1. feministhomemaker says

    My husband and I are both life members! This is a great ad! I was a bit disappointed to find out Pinker is on the Board, especially after his attempt to denigrate so called “identity politics” in the science march and recently tweeting what seemed approval for the prank publishing experiment that proved the opposite of what the authors claimed. But no matter. The group does great work and the founder is a strong supporter of abortion rights.

    I wish I had known about them when our youngest son had to endure a horrible situation in Memorial High School in Houston where the Orchestra teacher pushed his christian beliefs onto the kids who were a diverse student body of atheists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and various christians. One episode still burns me up! Students were asked to say who they admired and he left a flyer on each seat afterwards explaining how everyone who said Jesus received an A! We were appalled.

    So yeah, go join!

  2. HidariMak says

    I’m glad that the FFRF exists, and it’s unfortunate how needed such an organization is. But I can’t help but wonder, how many Christians are going to see that ad, and wrongly think that their own variant of Christianity is what’s being promoted through the government.

  3. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    And such a rude attack on the freedom of religion Christians to impose their beliefs on the rest of us.

  4. HidariMak says

    Just to clarify, it’s the fundy schoolteachers who are going to preach the joys of the “Good News Club”, that climate change isn’t happening because of what God promised Noah, and that over 95% of all of their student’s relatives are going to the most traumatizing visions of hell that the teacher can describe. The various other Christians are less likely (in my opinion) to try and restrict the rights of others, and less likely to use their faith to promote their non-fundy politicians to office.

    If the various non-fundy adults can see Drumpf’s decision as something that negatively affects more than just “those unchristian atheists”, they might be more willing to argue on the side of the FFRF, instead of just passing over the ad.

  5. says

    Member for some time now. I’m always amused by the plain wrapper the FFRF magazine comes in, and a bit worried that it may be necessary.

  6. consciousness razor says

    HidariMak, #5:

    The various other Christians are less likely (in my opinion) to try and restrict the rights of others, and less likely to use their faith to promote their non-fundy politicians to office.

    There are theocrats in basically every Christian denomination, as well as basically every sect in any other religious tradition. So, yes, we do have to worry about it coming from basically every direction.

    You may be less likely to see it among some of the more progressive religionists and such; but even then it’s apparently not “anti-fundamentalism” that’s doing the work, so much as “non-conservativeness” or something along those lines.

    And just at a conceptual level, theocracy is not really tied down to fundamentalism at all. Or I don’t see why it would be. You don’t have to take a kind of fundamentalist stance, just in order to think that your religion is the best thing since sliced bread, that it ought to have some kind of moral or political authority, and so forth.

    Some people just don’t take their religions that seriously or think about it at anything above a very shallow level. But to the extent that they do, no matter what views they may have about assorted theological issues or how religious scriptures should be interpreted, it’s really fucking hard to get anybody to disentangle religion with morality and politics. (I’d say even many atheists conflate them sometimes, but that’s a conversation for another thread.) The worry is of course that anybody might actually follow through with it, by establishing theocratic laws and institutions, because they think religions could give some kind of valid perspective about those things.

    Once you take away that, if their religion just isn’t applicable because the point of it has to do something with else (whatever the hell that would be), then you’re guaranteed not to have a theocrat. But most likely, by then, you’re presumably not even going to have much of a religionist, because as far as I can tell, almost the entire point is to have something which is supposed to offer some kind of authoritative framework which somehow addresses moral and political questions. You might still have somebody who likes church music or socializing at pancake breakfasts or whatever, but as I say, that’s not much of a religionist. And indeed, we also certainly don’t have to worry about anything like that.

  7. chrislawson says


    I don’t think there’s any strict logical necessity for theocracy and fundamentalism to go together, but I think they both stem from a rigid authoritarian worldview and fit together quite naturally.

    (In passing, this comment led me to read a little of the fascinating history of the theocratic Bogd Khaanate of Mongolia, 1911-24 . My favourite tidbit: when China reasserted its sovereignty over the region, it did so with a document called “On respecting Outer Mongolia by the government of China and improvement of her future position after the self-abolishing of autonomy.” Ah, the old self-abolishing autonomy trick.)