Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving and Spiritual Abuse

First things first, we had a nice Thanksgiving...that is until my estranged cousin arrived with a stomach virus and 102 fever. If she came every year, then I might be able to cut her a bit of slack for wanting to be included, but... the last time we (my family and I) saw her was six or seven years ago. SHE NEVER comes to family gatherings. Who the heck goes to a place where there will be ninety year old gr. grandparents and a woman with a compromised immune system with a raging, puking plague o' death? The answer? Idiots. That's who! Grrr... we had to beat a hasty retreat to try to avoid getting her bug. And, before anyone says anything, it was less than sixty degrees in Yosemite. Most viruses and bacteria can't handle cold or freezing temperatures on surfaces and I wore a mask when needed. Plus, the park was empty.
Anyway... we did have a good dinner and it was the first time Mr. Possum's parents AND my parents were at the same table for Thanksgiving. The possums really enjoyed the gathering.! A short article.
Dawkins accuses Christians of spiritual child abuse.

By Wolfgang Polzer MAINZ (ANS) -- Professor Richard Dawkins, one of the
world’s best-known atheists and evolutionists, has accused Christians of
committing spiritual abuse, if they teach their children the existence of hell.

A-to-the-men, Professor Dawkins! If I gathered up my kids and said, "If you don't behave, I will throw you into a pit of fire where you will be tortured for all eternity!", then you guys would be completely justified in calling CPS (Child Protective Services) in to evaluate the mental health of my children. Why is it that, cloaked in religion, theists pull this manipulative crap and not many people blink an eyelash?

Dawkins, author of the bestseller “The God Delusion”, took part in a television debate on the German channel ZDF, November 15. His opponents were the leader of the main line Protestant Churches in Germany, Bishop Wolfgang Huber, and the Roman Catholic auxiliary Bishop Hans-Jochen Jaschke. Dawkins said both Protestant and Catholic clergy in America threatened children with hell’s torment, if they do not believe. Dawkins also criticized modern theology for selecting more or less arbitrarily which bible passages were acceptable. He described the God of the Old Testament as a malicious and cruel figure.

...and THAT is why I love Dawkins. Of course, you know that the theists won't take that lying down.

Bishop Huber rejected these allegations and called them an expression of
anti-Judaism. God’s history with Israel was one of liberation from slavery, he
said. In this context the Ten Commandments were given to Israel.

What? How is it anti-Semitic to say, "Stop tormenting children!"? And, what the heck does the liberation of Jewish slaves have to do with Mr. Christian telling his male, teen aged child that masturbation leads to hell?

The Christian faith manifests itself in love, said Huber, even the love of one’s
enemy. Such a love could not be explained without God. The Bishop conceded that
there are controversial views of hell. But it was also inappropriate to speak of
a “cute God”. Everyone is accountable to God, Huber said.

Oh, yeah...Christians love their enemies so much that they'll "pray for them" and secretly smirk over the pompous certainty that, without accepting God, atheists will burn in hell. Uh. Thanks, thanks. And, I love how the bishop "concedes" that there are controversial views of hell, but won't concede that those views might be considered abusive by anyone with an IQ over 80. Furthermore, if God isn't "cute" and it's inappropriate to speak of him as so, then Precious Moments has some explaining to do. I knew those figurines were evil.

He accused Dawkins of presenting a “very fundamentalist atheism”. The
aggressive tone of his arguments could be a result of the fact that today’s
intellectuals do not automatically embrace atheist positions any longer.

What, huh? I love the back-handed insult. If you're really smart, then you'll chose to shun atheism in favor of logically baffling, magical myths and suppression, intolerance, and fear. Yeah. That must be it. NOT! Did you hear that all you "intellectuals"? Bishop Cracksmoker says you can't automatically embrace militant atheism... instead, you should embrace militant theism.

According to Jaschke hell has not played a prominent role in the churches during
the last 50 years. Religious education concentrated on teaching trust and
confidence. A child was assured of being accepted by a loving God.

Excuse me? He better schedule an appointment with his plastic surgeon because Cyrano's got nothing on this joker.

Jaschke emphasized that the key to biblical understanding is Jesus Christ.
“Never believe for one moment that all evil will cease, once you have got rid of
religion,” Jaschke warned Dawkins.

Nice false assumption, jerk. You know...why is it that, although there's never been an atheist who, to my knowledge, has said, "evil will cease when you ditch religion", the religious "authorities" seem to persist in making stupid-ass claims about atheist. One wonders if they've ever met an actual atheist...or read Dawkin's book BEFORE slamming it?


Kazim said...

The most elementary logical fallacy:

P: Religion is a cause of evil.
Q: Therefore, if you remove religion then there will be no more evil.

Common mistake among people who cannot understand the difference between "some" and "all."

Caitlin said...

I still remember my first run in with hell when I was 4 or so. I had spent the night with a friend and my parents ok'd me going to church with her family the next morning.

We went to Sunday school first, and after the Sunday school teacher found out I didn't know the words to 'Jesus Loves Me' and 'Jesus Loves the Little Children', she pulled me aside after Sunday school was over.

After discovering my family didn't go to church, she decided to let me know what happened to little girls who didn't love their parents enough to save them. She was pretty graphic about the tortures of hell (basically me having to watch the devil dismember and make kabobs of my parent).

I had nightmares for weeks after and probably drove my parents nuts trying to get them to go to church so they wouldn't go to hell.

I grew up in the Bible Belt, but it always seemed like church was less about the love of their god than putting the fear of the devil into everyone.

Taylor said...

I think theists just love to hate him. Doesn't matter what he says, or that his arguments are completely logical (not to mention spot on) -- he must be the incarnation of true evil because he dares to stand against god (or their view of god).

Or it could be that they are quite afraid of him, and as is usual in my experience with fundamentalists of any religion, they vilify and mock the things they fear.

Either way, I think the only actual accomplishment they can claim is that they have made themselves look stupid.

Chris said...

I'm fairly sure Dawkins wouldn't let those comments slide, I'm sure in the debate he had a response to each of those. Given who wrote the article, though, I'm not surprised at how the article played out.

Present Dawkins as a mean old man by presenting the views that would most likely rile up a theist (hell = child abuse, god = cruel, vindictive bastard), and then give the theists responces, unchallenged, as if that ended the arguments right then and there.

Hey Wolfgang, your bias is showing!

The Rev. Jenner J. Hull said...


"Oh, yeah...Christians love their enemies so much that they'll "pray for them" and secretly smirk over the pompous certainty that, without accepting God, atheists will burn in hell."

Bingo! The only "love" Christians show for their "enemies" is to try that much harder to shove their creepy-zombie-god down someone's throat. And, prayer? Sooooo much better than human compassion and empathy.

Because, as we all know, convincing people that they're totally worthless and evil unless they consider the torture and death of a fellow human being the most-bestest thing ever to ever happen, EVER, is the only true love.

(This message brought to you by the God Killing His Only Son Was Totally Necessary and Really, Really Cool Foundation.)

Kat said...

This easily brings me back to a few months ago when I was working a gallery in my town. A mother had come in with 3 children all under the age of 4 looking for this bundle of art she had seen on the store's website. Now since we couldn't look up on the computer to tell her if we had the pieces or not since our owner never bothered to update our inventory on the computer. So in good little worker bee fashion I had to tell her that she have to check around the store to find them. Well as she was carting her 3 little "darlings" around the store I could hear her threaten them first with Santa not bringing them anything for x-mas and then with "You don't want to make G-d angry do you?!"

I nearly fell over laughing when I heard her yell that at her kids. I really should have looked up the child services number because, wow, what a great example of child abuse there.

Kat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

you might be interested in this parody of the Fundamentalist "Left Behind" books

it's a book called:

Raptured: The final Daze of the Late, Great Planet Earth.

Ian Adams said...

He accused Dawkins of presenting a “very fundamentalist atheism”.

Does anyone else get really tired of hearing people -- especially Dawkins, to whom it seems to be done most often -- labelled as "fundamentalist atheists"? What makes a fundamentalist a fundamentalist is that they hold on to a stubborn, entrenched position that defies reasoned argument or evidence to the contrary. That's exactly what atheists *don't* do. I guarantee that if someone came up with evidence to the contrary of atheism, everyone would take the time to look at it and reconsider their position.