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Why I am Not a Christian: Aphorisms

Inferno

Bertrand Russell’s Why I am Not a Christian was the first philosophy book I bought (in 1980 at the University of Oregon Bookstore) that was for my own edification.
Illustration by Gustave Doré: Dante’s 9th Circle of Hell.

 

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I am certain the ego does not survive death.

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Consider how surprised we are when a pope acts like a follower of Christ.

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There’s nothing like the verbal contortions of the rich as they try to explain what the “camel through the eye of a needle” verse of the Bible really means.

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I can totally imagine Jesus throwing up a little bit in his mouth every time Mitch McConnell utters the words “Christian Values.”

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Yes, I know there is unlikely to be many cases of acid reflux in Heaven. Think of it, if you can, as symbolic.

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If the Republicans could rebrand Jesus, would they keep anything?

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Would the Democrats rebrand him?—or does the hippie-Jesus thing just work for them?

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The Democrats are surely as uncomfortable as the Republicans with the story of Jesus expelling the merchants and money changers from the Temple.

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Jesus has been rebranded many times, of course, as it seems unlikely that he, a jew living in Middle-East, was a pale, flaxon-haired, proto-hippy with an adorable little gentile nose.

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Think of baptism as a ceremonial washing of the brain.

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You cannot demand a literal interpretation of the Bible, and then cherry pick verses to suit your needs, all the while, praying to high heaven that no one notices the embarrassing parts you’ve wrapped in plastic and hidden in your basement freezer.

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If, in the year 325 AD, a tree fell and took out the building where the Council of Nicaea took place, killing every participant who could pronounce Christ divine, would we still have all these damned Christians around today?

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A conception considered immaculate occurs without mess or pleasure, thus considered by Christians to be optimum.

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Victim Worship.

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The self-righteous are generally repugnant bullies, but the ones who speak threateningly about eternal hellfire might as well be dipped in shit.

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What a god-fearing man actually fears is what his neighbors will think.

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Christianity bestows power to the victim. Or at least gives them some material to mouth off with.

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If someone put a gun to my head and made me choose a religion, I would pick Buddhism—but perhaps I’d make that choice because—living in the US for most of my life—I generally have not been exposed to that many self-righteous Buddhists.

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I think reincarnation is more ridiculous than Christian Heaven, although more interesting as a literary conceit.

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The afterlife is procrastination’s big imaginary friend.

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Will Heaven lose some of its luster for the most judgmental of Christians? Or will they simply adjust their range to include what’s available?

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What kind of ratings would a reality television show based in Hell, shown in Heaven, get? Off the fucking charts, right?

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Anything lasting an eternity is bound to become hellish sooner or later.

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Scott Taylor

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