When I was younger, I was asked by my parents if I wanted to go through with the Catholic “Confirmation”, the last step to seal your belief with the Catholic Church. I was baptized (thrown into water considered Holy because some guy made a Cross over it) when I was a few months. I had to go to Catholic after school programs when I was a teenager and I had to get my First Communion (giving me the authorization to become a spiritual cannibal on Sundays). I received many gifts from family and family friends for the First Communion. And I loved the idea of having more gifts completing my Confirmation. But I couldn’t. I told my parents that “I would only do it for the gifts, and I did not think that was good enough of a reason to do it”. At that time, I had respect for the faith, even though I knew I really didn’t care about this outdated masquerade.
I don’t remember exactly when I knew I was not going to be a Theist, and I do not blame anybody for being Theists. The origins of the world are complicated to picture and believing in a God or a Creator is not that irrational. But there is a step further in being a believer of an Abrahamic religion. You believe that God’s word is expressed in Holy Books. These Books are always defended, by extremists, moderates or seculars, even though there are atrocities and immoral acts mixed with some good common sense ideas. Some take them 100% literally, others pick what they want from it, but all of them will agree on their importance in our morals, which is why we need one in every hotel room in America I guess. I can’t stand that these primitives beliefs are still present today.
There have been horrible events happening in the USA last month: one guy drove over people claiming it was for a religious purpose, and a guy assaulted a Church with semi automatic weapons. The hero who shot the Church killer was saying in an interview “I think my God protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done. […] I just wish I could have gotten there faster”. I mean if God was not horrible, he would have put you there earlier don’t you think? Why would he wait for 26 people to be dead? And if in your opinion God put you there, don’t you think he put that crazy killer there too? So, to sum up his point, this guy just said on National TV that God programmed the killing of people but put him there to avoid that too many of them were killed. If you think that the killing of children is part of “God’s plan”, and it doesn’t make you stop “believing” in him, you should be in an institution. What is wrong with you?!
If you are a real religious person, you have to take your Holy Book for granted. Otherwise why call the whole book Holy? There is not one part that is more Holy than the other. I can’t understand how someone can consider himself a Christian, a practicing Jew or a Muslim and consider the Evolution to be true. God is said to have created everything from scratch, or from water, or from Adam’s rib. If you don’t believe in that, there is no reason to still consider your Book Holy. Either you are a Creationist, or you are not a Christian. Creationists believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. That either Humans were living alongside dinosaurs or that dinosaur bones were put in the ground to trick us. Still think this nonsense is Holy? Most people in the West think that Adam and Eve ate an apple. But this is fake news. It is never mentioned in the Bible what kind of fruit was eaten.
No one wants to see it that way, but if you are a true Christian, you can’t wait for Jesus to come back. Christians think that Jesus resurrected from the dead 2,000 years ago, disappeared and is coming back from who knows where. And if (or When!) Jesus comes back, he will only save the ones that followed his daddy’s message. Everyone else will die. Is it morally alright to want to please God when you’re alive just to go to Paradise? Christians don’t know this (because it is easier to hate) but Muslims are also waiting for Jesus to come back. But they think that he will come back to fight the Anti Christ for them, not for the Christians. To be clear, I am not saying that there are not good people who are also believers. But they use their religions to spread their goodness, they don’t get their goodness from their beliefs.
If the Bible is your Holy Book, you condone what is inside. Everything that is in it, with no exception. You cannot consider the whole Book Holy and distance yourself from the horrible things and take for yourself only the ones that you like. After the People understood that the US Constitution had racist and sexist language, amendments were added to make it crystal clear that times have changed. That’s what civilized people do. You acknowledge that it is outdated, and you change it. The Old Testament is full of killings of innocents, rape, homophobic statements, sexist rules. They are condoned by any moderate who still say that the Bible is their Holy Book. A book of said teachings that does not accept improvements should be forgotten. But generation after generation, more and more people practiced or accepted less and less of the Holy rules that were set in these books. However, the religious ideology has been kept in the mores and it became a cultural identity.
“When you hear people demanding that the Ten Commandments be displayed in courtrooms and schoolrooms, always be sure to ask which set. It works every time” said Christopher Hitchens. There are three different depictions of the ten commandments in the Bible. Which one to pick? This is a clear example that this Holy Book gives different accounts on every one of its pages. Sometimes Moses spent 40 days in the desert, others he was there for 40 years. Which one is Holier? Sometimes God says to kill everybody, sometimes he decides to spare lives.
God can also be very precise, especially when he wants to forbid foods to eat. To be considered kosher, mammals have to both chew their cud (ruminate) and have cloven hooves. If they only have one, they are excluded – aka pigs. Fish must have both fins and scales to be kosher. There are a billion rules concerning the slaughter of the animal. If any of these rules is not respected, the animal cannot be eaten, even if it’s dead and eatable. The slaughterer has to recite a prayer at least once and doesn’t have to do it for every animal. Technically, kosher food could be halal (great article here). For Catholics, the Canonic Law states clearly that every one of them – starting at 14 years old and until 60 – is supposed to abstain from meat on every Friday of the year. When Catholics invaded North America, there was a debate over whether Beaver is a fish or not – FYI it isn’t. God should have known though. Today we know, thanks to scientific knowledge, that beavers are not fish. But still, some Catholics are eating it on “No meat Day”. Why would God care which food you eat? He created the animals and us, why not let us eat whatever we want?
When it doesn’t come from Books, the different religious systems find ways to create rules that are thought to have been created by God. Jesus didn’t speak latin, but still, the Catholic Church had forever obliged the priests to speak it during the Mass – until they started losing their masses on Sunday. Every Sunday you go to church to stand, sit and kneel in front of a statue of a naked dead man on a Cross waiting for the moment when you will be able to eat his corps and drink his blood. I mean picture this without any cross in the room. To me, it sounds like a primitive rite that the Mayans were doing before we slaughter them to teach them the Gospel of JC. People still put ash on their face in the form of a cross for Ash Wednesday. But when we see indigenous people painting their face, we consider them primitive. In NYC there are Rabbis who suck the blood out of 3,000 circumcised babies dicks every year. Some babies have died because of that primitive ritual. But because the Mayor needs the jewish community to be elected, he lets this go. Some special ultra Orthodox jewish people can wrap themselves in plastic bags in an airplane? Muslims have to pray five time a day in the direction of the Kaaba. Some muslims force their women to wear 100% concealing clothes just to avoid being seen by men.
Nothing should be considered Holy. It does not matter who’s the believer or what the religion is. Holy implies that you should not question, improve or modify the language. All of which is contrary to the common good. After considering all the immoral things and the ones impossible to believe, there is only one reason to believe in such a God. And it is fear. Fear of God, Fear of death. Our societies evolved. Our knowledge of the world evolved. We need to acknowledge that we are learning new things every day. But we still know so little, too. I know it’s hard, but wondering and questioning is better than believing a lie. A lot of our civilized past is linked with one of the monotheistic religions. But most of our human past is not. Let’s make it our duty to have most of our future look like that too.