Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jesus the Easter bunny

There is Toronto Sun Columnist, Michael Coren, who occasionally writes something completely stupid and deserving of rebuttal. I don’t think Coren is stupid, but I would classify him as a religious crank. He is a Catholic.

He frequently complains about the media suppressing Christians, yet the Sun, a large Toronto daily newspapers with tens of thousands of print readers and untold on-line readers, publishes his pulpit-proud preachings of the “one true faith”, Catholicism. If there is suppression stalking the land it isn’t obvious in the editorial department of the Toronto Sun.

Nor is it manifested on the Christian Television Network which broadcasts Coren’s week-nightly gab fest.

Since it is Easter, the most important event in the Christian calendar of fictious historiography, it would be unseemly for Coren to pass it by. Today he wrote a column called, Let’s rise and shine.

These are some of the things he had to say:

What I particularly love about Easter is the joy it brings to all those tired old atheist hacks who can sell articles to newspapers explaining why Easter isn't Easter, Jesus wasn't Jesus and Cadbury Creme Eggs are all some sort of Christian conspiracy to cause obesity and heart disease. Much as I dislike hurting these little darlings, their attacks have to be challenged.

I am an atheist and I am getting old, but I don’t think I am particularly tired and even though I am a writer I would have to say to Mr. Coren, on the subject of hack writers, pay attention to what the alleged Jesus had say: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. But he does raise an important point about how Easter gets confused with a bunny delivering Easter eggs. I have resolved this problem for my 3 year old granddaughter quite simply by explaining that the Easter bunny’s name is Jesus.

More people have died in the name of religion than anything else. The century that saw the most violent deaths was the 20th, when the atheist monsters Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot and their Fascist and Marxist buddies slaughtered hundreds of millions.

Boy, talk about the utterings of tired old hacks! None of these people that he mentions murdered in the name of atheism, unlike the inquisitors of Catholic fame and the witch-burners of Protestant persuasion, who all justified their acts by reference to God and the Gospels. But that is simply quibbling, because he is resorting to a numbers game. My response is to suggest that the outcome might have been even more appalling in the 15th and 16th centuries if the weapons of modern slaughter, communications and logistics had been available to folks like Torquemada.

People have, however, killed in the name of religion and will doubtless continue to do so. Generally these days in the name of Islam, but most Christian bashers are too intimidated or cowardly to say too much about this particular issue.

One might add that nary a peep comes out of Christians about the murders committed by Muslims. Coren himself wrote a column praising the Muslims for being visibly angry about the Danish cartoons about Mohammed. He put in the obligatory “I don’t mean to endorse violence” sentence, but this amounted to praise by faint damnation in the overall context of his column. He also wrote a column saying that we had to rush out and drop nuclear bombs on the Muslims in Iran (later retracted).

Perhaps, in light of this history, calling him a crank was being too kind. He’s a wingnut. But, divinely guided, of course.

In fact, Christians are the enablers of the Islamic will to hegemony through its intimidation and violence with their limp-wristed inter-faith initiatives and their pressure to try to introduce Sharia law into western societies. The fact is that the so-called Abrahamic religions share a kind of an unwritten understanding that if you don’t piss on my faith I won’t piss on yours. Note that when imams call for the slaughter of Jews they don’t condemn the religion, just the people who practice it.

People commit evil in the name of everything and anything, including the faith we celebrate this weekend. It is that very faith that gives us an absolute sense of right and wrong and thus leads us to know that killing, abuse, oppression and selfishness are unacceptable

So the upshot is that evil has nothing to do with religion, it is a force that infects all mankind, but faith in a religion is the way to overcome evil and if you don’t have that you will be doomed to commit evil because you will have no sense of right and wrong. No moral compass.

This is such arrogance and nonsense. How do people who believe this crap explain the millions -- 5 and counting -- of people in this country who identify themselves as non-religious who live very ordinary, peaceful, law-abiding and moral lives? Like the theory of evolution, the facts are in front of you – all you have to do is look at them to realize that your religious prescriptions don’t stand up.

If there is no God and no universal moral code, why bother to behave and -- important this -- what criteria do those trendy God haters have to judge people as being right and wrong or good and bad?

Well, here are a couple. Don’t steal other people’s goods and don’t murder other people. Why? Because, if you are going to be a social animal and live with your fellow humans these are very useful rules to follow to avoid chaos, bloodshed, anarchy and tyranny. Here is another one – respect every person’s right to dignity. Why? Because you would want your right to dignity respected and you cannot expect to get what you are not prepared to give. Did we really need a story about a man going up a mountain and returning with stone tablets to figure these things out for ourselves?

Atheists are not “God haters”. How would it be possible to hate something that you do not belief exists? Did I mention how much a really hate green unicorns?

Yes, but even if there is a God, He must be nasty because He allows all sorts of bad things to happen. Oh please! Bad stuff happening to good people is a problem for the atheist, not the Christian.

Au contraire. It is a problem for Christians who believe in a loving, compassionate and benevolent god who listens to and answers personal prayers. How to explain the contradiction? Explanations are required and that is when most of those who are going to be turned off by religion begin the withdrawal process, after they hear these unconvincing or ludicrous explanations. The atheists just shrug and say “shit happens”.

We believe eternity is more important than the 70 or 80 years we spend on earth so that while we may suffer here, our end is our beginning. The humanist mob thinks this is it, that at death we are dust, food for worms.

Yes, and that is the problem. Humanists think we should focus on this life and do the best we can with it because there is no other. The heaven worshippers can dismiss this life and the awful things that happen in it because they think it is the unimportant one.

Who would you rather have looking after your current affairs?

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