Here's something to think about regarding the Christian idea of "hell" and "satan" being "god's" strong man, torturing those who don't "measure up" to the so-called, "all-loving" Supreme Being.
Let me get this straight, "satan" (the devil) fought "god" in heaven for control, and lost. He became a "fallen angel" for his disobedience and yet now he obeys "god" by punishing those that "god" doesn't like and deserve eternal suffering? You'd think that "satan" would do the opposite with these "fallen souls" then what his enemy, "god" wants him to do. I mean, if really he is the very opposite of "god" then you'd think that he would let those headed for "hell" to live it up in any behavior that "god" would disapprove of. Why would someone so opposed to "god" and so disobedient then turn around after being rejected, shunned and condemned forever and do "god's" bidding in his own domain, "hell?"
There is a scripture in the book of Revelations saying that in the end, "satan" will be cast into this tormenting "hell" to suffer like anyone else. Yet, my question is, "Who runs "hell" if "satan" will eventually be "kicked out of office??" I guess the implication is that "satan" runs things in the mean time but then "god" will take over the running of said place? So "satan" lost power after the "war in heaven" but he agrees to run "god's" prison until "god" is ready to be the supreme punisher himself? I guess "satan" is covering for "god" doing a double shift in "god's" jail. Then "god" comes back from vacation and repays the person coving for him during that long vacation by throwing the interim warden into that very eternal jail that the warden ran diligently for "god?" Man, "god" sounds like one twisted being and why do we want to be like that? "God" apparently is a prankster and likes to fuck with peoples' minds. So "god" wants to see us tormented and tortured forever in his prison but at the same time as George Carlin says, "He loves you!!"
The aspect of the whole, "satan" vs. "god," "satan" vs. "Jesus" thing that they have going on, sounds like a twisted x-box video game played between the game designers via peer-to-peer gaming over the celestial internet powered by the "holy spirit." The characters "us poor, imperfect ungodly souls" are fought over pawns in a game of the "gods." Basically we are like characters created in the video game, "The Sims." I can just see it, "god" is some lonely, too smart for his own good nerd looking for respect from creations by the way of some supercomputer program via intimidation, manipulation and through some special effects. I can just see him playing this game over the internet with his arch-rival, fellow nerd, computer name, "satan" while talking to each other via microphones. "God" wins over a set of twins and taunts back to "satan," "TWINS!!! That's double points you loser!!! TOP THAT, "Prince of Darkness." You're more like "Loser of Darkness!!" This brings another pesky question to mind, "If 'satan' is so bad then why did "god" create him?
Doesn't "god" need "satan" to act as the alternative to his plan if we truly have to be tested to appreciate "god" and be convinced to follow him instead? And how does "god" repay "satan" for playing the essential part of representative of the "other choice?" He throws him in his eternal prison that is beyond inhumane and very unbecoming of a perfectly loving "god."The Christians will say that being tempted by "evil" is important because it helps us have faith in "god." So in other words "god" wants to play games where he tests us through ambiguous trials without clearly understanding the rules. He pits his children against each other in a all out fight for his love and respect. What kind of father won't accept his children unless they go through his loyalty test first??
That being said, I don't care if people want to practice Christianity and if it really makes them a better person then so be it. It works for my parents and they are some of the best people that I have ever known. That being said, It didn't work for me and I like to talk it out for myself. In addition to blogging about the reasons I left the fold some 10 years ago to tell another side of the story for those wondering if Christianity is right for them.
I myself am a Buddhist as Buddhism is more a religion of philosophy then dogma. I like that it doesn't ask you to believe in a "god" or a "devil." I like that it emphasizes personal responsibility and to experience things for yourself. There are no commandments but instead recommendations on how to live your life but you are free to choose as you will. Not one is going to call you a "sinner." I like that in a "religion." There is no judgment from some "supreme being" but rather just the consequences of our actions whether helpful or less helpful.
It is often called the religion of no religion and whether that is true or not I think at the very least Buddhism is the least dogmatic, elitist, structured and strict of the major religions out there. I also really like that Buddhism does not claim to be the only religion or way of life to follow. Another aspect of the "religion" that I like is that there is no proselytizing to gain more adherents. Buddhism is something that one comes to on their own. No one is going to try and hook you into following the teachings of Buddhism. In fact, many teachers encourage you not to follow that way of life unless you have really researched and studied it extensively on your own. Buddhist generally just let people be. As a so-called "modern Buddhist" I do not take everything literally but there isn't much superstition in the Zen Buddhism that I practice to begin with, it's all about practical teachings that can help our life. It's perhaps more of a discipline then a religion. My practice for me is more about self-improvement, relaxation and peace then any kind of celestial glory that is emphasized by some other religions.
In other news, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't see marijuana as a drug in the traditional sense and calls it's "a leaf" and I couldn't agree more. It is beyond time that they legalize it, regulate it and tax it. Think of all the tax dollars we could rake in from it. Schwarzenegger is now back peddling and trying to say he was just joking when he said that it wasn't a drug and it is sad to see another politician who is pro-marijuana buckle under pressure from the religious, conservative right.
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