The 43rd Annual Easy Reader Writing and Photograph Contest elicited many fine entries this year, ranging from brilliantly imagined short stories to powerfully evocative remembrances of people, places, and times past to an incredibly wide-ranging and well-executed array of photography. But no entry generated more of a stir than “Faith less,” an essay by an 11-year-old writer named J.E. Morris which questioned the existence of God with the philosophical vigor of a much more mature thinker and the voracious curiosity of a child. Whether readers agreed or disagreed with Morris, their responses were invariably thoughtful, and thought-provoking. Below are a few of those responses.
First of all J.E. Morris age 10 is a farce, no ten year old has the knowledge complexity of historical religion let alone the Higgs-Boson Field or Quantum Mechanics [“Faith less” honorable mention, Easy Reader Writing Contest 8/8/13] . Based on the perpetuated lie that this [jerk] lays down, how can you place any value in his writing let alone give him Honorable Mention? Your action doesn’t give much credence to anything ER sponsors. The uninformed can say that religion has its draw backs; however, they are confused as to the perpetrator of the corruption and wrong doing of the men that speak in the name of religion. Man is basically an evil S.O.B. and acts with the preponderance of his energy for his own profit. The original concept and charter of religion is beautiful and wholesome, it is only when man gets involved that it gets screwed up because of his greed for money, power and control. Man is born pure and evil-free, however his “freewill” and society distorts the true value of his inheritance and he becomes one of our self centered, drug induced, brain-dead sheep that our society has become. Have the [jerk] read the rise and fall of historical empires, he may have enough grey matter between his ears to understand that all empires decay and fall from within as a result of moronic ideas and values that Mr. J. E. Morris espouses. If Morris’ God is science, how does he explain the complexity of the human body and the universe as evolutionary? Who and what are the controlling factors that created “something” from “nothing” – evolution? The US Empire is on track and following the same destructive outcome as the Egyptian, Greek and Roman Empires based on the same evil forces present herein, (and by Morris), as led to the demise of our for-bearer empires. After the fall of the Roman Empire, it was Christianity that saved much of the technology developed to date; as well as contributing to the end of the “dark Ages” that lasted 700 year through the conversion of the barbarians that over ran Europe. The Renaissance period in Europe was a direct result of what Morris defines as biblical nonsense. So what are our alternatives?
Dear ER :
Richard Smith asks, in his cowardly attack on the 11-year old J.E. Morris, what our alternatives to religion are. I’m happy to oblige him and his hilarious Hope Chapel fairybook version of history. First, though, about the alternative he asks for, well, I have two: spirituality and/or atheism. After all, religion is just the corruption of spirituality and atheism is spirituality taken to its only logical end-point. Smith will blow a gasket to discover this, but that’s beside the point.
As is typical of religious “arguments” – be they Judaic, Christian, Moslem, Ba’Hai, or what have you in the West and in the parts of the Orient drawing from the world’s most famous science-fiction novel, the Bible (in the East, they have the Mahabharata and other fantasy epics) – nothing but fallacies and contradictions abound. First, Smith tells us that “man is basically an evil S.O.B.” and then that he “is born pure and evil-free”. Well, that makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, we’re *basically* evil, which means we’d be born that way, except, um, well, y’see, we aren’t, we’re “pure and free”. Yeah, tons of logic there.
Then we’re told Christianity vanquished the Dark Ages and such. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the Roman Empire is a red herring, though I don’t expect Smith to understand rhetorical devices any more than he comprehends much of anything. Actually, man went from grotesque corruption (Rome) to even worse perfidy (Christianity, which created the Dark Ages), and later cured the descent via the Florentine Renaissance and Age of Enlightenment, now happily moving on to an increasing Age of Atheism. As to Christers “saving science”: pshaw!, preposterous. The Crusades were designed wipe out the marvelous Ottoman Empire and its vast stores of knowledge, both far ahead of Europe; as we saw, the pogroms there succeeded.
With all due respect, which is very little indeed, to Smith, the Renaissance and Enlightenment both were rebellions against the ape-ish knuckle-dragging brutalities and ignorances of religion (divine rights, papacy, snake handling, indulgences, satanic psycho-dramas, etc. ad nauseum). We, history shows us, were ruled by religion for far too long. Shame on us. Then we woke up a little and started becoming human/Humanist instead, though I will agree with Smith’s inference that we haven’t gotten very far in that. We unfortunately replaced the ersatz businessmen in religious transvestiture (the rabbinate, the priesthood, imams, etc.) with, I am sorry to say, their barely evolved successors: capitalists. We presently see all too well what that’s brought us.
Reading history, we find fundamentalism (Republicanism, religiosity, any other depravity) is corruption in the flesh as well as the motive force for all the decay Smith misattributes. Curiously enough, if we peer deeply into ever more sharply emerging historiographies, we discover all Christians since Rome are actually Constantinians through the notorious madman Constantine, his prostitute empress Theodora, and then the Councils of Nicea. The Xians, then, are plainly eons removed from the teachings of the fictional but admirable hippie Christ Mythos. Ironically enough, the Roman Empire perverted what was once an ascetic Christianity into its modern form (see the Gnostic Gospels and other contrivances for the proofs, then shudder at the hideously truncated governance device called the “holy” Bible in its Nicean, King James, and other versions)…making all Smith’s assertions and “knowledges” purest farce.
When I first read his essay, I’d intended to laud young Morris for his courage at such a tender age (I didn’t turn to Eastern philosophies and atheism until I was 14, so this very smart kid beat me by a mile!), but things got in the way and I didn’t. I therefore now make up for that and have a piece of advice for him:
Adults are largely idiots and bullies, as you’re finding out. Never take anything they say without challenging it, and never give in to pressure from reptilian cowards such as Mr. Smith…and there’s a very dismayingly huge percentage of his ilk out there. Truth *always* stands firm in the face of rigorous inspection, lies fall away very quickly. Rebellion is the healthiest mindset. Question everything. Literally. Use that as your base yardstick in life, and you’ll very rarely ever go wrong. You’re already off to an excellent start, and we who have long tread the path welcome you to the clan. You’re an important young man, and we’re depending on you and others to keep yourself and mankind ever awake and intelligent after we’re gone. It’s a tough job, trust me, but you’re off to a killer start. Knowledge, not faith, is the solvent for all problems.
And hey, Smith, pick on someone your own size……………like me, f’rinstance.
Mark S. Tucker
Master Morris should be very grateful to have the Easy Reader recognize his concerns in ink. If I were you master Morris, I would carefully frame your faithless document and hang it where you will easily read its information each day, and make a truthful journal about yourself. My husband Chuck and I bet that you won’t do any more than the religious followers who are upset with your unmitigated outburst, who truthfully don’t study God’s Word through the ever-present Holy Spirit. Chuck and I have hung your personal beliefs on our refrigerator door reflecting for our souls a reminder of where we were spiritually during our misspent youth.
I was born and raised in the middle-east, the middle of East L.A., City Terrace, where faith was the only thing we had; my loving brother Reuben was murdered, my best friend was incinerated by the father of her unborn child. I was constantly haled off to tent revivals where some “GREENGO” pharisee took our money.
Believe me master Morris, I’ve seen God’s facial anger of metaphorical tornado and pillars of fire. God wanted me, not religion.
What an inspired piece of writing, especially for so young a thinker. Doubt has been the cornerstone of our system of philosophy since Descartes. I was 20 when I first heard of him.”
How truly sad that a boy of 11 has become so hardened by this world, (“Faith less” Aug. 8). It takes more faith to believe science will cure the ills of man than it does to believe in God. Take a good look at the world news on that huge LED flatscreen that science created my young friend. Other than high definition feed showing mankind round the world behaving badly, the technology cannot cure the disease in our hearts — separation from God. We vainly attempt to live WITHOUT the knowledge the we were engineered to live WITH. Our mistaken notion that mankind will through science overcome his malady was touched on by Paul the apostle, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”. (Romans 1:22)