Pharyngula

They’re all nuts

You know, voodoo is a really ridiculous religion. Ritual magic, placating gods…but it’s common and accepted in Haiti.

Here’s another ridiculous religion: Christianity. It’s got its own brand of ritual magic, and it’s also all about placating one god. It’s also common and accepted in Haiti.

I’m still not at all surprised that, when the followers of voodoo recently tried to practice their silly rites, evangelical Christians attacked the ceremony, throwing rocks. Yeah, religion really helps people get along. Now they’re talking holy war.

I agree with my friend and colleague, The Supreme Servitor of Vodou, Ati Max Beauvoir, that this attack by the evangelicals is a declaration of war. These Bible Thumpers have no idea how powerful Vodou is nor how lethal it can be.

We are mobilizing our forces to meet this demonic spirit head on; bullets nor pious, hypocritical prayers have no power where Vodou is concerned. Vodou will be recognized and accepted as a valid and legitimate system of spirituality just as the Wiccan and Pagans have been accepted. Freedom of Religion is a right and no man nor religious organization has a corner on God nor salvation. There is only ONE God and His Universal Name is Yawe.

Don’t worry, Dr Kioni. I think Voodoo is just as valid and legitimate a system of spirituality as Wicca. And Christianity. They’re all exactly the same, as far as I’m concerned.

Comments

  1. #1 Glen Davidson
    February 26, 2010

    These Bible Thumpers have no idea how powerful Vodou is nor how lethal it can be.

    One could also say:

    These Vodou magicians have no idea how powerful Christianity is nor how lethal it can be.

    I wonder why people don’t know how powerful these religions are. Or do we?

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  2. #2 Jon A
    February 26, 2010

    American foreign policy is handicapped by a narrow, ill-informed and ?uncompromising Western secularism?

    Western secularism?? You’ve got to be kidding…

  3. #3 a.debaser
    February 26, 2010

    Vodou Yawe is gonna go ahead to head with the Jehovah and Jesse? Showdown!

    I love this:

    no man nor religious organization has a corner on God nor salvation.

    Ahh that’s so nice what a lovely pan-theist big tent declara…

    There is only ONE God and His Universal Name is Yawe.

    THE NEXT FUCKING SENTENCE.

    Too bad the christians couldn’t stick to throwing rocks of prayer. It’s like their god never does anything himself.

  4. #4 Michelle R
    February 26, 2010

    The One God Takhisis takes offense to that.

  5. #5 vanharris
    February 26, 2010

    I’m currently reading The Iliad by Homer, & the Olympian gods fight it out unashamedly.

    So let’s see Yahweh (Jehovah) & Yawe fight it out. That should be fun.

    But i notice that their names are similar. They’re not the same fellah, eh? Okay, so their supporters will have to have a rumble. Hey, they already did that – the Xians did some traditional stoning.

  6. #6 Larry
    February 26, 2010

    Years ago, another controversy arose between religions. The silliness then matches today’s events:

    Pedro Cerrano: Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come.

    Eddie Harris: You know you might think about taking Jesus Christ as your savior instead of fooling around with all this stuff.

    Pedro Cerrano: Jesus, I like him very much, but he no help with curveball.

    Eddie Harris: You trying to say Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball?

  7. #7 Brownian, OM
    February 26, 2010

    I see your voudou and raise you one Aztec.

  8. #8 daveau
    February 26, 2010

    What are the Vodou dudes going to do? Stick pins in a Jebus doll? Been there, done that.

  9. #9 Bride of Shrek OM
    February 26, 2010

    I’m getting the popcorn and dibs on the comfy chair to watch this one pan out.

  10. #10 BobbyEarle
    February 26, 2010

    These holy wars can go on for years and cost hundreds of millions of lives. Maybe I can intervene?

    Now where did I put those chicken bones?

  11. #11 Raistlin
    February 26, 2010

    Takhisis is powerless against me.

  12. #12 KKBundy
    February 26, 2010

    Ah, christians throwing rocks. Makes you all warm and fuzzy inside.

    What does anyone expect from followers of a book that says “Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock.” Psalm 137 /9. This isn’t a social club! They yearn for world domination and are out to convince everyone they are the One True Religion. If throwing rocks get them closer, they’re all for it.

    The Blessed Atheist Bible Study @ http://blessedatheist.com/

  13. #13 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 26, 2010

    Praying and singing, the group was trying to conjure spirits to guide lost souls when a crowd of evangelicals started shouting. Some threw rocks while others urinated on Voodoo symbols.When police left, the crowd destroyed the altars and Voodoo offerings of food and rum.

    Standards have really got slack ever since the Inquisition stopped burning heretics and unbelievers at the stake.

  14. #14 Harry Tuttle
    February 26, 2010

    By far the scariest thing mentioned in that piece is this.

  15. #15 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 26, 2010

    Windsurfer, please refrain from posting videos. It clogs things up.

    Also, there is no need to test. Right below the box, their is a preview button. Hit that instead.

  16. #16 SC OM
    February 26, 2010

    Here’s another ridiculous religion: Christianity.

    Vodoun is a syncretic religion, in good part Roman Catholicism. It doesn’t get the same deference as other religions because it’s practiced by Haitians (and scares some of the people who want to continue to oppress them).

  17. #17 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 26, 2010

    their
    there
    CHIMPY!

  18. #18 Chris
    February 26, 2010

    Of course (at least) Vodou/Voodoo and Christianity are exactly the same. They are both Zombie cults.

  19. #19 irarosofsky
    February 26, 2010

    There’s this bit by David Steinberg–truth be told, a son of a Rabbi.

    A woman is complaining about her son who lives locked away with other men, and wears these black robes. He has to pray all day, is not allowed to have relationships with women, spends all his time confessing his sins, and is not allowed to call her.

    Which cult is he in?

    Cult? He’s training to be a Catholic priest.

  20. #20 Gregory Greenwood
    February 26, 2010

    So, essentially we have in the red corner an irrational, evidence-free religion that believes in all manner of frankly ridiculous, supernatural powers including (but not limited to); curses, bodily possesssion, transmutation, transmogrification, presience and the raising of the dead*…

    And in the blue corner we have…err…an irrational, evidence-free religion that believes in all manner of frankly ridiculous, supernatural powers including (but not limited to); curses, bodily possesssion, transmutation, transmogrification, presience and the raising of the dead.

    What are they fighting about again? Oh yes, they are fighting about which silly superstition is the ‘one true faith’, even though;

    Freedom of Religion is a right and no man nor religious organization has a corner on God nor salvation.

    and yet…

    There is only ONE God and His Universal Name is Yawe.

    Yup, some quality, 100% proof irrefutable reasoning right there. And their opponents are even more sophisticated. Afterall, what can beat the understated, mineralogical eloquence of the simple rock-to-the-head? If it was good enough for our pre-civilisational, proto-human forebears, it should damn well be good enough for us!**

    With arguments like that, is it not amazing that we hardcore atheist holdouts even exist at all? ;-)

    * Ahh, got to love that pious necromancy. Every fantasy novel ever has got those poor, misunderstood corpse-sorcerers wrong. If they didn’t hang around with those vampire bad boys so much, they could turn out to be good kids, but there is just no talking to the young these days…

    ** Oh, that’s right, I forgot! The fundies don’t believe in hominids. No great surprise, what with the world only being 6,000 years old and all. So, perhaps not the best analagy in the circumstances. We’ll just have to settle for the idea that the Sky Fairy likes him some good stonin’, and leave it at that.

  21. #21 Gregory Greenwood
    February 26, 2010

    Apologies to a.debaser @ 4, who beat me to the punch over the wonderful lack of coherence over this chap’s idea of religious tolerance.

    Why is it that every stripe of fundy always thinks that;

    “Universal freedom of, and from, religion.”

    Actually means;

    “Protect my faith, but do not think twice about duffing over those heathens over there! And as for those baby-eating atheists, well, the sooner we burn them the better off we will all be!”

  22. #22 Sastra
    February 26, 2010

    Praying and singing, the group was trying to conjure spirits to guide lost souls when a crowd of evangelicals started shouting. Some threw rocks while others urinated on Voodoo symbols.When police left, the crowd destroyed the altars and Voodoo offerings of food and rum.

    Wait, you mean this wasn’t a group of militant atheists? That’s what they do, isn’t it? Be all militant like this, throwing rocks and all.

  23. #23 B166ER
    February 26, 2010

    I can guarantee that the kook leaders of these two warring death cults will be no where near the front lines of these “spiritual” battles (oddly fought with purely physical weapons). When the leaders are living in relative luxury, it’s the masses who are losing out. Typical…
    I wish just once it would be the leaders of these crazy movements who would take the risk and fight it out instead of sending waves of ignorant people to do their bidding. That I would pay to watch, but only if the money went to sending their children to REAL schools.

    No Gods, No Masters
    Cameron

  24. #24 augustus mulliner
    February 26, 2010

    Bring me the shrunken head of Pat Robertson!

  25. #25 chuckgoecke
    February 26, 2010

    My personal feelings for some of these “alternate” religions is that , although they are all superstitious, supernatural, and equally wacky as the mainstream religions, at least worshiping something like the sun, or the earth, or the moon, (or life, the ecosystems, or the Gaia super organism and (her) biogeochemical cycles) has the advantage of worshiping something that is real, has a actual effect on my life, provides nice things to me, like warmth or food, or a substrate to grow my plants, or a nice beautiful night-light part of each month. Besides, they get together occasionally and dance around nekkid in the forest at night. Ya can’t argue with that. I often thought about joining a coven just with the buffet approach of most of the other religions to their holy books and rituals – pick and choose what parts to accept, and ignore the ones you are uncomfortable with.

  26. #26 DominEditrix
    February 26, 2010

    Hey, I want a coco macaque – ‘It is a stick, which is supposed to be able to walk on its own. The owner of a coco macaque can send it on errands.’

    And you’ve got to love a religion that has a character like Ti Jean Quinto, “a mean Haitian spirit which lives under bridges and assumes the form of a policeman”. How did a troll get to Hispaniola? In uniform?

  27. #27 qbsmd
    February 26, 2010

    valid and legitimate system of spirituality just as the Wiccan and Pagans have been accepted.

    Christians accepted pagan religions as a valid? I must have missed that memo.

  28. #28 thehuntbox
    February 26, 2010

    Does this mean we can expect Rick Warren to be perforated by hundreds of needles any time soon?

  29. #29 Cerberus
    February 26, 2010

    I tend to give Wicca and paganism a slight boost in the exactly the same denotation as a sort of consolation prize for being so much less likely than other religions in producing total assholes.

    Same with Unitarians.

    Doesn’t make them any more real, but they get more of an eye roll or an “oh you” than my ever-lasting burning hate.

  30. #30 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 26, 2010

    I tend to give Wicca and paganism a slight boost in the exactly the same denotation as a sort of consolation prize for being so much less likely than other religions in producing total assholes.

    I see why, but I don’t understand why. It is exactly the same thinking. If they were the predominant religion we’d be talking about their idiocy mostly.

    No quarter

  31. #31 Pierce R. Butler
    February 26, 2010

    I’m sure all of this can be worked out, just as soon as Chris Mooney finds time to fit a Caribbean trip into his busy schedule so he can teach those involved better ways of communicating with each other.

  32. #32 alysonmiers
    February 26, 2010

    Wiccans and pagans are accepted? Where?

  33. #33 Kamaka
    February 26, 2010

    Wiccans and pagans are accepted? Where?

    There’s a Wiccan that works at my local Target store, seems like nobody bothers her. But then, I’m likely one of very few people who knows.

    Maybe one of these days I’ll give her the Horned-God greeting.

  34. #34 lordshipmayhem
    February 26, 2010

    Actually, the Voodoo has six things that neither Christianity nor Wicca has.

    – 2 Pratt & Whitney J57-P-55 afterburning turbojets
    – 4 Falcon missiles (alternately, 2 Falcons and 2 Genie nuclear missiles)

    Let’s see who’s got the bigger Wrath o’ Supreme Being, Voodoo, Christianity or Wicca?

  35. #35 onethird-man
    February 26, 2010

    I’m ambivalent about the merit of different religions – I’m more one to look at what they actually value rather than what they say makes up the world when talking merit. Unitarians are goofy and sure, they have a bizarre mish-mash of metaphysics about the world – but they also aren’t fanatical about squashing other ideas or recruiting for the sake of cash or to increase congregants, at least in my experience.

    Sure, doctrine can be twisted, people are jerks no matter what their religion, but if the particular belief holds strongly to pluralism and understanding, it’s not so bad as xenophobic unilateralist fundamentalism. Unfortunately, it is also less likely to survive and spread as rapidly.

    Nothing like fear to spread influence, and even better when you promise insurance (after you’re dead) against an antagonist that can’t be seen, but is also responsible for every bad thing that happens. The payoff also will be in unseeable, unknowable currency, which you will instantly forfeit if you doubt you’ll get it, even for a second.

  36. #36 jamesbspiller
    February 26, 2010

    I like this sentence in the news article;

    “Rosemond Aristide, police inspector in Cite Soleil, said he has since spoken with the pastor, who agreed to allow voodoo ceremonies to take place there.”

    A generous concession indeed from the pastor. So atypically tolerant of him to allow citizens continue practising their religion in the devastated country into which the pastor has swaggered to see if he can’t fleece … um … recruit … er, ‘save’ … a few lost souls.

    Freedom of (religious) expression aside, it really is Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dumber.

  37. #37 Uncle Glenny
    February 26, 2010

    Wiccans and pagans are accepted? Where?

    For what it’s worth, I believe someone has been buried in Arlington National Cemetery with a pentacle on the headstone. This required special approval.

  38. #38 Kamaka
    February 26, 2010
  39. #39 Cerberus
    February 26, 2010

    The Reverand @31

    Yeah. But I see it like methodone for an addict. Something less toxic to get them down from the constant highs the more toxic and damaging woo gave them.

    Also, if my choices are between a mostly secular society like Denmark or America, I’ll take secular.

    But if the choices are between woos, a society of wiccans and pagans and unitarians is safer to walk around in as a multiple minority than a society of psycho Christian fascists. Best to argue for secularism and humanism on a personal and political level, but the mellower woo believers cause my eyebrows to twitch less and at least produce decent works of fiction that can be fun to read or listen to.

  40. #40 Cerberus
    February 26, 2010

    That and wiccans and pagans tend to be the biggest defenders of humanism and the notion of a secular state, probably because outside possibly buddhism (which is a sickly masochist religion of self-hatred) they’re mostly personal religions you practice at home in the flavor one personally chooses.

    Doesn’t make their delusions correct or worthy of absolute deference or that they wouldn’t be just as bastardly if they were somehow the state religion, but it means it’s easier to co-exist with them and they are less hostile to a reality-based government and science and less likely to complete fuck themselves or others up over their woo. And I can appreciate that, simply by virtue of comparison.

  41. #41 Kamaka
    February 26, 2010

    Selena Fox (I forget her real name) and her Circle Sanctuary peddle odious woo. She carries on the religious tradition of making money off of the gullible.

    I sat next to her in the “How to be a Tenth Generation Initiated Witch” class.

    http://www.circlesanctuary.org/index.html

    PS. I was just checkin’ out the crazee…

  42. #42 jrosalee
    February 26, 2010

    Christianity might be one of the most misunderstood religions of the world I do admit. It seems as if many, but not all, look at one Christian, practicing or not, and label the rest of the religion as false if a misrepresentation is given.

    Not one Christian will admit to living a perfect life, even the evangelical Christians listed in this post.

    I question why Christianity is such a ‘ridiculous religion’. You list the ‘similarities’ between voodoo and Christianity but what are some of the differences?

    I have to ask if what you post here is true of real Christianity or maybe a misunderstanding of it’s followers or even it’s God.

  43. #43 raven
    February 26, 2010

    Just routine inter-religious violence. N. Irish xians, Sunnis versus Shiites and so on.

    To be fair they should limit themselves to supernatural means of warfare. Voodoo gods and magic versus Xian gods and magic.

    It is a bit contradictory and hypocritical to claim your gods and magic are the only Real and True gods and magic and then beat someone over the head with a rock. It’s like they don’t really believe that their magic works.

  44. #44 Kyorosuke
    February 26, 2010

    jrosalee:

    Why do you think we misunderstand? What are we missing? Do you or do you not worship a magic sky fairy and his undead zombie son? Do you or do you not believe that the fairy impregnated a virgin with a magic beam of light, and the baby could do magic? Do you or do you not believe that the baby and the fairy and some kind of ghost are all the same thing, but also separate at the same time? If you do, would you mind explaining exactly how the fuck that works?

    I don’t understand where you’re coming from about similarities and differences. The point is that they’re all false, and ridiculous, as are all religions, everywhere. Why do you believe such insane things when there’s no evidence for them?

  45. #45 Kamaka
    February 26, 2010

    buddhism (which is a sickly masochist religion of self-hatred)

    Whoa there. Buddhism in it’s purest form is not a religion, but a philosophy. And the Buddha’s primary message, The Middle Way, is to avoid both the uncontrolled satisfaction of human desire and extreme forms of self-denial. Far from self-hatred, he taught that compassion for the self and others was the path to inner peace, the way to overcome the delusions of the ego.

    The Buddha was an atheist, by the way.

  46. #46 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    February 26, 2010

    no man nor religious organization has a corner on God nor salvation.

  47. #47 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    February 26, 2010

    Edit:

    There is only ONE God and His Universal Name is Yawe.

    No. It’s FMS.

  48. #48 Kamaka
    February 26, 2010

    For some insight into Buddhist thought, I highly recommend the book:

    Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama, narrated by Daniel Goleman

  49. #49 Bastion Of Sass
    February 26, 2010

    American foreign policy is handicapped by a narrow, ill-informed and ?uncompromising Western secularism?

    So, I guess Jeff Sharlet was all wrong in The Family when he wrote about the long and sordid history of fundamentalist interference in American foreign policy.

  50. #50 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2010

    And the Buddha’s primary message, The Middle Way

    the Middle Way, IIRC, is only one school of Buddhist thought, founded by Nagarjuna.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagarjuna

    like xianity, Buddhism has many sects, many of which evolved as the basic ideas of Buddhism were co-opted into different cultures, again much like xianity.

    still, xianity rules with over 33 thousand identifiable sects at last count.

  51. #51 Kamaka
    February 26, 2010

    real Christianity

    Oh, please, do tell! Which one of the bazillion sects is the *real* Xtianity?

  52. #52 Ichthyic
    February 26, 2010

    I question why Christianity is such a ‘ridiculous religion’. You list the ‘similarities’ between voodoo and Christianity but what are some of the differences?

    given that there are over 30K sects, which one would you like to focus on to compare similarities and differences?

  53. #53 Kamaka
    February 26, 2010

    like xianity, Buddhism has many sects

    This is so, and many sects of Buddhism have devolved into mystical mumbo-jumbo.

    The Buddha was an ascetic who came to see asceticism as an incorrect lifestyle. His philosophy was pretty simple, later trappings notwithstanding. The ego deludes oneself. He prescribes a method of rising above that delusion.

  54. #54 Bastion Of Sass
    February 26, 2010

    Christianity might be one of the most misunderstood religions of the world I do admit. It seems as if many, but not all, look at one Christian, practicing or not, and label the rest of the religion as false if a misrepresentation is given.

    Seems like most Christians must misunderstand their religion. Thousands of sects, each believing that they alone practice true Christianity.

    I was raised as a Catholic, which may or may not be a Christian religion depending on which other Christian religion you believe in.

  55. #55 WowbaggerOM
    February 26, 2010

    You list the ‘similarities’ between voodoo and Christianity but what are some of the differences?

    Who cares? Both lack evidence and compelling argument for their claims; everything beyond that is meaningless piffle. You might as well ask whether the invisible dragon in Sagan’s garage has blue eyes or green.

  56. #56 KOPD42
    February 26, 2010

    real Christianity

    Of course yours is the “real” Christianity, and everybody who disagrees is wrong. Yet another RTC.

  57. #57 Malcolm
    February 27, 2010

    jrosalee @43

    I question why Christianity is such a ‘ridiculous religion’. You list the ‘similarities’ between voodoo and Christianity but what are some of the differences?

    The differences are completely cosmetic. Both involve a belief in magic and fairy tales.

  58. #58 Rorschach
    February 27, 2010

    @ 43,

    I have to ask if what you post here is true of real Christianity or maybe a misunderstanding of it’s followers or even it’s God.

    It always cracks me up when some random dude attempts to explain to people on the internet how they misunderstand real xtianity, and what dog really meant when he said XYZ.

    The usual response, which has already been given here, is “which of the 35000 xtian sects dot you think is the real one? My favourite is “And you, random dude on the internet, know this ultimate deep truth how ?”

    You list the ‘similarities’ between voodoo and Christianity but what are some of the differences?

    One cult is made of mainly poor mixed race people from the fourth world, while the other cult mainly consists of middle class white americans.Is that what you meant ? It doesnt matter if you drive a Toyota or an ox cart, voodoo is voodoo.

  59. #59 onethird-man
    February 27, 2010

    Do you or do you not believe that the baby and the fairy and some kind of ghost are all the same thing, but also separate at the same time? If you do, would you mind explaining exactly how the fuck that works?

    Now, now – the Council of Nicea worked long and hard to reach the above consensus, and many were burned, tortured, and persecuted to get to just that. They deliberately left it as an all-or-nothing point of acceptance in Christianity as kind of a litmus test of how much crap you’re willing to swallow without questioning it.

  60. #60 deriamis
    February 27, 2010

    One reason I don’t mind Wicca so much is that it’s a very new religion that is sensitive to what is happening to the Christian faith. Of course, it’s based on old concepts and holidays in human history, but that’s rather much an affectation. Most Wiccans I have ever known were much more “spiritual” than “religious” about their beliefs and were even willing to acknowledge atheism as a valid position, unlike most other religions.

    That’s also why I don’t mind Unitarianism. After all, when you have a group of people who work constantly to find common values, it’s not hard to see how they could be likable. It doesn’t even matter that some of the values they try to find in common are irrational, either. It’s way better than listening to a group of people shout their own egotistical views on stupid ideas.

    And as for Buddhism – I don’t mind the philosophy; in fact, it’s useful to realize that you are tiny in comparison to the rest of humanity, which is one of the first observations the Buddha came to. Some of the others are a bit, shall we say, interesting, but they are probably harmless. The religious form of Buddhism I cannot tolerate because it dilutes the genuine philosophical realizations with overt spiritualism. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    But Christianity? By and large it’s a bunch of egotistical assholes joining a permanent pity party and waiting for their Sky Daddy to either reward or punish their deeds in life. It’s a weird, self-demeaning power trip they send themselves on. I understand that there are some people who can actually handle the cognitive dissonance and who have even carved out a relatively reasonable niche in the bunk, but I am glad I got out when I did. Still, I will be damaged for the rest of my life by it.

  61. #61 smartbrainus
    February 27, 2010

    http://trueslant.com/matttaibbi/2010/01/18/translating-david-brooks-haiti/

    This is a classic smackdown of Christianity’s (specifically David Brooks of the NY Times) piousness with voodoo.

  62. #62 Caine
    February 27, 2010

    jrosalee @ 43:

    Christianity might be one of the most misunderstood religions of the world I do admit. It seems as if many, but not all, look at one Christian, practicing or not, and label the rest of the religion as false if a misrepresentation is given.

    [...]

    I have to ask if what you post here is true of real Christianity or maybe a misunderstanding of it’s followers or even it’s God.

    Christianity is only misunderstood by those who claim to be christian. There’s a reason there are so many ‘branches’ of christianity. And not one of them likes the other. They all fall to the “No True Scotsman” fallacy.

    There’s no such thing as true christianity. As for the similarities, can you not honestly see them? The claims and beliefs are the same, no matter the method or the god.

  63. #63 Carax
    February 27, 2010

    Prof. Meyers, Christianity may be a ridiculous religion and I enjoy your rants but I don’t hear you say much ridiculing Islam.

    There is nothing ridiculous about Islam. Compared to cuddly Christianity with its Ken Ham and Pat Robertson figures, it pales against the dangerous and brutal reality of what Islam is. When you criticize Christians all you get are ludicrous responses, calls to be nice, merely words.

    Muslims, on the other hand, demand nothing less than death for the insults that are slung against their god. Maybe my perspective is colored because I don’t live too far from where a descendant of Van Gogh was slaughtered by a Muslim, in a city that cowers to Muslim demands, with a media who dares not criticize Islam for fear of repercussions.

    Unfortunately, Islam has plans for America too. Omar Ahad, co-founder of CAIR publicly stated:

    “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faiths but to become dominant. The Quran should be the highest authority in America and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”

    Currently, in The Netherlands Muslims have formed a mostly impotent political party but in 15 Muslims will probably comprise 50% of the Dutch population, which means more political pull to change the laws. Muslims already live in enclaves here and practice sharia. To be fair not all Muslims are this way because impacts between two cultures changes how people think. But it is not enough. In The Netherlands our government subsidizes separate Muslim schools that teach young Muslims the superiority of their ideology. In other words, Dutch citizens are paying out of their pockets to destroy their traditional European culture.

  64. #64 Rorschach
    February 27, 2010

    Prof. Meyers, Christianity may be a ridiculous religion and I enjoy your rants but I don’t hear you say much ridiculing Islam

    .

    How cute.
    And who is this Prof. Meyers you speak of ?

    In The Netherlands our government subsidizes separate Muslim schools that teach young Muslims the superiority of their ideology.

    In Australia, the government subsidizes religious private schools that teach young christians the superiority of their ideology.
    See the problem here ?

    I agree in one point with your comment though, and that is the atrocity that is Sharia law, you want to do this in Europe or anywhere in the western world for that matter, you should be called out, arrested, stopped, and deported back to your country of origin.I am absolutely fed up with this bullshit “tolerance” crap, worst in the UK.
    You want to kill your daughter for “adultery” aka looking at a boy, off to jail or back on that plane to Stoneageistan you go, this should be self-evident in any modern society.

  65. #65 Ferris
    February 27, 2010

    LEST YE BE JUDGED hypocrits.

  66. #66 Caine
    February 27, 2010

    Carax @ 64:

    Prof. Meyers, Christianity may be a ridiculous religion and I enjoy your rants but I don’t hear you say much ridiculing Islam.

    Who is Prof. Meyers? It would seem you haven’t been around, as Prof. Myers has had plenty to say about Islam. How about doing a search before you spout off?

    There is nothing ridiculous about Islam.

    Oh, there’s plenty of ridiculous about Islam. Just like every other religion.

  67. #67 boygenius
    February 27, 2010

    LEST YE BE JUDGED hypocrits [sic].

    What are you trying to say, Ferris? That we are hypocrites for judging silly religions? We’re judging them to all be equally silly so I don’t understand where we’re being hypocritical.

    You Xians are the ones that ostensibly adhere to your silly scriptures, not us. So.. by calling us hypocrites, aren’t you judging us and therefore sinning?

  68. #68 boygenius
    February 27, 2010

    Oops. Sorry Ferris. I think I misinterpreted your comment in a 180 degree manner. I apologize for the hair trigger response. Imma blame the IPA.

  69. #69 llewelly
    February 27, 2010

    Carax | February 27, 2010 3:11 AM:

    … but I don’t hear you say much ridiculing Islam.

    Here are some examples.

    Here, Islam is ridiculed whenever it is relevant to do so. Most of us live in predominantly Christian countries, so the infractions of Christianity have more effect on our lives. and are thus more relevant. (Islam may become more relevant as time goes by.)

    There is nothing ridiculous about Islam. Compared to cuddly Christianity with its Ken Ham and Pat Robertson figures, it pales against the dangerous and brutal reality of what Islam is.

    Islam is plenty ridiculous. Look up the fishing lure creationist, Adnan Oktar (Harun Yahya). Practically all of his creationist strategies are copied from Ken Ham’s, with only cursory adaptation to Islamic myth. He’s every bit as ridiculous as Ken Ham. However, since Adnan Oktar sexually exploits his followers, and Ken Ham doesn’t(0), Adnan Oktar is more evil.

    When you criticize Christians all you get are ludicrous responses, calls to be nice, merely words.

    This is not true. Mikey Weinstein has been subjected to long term violent harassment. So have many other vocal atheists. The Christians murder gays and abortion doctors from time to time as well. I’ll grant you the extremist Muslims are currently both more extremist and more violent. But that does not make the Christians harmless by any means. Christian faith healing beliefs kill children. Christian lies about condoms (though not to be blamed on all Christians) kill hundreds of thousands of AIDS victims, and leave millions of others pregnant when they don’t wish it. As I was reminded not too long ago, it was only about 12 years ago that 450 years of the “Reformation” wars ended in Ireland.

    Currently, in The Netherlands Muslims have formed a mostly impotent political party but in 15 Muslims will probably comprise 50% of the Dutch population, which means more political pull to change the laws. Muslims already live in enclaves here and practice sharia.

    The serious problem, I suspect, is that they live in enclaves and practice sharia. That’s what prevents them from being educated to learn Dutch behavioral norms. It’s not ok to tolerate intolerance; that is turning a blind eye to bigotry. The education system should see that everyone is taught that bigotry is vile, and religion does not make it ok. (This is a serious problem in America as well; most American schools say relatively little about the terrible harm that bigotry can cause, aside from some cursory cover of the civil rights movements. Furthermore, most American schools turn a blind eye to bigotry “justified” by Christianity, such as that against gays.) Hopefully the Netherlands will act now while the Muslims political party is “mostly impotent”.

    In The Netherlands our government subsidizes separate Muslim schools that teach young Muslims the superiority of their ideology.

    That is horrible, and in my view the principle cause of the problems. There are drawbacks to the (admittedly, shabbily enforced) American constitutional amendment that “… congress shall make no law respecting religion …”, but it makes that sort of funding flatly unconstitutional. Religious schools can harm children because they often keep children ignorant of the existence or validity of alternatives. It should never be ok for children to grow up believing their parents religion is the only acceptable religion, or even that it is the best possible religion; this destroys freedom of thought.

    (0) Rumors about his animatronic dinosaurs notwithstanding.

  70. #70 llewelly
    February 27, 2010

    Carax, if you are not aware of the podcast Reasonable Doubts, I recommend (but do not entirely agree with):
    Defending the West
    Islam, Science and Modernity (Part 1)
    Islam, Science and Modernity (Part 2)
    Koranic Criticism with guest Ibn Warraq

  71. #71 burpy
    February 27, 2010

    Not strictly on topic but, why is the blog called ´La Figa´? What language is this?

  72. #72 bunnycatcher
    February 27, 2010

    I’m seeing the word “cult” used quite a bit. What’s the difference between a cult and a religion? Are all religions cults?

  73. #73 Jon A
    February 27, 2010

    Somewhat off-message I realise but just to let everyone know I am NOT the “John A” that features in you Dungeon.

  74. #74 Jon A
    February 27, 2010

    I think the only difference between cults and religions are the ages of the organisations and the numbers within them. Where the cut-off lies is anyone’s guess.

  75. #75 Rorschach
    February 27, 2010

    Somewhat off-message I realise but just to let everyone know I am NOT the “John A” that features in you Dungeon.

    We can tell mate, carry on…:-)

  76. #76 Richard Eis
    February 27, 2010

    So let’s see Yahweh (Jehovah) & Yawe fight it out. That should be fun.
    But i notice that their names are similar. They’re not the same fellah, eh?

    and when did sharing the same god ever stop a religious war?

    A religion is just a cult with enough political power to hide the derangement.

  77. #77 Carax
    February 27, 2010

    in response to Prof. Myers’ little attack dogs, Caine and Rorschach #65 and #67 who both got in a huff over my misspelling of Prof Myers. It won’t happen again.

    It goes without saying that Christian schools teach the superiority of their ideology. I’m not defending them – you didn’t seem to catch the nuance of my comments or the main points; criticizing Islam today can be more dangerous than criticizing Christianity and that the majority of the comments Myers makes on Pharyngula are against Christians.

  78. #78 Rorschach
    February 27, 2010

    who both got in a huff over my misspelling of Prof Myers

    Ehm no, but if you have seen a million xtian zealots fail to spell properly the name of the guy they hate and critisize with a vengance, you begin to take notice….

  79. #79 Carax
    February 27, 2010

    Llewelly #70: It?s ?ludicrous response? when a religious fanatic falls short of murdering you for criticizing their religion. Throwing stones doesn?t count either. Well you showed me one example and I?m sure there are lots more but the ratio I?d estimate is around 1:10. Anyway it?s not as important as I intended it to be and I forgot I was writing from perspective of someone who lives in Europe and has witnessed the changes of Islam’s soft jihadist activities here.

  80. #80 conelrad
    February 27, 2010

    I think it was H.L. Mencken who said that a cult is a religion with no political clout. In the time it took to register, somebody else already posted that one.

  81. #81 Matt Penfold
    February 27, 2010

    in response to Prof. Myers’ little attack dogs, Caine and Rorschach #65 and #67 who both got in a huff over my misspelling of Prof Myers. It won’t happen again.

    I take that to mean you object to being found as being both lazy and incompetent.

    After all, being unable to correctly spell the name of the author of blog when commenting on that blog does not indicate someone who takes care to be accurate.

  82. #82 davem
    February 27, 2010

    Christianity might be one of the most misunderstood religions of the world

    Yup, agreed. Mostly by Christians, who haven’t even bothered to read the entire Holey Babble.

    Several years back, I was amongst the Dogon tribe in Mali, over Christmas. Being awoken by the sound of drums and singing, I went over to their village to see what was going on. There were two groups of drummers and dancers, doing the same thing. Great fun was being had by all. I got to join in, and much laughed at (yeah, my dancing is that good). Everyone was drunk and happy. One of the locals came up to me and explained what was going on. Why the two groups; are they going to join up? I asked. ‘Oh no, they’re Protestants’ came the reply.

    Add 2 more sets of ‘real Christians’…

  83. #83 Carax
    February 27, 2010

    Matt Penfold #82: Wow, another unhappy camper?

    “I take that to mean you object to being found as being both lazy and incompetent”

    No, not at all but I wonder about someone who goes out of their way to make such a comment when others already have which shows your attention to details is lacking and that you make full blown assumptions about a person when knowing nothing about them.

    Relax, before you get a heart attack.

  84. #84 Matt Penfold
    February 27, 2010

    No, not at all but I wonder about someone who goes out of their way to make such a comment when others already have which shows your attention to details is lacking and that you make full blown assumptions about a person when knowing nothing about them.

    Relax, before you get a heart attack.

    Ah, so you misspelt the name of purpose, rather than as a mistake and lack of care in checking.

    Fuck off troll.

  85. #85 Matt Penfold
    February 27, 2010

    I would add that I note Carax has not yet withdrawn his dishonest claim PZ does not criticise Islam.

  86. #86 Carax
    February 27, 2010

    Matt Penfold #85

    Your hysteria and your IQ is showing.

  87. #87 Matt Penfold
    February 27, 2010

    Carax,

    I know your code. “Your hysteria and your IQ is showing” means “Damm, I got caught. Still better not admit I lied”.

    You lied. You got caught.

  88. #88 InfraredEyes
    February 27, 2010

    wiccans and pagans tend to be the biggest defenders of humanism and the notion of a secular state

    Religious minorities always favour a secular state, for simple reasons of self preservation. It is when they become politically dominant that you see their true faces.

  89. #89 Walton
    February 27, 2010

    Religious minorities always favour a secular state, for simple reasons of self preservation. It is when they become politically dominant that you see their true faces.

    Yep. Ironically, in the eighteenth century, it was Baptist and other dissenting Protestant churches who were the biggest defenders of religious liberty in both the US and UK. Compare this with the outlook of many American Baptists today.

  90. #90 Carax
    February 27, 2010

    Matt Penfold #88

    I never said “PZ does not criticise Islam” I said he criticizes Christianity MORE than Islam. Go back and read what I wrote. You’re not too bright are you? You know my “code”? You definitely have issues.

  91. #91 Matt Penfold
    February 27, 2010

    I never said “PZ does not criticise Islam” I said he criticizes Christianity MORE than Islam. Go back and read what I wrote. You’re not too bright are you? You know my “code”? You definitely have issues.

    No, you did did not say that. Another lie from you.

    What you said was this: “Prof. Meyers, Christianity may be a ridiculous religion and I enjoy your rants but I don’t hear you say much ridiculing Islam”

    Yet you were soon provided with evidence PZ has been highly critical of Islam, and on numerous occasions.

    The only issues I have is with liars. And that means I have serious issues with you.

  92. #92 Carax
    February 27, 2010

    Matt Penfold #92: No but only a dim bulb would fail to understand what I meant and you probably didn’t read my other comments. I already knew PZ criticizes Islam and I was provided with one example and responded saying that there were still more posts criticizing Christianity than Islam on this site. That is not a lie. It’s a statement. And you seem to have no understanding what I meant, that Christianity is ridiculous and Islam is not. Christians in general do not threaten to kill you (yet)when you criticize their religion but over here in The Netherlands, and Europe in general, you will receive death threats for it. Calling me a liar is stupid because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Your ignorance is incredible and all you can resort to is name calling and emotional responses like “Fuck off, troll”.

  93. #93 Matt Penfold
    February 27, 2010

    Carax,

    What you said was: “Prof. Meyers, Christianity may be a ridiculous religion and I enjoy your rants but I don’t hear you say much ridiculing Islam”

    This is the second time I have had to remind you. For some reason you seem unable to either remember what you wrote, or scroll back and look.

    That statment is untrue. You still have not admitted as much.

    You lied. You got caught and now you are trying to claim you did not say what you said.

    I suggest you just apologise to PZ for your dishonest and slink off back to whether you came from.

  94. #94 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 27, 2010

    Aw, Carax got caught trying to peddle fatwah envy and now it’s everybody else’s fault he got caught.

    Grow up, asshole, and admit you were wrong. Nobody will think any the less of you.*

    Most of us live in Christian-dominated countries. We deal with Christianity on a daily basis. Our exposure to Islam is mainly second-hand. As a result, we (including Professor Myers) spend more time talking about Christianity than Islam. This has already been explained to you yet you’ve ignored it.

    *It would be difficult for anybody to think less of you.

  95. #95 PZ Myers
    February 27, 2010

    I don’t want his apology. The pretense of regret from addled fools is meaningless.

  96. #96 Matt Penfold
    February 27, 2010

    ‘Tis said:

    Most of us live in Christian-dominated countries. We deal with Christianity on a daily basis. Our exposure to Islam is mainly second-hand. As a result, we (including Professor Myers) spend more time talking about Christianity than Islam. This has already been explained to you yet you’ve ignored it.

    Either he ignored it, or he simply lacks the ability to comprehend it.

    I don’t want his apology. The pretense of regret from addled fools is meaningless.

    Fair enough. Just looking at his blog is enough to know his mind is not up to much. He supports the UK Indepedence Party for fuck’s sake! A party too far to the right for even the Conservatives to be able to stomach.

  97. #97 deriamis
    February 27, 2010

    @bunnycatcher:

    I’m seeing the word “cult” used quite a bit. What’s the difference between a cult and a religion? Are all religions cults?

    Well, there is a somewhat objective measure, of sorts: Isaac Bonewits’ Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (ABCDEF). It’s self-admittedly a bit arbitrary and open to bias, but it’s probably the best one I have seen. And it’s the only one I know of that doesn’t predicate the judgment on size, wealth, or political clout, too.

    @Carax: I’ll be a bit nicer than some others around here and just tell you to stop comparing evil to evil. It doesn’t work and it makes you look stupid. Just like with any other pain-causing agent, perspective matters, and we don’t have the same problem here in the US that the UK does. We also don’t have quite the same political views you apparently do, either.

    I don’t want his apology. The pretense of regret from addled fools is meaningless.

    And as a professor, I am sure you’ve experienced lots of pretense from addled fools.

  98. #98 Carax
    February 27, 2010

    Matt Penfold #94 and companions in Pharyngula worship #95 and #96

    I said nothing dishonest so no apology will ever be given to such sensitive folks at Pharyngula. But the great PZ Meyers has spoken, therefore it all must be true.

  99. #99 keenacat
    February 27, 2010

    Yay for The Zombie-Apocalypse ™!!
    (I wonder which side owns Zombie Jesus…)

  100. #100 Matt Penfold
    February 27, 2010

    … but I don’t hear you say much ridiculing Islam.

    This is the third time I have had to remind what your wrote.

    Since you clearly have memory problems I will refrain from taking the piss any further. However in return you should cease from making further comment.

  101. #101 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 27, 2010

    Carax, you still have said nothing cogent. That starts with admitting you are wrong based upon the evidence. But you can’t do that since you are trying to play the “authority”. We only laugh at your vain attempts to be an “authority”, as you lack the basic required ingredient of honesty. Bwaahahahahha.

  102. #102 Knockgoats
    February 27, 2010

    Currently, in The Netherlands Muslims have formed a mostly impotent political party but in 15 Muslims will probably comprise 50% of the Dutch population, which means more political pull to change the laws. – Carax

    A bare-faced lie. According to Statistics Netherlands (this is in Dutch), in 2006 Muslims were about 5% of the population. Immigration is now quite restricted. There is absolutely no chance whatever that Muslims will make up half the population in 15 years. The real danger to Dutch democracy is that the populist far right of Geert Wilders will gain real political power in the elections due this year.

  103. #103 deriamis
    February 27, 2010

    @Carax #99: Well, I tried being nice, and being nasty apparently makes you even less sensible. I mean, worshipping PZ? You really haven’t been here long, have you?

    I said nothing dishonest so no apology will ever be given to such sensitive folks at Pharyngula. But the great PZ Meyers has spoken, therefore it all must be true.

    Translation: Waaaaaaaah!

    So, what will it take for you to realize you’re acting like a moron and need to just shut up? You don’t have to respond to people you don’t agree with, you know. If you really want to be an idiot, feel free to be a silent one. Otherwise, learn to accept people making fun of you.

  104. #104 Knockgoats
    February 27, 2010

    But the great PZ Meyers has spoken, therefore it all must be true. – Carax the fuckwit

    Still can’t spell the name, eh fuckwit? You might like to look at this thread, where you will see many regular commenters, myself briefly included, disagreeing vehemently with PZ. No-one, PZ included, gets away with evidence-free bullshit here. If you don’t like that, you are at liberty to fuck off.

  105. #105 OnePumpChump
    February 27, 2010

    They aren’t all EXACTLY the same. Some religions are worse than others, more dangerous than others, or more obnoxious than others.

    They’re all the same in that their object of worship and source of moral values is more or less interchangeable with ones self. “I made a promise to God I wouldn’t do this” means the same thing when said by a Christian as “I promised myself I wouldn’t do this” when said by an Atheist. The difference is an Atheist doesn’t think the entity to which they are making a promise is all-powerful or has any particular authority over anyone but themselves.

    Or how about Lavey Satanists who effectively deify themselves? A Christian isn’t necessarily an asshole…I’ve never come across a Satanist who wasn’t an asshole. But boy howdy when a Christian is an asshole they put Satanists to shame. Sure a Satanist might think themself the most important thing in the universe, but they don’t necessarily think that they created the universe.

    Everyone’s urges and desires are influenced by what’s around them, but ultimately controlled from within. When you ascribe some absolute moral authority to your own desires, your own ideas of right and wrong, and divine consequences to them, though, that’s where it becomes a problem. Differences in the things the individual wants and values, and the kind of alleged authority, and the scope of that authority, account for differences in how insufferable religious people are or are not.

    I want to be faithful to my wife vs. God wants me to be faithful to my wife vs. God wants EVERYONE to be faithful to their wives. I’ll be disappointed in myself if I waver vs. God will be disappointed in me if I waver vs. God will make EVERYONE BURN IN HELL FOR ETERNITY AT THE SLIGHTEST INFRACTION, I AM STONING YOU TO DEATH FOR YOUR OWN GOOD SO YOU DON’T MAKE GOD ANY MADDER THAN HE ALREADY IS!

    Religions aren’t all the same.

  106. #106 Molly, NYC
    February 27, 2010

    You may wish to go easy on the Wiccans, for two reasons. The first (as alluded to by several people above) is that pretty much any BS the Holy Joes try to dish out to nonbelievers, they’ll certainly hand to pagans–which, under certain circs, makes us natural allies.

    The second is that today’s Pagan is frequently tomorrow’s scarlet A.

    Paganism’s lack of much formal structure permits endless individual experimentation with belief (which is why it can be whimsical, silly, self-indulgent). Most pagans were raised something else, and it’s not a coincidence that paganism is usually as far as they can get from their folks’ religion without dumping religion entirely.

    But if you check back with them in a few years, you’re apt to find that they have dumped religion entirely. For the heavily indoctrinated especially, paganism can be kind of a way-station in our direction.

  107. #107 deriamis
    February 27, 2010

    But if you check back with them in a few years, you’re apt to find that they have dumped religion entirely. For the heavily indoctrinated especially, paganism can be kind of a way-station in our direction.

    You’re describing me to a tee right here. After I was a born-again, Jesus-whispering-in-my-ear Christian, I moved on to a loose form of Wicca (I had a lot of pagan friends), then to UU, then to a weak agnosticism, then to outright atheism. The process took a few years, and I am still cognitively and behaviorally damaged from my religious upbringing, but paganism did help my deconversion.

    I don’t knock most Wiccans. Most of the time they know they’re making it up and admit to just wanting to believe. Or they understand that being annoying about their beliefs only pushes people away. The few things they almost invariably hold to are fairly humanist and the rest they tend to either keep to themselves or maintain a casual air about. It’s hard for me to dislike a devout Wiccan as much as a devout Christian, and it’s all about the asshole factor.

    But hey, I got lots of useless knowledge about esotericism and occultism in the process. It’s kind of fascinating how the bullshit has evolved over the centuries and where it eventually ends up.

  108. #108 timgueguen
    February 27, 2010

    Alas, this Carax person seems to have bought into the whole Eurabia nonsense. Of course in 20 years when Eurabia doesn’t come to pass, which of course it won’t, the Caraxes and Mark Steyns of the world will claim it was all because of their timely warnings, not because the idea was silly in the first place.

  109. #109 Blak Thundar
    February 27, 2010

    PZ
    “…evangelical Christians attacked the ceremony, throwing rocks.”

    What’s that thing that they say about people… living in glass houses or something… I can’t quite remember…

  110. #110 Twewi
    February 27, 2010
  111. #111 Kamaka
    February 27, 2010

    Molly, NYC @ 107

    I tend to agree with your assessment. But, man, those folks are woo soaked.

    I wonder how many of them know it was all made up by Gerald Gardner back in the 50′s(?), I assume to promote his witchcraft museum.

    Magick is wishing that wishing would work.

  112. #112 https://me.yahoo.com/a/3flOCoJ.qYcjCjxYRXJN.QzvOUSh_YMm6xk-#ed740
    March 1, 2010

    Molly @107 & deriamis @ 108

    That is how I came away from religion as well. 20 years as a pagan, the last 10 becoming less and less of a deist. I think that being a pagan all those years made the transition very easy, I realized I never really believed in deity after all, I had really been faking it my whole life. Coming out as an Atheist to my pagan community has been a non event, certainly nothing like coming out as a pagan to my family in the 80′s. In fact as I have told more and more of my friends I am finding that there are quite a few atheists in the pagan community.

    Oh and Selena Fox’s real name is Selena Fox for whoever that was that mentioned it earlier, I can’t find it now.