Sunday, March 4, 2012

At least they aren't praying on federal land...



Commentor crusadeRex points us to a report about an atheist event being held at Fort Bragg N.C. in March. The event, "Rock Beyond Belief", includes atheist speakers and rock bands, a rapper who raps (about evolution), and a "kiddy" pool where kids learn the science of walking on water.

The most well-known of the rock bands that will perform is Aiden. They have a video on the event's website that includes images of burning churches and bloody crosses. The song is identified on the website at the "atheist anthem" (I thought this was their anthem).

Here are some of the lyrics of the song on the event's website:

"Love how they burn your synagogues, love how they torch your holy books."
Great stuff. Note that the young soldiers (I was stationed at Ft. Bragg when I had just turned eighteen) have just finished high school, where they are not permitted to see or hear a prayer because atheists deem it a violation of the Constitution to conduct a government sanctioned action that endorses religion.

On a US military base atheists see no problem with a hate video depicting violence against Christians and Jews.

'Oh', you might wonder, 'what are Mike's views on this event?'

Since you ask: there is no Constitutional issue here, because an atheist event does not establish an religion. No compulsion is involved. People are free to attend the event or not attend the event, as they see fit.

The next question is: should this be permitted by military authorities, regardless of the fact that there is no Constitutional issue?

My answer: Hell no. The rock group should be banned from the base for spreading hate, just as the base would not permit a KKK rally or a neo-Nazi parade. I would also ban the organizer and the various water-carriers who had anything to do with this hatefest from ever setting foot on a military installation.

Again, there is no Constitutional issue. But public property is no place for hate and incitement to violence, and these jerks should be given a permanent unceremonial boot.

If the godless want to exhibit their idiocy on a military base, they can ask Richard Dawkins (already scheduled to speak at the hatefest) to do a book-signing at the PX. 

30 comments:

  1. Thanks for the nod, Mike :)
    What grabs me a about this is that it smacks of desperation.
    I am reminded of certain type of 'fire breathing' preachers standing on a corner in some liberal burgh ranting on about hell and brimstone.
    The major difference being the emotional capacity of the preacher. His hatred is overt.
    The 'event' under discussion is more of a subtle sociopathic sneer, but has the same futile intent.
    The more I read of their work, the more I sense a need by these SP types to feel superior.
    Isn't that what shrinks call 'inferiority complex'?
    There is a kind of 'snake handler' air about the whole thing.
    I mean of ALL places to do this, a military base?
    If they tried that up this way it would be a bust. Not only would most of us be uninterested in wasting our leave on this kind of 'event', but a exhibition of petty nihilism would seem like a snub to most of our men and women in uniform who are all volunteers who see PURPOSE and honour in what they do....
    Of course that is all moot. Military bases do not hold venues of this sort up this way. We tend to use parks and the like for music festivals etc.
    The closest aproximation I can recall would be a series of lectures at Borden, and the (former) PM giving a speech on 'tolerance' at Coldwater. The latter was like a comedy routine and had the lads in tucks.
    The band? Really bad taste.
    Walking on water?
    Maybe they could find a raging inland sea to better demonstrate the 'science behind the miracle' to their children?
    I would suggest Lake Huron or Superior in August...

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  2. I like your take on it, Dr. Egnor.

    Didn't know you were a veteran. Army, I suppose.

    I think the atheists planned this event because there was a similar Christian event on the post. I seem to remember reading about that.

    Well, I shouldn't say "similar". The Christian event didn't advocate book burning in the Nazi tradition, nor arson. In other words, it wasn't a vitriolic hate fest against atheists. This type of event, on the other hand, seems to be a big middle finger to religious soldiers. These people aren't mere atheists, but actual anti-theists. As usual, while their hate for religion may be generalized, you'll notice that they usually pick one religion in particular to mock and ridicule.

    And still, some people think that there is no anti-Christian bigotry in this country. They can't seem to find it, anywhere.

    The Torch

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    1. Nobody is advocating book burning or any harm whatsoever. Try reading the lyrics of the song ("Hysteria" by Aiden), rather than just Michael's posted snippet.

      At least Michael got the words right this time, so he's only guilty of quote mining - taking a quote out of context to give the impression it means something other than what the author intended.

      If you have to subvert the truth to support your view, then your view is rubbish.

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    2. I saw the video from the band. It's pure bile.

      "Love how they burn your synagogues
      Love how they torch your holy books."

      Not advocating book burning? Are you sure?

      "At least Michael got the words right this time, so he's only guilty of quote mining - taking a quote out of context to give the impression it means something other than what the author intended."

      And what did he intend?

      A band like this makes me feel extremely unwelcome. If I were a soldier on the post, I would take this as a sign that I don't belong. I'm not a soldier on this post but indeed, I am a veteran.

      Now that doesn't mean that they don't have a right to perform their hateful song. It does mean that the military doesn't have to invite them, or even permit them, to perform it. It's their property.

      I just wonder how you would feel if this such an in-your-face bigoted rock band were to be invited if the group targeted were homosexuals or blacks. Let's just imagine for example that a band associated with the white power movement was invited. Do they get a venue as well?

      Basically, you're wrong. And you want special treatment, as usual.

      The Torch

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    3. "Now that doesn't mean that they don't have a right to perform their hateful song. It does mean that the military doesn't have to invite them, or even permit them, to perform it. It's their property."

      Because the military already opened up the venue to allow for a religiously oriented event to be held there, in fact, they do have to permit them to perform it. Once a venue is opened up to one viewpoint, it must be opened up in a content neutral manner.

      "Basically, you're wrong. And you want special treatment, as usual."

      Given that this event is in response to an earlier explicitly religious event, no one wants special treatment. Only equal treatment. But as usual, for a theist, giving equal treatment to others equates to giving them special treatment in your view.

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    4. @Anon
      According to your argument they SHOULD let the Aryan Nations or 'Christian Identity' movement play.
      No special treatment, right?
      PS.
      Praising God is not the same as advocating violence against specific target groups.
      Only someone who hasn't the slightest notion of what faith and praise are, or someone completely conditioned in their responses could even make such a suggestion. Which are you?
      Further you infer that Atheism is a religion that should be protected under your rights.
      Is Atheism a religion? An Ideology?
      If not, why should it be anything more than it claims to be? If it is a simple refusal to participate in such ritual and belief, why does it need a 'venue' at ALL?
      This goes to the point made by Torch.
      "These people aren't mere atheists, but actual anti-theists."
      They are ANTI-faith - not simply without it.
      They actively seek to insult and undermine the ideas and way of life of the massive majority of your fighting men and women, and THAT is a f______g disgrace. A shame on their houses.
      If you are truly a tolerant person who simply resists or refuses the 'status quo' of religion and the idea of God, how on EARTH can you support this band's presence at this event?
      You cannot.
      The truth is the DO believe in something, don't they?
      The DO have a faith of sorts, and they see it as superior to all others.
      The faith of 'ME'.

      @The Torch,
      Well said. Salutations from the North.
      I am also a veteran of conflict (and serving), and I completely agree with your characterization of this event.

      Delete
  3. I think it's also worth noting that the poster advertises "secular speakers and musicians."

    Secular? Hmmm...you know I've been accused not understanding the difference between secularism and atheism. Actually, I get it. It just seems that atheists frequently push their agenda under the guise that it's a neutral (ie, secular) point of view in regards to theism.

    Hence the frequent misconception that our public schools are neutral places where people of all faiths and no faiths can come together on a level ground. Ha! I went to those public schools not that long ago (1990's) and they were hardly neutral ("secular") then. I understand that they're worse now.

    If there exists any confusion about the meaning of the word "secular", I think we know why. The words has been misused by atheists and even anti-theists, thus creating confusion.

    The speaks at this event aren't "secular". They're atheistic. That's the whole point of the event.

    TRISH

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  4. Mike,

    About those lyrics that you quote - tell me honestly - is the singer advocating burning holy books and synagogues? Or is the singer talking about acts committed in the throes of religious hysteria?

    Answer honestly - this is another one of those tests.

    As for images of bloody crosses - really? You find those offensive? Then you'll find this REALLY offensive: a large percentage of Americans subject their children to images of a man being tortured on a gruesome Iron Age device designed to cause slow, agonizing death. These children are subjected to discussions about this man having iron spikes driven through his flesh and bones. Some children are even made to WEAR an image of this horrific device.

    Now THAT is offensive to any rational person.

    If I erected in my yard a sculpture of a victim of Vlad Tepes, sitting impaled on a long spike, the police would make me remove it. If I mailed drawings to my neighbors of a man's arms and legs stretched to the point of dislocation as they're stretched on a rack, they would have me arrested. If I sent my daughter to school with a necklace depicting of a man hanging dead from a gallows rope, my daughter would be asked by the school to remove it.

    So why are my children constantly subjected to images of a man nailed to a piece of wood? How is it that a life-giving, life-affirming image of a woman's breasts is "obscene", but the necrophilic image of a dead man hanging limp from the iron spikes in his flesh is "holy"?

    As for the event in question - personally I'm no fan of an organized anti-religious event. I much prefer events that spend time celebrating reality rather than mocking fantasy.

    But after a few thousand years of religion holding itself above mockery (usually by killing those who mocked it), I don't begrudge a newer generation wishing to make up for lost time.

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    1. "About those lyrics that you quote - tell me honestly - is the singer advocating burning holy books and synagogues? Or is the singer talking about acts committed in the throes of religious hysteria?"

      Apparently, he "loves" them. So you tell me.

      Let's think here. He's a rabid atheist. He's part of the God-hating brigade. Would it make him happy to see religious texts and houses of worship up in flames? Did you see the video? Did you see that it's filled with churches on fire? Is he really trying to say that "It sure is bad when those religious people burn down other religious people's buildings?" Or is he just thrilled with churches on fire?

      The Torch

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    2. "But after a few thousand years of religion holding itself above mockery (usually by killing those who mocked it), I don't begrudge a newer generation wishing to make up for lost time."

      All right, well then grow some balls and go lampoon Mohammed. Visit your local mosque and mock their prophet.

      Punk ass bitch.

      The Torch

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    3. At least he admits that mockery is the point of the event.

      Any other groups who will be mocked on our military installations? Blacks? Puerto Ricans, perhaps? Or simply believers, which seems to be a codeword for Christians?

      I noticed that Aiden cleverly avoided insulting Islam in their video. It centers mostly around Christianity with a little Judaism thrown in.

      I notice he speaks of genocide. If that's his concern, he might want to ask why the great genocidal maniacs of all time are atheists--Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao.

      TRISH

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    4. "All right, well then grow some balls and go lampoon Mohammed. Visit your local mosque and mock their prophet."

      You mean like the thousands of people who participate in Draw Mohammed Day? The "just you try mocking Islam!" meme is old tired bullshit. Islam is mocked just as often and just as mercilessly as any other religion.

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    5. Yes, Torch, I watched the video, and the priest is portrayed as evil and gloating over the grave markers.

      Even the Christian commenters on Youtube have sense enough to recognize that this is about religion-on-religion violence.

      Of course you know this, but the correct interpretation doesn't fit with your desire to blame atheists. So you sacrifice honesty and personal integrity, and intentionally misinterpret the song.

      And just to demonstrate your command of the debate, you close with calling me a "punk ass bitch".

      So in the course of a short little blog exchange your behavior has been dishonest, base and gratuitously insulting. So tell me, how's that Christian morality working for you, Mate?

      I don't have to mock the hypocrisy of your smug self-righteous "faith" - you're doing that just fine all by yourself.

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  5. Atheists don't pray, they prey!

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  6. Aiden lyrics from another song:“F*** your God, F*** your faith in the end. There’s no religion.”

    But they aren't celebrating the torching of holy books and synagogues. Are you honestly trying to tell me that Aiden is OPPOSED to torching holy books and synagogues?

    TRISH

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  7. Anti-Christian bigotry is usually more subtle than this.

    It just goes to show that some people will deny recognizing even the most flagrant examples of hatred if the target of their hatred is people of my religion.

    Homosexuals are allowed to define what constitutes "homophobia". Blacks are allowed to define what constitutes racism. Jews are allowed to define what constitutes antisemitism. But when anti-Christian bigotry is the issue, it isn't the Christian who decide what it is, it's the Christian haters. Not surprisingly, nothing ever rises to the level of bigotry when they are the judges.

    TRISH

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  8. Trish - newsflash - Hitler wasn't an atheist. Would you like a long list of examples where he invokes God in his writings and speeches?

    And, as far as I know, Hitler never personally killed a single Jew. The Nazi atrocities were not carried out by a dozen Hitler disciples - they were performed by a huge percentage of the German population.

    The men and women who rounded up and killed all the people in the Nazi death camps were, according to the 1939 German census, 54% Protestant Christian and 40% Roman Catholic.

    The men and women shipping people off to Siberian and working them until they died were predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christian. Though I've been unable to find an exact census.

    We've discussed it before, but Kim il-Sung's North Korea is NOT an atheist state. He used the Christian training and imagery from his Protestant minister uncle, and created a replacement religion complete with mythology, ritual, divine rights and an all-seeing supernatural father/son combination. North Korea is one of the most devoutly religious nations on Earth. If you want to learn more about NK, I recommend "Nothing to Envy" by Barbara Demick - it is a 5-star book on Amazon.

    An atheist doesn't believe in divine beings and an afterlife. The overwhelming majority of people who committed the great genocides of the 20th century believed in divine beings and an afterlife.

    Let me ask you: do you think the next regime to use weapons of mass destruction will be promoting atheism, or will they do it while praising their god? Answer honestly - which do you think is the more likely?

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    1. North Korea IS an Atheist state.
      No use in denying it RickK.
      Atheists DO worship...other men.
      Usually a single man.
      A strong and intelligent "Alpha".
      He is the visceral god they worship, and if his party wants to postulate about an afterlife, there is no authority to stop them.
      2+2=5 if the party says it does.

      Besides who made you pope of Atheism?
      As an atheist, you must be aware you define yourself - not by a creed....right?
      If God is not necessary for a material Universe, who says he is necessary for the progression of consciousness after death?
      You mistake hard materialism for atheism.

      Just because the milk toast western version ('secularism') is still riddled with concepts of individualize rights and expression does not mean that it the end goal in the real world.

      As for Hitler & the Nazis etc:
      The Fuhrer was whatever the crowd wanted him to be. He praised the faith and traditions of Germany to his conservative dupes, and he scorned Christianity for its weakness and 'Jewish' connections when in the company of his PAGAN and SOCIAL DARWINIST military and scientific elite.

      Ever been to Wewelsburg, Rick ? I have.
      If you're a student of the history of the Reich, you really should check it out if ever in NW Germany.
      I have stood and marvelled at the pagan imagery, the Black Sun and read all about the 'blood oath'.
      In fact, although I am of British stock, I have a great uncle who TOOK it, and later recanted and repented (then later emigrated and married my aunty). The oath, ritual, and meaning was all clearly neo-pagan.

      Hitler was the 'Leader'.
      Not a King or Imperial sovereign with a mandate from God (rules), he DEPOSED that seat of moral authority. He was ELECTED by the masses and declared himself dictator. The 'Volk' had given him is mandate, not God. His party was not the 'Christian Nationalist Party' It was the Nationalsozialist Workers party. National SOCIALIST.
      Was he more of a Jim Jones or Kim il-Sung's than a Stalin or Pol Pot? Sure.
      Hitler, and more importantly Goebbels, knew how to placate the religious mind and well as the positivist mind. Preach about divine destiny while 'scientifically' justifying evil.

      Is that Atheism? It sure resembles the modern political manifestation (or perhaps USE) of those ideas.
      As for the German population.... It's true.
      Many Christians played a role, if even minimal, in the atrocities. In truth, most just tried to survive the war. People will do very shameful things in order to survive and protect their family, and those fears were exploited by a brilliant propaganda machine.

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    3. CNTD (had to repost - got jumbled up)

      That said, the largest Christian Empire to ever exist and their Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim allies and forces BROKE the Nazis. The Atheist Soviet Union also eventually decided the continent was not big enough for both of them and provided assistance too. But it was only a break from horrors directed at their own peoples and those of subjugated nations.

      Also, the German camps were full of Christians, as well as Jews, gypsies and homosexuals. The only atheists that had to worry about persecution were communists (International Socialists)- and that was because they were 'competition', not their religious ideas.

      German and captured communists paid dearly for that subtle distinction in their doctrine.
      Further Christians were a very big part of resistance in both the sense of community movements and 'underground' escape routes organized by clergy and churches. Many of these good people paid with their lives.
      Blaming Hitler on Christianity is a dead end.
      You may as well blame the horrors in Red China and all the lands it has conquered on Buddhism or animism. What is that phrase used by Mao?
      'Religion is poison'? I don't think that is a Buddhist mantra.

      Let's just face it: The real issue is the passive nature of a modern industrial civilian population.
      There is a real analogy behind the insulting military expression for the modern civilian, 'Sheep'.
      When you have a leader who can explain to the sheep he is IT, the ONLY and ultimate arbitrator of morality, that 'the party' is ALL, and has authority and back that with force... that's when you end up with a Hitler or Mao type.
      Atheism is not the only facilitator to these evils, but it has been an extremely effective one in the amount of time it has been available to such cynical cadres of mind. Far more effective in terms of death and destruction than theocracy.
      The sane world lives in the lands between these poles of totalitarianism.
      No two ways.

      I accept my own faults, and see those of my co-religionists. Why don't you? Why shift the blame?
      Why do we never see Atheists retort with 'we are not like that any more! Are you folks the same as the people who danced at "auto de fe"? Well neither are we Stalin or Hitler."
      Instead we get evasion, revisionism and DENIAL as a response.
      You can and will NOT clean the blood from your ideological hands until you realize it is there and scrub it away.
      Own it, if you want to be rid of it.

      But I suppose that is almost impossible to admit error or shortfalls if the 'faith' you adhere to relies on pretensions of scientific truth.
      My Tupenny's worth.

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    4. Interesting - when Christians (under Hitler) murder atheists (Communists), it's to eliminate competition for power. But when a Communists kill or imprison priests, it's because of atheistic religious persecution.

      Nice double standard, Crus!

      ---

      I don't defend Hitler or Stalin. If you'll notice, I only respond when people try to paint current day atheists like myself with the "totalitarian genocide" brush. That's when I feel the need to step in and point out that the only book in my house that uncritically presents genocide as a good thing is my King James Bible.

      You talk about sheep, and about people who stand up and tell the "sheep he is IT, the ONLY and ultimate arbitrator of morality, that 'the party' is ALL". But that's EXACTLY what religions do! That's EXACTLY what priests and ministers do! Have you been to a Pentecostal revival or a serious Baptist sermon? The man in the pulpit NEVER says (like Richard Dawkins DOES say) "I may be wrong about God, but I'm pretty certain I'm not."

      How do you train people to be sheep? One way is to put them in a big room every week and have them recite their belief in absurd things over and over. And when one of them questions the absurdity, you shun them socially, call them heretics or apostates, and threaten them with eternal suffering. That's a REALLY good way to train people to be sheep - to follow what the man on the podium/pulpit says regardless of whether it makes sense or not.

      --------

      Now, to address your historical accuracy - you tell me. What percentage of the German population - Germans who voted Hitler into office, put on brown shirts or black boots, and manned the death camps - what percentage of the German population was pagan? What percentage was Roman Catholic? What percentage was Protestant?

      Of the people in Paris who packed 13,000 Jews into a velodrome before shipping them off to Germany, how many were pagans, Crus? How many were atheists? Care to hazard a guess?

      -----

      I'm not here to attach Christians. I'm here to tell you and Michael and Trish and Torch and Pepe and all the rest: you CANNOT put yourself on some pedestal and look down upon those evil atheists without admitting that Christians are no less capable of atrocity and no less culpable in the horrors of history. I'm here to balance the scale.

      You can't blame atheists for the Holocaust without admitting the German (and French and Polish) people were Christian. You can't blame atheists for Soviet atrocities without admitting the KGB used torture devices imported from the Spanish Inquisition. You can't blame North Korea on atheists without admitting Kim il-Sung used his Christian training, Christian imagery, and divine right to justify his leadership. And that before it was the capital of the DPRK, Pyongyang was the most Christian city in East Asia ("the Jerusalem of the East").

      As ever, all I'm trying to do is inject a little honesty into the anti-atheist propoganda and hatred that spews out of this blog.

      And while I'm not shy in expressing my views, I never resort to calling someone an ass or a bitch or a jerk, so I'm also trying to inject a little class along with the honesty.

      :-) Always a pleasure, Crus!

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  9. RickK,

    I do not blame Atheism for Communism. I see it as a convenient facilitator for that movement.
    You have taken my comments in the wrong spirit.
    Nor am I trying to exculpate the Christian collaborators with the Nazis. There is no need for that history lesson (again and again) as we recognize it.
    The important question is what faith the leadership followed.
    That was clearly NEO PAGAN.
    In truth I think most of these totalitarians are not theists, atheists, or agnostic. They go beyond that. They are utterly APATHETIC to these issues other than which best suites their purpose. Atheism is the cosmology de jour, due to the scientific pretensions touted by modern atheism.

    I simply seek a recognition from the atheists on this board that Atheism's history (modern) is just as bloody as any major religion, and that it ALSO has been used to justify horrors.

    Regarding NK, that is the natural evolution (sorry) of the Communist regime. The 'atheist state' DOES indeed worship, but the worship they engage in is not of some objective divine code, but of the subject rule of 'leader'.
    Their is a reason they chose not to install a Monarch who claimed to be Christian or Buddhist. That reason is they wished to set their own mutable standards. Atheism, in it's modern form, provided just that.
    I agree it is not an 'ideal' atheist state from a western perspective, but it is one never the less.
    This is the fruit of that labour.
    As I said, I just want to see you folks OWN your own mistakes - to acknowledge them. The whole 'no true Scotsman' thing cuts both ways, and is a futile exercise.
    Further the central issue I see it has to do with objectivity. Is there a central rule of Atheism?
    No. There is no ultimate arbitration, no standard to be met - hence no ultimate law BEYOND the realm of the Monarch, PM, or president.
    That is VERY problematic for the populace under rule.

    "As ever, all I'm trying to do is inject a little honesty into the anti-atheist propoganda and hatred that spews out of this blog. "

    I can understand that. Although I think it is acrimony, not hatred.
    Consider me the opposite number.
    I am trying to correct the hatred that is spewed by Anti-Theists.

    Finally, I appreciate your civil tone. This is why you will not find me attacking you personally in response. I attempt to reciprocate the sentiment to each of the posters as best as I can.
    Your ideas are your own, and I find your take interesting, even though we disagree on much.
    Pleasure is mine :)

    (pre coffee post on day off, hope it makes sense)

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    1. Stop telling me to "own" Communism - that's what you're doing, and it's BS.

      I'm not a Communist, Crus. So stop it. The Communists weren't Communists because they were atheists - they were Communists because they had faith in the teachings of Communism!

      You keep trying to equate Communism with atheism. Try this on:

      - A central, pervasive ideology
      - A set of rituals
      - Controlling mass communication
      - A strong police force
      - Fake trials
      - Torturing dissidents
      - Forcing them to reveal others
      - Controlling the populace through overwhelming fear
      - Teaching neighbor to fear neighbor

      Now, did I just describe every 20th Century totalitarian regime? Or did I describe the Inquisition? Answer honestly.

      From my external vantage point, I think the Catholic Church wrote Hitler's and Stalin's playbook. So just stop telling me to "own" that - I have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

      In the end it's not one leader or faith that is more dangerous than another. It's the CONCEPT of faithful sheep itself that is dangerous.

      And I'm TERRIFIED by people who think of themselves as sheepdogs among the sheep - who think they're the ones best equipped to do the herding.

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    2. I'm not insisting that you "own" communism. You're not a communist.

      I do insist that you account for the obvious correlation between state atheism and totalitarianism.

      If atheism is genuinely beneficial to mankind, why have all explicitly atheists govenments been totalitarian?

      I can't take you seriously until you take that question seriously.

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    3. It's not a serious question, and you demonstrate your intellectual dishonesty every time you pose it, Michael.

      Any regime that forces everyone to adopt a given religion, or to abandon their religion, is totalitarian - whether it is a host of Catholic countries in the Middle Ages, or the Soviet Union under Stalin, or North Korea today. By definition, a regime that tortures or kills its people for heresy is totalitarian. Shall we review the regimes through history that have murdered their own citizens to enforce religious conformity?

      The world today is full of secular governments - with no state religion - and most of them are just fine. You're living in one.

      So your atheism=totalitarianism mantra is silly, childish horsesh*t. Grow up and find some intellectual integrity.

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  10. RickK,

    After a second (slightly more caffeinated) look, I thought I should respond to this:
    "You talk about sheep, and about people who stand up and tell the "sheep he is IT, the ONLY and ultimate arbitrator of morality, that 'the party' is ALL". But that's EXACTLY what religions do!"

    No, RickK.
    Religions are not people.
    This is a category error.
    The codes they claim to be objective are OBJECTIVE.
    The religion is not the man. Religion is not even the faith. Religion is about ritual.
    A Catholic does not worship the Pope or his Bishop, for example. Rather he is seen as an interpretor of the laws and guidance that govern the morality of that group. He leads the worship and is not worshipped himself. Their is only a single Godhead within Christianity, and He is not 'Comrade' this, or 'Leader' that.

    There are 'heresies' and 'interps', and yes many of these have been used to justify great violence. But the ultimate rules - the BASIS - stays the same. Their is a commonality that eventually gets applied. It is not all about 'survival' or temporal 'power', but transcends those issues.
    Remove those concepts and the law is entirely subjective. Maybe not to YOU or me, but to the 'sheep'.
    The Sheep Dogs (like me) need a good shepherd, or they will lose much more than their fleece.
    Even if you do not believe in God, I am sure you can see the practical application of objective codes that are irreducible... even if you see them as an evolutionary development, you must see their is no 'new' way that has presented itself?
    Atheism may be a tool used by some to cut free from dogma and transition to a more sane world view. I know a few Muslims that took this route to Christianity and Agnosticism. They fell out, thought about it and fell in with far more civilized ideology.
    But when used by regimes to over rule traditional morals it can also a be tool used to cut throats with unprecedented efficiency.

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  11. Crus - your grasping at straws, making a distinction that doesn't exist.

    What is the difference between:

    "Worship me or you'll suffer" and
    "Worship who I tell you or you'll suffer"?

    You said: "The codes they claim to be objective are OBJECTIVE. "

    Baloney! We've been over and over this. Christianity does not follow "objective" moral codes. The behavior of Catholics is determined by how religious leaders interpret the words in that long, confused Rorschach Test you call the "Bible". It's only been a few hundred years since the Church admitted defeat and stopped killing people for printing the Bible in a readable form.

    The Church interpreted (made up) the idea of Original Sin to cement its own importance. The Church interpreted the Bible to launch the witch hunts. The Church interpreted the Bible to support 1500 years of anti-Jew hatred and violence. The Church interpreted the Bible to launch the Crusades. The Church interpreted the Bible to launch the Inquisition.

    In other words - the "objective" code you talk about is nothing but the current interpretation that best meets the social and political needs of the Church. There is nothing at all objective about that. For 2000 years the Church has trained its flock to be good sheep every Sunday, and then armed with the latest "interpretation" and the ever-present threat of eternal damnation, launched its sheep on whatever adventure it deemed necessary.

    What can you POSSIBLY find "objective" about that?

    At least Islam is honest about what is really going on: "ijma" - the "infallibility of the consensus."

    "Objective"? That's really funny. Tell me another.

    Just for one day try this: Assume, just for the sake of argument that YOU decide what is morally right and wrong for you. Assume that every moral code you've ever seen is just some human creation, so its up to YOU to decide how you will behave. Let that sink in, and you'll understand what an honest, thinking atheist believes.

    Yes, I think some rules work better than others for a healthy society. For example, I think honesty is a good starting point. Scaring people by filling their heads from birth of tales of damnation and an almighty invisible policeman is fundamentally dishonest. It's a bad starting point if honesty is a component of your morality.

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    1. What confused crap.

      [Christianity does not follow "objective" moral codes.]

      We believe that moral law is from God, and is objective, not subjective.

      [The behavior of Catholics is determined by how religious leaders interpret the words in that long, confused Rorschach Test you call the "Bible".]

      Catholic moral teaching is based in part on the Bible and in part on moral theology, which is a huge topic. Catholics are not biblical literalists.

      [It's only been a few hundred years since the Church admitted defeat and stopped killing people for printing the Bible in a readable form.]

      There were conflicts and wars of religion as a consequence of the protestant reformation. The Catholic Church did not "kill people". It had no legal authority to do so. Such authority rested in the secular rulers, who had many reasons to suppress heretics. The Church's role- the Inquisition- was much less violent and much fairer than the secular persecutions.

      In fact, in areas where the Inquisition was the strongest (Spain) there was the least violence. Where the Inquisition was the weakest (Germany) there was much violence (30 Years War).

      There were very complex secular and religious forces in play. The Church was generally the least violent of the players.

      [The Church interpreted (made up) the idea of Original Sin to cement its own importance.]

      What a stupic thing to say. Original sin is a doctrine proposed by Augustine that has a deep biblical and theological and experiential basis. You may disagree with the doctrine, but the idiot "cement its importance" argument has no place in a rational discussion.

      [The Church interpreted the Bible to launch the witch hunts.]

      Witch hunts were protestant endeavors, idiot. And they had noting to do with "biblical interpretations". Scapegoating is a nearly universal human act. Atheist scapegoating has cost tens of millions of lives in communist countries.

      [The Church interpreted the Bible to support 1500 years of anti-Jew hatred and violence.]

      The Church has some anti-Semitism in its history. All ideologies do. Anti-Semetism is a ubiquitous phenomenon.

      Today the church is philo-semetic, and is in fact probably the best friend Israel and the Jews have.

      (continued)

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    2. (continued)

      [The Church interpreted the Bible to launch the Crusades.]

      The Crusades were wholly justified efforts to reclaim lands and cultures that had been taken by Muslims by violence. It's a shame that they were not successful.

      [The Church interpreted the Bible to launch the Inquisition.]

      The Inquisition was an effort to fight heresy and an enforcement of Canon Law. Torture was wrong (and rare), but the (non-violent) fight against heresy was good and is still needed.

      [In other words - the "objective" code you talk about is nothing but the current interpretation that best meets the social and political needs of the Church. There is nothing at all objective about that.]

      Catholic Moral Theology is a complex and profound subject, and it has nothing to do with "social and political needs" of the Church. The Church's stand on contraception, for example, has cost it enormous social and political capital.

      [For 2000 years the Church has trained its flock to be good sheep every Sunday, and then armed with the latest "interpretation" and the ever-present threat of eternal damnation, launched its sheep on whatever adventure it deemed necessary.]

      The Catholic Church has teachings Catholics are expected to obey. Duh.


      [Just for one day try this: Assume, just for the sake of argument that YOU decide what is morally right and wrong for you. Assume that every moral code you've ever seen is just some human creation, so its up to YOU to decide how you will behave. Let that sink in, and you'll understand what an honest, thinking atheist believes.]

      How does this understanding of morality elevate your morality above that of Pol Pot? It was, after all, up to Pol Pot to decide how he was to behave. What he did was morally right for him.

      [Yes, I think some rules work better than others for a healthy society. For example, I think honesty is a good starting point.]

      That's just for you. On what basis can you claim it is a moral good for others?

      [Scaring people by filling their heads from birth of tales of damnation and an almighty invisible policeman is fundamentally dishonest. It's a bad starting point if honesty is a component of your morality.]

      Lying to people by telling them that they will never be held accountable for their lives is fundamentally dishonest.

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  12. http://freethoughtblogs.com/rockbeyondbelief/2012/03/08/christians-want-to-burn-down-interfaith-chapels-on-military-bases/

    I thought this was a fun read. Now let's hear Dr. Egnor apology concerning the atheist movement or an addmission that Christians are equally worse as he claimed atheists are.

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