III. No More Bullshit

I’ve read the omens; I’ve seen the signs:

Supermarkets and convenience stores everywhere are stocking up on discounted champagne. Every person’s countenance bears the heavy shadow of post-holiday depression, and every waistline bears the bulge of post-holiday indulgences. The web is littered with countless countdowns of 2011, and suddenly you realize with quiet horror that it’s time to replace your old calendar of landscapes with a brand new calendar of the same landscapes but from slightly different angles and by slightly different photographers.

Indeed, hide ja kids, hide ja wife…cuz it’s finally here: The Year 2012!!!! Oh the horror!!!

So what does the author of a blog about trying to save the world have to offer up as a new year’s resolution for the last year of existence? This year, once and for all, I say we all agree to finally be done with Bullshit.

Bullshit comes in all forms and (ahem) flavors. Click here to view my post about the impending Messianic Apocalypse bullshit and why even the idea of something so utterly absurd is so fundamentally dangerous.

It basically all comes down to this: the only way we are ever going to survive as a species is to finally fix all of the problems, whose ever-pleading voices, once mere distant whispers, now stare us directly in the face, screaming. The only way to fix these incredibly complex problems, whose solutions require nothing less than collaboration on a global scale, is to ensure that every single person in the entire world is on the same page. And for starters, we certainly can’t all be on the same page if we’re reading conflicting books.

Case in point: the Bible contains instructions from God on how his followers should kill anyone who does not adhere to the Law of Yahweh. The Koran speaks even more explicitly about disposing of those who do not adhere to the will of Allah, as well as the heavenly rewards for doing so. I have no doubt that you have witnessed the results of this slight conflict of interest. Imagine how tall the summit would be, if all of the bodies of those who have died in the name of God in the past decade alone were piled one on top of the other in a great heap towards the very Heavens that apparently commanded it all.

And the travesties associated with this level of complete bullshit are not relegated to just the literate community, or the religious one. Even now, in the massive, poverty-stricken and uneducated territories of Africa and the Middle East and Mexico and India and South America, thousands upon thousands of people are being killed, women are being raped, and children are being kidnapped and forced to fight in militias, in many cases having to murder members of their own tribe or family, and all of this due to nothing more than slight differences in denomination and genetic variation. Add to that the billions of people who will go to sleep tonight, starving, lacking clean water, basic shelter and healthcare, while the leaders of their countries live in the complete unabashed opulence and indulgence that only the wealth of a dictator can provide. Bullshit anyone?

Not your third world country, not your problem? Not to worry! You may have noticed that there’s plenty of prime bullshit being spewed all over the place right here, in your own backyard, and in your inbox, in your church, in your office, in your living room, in your classroom, in your ballot box, in your bedroom. Yes, it’s even there in your mirror, and between your ears. And what’s great is that you don’t have to put up with it anymore! Really. No I mean it. Really. It’s time for you to get a little pissed off.

If I could suggest just one new year’s resolution to save the world, it would be that in 2012, we all cut out all the bullshit. Examine all of your own most cherished beliefs and preconceived notions for bullshit and don’t be afraid to finally let go of any outdated, incorrect or unuseful information you may find there. Listen and pay attention to what other  people are actually saying to you with their words and actions, and do not be timid, by all means be relentless, to quickly and emphatically point out any bullshit that gets flung in your general direction.

This WILL change the world. Don’t believe me? Try it. I dare you. And if it turns out that the Super-Jesus-Alien-Zombie Apocalypse really does go down despite all your best efforts in this, the year of our Lord two thousand and twelve…well, at least you’ll have the satisfaction of leaving something worthwhile behind: you went out on top of your game.

In the end, I think that’s what counts, all bullshit aside.

Prev: Jesus is coming. Look…annoyed?                                       Next: Yoda Knows Best

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~ by christhehumanist on December 28, 2011.

8 Responses to “III. No More Bullshit”

  1. My grandmother told me time and time again. “You catch more flies with vinegar, than you do with honey.” I humbly suggest that you take her advice.

    Want the world to wake up? Really want to make a difference? Bring people together, not tear them apart.

    As I have read your three articles I found one thing in common, they seem to be more geared towards getting a big thumbs up from people on the “same page” as you, than they are towards convincing others of the seriousness of your plight.

    Telling religious people that they are “eneducated” and “lethargic” is not going to win a one of them to your side of an intellectual debate. Telling them that their beliefs are “bullshit” is not going to convert them to your way of thinking. My guess is most would probably make it to the second paragraph of your second post and then discount everything that you have to say after that. Why? It’s simple human nature that no one wants to be insulted, and yes there are those among us who cannot and will not separate themselves from the beliefs that they hold dear. Realistically you have to accept that, accept them, and work with them if you are truly going to make a dent. The way to show these people your point of view is not through off hand remarks meant to cause offense. Appeal to their better sensibilities, the compassion, the morals, the persistence, the strength that comes from a life lived in faith. These people could be your allies if you didn’t speak like an enemy.

    For every believer you meet like your co-worker there are probably ten who work harder because of their faith. What he said was unfortunate, but I believe that any motivated person, believer or otherwise, would be disappointed in his comment. But you took it one step farther. “Forty-four percent of Americans believe that Christ is coming to judge the living and the dead in the next fifty years.” Might I remind you that in that 44%, not all believe in the rapture. Even of those that believe in the rapture there is vast debate on it’s timing. Most people are divided into pre-trib, mid-trib, and post-trib. Only those that believe in the pre-tribulation rapture think that they are going to have an easy out. The rest believe that things could get a lot worse, that they will. But that doesn’t stop them from doing the things that really matter, if anything it makes them try harder to help others.

    So try to find two Christians who believe exactly the same. And sure while you are looking you will find the occasional crazy and I will not deny that the Bible, Torah, or Koran is dangerous in their hands. But these are also the kind of people that kill themselves because of the lyrics in a Guns N Roses song. A bottle of Tylenol is dangerous in their hands. Should we call for a ban on Tylenol? Maybe razor blades and whipped cream should be next?

    Since you threw out a statistic here are a few of my own. According to a Stafford University study, 91% of religious people make charitable contributions, compared to 66% for the secular community. When it comes to volunteering the statistics are 67% for the religious and 44% for the secular. It made little difference which religion people were, just that they had one.

    Truth be told I can’t honestly believe you posed a debate on apathy without speaking of people who rely on the government, for both solutions to these problems and money until these problems are solved. There are 25 year old “children” still depending on their parents. And until you can get people to take care of themselves they aren’t going to take care of anyone or anything else.

    I believe that people do need to wake up and stop thinking of themselves. I personally find so many people that will turn a blind eye to a problem if they don’t think it effects them. It seems your co-worker may fall into that category, but he does not represent the whole of Christianity, no more than O.J. Simpson represents the whole of the African American community. I challenge that if you had painted an ethnic group in such a way, what you said would have bordered on “hate speech.” Not that you do not have the right to say what you have. I will defend that right with my dying breath. But rather that it is just as ludicrous to believe that all people of faith are the same.

    It’s not your cause, or even your zealousness that I find fault in. It is your method. By all means if all you really hope to accomplish is to vent your opinion and “preach to the choir” keep on keeping on. But for real lasting change accept people for who they are, learn about them, treat them with respect, and don’t douse them with vinegar. A little honey in the form of temperament will go a long way.

    • Hey Regina! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and for taking the extra time to provide an awesome, well thought-out and extremely well-written response. This is EXACTLY the kind of intelligent conversation I was hoping this project would ignite. I use the word ignite purposefully, because as you have (and quite perceptively) called me out out on, I have chosen to throw a little gasoline on the ol’ match pile that is Politics/Ethics/Religion. If I have offended it is because I meant to do so, and I will wholly bear the responsibility for that. You are also correct (and thank you so much for pointing it out) that not all Christians are consistent with respect to which dogma they eventually commit to. What almost every single Christian (by definition) in the world, does, however, subscribe to is the belief that God created the Universe and Man and Jesus, and furthermore that Jesus is somehow the ideal model of what a human should strive to be. And it cannot be denied that the majority of Christians believe that unless they are saved by the Lord Jesus himself they will spend eternity in fire and damnation. I’m sorry but that’s a problem. But more on that in a future blog post…I promise.

      You and your very wise grandmother are both correct in your analogy (although I believe you meant to say, “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”, not the other way around, but I understood what you meant). To continue with your analogy, I am staring at a world full of fat, lazy, honey-drunken flies already! No doubt countless clergy have used the sweet-tasting honey promises of religion to cover the true bitter taste of their vinegar-drenched beliefs. I would be no man if I were here to simply sugar-coat the truth. And I am certainly not in the business of catching flies. If anything I am trying to help set them free, so they can prosper and live happy fly lives. Religion binds, restricts, enslaves and imprisons. I just want people to think for themselves.

  2. I resonate with what you have said. Perhaps not all readers are exposed to some of the zealous “born agains” as I have been. While I can appreciate the message of the Christ the distortions derived from the interpretations some folkes have leave me cold ……. really ….. when they are in your face and won’t respect where you are coming from it is a tad difficult to
    respect them or what they are saying.

    Religon … for me …. has corrupted what the Christ had to say too bad … He has a good message.

    • Hey ILois, thanks so much for taking the time to read and respond. I totally agree with you that religion has distorted some of the original teachings from the Jesus Christ mythos that were, in fact, useful, practical, and very forward-thinking for the time period. However, if you take all the red letter words from the Good Book as a whole, and really read what the authors ascribed to to the man Jesus, he really comes across as a militant couch-surfing hippie lunatic with a giant “The End of the World is Near!” sign strapped to his chest. If he was a real person who walked the Earth, I truly believe he was trying to save his people. And I really do like a few of his ideas (that are shared, by the way, with broader, more sophisticated philosophies), but as a role model, I think there are far better out there to choose from. But more on that in a future post, I promise.

  3. that seems to me to perhaps be a tad off base. If you are talking about the Old Testament …yeah I can see what you are saying, but the Christ never refers to the O.T. …. He is the New Testament man …… he distances Himself from the O.T. and brings a new message and a different way to deal with old problems ……and here we go again … labeling …..what I don’t like I will label …… a hippie is just someone with a different opinion than yours …..give me a break ….. and as to Revelations …… REMEMBER … Revelations is not the word of Jesus or the message He came to convey …., it is the inclusion by zealots who wanted to make their point of keeping fear as the main teacher.

    Now keep in mind that this is all my own conclusion and anyone else is welcome to theirs …..

    and the end of the world thing is the big whip to shape you up and into the fold ….. okay ….but if you are “good” because you are afraid to be bad it will fail you when the chips are down. You are “good” because you prefer it … you tried that other stuff and you like “good” better ……..good makes sense to you now and “bad” doesn’t …..etc …. it is because YOU prefer it, not because someone scared you into it…..now that is a real revelation.

    now … name me a better role model ……
    I am curious as to who you would pick
    and if possible keep him in the context of the world Jesus lived in and then imagine what their message would have been in that context.

    we are not looking for big words or complicated egos and developed theories or outer laurels …… just keep it simple …..and in context and
    to the times He lived in.

    Me? I love the Buddha …..and Jesus and Ghandi … and Mandala …..and Martin Luther King …… heros following the same Path by different names ….maybe that is why some call it the “Way” and not the “who”

    this is fun ….. let’s do it again ……:>)

    .

  4. oops

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