Worship: The act of telling an entirely self-sufficient God how great he is like he’s been a bit depressed lately and needs a rousing pick me up.
Circumcision: God created your penis and declared it was good. Now he wants part of it back for… reasons… reasons that are in no way creepy at all.
Charismatic: a faction of Christianity where everyone pretends to be a D&D Cleric with divine magic powers that they don’t use to heal everyone in the local Children’s hospital for some reason.
Look… it’s the same as pretty much every other Surah we’ve read so far.
- God totally gave me this book, I didn’t just pull it out of my ass.
- Unbelievers are evil, wicked people who will burn in hell forever and ever.
- Believers get a nice reward for following the right religion.
So instead of repeating myself and my jokes for 70+ verses, I’m going to talk freely about something that I talked about when I dealt with the fundamentalist Christian interpretation of the bible.
God, as depicted in these books or interpretations of these books is objectively evil.
Or to borrow from geek terminology, the fundamentalist interpretation of God is a Lawful Evil tyrant.
He sits on the throne. He makes the rules. If you follow the rules and suck up to him, He rewards you. If you don’t follow the rules, even break a single rule, He murders you. Then he brings you back to life because killing is too merciful for the likes of you, then He locks you into a basement and tortures you forever without hope of death, escape, respite, or future mercy.
This isn’t a God to be loved.
This isn’t a Father to be adored and respected.
This is a monster to be feared and obeyed.
This is Sauron.
This is Stalin minus the magical resurrection powers.
If I walked up to you and said, “You will love me and do exactly what I say or I will lock you in a shed and torture you until you die of natural causes” I would rightly be considered a monster if I were serious.
But somehow if God does that, He’s a loving and merciful being for offering us a way to get out of what he’s going to do to us if we don’t get on his good side?
No, I’m sorry, but that’s not consistent. That’s abusive and evil.
But He’s God and He’s in charge.
Then He’s a wicked tyrant, and if you believe that, then I suppose it makes sense to get on his good side. But you’ll be living in fear forever. Sure you have heaven or you have a very pretty garden, but you’re under the rule of someone who will torture you forever if you break the rules.
“Oh, but I won’t want to break the rules in heaven.”
Then you won’t have free will and you will be a puppet in the hands of an evil tyrant forever.
Hell only makes sense if we are unfortunate enough to be the creation of a wicked tyrant.
Look, I don’t want to get into the philosophical debate of self-defense and whether or not such a thing is permissible to Christians. There are many words written on that discussion already.
All I want to say is that even if you have the right to own all of the guns you want, maybe ‘humbling yourself’ and ‘loving your neighbor’ might entail being willing to have limits on your rights so your neighbors don’t have to bury their children.
And maybe that impulse to object and say, “But my rights!” is a part of the old human nature?
Just something to think about, Christians.
The Rapture: A belief among certain Evangelical Christians that one day soon, God will reward his most fanatical and devoted followers by taking them off of the Earth and whisking them away to heaven.
For some reason, they see this as a bad thing for the rest of us who are left behind.
Your humble Exalted Reverend Most High Grande Nacho Supreme Poobah has been a bit under the weather this week. So he’s not going to suffer through both a mild bout of the flu and the Quran, so we will continue our exploration of our new religion, Whoopee, and our new deity Big Whoop. Today, we’ll be answering some questions that arose from finding out a new deity existed.
Why should I follow Big Whoop instead of my current deity?
That is a very good question. To answer that, let me ask you a question? Has your God ever decided to destroy the world and drown all of the cute baby meat critters because people suck? If so, that should be a good enough reason to consider a less homicidal deity.
Another good reason is that unlike all of the other deities out there, Big Whoop is honest enough to admit right up front that he does not, in fact, exist.
He doesn’t exist?
Not in the slightest.
Isn’t it kind of odd to follow a god that doesn’t exist?
That hasn’t stopped all of the other gods from building their own religions, so Big Whoop does not foresee this to be a problem for the most holy religion of Whoopee either.
Do you have any proof that Big Whoop doesn’t exist?
Yes. Unlike other deities, Big Whoop is not shy or timid about showing up in front of everybody and saying, “Hi there!” So you can rest assured that if Big Whoop did exist, you would damn well know it.
So is there an afterlife?
Big Whoop is terribly sorry about that. You see, Big Whoop actually didn’t intend to make humans. He was fiddling around with some amino acids some 4 billion years ago and constructed a single cell. It was quite cool. What was even cooler was that this little organic machine started to copy itself.
“That is neat-o,” said Big Whoop. “I wonder if I can build another one?”
So he build another little machine, then another. And they all copied themselves. Of course, some of them didn’t copy themselves so well, so soon there were billions of different kinds of little cells all floating about unconsciously in the ocean.
I think we can all agree that an afterlife for a little single cell is completely unnecessary, so Big Whoop didn’t bother constructing one.
I mean, he hardly expected you little cells to start organizing into meat creatures, let alone somehow attain consciousness and start asking philosophical questions about the meaning of life and such.
So, no, there is no afterlife. Big Whoop apologizes for the inconvenience.
Wait, couldn’t Big Whoop whip one up right now?
Well, of course, he could. But that might take years and frankly, some of you are looking like you can’t wait that long.
Also, there is the slight matter of Big Whoop’s non-existence which might put a bit of a dampener on any plans to construct an afterlife.
So, it might happen, but sadly, I cannot promise you an afterlife, no promise of eternity. Just a promise of now. You are alive now. You exist now. Enjoy it. Enjoy every little moment of your extremely improbable life. Cherish every hug, remember every kiss, think warmly of every joy, and remember that every sorrow is temporary for one day you will fall asleep and simply be gone.
That seems rather unfair.
I’m sorry, that wasn’t a question.
Doesn’t that seem rather unfair?
No more so than your previous non-existence before your birth was ‘unfair.’
Why would we be moral if there’s no afterlife?
Are you saying you really need the threat of punishment after death to be a moral person?
Fine, I suppose we could humor you if you really are that psychologically damaged.
When you die, an angelic hall monitor shaped like a potato will arrive to take you to the Big Whoop’s Principal’s Office where he’ll look over your permanent record and decide how long you have to spend in Big Whoop’s Timeout Corner for Very Naughty Monkeys.
While stuck in Timeout, everyone you’ve ever met or ever will meet will come by and tell you to your face about all the times you were an asshole to them.
And once that’s over, you can go out and play at Recess.
Recess? Is that like heaven?
With the clouds and the harps and the constant telling a deity how wonderful he is? No. Recess is just that. Go outside, play, build your own little single-cell machines, smoke behind the gym, whatever, just get out of Big Whoop’s face and leave him alone. He has many god things to do, you know?
Yes. As in “none of your monkey business.”
It’s porn, isn’t it?
Oh, yes., You think you’ve seen nudity. You haven’t begun to comprehend the subject until you’ve seen two multi-dimensional entities phase shift into the sane plane and insert their ethereal glowy bits into one another’s semi-permeable membranes.
If Big Whoop is all-powerful and all-loving, why is there evil in the world?
Please refer back to the ‘he doesn’t exist’ answer.
But if you created Big Whoop, then doesn’t he exist in some capacity?
My, you are a clever hairless monkey, aren’t you?
Yes, I suppose in some capacity, now that I’ve created him, Big Whoop does exist. But since one of the attributes of Big Whoop is his non-existence, we’re left with a conundrum. “Conundrum” of course, being a very fancy word for saying that this religion doesn’t really make sense. And since no other religion cares about making sense, I fail to see why Big Whoop cannot both exist and not exist at the same time. A = Not A is only a problematic statement when you’re attempting to construct a logical argument after all, and faith is simply not logical.
Now then, this chapter has almost reached a thousand words, so I won’t bore you any further this week. We’ll be answering more of your questions regarding your new Lord and God in the coming weeks, but for now, we shall bring this chapter to a close. And to entice you to return, next week, we will discuss something you naughty monkeys are very fond of and obsessed over: sexual intercourse. Won’t that be a hoot?