One of the joys of declaring oneself an atheist is the freedom one has to indulge in what the religionists call "intellectual pride," itself a kind of anti-oxymoronic term -- as if being proud of one's intellectualism were something to be ashamed of, which says something about the fundamentalists' war on science and what they like to call "critical thinking." When one graduates from feeling it incumbent upon one to decry belief and believers in the rhetoric of diatribe to viewing the stupidity of religion as comical, it seems to me one has made a choice between tragedy and comedy, the options contemplated by Hugh Walpole, famous for saying (among other things) that the world is a tragedy to those who feel and a comedy to those who think. I can hear my dear old grandmother, Alma, cooking us up some homily grits and repeating a favored bit of her homespun philosophy, that if you cry, you cry alone, but if you laugh, "the whole world laughs with you."
The whole world except Jehovah's Witnesses, that is. They appear to be deadly serious, and, like camp, which can only attain to that status if the creator takes it seriously, their sectarian take on Christianity is only amusing so far as it is sincere. And it is sincere, I'll give them that, or as sincere as a Ponzi scheme masquerading as a religion can be. Have you ever actually perused a copy of their magazine, The Watchtower? It's a scream. I had to keep glancing around as I glanced at the August 1, 2013 issue in my do doctor's office after finding it in a magazine rack. Since I had to wait for my appointment, and because the cover story intrigued me, I started reading. It broke me up. If I'd been reading their online version and commenting, I would have given new meaning to the shorthand expression "ROFL." Fortunately, I was far enough away from others in the waiting room they might have thought I was a Tea Party person reading Ann Coulter.
The headline blared: "Pornography: Harmless or Toxic?" Almost all of the anti-pornography admonitions in support of the conclusion reached (that porno is toxic, of course, what else?) are scriptural, such as: "Jesus said: 'Every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit.' Matthew 7:17." All I know is that porno produces a woody and not only do you not have to look your best, you won't get VD looking at it. All of the "experts" quoted are said to have likened addiction to porno to a crack cocaine habit, but the last time I looked (pun intended), addiction to porno only results in white stains, not white lungs, and the analogy is no less false for its comparison to a harmless habit to a serious physical addiction.
Then the author delves into anecdotal evidence of harm, such as "Brian," who claims he "felt like I was in some sort of trance. I would literally shake and develop pains in my head. I struggled to stop but years later I was still addicted." One suspects that what he really was addicted to was feeling guilty. That's the whole point of religion, making one feel sinful. The trance Brian talks about is engendered by the mumbo jumbo he hears in church. One is amazed at how blanket statements and conclusions such as "Pornography enslaves and wreaks havoc on its victims," is followed, in The Watchtower article, with a citation to scripture: 2 Peter 2:19. How appropriate, at least for males: "peter" means "rock," and that is how one gets looking at good porno. No wonder we call our membra virilis "peters." I call mine St. Peter. It has been known to get me into "Heaven" a time or two.
Similarly, claims that porno "undermines marital trust, intimacy, and love" are supported by a cite to Proverbs 2:12-17. That porno "promotes selfishness, emotional aloofness, and dissatisfaction with one's mate" is made certain by reference to Ephesians 5:28, 29. That smut "fuels unhealthy sexual fantasies and cravings" brings us back to Peter (2:2:14). That it "tempts us to force objectionable sex practices on our mates" has as its basis Ephesians again: 5:3,4. And that it "promotes emotional and physical infidelity" takes us to Matthew 5:28. How odd that the first paragraph of the story is taken up with such modern technological means of porno dissemination as "television, video games, smart phones, mobile devices, Web sites [yes, the "w" is capitalized], and now online photo-sharing devices," while the experts are anonymous writers from roughly 4,000 to 2,000 B.C.E.
I was not at all aware that those desert warlord tribes had such things. They must have hidden them from mankind when they swore off porno, or maybe the 40-day flood destroyed all such technology while Noah floated away in an ark the size of Manhattan, which it would have had to have been given that the old boy crowded it with seven pairs of everything from hummingbirds to Tyrannosauri rex.
Ahhh, James. Lest your forget. The 4,000 year old ancestors of the JWs were well aware of the "porno" of their time. Statues of the Sumerian goddess of love, sex, and war, Ishtar. Peter Paul Rubens 17th century depictions of what are today considered ample and fecund Venuses. These were just the progeny of Satan's infectious spirit that corrupted the worshipers of Baal, Marduke, and the paleolithic cave painters of La Marche in France, or the rock art of Australia, to name but a few.
I'm reminded of Stephen Fry's comment about the sexual obsession of the religious. To paraphrase, most people have a normally healthy regard for food. The only ones who have an unhealthy and damaging obsession with it are the morbidly obese and anorexic. The same can be said of sex and the religious.
LMAO. I call mine St. Peter also and I like it when he gets baptized. That's how he became a "saint."
I have Jehovah Witless relatives and a few of them as friends yet, but how could any religion believe some of this crap. A young earth and fossil records that were molded by the devil. The one and only name of gawd comes from vowels out of our language, (and nobody elses) so that JHVH is now a speakable name. That's a personalized touch.
Then you get into other religious dogmas and find that the words of Jesus are in red in their Bibles. How did they do that? Everything was written down 70 years after the fact. I even have trouble remembering what I said last week!
"While Satan (more recently) possessed people like Charles Darwin to lead people away from the true faith." Hysterically funny.
You will find also that most Pentecostals believe that myth about the lions. They add that lions will play side by side with children in the "future world" on earth. (Nothing was said about lions in heaven though.) Our future situation is people being both on the earth and in heaven.
American fundamentalist denominations starts to differ when some do not believe all of the above. Some want to imagine heaven only, with nothing to do but sing and praise gawd. (That should get old very quickly.) Others have no idea what we will do in heaven. They shy away from the book of Revelation as proof of anything, but the right wing fundies want to claim this is all a literal nuclear event. This boils down to two classes of Christians -- those that know it all and those who haven't got a clue. (Gawd works in mysterious ways.) Throw in a scripture claiming that we will know everything when "that which is perfect has come." The Church of Christ says this "perfect" is our Bible. Now you can start to understand more of the problems of dogma in America today, right.
Since everyone wants to live forever and never die, JW's are hated mostly because they believe the dead are dead, and the Bible tells them so. The rest of the church world wants to have a "soul" that never dies, and they claim the Bible told them so. What we do with this "soul" while the body is dead never makes much sense, but JW's do not believe in a soul. Therefore, the JW is in outright contradiction of the "live forever" crowd. JW's have other strange ideas like Jesus really being Michael the Archangel. They get this when gawd said "let us make man in our image." Gawd had to be talking to Michael who later became Jesus here on earth. (Oh, well. Even rock stars don't use their real names.)
Now we are to believe these denominational liars and foolers when modern thinking proves you cannot even believe the book that all these liars and foolers came from! There are just too many contradictions for any of it to be real.
There is no Santa Clause. God is imaginary!
Oh my yes. I was raised in that world.
Then I started to think about the logical problems, the VERY selective application of scriptures, circular reasoning etc. And of course: armageddon is coming real soon now, really.
Sadly my dad never gave it up to his death, my mom is still a believer.