Friday, September 2, 2011

About Religion

I was raised Catholic. I went to Catholic school from the 7th grade through college. I said more rosaries, more Glory Be's, and ransomed more pagan babies than you could shake an incense burner at, and sang a hundred high masses to boot, all before I turned fourteen.

I could tell you how I changed into a non-believer, but that would take too long, though I will say it started with being sixteen and having to make a choice between going to mass and a girl named June, and having to confront the notion that not going to mass and having premarital sex both condemned one to eternal pain in hell. Oh, choices, choices. I said, what the hell, go for the twofer.

(Full disclosure: I did skip mass, and June, much to my dismay, remained, for that day at least, chaste.)

Anyway, once the edifice crumbled and rationality set in, I've spent the better part of a lifetime ferreting out the misguided notions planted in my brain by priests and nuns. Moreover, I've come to the conclusion that religion is not only superstition pure and simple, but that religion has caused more grief, suffering, and death than any institution I can think of.

Just for fun, I will give you an example of how I view religion. Picture this: God sends an archangel to tell a young virgin named Mary that she's going to have His baby. What He doesn't tell her is, "Don't worry, before I'm done, I'll kill him off. But, again, don't worry, killing him will let him save the world. Oh, and I'll do it in the most gruesome way, nailing him to some boards and letting him die a slow and painful death in front of you, Mary. And why would I do this? Because I have an all-powerful love for the whole universe, and because that's just the way I roll!!"

If this is the basis for a religion -- one that dominates America -- then, please count me out.

Still, I don't mean to insult the intelligence of any and all who believe in this stuff, but I do mean to ask you if you wouldn't mind reconsidering. And should you disagree with me, please do this for me: explain how you can take the above scenario seriously, and, further, if a loving god might not have figured out a better way to save the world, assuming he needed to in the first place.

I look forward to the discussion.

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