Satanic Sunday is an article that I write about things that were considered Satanic or sinful when I was growing up. These might have been things that my parents or religious leaders taught me while growing up in a fundamentalist christian home. These are not things that I actually believe and I hate having to include this disclaimer but people tend to only read the title which makes the disclaimer unnecessary but it makes me feel better anyway.
For the last Satanic Sunday post, click here.
So first off I want to say that my parents did not teach me this, it was however something that you gained from listening to the leaders in the church, Sunday school teachers, and other church members. My parents actually taught me that it is always okay to question things no matter what they might be and while they haven’t always enjoyed my questioning of faith they never tried to discourage me from doing so.
Now that we have that out-of-the-way lets define what we will be talking about.
Critical Thinking: the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.
Critical thinking is how we form judgments on what is true or not in this world. It involves looking at all the evidence for or against a certain stance and then deciding on what the right course of action we should take in regards to whether or not to believe something.
Now from the outside it would appear that no one could truly be against critical thinking skills and yet this is exactly what you find in fundamentalist churches. Some examples of things you might hear.
“We will understand that once we are in heaven.”
“You don’t need to understand it, you just need to have faith.”
“Don’t be a Doubting Thomas.”
“The bible is clear and true it’s the devil that is confusing you and making you question it.”
“Are you god? No? Then what makes you think you can understand the mind of god?”
“It will become clear if you just have enough faith.”
“Don’t question god, just accept him and have faith.”
The clear implication is that questioning things of faith are not welcome and any question should simply be thrown away and given up to things that we will understand at some other point in the future.
Growing up I was always someone to question things and much of the bible makes absolutely no sense whatsoever when you actually think about it. My questions would drive my Sunday school teachers insane and I would usually be told to ask the pastor. I would of course then ask the pastor and be given one of the non-answers above. This never sat well with me and yet when I became a minister I had to answer many questions with the exact same bullshit answers.
One of my favorite questions that I have carried with me through the years is this:
“If Adam and Eve only learned what evil is after they ate the fruit then how could they have known that doing what god said not to do was evil?”
Seriously, think about it. If they only gained knowledge by eating the fruit then how could they have had the knowledge to know that what they were about to do was wrong? It makes no sense whatsoever and that’s at the very beginning of the damn book. The bible is absolutely filled with stories like this. Sure they might teach some kind of lesson, in some way, but the narrative that the lesson comes from, is so badly written that it’s hard to understand how anyone could think these things came from a god.
Well, unless….when you think about it….god being god there was no one there to teach him how to read and write, so you would kind of expect him to be incapable of writing a decent narrative.
GOD NEVER LEARNED HOW TO READ!!!!!(Insert Classic 80’s Sad Sitcom Music)
Anyway, using even the slightest amount of critical thinking skills when reading the bible will make it clear that these stories could not have been divinely inspired and were instead the words of men, simple men, who had very little understanding of the world around them…or that there even was a full world around them.
This is why critical thinking was looked upon with such disdain in the fundamentalist churches in which I was raised. To think was to doubt, to doubt was to deny and to deny was to burn for all eternity. Don’t raise the question that will get you sent to hell. In most churches, even admitting to the fact that you have doubts is tantamount to blasphemies of the spirit of god. It was considered wrong and so over time you stopped questioning, you turned off your critical thinking skills in regards to the faith and simply accepted the programming that they wanted you to accept.
Now, I want to point out that Christianity does not have a monopoly on this hatred towards critical thinking. The new ages woo crowd goes about this in a slightly different fashion, that being to state that all mind is an illusion and so we cannot truly trust what our minds are telling us about our beliefs. The strange fact is they never seem to question their mind’s ability to make that statement, or the belief that all mind is an illusion.
The result is the same in either circle, a group of people who distrust any of their critical thinking skills and instead give it all up to god, the universe, or fucking Thoth… In the end you find that without critical thinking skills you are not truly you, you are what they want you to be and that is a follower of their bullshit and a buyer of their products. Whether that be tithing to a church or buying expensive crystals and homeopathic cures that supposedly do….stuff?
Critical thinking is what brought us to the point in time. People thought about things and wondered if they could be better and if that better would actually be a good thing or a bad thing.
People used to use buggies and now we drive cars.
People used to believe flying was impossible and now people fly across the world daily on thousands of flights.
Peoples used to believe that sickness and diseases were caused by demons and yet now we know they are caused by germs, bacteria, and neurological issues.
Critical thinking skills are what make us human and without them we are little more than a shell of the humanity we are meant to be. Religion strive to separate us from our mental awareness and deprive us of the right to live a life free of superstition and dogma. In the words of George Carlin, “It’s bad for you!”