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Insanity & Religion

Posted by Rick · June 24th, 2006 · 22 Comments

The longer I live, the more I think of religion and religious belief as a horrid and horrible form of insanity.

We live in a country where, unfortunately, we have to legislate a lot of things that seem obvious because people make such poor choices in life. — Ande Beckstrand, mother of four, quoted in Stephanie Simon, “‘Natural Family’ Resolution Divides Utah City” (June 24, 2006) LA Times online.

Unfortunately, she’s right. What she doesn’t seem to recognize or agree with is that one of the things which seem obvious, but has to be legislated because of the poor choices people make, is Separation of Church & State.

If religious people would learn to practice, instead of preach, and leave the rest of us alone, maybe we could all learn to live in harmony. The truth is, though, that apparently religious people are so insecure in their own beliefs that they have to insist upon the rest of us adopting those beliefs. So convinced are the most rabid of them that they’re right, that they cannot conceive that others might justly and justifiably choose to live another way. Religious people simply can’t live any other way, nor stomach others who try.

Frankly, I think religious people are fruitcakes. As I said at the start, they’re insane. But I’m content to let them live the way they want, so long as they let me live the way I want.

It’s time we recognize, as a nation, that the Separate of Church & State ensconced in our Constitution is like the laws against things like battery and murder. The Founders of the United States recognized that the seeds of religious insanity will ultimately always result in religious people attempting to force themselves and their views upon others by perversion of Law. And just as a well-functioning society requires that we don’t go around killing one another, so, too, does a well-functioning society require that no group of religious fruitcakes should find support for their animosity towards the rest of us in the instrumentalities of the government to which all of us, including those without this insanity gene, submit.

And just as with murderers and batterers, who are placed into prisons when they cannot conform their behavior to the rules which protect the rest of us, so, too, it may be time for us to recognize that the only way to deal with religious people who refuse to modify their behavior in such a way as to peacefully co-exist with the rest of us, should be imprisoned.

Lest you think I’m simply anti-religious, let me reiterate what I said above: Peaceful co-existence is a good thing; refusal to peacefully co-exist, not so much. I’m not calling for the persecution of religious people — although, frankly, christians were much more christ-like and did a better job of living in accordance with their own bibles when they were persecuted. I’m not saying that just because someone is religious, or even because they talk to others about being religious, or even because they vote (yikes!) they’re bad and should be imprisoned.

I’m saying when they show that they cannot leave those of us who disagree with them alone to live our lives as we choose, that’s when they should be imprisoned. Just as with people who commit battery against our bodies, so should it be with those who commit battery against others’ chosen lifestyles.

These people are nuts. And just like the nuts society already recognizes and has taken steps to deal with so as to keep the rest of us safe, so, too, do these people need to be handled.

Lock ’em up.

Categories: Religion


22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mike Hamilton // Jun 26, 2006 at 8:13 am

    Thank you so much for the post about separation of Church and State. I think that it can be very safe to define a high percentage of religious people as “crazy” based simply on the idea that they will rationalize anything to justify their position. The will bend their own doctrine, put words in the mouth of their god, ignore the context of their doctrine, and violate the principals of their religion. Worse yet, the separation of Church and State was created to protect religions from each other as well as to protect those who are not religious from having religion forced on them. I think that culturally as Americans however we run a great risk of religion becoming too engrained in our culture. I would argue that this has already happened, and hopefully we can eventually become post-modern enough to culturally distance ourselves from such things. It disturbes me that religion and “patriotism” so strongly go hand in hand. Patriotism is being confused for nationalism – a scary trend to say the least.

    I heard a news interview with a religious zealot once where the person being interviewed stated that America was founded on the God of the Bible and all of our law is based on the 10 commandments. I think that if you go through the commandments, you will find that this is not in fact the case. Law is far more complex than a simple set of rules.

    At any rate, the trend towards religiously justified ignorance really frightens me. I’m very glad that you took the time to post on this issue.

  • 2 Bob // Jun 26, 2006 at 12:40 pm

    Your latest article is more a reflection of American culture that Christianity. A majority of the movements that have espoused the Apocalypse in recent history have been American.

    You can read this on PBS’s website (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/etc/cron2.html).

    The bottom line is that there are SOME Christians that feel they can influence God’s schedule by helping to create situations and events they interpret as contributing to the Apocalyptic scenario. That’s a pretty arrogant stance to take in mainstream Christian theology. The god that required manipulation of world events by humans would not be much of a god, would he?

    Arrogance and American culture fit together like hand and glove. It’s often easy to confuse when the two cross. I believe that the Fundamentalist Republican Christian movement is an excellent example. Can you really describe this administration and NOT use the word ‘Arrogant’?

  • 3 M Budzi // Jul 2, 2006 at 4:35 pm

    Religious people are crazy, are they?

    I feel that one cannot criticise that which they know nothing about. And it seems that you know nothing about Christianity other than what the mainstream media shoves down your television locked mind. You go on like martin Luther king and that you want peaceful coexistence then say that those of us who cannot “conform” to society should be locked up like nutters. Well let me inform you of a few things. Christianity is nonconformity, “our” God (does that make you more comfortable?) calls us to be examples of morality. So because we don’t go out and curse, engage in lusts, help our neighbors, and believe in a higher calling, and in general provoke a moral society we are bad and we should keep to our own? Oh, and let me inform you, the reason we shove our religion down your throats is because A- We are concerned for the immortal souls of our fellow man. B- We are commanded by “our” God in the Bible to spread the good news in that his son died for there sins. If you have even read this far I want to touch on something that you said; “I’m saying when they show that they cannot leave those of us who disagree with them alone to live our lives as we choose, that’s when they should be imprisoned. Just as with people who commit battery against our bodies, so should it be with those who commit battery against others’ chosen lifestyles.” I’m sorry, but is that not EXACTLY what you are doing to OUR life style. If there is one thing that you liberal “enlightened ones” are good at it is throwing around the hypocrisy in ways that Christians could only imagine. Your entire article is nothing but a bash on the lifestyle that Christians pursue. All I ask is that you get your pitiful facts straight. Don’t confuse the few crazy “apocalyptic” Churches with the rest of the Christian body they have agenda’s that are not God’s. And simply have a question of this….What has Christianity done to you? We have a message of bringing good moral into the world. The only way that we could possibly hurt you is spreading insecurity that maybe the things you do are not right. Maybe we are right and that brings fear of eternal damnation. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. I suppose with Naivety comes comfort….

    I fear for this world…..


  • 4 Rick // Jul 2, 2006 at 5:08 pm

    The comment above this one — the one from “mbudzi” — came addressed to the webmaster. It was fortunate we were able to pull it out of the junk mail filter. (Comments should be sent to “comments” at this domain; not to the “webmaster”, which gets so much junk mail that it’s usually ignored completely.)

    I also had to guess at the name to use in posting the comment, since the sender was apparently ashamed to sign his name to the post. I’m not really sure if “mbudzi” — which was in the email address — is a complete name, or an initial plus a name (as I’ve guessed here). While we normally post anything except spam, regardless of whether the posting is critical of us, we will reserve the right to just automatically delete mail that comes with no name attached in the future.

    Now, as to the substance of the post, mbudzi is confused.

    First, I don’t watch stuff relating to christianity on television, even when I take time to watch television. I get sick enough just watching how well they take care of the poor downtown. (Luke 11:41.) So my views don’t come from mainstream media or a television-locked mind. They come from watching and listening to people who claim to be christians. They come from hearing “christian” politicians and the people who support them. And sometimes, sadly, they come from people I know and otherwise love who still believe that the world would be a better place if christians could control the rest of us, by law, and force us to live our lives according to their beliefs.

    Secondly, mbudzi appears to think that I advocate locking people up for talking. This is clear because s/he focuses on the so-called christian “message” that their god has commanded them to spread and s/he talks about “provoking” a moral society. Further, s/he argues that I am doing the same thing about which I am complaining.

    Mbudzi, you have missed the point.

    Never in my post do I complain about people who wish to talk to others about their beliefs (unless you mean that the others should be forced to listen). Talk all you want. In fact, from what I’ve been able to see so far, that’s what christians do best: talk.

    I would much rather that christians adhere to the message of John 1:5, which you quoted: “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:5, New International Version.) I have no problems with people who “don’t go out and curse, engage in lusts, help our neighbors, and believe in a higher calling, and in general provoke a moral society….” Please feel free to refrain from cursing and engaging in lusts all day long. Help your neighbors constantly, unless they ask you to stop. Believe whatever you want — because that’s another thing christians do best; christians aren’t so good at doing the right thing, but — boy, howdy! — are they believers! I have no problem with that.

    The people I’m talking about — the ones I favor putting away in prisons — are the ones who attempt to avoid, abrogate, or overpower the Constitution by trying to legislate morality. To those people, I say,

    Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5, New International Version.)

    Live your life just as you said you try to do, mbudzi. When your light shines before others, maybe they will see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (See Matthew 5:16.)

    The idea that I have to let you run roughshod over my right to choose how to live, so that you can live your life how you want to live is patently absurd. There are justifiable limitations to the concept. If there was someone saying, “Hey! Leave me alone to live my life the way I choose!” and the way they chose was to go around killing people, would you say that I was wrong to want to stop them? If their life choice included raping children, would you tell me I could not lock them up? If they chose to punch you in the nose whenever they saw you on the street, would you smile and say, “Hurrah for your freedom!”

    I think not. There are limitations.

    My suggestion is that the limitation I would impose is to say that people who cannot allow others to live their lives according to their own choices, when those choices do not include things like punching noses, murdering, raping, etc. — those who cannot leave others alone when they wish to be left alone — those are the people who should be locked up.

    And let me point out just one other thing: If all the christians in the world stopped talking about Jesus, and started living like Jesus, the world would be a dramatically different (and better) place.

    Think on it.

  • 5 Michelle // Jan 25, 2010 at 8:32 pm


    a very wise man once said, ” I like your Christ, but I do not like his followers…”

    I’ve been and remain a seeker.. always on the look out for truth, morality and integrity is important to me.. but, I absolutely agree with the above. IF more Christians could SHOW me what their faith has accomplished in their lives rather than criticize others then I would have more respect for their beliefs, and maybe would even listen when they pontificated…

    I have a human duty to uphold anyones right to speak their mind or practice their faith as long as it harms no one else nor interferes with their rights also.. however the intolerance and fear and HATE I have seen from some christian people and groups is downright frightening and does NOT remind me of the gentle, caring and accepting spirit of Yeshua Ben Joseph I read in the bible.. he comes across as a rebel, and more like a hippie, really. He hated NO ONE, except maybe hypocrites. (listen well)

    Ignorance and hatred is NOT what I got from the teachings of Christ.. humility is the quality that is lacking. And basic reasoning skills in a lot of cases.

    Or as my grandmother used to say… honey works better than vinegar…

    Actions speak louder than words

  • 6 Ella // Jan 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Dear M Budzi.

    I have a simple question to ask you, have you ever heard of science? Maybe even seen all the evidence factually stating how old Earth and moon is? The fission theory? Evolution? Evolution can be demonstrated in our lifetimes, Trinidadian Guppies can evolve in less than ten years, how about inside our bodies? Our appendix will be extinct in generations to come because it’s a residual organ, it served a purpose once in our previously evolved past.

    Which dates back to millions of years before the bible was written, and if you look at every religion before the bible, they were all based on astronomy and the lining of the stars.

    At the time it was logical as they had no way of getting into space to have a look around, but if they could, they would find no magical people flying around in the sky. They would realise they were wrong, as I’m sure they had some sense of logic.

    The bible was a mixture of all of the other religions based at the time. You should look into this as it’s really interesting.

    Basically, I believe there was a book written, to provide guidelines, almost like a law. But it was not supposed to be causing so much hate and not to be taken so literally.

    I study Neuroscience, when people preach or start thinking about their ‘god’ the same places in the brain become active as when someone is schizophrenic, is on hallucinogenic drugs, has epilepsy.

    Your feeling of being one with god is due to decreased activity in the brains parietal lobe, this regulates physical orientation.

    Placebos to susceptible people are proven very effective, so when people go into a church and genuinely believe they will get healed, their body’s will heal itself. Our body’s have a massive ability to heal themselves, which we take for granted in today’s society. Do you ever take pain killers? Drink fizzy drinks? Eat food from supermarkets? I assure you, these are not substances built by god for us to naturally find. They are chemically produced. How about the poor labour, mutations and deaths that go into producing the food you eat every day? Not supporting humans at all.

    Not very Christian like.

    Infact, cannabis is a natural plant put on this earth, if there was a God, he put it there for people to enjoy it has hundreds of healing properties that can be used within medicine. So why is it illegal? TAX!! a bit more money in their pockets.

    Which is what our so called Christian government decides.

    Christianity is easily abused and far too powerful, it is used to corrupt and kill, it is used as an excuse to do bad things. Not all Christians are bad at all, most are absolutely lovely. But there is far too much profit made from Christianity for it to be for the greater good.

    I have no problem with religion, it is our own life, there is no right or wrong and there is no proof of what is right or wrong.

    I just wish religions would take in to account the facts of life, read more on things we are discovering, instead of being so ignorant and ignoring the facts. Just because you have a feeling that God is there. Its not a good enough reason!

    If Christians (and all religions) took in to account what is actually going on in the world then they would have a lot more respect. They could actually contribute towards world development instead of forcing it to fall behind.

    I also think it’s wrong to insinuate that as long as people believe in God then they will go to heaven, so, you can sit at home, help no one at all in your lifetime, become morbidly obese, rant at the TV all week, become a pointless consumer, go to church on a Sunday, and your life was meaningful because you have God? What sort of dignified life is that? And that makes up half of America so you really can’t say I’m exaggerating.

    I’m not stating that I know why we are here, I don’t. No one knows why were here or how we exist, because there is no evidence! NONE AT ALL!!

    We know how we evolved, we know someone wrote a book and a lot of people took it far too seriously, we invented we created, we carried on evolving! But if we really want to find out why we’re here we will need to work a lot harder and use our brains and body’s to develop.

    Other wise we will just de evolve into a even more stupid and ignorant race, although I think half the population are almost there.

    — And Rick, your last paragraph is brilliant, if more people lived like jesus instead of just talking about him then the world would definitely be a better place.

  • 7 SC // Feb 14, 2010 at 5:39 am

    I agree that mbudzi has misunderstood the meat of the matter . The response feels emotionally blurred. I am really enjoying the read ! Kudo’s to all contributors for your passionate , thought provoking endeavors !

  • 8 andy // Mar 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    just wanted to say that i really agree with how you think rick. it’s reassuring to me, an atheist since i was a teenager, that there are more rational people out there because honestly i get discouraged seeing so many “fruitcakes” as you call them running government and other influential institutions. kind of scary that these people have no problem with science and proof when it comes to driving their car or watching satellite tv but don’t have the courage to question what they believe is the truth. also, there is a lot of ego involved with religion since the path is often difficult, which implies that only the strong or special can follow it. i am happy to say the words “i don’t know” to every question i don’t know the answer to.

  • 9 Darwin-man // Jun 30, 2010 at 7:00 am

    As a British citizen, I find your comments very interesting. The British constitution is inextricably connected to the Church of England. The Queen, our Head of State, is also the head of the C of E. And yet we are generally a far more secular country than the US. Of course we have nutters coming round knocking on the door to introduce us to the good news about their God, but they are always pleasant (so far).
    I offer to help cure them of their insanity, but no luck so far.

    Also, we are allowed to have religious schools. You can send your child to a Roman Catholic, C of E or other faith school where they will be preached at as part of the daily curriculum.

    Why do you think that we, in a constitutionally religious country, seem to be less religious than Americans in a constitutionally secular country ? I think that it may be the old British characteristic of mistrusting and being able to ridicule almost anyone in authority.

    By the way, France is alco constitutionally secular and they are generally very religious.

  • 10 Darwin-man // Jun 30, 2010 at 7:04 am

    ps to my previous comment :-

    Isn’t it time that we stopped using the word “science” ? It gives the god people something to aim at, as if it was just another system of beliefs, like another religion. I prefer to use the alternative word “knowledge”, which of course is what the word “science” means.

  • 11 briana // Jan 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I must say that I AM TRULY amazed at all the comments everyone left as far of the “christian” MBUDZI. I would like to start off by saying that I am a 17 year old girl who sees religion as insanity. When I first realized that I didnt believe in religion (period), I tried to deny it. Everyone in my family is either christian or catholic and going to church to praise a “god” was instilled in me as a child. I always had questions pertaining to christanity and other religions; such as “why are there religions to begin with?”

    My parents could never answer my questions; all they could ever do is say “don’t question GOD, for it is a SIN….(ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS). SO let me get this straight……I can go to church every wee, pay my tides …(what I owe..pfft), and fall out in the church and beg god to help me. BUT… I cannot ask questions to better myself. THATS JUST DOWN RIGHT IDIOTIC.

    I realized having been threw so many different levels of circumstance and problems that, life is about choices. That is what our life is about..(choices). We can pray all day to a higher being all we want, but at the end of the day ..OUR ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.

    I must admit that it is difficult to overcome being critized because of (being right!!!). The society in which I live in is mostly made of people who are ignorant, delusional, weak minded, and are fearful of the truth. They dont want to even take into consideration that the bible in itself is nothing more than a guide about the brain and body, and ALSO teaches us about daily morals and intellect.

    Theres a great part of me who is very conerned about the future, when talking about religion. YOU HAVE MORE PEOPLE ABUSING THEIR RELIGION THEN FOLLOWING THE GUIDE TO BEGIN WITH. Second, People get very emotional when speaking of their “god” in such a way as if they know him personally.

    What would happen if the world found out threw logical proof, that infact there is no god. I think the world would lose all their sanity.

    At last from looking at the comments you guys left, I would like to know about the brain and how is it related to the bible. I find this very interesting. I would appreciate dearly if some of you post books that I can read for future knowlege about this.

  • 12 briana // Jan 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    why did u delete my comment?!!

  • 13 RickH // Feb 12, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Your comment wasn’t deleted.

    I apparently haven’t been paying enough attention to this blog (I have several others that are more current) and so I didn’t see your comment until now.

    However, I am planning to start blogging here again, possibly even tonight.

  • 14 Ryan // Jun 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    To hold a belief; any belief is insanity. Religion is insanity. Athiesm is insanity. Separtaion of church and state is insanity as the state should outlaw religion. Religion is an intelectual virus. Athiesm is a belief and is therefor insanity.

    Yes God is real. That is not a belief. It is Fact. Science and nature testifies to this. Every so called scientific law prooves God is a fact.

    The problem begins when one believes a book is from God. or when one believes to know the mind and will of God.

    The state should shutdown religion all together. How am I to live in peace with some nut case that believes a book is Gods word? This sick individual should be put in a mental institution.

  • 15 Steve // Dec 30, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Sometimes I google my thoughts, just to see how others feel about the same thing. I just searched ‘religion is a form of insanity,’ and found this site. A world without religion would be infinitely better than this madhouse.

  • 16 A Moral Person Without Religion // Feb 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    For the posts who quote “God” , try replacing the word “God” with “Easter bunny”, it will make the same amount of sense.

  • 17 Cheryl // Apr 5, 2012 at 8:56 am

    After reading all the posts to your article, yep, religious fanatics are at it again 🙂 Religion always seems to promote anger, judgement and a sense of divine right to tell others how to live. The way I see it is you can’t promote love and judgmental hate at the same time. I lived my entire youth in a church and understand the hypocrisy of religion. The best moral code I know is to just mind your own business 🙂 which is where I’m going now…

  • 18 Enlightened // Oct 13, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Abraham and Sarah have been cited as Hindu mythological figures. Hence, Hinduism, Judaism, Christainity and Islam are all founded on myth.

  • 19 Anti Theist // Mar 28, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    I just have to respond to the ad-hominem attack of “Appalled”, a complete ignoramus who began his tirade with the assumption that those who criticize the lunacy of his religion know nothing of it. To the contrary, most of us who do so know far more about your faith system than you ever will while you fail to question it or pursue the questions which you have had to their logical conclusions. Like many other atheists, I have seen your beliefs and the system which brainwashes people as children from the inside, and that experience has more than confirmed nearly everything which outsiders have said of you for decades now that I stand with them, with a clear view from the outside. It is you whose views are narrow and bigoted against all who would disagree with you on anything, and being the lunatics which you are you deserve to have no influence on any legal process, nor the raising of any children, including your own.

  • 20 Anti Theist // Mar 28, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how some people still think shouting in all-caps will make anyone take them seriously as anything other than serious idiots…BRIANA!

  • 21 AnwarAvestan // Dec 2, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Religious people are crazy yes. Well at least the ones who believe in miracles. Actually if God made things the way they are…those folks that require the appearance of the supernatural as proof of God are completely lost. Violations of nature are violations of God’s provision.

  • 22 RickH // Jan 20, 2016 at 11:07 am

    P.S. Clearly I changed my mind about starting to blog here. 😉 (In case anyone was wondering.)

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