So I think I’m going to take a break from Facebook for a while. I walked into a minefield that was clearly marked. My bad. I am intrigued how the Persians invented using crucifixion in the 6th century BCE to hurt people. Those who have taken up the cross as a symbol often learn how to use it as a weapon as well. Which begs the question; why do so many Christians feel perfectly good about insulting people in the name of the Bible?

After composing a short recap and then seeing how high-school the whole thing sounded, I’ll just say that when it was obvious that one of my post’s commenters was also an atheist, a Christian jumped in and brandished Psalm 53:1 at me.

The fool hath said in his heart, “there is no god.”

I, myself, used this verse at my “outing.”  I merely added the word, “finally.”   And I have seen it incorporated into a very empowering proverb since:

The fool says in his heart, “there is no god.”  The wise man says it out loud.

All that aside, it is immediately obvious, I think, that this person’s use of that verse at that time was meant very condescendingly, and was intended to be injurious.  The notion that it is better to offend someone than to let “error” exist is, frankly, one of the more medieval aspects of religion that was comforting to be away from.  I believe that evangelical Christians fail to recognize the similarities between their own methodologies and the methods of jihad in Islam.  I, personally, fail to see how intentionally-slung contempt can be considered Christ-like.

The Christian friends I have that do recognize circular reasoning when they see it (god exists because the bible says so and the bible is true because it is written by god and the bible says that god exists) don’t use scripture to “prove” points to me.  Indeed, I don’t disagree with them on anything except how many gods there are.  Out of thousands possible, I believe in only one less than they do.  That, and the notion of “sin,” which is wrapped up only in the idea of an angry sky-father.  A thing is right or wrong regardless of whether or not a god condones it or not.  Genocide is wrong, yet is blessed by YHWH in Leviticus (26:7-9).  Rape is wrong, yet practiced by the children of god in Judges 5 and 21.  Selling one’s daughter into slavery is wrong (it even seems pointless to type that), yet allowance for it is made in the law (Exodus 21).  At this point Christians are quick to state, “but the old law was nailed to the cross.”  But it was God’s law, right?  How is it now all “okay?”  Clearly, right and wrong do not come from a higher source – at least not one detailed in any text we have – and “sin” is a made-up concept (hamartios: “missing the mark” – how many points are the outer rings worth?).

I think it all boils down to the notion of being “forgiven.”  As a Christian, you can be a complete dick to anyone, at any time, and just pray for forgiveness and you’re good to go.  I’m talking about the practicing Christians, not the theoretical ones who “love one another.”  And I realize that there are well-known atheists who are assclowns, but they’re not going about preaching that morality comes from beyond reality.  If you have no objective moral standard, and you don’t have objective moral behavior, then that logically follows.  If you DO have an “objective” moral standard, but you still don’t have objective moral behavior, then what good is the standard?  Is there even really a standard?  It follows, then, by some historically bizarre inductive logic, that if one can imagine a standard that has never been met and then proffer that as a basis for ethical behavior, then one can imagine the existence of a god which can’t be proven, and sell that to the masses – at the point of a sword, if necessary.