Sunday, 6 January 2013
Jesus And The Flintstones
Did Jesus have his own pet dinosaur? In some circles, if you assume a certain worldview, this is not an unreasonable question. I mean, if you believe the Bible then the age of the earth is 6000 years and dinosaurs lived alongside early man. That's right, we're talking Flinstones. Barney and Fred may not be such a tall story after all. Welcome to the whacky world of fundamentalism, a world where evolution never happened, where all the life we see around us came courtesy of the creatures that gambolled off of Noah's ark. Every penguin, every lion, every stick insect, they all lived happily alongside each other for months whilst God flooded the earth because the people on it were all sinful and yucky. I shit you not. It happened because it says so in the Bible, and if it says so in the Bible it's the gosh darn truth. Ok, I'm game for a little experiment. If you truly believe in every jot and tittle, then the next time your kids are cheeky be sure to kill them. The Bible says you should. And if you should marry, and you discover on your wedding night that your wife is not a virgin you best kill her, too. It says that in the clearest possible terms. And by the way, no more prawn salad, or tassels on your dresses. And don't work on the sabbath or else I'll have to go ninja on your ass and stone you to death. And all those nasty satellite pictures of the planet, those ones that show that its all round and curvy; photoshop I tell you. The earth is flat. Says so. And if it says so then that's the end of the matter. Dear modern Christian, we both know you don't believe any of the above. You are educated, sensible, and give or take the odd anomaly as rational as most other people. You've already dumped the majority of what's in the good book, and most of your morals come from the secular world rather than the biblical one. What are you clinging on to? All the Jesus stuff really isn't a whole lot more impressive, and frankly it makes you look a bit of a nonce. Today is Sunday, and less than 2% of the UK population will go to church and seek a personal relationship with. . . . . well actually the inside of their head. They will sing to the invisible, pray both in silence and aloud, and then think that they hear a response. And they would be right. They do. They get a response from inside their own brain, because that's as far as any relationship with God can go. It's in your head. It's been inside your head all your life. And all those lovely people you spend time with, so warm and generous and kindly, it is the same for them. You all have the same brain relationship with a work of fiction cobbled together by multiple authors, and then changed repeatedly over the ensuing centuries. I know it makes you feel better. I know it brings comfort and hope and some sense that you're part of a bigger picture. Thing is, you are not, and all the consolation you feel is false. If common sense should prevail and the penny drop, I'll be here ready to walk with you. I spent 13 years as an evangelical, I was deranged in the same way that you are deranged. Looking back into that world the lunacy astonishes me; I can't believe I ever took it aboard. If you've any self esteem, and any sense of self respect, and a real desire to know what is true about reality then wake up. Wake up from the delusion, from the wilful retardation of your otherwise stunning mind. Life is rich and beautiful and, whilst brief, still a thing of immense value. Live in the power of it. Live with intellectual integrity and face reality head on. Be brave and look through honest eyes, accepting that now is the hour, today is the day, and that every waking minute really counts.