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Aug 24 2012

The three Abrahamic faiths

Here’s an oldie but goodie for those who haven’t heard it before, a great rant from Marcus Brigstocke about the three Abrahamic faiths. I particularly like the bit that begins at the 6:00 mark, where he nails the problem with trying to distinguish between ‘good’ religion (that we should seek to retain) and ‘bad’ religion (that we should try and eliminate).

“I know that most religious folk are moderate and nice and reasonable and wear tidy jumpers and eat cheese like real people… But they have to accept that they are the power base for the nutters. Without their passive support the loonies in charge of these faiths would just be loonies safely locked away and medicated, somewhere nice, you know with a view of some trees, where they can claim they have a direct channel to god between sessions making tapestry drinks coasters, watching Teletubbies, and talking about their days in the Hitler youth. The ordinary faithful make these vicious tyrannical thugs what they are… Without the audience to prop it up… fundamentalist religious fanaticism goes away.” [My italics]

The whole rant is hilarious and summed up the situation pretty well.

14 comments

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  1. 1
    'Tis Himself

    If someone says “the voices are talking to me” then other people start talking about psychiatric care. But if someone says “God is talking to me” then other people ask about what God is saying.

  2. 2
    Anonymous Atheist

    Now now, we know they wouldn’t be watching Teletubbies; that’s well-known to be full of evil gayness. ;)

    (Great rant.)

  3. 3
    piegasm

    If someone says “the voices are talking to me” then other people start talking about psychiatric care. But if someone says “God is talking to me” then other people ask about what God is saying.

    And yet when someone like Andrea Yates does something like murder all five of her children and claim god told her to, none of those people considers the possibility that god really did tell her to.

  4. 4
    Marcus Ranum

    And yet when someone like Andrea Yates does something like murder all five of her children and claim god told her to, none of those people considers the possibility that god really did tell her to.

    Especially odd, since he already played kinda the same trick on Abraham. Maybe he got a phone call when he was telling Andrea to do it, and was distracted and by the time he turned back, she’d already killed them. Makes as much sense as anything else god does.

  5. 5
    Marcus Ranum

    Hey, aren’t the mormons “abrahamic” as well? Can’t leave them out, it wouldn’t be fair.

  6. 6
    David Evans

    They used to be, back when they were polygamous. Now, not so much.

  7. 7
    mnb0

    “But they have to accept that they are the power base for the nutters.”
    Yeah, like we atheists have to accept that we, just by being atheists, were the power base for the former East-European regimes. Bleh.

  8. 8
    Aliasalpha

    He’s also done a few other religion rants on The Now Show

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma0321vCNts&feature=player_detailpage#t=94s

    I think there were 4 in total but I can’t find the others at the moment

  9. 9
    mikmik

    Yes. There is a fine, but invisible, line between genocide, and telling someone to murder their own children. Wait a minute, no there isn’t. That mother needs a better defense council. I call my next witness: The Bible!

  10. 10
    Didaktylos

    I personally say that there are five Abrahamic religions – I count both the Mormons and the Bahais as separate religions in their own right.

  11. 11
    David Hart

    The Mormons are trying very hard to portray themselves as a branch of Christianity – indeed, the best, most complete branch of it – as a result of a deliberate policy of attempting to mainstream themselves in a predominantly Christian society. Had they emigrated to a part of the world that did not subsequently become incorporated into the USA – had they decided to try to make a go of it as a separate country in Utah (or Deseret as it would presumably have been called), I suspect that they would never have felt the same pressure to do so, and we would now have no qualms about categorising them as a separate religion.

  12. 12
    stonyground

    @mnbo
    That only applies if you take the line that because the communists were atheists, atheists have to be communists. This is like saying dogs have four legs, my table has four legs, therefore my table is a dog.

  13. 13
    Jared A

    The two millenia history of Christianity is diverse and branched. Arguing that Mormonism isn’t part of Christianity due to some superficial differences is idiotic.

  14. 14
    Brian M

    idiotic is unfair. Mormonism devolves significantly from the very basic theology of Christianity. Most of the Christian variation is…relatively speaking…minor. name another “Christian” faith that claims that God was originally a mortal who evolved. Or that Mormon males get to rule their own planets. Or that Jesus traveled to the New World. These are big differences.

  1. 15
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