Archives for category: Jesus

Alternatively Titled: Jesus told you to sell your possessions and give to the poor, so why haven’t you?

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If you’re a Christian, a sincere believer that following Christ and his teachings is the best way to store up treasure in Heaven, I have a very simple question – WHY do you own a computer or web-enabled phone?

This question might seem out of left field, after all almost everyone in modern society owns a cell phone that can browse the internet and many people also own a laptop, desktop or tablet to surf the web. But if the Jesus of the Gospels looked at most American Christians today he would rather perplexed by their behavior. Many of them buy fancy clothing and dress up each Sunday to go to Church, they own houses, multiple vehicles, computers and electronic devices, television sets and more clothes than they need.

While many Churches these days do help out the poor and hungry in our communities the average individual Christian does not follow Christ’s directions in the Gospels. Which directions am I talking about? Why the ones that tell Christians to sell their possessions, give the money to the poor, and hang out with and help out the poor at every opportunity.

There is no ambiguity in the Gospels that Jesus is preaching a Gospel of poverty. People, he says, should give no care of tomorrow and let tomorrow worry about itself for God will provide for them. And repeatedly, over and over again, Jesus tells those who wish to be followers to give away all of their possessions in order to follow him.

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Now there’s a handful of ways for modern Christians to skirt their way around this. They can pretend that Jesus was only talking to his followers in the 1st Century and not to those who would live thousands of years later… this kind of cherry-picking seems severely dishonest. Or those Christians could argue that God provided them the things they have, the cars, the money, the house, etc. The idea these people present, without any backing from the Bible, is that God has blessed them with Earthly treasure for their faithfulness.

Not only does this prosperity Gospel fly in the face of Christ’s actual teachings, which direct followers to give up Earthly goods to pursue treasures that are only in Heaven but it also doesn’t make any sense when you break it down. After all there are plenty of faithful devout believers who ARE homeless or poor and who can’t seem to catch a break and there are plenty of wealthy hypocrites and even wealthy non-Christians. So obviously being a sincere believer does not correspond to one’s worldly goods (duh). Jesus does say that God will provide food and clothing to wear but not any sort of riches or worldly things.

There is this weird contradiction I’ve noticed about many Christians here in America, the majority of them are REPUBLICANS. Republicans demonize the poor at almost every turn and deride the idea of their hard earned tax dollars going to help people on Welfare or Food Stamps. Yet this is exactly the sort of thing Christ wanted, people helping each other, helping to feed the poor, downtrodden or outcast. Jesus didn’t want Christians looking down on the poor, in fact Jesus liked to hang out with prostitutes and poor people an awful lot and only very rarely did he hang out with the wealthy.

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Jesus’ philosophy is almost self-destructively selfless. Turn the other cheek, give to those who steal from you even more than they take, bless those that curse you and love your enemies – and do not worry about tomorrow. Judge no one and be sure to remove the sin from your life before you criticize anyone. Help the poor and freely do miracles.

Yet why do we not see any verifiable evidence of miracles? Why do we not see Christians selling their worldly goods so that they can take up their cross and giving the money to the poor?

While I, obviously, do not agree with all of what Jesus says there is wisdom in some of it and while I do not think every American should give up everything they have to help the poor I think a more charitable attitude would help a great deal. Rather than despising those who are own Food Stamps are freeloaders perhaps Christians might look at them as Christ would have, as other fucking people who happen to be in a bad financial spot where they could use a little help to make ends meet.

Obviously this post is a bit different from other Fuck the Bible posts, because instead of saying Fuck the Bible, I am essentially pointing out that Christians aren’t following the book they purportedly think is the Word of God.

As I said though there’s plenty of self-destructive nonsense in what Jesus is talking about when he tells people not to resist an evil person but to submit to them. I understand that Christ was a pacifist (another fact many Christians would angrily disagree with) but he takes it to an extreme degree even telling his followers not to defend themselves. This seems like madness! If some burglar demands my wallet I am meant to give him my shoes as well? No thank you.

Jesus, being an apocalyptic prophet, believed that there was no reason to worry about tomorrow, the Kingdom of God was on its way. But today the advice to let tomorrow worry about itself is itself worrying. How can we possibly not worry about tomorrow? There are goals to be set and achieved, obstacles to overcome, and an uncertain future that we must attempt to shape as best we can. But, if, as Jesus believed, the world was fast coming to an end, there would be no reason to plan.

Dangerously there are some end-times minded Christians to this day who hold to the dangerous belief that the end is coming soon and that we don’t need to worry about abusing the planet and misusing our resources. They look forward to the end, to seeing God descend with fire and wrath and unleash slaughter on all the “evil people” of the world.

If you are a Christian reading this I wonder how closely you truly follow the word of your Savior. Do you keep the commandments, as Jesus instructs? Do you give to the poor regularly and keep yourself from becoming rich? (A rich man cannot pass into heaven, the Bible describes it as nearly impossible, as a camel passing through the eye of a needle). If you do keep the commandments very closely I wonder how you are even reading this, unless you’re at a local internet cafe or public library. Do you love Jesus more than your own family? Because if not you are unworthy. Have you ever been divorced and remarried, than Christ believes you are guilty of adultery, a capital offense in the Old Testament.

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How many demon have you cast out? How many miracles do you have under your belt? Because we are meant to know Christ’s followers by their “FRUITS” and if you are not bearing fruit Christ says you may be cut down and cast into the fire.

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If you don’t follow after Christ all that closely than I wonder WHY you believe in something you are unwilling or unable to follow. Why not discard it? Give the Bible a much closer examination and study how it came together and then decide whether the commandments are worth keeping and the beliefs worth holding onto. And if they are, then I bid you farewell as you will no doubt sell your possessions to follow Christ. If they aren’t worth believing then I hope you will one day join me when I say, Fuck the Bible.

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Alternately titled: Moses shows patience and restraint while God just wants to slaughter everyone.

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In my last post I talked a bit about the oddly comedic incidents scattered throughout the books of Moses wherein God gets pissed at the Israelites and decides that the best course of action is to either kill them all or just kill some of them. In these situations the stories typically depict Moses and Aaron having to talk God out of it in a VERY similar way to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

You might remember that in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah God warns Abraham that he is going to destroy those cities but Abraham talks God down to the point where if God finds ten righteous persons he will spare the city. To modern Biblical believers this should be frightening. Here is a supposedly perfect and Holy God compromising his morality based on the advice of human beings. Here are human beings talking God into being MORE loving. MORE patient, MORE merciful and all around MORE moral. This is one of those red-flag hallmarks that makes it obvious that these are stories, not historical accounts of actual interactions with any god.

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As I said similar scenes occur between Moses and Aaron and God several times in the Old Testament. One example happens during the story of the 10 Commandments. God is coming down to Mount Sinai in a rumbling thundering fiery cloud (you know, the sort that might spew out of a volcano, the sort that ancient superstitious people might mistake for the glory of a god). There’s been plenty of weird superstitious rules and rituals imposed by God thus far but here, at the origin of the Mosaic Law, is where things get really bad, where something as simple as setting foot on the wrong mountain or working on the wrong day of the week meant your neighbors and family were commanded by GOD HIMSELF to execute you brutally.

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Now what reason, other than superstitious horseshit, could there possibly be for God to set up this kind of rule? Sure, okay, Moses is his chosen one who is the only one who is supposed to be up there but what, exactly, is the benefit of executing anyone who so much as touches the mountain? Usually rules and laws are meant to maintain the public good or the welfare of people but here we have a rule that just puts people in danger of the death penalty for no reason.

Of course you might say, “well God wanted them to stay away because his glory and power might harm them if they get too close”. There is a recurring theme in some parts of the Bible (but not all) that seeing or being in the presence of God can be fatal to an ordinary human being, even one who believes. But this is superstitious horseshit as well because an all powerful God, especially one who was once incarnated in human form as Jesus, could easily decide to appear without any harm to anyone in a totally benign form. All the pomp and circumstance of mimicking a volcanic eruption and appearing in a form that would be so harmful to human beings it apparently requires their execution if they attempt to be subjected to it does no one any good and makes absolutely no fucking sense…

All of that without mentioning how immoral it is to kill someone just for touching a mountain and how even more bizarre and cruel to want the animals killed as well.

Most Christians know that while Moses is being talked to by God Aaron and company are down below making idols and worshiping them, apparently forgetting the shit they just went through with the plagues and apparently turning a blind eye to the fire and quaking and the very voice of God which God himself tells Moses he will be able to hear.

The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said. 

– Exodus 19:9

“Mount Sinai was covered with smoke,because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently”

–  Exodus 19:18

Admittedly God’s words to Moses do go on for quite a few chapters as God details a whole bunch of pedantic overly detailed and obviously manmade nonsense that is supposedly the basis for the ancient Jewish faith. It isn’t until Chapter 32, when Moses is about to come down the mountain, that the idols are finally cast by Aaron and the other Hebrews. Of course God’s first instinct isn’t to show restraint or mercy or understanding but to shed blood.

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To someone like me this screams, “We made this story up!” and “This isn’t meant to be taken literally” but to a Biblical literalist this is ACTUALLY what happened and why it happened. God is actually such an evil monster that his immediate reaction is to wipe out his own people, or, at the very least, to slaughter all those who worshiped the idols. Idol worship of any kind is forbidden under penalty of death by Yahweh as does any attempt to practice religious liberty. In fact taking the Bible at its word Yahweh is 100% opposed to the idea of religious liberty and if our legal system mirrored the Biblical one we would be executing anyone who did profess their belief in Yahweh and Jesus.

Moses, as I stated before, becomes the voice of reason against God’s insane knee-jerk blood-thirst.

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The same story is actually retold in Deuteronomy Chapter 9 but this time it is written from Moses’ point of view. And, surprise, Moses’ version is much the same with him claiming that only through fasting and prayer and begging God not to do it he manged to save Israel from disaster… and by disaster I mean the furious wrath of God.

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So now we come to the end of our wonderful tale. Moses manages to convince God to spare some of the Israelites but Moses, being only slightly less of a dick than God, isn’t going to spare everyone, not even close. And, just with all punishments in the Old Testament law, the brutal executions will be conducted in the name of God and upholding righteousness and will involve people killing their friends, family and loved ones themselves.

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That is some fucked up shit right there and kinda explains Jesus’ whole spiel in Matthew about how “anyone who does not hate their Father or Mother is not worthy of me” and how all of his followers are required to love him more than they love anyone else or they are unworthy.

If you accept the Bible as the word of God than THAT is the kind of God you serve.

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Alternatively titled: Is it Okay to Beat my Child… and when I can I murder them?

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For centuries Christians have used the Bible as an excuse to beat their children. Of course before society solidified enough to give us laws protecting the innocent miniature humans known as children beating your kids was widely considered acceptable discipline. Even in today’s world certain forms of physical punishment are legal in certain parts of the Western civilized world. But there is a difference between a hand smacking a child’s hand away from a hot stove and getting a branch, a rod or another device that will actually leave a serious mark.

Child abuse is a horribly immoral thing so you’d think that the Bible, a book inspired by the infinitely wise and merciful creator of the Universe, would outright condemn the abuse of children. Except that it doesn’t, ever, at all. In fact the Bible is quite in favor of beating your children. Numerous verses claim that beating your child is not only morally okay but its actually beneficial to the child later in life.

Often lauded as the wisest book of the Bible Proverbs, credited to King Solomon himself (though of unknown authorship), tells us that children should be beaten.

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Later on in the book we are told that children who disobey their parents should have their eyes plucked out by a raven. How wonderfully wise and merciful! Yes what a truly beautiful sentiment to put down on paper!

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Sarcasm aside this is a rather frightening set of passages, although certainly not as severe in their wickedness as other passages I’ve talked about on this blog. It does seem odd that a God would inspire these passages. What, exactly, is God’s obsession with the Earthly authority parents have over their children that would cause him to inspire such cruel proverbial teachings?

Sometimes a beating is not enough. Sometimes it will be necessary to stone your child to death. Sometimes, when your child is rebellious enough, you may have to gather together everyone in town to hit them with rocks until they are bloodied, broken, and just plain fucking dead.

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Aside from cursing your Father or Mother the Bible offers another instance in which a child should be put to death – if that child is rebellious, gluttonous and drunk they should be stoned to death.

Most people would probably try an intervention first, perhaps alcoholics anonymous or some other therapy group (somewhat ironically Alcoholics Anonymous is a religious institution that requires you to call on a higher power to break your addiction, rebellious children shouldn’t call on Yahweh). If your kid won’t listen to you after you’ve talked to him about his ways there is only one Biblical solution – take your kid and stone them to death, they are evil. In today’s society there is question as to whether capital punishment is a moral thing in the first place and there are Christians that would object to the death penalty. Yet the Bible is clear on a whole host of issues that are deserving of the death penalty.

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So let’s look at another passage that reflects the Bible’s “Family Values”. What should Christians and Jews do when a member of their family turns to another religion. Let’s say your Niece becomes a neo-pagan for whatever reason or your Brother is a Wiccan or your dear Auntie Edna is a Hindu… what do you do when they begin talking about their religion and trying to get you to join them?

Do you,

A) Politely decline and agree to disagree on the subject of religion

B) Get into a Heated Religious Debate

C) Stop talking to them and even ignore them at Thanksgiving Dinner

D) Gather everyone together and stone them to death, you and your family MUST be first to cast stones and participate in the brutal execution

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So as you can see the correct answer is actually D. See following some other faith or worshiping some other God is a capital offense in the Bible, it is punishable by one thing and one thing only – DEATH. Just like Islamic scriptures calling for unbelievers to be smited (smote?) the Bible is clear that those who worship other gods are deserving of DEATH.

And of course in this case you have to stone your own family together? Ask yourself, Christians, would you be willing to hurl stones at a loved one because they worshiped another God and watch the life leave their eyes? Do you have the bile, hate and evil in your heart to follow the word of God?

I know, I know, I know what you’re saying. Jesus says he who is without sin should cast the first stone. Jesus came and he gave us a new way to live and that includes a new way to deal with our families right?

Right.

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Please people take the time to actually read your Bibles.

Because its fucking atrocious, its filled with awful laws, evil “morals”, and depicts a stupid, cruel, self-contradictory God that is so stupid and evil it can only be man-made. Stay-tuned for my next post which will also be about the unsavory ways in which Biblical characters and stories completely demolish the notion that the Bible is the good book and its God anything other than an evil invention of sadistic primitive minds.

Alternatively titled: The New Testament does not Make things Betterjesus5

One of the things that inevitably comes up when discussing the Bible with Christians is the idea that Jesus came along, abolished the somewhat harsh rules (read: Evil rules) of the Old Testament and set up a New Covenant with the people of all the Earth. No longer were Jews solely the recipients of God’s direction and love, no no no no, now the whole world had a chance to get to know the God who had previously limited himself to one small corner of the inhabited world.

The idea that now we don’t have to worry about the first 2/3rds of the Bible because Jesus said Love God and Love thy neighbor are the whole of the law is an absurd one Biblically speaking. For one thing this presumes that God has different morals for different groups of people annihilating any idea that God’s morals are absolute. God thought slavery was okay for the ancient Hebrews but not for anyone today? Okay but that’s not in the Bible. God thought it was a good idea to brutally execute homosexuals in the Old Testament but now only those without sin can cast the first stone? Okay but the earliest manuscripts of the Gospel don’t contain that story at all.

Of course this shows that God has different standards not just for different groups of humans but for himself vs humans as well. God apparently wants homosexuals killed, we know that this is his base desire because he gives the Law to Moses in Leviticus. But now God is ready to forgive all mankind through the magical Jesus Loophole Contract Clause but does that mean his fundamental opinion of homosexuals as depraved sinners deserving of death has changed? Not according to many modern Christians who still hold that, while all human beings are depraved and worthy of death, homosexuals are certainly among those God will send to Hell specifically for that act.

And this is where we get into the meat of this horseshit sandwich the Bible and Christians serve up about how the New Testament is more loving and more peaceful and erases all that bad stuff in the Old Testament. The New Testament presents us a far more wicked and unjust God than even the vengeful and spiteful Demi-Urge of the Old Testament. Why? Because the New Testament invents a brand new place for all the sinners and demons to reside after judgment day – Hell.

In the Old Testament there are two basic views of the afterlife. The first, found in books like Ecclesiastes (another underrated jewel amidst the bullshit of the Bible) is that death is the end, there is no after life awaiting anyone. The second is that there is a general land of the dead called Sheol, the grave or pit, where everyone goes, sinner and righteous man alike. The only folks to avoid this fate are those uber-righteous chosen by God, which consists of Enoch, Elijah and in some people’s opinion Moses as well (generally those taken up to Heaven without ever tasting of death).

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In the New Testament the authors of the Gospels introduce a far more sinister idea of Hell, with Jesus using the reference point of a real world place called Gehenna, a trash heap that constantly smoldered with flame, to describe the opposite of Heaven. The wicked, the unrepentant, the unbelievers and the unkind would go to Hell while those who accepted Christ and forsook their former life to follow his example would go to Heaven. It’s important to note that Jesus’ message is more consistent about Hell than most of the rest of the New Testament, although not entirely consistent. Jesus says that those who feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and help and love others will be better received than those who merely talk a good game about religion but who are ultimately empty. There is an emphasis on sincerity, selflessness and true repentance/belief and a denouncing of the self-righteous religious establishment of Jesus’ day.

The image of Christianity we get from Jesus is far different, drastically separate, from what the Christian religion is doing today and I suspect that is part of the reason why people are abandoning organized religion in droves.

Getting back to the bullshit Jesus suggests that the fate of those told to depart from him on the day of judgment is that they will go into “EVERLASTING FIRE” and thus we get the basis for the doctrine of hell. The idea that the body and soul will be thrown into Hell to be burned for eternity where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. This terrifying picture of Hell, as a place of everlasting torture, where our flesh will be roasted for eternity without reprieve, over and over again for trillions and trillions and trillions of years with no goal or purpose save pure sadism.

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(Although not in the Bible many Christians believed demons would torture people in Hell and incorporated this into artwork. According to the actual Bible the fallen angels are going to be too busy ALSO being horribly tortured to do any torturing to us)

There can be no more evil a thought than the idea of eternal hellfire for human beings especially when this is justified through the use of Original Sin as it is in the New Testament.

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So death and sin are part of the human condition thanks to Adam, we’re all sinners irregardless of whether we so much as break a commandment of the Mosaic Law (of which there are over 600). This doctrine, in certain branches of Christianity (Calvinism for example) is called the doctrine of TOTAL DEPRAVITY. This obscenely anti-human doctrine holds that all human beings are born totally depraved, evil, wicked from the very start, including children and people who live good lives, at their core they are not good, they are evil by no fault of their own. Yet God would condemn people for being evil by no fault of their own.

Jesus talks more about Hell than anyone in the entire Bible and so when Christians bring up the love and forgiveness of Christ I bring up Hell and the quite apparent fact that according to the scriptures most human beings will be victims not of God’s divine and irrevocable mercy but of God’s wrath, poured out in a place of smoke and burning flesh where the torment shall not cease, ever, under any circumstances. At the point of damnation God refuses to ever attempt to rehabilitate or show any mercy to the person he damns. This is both monstrously (and obviously) evil and incredibly arbitrary.

The whole thing, of course, wreaks of salesmanship. An apocalyptic prophet named Jesus can threaten you not merely with punishments in the physical here and now but with supernatural punishments after you’re dead. Of course for Jesus the end of the world was right around the corner, he even told his followers that some of them would still be alive when he returned to judge the Earth. He was, by all accounts, an apocalyptic first century Jewish prophet.

By the time Jesus had his ministry there was an apocalyptic belief gaining popularity that at the end of time all men would be resurrected and judged and Christianity uses this heavily in its promotion of the perversely evil doctrine of Hell. But what is so evil about judging human beings and rewarding the good while punishing the wicked. Well on the surface this seems like a rather normal thing to do but human beings have a pretty good grasp on the concept of justice. One thing that the concept of justice tells us is that not all crimes require equal sentences.

Murder and littering do not both carry the same penalty but both are legally and, arguably, morally wrong. So why does something like lying earn an eternity in Hell as well as something like murder? Why are Hitler, child molesters and peaceful Buddhist monks all going to an eternity of horrific torture from which there is no escape. Now some Christians will say “well the punishment varies” but of course this is misleading nonsense that is not to be found in the Bible. It’s called the LAKE OF FIRE for a reason and implying that some people are only going to have their flesh melted off slowly while others will be mercifully thrust into the flames in rapid less painful bursts of agony makes it no less evil. Neither does implying that Hell is somehow mere annihilation in flame make it particularly merciful. Some Christians hold the view that while the flame does not die in Hell the people do eventually burn up and die and then they simply cease to exist. I fail to see how burning someone alive is merciful, though it is less monstrous then placing them in an indestructible body to be burned for eternity it is still one of the most evil things you can do to a person.

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The problem with the idea that Jesus’ peace and love philosophy can redeem not just mankind but also the horrors of the Old Testament is that Jesus doesn’t have any sort of enlightened or rational beliefs to build off of. The Bible is filled with theology, fables, laws and tales of blood and guts but there isn’t much philosophy going on in its pages. Jesus isn’t Socrates or Hume, he’s Jesus, a Jewish “Rabbi” teaching to a smattering of followers in Roman occupied Palestine. All he can do is build off of earlier ideas and add his own spin to them, which yes involves the Golden Rule and Love Thy Neighbor but also involves fearing God for God can throw “body and soul” into Hell. Not to mention the immoral set up of vicarious redemption, that Jesus is a scapegoat which the most vile, murderers, rapists, molesters, can cling and be forgiven provided their belief and repentance are sincere but that a selfless monk of some Eastern faith is deserving of condemnation because he did not profess with his mouth or believe with his heart that Jesus was Lord.

Of course Jesus’ teachings are in doubt ALSO because we don’t know which of them, if any, belonged to the actual historical figure of Jesus. In fact we don’t know with any real certainty whether or not Jesus ever existed as a real historical person. Of course it is not a shocking thing to think that there was a cult-leader named Jesus at that time in that place.

So the problems for Christians are many. They must explain why they think Gospels written 30-100 years after the events in question are reliable sources for what Jesus said. They must explain why Jesus would promote such an immoral teaching as Hell if God is actually good. And they must explain how such evil teachings in any way shape or form make Jesus and the New Testament BETTER morally speaking than the Old Testament. Well really they don’t have to explain any of this, they can believe whatever horseshit they want and rationalize it how they see fit…

But rest assured that those of us with a functioning concept of what is right and wrong, what is just and unjust, who are willing to apply that without reservation or fear to the Bible see right through your mental gymnastics and apologetic tomfoolery.

So Fuck the Bible, and Fuck the New Testament especially, for inventing Hell and informing us that God doesn’t just want SOME sinners stoned to death in certain circumstances, he thinks ALL sinners deserve to be burned forever for eternity just for being born with Adam’s Original Sin nature. Immoral bullshit.

I will restate here that the threat of hell, for any intellectually free person, carries no more weight than the threat of any other supernatural consequence for which there is no evidence and no rational basis for believing in. It’s a boogey-man style consequence, watch what you say, watch what you think, you are in danger of blasphemy, of calling down wrath. Frightening to those who believe but much like threatening a child who no longer believes in Santa that Santa will reward unbelievers with coal. Such transparent thuggery may douse the doubts of the faithful who dare to question but have no sway over unbelievers and those who approach the material with a neutral position.