My mother was a social climber and thus a regular at the local Church of the Good Cadillacs (well, it was the Church of the Good Shepherd, but the wags point to its many millionaire congregants).  I will never know if she honestly believed in Jesus or simply used her faith to justify attendance: one day she accidentally admitted to me that business was being conducted after church on the front steps.  It's just that when she joined the Episcopal Church, she had to take an oath, one that I, too, would be forced to mumble, though I had no idea at the time of the bloody history behind it.

I speak of the so-called Nicene Creed.  (It really ought to be called the Obscene Creed.)  This oath contains all the silly nonsense and superstition about one god in three, crucifixion and resurrection, and so forth.  At one time, it may have been a litmus test designed to sus out those self-proclaimed Christians who were actually heretics, believing in this or that alternate New Testiment reality, such as those of the many Gnostic sects or even among the Church's own bishops.  These latter included adherents to the heresy of Arius, and the founder of modern Christianity, Emperor Constantine, slaughtered all he could find.

Sunday after Sunday I recited aloud the Creed.  I quit the church when I was 17 and off to college, so you might suppose that each Sunday I was lying.  I was not.  I am only surprised that it took me over half a century to realize that all of it was ignorance and superstition.  And that is why, when I read the works of Dennett, Hitchens, Harris, and others, I pay special attention to their remarks on adult indoctrination of children into the dogma of religion.  I think it is a great evil, and I know you do, too.

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Golly James, for those of us who've never had the privilige of hearing the "obcene creed", perhaps you could post it for us?
"And that is why, when I read the works of Dennett, Hitchens, Harris, and others, I pay special attention to their remarks on adult indoctrination of children into the dogma of religion."

This is one of the things which I am more sensitive about than other things. Indoctrination of children is barely distinguishable from the brainwashing techniques used in wars. If you read about the process and compare it with indoctrination it is strikingly similar. I would try to combat the practice but children's rights and who owns them is a tricky thing to agree upon.
...and who owns them...

That's an issue in itself, the concept that a parent (or anyone) owns a child. A parent certainly has a responsibility to raise their child in a manner that will prepare that child for adulthood, but the concept that a parent owns the child is quite unconscionable.
Yes, I agree. No one can own a child more than one can own an adult. Centuries of practice makes can make this hard to see though, just like with slavery.

I strongly suspect that if children were taken by the community to be raised and not have a sense of parents that religion would instantly disappear and so would the majority of psychological problems and bigotry that most adults have.
Entirely agree. Had they not been run by Jews (smile), the Israeli kibbutz system would have been ideal. (As I understand it parents were not directly involved in child rearing.)
Hmm, I can't agree with this community-raised-children idea. I cant imagine a group of people employed to raise kids that are not their own, would do nearly as good a job as a mother would. a mother will love and nurture a child. Touch is a big part of this, as it is with all or most mammals. pedo's would gladly apply for this job i suppose. In the kid-raising institutions, many issues would have to be addressed to replace every aspect of a mothers job. Im no expert on child raising or mammals, but this idea seems worse then letting tv and video games raise children. nickelodeon and disney are filled with enough agenda driven influence: with the wrong people in power these instituions could be worse than being raised in church. it seems to only work in theory with the ideal result being something like Spock's race. but people are people and we fuck things up.
(symbol for laughing inserted here). I happen to believe a world ruled by Spocks (1st or 2nd) would not be such a bad place. But you certainly make some points well.
Well, the Episcopal B.O.C.P. contains a lot shorter version of this if I remember correctly. But the point is, all of fundamental Christian dogma is present here.
At the lutheran church I attended, I recall the line "We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church", had a line through the word "catholic" which was replaced with the word "christian". The lutheran version was much shorter.
The shorter version I was always taught was:
"I believe in God the father, maker of heaven and Earth
and in Jesus Christ his only son, our Lord.
Who was conceived of the the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin mary
Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried.
The third day he rose from the dead, he ascended into heaven,
where he sits on the right hand of God the father almighty,
from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, in the holy catholic (or christian) church
The communion of saints, The forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body
and the life everlasting.
Amen.
Yeah, thats the one. Weird, now I am craving jello and casserole.
I think "catholic" may have been lower case; if not, it should have been. It simply means "universal."

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