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zonmoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-08-06 08:20 PM
Original message
god has got to go

Religious fanaticism in all its forms leads inevitably to bigotry, hatred, and, too often, violent confrontations.
By Joseph Smigelski

Last week, I posted an article here on Intervention titled The Religious Right Is Un-American. This is a follow-up to that, and I have also included at the end some comments on Thomas Jefferson's attitude toward religion. In my other article, I said,

Many people associated with the Religious Right in America would have us believe that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. They foster this lie because they want to force their narrow-minded religious beliefs down our throats. They would like us to envision that Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Madison are standing with them shoulder to shoulder when they spout their distorted views on abortion, contraception, gay marriage, school prayer, evolution, etc. But to assert that the U.S. is a Christian nation is clearly un-American, if we define "American" as holding dear the precepts and values handed down to us in the Constitution by the Founding Fathers. The framers of the Constitution had no intention of defining our country as Christian. On the contrary, they were deeply concerned about preventing any kind of religious tyranny.
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SPKrazy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-08-06 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. The Founders, Having Escaped They Tyranny Of A Church/State
(many of them) certainly did realize that there was no room for a Church/State.

It's too bad the title of the article sounds so broad brushed.

Why not, Fundies have got to go!

I know, you didn't write the article (I don't think)

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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-08-06 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. God lends sanity to our military leaders and is therefore
indispensible as a tool for prolonging the infinite war on peoples' reactions to war on them.

I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.
Lt. Gen. William G. Jerry Boykin, speaking about battle with a Muslim warlord
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blossomstar Donating Member (772 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-08-06 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
3. Thank you for this post.
You are so right! Why can others not see the danger of religion involved in politics? It's like everyone have turned into "pod people" and are not seeing the forest for the trees. Thank you again for posting this article!
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PabloLego Donating Member (50 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-08-06 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. interesting article, but unrealistic
An interesting article, but how does one purge the collective of even the thought of God without resorting to most heinous kinds of oppressive, violent thought control? How does one do that without becoming another Pol Pot or Stalin? Impossible. The founding fathers included the first amaendment as much to protect religion from the State (the institution by which the author would purge his reality from 'god') as it was to protect the State from religion. Religion expression is free speech. I guess it's time to strap the rat cage on Father Phillip Barrigan's face until he recants his religious beliefs, which of course informed his political activity.
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charlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Uh, no
Lurid imaginings of repression and torture are your own. The polemic is a call to dustbin religion, nothing more. This entire site is dedicated to ending Republican influence, but you don't think the only effective way to do it is by going Pol Pot on their asses, do you? Same difference.
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PabloLego Donating Member (50 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Lurid indeed
"Lurid imaginings" excellent turn of phrase and granted. But how does one 'dustbin' a concept that defines the worldview for a huge portion of the population of the world? I can't see forcing people to give up beliefs they hold dear, regardless of what they are, to be anything more than brutal repression. If the atheistic position is so weighted down with insight, merit, efficacy and liberation it should take nothing more than to voice it in the marketplace of ideas for it to draw more converts into it's gravity well than Jesus or Mohammed or other deity. But it hasn't happened and it won't. Atheists, or perhaps anti-theists is a more accurate term, need to get past the fact that some people want/need to believe in god, and if they don't approve of personal religious views being held by politicians, vote accordingly.

The piece called for the excising of the God concept from the human psyche as well as the removal of religion from the world. As usual, one man deciding what is best for the rest of the human race. Stalinistically ambitious.
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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. "or perhaps anti-theists is a more accurate term"
there is a lot to learn, the sooner it is learnt why this statement is not exactly wonderful, the better.

So, I sound like some arrogant fool for saying my judgement is better than yours, so I suppose I ought to give a reason.

I have seen this many times as the #1 reason for people leaping to conclusions. By all means, tell people what is wrong with their ideas, that is after all the purpose of this board, but if you assign groups, your mind will assign heuristics, and that, my friend, is practically the definition of leaping to conclusions.

So take care; judge not the people.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Some people want/need to be racist pricks.
Edited on Fri Jun-09-06 08:08 AM by Goblinmonger
Does that mean we have to pat them on the back and say have a good life?

Some people want/need to be conservative fuckheads. Does that mean we should never talk ill of the Republicans.

But the interesting part of your current thread is something people haven't talked about yet. So stalinism is the ultimate end to a non-religious government? Stalin didn't have a few other, greater, problems than his desire for government to be free of religion? I am not denying that he was an atheist. But the brutality you speak of seems to be a result of him being a completely crazy douchebag. The millions of deaths seem to be a result of him being an absolutely shitty manager or resources. Did he kill in the name of atheism? Did his atheism cause him to kill? I'll give you he killed some religious leaders, but not a huge number compared to the Holocaust, which was clearly a result of a theist.
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PabloLego Donating Member (50 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Extremism is the ultimate end of any government...
and respectfully, Hitler wasn't a theist. He was an atheist. That is abundantly clear from his writings and statements. He subscribed to Nietsche's philosophy. He coopted the state religion of Germany (Lutheran Protestantism), and those religious leaders who spoke out against him were silenced. He regarded religion much as Marx did, ironically, but thought it could be used to further the ends of the Reich. Stalin considered religion to be anti-communist and vigorously persecuted religious people. There was even an organization started to suppress religion in the Soviet Union: the "League of Militant Atheism." Stalin then took a page from Hitler and coopted the chuch in Russia placing it directly under KGB control. It's all in several very dry history texts. But care to take a stab at a minimizing explanation of Pol Pot's embrace of Existentialism and the resulting carnage?

I am not comfortable with equating having religious beliefs with being a "racist prick." Martin Luther King was a Baptist Minister, let us not forget, and Father Berrigan a Jesuit Priest. And yes, you DO have to pat them on the back and say have a good life, if you want the same from them that is. By all means engage the religious in some of your own door-to-door atheistic proselytizing. Calling them racist pricks is not the best way to bring a mood of mutual respect to the proceedings, however. The majority of atheists I have encountered have good reasons why they do not believe in God, and that is fine. For them. Why insist that the rest of the world follow suit? If your beliefs are so rational and empirically unassailable, they should be able to easily and calmly withstand an encounter with a kid hawking a copy of the Watchtower, and not be sent into a frothing rage at the fact that your neighbor prays. Hence my use of the term anti-theist. I think many, as has the writer of the piece, have set themselves up as the enemy of religion, not as an evolved human sitting high above such quaint philosophy.

And the writer offered no explanation of how it would be done...only that in his opinion belief in god must be done away with. No answers, only opinions.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Hitler WASN'T an atheist.
I would argue that he was his own brand of Christian. Many will argue that he was following early German mythological gods. But to say he was an atheist is just plain ignorant. You clearly have issues with atheists. I am sorry for that. I will not pat you on the back and say have a good life. I will call you on it and make you come face to face with it. To each their own, I guess, but I am the type of person that will comment when someone makes a racist joke and any other actions which I think degrade the human experience. You apparently want to be known as the type of person that will not confront issues like that when the rear their ugly heads. You have to live with yourself, not I.

Nice job making the leap from my analogy of YOUR attitude toward problems with religion to having me actually say that theists are racists by the end of your second paragraph. Problem is, THAT ISN'T WHAT I SAID.

YOU SAID that we should basically live and let live. I am saying that is a flawed world view and used racism and conservatism as EXAMPLES of NON-RELIGIOUS areas where we don't and shouldn't do that.

I am not anit-theist. Though I do believe that many organizied religions (probably more than not) have serious problems and lead to horrendous actions done in the name of that religion. I don't care what the hell anyone believes in. Just don't shove it down my throat, bring it into my government, or legislate based on it. Absent those three things, do what you want, believe what you want. I am not threatened by any theist. My thoughts are logically sound and aren't challenged by The Watchtower folk. I usually do debate them about religion and they end up leaving in about 3 minutes when I start asking questions about the fundamental problems I have with belief in god.
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PabloLego Donating Member (50 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Glad your not threatened.
It's cool if you want to argue that Hitler was his own brand of Christian. I'm arguing, based on what he said about Christianity, that he wasn't. There is another thread on this forum discussing exactly this. I have no problem agreeing to disagree on that. As for what kind of person I am, judge away. You DID write "some people want/need to be racist pricks" did you not? Maybe I took you out of context. If live and let live is a flawed world view, fine. You seem willing to practice what you preach. Although I don't see how then demanding "just don't shove it down my throat" makes you anything more than a hypocrite in that regard. And as for keeping religion or God out of government, how about not bringing atheism into goverment? Both are worldviews that shape our value systems upon which we argue for what is right and wrong, and hence what laws should be made to support the good. You can't leave such things out. I don't think your thought process regarding this is logically sound. If I have a problem with atheism that would be it - it's logically unsound, when used as a basis for a worldview. We've kind of gotten away from the original point of the thread, but it's been a stimulating back and forth and I heartily thank you for that!
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charlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Again, you're making an unwarranted leap
from a guy soapboxing into Room 101. He may be ineffective, he may be quixotic, but the only "force" he's using is the force of argument. There are a lot of people who think that the end of religion would be a boon for the world and don't mind saying so. Some even feel it's necessary or inevitable. How many would use any and all means to bring it about, and how many would oppose such actions? You don't know. You can find out about this guy, though. It looks like he reads and answers his mail.

With some adjustments, the piece could be remade into a boilerplate Sunday sermon about ending Godless hubris. Is any preacher who would deliver it an incipient Witchfinder General? I don't think so, do you?
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moobu2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-08-06 11:27 PM
Response to Original message
5. Hopefully
Edited on Thu Jun-08-06 11:31 PM by moobu2
well be able to cure the insidious malady with stem cell/DNA treatment of some sort. Scientists have already taken the first step and found the gene responsible. Until a cure is available, we could refocus our efforts on education and tailor classes towards combating the ignorant fear mongering in children who have the genetic predisposition to religious delusion and who might be subjected to that in churches and mosques (or maybe even in their own homes). It could take a generation or two, but I think it might help in the long run, until we can find a cure. If we dont do something, theyre going to destroy everything on earth (think Hitler with enough nucular weapons to blow the world up).
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
6. the problem isn't God, it's man
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afrosia Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. Trooooo
I agree. Buddhists and Hindus seem cool enough.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Hinduism is just as fallible as other religions
The violence in the partition of British Empire India into India and Pakistan wasn't one-sided. Even today, there's a prominent Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, which uses religion to divide people:

Muslim leaders in India have denounced the Hindu nationalist BJP for its election pledge to build a new Hindu temple on the disputed site of a destroyed mosque.

The BJP, which is leading the polls in the run up to India's parliamentary elections, said it intended to 'explore all legal means' to build a Hindu temple in the northern city of Ayodhya.

The announcement, which came on Tuesday in the BJP's manifesto, provoked surprise and alarm among India's 120 million Muslims.

Thousands of Hindu fanatics tore down a mosque in the city in 1992, inspired by the rallying calls of the BJP, which claims the site is the birthplace of the Hindu God Lord Rama.

The dispute continues:
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Proud_Democratt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-10-06 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #6
19. Or's perception.
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salvorhardin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 12:58 AM
Response to Original message
8. god has got to go?
#1 or #2?

I would never have imagined that'd be a problem for a supreme being, or do deities get IBS too? :evilgrin:
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ozone_man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
16. It wasn't safe during Jefferson's time
Edited on Fri Jun-09-06 12:49 PM by ozone_man
too speak out about the absurdities and intolerance of the Christian religion. It's still not safe to run as a candidate for president and not be a believer. We owe alot to Jefferson, and perhaps even more to Tom Paine, the true hero of the revolution.

In this essay about Paine by Bertrand Russell, Jefferson gives an indication to the stress that he was under from the "Athansians" that prevented him from a closer relationship with Paine in the later years. Unfortunately, the Athanasians have won and have taken over the country, but I think in the end, all this nonsense will fall by the wayside.

He had no doubt that all his old friends, except such as were Federalists, would welcome him. But there was a difficulty: Jefferson had a hard fight for the Presidency, and in the campaign the most effective weapon against him unscrupulously used by ministers of all denominations had been the accusation of infidelity. His opponents magnified his intimacy with Paine and spoke of the pair as "the two Toms." Twenty years later, Jefferson was still so much impressed by the bigotry of his compatriots that he replied to a Unitarian minister who wished to publish a letter of his: "No, my dear Sir, not for the world! . . . I should as soon undertake to bring the crazy skulls of Bedlam to sound understanding as to inculcate reason into that of an Athanasian . . . keep me therefore from the fire and faggot of Calvin and his victim. Servetus." It was not surprising that, when the fate of Servetus threatened them, Jefferson and his political followers should have fought shy of too close an association with Paine. He was treated politely and had no cause to complain, but the old easy friendships were dead.

In other circles he fared worse. Dr. Rush of Philadelphia, one of his first American friends, would have nothing to do with him: ". . . his principles" he wrote, "avowed in his Age of Reason, were so offensive to me that I did not wish to renew my intercourse with him." In his own neighborhood, he was mobbed and refused a seat in the stagecoach; three years before his death he was not allowed to vote, on the alleged ground of his being a foreigner. He was falsely accused of immorality and intemperance, and his last years were spent in solitude and poverty. He died in 1809. As he was dying, two clergymen invaded his room and tried to convert him, but he merely said, "Let me alone; good morning!" Nevertheless, the orthodox invented a myth of deathbed recantation which was widely believed.

"We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select even from the very words of Jesus, paring off the amphiboligisms into which they have been led by forgetting often or not understanding what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, October 13, 1813, clarifying his desire to strip away the myth introduced by the Gospel writers, as his motivation for constructing his Syllabus of an Estimate of the Merit of the Doctrines of Jesus

The result was his secular "Jefferson Bible, The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth", which came to print in 1904 and was passed out to new members of congress from 1904 until 1957.
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