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View Diary: Family Chooses Prayer Over Medicine, Kills Their Second Child in Four Years (439 comments)

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  •  Fundamentalism kills. (85+ / 0-)

    My grandparents were Christians (Episcopalian and Presbyterian, to be precise), they believed deeply in God, but it never occurred to them to use their religion as an excuse for war or for bigotry, and they certainly didn't believe that prayer could serve as a replacement for modern medicine. These parents aren't simply "religious", they're fanatical.

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by AuroraDawn on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:34:48 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  A more correct statement. Thanks, AuroraDawn. n/t (15+ / 0-)

      There are no second class citizens in America, and there are no second class marriages in America. - Eleanor Holmes Norton

      by Captain Sham on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:53:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I should probably have noted... (15+ / 0-)

        that the grandparents mentioned above were my maternal grandparents. Though I never attended church (unless there was a wedding or funeral), I was raised with beliefs similar to their. However, my father was raised in the Church of Christ, Scientist - better known as the Christian Scientists. His particular church was far less fanatical than the faith these parents belong to, but the belief system was similar.

        My paternal grandparents avoided most, though not all, medical treatment. The exceptions my grandparents were willing to make during my father's youth: dental care, emergency care and critical care. If my father or his brother had ever become deathly ill, yes, my grandparents would have prayed, but they would also have sent for a doctor. The Church probably wouldn't have been happy about it, but my grandparents would have done it. They would never have allowed their children to die for the Church.

        Eventually, after I became extremely ill as a child, and Grandma realized that her church's teachings just couldn't explain such a thing, my grandmother abandoned the Christian Scientists altogether.

        I don't understand how anyone, whatever their beliefs, could just watch as their child dies. That goes beyond being religious, it's just plain crazy.

        Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by AuroraDawn on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:20:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Been there - but didn't do that (22+ / 0-)

      In the fundie cult I was in from 1972 - 1988 - yup, prayer first.   When my 2 yr old son had green snot and a fever, I thought something was wrong with me.  God was using my son for my sins. I felt if i went to the doctor, I was not 'in the spirit' and therefore not one with God. God would then smite my son because of me if I did take him to the doc. Thank goodness my hubby and my closest "friend" in the cult told me to take him to the doctor.  They took the responsibility so I was ok with God.  

      Do I understand the mindset - yes, but it's so damned cultic and that innocent baby was the sacrifice for their being mind bent.

      •  Thank God -- or Whatever -- for your hubby and... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        la motocycliste

        ...friend, who proved to be better humans than culties.
        And thank God -- or Whatever -- that you got out, so you're free to be so as well.
        16 years is a long time.  Lucky you had the strength to get out.
        I'd bet you have some powerful, valuable, and interesting stories to tell.
        Ever consider writing a book?

    •  Fanatical perhaps except it says in the bible (19+ / 0-)

      That whatever you ask in Jesus' name will be granted. And that you can move mountains with the faith of a mustard seed. That those filled with the Holy Spirit will heal people and cast out demons etc etc in "his name".

      I'm sorry. I'm tired of no true Scotsman arguments. I'm glad your religious relatives would never have done what they did. That they found a rational way to ignore the teachings in the bible which, frankly, argue closer to what these people did than anything. The thing itself is fanatical. That most Christians decide not to follow it to the letter or take parts of it seriously or literally is good. But the book says what it says.

      •  Is it ironic to say "amen"? n/t (5+ / 0-)

        Thought is only a flash in the middle of a long night, but the flash that means everything - Henri Poincaré

        by milton333 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:21:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I never suggested... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        earicicle, kyril, smartalek, Wee Mama, Ahianne

        that the Bible was filled with sweetness and light. Some passages are beautiful. Others are quite frightening. That really has nothing to do with the point I was attempting to make.

        I don't know who qualifies as a "real" or a "true" Christian, and frankly, I don't care, because I'm not one.

        I was responding to the blanket statement that "religion kills", which implies that religion (all religion, not just Christianity) is always a destructive force. I don't believe that to be true. Religion is ultimately whatever a believer chooses to make of it. That is true not only of Christianity, but of all faiths. There are the Pat Robertsons of this world, who use religion as an excuse for bigotry and violence. There are also individuals like Martin Luther King, Jr., whose religion led him down a path of peace and justice. Most believers fall somewhere in between those two extremes.

        I am a spiritual person, but not at all religious. I belong to no church and cling to no official dogma. Still, I refuse to condemn all religion outright because of fanatics. I find that stance very narrow-minded.

        Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by AuroraDawn on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:28:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I have to disagree with you on this (0+ / 0-)

          point.  Every religion demands that an individual accept on faith certain matters to be true, whether there is any evidence for these matters.  This is destructive on at least two levels.  First, one's sense data and rationality is suborned to an unreasonable authority, and second, one's ability to reason is compromised when a personally reached conclusion is  contrary to the given truth.  From this comes the notion of religious sin, acts of unbelief, which is substituted in the conscience for actual sin, acts that harm others.  This process is deadly, and then enables the priests and preachers to convince people that real life is burdensome and unreal, that that life begins at death.  How easy it is then to get people to fail to help those they love, to harm those that are different, and to stone the sinners (unbelievers) to death.  NO, all religion is by its operation, death.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:06:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow. (6+ / 0-)
            How easy it is then to get people to fail to help those they love, to harm those that are different, and to stone the sinners (unbelievers) to death.
            Seen any Quakers throwing rocks at women lately?

            The argument that all religion is death is one of the most absurd things I've ever read. And I've read a lot of scriptures.

            To pretend that the extreme is the norm is patently irrational. You're doing a lot of mental acrobatics to convince yourself of this.

            An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

            by OllieGarkey on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:43:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What about (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rhyme and reason

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              Since almost all Amish descend from about 200 18th-century founders, genetic disorders that come out due to inbreeding exist in more isolated districts (an example of the founder effect). Some of these disorders are quite rare, or unique, and are serious enough to increase the mortality rate among Amish children. The majority of Amish accept these as "Gottes Wille" (God's will); they reject use of preventive genetic tests prior to marriage and genetic testing of unborn children to discover genetic disorders
              Do they get a pass for that?
              •  No. It's barbaric to knowingly subject (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                smartalek, Wee Mama

                children to disease.

                You do know that Quakers and Amish are completely different groups, right?

                An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                by OllieGarkey on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:06:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rhyme and reason

                  I do, but typically the Amish are included in the 'harmless' religious types category.

                  I haven't fully signed on to the gun culture == religious culture with regard to societal harm, but it's something I'm gonna chew on a bit.

                  One could certainly make the argument that the pervasiveness of religious culture in the US makes cases like the diary more likely, just as the gun culture increases the prevalence of gun deaths.

                  •  Well, there's something I'll have to fight you on. (3+ / 0-)

                    I think we should regulate what people are allowed to own.

                    But your comparison implies that it's time to start regulating what people think. It may not have been an intentional comparison, but there are a number of people whose thoughts move in that direction.

                    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                    by OllieGarkey on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:39:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's a distinction (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ChurchofBruce

                      without a a substantive difference. You won't be able to regulate what people own until their thinking changes. This is why I and others are talking about gun culture (thinking) not gun ownership. The two are necessarily and inextricably linked.

                      It's not about regulating thought, be it gun thought or religious thought, it's about changing thought, gun and religious alike, to minimize the negative impact on society.

                      How? Beats the hell out of me, as both seem to be pretty firmly entrenched.

                      •  The answer to right-wing religion is not a lack of (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        la motocycliste, Wee Mama

                        religion. It is a combination of time, and left-wing religion.

                        The religious conservatives will diminish in number. The current generation of southerners in general has no problem with gays and lesbians, though there are bigots aplenty.

                        By acting as part of a broad coalition for a plural society, we can reduce the power of the fundamentalists.

                        Fundamentalists don't do plurality. They can't. It's incompatible with their worldview. Worldwide, that kind of religion will be relegated to the dustbin of history.

                        That's the way it usually works.

                        We know all about the pilgrims, but even the first generation of their children were already walking away from the rigid fundamentalism of their parents.

                        Give it time. Our side wins in the end.

                        And as far as tackling gun culture? Don't bother. You wont be successful. What we need to focus on is smart regulation that helps keep people alive. We're already winning that battle, nationally, and it's because the larger forces fighting for gun control aren't talking about gun owners and gun culture.

                        The moment gun owners and gun culture become the dominant part of the conversation is the moment we start losing. It's alienating language that will push away the gun owners that support really smart gun control laws, including a ban on the sale of those exceptionally dangerous semiautomatic pistols and rifles that were used in Aurora, Newtown, and by the DC Sniper.

                        This is one of my biggest beefs with liberals.

                        We sit around and make up terminology like "gun culture" and talk about fixing problems that aren't really our business.

                        Seriously, it's none of your business if Joe Machinegun is a gun fetishist who likes posing naked with assault rifles.

                        It is your business if his actions are a hazard to the public.

                        Don't even bother raising the question of whether there's something wrong with his gun fetishism. And on the religious side, don't bother raising the question of whether certain kinds of religion make people stupid.

                        If people want to choose to be willfully fucking ignorant, that's their right, and there's not a damned thing that you will ever be able to do about it. It's a waste of your time to try.

                        Instead, focus your efforts on supporting those policy changes which will have a real and lasting change for the American people. Let's focus on background checks, and getting the gun control systems in place that can keep guns away from people who are dangerous. Let's focus on defeating the anti-choice crowd and fighting for marriage equality.

                        If we stand up for sanity and liberty, we win.

                        If we go around like we're out to impose our will on others because we think we know better, we'll lose.

                        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                        by OllieGarkey on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:31:09 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Um (0+ / 0-)

                          we weren't able to pass expanded background checks in the Senate with ~90% public support.

                          Because of gun culture.

                          And that's even without considering that the House would have been even less likely to pass legislation.

                          You're far more optimistic than I am.

                          •  Newtown changed everything. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Wee Mama

                            We haven't had an election cycle yet.

                            We're gonna make the democrats who stood against background checks eat those votes in the primaries.

                            The people you bitch about who are involved in gun culture? They support background checks. With 47% of Americans being gun owners, and 90% of americans supporting background checks, Something like 75% of gun owners support background checks if you do the math.

                            Here you are complaining about "gun culture" when the real issue is special interests, lobbyists, and a corrupt political system.

                            Gun culture isn't the problem, government culture is. We live in a nation where bribery is legal, and we spent 2 billion dollars on the 2012 election.

                            Yet you want to blame "gun culture" when most of the people involved in "gun culture" supported the background checks that you say "gun culture" defeated.

                            Your argument is fallacious. The defeat had nothing to do with gun culture, and everything to do with the legal corruption of our government by corporations and lobbyists with money.

                            An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                            by OllieGarkey on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:44:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The NRA would not have the political clout (0+ / 0-)

                            if the politicians didn't believe in the gun culture of their constituents. If gun culture didn't exist, then politicians wouldn't worry about being reelected if they voted against gun control.

                            While the NRA certainly represents the interests of money and gun manufacturers, their true power is derived from the gun culture, and votes, that they claim to represent.

                            We spent 2 billion on the election, and yet big money still lost elections, as we gloated about here regarding Karl Rove's PAC. Money certainly influences, but it all boils down to votes in the end. People who voted against gun control legislation did a political calculation and determined that there was no political price to pay for their votes.

                            I'm not optimistic that 2014 will prove them wrong.

                            You cite that 'gun culture' supported increased background checks, and that's true (though certainly at a lower level than the general population). But the real question is do those same people demand that their politicians take action and support gun control. Will they withhold their votes from politicians that voted against background checks?

                            I seriously doubt it.

                        •  One of the best comments I have seen on Kos (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          OllieGarkey

                          I have tried to make the same point in several postings, but you nailed it.

      •  The Bible was also written +/- 2000 years ago (10+ / 0-)

        The Pope has a personal physician who travels with him and is available 24/7.

        Benedict didn't choose just any general practitioner but a respected cardiologist.

        It's insane to say, well, the Bible says the earth was created in 7 days, so all Christians believe that. We don't. Many (most in the developed world) acknowledge and respect science.

        Those that choose to remain in the darkness of ignorance do so for their own reasons.

        In the same week when we tell everyone that we must not judge Muslims by the actions of two unstable young men, the "stop the No True Scotsman" crap is mind-boggling.

        Unstable people are unstable people. They justify what they do by searching for justifications wherever they can find them. It's about distrust of the world and desperately holding on to what little control they think they have. They don't really expect miracles.

        How do I know? you don't REALLY see these folks ever trying to turn water into wine, do you?

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:43:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grover

          this is exactly what I was trying to say below, but you were much more succinct.

          Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by AuroraDawn on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:47:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I was merely addressing the claim that these (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, ktar7582

          People were fanatical. I submit that they're doing exactly what the book says. Is it crazy? Yes. But it's also biblical. Those who choose not to are cherry picking their faith. I'm glad they do. I'm glad the make rational decisions about what should be followed and what should be ignored or discarded. That's good, don't get me wrong.

          But there's no reason to assert that these people didn't follow their "faith teaching". I think it's disgusting. I'm glad most Christians have decided those verses about getting what you pray for and moving mountains with faith aren't literal. Good. I'm glad the majority agree that that's ridiculous. But these chose to actually believe it.

          •  In fairness to the Christians, (6+ / 0-)

            Catholic theology, which was the only kind for the bulk of Christianity's history doesn't really hold the Bible up as a whole, inerrant work like the new fundamentalists do. It isn't even really seen as being super-fundamental to the religion since the church itself was around for a couple hundred years before it's compilation.

            The idea that the book would dictate that sort of action is a fairly recent intellectual ( I use the term loosely) phenomenon.

            •  True and that the religion relied on (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kyril

              People not being able to read it but rather being reliant on its interpretation by a priest and pope. The power centralized into people. But see the trouble that Martin Luther has caused? All the people running around actually reading (and following) the thing? /s

            •  The Super-Fundies showed up in America (6+ / 0-)

              In the late 1800's.  I recall reading something about an earlier (1840-1850s) movement but don't have that link here.  I can provide it later, when I get home to my laptop.

              This is a pretty informative Blurb with history from the Catholic perspective, which puts the arrival of Fundamentalism at approx 1890.

              The thing is, Fundies are a smalish young sect of Mainstream Christianity, much like LDS. Actually, LDS is older. And few here (who are fair-minded) would  ever say that LDS represents Christianity as a whole.

              It's just that Fundamentalist Christians have accumulated so much political power since the 1980s, that they seem to be an overwhelming presence. But they're  not representative and should not be given more credibility than they deserve.

              © grover


              So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

              by grover on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:45:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It goes back a bit further... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                smartalek

                than that.

                The Second Great Awakening (1790s -1850s) was a religious revival that occurred in the United States beginning in the late eighteenth century and lasting until the middle of the nineteenth century. While it occurred in all parts of the United States, it was especially strong in the Northeast and the Midwest. It is also noteworthy to point out that this awakening was unique in that it moved beyond the educated elite of New England to those that were less wealthy and less educated. The center of revivalism was the so-called Burned-over district in western New York. Named for its overabundance of hellfire-and-damnation preaching, the region produced dozens of new denominations, communal societies, and reform.

                Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

                by AuroraDawn on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:05:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I would be interested in some stats (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SMWalt, Leap Year

                because it seems to me that by numbers they ARE very representative if you count by worshipers and not denominations. You've got 50 at the Presbyterian church and 5,000 at the mega-church.

                Also, even within the conceptual framework of religion, LDS is ridiculous.

                •  This Pew study (3+ / 0-)

                  says 26.3% affiliate with "Evangelical Protestant Churches."

                  Since not all of them are Fundamentalist (the terms are NOT interchangeable. This PBS link discusses that intelligently), we can go ahead and use that as an incredibly conservative (no pun intended) number.

                  Mainline Protestants are 18.1%, Catholics, 23.9%. JW, LDS, Orthodox are much smaller percentages.

                  Here is the whole 2013 Pew Religion Report

                  © grover


                  So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

                  by grover on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:46:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Looks like I've got a lot of reading to do - what (0+ / 0-)

                    is "mainline", for example. If that merely means non-evangelical, then it isn't necessarily non-fundie.

                    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                    by enhydra lutris on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 07:52:17 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Using that Philosophy degree of mine... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AuroraDawn, Wee Mama, Ahianne
        I'm sorry. I'm tired of no true Scotsman arguments.
        Actually, you're applying that incorrectly.

        The no true Scotsman logical fallacy only applies if someone is trying to exclude an entity from a group.

        If AuroraDawn had said that the parents "Weren't christians" because of what they did, then you would be right to call the argument a "No True Scotsman" argument.

        Instead, AD said "These parents aren't simply "religious", they're fanatical." AD was actually correcting a faulty syllogism made by another poster.

        Correcting faulty syllogisms is not a no true Scotsman argument, which only applies in that narrow circumstance when someone attempts to remove an inconvenient example from a data set.

        You yourself are practicing an interesting form of mind-reading, where you, an atheist, are pontificating on what Christians ought to believe. That's a bit like a non-religious person like me lecturing a buddhist about sutras.

        There's a lot of hyperbole flying around in this comment section. Hyperbole and logic don't mix well.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:29:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Right, right. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, radmul, Hamtree, ChurchofBruce

      We've heard that one. "Why do you whine so much about guns when it's only the irresponsible gun owners who are the problem?"

      Fundamentalism is a symptom. Religion is the problem. Insisting that religion be exempted from criticism (because it's so horrible for people like your grandparents to ever have it suggested to them that their ideas are unfounded and destructive) ensures that religion will continue killing innocent people like Brandon Schaible.

      Shockingly, there are more important things in the world than the hurt fee-fees of overwhelmingly privileged religious believers.

      •  I said no such thing. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Smoh, smartalek, Wee Mama, Ahianne
        Insisting that religion be exempted from criticism
        You may criticise anything you like. I simply do not share your view that religion is in and of itself an inherently evil thing. I don't adhere to any religion, but I am capable of recognizing that religious belief does not affect all people in the same way. It does not make all human beings intolerant and cruel. Religion is a concept. It cannot accomplish anything on its own. It is whatever a believer chooses to make of it. Human beings, some religious, some not, are responsible for all human suffering and crime. Some simply choose to hide behind religion, using it as an excuse for their misdeeds.

        Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by AuroraDawn on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:45:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pfft. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hamtree, ChurchofBruce
          I said no such thing.
          The hell you didn't. You responded to a criticism of religion by dragging your poor, long-suffering grandparents into it—declaring in nearly so many words that criticism of religion was an attack on your grandparents. Whether you like it or not, that's an attempt to muzzle criticism of religion. And it's precisely that kind of invocation of absurd privilege that ensures that people like Herb and Cathy will always be able to kill innocents.
          I don't adhere to any religion, but I am capable of recognizing that religious belief does not affect all people in the same way.
          Oy—the parallels between apologia for religion and apologia for gun mania are too blatant for words. Funny thing: gun ownership "does not affect all people in the same way," and yet a whole lot of us think that society would be extremely well served casting a very critical eye on American gun culture. Notwithstanding the constant wailing that rises from the NRA set that they're being blamed (oh, the humanity!) for Adam Lanza.

          Religion—all religion—is the problem in large part because of what you are doing right here. You are directly and actively standing in the way of the cultural critique that's necessary to stem the flow of blood shed by fundamentalism.

          A world in which your grandparents' feelings are hurt more often (by horrible nonbelievers who dare to say such awful things about their precious beliefs) but in which Brandon Schaible and a million other victims of fundamentalism survive is a better world than the one in which Grandma and Grandpa's feelings are spared at the expense of Brandon's blood. That is the choice we are presented with by situations like this one—and your invocation of baldfaced religious privilege says something rather ugly about which of the two worlds you prefer.

          •  You have misinterpreted... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            smartalek, Wee Mama, Ahianne

            my remarks. You appear to see this issue in very stark, black-and-white terms. I don't.

            The original comment I responded to wasn't really criticism, it was a blanket condemnation of religion. It was a brief statement utterly devoid of nuance. Genuine criticism doesn't bother me, stereotypes do, and in my opinion, the original comment stereotyped religious people. I don't like stereotypes and I don't like the idea of entire groups of people being written off because of them. That is what compelled me to respond, not the idea that my grandparents - or their faith - had been criticized.  I would have responded in the same way to any comment stereotyping any large group of people - not just the religious.

            The point I was attempting to make is very simple: not all religious people are fanatical and dangerous. I didn't mention my grandparents because I felt that they were somehow under attack. I used my grandparents as an example, because they were the first religious people who entered my mind.

            My feelings have not been hurt. As for my grandparents' feelings, at this point, it would be pretty impossible for you or anyone else to hurt them. They're dead. Somehow, I doubt an online discussion is really going to harm them. That would be laughable. I don't mind your criticism of their beliefs, I simply disagree, and felt the need to say so.

            If you want to have an actual conversation about religion, critical or otherwise, that's fine. If you want to condemn it wholesale, that is also your right, but you shouldn't be surprised when people respond to your comments.

            I view religion as a deeply personal matter that should remain private...unless or until someone acts upon their religious beliefs in a way that harms others. When they do, the state must step in. No one has the right to harm another person - adult or child - because of their beliefs. No one should be allowed to foist their beliefs upon others socially or politically, either (as right-wing Christians routinely do). I never meant to suggest that we should ignore those who do.

            As for nonbelievers being "horrible", I don't view atheists as horrible people, at all. That's you putting words in my mouth. Most are deeply intelligent and humane.

            As for the gun issue, I believe we're in complete agreement about that.

            Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

            by AuroraDawn on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 04:49:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ech. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DarthMeow504, ChurchofBruce
              You have misinterpreted my remarks.
              No, I haven't. You've just been caught trying to muzzle criticism of religion with severe religious privilege, and now you're trying to rewrite the history of the thread.
              You appear to see this issue in very stark, black-and-white terms. I don't.
              Again, the hell you don't. As you've demonstrated, you believe that the (as it happens accurate) statement "Religion kills" is an attack on religious people, including your grandparents. That's an absurd and offensive notion, and it contributes to both (1) the marginalization of open nonbelievers and (2) religion's power to destroy lives. Your treatment of direct criticism of religion is black-and-white to the core.
              The original comment I responded to wasn't really criticism, it was a blanket condemnation of religion.
              Disingenuous garbage. The original comment you responded to was "Religion kills." That is a criticism—blatantly, obviously—as well as a condemnation. (What in the world would a condemnation that's not a criticism look like?) Unfortunately for your attempted distinction, condemnations of ideas are no less fair game in the free marketplace of ideas than mere criticisms are.

              So your attempt to evade responsibility via semantic quibbling is noted, but it's meaningless.

              Genuine criticism doesn't bother me, stereotypes do, and in my opinion, the original comment stereotyped religious people.
              That is a forthright admission of atheophobic bigotry.

              The statement you were responding to, again, was "Religion kills." NOT "Religious people kill," or, of course, "All religious people kill." The statement was "Religion kills."

              So you saw the statement "religion kills," processed it in your head, and came to the conclusion that it presented a "stereotype" of religious people. (A conclusion that you repeat in the above comment multiple times, complaining about "entire groups of people being written off" and "[a] comment stereotyping any large group of people - not just the religious.")

              Again, that conclusion of yours is indisputably false. "Religion" is a set of beliefs and belief systems, not people. Your attacks are based on a fundamentally false premise, because the criticismcondemnation you were responding to was an attack on ideas, not people.

              Which leads to the question of what it is that brought you to draw such a demonstrably false conclusion. And there's really only one candidate: irrational prejudice brought on by the intense religious privilege that suffuses the society we live in.

              In this society, it is simply unacceptable to level criticisms at religion entire: we are obligated by the privilege and power that religion enjoys to plaster our critiques of destructive nonsense with bowing-and-scraping caveats. It's a ridiculous and disgusting rule that religion has constructed in order to prevent any serious challenge to its power—and what is actually going on in this thread is that you were trying to enforce that hateful more on a commenter who dared to refuse to heed it.

              Religions are not people. They have no rights. They are belief systems, and the free marketplace of ideas cannot survive if people who object to ordinary criticisms of belief systems—such as "religion kills"—are allowed to silence them via bigoted lies like yours.

              The point I was attempting to make is very simple: not all religious people are fanatical and dangerous.
              And that's an entirely irrelevant point that you only brought into the discussion in an attempt to smear and pathologize a criticism that it would appear you felt (and feel) incapable of addressing directly.
              If you want to have an actual conversation about religion, critical or otherwise, that's fine. If you want to condemn it wholesale, that is also your right....
              Oh. So "wholesale condemnation" is something other than "an actual conversation about religion." Well, there you are again: more flat-out bigotry and privilege. The fundamental impeccability of religion is something we are not allowed to question. "Wholesale condemnation"s are ruled out by fiat.

              You can't win an argument by merely presupposing that your opponents' position is outside the bounds of proper advocacy.

              As for nonbelievers being "horrible", I don't view atheists as horrible people, at all.
              Unless we say things that your privilege decrees we aren't allowed to say, that is. Well, I'm quite sure that you know some "good" atheists who know their place far better than we "uppity" ones do. That must be comfortable for you.
              As for the gun issue, I believe we're in complete agreement about that.
              Then it's sad that you don't see any problem with stooping to NRA "guns don't kill people" rhetoric. The hypocrisy is most irritating.
          •  Some of us disagree with you on this: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            smartalek, Wee Mama, Ahianne

               "Religion—all religion—is the problem in large part because of what you are doing right here. You are directly and actively standing in the way of the cultural critique that's necessary to stem the flow of blood shed by fundamentalism."

            AuroraDawn didn't try to stop you from critiquing fundamentalism, or all religion.  She disagreed with you.  That's different.  Then she shared some personal experience.  That's not an "invocation of baldfaced religious privilege."  It's just a fairly normal comment in a DKos diary.

            Disagreement, in and of itself, is not an attack.

            I disagree with you that all religion is the problem.  To me that's like saying that because some music spreads racism, sexism, and glorification of violence, all music is the problem.  I don't think so.  Music is a widespread phenomenon, held dear by billions of people, and it has many different effects depending on what kind of music it is.  Same for religion.

            I think it's more relevant to critique specifically the fundamentalist, fanatical forms of religion, and to compare those to other similar groups, such as fanatical political parties and groups fanatically attached to their ethnic or national identity.  If we look at these similar phenomenon and come to understand them, that should help us combat them through exposure and education.  We should be able to raise a generation that rejects the human tendency toward fanatical belief, just as the current generation is more clear than mine was in rejecting racism.

            --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

            by Fiona West on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:17:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not so. (0+ / 0-)
              AuroraDawn didn't try to stop you from critiquing fundamentalism, or all religion.
              Yes, she blatantly did—and the inability of so many people to recognize that is a clear indicator of the extent to which so many people have swallowed religious privilege and atheophobia.

              AuroraDawn's original comment on this thread responded to Inventor's statement "Religion kills in so many ways" by citing her grandparents. This dishonestly sets up Inventor's comment—which is in fact a criticism of particular ideas—as an attack on people.

              Obviously, it is unethical to attack innocent people that way—to claim, in this context, that AuroraDawn's grandparents are responsible for "killing." So by pretending that the statement "religion kills" is an attack on her grandparents, AuroraDawn misrepresents that statement as ethically blameworthy—as something none of us should ever do.

              Thus your conclusion is false: using AuroraDawn's grandparents, or any other religious believers (as one can find religion's defenders doing up and down this comment section), as human shields for the purpose of fending off broad criticisms of religion is "try[ing] to stop [us]," with the potent force of social ethical sanction, "from critiquing ... all religion." AuroraDawn, like numerous other people in this comment section, is dishonestly pretending that broad criticisms of religion are morally objectionable attacks on human beings. That tactic can only serve to muzzle and marginalize nonbelievers, while at the same time increasing religion's power to oppress and kill. It is the true moral offense here.

              Disagreement, in and of itself, is not an attack.
              Indeed. But misrepresenting criticism of an idea as an attack on people is an attack—and a dishonest and destructive one.
              I disagree with you that all religion is the problem.  To me that's like saying that because some music spreads racism, sexism, and glorification of violence, all music is the problem.
              That's simple illogic: music and religion are not even slightly similar in the respects that are relevant to the critique at issue. Music, unlike religion, does not disable the reality check that stands between civilized humanity and barbarism. Music does not require anyone who comes into contact with it to believe anything. Indeed, music, unlike religion, contains no normative content—no "thou shalt"s—whatsoever.

              Then, the fact that Phenomenon X does not always lead to Major Negative Effect Y fails to demonstrate that X is not responsible for Y, or that X is in some more general sense not dangerous.

              There are inherent characteristics of religion that are centrally responsible for the damage it does in the human world. Music does not share those characteristics. That is the critique that you're simply not responding to with your resort to the common fallacious appeal that some people hold Belief X and yet don't end up killing people. (Clearly, you're not aware that that critique exists, because human-shield tactics like AuroraDawn's have ensured that it is all-but-entirely absent from societal discourse. Not only are people like her trying to silence broad criticism of religion, your unfamiliarity with your opponents' arguments is ugly evidence that the silencers have mostly succeeded.)

              I think it's more relevant to critique specifically the fundamentalist, fanatical forms of religion, and to compare those to other similar groups, such as fanatical political parties and groups fanatically attached to their ethnic or national identity.
              Oy. There's the human-shield impulse again: you compare "forms of religion" (which are IDEAS) to "groups" such as "political parties" (which are PEOPLE). It's continually astounding how mangled this entire discourse is: even when I've pointed out up and down this thread how important it is to separate ideas from people, you still can't help yourself. It's most aggravating.
              We should be able to raise a generation that rejects the human tendency toward fanatical belief....
              How do you know that that is actually possible? How do you rebut the critical position that the inherent nature of religion-as-such makes it impossible to "reject[ ] the human tendency toward fanatical belief" without rejecting (or marginalizing/rendering socially suspect) the fundamental basis of all religion? Your opponents assert that fundamentalism is inevitable in any society that considers religious faith a good and protects it from criticism. What's your rebuttal? Where have you provided any indication that you are aware that these critical arguments even exist?

              Among the many problems with defending religion via the human-shield approach favored by AuroraDawn and so many others is that it yields participants in the conversation who have no idea whatsoever what it is that critics of religion are even arguing. Our contentions have been so successfully marginalized and silenced that you're not even aware what those contentions are.

              We have been slow to recognize the degree to which religious faith perpetuates man's inhumanity to man. This is not surprising, since many of us still believe that faith is an essential component of human life. Two myths now keep faith beyond the fray of rational criticism, and they seem to foster religious extremism and religious moderation equally: (1) most of us believe that there are good things that people get from religious faith (e.g., strong communities, ethical behavior, spiritual experience) that cannot be had elsewhere; [and] (2) many of us also believe that the terrible things that are sometimes done in the name of religion are the products not of faith per se but of our baser natures—forces like greed, hatred, and fear—for which religious beliefs are themselves the best (or even the only) remedy. Taken together, these myths seem to have granted us perfect immunity to outbreaks of reasonableness in our public discourse.

              [....]

              While moderation in religion may seem a reasonable position to stake out, in light of all that we have (and have not) learned about the universe, it offers no bulwark against religious extremism and religious violence. The problem that religious moderation poses for all of us is that it does not permit anything very critical to be said about religious literalism. We cannot say that fundamentalists are crazy, because they are merely practicing their freedom of belief; we cannot even say that they are mistaken in religious terms, because their knowledge of scripture is generally unrivaled. All we can say, as religious moderates, is that we don't like the personal and social costs that a full embrace of scripture imposes on us. This is not a new form of faith, or even a new species of scriptural exegesis; it is simply a capitulation to a variety of all-too-human interests that have nothing, in principle, to do with God.

              Unless the core dogmas of faith are called into question—i.e., that we know there is a God, and that we know what he wants from us—religious moderation will do nothing to lead us out of the wilderness.

              The benignity of most religious moderates does not suggest that religious faith is anything more sublime than a desperate marriage of hope and ignorance, nor does it guarantee that there is not a terrible price to be paid for limiting the scope of reason in our dealings with other human beings. Religious moderation, insofar as it represents an attempt to hold on to what is still serviceable in orthodox religion, closes the door to more sophisticated approaches to spirituality, ethics, and the building of strong communities.

               - Sam Harris, "The Problem With Religious Moderates"

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