Sunday, October 15, 2006

Is God a Monkey?

In the early days of Creation, when God created Heaven and Earth, then light and dark and finally he created man “in His own image” (His words, not mine), we must ask ourselves what model of man did He use?

The theory of evolution, although still just a theory according to a large number of people, states very clearly that man (and woman) has evolved over time. We are very close to finding that crossover humanoid between mankind and monkey-kind. But one thing is certain, in those hoary days when God was a-creating, the model for man was not a pretty picture.

Lucy, and Australopithecus were ugly little warts. They were short, squat, hairy examples of smart little monkeys with an unfair advantage over the competition. They could think, they made tools and they wandered around in small clans surviving as best they could. If you had been a betting man in those days, the odds on them eventually becoming the dominant race we are now would have been incredibly long.

Something along the lines of a billion to one in the long term species handicap.

So it is not in the least way blasphemous to suggest that those happy little hominids were actually created in God’s own image. Their survival is nothing if not miraculous and in the betting world, that’s known as having an unfair advantage or even, may we suggest, having an inside track, or being a ringer.

We have nothing to be ashamed of. Lucy was a plucky little mammal, doing the best she could, secure in the knowledge of something we would invent hundreds of thousands of years later; that she was shaped in God’s own image.

The modern believer now has a serious self-image problem. All three major religions based on the Old Testament, assume that God is either a white Anglo-Saxon bearded “Old Guy”, or a totally unknowable entity with no definite shape or form. Some even postulate that to speculate on His appearance is blasphemy. To state the obvious, God Himself opened the speculation box as to His shape and substance. By saying we were made in His image he clearly tells us that the first hominid was the mold from whence we begat Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise.

The religious person has also, in a typical knee jerk reaction to scientific methodology, vociferously rejected the concept of evolution, and that pretty much fixes God in a permanent hominid position forever. Because we all agree here that evolution accepts the fact that species evolve slowly over time not individual examples within the genus. God, being a sole individual of a long standing genus that includes a mixed bag of Rha, Zeus, Odin and other losers, can not evolve. Nor would the true believer accept that his genus has been evolving over the millennia.

So there you have it, God created man in his image and that image was not pretty. The image itself is unchanging, all powerful and omniscient.

As I said, we are the descendants of some really smart little monkeys; a living tribute to our Creator.

Monday, October 09, 2006

We Must Ban Religion, for the Common Good
The time has come to get rid of religion, at least as an exterior force. In recent years it seems that religion has become the absolute criteria by which mankind judges its enemies and gives itself the right to kill them. There are thousands of variations to these cults of hatred and all ultimately end up destroying that which it professes to protect.

The Christian mythology based on the sacrifice of an almost cartoon-like character, has a rich history of intolerance and death. Most recently, in its covert actions in Muslim countries, its support of pseudo science that denies life giving therapies and research, its willingness to sacrifice mothers to the advantage of unwanted blastocells and its ongoing genocidal attacks around the world may not be the absolute leader in theo-cretinism, but it is a strong contender.

The Christian right has been, for a number of years, the center of what is both evil and enslaving in the United States. In its name, a vicious and tainted president has survived for two terms destroying the very foundations of our democracy. It allowed every one of our cherished freedoms to be stripped and discarded and winked at torture, illegal imprisonment and death squads.

On the other side we have the Muslim community based on an equally faulty interpretation of the acts and speeches of a bloodthirsty prophet. Loosely based on an equally frangible interpretation of a number of old folkloric texts, these descendants of Ismael also preach brotherhood, peace and the absolute respect for life. Along the way they have discarded any vestige of honor or integrity gladly embracing the concept of fratricidal and theological retaliation for whatever offense they may perceive.

Violently opposed to allowing anyone, including their own wives, mothers and daughters the right to think for themselves, they expect that at the very least we must allow them the opportunity to pray five times a day while denying us the right to have our own beliefs.

I will not even get into the flawed concept that now motivates the Jewish community. To oppose Judaism is to be a Hitler equivalent, with no grey area allowed. To follow the concept that they were given the land that they abandoned over two thousand years ago is to invite the future reclamation of America by the native Indians, or even putting the Mongols in front of the gates of Vienna. Real estate transactions spanning millennia are the stuff of dreams.

No seriously, in this incredible cocktail of warring mythologies, the only answer is to demand that religion be taken off the table. Who cares if your mythology demands that you bang your head on the ground five times a day, that you raise your demanding eyes to the heavens for some sort of boon or even that you whine about your sad fate? Who really cares?

Atheists will tell you that whatever mythology you embrace, you have already been diminished by its contact. By adhering to something as vague, as deadly and as ridiculous as the almighty power that is all around but never there, you lower yourself to the level of that ignorant shepherd who invented god to explain away things that have now become totally understandable.

And as for using religion to excuse murder, that is akin to a psychotic person’s ability to hear voices and to follow their dictates. The only difference is that the voices you hear are real; they come from your imam, priest, rabbi or your local politician. They are all saying the same damn thing: “Gott mit uns” regardless of the god you embrace and the killing he desires.