Religion Is Evil
Copyright © by Josh Becker, 8/10/03
[reprinted from http://www.beckerfilms.com/religion.htm]
I've just read the second article
in two days about Mel Gibson's upcoming, self-financed film about the death of
Jesus, "The Passion," and the controversy it's already causing before
almost anyone has seen it. I just want to add in my two-cents' worth before I've
seen it, either.
In point of fact, I don't give a
good Goddamn about Gibson's movie or Mel Gibson, for that matter. I think
he's a third-rate director and a second-rate actor who's never had the ability
to master his American accent, and sounds like he comes from America's 51st
state -- the state of anemia.
As these articles keep pointing
out, Mel is part of a religious sect called "Catholic
Traditionalists," who didn't even have a church in Los Angeles, so Mel went
and built one. These nuts only perform their services in Latin, and have
broken from the Roman Catholic Church over the Vatican's 1965 accord wherein
they finally exonerated the Jews for the death of Jesus. But Mel's not
willing to go there. He and the other Traditionalists obviously still
harbor a grudge that the Jews were culpable for the death of Jesus.
Perhaps if the Jews actually ran
Israel at the time of Jesus' death they would have been responsible, but of
course they didn't. The Romans ran Israel and most of the world at that
time and it was their rules everyone was following. Which isn't to say
that the Jews themselves might not have executed Jesus for being a
rabble-rouser, but they certainly wouldn't have crucified him -- that's a Roman
tradition, and the Romans were rather traditionalists in their own way.
You know what? Who gives a
flying fuck? Hello! This was 2,000 years ago.
But all of this meaningless hoopla
just brings up other issues for me. First of all, Jim Caviezel plays Jesus
in "The Passion." One more time a gutless motherfucker has cast
a gentile as a Jew. Doesn't this offend anyone else but me? Jesus
was Jewish. He was born a Jew, raised a Jew, and died a Jew, and all in
the land of the Jews, Israel. His parents were Jews, all of the apostles
were Jews, everyone he knew was Jewish, and if he returned today he wouldn't go
to church he'd go to synagogue. The fact that over a billion Christians
get down on their knees and pray to a dead Jew has always amused and fascinated
me from the time I was a little kid.
But I'm going to take this whole
issue one big step farther. Religion, of any denomination, sect or ilk, is
the basis of nearly all that's evil on our lovely planet. Religion is not
here to make anything better, it's only purpose to divide and separate us.
We're the chosen people, you're not. Our God is the real God, yours is
false and profane. Although we must show love and compassion for other
members of our own religion, those of any other can be killed, tortured, and
maimed because they're infidels. Religion, at its very heart, means I'm
right and you're wrong, or you're right and I'm wrong, but someone's always got
to be wrong.
I say that religion is the pretext
for evil on our planet. Religion is the method whereby humans can
rationalize their awful behavior to other humans and pawn it off as good deeds.
The basis of all Judeo-Christian
religions, which includes Islam, is the old testament bible, which states very
clearly "Thou Shalt Not Kill." Although I didn't know it at the
time, nor is it even my title, the name of my first film is really much more
appropriate: "Thou Shalt Not Kill . . . Except." As George
Carlin so aptly put it, except "if you believe in another invisible man
than I do." In which case the root and basis of all these religions,
the ten commandments, can be happily and easily be tossed out.
Evil does not run around in a red
devil suit with horns. Evil runs around as fundamentalists of every kind,
Christian, Jew, Muslim or Hindu. I'll leave out the Buddhists and the
Quakers because I don't think they have ever bothered anybody. But they
certainly aren't joining in with the rest of us, either. Religion is about
separation, me and you, them and us, it has nothing to do with living with the
rest of humanity in peace. Therefore, religion is the basis of evil.
Catholic priests have been
seducing and raping young boys for over a hundred years, but are adamantly
against homosexuality. Muslims say they believe in the ten commandments
and that Abraham, Isaac, and Moses were all holy men, but all Muslims believe in
the jihad and that anyone who is not a Muslim ought to be, and eventually will
be, killed. Fundamentalist Christians, who also purport to believe in the
ten commandments, really believe that when the apocalypse comes and Jesus
returns, all the Jews will either have to convert to Christianity or will be
killed, and that's perfectly okay. Of course, Jesus will be in the nearest
synagogue praying to Yaweh while this mass murder is going on. And the
Jews and Hindus all believe that they are the real chosen people and everyone is
just screwed anyway.
This is all moronic,
simple-minded, idiotic, pre-civilized, childish thinking. Any name that we
knuckleheaded humans can give to this incredible animating power that we call
God, be it Jehovah, Jesus, Krishna, Allah, Buddha, or Zoroaster, are all
As Joseph Campbell, the great
historian of mythology, so clearly pointed out, anyone that takes any of these
old books of mythology literally has completely missed the point. The
bibles old and new, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Book of Zoroaster, and all
the rest of the "holy" books are merely collections of mythology.
They are metaphors and parables about how to live your life and how to face
death. They are highly imperfect users manuals on how to get through this
veil of tears we call life. If you actually believe that Jehovah is an old
(white) man with a long beard who is watching each and every one of us over six
billion humans and judging us, you're an imbecile. If you literally
believe that Jesus is Jehovah's son, you've decided to turn off a big portion of
your brain and not deal with reality. If you literally believe that if you
kill an infidel that Allah will bless you with seventy-two virgins in the land
of milk and honey, you've definitely got a screw loose. These are all
Yes, there probably were guys
named Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha, but they were humans just like the rest of
us. The fact that a lot of other desperate, unquestioning people gathered
to them doesn't make them anything other than plain old humans.
Religion is all based on weakness
and laziness. It's the throwing in of the towel on the mysteries of life.
It's saying, I can't make head or tail out of any of this shit, so I'll just go
with what everyone is doing. If they're all getting down on their knees,
eating a cookie and believing it's the body of Christ, then I will too. If
they're all wrapping themselves in leather thongs, covering their heads with
beanies, and rocking back and forth, that's what I'll do. If everybody
else is bowing to Mecca six times a day, I guess that's what I must do, too.
This is the behavior of lemmings following other lemmings off the edge of the
cliff. There is absolutely no difference between praying to Jesus, praying
to Jehovah, bowing to Mecca, or lighting incense to Krishna, than there is sieg
heiling to Hitler, blindly following Pol Pot into the killing fields, or
chopping up Tutsis with machetes. It's all called thoughtless behavior.
It's part of our job as humans to
think about and consider our place here on the planet and our position amongst
all these other people. The second you abnegate this responsibility,
you've fallen into an evil trap. As the writer Harlan Ellison has said,
"We're all the same person under different skins," and that's truly a
holy thought. All the religions on Earth want to point out is that we are
all different, and we of our religion are better than those other unholy
blasphemers. That's evil. And that is what all religion at its core
is all about. Us and them. We're holy, they're infidels.
A word religions seem to really like, particularly the Jews is
"tradition," which is the handing down of beliefs or customs from one
generation to the next. This is another form of acceptance without
questioning. For several hundred years an American tradition was,
"The only good Indian is a dead Indian." A good old Australian
tradition was "the Abo-hunt," where they tracked down and shot the
Aboriginal people for amusement. A good old European tradition was the
pogrom, where, if your luck had turned sour, go kill some Jews. The
Russians loved this tradition, but the French and Germans thought it was a
pretty swell tradition, too. And it's always been a tradition of the Serbs
to hate the Croats, the Hutus to hate the Tutsis, whites to hate blacks,
Christians to hate Jews, Jews to hate the Palestinians, Hindus to hate the
Muslims, and Muslims to hate everybody.
Well, let's just thank God for tradition, sing songs in its praise and
dance the Hora.
Karl Marx said that "Religion is the opiate of the masses," and
he couldn't have been more correct. Religion is a drug that encourages you
to not think for yourself, and, in my very humble opinion, is much worse and far
more deadly than heroin, pot, cocaine, and alcohol all put together. None
of these other drugs breeds contempt for other people, but all religions do in
one way or another. Religion is the insidious evil of our planet, and the
sooner people start to wake up to that the sooner we can get on to bigger, more
important issues like peace and goodwill toward others.