My favorite South Park episodes are the three that poke fun at Catholicism, Mormonism and Scientology. They are especially funny to me, as a Catholic, because they give an objective perspective on religion. To say one religion is “dumb” or has “crazy beliefs” while clinging to your own religious beliefs, is sheer idiocy.
I say this because religion claims to believe in something that cannot be proven and often takes for granted their own “crazy beliefs.” Consequently, the only religions I have trouble understanding are those that have blatant contradictions in themselves.
Religion often tries to prove itself. Religious zealots will explain that their religion is the only true one. Their answer to the inevitable ‘why,’ is that they have effectively printed the word of God. And of course, even though this transcribed word of god undergoes translation and man’s influence and interpretation, it is still without error. This is possible because this text is God inspired. Thus, religious scripture inspired by God, is proof that God exists. This argument has effectively become circular and lost all explanatory power.
That being said, since religious belief cannot be based on proof, it must exist on faith. Any religion can be construed as “dumb” or possessing “crazy beliefs.” Only faith can allow someone to earnestly believe that God became a dude, who went around curing people and later died.
Not only did this guy die, but he chilled out God-only-knows-where for three days, and came back to say “see ya later.” Believing that is building a glass house from which one really loses the ability to say, “this makes sense, and any variation of it is crap.”
The only Christian beliefs I really struggle to understand are those that seem to contradict one another. For example, some Christians believe that alcohol is an inherent evil (not necessarily getting drunk, but drinking alcohol at all). I mean, wasn’t Christ’s first miracle to turn water into wine? Not grape juice, but wine. But I suppose it’s possible that Christ did turn water into grape juice that didn’t go bad when not refrigerated. I suppose it’s also possible that Christ also drank grape juice on the Passover supper. I suppose anything is possible.
I am a Catholic, so it would be a stretch for me to believe that God is really a giant spaghetti monster or to put any stock in Scientology. However, since my belief in God is built on faith rather than reason or proof, I cannot in good conscience insult another religion, because I don’t know one way or the other. Because I can’t prove my own religious beliefs, I have no right to discredit the religious beliefs of anyone else.