Believe It Or Not: 7 Facts You’re Not Supposed To Know About Religion

Disinfo Halo[Site editor's note: the Huffington Post recently published some excerpts from the new Disinformation title 50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know: Religion, authored by Daniele Bolelli.]

Religion is one of those big taboo topics that many people are terrified to touch: too afraid that others will question their religious loyalties and just as afraid to step on the minefield that is the overhyped sensitivity of some believers.

And this is precisely why it is so much fun to talk about it.

People, after all, live and die in the names of religious values, so the stakes of what we are playing with couldn’t be any higher. And yet, few fields can make many human beings as unwilling to face the evidence as religion. It is exactly because these ideas are so central to their lives that they don’t want anyone to plant doubts in their minds.

If this is you—if you are afraid of tackling contradictions, if you believe that without blind faith you would be prey to senselessness and desperation, if dealing with complexity sends you running for the reassuring arms of dogma—then do not read any further. What I am about to say will confuse you, anger you and ruin your digestion.

But if you feel like taking a weird, dangerous journey through world religions and running into some of the very odd characters populating them—if you have a taste for paradox and think that questioning authority should be an Olympic sport—then hop on board.

I had a hell of a lot of fun writing 50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know: Religion and conveying fifty of the most bizarre and unexpected stories about religion outside of my classroom. So below you’ll find seven of them that best relate the experience of my book (in a Reader’s Digest format).

You will discover that:

1. The institutions, we as a civilization, have considered “sacred” for thousands of years often are not considered that same way in organized religion, when powerful political forces or massive carnal desire enter the picture

2. Universal rights have been a sticky point for a number of religions because of what particular groups would benefit from them

3. Established religions, throughout history, have been a magnet for would-be messiahs, and an opportunity for those clever iconoclasts and tricksters to create their own new “religion” to challenge the old ones; and finally,

4. Any group calling for “Heavenly Peace on Earth” often has ended up killing millions of people in their fervor, and even stranger, the greatest conqueror in human history actually allowed religious tolerance in an truly unprecedented manner that, even today, we have not seen over most of our planet.

Religion is not an easy topic to discuss: it’s one of those things in life that is truly more complicated than it looks, and often, is a very personal matter for a hell of a lot of people. So my goal here is, at a minimum, to try to make thinking about religion enjoyable, and something you would discuss with others, even if you expect a difference of opinion.

[Read "Believe It Or Not: 7 Facts You're Not Supposed To Know About Religion" over at the Huffington Post]

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  • DeepCough

    Not that this article isn’t informative–and not that it isn’t a shameless plug for Disinfo merchandise–but this “Disinfo” is nothing you can’t otherwise learn from Sociology 101 and The Great Carlin himself.

    “You believe in God? No? DEAD! You believe in God? Yes? Do you believe in MY God? No? DEAD! My God has a bigger dick than your god!” ~George Carlin

    From George Carlin’s “Back in Town”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvF1Q3UidWM

    • Donblackshock

      Couldn’t have said it better myself, Carlin is an Icon and a lot of what he says makes terriffic sense.

  • Mike


    if you have a taste for paradox and think that questioning authority should be an Olympic sport—then hop on board.” 

    OMG that line is so awesome! Time to keep reading…

  • Liam_McGonagle

    It’s a sad reflection on our society that the people most in need of this book are those least likely to pick it up.

    Life is an awful, brutal scary affair, and the the ultimate questions have only provisional answers.  For those whose intellect or courage are not quite up to snuff, acritical acceptance of nonsensicle drivel might be a reasonable alternative to living in a constant state of pants-sh*tting terror.

    Bolelli’s approach of trying to make the discussion fun is probably the first step in evolving the discussion from it’s current “Yes it is!”/”No it isn’t” quagmire.  My proposal for the next installment:  a “Madlibs”/fill-in-the-blank Bible.  It’d be a great drinking game.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    It’s a sad reflection on our society that the people most in need of this book are those least likely to pick it up.

    Life is an awful, brutal scary affair, and the the ultimate questions have only provisional answers.  For those whose intellect or courage are not quite up to snuff, acritical acceptance of nonsensicle drivel might be a reasonable alternative to living in a constant state of pants-sh*tting terror.

    Bolelli’s approach of trying to make the discussion fun is probably the first step in evolving the discussion from it’s current “Yes it is!”/”No it isn’t” quagmire.  My proposal for the next installment:  a “Madlibs”/fill-in-the-blank Bible.  It’d be a great drinking game.

  • Gummotummbler

    I LOVE you Disinformation!!!

    I have this argument at least once a week with people who can’t justify their labeling.

  • http://krowface.com/ Jason Thompson

    [Site editor's note: the Huffington Post recently published some excerpts from the new Disinformation title 50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know: Religion,authored by Daniele Bolelli.]
    [...]
    [Read "Believe It Or Not: 7 Facts You're Not Supposed To Know About Religion" over at the Huffington Post]
    Wait… what? 

  • russell

    thats 4

  • Lmnop_nis

    This discussion doesn’t have enough trolling to be on a religion article, so I have to say religion is for stupid assholes who fuck their mothers. There, that’s better.

  • loli

    “Religion is one of those big taboo topics that many people are terrified to touch:”  ?not here it isn’t

  • Pingback: George Carlin on Life and … (Video) | Disinformation

  • Yer Dad

    The problem I have with Disinfo’s “You’re Not Supoosed To Know”
    series is that much of it can be shown to be factually incorrect,
    and often, mere opinion.

    Disinfo needs to get over itself.

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