My Fear – Tue 10th Apr 07

I’ll make this brief, because I’ve been overkilling religion lately. But this isn’t another rant. This is important.

Some of you may or may not be aware of Pat Robertson. You can check out the Wikipedia entry on him yourself. Suffice it to say that Robertson is an ignorant close-minded hate-spewing fundamentalist bigot. This isn’t just my opinion (although it is indeed), it is fact.

In a world where we are (rightly) worrying about the religious fanatics in the Middle East, I worry that many people are overlooking a potentially worse threat in the Far West.

Robertson is an outspoken fierce proponent of Christianity and its fundamentalist values. He would have the Church-State separation of American torn down, and have the whole country governed by the Ten Commandments, if he could.

His views coincide with those of Jerry Falwell, and he agreed with Falwell who blamed the 911 terrorist attacks on “pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, lesbians”. Back in 1998 Robertson said that accepting homosexuality “could result in hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombings and “possibly a meteor.” – quoting from Wikipedia.

Does this sound like the ranting of a man in touch with reality?

It gets worse. Robertson has established his own Regent University. One of the graduates of which is Monica Goodling:

Goodling is only one of 150 graduates of Regent University currently serving in this administration, as Regent’s Web site proclaims proudly, a huge number for a 29-year-old school. Regent estimates that “approximately one out of every six Regent alumni is employed in some form of government work.” And that’s precisely what its founder desired. The school’s motto is “Christian Leadership To Change the World,” and the world seems to be changing apace. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft teaches at Regent, and graduates have achieved senior positions in the Bush administration. The express goal is not only to tear down the wall between church and state in America (a “lie of the left,” according to Robertson) but also to enmesh the two.

The law school’s dean, Jeffrey A. Brauch, urges in his “vision” statement that students reflect upon “the critical role the Christian faith should play in our legal system.” Jason Eige (’99), senior assistant to Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, puts it pithily in the alumni newsletter, Regent Remark: “Your Resume Is God’s Instrument.”

So as if George W. Bush being an ignorant deluded bigot wasn’t bad enough, some people serving in his administration are “disciples” of the obnoxious Pat Robertson.

By the way, I am not trying to be objective here. My own opinions are laced in this blog because, well, it is mine and that is the point of a personal blog. But is anyone else not truly terrified by what this world is coming to?!

We have murderous fanatics on one side of the planet and well, the same on the other. Anyone who thinks Christianity is a more enlightened religion these days is kidding themselves. If Christianity is more enlightened than other faiths, say Islam, it is only because Christianity has been tempered by secularists and the non-religious. Remember when Christianity ruled the world? We called it the Dark Ages. In fact, whenever religion has any kind of authority over people the result is always always repression, oppression, curtailing of freedoms and human rights, fighting, and death. Fact. That isn’t my opinion. History has taught us this lesson time and again.

Imagine America if the separation of Church and State was abandoned! The world’s most powerful country would be a police state where the law of thousands of years ago would become new rule. Were adultery, abortion, homosexuality, believing whatever you want, saying whatever you want, would be capital crimes. Free-thought would be a thing of the past. And would science have to cater to the whims of the fundamentalists? Would research and discovery be limited to those areas the Church felt didn’t contradict the bible?

My fear is that this state of affairs is possible! We have Christians and Muslims spewing vitriolic bile at anything they disagree with; at anything that contradicts their person beliefs; both claiming they have the truth and the world should belong to them; that anyone who is an “infidel” should be killed. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.

And yet, people still ask atheists and free-thinkers “why do you bother?”; “why do you keep going on about religion?”; “can’t you just let them get on with their beliefs?”; “why do you have to keep attacking other people’s faiths?”

If people kept their beliefs to themselves, I would be happy (I cannot speak for all atheists) to let them get on with it. Preaching and converting is one thing; I do no like it but everyone has the right to free speech. But the faith-deluded fundamentalists out there are trying to change the world. Our world. Your world, and mine. They are trying to turn it into their world. They want to change the way you live, and think, and act.

And all for what? Because of an imaginary creature they believe in! Isn’t it ridiculous?! Humans have fought and died for all sorts of reasons, but to kill and be killed over a traditional belief in a fantasy creature that lives in the sky??……to quote Richard Dawkins “it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic.”

We can’t let this happen. But we cannot fight with weapons of war, no. Free-thinkers and people of enlightenment must use the very tools that the religious hate: reason, intellect, freedom, communication. Let’s not turn a politically-correct eye to the nonsense of religion. If we keep challenging it and saying “I’m sorry, but you’re talking shit. Your belief is one thing, but don’t tell me how to live my life”, and if we all keep saying it, we can push back the onslaught of this intellectual homicide and stop people like Robertson trying to dictate how any government should operate.

The world belongs to everyone. If it hurts no one, you should be free to do whatever you want. Everyone is free to believe what they want. Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion. Which means that no one should be affected by another person’s delusions. The power to stop this happening lies in the free minds of each of us.

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5 Responses to “My Fear – Tue 10th Apr 07”

  1. tobe38 Says:

    Brilliant posts with brilliant points, I particularly liked what you said about fighting with the very weapons that religion hates.

    Pat Robertson is an embarrassment to our race. I sometimes flick to “the 700 club” thinking it’ll be a giggle, but he always just makes me riled up.

  2. ZenTiger Says:

    Oh rubbish! (to parts of it). If everyone is entitled to an opinion, then live by that thought. Just as people push their religious opinions, which you seem hyper-sensitive to, then consider that people pushing other opinions of non-religious nature can also be offensive and highly debatable. That’s the whole point of arguing about opinions, and deciding the way forward.

    Your view of Christianity being the bane of secular states is off the mark I think. Our society owes much to Christianity, and the values it instilled have been passed into secular acceptance. However, this has been forgotten and Christianity treated like a far worse enemy than radical Islam, which is just silly, bigoted and biased. But not obvious to people with such views. It works both ways.

    There are pressure groups and lobbyists everywhere. Personally, I find the gay lobby disturbing. I don’t give a damn about what a couple of gay people do in the privacy of their bedroom, if it is between consenting adults. But (for example) to be teaching about gay relationships to 6 year olds (links later if you are interested) (and introducing sexual concepts at a young age), as is happening slowly in more and more schools, is just opportunistic social engineering with no regard to the appropriateness of the information for that age group.

    The sexual promiscuity thing that fires up religious types isn’t so bad either – it provides balance. The family planning groups etc are pushing condoms into the hands of 12 year olds, in the name of sex education, and yet fail to advise that condoms do not stop many STI’s and have up to a 60% failure rate on STD’s – sure they protect from pregnancy, but the other issues are not explained well to the young teens, and in fact, tacitly promoted. The abstinence lobby raise the issue and encourages further discussion.

    We had the situation in New Zealand where parental authority is constantly undermined by the State – a 12 year old got pregnant, had an abortion and the School and Health authorities hid this information from the parents – they found out later. They never had a chance to counsel and support their own child. That’s not right.

    Also, the church/state separation is not just about “protecting” the state from religion, but was originally designed the other way around – making sure the state did not have the power to interfere with people’s personal beliefs. The separation was to protect the people from the all powerful state, that can make new laws. The State and Secular Humanists (such as yourself) tolerate Christianity much less than Christianity tolerates Secularism. That’s how we got to where we are today.

    It’s amazing how this is getting turned around.

    For every Pat Robertson, there is some ardent socialist/communist that wants to destroy religion, increase taxes, break down the family structures, over liberalize society and change laws to provide “more freedom” but less responsibility. Naturally, all done for the best possible reasons, and no dount would seem as sensible to a secular humanist as fighting abortion is to a fundamentalist Christian.

    And if you want to see a new pagan, amoral religion, just follow Al Gore around for a while. The Greenie environmentalists are more fundamentalist than most religious loonies. Did you know it was a sin to drive a car? Use electricity? Not pay extra taxes to Kyoto? Yet Al Gore manages to consume in a month what the average American consumes in a year, with regard to his household electricity. Another case of “do as I say, not as I do”. Ironically, I’m far more environmentally friendly than the rabid Greenies I know. Sustainability makes good common sense, and is sought as a matter of responsibility. But that doesn’t mean we have to bow to the Climate Change God in making the appropriate noises but are simply hot air or ridiculously unrealistic demands.

    We can only pray we run out of oil real fast, just so we can adapt and shut their incessant jabbering. They are the ones to worry about.

    But I digress.

    Anyway, my point was whatever you want to take from it. But really, I didn’t want you to have a blog that merely served as an echo chamber to your own opinions. It can get boring if everyone agrees with you all the time 🙂

    Au revoir.

  3. evanescent Says:

    hi ZenTiger. Your comments are in quotes:

    >”Oh rubbish! (to parts of it). If everyone is entitled to an opinion, then live by that thought. Just as people push their religious opinions, which you seem hyper-sensitive to, then consider that people pushing other opinions of non-religious nature can also be offensive and highly debatable. That’s the whole point of arguing about opinions, and deciding the way forward.”

    Arguing about opinions is to be encouraged. Trying to change how other people live their lives based on your own personal convictions that you can’t prove is another.

    >”Your view of Christianity being the bane of secular states is off the mark I think. Our society owes much to Christianity, and the values it instilled have been passed into secular acceptance.”

    I disagree. I do not believe any society owes anything to Christianity that it couldn’t have acquired elsewhere, and earlier.

    I often hear people say things like “well, treat people how you want to be treated…that’s a CHRISTIAN principle”. Rubbish. It’s a human principle, and it predates Jesus. But either way, it’s good advice. And if Christianity wants to take credit for the odd good bit of advice it offers here and there, it can also take responsibility for the blood of millions who deliberately and inadvertantly have died and killed in its name. You can’t have it both ways. The scales are very much tilted against religion in this regard; it has NOTHING to get on its high horse about.

    >”However, this has been forgotten and Christianity treated like a far worse enemy than radical Islam, which is just silly, bigoted and biased. But not obvious to people with such views. It works both ways.”

    Don’t you see the irony in what you’ve just said? Christianity is silly, bigoted, and biased too! But, whereas Christians were murdering and committing atrocities in the 14th century in the name of their God, Muslims are doing it today. And if anyone thinks that Christianity is somehow more evolved than Islam, like I said in my article, you are kidding yourself. Christianity has been tempered by knowledge, enlightenment, reason, science, and secularism. It was ONLY the rise of these things that ended religion’s stranglehold on people and ended the Dark Ages. Christianity, like the embarrassing friend at a party, keeps hanging around shouting its mouth off when people should have long since ignored it.

    >”There are pressure groups and lobbyists everywhere. Personally, I find the gay lobby disturbing. I don’t give a damn about what a couple of gay people do in the privacy of their bedroom, if it is between consenting adults.”

    And on this we agree. I am refreshed by your enlightened attitude, but beware, you are going against the Bible here! The punishment for homosexuality in the bible is death.

    “…But (for example) to be teaching about gay relationships to 6 year olds (links later if you are interested) (and introducing sexual concepts at a young age), as is happening slowly in more and more schools, is just opportunistic social engineering with no regard to the appropriateness of the information for that age group.”

    I partly agree that the gay rights movement is overkill at times. Some people in this regard can be just as political and close-minded as the very ones they seek to defeat. However, you only have to look at how gay people (and even women) in this day and age are still discriminated against in certain cultures, and you begin to understand their motives.

    I don’t think sex education in schools should occur at an age too-early. BUT, you shouldn’t otricise homosexuality as taboo when it isn’t.

    >”The sexual promiscuity thing that fires up religious types isn’t so bad either – it provides balance. The family planning groups etc are pushing condoms into the hands of 12 year olds, in the name of sex education, and yet fail to advise that condoms do not stop many STI’s and have up to a 60% failure rate on STD’s – sure they protect from pregnancy, but the other issues are not explained well to the young teens, and in fact, tacitly promoted. The abstinence lobby raise the issue and encourages further discussion.”

    I am all for an age of consent, and in protecting young people from dangers that they don’t have the forsight to expect. But, there is no need to abstain from sex at all! Unfortunately, religion abstinence polices are NOT there to protect young people from STIs or conception. Forgive my cynicism but they aren’t! If they were, there would be no need to mention religion since these issues are real and important no matter what you believe.

    No, abstinence is a religious issue because the religious want to impose their views on sex on other people. Because they believe in a book written 2000 years ago, they want other people to live their sex lives in a way that THEY think should be lived. This is madness.

    By all means, we should encourage safe sex, and educate the young. But, there should be absolutely NO mention of religion. Why should there be? What seriously does religion have to offer on the issue of sex that a bit of common sense and health education can’t?

    As with everything else, religion pretends to have the answers, when in reality it has nothing but mysterious warnings, moral ramblings, and threats of divine punishment.

    >”We had the situation in New Zealand where parental authority is constantly undermined by the State – a 12 year old got pregnant, had an abortion and the School and Health authorities hid this information from the parents – they found out later. They never had a chance to counsel and support their own child. That’s not right.”

    I’m not expert enough to say whether this is right or wrong, but I know one thing: it’s nothing to do with religion! What does religion have anything to do with the event above?

    12 is a very young age, but the truth is, it’s the girl life and her body. Many Christians would say that she should be forced to bring a child to term at that age. I couldn’t be more opposed to this.

    This is a tricky subject because of the age concerned, but in general, abortion is the free choice of the girl – no one else’s.

    >”Also, the church/state separation is not just about “protecting” the state from religion, but was originally designed the other way around – making sure the state did not have the power to interfere with people’s personal beliefs.”

    Agreed. It works both ways.

    >”The separation was to protect the people from the all powerful state, that can make new laws. The State and Secular Humanists (such as yourself) tolerate Christianity much less than Christianity tolerates Secularism. That’s how we got to where we are today.”

    Wrong. This might be something that Christians want to believe, that somehow they are the ones being persecuting and not tolerated, but the truth is, if religion would MIND ITS OWN BUSINESS, secularists wouldn’t say anything!

    Secularists don’t set out to deconvert people or get rid of religion – it only becomes a flash point because everywhere you go (more so in American) religion saturates EVERY aspect of life. It sticks its nose into entertainment, education, science, life, politics. And it has NOTHING worthwhile to contribute or say. Why can’t religion just keep to itself? Why can’t the religious just live their lives and stop telling everyone else how to live their’s?

    “>For every Pat Robertson, there is some ardent socialist/communist that wants to destroy religion, increase taxes, break down the family structures, over liberalize society and change laws to provide “more freedom” but less responsibility.”

    Examples please?

    I think when you say “more freedom” but less responsibility you’re referring to a godless atheist state where, heaven forbid, people act and say what they want. As long as no one gets hurts, people can do whatever they want with their lives; say what they want; argue over whatever they want; have sex with whoever they want.

    Funny thing is, in a truly secular state, it’s hard to see all the suffering and death we see in the world now!

    >”Naturally, all done for the best possible reasons, and no dount would seem as sensible to a secular humanist as fighting abortion is to a fundamentalist Christian.”

    There’s a difference though: securalists would make their arguments based on reason and logic. Fundamentalists base their arguments on faith. There is only one winner here.

    “>And if you want to see a new pagan, amoral religion, just follow Al Gore around for a while. The Greenie environmentalists are more fundamentalist than most religious loonies. Did you know it was a sin to drive a car? Use electricity? Not pay extra taxes to Kyoto? Yet Al Gore manages to consume in a month what the average American consumes in a year, with regard to his household electricity. Another case of “do as I say, not as I do”.”

    If you’re saying that politicians are hypocrites and liars, I agree! And fundamenalist environmentalists are naive and ignorant.

    >”Ironically, I’m far more environmentally friendly than the rabid Greenies I know. Sustainability makes good common sense, and is sought as a matter of responsibility. But that doesn’t mean we have to bow to the Climate Change God in making the appropriate noises but are simply hot air or ridiculously unrealistic demands.

    We can only pray we run out of oil real fast, just so we can adapt and shut their incessant jabbering. They are the ones to worry about.”

    If we relied on oil far less, we would remove incredible power from middle-Eastern countries who make so much money from it, thus fuelling their religious wars. I definitely agree we should look to alternative means of power.

    >”But I digress.

    Anyway, my point was whatever you want to take from it. But really, I didn’t want you to have a blog that merely served as an echo chamber to your own opinions. It can get boring if everyone agrees with you all the time”

    I totally agree. I welcome any comments, whether agreeing with me or disagreeing. If I’m right then maybe you can learn something, and if I’m wrong then maybe I can.

  4. A Humanist Lesson: The Prayer of Serenity « A Load of Bright Says:

    […] arm us with the tools we need for change. Not weapons of destruction, but, to quote fellow blogger Ellis14, “the very tools that the religious hate: reason, intellect, freedom, communication”. Let’s […]

  5. Introducing my Blogroll « A Load of Bright Says:

    […] Evanescent is written by my former colleague and long suffering best friend Ellis14. For those of you who have read my deconversion story, this is the former Jehovah’s Witness who sparked my fascination with atheism. A highly entertaining but stimulating read, this comes with my special recommendations. […]


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