June 1st, 2011

Religion Again?

by Wayno & Piraro

Bizarro is brought to you today by Keeping the Faith.

I hope everyone here in the U.S. had a lovely holiday weekend, and that everyone elsewhere had a lovely weekend in spite of its lack of holidayness. I did what I often do on holidays: stayed home and worked. The Bizarro factory is woefully understaffed and is required to keep cranking out silly drawings no matter the occasion, so if I’m not here supervising it just doesn’t get done. Thank goodness for the foreign orphans I hold captive in my basement working round the clock on this stuff or I’d never get it all done. Thanks, kids! (not that any of them can read this blog)

A couple of weeks ago I made fun of the Rapture (along with every other comedian in the country) and most of you thought it was funny. But I am still getting emails from “normal” Christians (their quotes, not mine) who thought that the sideshow freak who started it, Harold Camping, was not a fair representation of Christians in general and that I was too broad in my skewering of people of that faith. Or, said more simply, they thought I was calling all Christians crazy trailer park folk.

For the record, I don’t think all Christians are crazy trailer park folk. My comments in that particular blog were aimed at the unfortunate fools who followed Camping into the national spotlight and subsequent ridicule. It has been well established that faith in the invisible is not directly connected to intelligence, education, or taste. Most humans believe in some form of supernatural being(s) and many of them are smart and cultured. I believed in these things for all of my childhood (forgivable) and much of my adulthood (forgivable since I was indoctrinated so heavily and early) so I am not without an understanding of those who still believe. In all areas of life, most of us believe what makes us comfortable regardless of the evidence presented to us; it’s the way our brains work.

I do think it is important to be a “thinking” person, however, and as such, to realize that whatever you believe about god(s) is no less ridiculous than the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard someone else believe in. If you’ve ever asked yourself how Scientologists can believe they are inhabited by aliens, or how Mormons can believe in holy underwear, or how Hindus can pray to a blue elephant, or how Muslims can believe that they get 72 virgins to fool around with in heaven if they kill infidels, or how all of ancient Greece could believe that the reason their ship sank was because they had pissed off Poseidon, or how villagers could believe that throwing someone into a volcano would keep it from erupting, remember that the only reason you think it is more ridiculous than what you believe is because you were not raised in that tradition. The only difference between mythology and religion is whether or not you happen to believe in it.

If your faith serves you well, go for it with my blessing. (Reminder: I am not a deity and you do not need my blessing.) If, on the other hand, your religion encourages you to harbor bigotries against others (gays, women, other races or religions, etc.) and gives you a sense of self-righteousness that takes the sting out of waging war with people who do not believe as you do, as it has for the overwhelming majority of people in the history of our species, consider reconsidering the usefulness of this practice. It is archaic, flies in the face of science, reason, logic, and just about every other thing that makes humans unique in the animal kingdom, and statistically has caused and still causes far more misery and injustice than it cures. That’s just history , by the way, not opinion.

By the way, none of this has anything to do with these two cartoons. Sometimes I get a little off course. :o)

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