I figured I’d use the submit here because the ask box doesn’t allow enough characters. Do with this as you please!
As a fellow Atheist I really believe atheists are doing the world a disservice by bashing the ‘I hate religion but I love Jesus’ guy. I get what you’re saying about his logic being flawed but really, if all Christians were like this guy no atheist (me included) would ever be agitated by Christians. We wouldn’t get upset on a daily basis by the bigotry and the hate coming from Christianity every day. Furthermore, if all Christians were like this guy there wouldn’t be a problem for atheists getting certain jobs in America either, probably including presidency. I could compile a whole list of bad things that would be better if they all were like him but I’m sure you get the picture.
I pretty much almost agree with the guy except for the fact that I look as Jesus as an abstract ‘made up’ concept rather than someone who is actually real. The teachings related to Jesus however are real and applicable and if all Christians would actually live by those teachings that can be found in their own damn book, the world would be a hell of a lot more pleasant place than it is now.
If all Christians were like this guy I bet you wouldn’t even be running this blog right now. There’d hardly be anything to argue against.
Just something to think about…
Marco (who is also a huge fan of reason just like you)
Thanks for writing!! From the start I will say that I don’t agree with your argument but I can see how one gets to it. I will enumerate my disagreement with some of the assumptions your question makes, like for example that following Jesus’ teaching is inherently a good thing. Please pardon if any of my points come across as confrontational. That is not my intention. The way my brain judges arguments tends to sound like this but that is not the case.
1) Jesus exalted the god of the old testament, that genocidal maniacal monster. He preached that unbelievers would burn in hell and that only through him can people be good and saved. Like we are somehow infected and in need of saving. Sorry but I’m not a fan. Be it that Jesus was a made up person or not his teachings cannot be generalized as all good. They are certainly not. Is there any mystery on why and how Christianity has behaved and still behaves to this day? No there is not if one looks at the teachings of Jesus closely.
2) I do not believe that if people put all of what Jesus said into practice the world would necessarily be a better place. I prefer to not generalize.
3) Irrationality is a problem in itself. It easily devolves into fanaticism, fundamentalism and censure. See how many who claim to “love” Jesus and hate “religion” still think that it is ok for gays to burn in hell (Bible based concept). What does he mean by “I love the church, I love the bible and I still believe in sin”? He does not tell us. If he did his religion would show.
4) If the dude’s premise is wrong, whatever he derives from it will be fatally flawed even if it looks good on the surface. Religious moderation is just the shade where religious fanaticism luxuriates (see the End of Faith by Sam Harris and the FAQ for more details). Playing with semantics does not change the facts of the matter. Pointing such is not “hating” but underlining something that is truly necessary to know. You can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig.
5) Religion says slave, Jesus says son?
1 Corinthians 7:22, Romans 6:18, Rom 14:8, John 12:25-26, etc..etc…
Christians are actually slaves of Christ. The ideal relationship between god and believers is that of a master to his slaves. That is abundantly clear. The poor rapper/poet dude does not know his own, for a lack of a better term, religion that well. More could be said but just one sample suffices.
6) Jesus = Religion. A change in semantics makes absolutely no difference.