Tag Archives: christians

Judeo-Christian isn’t.

19 Jan

“Judeo-Christian,” there’s a bullshit phrase. Judaism and Christianity are two different religions. Yes Christianity branched out of Judaism, but there is a very important separation: Jesus and the New Testament. What irks me the most about this term is the implied alliance of Jews and Christians. Christian love for Jews (finally after centuries of persecution, torture, and systematic mass genocide) is disingenuous to the extreme.

The only reason why Christians claim to suddenly love Jews so much is simply because they think they need them in order for Jesus to return, at which point all the Jews will be killed and sent to hell, along with everybody else. Jews, wake up! They’re using you! They’re not really your friends!

On second thought, perhaps this mendacious relationship is beneficial to the Jews. They know the Christians are full of it, but hey!, at least they aren’t putting us in gas chambers and instead are giving us weapons with which to oppress and murder Palestinians!

Which brings me to my other point of contention with the term “Judeo-Christian,”: Islam.

What about Islam? Islam is the corrective of Christianity, just as Christianity is the corrective of Judaism. All three of them are similar in that they are the “Abrahamic faiths.” A more correct term would be the “Judaic-Christian-Islamic” religion. (And if that sounds absurd to you, that’s exactly how I feel about “Judeo-Christian”)

Why cut Islam out of a family it has just as much right to claim to be part of? Simple: Christianity is threatened by Islam in a way it is not threatened by Judaism (because they’ve exterminated most of the Jews), and the Jews that are left are concentrated in a state that they can flood with weapons and cash in order to fight a proxy war with Islam. Simple as that. Jews don’t mind because they get weapons to shoot Muslims, and Christians don’t mind because the Jews will help keep the holy land safe for them until Jesus comes back and kills them all. It’s win win!

Christmas, the worst time of the year

26 Nov

Thanksgiving was yesterday, the last finger holding us onto the ledge has slipped; we now freely fall into the Christmas abyss. Over the course of the next twenty-eight days we will reach terminal velocity, culminating in an orgasm of commercialism and religious fervor. Ah…Christmas in America. This truly is the worst season to be an atheist.

Atheists are always aware of how different they are in a country as awash in Christian privilege as America; December is the month that the rest of the believing populace becomes aware of this difference too. This is the time of year when the separation of church and state comes under the heaviest attack. Tis the season when the willfully ignorant come out in droves to proclaim the marriage of America and Jesus. Defiantly they make their stand against political correctness. Through their eyes they are the majority, the only ones who matter. America is a Christian nation founded by god himself! The non-Christians should be grateful that they are allowed to live in such a wonderful country, and they must humbly show their respect by being quiet during this most Christian time of the year.

To the rest of us, they come off a belligerent and rude, like a man wearing a offensively sexist t-shirt to meeting of professional women. This is the time of year they will demand that nativity scenes and Christian signs be placed on government property, to the exclusion of other faiths. Never mind the fact that there are conflicting accounts of the nativity story and that the government must remain neutral in matters of religion (heaven forbid they actually read the bible or the constitution). When the secular stand up and call foul, we’re accused of having a “war on Christmas.”

In the past, people have gone so far as to organize boycotts of stores that instruct their employees to say “Happy Holidays” as apposed to “Merry Christmas.” Belligerent ignorance. I’m sorry you’re unaware that there are, in fact, other holidays going on in the same general time frame, thus “Happy Holidays” would be more appropriate. But again, to them this is a Christian nation, and Christmas is the only holiday of importance. Nevermind the fact that Christmas is actually an old Pagan holiday.

Despite this minor historical point, this is the time of year signs like this start popping up all around the country:

I have no problem with Christians celebrating Christmas. I have no problem with them decorating their homes, or erecting nativity scenes on their lawns, or on their church lawns. While I would prefer that people realize that not everyone is Christian and said the more generalized “Happy Holidays,” I’m not overly offended if someone says it to me with the best of intentions. I don’t even have a problem with Christians erecting a Christian display on government property for Christmas, as long as everyone is then allowed to erect a display. In order for the government to remain neutral, as it serves everyone, not just Christians, it must allow all or none. Unfortunately the belligerently ignorant insist on preventing some groups from displaying signs depicting beliefs contrary to their own. This is the time of year that the belligerently ignorant go out of their way to make you feel like a second class citizen. The nonbeliever is not only constantly bombarded by visual messages reinforcing this, but by audio ones as well. This is the time of year that the radio stations and stores switch over to playing almost exclusively Christmas music. You cannot listen to the radio, or enter a place of business without hearing some Christmas tune.

This bombardment will last for the next twenty-eight days. The only thing an atheist can do is hunker down, stay in doors, rent some movies, crank up the secular podcasts, and wait for the frenzy to pass.

The atheist dilemma:To be a dick or not to be a dick.

12 Oct

One of the issues the atheist community is currently internally debating is the issue of strategy: How to go about achieving our goals; namely a world where religion does not interfere in politics or science (in the classroom or by restricting what science examines), and where non-believers are not demonized or penalized for their disbelief. Basically: How to get us from the current position of religious saturation in all aspects of life to post-atheism where religion isn’t an issue.  There are many aspects to this process including how we organize ourselves, what do we call ourselves, how do we best allocate our resources, what court battles do we pick to fight and when, etc… The issue I wanted to talk about today was how should we go about helping the religious to see things our way,  thus weakening the power religion has over society and our lives. What I am discussing falls under the umbrella debate on accommodationism/reconciliation (whether science and religion can be compatible. I don’t think they can, but that’s not what I want to focus on).  Instead, I would like to discuss how we interact with religious people, the tactics we use, the tone of voice, etc.

The other day I read this post on Rule Hibernia titled “Richard Dawkins doesn’t get it”. Here’s a little excerpt that kinda encompasses the point of the post:

“This is what Dawkins and other don’t get: Some people you just can’t reach. Simple as that. People believe in god and religion for a whole bunch of reasons but the fundamental point is that they are all thinking in a human way, and humans it seems have a natural propensity to believe in rubbish that isn’t true. This applies to pretty much everything, not just religion. Every single atheist on the planet has blind spots, religion just happens to be off their blind spot list. We all believe certain rubbish that’s not true.The biggest mistake atheists make is to try and reason with the religious. I get so bored when I hear religious argument nowadays. I used to engage in it myself but I stopped when I finally got it. You’re not going to convert people to atheism if that is your intention. And if you want to debate for the sake of it then what’s the fucking point in that? You’re just wasting your time. The best way to deal with religious people is humour and ridicule. Slag the shit out of them. Show how retarded they are in a funny way. It makes you feel better and makes a religious person feel worse, but best of all, there is no comeback for ridicule. When you can get others to laugh at a person’s stupidity it’s very difficult for them to come back from it. And let’s face it, making fun of religions is as easy as a Catholic priest raping a 9 year old altar boy with loads of lube.”

Rule Hibernia’s sentiment was reiterated in part by The Good Atheist podcast (episode 107) at the Atheist Alliance International conference in Montreal, QC. Jacob Fortin gave a short speech entitled “Be a dick” (around the 25 minute mark in the podcast) where he highlighted the why it’s sometimes necessary to be a dick. He argues that occasionally it’s best to shame the average believer by showing them how little they know. Yes they will hate you and get defensive, but it might lead them to examine their beliefs later on in an attempt to better defend themselves next time. Secondly, it is important to shatter the notion that anything can be sacred, that something can be beyond questioning and ridicule. Lastly, Jacob said the most important thing being a dick does is that it provides relief for other atheists. He points out, and rightly so, that a lot of atheists are isolated in extremely religious communities and are forced to keep silent day in and day out. It’s like a boiler about to explode. Listening to other atheists ridicule religion provides a refreshing dose of relief.

The counterargument, or “Don’t be a dick” side, was presented at The Amazing Meeting 8 by Phil Plait who gave a speech aptly titled “Don’t be a dick.” In the speech he made the following points:  How many people have changed their mind because somebody made them feel awful? How do you tell someone they’re not thinking clearly when they’re not thinking clearly? Our brains are wired for faith; when you debunk a position, you end up reinforcing it. Skepticism is a tough sell: no magic, no afterlife, no higher moral authoritative father figure, no security, no happy ever after. On top of this, our reputation with the rest of society isn’t that great. In many cases people will prefer magic over science and prefer fantasy over reality. People’s sense of identity is wrapped up in their beliefs. With all the odds stacked against us, why the hell would we want to make it harder by insulting people? What is our goal every time we engage somebody? Are we trying to score personal points and make oursevles feel good, or are we trying to win the game?

This issue was also brought up on the podcast Reasonable Doubts. On that episode their guest was accommodationalist  Chris Mooney who made the following points: People like Dawkins and PZ Myers are really hostile sometimes; it’s not going to persuade anyone who is not on the fence. If you can’t be calm and rational when talking to another person, you’re not a very good practitioner of reason, but this doesn’t mean we have to be nicey nicey. Mooney and the hosts of Reasonable Doubts brought up a recent study on Science and Religion Today by Geoffrey Munro, professor of psychology at Towson University. The study found the following: people are more receptive to science that might disprove their beliefs if their worth and value as a person are affirmed before they go into it. People don’t make up their mind simply on facts. When people are presented with scientific information that contradicts their beliefs, they tend to devalue science and it’s ability to answer such questions. Basically, shouting at someone and tearing them down does not win them to your side, it only makes them despise you and hold onto their beliefs that much stronger…go figure. (This conclusion is backed up by several other studies, google “backfire effect”)

After the interview with Mooney ended, the hosts continued on to ask these questions: Do we alienate people who could be our allies on some things? What if we were back in the 60’s and you’re trying to get civil rights passed? Do you try and treat racist people with respect, affirming their self-worth, even though they hold such horrible and wrong positions? How do you act differently when you’re debating a factual issue (like the world being 4 billion years old) as opposed to a moral issue (like the catholic church systematically hiding and protecting thousands of child rapists, deterring condom use in AIDs infected Africa, or excommunicating rape victims for having abortions) Should you coddle people when presenting science and ridicule when talking about morality?

The Chariots of Iron podcast has also talked about this a bit. In episode 29, titled “Counter-evangelism” (starts around 1:11:00) they suggest the following approach: Don’t be a dick, avoid arguing with them, instead use the Socratic method till they hang themselves. Play stupid and get them to say out loud the ridiculous stuff they believe. Hopefully then ridicule won’t be overly necessary. The whole point is to plant the seed of doubt, not to deconvert them outright. Once the doubt is there, it will start them on the path to deconversion.

So how do I feel about all this? Well it’s a mixed bag. It’s undeniable that the science points to the fact that blasting someone out right for their beliefs will not change their mind. I think it’s obvious that when trying to plant the seed in someone’s head you must do so gently and respectfully. Try not to let them know what you’re actually doing. There is an old Buddhist proverb where Buddha comes across a burning house with children inside. The children do not know the house is on fire, and they won’t understand if he shouts to them to run because of the fire. Instead he calls to them that he has toys outside. The children run out of the house and only after that is he able to explain that the house was on fire. I feel that most of the time we have to act in a similar way. This is not to say we must compromise on the facts, but we must take baby steps. If you can get someone to accept the fact of evolution then that’s a step. After they’re comfortable with that, then you can start slowly working on pushing them further, one step at a time. If you push to hard and too fast, they’ll close up and you’ll never get through to them.

What about ridicule? Is it completely useless and counterproductive? Not entirely. Thomas Jefferson once said “Ridicule is the only weapon that can be used against unintelligible propositions.” Here is where I think Rule Hibernia has a point: There are some people out there that are absolutely impervious to reason and evidence. Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, Pat Robertson, Kent Hovind, and Bill Donahue come to mind. Trying to use reason against people who deny that reason is a means of arriving at truth is pure insanity.  For these people the goal is different. The goal is not to change their minds, that’s impossible; the goal is to publicly destroy their credibility and integrity. This is where ridicule works best. As the hosts on Reasonable Doubts discussed, I believe the nature of what you’re ridiculing determines how you ridicule. People like Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort make fools of themselves with their factually ridiculous claims about the physical world. Here you can just satirize them without much venom. People like the pope, however, are much more sinister in their transgressions. Despite the fact that the pope and his confederates are guilty of actual crimes, they are also guilty of a great many moral ones. (Like the ones I pointed out earlier) In these cases vicious ridicule would be applicable.

Chris Mooney pointed out that combative authors like Dawkins, PZ Myers, and Hitchens don’t win over converts and I’m inclined to agree.  This does not mean that such authors don’t have a role to play. Combative authors are most effective when targeting people sitting on the fence and rallying other atheists to action.  Their books, along with podcasts, youtube videos, and local meetup groups are often the only bubble of relief that many atheists can retreat to. When you’re an underpowered and maligned minority, it’s vitally important that you have a minority space. Combative authors and satire play a role in this minority space. Outside, however, ridicule has no place in discussion with another person who’s heart and mind you’re trying to win over. It only alienates and deemns them and reflects poorly on you if your positions can’t stand on their merits alone.

The Rape of the Virgin Mary

15 Feb

Rape is non-consensual sexual activity. If a man or a woman does not give consent, then it is rape. (Same if they are unable to give consent, like drunk or passed out)

In the annunciation god just announces to Mary that she is pregnant.

Luke 1:26-35

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called [a] the Son of God.

There was no asking Mary “Hey, do you consent to this?”, she had no choice, god just knocked her up and told her afterwards.

I can foresee people saying “Oh, but she was fine with it! How can it be rape if she’s ok with it?” Simple. Did she consent to being impregnated before she was impregnated? No. Then it’s rape. It does not matter if she is ok with it afterwards. I know a girl here at college that was drugged and raped by a guy she liked. She refused to press charges afterwards because she thought he was “a nice guy” but that does not change the fact that she was raped. Just like Mary.

Christians and premarital sex

10 Feb

Why is it so important to wait to marriage? Well, back when the bible was being written (and up until recently) there was no way to tell for sure if a child was yours. Women were property, their main value derived from their ability to have children. They were property used by men to beget more men. Marriage was primarily a financial transaction where the husband buys a wife from the wife’s father. The father then walks his daughter down the aisle and “gives” his daughter to the other man. It’s all about property. Thus it was important to the men that their “property” not be previously “used”.

The theology behind it was just whipped up out of early church father’s utter disdain for woman and the human body. St. Augustine for example hated women and sex, and from this hate centuries of boys and girls were brought up to be ashamed of their bodies and desires. Your body and desires are perfectly natural and there is nothing wrong or dirty about them. Believing they are can lead to all types of sick disorders and self-loathing.

Besides these side effects, waiting to marriage can have some disastrous consequences. There are plenty of young evangelical men and women who are now rushing into marriage way to early, and for the wrong reasons. They’ve been told their entire lives that they can’t give in to their strongest urges until they’re married, and so these young adults are diving into marriage in their late teens, early twenties, just so they can have sex. They might not have ever dated anyone else seriously, and they aren’t fully ready to support themselves. Financial stress is one of the leading causes of divorce, and these kids just aren’t set up well enough on their own two feet to be in a marriage.

Here are the divorce rates among Christians, Jews, and Atheists:

Religion % have been divorced
Jews 30%
Born-again Christians 27%
Other Christians 24%
Atheists, Agnostics 21%

(I wouldn’t be surprised if  Born-again is so high up there because the kids rush into marriage just to have sex)

It’s important to experiment in life to see what works for you. You’re shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t experience all life has to offer before you die.  I have a housemate that is engaged to a woman he’s never had sex with. The woman does not want to have sex before marriage, and so he’s going to wait 5-6 years (supposedly, if they last that long) to marry her and then have sex. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. What if he marries this person and they don’t have good sexual chemistry? Then he’s shafted for life! And don’t try and say “Well, the other qualities that makes him love her should overpower the lack of sexual chemistry”. That’s naive and unrealistic. Sex matters. You can have a great personality, but if the sex just isn’t good, the marriage/relationship is not going to work.

Telling kids to wait until marriage also increases the chance of teen pregnancy. In September 2009, a study came out showing a link between how religious a state is, and the teen pregnancy rate. Here is an indisputable FACT of life that will not change no matter what any religious book will ever say: Teens will have sex. This has been true for all  time, and will continue to be true forever. Telling teens to not have sex until they are married does nothing to keep them from having sex. Abstinence only does not work. Instead they will just not use birth control and will get pregnant, which raises the number of abortions. (Hint, want to stop abortions? Teach safe sex)

When it comes down to it, sex is all about responsibility. Some people are more responsible than others at different ages. I was very responsible when I was a teenager, many of my friends were not. Now that I’m an adult, I’m even more responsible, yet I know people my age and older who aren’t. It depends on the person. Some people are emotionally mature enough to handle sexual activity in their teens, some are not. If they are ready for sex, they must be responsible enough to also use protection consistently. Diseases are out there and they do not magically disappear when you get married.

If some people feel they are not ready for sex and want to wait until marriage, that’s fine, it’s their body, they can make that choice, but don’t then go and try to tell me I should do the same, that my body is sinful and dirty, that
I should be ashamed just like them. Marriage is an outdated patriarchal institution when it comes to managing sex.

The bible does not matter

24 Jan

One of the most annoying things non-christians have to deal with is christians throwing bible verses at them. Look, we all know you think that book has some kind of magical power, and that it is the key to absolute truth, etc, etc, but we don’t.

Injecting bible verses into a debate, or onto an object do not help your argument. No one has ever seen a bible verse and gone “Oh my gosh! I’ve been wrong this entire time! Reality and evidence don’t matter after all! The magical power radiating from this righteous verse has shown me the way!”

In fact, using bible verses actual hurts your argument. To thinking people it shows that you do not have enough support for your claims, and so you must fall back on a book that you, and you alone, hold as absolute truth. Well guess what, sorry, but that doesn’t prove shit. (Not that you’d care)

When I was a christian, I used to think the bible had some kind of magical power. When I accidentally knocked mine off the desk, I would freak out, dust it off, and pray for forgiveness having possibly damaged it. It was sacred. I thought that I could use it, combined with a cross, to hold back evil spirits. Now that I’ve grown up, I realize that the bible is just a book, just like any other book. It is simply ink printed on paper. It has to magical powers, and is mass produced like all the other books.

It’s funny when people bring it up in a debate. “Well in verse X god says ABC”! I always want to reply: “Oh really? Well in Harry Potter, book 3, Dumbledore says XYZ!” I’m pretty sure I’d get a dumbfounded look on their face. “Bu…bu..but THAT’s not the BIBLE!” Look buddy, you can scream it as loud as you want, or say it with as much reverence as you want, it doesn’t change the fact that it is still just a book that you personally believe to be the word of god, and sorry, no matter how deeply you believe in something, that faith doesn’t make it true.

Reality doesn’t matter

3 Dec

I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that reality doesn’t matter to my opponents, religious and political. I’ve realized that they have their minds made up, and they don’t give a shit about the facts. If need be they will make up their own facts out of thin air, like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, etc.

If that doesn’t even work they will just vehemently deny reality until you faceplam yourself to death. I think they get pleasure out of watching intelligent people explode after they spend all this time presenting them with evidence and reasons, etc. Kirk Cameron and other religious fundamentalists love this!

It doesn’t matter that evolution is back up by mountains and mountains of evidence. It just doesn’t fucking matter. They know the truth and everything else must be the work of Satan.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it is useless to waste my energy talking to these people. It’s like talking to a brick wall, and I’m only hurting myself. They have no interest in a rational debate where the facts matter. It’s like trying to play a game within a set of rules, and they don’t give a fuck about the rules, and run all out of bounds and still declare themselves victorious. It would be easy to ignore these people if they didn’t have real world impacts, but unfortunately I’m starting to worry that much of the worlds population is just as retarded as them.

To win we must take blows

5 May

This might be one of my more controversial posts. The last post I made was on the subject of discrimination against Atheists in the United States.  Atheists are in a sort of limbo right now. (Pun not intended) The discrimination is there, it just is at a level that is still acceptable to the majority of the population.

This is the horrible part: In order for the discrimination of Atheists to gain public attention, and to be deemed unacceptable, we need to suffer a series of hate crimes, just like blacks and homosexuals. These hate crimes need to be clear and well publicised.

Trust me, I’m disgusted by the thought of my felllow Atheists being attacked in this way, but nobody is going to take discrimination against us seriously until the religious start persecuting us more forcefully in this country.

Just some food for thought. (Even though the idea makes me sick)

Atheist Civil Rights movement?

3 May

Ok, maybe not “civil rights” but definitely social. There has been a steady shift in the last hundred years in America towards greater acceptance of particular groups of previously marginalized people. It started with women, then blacks, and now gays. Is it Atheists’ turn next?

While Atheists don’t face the same type of disenfranchisement that women and blacks faced, there are still 6 states that actively discriminate against Atheists wishing to engage in public service, despite a 1961 Supreme Court ruling on the illegality of this.

Many Atheists also feel discriminated against by things like having “In God We Trust” on our money, “one nation under God” in our pledge, and the opening of many government meetings with prayer, all in a country that is supposed to have a separation of church and state. All we want is equality. We want the state to be neutral like the law demands.

As for social persecution, where to start? I mean, our very language is used against us. “Atheist” and “godless” both have horrible negative connotations associated with them. So much so that many Atheists shy away from the label because of how it is used in everyday speech. The religious work very hard to define themselves as the very embodiment of goodness, and the Atheists the very embodiment of evil.

A good example of this negative stigma attached to Atheists is Elizabeth Dole‘s disgusting campaign ad where she accused her opponent Kay Hagan of being an Atheist in the 2008 run for the North Carolina senate seat:

Another horrible politician is Monique Davis (D) of Illinois.  On April 3, 2008 she attacked Atheist Robert Sherman during his testimony to theHouse State Government Administration Committee in Springfield saying:

“I don’t know what you have against God, but some of us don’t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings… I’m trying to understand the philosophy that you want to spread in the state of Illinois… This is the land of Lincoln where people believe in God… What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous… It’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists… Get out of that seat! You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.”

The video of her saying this is here. This is the same Sherman that president Bush Sr. had the following conversation with in 1987:

Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are atheists?

Bush: I guess I’m pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in god is important to me.

Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?

Bush: No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?

Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I’m just not very high on atheists.

Can you imagine a person who is openly Atheist trying to get elected? It would be political suicide! The mere fact that it would be political suicide should show to you how Atheists are discriminated against. There is currently 1 openly Atheist person in congress. Fortney “Pete” Stark Jr. (D) of California is the only openly Atheist person in congressONE for 16% of the population, about 48,000,000 people! (According to CIA world factbook)

The University of Minnesota’s department of sociology did a(n) (in)famous study in 2006 that found that Atheists were the least trusted minority in the United States. Least trusted! Below Muslims and Gays! What have Atheists done?

I think it centers around this bullshit idea of “well, without god you have no morals and are dangerous.” Funny, considering in 2001 Atheists made up a whopping 0.4% of the US prison population, where as “moral” christians made up a minuscule 76.6%. Oh, and divorce rates? God loving christians account for 51% of divorces, horrible Atheists, 21%, the lowest divorce rate in the country.

People often wonder why a lot of Atheists are angry. Is it any wonder why when politicians able to make such bigoted statements without fear of consequences, the religious push to keep their god on the money, and in the pledge, their monuments on public property, when Atheists are the least trusted group in the country for no good reason? Atheists are second class citizens in this country. A country that is supposed to have a separation of church and state.

The ironic thing is, the religious often claim that they are the ones who are persecuted. To them, the mere existence of Atheists is insulting. They see Atheists’ attempts to gain equality and government neutrality as persecution of them! It makes me sick.

The OIC

22 Apr

Hey everybody, sorry I’ve been gone for so long. It’s the end of the semester and I’ve been extremely busy. I just thought I’d share a little work I’ve been doing. I had to give a presentation today in my comparative religions class on freedom of speech vs religion. As some of you might know, the Organization of the Islamic Conference is pushing an anti-blasphemy measure through the UN, trying to make it binding. The OIC is made up of 56 member countries. To get an idea of the type of people who are pushing this, I looked up every single country on the Human Development Index. The HDI ranks countries by life expectancy, literacy, educational attainment, and GDP per capita. Basically, the closer to #1 you are, the better life is in your country. Here is the list of all the members of the OIC and where they stand on the ranking:

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HDI out of 179

1st Quarter

27 Brunei 0.919

29 Kuwait 0.912

31 United Arab Emirates 0.903

32 Bahrain 0.902

34 Qatar 0.899

2nd Quarter

52 Libya 0.840

53 Oman 0.839

55 Saudi Arabia 0.835

63 Malaysia 0.823

69 Albania 0.807

71 Kazakhstan 0.807

76 Turkey 0.798

78 Lebanon 0.796

85 Iran 0.777

90 Suriname 0.770

3rd Quarter

91 Jordan 0.769

95 Tunisia 0.762

97 Azerbaijan 0.758

99 Maldives 0.749

100 Algeria 0.748

105 Syria 0.736

106 Palestine 0.731

107 Gabon 0.729

108 Turkmenistan 0.728

109 Indonesia 0.726

110 Guyana 0.725

116 Egypt 0.716

119 Uzbekistan 0.701

122 Kyrgyzstan 0.694

124 Tajikistan 0.684

126 Iraq 0.583

127 Morocco 0.646

4th Quarter

137 Comoros 0.572

138 Yemen 0.567

139 Pakistan 0.562

140 Mauritania 0.557

146 Sudan 0.526

147 Bangladesh 0.524

150 Cameroon 0.514

151 Djibouti 0.513

153 Senegal 0.502

154 Nigeria 0.499

156 Uganda 0.493

159 Togo 0.479

160 Gambia 0.471

161 Benin 0.459

166 Côte d’Ivoire 0.431

167 Guinea 0.423

168 Mali 0.391

170 Chad 0.389

171 Guinea-Bissau 0.383

173 Burkina Faso 0.372

174 Niger 0.370

175 Mozambique 0.366

179 Afghanistan 0.345

179Sierra Leone 0.329

Somalia 0.284

So, as you can see, the lion share of the countries pushing this are hell holes, a lot of them with human rights violations…..

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