A good example of how religion distorts and perverts
the worldview is the treatment of racism.
The Bible doesn’t say much about racism but, just as with slavery, the belief or doctrine that certain races are inferior to others is rampant and pervasive throughout history. Just look at racism in America before MLK and the civil rights movement. As wrong, unfair, and illogical as it is, the Holy Scriptures have done little to encourage and exhort followers to treat one another honestly and as equals.Psalm 105: 6-7
You descendents of Abraham, his servants, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the Lord, is our God;
Throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
Of course, this proclamation of the “chosen ones” just happens to be written by “the
chosen ones.” How could the Jews not have considered themselves superior to the “non-chosen?” Racism is conspicuous and intrinsic in the statement. Is it surprising that thousands of years after the above was written, Palestinians are treated like “second-class citizens” in the Holy City?
All it would take to end the insanity is for the leaders of both sides to get their stubborn heads together. I can picture Prime Minister Netanyahu telling his counterpart in the Hezbollah, “Look, science pretty much has proven how humans got here. We even know pretty much how the whole freakin’ universe got here. So let’s end this Yahweh-Allah nonsense and make peace. It’s crazy to be blowing up each other when we could be having fun and enjoying life. Let’s dance the hora and dabkeh and we’ll drink and get high and have a great old-fashioned hippie fuckfest that’ll last a week! Think of what we can accomplish if we acknowledge each other’s humanity. The last time our peoples tried to enjoy life, Moses called us depraved and put 3,000 of us to the sword because he thought physical pleasure would anger God.”
“It’s not gonna happen,” you’re probably thinking. I know, I know. All I can say is, “who’s crazy?” What makes sense, blowing each other up generation after generation, or getting high and having a great time? (Funny thing. I remember as a young boy, my devout mother telling me, “you have these nutty ideas and you think everybody else is crazy.” I’m 67 years old now and still feel the same way!)
Reader, what does this say about the critical thinking of believers and kids graduating our schools who shallow this Biblical folderol? Moses murdered his own people in the fashion of Joseph Stalin or Pol Pot, and that was in the same book, Exodus
, that laid down the commandment, ‘Thou shall not kill.’ Not one believer in the Bible stood up and said, “Hey, let me make sure I’ve got this straight: Moses came down from Mount Sinai, saw his people worshipping the Golden Calf and having a party, so he told his obedient soldiers to kill them all? That’s even worse than that screwball Abraham hearing voices and obediently slitting the throat of his son until the angels stopped him as the last second, and he’s the common patriarch of three religions.”
But that was four thousand years ago. Except for technology, we haven’t we evolved at all during four millennia as rational beings? I mean, how critically thinking do you have to be to question a murdering genocist like Moses? Religion has prevented us from evolving. By now, we should have had the Internet five hundred years ago and we should be living for five hundred years, if you consider what religion has done to the science of medicine.
Another first-class bunch of racist crackers has to be the Mormons. “Throughout the nineteenth century and beyond intellectual currents in Europe and America had begun glorifying the history of the white ‘race’ and discovering various kinds of inferiority, both scriptural and anthropological, in the darker skinned ‘races’ of the world.” Many Mormons believe that dark skin was God’s way of punishing the descendants of Ham, the son of Noah who dishonored the patriarch. Historian Edith R. Sanders in The Hamitic Hypothesis
(pages 521-532) goes on to state, “the descendants of Ham are cursed by being Black and depicts Ham as a sinful man and his progeny as degenerates. Both Arab and later European and American slave traders used this story to justify African slavery.”
If I were black I’d say “screw you” to the whole religion and give Mormons the finger every time I saw one. The occasional black you see in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir should give his allegiance a little more thought. Mormons might have changed their beliefs on race to conform to modern-day zeitgeist, but only at the expense of doing an about face on the sacred Word of God in their sacred Book of Mormon
Condoning and encouraging racism: what a great way to unite people so they enjoy sharing the bounties of this beautiful planet, enjoy life and live in harmony! No wonder there’s been so many wars. How about the Nazis being told they were the “superior race.” Ever see WWII documentaries of Nazi thugs and hooligans—many were hardened WWI vets, bar brawlers and wife beaters—corralling and abusing Jews, who were doctors, accountants, university professors and the best tailors (schneiders) in Europe? It was like the stupidest bullies in the classroom claiming to be superior to the frail bespectacled kids who did their homework.
Religion should emphasize what unites people. Every race of mankind has the same genetic code. Of the four billion nucleotides in the genome, all but a few are identical, letter for letter. In the case of a black man, there’s variation in the genes controlling melanin production and more recently phylogenetically adaptation to malaria (sickle cell anemia), but otherwise the genomes are identical. Even a chimp has a more than 98% letter for letter correspondence with humans. Instead of pointing out the similarity of our genomes as individuals, the Holy Scriptures distort and exaggerate our differences.
A religion based on science would state we’re all “human beans!” That’s right, no typo; I made up the metaphor in Mirror Reversal
to describe a religion whereby converts realize we’re all ephemerons, passengers on the pleasure cruise ship Earth, travelling through space at 70,000 miles per hour, destination unknown; but it’s for sure the “ride” is all there is. Just like beans, we’re bundles of protein because every one of our approximately 60,000 genes transcribes to messenger RNA the instruction “do this” or “make this protein.” And to emphasize the point, we have the same genetic code as all varieties of beans and the rest of all life on the planet, animal and plant. The codon which translates a specific amino acid—say leucine or analine—on the ribosome is the same for humans, beans, and any other living creature you can think of! The code is exactly the same for cacti, worms, elephants, jellyfish and Venus fly traps. We’re all made of the same crap and all living creatures have the same purpose in life: spread DNA and extend biodiversity.
The inimitable atheist stand-up comic, Bill Hicks, has a great rap on the “ride.”
The above paragraph was inspired by Hicks’ declaration, “all life is one.”