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Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

There is so much wrong with this picture. Where do I start?

Jesus Spanks

The God who loves us all unconditionally needs to be petty and spank us when we do something naughty and wrong.

Hitting a beehive is naughty. Seems like it would be stupid, and the bees themselves will do the punishment.

Jesus, not God, is doing the spanking. Is Jesus a human or God? Ok, ok, I have heard the explanation. But that’s why the book uses the word “Lord” and not “God,” muddling things a bit.

Did the artist pick a girl so Jesus does not have to spank a boy with his pants down. Was the artist a Catholic priest?

Spanking is portrayed as something acceptable. Hey, Jesus does it! This makes it look like child abuse is a godly thing.

It tells children that if you’re sick, you probably are naughty or did something really bad. If you are very sick, you must deserve it. If you are a child with cancer, meningitis, a terrible viral infection or a birth defect, shame on you. Pay for your naughtiness.

Books like this create the power structure of religion by brainwashing its youngest members, those who are innocently born into it, and keep them confused and laden with guilt for life. After all, that’s where new members are created, from the pool of descendants.

To be fair, this appears to be coming from a free love incest cult.

Disclaimer: The links below go to some very offensive material, which promote illegal and immoral activities – all in the name of God. Do not click there if you’re easily offended.

Read more about it here and be disgusted.

Here is another post on incest.

We like to talk about radical Islam! Here is some really radical Christianity for you. Of course, Islamists always distance themselves from radical Islam, and Christians will vehemently distance themselves from cults like this.

And now I’ll quickly forget I poked around in these sites.

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Religion is destroying the values of our world society and cultural and economic progress. Here is a journey through 2015 by Jeffrey Tayler to this effect, with dozens of examples of the aberrational thought processes we have gotten used to and come to accept as reality.

Islam is getting the crown in 2015 for its homicidal ravages in Syria and Iraq, its jihadist pursuits in other countries (Paris, San Bernardino to just name the most obvious ones), and various human rights transgressions all over the world, condemning atheist bloggers to death in courts of law (Saudi Arabia), and mutilating the genitalia of young girls. Christianity is taking second place, with at least one batshit crazy anti-abortion activist mowing down people, and the seemingly ascending rhetoric in our conservative corners to “bring back biblical values:”

Franklin Graham, son of gay-marriage denouncer Reverend Billy Graham, abandoned the Republican party, fed up with its funding of Planned Parenthood, and demanded Christian candidates who support “biblical values.” Did he have in mind those Leviticus- and Deuteronomy-sanctioned values that condone stoning your daughter for not being a virgin on her wedding night and forcing women to marry their rapists, as well as genocide and slavery? Or was he referring to New Testament values, which endorse hating one’s parents (as required for salvation by Jesus), chopping off hands, and eternal punishment for trivial offenses?

I think our society would be much better off without Bronze-age value systems completely out of touch with modern society (Christianity) and middle-age barbarism (Islam). Of course, there were more recent attempts of resurrecting Christianity right here in the United States (Mormonism). I have written extensively about Mormonism in these pages. You can search for the term and find those posts.

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We will not allow these people to claim they are religious leaders. They have nothing to do with Islam.

— President Obama speaking about ISIS

I differ with President Obama. ‘ISIS’ stands for “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” does it not?

It does not matter what we call it. Let me repeat: It does not matter what WE call it. They call themselves Islamic. That’s what matters. We’re just giving it labels that are convenient to us, and Obama is not just receiving criticism by me but by the majority of the American people.

ISIS is Islamic fundamentalism in the radical extreme. These people are killers, thieves, bigots and rapists, and they are justifying their deeds by telling themselves and their victims that they are on a mission from God.

They are hijacking the Muslim religion, I grant you that, but it is nonetheless Islam that they are using, and that makes it hard for other Muslims to deal with, I must admit.

It is religion in general that often has a message that makes its subscribers think they are better than everyone else. Christians had their turn for a couple of thousand years now, and until just a few hundred years ago Christians murdered, imprisoned, tortured, raped and plundered in the name of their God. The Salem Witch Trials ended in 1692, only when the Governor’s wife was accused of witchcraft. Even the Nazis professed they were Christians, and that’s not very long ago at all.

What baffles me is that the Islamic message is so strong that it gets teenage girls in North America and Europe to sneak onto airplanes to Syria so they can participate in deeds like beheading innocent victims, mass slaughter of members of other religions, shutting down of schools, destruction of art, and the raping and pillaging of conquered villages. What value systems do these teenage girls have to start with that rape and murder sounds desirable and honorable?

I say it here: Islam is a very dangerous and destructive religion, and we are watching its results on YouTube and TV worldwide.

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When the original Islamic prophet Muhammad died in the year 632, there was a dispute over the succession.

The early leaders of the Muslim nation were called Khalifat Rasul Allah, the political successors to the messenger of God. Some academics transliterate the term as Khalīfah.

Sunnis believe that Abu Bakr, the father of Muhammad’s wife Aisha, was Muhammad’s rightful successor and that the method of choosing or electing leaders endorsed by the Quran is the consensus of the Muslim community.

Shias believe that Muhammad divinely ordained his cousin and son-in-law Ali (the father of his grandsons Hasan ibn Ali and Hussein ibn Ali) in accordance with the command of God to be the next caliph, making Ali and his direct descendants Muhammad’s successors. Ali was married to Fatimah, Muhammad’s daughter from his wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid.

The dispute intensified greatly after the Battle of Karbala, in which Hussein ibn Ali and his household were killed by the ruling Umayyad Caliph Yazid I, and the outcry for his revenge divided the early Islamic community.

[I encapsulated these details from Wikipedia. Learn more details here.]

And thus the dispute started over 1300 years ago and continues to this day.

The two main sects still hate each other sufficiently, at least at the power and leadership level, that they are willing to kill each other and innocent bystanders for it.

Today 87–89% of the world’s Muslims are Sunni  and 11-12% are Shia.

Did we really believe that by toppling Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, by the way, in Iraq, one of the countries where the Sunni were actually a minority, we would once and for good solve the ancient dispute between the two Muslim sects? Bush and Cheney, with presumably access to the advice of the best experts on Islam in the world, did apparently not consider this situation sufficiently before they dismantled the power structure in Iraq and the surrounding region. All they did was stir up the powder keg.

Cheney recently remarked that by 2007 or 2008, they had pretty much sewed up the situation in Iraq.

This is history we’re talking about. Things don’t happen in a matter of days, weeks or even months. History sometimes takes years or decades or more to “resolve” situations. The Shia – Sunni situation has taken more than a millennium now. Do we really think they’ll come together now just because the imperialist United States would like them to?

While many Americans now blast Obama for passivity, I applaud him. He actually seems to understand that further meddling with a situation that we don’t even properly comprehend can not result in any satisfactory outcome other than more innocent dead, more American soldiers dead, more billions of American money (that we don’t have) spent, and more anti-American sentiment around the world. Finally, there would be more terrorism directed against the United States as the great Satan, fomenting religious zealotry and escalating world-wide terrorism as a result.

If the Middle East were not rich in oil, none of us would care about it. We would not even be able to point to Iraq on a map. Do you need proof? Point to Liberia or Namibia on a map.

Now that oil as a valuable resource is in decline and the world is rapidly (on a historic timescale) converting to renewable energies, we will see the Middle Eastern countries revert to feudalism and religious irrelevance. I predict it will take no longer than a couple of hundred years and nobody in the industrialized world will give a hoot about the difference between Sunni and Shia – and they will still be killing each other.

Thus are the benefits of religion to mankind.

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Korean Concentration Camps

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea estimates that North Korea holds as many as 120,000 people in its system of concentration and detention camps, and that 400,000 people have died in these camps from torture, starvation, disease, and execution.

Some reports indicate that they also practice generational imprisonment:

Many prisoners of the camp were born there under North Korea’s “three generations of punishment”. This means anyone found guilty of committing a crime, which could be as simple as trying to escape North Korea, would be sent to the camp along with that person’s entire family. The subsequent two generations of family members would be born in the camp and must also live their entire lives and die there.

Source Wikipidia

See this Wikipedia article for more details and links.

If you are unlucky enough to be born the grandchild of a person who tried to escape the country, you will serve slave labor for your entire life. Imagine the world-view you would have under those circumstances?

And we, in 2014, allow this to go on, while the baby face dictator gets media coverage.

Bees are Dying

In North America alone, the National Agriculture Statistics Service reported that there were 2.44 million honey-producing hives in the United States in February 2008, down from 4.5 million in 1980, and 5.9 million in 1947. This is also happening in similar proportions in Europe and the rest of the world. We don’t exactly know what is causing it, but we suspect pesticides. Our agriculture depends on bees to a large degree, and entire crops are in peril without sufficient numbers of bees available.

Overfishing the Oceans

Faced with the collapse of large-fish populations, commercial fleets are going deeper in the ocean and father down the food chain for viable catches. This so-called “fishing down” is triggering a chain reaction that is upsetting the ancient and delicate balance of the sea’s biologic system.

A study of catch data published in 2006 in the journal Science grimly predicted that if fishing rates continue apace, all the world’s fisheries will have collapsed by the year 2048.

National Geographic

Anthropogenic Climate Change

97% of climate scientists agree that human activity is causing climate change.  We are pumping CO2 into the atmosphere at rates that will result in global warming to a degree that the ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica will melt, causing a rise of sea levels and overall changed in weather, resulting in droughts and many other climate related disasters, all within the next 100 years.

Most of the educated world agrees with this assessment. In the United States, however, there is a strong movement of “climate deniers” particularly in the conservative population that is well-funded by the oil and coal industries, putting the general consensus in question. Since the U.S. is by far the largest polluter in the world, this strong anti-climate-change sentiment has global implications. One of the arguments of deniers is that since China and India are just starting to pump pollution into the air, whatever we do will not offset that, so we might as well not even try. A significant percentage of the U.S. population seems to have bought into this philosophy.

We didn’t want to face that smoking was dangerous to our health, until the first generations of smokers started dying early in the millions in the 1960s and 1970, so the inevitable evidence eventually came and changed our attitude. This will happen with climate change, but the nature of the problem is much more calamitous in the event that climate scientists are right. We could ruin the planet for centuries or millennia – before it can recover again.

We are playing a big-stakes game of dice. Our conservatives are not even willing to hedge their bets – they’re betting the planet in exchange of jobs and profits.

Mass Extinction

Human beings are currently causing the greatest mass extinction of species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. If present trends continue, one half of all species of life on earth will be extinct in less than 100 years, as a result of habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species,
and climate change.

Source Link Here

Depletion of Fossil Fuels

Oil companies are making record profits, and did so during the hard years of 2007, 2008 and 2009. Right now, the United States has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer in the world. Oil companies are raking it in while they can, because they know the gravy train is coming to an end. The International Energy Agency announced in 2006 that the world had hit “Peak Oil” meaning that oil production worldwide had hit the maximum. Going forward from Peak Oil, it will be harder and more expensive to extract and deliver oil, and new supplies will lag behind new demand.

The evidence for is, of course, is the price we are now paying at the pump, which is more than twice what it was just five years ago. The free market speaks the ultimate truth here. Oil is in more demand than can be fulfilled.

There is a lot of controversy about the Peak Oil theory. People argue that the Peak Oil crowd does not know what they are talking about. So, for a moment, let’s put aside all studies and all science, and especially all American politics.

It took about 450 million years to make all the oil in the world. Oil is basically the end-result of millions of years of sunshine (solar energy) being trapped in organic material, mostly plants. The earth is not making any more of the stuff at an appreciable rate. About a hundred years ago we started using it up by burning it and as ingredients for manufacturing, and we have made a measurable dent in our supply. If you trust the doom-sayers, we have about 20 years of oil left at the current consumption. Some say 20 to 50 years. Wild and crazy optimists say 100 years. But it’s limited, very limited, and we will run out.

The question is not if Peak Oil is real. The only question we may ask is if it really happened in 2006, or if it’s still off in the future, perhaps in 2016 or 2026.

I once calculated [see formula here] that roughly every day we are using up as much fuel as it took nature 5,000 years to create.

We. Will. Run. Out. Of. Oil.

When the time finally comes, perhaps centuries hence, our descendants will have figured out how to make do without it. But there are legitimate uses of fossil fuels in reasonable amounts, and they will wish we had not squandered it to make plastic grocery bags or plastic forks for one time use; or for teenagers to drive to the mall. Fossil fuels are a limited resource, and when they are all gone, we’ll have to wait another 450 million years to get more, and haul them here from another planet with life on it.

Our strategy is pretty weird, isn’t it?

Slavery

There are more people in slavery today than any time in previous history. Slavery has many faces. Keeping people trapped in sweatshops in Bangladesh so we can buy cheap shirts at the mall in the United States is a form of slavery. Holding young girls as sex objects is a form of slavery. Bringing laborers from Pakistan to work in construction in Dubai and taking away their passports is a form of slavery.

We are making it possible and we let it happen by our willingness to consume the products of the various forms of slavery – at Wal-Mart and all the other retail stores in our neighborhoods. Go to the mall and try to find a shirt made in the United States, and you will recognize what I mean.

Wars over Religion

It’s 2014 and we are still bickering and shooting each other over whose god is right and whose is wrong. It’s been going on for thousands of years, and we’re still willing to die for stuff written in books in the bronze age or in medieval times. I know people in and from Israel, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. They are all good human beings, people who only want to make their lives and the lives of their children better. That’s what everybody wants. If we just stopped bringing gods into the picture, we’d all get along just fine.

The gods are propped up by those that get fat off of them. The religious leaders wearing Rolexes and driving Bentleys. The politicians who build palaces. The kings who tax the rest of their countrymen. And the whole religious food chain below them, all the way down to the basket that’s passed down the rows of pews on Sunday morning.

I say we just abolish religion and save humanity in the process. But I am naïve.

 

 

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GodIsNotGreatExcerpt from page 52:

I pose a hypothetical question. As a man of some fifty-seven years of age, I am discovered sucking the penis of a baby boy. I ask you to picture your own outrage and revulsion. Ah, but I have my explanation all ready. I am a mohel: an appointed circumciser and foreskin remover. My authority comes from an ancient text, which commands me to take a baby boy’s penis in my hand, cut around the prepuce, and complete the action by taking his penis in my mouth, sucking off the foreskin, and spitting out the amputated flap along with a mouthful of blood and saliva. This practice as been abandoned by most Jews, either because of its unhygienic nature or its disturbing associations, but it still persists among the sort of Hasidic fundamentalists  who hope for the Second Temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. To them, the primitive rite of the peri’ah metsitsah is part of the original and unbreakable covenant with god. In New York City in the year 2005, the ritual, as performed by a fifty-seven-year-old mohel, was found to have given genital herpes to several small boys, and to have caused the deaths of at least two of them. In normal circumstances, the disclosure would have led the public health department to forbid the practice and the mayor to denounce it. But in the capital of the modern world, in the first decade of the twenty-first century, such was not the case. Instead, Mayor Bloomberg overrode the reports by distinguished Jewish physicians who had warned of the danger of the custom, and told his health care bureaucracy to postpone any verdict. The crucial thing, he said, was to be sure that the free exercise of religion was not being infringed.

In his book, God is not Great – How Religion Poisons Everything, Hitchens points out example after example of ludicrous religious practices that are anchored in murky texts sometime thousands of years old that are practiced today to the detriment of people. He argues that we are doing injustice to our young by subjecting them mutilation (male circumcision, female circumcision, female sewing up of vaginas), by loading them down with immense guilt for completely natural phenomena or needs (masturbation, sexuality of any type, procreative desires) at a minimum.

But if it was “only” guilt! In the name of religions, still today, in some societies young girls are punished if they are raped. Girls as young as eight years old are married to old men and flogged if their dowries are too small.

In page, after page, after page, Hitchens indicts the major religions of Judaism, Christianity of all flavors, Islam, up to the “modern” religions of Mormons, the Moonies and many others, with brutal exposition of simple examples.

Here from page 199:

Pascal reminds me of the hypocrites and frauds who abound in Talmudic Jewish rationalization. Don’t do any work on the Sabbath yourself, buy pay someone else to do it. You obeyed the letter of the law: who’s counting? The Dalai Lama tells us that you can visit a prostitute as long as someone else pays her. Shia Muslims offer “temporary marriage,” selling men the permission to take a wife for an hour or two with the usual vows and  then divorce her when they are done. Half of the splendid buildings in Rome would never have been raised if the sale of indulgences had not been so profitable: St. Peter’s itself was financed by a special one-time offer of that kind. The newest pope, the former Joseph Ratzinger, recently attracted Catholic youths to a festival by offering a certain “remission of sin” to those who attended.

On page 173, talking about Ghandi’s India: Cows were

cleverly denominated by the priests as “sacred” so that  the poor ignorant people would not kill and eat their only capital during times of drought and famine.

As you can see, I am letting the book describe itself.

Its pages are full of vivid, appalling, grotesque and disgusting examples showing how the organized religions are designed to give a few individuals immense power over masses of people, make the leaders extremely wealthy, and keep the average person in fear of eternal pain and damnation, fueled by ignorance, outright falsehoods, covered up by pseudo science, and all attributed to a form of supreme being, obviously invented by each religion to suit its needs of the time.

God is not Great will not be easy to read for a “believer” of any religion and it will no doubt be banned by most as heresy, the work of the devil and thus evil and anti-social.

I wish I could remember the endless references and examples, as it would arm me as a more effective debater. As it is, it’s a powerful work of reference, and it is an eye-opener about religions, much like Sam Harris’ The End of Faith.

Rating: ***

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Type “if en” into Google and see what happens:

If English

Miriam Ferguson was the first female governor of Texas. Her term started on January 20, 1925. She is credited with a quote allegedly spoken in reference to bilingualism in Texas schools. When she was asked if the state should provide the bible in Spanish in schools, her answer was: “If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it ought to be good enough for the children of Texas.”

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satanic verses

Salmon Rushdie published The Satanic Verses in 1988. The book quickly became controversial and provoked protests from Muslims around the world. Rushdie received death threats. Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, put a price on his head on 14 February 1989 through a fatwā, which is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. Rushdie had to go into hiding, and he was not heard of for many years. Since 2000 he has lived in the United States.

When The Satanic Verses and its controversy arose at the time, I wanted to read the book. I would never have heard of Rushdie and his book at the time without the fatwā and the international headlines it caused. Through the controversy, the book was probably much more successful and widely read than it would have been otherwise. Fundamental religious zealots usually don’t have much public relations sense.

I never did get around to reading it at the time.

Recently I picked it up, partly because a coworker recommended it. To my surprise, I found it utterly unreadable. After trying for a few hours, spread over a few days, I finally put it down.

Here is a random excerpt:

Who was she? Rich, certainly, but then Everest Vilas was not exactly a tenement in Kurla, eh? Married, yessir, thirteen years, with a husband big in ball-bearings. Independent, her carpet and antique showrooms thriving at their prime Colaba sites. She called her carpets _klims_ and _kleens_ and the ancient artefacts were _anti-queues_. Yes,  and she was beautiful, beautiful in the hard, glossy manner of those rerefied occpuants of the city’s sky-homes, her bones skin posture all bearing witness to her long divorce from the impoverished, heavy pullulating earth. Everyone agreed she had a strong personality, drank _like a fish_ from Lalique crystal and hung her hat _shameless_ on a Chola Natraj and knew what she wanted and how to get it, fast. The husband was a mouse with money and a good squash wrist. Rekha Merchant read Gibreel Farishta’s farewell note in the newspapers, wrote a letter of her own, gathered her children, summoned the elevator, and rose heavenward (one storey) to meet her chosen fate.

This was difficult to type and the spell-checker went crazy.

I am filing The Satanic Verses with Books not finished reading. Here is a review by a reader more patient than I am.

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Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan, a few days ago, beheaded 15 men and two women because the two women were dancing under music at a party. The Taliban, being Muslim fundamentalists,  do not allow music and dancing.

Let me get this straight:

  • It’s a sin to listen to music and dance.
  • It’s not a sin to behead people.

I wonder what the executioners were thinking when they went home that night and did their own impure things while nobody was watching?

Music and dancing are as old as humanity.

In the name of religion, 17 people are dead now, and their crime was being human.

And we Americans think we are going to “fix” Afghanistan? Ever?

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