[Disclaimer: This is a opiate-and-cannabis-based rant, so be mindful, as your mind gets blown]
"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it."
People can "change," provided they want to change.
Sometimes the answer is just a slight modification. It's not always going to be a big, upheaval, life-changing alteration that requires you to worship at the alter of yet another (highly-flawed) human being. Religion is not going to help you if you al ready have emotional issues. Religion will exacerbate your situation, in fact.
Any movement that proselytizes you to give yourself up to them is false. The answer is in all of us. Inside us all. You know how I know this? Because, I believe that, when we die (or [tentatively] 'graduate'), we "judge" ourselves. There will not be some man with a long, white beard, wearing a long, white robe, standing above you, from a podium (Like there would even be a podium in that realm?)... with a gavel, it will be just you; yourself. You will be forced to be honest with yourself. We will all have to go through this... vortex.
You will know whether or not you graduate and move on to the next step, or will have to go back... and do it all over, again. If that sounds like fun to you, hey, great. But I don't want to come back to this place. Don't get me wrong, it was okay... nothing to write home about, though. I would like to move on to the next step. This is what I believe. And I believe it because that is what my inner voice has been telling me for almost my entire life. Bits and pieces, anyway. Along with certain aspects of our (human beings') lives and culture... and science, logic, and all that brings... this is what I have decided.
The "Creator" of this world is way too intelligent to be so petty as to send us mere mortals to a fiery infinity of torture, gnashing of teeth, and Yanni... that would be very cruel and no intelligent being would ever subscribe to such frivolous actions. There is no use in that. There is no justice in that. There is no meaning or logic to it. It's an emotional character trait made for a man more than a "God." And, again, the reason I do not use that word when describing the Creator is because the word God is a control mechanism; it controls the hoards of followers who drink the fruit punch.
I know this offends people, but I simply do not care. And the reason I do not care is not punitive. Okay, it is, but it's not entirely punitive. It's because you can actually see the problem, throughout history, and it has always been religion. And don't give me the "but [add religion here] has good people!" nonsense, because I never said there wasn't. That is what you call a non-sequitur argument. It has nothing to do with the actual topic of discussion, because not all criminals are bad people, but that never stops people from believing otherwise.
Also, let me remind everyone that when someone does something stupid at a Heavy Metal concert, or the Occupy Movement, that entire movement and fan base and artist
get slammed by the media. And I can name the religious group guilty of
this offense, but won't, because it's just too easy. Like slapping a
little kid with his own left-arm. Oh, and I can judge this stuff,
because I do not claim to be "Christian." Besides, even if I were to
claim a religious group, I am judging the historical actions of these
groups, which is not debatable, as it is factual record.
When I was 17-years-old, I went to a concert in Long Beach, California. The concert was Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica, and the tours were "Ultimate Sin" and "Master Of Puppets," respectively. I attended the third evening. The two previous evenings had tragedy hit the tour, as a kid overdosed on drugs one night, and someone was stabbed the evening prior, I believe was the order of things. Church groups littered the front of Long Beach Arena in the aftermath, with signs that read, "If You Go In There You Will Burn In Hell Forever!," and, "Ozzy Osbourne Is Satan!"
Never mind that Ozzy Osbourne is just an entertainer. That would be like saying that about any entertainer where something bad happened at a show. I am betting there were overdoses at Elvis concerts, no? If it did happen, it wasn't broadcast all over the place. Back in those days entertainers could get away with stuff (Not that he would have been 'getting away with' anything if someone had died from a drug overdose at one of his shows.) and nobody would be the wiser, because the media hadn't figured out that everything was fair game, because they could create stars out of nothing. So that means if they alienated one "star," they could just create another one and jump onto them. But I digress, again! All things equal, then, I can broad-stroke the entire faith industry, thank you very much, because they most certainly have broad-stroked (and outright slandered) me, an entire fan base and performer(s) in the process.
What is the definition of insanity again, everyone? Human beings
keep bumping their collective heads on the same freaking door jam and I
am supposed to act like it's not going on? Hey, I ducked, a long time ago. I knew church was bogus from the very beginning,when the "pastor" couldn't answer simple questions... from an eight-year-old. I was quickly whisked off into the "children's room." I learned, quick.
History shows us, again and again, what the hell is going on. The only problem is, their lobby is huge.
There are now seven billion people on the planet.
The religious breakdown is thus:
According to their pie chart, 32.5% are Christian, 21.5% are Muslim, 14% claim Hindu, Buddhism, Primal, and Chinese Faiths all garner 6%, respectively, and ironically, if you consider yourself "Christian," as there are three sixes displayed by what you no doubt perceive as competition (Or, the 'enemy,' eventually?). 16% claim no religious belief system, with .4 being Sikh (hey Nina!), and .2 from Judaism, who is bringing up the rear. So, that means those of us who do not claim any religious belief are outnumbered by at least two-thirds, if you take out those groups I am not afraid of, which only leaves me with Christians and Muslims, primarily. The smaller groups, like Sikhs for instance, I am not concerned with... right now. Given enough time, though, they too would become difficult to handle, I imagine... sorry Nina, it's true.
"Jesus was a terrorist." Remember that one. Because it is actually factual. He was an "enemy of the state," and was put to death for it, also.
Nothing is more punk rock than being crucified by the State.
Addendum: "Once Christianity became the State religion, Christians set out to destroy all the public art that characterized Pagan Rome. They destroyed monuments, frescos, statues, busts and books. They murdered thousands as witches. They removed libraries and outlawed all the great educational institutions in Greece that had been started by the great classical philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. This would be like closing down the Universities of Paris, Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, MIT and Stanford. All the Philosophers, intellectuals, mathematicians and protoscientists of the Western World were forced to flee to the East to avoid persecution. Rome was soon decimated by the barbarians and eventually grass began growing in the streets of old Rome. Even the art of glass making was lost for hundreds of years." -Arman Matthews (source: 'Deconstructing Christmas' by Arman Matthews)
-James Richard Armstrong II