As a moderate Christian pastor

Published January 24th, 2008 by Bobby Henderson

As a moderate Christian pastor, I’m afraid I can’t join your religion, but I certainly appreciate its goals. Let it be known that not all Christians are goober-heads and some do believe in more of a live and let live philosophy. I figure that if all religions kind of kept it to “Love God (as you understand God), love your neighbor, and share what you have,” we’d all be better off. Any way, thanks to the FSM prophet for the peace offering.
-Dread Pirate David

78 Responses to “As a moderate Christian pastor”

  1. Sarah says:

    Fizzmick PaChee,

    My apologies for missing your apology, I was affronted by the end of you post (I took that “seeing the light” comment as disrespectful of other people’s beliefs) and felt the need to challenge some of the assumptions you seem to be making. You seem genuinely interested in what I am try to say, so let me try to explain.

    First, my objection is not to you saying religion is dangerous (I agree that it can be) my objection is to the word “inherent”. As an atheist, I don’t think that any inherent value judgement can be placed on anything: anything can be either dangerous, benign, or helpful given the circumstances. The term “inherently dangerous” implies that there is some absolute measure of something’s “goodness” or “badness” – who but a supernatural deity could be capable of measuring the minds of humans well enough to determine if something has caused more suffering than joy?

    But more importantly, I don’t think the question itself is important. It does not matter to me if something is overall more hurtful or harmful; what matters to me is weather that something it more hurtful or harmful in a given circumstance. For example, if something causes more harm than good 75% of the time, and more good than harm 25% of the time, then I think that something should be employed when it is useful and avoided when it is not – if one instead argues that because, overall, it causes more harm than good it should always be avoided, one is making (in my mind) the incorrect choice 25% of the time. You inferred that I am trying to excuse the harms of religion by saying it can also help. I was not trying to do that at all; that thought had not even occurred to me. Let me use an example I’m sure you are familiar with: religion as the opiate of the masses. Can opiates be harmful? Yes. Can they be useful? Also yes. Are they more harmful than helpful? I don’t know, and I don’t think anyone can really know. Does using them when they are useful (e.g. morphine for cancer patients) somehow justify the loss of pain, loss of life, and violence that has occurred (and continues to occur) because of their discovery? Again, I’m not interested in justifying anything, I am simply interested in making the best of the current situation. Opiates have been discovered, people have become addicted and have died, and banning the use of morphine in hospitals is not going to change that.

    And that leads me into the clarification of my ideal world comment – what I meant by saying that the world is not ideal is not that you should not attempt to make it so, but rather that you should not behave as if it is. In an ideal world, no human would ever have need of opiates, because no one would ever get hurt or sick (and they probably should all be destroyed in such a circumstance), but in this non-ideal world we have, there is need of them and I don’t think they should all be destroyed. Humans evolved, messily and imperfectly, and as they exist now (non-ideal and all) many of them have a psychological need for religion, and behaving otherwise will hurt more than it helps.

    I’ve just realized I spent 2 hours composing this message (man am I lame) so I’m going to end this. I look forward to you reply. FSM bess!


  2. Sarah says:

    Perna de Pau,

    May I request some data regarding your claims? I am especially interested in the claim of “Most religious persons would agree that their religion is worth dying for and this is just the same as agreeing that their religion is worth killing for.” – I would really like to see some hard numbers on this, because it does not jive with my experience or my psychological and historical education.

    As for Dread Pirate David, how exactly did he “throw God at us”? Did he imply in any way that there was something wrong with being an Atheist, because I did not detect that at all; he merely stated his profession and why he could not join the church of the FSM. I am also much confused by your claim that there is something wrong with the fact that Dread Pirate David has not posted beyond his original message. He basically said “way to go” – when you post that on a website, are you expected to return and see what responses have been made to you comment? Does it imply that there is something wrong with you if you don’t? Please clarify, because I am really quite confused.


  3. Fizzmick PaChee says:

    We are not that different. However, I think you are not clear on the reasoning for my objectives and the true spirit in which they are delivered. It is with the best of intentions, and I do try to be as nice as possible.
    I disagree with your weighting of benefits. While religion may provide a sense of comfort, it is an illusion that carries many dangerous seeds of destruction. Sometimes success temporarily comes in spite of, not because of traits. Reason must prevail over superstition. If the “seeing the light” comment was interpreted as being disrespectful – my actual wording was more tactful… Well uh, only in the way that I do want my views to be adopted. Showing respect for what I percieve as an inferior view only perpetuates the problem, and would be dishonest on my part.
    Do you see what I mean? – Fizzmick PaChee

  4. Bob of The Rubber Duck says:

    Pirate David,

    It is remarkably refreshing to hear you admit such things. I am also glad that you have decided that co-existing is the best option. I want to congratulate you, and hope that you run for the Dictator of Earth (president) someday. RAmen

  5. sheldon says:

    yes i wish there were more christians like you but one thing doesnt your holy book state that for not beliving in him we are damned to hell?? i dont wanna go to hell…

  6. Wench Pink Shoes says:

    Aww, that was nice.
    I have a question for the prophet – What about all of the people that don’t like beer? Is there a liqour volcano or are we just just screwed?
    And seeing how there is a stripper factory, that couldn’t be too bad!

  7. gordos says:

    if there would be some more guys like you…
    religion is created in mind and of course a good thing as long as it isn´t “used” wrong…

    sorry 4 my bad english :]

  8. Cap'n Wolf says:

    Fianlly, a good Christian.

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