A House of Representatives stenographer was dragged off the floor last week when she took the dais to deliver an unscheduled religious rant. "Praise be to God Jesus Christ… Thus spoke the Lord… This is not the Lord's work,” she proclaimed, along with other similar statements.
"I hammered to get control and hush her up. She said something about the devil. It was sudden, confusing and heartbreaking. She is normally a gentle soul," explained Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the presiding officer, who banged the gavel to restore order several times.
The disruption stunned members of Congress and U.S. Capitol Police took the woman to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation.
I guess they thought she was crazy and suffering a mental breakdown, but I really can’t understand exactly why as these same members of Congress employ a paid professional religious chaplain to get up in front of them in the same spot every single day to babble on about exactly the same kind of nonsense.
How is it that they can sincerely believe that this woman is crazy, or at least unreasonable, while on the other hand they believe that their Christian chaplain is perfectly reasonable and of sound mind?
This question brings me to comment here on the article by Kevin Vallier referenced in RRND last week entitled: “Christian Belief is Reasonable, So Respect It.” He makes an argument as best he can that theism, revealed religion, the Gospel stories, the Holy Trinity, and thus the whole body of Christianity are all reasonable, sound and rational beliefs which deserve far more respect from intellectuals than they presently enjoy.
As a libertarian, let me acknowledge that I respect the rights of all people to believe anything they like, including any religion, as long as they don’t employ their beliefs to interfere with the rights of others. I think that perfectly reasonable people can often entertain perfectly unreasonable beliefs, that is to say: beliefs which do not rest upon a firm intellectual foundation of reason.
So while most Christians are indeed reasonable people, the truth about Christianity and all other theistic religions is this:
No, it is not reasonable.
It is not reasonable because it specifically rejects reason and the realities of existence again and again as the foundation for human existence, morality and behavior. Theistic religions, including Christianity, are culturally premeditated assaults upon reason. The relentless calls for self denial and sacrifice are wholly irrational, grounded entirely upon an imaginary conceptualized abstraction, and conceived by cunning men for the benefit of their own parasitical human Authority!
The first moral lesson in the Old Testament book of Genesis has God warning Adam and Eve against eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. The use of individual consciousness, i.e., reason to discern morality is considered evil and sinful in the Bible – the original sin – against God’s Authority!
From that point on the Bible stories relentlessly assault the concept of human reason and logic as the means by which we should live our lives. Christianity especially demands that men and women live by faith alone. To accomplish that an otherwise reasonable human must be willing to deliberately suspend reason, ignore reality and even sacrifice themselves if called upon to do so by the Authority!
“A scorner seeks wisdom, and finds it not, but knowledge is easy to him that understands; Ways which seem right to man are the ways of death.” Prov. 14:6
“And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, [as to why it seemed to them that he was committing blasphemies for claiming the ability to forgive sins] he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?” Mark 2:8
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,” preached the Apostle Paul “that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:” Paul: Ephesians 4:17-18
“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision; for we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” Paul: Philippians 3:2-3
Vallier maintains that a reasonable, rational and well-informed person can believe in a revealed religion, which includes belief in a divinely inspired set of social practices and sacred texts such as the above, and I agree with him, because reasonable people can often be found to believe in unreasonable ideas and concepts.
So yes, a reasonable person can be a theist, believe in the Gospels and the Holy Trinity, but it does not follow logically that Christian theism, a concept which is entirely imaginary, is based upon reason.
No, it is not reasonable.