ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The New York Times Said God Is Dead

Updated on February 16, 2016
mybillypilgrim profile image

Mybillypilgrim was a chef for 15 years, has a degree in graphic arts, worked as a fishmonger, and is, in general as progressive as they get.

Pocket Money For The Medicis

Bored Christians circa 1400
Bored Christians circa 1400

Losing My Religion

I do believe that we are all products of our environment. You can't take the New York out of a New Yorker, just as you can't take a grain of brown rice and call it white. Origin is drilled into our souls from birth, taught to us by our elders and pounded into us by our peers. While spirituality is a natural phenomenon, brought to us by our dreams and imagination, our beliefs are formed by the influences around us in our daily lives. The core of our beliefs and spirituality is governed by the most influential urge of all, and that is survival. Human beings are, after all, animals, and survival and reproduction are the most powerful instincts we possess.

I understand that that concept is hard to grasp for many people on this planet, that human life is no more equal to or greater than any other thinking organism, but that is the true burden that we bear. It is the hardest and most destructive aspect of human existence, an understanding of our own mortality and the rationalizations for declaring ourselves superior to all other beings, all the while trying to maintain the purely natural pursuit of self preservation.

I guess my initial point here is that we are predisposed for religion, and it is no coincidence that all of the worlds' major religions coalesced separately but within the same (anthropologically speaking) general time frame. And they all have basically the same premise: a higher power and some sort of guarantee of an afterlife, so long as you are a believer. I was brought up an Irish Catholic in Chicago. My mother took us to church every sunday, and I sat there bewildered at the pageantry and the death. There were these intricate stained glass windows that depicted the last days of Christ, dragging his cross towards the altar, where he hung pale and pierced, dead as hell. We had an up-beat choir, who sang endlessly about the big hook; "If you believe in me, you will never die"

That is a pretty powerful message to send the young and impressionable. I never heard a word of the sermons because I was too busy wondering about this big guy in the sky and how he got there and how he stays up there and where did they get the money to buy all of these elaborate decorations? It just didn't make any sense to me. My Mom dropped a 5$ bill into the collection basket every week, so I would do the math. Let's see... there are about two hundred people here today, and if they average 5$ a head (which I knew they couldn't, because many were other kids, but I rounded up for the benefit of the doubt), that meant that they were hauling in a thousand dollars for every service. Times that by three every Sunday, and the take was around 12,000$ a month. When I got old enough to realize that they probably owned the church and didn't have to pay rent, that meant a yearly income of 144,000$ a year, tax free. And that didn't include Christmas or Easter or any of the other obligatory holiday things.

By the time I was 16, I had decided that the whole thing was a scam and Mom gave up on me. I had sided with science and common sense over a bunch of pie in the sky promises that I didn't think they could ever keep. It just seemed like a hollow, desperate fantasy to me, weak people clinging to this 2,000 year old grim fairy tale, mostly for the sake of feeling better about themselves. Mom was there because she had to be, obliged by her Irish parents to be a good catholic girl. But she didn't really care. She was much more interested in politics.






At Least We Got Some Good Art

another bummer
another bummer

Where To Now, St Peter?

So I went off to college as a confused agnostic and chose art as a major, where they proceeded to show me thousands of slides of renaissance paintings and sculptures and architecture, all depicting various stages of Christ getting tortured in on way or another. It was awe inspiring in more ways than one. The quality of the art was astonishing, and the buildings they created brought me to tears. But, once again, I had to wonder, where did they get the money for all of this shit?

Of course the money came from the power and enormous influence yielded by the church in the middle ages. Art was strictly confined to biblical images and all of the great artists were employees of the Pope, in one way or another. It was certainly the most positive thing to ever emerge from Christianity, despite the depressing and morbid subject matter.

This last statement will probably be met with some disagreement, given the popularity of God in this country, and the supposed righteousness associated with it. But the entire establishment of Christianity (and all of the other organized religions as well) has been so tainted by violence, oppression and hypocrisy over the last 20 centuries that they have lost much of their credibility.

John Lennon got into a lot of trouble for saying that the Beatles were more popular than God. At least he put his money where his mouth was.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • mybillypilgrim profile imageAUTHOR

      Granville Bennet 

      2 years ago from Portland Oregon

      @Oztinato... Hub ethics or YOUR ethics? How many people have to die in the name of your God before (or anyone elses') before you realize that religion has been an incredibly negative and destructive force throughout world history? I mentioned John Lennon because he actually believed in peace and tolerance, a lesson preached but never learned by far too many people.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      2 years ago from Australia

      Constant anti religious hubs could well be against hub ethics.

    • B M Gunn profile image

      B M Gunn 

      2 years ago from A Place Outside Of Time And Space...Somehow...

      @Ozinato.... How is this hub even considered "Hate speech?"

      This is a person's experience about ascending into atheism. Does it disagree with your beliefs? Obviously, it does. Is it hate speech? NO!

      You cannot make people subscribe to your radical, hyper religious credo. If you disagree with a hub, DON'T READ IT!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      2 years ago from Australia

    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://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    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)