Saturday, July 14, 2012
"On Scripture": Epitome of Theistic Propaganda
Believers can now receive the worst of Christian liturgy right in the comfort of their own homes courtesy of Patheos and Odyssey Networks. That's right, the ignorant and scripturally illiterate now have even less motivation to think for themselves. "On Scripture" is a prime example of why Christian liturgy is such a horrible offense to human intelligence. Theists never seem to notice or care that they are being spoon fed theological crap. The very design of the liturgy is structured to increase and maintain ignorance not to enlighten or educate. The passages are carefully selected, or rather cherry-picked. Even then they are frequently sanitized. The passages are not short simply for the sake of convenience and economics, though I'm sure that is also a consideration.
I strongly encourage any theist who stumbles onto this post to conduct a little literary experiment. Either from the liturgy at church or from those posted on "On Scripture", jot down the passage references. With each passage go to the Book, Chapter, and Verse(s) and then read at least a dozen verses before and after. If you've got the stamina, read the entire Book referenced (ex. if the passage is Mark 5:21-43 then read Mark 5, or Mark in its entirety). Ignore everything you've been told it means, including my commentaries (assuming you've read some of my previous posts). Read and pay attention to what you are reading. I will be genuinely shocked if you don't find some questionable/absurd or outright despicable messages.
The Christian Liturgy really is the worst type of propaganda possible. It is meant to stop critical thinking. It is meant to over-ride all personal thought and evaluation. As I have previously noted the Symbolism of Christ as a shepherd and Christians as sheep is quite apt.
To be fair, not all propaganda is by its nature bad. Propaganda can be used to encourage and motivate to achieve positive goals. If you come across forms of propaganda that seem to say, "You must think this way," that is terrible shit. On the other hand, if it comes across, "This is why you should think this way," that is potentially a good thing. It is still up to each individual to assess the merits of a message regardless of how it is presented.
Read, pay attention, and think for yourself!