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Posts Tagged ‘atheism’

Relics, shmelics: the Orthodox bone-worshiping circus is in town!

October 11, 2011 2 comments

Remember the good ol` days? Or should I say “ye goode olde days”, since I`m referring to the Dark Ages, when relic commerce was a flourishing business and any piece of cloth, random body part or splinter of wood could be sold off as a miracle-working relic of some saint or the other?

Think those days are over? Think again! In Romania, the Orthodox church makes a circus out of every occasion it gets to put rotten bones on display for the naive and brainwashed to adore. This is absurd, you might think. No, THIS.IS.ROMANIA!

As I was ranting about in a previous post the biblemongers around here are very prone to asking their imaginary friend in the sky for anything from good grades to lottery numbers. Which is part of the reason why they flock by the hundreds and camp out in front of churches where so-called “holy relics” are put on display.

This creates a grotesque spectacle of human degradation, which is readily enjoyed by the priest-vermin that pat their fat bellies as the masses literally trample each other to get to touch / kiss / lick / rub various body parts on the christian mummies. It has become habitual for the church to send relics around the country, import relics from “sister” churches in other orthodox countries, block traffic in major cities to parade relics and get the naive flock to stampede over who gets to leave their lip-prints on the asses  relics of the holy first.

The most recent such circus-act is happening as I type, in the city of Iasi, eastern Romania. As the date of  her celebration approaches (October 14th), the relics of Saint Parascheva are being taken out of the church and put outside on display, for people to adore her bodily remains in the most disgusting of ways. You could not imagine the amount of bodily fluids that are being exchanged there in the few days that the silver-cast reliquarium is available to the public: saliva, sweat, grease, are all mixed together in a disgusting cocktail that everybody contributes to as they ever-so-sheepishly lean in and kiss or touch the box. The Public Health authorities have warned the church many times about the health hazards this entails, but nobody would listen. More so, the priests were intrigued that one could even assume that something as holy as relics would allow illness. And even said “if you become ill after kissing the relics, it is because your faith is not strong enough.”

Meanwhile, the believers, whose faith in free food, cheap trinkets and the beneficial effects of french-kissing a mummy can not be dwindled by us mere “satanic atheists slave to the masonic conspiracy to overthrow the one true church™” are just now setting up camp in Iasi, training for the stampedes to follow. The local gypsies -turned – salesmen over night are also setting up camp, getting ready to sell plastic trinkets and cheesy icons and overpriced candles to the masses.  The obese filthy rich members of the clergy are also getting ready to watch the show from the best seats in the house, so there’s nothing left to do but wait for the circus to start.

My theist acquaintances (and even random strangers who somehow find out about my beliefs, or lack thereof) say to me frequently that I am somehow angry at their god, which is why I`m such a blasphemer and an atheist. I reply as frequently with two arguments: a) one cannot be angry at something that doesn’t exist, unless one suffers from serious mental health issues, and b) I do not have a problem with believers. Matter of fact, I will advocate freedom of thought any day (within the limits of common sense and the law; see here what happens when this is abused). What I do have a problem with, and always will have, is idiocy. I cannot idly stand by and watch fellow human beings degrade themselves, humiliate themselves publicly, expose themselves to risk, let their brains wither and die from lack of use, all in order to uphold their anachronistic, medieval faiths.

In closing, I leave you with this funny piece of material I found floating around the interwebs a couple of weeks ago, and I think it goes well with the topic of religious public circus that I`ve discussed herein.

religion

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Where religious freedom stops, and murder begins

October 4, 2011 2 comments

I woke up this morning to the news of a young woman’s death. Nothing special, one would be inclined to think, people die every day. But this case was special. And it made me angry to the point of screaming to the world “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!”

This young woman was 30 years old. She had been the victim of a car accident and had been committed to hospital care in her home town of Baia Mare, Romania. She had good chances of survival. All she needed was a damn blood transfusion. But guess what? She had the misfortune of being a Jehova’s Witness. Her family insisted that she not be given the transfusion that would have saved her life, because their religion forbids it. The doctors, bound by law – dealing with a person that, under the circumstances, could not decide for herself – had to abide. She never stood a chance. Even though the medical team tried their best, using  cult-approved substitutes for blood, and a battery of various drugs, the woman was too weakened by the accident, and the anemia she was previously suffering from to survive.

This case is tragic not only because a young woman died, but because a young woman died when she could well have lived, had it not been for the absurdities of religion. Of course the holier-than-thou romanian orthodox christians jumped to defend their own religion, even though nobody had even mentioned it, filling the internet with “no true scotsman” arguments. This is less important. What’s really important is the ethical debate that ensues: where does religious freedom stop, and murder start?

The Constitution of most countries in the world guarantees religious freedom. The Hypocratic oath that doctors around the world take when they begin their careers binds them to respect and preserve human life. In most countries, euthanasia (or assisted suicide, as it’s often called), is illegal. So, to conclude: it is considered murder if you help a suffering, terminally ill patient to die a peaceful, painless death, but it is seen as perfectly normal to let a young woman die because her religion forbids blood transfusions.

I, for one, find it absurd that it is considered illegal to stop someone’s suffering, but perfectly legal to idly stand by and let someone die when the means to save their life exist and are readily available. Also, I find another thing absurd: that some doctors refuse to perform abortions out of moral and / or religious conviction, and that the bible mongers picket abortion clinics and scream bloody murder whenever they get the chance, yet the same religious people let their own close relatives die, and that is, in turn, NOT murder…

The plot thickens, though, to reveal yet another dark side of religion: brain washing. There are 12 years between the ages of 18 and 30. Twelve full years when that poor young woman could have decided to abandon that murderous cult. But the effects of childhood brainwashing were so deep and irreversible, on the one hand, and there was no one there to help her see reason, on the other, that she was still a member of the cult at the time of the accident, therefore signing her own death sentence.

The questions remain, dear readers, and the debate could carry on for ages: who decides where religious freedom stops and murder begins? Why do the legislatures of the world stand idly by as cults of various denominations refuse medical care for their followers? Who is responsible for this young woman’s death? Is her family not as guilty as the person behind the wheel? And most importantly, one last question for all the believers out there: what kind of benevolent, all-knowing, all-seeing deity allows for these atrocities to happen? How long will you continue to worship an unfair, mass-murdering psychopathic figment of some primitive sheep-herder’s imagination and call him your god?

Later edit: after publishing this it occurred to me that it’s very very similar in content to a post by fellow Romanian atheist Zerg, which, if you can read Romanian, can be found here

God Giveth, and God Taketh Away: How To Sit on Your Ass and Wait for Shit to Happen

September 27, 2011 5 comments

I`m a very pragmatical, down to earth, sometimes cynical man. Which is why I’m perfectly aware of when and why shit happens to me: usually because I`ve fucked up at some point or the other. I’m also very aware of why good stuff happens when it does: it’s usually because I`ve earned it, or I`ve managed to make the people responsible for it think that I’ve earned it. It’s the way the Universe works, and always has: action-reaction, decision-consequence, causality in a nutshell. Which is exactly why I find it very hard to tolerate the people that not only decide to blame every misfortune on some Shiznit in the sky, not only thank said Shiznit for every accomplishment they’ve ever had, but also try very hard to convince me that if I cross a 6 lane road in full traffic and get run over, it was the will of the magical toothfairy in the sky, and not a direct result of my obvious idiocy.

“Prove this with hard facts!” the crowd shouts while rolling their eyes and pondering my eternal damnation. “Stop dissing on believers!” the raging theists scream as they clench their worship object of choice. Well, dearies,  I come prepared. With hard facts about how christians of all denominations (but more so, Orthodox christians, which I`ve had more interaction with than any other denomination) prefer to sit on their asses and wait for shit to happen, instead of going to church, collecting their balls from the box the clergy’s locked them in, and taking action for once in their lives.

As with all demonstrations, this one too starts with a working question: WHY do christians choose to be completely fatalistic and deny their every survival instinct? The hypothesis is that the collection of documents known as the Bible contains a simple phrase, somewhere (google it, I`m too lazy to) that says something along the lines of “God giveth, and God taketh away!” or, for my more modern readers not acquainted with archaic English, “Shit happens, dawg! So sit on yo` ass and take it all, it’s completely out of your control and as so random it’ll give you a headache -and eternal damnation – if you try to figure it out, y`know what I`m sayin`?!”. In other words, and contrary to common sense, your life and everything in it isn’t, as you might have naively thought, a result of your actions and decisions, but the doing of a bipolar, whimsical god that will kill your wife, have your kids raped and the Mafia take all your belongings (and that may or may not even sell your kidneys on the black market, as a bonus!) just to see if you’re still capable of worshiping him afterwards.

And now, moving on to practical examples of above-described philosophy, proving two things: that the bible is a dangerous document if your IQ is below that of plantlife, and that it takes guts, determination, and quite a healthy dose of rational thinking to pick your shit up and take your life into your own hands.

Example 1 (my comments in bold):

Floods hit Romanian countryside. Reporters rush to  find out what the people affected are thinking in these difficult moments, when their houses and their life’s work has been taken away by water.

Reporter: “So, why do you think this happened?”

Villager: “Ooohh….it was the will of God! Only the rage of God could have caused such destruction! We have turned our faces away from God, and this is his punishment!”

Seriously, Sherlock? The will of God, eh? Not the fact that you’ve built a house from cow dung and put it 10 feet away from a river mountain, on the exact same location that the flood took it from a year ago, two years ago, and three years ago, eh? Some people never learn, but hey, I guess that’s the will of God: the imbeciles (well, the Bible uses the more politically correct term of “meak” ) shall inherit the Earth. And build houses next to the water, after cutting down the forest that was keeping the hill steady.

Example 2

Child dies in tragic car accident. Reporters speak to the grieving family.

Reporter: “How do you feel about this tragic accident?”

Grieving Parent: “Ohh…God must’ve needed an angel, and he took our child away to keep him company in Heaven!”

You.Have.Got.To.Be.Kidding.Me. If this is true, then allow me to say, dear believers, that your god is a sick fuck that doesn’t give a crap about human life, and would rather kill someone’s child when he’s bored, than, say, watch internet porn like the rest of the world. Of course God took him away, you idiotic biblemonger, God took him away because you were too damn busy going to church, kissing icons and drooling allover the priest’s hand to actually teach your child to properly use a cross-walk and a traffic light. And instead of accepting your guilt, what do you do? You pass it on to the only entity in the Universe who can never be held reliable for it. Not because he forbids it, but because he’s not real. Get used to it!

Example 3

The morning of difficult, important middle and / or highschool exams. Reporter asks random student if she feels prepared for the task at hand.

Reporter: “So, feeling ready? Have you studied all the material?”

Student: “Yes, I`m ready, I staid up all night praying, I have my lucky cross with me, sanctified at the church and touched by the holy relics of Saint Whatshisname, protector of the students!”

Yeah, that’s right, just draw little crosses on your exam paper and everything will be just fine. It doesn’t matter that you’re retarded, shit-for-brains, can barely read at the age of 18, and can’t speak a whole phrase without getting the grammar fairies to pull their hair out, your magical god will magically convince your examiners that you’re worth passing. And later on in life, when you kill someone in a tragic accident because you couldn’t read the traffic signs, it’ll be the will of god anyway, so no need to worry.

Example 4

The subject of a premier medical intervention has successfully been given a second chance at life after 16 grueling hours of operation. Reporter asks him how he feels about this.

Reporter: “You can really say that you’ve been given a second chance at life! How amazing is this?!”

Patient: “Yes, yes, you’re right, God spared me and gave me life! My family went and prayed at Myanus monastery, paid for a special religious service to be given there in my name, kissed the holy butt-cheek of Saint Schizophrenia, protector of the sick, and lo and behold! I came back to life a healthy man!”

Now that’s down right offensive. After all the years those doctors spent in medical school, then doing research, then trying hard as hell to get equipment for their hospital in an economy that can barely afford painkillers, after the 16 hours they spent chopping you up and putting you back together again, trying to save your worthless life, how DARE you insult all of that by thanking your imaginary friend instead of simply saying “I was lucky to have had the services of such dedicated, talented physicians!” ? 

These examples are not 100% accurate. Events and characters have been modified slightly to suit the purpose of this article. But they were all inspired by  true stories that I’ve seen in the local media. These people, this belief system, they actually exist. The floods, the tragic deaths, the exams, the medical miracles, they’re all there. I’ve just exacerbated them to try and make a point. And that point was how blissful it must be for some to not need to feel responsible for anything or anyone, and just put it all on God’s welcoming shoulders.

These people do not worship God. God is just a scapegoat they use when shit hits the fan and they can’t cope.

 

Lo, the Apocalypse is nigh!…again!

September 25, 2011 3 comments

OK, this is getting a bit old. Make up your minds, people!  Natural catastrophe, man-made black holes, asteroids crashing on Earth, satellites crashing on Earth, The Rapture, global warming, earthquake causing comets, the devil, Vishnu, Ungu-Bungu`s Revenge, zombies, the Mayan calendar, what the hell is it gonna be?

In the past few years  I`ve survived so many Apocalypses I`m starting to think I`m either related to Chuck Norris, or to a cockroach. The last big thing was this douchebag preacher/radio host telling the naive masses to relinquish their earthly goods and prepare for the rapture. OK, everyone’s entitled to at least one episode of delusional paranoia per lifetime, I`ll give the man that, but what I can`t understand is how he managed to get people to quit their jobs, sell their houses, give their life savings to charity and other self-righteous bullshit to prepare for an event that even their holy bible states cannot be predicted by man. Fine, you`ll say, let’s forgive the poor sob and move on. Oh reaaaally? Forgive him you say? “Medicate” I believe is a better practice at this moment, considering he still hasn’t given up his apocalyptic bullcrap and instead stated that he was “wrong” and the rapture will actually occur next year. And you know what? He STILL has a following! I mean, people, really?! Seriously?!

Moooving on: before delusional preachers, there was the Mayan calendar. That`s still somewhat of a trend, with many people holding a firm belief that just because a bunch of people over 600 years ago, that had barely discovered the wheel, made human sacrifices and built megalithic temples in their spare time, yet couldn`t count further than 2012, made a bunch of predictions in their silly calendar it means they were right and we’re all going down the drain next year, when supposedly some serious shit is programmed to hit a cosmic-sized fan. Oh, you must be thinking, with something as serious as the end of the world, the believers in the Mayan calendar must have serious proof of their allegations. Bullshit. That`s what they have. Jack Squat. Their argument is that they can`t be proven wrong. Well DUH you self-righteous apocalypse-mongers, of course you can`t be proven wrong, we’re too busy finding the cure for cancer and AIDS to be looking into old Indiana Jones movie scripts! Of course, in comes Hollywood fueling the delusion by making a movie about the world ending in 2012 by means of huge tidal wave. Crap movie, by the way. Crappier than, say, all those zombie apocalypse movies that, believe it or not, can actually happen if a man-made virus escapes some lab in the basement of an abandoned airstrip in *Insert desert location in the US here*.

Now, after all the major-league bullshit one might think that it’s a bit overrated to come up with new Apocalypses every day. But NOOOO, there are always a bunch of paranoid people living in their mother’s basement somewhere just waiting to come up with new and improved ways of ending the world as we know it. Maybe. Sometime. Tomorrow, or next month, or this decade or so. For example, the new trend (fortunately swiftly disproved by NASA, much to the dismay of the folks getting ready to hit the banks and liquidate their accounts after telling their bosses they were screwing around with their wives and that they’re jackasses and dickheads anyway) is that Comet Elenin will pass us by, cause earthquakes and not even drop in to say hello. What a douchebag comet! I mean, come on, if you’re a cosmic object hurtling through the sky at a-crapload-of-miles-an-hour and you`re gonna cause a panic, at least crash into the planet, don`t just go by and disappear harmlessly into the night sky! Conspiracy theorists have to make a living too, you know?!

Now, given all the bull that’s been tossed around recently, I`m pretty damn sure that when and if the end of the world comes, it’s going to not only catch us by surprise completely, but also come from a seemingly benign incident that nobody’s going to notice, like…I dunno…a butterfly flapping it’s wings in some remote jungle, causing a hurricane somewhere else, causing christians to believe they’re being raptured, causing, in turn, the economy to collapse because of sudden withdrawals of cash and people quitting their jobs, causing a Chinese official to laugh his ass off, tip over, push the nuclear launch button, and end us all. See? It’s easy! With a bit of work, you too can now create your own bone-chilling apocalyptic scenario!

This has been a special report from my underground bunker where I`m waiting for the world to end. Repent, the end is nigh! Or not…or maybe next month. Who the hell knows?

The Romanian Orthodox Church and Communism – a brief comparison

September 21, 2011 1 comment

Ladies and gents, for today’s random rant (that isn`t random at all, but part of a wider project to expose the evils of religion in Romania) I give to you Comunism vs. Orthodoxy – a brief comparison.

Let us begin:

1. The words of their creators are gathered in a book and misinterpreted, vaguely applied, and changed to suit the needs of the moment.Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.

2.”He who is not with us is against us”. Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.
3. Hatred of the Western world that is decadent, dominant, imperialistic, etc. Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.
4. Creation of false enemies: other religions, the bourgeoisie, saboteurs, freemasonry, the Jews, etc. Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.
5. Ascension to power by use of intimidation and fear coupled with hope for a better existence. Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.
6. Reversal of values – good is bad, rich is poor, one is many, etc. Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.
7. Exacerbation of nationalist feelings and national pride to the point of xenophobia. Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.
8. Illegitimate takeover of land and property by invocation of previous “historic” injustice requiring reparation. Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.
9. “We are all equal, but some of us are more equal than the other”. Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.
10. Leaving the system is a capital offense. Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.
11. Dissemination of biased information via “official” news sources. Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.
12. Cult of personality (the supreme Leader, vs. the supreme Being). Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.
13. Megalomania (massive processions, absurd builds with no aesthetic or practical use whatsoever). Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.
14. The existence of a limited few that oppose the absurdity. Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.
15. Use of authority vs. use of logic in argumentation. Orthodoxy – 1; Communism – 1.

And last, but not least, to close this comparison, I give you a literal translation of a quote by Justinian Marina, a.k.a The Red Patriarch, leader of the Romanian Orthodox Church under communism: “Christ is the New Man. The New Man is Soviet. Therefore, Christ is Soviet!”.

Q.E.D, ladies and gentlemen. Q.E.D.

The Orthodox Time-Machine: Back to the Past

September 20, 2011 4 comments

I usually don’t rant about things that might touch certain people’s sensibilities and offend them, because it’s the right thing to do and I`m a decent human being. NOT! I rant about offensive things ALL the time, and this is no exception.  If you’re offended by what you`re about to read, it means you’re too brainwashed by religion to understand the danger it poses to any individual with more than shit-for-brains.

Fact 1: Romania is a secular state.

Fact 2: Religion is taught to grades 1-12 in Romanian PUBLIC schools.

Fact 3: A highschool student has recently been humiliated in front of his peers by his religion teacher for being an atheist. This has gotten a certain amount of press coverage, bringing with it hundreds of comments from medieval, brainwashed orthodox christians calling the child and his supporters devil worshippers, and even going so far as issuing death threats towards atheists, and exposing their fundamentalist belief system. This made me feel a bit like I was living in Iran. And if things continue the way they are, with the church’s authority growing, and the clergy above and beyond the reach of law, Romania is soon to become a full-fledged theocracy. I hope it doesn’t.

Fact 4: This is not a singular case. In churches, Orthodox priests preach xenofobia, discrimination and hatred against any and all religions that are not Orthodox to people not intelligent enough to discern truth from orthodox brainwashing. No other christian denomination (that I know of) teaches it’s followers explicitly to discriminate against, hate, and socially isolate those that are not of the same faith. Talk about “Religion of love”, eh?  Fortunately, there is a positive aspect in all of this: the number of fundamentalists is still relatively low. Most orthodox believers are not as hate-fueled as the church would have them be. A number of believers adhere to orthodoxy for social reasons and less so from true belief, and they too have become very vocal against the abuses of the clergy.

Fact 5: In Romania there currently are 18.300 (eighteen thousand three hundred) churches, but only 4700 (four thousand seven hundred) middle schools and 425 (four hundred and twenty five!!!) hospitals.

Conclusion: If things continue on this downward spiral, with the State too afraid to put it’s foot down and stop treating the church like a porcelain doll, with priviledges growing every day and money being pumped from local budgets into the black hole of the churches`pocket, we’re not far from the days when the orthodox clergy will yet again build pyres for burning “infidels” like in the good`ol medieval times when they could rule with no questions asked. When I wished for a time machine, I never imagined the Orthodox Church had already built one, primed and ready to take Romania straight back to the dark ages.