Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Religion is a defense against religious experience

I've been called to task in comments here a few times lately for being overly critical of organized religion (especially of the fundamental variety). I should be more tolerant, I'm told. Religion is a good thing, some have said.

Sorry... I can no longer buy that.

At best, religion is an excuse to avoid having a religious experience.
  • Watch this incredible video that Gg pointed out to me on Pop Occulture yesterday. Pentacostal huckster-showmen Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland lead a packed house into getting "drunk on God." Be sure to read the comments below the video, too.This is Christianity?
  • Sacred Fems has been following a story about how a Texas town got its Christian panties in a wad over last weekend's river tubing expedition by a group of sexy strippers from an Austin nightclub. City councilman Ken Valentine was aghast, saying that on Sunday the strippers "should be in church." Meanwhile, a Southern Baptist minister from a mega-church in Austin was arrested for sexual assault (swapping blow jobs) with a 15-year-old boy. Can it get worse? Pastor Carver is not the first minister from that very church to get caught doing the same thing. A few years ago Great Hills Baptist Church's youth minister was convicted of sexually molesting a minor.
  • The wackos from Westboro Baptist Church are still out there protesting at veterans' funerals with their "God Hates Fags" signs.
  • Faith-healer preachers are promising the sick and gullible that missing hands and eyeballs can be restored if you just believe!
  • Don't think it's just Christians that have gone crazy. The Muslim fundamentalists have taken to the streets of London carrying placards threatening to behead anyone who says anything bad about Islam.
God help us!

Image: Protesting Muslims in London, July, 2006

Title is a quote from Joseph Campbell.

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  1. Good post and I thoroughly understand your viewpoint, but I just no longer think it.

    Anyway, your points below seem to indicate that people doing dumb things is evidence that religion is a failure. That's like pointing to car accidents and saying that cars aren't useful for getting you from point A to point B. Sure, cars have a whole host of problems, but they do work!

    PS. If you have a chance, I would love it if you submitted your story about invoking the archangel and puking (I think that was you, right?) over at my Traces from Beyond site!

  2. wait, whoops, that wasn't you who had that archangel story. Please disregard!

  3. Hey, you forgot about Scientology in your anti-organized religion laundry list tirade!

    Praise Xenu!

  4. Xenu this!

    Actually, only 55,000 people filled out their 2000 Census reports claiming to be Scientologists. Other sources list their numbers at around 500,000.

    But with 1.3 billion Muslims and 2.1 billion card-carrying Christians running around topside, all the wacky Xenuvians (including Tom "In the Closet" Cruise) barely hold a burning taper to the shennanigans of the Top Two Organized Religions.

    — W.S.

  5. Tim,

    Nope. Wasn't me. Sounds like a great story, though. Something magickal about religious puking. The stories I could tell....

    So you had a recent epiphany that convinced you organized religion was a good idea? Tell us more....

    — W.S.

  6. Meher Baba spoke of his work caring for those that had become so "drunk" on religion that they could no longer function as cognizant human beings. He spoke that balance is crucial in all spiritual quests. The Buddha mentioned this as taking the "middle road".

    "If you leave the string to slack, the instrument will not play... and if you make it too'll snap!"
    Siddartha Gautama

    I think the real issue is intolerance and self-delusion. The delusion that one is right and everyone else is wrong.

    During the post-Jesus Roman Empire, Christians were burned, fed to lions, crucified...etc...etc...not because of their faith, but because of their marked debauchery and lack of any moral code. It seems that later Roman emperors that were pagan, were sickened by the Christian groups throughout the Roman empire that preached one ideal...but acted differently.

    Man! If you can gross out the pagan Romans with your debauchery...You're pretty bad! Voted #1 by the past residents of Sodom & Gomorrah as favorite group!

    There are many Christian charlatans in need of a good burning!



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