“Excellent, but. Is the "struggle" against all tenets and all history of all religion? Does it mean labeling as bigotry, for instance, the Jewish and Christian theology that was the driving force behind abolitionism? The civil rights movement was lead by clergy from across the religious spectrum, and it would be impossible to consider its ultimate success without the religious fervor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Joshua Heschel and many others, together with their political activism. Their narrative was based explicitly and overtly on the liberation narrative of Exodus. On a different level, if the argument here is to remove the influence of religious texts on society, what do we do with Bob Dylan's canon of biblical allusions, and the Christian references in U2's lyrics, and African-American gospel music?”
allenvanbeldt on May 4, 2013 at 18:32:32
“I think generally the answer to your question is "no". I'm an atheist, but I love the idea of the Exodus story as an inspiration for the civil rights movement. I just consider it mythology rather than history or sacred text. It's still powerful. See Richard Dawkins's lengthy praise for the poetic and literary value of the bible. See also Christopher Hitchens's argument that MLK's core message drew much inspiration from outside his religion. I think the main point is we value human rights first and foremost. We value religious texts and traditions which support human rights, although we may not believe them literally. We revile religious texts and traditions which deny human rights. The fundamentalist clings to those bad traditions. Peace!”
lizzmariposa on May 4, 2013 at 16:22:29
“I think you're missing the fact that those people were not fundamentalists. They used their reason to update their sense of morals in regards to those around them. When those, liberal for their time, Christians were standing up against these vile institutions -- they were standing up against other Christians who had fundamental views which came right form the Bible. Yes, the Bible condones slavery... and segregation. It does. And there are STILL plenty of people who believe these are holy institutions that need to be restored -- believe it or not -- because they are endorsed and mandated by God in the Old Testament -- and Jesus did NOT do away with them.”
I agreed with much of what Avi said, in this most excellent blog. Though, as a humanistic "mystic" I could not very well consider kinship with him as a "new atheist" though.
I do agree with Avi's points on extremism, and as you well pointed out, our religious texts, are all part of our world library--our "collective consciousness" if you will. It isn't religion in itself, which is the issue, it is the "fundamentalism" which contradicts all "reason" that is dangerous to society.
Alas...There is no church of "Disney" which reminds us daily... It's a small world after all" and many peeps tend not to pay attention to their "jiminy cricket." :-)
Oh by Goofy,...as this thought popped into my mind, I "googled" and discovered, an author had a similar idea?
"The Gospel According to Disney: Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust" (Westminster John Knox Press).
"The Disney canon is fairly simple," Pinsky said in an interview. "Good is always rewarded. Evil is always punished. Faith is paramount -- faith in yourself and, equally, faith in something greater than yourself. It doesn't matter what it is that's greater than yourself." But don't look for overt references to God.
There it is...that collective consciousness of the Universe thang at work. ;-)”
Kevin Gunderson on May 4, 2013 at 15:40:51
“Christian theology was the driving force of abolitionists maybe, and there is also no doubt it was the driving force behind southern slavemasters as Frederick Douglass points out in his autobiography. He wrote an amended version to specifically discuss his direct experience with southern church leaders who seemed to follow the pattern of greater fundamentalism equating with greater violence.”
Opus109 on May 4, 2013 at 15:09:25
“Not difficult to understate for those who take a broadly educated perspective. We are raised in Judeo-Christian culture. I read with pleasure the Revelations. I don't have to believe it and have no intention in trying to "remove it" from the narrative. I think it's beautiful and dramatic fiction which allows me to appreciate such transcendent art as Bergman''s Seventh Seal with more profound understanding.
Why not leave it at that.”
“This is a complete misrepresentation of Judaism's traditional interpretation of the story of Sodom. The punishment of Sodom was for the residents' lack of hospitality to the strangers travelling in their city. Hospitality has always been a major value in Middle Eastern culture, and is one of Abraham's most important characteristics. That has always been the traditional Jewish interpretation.”
zipper01 on Feb 9, 2013 at 11:05:19
“Yes like when Christ the Son of God had to be born in a stable.No room in the Inn.”
cwebster on Feb 8, 2013 at 22:57:17
“She did say that:
"Where the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah are alluded to in the Hebrew scriptures or the New Testament, they are: pride, excess of food, failure to care for the poor and needy, inhospitality -- especially inhospitality."”
“"If I were a Jew and were born in Germany and earned my livelihood there, I would claim Germany as my home even as the tallest gentile German may, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to submit to discriminating treatment.... If one Jew or all the Jews were to accept the prescription here offered, he or they cannot be worse off than now...."
'THE JEWS', BY GANDHI - FROM HARIJAN, NOVEMBER 26, 1938 (two weeks after the Kristallnacht pogrom)”
“Holocaust denial is not merely a "controversial idea." It does violence to the memories and experiences of the multiple millions of victims - survivors are victims as well - of the Nazis and their collaborators. It brands every survivor and witness a liar and makes mockery of legitimate historical research. The Holocaust is possibly the human event with the most pervasive and conclusive evidence that proves what happened, thanks to the Germans' own record-keeping. Granting a platform to Holocaust denial, as FB does, legitimizes and enables this hatred - and it is hatred, pure and simple.”
montestruc on Jul 30, 2011 at 20:12:51
“Problem is who decides what is criminal speech? As in, who guards the guards? The moment you install a person in the position of being able to declare speech advocating some position criminal, is the day we moved from being a government by laws to being a government by men.
The end road of that is a dictatorship, not a free society. If you choose to say things others find offensive, in a free society people are able to impose social sanctions as in not speaking to that person and boycotts. Those can be punishment enough, criminal penalties are not appropriate until the offensive behavior becomes physically violent, or is advocating”
wassabi3333 on Jul 28, 2011 at 16:58:27
“I don't deny it happened, but some people are truly in denial, such as the moon landing. Lots of people of all races have been killed and genocide has happened in other places, not just to the jews. I don't see how someone believing in their head, that the Holocaust was not real can be considered hate?”
lovecats on Jul 28, 2011 at 16:41:35
“Excellent post and I have been fighting his guys for years and sometimes I feel that I completely alone when I confront the "free speech purists" who charge that I am attempting to silence debate. You are absolutely correct and don't let anyone say that you are not.”
jeanrenoir on Jul 28, 2011 at 16:19:58
“You are totally right. And I think Holocaust deniers should be shamed by all of us, just as all racists, sexists, and homophobes should be. Michelle Bachmann's attitude towards gays, for example, is hate speech, too. But everything you say is beside the point. This is a free country in which it is totally unAmerican to deny anyone the right to hateful speech. Bachmann must be allowed to speak as hatefully about gays as she wants, and anti-Semites must have the same right. Otherwise, this is no longer America but a place where some political authority we happen to approve gets to pick and choose what's "legal" to say.”
LaoShur on Jul 28, 2011 at 16:10:59
“I agree with you. The problem with our system is where do we draw the line on what lies are acceptable and what lies aren't? The same conundrum we already face with truth....”
“Horsepucky. FB censors speech all the time, including the posting of any nudity whatsoever. Holocaust Denial is granted a pass solely because the majority of the vicitms of it are Jews. A group denying the existence of slavery in the U.S. or attacking any other people or religion would likely be met with swift removal.”
“No one and nothing can break up a happy, healthy marriage. Porn as a cause of divorce is like saying sports cars or football are causes of divorces. They are symptoms of an underlying problem, not the problem itself.
That includes frequency and types of sex. All humans need sex -- it is a fundamental physical drive. Some need more than others. Couples must make accomodations so both are satisified. And, by the way, if women ovulated as often as men produced sperm (every minute of their life), acceptance of male sexual needs would be different.
Porn is our civilization's equivalent of fertility statues or Egyptian hieroglyphics or Greek vases of (often homosexual) coupling or Japanese woodcuts or the Kama Sutra or explicit art on Pompeii's walls or 2nd century Peruvian pottery. Humans have ALWAYS created visual stimuli of and for sex.
I like porn. I have since my first Playboy subscription as a teen. It has never, ever interferred with any of my relationships, including my 17 years of marriage. My wife likes porn, too, possibly even more than I do. It is a useful and stimulating component in our sex life. It is so not in spite of our healthy relationship but because we have a healthy relationship.
If you don't like it and your partner does, well, you have something you need to work on. Same as doing the dishes -- and vastly more important.”
“The Apollo program was perhaps the greatest event of the 20th century. It would have taken exponentially more money and effort to fake the moon landings -- and keep the fake secret for 40 years -- than it did to actually go to the moon and walk on it. Plus, in our tabloid culture, the lure of wealth and fame in genuinely exposing the hoax by one of the thousands of people who would have to have been involved in it would be overwhelming. They'd be running over each other. The government can't even keep foreign prisons or a blow-job secret. All conspiracy theory is a psychological disorder, following the same pattern in every situation, throughout human history. It's the same impulse that gave us trolls who lived under bridges.”
nemain on Jul 20, 2009 at 14:26:10
“"and keep the fake secret for 40 years"
...ummm can we say JFK?
"The government can't even keep foreign prisons or a blow-job secret"
You are right, they just do it right under our noses and usually with our money. There is a FEMA camp nearby you somewhere.....go take a visit. If you don't have one, we have a couple up here in Indiana and Illinois. cmon down or pipe down”
Passenger57 on Jul 20, 2009 at 12:37:05
“The only problem with that is that there ARE some things that we don't have answers to-and no one's talked yet.
Often, when someone DOES say something, the media makes sure they are thoroughly discredited - and we don' t hear from those folks again.”
onepartysystem on Jul 20, 2009 at 11:29:59
“Exponentially more money to fake it rather than actually go to the moon? I'd be interested in how you came up with that.”
RaisingAwareness on Jul 20, 2009 at 11:28:29
“"All conspiracy theory is a psychological disorder" Johnathan Freund
So if that were true then wouldn't it be fair to say that believing that governments or people never lie or that believing governments or people never try to cover up their misdeeds or believing that governments don't use propaganda/PSYOPS would also be a psychological disorder?
“Given that the fight for marriage equality is "in the midst of mind-blowing progress," and that "public opinion is changing faster than ever," perhaps the best thing the President can do is stay quiet and let the process continue. A big White House statement of support at this point will not - will absolutely not - win over anyone who is opposed to such equality or even anyone who is on the fence. That progress is being made by personal, grass-roots and local efforts - not by broad political statements (no matter how in the right and deserved such statements might be).”
Paulied on May 7, 2009 at 12:29:50
“The "personal, grass-roots and local efforts" won't get DOMA repealed, and without that, the whole issue is pretty much a moot one as even legally married same-sex couples are still denied about 1,100 federal rights and protections automatically granted to their straight counterparts.”
PlaceboStudman on May 7, 2009 at 09:04:27
“We aren't going to win over the religioutaliban conservative fanatics anyway, with abortion, stem cell research, and a staunch adherence to evolution. So, I say, forget'em, leave'em in the dust, and show'em just how irrelevant and misguided they really are while the rest of the country joins the educated civilized world and evolves”
jcwtts1 on May 7, 2009 at 03:06:44
“Thank you, finally a voice of reason. Take yes for an answer”