Lies, damned lies, and ‘The Bible’

Sadly I have wasted far too much time reading some religious blogs of late.

Given that I am not religious, I have no exposure to crusading missionaries and religious zealots in my day-to-day life.

And while I am not easily shocked, I have been quite horrified to read how obsessive and deluded some of these people are. If they had their own way, they would impose religious law in any Christian country (and the rest of the world if they could beat Islam, for example) and civil rights would go out of the window.

Christian religious thought police would be monitoring our every movement, and in 1984 style, that would include inside our homes.

There would be no sex before marriage, no living together, homosexual relationships would be banned, eg the rulings in India and Nigeria have already led the way on that one. (It’s also illegal in other countries but I wanted to focus on the recent regressive rulings).

There would be no contraception because the only sex allowed is within marriage, and it is for the sole purpose of having children. Heaven forbid anyone would want to enjoy sex for its own sake. Obviously abortions go out of the window.

Instead of saying: ‘Do you fancy a shag/fuck?’ one would say, ‘Darling, shall we do our duty to try and procreate?’

Either, one would have a house full of screaming kids or, an extremely meagre sex life. Which, is probably the idea, because sins of the flesh are wicked anyway as I understand it. Women of course, would not be allowed to go to work or receive higher education (if any education at all, apart from the teachings of God). They’d be spending all their time at home with their brood and taking on the role for which they were designed by the Omnipotent, as a breeder and home-maker.

Men would go to work. Goodness knows how families would live, because no doubt a percentage of that income would go to the church anyway. Nearly 20 years ago, friends of ours in Newcastle occasionally went to a Methodist Church, probably on Christmas Eve. But despite their infrequent attendance at the church or chapel or whatever it was, they still had to fork out £50 a month to contribute to church funds.

Children would be educated according to the correct Christian education. As part of my enlightenment during these past few weeks, I have also discovered some people who have chucked religion, after being brought up with it from an early age. Even after rejecting their indoctrination/brainwashing religious education, they still worried for ages about burning in hell.

I mean really, who can believe that when you die, you go to hell? A big fiery core at the centre of the earth full of little imps and devils with tridents taunting the sinning Christians. And then there will be the rest of us: the atheists, the agnostics, and all the other religions under the sun. As it’s eternal damnation, there will every single sinner who has been down there from day one. It’s going to be bloody overcrowded.

Here is an interesting blog about Christian fundamentalism in the UK, from someone who has chucked it.

If you haven’t heard about ACE – Accelerated Christian Education – it is alive and well in the UK. And scary.

I read on another website that it is vital to indoctrinate kids as early as possible with the True Word. Apparently if you don’t get kids when they are young ie before 18, you’ve missed your chance to brainwash them. More scariness.

Let’s look at some of the garbage these people spout. I’ll simplify it and certainly can’t be arsed to provide the scriptural references that abound all over the place. If there are lies, damned lies and statistics, there are lies, damned lies and ‘The Bible’. You can interpret statistics and the bible as you choose. There is no difference.

Most of the debates I have been reading centre around gay marriage and homosexuality. This is unnatural because God created men and women to have children. So because a pair of men together can’t have children, they shouldn’t marry. Now that would be fine if all the loving Christians in the world stuck to that within their own community, but when they want to impose their skewed view of the world on the rest of us, that is not fine. At all.

Homosexuality varies from being described as unnatural, a malady, sick, sinful and goodness knows what else, but it seems it wasn’t in God’s blueprint when he created the world in seven days. Anyway, as they can’t procreate they shouldn’t get married.

Well, I had no intention of procreating either, but I got married. Even worse, it was in a register office. Does that mean my marriage has no legal standing? What about people who are infertile? Are they a flaw that slipped through the Creator’s supreme plan? Are they unnatural, sick and sinful? Have they done something in a previous life that ensures they end up being unable to reproduce? Should all our marriages be annulled if we don’t have children?

Much is made of the fact that sodomy is condemned by God. My computer dictionary defines it as anal or oral intercourse. My hard copy dictionary defines it as anal intercourse or sex with animals. Wiki supports all of those definitions and then goes on to add any non-procreative sexual activity. So for our happy little perfect heterosexual couple, who were virgins before they married, that means no masturbation, no oral sex and no anal sex. Vanilla sex rules OK? Why is what two consenting adults do, that causes no harm to anyone else, of interest to me? It isn’t. Nor should it be of interest to anyone else either.

Discrimination leaks out of every pore of these hypocrites who want to impose their so-called ‘values’ on me. Preaching tolerance and love does not equate to confusing church and state, denying people equality and civil rights, and sticking your nose into someone else’s life to inflict your unbelievably misguided opinion on them.

However, I confess to being totally incapable of arguing with these people. I have an inherent problem in that I think they are stupid. The only ones who aren’t stupid are the ones who use religion for power and profit, in which case they are evil rather than stupid.

I do though, admire the ones who have the stamina to keep challenging these narrow-minded, intolerant and frightening people: Ark, Clare, John Zande, Pink and Violetwisp (links to some of their posts at the end). I also admire the witty and incisive comments made by Ark and Pink on the religious discussion blogs, probably because if I had the energy they are the sort that I would make. Clare, John and Violet are incredibly polite – although I’m not sure the fundies think that – in their discussion. Either way, they have the courage and take the time to challenge these would-be oppressive dictators. Me, I’m just a by-stander bemused at it all.

Summary

To me, it is all very simple. I am not interested in any type of Christian religion (or any other). I think it is a crutch for people who are incapable of taking responsibility for their own lives. I also think it is a load of fictitious twaddle.

More insidiously, it is all about power, control and fear. And discrimination. And discipline. And most definitely brainwashing. It is grossly intolerant and does not respect the rights of an individual.

The idea that an individual can make up his or her mind about what is right or wrong and choose their own code of ethics is anathema to these control freaks. It is insulting to my intelligence that I can’t choose what to believe, or determine my own life and make my own choices and my own mistakes.

I also dislike the suggestion that people are being influenced by gay activists, or that everyone who supports gay marriage is a gay activist. Why shouldn’t another person have the same rights as me? Gay marriage isn’t about giving people ‘special’ rights, it’s about bringing a minority group that continues to be discriminated against, to the same level as other people. I don’t need to be a gay activist to support that principle.

Whether people want to have sex before marriage, live together without marrying, marry someone of the same sex, choose to have children or not, is the business of the people in question. And if people wish to have polygamous consensual sexual relationships (ie open ones) that is also up to them.

I do not want to Walk in Love with these religious nuts on the path to Jesus. Most of all, I particularly do not want them to waste their time praying for my soul and for me to find Jesus and repent. Go and do something useful with your time. Pray for me to find the pot of gold under the rainbow. I’d appreciate that far more.

Here is Ark on the changing role of religion in society:
http://attaleuntold.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/religion-where-is-it-headed-what-is-the-goal/

Clare, looking at gay marriage and homonormativity
http://clareflourish.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/homonormativity/

I didn’t know where to start with John, so here’s his blog 😀
http://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/

Pink, on anti-gay campaigning methods:
http://pinkagendist.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/internet-shills-beware-of-the-fake-debate-what-to-keep-in-mind-before-engaging-with-anti-gay-rhetoric/

Violet, talking about parenting and whether or not gay couples make good parents:
http://violetwisp.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/how-safe-are-our-children/

I’ve not given the links to any of the religious blogs, you can find them from browsing around the above links. I don’t recommend it though unless you have a desire to put off the washing-up.

Edited to add a couple of links I forgot

Here is a sadly not unusual case about alleged child abuse and rape in a religious home for ‘wayward’ youth.
http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2014/04/to_new_bethany_and_back_one_wo.html

And here, is the delicious Burt Lancaster as Elmer Gantry, the salesman who sold religion. This film says so much, so eloquently.

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About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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74 Responses to Lies, damned lies, and ‘The Bible’

  1. Pingback: Shameless Victimism, The Faust’s & The Anti-Gay Grace Seattle Church | The Pink Agendist

  2. violetwisp says:

    It’s good to see it summarised from a ‘normal’ perspective. You’re right, I think we’re all wasting far too much of our time on religious blogs. Sometimes it seems like pointless play-fighting, but they do harm people’s lives.

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    • What’s normal? 😀 I don’t think you are wasting your time, but I would be wasting my time. I have no desire to have a bible on the desk next to me (along with Spanish and English dictionaries) just to validate a point about something with which I disagree anyway. Many of you know far more about religion than me. My arguments are from a position of logic and human and civil rights, not from spurious arguments about what was said in Paul or Corinthians or Leviticus.

      I agree they do harm lives, and they try to harm other lives. Bad news, which is why I did write about it on here. Religion isn’t my topic of interest, but reading the posts from people who have left it behind, been frightened about burning in hell, and the sheer homophobia out there, I thought it was, for once, worth a ‘general’ post.

      I’ve had the discussion about Pink about whether it is worth spending time on, and it’s not just about arguing with the originators, it’s about influencing all the others who may read and not comment. I agree that’s valuable, I don’t think it is a good use of my time. My other gripe is that all we are doing is making their blogs look popular, which is also not a clever thing to do. Our discussions with them (aka the gay activist lobby victimising poor Katy) just ends up giving a mediocre blog a lot of comments that it doesn’t deserve.

      I’ve no answers. I wish I had.

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      • violetwisp says:

        “Our discussions with them just ends up giving a mediocre blog a lot of comments that it doesn’t deserve.” Yes, this concerns me too. I’ve noticed they positively drool with delight over the attention, and may well use this latest twist to try and get even more attention. Thankfully their church covenant that Pink unearthed is so embarrassing that it will stop average Christians taking them seriously. People have to promise to submit to the church leadership – it’s proper spooky cult stuff!

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        • I don’t think Ms F drools with delight over me. On my first comment she accused me of being roped in by Pink which I didn’t think was a very charitable or loving comment. Like most of her beliefs it was also a very flawed assumption. I’m still waiting for the reply to my second question about why World Vision can refuse to employ same-sex couples and circumvent anti-discrimination laws. I neither merit replies nor the prayer list 😀

          It is spooky, but who is to define the parameters of cults? Here in Gibraltar, the Jewish religion is strictly orthodox. No-body does anything on Shabbat apart from parade around town in prescribed uniform. No pens to be worn, no electronic goods to be used, that include intercoms for the flats, television, computers – I have no idea if they get a dispensation to use a cooker or whether they eat cold food for 24 hours, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did. And what purpose does all that serve? Not only can they not work on Shabbat, they can’t employ any non-Jewish people on their premises to carry out work either or they will be fined by the Schul. Cult or what?

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          • violetwisp says:

            “I neither merit replies nor the prayer list” Hilarious! They do tend to enjoy the attentions of men more, it must be said. If you’re really bored you could trawl the earlier posts and see the flirtation with Ark. All, ‘oh Ark you’re so clever’ – it was WEIRD.

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          • Now why would they enjoy the attention of so intelligent men more than really stupid brain-dead women I ask my unthinking self?

            Or tell you that you are rehashing the same comments and delete them? And this is a blog dedicated to reiterating the same unjust, unfair and discriminatory point?

            I’ve trawled enough earlier posts I think. I need to cook tea. It could be possibly more productive.

            I do think Ark’s comments on there are funny though. As was his on your overly generous post about seeing good in unpleasant blogs, where his comment was that his would be a one-liner and he would still need a thesaurus. It merited a Snort of the Day from me, but he will be getting big-headed as I have given him far too many of those awards.

            Still, if you have a particular thread in mind, and can find it quickly – bearing in mind I am new to all this bigotry – I could be tempted ….

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          • I’ve just re-read the previous two posts on her blog. We are truly feeding the beast. You are correct, she and her pals will go on indefinitely, whereas if we all leave her alone? …

            Miserable rude woman still hasn’t answered my question about discrimination but I am stuffed if I am going to point it out again to the egotistical toe-rag.

            Many years ago, my somewhat bigoted sister-in-law and her husband proclaimed that people with AIDS should all be dumped on an island to die together. Now, while I am happy for people with HIV/AIDS to live within our society and be cared for, the idea of dumping all these religious idiots together on an island – without a boat clearly – is very attractive. They would be happy in paradise and so would we in our hell on earth with atheists, women who want abortions, and those naughty men who want to have a loving relationship together.

            Problem solved.

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          • What I find ironic about the Shabbat — is that woman still work their asses off, waiting on men (and children), while the fat-bellied men sit on their asses and discuss the evilness of the world. Sure, Friday is ‘prep time’ for those who observe it on Saturday, but when it comes to religion in general — a day of rest doesn’t exist for women.

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          • Well here in Gib, they do get to dress up in their prescribed fully clothed uniform and wheel their babies around. I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. I’m mildly interested to know whether they are allowed to use an electric cooker or whether they eat cold food, but, not my business. They aren’t even meant to carry a pen, for goodness sake. They are very strict here. They stand out in the street yelling up to be let in because they can’t use the intercom system. Except the one who lets them in, has to press it. Where is the logic in that? Or maybe they just forget the keys every Saturday?

            Depending on the relationship between a couple, I’m not sure either gets a day of rest. My partner did take Saturday off but we both worked on Sunday. Life is as it is. Rest is hard to find.

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          • Yes — well there is no logic in religion — and I know that goes without saying with you. I live in the Bible Belt, so you can imagine. Zealots sporting a huge right amygdala, and guns. Also keep in mind that marital rape didn’t become illegal in all 50 states until the late 1970’s, if that gives you any indication about how much the Bible has influenced America. It was only because of the relentless efforts of feminists that this law was eliminated. Now I’m waiting to see if the very conservative Supreme Court is going to determine if religious corporations are considered people of faith. If they do, the ramifications are daunting, to say the least. I read a recent study that the U.S. is in warp speed decline and at the rate it’s going, will be at 3rd World status by 2023. Many of the southern states are already there. Gee, I wonder why?

            Where religion thrives, people die. Did you see this? You are looking at the most religious states with the highest execution rates. Crime has actually dropped yet executions have skyrocketed.

            http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/08/1290541/-Chart-s-of-the-Day-Executions

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          • I doubt I could live in the Bible Belt. Or a state/country with the death penalty.

            Yet the Amnesty report said the number of executions in America is decreasing each year. I think that’s what it said!

            The analysis of who supported and who opposed the death penalty was interesting. I don’t appear to fit my group at all 😀

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          • If it wasn’t for my aging parents, I would move abroad. My best friend lives in Denmark, and I have a place to stay until I can find a job and learn the language., which isn’t easy.

            But based on what I’ve been reading lately, Europe isn’t out of the woods.

            From The American Propect: http://prospect.org/article/tomorrow-world

            “And as evangelical Christianity and other conservative religious movements gain force in Europe, the American right is finding more allies on the Continent. Cumulatively, their victories may be changing the global climate on some of the biggest social issues of our time. “We have a conservative period now in history — a substantial movement to the right around the world,” says James Paul, executive director of the Global Policy Forum in New York and a prominent thinker on the globalization of the Christian right.”

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          • How to depress me in one easy lesson on a Sunday morning. And I’ve only read the first of your links. Guess I had better rack up my anti-religious agenda on here 😦

            No more links until I have read the other two, tyvm 🙂

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          • NP. Apologies if I overwhelmed — it certainly wasn’t my intention. I would have posted just one link that incorporated all the info, but didn’t want to come across as plugging my blog, My point was that I hear from Europeans all the time saying the same thing — that they are glad they don’t have to deal with this. I say — don’t let your guard down. They work under the radar.

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          • No, it wasn’t an issue at all. Just didn’t want to depress myself first thing this morning, but it’s usually when I catch up on blog comments.

            Plug your blog all you want, I tend to give links to previous posts rather than writing lengthy comments so I don’t object to any plugs from – reasonable – people.

            I am quite worried now, I have to confess. That Swedish thing was very nasty. We are all so laid-back and laissez faire here that we think it won’t happen.

            I’ve only just finished working (editing) so I’m not up to clever writing now but I’ll think about a post for my readers. Thanks for the depressing alert.

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          • “Thanks for the depressing alert.”

            I know — it sucks. I wished I didn’t come across as all doom and gloom. I just know from personal experience that I was too trusting — and authoritarian religions take advantage of human virtues. I’ve been watching this unfold in the U.S. for the last several years, and when the extreme right-wing took the House in 2010 — all the years they worked under the radar paid off. People were caught with their pants down. Undermining women’s reproductive rights was their primary focus.

            In 2011 and 2012 there was an unprecedented rise in the passage of provisions related to women’s health and reproductive rights. In 2011, right wing extremists, in State legislatures across the United States, introduced approximately 1100 provisions. It’s been downhill ever since. Now we’ve got religious corporations like Hobby Lobby being entertained by the Supreme Court, and all reports say they will most likely win. This means that corporations will be considered people of faith and can deny anyone services and products, i.e., contraceptives, if it goes against their “sincere religious beliefs”. The ramifications of this are daunting.

            They are fucking hypocrites. I’m sorry to leave you with another link — but you’ve got to see this to believe it. Anyone who says that there isn’t a war on women is living in la la land.

            http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/hobby-lobby-retirement-plan-invested-emergency-contraception-and-abortion-drug-makers

            Like

          • I’ll look and I will write about it, but I really must do some more work right now. It’s a priority. I don’t want to be a slave 😀 But seriously, thank you for the links and the very sad enlightenment. I’ve always found america depressing, anti-feminist, religious and totally incomprehensible.

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          • From the Christian Science Monitor: ”US evangelicals aim to influence European law” http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0417/p01s03-woeu.html/%28page%29/2

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          • From the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA): http://www.europeanea.org/index.php/vision-2020/

            “Vision 2020 is the product of EEA’s reflection on religious liberty trends over 19 years, learning from our members, partners and political experiences. It has an ambitious goal – to pave the way for far greater Gospel impact in Europe by 2020 – because we have changed attitudes towards religious freedom, and because we have renewed Evangelical confidence in the Gospel and in our ability to share it, no matter what happens. Europe’s Evangelicals will be effective Good News People.”

            Like

  3. pinkagendist says:

    I have the same sense that many are not the shaprest knife in the drawer, and a number of studies back up the negative correlation between religiosity and IQ: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mr-personality/201312/why-are-religious-people-generally-less-intelligent
    As for the Faust’s, they fall into the evil/manipulative spectrum. They’ve linked their livelihood to creating fear- and that’s a dangerous cycle.

    Like

    • That’s an interesting article, purely from a personal perspective as much as anything else. My take on it would be that religious indoctrination deliberately stunts critical thinking and questioning, so any potential someone may have will be crushed as quickly as possible. Very nasty.

      There’s a difference between 1) gravitating towards a religion out of so-called choice which is probably some sense of need to belong to something, 2) being brought up with it as the norm – brainwashing – and not realising there are other options, and 3) those who pay lip service to it but get on with living without letting it take over their life.

      The last can be tolerable eg Catholics who go to chuch and have pre-marital sex and use contraception or Muslims who drink alcohol, the other two are the groups who are easily manipulated. We have laws in place for people who are vulnerable members of society and yet we allow these nefarious organisations to continue to deceive people.

      I didn’t comment on the Fausts because I wanted to make a general point, and anyway, you are doing a fine job with that! I wanted to take a broader look at the fatuous arguments they put up, and I really didn’t want to write 1500 words on Ms F’s blog.

      Like

  4. I wondered why you picked on that post of mine, given that it is considering a left-wing challenge to gay marriage, I self-identify as Christian, by which I mean taking the best of a three thousand year tradition of thought which has always been happy to take into itself alien thought- platonism in the Early church, wee bits of Buddhism now. The church is very broad, and not all of us are so fundamentalist. Recently, in Faith v Science, I introduced a 19th century Christian who saw no conflict between them.

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    • I thought it was an interesting one, and because out of all of us who read some of the same blogs, you are Christian Quaker, so like most people I like to present a range of views. Not just mine. I wanted something relevant to the topic I’d written about and to link to your blog. If you aren’t happy, please suggest a different link that is relevant to my post and I’ll substitute it.

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      • I am happy enough. But for another view, consider http://revbrentwhite.com/2014/03/27/if-the-church-has-changed-its-view-of-divorce/

        The poster there, Brent White, puts a new line- yes, we welcome divorcees, but we’re still not going to accept gay people- and then Mary Daly demolishes his argument from a Christian perspective, in the comments.

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        • Jeez Clare. I tried to wade through most of that but it’s just the same old arguments all the time. Some Christians accept gay marriage and others don’t. The ones who don’t are intolerant and nasty and homophobic. What’s more simple that that?

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          • It is just Mary Daly that is worth reading. I am sorry, I did not mean you to wade through all of it. You are right, really.

            And for me, I hope that sometimes I might persuade, sometimes my mockery might dishearten an opponent, sometimes someone might see my comment and be heartened that it was there.

            The move is definitely for acceptance, even among Evangelicals. I am part of the change.

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          • No some of it was worth reading, well, I read what you and Pink said, but didn’t read so much the intolerant point of view. I mean, it really is the same old rhetoric isn’t it?

            ‘We interpret the bible to say homosexuality is sinful, therefore you will rot in hell, although we will pray for you, and you should just have a quick change of preference and find a woman. Meanwhile we will do all we can to discriminate against you.’

            Answer:
            ‘I disagree so thanks for your concern but I’m happy with my homosexual lifestyle and my partner (assuming someone has one).’

            I think for you and Mary Daly to comment is a great effort and maybe you will get more credence than the likes of such dissidents as me and others. Truth is, the vicious hard-liners will just see you as a turncoat, corrupted by liberals and communists and sexual perverts. You will be as big a sinner as the rest of us.

            But even if, as a Christian, one of your comments does influence someone, then it’s worth the effort. I like the optimistic note in your last statement. I so hope that’s true Clare 🙂

            Like

          • ‘We interpret the bible to say homosexuality is sinful….’
            Your interpretation of their message is spot on. That’s exactly what they’re saying.

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          • Hi Carolina

            I’ve never yet worked out whether these nasty people are using the bible to justify their homophobia, or whether they just believe all the garbage they are fed on a plate. Either way they are wrong. And they sure as hell won’t be going to heaven for their despicable and dangerous attitudes and behaviour.

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          • Hi back!

            Religious leaders use gays as a common “enemy” to rally against. Cults, like the Nazis do the same thing. It gives the cult/church members something to focus on and reinforces the Us v Them mentality. If gays didn’t exist, they would pick on some other group, like single mothers or any religions.

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          • They pick on all of those as well as far as I am aware. It defies logic. But there is no logic to such ingrained belief in fantasyland. The trouble is, it hurts and damages other people who really have no interest in the Everlasting Llfe Hereafter, rather, we would prefer doing a reasonable job with the life we know right now.

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          • For those of us who don’t believe in invisible super beings, it’s hard to relate to those who do.

            I don’t get how someone can see photos and video footage of suffering in the world, like in Sudan or India, and then smugly declare,”God has a plan for all of us!” God’s plan is evidently way better for some than others.

            It’s an insult to believe that someone else’s suffering and dying is part of some great divine plan.

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          • Those who believe in sky gods/fairies/evil devils down below can do what they want so long as it doesn’t impact on my life or anyone else who has no interest in that. So you are right, there is no way I can relate to such whacky ideas.

            We all have different ideas of how the troubles of the world should be solved, but praying for god to sort it doesn’t seem very practical to me. But what do I know?

            Want an excuse or an apology for your life? It’s all down to God.

            Suffering anywhere? God’s retribution.

            I rarely think about this crap but I have been annoyed by the anti-gay discriminatory posts I have read. Denying someone the same rights as other people because they have a same sex relationship? Really pisses me off.

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  5. mpwilson says:

    Funnily enough I was thinking about the religious bloggers out there earlier today.. I’ve actually had a few followers recently who have religious/Christian blogs, but I haven’t heard a peep out of them.. shockingly if you consider some of the posts I’ve written in the not-to-distant past lol Who knows, maybe they’re all waiting around for me to post something truly naughty (and gay.. though dunno if I can post anything gayer really lol) before they pounce. 😉

    Like

    • I think your blog is pretty gay 😀
      My religious followers tend to drop off the end. I’ve no idea why they hit on any of my blogs (rarely comment) as my opinions are fairly clear. No religion and no discrimination. What’s difficult about that?
      Discrimination applies in all walks of life, against old people, poor people, homeless people, sick people (mentally or physically), what is with this obsession to victimise gays?
      It’s indefensible and particularly irritating.
      Do gay people impact on my heterosexual life and cause me any problems? Of course not. I don’t even know if they are unless they say so. It is irrelevant to me. Do religious fascists try to impact on everyone else’s life and interfere and cause problems? Yes.

      Like

  6. Kev says:

    I really feel for those who grow up in deeply religious families…it’s like they haven’t got a chance. They are indoctrinated with shit from the moment they leave the womb. The christian religion is one of the worst because it makes one doubt everything they do. It really is brain-washing in its purest form…if you don’t do this, you’ll go to hell. If you do that you’ll face eternal damnation.

    Yet some of them believe there is a place at god’s side for those who do not know. My answer is simple. I once heard the story of a person who asked, ‘if I had never heard of Jesus would I have been saved?’ Yes replied the missionary. God would have taken you into his care. ‘Then why did you tell me about him? Now I will surely be damned and live in fear of everything I do.’

    Like

    • Kids are susceptible to everything, whatever sort of influence or indoctrination.

      I don’t know enough about christianity and quite honestly, I don’t want to know about it. I read an awful lot of not very nice posts on their blogs. Doesn’t sound much like loving every one to me.

      I didn’t realise how much fear and nastiness was involved in it. Totally wicked. But you’ll know a lot more about it than me. Again 😀

      Do I know, or do I not? Either way, I don’t care. A reasonable God would take me into his care too, especially as I am so nice. But he (she? unlikely) doesn’t need to because I can live my own life, and that is the whole point of it all.

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      • Kev says:

        Oh, you wouldn’t believe the nastiness I’ve seen and heard. You’re better off as you are and I wouldn’t want to change you for the world. 😉 Well, maybe a vault full of gold. lol But then again, no. I wouldn’t be able to shake those stampy feet. 😀

        Why not, She. They are Man-made religions after all…could be wrong. Probably are. 😉 I like mother-earth. That’s good enough for me.

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        • This is what I can’t get into my thick little head. How can you preach love thy neighbour and all the rest of it, Jesus is love, and then go around being extremely horrible to not just individuals but whole groups of society because they don’t agree or conform with YOUR view? Whose to say my view is right about anything? It is my view that is all, and I am entitled to it. So long as I don’t cause any damage in anyone else’s life, hopefully manage to help people when I can, don’t break the law, I think that’s a reasonable code of ethics to start off with.

          I’d take the vault of gold, I have to be honest!

          I would imagine calling God She is regarded as total heresy and would get you dragged in front of the modern-day Auto da fé. I agree about mother earth. There is far more sense in ‘pagan’ religions, or Buddhism for example.

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  7. Jon R. says:

    This is as real as it gets. Completely with you on everything, really. Posted something similar a month or so ago, suggesting a simple answer to religious nuts: ignore it. You don’t have to like gay marriage but you shouldn’t have the right to vote against it.

    I have a deep distaste of religion and strong opinions about it. To me it’s the root of most problems in our existence. It bothers me enough that it will be the source of my next book if I ever finish this first one.

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    • Jon R. says:

      Oh, also want to add that her post is full of facts. So to anyone offended go blame your religion, not atheists. Tired of people getting upset because they can’t accept the truth of Christianity.

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      • I thought about writing a wishy washy ‘I’m not trying to offend anyone’ disclaimer, and then figured what use would that be? Religious people don’t mind offending me and others. Anyway they don’t read my blogs 😀

        Facts? Well, analysis of blogs I have read, both religious and non-religious, my opinion and the point that in theory, in secular countries, civil law should take precedence over religious beliefs. And then I added what was meant to be a futuristic scenario about what a Conservative Christian future would look like. It was meant to be an extreme view, but it’s actually happening in some fundamental Christian circles. And they want to run my life?

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    • Thanks Jon. Suspect I might have missed that post. Ignoring them is an interesting issue. The problem is when they don’t leave others alone and insist on attempting to convert the world to christianity. They are no different to Muslims who want the wicked Christian infidels to convert to Islam. In fact there is some logic in that, if you believe that Jesus was the Messian and christianity supercedes judaism, (who don’t seem to go around trying to convert people, which presumably you can’t because your mother has to be jewish and all that) why would you not accept that allah peace be upon him is the next brightest and shiniest thing to worship? why not worship the life of Brian? Or Bag shram whatever he was called?

      One of the links above, Ark’s post, talks about where is religion going, I wouldn’t normally write about religion but the fact that right-wing religious groups are actively campaigning with misinformation to change legislature to suit them made even me think it was time to write something.

      Had I not been agnostic/atheist when I went to university, I tell you studying european medieaval history for two years would certainly have ensured I was. How many wars ostensibly were carried out in the name of religion? Ridiculous.

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  8. There are places where one chooses to draw the line and say, “enough. No further.” It’s interesting to note how well religion has configured itself around those boundaries. Sometimes it works out in ways that one can find universally positive: the sixth commandment or widespread efforts to handle world hunger come to mind. Too often, though, in their fanatical search for growing power so-called “religions leaders” put forth other causes–I think you listed pretty much all of them–that are, in the final analysis, tools by which people are divided into the easily-led *the ones they want) and the “others.”
    As you know by now I’m not much given to speaking in absolutes. Doing so just invites playing games where others try to poke holes in your position by putting forward mostly improbable and impractical arguments. So, with that in mind I will never condemn religion. The fact is that I have seen far too many examples of where it has aided masses of people and helped individuals lead virtuous, skillful lives for that argument to be held as an absolute. That said, the things you have stated are far too true and far too relevant to all time to be ignored.
    In the end it boils down to the unfortunate human tendency to be led astray by carefully-crafted words. In the right hands, societal controls can be wrapped up in a sweet looking package; one that far too many accept without question. That, I think, is the biggest injustice of all.

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    • I have no issue with people choosing to follow whatever religion they like. It isn’t for me, but if they are happy doing so, fine. My issue is when someone else’s choice of religion, and beliefs and values that stem from that religion, impacts on the rest of the society that doesn’t share those views. That is the problem.

      If same-sex marriages and abortion are legal, then it is not up to religious groups to change the law for the rest of society based on what they think is ‘right’. No-one is asking them to marry someone of the same sex, no one is asking them to have an abortion.

      I don’t campaign to have meat-eating banned or tell everyone else they shouldn’t eat dead animals. I explain why I don’t eat meat and how it would be helpful to consider vegetarians if you are entertaining them, the same would be applied to having Muslim or Jewish guests and having Halal meat and Kosher food available. Or gluten free for people with wheat intolerance, or dairy free for people with lactose intolerance. Truth is a vegan meal covers pretty much every option, and a vegan diet would also go a long way to eradicating world hunger. I have a friend who worked for a charity organisation and said it is possible to feed everyone with the resources we have but there isn’t the will to do it. Which I read as it wouldn’t generate enough profit for big business. However, I am not seeking to impose my view on everyone else and affect their lives.

      I will knock religion (although not necessarily people who choose to hold those beliefs) because I think it causes more harm than good, so the good doesn’t outweigh the bad. Or it is used to justify the bad. I don’t agree with evangelising and converting the savage blacks worshipping their own deities to Christianity. What’s the difference? Each to their own mythical deity. I’d like to think people could actually do good things and ‘lead virtuous skillful lives’ without needing to do it through religion. Can’t they do that just because it’s a reasonable way to lead their life?

      Societal controls come in many guises. Which is all the more reason for an objective unbiased educational system to develop questioning and critical thinking skills instead of brainwashing people, and especially children – very insidious. Although my school was nominally Church of England, in our religious studies lessons we did learn about other religions and visited some local places of worship, so I’d learned about Jains, and Hindus, and Buddhists, and Jews, and Islam, and different types of Christianity. We also studied the bible, but there was no indoctrination. I found it interesting academically but never studied it further as I’d already rejected it in terms of a belief system.

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      • Agreed on all points. Your statement regarding schools brainwashing students brings out a particular irony. Critical thinking skills are on the list of outcomes for all of the English language arts programs I have checked in Canada and I assume they are likely elsewhere. That said it’s not hard to see how, on the so-called “hidden curriculum” conformity ranks supreme. “Sit in our seats, no talking, ask to go to the washroom (really!!!), turn in things on time, etc.)
        It gets worse. More and more you can find big business muscling in on what’s taught in the classroom. While there’s certainly a place for vocational education in any school it’s the other things that bother me–companies will always make it such that their product/service is seen as an essential; something truly “Canadian” (or whatever). See here for an example: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Critics+raise+concerns+over+industry+involvement+Alberta+curriculum+redesign/9606253/story.html

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        • My first degree was in history and archaeology. One of the students on my course wanted to join the army and didn’t get in. She actually went on to join the police force and did very well so the army missed out. However, some of the feedback at the time about joining the armed services was that they didn’t welcome history graduates because they questioned things. At the time, I doubt most of us did, but I certainly have done in later years. That could be partly because of the journalism too.

          But history is a good subject for teaching questioning, carrying out research into primary and secondary sources, validating them, who did what and why and and and. I’m biased I guess 😀

          That is absolutely shocking. I’ve read the story and can’t believe it. What is wrong with setting a curriculum that sets out all aspects of the subject. I trust they have also involved environmental agencies, Greenpeace, alternative energy companies etc? Didn’t look like it 😦

          Like

  9. cobbies69 says:

    great post Kj, I have read all your comments and bantering and there is nothing left for me to say except that I enjoyed your words and links..

    Like

    • Thanks Gerry. I don’t plan on writing about religion again because it’s not part of my life. I don’t want to be part of their life, so they should keep out of mine, and everyone else who is totally disinterested. But these interfering hypocrites who foster discrimination and want to take away legal rights on the basis of their faith do annoy me. So hence a one-off post. Normal service resumed about whatever later.

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  10. EllaDee says:

    What a post. I wish I had time at the moment to read the blogs/posts you cite as I’m sure some of the content – anti-gay and anti-gay marriage or any other exclusive/I’m better/more deserving/right because type sentiments in particular – would get my dander up but alas from a practical point of view I can only manage live and let live at this time.

    Like

    • Thanks. You really are busy at the moment aren’t you? 😦 Just hope it’s good busy and not painful busy. The links were all pro gay marriage as far as I am aware, or in fact pretty much in tune with your live and let live summary. While I think the religious hypocrisy and blatant discrimination should be highlighted, I refuse to give links and send people to their obnoxious blogs. I would normally give sources, but in this case, I’m not, apart from the links I have given. Should anyone want sources, I can of course provide them displaying said bigotry, discrimination and general all-round self-righteousness.

      Like

  11. You wrote to Maurice:
    “I have no issue with people choosing to follow whatever religion they like. It isn’t for me, but if they are happy doing so, fine. My issue is when someone else’s choice of religion, and beliefs and values that stem from that religion, impacts on the rest of the society that doesn’t share those views. That is the problem.”

    My thoughts exactly. I suspect that the only way they are going to understand is if they suffer the same — then perhaps their empathy centers will kick in. They have dehumanized anyone who doesn’t believe like them — therefore they have severed their capacity to empathize. What’s worse — is that there is an abundant amount of research showing that their very beliefs and practices are the cause of dysfunction across all cultures (tribes). To cover their own ‘sins’, they seek out scapegoats.

    This was an excellent post.

    Like

    • Yes, my comments to Maurice do sum it all up. I could have written a much shorter post 😀

      They have no empathy that I see. Their unconditional love only exists because they are mandated to do so, and even then it comes with conditions and restrictions.

      There is no logic, there is no reason, there is – although they claim otherwise – no love at all. There is often severe nastiness, intolerance and hatred. Not something with which I wish to be associated at all.

      I have no doubt there are plenty of nasty non-Christians around, but aside from believing in a book of fairy tales, I could in no way ally myself with such a bunch of self-righteous uncaring unthinking individuals.

      Thank you. I do hope I won’t be writing about religion again. I have no interest in it per se, merely the damage it causes to society.

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  12. There are a lot of religious blogs on here I agree – I generally ignore them. I also agree that religion is a crutch but I wouldn’t kick it away in the same way that I would legalise drugs!

    I listened to a review of the film Noah the other day – in the script they never refer to God only to the Creator so that it isn’t restricted to the Christian Bible story of the great flood (apparently all religions have a big flood story) and I thought that was very commercially very clever.

    My favourite religious story however is about Joan of Arc. Placed on trial the charges against Joan were many and serious including witchcraft, blasphemy, fighting a battle on a Sunday and (this is the most bizarre) – wearing men’s clothes. Apparently she defended herself successfully against most of the charges but tragically was condemned to death on what we might now consider the most trivial. The technical reason for her execution was on the say so of Moses who was responsible for the Biblical clothing law set out in Deuteronomy 22:5: ‘The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth to a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God’. It seems that Moses was much less than tolerant than we are now on the issue of cross-dressing and poor old Joan was burned at the stake!

    Like

    • I just got sucked into reading them, and found it interesting in a depressing way. it was sort of a ‘No, do people really think like this?’ and ‘Do they really talk like this?’ eg Godspeed, we walk together down the true path, you are carrying out God’s ministry of love (1984 again). you are truly blessed, and endless vomit-inducing comments in the same vein.

      Are you saying you would or wouldn’t legalise drugs? I would legalise cannabis/marijuana.

      I read about Noah the other day too oddly. Just as well I read blogs or I would have no idea what was going on in the world! Apparently there is a strong vegan emphasis in there. Sounds like a good film to me 😉

      You sound like a religious blog quoting Deuteronomy. I think the bible is interesting academically – but in terms of believing in it? Practically what the hell is it going to do for me anyway? ‘Dear God, please can you order the UK government to restore my pension age to 60?’ I think not.

      I don’t think everyone is quite so tolerant about cross-dressing, qv these seriously whacky religious blogs who love everyone but consider those who are not in their own image are total sinners. They would still be burning Joan today if they could get away with it. They might as well be KKK.

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      • I don’t think you have to take the Bible literally – it is more a code of conduct! People and relationships might be improved if we lived according to this code and I am not at all a religious person, just open minded!

        I read your last post on ‘Clouds’ and was going to comment but all of your respondents just made it so complicated so I decided against it!

        I don’t think even the Archbishop of Canterbury takes the Bible literally but maybe the Pope does – I don’t know!

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  13. I can’t read any of those blogs. Don’t know if they are stupid or so warped from narrow views/upbringing that they are the most intolerant people in existence. It doesn’t seem limited to one country or any one rigid religious code.
    Very difficult to work with them in business and hear all their piousness then observe their treatment of workers/others, their intolerance, and the way they “live their faith everyday”…guess they don’t look in mirrors very often.
    Creeps me out.

    Like

  14. john zande says:

    I’ll take that as a compliment, and Follow accordingly 🙂

    Like

  15. Pingback: Lies, damned lies, and ‘The Bible’ | Clouds moving in | Scotties Toy Box

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