What’s your book about?
I haven’t the foggiest notion how to tell people what it’s about. The human mind hears about something and, for some odd reason, desperately needs a category for it. And if there’s absolutely no way for me to put this one into such an easy category, then the assumption is that I don’t really know what it is I’m trying to say.
Oh, but I most certainly know what I want to say alright. What I don’t know how to do is to market what I want to say . . . let me stop saying want, and start saying what I need to say, actually. I have no idea how to market what I need to say. And sometimes there are truths that are so profound but people never hear them because they can’t be marketed well. This is one of them. This is a book that, yes, talks about bible shit. No, it’s not a book for believers (other than hopefully to wake them up to some reality about their belief). But nonbelievers won’t want to read it when, in fact, they’d enjoy it most. And in actuality, those who don’t care about anything biblical would love it most of all, but would be least likely to care.
Market that! I dare you.
Everything has to be marketed. People have had their minds so manipulated by PR and advertising that they seriously cannot ingest anything unless it’s cleverly marketed for them by some mastermind who knows just how to get inside your head and flip your switch. I am not that mastermind. I, therefore, haven’t the slightest idea of how to answer that question.
But of course, I try. If I do not try, nobody will care. But when I do try to describe it, I find myself in a personal hell of confusion. Not mine, other than being confused by how nobody gets me, because how does one describe what I’m trying to say here? So yes. I try.
I’m writing a book, I tell people. A book that will radically alter the way people think about the Bible’s claims and the way we view the world.
Oh, so you’re writing a religious book?
No. I’m not religious.
So you’re writing another atheist book.
Well, technically it’s another book by an atheist, yes, but I don’t know that it’s—
There’s already a thousand books attacking religion.
Attacking religion and telling the truth about religion is not the same thing. I defend those books, but I guarantee you that none of them are quite like this.
What’s different about your atheist book? Does it attack religion?
I guess it eventually has to, but it doesn’t do it as an outside. I was a believer, however briefly, and did an obsessive amount of research.
And you found out that it’s all untrue?
Actually there’s truth, but not the kind you think. And yet there’s untruths so huge you can drive a camel through them. But there’s also hilarious, delicious irony. Other books just demand there is no god and stories about one are absurd. I’m actually not on the outside laughing at what’s in, but step into the inside and tell the truth about what’s really in there. What I have to say, you’ve not heard.
How do you know I’ve not heard it? Everyone has heard the story of Jesus.
Tell me about it! And yet people run around still insisting you need to hear the story as though there’s anybody who hasn’t!
So why rock the boat on that?
Because that boat rocks us all, actually. You know that Biblical ideals have in fact shaped and molded a great deal of how we see the world, even if such a person does not believe or has ever read the book, right?
I find that hard to believe. I don’t believe the world was created in seven days. How is my world shaped that way?
You see time as being in seven-day weeks. You measure your year since the supposed birth of a guy named Jesus even if you use B.C.E. and C.E. instead of B.C or A.D.. You probably view nudity as indecent, or at the very least, inappropriate in some circumstances. Even a lot of people who don’t commit to the Bible conform to its notion of the family, with the man as the head of the household. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Nonbelievers still can’t stop making references to an Adam and Eve if their sci-fi tales should come to a newly created world. You could get wasted on a drinking game about mentions of Eden throughout the original series of Star Trek. And even though the words are being used quite incorrectly, you reference possible ends of the world as apocalypses (which really means revelations) or Armageddon (which just means the ‘hill of Megeddo, and assumes this one particular end-of-the-world prophecy is correct in predicting it will begin there instead of elsewhere).
Name one time I use those words!
Your t-shirt says you’re ready for the Zombie Apocalypse.
Oh. Yeah. I guess I must concede that point.
So if it permeates nearly every mind in the civilized world, no matter how inadvertently, no matter how indirectly, then I feel I must ask you this: What if I told you that people have misread prophecies their whole lives? And what if what was actually meant by some of such things, when interpreted correctly, would reveal that they did exactly the wrong thing to avoid it, thus bringing it about. What if I said that I could completely shake your view of the world to its very core?
Okay, now you’re intriguing me. But didn’t Dan Brown already do that?
Oh dear god no. I mean, dear sweet . . . um . . . orbiting teapot in the cosmos no. Or Joe Pesci. Or whatever. Dan Brown just suggested the possibility a guy long ago might’ve actually used his penis. People freaked out about that, yes, but that’s hardly what I’m talking about. The difference between Dan Brown and me is that he treated the stories like there were truth to them. I have something far larger than that.
Well, now you sound arrogant.
I really don’t want to come across that way at all. I’m far better than arrogant people. (That was a joke.)
And you sound like another person with the one-true-way to interpret the Bible.
No, that’s not it at all. And believe me, I’m very much against one-right-way thinking. But there’s a difference between insisting only my interpretation of something as liquid as spiritual meaning is right, and being less concern with things of liquidity and trying to find something solid and factual. Such as history. I’m not interested in—
So what does the sacrifice of Jesus mean to you?
Wow. Well, to be honest, I—
And how do you get saved?
Okay, calm down! I don’t care about such things. Although ironically, I’ll show you in this book the absurd way that your Bible actually does say you get saved, which virtually no denomination is getting correct. But to me, it’s just something in the Bible, so I consider it just as incorrect. I don’t think Jesus ever really existed, nor do I care. I think what people need saving from is the notion that they need to be saved at all! At least in that regards. That’s my thing. This isn’t from another person trying to share how some spiritual journey sent me into seeing the beauty in the world and feeling small and all that shit. I have no desire to even talk about matters of conjecture.
But then you’re trying to say everyone else’s view is wrong.
And there you go. That’s not even what I want to say. I have information they won’t like, but I don’t, by any means, want to tell people that they’re wrong about everything, or that their experiences in life have been meaningless. A person’s personal experience in this life is theirs. I don’t wish to take that away from people. It’s just that theirs isn’t the only one. But I can surely tell you that they wished to take that away from me. And the history of their religion is that it has tried to take that away from entire peoples, and often succeeded in such genocidal ventures.
But when you go down that liquid road, everything becomes meaningless and debatable and then everyone throws in the way they see it, and before too long you have a bunch of people chasing meandering visions but everybody missing the point. So that when you have something important to say and be taken seriously and solidly, nobody is in the headspace to do so. I have no interest going into the journey where everything can mean anything to anybody, and you can’t say their meaning is wrong, because that is not how I’m trying to analyze the Christian religion.
Well, to analyze it, you must live it.
Actually, I hardly think that’s fair. First, it judges everyone else’s way of life without experiencing them, but insists we experience theirs. It’s particularly nasty towards Islam lately, but not entirely without merit. Islam is a religion of kill kill kill, but Christians forget that so is theirs. Hell, they’re both Abrahamic faiths that get their base attitudes from the same source! Another example is that organized religions often invaded other cultures. I submit someone from the invaded culture doesn’t need to live the path of the invader to know they don’t appreciate being invaded.
But also, you assume I have not lived it. I most certainly have. And then people assume that I didn’t really accept Jesus or I wouldn’t be the atheist that I am now. That’s always thrown at me too. I dug deeper into it than most. I didn’t leave just because I had an unpleasant experience, but because I grasped the point, and saw the point being missed entirely by the religious world. When I left, people in my church probably just assumed I wanted some sin too much that I just threw Jesus away or something. They’d never take even the slightest second to see through my eyes. They just wanted to call me back to belief of the Wizard after I’d already looked behind his curtain to see the decrepit old charlatan throwing switches.
Strangely as a nonbeliever I can clearly give the reason why the faith got things wrong about us, and how the people of that faith are doing it all wrong. But what I’m really saying is that such feely analysis is wonderful for those just wanting to be inspired to get through their day, which I don’t want to take away from them. But when you step into such a headspace where you’re too afraid to insist an absolute meaning to anything, lest you call someone else’s spiritual view wrong and offend them, in the end that makes everything meaningless. What I have to share has extreme meaning. I am not offering Chicken Soup for the Soul. I am burdened, instead, with napalm for a people’s delusions about reality.
You just called everyone’s religious view wrong.
Not in how it helps you get through the day. But a population of people just getting through the day, and nobody seeing the big picture, still means our culture moves towards one hell of a horrible end.
You sound like a doomsayer.
Not end as in an end of the world (not that climate change doesn’t lead to some potential apocalypses of its own) but as in conclusion and harmful way of life.
Do you worry about everything all the time?
Actually I’m quite a laughing weirdo. I enjoy comedy more than anything. As you could tell by my blog, I particularly enjoy heckling hilariously bad movies like MST3K. But If there is a truth that we are destroying the world, do you care if you hear it from someone who smiles and is dressed nicely as he says to you that your house is on fire? If you have cancer, do you need to hear it from a comedian, or someone whose job is to tell people that they have cancer?
Yeah, now I’m back to making that point that we’re always having to market things. But should you have to market harsh truths, when marketing is a game of delusion as it is? The idea we might be destroying the environment (not up for argument) shouldn’t have to put on such a façade and dance for you. You should just care! If a building is on fire and I shout, “Fire!” and you start criticizing me on my delivery, that’s just absurd. I’m not trying to sell you on a new type of detergent. I’m just trying to get to a very important truth here.
But that’s not even what I’m doing here! This isn’t about the end of the world. You’re going to laugh when I tell you the end the Bible prophesied already came and left! That’s the truth! That’s the thing that I don’t need muddled up with how people interpret things, and what things mean to them personally, because I just need to demonstrate something clear and concise and true.
And I’ll even throw in a lot of humor (or attempt, depending on whether it makes you laugh) in hopes that it’ll go down easier—like Mary Poppins’ spoonful of sugar. But nevertheless, I have a very important intention and destination. It is solid. It does deal with a common religion, but it doesn’t deal with unsolid, unshaped notions that should be interpreted differently by each person because—
ARRRRGGGGHHH!!!!!! This is frustrating.
Let me put it to you this way, so long as you understand the point I’m making isn’t one of doom, but is one of absolute history. Again, it’s not a threat of upcoming danger, but I must use such a thing for this metaphor to work. So let’s just say someone were to hold a gun to you, and you were unaware that the gun is pointed at you. If I were to warn you, do you need me to warn you in such a way that doesn’t offend you? To give you some notion of how absurd this could get: I may say it’s a gun, but what if, to you, it’s not really a deadly weapon because death isn’t an end, but a new beginning. So it’s not an instrument of death but one of powerful change? And since it might invoke change, then the gun could be said to be a tool of creation rather than a weapon of death. So really I should say that a new beginning is pointed at your head. But really, is it your head, or merely the piece of flesh that traps your true self? Or your third chakra? Or by head, should you take what I say literally or do I mean that he’s trying to change the way your mind sees the world? Perhaps he’s not trying to kill you, but wanting to liberate you by bringing to an end your old worldview so that you can wake up anew.
Um . . . no. It’s a gun. With a bullet. That will go into your head and kill you.
Sometimes you have to speak in absolutes, and when you do, and everyone gets offended, and nobody wants to hear a word you say, you’re just standing there wondering why nobody cares that the building is on fire, but caring too much to just leave everyone in it to burn as they chase ghosts and burn incense.
What if there’s a very important message (not a doomsaying one, quite the opposite in fact) that is buried in the shit that usually drives people into angels on the head of a pin type of language? Yeah. It’s like that. And it’s not going to make you feel horrible. In the end, you’ll probably laugh as absurdly about the whole mess as I often do.
But in order to get there, you’ll have to suspend, just for these few pages, any and all notions that you hate having challenged. Go with what I’m saying rather than resisting and going into tangents of what things really mean to you, or being upset when you hear how an outsider finds your visions absurd. Yes, I know you’ll see things differently. Maybe by eating of his flesh Jesus meant that you share in his hardships, or maybe he wants you to be a cannibal, or…
I don’t know. I don’t care. I’m not doing that dance right now.
I’m not just sick of religious assumptions. My job here is to lift them up, show you what reality they’ve been hiding from you, and hopefully, help you realize how this belief thing has a lot of people acting like downright, self-defeating fools. If you are doing this, and you weren’t aware of it, wouldn’t you want someone to tell you? Well, what if each time they do, you go off about what the gun really means?
Exactly. You may hate me. You may be horribly offended by my disdain for religion. But I promise, I’m going to take you somewhere that, when you get there, you will say the same thing that I said:
Why didn’t anybody ever tell me this?!?!?!?!?!
Or you’ll know what the enemy of your faith thinks, and can be informed enough to lead your religion’s brigade against my dangerous, Satanic message. However you wish to see it. The important thing is that you’ll have at least heard me. And, I hope, that you won’t have me lynched. That happens an awful lot to people like me, and I can’t say that it sounds pleasant or gives people much of a favorable rating of you or your faith.
Here’s my point:
I dare you to read this book. I dare you to get through these statements. These statements may sound a touch crazy, but I assure you, they’re absolutely true, and that there’s not even a touch of belief or crazy in them whatsoever. They do not come to you from someone who believes in demons or miracles or doomsday, because I do not believe in anything biblical. I dare you to consider these facts, because I know that they’ll offend you until you see the truth about them.
The following statements are absolute fact:
- Christianity has become its own Antichrist, but has been so for nearly two millennia.
- The Kingdom of Heaven (or the ‘rapture’ I guess) has already come and gone. It was a colossal failure.
- The force that Christians call the Antichrist won a long time ago.
- You have had the Mark of the Beast since you were born already, as have all generations since the day that book of Revelation was written. You actually love it, and you wouldn’t give up that mark to save your life or your afterlife, because once you realize what it really meant, you’ll laugh.
- Christianity has failed in every single one of its intentions.
Well, it hasn’t failed me. Personally I have found a great deal of peace and—
What did I tell you?
Oh yeah. Sorry.
Yeah, the Apocalypse already happened, and it turns out, it’s all not so fucking bad. Not great. Some things about it need serious changing, like the tendency of our culture to pollute and destroy everything and all.
You can go off about what those things mean to you as a Christian on a spiritual journey, but I don’t really give a shit about that right now. Maybe after we’re done you can tell me about your spiritual journey. I’m an atheist, but I am also honored when people share their most sacred thoughts with me. I feel the same way about my pagan friends. But I really don’t believe in their gods either.
So be ready to take a lot of jokes, even a lot at your own expense. I promise, what I have to show you is a way of looking at all this that you’ve never even remotely considered. If you’re religious, it’ll anger you but you need to hear it. If you’re not religious and think you don’t care, once you’ve read it, you’ll laugh your ass off about how hilarious the entire thing ended up being. And if you think this is a book about the end of the world, you’d be stunned to find out that ending already happened and you and I are still here.
That’s what my book is about. It’s just important enough because we have some stupid ways of looking at the world that are tied up in religion, and we don’t realize how duped we’ve been. It wasn’t a conspiracy that got us here. It was a bunch of meandering fools all caught up in a feeling of religion.
This was written because I do get asked a lot about what the book I’m working on is about, and it’s hell. I figure a Preface is needed. And I hated the way the book began. I’m thinking of scrapping the entire first chapter and trying to reshape it so that it leads into my story easier. Or at least brushing out some bumps. I don’t know. I haven’t gotten any input at all from anybody yet because everyone who says they’ll read it have left me waiting while I don’t think any of them have even touched the first page, so it’s impossible for me to know. But I’m putting this thing up for self-publishing soon so I can watch it be ignored on the shelves. I guess. Why not, right?