25 June, 2008

What a Sick, Twisted Little Worldview They've Got

One of the greatest pleasures I take in being an atheist is not having to really dig for evidence that God's pissed off and not slacking off in the smiting department.

Fundamentalist Christians have this desperate - actually, pathological - need to believe that humanity's nothing but worthless pieces of shit deserving of God's wrath. Disasters don't just happen in their world. It's got to be God, using natural processes to bitch-slap people for straying from the straight-and-narrow. Floods in the Midwest? Smiting the sinners! Fires in California? It's all about teh gays! Something awful happened to you? What did you do to get up God's nose? It's your own damned fault!

That's more destructive than the floods, fires and other assorted castastrophes. Folks like to claim religion's a wonderful and positive thing in one breath and then claim God's an indiscriminate, hateful bastard in the next. And it warps people badly.

I've known deeply religious people who use every little setback to flay themselves with. You couldn't fill a pea with the self-esteem they've got left. They spend all of their time obsessing over every tiny detail, every infintesimal misstep, bewailing their badness. "I have a hangnail - it must be God punishing me for looking at nudie pictures!" "I slipped on a wet sidewalk in a rainstorm and twisted my ankle - it's my fault for not going to church last Sunday!" The slightest mistake followed by the teeniest misfortune is proof positive God's mad at them and they've got atoning to do.

Some of my friends were almost destroyed by that mentality. They're paralyzed, terrified of getting the slightest detail wrong and bringing down the wrath. God's not so much loving father as evil control freak - and yet they claim He loves them.

If it was really God punishing them all out of proportion to their supposed sins, we'd have a word for it: abuse.

The truly God-fearing are a sad bunch. But the self-righteous fuckwits who love to point to every disaster and crow about God's vengeance against [insert fundie bugaboo here] are just downright evil.

How shrivelled a conscience do you have to have to respond to other people's suffering not with sympathy and a desire to help, but smugness? "You brought it on yourselves," fundie fucktards like Ray Comfort announce. "God's getting you back for not toeing his impossible line."

Never mind that Christians are suffering right along with the sinners. That doesn't matter to despicable religious frothers like Comfort (a misnomer if there ever was one). No, to prove that their God's the biggest, baddest, toughest, and smitiest god evah, they've got to explain every misfortune as his punishment for transgressions, and if the innocent suffer alongside the guilty, well, it just shows how powerful and angry God is, right? The energy these people expend in finding the reason God's so pissed at places like Iowa is remarkable. Comfort actually had to go and search for some natural disasters in California to explain that no, really, God's not letting that gay marriage thing go without pointed comment. How fucking pathological do you have to be to believe that this is a) a useful thing to do and b) that it proves God exists and is worthy of worship?

A religion based on fear and guilt isn't moral, or just, or worth having: it's a mental illness.

It leads to fear, and hate, and self-righteous fuckwits like Ray Comfort.

So I just have one question for these masochists: if your God is so all-knowing and all-powerful, exactly why is it that the assclown needs to resort to indiscriminate arson and flooding to get his point across? Doesn't he have the knowledge to sort out the real sinners from the decent folk, and the power to smite selectively? Wouldn't it make more sense, wouldn't it be a more potent example, to single out those who've given him the one-finger salute and strike them down in a fashion that can be explained by nothing else than a seriously outraged deity?

The religious frothers will try to answer that. They'll torture logic beyond recognition to try to prove just how mysterious and awesome God is, and all they can prove to an atheist like me is that they're nuts. Every time they try to point to some natural catastrophe and twist definitions to prove Goddidit, they're showing how weak their argument really is. They dump more proof that God doesn't exist right in my lap, which is already overflowing with proof aplenty.

And they're showing how fucked-up and sad their little worlds are.

That's why I have to say, "Thank you." Thank you, Ray Comfort, and Jerry Falwell, and Jason Lerner, and all your ilk, for reinforcing my happy atheism. People like you prove to godless sorts like me every day that we're not missing a damned thing by dismissing the God delusion.


Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly, My wife has friends (true, would I lie about something like that) who had a relatively successful Computer business, I mean, honestly this man is seriously smart, he was a certified Novell engineer, worked for Wang Computers and thinks writeing complete operating systems for programmable calculators is something you do while on the toilet and you have a spare moment. His belief in the Sky Daddy was his biggest let down, he decided to move out of his rented business premises and he bought a nice house with a huge garage that he converted into his office and workshop, fair enough as that was going to save him a small fortune in rent, the downside was he was no longer in the central business district and his custom dropped of, he put this down to God telling him something, he just wasn't sure what yet. Eventually he decided that he needed to go back to school as that was Gods plan for him, but not just any school, he needed to go back to Bible College and become a preacher, so he sold up everything, moved his wife and 4 young children to dormitory accommodation at the college and is still living hand to mouth because God didn't want him to be successful, instead God wanted him to impose himself on all his friends so his family could eat and have a roof over their heads, while he studied a book of fairy tales, all the while spouting the mantra of the faithful Christian "God will provide"!!
Sometimes I wish I could shake him by the shoulders and say "God has done jack shit for you, its people like my wife and I that have had to go without things ourselves, so we could provide for parasites like you!!"

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the joke about the man who went golfing with the vicar. He was a very bad golfer, and every time he played a bad shot missing the hole, he said, "Damn, missed."

The vicar got increasingly agitated about this, and eventually told his companion that if he carried on swearing God would strike him dead. The bad golfer tried not to swear for the next few shots, but then missed an easy putt and couldn't stop himself.

Instantly the sky clouded over, the heavens opened, and a fork of lightning stabbed down from the sky... and hit the vicar.

"Damn, missed!" said a deep voice from on high.

Nicole said...

See, I'm one of those crazy Christians who believe that God, yanno, forgives people and loves us and stuff. I know...crazy, huh?

Cujo359 said...

My guess, NP, is that you read all the way through to the end of The Book.

By the way, does Jesus live in the end? Do he and Mary M. walk off into the sunset together? ;-)

Anyhow, these guys are wonderful examples of post hoc, ergo propter hoc reasoning - I don't like these people, therefore my god let 'em have it. A curiously infantile bit of reasoning from people who are respected by so many.

Chaos Lee said...

People as a whole need to define their actions and or events which somehow affect them in a context of meaning. I know people who claim agnosticism and atheism, yet somehow believe in fate or destiny or karma. Even if they claim they don't, I'll hear comments like "My day totally sucked, what did I do in my past life?" or if something goes badly, the stoic "Well, it was just meant to be."

Here's the kicker, I'm NOT an atheist and I find this to be a giant load of horseshit. People's continual need to make their lives have meaning, to feel as though they are important (see: a collection of organic matter with a sense of grandeur and no actual signficance at cosmic level).

Religion is the purest extension of this need, and perhaps people who hold onto these notions are merely establishing that despite attempting atheism, they are still indoctrinated into such a worldview. It's like suing the government because some terrorists blew up the building you were working in. It's not about damages, responsibility, etc. It's about validation that someone was more than just another nameless schmuck in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I can sum up my religious views quite simply. "Shit happens, move along."

Efrique said...

Hi NP. It's an interesting viewpoint.

Do you (like I recently found that Mike Clawson over at Friendly Atheist does) reject the doctrine of Hell?

Metro said...

I always did wonder what it meant when a church collapsed, or when people got crushed trying to get close to the pope, etc.

Presumably that was Baal getting all smitey on their collectives.

Praise Baal! Or something ...