10 Reasons Christianity Makes No Sense

By Godless Mama | 28 December 2015
Secular Press

When I discovered the online atheist community a few years ago, one of the things that astounded and humbled me the most was the scholarliness of so many activist atheists. I had never before been in the company of so many people so versed in scripture, so skilled in the arts of rhetoric and argumentation, so keen to identifying and deconstructing logical fallacies. I’m not going to lie: It’s often been intimidating to be surrounded by people whose expertise in such things is so far beyond my own, comparatively unsophisticated approach. But as time passes and I learn more and more about these subjects, I find that my basic issues with religion in general, and Christianity in particular, have not evolved to more abstract ontological questions, but have rather crystallized my inability to reconcile even the most basic and fundamental principles of Christian faith.

1. Jesus didn’t die. Christians are always going on about how Jesus died for our sins, but if he came back 3 days later then he didn’t die at all; more like being in a brief coma, which is a drag, but not exactly the ultimate sacrifice that the crucifixion is cracked up to be. And it wasn’t just his spirit that departed to heaven, but his actual physical being. If you go dig up a 3-day old grave, regardless of what you think may have happened to that person’s immortal soul, there’s still going to be a body in it. Jesus’ tomb, on the other hand, was empty, meaning that following his resurrection he was either a zombie or he was fully alive, neither of which is dead. Even more relevant is that when he was hanging there on the cross, Jesus knew that he was going to come back. He didn’t have to endure the fear of death that any other human being would have had to face or the uncertainty that presumably afflicts all but the most devout at the moment of death about whether there really was going to be an afterlife, or if this was lights out for good. Yes, he probably suffered physically, but he knew that death would be no more than a long nap and then he’d be up and at ‘em again. In short, he didn’t die.

2. Jesus didn’t have faith. Jesus was always rolling his eyes and scolding his disciples for not having enough faith. There are many verses to be found in the New Testament in which Jesus says some variation of, “Don’t trust your senses, don’t look for evidence, just accept it because I said so.” But if Jesus was the son of god, then faith wasn’t something he needed – he knew god and heaven were real because that’s where he came from, no faith required. How fair is it to command the rest of the world to believe something on faith alone, threatening eternal punishment to any who don’t believe it, when you yourself have no faith and all the evidence?

3. Jesus didn’t take away my sins. Or did he? I am no logician, but if Jesus died to take away the sins of humanity, then doesn’t that mean that once he was crucified there was no longer any such thing as sin? If his “death” was the absolution of the human race, which we are told it was, why do I still have to do what the bible says, or go to church, or even believe? Aren’t I already saved by his “sacrifice?” And if I am not, and there are still rules to follow and sins that could keep me out of heaven, then what exactly was the point?

4. Jesus wasn’t a very nice guy. American Christians talk a lot about so-called family values, but that concept doesn’t have much, if any, basis in the actual story of Christ. Jesus demanded that his disciples abandon their families and save all of their devotion for him and him alone – a rather narcissistic and not particularly family-centric expectation. Aside from seeming to be in direct contradiction to the commandment about honoring thy mother and father, abandoning spouses and children, while not against any commandments, still seems like a douchey thing to do, even 2,000 years ago.

5. Jesus’ dad was really not a nice guy. We all know that the bible is full of rape, murder, genocide, slavery, and every manner of atrocity – and not in a, “This is what our enemies do so don’t be like them” way, but in a “As long as you are one of mine, have at it” way. Then Jesus showed up and said, more or less, that the old laws still applied, and he wasn’t about to change them. Yes, he was willing to call out hypocrisy, and he did seem to care somewhat about social justice – at least with regard to poverty and leprosy – but otherwise he was still the enforcer of some rather distasteful rules. And don’t even get me started on Jesus being his own father – a concept that, in addition to making no sense, makes Jesus himself the very same god of the Old Testament that Christians like to dismiss as no longer relevant (except when it comes to hating gays).

6. Prayer is contradictory. We are told that god has a plan for everything, but then we are told to pray – for our loved ones to get better when they fall ill, for safety in the storm, for the home team to win the big game. Does that mean god will change his plan if you pray hard enough, or the right way, or get enough other people to pray for the same thing? At the very least this seems to suggest he doesn’t really have much of a plan if he’s willing to modify it based on popular opinion or for those who ingratiate themselves to him, not to mention that it’s a rather arbitrary, if not capricious, approach to human suffering. Further, people often say they pray for things like inner peace, strength, understanding, the solution to personal problems, etc. I don’t pray, but I do a lot of introspection in search of those same things, and then I do either what my conscience tells me is right or what my objectivity tells me has the best chance for the desired outcome. I suspect that people who pray end up doing more or less the same thing but attributing their conclusion to an outside agency. If that is the case, how can they explain that atheists (or members of other religions) can get to the same place with no (or a different) agent? And how strange is it, anyway, to carve out your conscience, that innermost part of yourself, the very core of what makes you you, and say it isn’t you?

7. The bible doesn’t set the moral bar very high. Let’s face it: Don’t rape people, don’t own people, don’t hate people, and don’t hurt children are kind of no-brainers when it comes to morality. Our friend Jesus and his old man not only failed to make these things clear, but in many instances they encouraged, condoned, or commanded them. Sure, Jesus said a few things about loving your neighbor and being kind to strangers, but he also said that not believing in him was the worst offense a person could commit and that anyone who didn’t believe would burn in Hell for all eternity. And seriously, the Ten Commandments as a basis for all morality? Checking out your neighbor’s wife is worse than raping his daughter? Taking the lord’s name in vain is worse than owning slaves? Nice priorities. Add to this the fact that god himself does not follow his own rules, to which Christians respond that mere mortals cannot understand or judge the morality of god. But if the bible defines morality, and god has a different set of rules for himself than for humans, and we are not allowed to know or understand his rules except that we are expected to do as he says but not as he does, then how exactly does that provide any kind of moral baseline whatsoever?

8. Christian love is not very loving. We hear a lot about Jesus’ love and god’s love, and how god so loved the world that he gave his only son, yada yada yada. We already covered the part about him not really giving up his son, and enough has been said by people smarter than I am about the questionable necessity of having a baby, leaving him be for 30 years, torturing him to death, and then bringing him back to life a few days later as a way of forgiving humanity instead of – oh, I don’t know, just saying “I forgive you.” We covered too that this supposed forgiveness isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on if I’m still considered a sinner and an apostate and bound for hell for not believing. But if we set that part of the contradiction aside, how loosely are we defining love if we are applying it to the bible? “I love you so much that I will torture and murder my own son as a symbol of something I could just give you without the bloodbath. I love you so much that I will reward you with an eternity in heaven, but you have to suffer and die in this world first. Salvation is yours, so long as you swear your devotion to me and only me. And believe what I say even if it sounds like nonsense because I told you to. And admit that deep down you are a rotten piece of garbage who doesn’t really deserve my love. And if you don’t do all of these things you will burn in a lake of fire for all eternity. But seriously, I love you.”

9. Terrible things happen to good people. A quarter of a million people died in the tsunami of 2006. Twenty first graders and six adults were slaughtered at Sandy Hook. People die of starvation, are killed by war and disease, are raped or beaten by people who have power over them, and suffer in countless other ways. If there is an omniscient, omnipotent god who is also loving, as Christians would have us believe, why do these things happen? Why do children suffer and die? Why are there droughts and floods and famines and pestilences and earthquakes and wars? Why couldn’t god just make people nice? Why create natural disasters? Why didn’t he set forth better, clearer rules to eliminate ambiguity about how we are supposed to treat each other? God either intervenes or he doesn’t; god is either omnipotent or he isn’t. If he does and he is, then suffering exists because god intends for it to be that way. If he doesn’t and he isn’t, then he isn’t in control of anything, including the minutiae of how we live our daily lives. How is either a god worth worshipping?

10. It’s all just way too convenient. Got what you prayed for? He answered your prayers. Praise Jesus! Didn’t get it? He has another plan. Praise Jesus! Don’t have the answers? You’re not meant to. Praise Jesus! Figured out the answer? He chose you. Praise Jesus! Sad about the deaths of your loved ones? They’re in a better place. Praise Jesus! Sad about how much your life sucks? You’ll be happy once you’re dead. Praise Jesus! Honestly, when the answer to every question is exactly the thing that makes you feel best / most comforted / least in need of using your own intellect, should that not send up a huge red flag that maybe you’re not being completely objective?

These are not overtly intellectual, clever, or even particularly insightful observations, nor am I the first person to make them. But as someone who has lived an entire life without religion, the exercises of engaging apologists, philosophizing, or running ontological obstacle courses seem – perhaps naively, but seem nonetheless – to be almost beside the point when the most basic premises of religious belief are so deeply flawed. These irreconcilable contradictions explain a lot about why religious indoctrination is necessary at a very young age, and sadly, they explain a lot about why the world is in the sorry state it is: Because they make people adept at rationalizing the irrational, believing the unlikely, and justifying the immoral.

Godless Mama is a liberal, atheist, anti-theist writer and parent seeking to make the world a better place through the spread of secularism and the exposing of the harms of religion. In addition to GodlessMama.com, she contributes to a number of other political and atheist pages and blogs.

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152 COMMENTS

  1. You obviously haven't studied the bible correctly to draw conclusions that are off base. You can't read the bible the same way that you read a newspaper or any other book. First if all, unless you know Hebrew or Greek, you are reading a translation. Second, you are taking things out of context. Third, there are cultural aspects that are unique to the time period within which the bible was written, as well as Jewish cultural issues that you would need to understand in order to completely and accurately understand what you are reading. For this reason, I would be careful not to draw conclusions out of haste as well as a shallow understanding of the scriptures. Finally, you need to understand that the "spirit" and "heart" behind what is written is just as important (if not more important) than the content. I would encourage you to take some courses on how to properly study the scriptures before you make any more statements that couldn't be any further from the truth. May God bless you as you seek to understand His Holy Scriptures. In Jesus name, Amen!

    • That's a feeble argument that's had to be contrived to deal with the increasing reasoned rejections of biblical reliability.

      To begin with, why have bible translations into English at all, if the bible can only be understood in Greek or Hebrew? The words are the words, and no amount of fancy psychology or interpretation (also known as re-writing to suit) can change their, often, clear intent.

      More especially, there are no 'original' documents, in the sense there is no reliable, first person witness testimony. The earliest gospel was begun between 40 and 60 years after the death of Jesus (even assuming such a person existed), was entirely second hand, based on oral recollections; not exactly convincing to anyone, other than a person who is obsessively determined to believe it.

    • Ha, yes!… "there are cultural aspects that are unique to the time period within which the bible was written, as well as Jewish cultural issues that you would need to understand"…like there was no such thing as rape then. It was violating property–vandalism, if the woman was wed. Coveting property. The Commandment tablets were pretty clear on the omission of the word. "Thou shalt not rape? What is this rape?" The information on who wrote scriptures over the years they were made up and what the words the Hebrew and Greek texts were actually scribed are well-known. The article and others like it is now a culmination of that knowledge. It is you who need to learn. How to think critically and not blindly.

    • Ah yes, the "out of context" complaint. Please tell me, I what context is the blatant murder of many thousands of children at the hands of gods "chosen" a good thing or the deaths of scores of people put to death on the accusations of witchcraft by the Puritans, or the sadistic torture and execution of thousands by the Catholic church during the inquisition. Oh wait, you can't because there isn't any.

      If your God had any good sense about him there wouldn't need to be any translations, just a universal understanding. Christianity preys upon everything, including itself, in its mission to rule the world. Notice how the most religious countries these days are also the poorest or have the greatest disparate on between rich and poor? Maybe you should think about that.

    • To my knowledge, there are NO original biblical documents in existence. So regardless of the language you are reading it in, they are ALL copies and translations.

    • I just love the way christian’s know everything about the bible and that their interpretations of it are always exactly what it means. The rest of us are just too stupid to see it. They seem so educated about it all. They are just brilliant people, only they are smart enough to understand the exact meaning of it all. I personally think the majority of christians are the most ignorant, self-important, hypocritical with the lowest IQ and self esteem of anybody. They act like they have a need to act like they know so much more than unbelievers. Personally, I would hate to feel so bad about myself. It is really funny that they act so superior to everyone about a book that makes no sense, condradicts itself constantly and add to that is the fact that there is no evidence for Jesus or anything else in the far-fetched story, and you really have to wonder about them. Admit it, the book makes no sense!! They are constantly having to come up with reasons for it to make sense but to some of us, they simply come across as babbling morons. The fact that they try to make unbelievers feel as though we are the ones that don’t know anything is very telling. I only ask that they prove their beliefs with evidence. Show me that god exists and I will change my mind. I have asked this for years with no answers. People a lot smarter than I have searched for evidence and found nothing. It seems an easy thing to prove, so why don’t you?

    • You're grotesquely brainwashed if you need to be taught how to interpret the scripture because they will teach you not to question it. Question everything you only need a little intellect to decipher the bullshit contained within the Bible. May d some day you wake up and join the real world

    • Funny that any half-rate lawyer can write a document that is impossible to misinterpret, yet somehow god lacks that ability.

      Also the morality of primitive, superstitious Bronze Age savages shines through the Old Testament, and the just barely improved morality of Iron Age savages shows in the New Testament, while neither displays any understanding that slavery is evil, rape is awful, and different races and gay people are all just people, deserving equality and dignity. Strange how the morality of god in those times is identical with the people who wrote about him.

      It's also such a coincidence that the advice god gives is so unhelpful: it's an abomination to wear mixed-thread fabrics, but doesn't say anything about washing hands before eating. Back then the ancient Greek scholars knew the Earth was a sphere, but the Bible says it is flat. Mathematicians knew about pi being the ratio of the diameter of a circle and its circumference, but the Bible gets it wrong, saying it's just 3.

      Face it Jon. The Bible is made up by primitive, superstitious people. There never was a god.

    • Please do tell us the "spirit" and "heart" behind these passages: “This is what the Lord Almighty says… ‘Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” (1 Samuel 15:3)

      “Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us – he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.” (Psalm 137:9)

      “So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight. When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, ‘Get up; let’s go.’ But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.” (Judges 19:25-28)

  2. Nice article. Always good to hear people's beliefs and world views. But unfortunately arguments posed by atheists are often flawed because they don't have a very good grasp on Christianity (And that's not just for Christianity but other faiths too) even when they appear to talk like they do (using scripture etc). The media can distort credibility and give excessive coverage to such men as Richard Dawkins while other atheists (like Michael Ruse) say Dawkins makes them embarrassed to be an atheist. An example from the above article is, 'Jesus being his own father', and the point that Jesus didn't really have to worry about his own death as he was coming back to life again. The latter misses a rather big point of the crucifixion. I won't post it here but just read ' Reason for God' by Tim Keller. A pretty comprehensive covering of many topics. And 'Is God a moral monster' by Paul Copan.

    Happy Easter!

    • You're a complete tool. Your 'The media can distort credibility and give excessive coverage to such men as Richard Dawkins while other atheists (like Michael Ruse) say Dawkins makes them embarrassed to be an atheist' statement made me laugh for a few minutes! – Thanks for the humor!! How many channels of your free-to-air TV channels broadcast preachers/preaching/church stuff everyday? In australia we have at least 3 late night evangelists shows running to braindead zombies who cant sleep. How many stations run 'Athiests' all night? – ZERO!!!!!!!!! How many private schools in Australia WITHOUT religious indoctrination – 1 or 2. TOTAL! I think you will find the media will always run the : WAR/RELIGION/BANK agenda 100 times to every 1 for the Athiests. Its population control.. obviously you Muppet.

    • Atheists don't have a very good grip on Christianity? Actually, in the West, many if not most atheists are former Christians who far more often than not have studied the Bible and Christian history far more, and know far more, than the average Christian, who often times know next to nothing. And please don't give me that "you have to be an expert/theologian to understand" BS, what those people do is do mental gymnastics and anything they can, use anything they can employ to defend their predetermined and desired conclusion, this is not an honest search for truth. You do not have to be an expert on anything to recognize absurdity, barbarity and contradiction. And what honest, actual experts have come to destroys all notions of biblical inerrancy and reveals it as an utterly human product.

    • CJV, atheists generally have a much better command of the Bible than religious people do. This has come out in some recent surveys. The result is always that religious people know very little about their own religions, but atheists generally have a very good knowledge of the Bible and other religious books. When trying to push back against religious people, I plead with them to actually read their Bibles. It is the very best way to turn religious people into atheists. The Bible is such an awful book, the only way Christians can believe it has any sense at all is to avoid reading it, except for particular passages picked out by their preacher.

      CJV, if you genuinely sat down and carefully read your Bible from cover to cover you would become an atheist. It is full of injustice and insanity and contradictions. God alternately acts like a jerk and a psychopath. Jesus is only slightly better, despite all you hear about the kind and loving Jesus.

  3. I guess I would prefer to die and find out that there is no God than to live my entire life not believing in God only to die and find out that there us a God.

    • Er, no, that's not how it works. See, when you die… you don't "find out" anything. When you die you go back to being exactly what you were before you were born – nothing. You don't "know" anything. So you can't "find out."

      No, what actually happens is that you waste your only opportunity to exist on a set of threats and lies and then you die and the people and organizations who benefited by bamboozling you take your stuff and continue to flourish, with no thought of you whatsoever. And you don't know you've been ripped off, because you're dead and don't exist anymore.

    • So you would rather live you life bound by so many rules and restrictions that have no bearing on actual morality? So you want to be a mental slave? And what if the god you are worshiping is not the correct one. What if the gates open and it is Allah in front of you. You need to have a better argument than this.

      • You do know a man made Allah up and there is no proof for Allah. And if Allah is real then you will have to face him to and at least Christians knew that there was a higher power and not just nothing.

    • You realize that translates exactly as "I'd rather live my entire life believing blindly in what someone told me to than to live it with logic and reason"?

      • She’s not saying how she’d rather live her earthly life but her afterlife. But whenever someone says something smart, someone always changes what they say trying to make them look stupid even though they didn’t say that

    • Why are all these people disagreeing with you. So you (people who are disagreeing) think it would be better to not believe in God and find out he is real after death and go to Hell than believe in God and turn into nothing after death? What Alexis is trying to say is that if God is real atheists will be punished but if He isn’t real the Christians won’t be punished because everyone will just turn to nothing. She’s not talking about what way she wants to live on earth, but that if there is an afterlife how she wants to live there.

  4. Like “CHRISTIAN LOVE IS NOT VERY LOVING”. Seriously. That is your argument? Christian has never been about being a victim, alright? That’s why Jesus got killed. Because he wanted to spread the truth, and the truth hurts, sorry.
    What was the point of Jesus’ death? To forgive our sins. But it doesn’t stop us from doing them, we are human. The only human sinless was Jesus Christ. Only him. He died forgiving those who killed him. But hey, you can understand that if you haven’t read one line of the Bible instead of picking up things online and says “Look, I know what I am talking about”.
    “Terrible things happens to good people”. Are you a hippie or something? well, lemme put this straight, and I’m not going to do it again so you better read that carefully. If Jesus died, the Son of the Father. Do you think us, Human and Christian, deserved to be like, protected? No. God is not a shield, or a bank account where you have money problem. And most of Jesus followers at that time got killed because of their beliefs. So yeah, terrible things happens to good people, and that’s called life. The world is no sunshine and rainbows said Rocky, and it’s true.
    Its too convenient? Do you think Jesus calls you back and says “what’s up buddy, I’ve recieved your prayer. Sounds correct. I’m gonna talk about it to the Father. You’re gonna recieved 4 millions dollars in bitcoins saturday or sunday, depends of his mood. ‘Aight, see ya ;)”.
    Christiniaty is about being humble, having discipline, making sacrifice. Even Jesus didn’t get saved on the cross when he was begging for it. God is not a gift card damn it.
    Jesus didn’t have faight? Funny. Because Jesus is God. But I’m not going to explain to you, because you wouldn’t care anyway.
    I have nothing against being atheist, jewish, muslims, etc. But what I hate, is when one starts insulting my religion and the Christ, without even knowing what he is talking about. Why? You think religions caused war? Say that to the people who died in WWI, WWII, Irak, Syria, Korea, Russia, etc. I don’t think God was the main cause of these wars. Religion caused stupidity? Many scientist and intellectual believed and still believes in God. Einstein was on of them. He knew that the world was so complex that the intervention of something spiritual was forced. Religion causes violences, divisons? Funny to see that atheist are the one causing wars, insulting religious people and thinking they are the most brilliant and yet, I read that kind of post.

    Anyway, live your life and stop talking about things you don’t understand.

    • "..and stop talking about things you don't understand."

      Yeah, you might want to work on that yourself. LOL

    • whatthehellf, please read carefully what you wrote. How exactly does dying forgive anybody anything? What exactly does it accomplish? I know you've been told over and over again that Jesus died for our sins, but if you actually think about it for a moment it actually doesn't make any sense.

      Sins are not transferable. The old idea of blood sacrifice is senseless. Killing one person for another person's wrongdoing is not only absurd, it is immoral.

      By the way, Einstein explained many times that it was a lie that people spread about him believing in a god. He never did. I never understood why religious people are so quick to lie for Jesus. Another example is the embarrassing lie about Hitler being atheist, when he was in fact devoutly Christian. You can read of his deep conviction that he was carrying out Jesus' work, not only in his speeches, but also in his personal notes that were never intended for other eyes.

      The Iraq war was started and waged by the most Christian nation on Earth: USA.

      You do realise that ISIS in Syria are strongly religious, right?

      North Korea has created a living god: their leader. It is an entire country held hostage to a religion. North Korea is a perfect example of why religion is so dangerous.

      whatthehellf, buddy, you really need to step outside your protective bubble of ignorance and learn a little about the real world.

  5. I’m a heathen. A northern European pagan, and everything you pointed out is a large part of why I am. Of course there are other reasons. The narrowminded, self righteous, homophobic, misogynistic, genocidal dogma played a part in why I could not accept that god. I like my gods better. They demand we take responsibility for our actions instead of blaming a fictional character. “The devil made me do it.” Hog wash, you chose to do it.

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