• Open Letter To Christians

    letter-writingDear Christians,
    No disrespect, but…
    How could you possibly believe in Christianity?

    Forget about the woman from a rib, the walking-talking snake, the burning bush, the man trapped in a whale, Noah’s Ark, and the tower of Babel. I get that not everyone believes that. After all, that is obviously ridiculous. But what about the virgin birth, water to wine, zombies, resurrections, ancient prophecies, and eternal paradise and/or torture? Are those things any less ridiculous?

    I mean, what kind of God needs this kind of elaborate scheme to “save” humanity. Do you really believe God sent his holy sperm – I mean spirit – to impregnate a virgin, wait 33 years and then allow his only “begotten” son (whatever that means) to be tortured and die for three days so that he could resurrect him and then demand through the words of flawed humans over the course of 66 poorly written books that people worship him or be tortured for all eternity? What is God’s obsession with blood all about?

    Think about it for a minute. If I told you that story you would laugh your ass off and send me to a mental institute. Look, I get that our culture reinforces your belief and that you were taught this stuff all your life from before you could walk and talk, but you were also taught about Santa Claus and now we can all admit that is just a make-believe story. I mean flying reindeer, right? Only a five-year-old would buy that shit — but a virgin woman popping out the son of God? Totally legit.

    I’m not talking about belief in a god in general here. I get why someone might find the concept of some vague higher power alluring despite the complete lack of evidence, but when we are talking about the specific beliefs and claims of Christianity, we have to take a moment and really think about just how ridiculous those beliefs are.

    Can we all just admit that the Bible is fiction and move on with our lives?

    I mean, how is it that we are entertaining a serious debate about whether there was a historical magic man/deity? We might as well be debating the historicity of Hercules or Darth Vader.

    I’m not angry at you or your imaginary deity; I’m just confused and maybe even a little frustrated. Just imagine one day waking up in a world where everyone worshiped Voldemort and quoted the Harry Potter books as if they were historical and inerrant. One might point out that they are obviously fictional books written by J.K. Rowling, but believers would be quick to claim that she wrote them while under Harry Potter’s spell and that these books were absolutely true. The Ministry of Magic just made her think that she was writing fiction in order to hide the world of magic from Muggles. Whatever criticism, plot hole, argument, or point against the “Truth” of the Harry Potter books one come up with, the believers will have some sort of rationalization for them.

    If you met one person who believed that, you could easily dismiss them as crazy but when millions or billions of people believe it, then what? Does it make it any less crazy? I don’t think it does.

    This is the case with Christianity. It is a crazy belief system that simply does not match up with the evidence we see every day. If the God of the Bible existed, he wouldn’t need you to tell everyone about him. He could do his own damn dirty work. There would be no need for threats of eternal Hell or promises of eternal paradise. God wouldn’t need to sacrifice his own son or anyone else. If God wanted people “saved” from himself, then poof… done. There would be no need to shed holy blood or for any elaborate schemes.

    There would be no hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, or diseases. And if they did exist, they would only affect those God wanted to punish. We certainly wouldn’t see believers and non-believers affected at exactly the same rate. Please face reality, your religion isn’t true, the Bible is fiction, and God is imaginary. Then we can move past all this ancient superstition and start working toward making a brighter future for everyone. Just think about it. Thanks.

    Category: AtheismChristianityDear ChristianfeaturedReligion

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    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.

    10 comments

    1. And I think it is pronounced like rolling.

      Otherwise good stuff. I just wish I could get my 2,000 plus Catholic friends to accept it. They will not read a word against their church. They simply tell me they respect my unbelief. I tell them I do not respect their belief, but it makes no impact on them at all. The seeds I sow seem to fall on stony ground.

      1. Mr. Howes,

        It’s not stony ground upon which your seeds are falling – heads maybe, but not ground, sir.

    2. Christian belief isn’t as particularly absurd as you may imagine, nor the reasons for it particularly exotic. As a psychologist, I know that everyone has or has had irrational beliefs that are not based on a meticulous and epistemologically pure evaluation of facts and evidence. I find it a bit hubristic to deride others, as if you’re a Rational Person ™ and they are not.

      There are two good ways to answer some of your questions. One, is the growing psychology and anthropology literature on religious belief; See Pascal Boyer, Scott Atran, Dan Sperber, and although very old school, William James is awesome. The second, and I think this is much more valuable, is talking to and maybe making friends with devout Christians. That’s what I did a few years back when I was running the atheist student group. Not just any Christian, but ones who are more or less like you: honest, sincere, well-meaning, and possessing a curious mind. The point of that is not to argue and debate, but to learn what they are like, what their beliefs really are, not just what you believe that they are. I learned quite a lot, and I was surprised at a good bit of it. My assumptions were sometimes totally wrong, like that they (evangelical Christians, in my case) believed God was omnipotent – they didn’t.

      As a matter of writing, yours is often strong because you’re a discerning and sensitive man. Here, though, you’re in danger of “othering” Christians as a monolithic group of outsiders who are alien and abnormal. Some are loud, destructive zealots, but most aren’t as different from us as you think.

      1. I don’t think I was doing that at all. I definitely didn’t say or imply that Christians are unique in believing irrational things. My point was to jar believers into realizing just how irrational the core beliefs of Christianity actually are.

        Our entire society reinforces these beliefs and so we often find ourselves taking these beliefs far more seriously than they deserve to be taken. Sure, I can have a conversation discussing the historicity of Jesus or debate the the finer points of this story or that in the Bible. I have done that. But sometimes it is important to take a step back and point out the obvious. If our entire society wasn’t re-enforcing this belief system no one would take it seriously.

        BTW, I have been a vocal atheist 30 years. I have had many, many religious friends. Many of which were evangelical and I have written about several throughout my years of blogging. In college, my religious mentor was a Messianic Jew and we never debated anything. We had long conversations late into the night. He was a very thoughtful person and I respected him a lot.

    3. Well the reason I side with the Christians is because they have the most reasonable arguments. When I read blogs or watch debates, the atheist side usually relies on emotion and rhetoric, where the Christians use reason and logic. Just helps call nvince me that they have the goods and the atheists typically come up empty handed.

        1. Thank you Ben for your input. Staks you’ll probably be pulling your eye balls out of their sockets just reading my poor writing, but I’ll give it my best.

          Thank you for your attempt to take away any hope for an eternity of joy from many, by your words I’m sure you’ll bring along those whose faith is weak.
          However my faith in Jesus Christ is strong enough to withstand your attempts to devalue something that brought me back to life.

          You see I did grow up in the church but never understood the messege and when I became an adult I began living life for myself, if it pleased me I did it. Drugs, drinking and sleeping with any woman that would have me.

          It left me empty and depressed looking for the next big high became an obsession with pornography. You probably are thinking ‘there’s nothing wrong with port you bible thumper’ besides the fact that lusting after women who aren’t your wife has been proven to devalue your wife, besides addiction is addiction whatever it may be. God has spoke to me when I was at my absolute lowest, audibly and when not another soul was near. I was made clean and my depression was wiped out; no more addictions, lust was the farthest thing from my mind.

          Besides experience you want to know why I believe in the Bible? Because it tells the story of humanity; historically and currently. I congratulate you for demonstrating what little knowledge of the Word you have. But I would like to share some scripture with you for your consideration.

          “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
          2 Corinthians 4:3, 4

          “The heavens declare the glory of God,
          and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
          Day to day pours out speech,
          and night to night reveals knowledge.
          There is no speech, nor are there words,
          whose voice is not heard.
          Their voice goes out through all the earth,
          and their words to the end of the world.
          In them he has set a tent for the sun,
          which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
          and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.”
          Psalms 19:1-5

          And I too have an open letter to unbelievers and so-called Christians (of course it’s not as eloquent as yours).

          My turn to ask you a question, why would you want people to not desire a life with a higher purpose and an eternal hope without any hope of life after death?

          1. Thank you Matt for your comment. I have had many friends who have suffered from various addictions, but swapping one addiction from another isn’t the answer. Your addiction to the Jesus fairy tale is still an addiction. It isn’t true. Science and history have proven time and again that the Bible is make-believe.

            As for porn addiction, the exact opposite is actually true. Porn can actually help marriages. I wrote an article on this awhile back: http://www.examiner.com/article/pornography-is-it-moral

            For the record, I do desire life with a higher purpose but I desire that purpose to fit with reality. In fact, I see the Christian myth as getting in the way of humanity’s great potential. You have become a slave to your imaginary deity. Free yourself and live life!

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