don’t start another religion

don't start another religion cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
“Don’t Start Another Religion” (ink and pencil on paper)

(Many original cartoon drawings and prints are available, including this one! Email me if interested. Original drawings are $100 and prints are $25 plus shipping.)

It is better to see that religions are various perspectives on interpreting Reality and Truth rather than becoming the slave of one.

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  • haha, the Holy Ghost is classic!

  • Fantastic david — really brilliant!

    How many religions have begun as efforts to improve, unite, reform or reconcile. Clear evidence that all religion is made by people.

    Jesus obviously didn’t listen to his Pop.

  • Kris

    It’s sad as humans we have this need to continually divide ourselves up.

  • Right!

    Religion is our ladder to Him.

    Jesus came all the way down to the bottom of a grave, to avoid all of that self-centered work.

    Trust in Him (in Christ) alone…and rest.

  • This is good:

    It speaks to the fact that everyone is religious…in some way. shape, or form.

  • renatus

    Jesus never asked for religion .. It’s a byproduct, a reshaped desire to please God.

    Humans are a group entity, we flock together, regardless of what banners we wave.

    If it hadn’t been the creation of religion ( which took hundreds of years every time ) or lets say alien worshiping ( if some plane/craft would have crashed on earth a few thousand years ago ) it would have been something else that had a big part of the inhabitants of this planet on one side.

    Jesus only came to teach us about love and of the endless possibilities for our race to develop.He showed us everything will ever need.It just takes ages and ages for people to wrap their heads around it.

  • He came to end religion as it was at that time, of course we weren’t ready of that. Worshiping the teacher is a great way to not have to follow His teachings. Obviously God knew what would happen and thought it was worth it. We talk bad about organized religion, but you have to admit the world is a much better place than it was before we had the gospel.

  • Oh yeah, the Holy Spirit in a sheet? Really?

  • @ renatus,
    You said, “Jesus only came to teach us about love”.
    But he taught people to prepare for God coming — he expected “the son of man” to come before he died. He taught to give up money and family. He taught love but so did lots of other teachers.

  • bob

    Jesus did more than come to teach us about love. He was love incarnate. His sole goal of coming here was to SAVE us. He revealed His Father to us, He taught us. He loved us. But His main purpose of living here was to die. AND He asks the same of His followers. So I ask you this-are you ready to die?

  • VanPastorMan

    I would argue that Jesus came to completely fulfill Judaism, not start another religion. He said he came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Christianity in the early years was called, “The Way” because it came from Judaism.
    Also Jesus told the Jews in John’s Gospel that the Scriptures, what some call the Old Testament, spoke about Him. He claimed that He as the Messiah is mentioned in those ancient passages. So He came to fulfill not start a new religion. I always tell people that even though I am a pastor I hate religion because it was religion non believing Jews who sent my Lord to the Cross. It was bad for Him but good for me because all my sins were paid for. The punishment that should have been mine was laid upon Him because He loves me.

  • Almost every religious professional I know (Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish and Christian) likes to tell people that their faith is not a religion. They hate religion too.

    Yeah, right.

  • Caryn LeMur

    Yes… I had to laff so hard when I saw the Holy Spirit in a sheet too… lol… that brought a smile to me tonight.

    I often puzzle about religion, ritual, and relationship.

    I am married to Bonnie – a legal relationship. Yet, we also have an interpersonal relationship that is super important to us. We have rituals – coffee together is one – that seem to signal a deep connection to each other and an assurance that we are ‘in each other’s court’.

    If ‘worship’ means to ‘adore’, then in some ways, I worship Bonnie. I am also concerned about what makes her happy, and conform some of my life to make her joyful. Is this religion? – I think it is ‘good religion’ in many ways.

    The churches that did us harm, asked us to be dishonest about our feelings, to lie about our relationship with each other, or even to conform our conscience to their ‘group’ conscience. They asked us to no longer think, or to challenge their leadership or engage in solid debate, but to trust only their interpretation of the Bible. They asked us to withdraw from helping the poor with our own hands… and in some cases, believed it was good to overtake our calendars with lots of meetings. This exchange was incredibly uneven, in our opinions.

    Organized Religion is good to my way of thinking – it is a tool that I use, it must not be a tool that abuses me. It must be something I can set upon the shelf when it is not needed, and something available to me, should I need its assistance in a building project.

  • Is Freudianism or Jungianism a religion? How come Freud and Jung did not get along in the end even though they believed in dream interpretation, which seems to be a new element here (at least I hadn’t seen it before)? How come none of us get along? What is our problem? What is the answer?

    Why did Freud and Jung fall out? They should have been some of the most highly educated, psychologically astute, mature and scientific people.

    Why do Richard Dawkins and Jay Gould not get along. Richard Dawkins demands strict atheism with his evolution, Gould has punctuated equilibrium and atheism is not a necessary corollary. Dawkins is not amused.

    Christ is not just an opinion or a dream. He was prophesied from the earliest times, he came, proclaimed what was not comfortable for everyone, yet accepted all, died and rose for us, and will draw us after him. He is the truth, not another “religion”, nor just a dream or vision or hope. He unites, not devides. In Him we have a union across the globe, nations, colors, size, free or slave, male or female…

  • Richard Dawkins and Jay Gould get along just fine — well, certainly after Jay died.

    “Christ” is a title or label and definitely an idea.

    Jesus and Socrates and Abe Lincoln are all just opinions and ideas since I know none of them and have just been told different opinions.

    None of those people are living buddies with anyone.

  • Gary

    @Sabio…you said “None of those people are living buddies with anyone.”

    Simple question…How do you know?

    Obviously a large number of people (including on this board) believe Jesus is very much alive and a “buddy” if you will. Equating Jesus to Lincoln, Socrates, or the spaghetti monster is a dodge.

    I won’t tell you I “know” He is alive in the sense of provability. But clearly a very large percentage of mankind shares a belief in a creator God in some fashion…both educated and non-educated alike. Your declaration that He is not alive represents to me merely your statement of belief. I think it is fine that you have come to this conclusion. But it is just as fair to ask you how you know your declarative statement is true as it is of any believer.

  • You are right, Gary. Lot of folks feel their dead parents or Elvis still talks to them and befriends them. Maybe even more than those around them. The human mind is very creative.

  • Gary

    Come on Sabio…to make such parallels is deliberately disingenuous. In fact it is condescending and you know it. I had hoped you would not take the silly dodge in your reply.

  • Gary

    One thing I have learned about fundamentalists is that they all seem to believe their declarative statements are beyond question…and are quite willing to ridicule the questions when they come.

  • Gary,
    As you know, I was once a Christian too. Finally I admitted to myself that I was talking to my own head. There was no “conversation”, certainly no “friendship” — none of those in the real senses of the words.

    In fact, the notion of Jesus being a buddy is a relatively new Evangelical idea, if I remember correctly. Either way, it is an blatant illusion.

    If that is condescending, I don’t care.

    I have written about this in two of my posts:
    (1)Jesus as an Imaginary Friend
    (2)In Jesus’ Name

    People claim to talk to Jesus, Mary, God, Krishna, Bodhisattvas, dead relatives,childhood make-believe friends and many more. I find no reason to doubt that the inner mental process is the same in all these cases. It would be most odd if only the Jesus-buddies are having ‘real‘ conversations and all the rest delusional. Don’t you think? If you disagree, why?

    I am being very ingenuous (candid and frank) — maybe that is your real problem with me. What? Only if I say the following will I be ingenuous in your royal opinion: “Sure, who am I to disagree. I can’t judge anything. Without 100% evidence, anyone can spout any they want because just maybe, one-in-a-hundred billion, they are right and I should stay quiet and humble.”

    Yeah, right.

    David has written a lot about the silence of Jesus and God. I think many Christians have realized that they are imagining a conversation with Jesus or God. “Conversation” certainly in any normal sense of that word. So if they aren’t hearing anything, and others are, what is going on? I think my explanation works best. No one is hearing anything. The King has no clothes. “Shhhhhh, don’t be condescending. You are being ingenuous.”

    Yeah, right.

  • Whether I “feel” Jesus as buddy or not is not material. The matter is that he is,at the moment, invisible, except that we also find him in bread and wine, in our friends and neighbors, word, living and written down, and all the places where he has put his promises.

    So faith is indeed needed, but not entirely without some things to go by and rest on.

    The fact, that so many people,here, who would not call themselves or would not want to call themselves orthodox Christians, still really want to believe in something spiritual, and that they see this everywhere, confirms my faith in some sense. No matter what description, not only has the moral law been put into our hearts, but also this knowledge and longing for God, even if incompletely conceived. Without Christ we can only know so much about God, only have so much grace. Sometimes it is simply a feeling or a longing.

    The atheist will see all this as crazy mushiness in the head. But the fact that this desire and need seems ubiquitous somehow speaks volumes to me and confirms my faith.

    In terms of Gould and Dawkins, Allister McGrath dedicates some space to their dispute and Dawkins’ harsh approach. Here is a little quote that I once blogged about, from that book:

    Unless half his scientific colleagues were total fools–a presumption that Gould rightly dismissed as nonsense, whichever half it is applied to–there could be not other responsible way of making sense of the varied responses to reality on the part of the intelligent, informed people that he knew.

    This is not the quick and easy answer that many would like. But it may well be right–or at least point in the right direction. It helps us understand why such people hold such fundamentally different believers on these matters–and why some others consequently believe that, in the end, these questions cannot be answered with confidence. And it reminds us of the need to treat those who disagree with us on such questions with complete intellectual respect rather than dismissing them as liars, knaves and charlatans.

    Whereas Gould at least tries to weigh the evidence, Dawkins simply offers the atheist equivalent of slick hellfire preaching, substituting turbocharged rhetoric and highly selective manipulation of facts for careful, evidence-based thinking. Curiously, there is surprisingly little scientific analysis in The God Delusion. There’s a lot of pseudo-scientific speculation, linked with wider cultural criticisms of religion, mostly borrowed from older atheist writings. Dawkins preaches to his god-hating choirs, who are clearly expected to relish his rhetorical salvoes and raise their hand high in adulation. Those who think biological evolution can be reconciled with religion are dishonest! Amen! they belong to the “Neville Chamberlain school” of evolutionists? They are appeasers! Amen! Real scientists reject belief in God! Hallelujah! The God that Jews believed in back in Old Testament times is a psychotic child abuser! Amen! You tell them, brother!

    Dawkins has zero room and tolerance for those who have any doubts about atheism.

  • Sorry, the book is “The Dawkins Delusion–Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine” by Allister McGrath.

  • Gary

    “People claim to talk to Jesus, Mary, God, Krishna, Bodhisattvas, dead relatives,childhood make-believe friends and many more. I find no reason to doubt that the inner mental process is the same in all these cases. It would be most odd if only the Jesus-buddies are having ‘real‘ conversations and all the rest delusional. Don’t you think? If you disagree, why?”

    Actually I do agree with you here. I am not a proponent of the notion that people have actual conversations with Jesus whether audibly or in their heads. I believe those who claim to engage Jesus/God/Allah/Krishna, etc. in such a fashion are either deluded, or merely engaging in wishful thinking when pondering their own thoughts.

    But for those of us who believe in God and that He has a loving purpose for us…why should we not refer to Him as a friend? I have many friends far away who I have not spoken to in years. The fact they are not engaging me in two way conversation does not mean I no longer consider them friends. The clear fact we seem to agree upon is that there are many delusions about God, and many deluded people. But to use this as an argument against the existence of God is, IMO, intellectually dishonest.

  • @ Gary,
    Ah, I think I see part of the issue.
    My comment at 5:33 am today said,

    “None of those people are living buddies with anyone.”

    And you are upset with what you feel are two implications of that simple statement.

    (1) You agree saying “I am not a proponent of the notion that people have actual conversations with Jesus whether audibly or in their heads.”

    But you want it to be OK to say he is still your “friend”. You said, “why should we not refer to Him as a friend?”

    Well, go right ahead — but it is a distorted use of the word. You analogy of your friend who lives far away doesn’t work because you never met, talked to, bowled with or drank with Jesus. And he never moved away. So nothing changed. He wasn’t a friend from the very beginning. Did you take a look at my post?

    (2) You feel I am trying to use my simple comment “as an argument against the existence of God”. No, I did not such thing — you just felt threatened or offended by it.

    But I will say, it is a knock against just one more thing (talking to god) that counters things that people do count as evidence FOR god. I hope you can see the distinction.

  • Gary

    No Sabio I believe the issue is not in the terminology of whether we can refer to Him as a friend or not…but whether He is alive or not. If Jesus is God (as most Christians believe) then Hi is both alive and has made Himself the friend of all people. Many individuals who I have never met claim to be my friend on the grounds of having done things for my benefit. It is a very common usage of the term in our culture to say so and so is a “friend” to whatever group they may have sought to benefit in some way.

    My issue however is not with your attempt to control the usage of the term “friend”, but with your claim that Jesus (and by implication God)is not alive. My question to that declarative statement was simple. How do you know?

  • I don’t see anything in my statement that said, “Jesus is dead” — though of course I don’t doubt in the least that he is.

    I think you are hypersensitive and just trying to pick unnecessary fights. Jesus ain’t talkin’ with nobody. We agree. God don’t talk with nobody and never did. We agree.

    And friends who never talk (when they could if they wanted to), ain’t my idea of “friends”

    Concerning being ‘alive’ though — if you want to go there. Jesus ain’t alive in any normal sense — I don’t know about you, but when I talk about someone being “alive”, I mean someone, somewhere can see them or communicate with them or has recently seen them as alive. Otherwise they are often considered missing or presumed dead. You get my point, I’m sure.
    So, not only do you, IMHO, want to stretch the word “friend” but now you want to stretch “alive”. But I get how stretching definitions help people in all religions and political structures — it is how we manipulate people.

  • Caryn LeMur


    In other posts, you wrote that you do not believe in any form of eternal life (or eternal ‘death’).

    I have a friend that is an atheist, and that has disavowed Christ (he was a fellow believer many years ago). Yet, my friend will visit websites that are oriented towards Christians, on ocassion, and make some remarks here and there. He likes to touch base now and then with his past beliefs.

    So, what are your beliefs then? and may I ask, what draws you to such a website as this one?

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • @Caryn,
    You can visit my website if you’d really like to find out more about me and my thoughts — see my ABOUT page.

    I visit Horoscope web sites, Marxist websites, Buddhist websites and Hindu Websites. And I don’t buy into any of that either. Heck, I write poetry and I highly dislike most of the poetry that I read.

    Yours in Elvis,

    [Ever think how weird it is to say “Much love in Christ” to someone who thinks that is silly? I suggest that it is reflexive and thoughtless.]

  • Gary

    “I think you are hypersensitive and just trying to pick unnecessary fights. Jesus ain’t talkin’ with nobody. We agree. God don’t talk with nobody and never did. We agree.”

    Sigh…nonsense. Was not attempting to pick a fight in any sense of the word. I was questioning the belief that Jesus (or God) is not alive. I certainly have no proof you would accept that there is a god any more than you have any proof I would accept that there is no god.

    I will also tell you I most certainly DO NOT agree with your statement that “God don’t talk with nobody and never did. We agree.” Of course we do not agree on this statement and you know we don’t so I find it odd that you claim we do.

    As for stretching the definitions of words…I find your comments silly. Clearly you try to manipulate the meaning of words to suit your point of view. I provided a concrete example of my usage of the term friend. Frankly I don’t give a shit if you like how I used it. The meaning I was attempting to convey is clear.

    The question of whether or not God is “alive” is certainly beyond the scope of our biological existence. You may feel like limiting the discussion to our purely physical understanding of life and death is beneficial to your argument…but we both know it in no way applies to whether or not there is a spiritual realm beyond the flesh now does it?

    You spend a lot of time trying to pigeon hole others into your own manipulative parameters in most of your discussions. Perhaps one day you will be lord and ruler over your own kingdom. But until that time…you don’t get to set the rules over how we will use words and such.


  • @ Gary,
    Your persistent defense of God — to show us all he really exists — has worked. For each time you are backed into a corner, you spit, swear, and cuss out names as your head spins. And I remember, only a man-of-god, a real believer, a holy priest can deliver you from the demon possessing you. I reach for the phone to call for the priest, but then come to my senses and say, “Nah, that’s just Gary”!

    I was worried about you buddy — you were being so civil. Nice to see that nothin’ has changed.

  • Gary, I am curious, are you on David’s new site? How do you keep it under control there?

  • Caryn LeMur

    Sabio: it is ok to suggest my closing remark is reflexive. I appreciate you noticing.

    In my case, it is both similar and different to your use of the Japanese “I thankfully receive”. It is similar because it is now habit; but it is different, in that I am not giving love in a generalized non-god oriented manner.

    I chose that ‘standard closing’ during my difficulties as a man becomming a woman (GID, or commonly called transsexualism). Similar to your religious journey, I had to deconstruct many of my own beliefs, and in my case I determined that ‘walking in love’ (as defined in I Cor 13) would be my path. Thus, giving ‘Much love’ was a good closing.

    However, as a woman, it took little time for the phrase ‘Much love’ to cause more miscommunication than I thought possible… lol. So, I added the phrase “Much love in Christ”.

    Sadly, this ‘standard closing’ could be misunderstood by some of my many transgender friends and also by the Christians that were transsexuals… it seems that the phrase was used as a conditional statement by some of their churches. It actually meant “I will give you love only if you remain in Christ”… and so, I added the last part: ‘always and unconditionally.’

    I am sorry that you lost your roomie-to-be years ago in the train incident. I have shared food and Christ’s love among the homeless in the woods in Virginia… sometimes, I am told that they too decide to ‘kiss the train’.

    And, as I read of your journey, I was so impressed at your language skills, and that you are now a PA… wow. I am 56; you are 58; I too encountered the Jesus Movement but never had the courage to hitchhike across Europe let alone India. I failed at learning more than tourist-German; and you became fluent in Japanese. Again, you have made an amazing journey.

    Thank you also for explaining your Buddhist training… what I consider a ‘dodge’ by my Asian friends is considered very acceptable akido by them. We Americans tend to confront, engage, grapple, team up, take a stand, justify our statements… however, my Asian friends see a good discussion in an entirely different manner.

    I will enjoy your humor much better now. Thank you.

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Glad you liked the stories, Caryn.
    Love, as you state, is a very ambivalent term.
    And unselfish love is best demonstrated than proclaimed.
    Thus, “Love in Christ, unconditional” and such are pretentious words for me. “Sincerely” is far less so. I will determine if someone has unconditional love by watching their actions over years. I don’t need to hear them declare it. It is like saying “TRUST ME!”.

    Just my thoughts.

    A big Darwinian hug,

  • Gary

    Sabio – I love the way you resort to open mockery when you are unable manipulate me. You really crack me up. Sadly this mocking only makes you that much smaller.

    Love David’s other site. And nobody there seems all too bothered by the occasional swearing. Really never understood the obsession with it here either.

    Finally…You know without any question in your mind whatsoever that I am not out to show you all God exists. I believe He does…I openly accept that you don’t. We have discussed this many times. How does a portrayal of my stance based on lies make your position stronger?

    I had hoped we might have an honest discussion. But sadly…manipulation, mockery, and lies are every bit as much of your modus operandi as they ever were.