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Ah humanity. How wonderfully consistent. Any time you get human beings in groups be they large or small they seem to want to start finding reasons to look down their noses at other groups of humans. One of the favorite reasons after race and gender is probably religion.

Now I'm fairly used to the kind of behavior that one gets from certain kinds of Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc. The Christians often being the most pernicious with some of them not only sneering down their noses at non Christians but even looking with disdain upon other Christians for being part of the wrong little subset of their religion. I'm also used to some members of the aforementioned religions, especially Christianity and Judaism playing the "Oh so persecuted" song over and over and over again. To hear some Christians tell it they were just walking along minding their own business when the Roman Empire singled them out for unfair treatment. Meanwhile you have Jews who want to act like the Holocaust only effected them, and that refusal to rubber stamp their claims about slavery in Egypt or to disagree with the actions of the Israeli government towards Palestinians makes one a rabid anti Semite.

Like I say I'm used to that sort of garbage from members of those groups and I am fairly good at kind of tuning them out. But when it comes from people with whom I feel a certain kinship? Well I supposed that for good or for ill I take things a bit more personally.

Those groups would be Atheists and Pagans. And frankly I'm seeing a lot more of this kind of stuff from some members of both groups than I'd like.

Persecution Now. Persecution Tomorrow. Persecution Forever.

From the Pagan camp I'm seeing memes that basically want to talk about either how much better Pagan's are than Christians, or as with the recent passing of Saint Patrick's day how horrible the persecution of Pagans was and how they are pretty much never going to let any of that bad stuff go.

Now I certainly can understand wanting to spread an awareness of history. And to be certain the Christians did some fairly awful things throughout history and even currently. But let's not act like the Pagans of old were a bunch of gentle fluffy kittens going around with nothing but love in their hearts. Many of the old forms of Paganism could be pretty harsh, and certainly many different Pagan tribes thought nothing of committing acts that we would consider horrific upon those they considered enemies.

Ultimately it seems to me there just comes a point where one needs to accept that the past happened and move on trying to build a better future.

I Think. Therefore I Am... Better Than You.

And then there are the Atheists. Now generally speaking I am on board with the Atheist "agenda". While personally I believe in a lot of rather odd things, and am willing to allow for the possibility of some kind of "creator" I certainly don't believe that such things should be taught in schools, or the basis for legislation.

But to be quite frank there is a level of arrogance from some Atheists that rivals and sometimes even exceeds that which can come from many Christians. A recent example was a smug self congratulatory picture that proclaimed that if in the majority Atheists would treat Christians better than Christians have treated Atheists. The problem however is that we have had proof thanks to the Communist states of Russia and China and their aggressive pursuit of the destruction of anything smacking of religious artifact, and the persecution of any religious practitioner, be they Christian in the case of Russia, or Buddhist in the case of China.

The simple truth of the matter is that when a group is in the majority it tends to wind up persecuting those in the minority unless it is very very careful to make and adhere to laws that ensure roughly equal treatment for all.

One would like to think that in this day and age as groups like Pagans and Atheists grow in number that they would look to the lessons of old, and do their best to ensure that should they ever become the majority they will not treat Christians, Muslims etc the way they have often been treated. But simply being Atheist or Pagan is no guarantee of that. In fact on the contrary the simple humanity that all share, Christian, Atheist, Muslim, Pagan alike and the flaws inherent within that condition suggest that unless they put forth great effort to make it otherwise things will end up falling out along the lines of that old Who song. "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss." We won't get fooled again indeed.

Keep The Faith My Brothers And Sisters!

Originally posted to Toriach on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 11:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think that about covers it. (9+ / 0-)

    You pretty much pissed everybody off.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:09:27 AM PDT

    •  It makes the title sadly ironic... nt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III, FG, denig

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 03:36:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Didn't piss me off at all. This is nothing more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      than a discussion of human nature that has been repeated over and over throughout history, and which seems to present itself in each generation without the benefit of historical reflection.

      The specific discussion of various groups (religious, atheist, communist, capitalist, etc. etc.) is nothing more to me than a recognition that no "group" is incapable of the worst manifestations of human nature.

      Germans are not inherently evil people.  In fact German society has many admirable qualities in my opinion.  That did not stop a group dedicated to evil from dominating the good people of Germany until the country was brought to its knees, and millions of people died worldwide as a result.

      The following is, I think a good summation of what the diarist is saying.  Where is the fallacy in it?

      The simple truth of the matter is that when a group is in the majority it tends to wind up persecuting those in the minority unless it is very very careful to make and adhere to laws that ensure roughly equal treatment for all.
      The danger is in allowing "groupthink" to overwhelm the individual's ability to rise above it when it threatens individual rights.  That's all I see here.

      Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

      by ZedMont on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 04:58:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A good argument for separation of church and state (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:31:50 AM PDT

  •  Atheist = Communist (0+ / 0-)

    OK. Got it.

  •  Not all people are groupists and not all people (3+ / 0-)

    are endemically insecure. It seems contradictory, but the people who cling to independence and individualism seem incapable of seeing other people as qnything but an exemplar of a group. Our individualists can't see individuals. So, perhaps their professed belief system is just wishful thinking or a matter of their perception of themselves as isolates, consistent with a self-centered perspective, being an example of making lemonade out of lemons.
    That self-centered people feel isolated is fairly indisputable. Indeed, most will admit to feeling alone and then quickly add that's how they like it--a lie. We can tell it's a lie because these loners are always looking to be in some group that, as often as not, does not want them to join. Because isolates simply don't know how to get along. So, they try to dominate.

    Groupies or groupists (one is more emotional than the other), being isolates, naturally feel inferior. So, in order to compensate, they aim to achieve a superior status, derived from their associations. That's where gilt by association comes in. That is, these self-centered individuals attach themselves to important people and groups, either as fans or antagonists to enhance their sense of self-importance. We see a lot of that currently in the people who can't go a day without attacking the President for some perceived infraction or stupidity. Their antagonism towards the "leader of the free world" makes them feel important -- gilt by association.
    The problem that the Republican party has is that there's a thin line between antipathy and adulation and the fan base, being fickle, is likely to switch at any moment. It is the fear that they might, which makes it necessary to denigrate the President at every turn. Any admission of value will be enough to turn the base and then all will be lost.

    The puzzlement is how the Republican party became the party of the insecure.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 03:42:35 AM PDT

  •  I like dogs better than I like Republicans. (0+ / 0-)

    A lot better.

  •  Using Communist Soviet Union and China (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tracker, FG, denig, Ozy

    As examples of what atheists would do is ridiculous.  You might as well use Genghis Khan as an example of what people who like horses would do.

    Communism as practiced by those countries was not an atheist state it was a party-controlled state. Atheism was incidental as a tool to destroy the power of religion as a rival to the authority of the state.

    "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

    by nightsweat on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:48:06 AM PDT

    •  I dunno ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... while they're certainly not representative of the actions of atheists in general, I think they merit being counted in the same way that the Inquisition merits being counted as an example of Christian persecution of others.

      •  You should check out Constantine's Sword (0+ / 0-)

        It's a great book that examines how anti-Semitism is baked into the ancient Church, written by a priest.  The later and current liberalism and repudiation of anti-Semitism is a modern thing, and less representative of the bulk of Christianity's history.

        I don't think atheism has that history of prosecuting others outside of a Communist context.

        "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

        by nightsweat on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:25:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think atheism has that long a history (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          or that kind of a core organization.

          And outside of Communist countries, I can't think of any historical context where there's been an atheist regime in a position to persecute others.

          Again, this is not to say I think those cases can justly be considered representative of atheists or of atheism; only to say that I don't believe they can justly be completely dismissed as counterexamples either.

        •  Also ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ... having been taught Jewish history throughout grade school and high school, believe me, I'm aware of how entrenched and systemic anti-Semitism was in the ancient Church.

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