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Archive for the ‘fundamentalism’ Category

‘Tis a Sad Day in The Old Country

Posted by honestpoet on January 2, 2010

A lot of my ancestors come from Ireland, so I’m sad to report this tidbit: starting January 1, 2010, blasphemy is now illegal there, punishable by a sizable fine. So Atheist Ireland has published a list of banned quotes in their attempts to draw attention to this travesty of jurisprudence (they rightfully assert that the law should be protecting people, not ideas) and get it reversed.

I’m sure, at some level, the good members of the Oireachtas are hoping to protect people…probably hoping to prevent incidents of retaliation, like when Muslims kill people when they get their panties in a bunch (their religious feelings being, apparently, more important than someone else’s life) like with the Danish cartoons, or that documentary, the maker of which (Theo van Gogh) ended up assassinated in the street in Amsterdam (if you haven’t watched it yet, you really should check out Religulous, which we watched again this Christmas). Who knows, maybe the Catholic extremists have been inspired, or at least someone fears they have. Maybe some folks miss the violence of the Troubles.

Sigh. But we don’t protect people from violent religious nutbars by silencing criticism of religion. We do it by talking about religions in a reasonable manner. ALL religions that have lasted on this planet have learned to tolerate dissent. It’s how they adapt and evolve. Yikes, my Irish brethren! Get your heads out of your arses! If instead the Irish Catholic Church has been inspired by the Taliban, I’d say they’re headed for trouble, for sure.

Posted in atheism, fundamentalism, Islam, Muslims, religion, separation of church and state | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

No Free Speech in India

Posted by honestpoet on February 11, 2009

Here’s an article about a writer and her publisher being held for “offending the religious feelings” of Muslims (which is apparently a crime there) for an article in which she wrote “I don’t respect the idea that we should follow a ‘Prophet’ who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn’t follow him.” The title of the piece is “Why Should I Respect These Oppressive Religions?” Personally, I think that’s a good question.

I understand Muslims’ desire not to have thrown in their faces the fact that Mohammad was a pedophile and a genocidal maniac. And I understand India’s desire not to stir up their Muslim population, considering their tendency to violence when their religious feelings get hurt. But they’ll never progress as a democracy if they don’t embrace the concept of free speech. If someone can’t handle hearing someone else point out the problems with their religion, they need to examine their beliefs more closely, not silence the offending speaker.

It’s high time the fundamentalist Muslims of the world got their heads out of their collective asses and joined the present, rather than clinging to their past. There’s a reason Muslim countries are among the poorest, least developed places on the planet, and that’s the way in which they suppress dissent. New ideas, so necessary for progress, can’t flower in such a climate. Not to mention the fact that they cut off half (the female half) of their population from participation. That’s a lot of brains to leave out of the problem solving.

Some Muslims actually fantasize (the evidence of this litters the internet) that one day Islam will cover the globe, so we all may as well just give in to it. They don’t understand how great it is to live in a place where we are free to use our minds, and to speak our minds. We’re not going to give that up to go back to some medieval era when the church and the state were one (we experienced that already, when Christianity was as oppressive as Islam is now, in its own adolescence). Instead, if they don’t give up on the idea that they’ve got a firm grip on the truth and some divine mandate to shove it down the world’s throat, they’ll find their religion stamped out like a brush fire. The more they resort to violence and repression, the more opposition they’ll find among the world’s free thinkers. Already the events of 9/11 caused in this country public discourse, with writers like Sam Harris, questioning the validity of religious belief. With any luck, with their continuing idiocy, they’ll cause the death of religion altogether.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, fundamentalism, history, india, Islam, mental illness, misogyny, monoculture, Muslims, ridiculous beliefs | 1 Comment »

Sam Harris on the Importance of Breaking Religion’s Spell

Posted by honestpoet on November 18, 2008

Here’s an excellent bit from the question and answer period after a debate with Rabbi Wolpe. I’ve been watching a lot of Mr. Harris on YouTube, and I have to say that I like him even more than Richard Dawkins. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dawkins, but, as an American, Harris is more aware of the need to speak with the religious politely and without snarkiness. Dawkins can come off a bit smug, which is a mistake when dealing with the American religious, who already feel beset and belittled, and whose defense mechanisms thereby fly up as soon as the subject is broached with any sort of superior attitude.

Here’s another bit: Sam Harris at the TruthDig conference, talking about how beliefs have consequences, and why the taboo on not examining religious beliefs needs to be lifted.

Here he is talking about the relative morality of various books of the Bible and what would happen if as a society we actually followed it.

And one more, at the Idea Festival in Aspen, where he disputes a lot of common misconceptions about atheism:

If you’d like to hear more of what he has to say, here’s the link to his website, which includes links to a number of articles and videos (including the full debate with Rabbi Wolpe). His thinking is even more in line with my own than Richard Dawkins’s. Dawkins and the rest of the recent crop of atheistic authors turn their backs on mystical experience, whereas Sam Harris, while approaching it as a skeptic, acknowledges that there’s something there to examine that could prove worthwhile, perhaps yielding up that which religions seek but never truly find, tied up as they are in their supernatural superstitions and dogmatism. He’s experienced contemplative states and acknowledges that they can lead to an increase in the ability to experience empathy and compassion, which are clearly in short supply these days.

A neurobiologist, he was motivated to start writing by the events of 9/11, and his focus is on the affect of beliefs on behaviors. Some people have painted him as some sort of warmonger Islamophobe, but that’s hardly the case when you read the suspect passages in context. Does he say that people holding the beliefs indoctrinated by Islam can be led therewith to bad behavior? Absolutely, but that’s hardly the same thing.

Posted in atheism, Building a Better World, catholicism, Christianity, Christianofascism, climate change, economic crisis, evolution, feminism, freedom, fundamentalism, gay rights, genocide, global warming, hegemony, history, homophobia, Iraq, Islam, Jesus, Jews, Koran, language, literature, marriage, mental illness, misogyny, monoculture, morality, Muslims, peace, psychiatry, religion, religion and science, Richard Dawkins, ridiculous beliefs, science, secular humanism, secularism, skepticism, terrorism, the Bible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Sarah Palin Linked to Second Witch-Hunter and Spiritual Warfare Network That Sees Catholics As Demonic

Posted by honestpoet on October 24, 2008

Nevermind Hindus, Muslims, or Jews. Even most Protestants don’t have it right, and a civil war among the protestants will be necessary to purge the churches of demonic influence before Jesus will come again. I just read this article over at HuffPo, and I have to say that I think Sarah Palin should be kept as far away from power as possible, not just in this election, but for forever.

These do not seem like nice people.

Although the terms ‘intercessory prayer’ and ‘prayer warrior’ are widely used in Christianity, Sarah Palin has been been claimed, as a member, by one very specific and well defined prayer-warfare network: the Global Apostolic Prayer Network, formerly called the “Spiritual Warfare Network”. This ‘prayer warfare’ network considers Catholics, and everyone else who does not share its particular interpretation of Christianity to be under demon influence and damned to hell; it hunts witches and is mapping out “demon influences” in cities and towns across America.

Global Apostolic Prayer Network leaders compare Catholicism to Freemasonry and have conducted prayer warfare which they claim may have helped to kill Mother Theresa. One top leader and apostle of this spiritual warfare movement endorses the activities of church-based Central American death squads.

On September 6, 2008, Norwegian Spiritual Warfare leader Jan-Aage Torp confirmed that Sarah Palin was currently a ‘prayer warrior’ in Mary Glazier’s prayer-warfare network.

Glazier has claimed that in 1995 her network drove an employee of the Alaska State Prison System, whom Glazier had accused of witchcraft, out of Alaska with ‘spiritual warfare’. As Glazier told Spiritled Woman Magazine,

“As we continued to pray against the spirit of witchcraft, her incense altar caught on fire, her car engine blew up, she went blind in her left eye, and she was diagnosed with cancer.”

And just in case any of you kind, forgiving Catholics want to pray that these people actually hear Christ’s message of the brotherhood of man, don’t bother:

The Global Apostolic Prayer Network…claims that a planetary-level demon spirit blocks prayers of Catholics from reaching Heaven.

All I can say is, wow. What century is this? Even after this election (which I’m pretty optimistic will NOT land Sarah the Prayer Warrior anywhere near the White House), I think we need to be vigilant that this Global Apostolic Prayer Network not continue to subvert democracy and rationalism around the world.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, catholicism, Christianity, Christianofascism, fundamentalism, Islam, Jesus, Jews, John McCain, mental illness, monoculture, Muslims, politics, prayer, religion, ridiculous beliefs, separation of church and state, terrorism, witchcraft | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Campbell Brown Nails It Again: So WHAT if He WAS an Arab?

Posted by honestpoet on October 15, 2008

I’m really starting to love Campbell Brown. When the ignorant lady at a McCain rally recently said she couldn’t trust Obama because he’s an Arab (she didn’t quite manage a sentence as complex as that, but it’s what she tried to say), McCain corrected her by saying that no, Obama is a decent family man (that’s the opposite of Arab?). Ms. Brown decided that the underlying assumption that Arab and Muslim are slurs finally needed to be addressed:

Now, anyone who reads this blog knows I’m not keen on religion, and that one of the things I am keen on is the separation of Church and State. And key to that separation is the idea that it shouldn’t matter what religion someone is (despite the fundies’ paranoia and Turkey’s misunderstanding of what secularism means, it does not mean getting rid of religion entirely) when they run for public office. It also shouldn’t matter what ethnicity someone is, which is more to the point with the word Arab, though I know for the ignorant folk like this McCain supporter Arab and Muslim are synonymous, since they’re clueless of the fact that there are actually secular and Christian Arabs, and, for all I know, Buddhist and Hindu and Wiccan and Zoroastrian Arabs, as well, especially here in America where they are free to choose.

America is not a Christian country. America is a free country where people of all religions or no religion can and must coexist, and I’m glad some people in the media are starting to speak up about it.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, atheism, Barack Obama, buddhism, Christianity, Christianofascism, freedom, fundamentalism, Islam, John McCain, language, monoculture, Muslims, politics, religion, ridiculous beliefs, secularism, separation of church and state, witchcraft | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

McCain’s Spiritual Advisor is a Nut Who Wants Holy War

Posted by honestpoet on October 3, 2008

Here’s a scary video for you. This guy is a total nut. (He’s also quite wrong about the founding of America, btw, since our founders were actually Masons who, as their iconography shows, are very sympathetic to Islam.) At one point he says, in a frenzy, that “we were created for the conflict; we get off on warfare.” That sounds a lot more like Constantianism than Christianity to me.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, Christianofascism, Constantinianism, fundamentalism, history, Islam, John McCain, Koran, Muslims, politics, religion, separation of church and state, terrorism, the Bible | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

“Spare Me Your Reverse Snobbery”

Posted by honestpoet on September 23, 2008

Here’s a fabulous article from The New Republic about the anti-elite snobbery, written by someone from a small town who’s tired of hearing that Sarah Palin represents her. A must read for anyone who (like me) comes from a non-privileged background but doesn’t think that means we’ve got to agree with folk like the divine Ms. P.

Here’s a teaser:

Now I appreciate the effectiveness of insulting stereotyping as much as the next pundit, but I’m getting exceedingly tired of hearing about how much I scorn Sarah Palin because she is a hick chick from a hick state who didn’t go to Harvard. Please. I grew up in freaking Southeast Tennessee, in a smallish suburb of Chattanooga known as Hixson. (That’s right, pronounced hick-son.) I have spent more time at mudbogs, tractor pulls, county fairs, pig-roasts, dirt-bike races, and Wal-Marts than most of the anti-elite conservative whiners flapping their gums and wringing their hands over poor disrespected Sarah. I attended public high school, and the bulk of my classmates had Appalachian accents so thick they make Palin sound like a network anchor. The boys were hunters. The girls–myself included–had absolutely enormous hair. If any of my friends wasn’t a Christian, she had the good sense not to mention it to the rest of us, lest we try to save her soul at the countless revivals, church camps, and youth retreats we all attended. I was always smart but have never been an in-tel-lec-tu-al. (Shhhhh. Don’t tell my bosses.) And despite graduating second in my class, it never even occurred to me to apply to an Ivy League university. I went to college at Vanderbilt in Nashville–on scholarship, lest anyone assume that my family was upper-crusty.

Just like Ralph Peters, I KNOW Sarah Palin. Hell, in my younger days, I WAS Sarah Palin. (Well, minus being a crack shot.) The difference is I don’t fetishize my regular-gal roots and assume they make me special–much less qualified to run the country. And while I have indeed witnessed my fair share of cultural snobbery from some of my better-credentialed, coastal colleagues over the years, I’m not so defensive about where I come from that I feel the need to champion a wildly unqualified fellow hick whose politics I disagree with as a way to get back at everyone I know who has ever made a sniffy comment about big hair or small towns.

Posted in Christianofascism, feminism, fundamentalism, John McCain, politics, religion, separation of church and state, the Bible | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Matt Damon on Sarah Palin Having the Nuclear Codes

Posted by honestpoet on September 11, 2008

I liked Matt Damon as Loki in Dogma, which is one of my favorite movies (like that was a tough guess). Now I really love him. Here he is on YouTube, expressing how absurd it is that Sarah Palin is as close to becoming President as she is. He compares it to a bad Disney movie, which I think nails it. (Kudos to Kate for finding this one.)

Posted in atheism, Christianity, Christianofascism, fundamentalism, John McCain, politics, religion, religion and science, ridiculous beliefs, science, separation of church and state, skepticism, the Bible | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

PUMA Needs to Get It’s Collective Head Out of Its Arse

Posted by honestpoet on September 2, 2008

Some of the commentaries on this youtube video are really disturbing. Apparently McCain’s shallow attempt to appeal to disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters is working. I’m so depressed! Are some women so stupid that they think anyone with a vagina is the same as any other? Ms. Palin is a theocrat of the worst kind: against reproductive rights, opposed to abortion even in cases of rape and incest; for banning same-sex marriage with a constitutional amendment; and for teaching creationism in schools in blatant violation of the anti-establishment clause of the first amendment to our constitution. (Don’t get me started on her willingness to abuse power or her environmental record.) Apparently she not only doesn’t know much about anything to do with national government, she doesn’t know much about what our founders intended our government to do.

I’m not crazy about Barrack Obama or Joe Biden, but they beat the heck out of an idiot who graduated near the bottom of his class and whose claim to heroism starts and ends with getting shot down and surviving torture and a beauty-pageant contestant who seems to care more about producing children than raising them.

These PUMA (here’s the wikipedia article on this PAC) fools need to remember what Sen. Clinton stands for, and it’s not a woman in office by any means necessary! It matters WHICH woman, and most importantly, a woman who thinks rather than bending over for big business or following the Bible instead of the Constitution.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, Barack Obama, Christianofascism, climate change, corruption, ecology, environmental activism, feminism, freedom, fundamentalism, gay rights, global warming, hegemony, homophobia, Iraq, iraq war, mothering, politics, religion, ridiculous beliefs, secularism, separation of church and state, sexism, sexual freedom, the Bible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What Religion Can Do For You

Posted by honestpoet on April 29, 2008

Here’s a sad article from the BBC about a 19-year-old boy who was apparently planning a suicide bombing. Thankfully he was found out before he could go through with it; now he’s facing charges of terrorism.

You know, it’s hard to be a teenager. He was new to Bristol. He’d recently converted to Islam.

When I was a teenager, when you wanted to piss off Mom and Dad, you just read the Tao Te Ching or something. Now kids are strapping on vests full of explosives and sharp objects. I think I prefer Taoism as a form of teenage rebellion; at least there’s nothing in the text that can be construed as encouraging violence.

Some Muslims will insist that the Koran doesn’t, either. But if that’s so, then how come so many have killed in the name of Allah? (And lest anyone think I’m claiming Christianity doesn’t, trust me…I know plenty of violence has been done by both Christians and Jews, too…I think they’re all nuts.)

And I’ll also give credit where it’s due: the article states that the kid was picked up after an investigation following a tip-off from within the local Muslim community.

Posted in fundamentalism, Islam, terrorism | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »