How Crazy is Your Religion?

Last summer I saw “The Book of Mormon” Broadway play.  It was fantastic and I highly recommend seeing it if it comes to a city near you.  While watching the play I wondered how many people watching the play were laughing at how ridiculous certain aspects of the Mormon religion are without thinking at all about the crazy things within their own religion.  Sure, there were probably some Atheists like myself in the audience, but statistically there were far more religious attendees than non-religious.  The religious love to poke fun at other religions, but never stop to critically look at their own religion and the many crazy things it believes in.

Christians love to point out the magic underwear and golden plates Mormons believe in.  They love to point out that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe only 144,000 people go to Heaven.  They love to point out Catholics and exorcisms.  I could go on and on.  But let’s take a moment to look at a few things that are beyond crazy that Christians believe.

Before giving you a small list, I’ll point out that some of these things cross over into other religions.

  1. The virgin birth. Christians believe Jesus was literally born to a virgin.  Science fail right there.
  2. Blood and body of Christ. Christians believe that drinking wine (or juice) and eating bread during communion is the literal drinking and eating of Christ’s blood and flesh.
  3. Faith in God will fix everything.
  4. God made woman out of a man’s rib.
  5. God flooded the entire Earth, saving only one family.
  6. All human suffering is the result of Eve eating the forbidden fruit.

Yes, magic underwear is certainly a crazy belief, but is it really any crazier than believing a virgin gave birth?  Crazier than a worldly flood and re-population of Earth by one family?  Not in my mind.

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The Harm of Religion

You often hear people say, what’s the harm in religion?  If I keep my religion to myself and don’t push it on others, where’s the harm?  If it was possible to keep religion to oneself, I might just agree, but too often we see how people unintentionally push their religion on others, especially children.  Makayla Sault is the perfect example of the harm religion causes to others.

Many of you have already heard this story, but Makayla Sault was an 11 year old girl from Ontario, Canada diagnosed with a very treatable form of leukemia.  With proper chemotherapy treatment doctors gave her a 90% chance of survival.  Those are excellent odds and it was very likely this girl would have survived to lead a long, healthy life.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the case as she recently passed away.

Makayla Sault Passes Away

When given a 90% chance of survival, that still means there’s a 10% chance of not surviving.  Was Makayla part of the unlucky 10%?  If only that were the case.  This little girl died because her parents refused chemotherapy in favor of traditional medicine.  In other words, they chose unproven quackery over proven medicine.  This family is not Christian (as far as I can tell), but their religious beliefs led them away from modern medicine to ‘medicine’ that simply doesn’t work.  Makayla was receiving chemotherapy treatments, but her parents stopped those treatments and now say that those treatments were the reason she died.  Oh, the power of religion, to so easily sway people against science and reason.

The parents even released a YouTube video of the girl saying that she was deciding on her own to stop treatment.  Bullshit!  That girl didn’t know any better.  Her parents were most certainly scaring her away from proven medicine.  Her parents weren’t pushing their religion on me or you, but they were pushing it on their daughter.  Their daughter, with no other form of education, had no reason to disbelieve them.  Because of religion, this little girl is dead.  Religion killed this girl.

Disgusting.  Atrocious.  Unbelievable.  Sickening.  I could go on and on with more adjectives, but you get the point.  Don’t think for one second that religion (regardless of the form) causes no harm.  It does, and it often does it in ways the religious don’t mean it to.  My biggest hope for this world is that one day, children such as Makayla Sault won’t have to worry about religion killing them.