Stand Up for Reason

 Posted by on 26 April 2007 at 12:36 pm  Uncategorized
Apr 262007

Richard Wills, whom I know from the “1FROG” discussion group of Front Range Objectivism posted the following as a comment on my post on Jesus Camp and Friends of God a while back. I thought it was way too fantastic for just a comment, so with Richard’s permission, I’m posting it as its own blog post.

When I see blank-eyed God-squaders destroying children’s minds by preaching blind obedience, and destroying their self-esteem by teaching them to cower, I’m reminded of the old hymn, “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus.” The opening lines go:

Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
Ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner,
It must not suffer loss.

(See for complete original lyrics and music.)

As an adolescent forced to go to church, I’d listen to the congregation singing this hymn and imagine they were singing “Suck Up to Jesus” instead. A religious service, after all, is nothing more than an exercise in sucking up to God.

Years later, I came up with my own lyrics for this hymn, imagining them sung by the faithful flock of the little Congregational church I attended near Boston. These are the words they would sing, that is, if they were honest about the meaning of their worship (see first three verses, below). Of course, if they were fully honest about their religion, they’d repudiate it entirely (see remaining six verses).


Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
This is our battle cry.
All ye who don’t believe us
In Hell will surely fry.
To dogma we bow gladly;
To reason we don’t bend.
The truth does not concern us;
We’d rather just pretend.

Kiss up, kiss up to Jesus,
Imaginary boss.
Oh, Great Hallucination,
Without you we are lost.
Our self-respect goes down with us
When we get on our knees.
But if we really grovel,
Salvation is a breeze.

Suck up, suck up to Jesus,
Imaginary friend.
It’s party-time at your place
After our lives end.
To reach your cosmic Disneyland,
We’ll genuflect and cower;
We’ll kiss your ass forever,
Pretending you’ll save ours.

But now I’ve done some thinking
About this savior-dude,
And after due reflection,
Here is what I conclude:
This mindless little carpenter
Was mentally unglued,
And thanks to his religion
Humanity got screwed.

I live my life for me now;
This is my sacred right.
I scorn all gods and masters;
On mankind they’re a blight.
I’ll raise the torch of reason,
Our one and only hope,
Until the cross of Jesus
Goes up in holy smoke.

Beware of true believers
Who try to suck us in –
Snake-oil hawkers selling
Imaginary sin.
They’re dying to convert us
By sword or by the pen,
But if we fall for their lies,
We’re suckers born again.

They have the nerve to tell us
We’re sinful from our birth.
Their God is cruel and jealous,
Disdainful of our worth.
A pompous little potentate,
He’s peevish, he’s perverse.
Down with cosmic tyrants;
We have enough on Earth.

Now, pride and self-reliance
Are virtues to admire.
Be noble and defiant;
Live life as you desire.
The heaven that you seek is here;
It’s well within your reach.
You hold it in your own hands
And need not God beseech.

May humans thrive forever –
Man, woman, girl and boy.
Our noblest endeavor
Is living life with joy.
And so with reason’s counsel,
Stand up and go forth –
Claim your glorious birthright:
This life, this time, this Earth!


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