Letter To Dan Smoot

Introductory notes:

Dan Smoot was a co-worker of mine, at two places, 12 years apart.

The first time we worked together, we were both Bible-beating Christians and ultraconservative conspiracy theorists (he even attended a John Birch Society meeting or two with me). When we by chance met up again over a decade later, as waiters in the same restaurant, he was shocked when I told him I'd become an atheist since knowing him in the 80s. He hadn't changed. On the first or second day of work, he started preaching to me. Little did he know I didn't enjoy being preached to, and we exchanged words and even tracts a few times. After I quit the restaurant for a better job, he sent me a 9-page letter, which follows this 35-pager to him (abridged here).

I didn't mind the letter at all, for I enjoy seeing people express their opinions. What pissed me off, though, was how Smoot wrote my social security number on the manila envelope - in very large prominent letters. I have no idea why he did that, but he apparently did so illegally. Either he illegally opened my file at the restaurant's office or had someone else there do so.

Smoot was an obnoxious geek and his co-workers often ridiculed him - to his face and behind his back. One thing we jeered him about was his Calvinism. I couldn't be too hard on him about that, though, since I myself had been a Calvie for about 8 years. Smoot - I like to call him Smoot the Hoot - justified his cigarette smoking by saying evangelist Charles Spurgeon had smoked cigars or pipes. I reminded him that back then - in the 19th century, noone knew how harmful smoking was. I ribbed him about his smoking being sinful in the eyes of God, but to no avail.

You'll definitely pick up on other characteristics of Smoot's personality when you read the letter. A trait of his which is not evident from the letter is his self-perception as Smoot the Smooth (God's gift to women, bragging he looked like Kurt Russell, which he did, slightly).

Needless to say, being a typical Christian coward, I presume, Smoot never answered my letter to him, although I certainly answered his to me, and probably even over-reacted, but, who cares? - he's a Christian so he deserves it.


Dan Smoot:

I must say I'm very surprised you responded. You're much more courageous and receptive to dialogue than most Xtians. Nevertheless, I was not attempting to elicit a response.

It's a sad thing to say, but I must: It appears you're hopeless. Hopeless as in hopelessly brainwashed, hopelessly blinded by faith (blinded by blind faith).

Of course, anyone who knew me when I was a devout Xtian and Calvinist (and therefore ASSHOLE) would have thought I could never become a freethinker or non-Christian. So maybe there is some hope for you.

I hand-wrote this letter the same day I received yours. I was merely waiting until I bought a typewriter so I could make my letter decently legible. After I penned this letter, I remembered something about you and realized I must retract and say that maybe you're not hopeless after all, because you said one night you were no longer a Calvinist. That's an encouraging sign. It was my impression that my talking to you, coupled with my impeccable logic, tripled with your introspection, had caused you to change your mind.

You became an un-Calvinist. Congratulations! The logical next step is to become an un-Christian. You'll merit even heartier congrats for that.

Alas! To be a Christian you must be a Calvinist. The Bible clearly teaches Calvinism. It sure as hell doesn't teach freedom of choice! And it certainly for fucking sure isn't a manual of egalitarianism...

__________

In your third paragraph we find the first and second of many inconsistencies, inaccuracies and fallacies of your arguments.

Specifically: "...my faith can stand on its own merits in a rational dialogue." This makes no sense! Faith and rationality are opposites!

The other serious faux pas: "The Christian faith is intellectually defensible." Wrong again! Faith and intellect are opposites also. And, if your faith was strong enough it would not need the "help" of intellectual defense. Anyone who (rightly) turns to logic when arguing religion is at that point no longer arguing religion, and is also indicating that his/her faith is not sufficient for himself/herself.

__________

...Your letter's arguments about DNA, the universe, evolution, science, etc. are a valiant attempt - at least you tried. You failed, but you tried. Your efforts are meritorious, but they are again, a sign of weakness of faith.

I admire your efforts and relate to them, partly because I made the same kinds of arguments when I was an Xtian and witnessing to people.

But what are you doing with such arguments? You are presenting naturalistic evidence to prove the supernatural. This also makes no sense.

Yes, the universe, life, existence, and time are huge mysteries. And they are pretty much unfathomable. At this point in our evolutionary progression we cannot even come close to fully comprehending them.

But, to posit a God/Creator to explain everything does not help. In fact, it makes the equation more complicated and the mystery more mysterious!

God or Nature or God and Nature. To proffer God and Nature makes the unexplainable even more staggering to our finite minds.

If you add God to Nature you must ask the question: "But where did God come from?" This is a fair question, and people ask a similar question of naturalists like myself.

Consider the possibility that the universe has always existed, that we never "got here" at all, because our creator Nature was always here. This is what many ancient Greeks believed, and what many Orientals of various religions and contemporary Earthlings believed and still believe.

The thought of everything having no beginning, having existed since eternity past is indeed staggering, but to myself and many other humans it isn't nearly as inscrutable as the idea that a deity sat around on his ass doing nothing for eternity then finally decided to create an infinite universe 6,000 years ago and make a tiny planet called Earth the focal point of that universe thereby wasting all the other space, matter and life of that cosmos, which is in a nutshell what you and other Fundamentalists go goofy-ly believe.

_________

Speaking of being goofy, I thought your statement about the universe having only 10-to-the-80th-power electrons was hilarious.

Who counted them and when?

If your statement is true, the universe is finite. The puts an intractable kink in your theistic hose. If you are correct, what is outside the universe? Does some area of nothingness exist between this universe and another or other universes? Does your God encompass and surround the universe, making him a snaky or donut-shaped God?

Belief in a finite universe presents a lot more problems than it solves. It likewise necessitates a multiple universe model or the alternative of a vast wasteland of nothingness, but a vast wasteland of nothingness would not be nothingness because it would be vast, but it could not be vast if it was nothingness...

Furthermore, if your god's 10-to-the-80th universe is the correct model, did your god create a universe outside this one, or does each universe have its own god? But no, that can't be right, because Yahweh the Bible God is the one and only God, correct?

...The bottom line is that our universe is much, much, much too big and too old for biblical cosmology to make any sense.

...In your epistle, you make the common assumption that I believe in only blind chance, nothing but randomness, and pure evolution, even as a form of biogenesis.

Well, you're wrong, I don't. Some atheists do, but not me. I believe Nature has its own purposes, mechanisms and designs.

___________

The stark raving truth is that you and your "Bible friend" John have a lot to learn. All Christians do.

One thing you need to learn is that Yahweh is purely mythological. (Read the book "Mythology's Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus")...

Yahweh was once a minor god in Jewish polytheism. With national identity as an end and deceit as a means, when the Jews became monotheistic they chose Yahweh from among all their gods as the God, the one and only.

The above is the initiation of the Judeo-Christian legacy (actually, "curse" is a better word) in a nutshell. It is a condensation of a much more complicated, long-term historical, literary and mythological evolution.

You and your Bible buddy should also know that Yahweh was not only originally a minor god in a pantheon of gods, but he was also a tribal deity and a storm-god!

I must now jump back to an earlier point and add to it. Read Psalms 78:49-51. Aren't evil angels also known as demons? Imagine that - a Heaven with demons. Are you sure you want to go there?

___________

Since you're a Christian (actually you aren't but more on that later), you are not only desperately in need of a history lesson but also an infusion of morality.

How can you worship a deity who killed so many babies, children and innocent animals throughout his "holy" Bible, and who plans to slaughter millions more in the horrors of the Book of Revelation?

Get real, man!

What is wrong with you?! (Besides the fact that you're brainwashed). Have you ever even read the Bible? The only thing a person has to do to disbelieve it is to read it.

The atrocities of the Mass Murderer in the Sky, a/k/a Yahweh, God, Jehovah, Lord, Lord God, the Almighty, etc., are all I need to reject him and find him despicable. On moral grounds I reject the God of the Bible. Moral grounds are all I need to reject and despise this imaginary god whom so many people ignorantly worship, but I also have philosophical grounds and historical grounds, not to mention common sense and knowledge.

The abovementioned atrocities of your gruesome God, and his many broken promises and threats to, and murder of, his own chosen people, put you in a precarious position.

Your God is a god who cannot be trusted. How do you know he won't change his mind about you and break his promises to you and kick your ass, like He did the children of Israel, who are allegedly the apple of his eye? If He treated them so shittily he can sure as hell do the same to you.

You already (rightly) said the God of the Calvinists can't be trusted. Hey dude - the God of the Calvinists is the God of the Bible!

__________

I said you aren't really a Christian, and that's what I meant. For the sake of argument, though, let's assume you are.

But the true bottom line is: According to your own Bible, you are not a true believer. Your Bible says that if you don't follow all the commands of God you are not a real Christian. And very few, if any (thankfully) people are genuine Christians. You're all a bunch of phonies and hypocrites who can't even obey your own Book! Especially you Fundies who boast of being the holiest of humans.

Textual and essential proof:

1. You (like millions of other "Christians") own material possessions and you keep some or most of the money you make. Therefore, according to Matthew 19:16-21, you are not a true Christian. (No wonder this is a passage "Christians" conveniently ignore).
2. If you have never killed an unbeliever, you are not a Christian. (Read Deuteronomy 13:6-10 - it means exactly what it says). And if you have relatives, such as a mom or dad, little nephew or niece, grandmother or grandfather, or your own 6- or 7-year-old daughter, who reject God/Yahweh/Christ and instead follow other gods, and you have never murdered one of them, you'd better be a good little Christian boy and get busy! You'd better get off your ass and start slaughtering for the Lord. Why don't you start by hunting me down and stoning me with stones, as your compassionate Yahweh hath commanded?

What's that you just said? These commands were to the children of Israel, a long fucking time ago, and they are not applicable today? Weak, incorrect reply. Your own Wholly Babble says God is the "same yesterday, today and forever." I don't see any verse in the Bible that says God ever revoked or negated or rescinded his command to murder unbelievers. If the heinous edict was no longer in effect, how would such a smart God make such an egregious oversight? Is He sitting up in Heaven saying "Oh shit, I forgot to put that other verse in there!"?

Moreover, even if He had ever reversed the hideous rule to kill infidels, I and other people with an adequate amount of morality and decency (in contrast to you and other Fundies) would still reject the Bible's evil god. We would still boycott him because even though he'd said "Oh, I didn't mean it, that was then, this is now, you don't have to kill those unbelieving assholes who don't worship me any longer, forget I ever said it," the brutal fact would remain that He had at one time issued such an unacceptable, intolerable command.

Eh? What was that thought you just had? "But I'm not a Jew. In Deuteronomy 13 God was instructing Jews." If that's your argument, then why do you worship the Hebrew God if you're not a Jew?

Huh? I heard that other thought you just thought. Telepathy is at work here. You were thinking you could never kill your own daughter, or any other family member, or a friend, just because they didn't bow down to your God and accept your sweet Jesus into their heart, and if your daughter becomes a Hindu when she grows up and sits around wearing a sari and sandals while chanting "Om" and praying to strange gods, you couldn't possibly kill her even though Yahweh commands it, because you love your daughter.

Well then, congratulations! You're more moral than your God.

...Really, Exodus 21 is all I need to abhor and loathe the unholy Bible, its evil, malicious, sadistic God, and its current mode of worship, entitled Christianity.

Exodus 21 is sufficient. Basically everything else in your precious "Good" Book is unneeded ballast which can be thrown overboard. All the other commands of pain and destruction, and actual deliverance of same, committed and commanded by Yahweh and his armies, are just extra baggage. All the holocausts, divers punishments of flying rocks, hornets, poisonous snakes, boils, hemorrhoids, ad nauseam, are not at all needed to convince me of one inarguable, incontrovertible reality:

YOUR GOD SUCKS.

And not only that, but anyone who worships a baby killer is a prick, and that includes you.

And you wanna know somethin' else? If you don't believe your God murdered innocent little babies by the millions you must have been reading your Wholly Babble with your eyes closed! Just read Genesis 8 and 9, II Samuel 12:15-18, Hosea 9:14, Hosea 13:16, I Samuel 15:3, and other nauseating passages. Read and be enlightened.

Sorry, dude, but I love people, especially babies and children, therefore I hate your God.

Sorry, dude, I have a conscience, a sense of morality. I have enough intelligence and discernment to read the Bible and recognize that its deity is a creation of the human psyche, that it, like all other gods, was created in man's image.

Read Exodus 21, especially the first seven verses. Oh, it might help to have your eyes open while you read. When you're reading, you'll notice God is the one doing the talking. He'd just delivered the Ten Commandments and he's still speaking. Exodus 20 and Exodus 21 are parts of the same monologue.

Yes, I've heard the common, weak arguments about unsavory verses like the first seven of Exodus 21. They are common, and they are weak.

"Oh, that's just the way they did things back then." What a piss-poor attempt at refutation! Isn't God, including his fleshly manifestation as Jesus, "the same yesterday, today and forever" according to his own inspired text?

Assuming, for the sake of argument, and only for the sake of argument, that the Bible is inspired, then God at some point in time issued the commands of Exodus 21:1-7. The conclusion that he did so renders him (very) unworthy of worship.

__________

One of your letter's most absurd sentences is: "Natural selection has unspeakable social implications, as evidenced by Hitler."

You don't even know what natural selection is! Hitler's experiments to abolish one race and transform another into a master race of superhumans was not natural selection. Natural selection is a mechanism of nature which takes place gradually, over enormous stretches of time. What Hitler was doing was quick and unnatural.

And who are you to impugn Hitler? I assumed from some of your remarks at the restaurant der Feuhrer was a hero and idol of yours. When I reminded you of all the holocausts and genocidal activities of the Bible, you said "Well Chris, God had to perform surgery on the human race, to make it perfect before Jesus was born."

Statements like that tell me you would have been great as one of Hitler's stormtroopers or incinerator chiefs.

Since you approve of Yahweh, logically you should approve of Hitler, who was a Mary Poppins compared to Yahweh.

Something you apparently don't know makes it impossible for you to climb out of the chasm you fell into with the statement about Hitler and natural selection. And that is: Who inspired Hitler? Answer: God Himself, that's who. Hitler was a good Catholic who despised Jews, blacks, Indians, and other non-Aryans. In all his murderous behavior he was simply emulating and copying God. He himself said, in German of course: "I'm finishing the work that was begun by Jesus."

___________

You speak lengthily of the fossil record, the eye, evolution, carbon dating, etc.. But curiously you don't say a word about whether God created such killer viruses as HIV, pfisteria, polio and influenza and such fatal bacteria as clostridium botulinum.

Did your perfect, righteous God create these lethal microorganisms or did they simply evolve, or did He let them evolve then lie dormant for millions of years then awaken and go on a rampage?

If you answer God created them or let them evolve and kill, then another question you should ponder is "Why?"

If God spawned or let spawn such killer microbes, He is responsible and He is the murderer.

____________

You've been fed plenty of bad "information" if you believe about Jesus that "the historical fact that he lived is beyond question." Oh, I get it - you were there and you saw him.

Absolutely no historical evidence for Jesus exists. He didn't even leave any writings (he couldn't, because he never lived). It seems that after 2,000 years some evidence would have popped up. After all, historical evidence for personages who lived much longer ago has been discovered, often copiously.

And don't say the Shroud of Turin is historical evidence for Jesus. It has been irrefutably debunked. It is a hoax dated to about 1300 A.D..

____________

You make another error when you posit the gospel of John as proof of Jesus' historicity.

When did you say it was written? Near the end of the first century? That was long after Jesus allegedly lived and died. Like the other three gospels, that of John was written well after Jesus Christ supposedly walked in sandals. This weakens your case considerably. None of the gospel writers were eyewitnesses to any Jesus. And the possible eyewitnesses you mention, whom you imply lived with Jesus and saw him and heard him speak also weaken your case. The more eyewitnesses you have, the more conflicting details you'll have, and the more hearsay and legends you'll see developing after an extraordinary figure's life, death and activities.

_____________

More absurdities...You wrote: "Christianity has been blamed for many abuses, such as the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Dark Ages, witch trials...no one in their right mind believes these abuses are the result of adherence to scripture and Jesus' actual teachings."

First of all, what book did you quote that from? It's obviously a quotation.

Second of all, are you crazy?! Like I said earlier, you are severely in need of a history lesson!

The focal question is: "Were the Crusades, the Inquisition, Dark Ages, and witch trials all accidents or phenomena caused by non-religious factors, or were they purposeful campaigns of aggression and destruction inspired by the Bible?"

The answer is easy for anyone not blinded by the gilded pages of the Bible reflecting sunlight off the stained glass windows with an organ's drone pounding one's ears while being mesmerized by the snarl and spit of a screaming preacher.

As for the Inquisition, it was an institution of terror and suppression that destroyed not only innocent human life, but human intelligence and progress. This tragic nightmare of history set back science and technology by who knows how many years and who knows how many quantum leaps. Who knows how far we'd have advanced by now if the insanely zealous idiot Christians' attitude of one step forward, twelve steps back hadn't characterized the Inquisition?

The buffoons who orchestrated and perpetuated the Inquisition and Dark Ages were only partially to blame, though. They were just behaving like the idiot Jesus, who believed and preached that evil spirits and demons cause diseases, and who expressed murder in his heart in Luke 19:27.

The enduring Dark Ages began and endured because of the actions and control of the Church! The Church's hegemony over Europe and the Near East enabled it to stomp and squelch all opposition! It owned and controlled the racks, the dungeons, the pillories, the guillotines - all vicious tools in its bloody reign of terror.

Are you beginning to get the picture about what a wonderful thing Christianity is?

The witch trials were certainly not a secular phenomenon! Rationalists don't believe in witches, don't fear them, and don't kill people they suspect of being them.

Christianity created all four of your (very poor) examples. It created them and kept them going for long periods of time.

Once again, you have rolled down a long, steep slope of illogic into a ravine of fallacy and ignorance, out of which the only way to escape is to realize how wrong you are, to be open-minded, to think, and to learn.

___________

Three excerpts from your letter following its most absurd paragraph are really too ridiculous for comment, but comment I must.

First, the Bible has not paved the way for political liberties. What a crock! The Bible is against liberty. It is a book of intolerance. Just how much freedom do you see in its gilded pages? You cross Yahweh and He maims you or kills you, or wipes out your pigs, chickens and kids, then sends you to Hell to be charbroiled forever and forever.

Latin America is another pitiful example. The Church has ruled Latin America with an iron fist for half a millennium. You've got to be kidding. When Catholic missionaries slaughtered entire villages of peaceful Indians in the rainforests and plains of Central, South and North America, were they defending their rights, or even their very existence? And in a more contemporary setting, when the Catholic church has financed and set up petty dictatorships in Latin America and other parts of the globe, was it defending anyone's rights but its own self-righteously perceived right of domination?

When Catholic and Protestant missionaries have cold-bloodedly massacred innocent people after invading their abodes without invitation, have they been beneficial or detrimental?

____________

"It was the printing, translation, and proclamation of the Bible which sparked the Reformation and brought the world out of the Dark Ages."

Hallelujah! The Christians led a suffering Europe from one bloody battle they had fomented into another! Christianity created the Dark Ages, and it also produced the Reformation, a doctrinal dispute between two factions who worshiped the same god. As with the Dark Ages and Crusades, a by-product of the Reformation was bloodshed.

I'm sure you know who the primary instigator of the Reformation was. The infamous Martin Luther - a bitter man who hated humanity, especially women (some of his quotes about females are downright nauseating).

Sadly, the aftershocks of the Reformation are still with us...Furthermore, nearly every war in history (including the fictional wars of conquest by the fictional Moses and the fictional Joshua) has been caused by and fought in the name of God and religion (quite often Christianity). Christianity is not a savior, it's a destroyer.

____________

You further opine that Christianity has helped women. Look down - ought-oh, it's too late - you just stepped into a morass of absurdity.

Christianity has helped women? Have you paid any attention at all to what your precious Bible says? Throughout its pages, especially the Pentateuch, women are treated like trash, regarded as property, and downtrodden, not elevated.

For example, the Apostle Paul, like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other cornerstones of Xtianity, resented women and put them in positions of subservience to men, for no other reason except they were born female. How can we totally blame Paul, though? He was only aping his role models Yahweh and Jesus.

____________

John 3:16: That's not salvation; that's coercion.

____________

I actually agree with you on one point. I also thought the writer of the "When Is Jesus Coming?" tract used faulty math (inadvertently). Surely the tract should say 80 generations, not 8,000.

However, you missed the point. The gist of the tract is: Jesus fucked up!

Jesus Christ - the omniscient one - told his audience in Matthew 16 and Matthew 24, and in Luke, that he would return before they died. He was speaking in present tense at the time, to them, referring to their generation. Jesus said "You guys, you guys are the ones. You're the ones who will not taste death before I get up out of my throne and teleport my happy ass back down to this planet. It's you guys, not some people 2,000 years from now. I won't have to sit in my big easy chair in Heaven combing my long, wavy brown hair watching the angels flap their wings waiting for my dad to finally reveal the fucking day and hour! The suspense is killing me!"

It didn't happen, did it? You and millions of other Christians are still waiting for the return of Christ, but you can wait forever and it won't ever happen...Sorry dude - no first coming, no second coming.

____________

You tell me: "Chris...some day you will die." Wait a minute - I thought you believed in the Rapture. If I get raptured I won't die. That's what the book of Revelation and the Pauline epistles say. (You remember Pauline, don't you? She was the older lady with her hair fixed in a bun, who had thick, silver-rimmed glasses and who always sat near the pulpit so the preacher's spit could shower her face - that turned her on).

_____________

In your letter you use one of the weakest ploys of all - the very old, worn-out, unoriginal mind game called Pascal's Wager.

In a nutshell, Pascal's Wager is: "The Bible says you'll go to Hell if you don't repent and believe in Jesus. What if the Bible is right? What if Hell is a real place? How can you afford to take that chance?"

Anybody can use Pascal's Wager, or a number of variations on it. Imagine a variation like this scenario:

After you expire, you suddenly find yourself in Muslim heaven. Allah is sitting there, on his throne, glaring down at you and the long line of Christians in front of you and stretching for miles behind you, with an evil scowl on his face. Mohammed, his earthly prophet and messenger, is seated next to him, on his right hand.

You're nervous and start thinking the situation doesn't appear too promising. And you think "This doesn't look right; where's Jesus?"

When it's finally your turn in line, you begin wishing you'd got laid more while you were on Earth and that now it's a little too late for that and you'll never get to enjoy pussy again.

Then at last, after a couple of days of waiting in the long-ass line, you stand before the throne of Allah to receive your judgment. Allah roars in a thunderous voice: "Dan Smoot! You've Fucked Up For The Last Time! You had your chance but you chose Christianity. Depart from me you unholy infidel. Away With You!"

The next instant you're in Muslim Hell, weeping and wailing and gnashing your teeth, not to mention grabbing your balls and pissing your pants. You keep thinking "If only I'd listened to the message of Islam and accepted it as the one true religion out of all the hundreds of religions I could have chosen from. Shit! I rolled the dice and I came up short."

See how easy it is to proffer hypothetical situations to scare would-be converts into accepting your own religion? Presenting such scenarios does not make them true.

How do you know Islam is not the one true religion, whose god Allah will kick your ass because you chose Christianity and rejected the Muslim message?

Pascal's Wager is weak, and I reject it because it is so. And I reject Hell, any Hell of any religion, because I know it's a myth and a power tool.

So, I'm not worried. I'm way past the stage of wavering and uncertainty.

Not only that, but any savior and any religion that rely on scaring you into accepting them by worrying you and threatening you with everlasting hellfire are not worthy religions and are not true religions.

And any religion that is based on a book cannot be a true religion. This would include Christianity, which is essentially a religion of book worship.

And finally, I don't want to spend eternity, or even a day, with the baby killers and mass murderers named Jesus and Yahweh.

____________

You say "We've been friends for a long time." No, I don't think so. When you made two especially insane statements, that you have a direct pipeline to Jesus and that he talks to you and that the holocausts of the OT are acceptable because "God had to perform surgery on the human race," you blew any chance you had of being a friend of mine.

After statements like those people should be worried about you and wondering how mentally healthy you are. Like almost all Christians, you suffer from neuroses and you're a perfect candidate to end up in a weird religious cult someday.

Actually, though, you already are a cult member; you're part of the huge, well known, worldwide cult of Christianity!

____________

Sorry, dude, I can't accept Christ as my savior. I've already found someone else.

Her name is Nut. She's an Egyptian goddess - the sky goddess...Woo! What a babe! For awhile her name was Mut (for real), but that's when she was a dog, then she changed her name and became a real knockout, and I love her.

Nut promises her devotees, including me, an eternal afterlife of sex with her and other Egyptian goddess-babes. As long as her husband, Geb - the earth god, doesn't get too jealous, we'll be fine.

A body of literature about Nut exists, and I have faith that it's true and that she's real, and if my faith remains strong enough I'll make it come true. Some skeptics say the writings about her are nothing but mythology, but if I believe fervently enough I know they'll come true. I know my afterlife in Nut's heaven will come to pass.

Does any of this "mental" process sound familiar? It is no more preposterous than the way in which people come to faith in Christ.

____________

The imaginative, creative human mind is thematic in its creation of myths just as it is in its invention of deities. The mythologist and comparative religionist Joseph Campbell has detailed this reality in his brilliant and entertaining books, including the four volumes of "The Masks Of God" series. Similarly, the brilliant, innovative psychotherapist Carl Gustav Jung has noted in his literature and research that humans create, recognize and assimilate universal archetypes and symbols which recur in dreams, art, myths and fairy tales, including those of the religious variety.

I recently read a very enlightening, thought-provoking quotation which sums up this section. A lady told a lecturer after one of his presentations: "Sir, all this study in comparative religion is making atheists out of all of us."

_____________

The New Testament, which is allegedly a testament of love and compassion, proffers eternal salvation through faith in the sacrificial lamb Jesus. The sacrificial lamb/ram itself, represented by the zodiacal constellation Aries, is another ancient archetype, which predates Christianity by thousands of years and was borrowed, better yet, stolen, by the inventors of the fraud called Christianity.

If salvation through Christ's atonement and a consequent reward of eternal bliss in Heaven was the totality of the offer, it would be fine. If this was all, the offer would indeed be compassionate, generous, and gratuitous.

But the offer has a catch. A very cruel catch. The offer of salvation is double-sided and two-faced.

You accept the offer, and you're saved, and live forever after you die.

But you reject the offer and Jesus kicks your ass. He throws you into Hell on Judgement Day, to be roasted in screaming, shrieking agony and pain for aeons and eternities and forevers, even though none of it is your fault because you weren't lucky enough to be predestined for salvation from the foundation of the world and the game was rigged before you were even born.

Nothing could be more cruel, more ridiculous, more false, more unbelievable, more immoral, or more unacceptable.

Christianity's offer of salvation (which is bogus to begin with because there's nothing to be saved from because the mythical fall of man never happened in the first place) with its accompanying infinite penalty of cruel and unusual punishment for a finite lifetime of sins is analogous to a job offer which promises a hefty, perpetual income if you accept it but life imprisonment with torture if you don't.

____________

I could write forever, but alas, I have to end this letter some time. I close with a question:

Who the hell are you to say I have a scornful attitude?

What are your messages of Christianity? Believe in Jesus or else. Get saved or burn. Salvation or suffering. "If you don't believe like I believe, you're gonna go to Hell!" Your messages of hatred try to force people into a decision for Xtianity.

Nothing is more cruel or scornful than Christianity and its Christ and its Christians.

You're the one with a scornful attitude, not me. And at least I don't tell people they're going to Hell if they don't agree with me, like you Xtians do.