Nancy had emailed that she and siblings got together over the Thanksgiving holiday: Dave, wife Mary, Nancy and another hyper Christian sister named “Leah”. (Note that two years ago, Nancy, Dave and Mary accompanied my wife and me to Barbados). Things went okay until Leah buttonholed Dave for an hour, hocking her own brand of hell-mongering baloney and bullshit, and warning him that unless he got “saved before he died he would end up burning in Hell forever”.
To rub it in deeper, this clown zealot then asked him: "You DO want to see Mom and Dad, don't you? Well, you won't if you're burning in Hell!" Dave already dealing with the stress from the worst prognosis one could conceive took it stoically. I admire the guy, because had I been there in his place, I’d have told the harpy to fuck herself. No apologies, no goofy euphemisms....no ‘telling it through the flowers’.
Dave, to be sure, is a gentleman - and I mean that literally. He is of benign temperament and takes most things in stride, unlike me. (Perhaps why I am dogged with high blood pressure, but maybe because I’m outraged most of the time, especially by obdurate Repukes who play political games with our nation's future and hell-mongering fundie whackos who prey on the weak.) Dave is also one of the few people who was able to read my entire book, ‘The Atheist’s Handbook to Modern Materialism’ and even asked intelligent questions about various chapters. He noted that it provided him with a solid perspective on many things, including that there was no afterlife: when we’re gone we’re gone, as with anesthesia. (I did make allowances for a nonlocal afterlife but this is nothing to do with anything supernatural, i.e. http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2012/07/has-stuart-hameroff-explicated-way-out.html
My beef with Leah presuming to “save” her brother is the same I have with other Fundie idiots who have nothing better to do with their time than trespass on time and eternity with their boring, ignorant misinterpretations of two thousand year old bollocks written by sheep herders. It would not be so bad if they all remained in their own enclaves (looney bins) but no – they are allowed to go out into the world and render damage to stressed or weakened psyches. People who have been through one wringer or other and don’t deserve mental stress on top of physical deterioration. Moreover, they do it relentlessly to the most unassuming people, or those with a very short timeline like Dave. People who, unlike me – would never take these creeps by the scruff of the neck and bodily hurl them out the door and into the street.
Why are these psychos - like Leah and a certain pretend FLA pastor- running around loose? Why not confined to an institution someplace and on meds, or with ECT prescribed? Who knows? I guaran-damn-tee you, however, if anyone aggressively pushed aliens and ETs like these nutcases, they wouldn't be tolerated. But because the blather carries the specious cachet of "religious speech" they are allowed to get away with it. Meanwhile, Stalin would have long since had them locked up in Gulags and receiving home -made anti- psychotics. (I generally don't applaud the likes of Stalin, or Mao Tse Tung, but in regards to controlling uppity, in -your face, hell-mongering Christians, they did have the right idea! In that respect, our country allows these nuts way too much leeway.)
First, let's understand the whole basis for their suppositions on the afterlife is totally askew.
A condescending aspect of current evangelical Christianity is its prescription for personal salvation: that one must be “born again in the Lord Jesus Christ” and “accept Him as persona Savior”. Of course, in spouting this codswallop, Christians thoughtlessly consign billions to the Christians’ eternal microwave: Hindus, Jains, Muslims, Buddhists and others – whose only “crime” is they either refused to follow, or weren’t privy to, the magic salvation formula.
In fact, the evidence shows that the Christian myth of the unique God-Man / Savior is not original, but probably plagiarized from earlier pagan sources – such as the Book of Mithras - nee 'Mithra' (Actually, the Zendavesta). This was the main source for the ancient religion of Mithraism, which predated Christianity by hundreds of years.
Exactly like Jesus, Mithras (Mithra) was “born of a virgin” (Anahita), in humble surroundings, and later worked miracles including walking on water, and raising the dead. He was also crucified, died and was buried, to ascend three days later. Coincidence? Hardly! It is more likely the basis of a common myth (also present with the God-Man Horus, and Orpheus) present throughout antiquity. Thus, it would have made eminent sense for the early New Testament authors to copy these stories where they could. Why reinvent the proverbial Savior “wheel”? Indeed, why re-invent a punitive afterlife, when the Mithraists had already conceived a "Hell" that was essentially wholesale copied by Christians?
In his excellent expose article “How Jesus Got A Life” (The American Atheist, June, 1992, p. 46) author Frank Zindler notes even more comparisons, such as the fact that Mithras was born of Anahita on Dec. 25th (the Winter Solstice, according to then crude computations), he was also worshipped on SUN-days (being also a solar deity), and the leader was called “papa” (pope) and ruled from the “mithraeum” on the Vatican Hill in Rome.
Mithraic priests also wore “miters” (from which current Catholic Bishops’ head gear is derived), and they consumed a sacred meal “Myazda” – which “was completely analogous to the Catholic Eucharist service”. (Ibid.) Why the need to copy wholesale earlier God-man stories? The Catholic historian, the Rev. Thomas Bokenkotter is clear on this:
“The Gospels were not meant to be a historical or biographical account of Jesus. They were written to convert unbelievers to faith in Jesus as the Messiah, or God.”
In other words, the earlier pagan tracts and myths were copied to try to fulfill a Church agenda, not to disclose any historical or biographical truth. Later Protestant sects, formed after the Reformation, would simply alter the theme to making “salvation” contingent not only on the belief in the overall God-Man mythology – but BELIEF in the MYTHICAL MAN as GOD and SAVIOR. In other words, what evangelicals are effectively doing, is threatening unbelievers with eternal perdition unless they embrace a God-Man account likely plagiarized by their Catholic forbears from ancient pagan works.Ah, but to confer credibility, or what we in the secular world call 'rabid cherry picking' - the numskulls had to dredge up what they took to be biblical or scriptural quotations to "ice" their convictions in stone, and thence, grant them perverse power to try to "save" or "convert" others. (No surprise many of these louts were burned or shot, especially when they tried it in Hindu India.) And so they isolated quotes like John 3:16, which we sports fans often see morons holding up at stadiums. They are trying to remind all who might glance their way of the need to get "saved" by a mythical, plagiarized "savior". (The Xtians didn't even have the brains to think up their own original version!)
The whole thing would actually be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic, and one can imagine the ancient founders of Mithraism laughing hilariously from their graves at the gullibility and profound ignorance of modern day Christians that buy this hogswill, that they really are putting their trust in a unique “Savior” and ‘god”.
Did a real historical Jesus exist? According to Oxford scholar Geza Vermes in The Authentic Gospel of Jesus:
“Jesus was an ordinary man, crucified because he clashed with Jewish and Roman leaders and was regarded as a potential threat to law and order “
In other words, one could almost think of him like an ancient JFK, given all the interests he pissed off, although unlike JFK he held no office. But invoking him to be "saved" would make about as much sense as invoking JFK for the same. Nevertheless, you can be sure the religio-tards will never ever accept this, and they will remain convinced they have the one and only salvation "formula" and woe betide anyone who doesn't accept it - they will pick up a ticket to "Hell". (As Dave's crazed sister warned him).
French philosopher and teacher, Andre Comte-Sponville has a solid take on these Xtian knotheads and pests. I quote his words as follows:
"They mistake their faith for knowledge and are prepared to kill or die in its name. They have no doubts or hesitations. They know everything there is to know about Truth and Goodness....and Salvation. So of what use is Science to them? None. Of what use is democracy?
Everything worth knowing is in "the Book". One need only believe and obey. From Genesis to Revelation they have taken sides once and for all. They are on God's side, so how can they be wrong? Why should they believe in or obey anything else? Fundamentalists, obscurantists and terrorists...but they see themselves as angels, though they behave as beasts and tyrants.
They take themselves for the Knight of the Apocalypse. They are the janissaries of the absolute, which they reduce to the narrow dimensions of their own conscience and perceive as their private property.
They are the prisoners of their faith, slaves of God or of what (with absolutely no proof) they claim to be His Word or Law. Spinoza summed their type up admirably when he said: "They fight for their servitude as if it were their salvation"
I couldn't have said it better. But one thing we atheists, secularists, skeptics and rationalists will not do is place ourselves in mental or cooperative servitude to those who are already in thrall to their self-created mental chains of "salvation" delusion and supernatural bunkum!