From LJ Antitheism via BJSurvivor:
I am the LORD thy GOd and I give you these Ten Commandments:
1. I am He that brought you out of Egypt (like in the movie), You shall not returneth to Egypt, nor shall you think that the Pyramids are “cool,” “nifty,” or “symbolic.” That would be putting other gods before Me, and claiming that they are better architects, which is a sore spot and, hence, right out.
2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vein. Drugs are fine, but mainlining ANYTHING is a bad scene.
3. You shall keep the Sabbath day holy, as well as Columbus Day Thanksgiving. Make sure to look for the bargains for these, though, but don’t let it stop you from spending. Remember: The more thou spendest, the holier thou art.
4. Honor they father and thy mother, even if thy father molests thee. For abortions shall not be legal, so thou art stuck with thy affliction… naneenaneebooboo.
5. You shall not murder, except in the name of Me, or the Pope or any diocese, or to convert heathens, or to defend democracy or to hunt queers, women, commies or sissies.
6. You shall not commit adultery. This applies only to married women. Sex is a bad thing as it promotes fun, which is right out, and must be stopped. I put all those nerves in thy sexual regions to fulfill My quota (damn union labor laws), but that doesn’t mean you can use them just for the sake of pleasure, which is unholy and against Me. Why this is, I don’t know, but I don’t need to, being God. Someone get these bugs offa Me!
7. Thou shalt not steal, unless thou art the Pope, any diocese or government leader, or really wealthy, or if thou canst somehow work it in to the state or national charter.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor, unless thy neighbor is a commie, heathen or queer, which I despiseth, or unless thou art a Good Christian(tm), in which case thou canst do anything, so long as thou sayest that it is in My name (which thou wilt anyway).
9. Go ahead and covet.
10. Thou shalt not think. Thought is bad and may lead to Questioning, which is a mortal sin. Go to sleep. Feel comfortable in thy confusion and kill anyone who questions thou.
OK, reasonable, thoughtful Christians reading this are going to be offended. What offends me is that reasonable, thoughtful Christians allow the ignorant, fundie, idiot-fringe Christians to (mis)represent them.
Alic Sebold’s The Lovely Bones was built around in interesting and (as far as I know) original concept of the afterlife: rather than there being a single one-size-fits-all Heaven where everybody goes, everyone gets their own individual Heaven – a place where they are truly happy. Although each heaven is specific to each individual, they are not alone; all the Heavens are 3D Venn diagrams and those with similar ideas of happiness find their Heavens intersecting to greater or lesser degrees.
In this cosmology, there is of course no Hell. Evil people (like the serial killer who raped, murdered and dismembered Sebold’s heroine) find themselves, like everyone else, in their personal idea of Heaven; which is presumably (although Sebold doesn’t explore this) populated with willing victims whose idea of heaven is to be tortured and killed. Though-provoking ideas, with a good story attached too.
Kevin Brockmeier’s The Brief History of the Dead is built around another concept of the afterlife: that everybody goes to an afterlife and stays there only while there is somebody alive who remembers them; then they well and truly vanish. Brockmeier’s afterlife isn’t described as heaven; he makes it sound like any largish, quiet US town, with gardens and squares and sunshine and lots of pleasantness. People have jobs and go shopping and walking and make love and talk. There are orphanages for the children (who never grow up – nobody ages here). People don’t change from their pre-death selves – blind people are still blind, crazy people are still crazy, selfish people are still selfish. So presumably the evil people are here as well and still evil, but we see no sign of them and nothing really bad seems to happen.
However, I can forgive Brockmeier that particular inconsistency in his cosmology – the guy can write well enough for it not to matter. The story is set in the near future, when global catastrophe is occurring and international tensions and wars are increasing. The Afterlife is starting to get crowded. Then, suddenly, it starts emptying – somebody has released a devastating virus that is rapidly killing off every human. Eventually, the only people left in the Afterlife are those held in the memory of the last human alive – how long can it last?
Towards the end, the story got pretty meandering. Characters kept getting introduced only to do very little to advance the plot. But it was still worth reading right to the end.
An initial irritation for me was the constant and blatant use of the Coco-cola brand name in the narrative – the heroine works for the company, every soft drink is a Coke, every crushed soft drink can is a Coke can, and so on. But it rapidly becomes clear that Brockmeier is only doing this to give the company, and global corporations generally, a damm good kicking. He really, really doesn’t like them and they are the villains of the book. If this novel ever gets filmed, this is going to be one product-placement opportunity that won’t be taken up.
Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi went undercover at a US evangelical Christian “boot camp” for new converts. This is an extract from his book about it.
An Atheist Goes Undercover
Some of it is hugely hilarious, as the camp leaders exorcise the demons of astrology, anal fissures, philosophy, intellect and “disconnect” from their flock, or tell stories about banishing the demon of Harry Potter from their lives. But overall, it sounds frightening, a solid weekend of scientology-like brainwashing in which people expose their most private secrets and undergo group therapy techniques designed to break their psychological resistance.
Taibbi came away from his experience with worrying conclusions:
Afterward, a frightening thought shot through my head. It occurred to me that over the past decades, any number of our prominent political leaders (from Jimmy Carter to Chuck Colson to W himself) had boasted publicly of their born-again experiences, broadcasting to Middle America an understanding of their personal relationships with God. But whereas once these conversions were humble things — Billy Graham whispering and putting his hand on W’s shoulder in Kennebunkport, or even (in the case of Tom DeLay) a flash of recognition while watching a televangelist program — the modern version might very easily be this completely batshit holy-vomitus/demon-exorcism deal. The thought that any politician could claim this kind of experience and not be immediately disqualified from public service seemed utterly terrifying.
From the comments thread on Slacktavist:
I’ve always asserted the great dividing line in religions is not between monotheism and polytheism, but between the attitude of “please god(s) go away and don’t hurt me” and “hi god(s) sit down next to me and have a beer.” – Hapax
Courtesy of the Pagan Prattle, a list of Christian fundamentalist idiocy, collected from forums and chatgroups. Here’s a sample:
Gravity: Doesn’t exist. If items of mass had any impact of others, then mountains should have people orbiting them. Or the space shuttle in space should have the astronauts orbiting it. Of course, that’s just the tip of the gravity myth. Think about it. Scientists want us to believe that the sun has a gravitation pull strong enough to keep a planet like neptune or pluto in orbit, but then it’s not strong enough to keep the moon in orbit? Why is that? What I believe is going on here is this: These objects in space have yet to receive mans touch, and thus have no sin to weigh them down. This isn’t the case for earth, where we see the impact of transfered sin to material objects. The more sin, the heavier something is.
I am a bit troubled. I believe my son has a girlfriend, because she left a dirty magazine with men in it under his bed. My son is only 16 and I really don’t think he’s ready to date yet. What’s worse is that he’s sneaking some girl to his room behind my back. I need help, God! I want my son to stop being so secretive!
[about a girl being born with mental disabilities]
This girl is like a leper so what she needs to do is try and find god
if she really believes she can be healed from this state, she will be healed from this state
Most afflictions like this are caused by sins committed while still inside the womb. If she can repent for what she does god will embrace her and make her as human as you or me but if she chooses not to she’ll always be like this
god tests every one of us [emphasis added]
How can anyone beleive we evolved from monkeys heres a few questions for people who beleive that
1.If we did evolve from monkeys then how come babies arent born monkeys
2.Even Darwin said his theories were wrong before he died so why do you still believe them
3.do you really not believe the bible it says we were created in seven days not millions of years
4.how come we cant speak monkey
Just for a fact ape like creatures are monkeys Just in case certain people get on this thread
The only good Atheist is a dead Atheist.
“Make sure your answer uses Scripture, not logic.”
[Talking about an eleven year old girl who was raped and then buried alive]
god was sacrificing this child as a way to show others the light. much as he did his own child. what a beautiful gift he has given us.
(Yuck – I need to wash my brain out now.)
These are of course all, or nearly all, US Christians speaking. However, we Brits can’t feel too superior – I’m sure we have a few equally insane people here in the UK.
And, never forget, these people have the vote.
Meanwhile, the US administration says that we are the ones America should be worried about.