"Christianity: The belief that some cosmic Jewish zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. Makes perfect sense." -- Unknown
A friend of mine posted this on her blog and proceeded to describe how ridiculous the followers of organized religion are, because they live their lives trying to emulate characters in a book. Holy books are just that: books, written by men trying to make sense of what was happening to them.
People like to play-act. Every Halloween we see kids dressed up as witches, superheroes, princesses, and the like. Cosplayers dress up as their favourite characters for conventions. However this doesn't mean that they truly believe in these characters or follow their standards.
Religious practitioners are also play-acting. They are trying to emulate a character in a book, as described by those who supposedly knew him while he was living, or according to stories of him passed down by his followers. Let's not forget that as stories are passed along details are lost, so when they are finally written down, the stories could very easily have been changed from their original form, or even intentionally modified to suit the writer's views. The stories in the Bible (and possibly other holy texts) were not written until decades or centuries after the death of the main character. Who's to say what really happened?
As a result, practitioners of religion (particularly Christianity) are living a lie. What's worse is that they often misinterpret what the book says and become defensive when called on it.
My former in-laws were Catholic, although after all the children moved away from home they no longer went to church regularly. But those values remained, as twisted as they seemed to me at the time. When a cousin had an affair he was censured by the entire family, and my ex's mother said "Have your fling, but if you have any decency, go back to your wife." To quote Hebrews 13: "Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery." It seemed to me that by judging the sinning cousin, the family was also sinning, because judging such things should be God's job and no other's, according to the book. So even though they claimed to believe in the book, they weren't truly following it, and that is hypocrisy in itself. I don't know if the situation with the cousin was ever resolved, because the issue became verboten - it was not to be talked about within the family.
My ex himself once threatened me with divorce if I refused to give him children (which cemented my decision to NOT have children with him). We all know what King Henry VIII did with his wives who couldn't give him sons: he either divorced them or had their heads cut off. And yet Matthew 19 clearly states that the only proper reason for divorcing one's wife is if she committed adultery. Therefore my ex was as hypocritical as his family when he claimed that he still believed in the Catholic teachings. Later he would tell me that he had only been joking, but it sure sounded serious at the time.
I could give more examples, but you get the idea.
Just for the record, I don't deny that Christ existed. Historical and physical evidence indicates that he might have - but that he performed miracles is impossible for me to believe. Still, I respect those who choose to believe otherwise even though from a realistic standpoint it appears silly.
So the next time you see someone dressed up as a fictional character, don't make fun of them. If you happen to be a devout Christian you are doing exactly the same thing, just without the costume.