a paedophile under our understanding), only to consummate with her when she turned nine years old (total gentleman), the all knowing and perfect religion that claims the world is flat and falsely proclaims that sperm comes from between the backbone and the ribs – regardless of how loud the Dr’s laugh. Yes that Islam, and people wonder why it needs to be criticised?
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The Unbelievers Movie, Ruminations by Jordan Smith

Two men that I admire greatly – not for their non-belief in a random deity – but their hard work, expertise & frankly under-appreciated strides forward in not only their scientific field, but in bringing the wonder of science back to the Zeitgeist. We need familiar faces and spokespeople to inspire the next generation of scientifically-literate children, and although there are one or two more, I would say one mustn’t look much further than these two men.

Professor Lawrence Krauss – (American Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, writer and converse wearer)

&

Professor Richard Dawkins – (British Ethologist, Biologist, writer and pisser-offer of unreasonable internet trolls everywhere)

Spent time documenting a recent tour aptly named  ‘the unbelievers’. The film had not been as provocative as the name would suggest, but that may be because I have such a high expectation of offence. Interesting enough; always a delight to watch these two scientific experts & staunch non-believers talk. Most importantly it garnered a good amount of discussion after the film had ended, and isn’t that the point?
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Christianity – One Woman’s Lie About Getting Pregnant That Got Way Out of Hand.

Luckily for myself, I have an output which can be taken as satire and fact depending on how I, and the audience feel. Some of my work can be playful, some outright demeaning – though always honest. I recently heard an expert on the historicity of Jesus, after-which I am fully convinced the man not only had no special powers, but most probably didn’t exist. Prior to this I always felt the story of Jesus may have been a few old wives tales strapped to a poor executed man, or someone chosen specifically as a pet project for a church. I never really dissected the evidence for such a person until recently – mostly because it didn’t interest me in the slightest. But as I am not a news source, or bound by certain rules, I would like to make a more humorous proposal, which I fully understand can be disregarded if the historicity account I recently heard was true. Also, we see so much nastiness , it has become normal to click on a link referring to a religion and be utterly appalled at the contents, that’s why I thought something different would be nice.

Some years back I saw a fantastic meme, (said image I sadly cannot find) that spoke in basic terms on how the story of Jesus was one woman’s lie about getting pregnant that just got totally out of control. It was made funnier by over-thinking the actual occurrence. Nowadays a drunk fueled one night stand, which leads to a child, might include a sobering conversation with parents like – “but, I am getting to know him, and he is actually a really nice guy, he has a good job…”

Whereas Mary, in this situation, could never be outdone – “but don’t worry, we will never starve, he can literally feed thousands with a few fish! And you like wine Father – he can turn our murky water into Merlot … you love Merlot!”

Ok, I know this is a jest – but let us delete the account of deities that Jesus has clearly stolen from, let us also delete further accounts of new prophets like Big Mo the Muslim bro, and Joseph Smith the snake oil salesman with magic underwear. Imagine if the only deity and prophet we had was the Christian one, imagine if the only holy book we had was the bible, it wouldn’t be too hard to sit back and think wow, this woman got pregnant and lied her ass off to cover it up.

We all know people like this, exaggerating and squirming out of any responsibility, never to be held accountable. Well, maybe Mary was the same? Maybe she truly got up the duff by some strange traveler and created an outlandish story about angels instead of telling her husband “I got drunk, and smoked something I think I shouldn’t have, and rode a guy like sea biscuit.”


There are two reasons she could not do this, 1) Back then I’m pretty sure they would have been allowed to smoke such items, although I doubt the area had sufficient soil & 2) She should have no idea who sea biscuit is, neither should I, I hated that film. I declare all films based solely around animals to be sub-par … with the exception of Free Willy because it was basically a heart-wrenching documentary about freeing whales (wasn’t it?)

 

Aren’t all mythical beings, God’s and Prophets just an amalgamation of old wives tales with Chinese whispers added on top?


I’m sure the Gospels of The Bible (before they were edited and chosen at the 
council of Nicaea) had many mundane stories that had to be expanded on to be included. Maybe there was no talking snake, but one guy who loved snakes just wouldn’t let it go. And another guy who thought the story of Jesus swimming faster than everyone else wasn’t miraculous enough, so proposed the idea of walking on the water.

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I don’t know – it all seems futile to me. Truth is, every once in a while we must detach ourselves. Atheists like myself spend so much time offended by religion, and disgusted by its wrongdoing – so much so that it literally becomes a part of our lives. It affects us because we actually care, we don’t turn a blind eye. In such a harsh environment, we sometimes need to kick back and relax like one does in real life, times are stressful? Have a beer with friends – and so on.

So laugh after watching religiosity make a fool of our civilization and belittle us to a colony of ants that look to our leader for guidance. Smile at anything that helps us ignore such horrors like diminishing fossil fuels, climate change, degradation of women, suicide bombings, and zealot law makers ruining beautiful countries like the USA due to “The Bible”. We have to just take a deep breath and say things like “Christianity, one woman’s crazy excuse for getting pregnant, that got way out of hand.”

Humor and detachment might help save out sanity – at the very least it will lower our blood pressure.

An Open Letter to Reza Aslan

Hello Reza,

I have recently heard your outburst at Bill Maher, although you are normally a nice inclusion to the show, and you sometimes have important things to say, I think you have sadly diminished any respect I once had for you by your recent lies on CNN. It seems that after being told a truth you dislike on HBO, and being subjected to other humans who actually have the ability to call bullshit on your claims – you have run to CNN to discuss your point with two people who know as much about Islam as you do about the inner workings of time travel.

When you claim Islam is peaceful, ISIS is not Islamic & people are the problem not religion,two random eye-candy anchors from CNN can do nothing but smile and try to sound interesting, how can their media study diplomas come in useful here? Whereas Bill Maher (or his research team) could actually use evidence – like the Quran, the unchanged & perfect word of your God – to prove you wrong. You gained many fans and book sales by looking rather smart on fox news, but let’s be honest, that’s like being the nicest looking 62 year old virgin in Milwaukee – its value is nil.
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Science ‘Proves’ Jack the Ripper, Next God?

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I know this is a stretch, but please follow me down the rabbit hole. As we know, it would have been absurd to believe that humans had evolved or had any connection on a molecular level to many species around us one hundred years before Darwins day; that is exactly why no one believed it (mostly). Before Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was discovered by Watson & Crick, it would have been almost impossible to truly know who had committed a serious crime without catching the perpetrator red handed, but now it is just the natural progression of how one would investigate a crime scene. Science pushes itself forward in ways we could never have dreamed mere generations before – in my opinion the truest beauty of all that is around us is the understanding and the ignorance that only science can bring us.
Continue reading “Science ‘Proves’ Jack the Ripper, Next God?”