Arhīvs priekš Oktobris, 2010

Anger/atheism/religion

Posted in Global, Something about all on Oktobris 24, 2010 by Laura S.

I so approve this message! Brilliant!

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“I’m angry that atheist conventions have to have extra security, including hand-held metal detectors and bag searches, because of fatwas and death threats.

SoldiersI’m angry that atheist soldiers — in the U.S. armed forces — have had prayer ceremonies pressured on them and atheist meetings broken up by Christian superior officers, in direct violation of the First Amendment. I’m angry that evangelical Christian groups are being given exclusive access to proselytize on military bases — again in the U.S. armed forces, again in direct violation of the First Amendment. I’m angry that atheist soldiers who are complaining about this are being harassed and are even getting death threats from Christian soldiers and superior officers — yet again, in the U.S. armed forces. And I’m angry that Christians still say smug, sanctimonious things like, “there are no atheists in foxholes.” You know why you’re not seeing atheists in foxholes? Because believers are threatening to shoot them if they come out.

JuryI’m angry that it took until 1961 for atheists to be guaranteed the right to serve on juries, testify in court, or hold public office in every state in the country.

I’m angry that almost half of Americans believe in creationism. And not a broad, “God had a hand in evolution” creationism, but a strict, young-earth, “God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years” creationism.

Origin_of_speciesAnd on that topic: I’m angry that school boards all across this country are still — 82 years after the Scopes trial — having to spend time and money and resources on the fight to have evolution taught in the schools. School boards are not exactly loaded with time and money and resources, and any of the time/ money/ resources that they’re spending fighting this stupid fight is time/ money/ resources that they’re not spending, you know, teaching.

Condom_packageI’m angry that women are dying of AIDS in Africa and South America because the Catholic Church has convinced them that using condoms makes baby Jesus cry.

I’m angry that women are having septic abortions — or are being forced to have unwanted children who they resent and mistreat — because religious organizations have gotten laws passed making abortion illegal or inaccessible.

I’m angry about what happened to Galileo. Still. And I’m angry that it took the Catholic Church until 1992 to apologize for it.

I get angry when advice columnists tell their troubled letter-writers to talk to their priest or minister or rabbi… when there is absolutely no legal requirement that a religious leader have any sort of training in counseling or therapy.

And I get angry when religious leaders offer counseling and advice to troubled people — sex advice, relationship advice, advice on depression and stress, etc. — not based on any evidence about what actually does and does not work in people’s brains and lives, but on the basis of what their religious doctrine tells them God wants for us.

FistI’m angry at preachers who tell women in their flock to submit to their husbands because it’s the will of God, even when their husbands are beating them within an inch of their lives.

Shopping_listI’m angry that so many believers treat prayer as a sort of cosmic shopping list for God. I’m angry that believers pray to win sporting events, poker hands, beauty pageants, and more. As if they were the center of the universe, as if God gives a shit about who wins the NCAA Final Four — and as if the other teams/ players/ contestants weren’t praying just as hard.

CaduceusI’m especially angry that so many believers treat prayer as a cosmic shopping list when it comes to health and illness. I’m angry that this belief leads to the revolting conclusion that God deliberately makes people sick so they’ll pray to him to get better. And I’m angry that they foist this belief on sick and dying children — in essence teaching them that, if they don’t get better, it’s their fault. That they didn’t pray hard enough, or they didn’t pray right, or God just doesn’t love them enough.

Praying_handsAnd I get angry when other believers insist that the cosmic shopping list isn’t what religion and prayer are really about; that their own sophisticated theology is the true understanding of God. I get angry when believers insist that the shopping list is a straw man, an outmoded form of religion and prayer that nobody takes seriously, and it’s absurd for atheists to criticize it.

I get angry when believers use terrible, grief-soaked tragedies as either opportunities to toot their own horns and talk about how wonderful their God and their religion are… or as opportunities to attack and demonize atheists and secularism.

BlanketsI’m angry at the Sunday school teacher who told comic artist Craig Thompson that he couldn’t draw in heaven. And I’m angry that she said it with the complete conviction of authority… when in fact she had no basis whatsoever for that assertion. How the hell did she know what Heaven was like? How could she possibly know that you could sing in heaven but not draw? And why the hell would you say something that squelching and dismissive to a talented child?

Mother_teresa_missionary_positionI’m angry that Mother Teresa took her personal suffering and despair at her lost faith in God, and turned it into an obsession that led her to treat suffering as a beautiful gift from Christ to humanity, a beautiful offering from humanity to God, and a necessary part of spiritual salvation. And I’m angry that this obsession apparently led her to offer grotesquely inadequate medical care and pain relief at her hospitals and hospices, in essence taking her personal crisis of faith out on millions of desperately poor and helpless people.

I’m angry at the trustee of the local Presbyterian church who told his teenage daughter that he didn’t actually believe in God or religion, but that it was important to keep up his work because without religion there would be no morality in the world.

Hellfire_2I’m angry that so many parents and religious leaders terrorize children — who (a) have brains that are hard-wired to trust adults and believe what they’re told, and (b) are very literal-minded — with vivid, traumatizing stories of eternal burning and torture to ensure that they’ll be too frightened to even question religion.

I’m angrier when religious leaders explicitly tell children – and adults, for that matter — that the very questioning of religion and the existence of hell is a dreadful sin, one that will guarantee them that hell is where they’ll end up.

Female_reproductive_systemI’m angry that children get taught by religion to hate and fear their bodies and their sexuality. And I’m especially angry that female children get taught by religion to hate and fear their femaleness, and that queer children get taught by religion to hate and fear their queerness.

Candy_caneI’m angry about the Muslim girl in the public school who was told — by her public-school, taxpayer-paid teacher — that the red stripes on Christmas candy canes represented Christ’s blood, that she had to believe in and be saved by Jesus Christ or she’d be condemned to hell, and that if she didn’t, there was no place for her in his classroom. And I’m angry that he told her not to come back to his class when she didn’t convert.

PopeI’m angry — enraged — at the priests who molest children and tell them it’s God’s will. I’m enraged at the Catholic Church that consciously, deliberately, repeatedly, for years, acted to protect priests who molested children, and consciously and deliberately acted to keep it a secret, placing the Church’s reputation as a higher priority than, for fuck’s sake, children not being molested. And I’m enraged that the Church is now trying to argue, in court, that protecting child-molesting priests from prosecution, and shuffling those priests from diocese to diocese so they can molest kids in a whole new community that doesn’t yet suspect them, is a Constitutionally protected form of free religious expression.

911I’m angry about 9/11.

Jerry_falwellAnd I’m angry that Jerry Falwell blamed 9/11 on pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays and lesbians, the ACLU, and the People For the American Way. I’m angry that the theology of a wrathful God exacting revenge against pagans and abortionists by sending radical Muslims to blow up a building full of secretaries and investment bankers… this was a theology held by a powerful, widely-respected religious leader with millions of followers.

I’m angry that, when my dad had a stroke and went into a nursing home, the staff asked my brother, “Is he a Baptist or a Catholic?” And I’m not just angry on behalf of my atheist dad. I’m angry on behalf of all the Jews, all the Buddhists, all the Muslims, all the neo-Pagans, whose families almost certainly got asked that same question. That question is enormously disrespectful, not just of my dad’s atheism, but of everyone at that nursing home who wasn’t a Baptist or a Catholic.

I’m angry that huge swaths of public policy in this country — not just on same-sex marriage, but on abortion and stem-cell research and sex education in schools — are being based, not on evidence of which policies do and don’t work and what is and isn’t true about the world, but on religious texts written hundreds or thousands of years ago, and on their own personal feelings about how those texts should be interpreted, with no supporting evidence whatsoever — and no apparent concept of why any evidence should be needed.

I get angry when believers trumpet every good thing that’s ever been done in the name of religion as a reason why religion is a force for good… and then, when confronted with the horrible evils done in religion’s name, say that those evils weren’t done because of religion, were done because of politics of greed or fear or whatever, would have been done anyway even without religion, and shouldn’t be counted as religion’s fault. (Of course, to be fair, I also get angry when atheists do the opposite: chalk up every evil thing done in the name of religion as a black mark on religion’s record, but then insist that the good things were done for other reasons and would have been done anyway, etc. Neither side gets to have it both ways.)

Jesus_fish_eating_darwin_fishI’m angry at the believers who put decals on their cars with a Faith fish eating a Darwin fish… and who think that’s clever, who think that religious faith really should triumph over science and evidence. I’m angry at believers who have so little respect for the physical world their God supposedly created that they feel perfectly content to ignore the mountains of physical evidence piling up around them about that real world; perfectly content to see that world as somehow less real and true than their personal opinions about God.

(Note: The litany of specific grievances is now more than halfway over. Analysis of why anger is necessary and valuable is coming up soon. Promise.)
I get angry when religious leaders opportunistically use religion, and people’s trust and faith in religion, to steal, cheat, lie, manipulate the political process, take sexual advantage of their followers, and generally behave like the scum of the earth. I get angry when it happens over and over and over again. And I get angry when people see this happening and still say that atheism is bad because, without religion, people would have no basis for morality or ethics, and no reason not to just do whatever they wanted.

Sold_my_soul_on_ebayI get angry when religious believers make arguments against atheism — and make accusations against atheists — without having bothered to talk to any atheists or read any atheist writing. I get angry when they trot out the same old “Atheism is a nihilistic philosophy, with no joy or meaning to life and no basis for morality or ethics”… when if they spent ten minutes in the atheist blogosphere, they would discover countless atheists who experience great joy and meaning in their lives, and are intensely concerned about right and wrong.

I get angry when believers use the phrase “atheist fundamentalist” without apparently knowing what the word “fundamentalist” means. Call people pig-headed, call them stubborn, call them snarky, call them intolerant even. But unless you can point to the text to which these “fundamentalist” atheists literally and strictly adhere without question, then please shut the hell up about us being fundamentalist.

I get angry when religious believers base their entire philosophy of life on what is, at best, a hunch; when they ignore or reject or rationalize any evidence that contradicts that hunch or calls it into question… and then accuse atheists of being close-minded and ignoring the obvious truth.

PrayerAnd I get angry when believers glorify religious faith without evidence as a positive virtue, a character trait that makes people good and noble… and then continue to accuse atheists of being close-minded and ignoring the obvious truth.

I get angry when believers say that they can know the truth — the greatest truth of all about the nature of the universe, namely the source of all existence — simply by sitting quietly and listening to their heart… and then accuse atheists of being arrogant. (This isn’t just arrogant towards atheists and naturalists, either. It’s arrogant towards people of other religions who have sat just as quietly, listened to their hearts with just as much sincerity, and come to completely opposite conclusions about God and the soul and the universe.)

GalaxyAnd I get angry when believers say that the entire unimaginable enormity of the universe was made solely and specifically for the human race — when atheists, by contrast, say that humanity is a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, an infinitesimal eyeblink in the vastness of time and space — and yet again, believers accuse atheists of being arrogant.

Brain_2I get angry when believers say things like, “Yes, of course, the human mind isn’t perfect, we see what we expect to see, we see faces and patterns and intention when they aren’t necessarily there… but that couldn’t be happening with me. The patterns I see in my life… they couldn’t possibly be coincidence or confirmation bias. I’m definitely seeing the hand of God.” (And then, once again, those same believers accuse atheists of being close-minded and only seeing what we want to see.)

Man_using_microscopeI get angry when believers treat the gaps in science and scientific knowledge as somehow proof of the existence of God. I get angry when, despite a thousands-of-years-old pattern of supernatural explanations being consistently and repeatedly replaced with natural ones, they still think every single unexplained phenomenon can be best explained by God. And I’m angry that, whenever a gap in our knowledge does get filled in, believers either try to suppress it (see above re: evolution in the schools), or else say, “Okay, that part of the world isn’t supernatural… but what about this gap over here? Can you explain that, Mr. Smarty-Pants Scientist? You can’t! It must be God!”

I get angry when believers say at the beginning of an argument that their belief is based on reason and evidence, and at the end of the argument say things like, “It just seems that way to me,” or, “I feel it in my heart”… as if that were a clincher. I mean, couldn’t they have said that at the beginning of the argument, and not wasted my fucking time? My time is valuable and increasingly limited, and I have better things to do with it than debating with people who pretend to care about evidence and reason but ultimately don’t.

Bible_magnifying_glassI’m angry that I have to know more about their fucking religion than the believers do. I get angry when believers say things about the tenets and texts of their religion that are flatly untrue, and I have to correct them on it.

IntoleranceI get angry when believers treat any criticism of their religion — i.e., pointing out that their religion is a hypothesis about the world and a philosophy of it, and asking it to stand up on its own in the marketplace of ideas — as insulting and intolerant. I get angry when believers accuse atheists of being intolerant for saying things like, “I don’t agree with you,” “I think you’re mistaken about that,” “That doesn’t make any sense,” “I think that position is morally indefensible,” and “What evidence do you have to support that?”

Joan_of_arc_burning_at_stakeAnd on that point: I get angry when Christians in the United States — members of the single most powerful and influential religious group in the country, in the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world — act like beleaguered victims, martyrs being thrown to the lions all over again, whenever anyone criticizes them or they don’t get their way.

True_faithI get angry when believers respond to some or all of these offenses by saying, “Well, that’s not the true faith. Hating queers/ rejecting science/ stifling questions and dissent… that’s not the true faith. People who do that aren’t real (Christians/ Jews/ Muslims/ Hindus/ etc.).” As if they had a fucking pipeline to God. As if they had any reason at all to think that they know for sure what God wants, and that the billions of others who disagree with them just obviously have it wrong. (Besides — I’m an atheist. The “They just aren’t doing religion right” argument is not going to cut it with me. I don’t think any of you have it right. To me, it all looks like something that people just made up.)

On that topic: I get angry when religious believers insist that their interpretation of their religion and religious text is the right one, and that fellow believers with an opposite interpretation clearly have it wrong. I get angry when believers insist that the parts about Jesus’s prompt return and all prayers being answered are obviously not meant literally… but the parts about hell and damnation and gay sex being an abomination, that’s real. And I get angry when believers insist that the parts about hell and damnation and gay sex being an abomination aren’t meant literally, but the parts about caring for the poor are really what God meant. How the hell do they know which parts of the Bible/ Torah/ Koran/ Bhagavad-Gita/ whatever God really meant, and which parts he didn’t? And if they don’t know, if they’re just basing it on their own moral instincts and their own perceptions of the world, then on what basis are they thinking that God and their sacred texts have anything to do with it at all? What right do they have to act as if their opinion is the same as God’s and he’s totally backing them up on it?

And I get angry when believers act as if these offenses aren’t important, because “Not all believers act like that. I don’t act like that.” As if that fucking matters. This stuff is a major way that religion plays out in our world, and it makes me furious to hear religious believers try to minimize it because it’s not how it happens to play out for them. It’s like a white person responding to an African-American describing their experience of racism by saying, “But I’m not a racist.” If you’re not a racist, then can you shut the hell up for ten seconds and listen to the black people talk? And if you’re not bigoted against atheists and are sympathetic to us, then can you shut the hell up for ten seconds and let us tell you about what the world is like for us, without getting all defensive about how it’s not your fault? When did this international conversation about atheism and religious oppression become all about you and your hurt feelings?

ScreamingBut perhaps most of all, I get angry — sputteringly, inarticulately, pulse-racingly angry — when believers chide atheists for being so angry. “Why do you have to be so angry all the time?” “All that anger is so off-putting.” “If atheism is so great, then why are so many of you so angry?””

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(from Greta Christina’s blog)

(Avots: http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2007/10/atheists-and-an.html)

Everybody loves charts, right?

Posted in Global, Some stuff on Oktobris 1, 2010 by Laura S.

(Avots: http://www.politicalmathblog.com/?p=623 u.c.)

Interesanti…  Kur mēs tagad būtu, ja nebūtu kristietības un citu reliģiju…??

Funny stuff… religion!!!

Posted in Global on Oktobris 1, 2010 by Laura S.

P.S. Don’t be so open-minded… you’re brain can easily fall out.

Never been easier to decide… :D

Posted in Global, Some stuff on Oktobris 1, 2010 by Laura S.

Esi pamanījis, ka…

Posted in Some stuff on Oktobris 1, 2010 by Laura S.
  1. tu sapņo ar atvērtām acīm un pēkšņi attopies, ka tu blenz uz kādu cilvēku netālu no tevis
  2. tev šķiet, ka spogulī izskaties satriecoši, bet visās bildēs izskaties atbaidoši
  3. “pildīt savus mājasdarbus” = sēdēt pie datora ar baltu papīra lapu savā priekšā apmēram stundu
  4. tu jautā skolotājam random jautājumus, lai tikai nebūtu jāķeras pie darba
  5. tu izmēdi cilvēku tādā balsī, kāda viņiem nemaz nepiemīt
  6. tu strīda vidū saproti, ka tev nav taisnība, bet vienalga turpini strīdēties
  7. tu saki “ja nu…” un beigu beigās izvedojas milzu scenārijs, kurš viennozīmīgi nekad nenotiks
  8. visu nedēļu nevari sagaidīt nedēļas nogali lai izgulētos, bet brīvdienās attopies, ka pamosties diezgan agri
  9. atceries, kā otrajā klasē tev šķita, ka piektklasnieki ir super-lieli ?
  10. smejies tik ļoti, ka pat nevienam citam nevari pateikt, par ko īsti tu smejies
  11. tu grūd durvis, uz kurām rakstīts “vilkt” un velc durvis, uz kurām rakstīts “grūst”
  12. kad redzi kukaini uz loga, tu nevari saprast vai tas ir šaipus stiklam vai tomēr ne
  13. ēdiens garšo labāk, ja tas nav tavs ēdiens
  14. tev patīk tā ūber-sajūta, kad attaisi burciņu, kuru neviens cits nespēja atvērt
  15. kad apsēdies laukā uz zemes, tu uzreiz sāc plēst ārā zāles stiebrus
  16. tu esi ievērojis, ka pēdējā mirklī izlemti plāni īstenojas labāk nekā ilgi un dikti plānotas darbības
  17. Tev Ļoti Riebjas, Kad Cilvēki Raksta Šādi
  18. dažreiz gadās tā, ka skaties uz tekstu/ziņu 15 minūtes, domādams, kā lai atbild
  19. tu sāc smieties par savu joku vēl pirms sāc to stāstīt kādam citam
  20. kad atver maizes iepakojumu, tu vienmēr izlaid pirmo gabaliņu, jo tas ir pats negaršīgākais un neforšākais
  21. tev šķiet, ka nekas nevar būt vēl stulbāks, kā tas brīdis, kad strīda laikā saproti, ka tev nav taisnība
  22. tev nāk smiekli nopietnos brīžos
  23. tu tekoši runā sarkastiskā tonī
  24. “kam tu raksti ?” *pasmaida* “nevienam”
  25. tu pasaki “čau” mazam bērnam un viņš tikai blenž tev virsū
  26. tev riebjas, ka tu uz kādu kliedz, un nepareizi izrunā kādu vārdu
  27. kāds no taviem e-pastiem noteikti ir stulbs, jo tu to izveidoji 11 gadu vecumā
  28. tev nokrīt zīmulis, un piepeši tas ir 12 metru attālumā no tevis
  29. ir brīži, kad pamosties, un jūties vēl nogurušāks nekā tad, kad aizgāji gulēt
  30. tu pārbaudi, kas atrodas ledusskapī, tad pārbaudi, kas atrodas skapīti un atkal atgriezies pie ledusskapja, secinādams, ka skapītī arī nekā garšīga nebija

Esi pamanījis?

(Avots: http://www.draugiem.lv/group/3351/2288586/anekdotes/tu-taa-dari-d)