Mickey Malta

Notes from the zone where 'normal' things don't happen very often

Posts Tagged ‘Passion

This God is an idiot

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As the saying goes: an idiot is a genius to another idiot

Imagine that life here on this earth is a small scale reflection of the cosmos. In the same way  that every village here on earth has an idiot – THE idiot – the big guys in the ever expanding universe must have their own idiots too.

If that is the case, then we’re unlucky to be born on THE planet that was created by the Gods’ village idiot. Yeah, that’s right. The God that’s venerated by billions of people on this little planet must be the village idiot in Godworld. Just take a cursory look around you and you’ll see hundreds, if not thousands,  of clues leading to this conclusion.

I don’t believe that we’re alone in the universe. If we will ever be lucky enough to make contact with other civilisations out there in the future, and these turn out to be more advanced than us, they will either be a religion-free (o r free of any other superstitious beliefs at all) civilisation, or believe in Gods that are completely different to the ones worshipped here.

If the latter will be the case, I can bet my head that they won’t be worshipping someone who consistently seems to be making the wrong choices while proclaiming to be almighty and all knowing.

Faith and fear  are the greatest assets that this God could ever have. If people weren’t  brainwashed to fear God and have total faith in his plan since their birth, then he would be cast aside even by the creatures of his own making.

Let me point out a few reasons why I believe that this God is an idiot:

Many religions claim that their God is the creator of the whole universe. This means that he had (and still has) total control over his creations: the looks, the actions, the thoughts, etc. worse still, some religions hold that we’re created in his true image and likeness! Yet, a few hundred years after he went through the hassle of creating Earth and the universe, he was enraged by  the way humans were behaving and decided to (practically) eradicate mankind bar a 600 year old man and his family, and all the animals that this poor old sod could take on his ark.

Since God is all-knowing, he must have known that humans would piss him off in the future, so why did he make man fallible in the first place? And why did he only tell Noah to save animals (that must include mice and insects) but he didn’t save the innocent new born children. This would have at least spared Noah’s family from practicing incest (like Eve and her sons did before them) to multiply the human race.

Speaking about man’s fallibility, instead of creating his mistakes in “take two”, the post-flood humans don’t seem to be any different from those who lived in the pre-flood era. So why go through all the trouble of destroying the planet when after some time humanity would go back to that same point that irked him so much? This genocide must have been a total failure. Only an idiot would go through such a hassle when he knows that it’s not going to yield any desired result.

But it gets worse. He wanted to communicate his love to us, and he wanted us to know that he has a divine plan. Instead of doing something about it himself, he chose humans to do it. The result of God’s laziness: different religions and peoples killing each other in God’s name through all the different ages. In his wisdom,  God also promised a holy land to his people. One would expect The Holy Land to be a true example of heaven on earth. Ironically, it’s the complete opposite. It’s literally hell on earth.  This is the single most violent region on the whole planet; and it has been like that for centuries and “God knows” when or if this holy war will ever end. Excellent work indeed.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I didn’t go into the old testament’s claim of God causing people to sacrifice their children or allowing Lot to offer his daughters to the mob to gang rape them. I didn’t mention how the Bible promotes xenophobia; homophobia and hatred towards women; or how Jesus spoke about the need for salves to respect their master and did not utter a single word about womens’ rights. I also left out God’s (ethically-challenged) deals with people – especially locally – where he is willing to tweak his divine plan in exchange for prayer, a gold ring, a bracelet, and other material items.

Only an idiot can be easily bribed by people who will then spread the word tall all and sundry accompanied by pictures of the statue which is then adorned with the  golden watch, necklace, or earring. Wise people take bribes in private and they make sure they cover all their tracks. And why do statues need jewellery anyway?

Closer to our time, I’m deeply concerned about his choices. He is supposed to handpick people to act as his ministers. His preachers. One would expect priests to be a shining example of how God would like man to behave. Unfortunately, it turns out that a huge number of the people God himself has handpicked (remember?) throughout the years were anything but. The Catholic Church’s history is inundated with priests who would have been more suitable for Alistair Crowley’s role (in the divine plan?) than the one they actually played. Just think about the inquisition, the missionaries, paedophile priests, high ranking Church officials connected to various secret organisations . . . .  The list goes on and on.

Islamic suicide bombers and other Jihad fanatics choose to do what they do because they believe that they’re God’s (or Allah’s) soldiers. They’re simply the messengers of the supreme being, and are acting on his behalf. Obviously defenders of religion will say that this is the wrong interpretation of the Quran. This takes me back to my original point: why did he deliver his word through humans? Is that wise? Look at the consequences.

I’m really not impressed.  There are loads of other examples that I can bring. In fact, I can write a whole book about God’s idiocy. However, I still won’t manage to do it as eloquently as George Carlin described the greatest bullshit story ever told: “Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong in the résumé of a supreme being. This is the kind of shit you would expect from an office temp with a bad attitude………. In between you and me, in any decent run universe this guy would have been out of his all-powerful-ass a long time ago.”

I don’t know if there’s some form of energy or supreme being out there that is the prime moving force for creation. It doesn’t really make a difference to the way I lead my life. I can only be sure of one thing: the idiot projected by religions cannot possibly be true. It simply just cannot be. No creature can be so self-contradictory, extremely violent and utterly stupid, let alone a supreme being.

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Written by mickeymalta

29/03/2010 at 16:37

Session 3: The God Equation

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I received an email yesterday claiming that “someone must be responsible” for the miracle of creation. The argument goes that life forms are very complex, and nature works in harmony therefore this is a work of a supreme being – otherwise known as ‘Intelligent Design’.

It doesn’t make logical sense at all. Just because one cannot understand or explain how things work at a particular point in time does not mean buy inference, or imply that there is a supreme being. This argument doesn’t do any justice to any religion, and one would expect intelligent clerics to discourage this kind of reasoning because: a) it is fallacious, and b) if and when science offers an explanation to that phenomenon, that whole argument crumbles and turns on its head disproving the existence of a supreme being and its intelligent design. furthermore, just because this person cannot understand the harmony of nature, it doesn’t mean that no one else can. Science has, in fact, deciphered the works of nature and the groundbreaking discovery was made by a chap called Charles Darwin.

Primitive societies didn’t understand natural phenomena like the four seasons, the day and night cycle, thunder and lightning, wind and hurricanes, and the rest.  Since these changes happened in the sky, they interpreted these ‘mysteries’ as a kind of action by someone “up there”. As time went by, we began to understand these mysteries and we are now not only able to explain these occurrences scientifically, but we’re also in a position to predict what’s going to happen days, weeks, or even months before they actually happen.

The advancement of science will eventually provide the answers to the mysteries we cannot solve now, but this will in turn give rise to new mysteries and the cycle will go on and on. In reality, if we only relied on religion, we would still believe that the earth is flat, that the sun revolves around it, that prayer will heal the sick, and so on.

One cursory look at the world around us tells us that we’re leading a better and a healthier life because of scientific knowledge. We’re living longer because of the advancement of medicine, and we’re living under constant threats of terrorism because of . . . . . religion!

Additionally, for those who believe that they’re being watched and cared for by an almighty and all-loving god, I asked them watch this short movie and have a serious rethink:

Written by mickeymalta

19/03/2010 at 10:23

Ezercizzi by Mickey

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Thank you Oh Lord for providing us with our daily bread

Most of my fellow Rockers are currently and unsurprisingly indulging in their annual frenzy of (pseudo) self deprivation and participation in organised religious activities. Sadly, this year we’re unfortunate enough to experience a quick follow-up with Blessed 13’s visit in a few weeks’  time.

As usual, the violent imagery of a bettered man is slowly but surely sprouting all over The Rock with a total disregard of the damage that these pictures (and worse still: pageants) instil on young children.  The holier-than-thou syndrome will soon reach its peak with thousands of people opting to eat all the food they can lay their paws on (except for meat of course) on our National Vegetarianism Day (otherwise known as “Good Friday”). If I were an Anthropologist, I would organise a group to interview some of the people attending the Good Friday processions all around The Rock to see how many of them have children outside wedlock; use contraception; have sex outside marriage; make honest declarations of all their earnings to the taxman; do not evade VAT; don’t covet their neighbour’s possessions; and other indulge in other Christian behaviours.

Judging by the official statistics, a very interesting picture will emerge before my eyes. It seems to me – and I’m not the only one to believe so – that more than following and actually living a religion, many Rockers are blindly taking part in rituals. They’re simply following a routine that mummy beloved once got them into.

Whenever I try to have a decent conversation about religion, more often than not I’m faced with people throwing vague statements based on “beliefs” that were passed on to them by others. The abysmal level of poorly constructed syllogisms together with the absence of depth are as conspicuous as the Portomaso tower.

For this reason, I decided to launch my version of Ezercizzi tal-Ghid hoping to provoke some Rockers (at least those with half a gram of grey matter between the ears) to think about one’s beliefs. At the end of the day, we are constantly bombarded with Religon so a little bit of counter-arguments shall do no harm.

Written by mickeymalta

17/03/2010 at 00:07

How sad

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Don't you think that little children may relate and identify themselves better with this kind of imagery?

Isn’t this kind of imagery more appropriate for kids?

I was having a chat with Minnie about my previous posting – In the name of Alla(h) – and she told me that last Friday, our THREE year old daughter Melita came back home from school talking about how SAD the Holy Mary was because ‘THEY HURT‘ Jesus.

She was regurgitating her teacher’s words. Things are REALLY bad. How can a three year old know what sad is? Why are we doing this to our children? How can three-year-olds ever know that their teacher was talking about someone who lived 2,000 years ago, when life was so much different? What is the benefit of exposing children to barbarism?

Do we talk to our kids about the atrocities we watch on the news? I bloody well hope not. Do we tell three-year-olds about the 9/11 attacks? I don’t think so – not even under the ‘recent history’ umbrella. So why do we tell them about atrocities linked to religion? I reiterate: just because they’re linked to religion, it doesn’t make the slightest difference for children.

Little kids don’t come with religion filters installed. Where they are concerned, violence is violence and that’s it. Irrespective of the motif, historical value, or religious significance.

Can we, maybe, try a more positive approach towards life, and focus on the love of god during religion classes? But then again, I may be a dreamer.

Maybe I’m asking too much from the kind of people who preach that an innocent child is already sinful.

Written by mickeymalta

06/04/2009 at 16:17

In the name of Alla(h)

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On the 27 March, I posted a comment about the violent billboard in front of the ship building on your way to the fishing village. Back then, little did I know that things are gonna get much worse for me.

This week-end we received a magazine called U’ve got MAIL; and this boasts to be “Malta’s and Gozo’s largest nationwide publication”. To my horror, the inside of the back page carries an advert promoting the same event I commented about already.

Needless to say, unfortunately this ad carries other violent pictures about the passion of Christ. It really beats me how no one seems to be bothered about this sheer violence to which we are exposing our young children. This magazine is distributed to each and every home, and young children may pick it up and browse through its pages unsupervised. You may also have the odd proud-to-be-Catholic parent who will show the imagery to his/her little kids. Why are we subjecting our children to this violent imagery?

I know that many people do not see anything wrong in ‘letting children know what Jesus had to go through in his bid to save mankind’. What’s even more shocking is that many parents seem to believe that, as devout Catholics, they are duty bound to pass on this knowledge to their children from a very tender age.

This is a cause for major concern, and the Commissioner for Children should put her personal beliefs aside and do her job in her State-appointed capacity. Her loyalties should lie towards Caesar, and not towards any religion. Needless to say, the Minister for Social Policy should be the driving force behind this culture change. The sad news is that realistically, I stand more chance to be on the list for next space shuttle flight than seeing this thing happening.

Parents need to be made aware that young children do not have a concept of space and time, and no matter how many times they tell them that this event happened 2,000 years ago, it simply won’t mean a thing to them. Parents who take little children to passion re-enactments are not doing anything different to those who take their kids to public executions. Most children will not even know that the people involved are actors, and that what they’re seeing is not actually happening. Try hard to remember about your childhood days. If you were ever taken to these events as a little child, I’m more than sure that you weren’t amused about what you were seeing.

On a similar note, I also find crucifixes in schools and public places equally disturbing – a simple cross will still serve the same purpose. Why do we have to display images of a (practically) naked man hanging on a cross covered in blood? And if god is all about love – hence positivity – why don’t we choose positive imagery and focus on the love of the supreme? Wouldn’t that message be more effective? All this gruesome imagery is reminiscent of the ‘fear of god’ era, and we seem to be stuck in that time warp.

Worse still, many people will not even see the point I’m making. I can bet my limbs on this. They may think that I’m criticising Religion, and that I’m possibly being blasphemous. My point is that whatever is wrong in principle is always wrong. No matter in whose name it is being done. The acceptance of events simply because they’re being done in the name of some religion is dangerous and can lead to some unpleasant happenings. When it is taken to extreme, people see nothing wrong in chopping out other people’s limbs because they broke the Sharia law. They’re blinded by religion.

This is also the very same reason why individuals think that they are doing a good deed in god’s eyes when they blow themselves in public killing innocent infidels. That’s precisely how messy things can get when people stop seeing things for what they really are, and accept anything that’s thrown at them by religion.

Images of a public execution are bad for children, irrespective of geographical location, religion, or era. I would like to think that legal action will be taken if a parent exposes young children to the footage of the beheading of an American soldier by Muslim fundamentalists, or any other form of execution/violence.

Jesus’s pageant is no different. Why don’t we let children enjoy life at their tender age? Why do we have to present life in such a terrible way to them? This is a direct attack on children’s innocence. Don’t they have a whole lifetime ahead of them to find out about the ills of life?

One last point: if the resurrection from the dead is supposed to be the most important event in Christianity, and if it is the crucial point that makes it different to other religions, why do we give so much importance to Good Friday, and not Easter? In many countries, the former is not even a public holiday; it’s just a normal day. On the other hand, they celebrate Easter Sunday, and the day after is a public holiday.

There is no doubt in my mind that Good Friday is given far more importance than Easter on these little islands of ours. It should be the other way round. If you think about it, we give more importance to the sad and violent side of Lent, rather than the triumphant part. Our Lady of Sorrows and Good Friday take the centre stage. What does actually happen on Easter Sunday? Regular mass followed by a short celebration (the statue rendezvous) around a few streets which ends with, literally, a sprint back to the church.  Even the village festa is celebrated with more fervour than Easter!

In the zone where normal things don’t happen very often, missing the wood for the trees is the order of the day.

What's the difference between this?

What's the difference between this?

. . . . and this?

. . . . and this?

Written by mickeymalta

06/04/2009 at 11:47

Posted in Blog Main Page, Religion

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Do you have a problem? Try religion and you’ll be absolved

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It’s night time and I’m at the crossroads past the ship building on my way towards the fishing village. On my right, there’s a big black spot. It’s the cemetery dedicated to Lady Dolores.

As I eagerly awaited the traffic lights to give me the green light to move, I killed time by scanning my surroundings. A billboard about some Easter pageant caught my eye. It was the only one with a flood light illuminating the huge promotional poster of a soldier nailing a bearded dude wearing a thorny crown. The violence in this poster is explicit.

I thought to myself: what if someone had to promote a video game or a movie using a snapshot of a violent scene? Would it be censored? Would parents complain? Probably – or most likely – YES. But since this is related to religion, it becomes acceptable. EUREKA. This was a light bulb moment for me. From now on, if there is anything unusual that I would want to do, I would have to somehow link it to religion.

Let’s go back in time. Think of the crusades and the inquisition. Murder was accepted in time of oppression as it was being done in the name of god. Suicide bombers in our times apply the same logic. Land expropriation and ethnic cleansing in the New World were also committed by god’s loyal servants.

Back to our time. Let’s take a look at village festas and processions. The enthusiasts take up the few parking spaces on the streets close to the churches because they want to set up pedestals. People have to clear off the streets and park miles away (even if they have a reserved parking because of a member’s disability) are expected to find an alternative space to put their car. Just because a handful of enthusiasts happen to practice a hobby that is somehow related to religion, they have full control over the village streets.

And what about being dead drunk in the morning? Jumping bare-chested troglodytes swearing at every single person on god’s chosen list (with the exception of the patron saint of the village) showering everyone with hennikin or lager are permitted to do so – even though police are present. Since this is being done during an event that is somehow linked to religion, all laws protecting public decency are null and void. Religion takes precedence.

This is precisely the reverse of the Nadur carnival debacle. People can dress up as doctors, nurses, pilots, and other professionals. It’s ok to poke fun at people who have very respectable vocations, but if you dare to link religion to carnival, our friend Torquemada will rise from the ashes and crush you.

Now, I think I have an idea. In these times of hardship and financial difficulties, how can I link a bank robbery to religion? I hope to find the key fast enough . . . . .

PS Who of these two will say “I’ll be back” first?

Written by mickeymalta

27/03/2009 at 15:57