This is the part 2 of this blog. It’s an in-line response to the response I got from the blogger:
“And what exactly 2000 civil rights do gays not have that non-gays do?”
Sorry, it was over 1,000, not 2, my mistake. Around 1400 to be precise. Here is a list of over a thousand rights and benefits denied to gay couples by the “defense of marriage act” alone.
“Not marry. Hell, I can’t marry my second cousin in my State. Damn, my civil rights are being violated. Oh wait, there isn’t anything in the Constitution which covers marriage. That’s a activity regulated by the States, and isn’t a civil right to begin with. And if one really wants to marry, there are any number of States where it is legal. Like with my second cousin, if it’s REALLY that big an issue, move to where it’s legal.”
So when blacks and whites couldn’t marry, that wasn’t a civil rights issue because it’s not in the constitution? You’re compartmentalizing bigotry and inequality in order to justify it.
“Name any public office that one is barred from holding because of religious beliefs. If someone can’t get elected because his religious views, or lack of them, is unacceptable to the voters, well damn, then I guess your problem is with the democratic process.”
No, my problem is with bigotry. So your logic is that if something is harmful and unfair to me, but legal, I have no right to blog about it? Fuck you too.
Oh, and you can’t get mad at me for telling you to go fuck yourself because I’m just expressing my first amendment right to free speech, so if you have a problem with me you’re against the constitution.
(your fucked up logic, not mine)
“There have been a number of wars where one side or the other has been claiming to be acting in God’s name, where, when one actually looks at history, were fought for reasons other than religion.”
Call me crazy, but if people say they’re killing people in the name of god and people support them because they say that, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say religion’s a factor.
If I told you christianity has done good in the world you would say of course it has, it’s done tons of good, so many acts of kindness are done in the name of god by christians who follow their bible. But what, the bad stuff doesn’t count? Why the hell not?
“I might also add that the wars supposedly in the name of religion have paled compared to the wars fought for the good old atheist excuse of greed and power.”
Now you’re just being a bigot. There is nothing atheistic about greed or lust for power. I don’t go around saying pedophilia is a christian thing because some christians are pedophiles, I’d ask that you show me the same level of respect (which is really the bare fucking minimum).
“Actually, there are a number of reasons out there for anti-semitism. Conflicting religions, racism, etc.”
I said religion fuels anti-semitism, I didn’t say it’s the sole cause of it. You just agreed with me.
“And it’s not even a position held by any Christian group I know of other than a few wing nut white supremacist groups.”
So christian groups aren’t anti-semitic… except for the ones that are? In no way was I trying to paint all christians with the same brush (though you seem to want to do that to atheists).
“And blaming the Holocaust on religion is like blaming Stalin’s atrocities on atheism (with the exception that Stalin WAS actually an atheist).”
Please provide me a quote from stalin saying there is no god, or that he’s an atheist or anything of the sort. You can’t, I’ve looked. In reality he was raised christian, studied to be a member of the clergy and reversed many of the anti-christian policies of his predecessors, including re-opening tens of thousands of christian churches that had been shut down. He persecuted christians who opposed him as would any dictator, christian or not. If persecuting christians makes you an atheist then the pope’s of old must’ve been atheists because most of the people tortured and killed in the inquisition were heretical christians.
“In both instances we have an evil man with power. Unless of course, in the case of Hitler, you can accept the argument one can be a Christian while violating what the faith teaches.”
If being christian means never violating scripture then no one is christian. Or do you see many women walking around with head coverings as required in I believe it’s second corinthians? No one even tries to follow the bible unless it happens to be a part of it they happen to agree with. An atheist just openly admits they’re rejecting the rest. Hitler ignored a lot of scripture, so do you. Your character is determined not by whether you follow the bible, but by which parts you follow. Because the actual text says everything from love thy neighbor to set thy neighbor on fire.
“And in his case the only evidence we have of his so-called faith, which, in his own writings he held in contempt, was authentic is his claim he was one (and which other than the claim, we have no evidence of).”
There are hundreds of examples, public, private, from before he came to power, during his rule etc of him espousing his militantly christian (though admittedly psychotic) views. There are maybe 2 or 3 quotes attributed to him, all from one book written after his death, which superficially seem to contradict all the other evidence. And none of them say there is no god or the bible is false, they all just express contempt for christianity. The only interpretation that makes sense to me is that he was either referring to conventional christianity which he saw as a perverse “invention of the jew”. His christianity was one where jesus was not a jew and was an enemy of the jews. Another explanation is that he was simply a heavily drugged psychopath (which he was) who had a few bad trips. Either way I’m not claiming that christians are all evil because hitler was one, I’m saying that doctrines, dogmatic belief structures, authoritarian social structures etc have an effect on the world and are simply not comparable to belief in UFOs.
“However, we DO know Stalin was an atheist, and for the record, killed far more people than Hitler did.”
No, we do not know that.
“Stalin didn’t kill his millions because he was an atheist. He killed them because he was evil. Just like Hitler.”
So now he didn’t do it because of his atheist greed and lust for power?
“And again, rather than make unsubstantiated claims about “science books being rewritten, how about providing one example of it.”
You demand proof of something yet show you are well aware of it’s occurrence in the very next sentence.
“Most of the cases involving “science” are attempts to have intelligent design/creationism taught in schools.”
Actually to have them taught in place of actual science. It used to be that the garden of eden was taught in public schools in place of earth and life science.
“Here’s a idea. if you’re going to exclude one theory about how life came about, let’s exclude all theories about how it did.”
“Theory” in the scientific sense is not incompatible with the word “fact”. That life evolves is a fact, not a hunch or a guess. And I agree we shouldn’t tell kids how life began because no one knows for sure yet, but evolution has nothing to do with that. Everything in science books can actually be verified, it’s not just conjecture (or if it is it’s stated as such).
“Because as far as I know, that’s really the only point of contention involving “science” involving religionists and education. And there is a simple solution to that problem too, as we’ve discovered in my State. You provide parents with vouchers for their childrens’ education which they decide how to spend. They can then send their kids anywhere they want to be taught what they want.. End of argument and everyone is happy.”
Except the children, who get indoctrination in place of an education.
“But there is one unhappy fact that you seem to want to ignore. There is far more anti-religious discrimination going on in this country right now than the other way. You seem to want to brush that under the rug, and it doesn’t take any great effort to find out about it. Some folks just like to ignore it while pretending they’re the victims instead. And I could fill a blog with nothing but examples of it. What would be the point?”
There will always be isolated instances of someone being a dick to you because of your race, religion, beliefs, nationality, whatever. No matter who you are or what you believe there will always be dicks in the world. That is wrong, but it isn’t persecution, it’s just people being assholes. When millions of people band together to actually make policies that discriminate however, that’s actual persecution. A federal ban on gay marriage is not comparable to some douchebag spitting in your onion rings because you have a jesus fish on your car (while of course that is horrible and that guy should be fired). Discrimination on an individual level will always exist, I’m talking about actual government policy and huge social movements here. What social movement is there to persecute christians in the US? Show me an example of atheists trying to have more legal rights than christians.
“But let’s get to the point of the post, since both you and CT seem to want to ignore that.”
How can I ignore something you just brought up?
“And most of the religious abuses you keep wanting to bring up either occurred so far in the past that either of you could possibly have experienced any of them.”
Actually the majority of them occurred in living memory and about half of them are ongoing or happened recently, so no.
“During the period I was an atheist the Christian Church still held a good deal more influence than it does now, and it was no threat to any non-believer. I didn’t need to study religion to be opposed to it. I didn’t feel the need to discredit it, particularly by erecting the kind of flawed arguments you use against it. I left it alone and it left me alone. Again, this in a era where it was much more influential.”
I already gave specific examples of persecution, you just agree with it.
“Wanna deal with religion. Ignore it. The Church is in decline, and speaking as someone inside of it, it ain’t coming back.”
I don’t want to destroy christianity, I just want to rip the ugly parts out of it. The dogma, the hate, the part that tells people to willfully not think critically about things. If you took all that away it would probably be a lot better.
“It’s filled with folks who are Christian in name only (sort of like most of the perpetrators of most of the wrongs you mention above), most of whom don’t even know as much about the Bible as you do. Which is sad on two counts. They don’t spend enough time studying it and that you waste so much time doing it. Kinda ironic, eh?”
Many people are atheists because they finally got around to reading their bible. And I agree that most of the people who supported the worst acts of evil were not gung ho religious nutjobs. The harmfulness of religion isn’t that believing in god makes you a sociopath, it doesn’t. The harmfulness is that the authoritarian morality of traditional theology creates a system where it’s easy to control people. Gay people would have equal rights tomorrow except for the fact that millions of people who are sympathetic to gay people don’t have the stones to go against the grain, or if they did and they stood up in their church and said that gay people aren’t evil monsters and should have the same rights as anyone else, all the pastor would have to do to shut them up is quote some scripture and say “are you saying god is wrong?”
Authoritarianism is any system in which a source of authority is absolute and cannot be questioned. Christianity probably got it’s authoritarian bent from thousands of years of theocracy, and that part of it is still alive. The evil of organized, dogmatic belief systems (religious or secular) is that they get otherwise decent people to go along with or remain silent in the face of atrocities. As napoleon once said, “religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet”.