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Archive for the ‘Oppression’ Category

Control Freaks

I broke off from my fiance almost a year ago because I realized he was a very angry and controlling person, demanding I do everything his way. He’s moved on to someone else but why do I find myself praying that God will bring us back together? It doesn’t make any sense. — D.L.

A: I see a pattern here. The god of the bible is also very angry and controlling and demands that you do everything it’s way. I would advise you to seek therapy and try very hard to break your dependence on control freaks. Start with your ex-fiance and your imaginary god.

Billy Graham’s answer.

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Q: What do you think is the greatest social problem in the world today? Some friends and I were talking about this recently, but we didn’t come to any agreement. Whatever it is, do you think churches should be doing anything about it, or is it best left to governments? — M.F.

A: I think the greatest problem is the lack of free societies and open government in all countries. Where these are not in place, people are not free to pursue their lives and express themselves as they wish. In totalitarian countries, especially, citizens are forced to act in very strict ways. They are often forced to practice certain religions, work in dictated jobs, and subjected to arbitrary arrest without judiciary recourse. They have no right to vote and, hence, no mechanism to change their plight. Freedoms of speech, press, and assembly are highly restricted. These people will not be able to develop to their full potential or even live happy, fulfilling lives under these conditions.

I think efforts to force these countries to change must come from countries which already enjoy free society and open government. Organized churches are often operated in a totalitarian manner. While they may not oppress their members the extreme way in which the leaders of Libya and North Korea do, their strict adherence to dogma and lack of democratic processes make them poor agents for this type of change. The world has seen great improvements in political rights and civil liberties over the last 40 years, and I hope this continues until all peoples of the world are free.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

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Bastard

Q: I’m in my 50s, and recently I found out my parents weren’t married when I was born (they put me up for adoption anyway, and I never knew them). This has been hard for me, and now I’m even wondering if God will reject me for being illegitimate. Is this possible? — W.L.

A: No, this is not possible, because the god you believe in does not exist. Most Christians would give a similar answer, but would cite the fact that their god is all-loving and all-forgiving (but only of those who believe the Jesus story to be true). The fact that you would even ask this question reinforces two of my conceptions about Christianity.

  1. Many Christians are ignorant of the bible and the tenets of their faith. Even rudimentary knowledge of the bible on your part would have negated the need for you to ask this question.
  2. By creating many rules about sexual behavior, Christian churches have many opportunities to threaten us with some type of punishment in the name of their god. Since most humans enjoy sex (a lot) and usually engage it on a routine basis, Christian churches have found they can exert a great influence on individuals by very rigidly defining acceptable sexual behavior and making most aspects (the most fun ones) of sexuality a “sin”. By controlling a large number (more than a majority) of people in this way (and other non-sexual ways), certain Christian churches (e.g., Catholic church in medieval Europe and Southern Baptist Convention in US now) have been able to wield an immense amount of social and political power over the last 1,500 years or so.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

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Good Times

Q: Will God give us a second chance after we die to believe in Jesus and go to heaven? I sure hope so, because I’m having too good a time now to bother with God, but I admit I don’t want to go to hell. — D.H.

A: As I mentioned just last Friday, heaven does not exist. Whenever I am asked this type of question, I cannot help but think of the problem of evil. This is one issue (of many) that leads me time and again to conclude that an all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing god does not exist.

There is nothing inherently wrong with having a good time as long as it does not cause undo harm to others, society, or our environment. Religions are notorious for condemning enjoyable behaviors, i.e., things that all of us do. This gives them a reason to exert their influence on the “unfaithful” and maintain their influence and power in our society.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

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