It amazes me how sometimes, when I criticize something in religion, the defence that theists supply are just as bad or worse than my original criticism. For instance, I have often said that the sermon on the mount promotes the idea of thought crime. Thinking hateful things is the same as murder and thinking sexy things is the same as adultery. If anything could show Christian dogma to be one of totalitarian fascism rather than of love, its the idea that you can be guilty just by thinking something.

When I point this out, I often get told that the message that I OUGHT to be getting from that passage is that, in the eyes of god, a sin is a sin. Sins are all equal under god’s divine judgment.
The first time I heard this, I did a double take. Even someone who’s had their intelligence ebbed by the retarding forces of religion should be able to see the horrible consequences of that little gem. Alas, once again, my optimism and charity were quickly deflated. That person was serious. So were the great number of believers who have told me the same thing since.

So, for them, and any who happen to think along the same lines, I would like to explain why it is so horrible. By saying a sin is a sin is a sin, and they are all morally equivalent in the eyes of god, the theist is equating the suffering a shop owner feels when someone steals a piece of gum from his store to the suffering felt by a rape victim. Indeed, if two people each steal a piece of gum, the shop owner has suffered from twice as many sins against him than the rape victim, so the shopkeeper has, by Christian math, been wronged more.

While I could go on at length why this is horrendous in the worst kind of way, I think if you can’t figure it for yourself, you are beyond any help that my postings can ever hope to give. But, to my amazement, the believers aren’t stumped by this. They say ‘oh, of course, to us humans one is much worse than the other, but I’m talking about in GOD’S eyes, not ours’.

They don’t seem to realize that their answer still doesn’t make anything better. They say that their god is perfectly good and just. If that is so, any difference between humans perception and that of their god would mean a deficiency on our part. That means, according to this abhorrent little bit Christian philosophy, rape victims are WRONG when they feel worse than the robbed shopkeeper. And our justice system is WRONG to treat the rapist more severely than it treats the gum thief. For if they were a bit more like Jesus, they would see that a sin is a sin and the right thing to do is to treat them equally.

If it’s morally reprehensible that a human take a certain view (like candy burglary is as bad as rape) then it would be just as revolting if a sky faerie took that view. So, not only does this sermon on the mount establish the ground rules for thought crime, it also, thanks to the defence posited by Christians, shows their god to be a despicable and morally bankrupt entity that belittles the suffering those who have endured the worst of crimes.