When I say I don't believe in the Church, I don't mean that I deny that there is a building on Fifth Avenue and Fifty-Third Street called Saint Patrick's Cathedral. I know the building is there, I've been in it since childhood, seen it hundreds of times, read about it hundreds more. I don't mean that there are no structures in the territory called The Vatican or that there is a myriad hierarchy of priests centered there, some called cardinals, one called a pope. I don't deny that there was a building around the corner from where I grew up called a Presbyterian Church. On the contrary I attended that church regularly from childhood till I was eighteen. I went to sunday school there, was confirmed there. No. What I mean is that I deny that the Church or churches, any of the churches that I'm aware of, are any of the things that they say they are. I deny that the church represents god. I deny that the church can wheedle divine forgiveness for human nature. I deny that the church's promises of getting us into heaven have any validity.
I have never said I don't believe in God. But we'll come back to that.
I see that the church stands on a book called The Bible. Churches say that the book is written by god, and that the book possesses the attributes of god: goodness, virtue, authority ... I deny that the church's Bible was written by god. I don't say that god never wrote anything; I say that the churches don't have it. What they have was written by the churches!
The churches claim that they transmit messages from god. But the principal story that the churches tell recounts a church, the Temple of Jerusalem, blocking messages from the god incarnate, Jesus. Now the churches want us to believe that they've reformed? that they're not like the old church?
When I say I don't believe in government, I don't mean that I deny that there are buildings in Washington, DC. In don't deny that many of those buildings are filled with bureaucrats: even some who claim to "represent" me! I don't deny that people are taxed, and schooled, and drafted, and sent to drop bombs on other people. I know that there's a courthouse here in Sebring, I know an artist who's painted it. Everywhere you turn there are almost as many schools as there are churches, all promising to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse, taking immature human dross and converting it to literacy, numeracy, reason ... art appreciation ... democracy. Everywhere there are tax offices, police stations, cops ... galore. No. What I mean is that I don't believe any government has a legitimate claim to law, to order, to taxation, to education, to compelling us when where and how to learn arithmetic or history or home economics, who to put in jail or who to give a monopoly to.
Everywhere there are journalists and teachers and senators ... people one or another institution claims inform us or educate us or represent us. I deny that any kleptocratic institutions or any employees of kleptocratic institutions do us anything but harm. Journalists package misinformation, teachers teach what the board says, not what scholars say, senators hear only what the Fortune 500 want heard. Government blocks information, mismanages information. God and intelligence, evolution and survival are eclipsed.
When I say that I don't believe in man, that doesn't mean that I deny that there are six billion of us, fast becoming ten. I mean I deny the things commonly claimed by our publicists. I deny that we are intelligent (in so far as "intelligent" implies an absolute). I deny that we are aware (in so far as "sentience" implies something completed (or even well-begun)). God gave us a Garden of Eden, we've perverted it into a roadway to oil spills. I deny that we have a future (other than one too shameful to talk about).
But, you know, I take it all back. I do believe in some of the things churches say. Take Original Sin, for example. I don't believe that we were created evil (I don't believe that we were created!) But I certainly do see that we're evil.
Christians say that God is good and that Jesus was good and that the Jews and Romans killed him (because he was good!) (Notice of course that "Jews and Romans" here means governments!) That's all well and good: except that we're no different! not as a group! I'm different, maybe you're different; but we are not different: we kill god everyday, kill the good, torture and murder geniuses as well as saints.
Evil? I said above that I do see that we're evil? Evil is something I spent my youth denying the ascendancy of. (I thought God would forgive us all!) What I mean is that we're incapable of living well, as a society. We're incapable of learning.
Maybe when the society has finished commiting suicide, an Adam and an Eve might survive. Some future mankind might be different: might walk with God, and Nature, and Science. With Truth.
I used to wish that I would be that Adam.
But the society took too long to bring about Armageddon. Now I'd be no good at being Adam.
Now I'm no good at much.
(Except for how I love my Eve!)