Moderate is a word often thrown about in religious circles when someone comes to unwanted media attention for some radical act in any specific gods name. The idea behind the statement being, “we are not all like that, you can’t blame us”. I don’t accept this and hold the idea that moderate theists are to blame for the nutters who use their religion as an excuse to do harm. In fact I take it one step further in not believing there are actually any moderates.


Many people claim to be moderate but few if any could really be considered so. Unjustifiable belief, which is key to religion, is held while the person holding the belief may not agree with everything about an organization or doctrine they claim adherence too. These people must think god is a democracy and their vote matters but even that is stretching the boundaries of doctrine. This form of moderate theism all but demands that atheism is a more honest position. The moderate theist by asking questions and denying doctrine acknowledge that they have no solid foundation for belief, wilful ignorance is the best descriptive for this form of theism.

No, god is mythical and at best imaginary.

No, god is mythical and at best imaginary.

Consider if you will the homosexual christians and their families trying to change the church from the far left wing. They often consider themselves moderate for not holding tight to the same levels of bigotry as others yet they seek with unwavering passion a god documented as promoting the very bigotry used to discrimination against them in churches. Breaking down that bigotry would require breaking church from doctrine, what value it had and what is actually believed would then be worthless. There are large numbers of people like this already, often called spiritual as they drift without doctrine seeking new beliefs. These christian homosexuals can hardly be the moderates they claim while holding so dearly to belief in something which proclaims to want them dead and perhaps missing the point that only breaking it will fix it.

As an example of how fragile moderate theism is I was recently discussing the Australian governments school chaplaincy program with a self appointed moderate theist, a discussion that went sideways very fast. This individual identifies as a nonreligious christian (a ridiculously floored understanding of reality for someone who puts value in the christian bible) and someone I consider a nice person. When during our discussion I made the obvious statement suggested chaplains had no part in state schools and that my son should never be presented with that option in place of a professional counsellor you could almost see the blood pressure rising. She all but yelled that religion was good moral teaching and all kids should be made to have some in their life. The supposed moderate pseudo-christian went out the window in defence of a religion she doesn’t even admit having close ties too. Nothing rational or moderate came after that point and I walked away.

Moderation it seems is almost always a single word or action away from being radical belief in these people. Simply being an atheist can be enough to be told you are a sinner, somehow less human, that you need an imaginary friend or that you may burn in some imaginary afterlife. On learning of my atheism, hearing a counterpoint to theism or hearing an argument against members of my family (myself included) being openly or stealth indoctrinated, I have often myself been accused of not being a moderate. Why? It seems I must consider the religion though it has never been required it for life to be good to me or to be a law abiding individual. Why do other peoples imaginary friends matter when I’m talking of my family? It is the problem of religion that’s key to these topics, I don’t want to consider it or take it into account, keep it away from us and I won’t discuss it with you.

I have found during my life that most religious people cling irrationally to religion having little or no idea of their supposed doctrines. Those who study the doctrine become atheist or become radicals in defence of doctrine. Those christians who claim to read the bible go to “classes” which instruct them on which passages to read and how to read them, indoctrination sessions not book reading as most of us know it. For most theists, actually reading a holy book is not required, they base their belief on some mythical doctrine of their own which has all the hallmarks of Sunday school christianity. These are no more positions of moderation than running onto the field to play at a world series rugby final expecting to win with no idea of the rules and having never played the game. This lack of knowledge is often coupled with passionate, even aggressive defence loosing any semblance of moderation. Not knowing the doctrines may also be why moderates don’t understand how people who cling to a religions fundamental writings can go wrong. To paraphrase something I have read in my travels, if the fundamentals of your religion create problems there is something fundamentally wrong with your religion; something worth considering for those who claim to be moderates.


Having given some time to moderates I guess I owe radicals some time. This point is important because in the middle our very own societies are radicals going on with life free from criticism from their fellow believers. People they consider silly or deluded but overall harmless.

There's something that's never going to happen.

There’s something that’s never going to happen.

To start, a radical would have to be a fundamentalist in some way shape or form. Fundamentalism means taking the word of a religious text as fact and irrefutable. A true fundamentalist will deny science, reason or historical evidence that shows their texts to be incorrect and hold firmly to their position. Nothing could be more radical than fundamentalism but the resulting actions of fundamentalists are what we generally regard as radicalism.

Radical at the suicide bomber end of the scale we all know and understand, these people are news worthy, they represent those people we hear of whenever they go boom. There is always a backlash against them and the trich for we atheists is not to take the side of one religion against another as they express their hate and bigotry.

Sometimes but not often heard of are the parents who kill their kids because of some doctrine or belief. Other variation on of this theme are those who deny blood transfusions, practice pseudo medicine or are anti vaccine rather than trust in science. Common in some places is the idea of family honour killing where daughters who are accused of most anything are killed and considered socially under some doctrine. In the middle of this is the person so depressed they think their child would be better off in heaven, someone finding power to act from doctrine rather than seeking help for their depression. On the other end of the scale is person who believes god explicitly instructed them to kill.

Almost never heard of are the people who go online ranting about ridding our world/country/town of homosexuals/other religions/atheists. Some countries under the influence of religious persons, persons who have travelled specifically to spread doctrines of hate, have in fact implemented extreme laws against homosexuals.

Something coming under more scrutiny is circumcision , perhaps due to genital mutilation of girls (a significant part of this topic) in the first world. This level of extreme has been going on in boys for over 2000 years with the questioning mainly being in relation to inter religious hate rather than religious doctrines inducing people to commit such act of cruelty. The fact it now happens to girls in our modern world is horrifying to most people even those willing to do it to boys. Mutilating babies can’t be considered a sane thing. I’m a parent and I find it repulsive that there are people and parents that interested in a babies genitalia that they think it needs cutting. Through religion this act has become so normal and socially acceptable even some atheist argue in favour of it. Some people even think a penis is a fashion item and argue it looks better cut as if they assuring their baby son had the best start for his future as a porn star. At least poorly credited health studies are not to my knowledge used in the case of girls which means laws are in place for girls in many countries, boys still await the same legal protection against mutilation. Religion is at the root of genital mutilation and many babies have died from diseases spread mouth to penis in a traditional jewish ceremony in which an adult male sucks the freshly cut penis. Only religious extremism allows this act to continue.

Another of extremism is the person or people who continue to support or excuse their associates who have performed radical acts. Recent news came across my desk of a preacher who had been convicted on child sex offences and was now being given his job back as an authority figure in his church community. As a form of excuse for this action the congregation were being asked not to bring kids to his sermons. Some years back an American man killed a doctor outside a women’s health clinic, his best known friends/associate openly supporting this action saying it was gods work. People supporting these radical actions seems to be easier to find than the voices of religion speaking out against them. Small outspoken groups, often without support by their church and never by the governing bodies of those churches, are sometimes to be found, but not to any great extent considering theist numbers.

Probably the least recognized of the extremists are the science deniers. Creationism has shown its public fact load, proud and stupid for those looking for such things. What even less people know is that climate denial, some junk science, some pseudo-medicine and science denial all stem from theist roots. Junk maths, philosophy and literature stem from these same roots. Not seeking evidence and believing simplistic arguments from a preacher are preferred by many theists. I have found a number of “moderates” arguing climate denial. In fact what they are generally doing is repeating some of the most simplistic and inane statements known to humanity with absolutely no knowledge of the actual topic.

All of these people represent radical religion. These people not only believe irrationally, they act or fail to act with a theological fundamentalist mind set.

All of these level of extremism are a danger to our societies, as much as those who bomb, some may even be more so dangerous given they are less acknowledged by society and more subversive. The bomber is an extremist who in one event burns out his impact and builds an instant social backlash. Those churches that function as their own mostly isolated subsets of society go on for years even decades having an effect on the greater community. They put in our midst an enemy to secular societies and corrupt the “moderate” theistic message turning it into bigotry and hate.

The problem for moderates is that the radicals often find their understanding of their chosen belief in that religions doctrines. The text they use are the very same texts the moderates use but often choose to ignore or remain ignorant of. It’s hard for the moderate to challenge the radical without having to question the doctrines of their beliefs and so it remains easier for the moderates remain silent, ignorant and blissful.


Hug an atheist and feel the love :)

Hug an atheist and feel the love. At least you know they’ll be thinking of you first 🙂

I know there are crazy people in the world and I am far from saying only religious people are inclined to it. I credit it could as easily be an individual atheist doing the harm, the difference is doctrine. There is no doctrines of atheism, there are only individual atheists rejecting god. As individuals even atheists can be followers, accepting authority without thought, atheist simply do it without amalgamating doctrine or community consensus. An atheists insanity is generally personal or part of some additional ideology (from experience, sometimes the remains of unshaken theistic indoctrination). Doctrine is what makes religion and belief different from atheism, there are rules for religion, how a so called moderate reads them and a radical reads them is the only difference between the two. For both parties the rules exist in the same form with different interpretation. Religious doctrine is the other side of the coin to atheism, it combines bigots, giving them power, funds, community and writings providing purpose and reason.


I also know there is good people who are religious but religion does not seem to be the key to being a good person. Many moderates are good people while being anything but moderate about religion. Religion on the other hand does seem to be the excuse for many people when doing wrong. Anyone who thinks I have it wrong should read papal history or look up the many priests and preachers up on sex charges in this day and age. When the people at the top are getting wrong what hope for the rest?


There is no moderate when it comes to theism, theism is by nature irrational and extreme. A theists acts of kindness and compassion towards other people may be better termed “irrational theism with humanist tendencies”. Looking in at religion from the outside all my life as I have found so called moderates to be largely ignorant of their doctrines and aggressive in defence of them. The many people arguing for theism often fail to understand it enough to form original arguments or refine the arguments. More often their arguments are those simplistic ones learned as children or those learned in church that were never designed to face reasoned argument, indoctrination is about reinforcing not reasoning. The fact that radicals can very easily be born from the ranks of moderates using the same doctrines generally goes unacknowledged by moderates. Rather than condemn their doctrines they argue for special consideration of their religion due to the fact they themselves are moderates. No part of religious belief is moderate and the term apologetic would be better suited to these people.


The danger of moderate theism is that it spawns radicals as well as lending numbers and weight to radical causes and arguments. Moderates excuse and promote the use of religious doctrines in making life choices, doctrines which serve to guide radicalism. Moderates raise funds that often support radicalism and supply political coercion, ensuring radicals have legal space to congregate, learn, grow and eventually act. Moderate theism helps to enable ignorance in our society, we live in an extremely advanced world where only small portions of the population actually understand the science or technology they use every day. A great deal of anti-science and anti-intellectualism comes from theistic sources ensuring segments of society never try to understand science and technology. Studies have even shown children who believe in gods are less able recognize fact from fiction (something I have found still exists in their adult counterparts). None of this is good for human society and what is a danger to society is a danger to my family.

I do not believe in moderate because moderate is an excuse, a smoke screen enabling religion to go unchecked, unduly respected and free from criticism in our societies. I do not believe in moderate because every supposed moderate is a single word away from radical behaviour due to the very nature of their beliefs.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

  1. […] in the inquisitions, I discussed my thoughts on moderate religion in a previous post – – if you lend your weight to a cause and fail to speak or act against it you are still more […]


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