demonbaby

Demonbaby: Thursday, January 17, 2008subscribe to demonbaby

Please Stop Making Fun Of Scientology. No, really.

[Currently Listening To: David Bowie - Low]



"No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States" - Article 6 of the United States Constitution

I realize I'm way behind with the final installments of the Demonbaby Awards, but I had to break for a moment to get something off my chest. You see, there's a funny little video going around the internets today. You might have seen it. It features Tom Cruise, the notoriously wacky Scientology overlord, waxing schizophrenic about... well, I'm not even sure what about. The clip is apparently from a Scientology indoctrination video, and the "Church" of Scientology has been furiously ordering removals of it from YouTube due to "copyright violations," and threatening to sue Gawker for hosting it. Here's the video, in case you haven't seen it:



It's wonderfully, utterly batshit insane. He's a fucking lunatic, and he's selling a dangerous scam masquerading as a cult masquerading as a religion. And since they're trying so very hard to keep it out of your tubes, I urge everyone to take a few moments to download the Quicktime version here or here or here or here and upload it to YouTube as many times as you can.

Anyway, the thing about Scientology is that outside of its brainwashed devotees, everyone knows it's crazy, and everyone makes fun of it. Its looney sci-fi overtones make for a delightfully easy target, and the tyranny with which its guardians protect it makes it an even more appealing punching bag. But here's my problem: Relatively speaking, Scientology isn't that crazy. No, really. It isn't. You see, here in the good ol' United States, more than half of our citizens (depending on which poll you look at) happily ignore centuries of overwhelming and exhaustively-researched scientific evidence suggesting human beings have evolved into their present form over millions of years, and instead choose to believe that we were plunked down on the earth fully-formed by a mythical being in the sky, because an old book of parables written by primitive people says so. Americans also believe overwhelmingly in miracles, heaven, hell, and that Jesus is God or the son of God. They like to think they believe all this because of some righteous faith in their soul that sin-laden secular heathens like myself could never understand. In reality, it's because as children they were indoctrinated into believing that The Bible is a book of absolute truths, and The Bible says that God created man in His image, and they'd no sooner want to believe they've been wrong their whole life than I'd want to believe that maybe Saved By The Bell was never actually funny at all, and I was just a twelve year old with bad taste. Come on, Screech had some great one-liners... right?

When I was about four years old, I loved stickers. I loved stickers so much that I stuck them everywhere. Every fucking where. It drove my family crazy. They told me I was no longer allowed to put stickers on walls or furniture or my toys, or I'd be in trouble. So fuck it, I thought, I'll put stickers on myself, and one day I stuck them all over my body. I even stuck one on the end of my tiny little four year old ding-ding, covering up that important hole that pee comes out of. I thought it was funny, and to a four year old, who doesn't even really know what a penis is, having a sticker on the end of it is pretty fucking funny. That is, until I had to pee, and it dawned on me that I'd clogged up the pipes, so to speak, and trying to remove the sticker was painful beyond imagination. At that terrifying moment of realization, the young mind produces one and only one result: Bawling. Loud, desperate, tear-streaked bawling. I had to tell my Mother about the horrible mistake I'd made, and she and my Grandmother had to soak me in warm water to loosen up the glue on the sticker so it could be painlessly removed. Why, you ask, am I telling you this, short of my masochistic desire to frequently embarrass myself on the internet? The point here, really, is to illustrate how fucking dumb I was when I was four years old. How dumb we all were. How we were little sponges, eager to learn, looking to the guidance of our parents and our teachers to tell us how the world worked. And at the same tender age that I covered my pee hole with a sticker, I began attending Sunday school at my local Catholic church. At Sunday school my spongy, impressionable brain was told over and over again that God created the earth, and He created Adam and Eve, and He created me, and He loved me, and Jesus loved me, and all I had to do was love Him back and be a good person and I'd get into Heaven. What a wonderful thing to believe as a child. There's a big bearded guy in the sky watching over me, and He loves me no matter what, and He'll help me through thick and thin, and when my goldfish died he went to a magical place in the sky with the rest of his goldfish family and swam in God's big beautiful goldfish bowl, and someday when I died I'd be there too, and it'd be even better than my life on earth. I bet there are tons of stickers in Heaven, and you can put them anywhere! WOW!

Why wouldn't I believe all that? It sounds great, and hell, I also believed that a magical fairy covertly paid me for my baby teeth, and that a giant bunny rabbit got off on hiding eggs all over my house to celebrate the resurrection of the son of God. Besides, adults were telling me all this stuff, and adults knew lots of things I didn't, like why you shouldn't put stickers over your pee hole. But I guess indoctrination is a delicate process, because somewhere along the way, it was too much for me. Later in life it pushed a little too hard, and I stopped buying into it. I think it was when I stopped going to Sunday school and started attending regular mass, and Catholicism revealed itself as being more about guilt than love, and church was the most boring fucking thing I could have ever imagined. I started asking questions my Mother couldn't answer. I started drawing mean caricatures of our priests on the collection slips and leaving them in the Bibles for people to find. I started to call bullshit on the whole ordeal, and my poor Mother, her own faith having grown fragile over the years, could no longer defend it. And that was that. I got out. Most people in that situation aren't so lucky, and hence, America is overwhelmingly populated by people who believe in Santa Claus. He may be skinny and shirtless and pinned to a cross, but he's still Santa Claus.

If I have children and, as their sole voice of guidance in their crucial formative years, tell them that Tommy Lee was an earthly vessel of the almighty Creator, and His autobiography Tommyland contained the universal truths for all mankind and the keys to salvation, and anyone who felt otherwise was simply a misguided soul destined for eternal damnation lest they be awaked to the sacred truths of Tommy Lee... Well, I'd end up with a pretty fucked up kid, but by the time he'd reached adulthood with these superstitions drilled into his brain day after day, you'd have a damned hard time convincing him his beliefs were wrong.

The problem here is that because Christianity is old and widely-believed, we're meant to inherently accept its fairy tales as somehow more credible than Scientology's fairy tales, when really, they're the same fucking thing. So why is it okay to make fun of Scientology in a country that takes Christianity so seriously? Why is it common knowledge that Scientology is a cult that scams people out of money and uses devious tactics to lure people into its teachings, but no one wants to admit the same things about Christian churches? Why is Tom Cruise a lunatic for saying whatever the hell he said in that video, but we'll gladly elect a President who thinks the earth was made in seven days? Why is poor Dennis Kucinich lampooned for saying he saw a UFO, but we're perfectly comfortable with all the other Presidential candidates worshipping an omnipotent being? If you get right down to it, UFOs have far more scientific basis than omnipotent beings.

I wish religion was, like anal beads and Everybody Loves Raymond, something that people practiced privately, in their homes, and it was an individual matter that rarely intruded on my life. Because theoretically, I really don't care what you believe in. I don't give two shits if you worship Jesus or Allah or Brett Favre or The Force or little fucking forest gnomes. In theory, it makes no difference to me whether your idea of a religious experience is saying ten Hail Marys, or nailing your balls to a wooden plank while defacating. It should be no concern of mine. But these fucking fundamentalist Christians have unfortunately made it my business and everyone's business, and because of their insistence on meddling with science and politics, I now have to try and figure out who's the least superstitious Presidential candidate. I wish it would never even occur to me that the prospective leader of the free world might, in the 21st century, reject a basic foundation of science. But alas, this is the dumb, credulous kindergarten class known as America, where, much to the snickering bemusement of Europe and the rest of the developed world, our political leaders have to show up on TV kneeling in front of a cross at Sunday mass to even be considered a candidate for Commander in Chief. And that, sadly, makes religion an important issue - because religion has begun threatening science, and if we start tearing away at science, we risk losing what little sense of reason and logic our country still has left to hold onto.

In case you hadn't noticed, we're in the early stages of an insulting sham of a Presidential election process right now. But as flawed as the system might be, it's still going to result in a new leader of our fragile empire, and no matter who you vote for, on either side of the political fence, you're voting for someone reared on a theology no less absurd than anything Tom Cruise believes in. In this election there are arguably more important issues - like trying to undo eight years of imperialistic insanity and fiscal irresponsibility. But I think a person's ability to weigh out religious beliefs against scientific facts says a lot about their character and informs all their decisions - and since every Presidential hopeful has to have a cross up their ass, I like to at least know which of them are drinking more of the Kool-Aid than others. This time around the thirstiest seems to be Mike Huckabee, a Republican front runner and former Baptist minister. Aside from crediting divine intervention with some of his political success, he has vocally supported creationism and thinks it should be taught in science class alongside evolution. He also carries the proud right wing tradition of using religion as an excuse for close-minded bigotry, calling homosexuality "an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle." And naturally, he's anti-abortion, anti-stem cells, anti-gay marriage/civil unions - all the ignorant, Bible-inspired goodness you've come to expect from the Christian right. Most recently Huckabee has said that "what we need to do is amend the constitution so it's in God's standards rather than trying to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other..." So, um, by "God," do you mean the Islamic concept of God, Mike? That one? Oh, oh, I'm sorry, you meant the Christian God. The, um, the good one, right? Sorry, my bad.

Surprisingly, the only other major candidate to actually say outright that he doesn't accept evolution is - *gasp* - the beloved Ron Paul. Here is the awkward clip where Paul, a devout Baptist, sent shivers down the spines of his many left-leaning, secular supporters by saying "I think it's a theory, the theory of evolution and I don't accept it as a theory." Ooooh, snap! How's the "theory" of gravity working out for you, Dr. Paul? He also said he didn't think it was an appropriate question to be asking Presidential candidates. Well, it certainly the fuck shouldn't have to be asked, any more than "what's two plus two?" But when we live in a country where so many people actually reject a basic foundation of science, and want to indoctrinate future generations with that kind of thinking, it's a staggeringly appropriate question. Of course, Paul's devotees would probably retort with something to the effect of "Ron Paul would let the states decide how to handle discussion of evolution in their schools, so it doesn't matter what he thinks." Except that going to school is mandatory, and public schools are provided by the state, so incorporating intelligent design into a public school curriculum equates to incorporating religious teachings, and that violates the long-standing restraining order filed by State against its creepy stalker, Church. It's okay though, if President Paul lets the states make that call, I'll just move back to New York and help build a wall to protect us when the next generation of public schooled kids from Arkansas comes around trying to burn down the secular den of sin that is Manhattan.

The rest of the candidates - all of the Democrats and a few of the Republicans (McCain, Giuliani, and Romney), appear to be, whether they even know it or not, "theistic evolutionists." This means they believe in evolution, but also believe in God, so they inherently believe that God had some involvement in the process of evolution. Their varying thoughts on intelligent design in public schools are outlined here. Certainly this is far from the only thing, or even the first thing, you should consider when deciding which candidate to support, but it's something that isn't being talked about much right now, and it shouldn't be forgotten. Fringe Democratic candidate Mike Gravel is the only candidate with the balls to say something truly awesome about the intelligent design issue, and sadly his candor is one of the many reasons why he'll never be President: When asked if creationism should be taught in public schools, he said "Oh, God, no. Oh, Jesus. We thought we had made a big advance with the Scopes monkey trial... My God, evolution is a fact, and if these people are disturbed by being the descendants of monkeys and fishes, they've got a mental problem. We can't afford the psychiatric bill for them. That ends the story as far as I'm concerned." Couldn't have said it better myself, Mike.

The other reason all this is important is because Presidents nominate Supreme Court judges, and it was a Supreme Court judge who famously kept intelligent design out of public schools - at least for now. A President who can't accept fundamental science over his own superstitions, or at least adapt his beliefs to things we know to be true, is not someone who should be picking Supreme Court judges. We've made that mistake, and I think we'd be wise not to make it again. To quote Bill Maher: "Maybe a President who didn't believe our soldiers were going to Heaven might be a little less willing to get them killed."

Last week on his HBO show, Bill Maher responded to the controversy over Hilary Clinton "crying" by asking, somewhat rhetorically, "are we a serious country?" No, Bill, of course we're not. We're a silly, lazy, simple-minded, easily-manipulated country, ready to believe anyone who tells us what we want to hear and any ideology that presents the easiest path from point A to point B. No wonder Kirk Cameron believes bananas are proof that God created the earth. No wonder a douchelord televangelist like Joel Osteen can become so massively successful by telling his millions of believers to just kick back, relax, turn on Everybody Loves Raymond, and let God take care of things. Yup, just believe in God, and everything will be fine. Wow, life is that easy? Sign me up!

Personally, I don't believe in UFOs like Mr. Kucinich, and I don't believe in God like Dr. Paul. But I don't not believe in them either. I believe in science, and thus far, science can neither prove nor disprove either one of those things, so my mind is open. Of course, at this point science has rather drastically disproven the history of mankind as written in the Bible, and that's where things have gotten a bit awkward. With the vastness of the universe and the complexity of life, I suppose believing in some kind of higher power is in our nature. We're too aware for our own good, and we can't stand the horrible, empty feeling that comes with not knowing why we're here, how we got here, or where we're going. It's discomforting to think that we'll never be able to understand all the secrets of the universe. So we make up stories that take care of those concerns very neatly. These stories answer all your questions, they appease all your worries. All you have to do is believe, and the best part is that if you don't like something about the stories you've been told, you can write your own book of slightly different stories and tell other people that your stories are the right ones. You have the truth now. And if that helps you sleep at night, then I'm happy for you, and please, carry on, but don't try to pretend that you have an answer I don't. No one has the answer, and in that sense, Scientology is as real or as unreal as Christianity, or Judaism, or Islam, or Tommy Leeology, or hell, even science. But at least what science offers that religion doesn't is the ability to question, and reason, and re-evaluate, and allow its ideas to, well, evolve based on new information. If factual evidence shows up tomorrow suggesting that our species actually evolved from the fecal matter of giant space turtles, then science will evolve with those new facts, and rewrite the rules based on new evidence. That's the reason the earth is no longer flat, and it's something an unwavering belief in a book of stories can never offer. So please, if you're going to laugh at Scientology and call Tom Cruise a brainwashed lunatic, be sure to play fair and save some venom for all the other religions and their brainwashed lunatics. And, well, I'll just let XKCD conclude this rant more efficiently than I ever could:




Edit: Oh, shit. I wrote all that before seeing Kirk Cameron's definitive proof that evolution isn't real. Fuck! Everything I stood for, debunked so effortlessly, and with such perfect teeth! Well, back to the ol' drawing board...


Digg it, bitches!


Labels: , ,

107 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, you are my hero. Thank you for this.

3:13 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

some of the points in this i agree with so much.

but if i get into talking about religion i'll start sounding like a bitch.

so, completely unrelated: i don't know whether you've seen this or not, but i thought it was interesting. http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/

4:13 AM  
Blogger Deutlich said...

I wish I could articulate my thoughts on religion as well as you have. I mean, verbally I'm down for the challenge but I'd have to spend a few days editing a blog on it. Heh.

Either way, thank you for being one of the many voices of reason. It's disheartening that there are so many sheep worldwide.. I've been questioning the notion of God since I was in elementary school, much to the chagrin of my parents. Wooh, they did not like hearing that I didn't believe in Jesus.

20 years later?

I still don't.

4:56 AM  
Blogger Rumas said...

The minute this tom cruise video fervor took off, one of the first things that came to my mind was the rampant hypocrisy you're pointing to -- everybody ganging up on Scientology/Tom Cruise alone because it's the 'in' thing to do, while ignoring the bigger issues completely. It makes me sick.

Frankly speaking, the video is weird. Very weird. And it's ridiculous that the Church of Scientology would be using Cruise as a spokesperson, while claiming that he's nothing more than a normal parishoner. Completely see-through.

But at the end of the day, crazy or not, it's who they are. And on that note, they shouldn't be in such a frenzy trying to shield it from the eyes of the public, not unless they're afraid of being revealed to be even more of a sham than everybody already knows.

For what it's worth, as crazy as Cruise seems, I'd rather (much rather) listen to him flap his gums than listen to the likes of Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, or Mike Huckabee -- three of the most nauseating, disgustingly dishonest human beings I've ever witnessed in my twenty-seven years of life.

5:35 AM  
Anonymous Sam said...

What's reason number one to embrace science? It's our only hope in the case of an alien invasion!

We continue to diligently assemble and train a new generation of scientists and technicians. For what the Combine fear the most is not any tangible human weapon, but our will, our intellect, our ability to respond selectively and rationally to every terror they turn against us. We place our firmest hope in the human spirit, even knowing how easily it may be shattered.
- Dr. Isaac Kleiner (Half Life2) on the invasion of Earth

Just messing around. Nice job on the article, Rob.

6:05 AM  
Blogger Brendan said...

Speaking as someone who does believe in some sort of higher power (and science), I personally believe that the world needs to move away from the old conceptions of god, and onto a new more universal understanding of spirituality (I've read a lot of Deepak Chopra). Make him more of an abstract ideal, or force rather than a concrete thing. If that happened you wouldn't have douche bags like all of those crazy fundamentalist ministers or Dawkins, vocalizing incredibly small minorities, with undue fanfare, (fundamental Christianity, and militant Atheism respectively.) Cause frankly both sides piss me the hell off.

6:34 AM  
Anonymous cris said...

marry me.

6:51 AM  
Anonymous T said...

This article is why I am in love with you.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Sebastian said...

Wonderful! Thank you!

9:13 AM  
Blogger JP said...

this was such a great blog!!!! love what u wrote, can totally relate to it!!!! I think it's the same all over the world though! I come from Mexico and things aren't that much better with our catholic right-wing (don't let them hear me say that!). I even had the priest at school call me a heretic and an apostate for even suggesting that Nietzsche should be taught at school LOL!!! Greetings from Barcelona!!!


JP

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Yoshata said...

Great blog, and lots of good points.

I tend to not say anything about any one religion, because that just gives everyone the right to ridicule me for my beliefs. Just like the whole Scientology/Christianity thing. I love what you said, that everyone should privately have a religion in their own home, without intruding upon anyone else's life. But sadly, that is only idealistic, not reality.

This whole branch of topics is a difficult thing for me to think about, but I had to say something because you word everything so wonderfully that I have to give you something back. Even if I am rather non-coherent.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Jessiqa said...

This reminds me, how at the age of four, I too was in Sunday School, only at a Baptist church. One Sunday the topic was Creation and those six days had me soooo confused. I couldn't figure out where the dinosaurs fit in. How could they die millions of years before humans existed *and* be created in the same week that humans were? The seed of doubt was kindled at a very young age. Though being the shy little girl I was (and am), I never spoke up about my doubts in Sunday School.

I'm still Christian, by the way, but not Baptist. Science makes way more sense to me than the Bible being treated as fact. It's a book, a product of its times. All these Fundamentalist peeps need to learn that.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. It is scary how we were able to come to these conclusions as children but most of the country still believes. Where does that leave people like us? People need to stop using religion as a crutch. It certainly is easier to say that things like stem cell research are wrong because "God says so" and turn your head to it, than to have to sort out the whole sticky situation with hard work. You can have morels and ethics without religion, especially with science on your side.
I also think it's funny that they all have so much trouble with killing babies but make no qualms about creating babies that maybe shouldn't have been there in the first place (i.e. IFV, hormone therapy, ICSI, egg/sperm donation...etc.). Not that I am saying the two are exactly the same, but what exactly is religions stance on artificially created life? I know they are against cloning, but where does that leave children conceived in a lab with gametes that did not come from their parents? Because when you think about it- minus god and this whole procreation fetish- that just doesn't seem right.
I suppose I went a little off topic, but I just couldn't help myself.

11:29 AM  
Blogger black carpaccio said...

first congratulations for the blog!
i really share and agree with your point of view.
well about "why people tend to believe in metaphors and mythical stories explaining all the questions in their heads"... i compare it by taking an analgesic when your teeth hurt... it stops the pain for the moment!
just a curiosity...
recently a university in Italy made a petition saying "you're not welcome here, go away! you F..ck" to the Pope.
you can view the story here:

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/01/15/pope.protest/index.html

"Pope Benedict XVI has canceled a planned visit to a prestigious Italian university after a protest by academics and students attacked his views on Galileo, the Vatican confirmed Tuesday."

i really believe, that in the future, things will take a turn.
generally, people tend to a "Atheist-way-of-see-things"
..well at least some parts of the globe... it's a start!
i say this,because, now people have more and more access to information, all kind of information!
in my country, our government doesn't have any kind of religious tendency! in fact, our prime minister, is Gay( i'm not joking..he is really gay)
i'm not saying that my country is more evolved...! my point here, is that this kind of changes take time!
looking back to the history, all the turning points, in religious and existential issues, were hard to implement in people's mind, for example Galileo...
well, anyway! thank you for sharing your point of view ( which i totally agree).

11:43 AM  
Anonymous dan said...

thank you.

11:46 AM  
Blogger RealLowVibe said...

Thank you. Just...THANK YOU.

No witty response to add here, but just wanted to thank you, yet again, for writing out what needs to be vocalized.

Someone here at work tried very hard to get me to post the video to our site, and I refused. I started to get into the reasons why we shouldn't be knocking down Scientology when there's equivalent craziness out there in every single belief system, but his eyes just glazed over into that "I have faith and you don't, so I've effectively stopped listening to you now" lifeless stare. In the end, to snap him out of his fugue state, I told him that I was concerned about the litigious nature of those involved with the video, and he backed down.

So basically, he's man of faith, who's scared of logic and fact-based work of lawyers. Hmmm...

Anyway, thanks!

11:53 AM  
Blogger nick said...

I was about to write something very similar to this article after having read the Wikipedia entry on Xenu. Point driven.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that MANY people in Arkansas absolutely despise Mike Huckabee and are extremely worried about his growing popularity. I wish more news sources would actually come to Arkansas and do some research about his history here and why politicians and people from both parties are horrified at the thought of him getting the nomination.

Read this article and find out why there are several reasons to be worried about Huckabee in addition to his insane religious beliefs.
http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2007/11/13/huckabee/

1:18 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

or maybe you're a brainwashed believer in science.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ben: he actually acknowledged that science is as true or untrue as religion, but he pointed out its distinct advantage: science asks questions and re-evaluates itself. it learns and adapts instead of being rooted in some "truth" that can never change.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

This post has been removed by the author.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Yeah, he did. I'm not really sure what point Rob is trying to make here. I guess it was that anyone that believes in God should be laughed at equally? Ha Ha Ha..praise you angsty Rob. You're so intellergergent!! LOLERZ!

I'm sorry but comparing Christianity to a rich boys RPG cult religion is offensive.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous LaHa"D said...

born again christians "see the light" -
atheists realize that there *is* no light, just a swarm of fireflies.
and while they're pretty, when it comes down to it, they're still just bugs.

after being raised on a steady stream of bigoted Syrian-Sephardic Judaism, i am so glad that atheists are speaking up.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Liz said...

If you have yet to see this site take a browse, I think you'll like it.

http://www.fstdt.com/

3:08 PM  
Anonymous pooper scooper said...

I don't care what Tom is saying, I just want him to shut up and fuck me.

He's still HAWT.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Pavel said...

Hey Rob, again I have to agree.Have you seen the debate about god's existance on Nightline ? I am just watching it on youtube, its hilarious..

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm sorry but comparing Christianity to a rich boys RPG cult religion is offensive."

you are playing into his whole point. why is it offensive to make fun of christianity, but not offensive to make fun of scientology? sorry but christianity is a rich boys cult too, just a much older one.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, sweethart, you think like a forging Spiritualist....always learning.And you still have a sense of humanitarian and good judgement. You never cease to amaze my little knowledge of you. Dragonrosecharm~

4:35 PM  
Blogger E. Kubinek said...

the Anal beads / Every one Loves Raymond comment is pure comic gold!!!

File this under "Reasons why America is most likely Doomed".

4:55 PM  
Blogger McGeek said...

The thing that absolutely worries me about Scientology is exactly what you pointed out about Christianity - namely, the amount of power and influence these organizations have accrued that allows them to affect our basic rights. Look at South Park. That show has offended nearly everyone at least once, but very few people have come as close to actually having episodes of the show banned as Scientology and Christianity have. Money speaks louder than laws and these two groups have enough of it to keep a lot of people on a short rope for fear of being tied up in meaningless court cases. Who needs to actually change the first amendment when you can just threaten slander and have corporations scramble to do your bidding lest they lose money over something as silly as freedom of speech?

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Katie B said...

Now, I've never thought I was a smart person and I've made my fair share of mistakes, when I was 7 my Mum told me she had got me a present... I was to close my eyes while she gave it to me and I remember hoping it was a cross I could put in my room. It was an etchasketch. I was upset (WTF?!). But it only took me til double figures (i.e 10) to realise that science could ACTUALLY prove things. I cannnot understand people who have proof waved at them time and time again yet choose to look away and believe in any kind of fictional being. Just... why would you do that?! It makes me so angry I can't begin to explain as fluently as you. Not to suck your cock anymore than it has been but it's so refreshing that someone in your posistion isn't playing to the masses to wank your ego. You know people read this, you know why they're here in the first place but I've yet to see you cash in on that fact. You always speak your mind and the world really does need more people like you.

I wish I could believe in a God. I wish I could take the shit of daily life, think "Well, nevermind, cos when I die I'm in for a fun time!" and just get on with it. I envy the naïve and maybe that's why I get so angry about it but for fucks sake... just pull your fucking heads out of the sand simultaneously and most of the worlds problems would be solved.

5:10 PM  
Blogger E. Kubinek said...

okay so I just watched the Tom Cruise video.
WOW!
I mean, that was barely coherent!!!
And the Mission Impossible theme song?
mind boggling!!!

5:13 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I guess by that same token we can't make fun of anything. I don't care. You can believe and say whatever you want.

I just get so irritated by this pseudo-intellectual group of people involved in the religion of science. They act like they're this elite group always outnumbered but better than everyone because they think they're using logic. But God knows they aren't scientists. They're just taking somebody else's explanation for the truth. Honestly, I don't think they want to believe in a God because they're either angry at him, or they're angry at the world.

Yes, all religions have corrupt aspects, but Christianity is truly a reality and about one on one relationship with God.

5:14 PM  
Blogger E. Kubinek said...

Or , Ben,
We make fun of everything!
Which is by far a better choice!!!
=D

And atheists are not mad at god, because they can't be mad at some one that doesn't exist.

And even if they do harbor anger at the "world" or the church, that doesn't invalidate their arguments of doubt.
That just means they are human.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous froggle me baby said...

And Cynic of the year award goes to....ROB.congrats!

5:53 PM  
Anonymous penny4urthoughts said...

to yoshata and rob, a country like France DOES have public secularism.There Religioussymbols in schools and public, including muslim headscarves, crucifixes, yamulkes are banned by the government. The flip side to this is it allows discrimination against Muslim girls and women,who r kicked out or leave school because they feel obligated to wear headscarves as part of their religion. Its an underhanded and subtle way of discrimination because French ppl pretty much fear&hate their immigrant Arab, Muslim population, and this secularism allows them to assimilate them to French ways.So,maybe the U.S policy of accepting all and allowing everyone to express their faith equally, is better overall than this forced public suppression of all religion.thoughts?

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God's ridged banana won't squirt in your face???

6:23 PM  
Blogger ba said...

Sorry Rob... he still loves you.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Kasey said...

As someone who comes from the bass ackwards land of evangelical protestantism, allow me to say a hearty "Amen." (Which I have been taught in sunday school translates to "Let it be so.")

People may disagree, but I think so much of religious fixation comes from people's desire for a sense of security and stability, and perhaps even more so for their children. I don't have kids and I imagine you don't either, but after working through my own issues with my parents over their religion and my rejection of it, I can honestly say I believe their hearts are in the right place. Maybe just not their heads. Parents want to give their children something permanent about the world to hold onto. Science is a weak substitute for this. Just something to consider.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Craig Ferguson had this skit, He was Tom and it was so dead on...

11:09 PM  
Blogger Linda W. said...

Someone or something fucked him (Tom C.)in the head and I think even he don't know what he is talking about! :D

Thing that I hate the most on this planet is religion - it dosen't matter what - Buddhism, Islam.. whatever.. it sucks! It is the cause of all fights and wars in world..

Stupid people.

11:43 PM  
Blogger brazenambition said...

its the "us" vs. "them" dilemma

us being the fundamentalists christians who see all other ["them"] spiritual ideas as completely ludicrous

such hardheaded people =/


btw i tried to get on your site at school but was blocked by websense since it was categorized as "tasteless" . i literally lol'ed

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Donald said...

Look, if you're going to say that evolution is absolutely true and should unquestionably be believed in, you're no better than any religious fundamentalist.

Evolution is a theory. Nothing more. It has not been proven to be 100% airtight; rather, it seems to be the most logical explanation of the evidence available at the moment. That's how science works. We theorise, and test our theories. If we're successful, our theory stands until it's disproven and the generation indoctrinated into believing it dies out, making way for a new generation indocrinated into believing the theory that has replaced it.

I believe in evolution. I am also a Christian in that I believe in God and in that I agree with Jesus' teachings concerning the fine art of not being a dick. The guy had some pretty cool ideas. I'm not sure whether or not I believe in most of what the Bible says (it is, as you say, essentially a collection of old parables), but Jesus' existence is fairly well-documented, if only as a man. I'm sure I don't believe in the Catholic or Protestant Churches, given their history (I'm from England). Still, I can think of no other explanation for the Universe's existence than that there is some sort of higher being, or even some source of energy or something of which I can't conceive, responsible for it. That's what I mean when I refer to God. If anyone provides solid evidence that I'm wrong, I'll stand corrected.

(Yes, I believe in the Big Bang, and the idea of the Universe constantly expanding and contracting seems viable. However, there has to be somewhere for those events to occur. They can't happen in a non-place. How, then, did the place in which they happen come to exist?)

I agree with the general thrust of your post, though.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Donald said...

Oh, and I agree with the first two sentences of the second paragraph of ben's last post, but he kinda loses me after that. As for you, e. kubinek, ben never used the word "atheist". There is a clear difference between not believing in ben's Christian God and not believing in any gods at all.

Apologies for the double post.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Gülin said...

This post has been removed by the author.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous lurker said...

thanks for the great read!

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know that 53% of Americans wouldn't vote for an atheist for president? which means statistically whoever you vote in MUST be christian.
Sorry that I don't remember where I found that statistic, but I remembered it well.

-Doug

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Nikki Kid said...

"It's wonderfully, utterly batshit insane. He's a fucking lunatic"

This is coming from a minion of Trent Reznor. Kind of like the pot handle calling the kettle black.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous KBlack said...

"Evolution is a theory. Nothing more."

Yeah, like gravity.

Evolution is one of the most robust theories in science supported by exhaustive evidence in every branch of science. Certainly there are still questions about smaller points(which will eventually be answered as more information comes in and discoveries are made) but the theory itself is sound.

For anyone interested, google "15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense" and it will lead you to an very good article published in Scientific American

1:08 PM  
Anonymous redrabbit said...

"Christianity is truly a reality and about one on one relationship with God."

Right, because a tiny group of illiterate barbarians stuck in the middle of a crappy desert millenia ago have answers to life and morality appropriate for a 21st century world. They weren't even at the top of the class for their time: the ancient Greeks, Romans and Chinese had their shit together better than these dorks.

They were wrong about just about everything else, there's no way they're right about the true nature of the universe.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, let's say as of tomorrow, every person on earth becomes an atheist. What changes? Peace on earth? Is that what you think? Everyone's just going to wake up and suddenly be so wonderfully enlightened as you? Making such a huge fucking difference in the world better through a blog?

The Bible, Tanakh, etc., yeah, of course there are holes - the writings are *thousands* of years old and have gone through many translations. A lot of writings aren't available to the public thanks to the Vatican. Some haven't been discovered, some will never be discovered. But the locations are there, artifacts have been found and through SCIENCE their age is accurate so should we discount those?

Regardless, Christianity, Judaism, etc. all boil down to "Love your neighbor as yourself." No, really.

When you touched a hot stove as a kid, did you blame the stove, your mom for telling you to not touch it or yourself?

Until your ass goes back in time and comes back with proof that nothing in the Bible happened, I won't believe in you.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the theme of this message is:

"Stop making fun of Scientology, starting making fun of Christianity"?

Classy. Grow up, dude.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous scientist said...

no very clearly the message is: it's hypocritical to make fun of scientology but take other religions seriously, because they're effectively the same thing.

anonymous: if you'd actually bother to read the post, in no way is he advocating atheism. he's advocating people keeping their religions to themselves and not letting it interfere with science and politics. science isn't about atheism, it's about things that can be proven in the real world. if someone finds proof of god then god will become part of science, but until then you can believe in both god and science, or just science, but ignoring science because it contradicts with old myths is ridiculous. and even more ridiculous is politics preferring a particular religion in a country that is a melting pot of many different religions.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Biche said...

Indeed, I quite agree with you sir...if perchance you wanted to see pretty much the same opinion but with less words and gravitas, and more amusing photos and swear words, you should read my blog www.speechesofbiches.blogspot.com

Or just come to kick my arse for the flagrant self promotion..

la biche x

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because of your article, I realized that I knew very little beyond the generic "Lord xenu did bosnia/serbia" story, I looked deeper into things and stumbled upon http://www.xenu.net/ and http://whyaretheydead.net/ While I'm not one to be swayed just because somebody has enough time to create a website, there is a substantial amount of evidence against scientologists acting within the bounds of the law. I won't pretend that other religions aren't also guilty of just kinda being assholes (namely the crusades come to mind), these people have gone far beyond what most religions do, taking everything as a personal affront against themselves, infact, because we know they're fucking insane means we should not let them fuck with whomever they want, hell, it was common knowledge back ten years ago that they had people inside every major American govt. org.. You bring up good points about things like the utter lack of any remnants of logic in most of America's voting decisions, though. This prolly isn't exactly coherent, but hopefully you get the idea, these people are more overtly powerful than those of older religions and are far more radical (in a bad way).

9:56 PM  
Blogger Niko said...

"The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church."
--Ferdinand Magellan

1:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you seen it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trapped_in_the_Closet_(South_Park)

4:48 AM  
Blogger Mayumi said...

you fucking rock, rob.

5:13 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Three words for you: Book of Mormon. I have never been able to figure out how ANYONE believes the story behind it.

2:57 PM  
Blogger McKinley said...

Ah, a rebirth of "polemics" and "apologetics". Some argue that the foundation of American Democracy was built on the Pilgrim's belief in Puritanism, and that the "hard-working, egalitarian" lifestyle that they led is what brought about the economic discipline of the current state of the country... I suppose a sort of economic Determinism. There's an interesting book, "Hellfire Nation" by James Monroe, and in it he suggests that the opposing beliefs of Puritans, which are their desire for a "just" society, but one in which religious morals are upheld, creates contradicting views that forms paranoia and prejudice towards the viewpoints of others...hence the current political landscape... It's ironic that a group that escaped religious intolerance would create a similar landscape for diaspora.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anarqi said...

Hey Rob,
Loved the post.
I think your critique of belief/faith is on point!
I would expand on it though to include certain aspects of science though, ex: Economics
...The hidden hand of the market controlling supply and demand, is also very naive and we have whole sections of newspapers devoted to it. As with religion some science is manipulated by big money, just look at all the oil money behind climate change negationists.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Tiffy said...

I fucking love you, man. SO MUCH.

As someone who was actually raised atheist (we are a rare species), the whole religion obsession in this country is so far beyond my realm of comprehension that I don't even have the words for it. So I'm glad that you do. Because really, it's not the Scientologists or the Mormons or the Evangelicals or even the Regular Fairly-Sane Christians that are goddamned crazy. IT'S ALL OF THEM.

When the fine city of New York eventually secedes from the rest of the U.S., I insist you come back here, to your One True Home: The Secular Den of Sin. We accept crazy, but not religious crazy.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous elo said...

I hate leaving comments but i couldnt help it. I really dislike it when people seperate religion and science. Apparently this will be shocking to you but they go hand in hand. Unless your a fundalmentalist then you cant take the bible literally. Its mostly a big metaphor...how lovely is that? So science it does work but so does religion. Its too bad your mother couldnt answer your questions because some of the most puzzeling questions have the simplest answers. But anywho scientology is pretty bugged out and i wonder what katie has to say about all this, however we do have to respect it and what not.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

Firstly, I think some people here need to find a dictionary and look up "atheism". And then look up "agnosticism". Two very different things.
If nothing else I read Rob's blog post to be more agnostic than anything. And being of that belief myself, it's something I felt needed to be pointed out since people seem to get them confused.

2:19 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

Also reading the comments again, I feel compelled to reply to elo. Science and Religion are apples and oranges. You can't take standards from a faith-based institution and apply it to a logic-based one (and vice-versa). It just doesn't work. Science and scientific theory is deeply rooted in being able to prove things. Especially if you hope to have an ounce of credibility in the scientific community.
Religion is entirely different. You could claim to be a prophet and technically not HAVE to prove anything. It's up to people's faith as to whether or not they believe you.
I could sit here and point out all the inaccuracies and contradictions in the bible until I'm blue in the face, but what would be the point?
But I could believe that the sky is green all I want, all you have to do is point at the sky and prove me wrong. That's kind of the gist of science.
I guess you could also separate it into what's tangible and what isn't.
Another reason I think religion should be separated from science and politics. Just keep it to things we all can see so we can all be on the same page. o_O

10:54 AM  
OpenID jengou said...

You must read Richard Dawkins' '
"The God Delusion" if you haven't. It seems like half the world has and I've been living under a rock, but you must read the book, as it expands on a lot of the ideas you expressed in this post, and with hiliarous anecdotes as well. You'd enjoy it.

4:16 PM  
Blogger janthonyjackson said...

"I wish religion was, like anal beads and Everybody Loves Raymond" quite possibly the best clause ever written. And yay for lapsed Catholics!

4:30 PM  
Blogger Felise said...

Ever heard of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

7:41 PM  
Blogger janthonyjackson said...

I finally read the bit about Gravel, and while it's great that he publicly states that, he's kinda wrong. Scopes lost his monkey trial. Evolution wasn't taught in Kansas until the federal gov't decreed it so because Sputnik was in the skies above us while our kids were learning that science was bad.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rebuttal to Kirk Cameron's idiocy

It's kinda long, but worth a watch. And yes, as an agnostic, I find all religions to be crazy, although it seems some are crazier than others at times. Scientology and all the various branches of Christianity, or any other religion that breeds large numbers of super-fundies are at the top of my list.

∞X∞

3:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob,

While I dugg this post the day you sent me the request to, I didn't actually have time to read it until tonight.... I'm extremely sad and disappointed in myself about this since it might be the most brilliant fucking thing you have ever written.

I think you need to submit this for syndication.

XO
Eileen

4:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo; you've elegantly taken the words out of my mouth on most of the issue. That said, there are two things I feel you needed to address.

The first is this: just because the belief in a Magic Man in the Sky who fathered a cosmic Jewish zombie is as ridiculous as the belief in Xenu, Thetans and the rest of that scientologist nonsense, this is far from meaning we should leave Scientology alone. Yes, ganging up on Cruise, Hubbard and friends is hypocritical in the light of the influence of mainstream religious extremism the likes of with can be found by reading anything about the US' current presidential race. This doesn't change the fact that scientology is a money-grabbing cult run by a bunch of madmen with complete disregard for the rest of humanity (in the same way that a lot of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism is). Scientology is the smaller, easier to tackle and less ingrained in the mores version of most accepted religions; there's no point in letting it run amok whilst we lament the fact that we can't get people to come to their sense short of rounding them up and putting them in "reformation camps."

The second point is, belief in science is as bad as belief in religion. To blindly accept whatever the current norms are in the field of scientific research is as unscientific as to blindly accept the existence of God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Xenu or any other religious figure is. By right, it should be viewed as as much of a crime against Reason as faith is.

Boy, am I ever glad I live in Europe (although, what with the Spanish having just granted scientology the status of religion...). I just hope the ICJ will start putting people on trial for crimes against Reason as soon as possible. ¬_¬

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. Just no.

Okay, yes, the beliefs of Christians aren't particularly more sane than that of Scientologists, nor do their greater numbers excuse their belief. But the focus on why Scientology needs to be destroyed has nothing to do with how silly they are, but how dangerous their Church is.

When author Paulette Cooper wrote a book exposing the Church, they responded by breaking into her apartment and forging bomb threats on her typewriter. This was not the work of an outraged rogue, but a highly detailed plan to destroy her life that originated from the leadership of the Guardian's Office. Scientology critic Keith Henson suddenly found himself under arrest for cracking a joke about "Tom Cruise missiles" online, and fled to asylum in Canada. And the Church's Operation Snow White, an infiltration of some 5,000 covert agents into the IRS to purge unfavorable records, remains the single largest infiltration of the United States government to this day.

These sorts of actions are routine for the Church of Scientology. Whenever someone speaks out against them, they move to crush that person's life in every means available to them. They commit unspeakable evils to which Christianity has no analog. I, too, am an atheist, and I have no respect for blind faith, but I recognize that Christianity and Scientology are not comparable.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous BitchGoddess said...

I love those comics that you link to.

This one reminds me of what we all need to watch out for in the coming months...

http://www.xkcd.com/154/

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Brad said...

Amen Rob,
Although I wasn't brought up Catholic, our coming out of the Agonostic/Athiest closet stories are quite similar. I could never figure out why the people around me couldn't come to the same conclusions.
Speaking of closets, my "theory (not meant in the strict scientific sense but in the popular vernacular sense)" is that poor old Tom will believe anything that keeps him from being perceived as gay in the public eye. It provides him with a nice hideout from which he can plot purchasing a wife, and he and his longtime lover Miscavage can canoodle in private. Well, it's just a "theory" anyway.

As far as I'm concerned all religions are cults and are totally whack. The world would be so much better off without them at this point. But sadly we (as a people) are not nearly as advanced or enlightened as some of us like to think we are.

Thanks again. Love the Demonbaby!

5:10 PM  
Blogger Aleks said...

if you haven't already, read carl sagan's "varieties of scientific experience". it's your type of book, i think.

11:02 PM  
Blogger LydiRae said...

I defend the choice to make fun of Scientology on one vital point- It's a gateway to atheism that can be approached by any somewhat thinking person of any walk of life, from any religion. It plants the seeds of doubt in minds that have otherwise accepted the bible as reasonably factual.

Most people who are reasonably informed about what Scientologists believe must disagree on a basis of logic. Looking at all religions in the same discrediting light will hopefully lead to the same conclusion: It's all a rolled up ball of ancient mumbo jumbo uttered by some despotic priest figures to keep their tribes in line under them.

You've probably seen this too, but it's another reason why I think Scientology should still be a target for ridicule. http://theunfunnytruth.ytmnd.com/

12:19 AM  
Blogger DivaDea said...

I think I love you. And now I must go watch for UFOs and mourn DK's presidential campaign.

1:03 AM  
Blogger msyazokulu2007 said...

This post has been removed by the author.

11:33 AM  
Blogger cerenjuli said...

I really applaud you standing on my feet! This article is really one big Bible or Kur-an or smt! :) You are absolutely right and I am sincerely content with the existence of such people like you in the US but unfortunately the other side is far more strong than the secular heathens like you and me in both the US and in Turkey (my country) and in every fucking where of the world... Like John Lennon said I just hope some day they will join us with no religion.. Just IMAGINE, well only thing I can do is to imagine! :(

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, that last Kirk Cameron video infuriates me to no end. They picked random people off the street to answer questions a scientists with years of experience under their belt could have easily answered with. The big band and evolution have nothing to with each other. Damn Kirk Cameron.

But wonderful blog again.

5:00 AM  
Blogger cbit said...

Great article, odd title. Don't stop making fun of scientology; _start_ noticing that it is as absurd as all other religious myths.

4:21 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

sigh. i AM a believer and i have to agree with a lot of your points. hooray for fundamentalist christians. hooray for widespread misconceptions and religious abuse. but i still like to believe that all this wasn't the original intent..

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You rock. You made such valid points, thank you so much for articulating it. Finally someone with intellect who's not afraid to speak their mind! Plus the humor was a nice touch.

Also, David Bowie, good choice of music.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, good thing Mike Seaver didn't interview those frat boys and sorority girls about the constitution. Then when some clueless college students couldn't speak coherently about it, he would have proved that the United States is just a myth.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen brother. Praise Jebus.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Dana said...

this is, by far, the most well written post i've read in a long time. i couldn't agree with you more. i happen to think religion was created to keep the idiots busy so the scientists could get their work done. thanks for being sane.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous RubyFox said...

Wonderfully written.

Though I think you should have posted the REAL YouTube interview with Tom Cruise as well...

=]

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tySJTPJJc1Y

11:33 PM  
Anonymous E.Velez said...

You don't believe in unindentified-FOs because everything in your life can be indentified, right? Science itself provides and postulates on the possibilities of other environments suitable to life. You sound like the kind of guy who likes to play it safe.

What bugs me about this article is that it's written more out of a fear to really take a stand on anything. Pure Status Quo muck that scares me because of it's pure conservatism.

A few years ago, if you had written anything negative about Scientology - you would still be paying them millions AND... nobody would have known about it. So thank all the other users for opening up these doors to you.

Comparing Scientology to other religions is an act of ignorance on our part and the worst kind of lazy writing I've seen in a long time.

WHAT ARE YOUR CRIMES? ARE YOU A CHILD MOLESTER!

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Barbosu Eugen said...

OK, about the discurss of Tom Cruise, did not start to analyse all of it, but he say something stupid there when he say "to unite cultures", maybe he wanted to say to help cultures to coexist, which is obvious different from forcing all cultures to become something else and loose their identity -but this is the whole policy these days-unification, when it should be preservation and good relations on political, cultural, etc differences
to me unification means less leaders and more people which means bigger power in the hands of a few, which can't be anything else than wrong, just think about "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely"

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Barbosu Eugen said...

about Tom Cruise idea of "getting involved", I think the whole idea of surviving resides in staying away from trouble, and politics in our case is just trouble, dunno if this is not the constant we find in evolution too ("only dead have seen the end of war"), so any involvment will just mean sustaining politics, of any kind, and no involvement at all will mean letting politics die
the most happy scenario if we still want to have politics, politics should go the same as science, strong believers (in any ideology) should not be allow taking part in politics
but I don't know if that would be call politics anymore
maybe the best world will be when there will be only economic connection between countries, without any form of politics, dunno if this would be possible, though

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Barbosu Eugen said...

thees days it seems the element which sustain civilisation is information and not pacts and agreements between people-corporations-countries
maybe now that we have the Internet, any form of politics is just an inferior modality of communication so politics is obsolete

5:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice read! thank you for this.. but.. maybe you should distinguish "church" and "religion". IMO most of what you said can be applied rather to chruch than to religion. maybe you find the time to watch this superb speech on TEDtalks:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/234

I enjoyed it a lot.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

What if I've spent years making fun of Christianity AND Scientology, and as many other religions as I have time for? Would it be ok then?

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, you are so right on this one. Scientology, loony (and criminal) as it is, would never have its adherents do, say, what the adheherents of the Westboro Baptist Church are out doing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKDTCgqYK1Y). NEVER. And these insane people are sending their KIDS out with the hate-placards. Seems as criminal to me (child abuse) as some scientology practices.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the God you believe in, whether you call him L. Ron Hubbard, Jesus, God, Allah, for Fred, would allow good, honest people who happen to live in places where they were raised in another religion, or never even heard of Jesus, to BURN IN HELL FOREVER, then the God you worship is SATAN, and YOU will be joining him soon. THAT is the only moral and rational response to the passive aggressive fools who tell you "You better accept Jesus as your personal savior or you will burn in hell" or some Scientologist version of the same.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Pickles, OB/GYN said...

I've heard people say much the same thing about Scientology, i.e. "It's no crazier than Christianity or Islam, etc." and I agree...to a certain extent.
Yes, the whole sci-fi aspect of it is as silly as believing in a woman who gives birth through her hymen.
Yes, Tom Cruise is fucking retarded.

I am no stranger to the world of crazy Christian fundamentalism. I grew up in the South and though I was not raised in the church, I went to a Southern Baptist private school in my teens and attended church of my own free will, thinking that it had answers and that it was what I was supposed to do. Turned out to be neither, but I digress.

I submit to you that Scientology is indeed crazier than Christianity. Let's compare and contrast, shall we?

If you are a Christian and decide to not be a Christian anymore, chances are no one will give you any shit about it outside the four walls of whatever church you went to.
Scientologists go through a process called "auditing", basically a form of regression therapy/confession. A folder (called a PC or "pre-clear" folder) containing detailed notes on anything the Scientologist confesses is kept by the church. Sort of like the mythical "permanent file" your principal warned you about. These confessions are often used against people who leave the church as leverage against them speaking unfavorably about their experience within Scientology.

Christianity is based (theoretically) on the teachings of Yeshua Ben-Yosef a.k.a. Jesus Christ. You and I may not believe that he is God or God Jr., but at the very least you can say he was a nice fellow. We may not know with absolute certainty the details of his life or even if he truly existed, but you can't expect much after 2,000 years. The point being that if someone lived their life based on the teachings of Christ (you know, stop being such a dick, help other people...not the extreme bullshit of the Old Testament where the character of God is like that of a petulant four year old), they'd probably be a better person than most of the slugs you meet on a daily.
On the other side, you have L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard claimed to be an atomic physicist, the youngest Eagle Scout in history, an official member of the Blackfoot tribe, a war hero, a barnstorming pilot whose family owned a ranch 1/3 the size of Montana. The problem with this is that L. Ron Hubbard lived his entire life in the 20th century, and they kept documents that refute nearly every aspect of his fantastic exploits, particularly his naval career. Scientologists have a saying: "What is true is what is true for you". Some may not see a problem with that idea, and on the surface it's fine. It becomes dangerous when you think Scientology has literally made you bulletproof or that you can fly.

I've gone on long enough, but you get the idea. You yourself say that Scientology is a "dangerous scam", but don't elaborate. Christianity is many things, but I don't think it's a dangerous scam. Surely, some churches are scams and some Christians are dangerous, but Scientology's methods and ambitions destroy people and families.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why is it common knowledge that Scientology is a cult that scams people out of money and uses devious tactics to lure people into its teachings, but no one wants to admit the same things about Christian churches?"

Because most Christian churches do not do that. I was raised Catholic, and to this day have never payed a single penny to them. After I left the church due to several reasons (modernist views, Benedict XVI fucking everything up, really REALLY lenient views on who goes to heaven, deistic freethinking views, etc.) no one gave me any crap. I just stepped out and that was it. Were I a Scientologist, I would have to undergo years of rigorous physical labor and mental "auditing," and after that was done and I got to leave, no other member of the church, including my friends and my own family, would be allowed to speak to me ever again and I would be considered a threat.

So while the beliefs of Scientology are just as crazy as the fundamentalist creationist views, their practices are much more cruel and cold.

9:19 AM  
Blogger James F. McGrath said...

If you haven't seen it, the peanut butter argument will lead you to dismay further. But then check out the pineapple argument and the pastafarian peanut butter argument on YouTube and you will at least be able to laugh rather than cry...

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too spent a hellish childhood trapped between dinosaur books and church. After years of torture I finally accepted that I was afraid, plain afraid of "Hell". It took effort to undo the damage 15 years of brainwashing caused, it's still difficult for me, even while being completely against the church; I can say I'm one of the lucky ones.

1:07 AM  
Anonymous Emily said...

awesome. this comic fits just as good (:

4:59 PM  
Blogger mandelwink said...

i know that you're not really maintaining this blog right now, and I'm also like the 100th person to comment saying "right on, brother!"

Even so, I feel the need to commune briefly with a like-minded soul, as the opportunity to do so presents itself so infrequently.

I am an atheist, but I've never been a particularly angry atheist. I've never felt strongly that the only sane people are people who believe like I do... to believe this feels hypocritical to me. Having a outsider's view, like you, has lead me to almost *defend* Scientology. Or maybe that's not really the correct word... I'm not as much propping it up as legitimate as I am attempting to highlight that its just as crazy, though not as familiar as Christianity. The typical looks I get when I make this argument that tell me my listener is immediately filing me squarely into their "crazy" file, never to be recovered.

Anyway, I'm a Johnny-come-lately to your various rantings, but I've enjoyed what I've seen so far. Hope you'll pick it all back up when things settle down a bit for you.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Rob, I think Christianity and Scientology are both fucking insane. I think all organized religions are dangerous and crazy. That's my opinion. That's what I believe, and to some (followers of an organized religion) my "beliefs" are insane. So, does that still mean it'd be hypocritical for me to criticize Scientology; because others might view my lack of belief(s) as insane? With this logic it is then hypocritical for any of us to "make fun of" anyone's belief or lack of. Questioning a belief becomes "making fun of" and the organization with the most money, followers (alleged or otherwise), and the best lawyers conquer. Yeah, I know... "conquer" sounds so lame and paranoid, but hopefully you get my point.

I do think that religion is good for some people, as long as it's kept to one’s self and is not forced onto others. The passing of Proposition 8 in California is a perfect example of religious beliefs being forced and stripping the rights of others.

Scientology IS fucking insane and it's a point of focus and criticism right now because it's a fairly new cult... I mean religion. It's not necessarily only getting made fun of by followers of other religions because it's "cRaZy!!!1!" but because of the dangerous insanity it was built from and still breeds. It's being scrutinized because it's a dangerous organization that feeds upon the weak, steals, lies, threatens, and kills (all in the first degree). The part where others "make fun of" Scientology's beliefs is mostly just them highlighting the dangerous amounts of crazy it's been running on. When you're getting slapped with lawsuits, threatened, harassed, etc. by the higher-ups of some self proclaimed "religion", just for questioning it or stating how you disagree with it, the line is then crossed. Just as they have the right to exercise their beliefs, others have the right to criticize it. Now, what happens when a religion is founded and one of it's beliefs/practices is to restrict others from expressing their discontent with the religion?

Anyway, I do find it irritating when Christians, Mormons, or people from any other religion, criticize another religion's "belief system", for similar reasons that you'd listed.

Nobody knows the answer but everybody is looking for it and some claim they have it. Do I have to respect "it"? No.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Coralie said...

This post has been removed by the author.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Coralie said...

penny4urthoughts said...

to yoshata and rob, a country like France DOES have public secularism.There Religioussymbols in schools and public, including muslim headscarves, crucifixes, yamulkes are banned by the government. The flip side to this is it allows discrimination against Muslim girls and women,who r kicked out or leave school because they feel obligated to wear headscarves as part of their religion. Its an underhanded and subtle way of discrimination because French ppl pretty much fear&hate their immigrant Arab, Muslim population, and this secularism allows them to assimilate them to French ways.So,maybe the U.S policy of accepting all and allowing everyone to express their faith equally, is better overall than this forced public suppression of all religion.thoughts?


As I see, you're fucking ignorant, I'm gonna explain you the History of my country miss I don't know what I'm talking about

in 1905 the State separates from the religion and decides that public school (except private school where you have a religious lessons) be seculous and It means to not show your religion, to have a certain equallity between people and to avoid discrimination. you told me we hate muslim? oh well a part of the population but I don't belong to this kind of shit. And you should talk about your country, I don't think It was better under Bush and his religious war: Protestant against Muslim, what do you think about that? now you have barack obama, and you're lucky.
And It wasn't discrimination toward girls, the govnerment has decided this kind of thing, even if It can be harsh, because everything that belongs to religion is forbidden at school. but I allow you a kudo, the headscarve isn't religious, It is from the mediterranean traditions, in the antiquity the greek women weared headscarve and nobody hadn't see their face. After the Ottoman empire has conquered Greece so they have assimilated this tradition and now this is a religious tradition, even if nothing is mentionned in Coran. I hope to have learnt you something, fucking ignorant that you are.

I Don't think the secularism is a bad thing, It avoids some religious battles at school. I did the experience when I was younger,some kids didn't give a fuck to rules, and It provocated some argues, fights and others shit.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when i watched that evolution video, i really wanted to jump at my notebook and punch that dude.
that monkey has more brain than i ever had.

it sounds ignorant or maybe stupid but i live in europe and as far as i know our lives don't evolve around all that god thing, THAT much...well my grannie still thinks that god made humans but she's like an exception. when i watched that video i thought it was a joke.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

excellent
if only we could all phrase our thoughts in this intelligent and entertaining manner

2:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home