|The Bible is completely factual to Christian Fundamentalists..|
A person's belief system, whether it includes a deity or not, is developed over long periods of time, either through a lifetime of inculcation or through a process of thought and reasoning. These beliefs are held deeply by the believer and often carry strong emotional feelings. On Monday, I wrote Angry Atheists Act Like Childish Bullies, which profiled a minority of Atheists who use condescending language and bullying tactics to attack those that believe in a God.
Christianity has their own version of the Angry Atheists. At the far end of the spectrum are the followers of the Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka, Kansas. This small cult-like sect of "Christians" are most well-known for their hatred of homosexuality and vile protests at military funerals. Most of the congregation of the church are members of the Phelps family. In 2007, the church was estimated to have about 71 members. Even with its miniscule size, I've seen the Angry Atheists use these mutants as examples of Christian Fundamentalists. Granted, this group is the worst of the worst, but they differ from traditional Christian Fundamentalists in the level of rage they project and the amount of publicity they receive.
Now that we've marked the outer reaches of Christian Fundamentalism, let's take a few steps toward the center.
Traditional Christian Fundamentalists are completely driven by The Bible. Every word came directly from God and it is true and accurate - from creation through the book of Revelations.
Let me agree with that concept for just a moment. If The Bible is completely factual, then we are the progeny of inbreeding. After Cain killed Abel, he would have had to marry his sister or produce offspring through his mother, Eve - which would make her a pedophile. The Bible only gives us a handful of pieces to construct the puzzle. Got any other suggestions?
If God created the world in seven days, the first question would be, "What is a DAY to God?" Is it the 24-hour period that we know today?
God also created everything during that week - sun, earth (Initially a board game, which later became round), animals, plants, man and woman.
Based on that account, there seem to be a few things missing.
I think to clear up the situation is to include the rarely discussed missing book of The Bible - Fun Games For The Future.
Fun Games For The Future includes a series of games that God created for us to play down the chronological line. Some of these games include:
Paleontology - This is a fun global scavenger hunt that God created for us. He hid the bones and fossilized remains of a pantheon of critters in sea beds, rock formations and prairie lands. To make the game more exciting, God placed marine fossils high above sea level. I know it sounds crazy, but with God anything is possible. God didn't forget the kids, he included dinosaurs, so that the toy aisle at Wal-Mart could have plenty of Chinese made plastic toys for your child's enjoyment.
If you like Paleontology, you'll love its complementary games, Anthropology and Archeology. You can even get all three games as a box set.
Anthropology deals with the people that lived before Adam and Eve. Crazy but true. It shows how they made tools from sticks and rocks, lived in caves, created drawings on the walls and eventually invented cookware. (Copies and modern versions are available at Williams and Sonoma.)
Archeology is a fun game that has you search for people and societies that predated Adam and Eve. It even has a game mode called, The Search For Noah's Arc. No one has ever completed this mode. But you can try and find the great ship.
There are other games with even greater complexity - Astronomy, Fall of The Flat Earth, Microbiology, Physics, Thermodynamics, Quantum Physics and more.
In Astronomy, your job is to save Galileo. He was a heretic, you know. You're equipped with telescopes and you get to try to play Pin The Tail On The Center Of The Universe. I'll blow the ending - It's not YOU or our earth.
You'll just have to take my word on the other games. I'm sure you can find them at universities, libraries, book stores and even at Wal-Mart.
Yes, I've been mocking the Fundamentalist Christian's denial of the facts. However, I do respect The Bible.
An interesting read is Cosmic Codes - Hidden Messages From The Edge Of Eternity by Dr. Chuck Missler. He is a world renowned cryptographer. The U.S. Government has used him in times of war to decode encrypted messages produced by our enemies. Missler's book attempts to demonstrate that there are encrypted messages sprinkled throughout The Bible and there may have been a design or designer to The Bible - giving credence to the idea that The Bible was inspired by God. I can see his point.
However, to me, The Bible is a collection of stories that are designed to teach lessons. They are not CNN factual and should not be interpreted that way. In my view, science and The Bible can coexist.
You have to understand the context of when The Bible was written and who it was written for.
When I was in the advertising business, there was a tenet we adhered to: Know your audience.
Another phrase I learned as a copywriter was: Don't use inside lingo on the outside world.
If you're trying to market an idea to a person, you have to know and understand that person and then speak to them in a language that they are capable of comprehending. Considering that the majority of the people of Old Testament times were functionally illiterate, history was passed on orally, writing was in its nascent stages and the printing press was a long way from being invented, The Bible could not be a profound scientific thesis on the origin of the universe and mankind - no one would have had the capacity to understand it.
Imagine that The Bible's Book of Genesis was inspired to read like this: "In the beginning, I Am took hydrogen and carbon atoms several billion years ago and formed matter. Then, the matter was accelerated at the speed of light and energy was produced." The author would have been lost at the "Hy" in hydrogen, and The Bible would have read, "God says Hi. The End."
Like I said, I respect The Bible, but I don't believe in its literacy. However, I am a bit confounded by The Bible in the fact that there is an Old Testament, a New Testament and then nothing. I wrote about it in God, Where Are You? No Sightings Since Jesus Left .
I really don't care if Fundamentalist Christians want to believe that The Bible is literal and the world is only 5,000 or 10,000 years old. I have a friend that decided to become a Viking and worship the Norse gods. Oden is his guy. He can believe that, too.
What irks me and a lot of other people about Fundamentalist Christians are two things:
- They try to shove their beliefs down your throat
- They feel they have the right to judge everyone who does not believe as they do.
However, the Christian Fundamentalists are the most annoying. Believe what you want, but SHUT UP.
Number two on my list is the one that grates me and everyone else the most - judging.
I believe that God is the only judge - ONLY. You have no right to tell someone that they are going to Hell. In the case of Atheists, you're totally wasting your breath because they don't believe in Hell. So it would be better for those of you that feel compelled to judge to say to an Atheist, "You're going to Wal-Mart." That might strike the fear of God into them and you might get better results with your militant proselytizing.
Christian Fundamentalists do not preach the word of love that Jesus did. They preach the word of righteousness - they are right and if you're not with them, then you're WRONG!
Not a good way to attract believers. You know what they say about attracting more bees with honey than with vinegar? Well, that's wrong, too. Bees are attracted to the scents of flowers and inadvertently pick up pollen and then they MAKE honey. They're not attracted to it. But people say that all the time. [I've just been informed that the saying is "Attracting flies to honey." And I'm wrong. Who wants flies, anyway?]
Angry Atheists are a product of zealous Christians. Constant beatings with the Good Book don't make for friendly exchanges. Denial of scientific facts cause frustration, too. But I'm not about to stop anyone from believing whatever they want. I think I speak for many people, we're tired of people knocking at our door or passing judgment on us in comments on Facebook and Twitter. (Atheists can back down a bit, too.) Leave the judging to God and quietly practice your faith.
Let people find their own paths and worry more about where you are walking than the steps of others, and that is why Fundamentalist Christians need to SHUT UP.
Easter, A Time To Reflect on Jesus - Even For Atheists
God, Where Are You? No Sightings Since Jesus Left
Angry Atheists Act Like Childish Bullies
What IS Heaven Like? Our Images Make No Sense
Atheism's Big Lie Against Religion
I Met A Jehovah's Witness | I'm Still Scared
Westboro Baptist Church - Wikipedia
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