"...the alliance between fundamentalists or evangelical religion and right wing politics is a very troubling phenomenon and this is certainly one of the most potent reasons for it. What's really scary is that a lot of them seem to think that the second coming is around the corner -- the idea that we're going to have Armageddon anyway so it doesn't make much difference. I find that to be socially irresponsible on the highest order. It's scary." Daniel Dennett interview in Der Speigel. See his home page.
"The beauty of the religious right as a political bloc was that it provided a large pool of voters that often acted in unison, based on a narrow set of issues that had relatively little to do with actual governance and did not inconvenience the corporate interests that finance the Republican Party. By and large, the things that mattered most to these voters mattered least in the Oval Office. Despite the Bush family's traditional aversion to its culture, Rove and the other strategists knew that they had to have that bloc." Russ Baker, Family of Secrets. pg 399.
"Religions, which condemn the pleasures of sense, drive men to seek the pleasures of power. Throughout history power has been the vice of the ascetic." -- Bertrand Russell English philosopher and mathematician 1872-1970
The Gospels are radical pacifist material, if you take a look at them. When the Roman emperor Constantine adopted Christianity, he shifted it from a radical pacifist religion to the religion of the Roman Empire. So the cross, which was the symbol of the suffering of the poor, was put on the shield of the Roman soldiers. Since that time, the Church has been pretty much the church of the rich and the powerful—the opposite of the message of the Gospels. Liberation theology, in Brazil particularly, brought the actual Gospels to peasants. They said, let’s read what the Gospels say, and try to act on the principles they describe. That was the major crime that set off the Reagan wars of terror and Vatican repression. The United States was virtually at war with the Catholic Church in the 1980s. It was a clash of civilizations, if you like: the United States versus the Gospels." Noam Chomsky: What We Say Goes.
John J. DiIulio Jr., the former head of president Bush's faith-based initiatives, says "What you got is everything, and I mean everything, being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."
Any attempt to hold ideologies accountable for the crimes committed by their followers must be approached with a great deal of caution. It is too easy to assert that those with whom we disagree are not just wrong but tyrannical, fascist, genocidal. But it is also true that certain ideologies are a danger to the public and need to be identified as such. These are the closed, fundamentalist doctrines that cannot coexist with other belief systems; their followers deplore diversity and demand an absolute free hand to implement their perfect system. The world as it is must be erased to make way for their purist invention. Rooted in biblical fantasies of great floods and great fires, it is a logic that leads ineluctably toward violence. The ideologies that long for that impossible clean slate, which can be reached only through some kind of cataclysm, are the dangerous ones. Naomi Klein "Shock Doctrine"
"Africans say that the missionaries came and told them to look toward heaven and when they looked down again, all their land was stolen ..." Clark Kerr quoted in Subversives: Seth Rosenfeld
My American friends tell me that you are slipping towards a theocratic Dark Age. Which is very disagreeable for the very large number of educated, intelligent and right-thinking people in America. Unfortunately, at present, it's slightly outnumbered by the ignorant, uneducated people who voted Bush in. But the broad direction of history is toward enlightenment, and so I think that what America is going through at the moment will prove to be a temporary reverse. I think there is great hope for the future. My advice would be, Don't despair, these things pass. Richard Dawkins (See his home page.)
One of the greatest challenges facing civilization in the twenty first century is for human beings to learn to speak about their deepest personal concerns - about ethics, spiritual experience, and the inevitability of human suffering - in ways that are not flagrantly irrational. We desperately need a public discourse that encourages critical thinking and intellectual honesty. Nothing stands in the way of this project more than the respect we accord religious faith. Letter to a Christian Nation. Sam Harris
The idea that religion is a separate magisterium which cannot be proven or disproven is a Big Lie - a lie which is repeated over and over again, so that people will say it without thinking; yet which is, on critical examination, simply false. It is a wild distortion of how religion happened historically, of how all scriptures present their beliefs, of what children are told to persuade them, and of what the majority of religious people on Earth still believe. You have to admire its sheer brazenness, on a par with Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. The prosecutor whips out the bloody axe, and the defendant, momentarily shocked, thinks quickly and says: "But you can't disprove my innocence by mere evidence - it's a separate magisterium!" Eliezer_Yudkowsky
..."The meaning of religion is defined by what religious people actually believe, and the great majority of the world's religious people would be surprised to learn that religion has nothing to do with factual reality." Dreams of a Final Theory: Steven Weinberg (Nobel Prize For Physics)
"The policies of Nazi Germany were not officially Christian, but they were the product of a long and deplorable history of Christians' behavior toward Jews...How could a gospel of love be connected with such hateful and evil behavior - not once but consistently for many centuries ?" When Religion Becomes Evil: Charles Kimball
"Tell me your image of God and I'll tell you your poltics." Marcus Borg quoted in David C. Korten's book: The Great Turning
We are not endeavoring to chain the future, but to free the present. We are not forging fetters for our children, but we are breaking those our fathers made for us. We are the advocates of inquiry, of investigation and thought. This of itself, is an admission that we are not perfectly satisfied with all our conclusions. Philosophy has not the egotism of faith. Robert Ingersoll
American Humanist (Million Dollar Challenge)
Religulous, Bill Maher's film.
Flock of Dodos (a film on evolution vs id)
Why Are So Many Christians So Un-Christian?
Irreligious New Englanders (9/17/2013)
Can Radical Islam Be Cured by Science ? (5/30/2013)
The Pope to stay in vatican to avoid prosecution
The God Glut (12/10/2012)
Be Not Afraid of Mit Romney (9/23/2012)
Religion Declines WorldWide (8/9/2012)
GOP Insider: Religion Destroyed My Party (8/5/2012)
Right Wing Religion's War on America (4/14/2012)
Freedom of and From Religion (2/17/2012)
The Evangelical Rejection of Reason (10/18/2011)
10 Signs God is Furious With the Right (9/16/2011)
Meet The Christian Dominionist 'Prayer Warriors' Who Have Chosen Rick Perry As Their Vehicle For Power (8/15/2011)
Let Churches Do It is a Deceptive Myth (5/24/2011)
The Christian Right and the Rise of American Fascism (Chris Hedges)
Religion is Failed Science (3/18/2008)
The Conservative-Christian Big Thinker (12/16/2009)
The Four Horsemen (video of Dennett, Harris, Hitchens, and Dawkins.)
The best indicator
that someone is a Republican is
whether they are
regular church attendees. To have beliefs based on faith,
lessons of history, informed opinion, or evidence become
irrelevant. This is how the Republican
agenda can be conveyed by misinformation. Don't be surprised
that religion is not just an unholy GOP ally, but is, itself, a
large industry, a natural supporter of
plutocracy, a leading purveyor of misinformation, an important
political player, an advocate for the gun lobby, a powerful force
for martyrdom, terrorism, and war.
Republicans often proclaim religious zeal. Notice that the most religious countries are also the most backward. "Red States", like Mississippi, are our most religious. Our most highly educated communities are also the most liberal. Republicans frequently deny climate change, evolution, and many of them say higher education is indoctrination or snobbery. It appears that they are waging a war on science and, using large money incentives, are politicizing higher education and ideology driven 'think tanks'.
For those who believe in the literal truth of the bible. Adam and Eve populated the earth, the universe has existed for a few thousand years, evolution is just a theory, climate change is a hoax, there is life after death, and if you disagree or behave badly you will burn in hell. Republicans have appointed such people to the House Science oversight committees.
The belief that religion can heal can be life-threatening and
has been the cause of many unnecessary deaths. These beliefs are
centuries old and, after learning from evidence, we know better
now. The fossil, geological, DNA, astronomical evidence brings new
light to the story of creation, life, evolution, and science
continues to bring insights that should replace traditional
We all want to believe the truth. Science and
Religion both claim it, but they go about finding it in quite
different ways. Religion is introspective, but often its tenets are
dictated from authority. Dictated beliefs work particularly well
for children, who can be imprinted for life with ideas that are
unbelievable. The religious right denies science.
Science, on the other hand, painstakingly
looks at evidence, discusses issues in peer-reviewed journals,
tests repeatedly. It evolves. The result is we have learned a lot
in the last 2000 years. We are the first generations to see the
earth photographs from space. In several kinds of forensic evidence
there is a record of evolution.
The 'religious' among us are mostly in denial
of climate change and, with massive
corporate backing have all but declared war on science, are keen to continue as usual. Their
beliefs are a hindrance to education, sustainability, further
progress, and sensible policy. The welfare state infringes church
turf so Republicans oppose it... even
if people suffer.
Culture does not change much with new
knowledge partly due to religious indoctrination of the very
Religion attempts to indoctrinate children in a way that marks
them for life. It denies death, promises reward in the
afterlife for the observant or everlasting agony for non-believers.
Throughout history it has opposed the advance of science.
It pacifies many people faced with extreme income inequality., so it is politically useful.
As it seeks to impose its beliefs on hospitals, schools, it
aspires to replace the welfare state It can not, but it
explains Republican's animosity to social programs. Many
Republicans favor theocracy. They are the AmericanTaliban.
Congratulate the Swiss and the French for waking up to the problem by outlawing the burke.
It is not just Muslims who cling to medieval customs, other
major religions have equally unsupportable, and often disgusting
It has motivated political unrest, racism, misogyny, homophobia, superstition, willful ignorance, war on science, terrorism, genocide, and war, but no one seems to blame it for those things. Religion has gotten a free pass from the press.
Religion has proven to be a main motivation for terrorism
whether in abortion clinics or middle
east squares. It is to often a pretext for terrorism and war. It
operates tax-free, but we need to maintain a large standing
military, partly, on account of
Overpopulation and overuse of
resources can make the planet uninhabitable so we are in a race to
Now that we know that the earth is fragile, and that we have plundered it severely, we should be careful that it remains habitable. That would be conservative because there are no other habitable planets anywhere in sight.
Things that can't last, won't. We may go the way of the dinosaurs if we don't grow up and face facts.
Scientists View Religion
. . . gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe.~ Albert Camus
"When it comes to understanding how our universe evolves, religion and theology have been at best irrelevant. They often muddy the waters, for example, by focusing on questions of nothingness without providing any definition of the term based on empirical evidence. While we do not yet fully understand the origin of our universe, there is no reason to espect things to change in this regard. Moreover, I expect that ultimately the same will be true for our understanding of areas that religion now considers its own territory, such as human morality." A Universe From Nothing. Lawrence M. Krause
Ground Zero for Tolerance (8/18/2010)
Christian Fascists Are Growing Stronger (6/7/2010)
Christian fundamentalists have something in common with the Taliban: they too would like to take over government so they can have it their way. They have become an adjunct of the Republican Party and are therefore complicit in the destruction of US prosperity, civil liberties, peace, security, and the well-being of the people.
They may be in the US, but they are no different than the Taliban. They condone violence. Their policy is made by excluding women, and it takes no account that the earth is unsustainably overpopulated now. Since mainstream religions do not preach or act in the public interest, their tax exempt status should be revoked.
They are largely responsible that the US has not ratified
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women (CEDAW). (Most of the world has.) They are
instrumental in the decline of education since they are in denial
of much of science.
We have a healthcare system that is
a major cause of unnecessary deaths, bankruptcies, suffering,
corruption, widespread insecurity, economic dislocation, but
Christian supremacists demand that their objections to abortion (because the unborn are more important
to them than the living) be written into law.
There is a credible argument that the cold war, the wars in the Middle East, and other American wars, including the coninuing Middle Eastern crusades and the cold war, have been substantially motivated by religion. (Bush's "Axis of Evil" explanation had religious overtones. Washington has had more than its share of Christian supremacists at the highest levels.)
Watch this full length documentary on-line: The God Who Wasn't There. (1 Hr)
Religion as Big Business
Religion is an industry like any other, albeit tax free, and should be treated as such.
"The Mormon church owns a $16 billion insurance company, at
least $6 billion in stocks, and $172 million chain of radio
stations, as well as more than 150 farms and ranches, which easily
places the church among the largest landowners in the nation."
Chris Lehmann: How Mormon economics shape the GOP: Harper's October
How Mormonism Created Glenn Beck (10/22/2009)
IT'S NOT 'ANTI-CHRISTIAN' (2/5/2009)
The Right's America Hating Preacher (May 2, 2008).
Right-Wing Hatemongering Fueled by Christianity? (9/21/2009)
Christian Extremism is Undermining America (6/1/2009)
God is not your Bitch: Mark Morford 7/24/2009
Does Hate Speech Kill ? (6/2/2009)
“If the B52 bombers flying over Vietnam were dropping contraceptives, the American Catholic hierarchy would have condemned that in a minute, but they were dropping napalm”
The Vatican Bank And Money Laundering (2/18/2013)
The War on Nuns (6/2012)
50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church (11/26/2012)
Unholy Alliance (2/22/2012) Good reasons to avoid Catholic
It is a given that all institutions seek to expand their turf.
Church has always encouraged large families, indoctrinated
children early, and defended primogeniture. Since population now exceeds the carrying capacity
of the planet, Catholic doctrine is increasingly dangerous. Like
other major religions, it also makes second class citizens of
women. See Abortion.
Assuming the very altruistic become clergy, isn't it possible that the commitment to celibacy can breed that characteristic out of the population ?
Catholic Church hires Fox News Reporter (6/27/2012)
Catholic Church Worsening Sins of the Past (4/27/2010)
The Vatican Role in population policy.
The Catholic Church is a powerful force censoring media. (See no
Evil: Geoffrey Cowan)
Is Christianity responsible for historic European violent culture ?
Why Did God Create Atheists ? (6/6/2010)
About the Bible
The Greatest Story Ever Sold (video)
Sam Harris: Religion is Failed Science
Religion has always been politically useful. See this note. It has been a pretext for war, and the destruction of the (political) opposition. Non believers are heathens and can, without guilt, be abused or slaughtered. This righteousness accompanied colonial exploitation, brutal treatment of indigenous populations, the genocides of the American Indians, and the Jews in Germany. That's the Christian tradition. Jews are in the process of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians. Muslims have a long history of genocide also.
It keeps people in their place, promising a glorious next life in spite of misery they may be experiencing in this one. Thus it allows economic elites to ignore the poverty stricken even though biblical texts favor the poor. (About the Inquisition.) Women are treated as a lower class.
It provides a sense of exceptionalism. After all, religion promises to convey the ultimate truth and those who know it will be the chosen ones or the saved ones. It motivates the strong man dictator to megalomania, divinity, and it enables the spread of empire. It requires suspension of critical faculties, and demands unwavering belief on faith. That is why it is usually in conflict with science.
It confers legitimacy to rulers who are cloaked in it. George W Bush, for true believers, was chosen by God, and it was his right to declare war on his own initiative. Hitler also made such claims. Many empires have used it as justification for bloody expansion. (About the Donatists.) Many heads of state have declared themselves divine.
It indoctrinates and imprints children when they are very young so that they will absorb propaganda that is beyond reason. A thorough indoctrination makes them much less able to do serious scientific work. A country which is a theocracy is probably incapable of serious technological development, civilized behavior, or sensible policy.
As population pressure causes resource problems, the church simply ignores the situation until catastrophe occurs. Then it is regarded as the will of God. The unintended consequence may appear to be Armageddon. True conservatives would be very careful of this planet because it is the only one that can support humanity. Because the faithful think the end is near, they are oblivious to the condition of the environment.
Fundamentalist religion usually has as its unstated goal, a
desire to take over the State, the better to expand and enforce
their views on everyone. It is easy to see that it is a major cause of
terrorism and war. People who believe in rich rewards in the
'afterlife' have an incentive to become suicide bombers, or, as
seen at abortion clinics, murderers of people who disagree.
People persuaded to believe based on faith will believe anything...even if it is apocalyptic.
Considering that much war and terrorism are motivated by religion, should organized religion really be tax exempt ?
Poll finds more Americans believe in devil than Darwin Thu Nov
29, 2007. The evidence for evolution is
presented in detail in Richard Dawkins book: The Greatest
Show on Earth.
A Universe From Nothing: Lawrence M. Krause
Breaking the Spell: Daniel C. Dennett
The God Strategy, How Religion Became A Political Weapon in America: David Domke and Kevin Coe
in the Name of God: Jessica Stern
Why the Christian Right is Wrong: Robin Meyers
A moral reckoning : the role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and its unfulfilled duty of repair / Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.
God's Jury: Cullen Murphy. The Inquisition as a template for
the war on terror.
Losing My Religion: William Lobdell
Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment: Phil Zuckerman
Piety and Politics: Rev Barry W. Lynn
Jesus is Not a Republican: Edited by Clint Willis and Nate Hardcastle
Made in Texas: Michael Lind
Religion and the Cold War edited by Dianne Kirby
The thesis of Kirby's excellent introduction is that the Cold War was one of history's great religious wars, 'a global conflict between the god-fearing and the godless'. (p. 1) It was a war in which 'Christianity was appropriated by Western propagandists and policy-makers for their anti-communist arsenal' (p. 2), nowhere more so than in the USA. But in addition, as this volume demonstrates, Christianity was not simply a tool of psychological warfare. Church leaders were not merely pawns in a political game; they were active participants. Their flocks were not only recipients of propaganda; for millions religious faith was central to their lives. This fact is most vividly demonstrated in the several chapters that deal with the Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII during the early years of the Cold War.
Divided By God, Noah Feldman
The Cross and the Lynching Tree: James Cone
The Scandal of Evangelical Politics: Ronald Sider
Fall From Grace - Fred Phelps (Part 1 of 8) (documentary)
The Varieties of Scientific Experience: Carl Sagan
Misquoting Jesus: Bart Ehrman
Kingdom Coming: Michelle Goldberg
The End of Days: Gershom Gorenberg
Letter to a Christian Nation: Sam Harris
God: the Failed Hypotheses: Victor Stenger
Freethinkers: Susan Jacoby
Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials: Wendy Kaminer
The Quotable Atheist: Jack Huberman
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds: Charles MacKay (It is in the public domain.)
When Religion Becomes Evil: Charles Kimball
Sacred Rage, the Wrath of Militant Islam: Robin Wright
God, the Devil, and Darwin: Niall Shanks
Atheism: The Case Against God: George H. Smith
SINS Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal: Michael
Religion Gone Bad: Mel White
Blind Faith, the Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine: Richard P. Sloan, Ph.D
Strategic Implications of American Millennialism (a pdf available on-line.)
The Atheism Tapes: (video) See them on-line.
Lake of Fire (2006 Movie)