You’ve all seen those inspirational posters with the pretty scenes and the carefully-selected Bible quotations. Some of your coworkers probably have one hanging in their cubicle, or framed on their desks. You probably have a grandparent or other relation whose walls are adorned with such tripe. And you, being an atheist, or agnostic, or other sort of person who groans upon beholding saccharine nonsense, might wish you could replace that nice quote with something a little more representative of the Bible’s content.
Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
-Steven Weinberg, Freethought Today, April, 2000
Sometimes, people tell me that religion doesn’t cause people to do bad things, that x and y caused their awful actions instead. Sometimes, I think that’s true. In same cases, religion is just the convenient excuse used for doing what they wanted to do anyway. A lot of religions do a great job giving cover to bad acts. A lot of religions allow adherents to justify horrible behavior. But if religion wasn’t there, they’d find another excuse. All the atheist libertarians, MRAs, and other assorted dipshits are proof of that.
We don’t yet how Craig Stephen Hicks calmed his conscience as he entered his neighbors’ apartment and shot three young people death. I doubt he allowed himself to see them as actual people.
This isn’t what atheists should be. This is why so many of us went beyond a simple dictionary atheism, why we try to remember that behind beliefs are people, and their lives have value, no matter how awful we think their religion is. This is why we try to punch up, not down; why we fight against the various isms that attempt to reduce people to things. Once you start seeing some people as less-than, it’s too easy to take another step and decide that their lives are worth less than yours. Continue reading “Remember that Behind Beliefs are People”→
Okay. So you’ve got an omniscient, omnipotent god on your side who’s sent his only son (who is also himself) to die for your sins, thus saving you (from himself). Fantastic! You lucky, lucky bean, you. Your god has told you to go out and share the Good News™ about himself sacrificing himself to himself to save humanity from his own wrath. He tells you that all you need is a tiny speck of faith, and you’ll have the power to do battle with Satan and move mountains and stuff like that. Outstanding! Sharing that really Good News™ with people shouldn’t be hard at all, should it? And you’ve got the example of your god to go by – or maybe it’s his son, things are a little wobbly there, it’s cosmic and beyond our ken, etc. Anyway, you’ve got his example. He liked hanging out with the outcasts and crooks, the sick and poor, and he’d even have a drink with unbelievers. While he was kicking around Earth, he mucked about with the least powerful, and thumbed his nose at all the holier-than-thous. He told you to get out there in the world and get converting. Yeah! That’s what it’s about. Bring the sinners to the Lord! Hallelujah!
Ready to dip into one of the most violent, sexually explicit, and immoral books ever written? Please pick up your Bibles and turn to Genesis.
I’m flabbergasted when people tell me they get their moral instruction from this tome. I’m even more astonished when they insist on shoving a copy into every child’s hands, then turn around and try to ban books from the library because they contain sex, violence, magic, or sundry other supposedly outrageous thing. Have those morality crusaders ever read their own Bible? It should be the very first book on their To Burn list! The bloody thing contains every single indecency they campaign against – and more!
Jamila Bey just joined FtB, people. She’s one of my idols, one of the most talented people in atheism, so I’ve basically been non-stop squeeing since I found out. I already thought this place was one of the best blogging collectives on the entire internet. Now it feels like it was only quasi-awesome before she got here and made it uber-awesome.
You can read her first post here, in which she reminds us that Black History Month includes atheists and freethinkers, and was actually started by one. While you do that, I’m gonna go have a lozenge and then go squee some more.
I haz a sad cuz my ‘puter died, and the temporary replacement would esplode if I asked it to do a Google Hangout, so no talk from me. But that’s okay, because there’s soooo much other awesome stuff going on! Pick a session or twelve or all of them and enjoy! Saturday and Sunday’s schedule after the jump.