Sorry, I know that’s a common phrase but it’s my blog and I can talk about what I want. Today I want to talk a little bit about Religion. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with those who get a bit of comfort from some sort of faith and like to believe in an after-life. It would appear that most societies have a Deity of some style or other to look up to and worship. This post is aimed squarely at the Christian fundamentalist. The born agains, the Conservative Christian “One nation under God” types who are completely intolerant of any opinion other than the total acceptance of and compliance with “The living word of god”. (The Bible to you and me).
I wanted to pose a couple of questions and theories for them to contemplate. If you believe , as you must as a fundamentalist, in the infallibility of ‘the living word of God’ and if you aspire to eternal life you will of course know the rules one needs to follow to achieve that end surely? If you don’t know all the rules your Deity has laid down for you to achieve an eternity by his side I might suggest you learn them, quickly. I am not a religious person but I have had a read of the rules (the Bible) and I am afraid I have some bad news for those who claim to have “given their heart to Jesus” and are followers of the ‘Lord God most high’. It appears that your God is somewhat intolerant of deviation from the quite specific parameters he set down in order for eternal life to be won.
For example, My neighbour is a religious man. He has spent his entire life going to Church on Sunday. One would assume he has studied the Bible as to me it is an anathema that someone would devote all their thoughts and prayers to a Deity they hadn’t looked into very closely indeed. However, after Church, he will come home and mow his lawns. Now the ‘Living word of god’ quite clearly states in Exodus that “For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death.” Not much room for misinterpretation there surely? What am I to do? Luckily for me I am not religious so don’t have to comply, but imagine the quandary a neighbour who was religious would have?
If the religious neighbour did not put to death the mower of lawns then he would be disobedient to God. There is an entire chapter of the Bible devoted to the punishments for disobedience. Deuteronomy 28. If one does not comply with Gods law, the punishments can be as follows, the list is far from exhaustive, just a selection of a few.
The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish.
The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. 26 Your carcasses will be food for all the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away.
The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured.
Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand.
You will become a thing of horror, a byword and an object of ridicule among all the people’s where the LORD will drive you.
If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the LORD your God— 59 the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses.
So as you can see non-compliance with Gods law is a truly terrible thing. Gods law is the ‘living word of God’. (The Bible to you and me.) I have not been made aware of either the US Constitution or British law overturning the authority of the Bible, indeed when you find yourself in front of a court you are asked to swear on the Bible. If only the miscreants knew what was inside? In a nod to the Politics in the headline, the Presidential Candidates in America are almost all extremely religious. They call upon the ‘Living Christ’ to help them see the way. My issue is that if you believe this stuff absolutely then you better start looking at what you are doing and how you are living. I am not aware of a Deity who has a casual attitude to adherence to their rules. I think you will find that compliance is total and absolute.
I have of course just used one example but I promise you, give the Bible a read and you will find the old Testament a constant stream of murder, death, genocide and calls to brutalize, torture and kill the unbeliever and anyone who steps out of line. The New Testament strikes a more conciliatory tone but Jesus does not say you don’t have to do what the old man (Jesus is son of God some say) says. He does not say that you no longer have to comply with Gods law. (Gods law being laid down in ‘the living word of God’ or the Bible to you and me.) Jesus made some speeches and then was nailed to a cross. I find it incredible that people slavishly follow the traditions and legends of an ancient folk story interspersed with some historical references but the vast majority of these followers have not actually looked at any detail into the very strict rules of a religion they claim to live their lives by. I spoke to a priest once who wasn’t aware that Bible God and Allah are actually the same Deity. They are, any Muslim will tell you that. The difference is simply which part of the middle east you come from resulting in a variation in interpretation of the folk tale and God story. Many Christians decry the Islamists for wanting to kill the Infidel or unbelievers, have a look at what your Bible says on the matter. You will find the command to smite the unbeliever is as strong from Bible God as from Allah.
As a foot note but quite a big one. I am afraid I need to let the Conservative Christian fundamentalists know something that I am fairly confident they don’t. The only reason Christianity caught on was because a bloke called Constantine went into battle under the sign of a cross, on a whim. He had a dream about the Christ. The Christ followers where a tiny cult at the time and Constantine decided “Ah what the hell, my pagan gods havent done any good lately, lets see what this Christ’s symbol can do. I’ll splash a cross on my shields, nothing ventured and all that.” The battle was won and Constantine had a new God in his arsenal. Constantine just happened to be the Emperor of Rome. He decided he liked the Christ story and told his friends. The upshot was that out of this whim was born ‘The Holy Roman Empire’ . All of Europe was in thrall to the Romans and they wrote the laws and set the rules. History is a long and detailed thing but we only have the Catholics, Protestants, Christians etc in such power and authority because of the whims of an Ancient Roman Emperor.
So in conclusion. If you wish to be very religious and call upon the ‘living Christ and ‘the living word of God as the ultimate authority, you better start ensuring you aren’t disobedient to any of it, or its mildew, festering sores and pestilence for you. Or just accept that the Bible is a nice bit of history and an important record of the birth of civilisation. While it is good to do the right thing and be moral and try to be nice to strangers, you probably won’t have your carcass picked over by the birds of the field or your sheep sold to your enemy if you do not smite your neighbour for mowing his lawns on a Sunday.