12th August 2008

“When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked him to forgive me.”

Emo Philips

3 Responses to “12th August 2008”

  1. Chris Says:

    Which might be why religious can be such pricks. You can do any damn thing you want if you really believe that all it takes is a couple “Hail Mary’s” and your place in heaven is assured. I just love that bumper sticker I see around here “Not perfect, just forgiven”. I want to scream at them that it’s forgiveness of their fellow man they ought to seek, not empty and cynical freebee “I’m sorry’s” to an invisible man they’ll never have to face.

  2. Terence Meaden Says:

    This is how it works at all levels in the Catholic Church.

    For instance, Constantine I (died 337) (whose biggest memorial to himself was Constantinople) was hugely honoured by the church for supposedly establishing Christianity as the official religion of the Roman empire.

    But he was just another of the great bloody murderers, killing off all opposition including members of his own family, namely his eldest son, second wife, father-in-law, and brother-in-law. In addition, his first wife ‘disappeared’. He got to the throne by marriage to his second wife who he subsequently had killed.

    But the bishops overlooked all this for the greater good of their corrupt church and said that god would forgive him for the crimes if he would get baptised which he did on his deathbed to ‘ensure’ his sought-for resurrection.

    In other words by simple hypocritical confession he got his sins forgiven, just like Emo Philips the cycle thief. Edward Gibbon wrote that “future tyrants were encouraged to believe that the innocent blood that they might shed. . . would instantly be washed away . . . [by confession]; and the abuse of religion dangerously undermined the foundations of moral virtue.” Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol.1, 654. Modern Library, New York.

  3. Chris Says:

    “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
    – Steven Weinberg, quoted in The New York Times, April 20, 1999
    US physicist (1933 – )

    Corollary to this: Religion allows an evil person to commit the truly horrific by providing a ready excuse or a get-out-of-jail-free card. Even as a child I understood the problem with this. The religulous love to say “If there’s no God then anything is allowed.” They miss the boat. If there’s no god, we are responsible to our fellow man and society. Society will determine what is allowed. There is an objective morality within the context of ones society. Elements of this seem to be universal and are explainable through social evolution and require no creator-god to work.