I recently watched a youtube post from Hemant Mehta, who I absolutely love by the way, where he spoke about "9 things Atheists should stop saying". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L9nuGVKdg0
It's a brilliant video and filled with lots of great tips. However, I had to take note with the point about calling Christians out on cherry-picking. Allow me to explain.
We have all accused believers of this and for good reason. Mainly because, IT'S TRUE. But Hemant brings up the point that if believers didn't do this, then the world would be filled with people like Westboro Baptist types. I agree with his assessment. I know that when I was a Christian, I had a very difficult time understanding the logic and rationale of the other "believers" around me who seemed so ready, willing and able to disregard huge sections of the book that is supposed to be the guide for their lives. But then, I'm a bit of a harsh person.
You see, I don't have time for false people. People who are phoney and fake just annoy the shit out of me at every turn. The world is so full of people who are ready to run off at the mouth and say things, but when the heat is applied, they buckle under pressure. As a Christian, I found these people disgusting and false in their beliefs. When 9/11 happened, everyone at my church was saying how awful it was and they prayed for the poor people who lost their lives. I (being a very peculiar sort of ass) was not sad at all. I felt no sympathy. Loss of life was sad, but I believed that it was God sending a punishment on a wicked nation. I really believed that the innocent who died were with God and the guilty were receiving their chosen, deserved, biblically spelled out punishment. I couldn't understand why the church was acting in the way they were. Socially, it was the right reaction, but according to a true follower of the faith, there was no need for sorrow.
Equally I never understood people praying for victims of a natural disaster. I believed in the God that was taught from the pulpit. An ALL-POWERFUL & ALL-KNOWING GOD. Therefore, not only did he know about the suffering, but according to what the Bible and the preachers taught, he actually put the natural disaster there.
Church goers were telling me that this is not a response of compassion. I asked them to show me where my reasoning was wrong, according to scripture. No one ever could, but they still felt I was wrong. Churches are full of hypocrisy.
Now, to the matter of cherry-picking. People like Hemant believe that this is a good thing. I wholeheartedly disagree. Here's why. Religion is a terrible thing that has caused untold amounts of misery, death, suffering, poverty and pain. It is the primary source of subjugation and oppression in the world, from the beginning until today.
So what would a world of non cherry-picking believers look like? Simple. It would look better. Here's why. If believers stopped cherry-picking, stopped ignoring the bits they don't like, stopped acting and started really believing, then the abhorrent ugliness of religion would become apparent so much faster and the death of religion would come in months, not decades.
If Christians (each and every sect there is) and Muslims (every sect here as well) would start following the book they say is the literal word of their respective God, people would leave their faith in droves. Non-believers would not tolerate the acts of barbarism, bigotry, arrogance or misogyny that the books of these faiths teach.
People like Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Dennett and Darwin would be lauded around the globe and statues would be raised to them as a tribute for them lighting the torches to help lead us all out of darkness. The institutions would be crushed and looted and all the money could flow back into the society that needs it and the power would fall back into the hands of real people.
The domino effect of the destruction and death of religion would be swift, it would be liberating and it would bring a worldwide transformation. Dreams of those like Bill Hicks and George Carlin would be realized and we could get on with the business of saving our environment, educating the entire globe and build a better world that would be so radically different in the matter of 30 years, that future generations will think we are telling fairy tales when we show them what our world looks like today.
Or am I just crazy?