Title: Twenty-four and Counting
Subtitle: Stemming the tide of Christian religious fervor
Author: David Annarelli
Date: 2022
Notes: Fifth Estate #411, Spring, 2022

a review of

24 Reasons to Abandon Christianity: Why Christianity’s Perverted Morality Leads to Misery and Death by Charles Bufe. See Sharp Press, 2022

Charles Bufe’s jeremiad is a scathing rebuke of Christianity filled with lurid details that support the charge made in the subtitle of 24 Reasons. It traces religion’s fearmongering and fire and brimstone manipulation by faithful zealots in service to the powerful, but also chronicles its inherent dishonesty, authoritarianism, sexual morbidity, hypocrisy...,well it’s a long list.

With glib humor and a no-holds-barred style, 24 Reasons does more than just lift the veil from the hypocrisy of Christianity. It provides a concise link from religion as a means of control to the consolidation and mystification of power.

The history of the faith is meticulously detailed in chapters such as “Christianity Harms Children,” and others that connect it with slavery, suppression of free speech, cruelty to oneself and others, how it degrades the natural world...well, it’s a long list. I haven’t read so many Bible verses since hitting the age of reason when I was 12 and turned my back on Catholicism and organized religion in general. I sought a deeper spirituality that, as Bufe points out, is not to be found in Christianity.

Bufe, who has written books with subjects as varied as the failure of Alcoholics Anonymous, a dystopian sci-fi novel, and a guide to music theory published by his See Sharp imprint, bolsters his argument with dismal statistics of abuse and corruption. The array of Bible quotes he presents should leave anyone with human impulses shuddering. Read Leviticus and Ezekiel for starters.

The frightening words of the Bible aren’t just illusory and confused, they serve as the ethical basis for tens of millions of practitioners. Liberal Christians try to give the worst of what purports to be the words of a god a better interpretation than what is on paper. This amounts to how the late comedian Bill Hicks put it. “I think what God meant to say was...” Yes, the liberal reading of God’s calling for the stoning of gays and adulteresses, or genocide of a people who has offended him is better than what it actually says, but it says what it says, and it has been acted upon throughout the ages.

The title of Dan Barker’s book, God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction, is a good summary of the murderous and intolerant writings of Christianity, but people often act politically based on fiction, such as Ayn Rand’s drivel.

Bufe suggests a quick exit from a horrid spirituality with its bad story of original sin and threats of eternal punishment, but doesn’t examine how this “perverted morality” took root. Hopefully, at a time when increasing numbers of people are abandoning churches, this book will play a role in stemming the tide of religious fervor that has been the bane of civilization.

David was charged with malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer and sentenced to 20 years in prison.