I was recently in Glasgow (basically the UK’s Montreal (I know what I mean by that and if you don’t, you don’t have to)) and acquired a big fat stack of what can loosely be described as “radical pamphlets”. Thus, a new occasional series is born.
20 Reasons to Abandon Christianity is an Active Distribution publication, a publisher I feel I have encountered before but will definitely encounter several times again in this new series of thoughts/comments on “radical pamphlets” I’ve acquired in moments where I’ve allowed myself to feel hope-curious.
This little pamphlet is nicely put together and very well presented (starkly different from the much less beautiful pamphlet-zine I produced last weekend): crisp card, thick paper, no type-setting errors, no spare pages, etc: a professionally and neatly put-together object.
(aside – I’m choosing to pronounce the author’s surname as “boo-fey” – I don’t know if that’s what they do themselves, but I found it fun to say (in my head, I don’t talk out loud, especially not about the authors of radical pamphlets))
This is a simply structured but comprehensive document doing what it promises with its title: offering 20 reasons why Christianity is incompatible with enjoyable lives, and also why it’s incompatible with itself.
Bufe offers evidence from Christian doctrine (both biblical and later), from history and from contemporary politics to back up all of his points.
Several of them deal with the innate and constant prejudice and cruelty contained within Christian dogma (homophobia, misogyny, racism, the normalisation and defence of slavery, of torture, of self-hatred and of not caring about the realities of iniquities and environmental destruction due to believing that the afterlife (the existence of which is supported by absolutely no evidence) is more significant than the real life (which – alas, if only it wasn’t – is sadly 100% true according to all current scientific processes))…
In twenty passages ranging from a few paragraphs to a few pages, Bufe draws attention to the inconsistencies of the central tenets of the Christian faith, to its cruelty and – crucially – to its sick, sycophantic love of rigid, heirachical organisational structures and the maintenance of the status quo.
“render unto Caesar that which is Caeser’s” innit.
Bufe’s prose is engaging and far from zealous – it is reasoned and clear and evidence and experience-based – readers are not expected to take anything said here – or anywhere – on faith alone!
There is a repeated joke in here about clergy fucking animals that does slightly undercut Bufe’s critique of Christianity as being excessively prurient and obsessed with the sex lives of others, but in even drawing attention to this am I too (bear in mind that I am the most sexually repressed person I know(TM)) falling into the Christianised social trap Bufe mentions and expecting and demanding a level of purity and sinlessness that isn’t based on a realistic understanding of humanity: Christianity preaches, too, that moral absolutes are essential, but only when applied to a handful of rarely morally absolutist ideas.
A great, quick read, and absolutely worth the tiny tiny cover price.
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