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You Owe Us

June 4th, 2008

Hello. This is the first time I have ever met you. Have you ever done anything that is even remotely interpretable as a bad thing? If so, you will suffer in great agony for all eternity unless you come to me begging for mercy, and do what I tell you to do.

Fair enough?

As crazy as this sounds, this is the message some religious people will send you. Go ahead, take this simple test. It’s an advertisement for a religion, where they simply refuse to believe that you are a good person–at least three times in this “test” you are given only the choice of “admitting” that you are a bad person, and so you must repent and accept Jesus as your savior or else burn in hell forever. (Red text shows links; h/t to Pharyngula.)



If you take the test a second time, it lets you “lie” for a while, but eventually scolds you, saying “Unfortunately, you don’t see yourself as God sees you. The Bible says all men are sinners, until you’re ready to admit that you can’t continue this test.” Then it urges you to take the test again. (Interestingly, it does the same thing even if you switch browsers–meaning that god depends on IP address recognition to see if you’ve taken the test before.)

Whatever you say or do, you wind up being a miserable sinner in the religion’s mortal debt. This is what you could call a “fixed” game–no matter what, you lose and I win.

And that’s what some religious people see life as being: a fixed game where you owe “god”–which in immediate terms means their church, and by proxy, them–everything, because you are a lying, stealing bastard, and your only hope is to admit that you are debased before them so you can receive god’s (their) forgiveness, so that despite being a lying, stealing bastard, you at least have a chance not to be tortured for all eternity. Most religious people are not like that, so understand that I do not address them, but rather those who bear this message I speak of.

For those people, I have a different idea: pack up your snake oil caravan, you hypocritical, arrogant, self-righteous morons. I’m not the idiot that you think I am, so apparently I do not belong in your church. Thank god for that much. So go away and stop giving the majority of spiritual people such a bad name.

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  1. Stuart
    June 5th, 2008 at 04:11 | #1

    Although I am atheist, when I grew up my parents had me go to church every week. And even in the church I grew up in, which was a pretty liberal church by comparison to this, we had prayers where we were supposed to say “We are all sinners and I have sinned so we beg forgiveness,” which even as a child I thought was BS. I remember thinking to myself “this prayer does not represent me at all.”

  2. Paul
    June 5th, 2008 at 04:23 | #2

    That was quite a test. Thank God I am a Buddhist, and therefore get many reincarnations to try and get it right. 😉

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