Licia Corbella from the Calgary Herald is pleased that atheism will be an equally valid viewpoint to the existence of gods and will be protected as a viewpoint. But not for the right reasons.
You see, apparently a school in Calgary was allowing the Gideons to hand out Bibles so an atheist father asked for permission to hand out Atheist literature.
This resulted in a total ban on any such shennanigans and indeed the school recognised that a secular environment is best. Then the government got in on it.
Atheism is indeed a belief system that holds mighty power. Let me explain. Atheists, like Richard Dawkins, are fond of claiming that religion “ruins everything” and is to blame for promoting conflict and violence. However, they rarely study the role atheism has played in creating wars and killing.
Atheism holds power? Really?
Atheism doesn’t hold ANY power. For the love of fuck! I get around 2000 visitors per day. That’s not power. That’s like a small town listens to me. And I can’t get them to do anything really. Maybe raise money for worthy causes. Power? Pfft. I could get more power claiming to have seen god, wearing some orange robes and doing cheap conjuring tricks while offering enlightenment in exchange for Rolls Royces.
Yen Buddhism as Terry Pratchett called it.
Atheism plays a role in war and killing? Oh who here’s thinking Godwin’s?
As Dinesh D’Souza writes in his New York Times bestselling book, What’s so Great About Christianity, “five hundred years after the Inquisition, we are still talking about it, but less than two decades after the collapse of ‘godless Communism,’ there is an eerie silence about the mass graves of the Soviet Gulag. Why the absence of accountability? Does atheism mean never having to say you are sorry?”
Oh! It’s Stalin!
I understand Licia is new to this but there is a fundamental difference between Stalin’s Gulags and the Spanish Inquisition. And Dinesh D’Souza is so bad at telling the truth, that I often quote him as proof that god doesn’t exist. IF the Christian god existed, then Dinesh D’Souza is so untruthful that his hands should burn on contact with the Bible.
The Inquisition left a scar on Europe. It was the last struggle of a desperate Church that fought down knowledge. Because the knowledge was causing people to think thoughts that were blasphemous. These were men and women who thought that maybe we could learn more about medicine by experimentation. These were the rudimentary ideas of science forming and people who thought that there were massive inconsistencies between observation and religion.
Religion’s response was to try and destroy and silence knowledge. While Leonardo painted the Last Supper he also cut open humans to find out how they worked. The Renaissance was precisely this. People paid lip service to the church and then wrenched mankind off their knees to their feet. They restarted a process that religion helped stagnate.
I want you to pick up a single Atheist Bible or whatever you think we follow and show me where it says “Thou shalt open A Prison so that you can throw thine enemies into it”. I want you to pick up a single Atheist Bible and show me where it says “Kill Dissenters in order to hold onto absolute power”.
Stalin did these things not because he was an atheist, but because he was a power mad dictator who feared revolution. Let’s compare him to monarchs. He was an absolute monarch and could do pretty much whatever he felt like. Except he was paranoid. In order to stay alive he thought he had to kill those who opposed him. And since he was paranoid he thought most people were out to get him.
It didn’t matter what he believed in because this is what paranoid people in absolute power do to keep absolute power. In fact considering most atheists subscribe to secular moral codes such as humanism, Stalin’s behaviour is irrational, poorly thought out and indeed counter-productive.
Let’s look at the Inquisition, as an example. According to Henry Kamen’s book, The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, over a 350-year period only about 2,000 people were killed. That’s just 5.7 people per year. In communist China in 2009 alone, however, it is estimated that 5,000 people were executed by the state, many for adhering to beliefs other than atheism, such as Falun Gong.
Again. I must point out that China’s atheism isn’t the reason for their executions. They have a massive population with little political discourse and again an absolute government with little to no ability to lobby for changes to be made. China’s method of policing has been with a strict hand because the biggest fear that the Chinese government has is that the people will want a new government and try and change it. So they need fear and brutality to keep China working.
Not because Atheism says “Kill Falun Gong worshippers”. I could not care less about your carpenter god and the only reason I actually blog is that many Christians think that it is their divine duty to insert Jesus into any available activity. The inability for religious people to keep religion out of stuff is precisely why we have the “Angry Activist Atheist”.
Most atheists are probably more ethical about China’s behaviour than religious people mainly because China’s treatment of people isn’t linked to it’s lack of belief in any gods..
If we look at the Scandanavian countries which are “staunchly secular” there is the opposite end of the spectrum.
However let us look at the USA. Texas effectively halted nearly all abortions in the state. Why? Religious reasons. How? Religious Mobilisation of Christians forcing everyone to adhere to a Christian rule.
There is a massive difference between the two.
“In the past hundred years or so,” writes D’Souza, “the most powerful atheist regimes — Communist Russia, Communist China and Nazi Germany — have wiped out people in astronomical numbers.” Stalin wiped out 20 million, Mao Zedong’s atheist regime killed 70 million of its own citizens and “Hitler comes in a distant third with around 10 million murders, six million of them Jews,” states D’Souza.
As I said. If there was a Christian god then Dinesh D’Souza’s hands should burn in contact with a Bible for such a bad lie.
We already covered the problems with “Atheism” was responsible for Communism. The reason religion was hated by Communists in Russia was because the Church threw in with the Royalists during the Oktober Revolution.
Mao’s problem was that China was a cut up bunch of colonies owned by different countries fighting in WW2 and fighting against itself. Mao was a good general but a TERRIBLE politician. His ideas were just bad all round.
The notion that any farmer can make iron and that intellectuals need to get their hands dirty effectively destroyed China’s Intellectual base and got farmers wasting time making brittle and useless pig iron.
People starved because they were too busy making Iron and because professors are not very good at working fields causing massive famine and massive death. And the other part was the civil war. Lest we forget, the deaths caused to Chinese soldiers on both sides are dumped onto Mao because we wouldn’t want the Christian Chian Kai Shek to have any blame.
Mao’s behaviour was not that of an atheist but that of a brutal dictator. It wouldn’t matter what his religious beliefs were, the power would have corrupted him.
As for Hitler? 10 Million? 12.5 million Slavs were killed in the Concentration camps along with around 6 million Jews and around about a million Roma. That is without the war casualties. Hitler’s madness lead to more than 40 Million Deaths.
And Hitler’s entire ethos was built around anti-semiticism. From the Catholic Church’s blood libel to the writings of Luther, all were used to justify and breed this sort of hatred.
Hitler didn’t do anything new. Killing Jews was practically a sport every Easter in many parts of Europe. No what Hitler did was use Technology rather than good old mobs. I am afraid Dinesh D’Souza likes to tell this little lie so that people will associate ultimate evil with Atheism when in reality atheism doesn’t like Genocide.
Add to that the killing regimes of other atheist poster boys like Lenin, Khrushchev, Pol Pot, Nicolae Ceausescu, Fidel Castro and Kim Jong-il, to name just a few. Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, the Communist Party faction that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, murdered 1.5 to two million citizens — or one-fifth of its population.
Lenin? Er… If you read anything about the way Russia used to be under the Royal family you would not understand why Lenin existed. Put it this way. When we are so horrified by the deaths caused by starvation due to changes in the Russian policies post WW2 in the Ukraine we must remember that in Russia prior to Oktober revolution, famine was so common as to be the norm. In fact one of the major events that caused the Peasant Support was that the Royal Family were shipping in expensive food on ice while many peasants were forced to eat rocks.
Khruschev? Really? Pol Pot killed people again like Mao. Through stupid practices and idiocy. I want you to name the line and verse in Atheism where it says “Kill people with spectacles”. I want the line and verse that says “Force people to do jobs they are unqualified for then kill them when they do a shitty job resulting in starvation.
Any person with access to Wikipedia knows that forced executions may have killed a lot of people but not as much as the relocation of people to agrarian societies who lacked the skills to do so and then promptly caused a famine which caused people to starve to death. Again I must point out that no part of Atheism says “Agrarian Socialism is the way forward! I bet that PZ Myers would make an excellent farmer! If he can understand Squid biology then surely he can wrap his mind around gardening for food!”.
That kind of logic is stupid and anyone can tell me so.
Not if I was power mad and at the top of a brutal dictatorship though.
As D’Souza writes, in just a few decades atheism has killed more people than all religions combined since time immemorial. So, yes, atheism is a powerful creed. But it’s powerful in another way, too. Think about this. Since these atheists have been successful in wiping out virtually any mention of the true meaning behind the national holidays of Christmas and Easter in our schools, for instance, doesn’t that mean that their minority religion is the one being adhered to in our schools to the exclusion of all others? Doesn’t that mean, then, that the creed of atheism is more equal than all other religions and that it is Christianity, primarily, which as the founding and majority ethic and creed of this country that has been discriminated against?
And D’Souza is incredibly wrong. The people killed were killed because of the egos of power mad dictators and absolute unchecked power.
Mao was a general. What does a general know about agriculture? He made plans that ran roughshod over more skilled people.
I have the perfect analogy. Mao was no different from Mike Adams, the infamous Health Ranger and the guy who gives terrible advice on healthcare. Imagine if Mike was in charge of an absolute monarchy. He would ban all real doctors and instead make quackery the system of choice. And this would cause people to die. Mike’s absolute lack of understanding of real medicine would kill people just as Mao’s lack of understanding lead to the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolutions.
The True Meaning of Christmas and Easter? Oh you mean the Saturnalia and a Spring Fertility festival? Or would you like to explain to kids about “phallic imagery” and fertility rituals?
And that’s the sad thing. I am an atheist who loves Christmas. I celebrated it as a Hindu. My dad dressed as Santa too you know. There were photos of me terrified out of my mind aged 5 on my dad’s knee because I clearly couldn’t recognise my dad if he wore a fake beard and stuffed a cushion up a red jumper. I had a Christmas Tree. Hell I even sang in a bloody Christian choir for Christmas!
If you think the most important thing about Christmas is Jesus then you are blind. You are blind to the human beings around you. You are blind to the relationships you have and the things that really matter. In that period of darkness and cold (for us in the North!) we have an event of such brightness and warmth.
And you think it’s just about Jesus? And in a secular society Easter and Christmas are not pushed as Christian Only Festivals so that others may enjoy them. Because unlike Hindus Christians are rather more exclusive.
And one could point out that the “Original” creed of Canada is not Christianity. There were people living there before you know.
Those are questions worth pondering.
Only if you think that historical revisionism and the utilisation of the deaths of millions to specifically attack a group of people who had nothing to do with them is an acceptable tactic.