Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mistaken for sin

Mistaken for Sin

I’ve had two conversations with believers recently who wanted to try to convince me that since I have made mistakes in the past that I have also sinned. I tried to explain to them that sins are not mistakes. Since my conversations with these believers went less than well, I’ll reiterate my position here.

Let’s talk about sins first. A sin is an offense against god. These include, but are not limited to breaking the ten commandments. Since I don’t want this to become a “what-is-or-is-not-a-sin” discussion, we’ll stick with the ten commandments for clarity’s sake. So sins include things like working on the Sabbath, killing, stealing, adultery, and coveting. There’s taking the lord’s name in vain and having other gods. Not included are things like child abuse, spousal abuse, slavery, and killing infidels. (You aren’t thinking of pointing out any contradictions here to ME, are you?)

What about mistakes? Mistakes are like speeling errors. They just happen. I’m reminded of an old favorite Sesame Street song. No one expects you to never make a mistake, and most people easily forgive them. You forgot to get milk at the store? We’ll get it next time. You locked your keys in your car? Man, I hate it when that happens! But so what? Does anyone need to be nailed to a tree because I spilt my drink?

So let’s do a little compare/contrast. Sins offend god. Mistakes offend people. God only forgives sins if you believe in jesus. People forgive mistakes without requiring a blood sacrifice. Unless you are a believer, you don’t sin. Mistakes happen to everyone, regardless of religious belief.

Why isn’t child neglect one of the commandments? If we are to honor our parents, why should we not be ordered to care for our children? Where is “Thou shalt not own slaves”? Could it be that these commandments are not supposed to be a moral compass, but instead serve some other purpose?

No one really sins. God is imaginary, so offending him is like offending the loch ness monster. You can piss off a caveman; they’re extinct. And it’s okay to make mistakes. If you thought god was real, it’s okay to admit that was a mistake. Go ahead. Give it a try. It’s so easy, a caveman could do it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

THOU shall not kill, that’s GOD’s job!

THOU shall not kill, that’s GOD’s job!

I’ve never been a fan of the Ten Commandments. I really loved George Carlin’s take on them, reducing them to two. But I still have a problem with this one…

I’ve mentioned before that I listen to the Christian radio. The preacher dude is going through the commandments right now, and today he talked about this one. At the beginning of the sermon, he admits that god DOES allow some killing. He said he was going to explain that, but he never really did. Maybe it’s in tomorrow’s sermon.

What kind of killing does God “authorize”? There are just and holy wars, punishments for disobeying god, and of course, god loves it when criminals are executed by the GOVERNMENT.

God does not authorize euthanasia or abortion. Those are “unauthorized”.

It seems to me that god authorizes an awful lot of vengeful killing, but does not authorize mercy killing. War is so vengeful. Especially if we’re talking about Biblical wars. Whoo! That was some vengeful fighting! The death penalty is still vengeance, even if it has a civil front to it. Someone does something, and you or the government wants to kill that person for it. That sounds like vengeance to me.

I can’t think of too many people who have asked a doctor to assist them in committing suicide that were in great health. This is usually a decision made to reduce or prevent prolonged suffering. So too can abortion be a merciful act. What do you think happens to the child born to parents who didn’t want the child?

Why is this? Why does god so easily allow hate and vengeance and stifle mercy? Well, I kinda got the answer.

See, the emphasis in the commandment is not on the “not kill” part, it’s on the “THOU” part. God wants to do the killing. God wants to have his dudes have all the power and you are not to even try to do the same. This commandment is not to promote life; it is to protect and reinforce the authority of the religion of the land. This commandment is designed to leave the average person powerless to rebel against the established regime.

I’m glad I live in a country that had guaranteed its citizens the right to bear arms. This right is designed to keep the power in the hands of the people, not the priests. We have the power; we have the authority, not god. God isn’t here; we are.