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Worth Churches

December 23, 2013


Old can be ancient, and ancient perhaps sacred, and it is we the living who must assay the difference in value between an artifact and a legacy.

A legacy is a beloved old something-meaningful you happily inherit by clear right of succession. Artifacts only stand for themselves, for “still standing,” have only the value of being their age, and must be held in trust because they belong to nobody. There is also such a thing as a legacy of artifacts, and it is bestowed by one generation on the next of museum-keepers. Is the house of God today a kind of museum? Are priests, then, as atheists argue, artifacts of a spent Judeo-Christian legacy?

Millions of atheists desperately hope — almost to the point of praying — to witness Christ, God The Father, the Holy Spirit, and all Heaven’s angelic claptrap finally go the way of agrarian Stone Age gods. Indeed, the revealed truth of “God is dead?” is, for atheists, their Ol’-Time Religion.

“God is dead.” — an orthodoxy first preached in the Eighteen-Hundreds by German philosopher Nietzsche and Russian novelist Dostoevsky. Geniuses both, to be sure, but even genius can be wrong. A straight-faced Christian tries to respect this deeply-held traditional faith so solemnly handed down by generations of pious middle-class materialists.

Now, of course, the last thing materialists want is a spiritual shock. So their academic scholars often overview human history and professorially dismiss all religions. They label worship as “tribal mass-delusion” brought on either by fear of facing the unknown alone, or for political control over peoples’ lives, or in smug self-justification for whatever the tribes take themselves to be — “God wills it!”

How long something lasts among us is the simplest gauge of its human worth. And what we witness today in Christian churches are two-thousand year old ceremonies still largely intact. Weigh this mysterious survival of religion against what anthropology teaches about “tribal mass-delusions.” They don’t last.

Fads, cults, priestly dictatorships, madness of crowds, “holy” charlatans’ cynical hoaxes, however brilliantly staged — all gutter out fast, often within the first generation. On the other hand, since almost nothing else human has lasted longer among us than religion, ipso facto — sheer endurance proves actual “spirituality” is both true to human nature and invaluable for our well-being. Worshiping god turns out to be healthy and normal. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

The basic insight is anthropological and not theological, which means its religious truth is rooted in observed human nature, not in the supernatural. This is another way of saying religion flows naturally from us. Notice, too, there is a circular and reciprocal legitimizing going on here. A “cult” lasts for centuries, thus establishing it is a true religion, while the historical fact of longevity also demonstrates such a thing as truth in religion exists.

Yes, atheists have always been with us, too, but they forever come in second, since they depend on disagreeing with somebody who already found God first. “The Church of Atheism” is sad empty rhetoric. By definition, the ungodly may convene but cannot hold services. You do not prove there is no Santa Claus by becoming him.

Is Christianity dying? All world religions are our persistent renewal of this ancient, not altogether one-sided dialogue between Man and God, but the permanent human intuition of a divinity protects no single faith. Once-mighty religions can dwindle into a wind blowing trash through a neglected temple. Ancient tongues beseeching lost gods echo uproariously down History’s marble halls. Deities can die. Old folk-tales say the forest gods left Europe on the day an iron ax first bit into green wood. Metal quenched the Immortals. Might not wi-fi quench Christ?

Be that as it may, the fading away of any one religion does not at all prove our theological impulses are inauthentic, only that we are after all essentially fallible. Even the most sublime inspiration sputters. Nothing humans make lasts except what we make of ourselves. And what we become depends on the original means granted to us. And some in every generation are born crippled, some tone-deaf, others color-blind…


2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 27, 2013 12:34 AM

    Au contraire: Islam’s tribal delusion (“God told us to commit these crimes!”) seems to have lasted almost as long as Christianity and, within the first century since its miscreation, was able to violently invade, enslave and totally subjugate over two-thirds of the Christian realm on earth (Egypt, Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Turkey) not to mention Iran and India. Muhammad’s “holy charlatan’s” “fad, cult, priestly dictatorship, madness of crowds, cynical hoax,” etc was indeed quite brilliantly staged — and it didn’t gutter out fast, within the first generation. And worse, I think I can observe that religion in general’s sheer endurance does NOT prove that some – or any – kind of actual “spirituality” is both true to human nature and invaluable for our well-being.

    Contrarily, I think it only shows how our unique human animal’s ability to generalize from specifics has led us into more massive self-slaughters than any other animal species has ever engaged in, even when goaded into cannibalism by actual starvation.

    As for atheists becoming more hidebound and dare I even say “religious” in their opposition to others’ fact-free superstitions? I like to compare Philosophy, Science and Religion by assigning them each a single sentence:

    Philosophy is speculation, presented AS speculation.
    Science is tested speculation, presented AS tested speculation.
    Religion is speculation, presented AS FACT.

    So only the last of these three is a lie; a fraud; and, as such, is also a crime (since lying is the most basic form of theft: it’s the theft of the Truth).

    If I’m an atheist, and when you state your claim to me that there is a god, then you have to prove it; I don’t have to disprove YOUR claim, because that involves something called “proving a negative” which goes something like this:

    Say I assert that you owe me $100. and I don’t have to prove it (I don’t have to show any contract you signed, call any witnesses, or even say when or how you owe me the money) the onus is on you to find some way/s to somehow prove you don’t owe me the money; in this scenario, you are pre-judged as guilty until never proven innocent.

    See how that works?


    I think the most basic difference between Christianity and islam is that the former focuses on the eventual Hope of no Pain, while thelatter only regressively focuses on the fear of it.

    But a lot of Christian, and most Psaulist, scriptures insist we have no right to self-defense and so should “Submit!” to earthly authority (see Psaul’s words in Romans, for instance).

    I’ve also noted that religion is mostly idolatry: alibi-excuses for not having to do something for one’s self. When “The rock told me not to help you” didn’t cut it any more, the idols had to become more ethereal and generalized; “spiritual,” if you will, in nature.

    In suspending free-will cause-and-effect choice with “Thy Will Be Done,” Jesus seems to have been saying, as also in his “All men are sinners; they know not what they do” assertions, (and, I might add, without bothering to actually educate them as to “what they do and know not about”) not to mention the “Do Unto Others” bits (which presumes one has the right and responsibility to attack others first, as one’s brother’s keeper, to do things “for” them for their own good) that ‘God’ was predetermined, there is no cause-and-effect, and that we are all helpless victims, and so the “Resist Not Evil” pacifism parts of Christianity only really amount to a feeble “Hope IS a Plan!” excuse to do nothing but pray some more after all!

    So: God-dumb it! Off to ‘blivion (“believion”) with us all, eh Herb LOL!

    As to the central tenet of Christianity, the sin-eating Passion and Resurrection bits: If and as Jesus-as-God committed suicide to save usfrom the sins he had created, then his Resurrection was also really only an act of his to forgive him self for our sins.

    In other words, a meaningles, nonsensical tautology, based on the idolatrous, cause and effect-free irrational and negligent notion that “Sin” is an actual thing, and not only a debt caused and incurred by attacking first.

    Since God allegedly exists first (as “The First Cause/Prime Mover,” “Author and Actor,” “Power and the Will”/”Fear and the Greedy Hope,” etc), and created everything else second (as separate from his creation, and, unlike allah who, being simply and generally Everything, is thus also specifically Nothing) his destructions are, from his perspective, always really only further creations, and never attacks. And so in ONLY his case, our perceptions of his threats of pain, the fear of pain, the ultimately useless hope of no pain, and inevitable death AS first attacks, to which we then respond with subjectively second (but to him, objectively really first) attacks against him, ARE his fault and his alone, so he is and always was seemingly only ‘attacking’ him self, through us, his appendages, whether or not he has granted to us the concept of free will choice and self-reliant responsibility.

    And that seems to be the sum of Christian philosophy, in a nuts’ hell.

    I say we can be moral without a god, simply obeying the Golden Rule of Law.

    However, I’ve also noticed that criminals (atheists muslims, for instance) like the “allah” version of a god, because allah is predetermined force (the perfect excuse for their own crimes: “The allah made me do it!”) while the Judeo-Christian God allegedly gave us all free-will choice and so both the self-reliant rights to, AND responsibilities for, our own actions – which is why all the criminals hate Him!

  2. December 27, 2013 12:45 AM

    PS: Muslims (and similar liberal criminals) want to pretend that Submitting to Fearing Pain is a holy virtue, while Christians want to pretend that asking God to make the pain and its fear go away forever will work.

    I say neither will work, because they amount to no more than idolatry: fearsome pains are effects which are caused by mistakes and problems which must be fixed and solved, and neither pretending the fear exists on its own and so causes the pain, nor that the hope of solving the problem is a valid substitute for actually solving it, will ever suffice for humanity.

    Spiritualism is only idolatrous hope and hope is never a valid plan! Neither is obeying fear.

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