ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

3 Reasons Religion Fails

Updated on March 3, 2019
Sam Wickstrom profile image

Sam writes compelling arguments against theism in the hopes that others might begin to see it's illusory nature

God Receives Emergency Alert from Africa

1. The Absence of God in Times of Existential Crisis

God isn't there. While a woman is being raped, this forever present God is supposedly working in mysterious ways. When a priest is molesting children, it is clear that God is not there.


What I'm trying to point out is the inherent absence of a God that is said to have love beyond our understanding.


I recall years ago when I was a Christian in grade 10, being angry, confused, alone, struggling to find answers to the perplexing problems presented in this article. Walking at night in the darkness a little way from my hometown trying to clear my head, I shouted out at God to show himself, to say something, to give me a sign or an answer or an indication that he gave a fuck. I felt that maybe Jesus my personal savior had sympathy for the agony of feeling so abandoned, afterall, he did cry out on the cross nine hours in to his crucifixion, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Maybe Jesus would understand? No, my heart broken shouting into the wind was followed by such an abysmal silence, I can still feel the pain of it to this day. I wanted so desperately to connect to God, to know he was there, and to feel the reassurance I had been promised so many times by teachers, parents, and pastors. All I really got out of that moment of supplication is a humiliating memory of facing the indifference of nature with some expectation of a loving response.


I wish I could convey the disappointment I felt as I slowly came to terms with the realization that I had been living a lie, that so many billions also held on tightly to this false notion that there is a love out there beyond us.


In conclusion I want to remind you to really be there for your friends and family, because in this life the compassion of others is our only real refuge.


And to my christian readers I would like to say, I mean no disrespect to you, I aim only to criticize ideas, not people.



So tell me... jews in the holocaust should have just made better choices? God wasn't simply going to gift wrap them a get out of jail free card!
So tell me... jews in the holocaust should have just made better choices? God wasn't simply going to gift wrap them a get out of jail free card!
Because hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sound equipment, lighting, projectors, and bloody fog machines is more of a priority than giving to the poor, helping orphans and widows.
Because hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sound equipment, lighting, projectors, and bloody fog machines is more of a priority than giving to the poor, helping orphans and widows.
The Pope Signing a Lamborghini  (While Children Continue to Starve to Death) “Injustice upon earth renders the justice of heaven impossible.”  ― Robert G. Ingersoll
The Pope Signing a Lamborghini (While Children Continue to Starve to Death) “Injustice upon earth renders the justice of heaven impossible.” ― Robert G. Ingersoll

2. Glaring Hypocrisy That Saturates Religious Culture

If it wasn't for the sometimes hideously blatant hypocrisy in religion, I would still be a strong Christian. The first example that comes readily into my mind is Jesus saying pretty clearly, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." And, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

So I don't see how our modern Christian, follower of Jesus, can so easily rationalize and justify the purchase of a brand new vehicle, a very large and impressive house, maintain a lush green lawn free of weeds, while children continue to starve to death by the thousands every day.

I can't understand how a christian friend of mine can be so consciously ignorant of her own religion that she is currently developing her acreage into a fully landscaped paradise. Yet somehow a state of forgetting, of setting principles, commitment, facts, and truth to the side, can be achieved without even a sweat of the palms, or a spike in blood pressure. Not the least bit of guilt or even a demonstration of trying to hide some form of shame. This friend met me for coffee a while back and I noticed the fashionable handbag she carried, not even a cheap knock-off but truly the overpriced, greedily consumed, impractical, social status object that is a Michael Kors handbag.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. - 1 Peter 3:3
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. - 1 Peter 3:3

3. Denial/Ignorance of Barbarism Allowed by God

Denial among religious people can easily be seen in the form of cherry picking. Muslims and Christians alike are very picky about which verses from their respective holy books that they will read, teach, or focus on in general. This means that most of the religious texts are ignored, in favor of the more friendly, easily digested, softer portions.


A verse from Psalm 137 is a celebration of revenge, and it's particularly gruesome. You would never hear this verse in a church service, bible study, and definitely not in sunday school. "Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us / He who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks." Then in this verse a man sends out his concubine to appease an angry mob outside his house, again, not something you will ever hear at your local church, nevertheless, it is contained within the Holy Bible. “So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight. When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, ‘Get up; let’s go.’ But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.” (Judges 19:25-28)


I have brought up these verses with my Christian dad and friends, my mom, my pastors, my youth leaders and camp counselors when I was a young questioning, skeptical, and curious 15 year old. How did they respond? Well, attacking me of course, saying that I am twisting the scriptures, taking things out of context. Granted these are just verses, taken out of their original passages as a showcasing of the common brutalities in the Bible. That doesn't change the fact that these are apparently the focus of an all-knowing, perfectly good, all-present being that created this universe. Why would a perfectly good God create such suffering when he has the power to design any kind of experience? I am no theologian, and I don't think I have to go to bible school to understand that these verses are a demonstration of the immense evils allowed by the one being with perfect free will, who ultimately decided on and knew in totality, the origin and fate of every being that ever exists.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      jonnycomelately 

      15 months ago

      Thanks very much for your reply, and for what you have said.

      Making an effort to see beyond the immediate popular presumptions is, in my opinion, an effort towards progress and improvement.

      I continue to follow you, with great respect.

    • Sam Wickstrom profile imageAUTHOR

      Sam Wickstrom 

      15 months ago from High River, AB, Canada

      Thanks Alan

      In response to:

      (However, if you will excuse my question(s): is this topic still bugging you? From an early age you have found reason to doubt and question people about the beliefs you think they want to push on to you. Do you find yourself harbouring any slight guilt - at having pushed away from it?)

      It bothers me much less than say 5 years ago, but the tension remains and yea I do have some guilt. My family and friends have stayed in the culture despite all being clearly half assed in their commitment. The guilt is mostly over making people uncomfortable and jarring their perception of being and existence. I feel guilty for having shown something that was never really supposed to be seen, as if my knowledge of the universe is perverse and resentful, but it's just curious observation and earnest reflection. I feel mostly that I alienated myself, and that this analytical habit of mine alienates me from appreciating many things.

      I appreciate your questions. I have continued deeper into life, beyond these frustrations, but I look at my statistics and notice that there are thousands still interested in my criticisms of religion. So I continue my philosophical tirade with this article.

      Also, about the Cardinal, ya society on a larger scale includes this inseparably interwoven mesh of traumatic experience repeated and perpetuated through the generations. What then is ultimately to blame? Our justice system uses confinement and solitude to punish criminal behavior when that same criminal behavior is, roughly speaking, a result of confinement and solitude in earlier life.

      Just as I write about this topic I think of David Icke saying the problem in society is mass hypnosis. And I mean, maybe it's an oversimplification, but I can see that being the case, and sometimes I wonder how I managed to slip through the indoctrination without being completely hypnotized by it

    • profile image

      jonnycomelately 

      15 months ago

      If I might add here, also, a note concerning the trial of Cardinal Pell, here in Melbourne.

      An institution which exploits the human trait of superstitious beliefs to the nth degree; and, for purposes of power control, seeks to suppress the human desire for sexual embrace and intimacy; with the threat of godly judgment weighing down upon the shoulders of men and women chosen into priestly profession .... that institution must take much of the blame for its priests indulging upon the vulnerability of young people.

      Certainly not all the blame, of course. Each of us must bear personal responsibility for our actions.

      But withour wishing to absolve the cardinal of his responsibility, he is after all, simply human like all of us.

      The notion of hypocracy and betrayal of trust is probably the least forgiveable failing

    • profile image

      jonnycomelately 

      15 months ago

      Well said, Sam. I cannot find anything to criticise in what you have written here.

      However, if you will excuse my question(s): is this topic still bugging you? From an early age you have found reason to doubt and question people about the beliefs you think they want to push on to you. Do you find yourself harbouring any slight guilt - at having pushed away from it?

      It's not my intention here to give you advice. You will arrive at an understanding and answers that suit you.

      I am only asking in the hope you will be able to look inward and find some very real answers for yourself.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)