By Ian Murphy

Since the dawn of man, deep, resonating questions have plagued his mind: What is the meaning of life? Is there a higher power? What is man’s place in the universe? Is there an afterlife? Who let the dogs out? Who? Who? Who?

Modern man, for all his Tony Robbins Personal PowerTM seminars, books, tapes and various twelve step programs, appears no closer to understanding these cosmic riddles than an Egyptian goatherd, circa 2000 BC, who believed the sky was a cow goddess, eating the sun every dusk, and giving birth to it every dawn. The point being: far too many people still believe in equally crazy shit.

Some will tell you religion (rough etymology – re linking) no longer links us back to anything; no unmoved mover, no creator, no creamy nougat center. It does however, link us to our own biological past, our primitive hardwiring, our kill-or-be-killed instincts, our clan versus clan animus. A good portion of the world population and this country are running on out-of-date mythological software. Linux, Windows 1400XP, Wahabbism, Santa Claus: ideas too are comprised of atoms. And so are bombs. Both are dangerous, especially when split.

It has always been about resources: fertile land, water, salt, gold, cotton, petroleum, stuffed crust pizza. “We deserve it and they don’t.” Aircraft carriers have replaced frigates, and entire civilizations localized clans, yet people shy away from saying “clash of civilizations.” Seems too dire, a position for zealots even, but true nonetheless. Mind you I’m not strictly speaking East v. West, but also rational v. irrational. Fanatical rationalists en garde!

The ideas of chosen people and jealous gods have justified atrocities and plundering from the ancient Aztecs straight through to the similarly antiquated mindset of the American religious right.  The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, Slavery, the Holocaust—all the classics. Religion has been there every bloody step of the way, linking us back to the murderous savages we are. We only think we are more civilized because we partake in ritualized, rather than actual, cannibalism. Ask a devout Catholic about the tasteless wafer they consume weekly (made in a poorly lit Mexican factory) and they will tell you they are eating god. Same dance, different tune. Deep-seated, biologically rooted memes are a hard habit to break. Ape crack.

Folk on the moderate left like to remind us from time to time—like when fundamentalists wig out, commit arson and act like all around genocidal assholes—that these perpetrators are extremists, perverts of an otherwise moderate dogma. “These people are wackos, they don’t represent our faith,” apologists apologize. Bullshit.

The true believers are the ones willing to smash planes into buildings, hack people to pieces and bomb OBGYNs based on morality gleaned from sacred texts. God’s children, doin’ the best they know how.

These are real religious people, the ones who will get all the virgins and ride shotgun in Jesus’ sweet rapture mobile. What could be better than an eternity of tight pussy or snaggin’ a ride in the Son of Man’s tricked-out, flying Prius?

The truly faithful, the freaks, the believers are in it for the payout. All the others are Christian, Muslim and Jew in name only, they are the perversion; they are the ones who don’t understand their own faith. Probably people like your aunt, who calls herself a Christian, but gets squeamish over killing fags. You should either follow the bible to the letter or not. No more of this poetic license crap: burn down an embassy, or get off the pot. Take it or leave it. That’s why I liked the Taliban so. Religion is fucking crazy and those dudes were the craziest cats around.

The divinely guided, who will kill you, or at least wish you dead, because you belong to a different book club – this is what religion is.

People became hysterical over the James Frey deceit: Can you imagine what would happen if Oprah took on the Bible or the Koran? Surely the apocalypse (rough etymology – enlightenment) would be nigh. But don’t let your preacher or mullah know that little tidbit, because it smacks of book learnin’ – and not the good book either. Eating from the tree of knowledge has its consequence: Expulsion from ignorance.

What we need now are anti-preachers, anti-faith based initiatives, anti-Mohammeds and antichrists. We can no longer stand idly by, watching the retarded children pummel each other with stones and missiles. It is time for an apocalypse. Religion is a vile meme, its protracted end being dominion over the “other”: man over woman, tribe over tribe, “our god can beat up your god.” It will be hard to quash in the face of baseless afterlife promises and punishments, that some hold so dear. Maybe we could give the believers raisins, cookies and a universal healthcare system as substitute. Or maybe, just maybe - we should give them all a free one-way ticket to the heaven of their choice. Hey – it’s an idea!

It’s time to turn “Godless” from an epithet to a compliment. Every day, decent, reasonable secular folk withstand a barrage of damnation from less intelligent people. But for some reason, we are expected to humor them and their simpering expectations of deference. Fuck that. Religion is a mental disorder, obscuring reality and clouding thought, and we are the cure. Now is no time to back down.

This issue of The BEAST—especially this issue—is not for the religious, unless they’re ready to admit they’re taking part in an enormous charade, or at least ready to laugh about it.

Laugh Riot
Protecting the World from Parody?
Allan Uthman
Xtreme Religion
A Faith-Based Initiative.
Ian Murphy
Deity Roundtable
The "Big 3" convene for a chat with us.
Paul Jones
Fundy Funnies
The only comics page for the pure of faith!
Color Me Tolerant
A BEAST Coloring Contest!
Please Don't Kill Me
A message from terrified Associate Editor Chris Riordan.
Reader Opinion
Punxutawney Phil: Enemy of Allah
'Special' Baptisms Lead to Several Drownings
I'm Feeling Monkey
What Google tells us monkeys. A. Monkey
Slaughter Sport
Cheney wasn't "hunting."
Kit Smith
Reader Opinion
Punxutawney Phil: Enemy of Allah

Last Issue: #92

The BEAST 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2005
Our disturbingly popular annual list of the foulest among us, for a particularly objectionable year.

Balance, Bias, & Bullshit
"Balanced" news is making you more stupider.
Allan Uthman
Come Frey with Me
Advance excerpt from James Frey's new "memoir."
Chris Riordan
Belly of the Beast
An inexplicable adventure with Al Gore.
Ian Murphy
Planet of the Apes
The promise of an animal society.
The Monkey
Ask an NSA Spook
He's always listening....
Lighting the Fuse
Stop waiting for Democrats to solve your problems.
Stan Goff
Mad Science
Corruption is threatening science, too.
Kit Smith
Stupor Bowl
Are you ready for some duuuhhh?
Paul Jones
Reader Opinion
Why only one foreign Nation Downtown?

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