…But you must respect the beliefs of others, even if you disagree with them.
A common statement proffered by religionistas and their apologists, often after you have revealed to them how utterly ridiculous their beliefs are, or in order to avoid having to contend with logic and reason. It’s hogwash of course.
I will acknowledge the existence of their beliefs but I need not respect them, or treat their ideas respectfully. The fact is that many of them believe in imprisoning, torturing, even murdering people who have beliefs contrary to their own. Many of them believe that women have lesser rights and can and should be enslaved, raped, and even killed at the whims of their male masters. Many of them believe them many of my friends should lose their rights because of their race or their sexual orientation. They want me to respect those beliefs. They want me to respect them, supposedly adult humans who still talk to their imaginary friends in the sky and believe in magic clothing. They want me to respect their “faith”. Fuck that. I’ll acknowledge those beliefs, I may ignore those beliefs, but I’ll never “respect” their. That doesn’t mean that I won’t love some of them or enjoy their company, but don’t tell me I have to be respectful when it comes to these beliefs.
Don’t let your joy over this victory cloud your mind and eyes to the fact that this same SCOTUS just took away voting rights and that as long as the court is made up of douchebags like Thomas and Scalia, all of your civil rights are in danger. The takeover of the country by the Reich wing of the religious party remains largely unchecked.
- U.S. Supreme Court hands two major victories to gays in DOMA and Proposition 8 rulings (mercurynews.com)
- Md. reacts to high court’s marriage decisions (wbaltv.com)
The American Taliban would like nothing better than to impose their on xtian form of sharia law upon the country, all in the name of religious freedom. SOB
re-posted from Tim’s Reflection Connection
The Actual State of Marriage in the US
Today, an interesting article appeared in my news feed that made me curious enough to do more reading about marriage and divorce. The facts, when isolated from a conservative or liberal agenda, are sobering, fascinating, and not at all what one might think given media coverage of the same. Here is an encapsulated version of the information I found.
- Conservative, self-defined, born-again Christians have the highest divorce rate by far in the nation—a whopping 13% higher than atheists! (The old saying, “The family that prays together, stays together.” just isn’t true.)
- People living in the “Bible belt” have the highest divorce rate in the nation.
- Less educated people have a higher divorce rate while more educated people have a lower divorce rate.
- Married couples who argue about money once or more per week are 30 percent more likely to divorce.
- Atheists and Agnostics have the lowest divorce rate.
- One year after Massachusetts legalized marriage equality for same-sex couples, their already low divorce rate actually dropped.
- If you live in a red state, you’re 27 percent more likely to get divorced than if you live in a blue state.
- If only one partner in your marriage is a smoker, you’re 75 to 91 percent more likely to divorce than smokers who are married to fellow smokers.
- Married adults now divorce two-and-a-half times as often as adults did 20 years ago and four times as often as they did 50 years ago. Between 40% and 60% of new marriages will eventually end in divorce.
- The bible belt has the highest rates of: divorce, murder, STD/HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy, single parent homes, infant mortality, and obesity rates in the nation. (Yet, they believe that being obese is genetic and being gay is a lifestyle choice. Huh?!)
- The average length of time a couple in the US remains married is only 11 years.
Divorce rates by faith group:
- Non-denominational (Independent, conservative fundamentalists): 34%
- Baptists 29%
- Mainline Protestants 25%
- Mormons 24%
- Catholics 21%
- Lutherans 21%
- Atheists and Agnostics 21%
Failure to Help
If Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council actually, sincerely, wanted to support family values and maintain a truly special place (the actual definition of “sanctity”) for marriage in this nation, he and his organization would stop wasting their time babbling on and on ad nauseam about marriage equality being a “war on marriage,” and focus on what really is causing marriage to fall apart in this country. Religious fundamentalism is probably strongest in the very places in this country where divorce, murder, STD/HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy, single parent homes, infant mortality, and obesity rates are the highest. This fact speaks to the outrageous level of ineffectiveness of what religious leadership is actually doing in those areas. Is what the religious extremists are doing actually hurting the institution of marriage. Is their “cure” (raising hell about gay people all of the time) really a level of indifference to the real issues and actually making the state of marriage worse! I have come to the conclusion that they themselves are the ones defeating their own self-proclaimed mission!
To claim an interest, no, more than an interest: a singular focus, a mission, a calling to preserve a very special place for marriage and do little of nothing except ranting on and on about gay people is, at its very best, disingenuous. Why isn’t the Family Research Council grappling deeply with the actual real causes for divorce in the places where the dissolution of marriage has reached the highest levels?!
Instead, the church chooses to ignore real people with real needs, perhaps because the church has presently demonstrated a real inability to provide real people with anything of substantive value to address their needs and reduce their failed marriages. This inaction or misplaced action on the part of the church is not just an outrage, it’s a moral outrage. Devoting so much of their attention, financial resources, and talk time to decrying marriage equality is perhaps their strategy of choice to obscure the absolute failure of their faith practice to provide critically needed care and support to real people in need: to reduce divorce, murder, STD/HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy, single parent homes, infant mortality, and obesity rates. Instead, their “support” is nothing more than turning the very people who are in need of their support away through self-righteous judgement and condemnation!
While it may be alarming to discover that born again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is that when those individuals experience a divorce many of them feel their community of faith provides rejection rather than support and healing. But the research also raises questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families. The ultimate responsibility for a marriage belongs to the husband and wife, but the high incidence of divorce within the Christian community challenges the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriages.”
Source: George Barna, president and founder of Barna Research Group
Don’t miss these important facts as I suspect they are all deeply correlated:
- The Bible belt is the poorest area of the nation. (Arguing about money increases divorce.)
- The Bible belt is the least educated area of the nation. (Less education is associated with divorce.)
- The Bible belt is filled with Conservative, self-defined, born-again Christians. (This is the religious group with the highest divorce rate.)
- The Bible belt significantly trends to “red states.” (Red states have a higher divorce rate.)
- The Bible belt has the highest rates of, among other things, teen pregnancy, single parent homes, and infant mortality.
A Plan that Would Work
Shouldn’t Tony Perkins and Maggie Gallagher really be focusing their efforts on getting the people in the Bible belt higher paying jobs, better and more education, and more progressive and liberal religious and political ideology. I mean, hello! The data indicates that effort would actually pay long term dividends in their self-proclaimed mission to protect the special place of marriage!
Clearly, we are once again witnessing a failure of leadership! Shame on them! Shame, shame, shame on them!!
Enslaving people in ignorance is the cruelest form of imprisonment!
I say that everyone should utterly reject organized faith practice that hurts people!
I say that everyone should utterly reject government policy (and those who make it) that hurts people!
I am personally fed up with religious and political liars whose lies promote only themselves and end up hurting people. America: Stop supporting the people that are hurting you!
- Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 2009
- Marriage in the United States
- 15 Ways to Predict Divorce
- Hey Fox, What About This “War on Marriage?” Divorce Rates Are Highest Among Evangelicals is the article that sparked my curiosity.
- U.S. Divorce Rates for Various Faith Groups, Age Groups, & Geographic Areas This article provided these very informative resources below:
- “Christians are more likely to experience divorce than are non-Christians,” Barna Research Group, 1999-DEC-21, at: http://www.barna.org/ (Barna no longer has this report online. However, a review of the report is at: http://www.adherents.com/)
- AANews, Posting #699, issued by American Atheists on 2000-JAN-2.
- Michael Inglis, “Survey of the Unification Church 1982 marriages,” at: http://www.unification.net/
- “Bible belt has nation’s worse divorce rate,” CNN.com, 1999-NOV-12. Online at: http://www.cnn.com/ (Cache copy as of 2000-FEB-11. The page has since expired.) A similar report is at: http://www.divorcereform.org/
- David Crary, “Deep in the Bible Belt, a counterattack on the nation’s worst divorce rate,” Detroit News, 1999-NOV-11, at: http://detnews.com/
- “Survey provides profile of Protestant Pastors,” 1998-JAN-6, at: http://www.barna.org/
- “Divorce statistics collection: Summary of findings so far,” Americans for Divorce Reform, at: http://www.divorcereform.org/
- “Fresh Thinking Needed on Divorce Issues,” Jesus Journal, at: http://www.jesusjournal.com/
- John Rossomando, “Born-Again Christians No More Immune to Divorce Than Others, Says Author,” CNSNews, 2002-JAN-21, at: http://www.cnsnews.com/
- Donald Hughes, “The Divorce Reality.” 109 pages. This is an eBook written from a positive, conservative Christian. It can be purchased and then downloaded from Theatron Media at: www.Bookstore.TheatronMedia.com
- William V. D’Antonio, “Walking the walk on family values,” The Boston Globe, 2004-OCT-31, at: http://www.boston.com/
- James Veverka, “The moral hypocrisy of the Bible Belt,” Stop The Religious Right, undated, at: http://www.stopthereligiousright.org/
- Arland Thornton, “Children and Marital Stability,” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 39, #3, 1977-AUG, Pages 531-539. Abstract at: http://www.eric.ed.gov/
- Aandrew Cherlin, “The effect of children on marital dissolution,” Demography©, Vol. 14, #3, 1977-AUG, Pages 265 to 272. Abstract at: http://links.jstor.org/
- “Bible Belt Leads U.S. In Divorces,” National Center for Policy Analysis, 1999-NOV-19, at: http://www.ncpa.org/
- “U.S. state divorce rates…including 2004 data.” Divorce Reform, at: http://www.divorcereform.org/
The efforts of GOP legislators and various religious entities to insert themselves into women’s personal heath decisions and to do everything they can to keep women down and to roll back the clock on all strides previously taken towards women’s equality in our society are well known to us all. The following data graph illustrates what may be the most serious and dangerous front in the “War On Women. SOB
I’ve bee reading Atheist Camel for a while and I found this post particularly enlightening as I’ve had similar experiences with theists. Read and enjoy then book mark Atheist Camel. SOB
I am always amused by this comment when it is thrown at me by some fundie with whom I am disputing. Yes, we are a narrow group, we atheists, who refuse to believe in fairy tales, magical invisible friends, virgin births, resurrections, bigfoot and the like. How dare we be so closed, so rational in our thinking. We need to open up and embrace the delusions. SOB
Re-blogged from Uncompromising Rhetoric
Thanks to The Tumblr Atheist
Here’s chapter and verse on a more-or-less comprehensive list of things banned in the Leviticus book of the bible. A decent number of them are punishable by death.
1. Burning any yeast or honey in offerings to God (2:11)
2. Failing to include salt in offerings to God (2:13)
3. Eating fat (3:17)
4. Eating blood (3:17)
5. Failing to testify against any wrongdoing you’ve witnessed (5:1)
6. Failing to testify against any wrongdoing you’ve been told about (5:1)
7. Touching an unclean animal (5:2)
8. Carelessly making an oath (5:4)
9. Deceiving a neighbour about something trusted to them (6:2)
10. Finding lost property and lying about it (6:3)
11. Bringing unauthorised fire before God (10:1)
12. Letting your hair become unkempt (10:6)
13. Tearing your clothes (10:6)
14. Drinking alcohol in holy places (10:9)
15. Eating an animal which doesn’t both chew cud and has a divided hoof (11:4-7)
16. Touching the carcass of any of the above (11:8)
17. Eating – or touching the carcass of – any seafood without fins or scales (11:10-12)
18. Eating – or touching the carcass of – eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat. (11:13-19)
19. Eating – or touching the carcass of – flying insects with four legs, unless those legs are jointed (11:20-22)
20. Eating any animal which walks on all four and has paws (11:27)
21. Eating – or touching the carcass of – the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard, the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon (11:29)
22. Eating – or touching the carcass of – any creature which crawls on many legs, or its belly (11:41-42)
23. Going to church within 33 days after giving birth to a boy (12:4)
24. Going to church within 66 days after giving birth to a girl (12:5)
25. Having sex with your mother (18:7)
26. Having sex with your father’s wife (18:8)
27. Having sex with your sister (18:9)
28. Having sex with your granddaughter (18:10)
29. Having sex with your half-sister (18:11)
30. Having sex with your biological aunt (18:12-13)
31. Having sex with your uncle’s wife (18:14)
32. Having sex with your daughter-in-law (18:15)
33. Having sex with your sister-in-law (18:16)
34. Having sex with a woman and also having sex with her daughter or granddaughter (18:17)
35. Marrying your wife’s sister while your wife still lives (18:18)
36. Having sex with a woman during her period (18:19)
37. Having sex with your neighbour’s wife (18:20)
38. Giving your children to be sacrificed to Molek (18:21)
39. Having sex with a man “as one does with a woman” (18:22)
40. Having sex with an animal (18:23)
41. Making idols or “metal gods” (19:4)
42. Reaping to the very edges of a field (19:9)
43. Picking up grapes that have fallen in your vineyard (19:10)
44. Stealing (19:11)
45. Lying (19:11)
46. Swearing falsely on God’s name (19:12)
47. Defrauding your neighbour (19:13)
48. Holding back the wages of an employee overnight (19:13)
49. Cursing the deaf or abusing the blind (19:14)
50. Perverting justice, showing partiality to either the poor or the rich (19:15)
51. Spreading slander (19:16)
52. Doing anything to endanger a neighbour’s life (19:16)
53. Seeking revenge or bearing a grudge (19:18)
54. Mixing fabrics in clothing (19:19)
55. Cross-breeding animals (19:19)
56. Planting different seeds in the same field (19:19)
57. Sleeping with another man’s slave (19:20)
58. Eating fruit from a tree within four years of planting it (19:23)
59. Practising divination or seeking omens (tut, tut astrology) (19:26)
60. Trimming your beard (19:27)
61. Cutting your hair at the sides (19:27)
62. Getting tattoos (19:28)
63. Making your daughter prostitute herself (19:29)
64. Turning to mediums or spiritualists (19:31)
65. Not standing in the presence of the elderly (19:32)
66. Mistreating foreigners – “the foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born” (19:33-34)
67. Using dishonest weights and scales (19:35-36)
68. Cursing your father or mother (punishable by death) (20:9)
69. Marrying a prostitute, divorcee or widow if you are a priest (21:7,13)
70. Entering a place where there’s a dead body as a priest (21:11)
71. Slaughtering a cow/sheep and its young on the same day (22:28)
72. Working on the Sabbath (23:3)
73. Blasphemy (punishable by stoning to death) (24:14)
74. Inflicting an injury; killing someone else’s animal; killing a person must be punished in kind (24:17-22)
75. Selling land permanently (25:23)
76. Selling an Israelite as a slave (25:42)
- Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13 “Is everything detestable to these people?” (queerlandia.com)
- The Cherry-Pickers of Leviticus (blinkutopia.com)
- Slideshow: 10 things the Bible bans that most people ignore (thegrio.com)
- Rick’s Cafe: Ron Brown, Tim Tebow and the war on secularism in sports – NBCSports.com (offthebench.nbcsports.com)