I was trying to describe to my 17 year old son why we were suffering expansion of christian trash bringing ignorance into our political system today and it boils down to, “it’s our fault” (I have to warm readers this became a very convoluted conversation and I tried to cover most of the ins and outs here, it waft on a bit).

Well no, not all our fault, maybe the new backlash against progressive humanist secular policy is our fault. When I say our fault I mean we-asked-to-be-recognised-and-have-equality and for some reason they think we don’t deserve it. Our fault obviously. Well no, when you go over it, after you work through the reasons and possible solutions, it’s not our fault at all. It turns out that they were always like this and we simply opened peoples eyes and minds to the reality of the situation.

That’s not our fault, what is?

Proof that Vegemite is god.

Proof that Vegemite is god.

Religious and political bigotry, power seeking and wealth cravings were always there for those looking at it with their eyes open or suffering at its hands. What’s new is visibility. The actions and behaviours of those behind religious and political bigotry, power seeking and wealth cravings have become public knowledge and people are proving willing to dispute it. Because of societies increasing acceptance of secular humanism and awareness of our environment religion is loosing it grip on humanity. The witch hunting and inquisition were always there and they still are where religion influences education, society and politics. When your power is based on an untenable position I guess you it has to force itself on people and crush descent. Religion it seems has proven to be the worst and most repressive of doctrines as political doctrines fall as easily as the people running them. Invisible entities with repressive doctrines are not as easy to target.

Wherever we look at human history we find repressive religion close to those in power or in power itself. The buddhists, hindi, jews, Romans, Incas, Aztecs, even the ancient Greeks who all controlled relatively small parts of the world controlled with or alongside repressive religions using doctrines of war, caste, slavery, torture and indoctrination to drive their causes. Finally with bullets at their disposal, christians became the dominant religion controlling significantly more of the world than any religion before it. Again they used the tried and tested methods of the past to bring people to their cause. In the past our civilizations were controlled this way but we fought for and won our freedom, religion almost took the back seat. We were on the right track before political and economic freedom made us soft and took the fight out of us (sorry, I am Australian, our long fort for rights are being diminished and we barely raise our eye brows let alone our fists, this may not go for everyone). Our increased personal freedom and human rights allowed religion to returned with a new crazy and greater financing. In the past it was religion that had the most crushing grip on society but today we have the power to keep them out of power if we continue to exercise it.

This is not inventive history, the record is there for all to see and in support of my argument, to remind us of what the world was like when religion ran things, the middle east has islam and its crazies. The most celebrated of these, ISIS, and before it the Taliban, are doing nothing less for no more justifiable a reason than the religions before it (okay so it’s not all muslims but then it wasn’t all christians participating in the inquisitions, I discussed my thoughts on moderate religion in a previous post – https://antitheocrat.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/i-dont-believe-in-moderate-theism/ – if you lend your weight to a cause and fail to speak or act against it you are still more to blame than the victim). Generations behind the west in religious and social development (but able to learn from our mistakes and catch up fast) the islamic world is a vision of what the christian world was prior to the Enlightenment and a reminder of why we need to keep religion in its place.

While islam catches up the world has already changed for the rest of us. Liberalism, acceptance of minorities and being allowed to express ourselves have become accepted practice and maybe that is where we are at fault. We stopped letting them torture and kill us into silent submission so it must be our fault that we are no longer accepting the place they set for us in society and staying in it? Theists love to tell we atheists that we should be quiet and that we shouldn’t discuss their beliefs, we are terrible people for not letting them attack us with fairy tales. It was okay when they ran things to force belief on people, even today street preachers and door knockers are allowed to practice freely but if an atheist discuss their beliefs the atheist have to be silent and show respect.

It is quite true that once, in a time before colour television, long before the magic interweb, people sat in their homes minding their own business and complaining about the women, gays and blacks, making trouble and demanding change. That wasn’t until society grew of age and their own sons and daughters came out as homosexual, married a person with a different skin texture or worse, another religion that a whole new world came to their attention. Things they had never before considered suddenly demanded their personal attention and sometimes demanded they make a choice between much loved children and long established doctrines. Then came we non-religious folk, not new but suddenly more vocal, wanting our share of the equality. We became stopped being isolated individuals. We became a global community linked by new media and as that media access became available for our use we did use it. We started questioning for all to see. Questioning not only human rights abuses but the very theistic foundations of their lounging world.

Sometimes you just have to wear the stupid things people say about you.

Sometimes you just have to wear the stupid things people say about you.

Back then even I was respectful. I was raised in a time when we didn’t swear and it was considered impolite to discuss religion and politics. The right thing to do was be respectful of other people’s beliefs and I did that for far too long, only questioning religion when religious people tried to push it on me and never bringing the topic up myself. It took some time for me to break that conditioning but I, with our society, saw change coming and I moved with it. I was amongst those who demanded people not only accept their sons and daughters for who they were, but question why they were not being accepted in the first place. I for one will never go back to the days of being respectful and I will never tell others that being disrespectful is wrong. No belief or doctrine should stand higher in importance than our planet and those – all animal species – who reside on it. I don’t say sorry taking this position and the people I want as friends take me for who I am not for what they want me to be when I am in their company. I will try to make people think and question their very beliefs if it is the roots of their bigotry whenever I have opportunity. I have gone one better in my life, than my parent did, I taught and will teach my children how to reason and research the arguments religion puts forward when it tries to force itself on them (as it has tried on my eldest). I will not promote unwarranted respect for other peoples stupid reliance on ancient mythology in my children or others.

This discussion boils down to why it is less acceptable to be an ignorant hating theistic bigot rather than who is to blame. We shook their own ranks while raising our own heads and they lost their grip on humanity but it was their doctrine that failed not our arguments. If we are to blame for anything we are only to blame for the increased visibility of their bigotry and hate. We are to blame for people seeing the double standards and inconsistency. We are to blame for the many religions being found resistant to critical analysis and failing to come up with workable answers when questioned. There is nothing in what society and atheism have achieved, especially what it has achieved in my own lifetime. If we have anything to be ashamed of it is how many of us still believe we should be polite and respectful in the face of ridiculous beliefs.

The successes of liberal humanist thinking and associated actions are one of the great achievement of humanity. The unionists, women, people of textured skin, homosexuals and atheists groups who over the past 100+ years who have fought for their right to be heard. The people who demanded and fought for their sex, sexuality, political and social freedoms, workplace reforms, beliefs, the revolutionaries who changed nations, the scientists who tested their beliefs and favoured their findings, we changed the world. We took on the very foundations of society and religious doctrine and made social, ideological and political equality something everyone could strive for. Equality is no longer something for the gentry or the overtly religious, it is a thing for the masses. Modern society is a thing decided and managed by a new vision of morality, morality reflected in law, where all people are not only born equal but worthy of equality in their lives.

This change hasn’t sat well with everyone and often its those people who object loudest that are the ones who 100 years ago would have been the poor destitute downtrodden masses. The barking mad christians that are so easy to find on Youtube would once have been locked away safely. They would have been the poor and unwashed, persecuted for their radical and outlandish displays, made the target of churches fighting to retain control of doctrine and gentry wanting to retain wealth and favour with the church. It’s the changes bought about by those of us who rose up out of our often humble beginnings that forced society to allowed anyone to rise up and make something of themselves. The changes we made meant it was no longer an accident of birth that made a person, we could all dream of something better and want for more, including the religious and crazy people.

—————————————————-

I have at this point to change direction because there is a perception that when all men are equal no man will do anything. when the struggle for life becomes the pleasure of life people will simply stop. This is relevant here because those in power use this argument to retain power and wealth over the masses. The ones who seem to use it most of all are the christian right. This is an odd belief, the belief that if you don’t need to struggle and fight for your every meal you will do nothing and accept boredom over action. This is like saying every millionaire having enough money to live on without ever again working, sits on their arse doing nothing.

I will put myself up here as an example of what people do when they have freedom to choose to live and are not stuck in a fight to live. I haven’t had to work for 18 years since my wife took over as our wage earner. I am an at home parent with that as my only requirement in life for 18 years, to look after my son and our household.

In my working life I took drugs, drank alcohol to what may be called excess and slept with my fair share of willing partners. With a life that revolved around working to earn enough to pay rent and feed myself, that left little time or money for more, I lived hard rather than productive. Some people see drugs as a cost ill afforded by the poor but compared to hobbies, clubs, travel, cars, comping, tools, craft materials and sport, drugs are actually quite cost effective and easy to do. You’ve already paid rent – if you pay rent – so staying in, being stoned, eating rice or noodles, watching television, movies and playing computer games is quite cheap living.

I admit I am older and those days may have taken their course and gone anyway regardless of my path in life. I do have to admit a liking for the sensation of being stoned, so maybe I could have kept going. My life is now far more settled mostly because I am busy but I could if I had time imagine reverting to that life quite easily. And here we have my point, I am free from the burden of working 9 to 5 for a living, I have lived the life of doing nothing  beyond my 9 to 5, yet I am more busy than ever in my life. Having the freedom of doing what I choose rather than what I must I would if it were an option enjoy spending time working in my trade entirely on-call rather than 9 to 5. I would love to be on call, racing out to factories producing everything from electronics to food, working in ships, foundries, bakeries, petrochemical and chemical plants to name but a few location I have worked, needing to fix their control systems as they run without disturbing their processes or before they can even run multimillion dollar production lines. Without the demand of full time work which would take me away from my kids and without the demand to make a living wage the adrenaline rush of my former life would be a pleasure. The idea that people like doing nothing when they have enough money to live comfortable is pure imagination, most of us would die of boredom. Before running my own business I spent some time stacking supermarket shelves to keep active, I could imagine doing even that for fun if it were not just another job working for arseholes who think they own you once you work for them.

So what did I do while not needing to work for my income? In the past 18 years, not needing it for our small but manageable income and on a $100 investment, I started a business that has provided us with some very nice family holidays and travel opportunities. In the past 3 years as my responsibility to my eldest has changed my business grown. My youngest will keep me at home another 18 years and for another 18 years I will run a productive business. I could have spent 18 years playing computer games as long as the housework was done and the bills managed but my creative mind and boredom are a very strong driving force.

I do not believe for one minute that equality will make people lazy or unproductive. In any discussion about equality and human rights, poverty based economics is not a justifiable reason for repressing people. Though it may sound to some like communism or whatever fascist doctrine you wish to call it, humanism is about improving peoples lives and I am humanist. I believe everyone born has a right to the basic of life (but I also believe in population control which would be easier to promote if people didn’t have to worry about how they get their next meal).

—————————————————-

Getting back to the blame thing and social change, the seeming rise of the new evangelists. It sometimes seems the crazies who once populated mental institutions now walk the hallways of governments. In actual fact it is just a case of our awareness being increased. They were always there somewhere to some degree but now, whenever and wherever these people speak, their insanity is shown to the world. The crazy ideas that were once found only in historical records are today news, presented to the world in a matter of minutes. There is very little any public person can hide, even without media coverage the electronic recording devices many people carry in their pocket result in few places anyone can hide their activity and the internet ensures exposure will be quick. Like atheism, evangelism is no newer than atheism, there is only new media and it exposes crazy messages as easily as it opened new outlets for atheism and reason to present a counter proposal.

If we are not to blame who is? Electronic media?

Rather than take up another pointless argument I will draw the obvious conclusion, the only people to blame for having

Book 1 of the priest initiation series.

Book 1 of the priest initiation series.

there arsehole opinions crushed are the people committing the arsehole acts or voicing the arsehole opinions. Atheists may have risen up out of silence with new media and found their voice but we didn’t make the crazies crazy. Electronic media may have put the stupid on the world stage and made them the heroes in their own downfall but electronic media didn’t make them say or do the things they do. I guess they could blame their parents or their peers but that would be cowardly and not absolve them of responsibility. I myself am not the model of my parents ideals, I have questioned my parents teaching and even discussed with them the reasons why they were wrong about certain things (like being respectful). I have several times changed my social circles rather than maintain friendships with bigots, haters and idiots. You have to take responsibility for you own life at some point and the crazy evangelists have no more excuse for not growing up and evolving their attitudes than anyone else in this information age. Self improvement, for anyone without personal internet connection, is as close as a public library for anyone seeking to be informed.

I will close this discussion here – I don’t know if I can justify calling it a document – and hope it helps anyone who made it through to the end to understand why it is important to continue to voice our opposition to religion. Our respect and silence do nothing and offer no benefit to human society. Unless we are prepared to go back to a world that allows blasphemy laws to control our thoughts and actions we must stand up and fight for recognition and respect. We are not to blame for religion being in rout, religion created it’s own problems and has to resolve it’s issues or face the fact it will always be in rout. Our job is only to remember how long it took and how many it took to get to where we are and out of respect, keep fighting until we have crushed religions unwarranted position in modern society. We need to fight until the day we make secularism a durable world wide phenomena.

For our children and their children in turn we must never accept the blame for a fight that was imposed on us and was due to it’s nature ours to fight.

May your gods remain fictional,

The Antitheocrat.

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