Taking on the Bishop
101 King St.
Madison, WI, 53703
As an atheist, I am always bemused at internal rifts within various religions, such as the one detailed in Esty Dinur's "Taking on the Bishop" in your July 30 paper.
On the one hand you have an ardent faction screaming that 2 + 2 = 5,228, while their equally determined opponents keep yelling that 2 + 2 = 6,492; in between, wringing their hands, are the ecumenists, hoping that we can all put the strife behind us and just nicely agree on the sensible middle ground, that 2 + 2 = 5,860.
This is what happens when people treat opinions (also guesswork, mythology, wishes, fairy tales, mistranslations, outright lies, etc.) as if they were facts. You cannot find an American astronomy, a bellicose biology, a capitalist chemistry, a Methodist math, or a feminist physics. There's only one worldwide version of each, because they're all based on facts. Religion, OTOH, is nothing BUT opinions, no facts involved, which is why anybody's word on religion is just as good as anyone else's (to wit, no good at all), and there are over 5,000 denominations in the US alone, each contending that all the others are wrong.
Look, as a science-fiction fan, I like a good story as much as the next guy, but I'm sure as heck not going to start a war or a crusade or an inquisition or a holocaust over the burning question of whether Dumbledore or Gandalf was the better wizard. They're fiction! It's just laffable to hear both Catholic hierarchs and put-upon laypeople defending their viewpoints by invoking "truth", when every word coming out of their mouths is pure make-believe.
Face facts, people. Jesus, if he ever lived at all, is long dead. Dead, dead, dead! Dead as a doornail. Dead and gone. Dead and buried. Dead and never coming back. He didn't come back during the lifetime of his disciples (as he promised he would), he hasn't been back since, he isn't back now, and he's never coming back, ever. Why not? Because he's DEAD, that's why not! Sheesh. It's been TWO THOUSAND YEARS! Get over it, already.
And get over yourselves while you're at it.
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To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.
-- Cardinal Bellarmine, during the trial of Galileo, 1615