Bear with me here, this is one of those posts that come from an idea and result in a completely different thing.

This one started with the idea that religions have an expiration date. There were a lot of religions before Christianity took hold of the world, some of them really really old. The innovation of both Christianity and Islam is that they introduced prophets, new versions of their Gods and proof that they are not dead, uncaring or otherwise absentee. So, I asked myself, is it possible that a religion has an expiration date, after which it can't support the hold on its followers and they drift away to other things, like Scientology?

Then, the second idea. In order to create a new religion, one that can be called something more than a sect, we need a prophet. Someone with a history so outrageous that people can associate it with divinity. He or she must also sacrifice themselves for their strict ideals and/or people. We also need someone who came about sooner than 2000 years.

Idea number three: Hitler! He affected the entire world, he had pretty strict ideals and has sacrificed himself for them and (presumably) for his people, whoever they might have been. Outrageous life: check. New to the scene: check. Fanatic following: check. He is the perfect prophet! Add to this his deep hatred of Jews, who can only be reasonably differentiated from other people only by their religion. Add to this the mysticism that consumed Hitler before he died and his fascination with the occult. You get a prophet that burned the world for religious reasons.

Idea number four: That idea number three must piss both sides equally much. Neonazis would probably consider it blasphemy (thus unwittingly giving strength to it). Jews... well, they are pretty pissed at Nazis. Any cult based on them would probably disagree with them, too. The other people, they would bring into the argument the horror of war and the Holocaust and other things like that. Admittedly, the God that Hitler would have been a prophet for has to be pretty twisted, but we've seen worse, as gods go. The present ones are Gandhi compared with the old bunch.

Idea number five: we've discussed a ridiculous idea and the arguments against it are pretty much liked to the horror that Hitler brought onto the world. While over 70 million people have died as a consequence of World War II, we fixate on the religious connotations of the Holocaust and the directed persecution of one people. I hope I am wrong, but when I imagine the angry masses, terrified by this idea of mine, I imagine people bringing the Jew massacre in the forefront, with pancards and signs with "Never again". And that leads me to this fifth idea: that if 6 million people being massacred for their religion and nationality is horror, then the rest of 64 million being ignored or considered casualties of "regular" war, the idea that people can be killed in the millions and it is OK, if there are political and economic reasons for it... that is true horror.

Reading this article on digg, I began searching the web for this very cool religion called Pastafarianism and I feel that it relates to me in a very spiritual way. In other words, it makes me laugh my ass off!

As you can read in the Wikipedia article, the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the world (or is it the other way around?) in order to prove to idiots that you either think or you believe. There is no middle ground. Thinking requires trusting your observations, emitting theories and then validating them by using observed data. Believing doesn't require anything, therefore being easier to do, and can (and most of the time will) deny your ability to observe, your capacity to reason or to grasp reality and look down on your desire to understand anything that is believed.

Well, seriously now. One cannot believe the world was created by the Spaghetti Monster... Or maybe one can, as long as they accept the obvious fact that the Spagetti Monster was created by the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

Anyone who knows me knows what my stance is on this. School is something, religion is something else. There are a bunch of (traditional) ways to teach religiousness to a child, in the home as well as in church, special camps :), etc. I see no need for a religious education forcefully imposed on children inside the school, especially in a country that is not that religious. Where is the separation between state an church here?!

Yes, I know that the statistics say 85% of the population of Romania is orthodox, but that's only in name. True, active, church going religious people belong to distinct demographics like old people, some women, or people in the country side. This new surge of religion in Romania is nothing but a scam! Yes, nothing more than a marketing move.

And yet, here it is, a law that (again) makes religion one of the compulsory classes in Romanian schools. If you don't want religion, the parent must write a letter to the school requesting for it to be replaced with "moral-religious education", whatever that is.

So, what if I don't want any religion for my kid? I consider religion, especially organised religion, nothing more than a ploy to prey on human stupidity and fear. I want to raise my child away from superstitious crap. Let him watch Jesus on TV, the same as Ghost Busters!

Let me analyze what I should do in order to insure that my hypothetical offspring is not getting in school an education that contradicts that at home. First step: write the letter that places him in a special class of "moral-religious education". What that essentially does is place the child in a different group, a ready prey for ridicule or any kind of discrimination. Then he sees that in his group there are only the people that consider religion ridiculous, while in the other (larger group) there are the religious kids along with the ones that don't care about it one way or the other. So he will immediately feel the pressure of being in an apparent minority. This is a clear case of discrimination any way you put it, yet they intend to make this a law. What kind of crappy legislators do we have?! AND, after all this, I only managed to get my kid into a less religious class, probably with a priest or highly religious man as a teacher.

What would these religious people think if we were to add a compulsory "God does not exist and religion is stupid" class? They would shout much and high about discrimination and the right to choose and the local decision of allowing religious symbols or education in schools. Yet they have no problem with refusing the right to choose of atheists. Religious hypocrites? what a shock!

Here is a link to a discussion from 2004 about the legality and ethics of compulsory religious classes and their content.