a few words
It's the twenty fifth issue. Big dippin' deal, eh? I hate tooting my own horn, so that's all I care to say. On another notable date subject, this May 1st, Devil Shat will have been publishing for one whole year. Congratulate us.
Anyways, readers of Devil Shat may remember that we asked for people to respond to a piece we had received called "5 Reasons We Don't Need Christianity". We were pleasantly surprised by the number of people who actually said, "hey, send the piece to me" and then even more so to the turnaround. After reading from about 20 entries, we chose the piece written by Truthserum to be its rebuttal.
Why did we ask for a rebuttal piece? Why didn't we just publish the piece and let it stand as that? Because it would have given Devil Shat a standing on religion. People could look at the contents and say, "whoop, evil, devil, don't need christianity, do I smell Satan?" and unsubscribe themselves. In reality, Devil Shat is neutral.
There are some words I do want to say about the whole religion thing. The first is that you either care about religion or you don't. Most people care about it... I have never met someone who hasn't. Whether you agree with it or not, there is often vehement support either way. You can yell loudly that you hate religion, and then argue with someone about why this is this or why that is that. You care about religion because you contest it.
The other thing I want to mention is equality. I see a lot of software boxes because that is what I am paid to do. And along with the fact that everyone is trying to regulate the internet (of which I could bitch about for a whole 'nother issue), they often get blind sided into what is deemed correct. My example stems from a bit of code called "CyberPatrol". I have never used it, nor seen it in action. However, the back of the box gives a nifty list of everything it "protects" against. And near the bottom of the list was "Satanic and Cult". I scanned the box again. There was no "Christian and Related" option. It would only be fair, right? They are both religions, both with views, both with beliefs, and both with dedication. Breaking them down into their base parts them equate them out to be the same thing: a core set of beliefs which people follow. I almost wanted to write them an email, but at what use? I would only be labeled as something to be protected against. Maybe in their next version, they'll have a "Morbus" option. As a matter of fact, we're probably already blocked against anyways (Disobey equates to porn, and Devil equates to satanic or cult info).
I comment no further on this issue. Read the thoughts below, agree with both, neither or one, or just sit by and be confused. Whatever you do, start up your mail program and reply to this thing... it'll make everyone feel better.
five reasons we don't need christianity
by The Horseman
Or: Will we burn for being agnostic?
Lately I've been meeting or I should say have been confronted with people from all walks of life with one common qualification: they have seen the Light! Well, in fact that's two common qualifications; without one single exception they also hate me for disagreeing with them.
Some of these so-called god fearing example citizens are so one track minded and extreme in their opinions, that if these were the Middle Ages, I'd probably be thrown in the river with a big millstone around my neck or run the risk of being burnt at the stake!
Just the other day I had a discussion with a close relative, a devoted catholic all her life, which was definitely the last straw for me. She claimed that the bible should actually be looked upon as a REALISTIC book! I'm very sorry, but talking snakes, whales with digestion problems and Jesus as the first zombie in history are way beyond my imagination. If taking the bible as literal as possible is true for most christians, please read the below reasons, which to my opinion are just 5 examples why we can absolutely do without christianity.
Reason number one is that I don't think christians particularly care about healthy family relationships, biologically speaking. For starters, there was one guy and one woman (y'all remember Adam and Eve?), who had two boys. So far, so good. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but that's 3 males and 1 female. According to the bible Adam led a fruitful life until the age of 800 (??), so there's bound to be more offspring. But still there's only one set of parents. Get it? Where do you and I evolve from? Either from a guy making out with his sister or from a guy making out with his mother! And even up to today there have been stories of families living far away from the real world continuing this same form of reproduction. I can't speak for all countries, but I am pretty sure that in most of them incest is considered a crime. I mean I know that the Pope is against condoms and masturbation is a sin because of wasting your seed on the land, but to me those two options seem a much healthier way to satisfy your needs than overcrowding this planet with inbreds.
And than there is war. It's explicitly stated in Exodus that the Lord was a man of war and his name was the Lord. Now according to my grandmother, drastic situations ask for drastic measures, meaning that in that particular environment there was a need for war. That's just fine, but this way I and every world leader or oppressor practicing genocide can easily come up with some reason for war and sell the idea as being completely legitimate. However I finally understand the Vatican when documents were released that proved that they helped war criminals to escape to South America or somewhere. If this is what being a good christian is all about... thanks, but no thanks.
Murder. Now what more do I need to say? The first murder is already eternized in Genesis; Cain decided that he didn't like his brother too much and what was the easiest thing to do? I have heard of people naming their newborn Cain. I guess it will start quite a riot if I introduce my newborn triplets as Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer! I won't even start to discuss the book of Ezekiel in which we read that every man's sword will be against his brother and that the Lord will strike down with great vengeance upon those that try to harm his brothers. I do believe in self defense, but initiating murder? I don't know if I should agree, but I heard someone say once that religion has killed more people than cancer has...
Let's talk about the relation between christianity and money, or should I say the relationship between God and Jim Baker or perhaps the relationship between the Vatican and the laundering business? Or the relationship between doing good deeds and the amount of money spent on Mother Theresa's broadcasting time? Sure it's a good thing to help your fellow man, without any doubt, but why does it always have to involve money from indecisive followers? As far as we can go back in history, there are stories of preachers and prophets trying to persuade people to give as much money as possible in order to assure their place in heaven? So the rich man gets a VIP box? And missionaries in the dark jungles of Africa or the Salvation Army? Is this because you can only help those in need if you are a christian? If you're not, don't even try it because it's not allowed? Or is it because that you can convert new souls to christianity while you're at it? I am convinced that those in need are very happy with any support they get, but that their priority is definitely not whether to worship God or Mother Earth? Don't you think that survival is more important than devotion?
I can go on about the subject of christianity for hours, but since the title of this article starts with "FIVE reasons", I'd like to call this last one the "respect" issue. To me this is a somewhat more comprehensive term, including the question of guilt and sin and salvation. First of all, is there a need that we write everything related to christian religion with Capitals? Jesus, God, His name, the Bible? Is there a reason for printing "In God we trust" on money (see also reason 4)? Is this out of respect or out of humble obedience? Is this out of trust or out of self inflicted slavery? Is this out of security reasons or out of penance? That's why I never understood this whole guilt thing and this dying for our sins. I mean if Jesus was really to "absorb" all that was sinful in men and wash it all away by dying, don't you think he was about 2000 years too early? Look at the world today, how much worse can it get? But okay, God being good and all decided that the hard way (the Flood) didn't work, so he tried a different, more humane approach?
A few months ago there were some Jehovah's Witnesses at my door, who explicitly told me that "praying and going to church and being baptized and reading the bible cannot clean you of one single sin". So what's the use of doing all that? They told me that "in order to avoid Judgement Day you should make sure that your life and all that's in it totally belongs to God, 'cause that's the way he wants it". Yes, well, so did Jim Jones, and all of us realize now that he was insane. "But that's because Jim Jones did not stick to Gods cosmic Plan". Well, okay, but Judas and Pilate cooperated just fine, but basically they sentenced Jesus to death. So are they in heaven for not interfering with God's scheme or are they in hell for killing his son? I noticed that these self acclaimed disciples at my door started panicking when they told me I should "change my direction in life, because it is never too late for that". How many times can someone actually change his direction, because then I'll be a christian today, a sinner tomorrow and a christian again the day after! "Be aware, brother, that with such an attitude you'll be in big trouble. The bible has the highest count of predictions coming true". Well, Nostradamus predicted World War II, I haven't seen God doing that. Anyway, their conclusion was: I'll burn!
Some people find it extremely hard to believe that I am NOT a satanist. But I am no more a satanist than I am a buddhist or whatever. Neither am I an atheist, meaning that I do not deny the existence of God for the simple reason that I do not know if he/she exists in the form of some non physical spiritual entity (I think the right word here is agnostic, isn't it?). I do believe that the bible can well be a guideline for people but only if it is considered as a SYMBOLIC scripture. In laymen's terms; I do believe in Good, but I don't call it God and I do believe in Evil, but I don't call it Devil. Has anyone ever wondered why these words sound so much alike?
five reasons we need christianity
Or: Lame Excuses For Not Believing Do Not Constitute A "Get Out Of Hell" Free Card.
When David Letterman gives a Top Ten List, he follows the classic entertainer's model. Building from the weakest jokes to the strongest. No genius is involved in Letterman's decision, it is the tried and true rule for the worlds of footlights and celluloid. So, I may be wrong about The Horseman's take on why we don't need Christianity (but I doubt it). If it turns out that the Horseman was counting backwards, perhaps he's got better reasons. Otherwise, there are no good reasons for not needing Christianity.
The Horseman's Five Reasons were: (1) Christians do not care for healthy family relationships because, in the Horseman's version of the Hebrew Testament, all mankind descended from one set of parents, a fact which draws us ineluctably to the conclusion that there had to be a great deal of inbreeding in our past (and not just in West Virginia) back toward Eden way; (2) Christians fight wars; (3) Christians commit murder; (4) Christians have money or Christians want money or christians spend money or christians do not spend the money they have or Christians do not have enough money or Christians encourage charity in others or Christians use money to export their religious views; and (drumroll, please), Christians inspire respect or desire respect or deserve respect or get respect. Wow! I am nearly persuaded! Not!
Why is the Horseman's argument a load of manure?
Argument one falls apart because there is every reason to accept the fact that humanity today is the result of a bit of inbreeding. From road rage to the Spice Girls to Peter Jennings to Bubba Clinton, all objective evidence compels this conclusion. Of course, the Horseman blatantly errs: Christians do care for healthy family relationships. From the inception of Christianity, the family has been a home-oriented religion. Among its hallmarks are the drawn nexus between the happy home and a ministry role in the Church. Further, the nature of that home-based faith is such that husbands and wives, parents and children are all counseled to serve and care for the others better than for themselves.
The Christians as warmongerers argument has no gas. I suppose we are better off under the tutelage of Eastern religions? Nothing like a Shintoist to sink your U.S.S. Arizona, huh? The Iran-Iraq war, of course, proves that Islamasists can start and stretch out a war as well as other religionists. Tribal warfare amongst Africans and Native Americans proves that other religions also seem to be indictable on this count. More to the point, however, is that in the absence of faith in Christ, Allah, personal purification or other hallmarks of religion, man is still borne a-warring. Consider the religion-free governments of the Soviet Union and Communist China: together sharing a death toll over their lifespans of better than seventy million. Fact is, Christianity is essential to suppressing and reforming the lesser angels of our natures that lead to wars and fightings amongst men.
For the same reasons, Horseman's third argument fails. War is, or at least may be, murder en masse. Or, it may be justifiable homicide (self defense, defense of another) or excusable (mistake of fact, mistake of law). But whatever individual murders are, they occur in primitive cultures and advanced ones, Oriental cultures and Occidental ones, agrarian cultures and technological ones, and, significantly, Buddhist, Hindu (wasn't Gandhi murdered by a Hindu extremist?), and every religious culture. And, modern day China and the Soviet Union, as well as other older religious societies, such as France in revolution, all prove that strictly secular cultures are infected with the death ethic. So, as with a proclivity to war, Horseman's suggestion that Christians have a peculiar proclivity to murder is patent babble.
Money. The Horseman sees Christians as unnecessary because of their relationship to money. Ever seen those stone coins that are taller than a man, I think from the Easter Islands. Greeks and Romans, Egyptians, Sumerians, and countless other cultures past and present, religious and not, have prized "net worth." There is no uniquely Christian element to this question. Of course, Christianity offers the means by which private property and the accumulation of wealth can be properly balanced with charity to others. There are cultures that put no emphasis on the citizenry using their own funds to provide for the poor, the destitute, the homeless, the widows and the fatherless. Christianity does. Of course there are abuses. Christians remain humans. Where did those Buddhist nuns get the cash to stuff in Al Gore's pockets? From Christians? I don't think so. In the Christian faith we use money, we don't love it or lust for it. When we do, we tread on the trail of woes common to all whose judgment is clouded by avarice.
Finally, the Horseman, playing a poor Rodney Dangerfield, complains that Christians are given respect, or that Christians give respect. As with each of his arguments, the hORSEMAN majors in minors. Here, he fidgets over capitalization of proper nouns. Drivel. There has to be better arguments or else the hORSEMAN will be converted shortly. I guess I find the arguments so inconsiderable as to require a magnifying lens. A quick look around should tell the hORSEMAN that there is a great deal wrong with mankind. Christianity credits the graceful gift of God with delivering from justified punishments. In that mix, Christianity teaches that men are deserving of being treated with gentility and respect because they are the objects of divine affection, each and every one.
The Horseman never got out of the gate on this race track. Pat phrases and thought free musings just don't carry the day.
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The Horseman pointed out several topics of contesting interest, which Truthserum tried to refute. After reading both articles, I realized something: Truth was much much more hostile at The Horseman. Now, this is a generalization based on minimal facts, but: Yes, Christians seem slightly more aggressive than agnostic or athiests. I mean TRUE agnostics, not stupid teenager internet punks who spend 17 hrs a day MUDding. I see this alot, as a teenager. Anyways, my facts are available, if you are interested.
About The Horseman's 1st point about breeding (Adam and Eve). Inbreeding, to be specific. This made me think, and eventually to form a theory. Perhaps all (some) of humanity's medical problems (sickle cell, cancer, etc, etc) are due to the how we are all relatives of one another, and the "scientific advancements" in medicine today are just "cures" for the fuck-ups of inbreeding. Sickle cell and cancer are not good examples; I know there are much better ones, but my medical knowledge is not sufficient enough to present thought-provoking ailments.
A side thought: Christanity supresses creative thought. Resistance is futile.
Oh, by the way.. I am Christian (In theory; I have doubts of my religion).
I have no final word on what we all do or don't need in the way of religion... something Joseph Campbell said resonated with me, though, that when certain symbols and themes aren't provided from the outside (via ritual & religion) they have a way of working their way out from the inside, in dreams and psychosis. All of which is to say that you gotta be one strong, proud soul to live a good life without any kind of myth to guide you.
That being said, here is one reason that Christianity SCARES me:
I have found that the fear of being corrupted leads many Christians to divide people they know into two groups: people who need and deserve all the help and affection you can give them, and people who you should try to save if you get the chance, but who must be handled with kid gloves on (read: shunned). Into that latter category fall those who have fallen from grace, those who have been dangerously successful in evading conversion, a woman whose marital indiscretion caused her kindly, well-spoken husband to divorce her and convince the kids it would be better not to speak to her for years, an ex-preacher who reasoned his way out of faith and quickly lost every member of a vast network of once close friends. I know that not every Christian is susceptible to this trend of demonization, but I have seen it at work too many times in too many sweet people to fall for the "guns don't kill people; PEOPLE kill people" style of argumentation. Yes, there are a lot of positive strengths about Christianity, but it also carries, deeply woven into its very fabric, an us vs. them mentality. It is the cold steeliness of someone who would have liked to have been your friend but is resolved to carry out their duty and wound you anyway that terrifies me.
First of all both failed to differentiate between Theory and Practice. In theory testament #2 tells us to be nice to each other and to take care of the sick and the needy. At least that's how I understood it. In reality the sayings of a great man have been perverted again and again by those who wanted more power, money, sex, whatever. The words of a man are just wonderful to toy around with, to create a vehicle from which to influence people. The actual, original meaning of the words, sentences and chapters have probably been lost a week after they were written down some 1800 years ago.
Which brings me to my second point. Since the words of the founders of the major religions (who cannot really correct us right now) are wide open to interpretation, the basic problems seem to be a) the overwhelming influence long-dead people have on us today and b) the importance people give to words as opposed to the spirit/the message. Problem a)is just one of those foolish things humans do when they are don't learn to think for themselves and choose their own destiny. I guess, you can't avoid it. Problem b)describes on one hand the miracle-thingie. The text says that Jesus is supposed to have produced an All-you-can-eat-meal out of thin air, or rather major divinity. But the message is he shared his meal. It is as simple as that. Or rather as wonderful as that since most people back then didn't have the luxury of getting a fat piece of meat every day and suffered hunger once in a while.
Both problems make people irritable and produce in the millions of adherents quite a few extremists. And extremism is, as we all know, not good.
I completely agree with The Horseman. I never really thought about the whole "where did we spawn from if there was only Adam and Eve" until I read this piece. I would definitely like to have someone explain that one to me. I can't really comment on Reason #2 (War) becuz I don't remember the bible that well. I went to church, I am a born again christian, or at least I was. Is that something that you can STOP being at some time, or does it go with you til ya die? Same goes for Murder...can't say a whole lot about that subject, other then it's wrong. Anyway...the money issue. I've always wondered about this. Why is it that God needs money? If he is in fact God, can't he just make his own? If there were a God, I don't think we would have this overwhelming need for material things. And without that need, we could pretty much rule out murder, or all other crime for that matter. As for the respect issue, I can't respect someone, or something, that I don't beleive in. At one time, I did, but I was young and naive as to the way the world worked. Now that I'm older and I know exactly what kinda world we do live in, I cannot believe that someone who is supposed to care so much for his *followers*, would let something like this happen. Seems to me that he's kinda pissed that he had to make the ultimate sacrifice for us, but he's making us pay little by little. If he really cared for us, then why not just get it over with in one shot? Why make us live day to day with diseases that cause so much pain? Why should there be pain at all? Some may argue that without pain, there would be no pleasure. Well ok...so why not have some sort of compromise. Why should one man/woman suffer so another man/woman can be happy? Any God that *I* would believe in would not want that for his *followers*.
I have one comment for Truthserum...Unless you live, or have lived, in West Virginia, do not assume that all it's residents are inbred. I can assure you that we are not.
Religon is a good thing, I think, if you don't take it literally, that is. Maybe it keeps the weak going, knowing that some karmic redemption lies on the "other side", maybe it gives them someone to blame when their life fucks up ("GOD DID IT, I DIDN'T").
But what really pisses me off is when a preacher yells at the masses about Jesus returning to Earth, and then if someone comes up to a "believer", and says they're Jesus and would like a room for the night. They call them crazy, tell them to get the hell away, or call it blasphemy. I know there are a few who would not do this, but majority rules, right.
Personally, I don't believe. I think it is bullshit. We should just accept that we run our own lives, because, in a way, we accept God just because we can't think of anything else to accept when it comes to "WHY?". There is a chaos that is all around us, and it is time that we indulge it and just accept that THERE IS NOT A LOGICAL REASONING BEHIND EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But, if "God" decides to put his heavenly hand down and place me in hell, thne WALLAH, I'm a believer, but until I see proof, I'm going on reasonable doubt.
The Truthsman's artical was.. lacking. He had some rebuttal to the horsemen's article, which was lacking?, I'll agree, but brought no key points of his own to support his viewpoint.
Those were weak. I don't think that either of the authors said what they really wanted to. Formulation, perhaps, of a personal spiritual P.o.V. has not yet been completed in the conscious mind of our brave contributors. This is a topic that has more to offer. The connections between the religions of the world are gateways to illumination. Wo/Man is a divided beast. Spiritual and Secular. Most every unpleasant event in world history has been caused by groups blinded to one side or the other. Fundamentalist extremism will ALMOST ALWAYS result in unbalance. If the spirit casts too long a shadow, man will walk in the dark on this world. If desire and know-ledge shine to brightly the walls of the spirit will seem dark. KEEP ON KEEPIN ON...
just wanted to tell you that 'yes'.... agnostic IS the word... you are taking a different approach to get people thinking.... and i admire the fact that you do 'give a shit' enough to devote time into the disobey project....