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The Chocolate Is Drowning Us

“And then we all die, because the chocolate is drowning us and we can’t swim because we’re holding hands (AoG).” It’s such a great quote, it doesn’t even need context. That is awesome.

I think it is so cool when ‘lil old Sacramento scores some rock star action. Well, rock star in the Atheist Blogosphere. Last year the Sac City Freethinker’s (in ass. with The Secular Student Alliance, or is it the other way around) brought in PZ for a talk and last night they brought in Greta “Frackin” Christina . What a great speaker (much better than PZ [jk]) and the topic, Atheism and Sexuality, was a new one to me-never thunk of that. “G” presented a lot of information, and really it was all new to me, about stuffs that I have never considered…sozzzz, I’m a gonna half-ta research sexual ethics, the sex positive community, how the word ‘spiritual’ has been hijacked, sexual morality both atheistic and religious, etc…Until then, the question…

Of course there are liberal versions of (all) religions, so is that cool?

I asked her about the not stupid-head, not extremist, splinter cells of (all) religions, the liberal ones and if we should align with them against bad religion because we agree on social issues. Afterall, if agree on all the important stuffs, like, the GLBT community, feminism, climate/environment, a not literal interpretation of the bible, Planned Parenthood, church/state separation, you name it, then shouldn’t we combine forces and unite against our common foe(s) of biblical literalism and extremist religion; divided we fall, but together we will kick some arse. Should we get rid of all religion or team up with the less extreme versions.

She said no.

Of the many ‘points’ she pointed out one really stuck out…the harm. Sure on social issues the New Atheist and liberal religion agree on many points, but the harm that is causes outweighs the positive. Liberal religion is an enabler to the extremist factions of religious belief. One of the pieces of The Armor of God, the many layers of protection that religion has built for itself, is the taboo of criticism. One cannot even speak up against, criticize or question religion and if you do then you are a blasphemer. Clergy abuse, at first, was hush hush, ‘we’ will take care of it, and don’t rock the boat because it is wrong to do that. You are a woman, women were created second and from Adam’s rib, therefore you are a second class citizen; don’t question that, it is in the bible and you can’t question the bible or the church anyways. These are factors in harm.

Everything else is open to criticism.

The nature of science is to question. The peer review process is very “prove-y” or get out. Imagine if one could not question discoveries of any kind, we would still have alchemy instead of chemistry and ass-trology instead of astronomy. The taboo has limited growth in religion and stymied what could have been “self correction”. Instead of evolving and growing like other stuffs, philosophy, economies, the planet, my hair, etc…religion remains steeped in ancient ways and ancient thinking, in other words, stagnant.  If everyone was satisfied with he answer of God (why is the sky blue, why did this or that happen, etc…) then we would still believe in supernatural explanations for thingies that we now know: what causes the tides to roll in and out*, is the Erff’s the center of the universe, germ theory, etc…

When belief in the supernatural, or what “G” calls “invisible beings, inaudible voices, intangible entities, undetectable forces”, propagates and shifts humanity’s focus on the afterlife and not life, the harm is a life not lived. Where is the encouragement to be an environmentalist and stop destroying the planet with human consumption, when we are trying to “make the cut” and gain entrance into heaven (and don’t forget, the world is a gonna end on May 21st**). What is more important, the reality based here on the Erffs or unsubstantiated belief in a place called heaven/hell.

When I asked the question, “G” did not hesitate to say that she was in the camp of “get rid of religion.” The sort of packed house (it could have been fuller, pretty good crowd tho) applauded when she said that. I guess the majority of the audience felt the same way. Do all the New Atheists feel like that? I don’t know, but I would be interested in seeing some nerdy stats/data on the subject. As for me, I have mixed feeling on it (perhaps more on that later…perhaps). Christopher “Our Hero” Hitchens and Richard “Papa Bear” Dawkins are in the “get rid of religion” camp. More and more I’m seeing the accommodating atheists, the “don’t be a dick” crowd. The perception of the New Atheist is that we are all “militant atheists***”, and that we are angry automatically and all of the time. But I actually think that the aggressive atheist is in the minority…for now.

“It gives credibility to the idea that believing in things there’s no reason to believe is valid, and actually virtuous. It gives credibility to the idea that invisible worlds are real, more real and important than the visible one. It gives credibility to the idea that our seriously biased personal intuition is more trustworthy than logic or verifiable evidence. It gives credibility to the idea that religious beliefs, alone among all other ideas, should be beyond criticism; that the very act of questioning religion is inherently intolerant. (It also, I’ve found, has a distinct tendency to get hostile and decidedly un-moderate towards non-believers when questioned even a little.) (AoG)

* Dawkins/O’Riley

** Sac Fan is gonna have an End of Times Party.

*** The term “militant atheist” is so stupid-head. Generally it is in reference to the Four Horsemen and implies the anger theists are always talking about. The truth is that those dudes just wrote books, but the books violated the taboo (don’t criticize religion) and that is why theists are angry at the New Atheists. If anyone is “militant” it is the suicide bombers and the revolutionaries with God on their side. Oh yea, don’t forget the United States of Christianity/Army and their spiritual fitness tests, no atheist in foxholes, Jesus scopes, Generals saying that these are indeed Crusades, Bush Jr. admitting that he prayed on the decision to go to war in the first place, and this great quote from the Prince3 of Peace himself…

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Mathew10:34-39 NASB)

**** I thought I would be nice and I bought and brought her a chocolate chip cookie from my work, the #atheistcafe. I’ll check her blog later to see if she “reviewed” @burnttorange’s world famous (the world of Freeport Blvd) chocolate chip cookies. Awesomeness

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