"Your petitioners are Atheists and they define their ideas as follows. An Atheist loves his fellow man instead of a god. An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we should work now--here on earth--for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist knows that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find within himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and to enjoy it. An Atheist knows that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.
"An Atheist seeks to know himself then and his fellow rather than to know a god. An Atheist understands that a hospital must be built instead of a church. An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand, love and accept all of mankind. He wants an ethical way of life. He knows that we cannot rely on a god, channel action into prayer, or hope for an end to our troubles in a hereafter. He knows that we are not only our brother's keepers--but keepers of our own lives foremost, that we are responsible persons and that the job is here and the time is now." -Murray vs. Curlett, 374 U.S. 203 (1963)
God is a chump
by Jerome Luther
Imagine that you're hanging from the edge of a cliff. A man pulls you to safety, away from the certain death that awaits you below.
Now imagine that you're hanging from the edge of a cliff, and a man tells you he can save you, if only you admit him as your savior. He pulls you to safety, away from the certain death that awaits you below.
Now imagine that you're on a mountain ledge, when a man pushes you off. You have no chance except to grab onto the ledge. The man tells you he can save you if only you admit him as your savior. He pulls you to safety, away from the certain death that awaits you below.
Now imagine that you're on a mountain ledge, when a man approaches you, holding a child in his arms. He pushes you off, and you have no chance except to grab onto the ledge. As you're hanging from the edge of a cliff, the man throws the child over the edge. He tells you he can save you if only you admit the child as your savior, since the child gave his life to save yours. He pulls you to safety, away from the certain death that awaits you below.
Now imagine this man is God, the child is Jesus, the mountain is heaven, and what waits below is hell. Because, in my mind, they are.
No man is without sin. We weren't created strong enough to resist sin. God wanted a man who could love, so he had to create a man who could hate. He wanted a man who could accomplish great good, so he had to create a man who was capable of atrocities beyond description. He wanted to make a man with free will, so he had to create a man free to sin.
In fact, we were created unable to resist sin. No man was created strong enough to resist all sin, and therefore every man was created destined to sin. And, since it is the fate of sinners, we were condemned to an eternity of fire and brimstone.
God knew this when he created us. He is all-knowing, so he knew what he was creating. He is all- powerful, so he made no mistakes in our construction. We are exactly as he created us, exactly as we were meant to be. He sentenced us to hell, to pain beyond imagining, until the end of time. He pushed us off of that ledge, by making us unable to stand there without falling.
But he left us a way out. He offered his hand to us, to lift us back into heaven. It's simple. He sent his only son down to earth, to live among us, and die among us. To save ourselves, we need only admit that through this seemingly unrelated act, Jesus saved our souls.
They call God’s act the ultimate sacrifice. Indeed, he seems to have sacrificed his own morals. He killed his own son, in cold blood, when he could have done otherwise. He created us, sentenced us to hell, hung a weight of guilt about his son over our shoulders, and then told us he would save us if we bowed down before him.
Now all we have to do is take his hand. If we grasp his hand, we will be raised up high to live among the elite, to live in ecstasy until the end of time. If we refuse it, we will fall, and live a tortured existence beyond our worst imaginings.
There is only one sane answer, one obvious choice we must make: let go, and face the consequences.
This quote takes on a whole new meaning when putting it into a religious context:
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" -Patrick Henry
Cult: (n) a small, unpopular religion.
Religion: (n) a large, popular cult.