Andrew Seidel has a nice post on the FFRF blog [h/t Don Ardell] about the immorality of the entire basis for Christianity, vicarious atonement.
Jesus is nothing more than the scapegoat for Christians. He died for your sins. I often joke that if you don’t sin, Jesus died for nothing. But in all seriousness, the idea of vicarious redemption through human sacrifice is—to my mind—the most immoral religious idea. That our guilt and liabilities can be piled onto an innocent living being is disgusting in itself. That our guilt is expunged by extinguishing that innocent life is nothing short of barbaric.
This patently immoral doctrine is a total refutation of personal responsibility. You are not beholden to the people you’ve stolen from or who you’ve lied to—you’re forgiven because you accept your role in the execution of an innocent.
But this is what Christianity requires: reverence for the sacrifice of an innocent…
Jesus, if he lived, died for nothing. His death cannot absolve anyone of his or her mistakes.
I love Seidel. Since he came on board at FFRF, their messaging has become much more aggressive, entertaining and snarky.
While I’m glad to see vicarious atonement being pilloried for the evil abomination it is, I think it’s necessary to go even further and reject the premise that Jesus died at all. I mean, putting aside whether or not he even existed, was the son of a deity, born of a virgin, performed miracles, etc. I’m saying even if you grant all of that and take the biblical account(s) at face value, Jesus did not die.
GODBOT: Jesus died for your sins!
IRIS: Nope. Haven’t you read your own bible? Because not only is this idea of vicarious atonement morally repulsive, but according to your scriptures Jesus did not, in fact, die. He had a bad weekend. Followed by coming back to life, and then just hanging around for a while. Oh, and then ascending into the sky, to enjoy ruling over the entire universe for all of eternity. That’s, like, the opposite of dying.
Usually shuts them up for a minute.
If vicarious atonement were such a great gift to humanity from gawd himself, WWJD? No, not What Would Jesus Do, but rather Why Won’t Jesus Die?