I recently received a comment from a Christian pointing out that the Bible supports fasting for health reasons and that a scientific study has shown that fasting can be beneficial to cancer patients on Chemotherapy. The commenter then added that “this was another case of science catching up with God’s advice.”
When we think about religious believers, we tend to think that they all actually believe in the belief system that they identify with, however that might not always be the case. Many religious believers are brought up in the traditions of religion but might not really believe in the actual beliefs – and really, who can blame them. Many of those beliefs are pretty ridiculous.
The argument goes like this:
The universe is made up of matter and energy.
We are made up of matter and energy.
Therefore, we are the universe trying to understand itself.
Therefore, we are God.
Many more progressive religious believers and a few misguided atheists insist that religion isn’t really the problem; the problem is merely how some extremists interpret religion. They claim that atheists like me want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I disagree. I just don’t want to drown the baby in baptism.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy claimed that prayer (even explicitly Christian prayer) is not really religious; it is just ceremonial. It is merely a tradition and has no real religious purpose.
I was having a discussion with a Christian recently and we were talking about blood sacrifice and how Jesus was the Innocent Lamb of God. My Christian friend reminded me that because of the sacrifice of Jesus we don’t need to sacrifice animals any more. That reminder jarred me back into reality and I had to remind my Christian friend what century this is.
CNN’s BeliefNet writer, Candida Moss claims with a straight face that Christians didn’t steal Easter and that this is just a myth. Yeah, it’s just a myth no doubt created by the Devil or some atheists. Okay, she didn’t say that last part, but you get the idea. The funny part here is that Easter is one of those holidays where Christians were too lazy to even bother to change the name of the holiday.
Religious believers love to claim that God is the only possible source for morality. While I have made it clear in a previous article that God does not ground morality at all and that the true source of morality is human empathy and compassion, many religious believers still hold on to their dogmatic view. Not to worry, I have developed a test to see which one of us is correct.
Look, I understand that in countries like China, Iraq, Egypt, or Israel, it is certainly possible and even probable that a Christian might be persecuted for his or her religious faith, but in America where 80% of the country is made up of Christians and roughly 95% of our government is made up of Christians (including the President), it is extremely unlikely. It is more likely that a Republican would be persecuted in Alabama than a Christian to be persecuted in the United States.
This is why I love it that the number one online news program are filled with rational people who self-identify as “agnostics.” The on-air personalities of The Young Turks aren’t those mean atheists like me; they are open-minded progressives like me. They are also not “preaching” to the “choir” in that their audience isn’t just atheists. I don’t know if I can call them mainstream, but they are certainly more mainstream than the average atheist broadcaster.