Friday, January 13, 2012

Commentary on "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus"

First, let me say I'm glad he made this video. My personal belief is that God actively manages His word, and will bring people to the word that will reach them. I may quibble with it, but it's gotten a lot more views than any blog post of mine has ever done.

I've had this conversation with numerous people over the years, and I usually begin with, "Do you understand Biblical Hebrew?" When they respond, I say, "Well aren't you glad that there was organized religion to fund the years of training, research, and archaeology necessary to put a Bible you could understand in your hands?"

His interpretation throughout also ignores the sections of Scripture devoted to "religion" such as calling people to be ministers, evangelists, teachers, lay workers, etc. Too entirely personalize religion and ignore the organized aspects of it is to ignore large chunks of Scripture.

I also have a few small quibbles:

What if I told you, voting Republican, really wasn't his mission?

In the United States, Christians used to be spread across the political spectrum. When the godless Communists threatened the world, Christians reacted against their ideology, rejecting both their godlessness, and their leftist political ideals. Start persecuting people and suddenly they don't trust you anymore!

I mean, if religion is so great, why has it started so many wars?

He's not up on his political science research. Religion does not start wars, it prolongs wars. A group which is about to lose a war will recast it as a religious struggle to shore up the home front.

Why does it build huge churches, but fail to feed the poor?

Religion might preach grace, but another thing they practice.

I'm working on another blog post on this.

See the problem with religion is it never gets to the core, it's just behavior modification like a long list of chores.

Psychology has demonstrated that behavior modification is a powerful means of changing people's attitudes. If you act loving toward someone, in all likelihood you will becoming loving toward that person. The change in attitudes towards racism in the years since Brown v. Board of Education are far greater than simple persuasion could accomplish.


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