1/08/2010                                                                                       View Comments

Ugandan Atrocities: A Perversion of Religion or a Part of It

by Valerie Tarico

Gulu, UgandaImage by thetravellinged via Flickr

Today’s Seattle Times had an editorial finally about the horrendous anti-gay movement that has been spawned in Uganda by American Evangelicals. Unable to make sufficient homophobic headway at home, evangelists have been heading to Africa, with their literally perfect Bibles as proof that God hates gays. Ugandan leaders found God – the god of the evangelists—and passed a law condemning gays to death. Those who refuse to out them to the authorities get prison time. (In the face of international outrage, the law now only mandates life in prison rather than hanging.)

The Seattle Times editorial was titled, “Uganda and Gays: A Malicious Blasphemy.” The newspaper waxes eloquent about all of the good being done by loving, good-works-doing “selfless” evangelicals in the rest of the world and claims that the message brought to Uganda is, as the title says, malicious blasphemy.

So, the Bible contains malicious blasphemy?? I suppose the newly converted Christians in Nigeria who are exorcising demons out of children with acid, beatings, and hot coals, are engaged in blasphemy too? I suppose the newly converted Christians in India who burned Hindu teens as witches also were engaged in blasphemy?

My tenderness and bitchiness, compassion and aggression all are ME. I find it ironic that anything evil done in the name of religion is a “perversion" or blasphemy -- and anything good, that's the real deal. It's an argument I hear over and over in response to my articles on the Daily Kos and Huffington Post.

The falsehood is patently obvious. It's like saying that selfishness and greed are a perversion of our humanity, and altruism is what humans really are all about. Get real. Ask any biologist whether dogs are affectionate or predatory and they will laugh at you: Do bees make honey or do they have stingers?

My selfishness is every bit as real as my generosity. My tenderness and bitchiness, compassion and aggression all are ME. Religion's track record of power-brokering and atrocity is every bit as integral as its history of giving voice to our moral instincts and sense of wonder.

It is not the perversion of religion that is playing itself out in Islamic jihad or Evangelical homophobia and child murder. It is religion, period--once face of religion to be sure, but the real deal. It is the timeless face of god-worship that is tribal and intolerant and willing to kill -- as religion always has been under the right circumstances of time and place.

Can we please stop pretending and making nice? People are being tortured to death, starved to death, and executed in the service of the religious enterprise! Do we ever get to run the numbers? Do we ever get to ask whether all of the fuzzy feel good stuff and the sense of meaning and purpose, and the wonderful creative moral communities that religion produces are worth the price?

Because the price is what we are seeing in Somalia, and Nigeria, Uganda and elsewhere: people starving, children burned with acid (I dare you to look at the pictures), gays slated for execution, doctors murdered, politicians and mullahs who commit us to holy war.

Both good and bad consequences of "faith" are the direct products of the agreement we make with each other that it's ok to believe things on paltry evidence, the kind that would never stand up in court, the kind that would never guide the surgeon's knife. It is our willingness to entrust ourselves to authority, sacred texts and our own intuitions, unaccountable to reason and evidence, unaccountable to universal ethics like the Golden Rule. Faith gives us mysticism and murder.

Isn't it time to move beyond belief to whatever the next stage of our spiritual evolution may be?

91 comments:

webmdave said...

That entire continent is a mess. I don't know if it's a result of colonialism or in spite of it, but they simply cannot govern themselves. I'd suggest the developed nations need to take over for a while, but, of course, we have no money left. Thanks, George.

webmdave said...

Subsaharan Africa has more natural and human resources than they know what to do with; since most of that region has leaders who are corrupt and ineffective. Many of these problems cannot be due to colonialism by the Europeans, but much of what is wrong with Africa is due to neglect by the colonials and and an incompetent structure the whites proposed just before independence, not to mention the jerryrigged national borders that split up tribal groups and their lands.
What we can do for Africa is to convene a multination convention to redraw the boundaries...this is almost impossible during these times...

webmdave said...

Very well said, Valerie. I don't think I could have said it any better myself. It is the real deal when the religious harm others, regardless if it is through lying, physically harming other, enabling, or killing. I also agree it is time that people stop saying that it is only the good that can be attributed to religion and all else cannot be attributed to religion, because it is simply not true.

webmdave said...

So true!

webmdave said...

This is absolutely sickening. I thought this was the 21st century, that human societies would have evolved beyond killing others over biblical myths.

Christopher Hithchens had it right: religion poisons everything.

webmdave said...

I saw those pics. Sawing a child's head to rid them of witch craft? Shades of drilling holes in the brain to rid the person of demons. How ignorant can people be?

webmdave said...

Well Mriana, that first photo of the little boy in the red shirt hit home for me.

I spent a few years of my life working with S.E.D., adjudicated, and institutionalized youth. One of the S.E.D youngsters I worked with had a similar scar on his scalp, caused by his "father" throwing a pan-full of hot cooking grease on his head. It doesn't matter if the impetus is drug intoxication or religion, the behavior is inhumane and the trauma on the child are the same.

webmdave said...

Thanks Dr. Val,

You bring attention to something I have been shouting for a couple of years.

Recently something has really caught my attention. I listen to NPR radio every morning on my way to work. They usually are more ballanced than either the Networks or the 'news' commentators. In covering the recent stories about the Fort Hood shootings and the Christmas Day airline bomber, they have used words like Religious Extremist, Muslim Cleric and Radical Fundamentalist.

They told how both of these men had been in contact with a 'Muslim Cleric' in Yemen. They played interviews with the young African's friends, who said things like, "he was such a devout Muslim!" and "he was so dedicated to his religion!"

The only eye-witness at Fort Hood said he heard the gunman yelling, "Allah Akbar" (sp?) Yet, when I watch the Network News in the evening......none of these words are used??? They use words to describe the bomber as radicalized or alleged bombing suspect. After a few days we don't even hear about Major Fu(kwad anymore! WTF???

Why are we so afraid to say anything against any religion? Haven't we seen enough atrocities perpetrated in the name of religion? Can we forget the Crusades, the Protestant vs. Catholic battles that tore Ireland apart in the 60's and 70's. Remember Jim Jones? What about the Catholic Priest Pedophiles? And Yes, the young men who flew the planes into the World Trade Centers and the Pentegon were motivated by their extreme beliefs. They were indeed radicalized, extremist MUSLIMS bent on Martyrdom!

When will we wake up and realize that Religion and people's FAITH is the PROBLEM not the answer??!!

Christopher Hitchens said it best, "Religion Poisons Everthing", or as I say 'Everything Religious is Poison!"

XPD (Ex-Pastor Dan)

webmdave said...

Ms. Tarico - please submit your comments to the Seattle Times as a letter to the editor. If they choose to print it, it needs this much wider audience.

webmdave said...

I agree it is inhumane and traumatizing.

webmdave said...

Valerie,

Excellent article and excellent conclusion.

webmdave said...

Oh geez, I guess teh good ol' USA is teh beacon of morality and good government then. What will you lot fuck up that our common colonial ancestors haven't already tried?

Maybe when you know fuck all of the real history of Africa you should stfu. The proof is in the article that what influence teh USA has is already biased and fucked up, maybe you missed that assertion, you should get your sky fairy believers to keep their mystic psychopathic gawd within the confines of the borders of teh USA, we don't need your gawd, nor do we need the muslims alter ego version. It is enough trying to eradicate the RCC mythos w/o you fuckers coming in to fill some mythical void.

webmdave said...

Right, because we're the ones torturing children and putting them to death for being "witches".

Tell you what, Justme58 - when you people have outlawed female genital mutilation, then you can talk. Until then, you STFU.

webmdave said...

Actually, the European colonialists did screw things up, they introduced a foreign concept of government and 3-6 generations down the line, the independence folk have merely adopted the failed model and applied it as they have forgotten their ancestral roots and skills.

Having been in 3 countries that gained their Independence in Africa, not one has reverted to the traditional way their forefathers did it, merely the color of the fat cat changed from white to black and the same old.

Of course the colonials brought with them their religionists and hence we really have some screwball "deer leeders", This is not a cultural thing as their culture was well and truly hijacked and replaced with the fairy tales of the north.

Still Africa is in my blood and I will die an African, even though I am white. Always remember the white rapists of the wealth of Africa were and are Anglo-America. The truth of the matter is that few Africans have benefited since their independence, most are worse off since the "white man was banished", but the white man's legacy lives on in the laws and traditions they introduced.

webmdave said...

Oh geez, a few countries and cultures do this genital mutilation and all of a sudden the whole continent is like that? Err no buddy, doesn't work that way. Using your logic, the Wesbro baptist church is indicative of all Americans then?

See how a broad brush works?

Sorry for the rant, but Africa is my home and while YES we have problems to sort out, we sure do not need the screwed up ideas from the EU or more specifically the USA, as they say clean up house first, you guys do still appear to have racist laws on your law books, you may have to research some, but most have moved beyond that.

The new dictator class just misuses the masses the way the colonialist did. Same shit different leader.

Fortunately the younger generation have seen through all the BS of this current ruling class, we are not a perfect society but we try to improve. Outside help not needed thank you.

When you follow the money trail, you see who's controlling who, odd that most paths lead back to the good ol' US of A.

webmdave said...

You're utterly clueless. Female genital mutilation is ubiquitous throughout Africa (and the Middle East), as are poverty and disease. "Screwed up ideas" from the EU and the US? At least we aren't torturing to death children who refuse to admit to being "witches". Rwanda, the Sudan... . The behavior of the "dictator class" merely proves my assertions:

"When you follow the money trail, you see who's controlling who, odd that most paths lead back to the good ol' US of A."

The fact that African leaders are in cahoots with the most contemptible characters in our country proves my point, not yours.

webmdave said...

Virtually everyone sees the cruelty/insanity of the OTHER religions. Few see this in religion PERIOD. It won't change until the whole world relegates religion to it's rightful place as a relic of man's primitive past.

webmdave said...

"My selfishness is every bit as real as my generosity. My tenderness and bitchiness, compassion and aggression all are ME. Religion's track record of power-brokering and atrocity is every bit as integral as its history of giving voice to our moral instincts and sense of wonder. "

Christianity so encourages the individual Christian to confess their sins. In the liturgy as a group Christians say, " Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." BUT when the institutional Church acts as a wild monster butchering children and gays there seems to be no confessing of the sin, at least not now. The secular society seems to see the injustice first and then later a new generation sees that "witch burnings" really are sort of horrible, they change too. A church that does not catch up with the morality of the majority of the society will have no new converts. The church caves but only later and confesses the sins of Christians of the earlier generation. How sad. I guess you could call this "progressive revelation" but their progress seems to be lagging behind the general society. Not really very progressive "revelation" at all when it is seen like that is it? I bet the poor little children who are being abused and the gays who have been killed and imprisoned have an idea just how barbaric the "religious" society in which they are living truly is right now. When Christians in that society go and confess their "sins" they would not be thinking that that might include the horrible acts done in the name of Christianity to the children and gays in their society. God must surely be against them now because it is so clear he will send them to hell later. Could Christians be wrong for giving those children and gays a push toward hell, after all they know that is where God wants them to go for THEIR horrible sins.

webmdave said...

Justme58, I read all your posts and I agree with you. The U.S. is not a beacon of morality nor is it "moral" in any sense of the word. It uses it's money and military power to rape other countries' natural resources and to place people in power (overthrow other country's leaders) that will do what we want. We have been behind many despicable things. We have a long history of inventing reasons for war in order to perpetrate these crimes. We don't have a democracy in the U.S. We have a corporatocracy with a side of theocracy. And frankly, I hate our government and I hate capitalism. Capitalism is evil. No one should have to work to eat and to have a place to live. It's ridiculous we have people starving and homeless in this country. Frankly, I'm ashamed to be an American. It's not the greatest country on Earth, not by far. When we can stop religion fundamentalism from running our country, end poverty and hunger in our OWN country, reel-in our military from around the world and start practicing what we preach, then I will be proud to be an American.

webmdave said...

Valerie, right on! Excellent article.

As we read elsewhere on these pages recently, the ultimate problem is that religion has no reality check. Anything can and has been justified in the name of one religion or another, and because religion is based on belief in invisible beings, inaudible voices, intangible entities, undetectable forces, and events and judgments that happen after we die, it never gets the reality check it so desperately needs. All we can do is keep railing against religion as a concept and not get so discouraged that we give up.

Thanks again for a great article. Please, keep bitchin', the world needs it!

webmdave said...

Hi Prostock1 -
I was so with you until you said, "no one should have to work to eat and have a place to live." I will grant you that some people can't work, and i don't think they should starve because of it, but I sure want my kids thinking that if they want good stuff they need to work for it. Creatures of many sorts have to work for food and shelter--including our species.

webmdave said...

Same here. SOMEone has to work in order for people to have shelter and food. Food does not plant and harvest itself, nor do houses spring up organically.

webmdave said...

It does boggle the mind. The words willful ignorance or "motivated ignorance" come to mind. I think when people have a positive emotional valence toward religion, that positive feeling filters incoming information. One of the features of religion as a virus is that it activates people to feel more protective of the virus than of vulnerable people, animals or even themselves. Empathy gets trumped by the sense that religion is threatened.

webmdave said...

Err care to show me where genital mutilation is mandated by any laws?

Here in Sa they have instigated laws to ban even the practice of male circumcision. You want to tell someone that has lived and traveled his entire 52 years in Africa how Africa works and thinks?

Sadly, your idiot responses goes to illustrate just how simple minded folk like you are, listing only to one side of the story. Your point is not proven BTW, you deer leeders have already f'ed up any hope the masses may have had to break away from the screwed up western model.

As for Sudan and Rwanda, are those not religious connotations? Hmm I wonder where they came from?

Like I said earlier, I guess we should judge the whole of the USA on the basis of a few fucked up woo woos (or are you one of them?), that would be fair no?

Your ignorance of Africa is showing, maybe you should stop embarrassing yourself.

webmdave said...

Yeah, when you said you were white, I figured you were from South Africa, which is one of the few African countries not pertinent to this thread.

I'm done here. I have no intention of arguing with a clueless college kid.

webmdave said...

Hi Mriana:

I should have written this last night, but I was tired and losing any objectivity. So, here I am with hopefully a clearer mind.

You mentioned the ancient practice of trephining to release "demons" from a person. I concur, this was a procedure performend as the result of ignorance. All these current hideous actions against children, women and others are symptoms. Ignorance is the problem that needs to be overcome.

Religions and other superstitions prey upon the ignorant and flourish in conditions of ignorance. It would seem that the best chance to improve human lives, beyond the basic necessities, is a secular education. As Robert Green Ingersoll wrote:

"As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers."

As an individual, I certainly can't solve global problems. Each one of us who are aware and vocal are part of the solution, a healthy society consists of healthy indivduals. The larger problem to overcome is how to spread awareness and ultimately knowledge.

webmdave said...

No your post was fine, I was in no way offended unlike the the other poster. There is no country in the world that can claim absolute morality, religious or non. I just get pissed off when some doofus (not you) comes and makes broad assertions. I have and do interact with the "native" folk and I think I have a good understanding of their culture and their roots seeing I grew up and went to school and varsity with them. Where we see shit happening like this article, it is invariably due to external influences.

Overall they are not bad folk, but we usually only get to hear of the rotten apples and the good ones go unnoticed.

Being the legacy of the colonialists that came here, I have seen first hand the injustices done against these folk. Most want what you and I want, food on the table and security for our offspring.

webmdave said...

I don't know, I just find it horrifying that many religious people don't see the harm they cause in the name of said virus. They don't even see it as a virus, but seem to take joy in hurting others in "God's name".

Come to think about it, that's sadistic.

webmdave said...

I agree, a REAL education (AKA secular), not a pseudo one, is the best way to eradicate ignorance.

webmdave said...

godfree -

You said a mouthful! Please read my post above and comment. I feel that you have a real handle on the Truth of the matter.

It took me many more words to say what you have said in one sentence.

Well Done!

XPD (Ex-Pastor Dan)

webmdave said...

Mriana -

You probably know more about this than I, but I am reminded of something the early Catholic church leaders would do.

It has been recorded, in many writings, that one of the favorite pastimes of the devout was to fantasize about how (after death) they would sit in heaven (or Paradise) look across the chasm into Hell and enjoy the 'Show', while the non-redeemed writhe in burning agony. It's what they looked forward to the most when contemplating death and afterlife!

Many couldn't wait for death so they created their own 'Show' on earth. The torture devices that they invented for 'heretics', 'witches' or just plain 'non-believers' are a testament to man's ability to (as you have written) "take joy in hurting others in 'God's name'"!

Well said!

XPD (Ex-Pastor Dan)

webmdave said...

Yes, and they did take a demented pleasure in using such torture devices and used them in the name of their god. They used them on Gnostics, Pagans, heretics, and many others that would not conform to the Church doctrines. (notice I use Church and church depending on how I am using it. Church with a capital "C" means the church system as a whole or the original Church, "the holy catholic Church" (as seen in the Nicene Creed- lower case for "catholic" upper case for "Church".) At the time the church was THE Church, not the Roman Church, although controlled from Rome, and they attempted to rid the world of what they deemed to be heretical Christian teachings and other religions through torture and even murder. Much like the Islamic radicals we see today.

Addendum: Here is an interesting tidbit I acquired from a member of the Greek Orthodox Church and confirms some of what I just said and other statements about the Vatican- during the Crusades, according to my source, the Greek Orthodox people were persecuted by Rome, the various artifacts, texts, etc, stolen, and are hidden somewhere in the Vatican, kept from the rest of the world. I am pursuing this lead currently to learn more.

webmdave said...

XPD, that was good.

A wealth of information, an economy of words. Some things just can't be improved.

webmdave said...

Two words: Political Correctness. We shouldn't set out to hurt others, but it has gotten ridiculous to the point where some news stories never include race in a description of a robbery suspect. Sorry, but it does matter if you are looking for a white or black person to help ID that person, duh.

It isn't just the US. The UK has also gotten on the PC bandwagon, and it will unfortunately get even more people killed.

webmdave said...

Dear Valerie T.,
Again a very good article pertinent to the issues confronting the world. Organized religion, wherever it comes from and who is supporting it, continues to cause serious harm.
The drives that keep these harmful actions going does not go away when religion is stopped or an attempt is made to stop religion. I think that the failure of Russia and China comes in part from attempting to force a replacement of religion with another form of mass response akin to a blind religious belief.

webmdave said...

Sounds intrigueing! Keep us posted.

XPD

webmdave said...

She said they got them back in 2004, but IMO, if the Catholic Church took them to begin with, what else are they hiding in the Vatican?

webmdave said...

Of course. It's the responsibility of the World to make sure that no one goes without food or shelter. If that requires teaching people how to work to provide for themselves and their families then so be it, but those that have are required to show those that have not how to exist.

I support a charity that provides for people in Ethiopia to educate their children, it provides the mechanisms for people to obtain fresh water and the means for people to produce their own food.

webmdave said...

Yes, its all well-recorded. I can't accept criticisms of Islam while Catholicism adopts an air of "respectability", when they were the instigators of all that is indecent, corrupt, dishonest, deceitful and inhumane about Christianity.

webmdave said...

Have a look at the Pope's Pears, the torture instruments used on homosexuals and women for various "sins".

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/murderers.htm

If anyone can have any sort of respect for Catholicism or Christianity after seeing this then they are just as inhumane as the perpetrators.

webmdave said...

The Vatican was built upon an old Pagan church dedicated to Mithra(the god whom the Jesus story was stolen from). The Roman Catholic church made Paganism illegal and then adopted all of its rituals and legends! How about that?

webmdave said...

I think to a blind belief in the governmental system. To a degree, they were on the right track, but people need to feel loved and cared for. I think this is where Russia and China went wrong.

People can be easily blinded if they are promised love and understanding(isn't that what we ALL need?). Religion lies to people and promises that. Socialism wants to achieve that but is too cold to explain it.

webmdave said...

Does that include the 18 Jesus foreskins and the innumerable number of shrouds, slivers of Jesus cross, blood-stained clothes, etc. etc.?

webmdave said...

Yeah, I used to wonder what happened to make homosexuality a crime since it was normal to Greeks and Romans. But, it isn't a crime, it's a Sin. Makes so much more sense now.

webmdave said...

Seeing that you accuse me of a college studet at the age of 52 and with THREE Electrical Engineering degrees, all I can say to your lame assertion is FU

webmdave said...

Yes, I've seen those before and looking at some of them, I'm surprised if any woman had children ever again, IF she survived the hemorrhaging that occurred from it. It's all just plain SICK.

webmdave said...

I know. It is insane and at the same time, the Vatican (including Darth Pope) know more than anyone will ever know, because they try hard to keep their dirty little secrets in the closet.

webmdave said...

Reading the various threads, I almost forgot the article itself. So, first Valerie, thank you again to have spotted one of the "mass manipulation" tricks. Being a "mass manipulating" trick it naturally is used nowadays, not only for religious conversion purposes but political allegiance. This brings us to the next step: we will keep falling for the promise of security as long as we do not provide "it" to ourselves with the natural corollary that there is no such thing as absolute security. Well that is it. Way more challenging is the personal path to achieve this. But the road itself has its plus and minuses and carries you further which is probably the little thing that tells you that you are in a good direction.

webmdave said...

Assuming you're from the USA, cipher, the "outlaw female genital mutilation" comment isn't fair. The US hasn't outlawed MALE genital mutilation, in the form of circumcision.

webmdave said...

I'm opposed to that as well, but I don't think it's as egregious.

webmdave said...

I'm opposed to that as well, but I don't think it's as egregious.

webmdave said...

Assuming you're from the USA, cipher, the "outlaw female genital mutilation" comment isn't fair. The US hasn't outlawed MALE genital mutilation, in the form of circumcision.

webmdave said...

Reading the various threads, I almost forgot the article itself. So, first Valerie, thank you again to have spotted one of the "mass manipulation" tricks. Being a "mass manipulating" trick it naturally is used nowadays, not only for religious conversion purposes but political allegiance. This brings us to the next step: we will keep falling for the promise of security as long as we do not provide "it" to ourselves with the natural corollary that there is no such thing as absolute security. Well that is it. Way more challenging is the personal path to achieve this. But the road itself has its plus and minuses and carries you further which is probably the little thing that tells you that you are in a good direction.

webmdave said...

I know. It is insane and at the same time, the Vatican (including Darth Pope) know more than anyone will ever know, because they try hard to keep their dirty little secrets in the closet.

webmdave said...

Yes, I've seen those before and looking at some of them, I'm surprised if any woman had children ever again, IF she survived the hemorrhaging that occurred from it. It's all just plain SICK.

webmdave said...

Seeing that you accuse me of a college student at the age of 52 and with THREE Electrical Engineering degrees, all I can say to your lame assertion is FU

webmdave said...

Seeing that you accuse me of a college student at the age of 52 and with THREE Electrical Engineering degrees, all I can say to your lame assertion is FU

webmdave said...

Yeah, I used to wonder what happened to make homosexuality a crime since it was normal to Greeks and Romans. But, it isn't a crime, it's a Sin. Makes so much more sense now.

webmdave said...

Does that include the 18 Jesus foreskins and the innumerable number of shrouds, slivers of Jesus cross, blood-stained clothes, etc. etc.?

webmdave said...

I think to a blind belief in the governmental system. To a degree, they were on the right track, but people need to feel loved and cared for. I think this is where Russia and China went wrong.

People can be easily blinded if they are promised love and understanding(isn't that what we ALL need?). Religion lies to people and promises that. Socialism wants to achieve that but is too cold to explain it.

webmdave said...

The Vatican was built upon an old Pagan church dedicated to Mithra(the god whom the Jesus story was stolen from). The Roman Catholic church made Paganism illegal and then adopted all of its rituals and legends! How about that?

webmdave said...

The Vatican was built upon an old Pagan church dedicated to Mithra(the god whom the Jesus story was stolen from). The Roman Catholic church made Paganism illegal and then adopted all of its rituals and legends! How about that?

webmdave said...

Yes, and they did take a demented pleasure in using such torture devices and used them in the name of their god. They used them on Gnostics, Pagans, heretics, and many others that would not conform to the Church doctrines. (notice I use Church and church depending on how I am using it. Church with a capital "C" means the church system as a whole or the original Church, "the holy catholic Church" (as seen in the Nicene Creed- lower case for "catholic" upper case for "Church".) At the time the church was THE Church, not the Roman Church, although controlled from Rome, and they attempted to rid the world of what they deemed to be heretical Christian teachings and other religions through torture and even murder. Much like the Islamic radicals we see today.

Addendum: Here is an interesting tidbit I acquired from a member of the Greek Orthodox Church and confirms some of what I just said and other statements about the Vatican- during the Crusades, according to my source, the Greek Orthodox people were persecuted by Rome, the various artifacts, texts, etc, stolen, and are hidden somewhere in the Vatican, kept from the rest of the world. I am pursuing this lead currently to learn more.

webmdave said...

Yes, its all well-recorded. I can't accept criticisms of Islam while Catholicism adopts an air of "respectability", when they were the instigators of all that is indecent, corrupt, dishonest, deceitful and inhumane about Christianity.

webmdave said...

Of course. It's the responsibility of the World to make sure that no one goes without food or shelter. If that requires teaching people how to work to provide for themselves and their families then so be it, but those that have are required to show those that have not how to exist.

I support a charity that provides for people in Ethiopia to educate their children, it provides the mechanisms for people to obtain fresh water and the means for people to produce their own food.

webmdave said...

And when the World has also outlawed male circumcision. It's a mutilation as much as female circumcision is. Mutilation of male or female babies is an outrage, just because the buybull says, just because the Hebrews wrote it, just because their god Yahweh demanded blood sacrifice. That's all male circumcision is. Blood sacrifice to Yahweh.

webmdave said...

So how many "developed" nations are better? Developed nations are almost as bad only it's hidden. How well accepted is homosexuality across the USA? I don't just mean legally. How many states can homosexuals get married in? How many states do same sex-couples have equal rights?

I'm not defending Uganda at all, the government are criminals, but don't forget it was the "developed" nations who forced Christianity on indigenous peoples across the World. Christianity is the problem.

When you have people accepting the holey buybull as their law system then you'll have your Adolph Hitlers and Mussolinis and Uganda and many other countries saying that homosexuality is a punishable sin, because the buybull says so, BY DEATH.

They are against homosexuals because of the buybull. Homosexuality existed quite naturally and happily alongside heterosexuality until Christianity came along.

Ask the Romans and Greeks. Homosexuality is natural right across the animal kingdom(that includes humans). It was normal in Italy and Greece before someone wrote the buybull.

webmdave said...

She said they got them back in 2004, but IMO, if the Catholic Church took them to begin with, what else are they hiding in the Vatican?

webmdave said...

Have a look at the Pope's Pears, the torture instruments used on homosexuals and women for various "sins".

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/murderers.htm

If anyone can have any sort of respect for Catholicism or Christianity after seeing this then they are just as inhumane as the perpetrators.

webmdave said...

Dear Valerie T.,
Again a very good article pertinent to the issues confronting the world. Organized religion, wherever it comes from and who is supporting it, continues to cause serious harm.
The drives that keep these harmful actions going does not go away when religion is stopped or an attempt is made to stop religion. I think that the failure of Russia and China comes in part from attempting to force a replacement of religion with another form of mass response akin to a blind religious belief.

webmdave said...

Sounds intrigueing! Keep us posted.

XPD

webmdave said...

Two words: Political Correctness. We shouldn't set out to hurt others, but it has gotten ridiculous to the point where some news stories never include race in a description of a robbery suspect. Sorry, but it does matter if you are looking for a white or black person to help ID that person, duh.

It isn't just the US. The UK has also gotten on the PC bandwagon, and it will unfortunately get even more people killed.

webmdave said...

XPD, that was good.

A wealth of information, an economy of words. Some things just can't be improved.

webmdave said...

Mriana -

You probably know more about this than I, but I am reminded of something the early Catholic church leaders would do.

It has been recorded, in many writings, that one of the favorite pastimes of the devout was to fantasize about how (after death) they would sit in heaven (or Paradise) look across the chasm into Hell and enjoy the 'Show', while the non-redeemed writhe in burning agony. It's what they looked forward to the most when contemplating death and afterlife!

Many couldn't wait for death so they created their own 'Show' on earth. The torture devices that they invented for 'heretics', 'witches' or just plain 'non-believers' are a testament to man's ability to (as you have written) "take joy in hurting others in 'God's name'"!

Well said!

XPD (Ex-Pastor Dan)

webmdave said...

godfree -

You said a mouthful! Please read my post above and comment. I feel that you have a real handle on the Truth of the matter.

It took me many more words to say what you have said in one sentence.

Well Done!

XPD (Ex-Pastor Dan)

webmdave said...

I agree, a REAL education (AKA secular), not a pseudo one, is the best way to eradicate ignorance.

webmdave said...

I don't know, I just find it horrifying that many religious people don't see the harm they cause in the name of said virus. They don't even see it as a virus, but seem to take joy in hurting others in "God's name".

Come to think about it, that's sadistic.

webmdave said...

No your post was fine, I was in no way offended unlike the the other poster. There is no country in the world that can claim absolute morality, religious or non. I just get pissed off when some doofus (not you) comes and makes broad assertions. I have and do interact with the "native" folk and I think I have a good understanding of their culture and their roots seeing I grew up and went to school and varsity with them. Where we see shit happening like this article, it is invariably due to external influences.

Overall they are not bad folk, but we usually only get to hear of the rotten apples and the good ones go unnoticed.

Being the legacy of the colonialists that came here, I have seen first hand the injustices done against these folk. Most want what you and I want, food on the table and security for our offspring.

webmdave said...

Yeah, when you said you were white, I figured you were from South Africa, which is one of the few African countries not pertinent to this thread.

I'm done here. I have no intention of arguing with a clueless college kid.

webmdave said...

Hi Mriana:

I should have written this last night, but I was tired and losing any objectivity. So, here I am with hopefully a clearer mind.

You mentioned the ancient practice of trephining to release "demons" from a person. I concur, this was a procedure performend as the result of ignorance. All these current hideous actions against children, women and others are symptoms. Ignorance is the problem that needs to be overcome.

Religions and other superstitions prey upon the ignorant and flourish in conditions of ignorance. It would seem that the best chance to improve human lives, beyond the basic necessities, is a secular education. As Robert Green Ingersoll wrote:

"As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers."

As an individual, I certainly can't solve global problems. Each one of us who are aware and vocal are part of the solution, a healthy society consists of healthy indivduals. The larger problem to overcome is how to spread awareness and ultimately knowledge.

webmdave said...

Justme58, I read all your posts and I agree with you. The U.S. is not a beacon of morality nor is it "moral" in any sense of the word. It uses it's money and military power to rape other countries' natural resources and to place people in power (overthrow other country's leaders) that will do what we want. We have been behind many despicable things. We have a long history of inventing reasons for war in order to perpetrate these crimes. We don't have a democracy in the U.S. We have a corporatocracy with a side of theocracy. And frankly, I hate our government and I hate capitalism. Capitalism is evil. No one should have to work to eat and to have a place to live. It's ridiculous we have people starving and homeless in this country. Frankly, I'm ashamed to be an American. It's not the greatest country on Earth, not by far. When we can stop religion fundamentalism from running our country, end poverty and hunger in our OWN country, reel-in our military from around the world and start practicing what we preach, then I will be proud to be an American.

webmdave said...

Err care to show me where genital mutilation is mandated by any laws?

Here in Sa they have instigated laws to ban even the practice of male circumcision. You want to tell someone that has lived and traveled his entire 52 years in Africa how Africa works and thinks?

Sadly, your idiot responses goes to illustrate just how simple minded folk like you are, listing only to one side of the story. Your point is not proven BTW, you deer leeders have already f'ed up any hope the masses may have had to break away from the screwed up western model.

As for Sudan and Rwanda, are those not religious connotations? Hmm I wonder where they came from?

Like I said earlier, I guess we should judge the whole of the USA on the basis of a few fucked up woo woos (or are you one of them?), that would be fair no?

Your ignorance of Africa is showing, maybe you should stop embarrassing yourself.

webmdave said...

Same here. SOMEone has to work in order for people to have shelter and food. Food does not plant and harvest itself, nor do houses spring up organically.

webmdave said...

It does boggle the mind. The words willful ignorance or "motivated ignorance" come to mind. I think when people have a positive emotional valence toward religion, that positive feeling filters incoming information. One of the features of religion as a virus is that it activates people to feel more protective of the virus than of vulnerable people, animals or even themselves. Empathy gets trumped by the sense that religion is threatened.

webmdave said...

Hi Prostock1 -
I was so with you until you said, "no one should have to work to eat and have a place to live." I will grant you that some people can't work, and i don't think they should starve because of it, but I sure want my kids thinking that if they want good stuff they need to work for it. Creatures of many sorts have to work for food and shelter--including our species.

webmdave said...

Valerie, right on! Excellent article.

As we read elsewhere on these pages recently, the ultimate problem is that religion has no reality check. Anything can and has been justified in the name of one religion or another, and because religion is based on belief in invisible beings, inaudible voices, intangible entities, undetectable forces, and events and judgments that happen after we die, it never gets the reality check it so desperately needs. All we can do is keep railing against religion as a concept and not get so discouraged that we give up.

Thanks again for a great article. Please, keep bitchin', the world needs it!

webmdave said...

"My selfishness is every bit as real as my generosity. My tenderness and bitchiness, compassion and aggression all are ME. Religion's track record of power-brokering and atrocity is every bit as integral as its history of giving voice to our moral instincts and sense of wonder. "

Christianity so encourages the individual Christian to confess their sins. In the liturgy as a group Christians say, " Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." BUT when the institutional Church acts as a wild monster butchering children and gays there seems to be no confessing of the sin, at least not now. The secular society seems to see the injustice first and then later a new generation sees that "witch burnings" really are sort of horrible, they change too. A church that does not catch up with the morality of the majority of the society will have no new converts. The church caves but only later and confesses the sins of Christians of the earlier generation. How sad. I guess you could call this "progressive revelation" but their progress seems to be lagging behind the general society. Not really very progressive "revelation" at all when it is seen like that is it? I bet the poor little children who are being abused and the gays who have been killed and imprisoned have an idea just how barbaric the "religious" society in which they are living truly is right now. When Christians in that society go and confess their "sins" they would not be thinking that that might include the horrible acts done in the name of Christianity to the children and gays in their society. God must surely be against them now because it is so clear he will send them to hell later. Could Christians be wrong for giving those children and gays a push toward hell, after all they know that is where God wants them to go for THEIR horrible sins.

webmdave said...

Virtually everyone sees the cruelty/insanity of the OTHER religions. Few see this in religion PERIOD. It won't change until the whole world relegates religion to it's rightful place as a relic of man's primitive past.

webmdave said...

Actually, the European colonialists did screw things up, they introduced a foreign concept of government and 3-6 generations down the line, the independence folk have merely adopted the failed model and applied it as they have forgotten their ancestral roots and skills.

Having been in 3 countries that gained their Independence in Africa, not one has reverted to the traditional way their forefathers did it, merely the color of the fat cat changed from white to black and the same old.

Of course the colonials brought with them their religionists and hence we really have some screwball "deer leeders", This is not a cultural thing as their culture was well and truly hijacked and replaced with the fairy tales of the north.

Still Africa is in my blood and I will die an African, even though I am white. Always remember the white rapists of the wealth of Africa were and are Anglo-America. The truth of the matter is that few Africans have benefited since their independence, most are worse off since the "white man was banished", but the white man's legacy lives on in the laws and traditions they introduced.

webmdave said...

Oh geez, a few countries and cultures do this genital mutilation and all of a sudden the whole continent is like that? Err no buddy, doesn't work that way. Using your logic, the Wesbro baptist church is indicative of all Americans then?

See how a broad brush works?

Sorry for the rant, but Africa is my home and while YES we have problems to sort out, we sure do not need the screwed up ideas from the EU or more specifically the USA, as they say clean up house first, you guys do still appear to have racist laws on your law books, you may have to research some, but most have moved beyond that.

The new dictator class just misuses the masses the way the colonialist did. Same shit different leader.

Fortunately the younger generation have seen through all the BS of this current ruling class, we are not a perfect society but we try to improve. Outside help not needed thank you.

When you follow the money trail, you see who's controlling who, odd that most paths lead back to the good ol' US of A.

webmdave said...

You're utterly clueless. Female genital mutilation is ubiquitous throughout Africa (and the Middle East), as are poverty and disease. "Screwed up ideas" from the EU and the US? At least we aren't torturing to death children who refuse to admit to being "witches". Rwanda, the Sudan... . The behavior of the "dictator class" merely proves my assertions:

"When you follow the money trail, you see who's controlling who, odd that most paths lead back to the good ol' US of A."

The fact that African leaders are in cahoots with the most contemptible characters in our country proves my point, not yours.