I’ve asked this question more times than I can remember. And I’ve only ever gotten one straight answer. In one argument on Facebook (which was ages ago, so unfortunately I can’t find it and link to it), the person I was debating argued that religious debates and disagreements have a bad history. All too often, they’ve led to hostility, hatred, tribalism, bigotry, even violence and wars. Therefore, he argued, it was best to just avoid debates about the topic altogether.
You know what? He’s right. When it comes to the divisiveness of religion, he’s totally right.
And that’s an argument for my side — not his.
I completely agree with his basic assessment. Religion does tend to be more divisive than other topics. It’s a point Daniel Dennet made in his book, Breaking the Spell: In a weird but very real psychological paradox, people tend to defend ideas more ferociously when we don’t have very good evidence supporting them.”
A Northern Jutland daughter was stunned but had to accept a decision by a Lutheran vicar in North Jutland, who refused to bury her 74-year-old mother because she had lived in a lesbian relationship.
“I thought – can this really be possible that we have to be ashamed? I looked at my mother’s partner and she was silent. I was upset for her. What a terrible situation to put her in,” Kirsten Østergaard told DR1.
The mother’s partner was 80 years old and the couple had lived in a registered partnership for some 20 years.
The Aalborg diocese vicar has since – following a family complaint to the diocesan dean - regretted his decision.
“I made an exceptional mistake. The biggest mistake I have ever made in my time as a vicar. It was a gaffe and short-circuit of dimensions and completely against what I believe in,” the vicar says.
His decision, he says, was made because as he did not want to marry homosexuals, he thought it was perhaps wrong to bury homosexual people.
“But it was a completely wrong conclusion. I have asked for forgiveness, initially from two of the family,” the vicar tells DR.
The apology, however, is not one that Kirsten Østergaard values much.
“What use is that to me? This is about his views about humanity, and I don’t think those have changed. He has probably regretted it, but not because of us – rather because he has put himself in a very bad light,” Østergaard tells DR.”
Why do cult leaders and religious fanatics try to insult atheists by comparing atheism to a cult and atheists to religious fanatics?
Rabbi Dow Marmur
I really don’t get it. It’s as if I were to sneer at creationists by calling them scientists, or clobbered seminaries by referring to them as research institutions (those are things I would not do, by the way).
Rabbi, you’re a guy who has dedicated his life to learning arcane and largely irrelevant nonsense from holy books. You go through weekly (probably daily) religious rituals, you believe in improbable foolishness, you wear special garments — you’re a religious fanatic. My profession is educator: I spend every day putting together information and evaluating the work of my students. I dress as I will. I have no rituals, other than the deadlines dictated by the academic calendar. That I reject your brand of theology (and all brands of theology!) does not make me religious, nor does it make me a fanatic.
Chopra, you’re a guy who peddles feel-good woo to the gullible. You’ve got bizarre, unsubstantiated beliefs about a conscious universe that aspires to fulfill the desires of individual humans; you rake in big speaker’s fees and sell empty fluff in books to the fools who follow you. You’re a cult leader. Atheism tells people to think for themselves and learn about reality; we have a few people who rise to prominence in the movement by their words and actions, but they aren’t exactly leaders — they get barraged constantly with criticism by their fellow atheists.
So I’m a bit lost at what point those two loons are trying to make. Their comments don’t seem to fit atheists or atheism at all, but do apply with a vengeance to themselves.”
Fast forward to that day in church with the zombie-robot responsorials. I thought that no one in that church really understood what they were saying. Maybe they knew what the words all meant, but they didn’t sound like they meant them. And if the grownups were all just saying things by rote, then how could I possibly understand what I was saying? With a precedent already set, I decided that I couldn’t recite any more church stuff until, not only did I understand the meanings of the words, but until I fully and whole-heartedly believed in what I was saying.
And that was the last time I ever said a recitation in church again. The older I got, and the more I understood the meanings of the words, the less belief in those words I had and the more disgust I had in the church itself, for its apparent hypocrisy and attempted dominion over its congregation, including contradictory and outright immoral teachings”
PORT ST. LUCIE — A man who claimed to be the Devil and threatened to kill another man before jamming his thumbs in the man’s eyes faces an aggravated battery charge, according to an arrest affidavit released Monday.
The victim told investigators he was leaving a Cumberland Farms store on Floresta Drive about 12 a.m. Monday when John Eugene Yale Jr., 43, approached him.
They started talking and after a few minutes, Yale said, “I am the Devil and I am going to kill you!” according to the affidavit said.
Police gave this account: Yale then jumped on the victim and hit him in the head. He jammed his thumbs in the victim’s eyes, which were bleeding.
The victim hit Yale and fled to his home. Police found Yale at Southeast Evergreen Terrace and Southeast Floresta Drive. The victim identified Yale as his attacker.
Yale, listed as unemployed, was arrested on a felony aggravated battery charge.”
WHY WASN’T THE PROPHET FROM OUR LAST LINK DEALING WITH THIS FUCKER?
When officers responded to a burglary in progress call at the Psychic Corner on U. S. 1 and Ocean Boulevard, they found Novatka outside standing near the entrance.
The glass to the storefront building was “completely smashed out,” the affidavit states.
Television sets were ripped off the wall, and money and shards of glass were scattered on the floor.
“There was very little left in the store that was reusable,” the report states.
Novatka told the officers God brought him to the business to damage it, the affidavit states.
While officers interviewed him, Novatka said he “destroyed” a white Jeep in Royal Palm Financial Center Parking Garage and agreed to take police to see his handiwork, the affidavit states.
Police saw had the 1997 Jeep had its hood up and doors open. Its leather interior was stabbed, sliced and torn, the radio ripped out and its electrical wires cut.
Using his own blood, Novatka wrote on the outside of the Jeep, “Fear God,” the affidavit states.
“It’s a little scary. I scared myself when I saw what I did,” Novatka is quoted saying in the affidavit.”