Christianity

God’s Justice is Crap

[caption id="attachment_2976" align="aligncenter" width="513" caption="salvation in stick figures!"]stick figure salvation[/caption] A commenter on my post about Sexism in the Bible slipped this into her comment:

God is good and just. It's not what nonbeliever [sic] consider just. Their just [sic] is more to satisfy themselves. Really think about it, it is.
I hate to start out with an "Am not!" "Are too!" routine, but I just can't help myself. I would like to hear examples about how secular justice is selfish. Most of the accusations from Christians state that atheists don't believe in God because we're sin addicts and can't handle being accountable for our actions. Not only is this insulting and ignorant, but also delightfully ironic!

Selfishness and Consequences

I propose that God's "justice" is extremely selfish and perfectly illustrates the desire to not be accountable for one's actions. Not only that, but hey, it's  ridiculous. How "just" and "good" is it that someone is able to wreak any amount of pain, harm, havoc, or evil upon the earth and their fellow humans, apologize for it and feel regret, and then instantly be free of any consequences for that action? It may be nice, but it's not justice. (more…)

Christianity

Tract Evangelism

tract: money Jesus loves you so much that he killed himself so that you would receive a mass-produced and over-simplified printed flyer. When trying to "reach the lost" for Jesus, there are no holds barred and no pop culture topics left untouched. Anything and everything can become a preaching tool. I remember my church giving us evangelism tracts to use during summer vacation as a challenge. They looked like money (see the back of the bill above) and were designed to lure the greedy sinner into picking them up. My youth pastor gave us tips for how to give them out:

  • Leave them on the ground; someone will pick it up and maybe read!
  • Leave it with your tip in a restaurant (I know someone who left these tracts on the table without any real money as a tip. Yeah, so Christ-like!)
  • Put it in an envelope with a  bill payment.
  • Tuck it into the g-string of a stripper (just kidding! Though I wouldn't put it past someone to do this.)
(more…)

Christianity

Confession and Why It Works for Atheists

Alcoholic SecretConfession. Its common definition outside of the law is an admission of sins or unrighteousness--often in order to gain absolution and forgiveness for breaking the laws or ideals of a deity. But since there is no deity, why should it ever apply to Atheists?

What is confession for atheists?

I'd like to re-brand confession for the secular audience. If it isn't about sin and disappointing a god, then what is it and why should we adopt a seemingly religious word? I'd like to suggest the following definition:
Confession is an acknowledgment of something personal that perhaps needs improvement, is troubling or difficult, or opens one up to the inclusion of another person into the private parts of someone's life. Confession may be an admission of wrongdoing, a kept secret, a story of emotional trial, or even a cry for help.
Do you know PostSecret? Then you get an idea of what secular confession is all about. I grew up in a vibrant, passionate intentional community filled mostly with Catholics. The sacrament of confession is one of the most "holy" and beloved practices in that tradition. One of my closest friends attends a weekly confession with her priest. She meets with him in his office and talks to him about the struggles and frustrations in her life as she tries to become a better person full of love, mercy, and righteousness. I admire her for working so hard at improving who she is on the inside. If confiding in her religious authority brings her closer to what she truly feels is right, then good for her. She's a gentle and loving friend, and I know she wants to be honest and real with me. But why should a non-theist use a concept like confession if there is no sin or god to punish and shame us? One reason is because it works. When confession is used to better onesself and one's community, it helps people open up to one another about the realities and struggles in their lives. Love and care is shared, and the community becomes stronger. The Christian system in particular is certainly a flawed system based on unrealistic expectations and needless guilt and fear, but when the "crime and punishment" aspect of confession is removed, it becomes more like therapy, honest intimacy, and consultation rather than an admission of wrongdoing. This portion of confession is what I desire in my own life. Confession isn't about feeling shame or fessing up because you have to. As an adult, no one is forcing you to admit anything. We still have free choice to tell one another about our secrets and our darker moments.

Why confess to another person?

(more…)

Christianity

It’s God’s Right!

Remember all those posts about God being a douchebag? I’ve been discussing God with a friend of mine who suggested the following argument (which I will probably muddle, since I’m summarizing from memory). I’d love to hear your responses! So what if God is an asshole? Even if God did Read more…