Goosey, goosey, gander, whither shall I wander,
Up stairs, and down stairs, and in my lady’s chamber.
There I met an old man, who would not say his prayers,
I took him by his left leg, and threw him down the stairs.
The narrator of this rhyme is symbolic of millions of people over the millennia, several “good Christians” I know, and probably of someone each of my readers knows. The Crusades, the Holocaust, Protestants vs. Catholics in the Ireland, Palestine vs. Israel, Muslims vs. Hindus in India, persecution of the Baha’i, persecution of the religious in the Soviet Union, Islamic terrorism, Tibet, the Spanish Inquisition, the Tamil Tigers, the Khmer Rouge, Scientologists…the list goes on and on. Religion equals violence. Mother Goose knew. Her lack of condemnation is disturbing.
Verdict: Preach this from your atheistic pulpit as a warning. Continue reading →
I was very involved with the Christian church when I was a kid. Part of the reason was that I really liked it. Sunday school and other Bible lessons were kind of like regular school in that we were memorizing information and doing activities and having contests about what we knew, and since I liked regular school, it’s logical that I enjoyed Sunday school too. The church I went to also had a lot of fun events geared toward kids – Vacation Bible School, snow camp, and a youth group that met regularly at a private rec center where there was mini golf, rolling skating, a gymnasium, and a pool. There was a no shortage of entertainment, and I had some good friends in the church. But another part of the reason I was so involved is that it was an unwavering part of my microculture. My parents went Sunday morning, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday evenings, so did I too. That’s just how my world was. My parents are firm believers and so much like when they told me the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny were real, when they told me all the information in the Bible was true, I took their word as, well, the gospel truth. It just took me a lot longer to stop believing in Jesus Christ the Savior than in the rest of the mythical creatures. Continue reading →