Tag Archives: Atheism

Insanity duel: Scientology vs. Christianity

Recently, HBO aired a controversial documentary which criticized the church of Scientology. Many Christians have used this documentary as a scapegoat for their own crazy religion, mocking different aspects of the church and overall  using the documentary to claim that Christianity is the superior religion.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked about his views on the church in light of the documentary, and managed to say what everyone’s thinking. Tyson refused to make any negative commentary on the church, eloquently stating that it’s a free country and everyone can believe what they want. However, my sass radar went off at one particular quote. “So, you have people who are certain that a man in a robe transforms a cracker into the literal body of Jesus saying that what goes on in Scientology is crazy?”

I totally agree with Tyson on this. When you compare Scientology to Christianity, the two are both relatively equal in insanity. Think about it: the Bible claims that a magical being floated down from the sky and impregnated a virgin with a magic baby who was born on a pile of hay. The baby grows up to be a wizard who can heal the blind and walk on water. Don’t forget the angry God who needed a blood sacrifice to right his own wrong because he created imperfect people who he hated.

In order to better understand Scientology, I went to the belly of the beast. Okay, actually going to a Church of Scientology would have been more impressive, but I attempted to grasp an understanding of it with what tools I have. Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer. Hubbard was rumored to be schizophrenic. However, reading and listening to the ideals of Scientology, I believe he was bipolar and on a manic when first creating his religion.

Watching the videos on the official Scientology website, I can’t help but notice how cryptically it’s displayed to the public. Scientology is extremely mysterious because few people leave it, and those who do are often forced to remain silent about their experiences within the church. Many ex-Scientologists remain anonymous as they share their experiences because of threats they’ve received from the church.

The church has been widely criticized for using hypnosis, abusing members and even holding members hostage. Many members of the church have attributed their successes to the church, in a way which resembles the Law of Attraction.

From the outside, the Church of Scientology seems to be a bit more practical, acknowledging new ideas such as science and physics. Unlike the Christian church, which breaks its members down and forces them to acknowledge their mistakes, Scientology focuses more on building up its members and helping them grow as a person to be the best they can be. As much as I agree with that sentiment, the church seems very cult-like when you listen to the accounts of its former members.

Overall, I think Scientology and Christianity both have their flaws. I don’t believe that one is crazier than the other, although I loathe religion. Tyson’s thoughts on Scientology sum up perfectly what many atheists are thinking: all religions are relatively insane.

Not all atheists are anti-theist

In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, three Muslims were killed by a neighbor following a parking dispute.The original report makes it seem like the shooter, Craig Stephen Hicks, was just a lunatic who had enough of his neighbors and their disagreements about parking. However, looking at his Facebook page, it’s very obvious that Hicks considered himself an atheist. His profile picture was a red photo with the words“Atheists for Equality.” His cover photo, though, was a banner promoting anti-theism. This leads me to believe that Hicks may have murdered his neighbors over the parking dispute, but was especially motivated realizing they were part of the Muslim community.

Many are running to blame atheism for the murders, but judging by Hicks’ cover photo and photos of his gun, I believe Hicks was an anti-theist. Although many atheists detest religion, that doesn’t mean we’re completely against it. It’s possible to be both anti-theist and atheist, obviously. However, the anti-theist label is an umbrella that not all atheists want to be under.

Being atheist doesn’t necessarily mean you hate all religions and all religious people. It means you simply don’t believe in a higher being or afterlife. Being anti-theist is just as dangerous as being a religious extremist, because it breeds hate. Hatred for anyone simply because of their religion is a slippery slope. Holding hatred for a specific group to the point of calling yourself “anti” whatever can lead to violence, which is what I believe happened in this situation.

I don’t agree with religion if it interferes with my life in any way, but I don’t automatically hate someone simply for being religious. It’s a shame that Hicks displayed himself as atheist, but also anti-theist, because this will ultimately lead people to associating atheism with anti-theism. I, personally, don’t want to be associated with anti-theism because it’s hateful. I don’t hold any hate in my heart for people who are religious and who don’t interfere with my life. I’m not sure if Hicks had any interaction with his neighbors which may have involved them pressing their religion–but even if they did, that doesn’t give him a license to kill.

I’ve had many people press their religion on me, but I’ve never once thought about reacting violently. I’ve thought about replying with an anger-filled, intelligent argument, but I’ve never wished any harm to someone. Being anti-theist means wishing any form of theism would cease to exist. I believe religion can be poisonous if it affects the lives of others, but as long as the religious person doesn’t do harm to anyone in the name of their religion, I see no reason to be hateful towards them.

In the wake of these murders, there are going to be a lot of fingers pointing at atheists blaming them for hating religion, leading to the death of three innocent people. Just remember– there’s a difference between atheism and anti-theism.

 

Giving God isn’t giving hope

Poverty is all around us these days. A simple drive down Main Street will show you homeless men holding signs asking for food, a job, or just compassion. Going to church as a kid, helping the poor always seemed to be the center of the church. Whether it was through canned food drives or mission trips, helping the poor was always extremely important in the sermons.

Looking around the church a few years ago, I noticed a few things that I always thought were odd. One night, a homeless man wandered into the church. Although he was given a meal, he was immediately asked to leave when he finished. I noticed the fancy, expensive clothes worn by church-goers every Sunday, and I heard the quiet whispers of gossip, insulting those who didn’t dress “appropriately.”

christians
“These “mission trips” that were supposed to help people were really just a ploy to shove religion down the throats of the needy.”

There was an older woman who was very sick who would come to the church by herself and sit in the first pew. She never spoke to anyone, and the elder women of the church would whisper, wondering why this woman was here. She always wore very casual clothes that looked a little tattered, whereas some women would come in big, fancy hats and matching dresses.

I remember a group of church members went on a mission trip to Nicaragua. Before they left, we were all told they were going to be building homes and helping the poor. However, upon arriving back to the church, it was apparent to me that the only “help” offered to the poor was the “Word of God.”

There are many reasons I finally left the church, but the fact that the church masquerades around, preaching to help the poor and taking little action is the main reason I finally decided the church wasn’t for me. These “mission trips” that were supposed to help people were really just a ploy to shove religion down the throats of the needy. Telling these people they need to pray to get out of poverty isn’t helping them. If they really wanted to help them, they’d provide them with food, clean water and shelter, not a book of stories of hope. To really give these people hope, they need to be provided with the necessities to live a healthy, happy life.

Although many churches do good, the hypocrisies I witnessed in church were what finally drove me away from the God I once believed in. I realized more and more as I’ve gotten older that the church isn’t necessary to have a happy life. In order to have a happy life you must do things that will make you happy. I know from personal experience that making other people happy makes me really happy. Providing people with things they need pleases me more than satisfying my own needs.

Through my sorority and in my private time I’ve found ways to lift up others without religious meaning behind it. I love representing myself positively to my friends, family and even total strangers by helping them acquire whatever it is that they need to get by. Giving makes me happy. I don’t feel that I need to give to please some God. I focus on my own happiness and spreading that happiness to everyone around me and everyone I love.

 

Memoirs from the front lines of the War on Christmas

Captain’s report: Nov. 30th, 2013. War. War never changes. It’s been five long years since the start of the War on Christmas; Lord Obama says we’ll finish it this year for sure. If it hadn’t been for Fox News catching wind of our plan so early on, we could’ve ended it before anyone knew what hit them. Damn you, Eric Bolling. Damn you to Hell. Obama be praised. Continue reading Memoirs from the front lines of the War on Christmas

Your religion (or lack of one) is wrong

We’re all guilty of it: assuming that our beliefs unconditionally trump the beliefs of others, or that a lack of belief — a refusal to accept things that cannot be physically explained — somehow makes us more intelligent than others. We could go on for days (and the media often does) about the horrible things that people are doing because of their religions, or lack thereof. But it’s time to change the conversation. Continue reading Your religion (or lack of one) is wrong

Sick of atheists?

If I could write an article every time a Fox News pundit says something that grinds my gears, I would have enough material to write a book. I’d like to think I’m pretty good about controlling myself on the off chance I happen to catch a bit of Fox News. This video surfaced recently of Fox News pundit Dana Perino saying she’s sick of hearing about atheists trying to remove “under God” from the pledge of Allegiance, and that if they don’t like it, they don’t have to live here.

Continue reading Sick of atheists?

Exposing the truth about atheism

In today’s society there’s a huge misconception about what atheism really is. There are many people out there who believe that any person who is an atheist is just a demon-loving killer. Atheism is not actually a religion; it is the belief in lack of religion. The difference between it and any organized religion is that religions are theistic, which means that they believe in a higher power — a God of some sort that they follow. Continue reading Exposing the truth about atheism