The Christian Theocracy isn’t planning to murder me after all!

I am so relieved, and a bit ashamed that I thought so poorly of my Christian brethren. They aren’t going to kill me, they have other plans. They’ll make me a slave instead!

In a recently posted You Tube [which has now been set to private –pzm] sermon, the pastor of Chalcedon Presbyterian Church, Dr. Joe Morecraft says in a Biblical society, the godly must own “the fool who despises God’s wisdom” because it’s the only way to keep those with a “slave mentality” from ruining other people’s families.

Based on Proverbs 11:29, Morecraft makes a case for Biblically justified enslavement of a man who does not “trust in Christ” since slavery is the only way to “keep a fool under wraps.”

The dominionist pastor interprets the Proverb to predict that in a Christian theocracy, an unbeliever will “lose his family, his property, and his freedom,” and “his energies, talents and life will not be used as he himself pleases, but in the service of wise people who work hard to benefit the community.”

“Put him in somebody’s service where they can watch over him and make him do right even though he doesn’t want to do it.”

According to Pastor Morecraft, the consequences of being a “foolish person who is unwilling to live by the Word of God” is to “become a slave of somebody who is godly and who is wise.”

Well, now I can relax. What a load off my shoulders.

And it’s only fair. After all, once I’m appointed Tyrant-President of the United States of America (there’s no way I could even be elected to the lowliest office), I have my own horribly sinister plans for the religious people of this country. First thing, I’d remove the special tax privileges their churches and religious charities have, and then…and then…uh, I guess that’s about it. But that’s pretty damned terrible!


  1. d.f.manno says

    So much for the religionists’ argument the the Bible doesn’t condone slavery; it only acknowledges the existence of the practice.

  2. Robert B. says

    Don’t forget the hospitals! Hospitals, religious or otherwise, should be held to a common standard of care, preferably determined by reputable professional societies. No refusing to offer certain medically-accepted services because you don’t like them.

    There, now I’m your evil advisor, egging you on to higher and higher levels of terrible tyranny!

    (Seriously, he wants non-Christians to be enslaved? Fucking theocrats…)

  3. says

    Of course, Biblical slavery is totes different than any other kind of slavery. So I’m sure you’d be well-fed and housed and never mistreated ever. Certainly only beaten lightly — enough to put you in bed for a day or two, tops.

    Might be better than sitting through faculty meetings.

  4. ChasCPeterson says

    Sure they want to enslave us, but be fair. They know damn well we want the same for them. Bob Roberts put it best:

    Walls may come down, but what is let in?
    Godless men, godless men
    They’ll take the jobs of the decent ones
    And wait for the day when their leaders
    Will make you their slaves

    This world turns its back on God
    We must fight to protect him
    This world turns its back on God
    We must die to join him

    The desert teams with dangerous schemes
    Godless men, godless men
    They take the innocent and stroke their face
    And wait for the day when their oil
    Will make you their slaves

    This world turns its back on God
    We must fight to protect him
    This world turns its back on God
    We must die to join him

    Meet fury with fury, belief with belief
    God against the devil, an eternal fight
    March on, march on, brave young men
    Our prayers go with you to the holy land

    This world turns its back on God
    We must fight to protect him
    This world turns its back on God
    We must kill to join him

    believe it.

  5. yazikus says

    A long time ago (well not that long) my sister got sent off to a conservative christian college in Idaho. She was raised quite sheltered. After a year or so my parent’s were shocked to learn she had stopped going to classes. They assumed “rebellion”. I asked her recently what actually happened. Apparently the school was teaching revisionist history and that slavery was totes awesome. She couldn’t reconcile that with her beliefs, and so she stopped going instead. This school is still around and still promoting those twisted lies.

  6. says

    So the pastor is advocating slavery, and thinks he’ll be making friends that way…
    You sure know your NonStampCollector. Did NSC leave because PZ was afraid we’d all become nonphilatelists?

  7. Gregory Greenwood says

    So, I take that this stripe of dominionist xian argues that, in the same way as ‘the only moral abortion is my abortion’, the only moral slavery is 100% xian approved theocratic slavery?

    And they accuse us of ethically bankrupt moral relativism…

  8. otrame says

    there’s no way I could even be elected to the lowliest office

    Oh, nonsense. We elected you the Grand Poopyhead, didn’t we?

  9. Gregory Greenwood says

    Ulysses @ 2;

    Is that some of the Sophisticated Theology Sophistimicated Feeology(TM) we keep hearing about?

    There, fixed that for you…


  10. says

    You didn’t elect me. I seized the title in a bloodless coup.

    #7: Was this the church/school run by the heinous Doug Wilson in Moscow, by any chance?

  11. says

    After all, once I’m appointed Tyrant-President of the United States of America (there’s no way I could even be elected to the lowliest office), I have my own horribly sinister plans for the religious people of this country. First thing, I’d remove the special tax privileges their churches and religious charities have, and then…and then…uh, I guess that’s about it. But that’s pretty damned terrible!

    Also, wouldn’t you as Lord Tyrant-President throw holy men in jail when they commit crimes? Like, say, pedophilia for example? Or incest? And also imposing life-saving medical procedures on the children of parents who believe such practices violate their religion (e.g.: JWs with blood transfusion and Xian “Scientists” with, well, any medical procedure). There’s your intolerable tyranny right there.

    And don’t forget outlawing the teaching of creationism is publicly funded science classes. Now that’s getting pretty brutal, especially when you dismiss teachers who violate this tyrannical rule.

  12. Sastra says

    According to Pastor Morecraft, the consequences of being a “foolish person who is unwilling to live by the Word of God” is to “become a slave of somebody who is godly and who is wise.”

    This is the sort of rhetoric which would make sense if we were talking about 1.) a criminal 2.) a very small child or 3.) someone who is mentally disabled. Or combine the three. When you view God’s existence as both so obvious and necessary that considering it as one of several possibilities is perverse, then belief is a sign of mental and moral health … and nonbelief is the opposite. A nonbeliever can’t be allowed out onto the street.

    I think we atheists must counteract this view because it’s not just dominionists who hold it. It keeps rearing its head in average, normal, mainstream churches. We ought to keep insisting that no, you don’t believe in God because God’s existence is just obvious to everyone but the blind. “God” is a hypothesis. It’s an educated guess, a proposed explanation. Keep it there. Don’t jump to certainty.

  13. yazikus says

    Why yes, yes it was. I don’t know how she made it through our upbringing and then that sort of education, but I’m glad to say she is awesome. She doesn’t really speak to my parents however (surprise surprise!). It makes me angry that people like Doug Wilson trick parents into thinking their children will go to hell unless the subscribe to that particular brand of theology, and them bilk them out of thousands while brainwashing their kids.

  14. racissrick says

    If history is any indication its more likely you’d execute a bunch of your own citizens once in power, which actually makes a theocracy sound quite pleasant in comparison.

  15. says

    Doug Wilson is raw evil. One of my gripes with Hitchens is that he paired up with him on tours, and thereby gave Wilson a boost in reputation that he doesn’t deserve.

  16. shouldbeworking says

    So, according to the “good” pastor, I’m doomed: as an atheist I should be enslaved, and as a Canadian since it’s legal to enslave people from surrounding countries.

    As soon as the ground thaws, I’m going to start digging a new underground railway. Baffin Island, here I come!

  17. otrame says


    Oh, fuck you. You think theocracies are good, huh? May you go live in one then. I hear Iran is nice this time of year.

    P.S. No, just shut up. The killing in Russia and China didn’t happen because the leaders were atheist. They happened because the leaders were willing to do anything to accomplish their goals. This is a trait seen in many people, including religious people.

  18. redjuggler says

    It’s true that this pastors beliefs are disgusting, but let’s at least give him props for showing how evil his religion is, rather than cherry-picking the more socially acceptable parts the way most pastors do.

    Next up: “Sex according to the Book of Ruth”.

  19. anuran says

    And people wonder why a Liberal, secular, mixed-race, Jew-Mu family like mine owns firearms.

    When they kick out your front door
    How you gonna come?
    With your hands on your head
    Or on the trigger of your gun
    Oh, guns of Brixton

  20. says

    That work out very poorly for the theocrats. Atheists, at least the free-thinking end, would not make good slaves.

    @16: Atheism does not, unlike the Bible and Koran, explicitly contain orders to murder disbelievers, to dash their babies against rocks, to take and rape their young women, etc.

    Might be because atheism encourages a functioning moral compass.

  21. racissrick says

    If I thought theocracys were good I likely would have said that. I made a comparison between two options put forward by PZ. If you had read what I posted you might have noticed that.

    P.S. I’m not just talking about Russia and China. It is a fairly long damn list. It is a historical trend until we see something to the contrary. So…should you be the one to shut up then?

  22. Ulysses says

    racissrick (how do you pronounce that nym?)

    As was pointed out to you, various regimes did not kill people because the regimes were atheist. Learn some history so you don’t seem quite as ignorant as you are.

  23. racissrick says

    @22 Obviously Atheism doesn’t contain orders to murder non believers as it is defined by a lack of a belief in a god. It is not a system of beliefs it is only one belief, that there is no god so why would it contain any orders at all? Which is also why I am curious why you think it encourages a functioning moral compass when there is only one tenet of atheism that mentions nothing except that one tenet.

  24. mareap says

    I have a lot of spring yard clean up to do once it actually becomes spring here in MN. I need a heathen to do the work. Oh wait, Episcopalians aren’t Real Christians are we? Damn.

  25. says

    Racissrick: The hell do you think atheist communities talk about on sites like these? Our original objection, all the jokes aside, to Pastor Jaskass, is that he is suggesting a highly immoral and unethical activity for a group of people.

    We actually debate ethics here and other places, and try to come to a consensus about the right thing to do, which is a hell of a lot more active than taking a Iron age prophet’s word for everything (which, as we all know, has remained the same since then…)

  26. racissrick says

    @25 the rac is pronounced like the rass in brass, the is is pronounced as is, and rick is pronounced like rick.

    I never said any killings occurred because a regime was atheistic. I said it was a historical trend which is true. If most of the world leaders who killed large numbers of their own people wore blue hats then it would show that if you have a world leader who wore a blue hat there is more then a fair chance he will kill a crap ton of his own people. Seeing as how you have misinterpreted what I said would you care to recant calling me ignorant?

  27. says

    No, racissrick, you came in and made a few VERY ahistorical claims and claimed to have more that you could list. Burden’s on you to prove, since you’re making claims we know are wrong (thank you college history courses), that your claims aren’t all bullshit.

    We’re waiting, fella.

  28. racissrick says

    @28 I agree that what Pastor Morecraft, I believe you were searching for Jackass btw, is promoting is highly unethical and immoral and I’m glad to see that people are calling him out on this.

    *shrug* everyone has their hobbies.

  29. anuran says

    Sadly, the original video is private. We can’t hear this Godly Man explain Christ’s Loving Plan for us.

  30. ck says

    Why am I not surprised the ‘good’ pastor has a pasty white complexion? Oh, and his video has now become private. Funny thing, that.

  31. Subtract Hominem says

    Wait a minute. Morecraft got that verse from Proverbs, which is an Old Testament book. Even if it does mean that The Chosen People™ should enslave everyone else, the slaveowners referred to would be Jews, not Christians.

  32. says

    A name that sounds like ‘racist’ and ‘rick’ is trolling about ‘atheist’ revolutions.

    There’s been very few revolutions that didn’t involve bloodshed. So why would ones that profess atheism be any different? It’s not like that was their major point.

  33. d.f.manno says

    @ racissrick (#29):

    @25 the rac is pronounced like the rass in brass, the is is pronounced as is, and rick is pronounced like rick.

    Riiight. Because you wouldn’t want us to draw the right conclusion by pronouncing it as it is spelled.

  34. racissrick says

    I’m happy to provide Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, ethiopa, france, hungary,Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Mozambique, North Korea, Poland, Romania, Russia, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Mexico. Granted several of these were member states of the USSR at the time their killings occurred but still they had atheist leaders installed to lead them. Does this mean atheists are bad people, of course not. But compared to the total number of times atheist have lead countries more then a fair amount of times they have committed democide.

  35. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    If history is any indication its more likely you’d execute a bunch of your own citizens once in power, which actually makes a theocracy sound quite pleasant in comparison.

    ‘Cause theocracies never murder their own citizens, no siree.

    Why, everything sunshine and butterflies when your leaders believe so badly in some flavor of sky fairy that they think everybody should too. That’s why countries like iran and saudi arabia are so nice and safe, especially for women and children.

    Dude, as a woman, if the country I live in became a fucking xian theocracy I’d consider being murdered a much nicer fate than living in it, though I’d prefer to take my own life while bringing as many of the theocrats with me.

  36. Ulysses says

    A name that sounds like ‘racist’ and ‘rick’.

    I thought so too, that’s why I asked for the pronunciation.

    I’m sure the Mexicans would be surprised to know they’re atheist. Most of them think they’re Catholic. Same for Afghanistan only for Islam. Cuba is officially secular instead of atheist (same situation as the US of A). I won’t bother to continue since it’s obvious you’re using an old, discredited canard to sneer at atheists.

    Seeing as how you have misinterpreted what I said would you care to recant calling me ignorant?

    No since I still don’t have any evidence you’re not ignorant.

  37. says

    I’m going to answer you two at a time, because these will get stuck in the filter otherwise.

    Afghanistan: If you’re referring to the 2012 slaughter of a Christian medical group, only the Christian news groups are carrying anything on it, maybe because it didn’t happen the way you said it did. (Hint: Militant Moslems)

    Albania: If you’re referring to the on-going trials (2013) and decision to acquit those two Croatian generals for the slaughter of Serbian Christians, you’ll never guess who bears a good share of the blame. (Hint: The Catholic Church):

  38. racissrick says

    @40 the problem is the frequency and huge disparity between democides in secular and theocratic governments to those run by atheists. While suicide is rarely a good option its your body to do with as you want after all.

    @41 I did not say Mexico was atheist led for all time merely around their time,Plutarco Elías Calles, of democides that led to the Cristero war. Cuba for a time took the policy of promoting athiesm and being an atheist government, especially during their democides, this is only a sample btw but a quick google search should confirm.
    “The Communist Party of Cuba defines one of its aims as “the gradual overcoming of religious beliefs by materialistic scientific propaganda and the cultural advancement of the workers.”[44] From 1976 to 1992, the Constitution of Cuba contained a clause stating that the “socialist state…bases its activity on, and educates the people in, the scientific materialist concept of the universe”. ”
    Also as I stated several of those countries were USSR run, which includes Afghanistan. It seems you are the one who does not know history and are ignorant about it.

  39. racissrick says

    @45 dude did you not notice I mentioned USSR. Bulgaria’s mass murderer was Valko Chervenkov. Angola’s mass murderer was Agostinho Neto which has nothing to do with what your referencing. You might as well stop now bro, your bad at this.

  40. says

    Next two, but I rather hope racissrick, that you are seeing a trend.

    China: The only mention of some sort of widespread recent (after 900 CE), and the only modern mention I can find, is in Christian-only news.
    There is the Taiping Rebellion, in which a Chinese politician declared himself the son of god:
    But I assume that you mean something more modern. Hint: if there’s a mass slaughter, secular news will report it, too. Shocking events sell newspapers.

    Cuba: Once again, the only mention of slaughter I can see is in Christian only websites (and Breitbart, who we know always tells the truth.

    I don’t know what this suggests to you, but I’m thinking your list there is full of made up shit.

  41. says

    Hey, asshole, you asked for it by country and you’ll notice that USSR starts with a ‘U’. You may not know this, but the letter ‘u’ occurs at the end of the alphabet. So keep your damn pants on.

  42. racissrick says

    @48 seriously, dude. Open a history book. The hundred flowers campaign is often credited with destroying China’s agriculture resulting in the starving of millions and also the period where Mao committed his killings. . That was after a very simple search, how weak is your google fu?

    Dude, do you not realize that most articles on these topics were written years before the internet was invented? They require searching because they aren’t going to be the first thing to pop up if I search a little bit longer I can find you all the details you want about the political prisons and killings in Cuba.

    Also I keep saying the USSR because it installed the leaders of most of the countries on the bloody list.

  43. says

    Also, you didn’t specify, so I searched broadly in history. That’s on you for not giving specific information.

    But hey, let’s search Valko Chervenkov. Turns out, after 10 pages of google results, that the only mention of Christian-only repression is (drumroll) in Christian-only outlets. I can only find a general mention of his use of the Communist party to repress arts and culture after what he believed was the US model.

    Now searching Agostinho Neto. Again, after 10 pages on google, there is NO mention of Christian-only repression or slaughter.

    I mean, really, racissrick. Don’t you find it embarrassing to find out that what you assume to be true isn’t? I would. I like being accurate.

  44. Nemo says

    PZ, don’t be modest. We know you wouldn’t stop at taxing the churches. Why, you’d even take “God” right off the money! So Christians wouldn’t be able to buy or sell anything, unless they used… atheist money. Muhahaha!

    Or secular money, at least. Same difference, right?

    Also, racistrick probably would make good squid food, just saying.

  45. says

    @48 Your first link gives no such information. It’s the first two sentences in a book review. If the title were mentioned, I’d be happy to find the book on my own steam. As is, it’s a nice couple of sentences.

    As for the other, I won’t argue that some of these regimes engaged in violence. You came to this thread to talk about how atheist regimes slaughter their citizens and theocracies would be better, and left a list of nations.

    All I’m doing is going back to the countries you listed and looking for famous slaughters promulgated by various regimes looking for religious or irreligious regimes and acts of slaughter based on belief (theocracies) or disbelief (since you seem stuck on it, specifically those promulgated by irreligious regimes against the religious).

    What I’m finding is bupkis outside religious news sources on any specific slaughters of Christians (I’m assuming that’s the sort of theocracy you mean, since you’re posting on this thread), and a whole shit-ton of unreasonable paranoia on the issue from Christian websites.

  46. racissrick says

    “Fractionism[1] (Fraccionismo in Angolan Portuguese) was a political movement in Angola which culminated in the attempted coup d’etat on 27 May 1977 against Agostinho Neto, led by a leading figure of the MPLA, (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola), Nito Alves. The movement had the support of OCA (Organização dos Comunistas de Angola), but was suppressed with the help of Cuban military. An estimated 18,000 followers (or alleged followers) of Nito Alves were killed in the aftermath of the attempted coup, over a period that lasted up to two years.”

    For Vulko and the atheist leader after him Todor there aren’t many articles about but it does speak of their crimes in the book Rulers of Bulgaria and a short history of bulgaria
    Again and again I keep proving you wrong and you keep punching yourself in the face saying your winning. This is painful to watch. Where the hell are you getting Christian only repression from? I have been talking democides this entire time. I have never even said the targets were anything but their own people. How are you this ignorant?

  47. says


    “God” is a hypothesis. It’s an educated guess, a proposed explanation. Keep it there. Don’t jump to certainty.


    Jackasstroll #16 etc.

    Just shut up and fuck off, willya? You’re boring and pathetic, and you bring nothing new or interesting.

  48. unclefrogy says

    I am not going to even bother to search for anything that would support or rebut racist rick at all. such general statements are at best only partly correct any way usually by being highly selective in the examples given.
    I would accept as more accurate that all tyrannical totalitarian regimes engage in purges of various kinds after they take power regardless of what “ideology” they publicly profess in private they are all about power and dominion of the leader who in the past was often proclaimed as “King” sometimes even blessed by the religious authorities.

    uncle frogy

  49. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    gain and again I keep proving you wrong a

    Nope, you keep proving yourself wrong by citing the wrong literature to back up your claims. Your like the creobots who can’t cite a reference where the web site doesn’t presuppose the existence of their imaginary creator. Total circular reasoning. Which you appear to excel at….

  50. says

    More to the point, racissrick, correlation does not equal causation. As you must realize because of your blue hat analogy, which, if you had any reasoning skills would mean only that you could determine *the blue-hatted leader likes the color blue*. You’re trying to imply Poopyhead is a genocidal maniac, and that is so ridiculous, we cannot take anything you say seriously.

  51. Ulysses says

    Racist Rick has never heard of the 30 years war, where about 1/3 of the population of central Europe died during fighting between Catholics and Protestants. No atheists involved.

    Sack of Magdeburg (wikipedia):

    On the last day of the siege Magdeburg’s councilors were convinced that it was time to sue for peace, but word of their decision did not reach the [Catholic] Count of Tilly in time. The siege was ended and Imperial Field Marshal Gottfried Heinrich Graf zu Pappenheim, and Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, attacked Magdeburg for its rich stores of goods. The city’s fortifications were breached and imperial forces were able to overpower armed opposition and open the Kröcken Gate which allowed the entire army to enter the city. The city was dealt another blow when Colonel Dietrich von Falkenberg, a nobleman sent by [Protestant Swedish ]King Gustavus to direct Magdeburg’s military affairs, was shot dead by Catholic imperials. When the city was almost lost, the garrison mined various places and set others on fire. After the city fell, the Imperial soldiers went out of control and started to massacre the inhabitants and set fire to the city. The invading soldiers had not received payment for their service and took the chance to loot everything in sight; they demanded valuables from every household that they encountered. Otto von Guericke, an inhabitant of Magdeburg, claimed that when civilians ran out of things to give the soldiers, “the misery really began. For then the soldiers began to beat, frighten, and threaten to shoot, skewer, hang, etc., the people.” It took only one day for all of this destruction and death to transpire. Of the 30,000 citizens, only 5,000 survived. For fourteen days, charred bodies were carried to the Elbe River to be dumped to prevent disease.

    In a letter, Pappenheim wrote of the Sack: “I believe that over twenty thousand souls were lost. It is certain that no more terrible work and divine punishment has been seen since the Destruction of Jerusalem. All of our soldiers became rich. God with us, [emphasis added]

  52. omnicrom says

    racissrick start over.

    What is your argument? PZ makes a joke about how the things he wants to do to religious institutions is deny them tax exempt status. You pop in to say that if he was elected supreme leader what he’d actually do is commit a massacre. Bit of a disconnect between “My sinister plan is to separate church and state” and “You support a religious holocaust!”

    PZ Myers was making a joke and you freaked the fuck out. You aren’t proving yourself when you go down a list of atrocities committed by supreme leaders because you are not even wrong. You are the only person in this argument, no one else is defending the reign of the Tentacled Overlord PZthulhu but you seem to see yourself as somehow striking a blow against some imaginary threat with your misuse of history.

  53. racissrick says

    @58 No fucking shit I was waiting for someone to drag out that tired old excuse for ignoring statistics. Where are the rational skeptics? Where are the actual free thinkers? All I keep hearing is children who have no reading comprehension. Several of you have demonstrated that you have no interest in research, analysis, learning the truth, and have a dangerous level of historical ignorance. You keep moving goal posts. Not once have I seen any actual reflection. Want specific examples? How about the demonstrated ignorance on Afghanistan and mexico. All comment on that has been abandoned, instead of acting like thinking adults several of you are scrambling for some other scrap to criticize. If the only thought you are capable of is he is wrong how do you expect to ever learn anything? This blog is supposed to be about science, teaching, and demonstrating (and ejaculating it seems), yet this seems to escape several of the posters.

  54. racissrick says

    @60 bravo omnicrom. My entire point was that while theocracy is bad, atheist rule has historically trended to be even worse. Really when you think about it Theocracy isn’t that bad, its just like crucifixion. Yes! This was a long, drawn out, and bad Life of Brian joke.

  55. Rob Grigjanis says

    unclefrogy @56

    I am not going to even bother to search for anything that would support or rebut racist rick at all.

    What is that, the fifth or sixth time someone has played a stupid word game with racissrick’s ‘nym? Grow the fuck up.

  56. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    [talking about the fact that correlation != causation]
    No fucking shit I was waiting for someone to drag out that tired old excuse for ignoring statistics.

    If you think that correlation != causation is “an excuse for ignoring statistics” that’s pretty much proof that you’ve never studied or employed statistics beyond what you’ve learned about percentages in elementary school.

  57. omnicrom says

    racissrick get off the cross.Your post at 61 is hilarious in how overwrought and self-important it is.

    “Where are the freethinkers” at freethought blog? Right here. Your argument is vague and doesn’t pass muster to be accepted. You have provided evidence but it doesn’t relate to whatever argument you seem to be making. Either that or you have muddled your argument so badly that the real specifics of it cannot be determined. This is not a matter of reading comprehension as you claim in the post, it is a matter of your writing comprehensibility. If no person here has understand your self-presumed cunning and persuasive argument then the real onus for the problem is yours.

    Freethought blogs is not full of sheeple marching in lock step just because we do not agree with YOU racissrick.

  58. omnicrom says

    racissrick I’m glad you came out and revealed yourself not as foolish but as actively deplorable and wrong. It was hard to tell but I’m glad I understand your argument now.

    I had initially considered that maybe you were pretentiously retreading the “Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely” canard but no, you really are one of thse people who blame Stalin’s atrocities on having no state religion. It’s nice that’s cleared up, especially because I don’t have to really bother arguing with you since you were completely and utterly refuted further up the thread when people pointed out that every one of the ugly massacres you listed were caused by reasons other than atheism and were often instigated by straight theocracies.

    racissrick unless you can provide evidence we’re done here. Not thought experiments, not irrelevant factoids, not your OPINION on atheism, not dodgy correlations, but actual solid evidence. Still I’m happy you ended the suspense and confirmed how bad you were. Kudos.

  59. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Where are the rational skeptics? Where are the actual free thinkers?

    Free thinkers doesn’t mean they swallow tripe, rather that they look at the real evidence, not your imagufactured tripe. Skeptics also start with the concept you are nothing but a liar and bullshitter. if you can’t provide the proper evidence. You don’t win without using proper evidence. Try here

  60. Sastra says

    racissrick #16 wrote:

    If history is any indication its more likely you’d execute a bunch of your own citizens once in power, which actually makes a theocracy sound quite pleasant in comparison.

    If you look back at what PZ wrote you will note that he was not claiming he’d institute an officially “atheist” regime. If all he was going to do was stop granting tax privileges to churches and maintain separation of church and state then that couldn’t be the enforcement of atheism as part of a political ideology, which brings the state into the churches (and destroys them.)

    He’s clearly advocating a secular humanist system. None of your historical examples fit.

  61. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Once anybody tries to pretend “freethinker” means “swallow my tripe”, they have tacitly conceded the intellectual argument. They have no evidence, and they know it.

  62. says

    Personally, from his reliance on religious news outlets, I’m thinking Bible college, not secular institute.

    And, racissrick, I gave you my reasons for researching the way I did. Personally, I think anyone stupid enough to say that because two things happen at the same time must have caused each other is not smart enough to have this discussion.

  63. says

    omnicron: I started by assuming he was one of those “international atheist conspiracy to murder the religious types.” No one else could be so willfully misinformed about theocracies.

  64. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    My entire point was that while theocracy is bad, atheist rule has historically trended to be even worse.

    Point the first: except in the extremely limited technical sense that Dear Leader is never actually called “A god”, calling communism “atheist” is a stretch.

    Point the second: even ignoring that, it has no meaningful relationship to freethought or humanism. The traditions are philosophically separate, radically so. Communist regimes have cracked down on religious institutions because they were competitors for the people’s loyalties and a threat to their power, not as a matter of principles, and have worked with them eagerly when they were willing to subordinate themselves (the church in the USSR during World War II, which declared Stalin a “divine savior,” for instance). Your deliberate conflation of communism with atheism as it exists in the modern world is both intellectually and regularly dishonest.

  65. unclefrogy says

    why should I Rob
    what is that going to get me?
    or is it up to you to define who is and who is not a grown up?
    I said what I said because I don’t believe anything mr rass said it is so cherry picked and distorted as to be insulting and would not even convince a high school student with a smattering of history education.

    uncle frogy

  66. Randomfactor says

    Cheer up, PZ. As someone pointed out, at least you’ll likely be owned by Canadians.

  67. Stacy says

    There’s nothing in the ideology of atheism qua atheism that calls for the murder of non-atheists.* There are a number of religious ideologies that explicitly call for the murder of heathens and apostates.

    Of course, atheists can be horrible human beings. So can theists.

  68. Rob Grigjanis says

    unclefrogy, aren’t name-based taunts generally thought of as a schoolyard activity? Are they really necessary?

  69. Ulysses says

    Rob Grigjanis @78

    I call Racist Rick by that name because that’s how he (I assume xe’s male) wants it pronounced. I specifically asked him and he gave a syllable by syllable guide to pronunciation.

  70. sqlrob says


    It’s a chosen name versus a given one. Why shouldn’t there be open season on it?

  71. raven says

    Racissrick, the xian death cultist troll, is just doing the Stalin and Mao routine.

    They weren’t atheist leaders. They were communist leaders who happened to be atheists.

    Using Racissrick’s nonlogic, we can blame all wars, gneocides, and massacres carried out by xians on xianity.

    1. World Wars I and II, started by xians and fought mostly by xians.

    2. The US civil war, started and fought by xians.

    3 The War of 1812, the Korean war, Vietnam.

    4. The Reformation wars.

    5. The bloodiest civil war in history, the Taiping Rebellion, started by a xian.

    6. The fall of the Roman empire, by Germanic xians.

    7. All the wars in Europe in the last 1500 years and in the Americas after European settlement. Toss in the Australian and Americas near genocides after European contact.

    If we own Stalin and Mao, Rassirick and the xians own all that and more. In terms of dead bodies, the xians can claim hundreds of millions, a world record.

  72. raven says

    There weren’t really any atheists up until a few centuries ago.

    For one simple reason.

    It was a death penalty offense. Xians killed each other in witch hunts, heretic hunts, the Reformation wars, and crusades (two were against other xians) by the millions.

    You know what they would have done to an atheist if they found one. Only the suicidally inclined would admit it.

    Xianity has been soaked in blood for 2,000 years. They still murder people when they can. Xian terrorists and their assasins are still a problem in the USA. Just look at Eric Rudolph and Scott Roeder. They aren’t hard to find, doing life sentences in prison for murdering MD’s.

  73. Subtract Hominem says

    Dang. That Julia Gillard. What a totalitarian despot. Scarcely a theist is left alive in Australia since she came to power.

    Oh wait. That’s not true at all.

  74. Caveat Imperator says

    Azkyroth, #73,

    Furthermore, violent communist regimes have has two traits that are more widely shared with religion than with atheism alone:
    1. A belief that the end justifies the means.
    2. Extreme authoritarianism.

    Why is it that the violent, authoritarian regimes that were publicly atheist are used to judge atheism, yet violent religious regimes are handwaved away as “corrupting the true religious message” or such nonsense?

    I’d hardly call communism or fascism religions, but they share a lot of traits in common. Traits that can be used to enable and justify killing people.

  75. Rob Grigjanis says

    Ulysses @79: How do you pronounce ‘racist’? From the horse’s mouth, @29:

    the rac is pronounced like the rass in brass, the is is pronounced as is, and rick is pronounced like rick.

  76. Ulysses says

    I pronounce “rass is” as “racist”. Sorry if that annoys you. Actually I’m not sorry in the least but I’m just making polite noises at you. Now grow up and worry about Christians telling lies about atheists. Or isn’t that something you care about?

  77. anchor says

    One of my gripes with Hitchens is that he paired up with him on tours, and thereby gave Wilson a boost in reputation that he doesn’t deserve.

    That was one of my main beefs with him too.

    I thought for a little while there, with all his foibles: well, the Hitch is flaming along rather lugubriously on his chosen poison and getting the ‘basic’ message across on an afterburner few others would dare to embark on or be capable of enduring, which was entirely fine and dandy with me, until i found i could not agree with him anymore whatsoever on his curious stance on the middle east and so on. But certainly not because he was fond of drink – butbecause of his entanglement with Wilson in concert and a number of other things, all well known here. That’s what broke it for me. I will always love that penetrating swift mind, but man, in all his astonishingly penetrarating zoom, did he ever miss the mark.

    Its really hard to see a blindingly brilliant mind like that go chronically AWOL, ricocheting off into territory where he forgets to check his navigation and orientation. Yet I continued to listen, because he was so fantastically bright, waiting for some brilliant mea culpa from him that would have straightened things out most handsomely as only he could have. For whatever reason, it didn’t happen.

    I gather from what actually came about to be nothing less than another example of the horrible inertia of personal belief, the whole deplorable possibility that we are, all of us, anywhere near as capable as we THINK we are to be able to accept evidence to the contrary of our position, or suppose we ought merely to ‘upgrade’ our chosen stance based on such evidence. And THAT struck me every bit as much as anything Hitch said.

    On that much one may suppose one to be well-informed, but by a rather roundabout route that incorporates things one may not necessasrily adhere to along the way. A kind of instruction via constant exposure to the wrong answers.


    What I most admire about PZ (whom I consider to be a prime exemplar of THE counter-example) is his unswerving bead on the issue involved, no funny games attached. THAT has demonstrated to me that it isn’t so much about what we want to see happen as much as it is about getting there every step of the way with a clear head, without caving in to cheap political games or tactics in order to buy our way into achieving just another illusion of having obtained it.

    That is something that is genuine: no style is solicited, none are necessary. If a thing is wrong, any campaign of rectifying it through tactic will inevitably sustain the wrong.

  78. fmitchell says

    Pff, some Tyrant-President you’d make PZ. Where’s the historical de-revisionism? Where’s the Two Minute Point-And-Laugh? Where’s the two-way TV in every home to watch public officials 24/7, the thieving bastards?

    To contribute to the current discussion, atheism really isn’t an “ideology” that justifies much of anything. Communism and other religions — or humanism, on the flip side — provides a basis/excuse for action. With apologies to PZ, one can simply espouse “dictionary atheism” without trying to spread the word, or even getting off the couch. One must consider the consequences of the absence of gods on one’s ethics and on fellow humans — or fill the intellectual void with some crackpot teleological faith like Maoism or Soviet-style Marxism — and both of those are voluntary steps outside literal atheism.

  79. DLC says

    I’m curious: which historical leader was it who ordered belt buckles for his troops with the slogan “Gott ist tot!” on them ?
    Oh, that would be none. How many historical leaders published manifestos in which they decreed all believers would henceforth be executed in the name of non-belief ?
    That’d still be none.
    How many historical leaders sent armies to conquer the seat of Atheism in the name of Non-God ?
    How many Atheist leaders have declared that it’s okay to murder in the name of Non-God ?
    Have we sanctified the birthplace of David Hume yet ?
    Did I miss the memo ?

  80. mycrofth says

    Dear Racissrick-
    Most of written history deals with theocratic regimes. From the Sumerians, Egyptians, Romans, and, after 0 CE, the diverse Abrahamic regimes of East & West Rome, not to forget the brave forces of Islam and their bloody 1000 years conquest of North Africa, half of Asia, Spain and the Balkans. To leave the Euro/Xian perspective, one has to add the Russian Empire till 1917, China until the Kuomintang, Japan and its God-Emperors, Korea (pre- and post the Kims – Juche has nothing to do with Atheism), and finally the blood splattered theocracies of the Americas: Maya, Inca, Aztecs… The list is cursory, and by no means complete. To redefine an overused term: abominations all. Rivers of blood, millions of dead “heathen”, “heretics”, “unbelievers”.
    Then Europeans broke the iron cage of the Catholic Church, weakening the connection of church and state (many churches, many states), developing what’s called the enlightenment. Still going to church, still believing in holy books, but with an increasing distrust towards autocratic regimes. Succeeded for a short time in France, abolishing their king. And here we have a start of your chain of argument:
    The blood-drinking Autocrats of the revolutionary periods called the short “period of terror”, which cost the aristocracy 1,200 lives, an “unparalleled bloodshed”. Gee, every one of the 17 European peasant wars slaughtered ten times as many. But these aristos, they were, you know, people. Not peasants and vagabonds. Since that time the bloodiness of secular movements and revolutions has been widely exaggerated.
    Revolutions usually cost lives – and often the following civil wars and security problems lead to new forms of autocracies, often bloody ones. That’s why so many of us shy away from them and try to archive our goals by other means. Like, you know, democracy, rule of law, human rights…
    You seem to think that Atheism has no specific ethics. That may be true. But it is part of the human condition to reflect upon ethical behavior, and atheists, as humans, do so. They only don’t parrot stuff from old books. They do not think that something is good because god says so. They insist on checking the consequences of actions. And they come to a wide span of slightly varying conclusions and moral systems. This site is one of the places where such cutting-edge discussions take place.
    One can’t say that you contributed to that discussion.

  81. Akira MacKenzie says

    Ugh! Don’t mention Doug Wilson! I’m encountered some smarmy, slimely, creepy Jesus-fuckers in my time (My mother’s side of the family comes quickest to mind), but Wilson has somehow discovered whole new vistas of obnoxious arrogance.

    After watching “Collision,” I’m very disappointed that Hitchins came away liking that bigoted shit. There’s no way in that I could be stand to be such a creature’s presence and not attempt to do it great bodily harm; I’d consider it a moral duty and a service to humanity.

  82. raven says

    Rassisrick seems to have blown his cerebral cortex. The smaller ones do that a lot.

    But what he never managed to learn, is that humans do thing for reasons other than religion or lack of.

    These would include money, power, sex, ideology, aesthetics (art), enterntainment, curiosity, emotions like love, hate happiness, culture, brainwashing, mental illness, and so on. One of the main drivers is economics. And religion of course. And quite often, for more than one reason.

    Stalin and Mao were motivated by utopian idealism, ideology, love of power, and what they perceived as necessity. Atheism was incidental.

    There have been plenty of xian monster leaders in the 20th century, Hitler the Catholic, Pinochet, Mussolini, Franco, The Argentinian junta, Kaiser William, George Bush, and dozens of others. You can go back in history to the invention of xianity and the list would be pages and pages long.

    The time when xians had the most power in Europe was known as the Dark Ages. They weren’t fun. Things started looking up at the Enlightenment when thinking for oneself replaced priests and kludgy old books of mythology.

  83. anchor says

    @fmitchell: uh, just so long you understand there is no void, particularly of any intellectual sort, that wouldn’t be regarded as the inevitable laughing stock of anyone beneath your considerable wit.

    To which vast numbers I gladly identify, most wholesomely.

    provided your supreme powers of satire elude me, of course, i name thee: schmuck prime.

  84. Azuma Hazuki says

    Racissrick…seriously? Seriously?

    Let me spell it out for you: all of the regimes which committed democide had an overriding interest: communism or fascism.

    And if you know your history as thoroughly as you say you do, you know very well that most of these ran propaganda and cults of personality. The key point here is that they are indistinguishable from any religion with the sole exception of lacking a supernatural focus.

    Think about it. How many people were told not to look at Dear Leader’s portrait lest they go blind? How many were indoctrinated in schools that there is Only One Right Way, viz., that of their overlords? Does this sound anything like actual freethought, or does it sound like religion to you?

    Saying “atheist leaders commit democide” is not germane; they committed democide because, precisely like theistic tyrants, they were drunk on their own power and dogma.

    As to how atheism leads individuals to good morals: those of us who are not power-hungry fascist whackadoodles rather quickly discover humanism of one flavor or another, and the rest takes care of itself. In the US, atheists, agnostics, Deists, and freethinkers generally are underrepresented in prison and criminal populations, far below the proportion of the general population.

  85. anchor says

    @racissrick, who says,

    “while theocracy is bad, atheist rule has historically trended to be even worse”

    Everybody here is on pins and needles waiting for any support for that preposterous claim. Put it up. Go ahead. We dare you. Just think of how foolish you will make us all look by doing so. I’d like to know of a single example of a politically atheist rule untrammeled by religious motives myself.

    DO IT.

  86. says

    @ mouthyb

    If you are going to fisk racissrick, you might also want to point out that the wars in Angola and Mozambique were initiated by the US’s CIA and kept going by the goddist South Africans. It was a veritable crusade against the heathen back then.

    @ raven


    Er,… no. Stalin was molded by the church. Every thing he did was according to a xtian framework, over which he merely draped a red flag. Like Marxism, Stalinism was little more than a secular messianic ideology.

    The same can be said of Nazism. Their ideology is grafted onto a form of absolutism and messianism that grows straight from its religious roots.

    (Think also: Those very things we, as atheists, hold in such high esteem – such as humanism and scepticism – are the ultimate anathemas of these very ideologies we refute.)

  87. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The same can be said of Nazism. Their ideology is grafted onto a form of absolutism and messianism that grows straight from its religious roots.

    This, of course, is ignoring the fact that Nazism was explicitly anti-secular and religious.

  88. says

    PS: Xtians deepest fear, as dyed-in-the-wool Right Wing Authoritarians, is that those opposed to them (us) are of like mind, but merely standing on the other side of the fence. In their selfabsorbtion, they cannot imagine how very different the paradigm actually is.

    The same ideology may also pervade the world view of MRA’s. They cannot imagine other than, that when the boot is on the other foot (in the form of some counterpole to the patriarchy), those Others ™ will treat them as they treated others.

    [Aside: The ancient Athenians had it pointed out how unfair and unreasonable their system was (they really were right arseholes). They agreed. Yet having come so far in iniquity how could they now stop? (They were stopped a few years later by the Spartans, who showed far more restraint, and even sympathy.)]

  89. says

    @ Azkyroth

    My point is: “its religious roots”. These cannot be denied, however much racissrick et al would like to spin it – secular or not. (Both Nazism and Stalinism made a lot of use of the church. If one has a domineering world view, what better source of support.)

  90. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Okay – I’ve just seen too many people get caught up in rebutting why “the Nazis were atheists” was an argument against atheism generally, without pausing to rebut the claim that they were.

  91. anchor says

    Tony! The Lonely Queer Shoop

    Want a drink while we all breathlessly wait on that?

    How nice of you to offer your judgment.

    I don’t drink, bub.

    You know, its hard enough to get through life without assholes just like you passing judgment.

    I’ve had the big slam before from this community of ‘free-thinking’ folks, thought it was just a passing wave of energetic passion, and figured i just couldn’t fit in. I’ve been a reader of PZ’s blog from near within a year of its inception, and found enough gumption to start contributing my opinion as a commentor at least 4 or 5 years ago – back in those heady days when we could actually talk without fear of mutual reprisal.

    I could offer plenty of excuses for sounding awkward or different (aspergers coupled with the fact that english isn’t my first language) but i will not trouble your sort any longer. Oh yeah, let the inevitable avalanche commence – i’ve read all the stuff along the way about how pathetic it is whenever somebody deigns to bow out because of one conflict or another. I got slammed before -it started just like your curiously targeted post – and…

    well, i won’t belabor it, except to say this one last thing:

    The primary problem with this group isn’t its expressed opposition to religious irrationality. but a pervasive internal antagonism that prevents any meaningful and unified movement toward destroying that irrationality.

    I almost hesitate to add that it is a damned shame that we can’t do better than to fritter away our energy and time on poking holes on each other. However,

  92. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says



    Knowing Tony, that was just a friendly gesture with no underlining judgement. It’s the “thing” where someone offers somebody else a virtual drink while they wait (especially since we’re going to wait forever for rassisrick to support his claim), or chocolate when they’re down…

  93. says

    theophontes: Eh, I give up. I’ve got a shit ton of writing to finish between now and the end of the semester, and I went on to do it rather than waiting on racissrick to get around to offering evidence.

    I will say, though, that I responded the way I did because of my Baysean priors (eg being in lots of churches as a child in which the pastor claimed all sorts of religious atrocities that I could never find in the regular news.) World was totally going to end soon, as proved by the slaughter of Christians on China/by Catholics/by all the atheist regimes that god was totally going to get rid of, donate more money to the church.

    I can smell that shit coming.

  94. says

    @ Azkyroth

    {theophontes rereads own sentence}

    Mea Culpa. That was a not well written.

    I realise there is a lot of kicking the ball about wrt whether the Nazis embraced religion or not (“Hitler was an ATHEIST!!!@!!11!”). What is good, is to take a step back and notice that, whether or not Hitler (Stalin, Pol Pot, Kim Il-sung…) liked to parade themselves as atheists, where their primary motivations were coming from. On this count they all score highly as messianic absolutists. Much like Jeebus and Sky-daddy.

  95. says

    @ mouthyb

    I’ve got a shit ton of writing to finish

    Heh, I have a shit ton of drawings to amend.

    Neither is conducive to a sound fisking. I could also fire my initials through the center of racisrick‘s nym, but that is, after all, why xe chose the nym in the first place (… yawn).

    I just went and bought a whole lot of Sanpellegrino and Walker’s crisps before I get back to work. Here, have some!

    {theophontes tries to shove a handful of crisps through the USB port. Ends up with crumbs all over the keyboard and floor.}

    Shit! I wonder how the other Pharyngulites get that right?

  96. anchor says

    damn, sorry, the thing posted on me without….?

    what i wanted to finish saying, is that while PZ and many of the commentariat (especially the long-timers – you all know who you are) are all precisely on the ball with the business of actually making a difference, there has been a steady influx of ‘newbies’ who regard this as nothing more than another blog to comment on.

    And that’s great, fantastic! By all means, the more the merrier! But please please don’t let this best of all atheist blogs devolve into a mere forum where much of the activity revolves around pointed stabs at each other.

    That said, i must wholeheartedly endorse PZ’s strong campaign against the forces in our society that threaten to demolish our very view of who we think we are: there can absolutely be no place for misogyny, in any sphere of human endeavor, and there cannot be any room whatsoever for racism, bigotry. or anti-gay sentiment to continue to call the shots. He well knows how important these issues are, NOT just from the standpoint of driving toward a secular religion-free society, but as a simple matter of if we don’t fix that stuff, all the rest won’t work out either. He’s dead on right.

    And he knows exactly how important ENVIRONMENTAL issues are, without which all of the specifically human problems cannot possibly be solved: Chris has emerged as a major champion of the ecosystem that supports any hopeful human endeavor, and from my perspective (however Tony! may characterize the ‘source’ of my statements) I consider him to be clear-thinking and a growing bastion for that ultimate problem we must inevitably grapple with: degradation of the environment in the ugly face of over-population .

    I’m afraid I’ve gone too far and I’m sure this could motivate splendid havoc by those so inclined to continue the tired trick of making it look like something else, but i don’t give a shit. All I want to see is PZ’s vision continue in some semblance of the dignity that us old-timer readers most admired about his exceptional efforts over the last-what is it now? some 8 years+ i reckon.

    I will not refrain from reading and observing this best of all atheist blogs.

    Ii no longer care what anyone says.

    Oh, and thanks Tony! You were truly a big help!

    Over and OUT.

  97. anchor says

    Beatrice, i think you are probably right.

    What would a dummy like me do without the help of clear-thinking good friends like you?

    I am now flat.

  98. says

    I apologize.
    I was not trying to insult you or judge you.
    My thoughts were that it was going to take some time for raccisrick to respond to the points you brought up, and having a virtual cocktail would be a way to kill some time.
    I am sorry.

  99. Old At Heart says

    It’s the atheists! They’re coming for your tax-free income! Since that was the original post I can pontificate there… If a church were to pay taxes, now, I’m a Canadian so the tax law is a teensy bit different, but if a church were to be considered a business (like they are, providing a service and getting paid for it: Sermons and tithes), it would have deductibles. Payroll, supplies expenses, rent expenses, these are all deductible. If a church really wasn’t running a on-paper profit and gave the remainder to charity, they’d pay no tax regardless of being officially “taxed” or not.. On top of that, what flaw is there in paying taxes? It goes to the government, who redistributes it (in an ideal world) to the people who need it most. Like charity, but someone else doing it for you… Assuming you like murdering people in the middle east.

    Just some food for thought.

  100. John Morales says

    Old At Heart:

    If a church were to pay taxes, now, I’m a Canadian so the tax law is a teensy bit different, but if a church were to be considered a business (like they are, providing a service and getting paid for it: Sermons and tithes), it would have deductibles. Payroll, supplies expenses, rent expenses, these are all deductible.

    IOW, they’d have to document and report their cash-flow and how they spend their money and be held accountable for that, no?

    If a church really wasn’t running a on-paper profit and gave the remainder to charity, they’d pay no tax regardless of being officially “taxed” or not.

    Fine; so: if there is no financial downside for them, why do they object so strenuously? :)

  101. raven says

    Just some food for thought.

    Naw. I’ve seen plastic fruits that were more realistic.

    You missed one of the main taxes for an organization like a church.

    Property taxes.

    The churches consume services paid for by property taxes such as roads, fire, police, street lighting, and so on and get them for free.

    You are right that their operating cash flow wouldn’t yield much in the way of taxes. That was never the point though. It’s the property tax that is their big tax break.

  102. chigau (違う) says

    Do churches pay property taxes on the “non-sacred” property that they own?

  103. says

    @ chigau

    Do churches pay property taxes on the “non-sacred” property that they own?

    Mmmmh, I’d be interested to find out the case in Hong Kong. The Cat-licks own incredible amounts of sordidly expensive land right in the middle of the city. This was, in large part, paid for by the Italian Fascists just prior to WW2.