“In the beginning Man created God; and in the image of Man created he Him.” – ‘Aqualung’, Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson
This sentence may be the most important sentence in this book. Not because of the great idea that it expresses, and certainly not because of any secret information that it reveals. Just like a person influenced by the first impression of meeting another person, you have probably just read this opening statement, trying to figure out what the hell this book is all about.
Well, I’m not going to tell you everything. Frankly speaking, at this early stage of writing, I don’t know all the details myself. I do have, however, some general idea of what it’s going to be like. If you’re brave enough to read on, you’ll most probably find some disturbing evidence about the wealth of nonsense produced by religious preachers, the many contradictions found in certain religious beliefs, and perhaps some funny stories about religion.
Now that I got rid of the difficult task of how to start, let’s get to some apologies. Every book has to contain some apologies in its first section, and I have to pay my dues here as well. Though I pretend to mention the many religions of the world, I will focus naturally on the one (some may refer to it as several) that I know best – and that is Judaism. Let me state clearly: I’m not saying Judaism is better or worse than its competitors. In fact, I will make a serious attempt not to neglect Christianity or Islam, or even some less successful cultural start-ups.
Why in the world do I need you to deal with a subject so charged, a thing that may be so important to you, and perhaps even inadvertently offend some of you? The answer is not simple. You may discover parts of it by reading the next chapters, especially the chapter ‘FAQing Special’ further on.
I must admit I don’t feel easy writing about some of these issues. I’m not very keen on spending the rest of my life hiding from some kind of fanatic revenge. I don’t feel brave like Salman Rushdie or Galileo Galilei (you know, “And yet it does move”). I should probably add Charles Darwin and Benedict Baruch Spinoza to this list, as well as another hero named Robert Green Ingersoll (details later, maybe).
When approaching the task of writing this book, I had to think of some suitable name for it – you know, something that sells well, and yet is meaningful enough. I actually consulted some of my friends about it. Why I chose ‘The Truth Is Wrong’ and why the subtitle “religious people should not read this book” I intend to explain later. Just to let you know what you missed, there were also some other titles on my list. Among them:
Thou Shalt Not Read This Book
Protect Your Child from Religious Preachers
Why Does Nonsense Make So Much Sense?
Learn How To Be a Religious Preacher
Fundamentalism Anti-Virus Installed
The Rise of Fundamentalism and the End of Civilization
Secularity – the Real Religion
Christian, Jewish and Islamic Fundamentalism Meet in the Middle East
I Think Therefore I Am Not Religious
Daddy, Why Didn’t You Protest When It Was Still Allowed?
And then there are names such as ‘The Even Newer Testament’ or ‘The Real Testament’, which all seem to be taken already. I guess they do point out a certain amount of ambition.
I hereby declare that I give up my entitlement to copyright concerning the above specific titles, and I encourage you to use them wisely. They should also give you some more insight into what’s next.
Ahh… acknowledgements, I almost forgot. Nowadays it is almost a standard procedure to include some thankful words in a book’s opening section. Authors typically thank their colleagues for assisting them, their family members for whatever help they’ve provided, and possibly other people who have inspired them or gave them money… er… provided appropriate resources for the project.
I gave this issue some thought, although not too much I admit. I realized there’s no way I can draw a clear line between those who helped more and those who helped less, resulting in a hidden insult to those I neglect to mention. Therefore, I decided to thank only one entity: I thank my own personal God – the only real god that exists and obviously the most powerful one. Who or what exactly is it – that will be clarified further on in the text.
And last but not least, I’m not naive – at least I think I’m not. I know it doesn’t matter how hard I try to convince you of things, for feelings have been proven to usually be stronger than logic. Just ask any advertiser or salesman (or a preacher, as an example of the latter). In order to stand some chance of getting through, I will try to use some humor occasionally. Actually some of the things are quite funny on their own without my input.