KC: Jesus 2: The Revengening


Jesus Christ has just murdered a billion or so people for not being born into American Evangelical Christianity. This is nothing of consequence and most likely will not be mentioned again by the authors.

Let’s just let that sink in and pause a moment to tell a story…

There was a man who had two sons.  The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.  After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

One day, his father showed up at the pig farm. The son was stunned. As he walked to him, the father pulled out a sword and stabbed his prodigal son.

“Why?”

“I got tired of waiting for you to come home so I could forgive you. Now, you must die.”

So the son died and the father returned to his estate.

The end.

Seems a bit jarring, doesn’t it? Not to conservative Evangelicals. Because just how does the church feel about Jesus Christ out-murdering  Comrade Stalin by a degree of 100 or so to inaugurate his new government?

It hit Rayford that all who were left were believers, worshipers of Christ, and that he himself was among those who would populate the millennial kingdom.

They feel pretty good about it. At last, they finally get to have a world populated only with them..

To be fair to Comrade Murder Jesus, I’m not sure which would be worse: living in a world only populated by Franklin Graham clones or being thrown into a pitch dark pit of fire where worms gnaw at my skin.

Gabriel has everyone sit down and Jesus calls all of the saved dead forward.

Jesus began by honoring the saints of the Old Testament, those Rayford had only heard and read about. Rather than handling this the way He had the individual audiences with the tribulation saints—supernaturally dealing with them all in what seemed an instant—Jesus this time gave the spectators His strength and patience. The ceremony must have gone on for days, Rayford eventually decided, but he felt neither hunger nor thirst, no fatigue, not even an ache or a cramp from sitting in the sand that long.

There is no partiality with God. Just kidding, there is totally partiality with God.

Now Jesus starts quoting from Hebrews 11 because I’m pretty certain that LaHaye and Jenkins don’t actually know Jesus of Nazareth well enough to imagine what he might say. So Jesus dumps a scripture quote on us as various Old Testament figures are paraded  and get their shout out.

There was Noah, humbly kneeling, receiving his reward. Jesus said, “By faith, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, you moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of your household, by which you condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”

“Remember that last time when I killed everybody? It is so cool to be able to genocide again. I mean, did you see the looks on their faces? “Jesus is Lord! Jesus is AHHHHHHHHHHH! Heh… good times.”

Hours later it seemed everyone roused when it was Abraham’s turn. Jesus said, “By faith you obeyed when you were called to go out to the place you would receive as an inheritance. And you went out, not knowing where you were going. By faith you dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with you of the same promise; for you waited for the city which had foundations, whose builder and maker was God.”

He also let another man fuck his wife out of greed and/or cowardice. Raped a slave girl. Kicked his son and the slave girl out into the desert to die, and tried to murder Isaac. But sure… I’m sure that nice gay couple you murdered who just wanted companionship totally deserved that instead of living in paradise.

Sarah passes by and gets her shout out. Isaac gets skipped over. Next up is Jacob, and then it’s Joseph’s turn…

And behind him, Joseph. Jesus told him, “By faith you, when you were dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning your bones.”

Joseph gets a free pass for enslaving all of Egypt because of some funeral instructions he gave his kids. Seems fair.

Moses shows up.

“Hey, remember that time when I tried to murder you and your wife cut off your son’s foreskin and threw it at my feet and I was like, “Dude… that is so metal” and I kind of forgot about killing you? That was cool.”

Jesus finishes up Hebrews 11 and Rayford has a very important question. Not about why all of these murderous, slave owning barbarians are being rewarded while decent people were just murdered. No… he has a question about his wives.

“It might be a little late to be asking this, Chaim,” Rayford said, “but what kind of a relationship will I have with Irene now? And Amanda. I know that’s the kind of question Jesus was asked when the Pharisees were trying to trip Him up, but I sincerely need to know.”

Chaim says that there is no marriage in heaven. God takes that ‘til death do us part’ bit pretty seriously.

The real reason, of course, is that sex is evil and would distract us celestial humans from our mandatory full-time adoration of Comrade Jesus.

Remember, sex is beautiful and fulfilling and created by God, but also evil, wicked, disgusting, shameful and has no place in a perfected believer’s life because it would lead them away from God.

You know, for all the shit I gave him, Mohammed at least came up with a semi-decent afterlife scenario with food and drinks and sex in nice cool gardens. I have a feeling this Evangelical utopia is really going to blow.

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KC: The Aftermath of the Alien Invasion


It’s not a good start with a writer starts with a long block of quotations. Long quotes are generally only used by desperate high school and college students trying to pad out that essay to meet the teacher’s requirements.

Tim LaHaye joins us briefly to explain briefly his hermeneutics. Hermeneutics being a fancy word for how one reads and interprets the bible. For LaHaye, this mostly involves what he says is a “literal reading.” A “literal reading” being how he reads Revelation describe a seven-headed beast with ten horns and comes to the conclusion that this means “a one world leader with ten subordinates.” While reading about a perfect kingdom that lasts for 1,000 years means… a perfect kingdom that lasts for 1,000 years.

Next is a list of characters that will be appearing in this book.

Now, I’m not a professional author yet. But I do read a lot. And I will say that if you’ve written twelve books already and you still have to put it a cast of characters page, you’ve failed to develop ANY characters of interest. If none of your characters are that memorable, then you’ve failed as an author. And believe me, once we get into the text of the book itself, you’ll realize just how profound that failure is. None of these people are interesting in the slightest. They are cardboard cutouts or walking, talking plot devices. They don’t exist for the sake of telling their story so much as giving Tim LaHaye or Jerry Jenkins an excuse to move on to the next plot point.

The story opens actually with a flashback to the previous book.

This is also not a good sign of a well-written novel.

 “RAYFORD TRIED to stay with Chaim. The men had left the Rosenzweig home without breakfast and without a word, as if they all somehow knew where they must go.”

Like a good robot executing its programming.

For as much as evangelicals talk about God giving us “Free Will,” that ability to choose seems to go away when God actually appears. Theologically, this is problematic, because if you’re going to say that God gave us free will, therefore He tolerates evil because he doesn’t want the love of a robot, you can’t say that free will ends at death, because then God just has a bunch of little happy robots standing around telling him how grand He is. And if he was going to make us all a bunch of happy little robots, why not just do it and cut out all of the war, murder, rape, and evil to begin with?

“’When you see My throne, join those on My right, your left.’

The words of Jesus were more than impressed on Rayford’s heart. He had actually heard them. He moved to his left without question…”

Like a good robot executing its programming. Amazingly, Rayford and Chaim are becoming even less human now than when they were mere plot devices.

Everyone on Earth is gathered before Jesus. Chaim explains that only about 2,000,000 total people are still alive out of 8 billion. God killed most of them during the previous seven years. And Chaim says that most of the people in attendance will die at Jesus’ command.

“Gabriel stepped to the front of the platform and stretched out his arms for silence. ‘Worship the King of kings and Lord of lords!’ he shouted, and as one the millions on both sides of the throne fell to their knees. In a cacophony of languages and dialects they cried out, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord!’”

Washington has fallen. The soldiers lie dead. Triumphant, the overlord stands before the masses. Humanity, conquered and beaten, is dragged to Him and forced to kneel before Zod in abject submission to his will.

The collaborators remain on their knees. The conquered, they are confused. Many stand up. “What happens now?” they ask. “Will they let us live?” “Are we going to be slaves?”

Instead, the aliens judge them as worthy of death. Their humanity offends and sickens him.

“The group to Jesus’ left immediately fell to their knees again and began shouting and wailing, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord! Jesus Christ is Lord!’”

The conquered cry for mercy. They beg for their lives. But the aliens have none for them.

The overlord uses his superior technology to turn the earth beneath them into a widening chasm. Nearly two billion men, women, and children fall to their deaths. The ground shifts and then, there is no sight of them.

Jesus Christ has slaughtered them like a Stalin on steroids. The “good” people who make it into the kingdom say nothing. There are no pleas for clemency. No cries for God to show mercy. They watch as these billions are condemned to temporal death and eternal torment forever and ever without mercy or hope or a single moment where they are spared torture. The alien overlord has spoken. It will be done.

Gabriel steps forward and says, “Hey, we gave them a lot of chances. Because they didn’t believe in Jesus during their lives, it’s totally and super just to murder them and torture them forever and ever. Amen. Now let’s quickly move on to how awesome Earth is now that only Christians have survived and everyone else was killed in a horrific genocide. Woo!

This is the “good” ending that many Christians long for and hope for. The ending where most of humanity lies dead and buried in a mass grave in the desert before they are tortured for all of eternity because they failed the theology exam of life.

LaHaye is right. This isn’t heaven.

LaHaye is also wrong. This isn’t utopia either. Utopias are not built on genocide.

Introduction to Kingdom Come


I was planning on jumping right into the Book of Mormon.

You know, it’s the fourth set of books that claim divine authorship after the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Quran, so it kind of made sense.

The thing is, I’m really, really dreading it.

So I’m going to take a little break.

It’s time to go back to diving in my own pond.

Because you see, while I’ve given Islam a lot of crap the last few months, it’s not like my former religious beliefs were any more rational.

I was an American Evangelical Christian.

After all, I believed that one day, Jesus was going to show up and take all of the real, true Christians to heaven and everyone else would be “LEFT BEHIND.”

Furthermore, I believed that even though something insanely miraculous happened right in front of everyone, everyone would just go, “Meh” and go back to eating aborted fetuses and gay sex or something. That somehow, the world, presented with actual physical evidence of the supernatural would just ignore it.

And then God would start kicking their asses and they’d still ignore it.

Not just natural disasters, we’re talking about seven headed beasts and fire breathing Jews and demon-locust-women-scorpion things. Real end of days, wrath of God stuff.

That’s not even touching on the even more absurd notion that all of the nations of the Earth would united and all of the religions of the world would unite. Like Buddhists and Muslims and Hindus would all come together and just pretend that they all believed the same things.

And then, after seven years of God just being as Old Testament as He could be, the armies of the Earth would gather together and Jesus would show up riding a white sky horse and he would murder everyone and shuffle them off to be tortured forever.

Then Jesus would set up an actual new Kingdom of Israel with himself as King and all the True Christians as princes and he would run a paradise on Earth for 1,000 years before humanity said, “Fuck this” and rebelled. Then Jesus would kill all of them, send everyone into a literal lake of fire where they suffer forever, and create a new heaven and new Earth where we would be perfectly blissful little robots telling Him how great He was for all eternity.

So, yeah… I don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to crazy religious beliefs.

Anyway, at the suggestion of a commenter at the Slacktivist community on Patheos, I’m going to tackle one of the Left Behind books, specifically Kingdom Come. It’s the last chronological book in the series and was Tim LaHaye’s attempt to paint us a picture of what a utopia run by God Almighty would look like.

And I cannot wait to tear into the crazy.

An Infidel Reads the Quran: Surahs 107-114


Surah 107: Assistance

Hey, have you guys thought about the people who deny our religion? They hurt orphans, they don’t care about the poor. Woe unto the hypocrites.

There are, of course, good people of every faith and no faith who devote their lives to caring for the less fortunate. Muslims do not have a monopoly on good people in their ranks any more than Christians do.

In my personal experience, religion doesn’t really change who a man is at his core. An asshole is probably always going to be an asshole and a good person is probably always going to be a good person. They may have moments of moral or ethical failure, but character is pretty much constant.

 

Surah 108: Plenty

God says, “Yeah, I’ve given you enough. So suck it up. Those people who hate you are the real losers.”

 

Surah 109: The Disbelievers

So Mohammed says they should tell the unbelievers, “Hey, we’re not of the same faith, so let’s just see who’s right in the end.”

 

Surah 110: Victory

After we’ve conquered the world and everyone signs up for our religion, then you guys should get really serious about asking God to forgive you.

 

Surah 111: Thorns

Mohammed is really pissed off at his uncle, Abee Lahab and promises that he’s going to burn in a really bad hell. You know, as opposed to the good hells.

 

Surah 112: Monotheism

There’s only one God, he doesn’t have a son. Nanny nanny boo boo, Christians.

 

Surah 113: Daybreak:

Muslims are to say that they take refuge with the Lord of Daybreak against the evils that he created… So God unleashes evil and then you run to God?

Also wizards… Muslims have to take shelter with God from evil wizards.

And now I want a cross over battle between Mohammed and Voldemort.

 

Surah 114: Mankind

Say, “I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind from gossipers and genies.”

Okay, three-way crossover between Mohammed, Voldemort, and the Genie from Disney’s Aladdin.

 

That’s it…. I did it… I didn’t think I would do it some days, but I did it. I read the Quran. Okay, I read it in English, but I’m not going to spend years learning Arabic to read this book in the original.

 

I came into this book with an open mind. I was prepared to be stunned by the wisdom from God, but mostly, I was just stunned by the repetition. I’m not convinced God wrote this. There are scientific mistakes, Mohammed mangles Old Testament stories, there’s anti-Semitism, slavery is condoned, women are treated just as badly as they were under the Old Testament law…

 

There are good things in there, but they’re surrounded by a lot of bad things too.

 

Stylistically speaking, the book is rather dull. There are some interesting bits in there, but it’s mostly rehashing the same three or four stories and the same three or four points for 114 surahs. It’s a lot like reading through Leviticus. It’s a window into a time and culture that isn’t my own and doesn’t really resonate with me except for the really awful bits about killing unbelievers and apostates and how to treat your slaves that show the barbarism of the time and why mankind needs to move beyond tribalism if we’re going to have any hope of avoiding extinction.

 

I’m glad I read it now. I think it is important to read it, if only to gain some insight and understanding of one another and hope that we can embrace what is common between us all and live with the differences.

 

Thoughts and wishes for peace to you all.

An Infidel Reads the Quran: Surahs 98-106


Surah 98: Clear evidence

Finally. We’re finally going to get some clear evidence from Mohammed. Is God going to appear. I hope God appears. That would definitely be clear evid-

Oh… he’s referring to the book.

Ahem…

THAT’S NOT EVIDENCE!

 

Surah 99: The Quake

The Muslim Apocalypse kicks off with an earthquake. Then everyone gets to see their good deeds and bad deeds and heaven and hell.

 

Surah 100: The Racers

“Mankind is ungrateful to the Lord. Truly, they love wealth when it will not prosper them!”

“So we should get rid of our stuff and stop taking stuff from other people by force?”

“Uh… no… no, but maybe toss a few coins to a beggar. You know, if they’re not smelly and gross.”

 

Surah 101: The Shocker

And then the Shocker attacked Spider-man and verily, Spider-man lept out of the way of his concussive blasts…

Just kidding. That would actually be interesting. This surah is 11 verses basically saying you’re going to heaven or hell.

 

Surah 102: Abundance

Having too much stuff isn’t good for your soul. It distracts you. Go visit a graveyard and reflect.

It’s not bad advice. You know, until he has to bring up hell again.

 

Surah 103: Time

We’re going to lose unless we believe in Mohammed, do good works, encourage truth, and recommend patience.

 

Surah 104: The Backbiter

Mohammed’s not happy with backstabbers and complainers and promises them an extra special hell called THE CRUSHER!

 

Surah 105: The Elephant

“Hey, you guys remember the people of the Elephant? God totally routed them with an army of birds that threw rocks at them.”

Jesus, 5000 verses talking about Moses and you only write five short sentences about an army of birds murdering a nation of people with elephants?

God really needed an editor on this book.

 

Surah 106: Quraish

Mohammed says, “Let these Quraish folks worship God with us since God provided them food.”

An Infidel Reads the Quran: Surahs 90-97


Surah 90: The Land

“God” swears by the land that he created man in distress. Well, that’s on Him then, isn’t it?

He complains that people don’t pay attention to him. He says He gave us senses and showed us the two ways. I don’t recall God coming to me and showing me two ways.

God says the right way is to:

Free a slave. Not all slaves or don’t own slaves, but maybe go ahead and free one, you know? Ha ha ha… holy books are really terrible when it comes to slavery.

Feed a hungry person. No complaints there.

Take care of orphans. Also good moral advice

Take care of the poor. Three verses now and it’s all actually good stuff.

Oh… but the idea is that your kindness will lead to them converting. So ulterior motive. But you know… okay… if religion led to everyone taking care of the poor, that would be a plus.

And if you don’t do those things, God will set you on fire forever.

God is merciful and gracious.

 

Surah 91: The Sun

God is still really pissed off at Thamood for not taking care of his she-camel.

 

Surah 92: The Night

The more good you do, the easier it will be to choose good.

The more evil you do, the easier it will be to choose evil.

Kind of like The Force.

If Islam had lightsabers, I’d sign up.

Also, hell, burning for eternity, all of the stuff Mo says in every Surah.

 

Surah 93: Morning Light

Guys, I know things suck now, but God is still with us. The afterlife is going to be much better than the life you have now.

Yeah, that is still one of the WORST messages to tell someone.

 

Surah 94: The Soothing

Seriously, stop complaining. God will soothe your heart and make things better. Suffering is good for the soul.

 

Surah 95: The Fig

God swears by the fig and olive trees and Mt. Sinai that God made man the best. Then he humbled him to the lowest of the low.

And why won’t you guys believe me, Mohammed says.

 

Surah 96: Clot

God still thinks people grow from sperm clots in women’s bellies.

God says he taught us all knowledge. Which… given God’s understanding of biology… well… has anyone checked God’s college credentials to see if they’re real?

Oh, but man is prideful, God whines.

And don’t you dare try to leave Islam or God will super force you back and make you sorry for leaving Him.

 

Surah 97: Night of Decree

God gave us the Night of Decree.

Anyone know what that is?

It’s super awesome! Angels and the Spirit descend then…

Seriously, anyone know what that is?

Wikipedia:

the Night of Decree… is in Islamic belief the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is one of the nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. Muslims believe that on this night the blessings and mercy of God are abundant, sins are forgiven, supplications are accepted, and that the annual decree is revealed to the angels who also descend to earth, specially the Angel Gabriel, referred to as “the Spirit”, to perform every and any errand decreed by God. Islam holds that God Almighty alone answers our supplications and that He alone receives them and forgives humanity and gives them what they ask for and that on this particular night Muslims should actively seek God’s forgiveness and engage in various acts of worship.

Huh… alright then. I guess maybe he wrote all this down somewhere else because none of that is in this surah.

An Infidel Reads the Quran: Surahs 85-89


Surah 85: The Constellations

Shockingly, I know, this has nothing to do with stars. It’s just Mohammed repeating the same stuff once again, but he blames it on God.

Also, he tells us once again how great this book is, but seriously, you’re not fooling anyone, Mo.

 

Surah 86: The Nightly Visitor

God says he swears that everyone has a watcher assigned to them that writes down all the crap they do. Also, humanity was created from semen that resides between the back and breast.

And everyone is going to get judged.

God totally swears that He, God, is the one speaking right now.

 

Surah 87: The Most High

God makes you read and will help you be a good Muslim, which is the Easy Way. And, if not, you go to hell.

But good Muslims will be successful in the Hereafter, but you jerks only care about the now.

 

Surah 88: The Overwhelming

The Overwhelming turns out to be more underwhelming talk about heaven and hell.

Camels prove God’s existence.

How is the sky raised?

It’s not. It’s light reflected off of gases.

How are the mountains installed?

Plate tectonics.

How is the Earth spread out?

The Earth is not flat. It’s a globe.

You have no control over them.

I don’t have control over comets either, but that doesn’t make them magical angels.

 

Surah: 89: The Dawn

Look at Aad and Thamood and Pharaoh again. And again. And again…

God supposedly punishes corruption.

This is, of course, not true. There is corruption throughout the world. My government. Every government really, it seems. I mean, I could talk about America, Russia, the Saudi monarchy… really if any government kind of deserves some really Old Testament wrath of God shit, those three qualify. But God doesn’t do anything. Almost like he’s not there and if you want to clean up corruption, you’ve got to do it yourself.

Mohammed complains next about how flighty people are and yeah, he’s right. When they prosper, religious people think God is favoring them, when they suffer, they think God is angry with them, sometimes for no reason.

Job, of course, said it better.

Take care of orphans and the poor and if that was all the Quran said, I’d convert to Islam.

But God’s going to set me on fire forever because I don’t believe in him and refuse to take the repetitious word of an 8th century desert warlord who thinks the Earth is flat and the sky is hanging off some celestial ceiling.

And we’ve still got 25 more chapters for “God” to keep saying the same things over and over again in his super-good, perfect book.