31 October 2009

CHRISTIANS BEHAVING BADLY #13 -Demonic Tricks or Treats?

In my attempt to show that being religious
is not a guarantee of moral behavior,
this post is part of a series of reports featuring
the bad behavior of religious people, past or present....

Look for other posts showing the bad behavior
perpetrated by members of other religious groups.

That crazy purveyor of doom, Pat Robertson, and his Christian Broadcasting Network, have done it again. Now CBN has decided that demons have infested Halloween candy. Yep, according to the CBN website, demons sneak into bags of Halloween candy at grocery stores.

According to Kimberly Daniels of CBN, Halloween is a gateway to hell.
“[M]ost of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches... Curses are sent through the tricks and treats of the innocent whether they get it by going door to door or by purchasing it from the local grocery store. The demons cannot tell the difference.... Halloween is much more than a holiday filled with fun and tricks or treats. It is a time for the gathering of evil that masquerades behind the fictitious characters of Dracula, werewolves, mummies and witches on brooms. The truth is that these demons that have been presented as scary cartoons actually exist. I have prayed for witches who are addicted to drinking blood and howling at the moon.”
Mmmmm? First she calls Dracula, werewolves, mummies, and witches "fictitious characters," then says "these demons that have been presented as scary cartoons actually exist." Fictitious or real? Which is it, Kimberly?

I have a few suggestions for those who believe demons may be in their Halloween treats.

First, try some old religious tricks.

1) Apparently a crucifix can stop a vampire. A few little demons in a bag of M&Ms ought to be easily eliminated with a few passes of one.

2) Genuflect over the candy. If you can't remember in what order you make the sign of the cross, take a hint from the film "Nuns on the Run": "Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch." Hey, if it helps a basketball player to make a foul shot, why not try it on your candy.

3) Perhaps a prayer might help. If you think it can save someone's life, then a prayer certainly ought to save you from Halloween demons.

4) Jews have rabbis at food processing plants to assure the food is kosher. Churches could assign local ministers and priests to processing plants or grocery stores to bless the candy, thus certifying it to be demon-free?

5) Take your candy to church on Sunday. When no one is looking, sprinkle a little holy water on the wrappers.

6) Cut those candy bars into cross shapes. Throw out anything that is not part of the cross ---because it will indeed be wicked. Eating the cross should not hurt you.

But the very best way to rid your candy of those pesky demons is to find a more powerful god. If your god is so impotent that he can't throw the devil out of candy meant for innocent children, let alone preventing it from being contaminated to begin with, it's time to search for a bigger and better supreme being.

Now, if you still believe there are demons in your Halloween candy, I have a bridge you might want to buy.....

If you have a creative suggestion for ridding your candy of demons, please leave a comment.

(with the exception of the quotation from Kimberly Daniels)
text and image copyright 2009, C. Woods

30 October 2009


Reason, according to my dictionary is "the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by the process of logic; that which is practical, or possible; common sense."
If we all have the ability to reason, then why do so many people believe what is illogical or makes no common sense at all? Why do they believe in things without evidence?

In my opinion, it is just wishful thinking. One wishes that crystals and pyramids have healing powers. One hopes there is an afterlife. One would like it if one's personality conforms to an astrological sign. One hopes prayer will make a difference. But wishing doesn't make it so. People who believe such superstitions are apparently BEYOND ALL REASON.

There is no scientific evidence that any of these things are true. Not one problem, be it medical, scientific, political, or social, has been resolved by mere hope or faith. We need to reason out problems, develop solutions, experiment to see what works, then work long and hard to resolve problems.

* * * * *

ABBEY, EDWARD, American writer, controversial environmentalist (1927-1989):
• "Reason has seldom failed us because it has seldom been tried."

ALLEN, ETHAN, American Revolutionary (1738-1789):
• "Those who invalidate reason ought seriously to consider whether they argue against reason or without reason; if with reason, then they establish the principle that they are laboring to dethrone: but if they argue without reason (which, in order to be consistant with themselves they must do), they are out of reach of rational conviction, nor do they deserve a rational argument. (Reason the Only Oracle of Man, 1784)

• "The idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty, and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind, both in theory and in practice." (God and State, 1871)

• "Phony pretexts repeated often enough become real reasons. Things that...are not true become true in the public mind simply through endless repetition."

BUDDHA, spiritual leader(c. 563 BC - 483 BC):
• "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

BURROUGHS, JOHN, American naturalist, author (1837-1921):
• “Our civilization is founded upon reason and science.”

DARROW, CLARENCE SEWARD, American criminal lawyer (1857-1938):
• “Anybody who can believe those old myths and fables isn’t governed by reason.”

• "The time has come for people of reason to say: Enough is Enough! Religious faith discourages independent thought, it's divisive and it's dangerous."

• "A great error is more easily propagated, than a great truth, because it is easier to believe, than to reason, and because people prefer the marvels of romances to the simplicity of history." (1794)

• "He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not, is a slave."

EDISON, THOMAS, American inventor (1847-1931):
• “To those searching for truth -- not the truth of dogma and darkness but the truth brought by reason, search, examination, and inquiry, discipline is required. For faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction -- faith in fiction is a damnable false hope.”

FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN, American statesman, scientist, author (1706-1790):
• “I hope....that mankind will at length, as they call themselves responsible creatures, have the reason and sense enough to settle their differences without cutting throats...”
• "The way to see by Faith is to shut the eye of Reason." (Poor Richard, 1758)

• "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

HARRIS, SAM, American non-fiction writer (1967- ):
• "Religion gives people bad reasons to be good, where good reasons are actually available."
• "There is no society in history that has ever suffered because its population became too reasonable — too reluctant to embrace dogma, too demanding of evidence."

HECHT, JENNIFER MICHAEL, American poet, philosopher, author (1965- ):
• "A reasonable scale of probability--what is likely--forbids believing a whole range of imaginative possibilities, even though we do not know anything for sure."

HITCHENS, CHRISTOPHER, British-American author, (1949- )
• "Faith is the surrender of the mind, it's the surrender of reason, it's the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other animals. It's our need to believe and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something. That is the sinister thing to me. ... Out of all the virtues, all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated."
• "Gullibility and credulity are considered undesirable qualities in every department of human life — except religion.... Why are we praised by godly men for surrendering our “godly gift” of reason when we cross their mental thresholds?" (“The Lord and the Intellectuals,” Harper’s July 1982)
• "Religion is poison because it asks us to give up our most precious faculty, which is that of reason, and to believe things without evidence. It then asks us to respect this, which it calls faith."

• "Ignorance worships mystery; reason explains it; the one grovels, the other soars." ("Humbolt" speech)
• "Take from the church the miraculous, the supernatural, the unreasonable the impossible, the unknowable, and the absurd, and nothing but a vacuum remains... Religion has not civilized man — man has civilized religion." ("The Ghosts" speech)
• "The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called 'faith.'"

JEFFERSON, THOMAS, 3rd U.S. President, founder of the University of Virginia (1743-1826):
• “Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion." (to Peter Carr, 8/10/1787)
• “Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.” (to James Smith, 1822)
• "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear."
• [The spirit of truth] is “that frame of mind by which men who acknowledge their own fallibility, and who desire above all things to discover what is true, should adjudicate between conflicting arguments.... Reason, reason alone, should determine their opinions.”(A History of Rationalism, 1900)

• "Have courage to use your own reason! - that is the motto of enlightenment."

LOCKE, JOHN, English philosopher (1632-1704):
• "Every religion, as far as reason will help them, makes use of it gladly - and where it fails them, they cry out: "It is a matter of faith, and above reason!"

• "Reason is the greatest enemy of faith...."
• "Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight...."
• "Reason should be destroyed in all Christians."

• "Religion has ever been anti-human, anti-woman, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason and anti-science. The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth. It is time now for reason, education and science to take over." (Speech, 1990)

PAINE, THOMAS, English-born American patriot (1737-1809):
• “The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and trust I never shall.” (The Age of Reason)
• "Reasoning with one who has abandoned reason is like giving medicine to a dead man."
• "When men, from custom or fashion or any worldly motive, profess or pretend to believe what they do not believe, nor can give any reason for believing,... being no longer honest to their own minds they feel no moral difficulty in being unjust to others."
"The Age of Reason [by Thomas Paine] was
responsible for making more people into infidels
than any other book except the Bible."
—Gordon Stein
PAGELS, HEINZ, American physicist (1939-1988):
• "I like to browse in occult bookshops if for no other reason than to refresh my commitment to science." (The Dreams of Reason)

RABAN, JONATHAN, Britsh writer (b. 1942):
• “Arguing with people’s supernatural delusions is a losing game. But ideas are different. Ideas are negotiable: one can expose their false premises, concede their partial truth, disentangle their conclusions, rob them of their magic by force of sweet reason.” (“Our Secret Sharers”, My Holy War, 2006)

RUSSELL, BERTRAND, English mathematician, author, Nobel Prize winner (1872-1970):
• “If you think that your belief is based upon reason, you will support it by argument, rather then by persecution, and will abandon it if the argument goes against you. But if your belief is based on faith, you will realize that argument is useless and will therefore result to force either in the form of persecution or by stunting and distorting the minds of the young in what is called education.”
• “Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.” (Is There a God?)
• "My conclusion is that there is no reason to believe any of the dogmas of traditional theology and, further, that there is no reason to wish that they were true. Man, in so far as he is not subject to natural forces, is free to work out his own destiny. The responsibility is his, and so is the opportunity." (Is There a God?)
• "Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines." (attributed)

SMITH, GEORGE H., American author and educator (1949- )
• "I am arguing that faith as such, faith as an alleged method of acquiring knowledge, is totally invalid and as a consequence, all propositions of faith, because they lack rational demonstration, must conflict with reason." (Atheism: The Case Against God)
• "Just as Christianity must destroy reason before it can introduce faith, so it must destroy happiness before it can introduce salvation." (Atheism: The Case Against God)
• "Reason is not one tool of thought among many, it is the entire toolbox. To advocate that reason be discarded in some circumstances is to advocate that thinking be discarded — which leaves one in the position of attempting to do a job after throwing away the required instrument." (Atheism: The Case Against God)

• "I call him free who is led solely by reason."

STEPHEN, SIR LESLIE, British author (1932-1904):
• "The division between faith and reason is a half-measure, till it is frankly admitted that faith has to do with fiction, and reason with fact." (Essays on Freethinking and Plainspeaking)

SWIFT, JONATHAN, British author/theologian (1667-1745):
• "It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into."

• "What I conclude is that religion has nothing to do with experience or reason but with deep and irrational needs." ("WIll Secularism Survive?" Free Inquiry)

TWAIN, MARK, American author, journalist, humorist (1835-1910):
• “Many...people have the reasoning faculty, but no one uses it in religious matters.”

VOLTAIRE, FRANÇOIS MARIE AROUET de, French author, philosopher (1694-1778):
• “The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost their power of reasoning.”
• "You will notice that in all disputes between Christians since the birth of the Church, Rome has always favored the doctrine which most completely subjugated the human mind and annihilated reason."

WASHINGTON, GEORGE, 1st U.S. President, commander-in-chief Continental Forces (1732-1799):
• “We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition..."

This post is not complete. I future-dated it to give myself time to complete it, but life interfered. By the time I got back to it, it had already posted, so everyone might as well enjoy it in its unfinished state. I will be adding more quotations and additional biographical info in the future, so check back again.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...