I recently logged on to Facebook to find this lovely little gem posted by an aunt, the wife of a Baptist pastor:
Sept 11th (NewYork) Jan 11th (Haiti) and March 11th (Japan)….Luke 21:10-11 Then jesus said to his disciples: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes’, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. ‘Jesus says for behold I come quickly. So ask yourself r u ready? Sad to say, many won’t repost this.
This ridiculous post highlights much of what is wrong with religion, and why sharing the earth with people who hold such beliefs is more dangerous than most of us realize.
Christians, like many other religious adherents, firmly believe that at some definite point in the not-so-distant future, life, the earth, and existence as we know it is going to come to an end. Clearly, all things must come to an end at some point, and even the staunchest atheists acknowledge that our universe must ultimately meet its demise at some unimaginably distant future point. But Christians like my aunt believe something entirely different. They believe that the world is going to end not according to a cosmological timescale, but according to a human timescale.
To Christians, the end of the world is not going to occur billions of years from now, but perhaps mere decades – or at most centuries – from now. But the most frightening aspect of such a belief is not that they believe the world will end so soon, but that they actually welcome that catastrophic demise, and in some cases actually work to bring it about. Hence we have the fanatical support of Israel among many Christians, who fervently believe that the very existence of Israel as a nation is paving the way for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Such people wield immense power, in the United States and around the world. And this power has devasting consequences for the rest of us, since these antiquated, pre-science beliefs lead to horrific decisions. The case of Israel is one pertinent example, but there are many more. Take, for instance, the fight to prevent climate change and protect the natural world. Not only do Christians believe that “God” has given them dominion over the earth, they also believe there is no need to conserve or plan for the future because Jesus is coming back anyway. So how can we continue to survive in today’s modern world, living with such people?
Religious belief stands in flagrant contradiction with everything we know about the universe today, and such beliefs actively contribute to the endangerment of all life on earth. For these reasons and more, it is imperative that we view religious indoctrination as the violation of human rights that it is, and fervently work towards preventing its parasitic spread once and for all.