The Scars of Religion’s Profanity
Originally written September 23rd, 2006
The very notion of an afterlife is both inhumane and immoral. It feeds the masturbatory fantasy that things will not come to an end. With that, we can take our lives for granted. In fact, we can take the lives of those around us for granted – as surely we will be able to meet those we love and care about again someday (as, of course, they will end up in heaven with us).
The belief that there is life after death (which, definitionally speaking, is a contradiction of terms) serves to ease the fear of nothingness, but does little to cope with the reality of the situation. Delusions may comfort us, but do not illuminate much outside of our fractured psyches.Further, the oasis of life eternal continues to persuade many of us into thinking that our lives, here and now, are only important insofar as being vehicles to a final, time-infinite destination. It allows us to strap bombs to our chests and fly planes into buildings in order to achieve paradise. It allows us to condemn other human beings on the basis of 2000 year old literature and actively prevent life-saving research in order to gain favor with an absentee, metaphysical father figure. Such approval seeking has been the principle cause for the suffering of untold billions of human beings.
People have died choking on the stench of their own flesh being roasted at the hands of the Inquisitor. Of those who died on September 11th, those that were lucky were incinerated instantly. Those that were not faced the agonizing decision of jumping to their death or succumbing to the smoke that contained the remains of their friends and colleagues. Girls have been murdered by their family because they had the audacity to be the victims of violent rape. An exorcism that went wrong resulted in a teenage girl dying a slow, terrifying death from a plastic bag placed over her head by her mother. Parents have elected that their children forgo life-saving medical treatment for their children on the basis of god’s will, condemning them to die. The list goes on, and on, and on, and on. I tremble to contemplate the entirety of the tragedies. I have neither the time nor the fortitude to complete such a terrible collection here.
The scars of religion’s profanity are apparent enough for anyone who chooses to view them for what they are, and not further delude themselves into thinking that superstition played no part. That fantasies about life everlasting held no sway. That dreams of paradise did not motivate, did not consecrate the countless murders, the endless hours of torture, the vast landscape of suffering.
Religion has murdered humanity. The murder weapon is the afterlife.