agnostic/atheists, Atlantic Journal-Constitution, Christianity, Delphi Forums, Islam, Jesus Camp, Madison WI, Politics, Religion

Praise God and Pass the Ammunition

Over at Delphi Forum’s Poll Vault we’ve been having an interesting discussion about the most dangerous idea in religion is prompted by an article in the Atlantic Journal-Constitution titled Faith and Values: What’s the Most Dangerous Idea In Religion: Violence in the name of God; follow our rules or else; my religion is right; converting others to your religion; or a tribal view of God.

Interestingly enough on July 2nd a Madison Bloggerwriting in Fearful Symmetries gave a review of Jesus Camp, which touches on all of these issues, in my opinion, although he didn’t label it as such and he also mentioned the Georgia Governor’s call for prayer for rain this week, which was also disscussed at the Poll Vault.   My friend MerlinsDad is from Atlanta and started both of these discussions.

We’re both secular humanists and atheists. I describe myself as more of an agnostic atheist because I don’t completely discount the possibility that there is a god. I highly doubt it and I certainly don’t believe in any of the gods I’ve been introduced to up to this point but there is always the possibility there might be a creative power greater than nature. Merlin might actually feel the same but we really haven’t discussed it all that closely. The odd thing here is that we discovered that we grew up going to the same strange little fundamentalist sect that originated in the Ohio Valley in the 1800s. Our several great Grandparents ago might even have known each other back in Illinois before mine went west and his headed east.

What’s different is that , I consider myself a recovering fundamentalist. I have ISSUES and Merlin doesn’tTo further the coinkydinks in this little series the featured Blog on WordPress today was “Don’t ask me to read your Holy Book.” in a Blog titled deconversion. Sooo I feel compelled, almost directed by the powers that be (HA!) to write about how a small town girl raised in THE Christian Church on the plains of Nebraska, baptized in the Little Blue River by full immersion at the Pible (actually I don’t know that it was spelled that way but that’s the way it was pronounced. I don’t recall ever seeing it written out though I must have.) Bible Church Camp who ended up a full fledged atheist feels about the question “What is the most dangerous idea in religion?”

My answer would be the notion of the tribal God. The belief that we are the chosen people who have been put here on earth specifically to do God’s will. This idea promotes the adoption and abuses of all the other ideas. It lends itself to the dehumanization of people who are not a member of your specific tribe or who are not willing to become a member of your tribe through the adoption of your religious beliefs and the worship your God.

It’s ever so much easier to kill people who are not members of your tribe. People you have dismissed as less worthy of your empathy and respect. People you have already deemed damned to eternal perdition because they have not made the right choices in deities. People your God would call an enemy

Unfortunately I believe that most if not all of American Christian churches teach this if not outright from the pulpit on Sunday morning then certainly by implication. Try reading the Old Testament of the Bible all the way through. There is plenty of blood and gore about the enemies of the Lord and don’t give me any guff about that merely being history. It’s only history when it isn’t pretty.

But then most other religions. have this tribal view of their Gods because after all they were invented by tribal men and women who needed a way to explain their world view. What was going on in their lives. Why things were the way they were. Where did they come from and where were they going.

So now all the tribes are really big and we have instant communication and nuclear bombs. And oil. No wait, the Muslims have the oil. We want it. Do you see where I’m going with this?

B

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7 thoughts on “Praise God and Pass the Ammunition

  1. Pingback: 3 Jul - WordPress PoliSci 2 « oldephartteintraining

  2. Yes we need a relook at our “religions”, which has become “prisons” for us. All sorts of insanity, cruelty, violence, and butchery are leased out on our own brethern and the same is sanctified and sanctioned as ‘holy’, in the name of religion. Humanity and the existence is evolving continuosly and we can not tame it with ‘old-gotten god stuff’, which will never fit the ‘here and now’.
    I loved the point mentioned somewhere in the above write-up that the war is simply ‘bomb’ v/s ‘oil’!
    The walled world is crumbling down and a new wallless open world is opening up. No tribal God or Head can stop it. New humanity, new height of awareness and conscoiusness is emerging. Time to merge and emerge – never to purge and preach good old holy shit or stuff.

  3. Pingback: A Carnival on Holy Books: To Read or Not To Read « de-conversion

  4. John Bojangles says:

    “It’s ever so much easier to kill people who are not members of your tribe. People you have dismissed as less worthy of your empathy and respect. People you have already deemed damned to eternal perdition because they have not made the right choices in deities. People your God would call an enemy

    Unfortunately I believe that most if not all of American Christian churches teach this if not outright from the pulpit on Sunday morning then certainly by implication. Try reading the Old Testament of the Bible all the way through.”

    Most wars in human history have been in started in the name of political ideas or religious beliefs. This is a passionate way to get the troops rallied when they will see little benifit.

    If you think it is in regards to oil or something people want, look closer. Believers in Christ hate the sin but love the sinner. True believers would rather share the life changing power of forgiveness rather than kill someone. I have been to that little camp in Nebraska you are talking about and I have seen a lot of peace makers, not war promoters come out. If your judgement is clouded and you are having a hard time seeing your God. Look to your neighbor first, before you make cynical judgements of the international wars around you.

    I do believe there is a God in heaven and I do believe his wrath is shown from time to time. But, more often, I see his mercy and grace upon a rebellious world. He gives us a lot more chances than we deserve.

    I doubt you have ever been to a week of Pible Bible Youth Camp. Pible Bible Camp baptizes in the Lake of the Pibel Nebraska state park that is adjacent to the property, not the Little Blue River. It has been that way since Guy B. Dunning opened the camp decades ago. Your facts are less than credible on this subject, so it makes me question others. You may have had a bad experience that turned you bitter.

    We may not think a like in thought, but that is OK. I welcome your firendship and a friendly, non-violent discussion.

    I think that proves that not all of us are wanting to get rid of people that are not like us.

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