Saturday, February 13, 2010

Coercive Morality; Love Me Or Else!

"Fear of God is a barrier to real morality, not a path to it."
-Saint Brian the Godless

"Learn to think before you learn to believe, or you’ll soon believe that you don’t need to think.
-Saint Brian the Godless

"Jesus Christ is good enough to hide an awful lot of evil in a man."
-Saint Brian the Godless

The Christian God is Mysterious. We cannot even guess His ways. He loves us, His most prized creation. He loves us over all else. We are as His children, and He is our Father in Heaven, as the prayer goes.

However, while He tells us not to judge others (through Jesus) it appears that He does so not because it is wrong to judge others, but because He reserves *that pleasure* for Himself. He not only judges us all, but feels free to act upon that judgement and relegate our poor souls to a place of eternal torment when we die, and also from time to time feels free to hasten that demise in certain circumstances if we displease Him enough.

His actions belie His words, and vice-versa. We are in essence told to 'do as I say and not as I do' by God.

So what does this teach us? Where does that leave us psychologically as a society that is admittedly largely based in the Judeo-Christian mythos?

It teaches us that a being who is willing to absolutely lay us out and fry our ass until the stars go out, willing to torture us forever for just the 'act' of not believing in Him with zero evidence, willing to kill people instantly for just being curious or for other silly 'mysterious' reasons that only HE knows, a being that can and has laid waste to whole cities and even committed genocide and even nearly destroyed the whole world once except for one family, loves us. Somehow, that horrifically fearful and easily provoked being loves us in spite of all that. Loves us more than anything, so much so that He'll send us straight to hell if we give Him one ounce of 'lip.'

It makes people believe that love can involve abuse. It teaches the abusers that it's okay to abuse, and it teaches the abused that they should just 'shut up and take it' because He (he) knows what's best for you, because He (he) loves you in spite of the beatings or whatever.

And that one thing my friends, has sown one hell of a lot of domestic misery in the world. Think of the psychology of it, really think about it, and you'll know that what I'm saying is true.

God sets very bad examples for us, and then we do our best to follow them. It's not even conscious. Of course we do. He's God. The Ultimate Father Figure. And like all parents who tell their children to just 'do as I say and not as I do,' we His children invariably do as he does and not as he says. Actions always speak louder than words, after all.

So we have 'Divine Sanction By Example' of such things as Wrath, Self-Righteous Indignation, Pride, Murder, Jealousy, War, and all sorts of abuse, both physical and psychological. No, God does not tell us to do these things to each other. God does them (or has done them in the past) to us Himself.

It's been wonderful for our collective mental health. Just watch the news sometime.

It is the nature of genuine morality based in empathy that it cannot be taught at gunpoint. Even less can it be taught by threat of eternal damnation. It cannot be coerced in our children, nor can it be coerced in God's Children. What can be taught us by coercion, is fear.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Macho Christ Will Kick Your Ass!

An interesting article in the New York Times recently:

Flock Is Now a Fight Team in Some Ministries

A pertinent excerpt:

"Recruitment efforts at the churches, which are predominantly white, involve fight night television viewing parties and lecture series that use ultimate fighting to explain how Christ fought for what he believed in. Other ministers go further, hosting or participating in live events.

The goal, these pastors say, is to inject some machismo into their ministries — and into the image of Jesus — in the hope of making Christianity more appealing. “Compassion and love — we agree with all that stuff, too,” said Brandon Beals, 37, the lead pastor at Canyon Creek Church outside of Seattle. “But what led me to find Christ was that Jesus was a fighter.”

The outreach is part of a larger and more longstanding effort on the part of some ministers who fear that their churches have become too feminized, promoting kindness and compassion at the expense of strength and responsibility.

“The man should be the overall leader of the household,” said Ryan Dobson, 39, a pastor and fan of mixed martial arts who is the son of James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, a prominent evangelical group. “We’ve raised a generation of little boys.”"

Promote kindness and compassion? Heaven Forbid!

Is it me, or are they just getting stupider?

Now I don't have anything against Mixed Martial Arts. I took karate for years, off and on, along with other styles of self-defense, and I enjoyed them very much and got a lot out of them as a person. That isn't the issue here.

These churches are choosing to attract young people, immature people, with an immature message of violence and agression. They are using the appeal of machismo to attract young people who don't know any better, when they should be teaching them to control these immature impulses and lead a more loving and peaceful life. Ironically, most really good martial arts schools would never consider trying an appeal to juvenile machismo in an attempt to increase their membership They have too much integrity, which is why they're the really good schools in the first place. Martial arts, at it's core, is more about attaining inner balance, the Yin and the Yang, than it is about kicking ass and taking names.

I guess the churches figured that they'd appeal to the dark side of people in order to bring them into the light or whatever. Great idea; in order to appeal to the unevolved personality, devolve yourself down to their level instead of attempting to inspire them to rise to yours. Too bad this totally negates the very meaning of their existence as followers of Jesus Christ like it does and all, but hey, business is booming, so who cares?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Is the old Dinesh D'Souza blog finally dead? All I get when I try to go there now is an AOL opinion news page.

Let's meet up here... sign in and we can at least continue the conversation.

Hope to talk to you all soon.

-Saint Brian the Godless