Friday, November 11, 2011

Guess which two (ir)religions are the world's worst persecutors of religion...



Why are we not surprised:


Targeting The World's Worst Religious Persecutors

Doug Bandow, Contributor

The most important test of a government’s legitimacy is whether it protects basic human rights, most obviously life and liberty. The foundation is freedom conscience, including religious liberty. Governments unwilling to respect their citizen’s faith in God and view of the transcendent are not likely to treat people with dignity in other ways.

The imperfections of the American political system are obvious. Many foreign governments are far worse, leaving Washington policymakers permanently tempted to try to fix other states. Alas, the U.S. rarely can do much to transform authoritarian regimes. Even war offers little hope of creating free and just societies, at least at reasonable cost. Iraq demonstrates the price of supposedly humanitarian military intervention, especially to the people supposedly being liberated. And it is still far from clear how much freedom Iraqis will ultimately enjoy.

Nevertheless, the American president possesses a great bully pulpit and can name and shame foreign malefactors. Equally important are private people and organizations in highlighting abuses and aiding victims. Often individual people and families can be saved even in the midst of brutal persecution.

Unfortunately, the picture of religious liberty around the world is not pretty. While there have been instances of progress over the last year, most of the news is bad. In its latest annual assessment the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom finds “severe violations of religious freedom and related human rights over the past year.” Common is official state persecution as well as pervasive social discrimination and violence unconstrained by and sometimes aided by government.

Brutalizing religious minorities often further destabilizes already fragile systems, with sometimes important foreign policy implications. Observes the USCIRF: “many of the countries where there are serious challenges to freedom of religion or belief are strategically vital to their neighbors, our own nation, and the world.”

Although there is great variety among persecuting states, two characteristics stand out: Islamic national or regional majorities and Communist or former Communist ideologies. Of the 25 nations singled out as the worst abusers by the Commission, 11 are majority Muslim and 10 are Communist/former Communist.

The Commission recommended that 14 countries be designated as a Country of Particular Concern, which requires the State Department to act—by, for instance, imposing sanctions—or formally waive the penalty. CPC, explains the USCIRF, is used for “governments that have engaged in or tolerated ‘particularly severe’ violations of religious freedom.” Despite previous Commission recommendations, the State Department currently only invokes the label in eight cases, and in two of those has issued waivers. Politics still reigns supreme.

Burma is the only majority Buddhist nation on the list, though Sri Lanka is a lesser Buddhist offender. The so-called State Peace and Development Council, nominally replaced by a new civilian government, is not so much pro-Buddhist as anti-any person of faith who challenges the junta. Burma, explains the Commission, “remains one of the world’s worst human rights violators.” At particular risk are largely Christian ethnic groups, such as the Karen, which long have been fighting for autonomy. Such minorities suffer from the military’s systematic brutality, which includes conscripting civilians as porters and destroying homes and villages, as well as widespread rape and murder. However, the regime also has targeted Buddhist monks for supporting peaceful democracy protests in 2007.

Potential superpower China is growing economically but appears to be regressing in terms of human rights. In some regions there is more space for religious faith, but the authorities continue to target the genuine (as opposed to “patriotic”) Catholic Church and evangelical house churches. Moreover, notes the USCIRF: “Religious freedom conditions for Tibetan Buddhists and Uighur Muslims remain particularly acute as the government broadened its efforts to discredit and imprison religious leaders.”

Eritrea’s population is closely divided between Muslims and Christians. The government resembles that of Burma, focused on maintaining absolute power at all costs. Thus, reports the Commission, “systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations continue,” including arbitrary arrest, torture, and death. The regime also interferes with worship activities, especially of groups which lack official recognition.

Theocratic Iran is noted for the ruthlessness with which Muslim clerics and their allies hold onto power. Over the last year, says the USCIRF, “religious freedom conditions continued to deteriorate, especially for religious minorities such as Baha’is, Christians and Sufi Muslims.” Members of disfavored faiths face “prolonged detention, torture, and executions based primarily or entirely upon the religious of the accused.”

North Korea may be the worst government on earth, a continuing example of the poverty and brutality of Communism. With its rulers (the so-called Great and Dear Leaders) accorded near-divine status, the regime unsurprisingly attempts to suppress religious belief. The government engages in “discrimination and harassment of both authorized and unauthorized religious activity; the arrest, torture, and possible execution of those conducting clandestine religious activity;” and much more.

American ally Saudi Arabia may be as totalitarian as North Korea, though with Islam replacing Communism. Notes the Commission, the House of Saud bans “all forms of public religious expression other than that of the government’s own interpretation of one school of Sunni Islam.” Other believers are not even safe worshipping in their homes, and “Almost 10 years since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the Saudi government has failed to implement a number of promised reforms related to religious practice and tolerance.” Indeed, Riyadh is actively promoting extremist and intolerant views in madrassas and mosques around the world.

Sudan suffered through one of the longest internal conflicts, which for years placed the Islamic national government against Christians and animists who sought regional autonomy. Although that conflict was seemingly settled with the creation of a separate southern state, boundary skirmishes have begun. Moreover, the USCIRF warns that Khartoum government continues to impose sharia law, criminalize conversion away from Islam, and deny “the rights of non-Muslims to public religious expression and persuasion.”

Uzbekistan is one of the many pieces of the former Soviet Union and an equal opportunity oppressor. Notes the Commission: “The Uzbek government violates the full range of human rights and harshly penalizes individuals for independent religious activity, regardless of their religious affiliation.” Muslims, too, suffer from persecution.

The “Arab spring” came to Egypt, but a winter gale hit Coptic Christians. Discrimination and violence have been problems for years. However, notes the Commission: “The Egyptian government has failed to protect religious minorities, particularly Coptic Christians, from violent attacks, including during the transitional period when minority communities are increasingly vulnerable.” The situation may further deteriorate as the nation moves through an uncertain political transition.

Iraq is freer without Saddam Hussein as dictator, but that also means Islamic extremists are much freer to attack religious minorities. Notes the USCIRF: “members of the country’s smallest religious minorities suffer from targeted violence, threats, and intimidation, against which the government does not provide effective protection.” Perhaps half of the original Christian community has fled the country. Few of these “Assyrian” Christians, whose ancestors predate the arrival of Islam, are likely to return.

Nigeria is another divided country. The northern Muslim majority provinces exploded into violence after the recent election of the Christian president, who took over when his Muslim predecessor died. Unfortunately, notes the Commission, “Years of inaction by Nigeria’s federal and state governments have created a climate of impunity, resulting in thousands of deaths.” The panel cites other concerns, including the expansion of sharia into criminal law and “discrimination against minority communities of Christians and Muslims.”

Pakistan is not yet a Muslim theocracy, but the public space for Christians and other religious minorities is closing rapidly. This state, says the USCIRF, “continues to be responsible for systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of freedom of religion or belief.” A federal minister (Christian) and state governor (Muslim) were murdered earlier this year for opposing the blasphemy laws, which are routinely abused to victimize Christians and others. Indeed, the Commission warns, “Sectarian and religiously-motivated violence is chronic,” with perpetrators rarely punished for their crimes. Pakistan increasingly looks like an unstable bomb with a shrinking fuse.

Turkmenistan is another Central Asian state which won its independence when the U.S.S.R. broke up. Despite some relaxation of controls after the death of the long-time dictator in 2007, notes the panel, “Police raids and other harassment of registered and unregistered religious groups continue.”

Vietnam remains avowedly Communist in politics despite Hanoi’s discovery of the market. Although shamed by its official designation as a CPC, the regime, explains the USCIRF, “continues to control religious communities, severely restrict and penalize independent religious practice, and brutally repress individuals and groups viewed as challenging its authority.” Activity by non-approved organizations is prohibited and the government mimics Islamic states in strongly discouraging conversion.

Unfortunately, these countries are not alone. The USCIRF placed another 11 nations on its Watch List, which is for “countries where the serious violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by the governments do not meet the CPC threshold but require close monitoring.”

These discreditable states are: Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Laos, Russia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Venezuela. Afghanistan, Indonesia, Somalia, and Turkey are Muslim. Belarus, Cuba, Laos, Russia, and Tajikistan are Communist/former Communist, with Venezuela a fellow traveler moving in a more authoritarian direction. India is the standout as a majority Hindu nation with frequent attacks on Muslims as well as Christians.

Many other nations actively persecute or tolerate private intimidation and violence, just not as egregiously. Even in Canada and Europe both left-wing political correctness and fear of retaliation by Islamic extremists have begun to limit the freedom of Christians to proselytize and preach. France has banned women from wearing the burqa.

The freedom to believe, or not believe, in God and respond accordingly—as individuals, families, and communities—is precious. Sadly, much of humankind is denied this most fundamental right.

While Washington cannot make the world free, Americans can reach out and help their oppressed brothers and sisters around the globe. Persecution should be highlighted and denounced; victims of intolerance, hate, and violence should be comforted and supported. Finally, if America is to remain free, Americans must tenaciously defend religious liberty at home. [emphasis mine]

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom's findings on international religious freedom are remarkable for four explicit (and implicit) observations:

1) Nearly all of the nations that severely persecute religious expression are either Islamic or atheist (Communist) countries. Of course, Islamic persecution of other faiths is self-evident; Islam decrees death for apostates, and countries with Sharia law prohibit religious expression other than Islam. No non-Muslims are even permitted to enter Mecca or Medina.

2) Religious persecution is even more severe in atheist (Communist) nations. Atheism is the most intolerant and violent governing ideology, without rival. All atheist governments (e.g. governments in which Marxism/state atheism is the dominant ideology) have been totalitarian, and the number of religious people (mainly Christians) murdered by atheist governments in the 20th century runs from 20 million to 45 million by many estimates. The imprecision reflects the logistical difficulties inherent to counting corpses in atheist nations.

3) Christian nations are missing from the list of persecutors. Christian nations-- nations with established Christian churches or long traditions of cultural Christianity-- are the most tolerant. Respect for human rights is characteristic of governments with deep roots in Christianity.

4) The victims of violent religious persecution are mostly Christian and Jewish. There have been between 20 and 45 million Christian martyrs in the 20th century, and 6 million Jews have been murdered for their faith.

There is no evidence for any anti-atheist persecution of any magnitude anywhere ever. Despite incessant whining, atheists are never violently systematically persecuted and are invariably brutal persecutors when they grasp power. Some faiths (Hinduism, Buddhism, Zooastrianism, etc) are persecuted in specific regions, and Judaism, although small in number of adherents, is very widely persecuted. By sheer numbers, Christians are the most persecuted faith, and Jews have suffered horrendous persecution as well. Persecution of Muslims is rare, and persecution of atheists is non-existent.

Of course atheists will complain that their numbers are too small to have been the object of widespread systematic persecution. However, consider that there are 280 million explicit atheists in the world (4% of 7 billion), while there are only about 12 million Jews. Yet while atheists-- who are more that 20 times more numerous than Jews-- are never the object of violent persecution, Jews have been systematically murdered throughout history, recently in horrendous numbers.

All atheist governments have been totalitarian, and the only Jewish government in 2000 years is a liberal democracy. Atheist complaints about persecution are risible. Atheist perpetration of persecution is anything but risible.

The Commission's findings are obvious to any honest observer of our time. Islam and especially atheism are brutally intolerant ideologies, and Christianity and Judaism are quite tolerant.

It's ironic that the adherents most prone to claim "persecution" in the United States are Muslims and atheists. The reality is that Islam and atheism are the most prolific systematic persecutors of other faiths in the world, with atheism exceeding Islam by orders of magnitude in terms of actual violence against Christians.

The atheist penchant for imposing government censorship on Christians in the United States in but a glimmer of the atheist penchant for totalitarianism around the world.

47 comments:

  1. Actually, the death toll caused by Christians totally dwarfs all others.

    Colonization by Christian nations has decimated the Americas and large parts of Africa and Asia.

    Both world wars were started by Christian nations.

    Perhaps the deadliest military conflict in history, the Taiping Rebellion was led by a Christian convert.

    I could go on. Suffice it to say that Christianity is by far the bloodiest ideology that has ever ravaged the earth.

    And Egnor whines about persecution of Christians. Boohoo.

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  2. Dr. Egnor, you distort facts and manipulate others on such a scale that you are either hopelessly crazy or brazenly lying. You are living proof of the damage religion can do to an otherwise gifted mind. It’s saddening.

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  3. Michael,

    Atheism isn't an ideology. How many times do you have to be told this? Atheism is the simple assertion that there is no evidence for the existence of a deity, plain and simple. Atheism doesn't hold out the possibility of a future utopia conferring great benefits to millions, if not billions, of future humans, as does worldviews with an ideology, such as communism, Christianity, National Socialism or Islam.

    Atheism doesn't regard its opponents as being intrinsically evil, deserving harsh treatment, even death, as previous communists, Christians, National Socialists or Muslims have done.

    The article you link to is also somewhat ironic in referring to the deplorable situation in Iraq, a situation largely caused by the bad planning of George W Bush and his administration. The idea might have been good, in getting rid of a ruthless dictator, but the blunders committed, starting with Bush referring to it being a 'crusade' were catastrophic.

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  4. Michael,

    Not believing in superstition has nothing to do with mass murder and totalitarianism. I'm sick of your slanderous comparisons with Stalin, Pol Pot, Nazis and North Korea.

    I don't know if you really believe what you write — if you are deluded or if you're a liar for Jesus.

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  5. Bach,
    I don't think the argument is that Atheism is the cause of evil. Evil is objective. Atheism is an idea. I think the argument is that Atheism is a top level facilitator for such ideologies, movements, and regimes.
    The history clearly shows that Atheism is counter-productive in terms of rights and tolerance. It is so utterly intolerant that it can only be compared with the most fanatic of all modern Theistic sects, and even then Muhammadan pales in capacity.
    In other words: While claiming to be a tool for liberation (IE 'free-thinking etc) Atheism is in fact an unprecedented organ for oppression when institutionalized.
    Any attempt to counter this point flies in the face of established history.
    The sheer numbers and degree of suffering inflicted by modern State-Atheist regimes is unparalleled in the record.
    Atheism is a poisoned well,at least in practical combination with other ideas - Ie applied to an IDEOLOGY.

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  6. @anon:

    Nazi's weren't atheists, per se. They were pagans.

    I'm not comparing Stalin, Pol Pot, and the leaders of North Korea to atheists. I'm saying that they are (were) atheists. But that's not my point, really.

    My point is that there are governing ideologies. Governments are structured according to the ideology of the people who wield power. Nazi government reflected Hitler's ideology, American government reflects the ideology of our founders and of the American people, who are sovereign.

    Atheism is the core ideology of Communist governments. Marxism is dialectal materialism, an atheist-materialist understanding of man and history.

    You need to take responsibility for state atheism, just as Muslims have to take responsibility for Sharia, and Christians need to take responsibility for governing ideology based on Christianity.

    The fact that you fail to do so means that you are an intellectually dishonest coward.

    I'm going to keep blogging to make that point as loudly and as clear as I can.

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  7. "...if you're a liar for Jesus."
    Baby needs burping!
    He is regurgitating all his intellectual pablum again.

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  8. Atheism is not an ideology. It's nothing more than the rejection of ridiculous claims with no evidence.

    You need to take responsibility for state atheism

    Great idea. I'm gonna take responsibility for what happened in country I've never been to before I was even born.

    The fact that you fail to do so means that you are an intellectually dishonest coward.

    I'm an "intellectually dishonest coward" because I don't want to recognize that the fact that I don't believe in your deity makes me responsible for USSR?

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  9. @anon:

    [I'm an "intellectually dishonest coward" because I don't want to recognize that the fact that I don't believe in your deity makes me responsible for USSR]

    I never said that you're personally responsible for the USSR.

    What you are personally responsible for is an honest reflection on why it is that state atheism is always totalitarian.

    You seem oddly disinterested.

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  10. Well Michael, if evolution is real, how come atheists come from goo to you via the zoo? I mean, they think Christians cause global warming, but if they think abortion is not a religion, why do they worship Charles Dawkins?

    Anyway atheists are truely evil. They would kill you and drink your blood just because they love to sin and it makes baby Jesus cry.

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  11. Dr. Egnor, Denmark is also state atheism.. and if you say it is ‘just’ only because it had a long Christian tradition, so does Russia, and Cuba, they also have centuries of Christianity behind them. Why is one so evil, and the other you just ignore ?

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  12. Why does egnor (or should be ignor) ignore thousands of years of tyranny, war, persecution, oppression, rape, separation, animosity and unkind words BASED on religion alone?

    Countries fought for years, peoples have been wiped out, assimilated and taken over because THEIR type of god or worship didnt jive with the greater powers of the day. And their oppressors were completely unapologetic as to the reason behind it.

    "Look at these heathens...they dont believe in jesus christ??? Well wait here, i'm going to FORCE them to believe in MY interpretation of this 'bible'.

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  13. Michael,

    A while back, I asked you to define 'authoritarianism' and 'totalitarianism', which I think you ignored or overlooked. What are your definitions.

    In response to comments that Christianity in the past has produced dictatorships, ones in which capital punishment and torture for what would be regarded today as minor offenses, if that, you've asserted that these were authoritarian regimes, and that it's only 'atheism' that leads to 'totalitarianism'.

    So what are your definitions?

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  14. @Anonymous:
    It's different, because Egnor's religion is the true religion, and these Christians were not true Christians.

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  15. Iko wrote:
    "Dr. Egnor, Denmark is also state atheism."
    Denmark is a constitutional Monarchy, with a Christian monarch for goodness sake. I know more than one Dane in the services.
    State Atheism? Come on now!
    Here is a quote the wiki entry on Denmark:
    "According to official statistics from January 2011, 80.4%[115] of the population of Denmark are members of the Danish National Church (Den Danske Folkekirke), a Lutheran church that was made the official state religion by the Constitution of Denmark. This is down 0.6% compared to the year earlier and 1.2% down compared to two years earlier. Article 6 of the Constitution states that the Royal Family must belong to this Church, though the rest of the population is free to adhere to other faiths. About 15% of the Danes do not belong to any denomination."

    Taken from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark

    @Anon,
    You wrote:
    "Why does egnor (or should be ignor) ignore thousands of years of tyranny, war, persecution, oppression, rape, separation, animosity and unkind words BASED on religion alone?"
    First I have to say it is immensely telling and amusing that 'unkind words' should be written into such litany of evils. Breathtaking naivete.
    Secondly, I am sure the Doctor does not ignore any such thing. You may wish to reread the post.

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  16. According to official statistics from January 2011, 80.4%[115] of the population of Denmark are members of the Danish National Church (Den Danske Folkekirke)

    Which means nothing in practice.

    I was baptized as a catholic, so "officially" I belong to a church, but I'm absolutely not a believer.

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  17. @bach:

    [...authoritarian regimes, and that it's only 'atheism' that leads to 'totalitarianism'. So what are your definitions]

    For a nice discussion and a table of the differences--(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authoritarianism)

    Briefly, authoritarian regimes leave significant aspects of civil society-- social and economic-- outside of the sphere of absolute government control.

    Totalitarian regimes try to control every aspect of life, and leave no major portion of society outside of control.

    A typical authoritarian regime would be a South American dictatorship (e.g Chile under Peron) or a typical monarchy.

    A typical totalitarian regime would be the Khmer Rouge, the Soviet Regimes, Mao's regime, North Korea, and the Nazis. All totalitarian regimes are socialist (by the definition of socialism). All state atheism to date has been totalitarian.

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  18. @anon:

    [According to official statistics from January 2011, 80.4%[115] of the population of Denmark are members of the Danish National Church (Den Danske Folkekirke). Which means nothing in practice.]

    It means everything in practice. Although many Danes are not believers, the culture is deeply Christian. It will take many generations for Christian morals and assumptions to fade. When it does...

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  19. Michael,

    'Chile under Peron'? I seem to remember an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical 'Eva' with a song 'Don't Cry for me Argentina'.

    The table in the Wikipedia isn't clear cut. I regard authoritarian/totalitarian being on a continuum, with no clear dividing point.

    Personally, I think the best way of distinguishing is to ask the question; is there a ruling ideology and the concept of a future utopia? If yes, then it's totalitarian, as with communistic, national socialistic, Islamic and Christian dictatorships. If no, then it's authoritarian, as with absolute monarchies or Peron's Argentina.

    Atheism doesn't have an ideology and it's difficult to organize them politically. There are libertarian, conservative, liberal communist atheists ... So it's impossible to have an atheist totalitarian regime, although you can have a communist totalitarian regime that's also atheist.

    And Franco's totalitarian Spain was Christian.

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  20. It means everything in practice. Although many Danes are not believers, the culture is deeply Christian. It will take many generations for Christian morals and assumptions to fade. When it does...

    Yeah, right. Atheists are evil, and when they're not, it's because they're not really atheists.

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  21. @bach:

    The distinction between totalitarian and authoritarian regimes is obvious and is accepted widely by political scientists and historians. Every atheist regime has been totalitarian. The only non-atheist totalitarian regime was the Nazis, who were pagans.

    Christianity has had its share of authoritarian regimes (mainly monarchies), and some have been authoritarian military dictatorships.

    Of course, many Christian governments have been liberal democracies.

    As to your assertion that totalitarian regimes were communist but not really atheist, nonsense. State Atheism is a well-recognized and studies type of government.

    Why don't you just acknowledge that atheism as a ruling ideology is always horrendous? Why not face the truth, and propose some solutions, instead of engaging in such massive denialism?

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  22. Michael,

    I won't do as you suggest because you're wrong. The table in the Wikipedia contrasting authoritarianism and totalaritarianism states that the first has no ideology and the second does (it agrees with me).

    And atheism doesn't have an ideology. It is the simple assertion that there is no evidence for the existence of a god.

    You're just as ignorant about history (Peron was not the president of Chile) as you are about science, logic and the meaning of words.

    You're good at swear words and paranoia though.

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  23. @anon:

    There's a difference between atheism as a ruling ideology (State Atheism) and the beliefs and actions of individual atheists.

    While I am no fan of the political beliefs of individual atheists I have encountered (I have never seen an atheist stand up in a real controversy to support freedom of speech or religion for a view contrary to his own), there are obviously many atheists who are decent people and who abhor many aspects of totalitarianism.

    That is a different matter entirely from State Atheism, which is always totalitarian.

    Atheism in this sense may be compared to anti-semitism. Individual anti-semites may otherwise be decent people (my grandfather, who was otherwise a good man, was anti-semitic), but anti-semitism as state policy is always horrendous.

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  24. @bach:

    [(Peron was not the president of Chile)]

    Yikes! I was thinking of Pinochet!

    You'd think I'd get Peron right after seeing Evita!

    Thanks for the correction.

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  25. Anon wrote:
    "Which means nothing in practice."
    READ the comments, Anon, and you will see I was RESPONDING to another comment (by Iko) - not asserting the relative piousness of Lutherans in Denmark.
    I am sure some tiny percent of them are total hypocrites, but by far MOST Danes seem quite sincere to me. Not a nation of liars or cowards by any stretch. Nor are they a nation of Atheists. Such a suggestion is way out of line.
    My point was clear, but I will reduce it so you can digest it: Denmark is NOT an Atheist State. Denmark is a Christian Constitutional Monarchy, and the population identifies itself 80% with a SPECIFIC SECT of Christianity .
    (IE Not general spirituality or Christian ideals, but Danish-Lutheran thinking in particular.)
    That plain enough? Care to rebut my point?
    I'll give you another.
    To further, I will add that Denmark has an ancient heraldry society and it's very NATIONAL FLAG is a HUGE cross: 'The Dannenbrog'.
    The legend has it that it was literally given to them by God during battle. It is thought by modern sceptical historians to be 300 years younger and from another battle, but it remains the OLDEST national flag in the world.
    Look it up.
    So....
    A Pre-Reformation Era Christian Monarchy, Old flag and traditions, constitutional law and governance, modern economic system and one of the best rated places to live in the world.
    Hmmmm.
    Quite suddenly Denmark is NOT a good argument for state Atheism. Rather Denmark becomes an argument for religious tolerance, and most specifically Christian tolerance - an argument AGAINST systems that embrace ideals like state-Atheism.
    Compare Copenhagen with Pyongyang. In which suburbs would you prefer to dwell, Anon?
    Having been through Denmark and grown up with, served with, and even very distantly related to Danes, I find it impossible to sit idly by and hear them so horribly misidentified. I even know a fellow (Algerian) who lived in Denmark for years as a migrant - who praises them.
    They are PRIVATE people, not 'Atheists' by decree. They are free people.
    Free to be as varied as they wish. This includes the right NOT to believe. A right guaranteed by a Christian Crown and Constitution.

    Anon then adds:
    "I was baptized as a catholic, so "officially" I belong to a church, but I'm absolutely not a believer."
    This is irrelevant to my earlier post.
    But what the hell? A straw man is good exercise here and there - as long as he is burned after a good lancing.
    To 'belong to a Church' (of any denom) you need to attend regular service and be confirmed. Do you, Anon?
    If so why on earth would you subject yourself to such bitterness? Take a break or find another house of worship, for everyone's sake!
    If not the WTF are you on about?
    You were baptised Catholic? Nice. But, so what? No offence intended to the baptised amongst us (myself included), but all that says is your parents apparently loved you enough to include you in their spiritual life. They blessed you from the start. You had a good foundation. A network of loving people to help you along a good path.
    All the rest is up to you; assuming, of course, that you are an adult.
    YOU made the choice to walk away from the Church.
    Are you suggesting the Danes are somehow too weak to do that? Too simple minded, perhaps?
    Or is this about hypocrisy? If a census taker came to your door, would you identify yourself as Catholic - even as you argue for Atheism? No. Not if you have any honour (or spine).
    But you suggest that is what 80% of Danes do?
    What an unrealistic, snobby, elitist attitude.

    In closing: Whatever it is you're trying to say about Danes, it's not very nice, Anon. You have done nothing to counter my factually based point that Denmark is NOT an Atheist state, AND You have exposed an elitist streak in your thinking. Is this snobbishness typical of 'brights' and 'free thinkers'?

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  26. Mr crusader-X, Denmark ranks #3 in the world by percentage of atheists/agnostics.

    They also have the highest minimum wage and the lowest inequality in the world. And I might add: I have never been to a place where a greater percentage of women is so good-looking (it's the anti-Australia in that regard - no offense to bach).

    Definitely a fine place to live, except for the weather.

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  27. To 'belong to a Church' (of any denom) you need to attend regular service and be confirmed. Do you, Anon?

    What I meant is that my name is written somewhere in the Church's records, although I don't care about it.

    but all that says is your parents apparently loved you enough to include you in their spiritual life.

    No, they had me baptized because of tradition and probably to make a kind of party for my birth. They don't really care about religion.


    Are you suggesting the Danes are somehow too weak to do that? Too simple minded, perhaps?
    Or is this about hypocrisy? If a census taker came to your door, would you identify yourself as Catholic - even as you argue for Atheism? No. Not if you have any honour (or spine).
    But you suggest that is what 80% of Danes do?
    What an unrealistic, snobby, elitist attitude.

    In closing: Whatever it is you're trying to say about Danes, it's not very nice, Anon.


    Wow, calm down. I just wanted do say that "According to official statistics from January 2011, 80.4%[115] of the population of Denmark are members of the Danish National Church" doesn't mean that these Danes are religious, and you accuse of me of being snobby and elitist.

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  28. In Denmark, as in France and most of Europe, it is against the law for censors to ask your religious affiliation. Thus the 80 % mark is based on other sources, baptism being one amongst them.

    I was also baptised, as my parents and grandparents, but none of us consider ourselves Catholics. We have never been to any mass, including Christmas. Yet, statistically we are counted as members of the Catholic Church.

    The point I wanted to make is that in Denmark, as in other European countries, the huge majority of the population are atheists, but above all, the social justices we enjoy were voted with an atheist mind set. No religion here what so ever.

    Also, maybe you should consider Argentina. The Clergy were enthusiastically present in torture chambers, pleading the dying to give up more names, so they too could expand their ruthlessness. All in the name of the Almighty Lord, their saviour.

    Yes Egnor, the Military juntas in South America had full support for the church. You can try to wiggle yourself out of that, but the fact remains, and it is ugly.

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  29. @iko:

    [The point I wanted to make is that in Denmark, as in other European countries, the huge majority of the population are atheists]

    No. About a third are Christians, 40% are spiritual but not church-affiliated, and 19% are rigorously atheist. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Denmark)

    The only place where there are majority atheists is a locked ward.

    Your slander against the Church in South America is disgusting. The Church has fought very hard for human rights. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicariate_of_Solidarity)

    You're a bigot.

    By the way, I haven't noticed any comments from you demanding accountability from any communist regime, whose homicide dwarfs anything Pinocet ever did. I guess you atheists stick together.

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  30. "In Denmark, as in France and most of Europe, it is against the law for censors to ask your religious affiliation."
    Is it? I am not familiar with Danish census law. According to the genealogy sites I looked at the question has been listed since the mid 1800's. I does not matter anyway. See below.

    "Thus the 80 % mark is based on other sources, baptism being one amongst them."
    Okay then, you are suggesting that in the 2011 yearly census of births registers that 80% of parents baptised their children in the National religion. So they must therefore be active members of that church.
    I mean honestly Iko, why would Atheists attend a church, take religious lessons, and have their child baptised?
    Danes are not majority Atheists. Not even close!
    This fact, combined with the Christian Constitution and Crown, clearly prove that Denmark is NOT an Atheist State. Quite the opposite.

    "The point I wanted to make is that in Denmark, as in other European countries, the huge majority of the population are atheists, but above all, the social justices we enjoy were voted with an atheist mind set. No religion here what so ever."
    Utter nonsense!
    You're responding to someone who has stayed in Europe for months, not some isolated hick.
    Most of Europe is not only religious, but openly superstitious and extremely traditionalist. I have seen it and walked and lived amongst it.
    Maybe you mean your particular bank of the Seine is utterly atheistic? Sure.
    Maybe.
    Okay.
    But don't forget your hijab if you cross the river - oh well, never mind the Couscous is good.
    The VATICAN is in Europe, for Goodness sake. Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Poland are in Europe.
    Ireland (both) are in Europe. I have spent weeks in Germany - a deeply religious region, once outside the sprawl. Once into the 'east', where the Soviets attempted state Atheism, you find a resurgence - a rebirth of religious fervour. The continent is rich with traditions and superstitions. Atheist?
    No way.
    Not even close.
    I will concede that the UK and Scandinavian nations are very private about their faith - maybe at their own peril. But these lands are STILL Christian nations, ALL with Christian majorities.

    "Also, maybe you should consider ArgentinaThe Clergy were enthusiastically present in torture chambers, pleading the dying to give up more names, so they too could expand their ruthlessness."
    Wow. Never heard that before. I do know clergy were killed in the civil wars and unrest in Argentina and Chile.

    "All in the name of the Almighty Lord, their saviour."
    You know their minds and motives too?
    I would have thought a much more earthly motive for capitulating with military governments. Survival? Power and influence? I am not so quick to run to the supernatural.
    This discrepancy would explain why the VAST MAJORITY of all types of clergy would not dream of engaging in what you suggest.

    "Yes Egnor, the Military juntas in South America had full support for the church. You can try to wiggle yourself out of that, but the fact remains, and it is ugly."
    Full support of Rome? I would like to see the proof for that.

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  31. To Egnor and crusadeRex

    That the majorities of Europeans are atheist has been documented endlessly. The churches are emptying year by year. Yes, there are still believers, but it’s thinning out. Here none of our political leaders begin or end speeches mentioning God. When the European constitution was written, the Vatican tried to include God, somewhere, but we didn’t agree, much to the Popes dissatisfaction. We have same sex marriage and they adopt children etc. That is only fair.


    As to the roll of the church in Argentina -

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/17/world/americas/17iht-argentina.1.7531520.html


    http://www.desaparecidos.org/arg/iglesia/vatican.html

    (By the way, I haven't noticed any comments from you demanding accountability from any communist regime, whose homicide dwarfs anything Pinocet ever did. I guess you atheists stick together.)

    (NOTE – Pinochet is Chile, not Argentina !)

    What the Communist governments did was appalling. It was on such a scale of horror it is unforgivable. My argument isn’t that I’m defending them, rather I suggest terror, this cowardice, is – unfortunately – human nature.


    Also Dr. Egnor, when you compare numbers, you have to adjust the population to the period. Today the world has more people that a century ago. I would be fairer to calculate in terms of percentage, and when you do, you’ll find out the Christian massacres were infinitely larger in scope and savagery.

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  32. @iko:

    [Today the world has more people that a century ago. I would be fairer to calculate in terms of percentage, and when you do, you’ll find out the Christian massacres were infinitely larger in scope and savagery.]

    Christian governments have participated in plenty of massacres. But also many liberal democracies. Christianity is not monolithic.

    Atheist governments have always been totalitarian. It is the monolithic evil of atheism that is appalling.

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  33. Michael,

    No. Totalitarian governments have an ideology. Even the Wikipedia article you link to agrees. Communism is an ideology. National Socialism is an ideology. Christianity is an ideology. Islam is an ideology.

    Atheism is an ideology in the same way that non-stamp collecting is a hobby.

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  34. @bach:

    Atheism is obviously an ideology. There have been many books published of late on the ideology of atheism-- evidence-based, reason, skepticism, etc.

    You can't slither out of accountability for atheist government claiming that it's not an ideology.

    "State atheism" is a well-recognized ideology of government.

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  35. Michael,

    Name one recent book presenting atheism as an ideology.

    Atheism is just the assertion that there's no evidence for the existence of a god.

    I don't have to accept responsibility for the crimes of Stalin or Mao because I'm not a Communist.

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  36. bach:

    [Name one recent book presenting atheism as an ideology.]

    Any book that treats atheism at book length treats atheism as an ideology.

    All basic metaphysical opinions-- there is no God, Jesus is God, Allah is God, etc have intellectual consequences. Taken together, those consequences constitute an ideology.

    Believing Jesus is God gives rise to several different ideological variants-- Catholicism, Lutheranism, gnosticism, etc.

    Believing there is no God gives rise to materialism and to subjectivism regarding moral values, and several variants-- communism, secular humanism, etc.

    Inference to atheism matters, just as inference to Christianity matters. What amazes me is the reluctance of atheists to explore the inferences and consequences of their belief.

    ReplyDelete
  37. @bach:

    [I don't have to accept responsibility for the crimes of Stalin or Mao because I'm not a Communist.]

    I never said that you have to personally take responsibility for communism. But what is important is that atheists understand that there is a strong propensity for political systems based on atheist ideology to be totalitarian.

    I would respect an atheist who said: "Yes, atheist ideology in Communist form was horrendous. I believe this was where those atheists went wrong..... Here's what I would do differently.......... This is the justification for my viewpoint based on atheist assumptions......

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  38. Michael,

    You are an idiot. I asked for the title of one recent book that treats the 'ideology of atheism' because I don't think that there is such a thing. You haven't answered the request. Also I don't have to say how I'd proceed differently if I was a communist, because I'm not a communist. I'm a humanist.

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  39. HURR IM ATIEST I ♥ POL POT & STALINNovember 13, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    bachfiend,

    Why are you wasting your time debating with Egnor? He's an idiot who keeps repeating the same bullshit "hurr durr atheists are communists, responsible for genocides, it's a religion, derp, no morality." It's extremely sad to see what religion has done to his mind.

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  40. @bach:

    You: [I asked for the title of one recent book that treats the 'ideology of atheism' because I don't think that there is such a thing]

    Me: [Any book that treats atheism at book length treats atheism as an ideology.]

    Obviously your Google skills aren't up to par.

    Here are 3,337 books:

    http://www.amazon.com/mn/search/?ref%5F=nb%5Fsb%5Fnoss&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=atheism&x=15&y=20&rd=1

    ReplyDelete
  41. @mregnor:

    If atheism is not an religin, why do they come from monkeys? I mean they think they're edgy because they hate God, but my grandfather ain't a crocoduck, also they say evolutionism is not a communist ideology, but they worship Charles Dawkins. Maybe they should be aborted for our sins.

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  42. Michael,

    You're still an idiot. None of these books discuss atheism as an ideology. What they do is point out how ridiculous the claims of religion are.

    Point to one book that discusses the way that atheism will take over the world and slaughter any Believers who haven't already seen the errors of their ways.

    You won't be able to.

    Richard Dawkins' book 'the God Delusion', which is high on the list, makes the extremely radical suggestion that children should not be labeled with the religion of their parents (there's no such person as a 4 year old Christian child), all children should receive education on all religions and that individuals are free to accept or reject religion when they're old enough to do so freely.

    They are all books attacking the ideology of religion not proposing an atheist ideology.

    There is a humanist ideology, which I ascribe to, but that's not solely atheistic. There are Jewish humanists and Christian humanists too. Google 'humanism' if you don't know what it is.

    As a humanist, I don't have to accept responsibility for the crimes of Communism, in the same way that you as a Christian don't have to accept responsibility for September 11, 2001.

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  43. Michael,

    Also, your Google skills (or even reading comprehension skills) aren't very good.

    The link to Amazon.com you posted lists 3,023 results not 3,337 books for an American customer. The 3,023 results include hardcover books, paperbacks, Kindle editions, Audible audiobooks, and others. There's several different formats for the same book, so you're over-counting.

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  44. @bachfiend

    If atheism is not a religion, why do you worship Richard Dawkins?

    ReplyDelete
  45. Cekmejt (I won't bother putting the accent on the 'C', it's too much trouble),

    I don't worship Richard Dawkins. I just think that he's right on many things and wrong on some things. It's just that he's right much more often than he's wrong.

    Whereas Michael in his threads is wrong many more times than he's right.

    Richard Dawkins is credible, Michael Egnor is just not credible, if not incredible ...

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  46. bachfield said

    "Atheism is just the assertion that there's no evidence for the existence of a god."

    I have seen the definition of Atheism as the belief there is no god and the denial of Gods existence but you are just making up your definition.

    To say that that state enforced Atheism has nothing to do with Atheism is a funny type of reasoning, You could call it Atheist logic.

    ReplyDelete