This blog contains material I wrote and posted on between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

These People Are Crazy

September 2010

As regular readers of my blog are aware, among the comic strips I follow is Luann, by Greg Evans. Before I go on further, I’d like you to take a look at today’s (8 September) strip:

To see the full-size version, click here.

For those of you (just about everyone, I suppose) who have no idea what on earth is going on, here’s the back story: the muscled guy in the sunglasses, Dirk, is a man with a history of violence and uncontrollable temper. After beating up Brad, the son of the black-haired woman, Nancy (because his, Dirk’s, ex-girlfriend, Toni, was hanging out with him), he was issued with a restraining order to stay away from Brad, and went to jail after violating that order. And now, after several years off the strip, Dirk’s back...a changed man, apparently, because he got religion in prison. Check out that gigantic cross he’s holding up as if to hide behind, or to ward off vampires.


If there’s one thing that sends alarm signals up my spine, it’s one of these people who get religious somewhere in their post-adolescent lives. As an atheist, I can adapt to people who’ve been religious since they’ve been old enough to be indoctrinated, for good or bad; generally their worldview, however intense their personal beliefs, is “live and let live”. It’s the lot who “find religion” all of a sudden, and I mean genuinely “find it”, who are as cuddly and harmless as a Humboldt squid in a feeding frenzy.

For example, in that cartoon, if I were Nancy, I’d probably be infinitely better off if Dirk were only pretending to have discovered religion; sham religion wears off pretty quick and one can reason with such people. On the other hand, if he really had religion, what might be going through his head could be something along these lines:

“Toni is mine, in the eyes of the Lord. Whom God hath joined, let no man sunder. Therefore, Brad is doing the work of Satan by coming between Toni and me. And therefore, I will be doing the Lord’s work if I destroy him. Amen.”

You see where this would tend to end up, if the cartoonist followed the story to a logical conclusion? A hostage situation, and someone getting shot.

I tell you, these born-again characters are terrifying. Check out the lists of religious fanatics and terrorists; just about every one of them “found” religion at a relatively “late” stage of life, by which I mean after adolescence, by which time their thought processes (if any) have solidified. There seems to be a kind of switch that turns on and – toquote a forgettable character in a forgettable film – “Scripture (twists) that man deadly” in those circumstances.

Somehow, people who fall into religion at this stage in life don’t seem to understand what the hell religion is meant to be: essentially a series of guidelines to help one make one’s way through life, for those who need or desire such guidelines. Instead, the letter of religion suddenly becomes infinitely more important than the spirit. And this letter, of course, is only the translated, interpreted, usually twisted, and then more often than not hate-drenched version of the original intent of whoever the founder or founders of the religion was. I often wonder if Christ or Muhammad would have bothered if he could’ve seen his followers today!

So this is why we can have morons like that idiot pastor in Floridawho wants to burn a Quran, and we have people all ready to be provoked by this as well. And so on, and on, and on.

So, if you see the late-life born-again convert, be afraid. Be very afraid.

He’d kill his God for his religion, and I’m not joking about that.

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