It’s almost a mockery of literature listening to Christians talk about their supposed “good book.” Now, I’m quite familiar that the majority of Christians have never read it, so I can excuse them for at least not understanding it. But there ARE some Christians that have. And they still manage not to understand it. If understanding the bible were a class, they would fail.
I’d like to point out one example of this complete misunderstanding of what the bible actually has to say about something. I’d like to talk about heaven, and if it’s above us, why haven’t we found it?
No, no, Christians will say, your taking it out of context. I’ve been accused of having a cartoon view on god and heaven. It’s not literally a place above the clouds, and god isn’t literally a guy in a white beard sitting on a throne there. Sheesh, my understanding must be so kindergarten-ish!
Only, I’m right! Heaven is not only explained as the literal place above the earth in Genesis, it’s existence as a literal place above the earth is woven into the entire story line! If you’ve never actually read the bible, you wouldn’t have picked up on this. But a clear reading of the bible demonstrates they didn’t realize how things worked a mere hundred feet above their heads. If you tell me that you’re interpreting something one way, but the other way is reinforced multiple times and woven into the story line throughout the book, then it isn’t a matter of subjective discussion about a verse. It’s about literary comprehension, and you’re wrong.
The tower of Babel is a really stupid story if heaven weren’t a literal place above the earth. These guys tried to build a tower to heaven. That means they thought it was a literal place. And they were apparently right, because god didn’t want them in competition with him, so he wrecked the tower and made everyone speak a different language. Yes, this is literally where stupid fundamentalists think different languages came from.
Why do so many bible characters go on mountains to talk to god? To be closer to him. This only makes sense if heaven is a literal place above the earth.
If heaven isn’t a literal place, where is Jesus? This isn’t ghost Jesus, by the way, this is flesh and blood Jesus, specifically noted in both Mark and Luke, that was carried up into heaven.
Mark 16:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
Luke 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
Luke 24:51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
Matthew and John don’t speak at all about the incident. But we hear again from Acts:
Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.
Acts 1:9 After he said this, he was taken upbefore their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
There is no way this story makes any damned sense if heaven isn’t a literal place above the earth. But let’s pretend for a minute that the bible is right. Since we’ve explored space, heaven the physical location must be much further out. What does that mean, then?
Since Jesus was reportedly both a physical human, and alive when he was taken up, our modern understanding of altitude helps us picture Jesus’ rise to heaven. At only a couple of thousand feet, he would have begun getting chilly. His breath would have grown more rapid from lack of oxygen. A few more thousand feet, and he would have felt the difference of air pressure from what his body had regulated to, and his forehead would have begun to pound. A few more thousand feet and his eyes would have begun to bulge. He would feel cooler and cooler, and most certainly would be shivering while still conscious and struggling for air. His increasing discomfort breathing, shivering, and pain as his body bloated from the lack of air pressure would continue for another 15,000 or so feet. Finally, around 25,000-30,000 feet, he would finally get a reprieve from the cold, strangling, bloated tension on his body as he passes out from asphyxiation. His still live body would continue the painful process of pressure equalization, as his eyes finally bulged and and anus prolapsed. Finally, nearing the edge of space, his oxygen-starved brain would shut down, his body would freeze, and he would die, a prolapsed, eye bulging, frightened, frozen Jew.
If heaven isn’t a physical place, then god was an asshole to those at Babel for no reason, and Jesus never went anywhere and the bible is wrong.
If the bible is right, heaven is a physical place and Jesus is actually a frozen dead bloated human in outer space, orbiting somewhere.
The Spartan Atheist.