Sketches on Atheism

Christianity’s not so good, terribly awful week.

facepunchTo say Christianity took some knocks these last seven or so days would be an understatement.

It all started last Thursday night as the good folk of planet Earth began digesting Vatican issued media kits promoting Pope Benedict’s new book, “Jesus of Nazareth — The Infancy Narratives.” The headliner that grabbed everyone’s attention was the rather startling admission that there were no angels or animals in the manger on the day Jesus was born which, the costumed pontiff slipped into his narrative, wasn’t actually December 25th.

No angels, huh? Go figure. Not December 25th? I guess that was just a pagan holiday after all. No animals? That one raised an eyebrow. Not because it sounds flatly ludicrous that a barn wouldn’t have animals, but rather because of what the Vatican added by way of an explanation for this biblical error which Benedict’s ‘research’ apparently unearthed. Without actually saying the words, the Roman Catholic Church admitted the gospels were fallacious and these “details were added in later centuries,” as Monsignor Philip Whitmore put it.

Of course, it takes a five-year-old ten minutes on Google to ruin the foundation of the gospels, but what happened last Thursday night was the first official word out of St. Peters that the canonical gospels were fiction: the work of scores if not hundreds of anonymous authors which cannot be taken literally. To a great number of Catholics this probably won’t come as any great surprise. Catholics are typically the least offensive, open minded, easy going of all religious persuasions. I know, I used to be one, but this cannot lighten the gravity of the head of the church conceding the religion’s central scriptures are little more than romantic concoctions.

The week was off to a good start for rationalists around the world, but it was Pat Robertson who put his stamp on it being a great week.

On Tuesday’s 700 Club, a viewer wrote Robertson that her “biggest fear is to not have my children and husband next to me in God’s Kingdom” because they question why the Bible could not explain the existence of dinosaurs.

Robertson’s answer shattered the batshit crazy evangelical world.

“Look, I know that people will probably try to lynch me when I say this, but Bishop [James] Ussher wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said that it all took 6,000 years. It just didn’t. You go back in time, you’ve got radiocarbon dating. You got all these things and you’ve got the caucuses of dinosaurs frozen in time out in the Dakotas. They’re out there. So, there was a time when these giant reptiles were on the Earth and it was before the time of the Bible. So, don’t try and cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years. That’s not the Bible. If you fight science, you’re going to lose your children, and I believe in telling it the way it was.”

Science! Radiocarbon dating!! That sound you hear is the heads of evangelicals exploding. Here’s what the clinically insane folk over at angelfire say about radiocarbon dating: “Carbon dating is only accurate back a few thousand years. They [scientists] assume dinosaurs lived millions of years ago instead of thousands of years ago like the bible says. They ignore evidence that does not fit their preconceived notion. Carbon dating is frequently an embarrassment to Scientists. Living penguins have been carbon dated and the results said that they had died 8,000 years ago! This is just one of many inaccurate dates given by Carbon dating.”

Jesus’ birth a myth.

Creation myth a myth.

The preachers are going to be busy this Sunday juggling and explaining these shiny, not-so-new nuggets tossed in the air… or will they just ignore them and try to forget anyone said anything? My bet is on the latter, but we can always hope for the former.

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