10 Reasons Christianity Makes No Sense

By Godless Mama | 28 December 2015
Secular Press

Replica of Christus (1838) by Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770–1844). (Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

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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  1. First you assume that this "Jesus Christ" was actually a real person. It was not. It was a fictional story written by the catholic church, this is why all christians are in fact just catholics. So your first 5 reasons are all bunk because A jesus christ never existed.

    • Actually, Jesus was likely a real historical figure. There were just a lot of guys like him in his time, all claiming to be the Messiah, all heading up their own churches with their own apostles, many of whom were crucified too. The difference is Jesus’s followers managed to twist his story in a way that was kind of catchy to people of the time.

      “Our guy? He died, and CAME BACK! Can you say that of your ‘Messiah’? No? That’s what I thought. What do you mean, you didn’t see it happen? All of his believers saw it happen. You just didn’t see it because you didn’t believe in him.”

  2. If we evolved what part of your body can you live without? Skin, nervous system, vascular, bones, stomach feeding the whole body? How did the eye evolve? An animal thought I need to see, so a billion years later it could . Or , eye sockets formed in the skull with no purpose, how could a visual nervous system have evolved before their was an eye to giv it information? There is no way in science and evolution thatit could have evolved by chance. The only answer is it had to be created all at the same time. All. Our hearts, brains, mussels, bones, skin , stomach , which one of these can we live without ? None. Proof of God. Find out who he is in the new testament.

  3. “. . . how could a visual nervous system have evolved before their was an eye to giv it information? There is no way in science and evolution thatit could have evolved by chance. The only answer is it had to be created all at the same time. All. Our hearts, brains, mussels, bones, skin , stomach , which one of these can we live without ? None..”

    Your brain develops specialized areas for visual information but if you are blind these parts of your brain change and get used for other specialties. The brain can adapt itself to knew senses if given the opportunity.

    Your question is far too easy to answer: you can live without bones, obviously. Can you wear a backpack and kick a football? No, but that’s not the definition of alive. Mushrooms are alive. Bacteria are alive. Flowers are alive. They seem to be covering the whole Earth right now despite not being able to kick footballs around.

    You don’t actually need your skin either. It covers your body and protects it from invasion by bacteria and fungus and virus infections, but barring that it does not need to be there.

    Also, there are other ways of producing energy besides having stomachs. If our cells were able to use chlorophyl we wouldn’t need to eat food but, as it is, our body has high energy demands and so we could not survive like we do now, but we could survive. There are people who do technically live without stomachs. They ingest with their intestines.

    Vascular, your body works in a complex interconnected way, what might appear to be a small change could cause that system to go haywire. So, to say you could live without lungs seems impossible. What I find extremely unlikely is that we need lungs. Much like the skin, the lungs are kept packed up inside your body to protect them. There is no reason they would not work as a frog or mushroom does through its skin or a plant does by absorbing air passively through leaves. We do not need lungs.

    I think you either lack much knowledge about how the human body works or any sort of imagination. The body is not a single entity. It is a complex collaboration of cells. Like people in a city or the life in an ecosystem. When you talk about human DNA you are really talking about the DNA of individual cells. Cells that have cell walls die without those cell walls, in the same way you cannot function without breathing air in your lungs. That does not preclude the existence of living species that don’t breathe with their lungs or have skin. A mycoplasma is a cell that lives without walls.

    For the sake of argument, say you prove evolution is wrong. That doesn’t prove god is real or authored a best selling book. There are still problems with the idea of there being a god you can only believe but cannot see and the endless contradicting definitions such a god gets by on.

  4. Why are people saying the world is more peaceful without Christians? We are the ones who would die for them and care about them more than ourselves. And the book (Bible) that we follow and obey tells us, “But i say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44. How are we making the world a bad place if we are loving, blessing and praying for everyone, even bad people! I don’t see how that even works!

    • Because a lot of you aren’t doing that…? Just because the Bible says to do something doesn’t mean every Christian is loyally doing it.

      How about we talk about gay conversion camps? You wanna talk about the gay conversion camps? Because I’m ready to talk about the gay conversion camps. Let’s talk about how supposedly “loving” Christians are torturing young gay teens in hopes of “fixing them.” You wanna maybe admit that not all Christians are full of love and self-sacrifice for their fellow humans? Or are you gonna continue to be delusional?


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