On Religion and the Belief in Myths

Snake Handlers

Ever get “followers” who never leave a “like?”  Never leave a comment, New subscribers who, if they even have a blog, put up posts completely antithetical to your beliefs?

I’ve had a few.  One in particular.  I regularly remove him my followers list and he just keeps coming back.  He is a Christian fascist.  Never leaves a like or a comment.

I remove him because nothing good can come out of his subscription.  He posts that the Democrats are  “communists,” the “Bidens are pedophiles” and Dems want to take away our guns “so you cannot defend yourself, your friends or your home.”  The Dems are trying to make guns “look evil.”

Now why would this bat shit crazy Christian fascist follow my blog?  Not to perhaps leanr something.  Nope.  Not for anything good.

He will be removed again today.

While Christian fascism appears to be growing in our government circles, fact is churches are closing at at increasing rate here in the U.S.  We are beginning to see the trend long present in Europe and Canada since the 1960s.  The number of atheists, agnostics and unaffiliated to a church has never been greater.

Congregations dwindle across the country as a younger generation of Americans abandon Christianity altogether – even as faith continues to dominate American politics.  As the US adjusts to an increasingly non-religious population, thousands of churches are closing each year in the country – a figure that experts believe may have accelerated since the Covid-19 pandemic.

The situation means some hard decisions for pastors, who have to decide when a dwindling congregation is no longer sustainable. But it has also created a boom market for those wanting to buy churches, with former houses of worship now finding new life.

About 4,500 Protestant churches closed in 2019, the last year data is available, with about 3,000 new churches opening, according to Lifeway Research. It was the first time the number of churches in the US hadn’t grown since the evangelical firm started studying the topic. With the pandemic speeding up a broader trend of Americans turning away from Christianity, researchers say the closures will only have accelerated.

“In the last three years, all signs are pointing to a continued pace of closures probably similar to 2019 or possibly higher, as there’s been a really rapid rise in American individuals who say they’re not religious.”

Protestant pastors reported that typical church attendance is only 85% of pre-pandemic levels.  There is a broader, long-running trend of people moving away from religion. In 2017 Lifeway surveyed young adults aged between 18 and 22 who had attended church regularly, for at least a year during high school. The firm found that seven out of 10 had stopped attending church regularly.

What is the top reason young adults who formerly attended church have stopped going?  Church members seem to be judgmental or hypocritical.”  About a quarter of the young adults who dropped out of church said they disagreed with their church’s stance on political and social issues.

“Since the 1990s, large numbers of Americans have left Christianity to join the growing ranks of US adults who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular’.”.

“This accelerating trend is reshaping the US religious landscape.”

In 1972 92% of Americans said they were Christian, but by 2070 that number will drop to below 50% – and the number of “religiously unaffiliated” Americans – or ‘nones’ will probably outnumber those adhering to Christianity.”

Which group in America do you think is the most marginalized and under represented?  Blacks? Asians, Muslims, native Americans, LGBTQ, trans-gender?


There is not one “out” member of Congress who will admit to being as atheist or agnostic.  Not one openly ran as an atheist.  Yet some four percent of Americans call themselves atheists while an additional five percent define themselves as agnostic. Not only do these folks not attend church; they don’t believe any of it either.

In Europe, 25% of Czechs are openly atheist. Meanwhile religion has had a string of victories lately at the Supreme Court – you know – you don’t have to do it if a “sincerely held” religious belief.  There are so many of these lately!

I am not a believer.  But I’m not in your face about it.  I simply live quietly and without religion.   I try to convince no one.  I try to live rationally – for I believe that this is all there is – this time; this moment.

None of my family are church-goers.  My parents weren’t either.  Mom spent her teen years in an orphanage run by Benedictine nuns. When she got out at 18 she never went to church again.  She insisted her 3 sons attend public schools.  My in-laws were not church goers.  In fact, I only know one person who attended church regularly.  At least she did several years ago.  I don’t know if she still does.

Two childhood friends attended seminary to become priests and both left after a couple of years.  They never said why but I suspect it was the presence of rampant homosexuality.

I no more believe in a Christian god any more than I believe in Zeus or Appollo.    When I was a kid it seemed obvious to me that where you were born and what religion your parents practiced determined your own “beliefs”.  As an Italian there was a good chance I was going to be Catholic.  Had I been born in Saudi Arabia there is a really good chance I would have been a Muslim.  If in India most likely a Hindu.  If my parents had been Jews, I would be Jewish.

Religion is culture and myth; “truth” had nothing to do with it.

As I got some scientific learning it dawned on me early on that each of the major religions had a “book”, each written by men thousands of years ago; men who had no idea why the sun rose in the morning.  The earliest civilizations gave explanations for those things they could not understand – it was the Gods that made the sun rise and the crops grow.

The Egyptians did it in a big way.  And the Egyptians were the first to live for the “after life”.

Now I have not studied “theology”; because other than from a perspective of the history of religion I think it’s a waste of time – kind of like arguing over how many angels can fit on the head of a pin – which assumes of course the existence of angels.  Arguing with a “learned theologian” is pointless; they have faith.  I do not.

Is there something to take from religion?  Well, yes.

I believe that Jesus was a great teacher worth emulating.  The world would be a much better place if we all, including the Christians acted like him.  That is enough for me.  Do I believe that he is literally the son of God and rose from the dead?  No.  No more than I believe that the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Christ under the appearance of a wafer.

The history of Christianity is filled with instances of endeavoring to “clarify” belief.  Was Christ the “son” of God, created by God, thus less than God?   Of course not.  Otherwise Christians would not be monotheists.  He was “begotten, not made.”  See Council of Nicaea, 325 A. D. and Arianism.

Muslims ask “Why does God need a son anyway?”

The Protestants brought up predestination.  If God is God, he (or she) knows whether or not you will be saved.  If God doesn’t know then it is not God.  In fact, God should know well in advance, before you were even created.

So where does “free will” come into play?  The Dutch figured God knows who will be going to heaven and rewards the “chosen” with great financial success and happiness.  Thus if you were successful in business and life, you would be a regular church goer.

When I die, I will not see my girl again, my sons, my mom and dad, my brother.  We will not meet on that beautiful shore; there is no beautiful shore any more than there is a River Styx.   Best to love them while you are here.

I am 80 years old. Thirteen and a half billion years went by before the dawn of my consciousness; thirteen and a half billion years will go by just as quickly after the lights go out.




About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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3 Responses to On Religion and the Belief in Myths

  1. beetleypete says:

    Like you, I don’t make a big thing of being a lifelong atheist, but if anyone asks me about religion, I tell them I have none. I think religions are no more than legends invented to make some people fearful and submissive, and keep others in power. History suggests I am on the right track with that theory.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John says:

      Human Nature,being what it is, dictates that each living person who has command of rationale of one kind or another is going to have their view of religion .. what it is, what it does, how it works, advantages and disadvantages, etc., so forth on and on.

      Some people make a religion out of their beliefs and others make a religion out of their disbelief. All are One in the eyes of God whether He (It) exists or not. The God that is not a god in the eyes of unbelievers is just as real as the God that is a god in the eyes of the believers. If there were no God there would be no rational explanation for either existence or non existence of believers or disbelievers in God —
      I, personally, am a believer but part of my belief is that God or not, the concept of God meets every living soul at the center of their own understanding of the concept and eventually exerts whatever influence the Higher Power feels is necessary to lead and guide every individual to their manifest destiny.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think Jesus existed.

    Liked by 1 person

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