Recently I stumbled into a debate with several Christians on Facebook. The debate started light-heartedly asking why someone would “praise Jesus” for turning the power back on after Hurricane Sandy. What followed was an ignorant attack from a group of Irish Catholics who were unable to defend their faith and in frustration resorted to name calling and ended with Pascal’s Wager (which I will address later in this series). I asked if they wished to continue the debate via email but they backed out and offered to “pray for me.” I told them I would think for them. So I decided to share their arguements and shoot them down in a series of blogs. So the first topic I will address is from ignorant Christian # 1, Mary.
Mary: Wow have some of you ever heard of religious tolerance or respect for other’s beliefs?
This absurd statement was made because I had asked the question, “Why praise Jesus for turning on the power?” I do not subscribe to this idea that we are to respect and not question unsubstantiated supernatural claims. Sure, you can believe what you want to believe and I in no way think religious freedom should be taken away. Freedom of religion should not be challenged and is not the issue. You are free to believe and I do not have to respect your belief and I sure as hell am not going to stop questioning ridiculous claims. The idea to respect other beliefs and to remain silent sounds innocent on the surface but it is this mentality that allows extremists to behead people for drawing a picture of Muhammad.
If the question was “why do you believe in Bigfoot, aliens, ufos etc” people would feel I was completely justified in asking why they believe such things. Most people do not believe in outrageous, supernatural claims without evidence unless it is part of their religion. If you ask most Christians if they believe in Unicorns they will most likely laugh and say that is absurd but they do not find it absurd to praise Jesus for turning the power on after a storm.
If a person believes that Jesus was responsible for turning on the power, is he not also responsible for bringing Hurricane Sandy to shore? Is God/Jesus all powerful? If your answer is yes, did he have the power to send Sandy out to sea? Of course, if you believe Jesus is that powerful he absolutely could have sent the storm out to sea. It stands to reason that Jesus would also be responsible for everyone who died in the wake of Sandy, including an 8 year old boy from Pennsylvania. Do Christians want me to believe that Jesus waited until almost a week after the storm to reveal his almighty power and that power was used to turn on the lights in your home? It couldn’t have been the electric company that was working around the clock.
Now I will grant that this “Praise Jesus” comment wasn’t to be taken seriously but what I am getting at is that it is ludicrous to pray for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Who are you praying to? The god who allowed it to happen in the first place? Why would an atheist live and a Christian who prayed everyday and had a “personal relationship with Jesus” be killed?
And of course the Christians will say, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” They will say he has a bigger plan or he wanted the people who died with him in heaven. I call Bullshit. The truth is shit happens and people die. This is why it is so important for people to heed the warnings of officials when there is a crisis at hand. We have only each other and we need to take care of the human race. Waiting for a magic man in the sky to save you just gets you killed.
So I don’t respect these silly beliefs. Faith is believing something without evidence and that is a very dangerous way to live your life. Faith informs action. It is because of this so-called respect that has made it so difficult for people to have basic civil liberties. There is no reason that same sex marriage should not be legal – except for religious ones. Oh, but don’t question a person’s faith – that’s just rude. Seriously? You not allowing a person the same rights you have is not rude? It’s worse. If people did not stand up and question people’s beliefs we would still have slavery and we would be still burning people at the stake.
But if we choose to continue to remain silent and not call people on their shit, we will be sent back to the middle ages. So the next time someone tells you it was divine intervention, don’t be afraid to ask them how they know that. Don’t be afraid to ask for evidence. People are allowed to hold any beliefs they want and I am allowed to question those beliefs – especially when these same people try to pass laws based on those beliefs in a secular nation.
Stay tuned to more responses to more ignorant Christians.
Silly Christians, Myths are for Kids