Feeding the Persecution Complex

It has come to my attention that tonight, in an exclusive one-night engagement in select movie theatres, a movie called The Insanity of God will be screened for all paid ticket holders.   

I confess that I like the title.  When I looked into the movie, I quickly lost the initial hope that it might point out some of the more ridiculous claims of the bible (and maybe other religious texts, too).   You know, a reasonable and maybe entertaining follow-up to movies like   The God Who Wasn’t There or Religulous.   Boy, was I wrong.   

The movie is apparently based upon a book of the same title, referred to with the adjective of “best-selling”.   A quick check on Amazon reveals two unique incidents of the book through its various selling partners, one of which has five reviews and one with over 1000. (1,118 as of this writing).   By comparison, How To Avoid Huge Ships has more reviews, despite the sarcasm in most of them.   

Somehow I doubt that this book sells or has sold all that well, especially outside of the circles to which it has been marketed.  Maybe even within those circles.  

It’s weird.   I do agree that persecutions of members of minority faiths and the faithless around the world, is a serious problem.  In recent years, there has been an uptick in machete attacks on secularists in Bangladesh.  ISIL is committing genocide against Christians.   The Donald Trump presidential campaign is feeding distrust and hatred towards Muslims and Sikhs.   

But let me make it clear that Christian missionaries are not heroes and are not to be looked up to.   It’s one thing to practice your faith, but it’s something completely different to try to impose your beliefs where they’re not wanted, welcome, or even appreciated.   

It’s one thing to travel to a place that’s been ravaged by war, famine, or natural disaster and offer food, water, shelter, clothing, medicines, and other basic necessities.   That’s a good idea and should be encouraged.   But to attach a religious worldview — a message that basically says “believe in my god or suffer more” — to those gifts is rude, presumptuous, and makes people question your intentions.   

How about doing a good deed because it’s a good thing to do?   I know from personal experience that helping the needy, offering as little as a hand to a complete stranger, makes you feel sufficiently good and is truly its own reward.   For an easy (and quite simple) example, I keep a set of jumper cables in my car at all times.   Although I don’t know the exact number of times I’ve used them, I have overwhelmingly used them more often to get other people’s cars going than I have for my own car.  

When I hear stories of missionaries getting kidnapped, injured, or even killed while on a mission to some place in Africa or Asia, my heart goes out to their families and friends.   But their fate was somewhat predictable.  They were asking for trouble.   Kind of like wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt to a Donald Trump campaign rally in Mississippi.   (Or even an Obama hope shirt).  

The insanity of god?   No.  More like the insanity and stupidity of some of his followers.  


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