Monday, January 2, 2012

That's a Christian Attitude You've Got There [NSFW]

Spider Jerusalem: Yeah, I'm calling your "faith" bullshit. This man needs medical help if he can't get through his life without something invisible to believe in.
Y'know, I wouldn't mind all this half so much if there was some historical truth in it.
This whole concept of "faith"--of believing in something that isn't fucking there--was invented by a man to cover up the cracks in the "Christianity" he cobbled together with the Romans.
This whole God thing comes from the days when our brains weren't as connected up as they are now, and we all hallucinated daily!
Evangelist: Shut the fuck up, you goddamned heretic bastard.
Spider Jerusalem: Fuck me. That's a Christian attitude you've got there.
- Transmetropolitan #6
by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson

There is a point here. People with serious issues, whether physical or mental, should seek professional medical help. However, despite Spider's disdain for religion, it shouldn't be ruled out. Even from a scientific standpoint, faith can play a large role in one's well being. People having faith that the little pill they're taking will make them feel better will often feel somewhat better, even if that pill contained nothing but sugar. Should not faith in a religion or god likewise be valued, even if it were to offer nothing more than a placebo effect?

That's probably not where you thought I was going with this. Oh well. Do I ever go where you think I will?

This doesn't mean I think God, religion, and faith is all a placebo. Of course not. My own family religious history focuses heavily on the belief (or occurrence) of miraculous healing. But even if faith was just a placebo, it would still have some benefits. That's all I'm heretically saying here.

Anyway, the rest of this quote...I'm not sure what's going on. Who exactly is the man Spider's talking about that cobbled together Christianity with the Romans? Is it Jesus? I don't think so. Jesus didn't exactly work with the Romans. He was kind of executed by them, after all. Sure, it didn't stick, but they still executed him.

What about the Apostle Paul. He was one of the main forces that spread Christianity throughout the Roman Empire. Again, he didn't exactly work with the Romans, even if he was a Roman citizen. And, as tradition holds, he was also killed by Roman officials.

So who else? Maybe Spider is referring to our old pal Constantine. If we doubt that Constantine really saw a vision truly and had his reign ordained by God, then we might view Constantine as a bit of a political schemer that used religion to secure his political ambitions. Perish the thought! And this would lead to the Council of Nicaea where many of the doctrines of Christianity were clarified and solidified.

So that kind of works. I suppose Constantine would be my best guess, but I still don't think it really fits. So, in the end, I'm not really sure who, or exactly what, Spider Jerusalem (and to an extent, writer Warren Ellis) is ranting about.

But the last part of this exchange is great. The devout evangelist hurls obscenities at Spider who then calls him out over such very non-Christian behavior. And therein lies one of the biggest problems with Christians: we're hypocrites. Don't deny it. Of course we're hypocrites. If we weren't already guilty of all the things we condemn, we wouldn't need a savior! But we do. And we're still human so we will inevitable still fail to live up to Christian standards.

That's not an excuse. It's reality.

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