Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Say what you want, say what you will

The other day on kuro5hin there was a post about how Christians were getting upset over Bush's use of his belief in that religion to justify his actions. The writer was basically saying that Christians are all about love and peace, and that killing people isn't consistent with the basic tenets they believe in.

I usually try to stay out of these discussions... arguing with people who believe that they have a big invisible friend just isn't very satisfying for me. Christians, Jews, and Muslims all look the same to me, plus or minus a chapter or two in a book written by fucking goatherders more than two millenia ago. The Hindus were creative enough to invent the same sort of fundamentalist madness without the benefit of the Old Testament. The Buddhists haven't pissed me off yet. Don't even get me started on the fucking Mormons.

One guy summed up the Christian position very nicely:

one of the main reasons why Christianity was able to replace the heathen religions in Europe is that the God of Christianity is a god of peace instead of the war-gods that dominated heathen religions

This sort of talk always makes my brain hurt, so I had to reply. Not that I think it will help; these people are too far gone to listen to rational discussions... once you convince somebody that there is an invisible man who lives in the sky and gets very angry every time they play with themselves, they become too fucked up to handle much in the way of lucid thought.

Anyway, my rant:

And another one of the reasons christianity was able to replace heathen religions in Europe is that if you didn't convert to christianity they would tie you to a pole atop a pile of pitch-soaked wood and light you on fire.

I'm sure that the fact the christians felt they were helping the poor misguided souls of the 'heathen' by burning them to death was a great comfort to the 'heathens' as they roasted.

The god of christianity has *NEVER* been a god of peace. Christianity almost disappeared from this planet, then Constantine figured out that it had more power as politics than it did as religion, and the next thing you know we've got the Holy Roman Empire, and shortly after that, the burnings.

Christians believe the 'peace' story for the same reason most of my fellow americans believe the 'freedom and democracy' story: because it makes it easier to justify the whole thing to themselves.

There's never been a time in my life that this has been more true than the last couple of years... ever since some whackjobs turned a couple of our buildings into auxiliary airplane parking structures, this country has been in incredibly obvious denial about our true imperial nature. We are an empire, in the classical sense... we grow, we subjugate, we march ever onward, stepping on whoever is unfortunate enough to get in our way or be in possession of resources that we consider ours. Some few of us are not happy with all that this implies, but if we mention this we are castigated for it. I always thought that the others knew deep down inside that they were making a tradeoff between their stated moral values and their desire for empire, but lately it's been clear that they literally do not see the absurdity of their position.

Historically it has been an attribute of all political and religious institutions that they create a mythos that neatly explains why, for instance, the process of bringing enlightenment or freedom or democracy or the Good Word to the poor ignorant bastards who weren't lucky enough to be born within the institution often involves killing or enslaving or demoralizing them. People believe whatever they need to believe to make themselves feel good about themselves, and the more extreme the difference between their stated reality and their actual reality, the more extreme and convoluted their denial becomes.

If I believed in a giant invisible deity, I would pray for a fucking plague. It seems to me we're long overdue.