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. Every evil that is in this world is man made. Love one another as I have loved you, is a quote from the bible which has not been mentioned in the above article.
    You see humans have free will, and it all comes down to how we use it. Reading the above posts I noticed that a lot of writers who do not believe in God, seem to think it is alright for them to insult and criticize the writers who do.
    If one does not believe in God or a higher power, then one has not the right to condemn those who do, because condemning only suggests that there is fear. Why would you be afraid of something that does not exist. Let’s put it this way: I hate football, I think it is primitive, violent, total waste of money that could be put to better use for humanity, I don’t go or watch football games/matches, but that is my choice, I would not for one second tell you that you are stupid for liking it. It is none of my business what your feelings are. So if you don’t believe, leave the people alone who do. But if you truly don’t believe then Christmas, Easter, St Patrick’s vacation’s / bonus’s all have to be given up because without Christ, you would not have such celebrations. Don’t be a hypocrite.

    • First of all- i like your approach in general! :-)

      Secondly: So, do you support things like 'Gay Marriage'? If not, why not? 'If you dont like gay marriage- dont get gay married'. – same as your football analogy.

      As for 'Holy Days', its the same way you teach a dog to be obedient. Reward the population with a day off of being a financial slave (or real slave back in the day) and tell them the reason is either 1. Religious , 2. War related, 3. Bank related. – The 3 controls on society and humanity throughout the ages…

      pretty simple really…

    • You do realize that both Christmas and Easter are holidays that christanity stole and co-opted from pagan festivals right? St Patrick's vacation?!? In Ireland maybe but no here lol. Evil is manmade, funny pretty sure the bible says god created EVERYTHING including sin and evil. No none believer fears a go they they do not believe in, they do fear the evil that men do in the name of that god, ask the 30 million slaughtered jews killed by nazi Christians or the 100 million murdered native Americans killed by christian settlers, or the thousand killed each year by radicl muslims and christians alike. Tell you what, you don't like non christians using "your" holidays, how about you quit using the medical advances and technology brought to you by non christians? this includes such marvelous things as all dentristy, blood transfusions, vaccines, the internet, that PC or I-Phone you used to post with, surgery, antibiotics, eye glasses or contact lenses, electricity, in fact pretty much eveything you enjoy daily that did not come from a cow.

    • God made evil.
      It's right there in your bible. Isaiah 45:7.
      Maybe one day read the book you believe in.
      Religion is not immune from analysis and criticism. The very idea is nonsensical. Where on earth did you make that up from?
      All ideas are open to criticism, including the one, very specific religion of the 30,000 or so that you subscribe to. Science itself welcomes criticism and analysis. That's how science has given us better and better health, medicine, technology, and overall standard of living. Because people questioned and challenged. That's the entire point of science.
      Decrying criticism it on a site that would not exist without science and without critical thought is hypocritical.
      If religion could not be questioned, you would not have this site on which to whine about questioning religion.

  2. Here's the biggest one you forgot….. EVERYTHING happens according to god's plan, he is all knowing and all powerful right? But if he knows everything, and nothing happens without his will then he already knows ahead of time who will be saved and who won't be, kinda blows that whole "Free Will" thing out of the water, I mean hey if he knew you were going to hell before you were even born what's the point?!?

    One more thing, if he created everything (which no christian EVER has denied) that means he created sin and evil as well, you know the very shit he offers to save us from? Like a petty little kid with a magnifying glass and an anthill offering to save a few ants if they sing his name from the burning ray he's casting on them.

  3. I am always fascinated how people take nowadays existing moral values for granted. "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"
    Oh really? Do you actually think, that if Jesus would not leave his teachings on human values- we would have them now? No death penalty? No violence? No slavery? It is bad to rape?? Freedom of speach? Based on what exactly? Because you said so? Because you need it? Just face it- In the nature the strongest wins (he kills, rapes, enslaves and beats)- simple as that. That was always the predominant feature in all cultures- and only Christianity influenced it in another way. If Christianity would never have existed- we would not even have this conversation here! Who would even care what you or I think, unless we would be first runners?

    • Kristina, wrong, in so many ways. Firstly, nowhere in the Bible is slavery condemned. Slavery was fought initially by atheists. After anti-slavery started to catch on some Christians also realised it was the right thing, but all the way through it was the churches fighting for slavery, pointing to their Bibles to justify it.

      The Bible doesn't really say much against rape either, except that if the woman is already owned by another man it was considered theft and the rapist had to make reparation… to the other man. And the poor damn woman was forced to marry her rapist. In certain cases the Bible says the woman who is raped should be stoned to death. Such a moral book.

      The Bible is full of the most senseless violence and orders the death penalty for the tiniest infractions. You really think your argument here is on stable ground?

      I don't recall anything in the Bible about Jesus being in favor of freedom of speech. In fact if you're a woman you're specifically ordered not to teach men anything, and to shut up in church, and not to disagree with your husband on anything.

      I don't know why religious people learn so little about the natural world. If I believed in a god I'd spend as much time as possible learning about the natural world because, if there was a god, that would be his direct "writing" whereas the Bible with all its contradictions and muddled "parables" is obviously written by people. In Nature there are endless examples of cooperation being the winning strategy, not violence. Look at any of the countless species of social creatures. Look at symbiotic relationships between different species. Look at the wider ecosystems and how interdependent they all are.

      The main reason humans didn't die out ages ago is because we learned how to cooperate on larger and larger scales. We would have come much further along that road if it was not for religion taking us backward two steps for every three steps we take forward. For a thousand years of the Dark Ages Christianity ruled cruelly, burning people alive, torturing people, obliterating books and killing scholars.

      As for having this conversation here, we wouldn't be having it if not for a gay atheist, Alan Turing, the genius who laid the groundwork for our computers. Who knows how much more brilliant work he would have accomplished if the Christian bigots hadn't forced him to suicide?

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