20th anniversary survey

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On The Atheist Experience today, we will be announcing a survey we’ve created in order to learn about your interests and needs. We would love to get feedback from anyone who can respond, whether you’re an Atheist Community of Austin member, a viewer/listener of the Atheist Experience and the Non-Prophets, or just an atheist with a casual interest in providing feedback. By responding, you will also be able to enter in a random drawing for free gear from our EvolveFish store. Thanks!

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More “Pro Life” in the form of Fetal Disposal Laws

Starting December 19th, 2016 in the State of Texas, aborted fetuses must be buried or cremated. The new rule is just another way to penalize the poor and women who are unable to care for a child. The law was the brainchild of Gov. Greg Abbott, one of many Christian ideologues currently running our state. The allegedly secular “reasons” for the law are to promote public health and safety yet we don’t have to hold burials or cremations for amputated limbs or even diseased tissue. The law does not apply to miscarriages, despite the result being no different than an abortion.

This law has been called a “Trojan horse“, and is clearly part of a larger initiative to restrict access to abortion. The law seems to be the Republican response in the state to the Supreme Court striking down another Trojan horse law that would have closed most family planning clinics in Texas. Texas also publishes a propaganda piece to try to scare women into not having abortions. Clearly. there is a coordinated movement at work here.

The Guttmacher Institute has an impressive body of research that shows that restrictive abortion laws does not have much effect on the incidence of abortion. Lest you think this is propaganda, look at this World Health Organization study. Such laws do have the effect of making abortion and bearing children less safe. Anyone who has studied the issue can look at Western Europe and how they have lax abortion laws and relatively low rates of abortions. The magic ingredients are contraceptives, sex education, and a non-Puritanical attitude toward sex. Note, too, that in Western European countries, women who choose to raise children are given adequate health care. The State of Texas, by contrast, seems to be motivated to lie and coerce women into having children and either standing in the way of their health or actively trying to sabotage it by meddling with medical procedures. Childbirth is a risky undertaking and Abbott and his fellow religious nuts should not be the ones making such decisions on behalf of any woman.

This fetal remains law and so many other attempts to control reproduction in Texas is clearly driven by the Christian “pro life” movement. For his part, Abbott touted the burial law in a fundraising letter to his Christian base. Christians in Texas elected Abbott to do their bidding on this issue and he is clearly working them for more money to continue in this vein. He is up for re-election in 2018. Onward, Christian soldier!

What does the Christian “pro life” movement tell us?

  • First, it tells us that Christianity must use the government to achieve its ends, lacking any other significant power. There is no god that can make this stuff happen, despite being “all powerful” and allegedly deeply desiring to play traffic cop in every women’s uterus. It is also clear that the Churches lack any direct influence over their flocks. Secular laws have more moral influence and more teeth. And finally, we all know that nothing fails like prayer, despite Jesus saying “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24). If Christianity had any real power, they wouldn’t be trying to leverage the government to do the things that they and their god clearly can’t.
  • Christians are happy to use slimy and harmful tactics to achieve their goals. Lies and emotional manipulation are traditional Christian tools. “From their fruits ye shall know them.” There is no attempt to try to reduce abortions through sex education, for example. It’s “boys will be boys”, “Sin of Onan“, but the woman stuck with a pregnancy is a whore who needs to be punished. They will tell you “God will provide,” but with every abortion, they have the opportunity to actually provide meaningful financial assistance instead to a women who lacks the resources to raise a child (through college of course). Yes, it’s expensive, but isn’t that the point? They clearly don’t believe that “God will provide” them with the means to do that. They don’t want that responsibility and they will scream “persecution” if it’s foisted on them. Instead being compassionate, Christians instead choose to be vindictive to women who are in a vulnerable situation. Apparently, religion is just an excuse people give to be a dick.
  • Christians don’t believe in the sanctity of human life. Just look at how church’s spend their money. If “human life” is an arena of “ultimate concern,” why is it completely absent from their priorities? The children they pretend to help are nowhere in their budgets. Instead, they expect local and federal subsidy while operating tax free and accumulating vast amounts of wealth, contrary to Jesus teachings. Church leaders draw large salaries that could be better spent on the children. Don’t expect that to ever change. Those salaries are more sacred than any fetus. If all churches would just pay property taxes, they could make a big difference in the world — even to just provide better programs for child health care.
  • Christianity’s efforts actually have the effect of manufacturing poor people. If a pregnant woman seeks an abortion for financial reasons, clearly having a child will set her back and harm the financial future of the child. Studies have shown that abortion has not been shown to have an impact on later child bearing and many abortions are sought by women who already have children. But the timing has a lot to do with how capable she is to raise a child. Poor children are more likely to need program where Christians will have an opportunity to indoctrinate them. One wonders whether churches prefer weaker, more easily manipulated children to stronger ones. That’s seems to be the hidden goal of their breeding program.
  • We already know that a variety of social ills are correlated with religious belief, including things like incidence of STDs and teen pregnancy. The availability of legalized abortion has been strongly correlated with a drop in crime rate. Clearly, Christianity has little to offer in terms of a solution to social problems except in the form of platitudes and icons from whom beg for help.

Christianity has proven itself to be a thuggish and manipulative fraud. Churches amass money while actively making social problems worse. Christians have just proven themselves to be dicks of the highest order. And yes, my apologies, I’m just speaking about those Christians who are making a difference in Texas.