I have a deep hope that the Assad regime will fall and peace will come to the Muslims in Syria under secular, honest and competent leadership. Unfortunately based on recent events this won’t happen any time soon if it happens ever. I find the mass murder of people in that country to be horrifying.
As an atheist I don’t believe that the people murdered by this heartless dictator and billions of other people among the global and historic dead are burning in hell. I could never be that arrogant, apathetic or irrational. Atheism only requires freedom and logic. Fear and oppression is what’s needed by the deceivers.
But what about the Christians in my country? What do they believe? That only recognizing their “savior” can keep you from the fire? The challenge against immoral religious doctrine that sentences innocent people to suffer is hardly anything new, but it’s not repeated nearly enough.
Much of the “anger” of the atheist community stems from this intellectually repulsive notion that anyone who doesn’t believe in a specific faction of a specific religion will burn forever. As the creators of South Park once humorously opined, perhaps only the Mormons go to heaven. Everyone else is dammed because they had the wrong answer.
The atheists are called the “immoral” ones for not believing in such ludicrous nonsense. We’re called the intolerant bullies who hurt people’s feelings by insulting their beliefs. And yet somehow a religion that calls for murder and eternal punishment for everyone of different views is not intolerant bullying or insulting at all. Somehow hell for non-believers (meaning not only atheists but every human being of every other belief) passes as tolerant, loving and respectful.
And somehow these religions (Christianity and Islam) need protection from criticism in certain places like Islamic theocracies and the Russian orthodoxy. Blasphemy laws are needed to protect the poor and helpless god of Abraham. Fear and punishment is what’s needed to protect the impotent god of the Bible and the Qur'an.
There are Christians who don’t believe that everyone else is going to hell. It goes against their innate sense of fairness. There are even Christians who don’t believe in hell at all. But what does the Bible say? If someone has a religion that’s so off base with their own logic and ethics that they need to either ignore what’s in the religious text or claim that anything they don’t agree with is a parable, why even bother? I’d gladly take no religion over glorifying a belief that’s completely void of any personal integrity.
What about the Muslims who have the same hellish beliefs? What about the Muslims who believe Christians will and should burn in hell? What about the Islamic theocracies that imprison or murder non-believers? Of course these beliefs and actions of Islam are just as repulsive. In fact they are even more objectionable due to the fact that greater intolerance and extremism is currently found in the Muslim culture. They are even more objectionable due to the fact that according to Sharia Law any Muslim who gains the wits to reject Islamic nonsense is to be put to death.
I do not wish the same imaginary horror for those who wish it upon me. I wish for all people to be free from oppressive religious dogma. I wish for them to be saved. I wish for justice on those who have committed harm and I wish for the freedom and progression of independent minds.
It’s not sinful to believe that a god sending himself to sacrifice himself to himself to save us from himself (but only if you believe it) is insane. It’s not sinful to believe that an all-powerful god would simply have the power to forgive without needing a human sacrifice. It’s not sinful to reject the notion of a singular all-powerful god being jealous and demanding a greater love than what you have for your own family or he’ll burn you forever.
This does not fall under sin by any sane definition of the word. This is called having integrity in intelligence when it comes to unfounded supernatural beliefs. It’s called having morals that transcend the babbling of ancient bigots claiming to speak for god. It’s called having the aptitude to recognize that someone else’s delusions cannot send you to an imaginary place after you die. It’s called having the wits to expose the man behind the curtain.
-James Kirk Wall
For anyone who feels that this article was offensive, please consider the following sample of verses from the Bible and the Qur’an.
2 Chronicles 15:13
“Whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.”
(Jesus speaking) “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
(Jesus speaking) “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of me.'
(Jesus Speaking) “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’”
(Jesus speaking) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”
"If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you ... Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die."
“Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel.”
(Moses speaking) “Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.”
“Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation -- men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys.”
“Happy is the one who takes your babies and smashes them against the rocks!”
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
“But cowards who turn away from me, and unbelievers, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those who practice witchcraft, and idol worshipers, and all liars -- their doom is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.”
"Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers."
"Whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah) it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter."
"Take them and kill them wherever ye find them. Against such We have given you clear warrant."
[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah . And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
"Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. ... He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them."
“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, so strike off their heads and strike from them every fingertip.”
"Fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah."
Here is a short video for anyone claiming that the above verses were taken out of context.
To subscribe to this author, type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. This list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
var _gaq = _gaq || ; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-29068020-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);