Archive for the ‘Atheism as I live it.’ Category

Well it’s the last day of burning yellow envelopes at a Chinese funeral and to assist the family with closure I did the unthinkable, i recorded a reading from the bible as a form of burial right. I did it without being critical which is unheard of showing the depths even I’ll dive to for people I care about. The person in question did pray to a jesus even if she didn’t understand what it was and the Chinese being who they are, i thought any additional effort towards closure is worth the effort.
 
I tell you one thing for certain, we atheists would make bloody excellent preachers if we were less honest. I guess I did learn one other thing, we atheists can be compassionate people and overlook other peoples beliefs.

Okay so I already knew those things, but this was an interesting first for me. I’ve never written an actual service and performed it (even if it was in a microphone and sent to China for replay, it’s not even as if anyone but the person I sent it to will understand it).

I have to admit to being a slow poster here and now. I had a good run when I started out because I had 12 months of radio script that needed to be published to the world somewhere. My first half dozen posts, at least, are pure radio script rewritten for a blog but I was on a run and got a little more out of this feeble old brain.

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I also do a little photography of local wildlife.

Since starting up I have managed to also get the radio station in question on air. That has taken much of my spare time, even some of my not so spare time and my writing time has been used to actually produce radio content over two hour shows. One of the shows being about my life as an atheist as you may expect (the other is Ska music, feel free to tune in if you’re in the area, 102.9FM). (Edit: also now have a Rave Music show :p).

I am also an at home parent (the rare kind, a father) and if any of you have been left with a child under 5 years of age you will know how demanding of your time they are. Life seems to be a problem getting in the way of my writing time but well my kids are almost worth it 🙂

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…and local environment. Which may be a dry one.

I have a problem with boredom as an at home parent so 15 or so years back while caring for my first kid I also started a small business. I ventured out into the entertainment world and though I am an out of practice musician it was a long way from my trade in industrial engineering. I started out entertaining kids at birthday parties as a clown and balloon artist and have expanded to many other fields including stilt puppetry and circus workshops performing at much larger events. My writing time has over the years has been taken up through this avenue having written a pantomime and have three more in draft and including performance notes for a roving entertainment variation for event performance.

I think finally – I mean I could go back in time to writing a newspaper column but I can’t make that relevant now – is fiction novels and song writing. I have a book 80% written and another concept sketched. I also have one song published and 5 more awaiting publication/production. You can never have too much too do, right?

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…and architecture. This now out of use aqueduct system spans huge areas of China.

I will put forward here and now that I am also an edit freak which is what slows much of my work. When I write I pen everything in my head and that means going back and taking out everything surplice to requirement. I actually have some 12 posts in draft but I want to check them and that always, without fail, leads to editing.

So who cares?

Probably nobody but I thought I should explain why my content can be slow coming. Maybe someone some day will want to know why I don’t publish more work. I’m not being paid for this (or much of anything, also outfitting a bus as a motor-home and office for our business, earning is on hold while I do that 🙂 ) so I do what I can when I can. Maybe I need some profit motive :p

If you like what I do feel free to let me know. Maybe I can be encouraged to do more 😀

These words “because I don’t want to think about it” will stay with me for a long time. An acquaintance of mine spoke them to me in regard to her deciding to become christian and they were I think the end of a potential friendship. Not on their own, but they were the key reason for the rest of the conversation which included all of the usual tag lines.

I should explain that this person is Chinese and moved to Australia less than 2 years ago. Something that concerns me about the Chinese is how susceptible to religion they are because of communism and culture. This person was not an educated atheist or philosophy veteran crossing over to religion. This person was a clean slate and religion is winning over my counter perspective and reasoning (it’s local, I’m not, I have the distance disadvantage).

I will have to explain the Chinese before going on to explain the “clean slate”.

The Chinese learn of religion in school as somewhat of a joke on western society. It is, I can’t deny it but this learning is not a true comparative religion course or philosophy course which would serve better to instil the communist doctrine of antitheism. They are simply taught it exists. What they learn gives them no tools with which to refute or fend off the deceptions used by religion to talk hold of and control people.

This goes one step further because the Chinese have not actually done away with religion. Maybe Mao didn’t understand how much buddhism and ancestor worship were a part of his own life being raised buddhist. Maybe he did and like all the wisest and worst political leaders used religion to his benefit. The fact remains that religion is a part of Chinese society. Chinese pseudo medicine is rife through China with hospitals even having traditional medicine wings. Ancestor worship and fending off spirits is considered “culture” with shops letting of crackers before opening for the day to fend off evil. New years celebrations for one also include crackers and other ancestor worship activities. The Chinese are religious and practice religion in more ways than they know, they simply see it as culture, not unlike cultural Christians in the west.

When western religion goes to China with its well practised deceptions the Chinese are unready for it, they consider it without the Firewall we in the west have. We in the west all have a firewall against religion. The religious have a firewall against other religions and we atheists have a firewall against all religion. We grow up with the tools to defend against religion because we see it or are taught it all our lives. This is simply not a part of Chinese culture. Worse Chinese culture is all about respect for the past and your elders. Religion plays on this respect in their culture and it allows christianity to do the same.

So this Chinese person came to Australia. I guess it put her in more danger.

She is an at home mother in a new country and needed social outlets. She also wanted to improve her English and get out of the house. Not problems for her in China. We all need things to do and in China everything and everywhere is so much more. More everything. We live a quiet life in Australia, very different even without the language and new country barriers. Anyway she found a church near her offered English for new Australians (an easy target group but I have also wondered if its one of the government funded service) so she made use of their services. From there she became socially involved, she went to bible classes, went along to some of their community outreach and from there she has decided to become christian (I’ve seen the process before).

Her reasoning for deciding to become christian really bother me but are common enough and nothing new to me, the same mindless drivel I have heard all my life. “I want there to be a god”. Well sure, couldn’t we all occasionally do with an all loving something, wouldn’t that be sweet? But that is not the christian god, that version of their god is the lie sold to children and the unwary (this person can’t claim to be entirely unwary with me in her other ear). Even so the god she has settled with is the simplistic loving one used to get you in so they can keep you in with hell fire and brimstone. This is actually a problem for our friendship because it is too simplistic and leads to simplistic thinking. People at this level start to think hell is a serious problem and I find nothing in my mind is more insulting than someone thinking you need to burn in hell for not believing in their imaginary friend. Okay this is less about me, I don’t believe in your friend, its really no skin off my nose. The real problem is that with its heaven and hell this religion fucks with your real world relationships. For someone struggling with relationships this isn’t what you want added to your problems. For some reason you will now look at otherwise good people and your family and think they will burn. You will think they need to be saved, you know they need your imaginary friend and you can’t just see them as people who just need you. How is this added concern helping you to love? How is this improving your mindset? You know what, a loving thing would be great but I don’t want it to be the god you’ve chosen. Why would you?

Her next line of “rationality” was “I don’t want to think about it”. This is just fucked up. You did think about it. Someone lied to you that accepting belief wasn’t “thinking”. They gave you a variation of one the most simplistic theological philosophies of all time, pascals wager, and you only gave it the consideration they told you to give it. “Isn’t it better to believe than not?” Well no, god comes with consequences, not believing doesn’t. This wager begs additional questions you chose not to consider, you though but you stopped short. What god is the right god? What proof did they give you and did you consider the proof of other gods? If you really didn’t want to think about gods, why didn’t you remain atheist? We think about gods far less than religious folk (even when we blog about theism). I don’t fear hell or any other shit attached to gods because “I” really don’t think about them. What you have actually decided is to think about god and stop considering really an option.

This was the beginning of the end of a potential friendship. I can’t take blatant stupidity from people in my life. It will take some effort to continue this friendship beyond this point (and I can’t say I didn’t see it coming).

The tag lines that confirmed my suspicions about the state of this persons mind were “I had a personal experience”, “bless you” and “meeting you and having you as a friend is a blessing”. The last one of which shit me up the wall. I don’t give a fuck about your “experience”, it doesn’t rate as evidence and nor should you (and its worse when you express it with a confirmation bias). Blessing me is just you hoping your imaginary friend will act on my part and its a fucking lazy way to express friendship. If you want me to do well and consider yourself a friend, you be a friend, don’t put your imaginary friend in charge of making my life better. But, worst of all, is telling me I am a blessing.

I didn’t become a friend because of your fucking imaginary friend (and in this case she didn’t have one when we met). Why did your friend wait so long for us to meet? What part did our own actions take in our meeting? What actions of mine made events in our lives possible? Why when I had been doing the same thing for 10 years or more had it taken so long for your god to get to the point of our meeting? Why did we meet before you decided to be christard? I am not a blessing to anyone. I am not god given, there are no gods. Give me what is mine. If I acted in a way that created the potential of our meeting, I did that not your imaginary friend. I am the person who didn’t judge, listened, offered advise and didn’t get involved when you discussed your personal relationships. This is what I learned in almost 50 years of life, it was not dropped on me by a god. Stop trying to attribute anything about me to your imagination. I am the result of events in my life and choices I made.

For me personally, I lost respect for someone this week. I also think I lost a potential friend and think religion gained another idiot. It never fun learning people are not as bright as you think they are.

Beyond my week and events of the week, what really concerns me in all of this is that this is how I see religion spreading through China. My mother in-law, an old woman from a rice farming village, believes in jesus (I don’t think she really knows what a jesus is) because someone has sold her on hedging her bets. Yes pascals wager. The Chinese are susceptible and evangelists know it and exploit it. During my time living in China I saw women handing out pamphlets on streets and even bothering passengers on busses. Pamphlets straight out of the jehovah’s witness handbook. The most simplistic nonsense but nonsense the Chinese have little defended against. I find this to be a very sad even without the personal connection. It’s sad we human are not better than this.

I will end this rant here. I am a little upset at how little power we have against the might of religion. I can’t even save the people I like when the church has more of their time and is in their ear more often. I can’t even offer the services or social connections that religion does. All I can do as a counter measure is promote secular organisations (and will now, today, record the promotions for our community radio station) who always need new people and support to continue their services. Walking clubs, sport clubs, arts groups, community bands, community radio stations are some what we have, our only alternative to church (there may be more options in your area). What we atheists and secularists don’t have is that one overriding factor – god – that keeps people involved in these community activities. Without god community organisations need people. I am going to leave this rant for you to think on and ask only that all atheists to join at least one community group (with my business I joined our radio station 3 times 😉 ). If we are to give people an option to religion…

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

So I finally took the plunge into radio. After 5 years battling to get our local community radio station to air I finally did it. With moral support and a bombed out caravan from another station I got the computers up and the transmitter firing, powering out a fully licenced and legal radio broadcast. After 5 years I had no interest left in programming a show, all I had left was the hope that people would get involved now we had things running. After 5 years it seems I am still one of a small few who can be convinced to do a show, so…

I have recorded a 4 hour a week (2×2 hour with a repeat) show about and playing ska music, my music, sod the listeners if we have any. Another guy has a 2 hour 5 days a week trying to suck up to all the local musicians who can’t be bothered doing their own shows. In a week we have less than half a days programming, the rest of a 24 hour a day 7 day week is fill, so…

COBAR ATHEISTS is going to air to fill 4 hours of Sunday (2×2 hours on repeat). Fame and fortune will soon be mine on the 100% volunteer small town radio station. Well notoriety will be mine anyway (as if it wasn’t already the case).

So my atheism as I live it is now a media presence with the problem of what do I say for 2 hours a week. I’m not a preacher, I can’t bullshit about imaginary friends for 2 hours. I can’t talk about the nonexistent doctrines of atheism. I don’t want to play 2 hours of religious and atheistic music and break it down. I have enough trouble getting blog posts finished (there are almost as many awaiting editing as are posted).

UPDATE

It’s a week since I started this post an I go to air today.

Turns out 2 hours was easy to fill. Just telling theists that I don’t feal hate towards them personally, that I feel sorry for them trapped as they are killed 10 minutes. Just throw in a couple of songs and talk about their content and wonder where the time went (yes, unlike other caster, I am not only a copyright licence payer, as a licenced music writer I also have a copyright of my own. I can play music the trick will be not playing and sending royalties to christian rocker sorts, fuck them).

At present all of our shows here are pre recorded due to changes in licencing and waiting for beaurocratic pen strokes. Our broadcast computer has to be automated and sitting up with our transmitter and we have no link between studio and the transmission point 10km away. This does have advantages. My show is set for Sundays at 10am and for a repeat performance at 6pm. Not having to record a live show saves some bother and doing it this way it can’t go wrong (unless its seriously wrong, only electrical burn out would stop everything restarting the way I have it set up). The second advantage is I get to air the first show for 2 weeks and repeat it again in 7 weeks time. Being a volunteer effort I don’t want to be always tied to a recording studio (even my own one in my own home).

For Internet users this has another advantage. One day I may put it on The Antitheocrat YouTube channel so you can all hear the shit I talk 🙂

Until such time, if you are in Cobar on a Sunday and want to know how to piss people off, listen to the show. The station is currently first in first served and as long as its legal and language warnings are in place – the station has one in general rotation but I have one on my shows too 🙂  not about to vet out the word fuck from songs and content for people unless it’s the kiddy hour, should we get one – my time slots are fixed and secure until I give them up. 10am and again at 6pm Sundays for 2 hours of atheist ramblings.

This is the Antitheocrat saying roger over and out 😀

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

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.

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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).

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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.

A little while back I wrote a post about atheists siding with the enemy and why we shouldn’t (https://antitheocrat.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/siding-with-the-enemy/). I don’t generally tell people how to atheist (as if there could be a “way” to atheist) but as this blog is about how I, as a life long atheist, view atheism I will freely express my own views on things I see as problematic. This post follows on from the previous document as the danger of siding with the enemy is again on my mind; as it should be with anti-muslim/white supremacists/pro-nationalism protests again making news.

A group called Reclaim Australia came out at the time of my original post and are out again with their nationalistic anti-sharia message, playing again to the scaremongering of the press, government and special interest groups. Last time the anti sharia message Reclaim were selling hit home with the few atheists taken with the over dramatised and (im)possible takeover of Australia by radical islamisation. Some who went out and marched expressed so much pride in their days actions that they got defensive and angry when other atheists were critical of their action. Reclaim, an obviously christian white supremacist group (though less obvious the first time out than it is now) turns out to not be a popular atheist cause for a number of reasons.

I myself am always very careful about not taking sides in inter-religion battles and was extremely wary of Reclaim when they first surfaced. I do generally look for the christians behind vocal anti Islam groups before taking a side, they can often be found polluting the anti sharia message with their theological nonsense. Equally I could never join a white supremacist or nationalist group even though I am happy to be one of that privileged group I will refer to (because who cares) as Australian honkies. Quite simply I don’t believe the act of being born is significant cause for pride or discrimination, I cannot see how someone else procreating (my parents, not some mythical god) to create me was an act of that much pride. For me racism and nationalism are like tattooing your kids names on yourself, a very low standard to judge your life by. Well woohoo look at me I can breed. I would sooner tattoo my eduction and qualifications on myself (if I were to get any at all), the things I know I can say I achieved in my life. For religious and race reasons I could never join a group like Reclaim in anything they do or promote.

So when Reclaim marched again up went the flag, out came the people screaming about how wonderful the things they stand for are and best of all out came more information. For this reason I became aware of their policy statement which confirmed my suspicions about the groups real intentions and who they are and that is the focus of this document.

Reclaim have a white-supremacist christian evangelistic message behind their anti muslim call to nationalism. A group called Catch the Fire Ministries are a large part of who they are. The Reclaim crowd, having vented much of its nationalism first time out, were this time down to their evangelist core, a support and a contingent of christian Asian wives to make them look multicultural (before the racist accusation comes, my own wife is Asian), and finally the neo-nazi bikers who were this time less prominent. As a predominantly pro christian evangelist group Reclaim is surely a group atheists should never stand by. As an atheist you could be one of those individuals who thinks the achievement of having parents of a certain skin texture is a significant achievement, I couldn’t fault your atheism on that, but when the group is also a hard-line Christian outfit the cause is lost to atheists. To evangelist christians we are as much the enemy as any muslim if not more so. They will use us while it serves their devious ends but we mean no more to them than a means-to-an-end that sees them holding all the cards.

To make my point about why we shouldn’t support groups like Reclaim here is their policy statement, in full, taken from their website 25/07/15. I found this because someone on a forum told us – angrily – to “get educated” and though I suspect educated was not something required to write this document I am now going to show that I have read it. My commentary is in italics section by section for anyone interested in how I found it.

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WHAT WE ARE RECLAIMING:

– Exactly, I want to know what was lost. What right, privilege or legal status has any christian white Australian actually lost? Has any individual from Reclaim had to change their lives because they lost a legal right? Nobody from Reclaim can tell me what they personally, or their family, have lost. It seems they are reclaiming only the right to repress other people and force them to not outwardly express who and what they are if it is not properly christian (#19) and they need non-halal Vegemite.

1.Our right to peaceful assembly.
This Commonwealth right was denied to Australians at the April 4th Rally in Melbourne

– I don’t know anything about this April 4th thing but if the problem was a vocal and expressive counter protest you may need to work out why you find yourself in this position. Just a suggestion; as christians with a message of hate and repression, your anti homosexual stand (#19) and demand for religious freedom to be denied to other theological groups you may just make a few people unhappy. If the 4th was a problem with the law, it is within the scope of the law to protect you and the general public from harm and I remember some news of violence (not sure who from and don’t care). I have to assume this is the reason for your being stopped if there was a legal one. That is unless you went to some other length to upset them that I have missed.

2.Australia’s interests first, over all other nations as stated in our Residency Agreements and our citizenship requirements.
Australia’s interest sits above religion and dual passports. Muslims may not go to Syria and fight for ISIS when Australia’s interests are against it. It must be a case of Australia or Ummah—choose.

– Was it necessary to single out muslims? I wonder if they apply this to christians who put god and the bible before all else? Reading on through this document I think it becomes clear that putting christianity first is quite acceptable. Christianity is given plenty of special consideration in this document.

3. Equality at Law. (No more “cultural considerations”)
As Australians we embrace equality and care for all our people equally regardless of religion or ethnicity…but the law is the law and it too is equally dispensed, regardless of how long you have been in the country.

– Who can argue with this, other than the fact the law is meant to respond to cultural change that is. BUT, who was missing out on equality under the law? Do they think muslims get special consideration for their religion? I have myself reason to believe christianity has been given much special consideration in law. Look at the push for SRI in public schools and the hoops our federal government have jumped through to continue this predominantly christian program, this government even did away with the last governments secular inclusion to ensure christian privilege was looked after. I know this is about sharia law being used in muslim communities and it is a concern but I wonder if Reclaim are prepared to police and stop christians putting church/god/religion before law, jewish communities doing the same and also maintaining own legal systems and then there is the legally allowed tribal courts that exist in some Aboriginal communities. I have found most reclaimers are blind to these other cultural/religious issues.

4. Democracy over Political Correctness.
Our political system allows one person to have one vote and the majority opinion rules. “The right to freedom of opinion is the right to hold opinions without interference, and cannot be subject to any exception or restriction.” Political correctness infringes on Australians Constitutional rights. We reclaim the right to hold opinions without interference.

– Political correctness has not been made law to my understanding and thought policing is as yet in its early stages with data retention laws just coming to play. Hate speech, political correctness and having ideas are not the same thing. If you are thinking things others may find offensive I’m pretty sure at this stage you are still safe from the thought police. If you put a point forward and it is hate speech or defamatory you may find the law interested in you. If people respond to you with strong criticism that bothers you, you are not actually being stopped from saying what you want. Asking that criticism be stopped you are in fact the one/s asking to have others legally given freedom of expression taken from them.

5. Freedom for service people to wear uniforms in public, safely—on and off duty.
Any attack on the service uniform of the commonwealth of Australia is an attack on the nation of Australia. Hiding our uniforms whilst off duty is not a leadership solution. An attack needs to be considered as an act of war on the Nation of Australia and treated accordingly. Only when we respect our uniforms will others follow. Same goes with our flag—an attack on our flag must be made punishable at law.

– I’m not sure why anyone should wear a uniform off duty; a uniform is a sign of being on duty. If you attack someone wearing a uniform there are surely laws pertaining to assault and damage to property which already cover this. As to nationalism and flags, I would burn one tomorrow – they’re all made in China anyway – to protest in favour my freedom of expression for or against any aspect of my nation. If you value a piece of cloth over an individual’s right of expression – as given in our constitution – you are not being the best Australian you can be.

6. Freedom to attend our public functions without threat or fear of terrorism.
Stop all forms of radicalisation within our shores until it stops. If that means removing imams, Korans and closing down all mosques and Islamic schools then so be it. Australian public safety is a primary mandate of our Government.

– Christian evangelism is a form of radicalisation; I guess they don’t think so. If we close all mosques, I propose we also have to close all churches and religious schools, not just evangelist churches and schools. Again they managed to single out muslims without once addressing the fact that churches and temples are found in many denominations and all have the potential to create people with a weak grip on reality. They also missed the fact that the majority of private schools in Australia a christian and that we also have cultural schools such as Greek and Italian schools. All of these schools and places of religion/culture could be creating extremism, shut them all down.

7. Our food to be free of religious taxes to other nations, blessings and certifications.
Imagine if the Vatican issued an edict that said only Catholics could eat Vatican Certified or blessed Food and went around and made every Australian food manufacturer pay for Vatican compliance and further, decreed that only Catholics were able to kill, bless, transport and store the food. It would be considered discriminatory to the rest of Australia, even if Catholics are 25% of the population. Yet today, 2% of our population have this sway. Food supply is a matter for the “state”—not religion. We certify for quality and health reasons.
If manufacturers want to state “contains no pork or alcohol” that is their business.

– For all that I am against funding religion in any way it has to be noted that we fund religion in many ways and this is maybe the smallest way. The fact that religion is not taxed should be of more concern that halal certification. The only certification these people are really worried about is islamic, maybe because this is one tax christianity cannot claim due to their long history of ignoring biblical food laws. As somewhat noted in their example, if it were christian certification being questioned they would scream for it to remain in place. From a manufacturer point of view, certification is just a way to open up more sales, a right they have, just like labelling if something has pork or alcohol in it. There is no law stating halal certification is required and no law stating it can’t be used, this is a purely commercial decision. As commercial as the consumers decision on which products they purchase or avoid purchasing, nobody is making you buy halal certified food. I personally buy anything using a halal label as its primary sales criteria, that is my option as a consumer.

8. Equality of Gender.
This year in a press conference in Sydney, female journalists were asked to go to the back of the room in deference to the culture giving the conference. The male journalists said nothing and the female journalists did as requested. Equality of Gender is enshrined in Australian law and is one of the values that makes Australia the great country it is. It’s up to all Australians to protect these values in everyday day situations including press conferences. On Australian soil women have equal rights to men and that includes where they stand.

– Again, who can deny this. The example given however addresses a particular situation and again it focuses on muslims. It has to be noted that many christians believe in women being subservient to men, especially evangelistic christians. Many Christian groups believe women should cover and I have even come across women who sit in the back seat of the car behind their husband as a christian observance. It is only true of christians that if they tried to pull male superiority over a group of random christians, no one christian in the room would agree to what degree this should be allowed. Islam is very clear on the place of women and has not been as watered down by cultural change so it is possible they will require women to adhere to certain rules more readily. In a public place this would be against the law and there would be reason for complain but in a private event you participate in the way the event organiser wants or you don’t participate. I have walked out of church events rather than pretend to pray and if you are going to be upset at my eating while you talk to your imaginary friend don’t come to dinner at my home. I as a business owner have a right to dictate the nature of my business and who I allow as a client (as long as I simply deny the service and not express any isms, then it becomes a legal issue). So it is muslims can also make the rules when it’s their shop, their event or their home. The only choice you have to make is whether or not you want to attend and submit to their conditions. As Reclaim mentioned it I wonder what they make of gender variations other than male and female, I know they have a passion for radial christianity which leaves me thinking it’s not the their thing.

9. Individual Sovereignty.
In Australia we enjoy the freedom of choosing who we are going to marry, who we mix with, where we go, what job we do and what we wear. But not so for all those born here. This year we have learned about girls growing up inside of Australia but being forced to marry outside of Australia and under-aged. Individual sovereignty is a freedom given to all Australians regardless of culture.

– With data retention and anti-terrorism laws I’m not sure any of us have the personal sovereignty we once had but again this one is about a few muslims breaking Australian law and women – for whatever reason – choosing to cover themselves in cloth. We have seen child marriage going on but then we also have a royal commission into child abuse which has focused most of its attention on religious institutions, mostly Christian ones. In one specific case of child marriage I have heard Reclaim cite, a man was indeed arrested and has been given prison time for the crime of marrying an under-age girl in another country. Though people may do these things the law is in place to protect children and it has for some time recognised that the abuse of children in other nations by Australian’s is still an offence under Australian law. Prosecutions started in this area quite some time back and helped clean up the Thai sex trade (again a largely white christian issue Australian issue). Yet again we have Reclaim focusing on muslims with the intent of making them a focus of hate and totally missing the fact we do have child protection laws. They have also missed the fact that for generations many groups identifying with a specific nationality have sent their children away to marry. How you police this I don’t know or particularly care. As an atheist I can no more stop a parent indoctrinating their children with fairy tales than stop them teaching them to stay in their cultural ethnic group.

10. Equality and tolerance of races and religions.
This also includes Aussies and Christians.

– I didn’t know Aussie was a race and I know Christian isn’t. Nice job here singling out of the most powerful religion in Australia – and the world – for special consideration and making out it is in some way a victim in need of protection. As a group that cites nationalism in their arguments I have to question their differentiation of Aussie and Christian. Do they see christian as something separate from Australian? Can you not be both christian and Australian? Do you put Aussie or christian first? I don’t understand how this works with all the nationalism, I can only guess they thought they needed to stick the word christian in one more time and this cockup is what occurred. It also seems someone needed to ensure christianity got special consideration in the document, being the poor innocent victim minority they are.

11. Separation of state and religion.
Religions must respect and adhere to all the laws of the land if they want to practice here. When religious teachings conflict—in order not to break the social cohesion of Australia—we must insist that our Laws dominate. Social cohesion and ability to comply with our laws, must also be a strong selection criteria in determining which people are suitable as refugees and immigrants for Australia. If people find themselves unable to keep our laws because of their religious or cultural practices, then they will need to be considered as unsuitable as immigrants.

– While I agree with the premise I suspect Reclaim mean all religion but their own which they consider to be an integral part of our society. I wonder if we pushed Reclaim would they see the laws pertaining to Special Religious Instruction (a mostly christian programme) as selectively allowing religion a privileged place in our society. Especially with two high court losses against it and the long fought for secular option again being removed from the system. I am yet to meet an evangelist christian who believes that their god comes after the law even though jesus himself said it was how things are. To paraphrase jesus he said obey the law while you live and make yourself right with god for when you die. Again I know this is about muslims having sharia justice in their communities but all religions have always seen themselves as above the law. Are we going to ask christians what comes first, god or law, before we let them in? It sounds like a good idea to me.

12. Freedom of Speech.
How absurd it is when “speaking the truth” becomes secondary to “not offending” someone for stating the facts. At the moment this is just where 18C has placed freedom of speech in our legislation. Truth is an intrinsic value of our culture and our legal system therefore offence legislation 18C just has to go. Truth must always prevail in our culture.

– This is something idiots always get wrong about Australian law, we are not the USA and your television education is not serving you well. Australia has “Freedom of Expression” not “Freedom of Speech”, there are differences in how the two work in law and in some ways expression is the better. They go on about facts after this but basing a statement on a fact and making misleading conclusions is not actually remaining true to the fact. 18C protects people from false, misleading and defamatory speech which we have never had freedom of and does not counter our Freedom of Expression. Fact is truth can be deceptive, fact is fact, truth is subjective. For instance religions always claim to know truth but not one has as yet proven a god or that they are the one religion speaking with said gods express permission. There is no fact in religion but many accepted claims of truth. Which religions truth is the real truth? Fact would be a better solution but if factual statements were made law politicians would run out of things to say and churches would be forced to close. Perfect or not Freedom of Expression seems to serve us well and changing it would take a great deal of forethought and care.

13. Freedom from intimidation for being “Australian”.
This includes showing patriotism to Australia, it’s flag, Anglo and Christian heritage, cultural customs of dressing, speaking, drinking and eating.

– I see we managed to slip in not being allowed to criticise christians, special consideration again. Regardless of the heritage, of our national founders, why is it not our Aboriginal Dream Time heritage cited here? Maybe this about the fact that I live about 60km from Bogan Shire (yes there is a Bogan Shire in central NSW, I didn’t invent it) and I make jokes about bogans every time I pass the shire sign? Could this be special protection of anyone regardless of their message, if they stand under an Australian flag and claim to be nationalists they can say anything, anywhere, any time? I would protest both concepts any day of the week. For now now it seems the one thing we are Australians are good at is laughing at ourselves, is this going to be stopped? Our federation was formed as a secular one specifically to keep Roman catholic christians taking control and for generations we have been a nation of many religions and notably, even in my grandfather’s day, non-religion. We are not a christian nation.

14. English as the primary language for schools and public events held in Australia.
Minorities have been found to use hate speech and inciting hatred in a public forum but avoid prosecution by speaking another language in front of the police. It is a one law for all argument. English Interpreters should be part of any public political forum in Australia where English is not the primary language spoken.

– I love living in a multi lingual country. As someone who has travelled and known many people with different nationalities I love hearing other languages being used. My own son is being raised bi-lingual and I hope his Chinese is as strong as his mothers and that they feel free to use it. Equally, at an event where Chinese people were the target audience I would not expect them to always use English or feel threatened for not doing so. We have a culture of multiculturalism going back a long way, my own mother is Dutch born. Now government documents are being provided in a multitude of languages to cater for our multiculturalism. Why should we not extend that to all things in our multicultural nation, why not become a multilingual nation with one core language. I have always wished I could speak more languages. For me this one stinks of White Australia policy. Abusive language is cited here as if it was a problem but if nobody finds language abusive who is to say it is, who judges what is abusive? I may call my mates fuck-nuts but if they don’t find it abusive your dislike of the word fuck should not play any part in my use of it. If I call you a fuck-nut with intent to offend then and only then may you decide what is offensive, but, if I called you a cheese-sandwich abusively which one would you more want me arrested for? Get over yourselves, stop trying to limit my Freedom of Expression.

15. The right to revoke citizenship, exile or deport traitors.
Our UN obligations has now made this extremely difficult. Social cohesion is our Government’s responsibility to its people. If we have have made a mistake in immigration policies we reserve the right as a nation to reverse them and expel unsuitable immigration candidates and traitors.

– I already worked out that as an atheist I may be in breach of our “Anglo and Christian heritage” (#13) protections so I guess I have to submit myself to the law and be deported. Wonder where I have to go, I have been to Europe and lives a short while in China but I wouldn’t call them home, I am an Australian and always have been. We already have a government that wants to decide who is a traitor and what outside causes you may be considered a traitor for supporting with the intention of striping a persons nationality. I wonder which activities Reclaim wants to add? As an Australian who does not stand for the raising of the flag or playing of the anthem because nationalism holds no interest to me, in fact I find nationalism revolting. Does my not wanting to support radicalisation through nationalism – especially a false christian nationalism – make me less proud to be Australian or worthy of the title?

16. The right to celebrate our traditions and Christian Holidays.
Our National Public Holidays are New Year’s Day, Australia Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

– What are our traditional holidays? I see a list of religious holidays and 2 days of nationalism but none of the holidays we should have as a nation, days such as May Day or Federation Day, holidays our country could claim with pride having worked for them. Australia has a number of secular holidays, I don’t think anyone is trying to stop us having these days but then I didn’t know we were not getting the christian preferred holidays listed above, I may be out of the loop. I’m really not sure why Reclaim think they are not getting their christmas, it is still a public holiday to ensure we all have to submit to their pagan observances. Did they not get their chocolate eggs or presents? Did they think without our enforced pagan holidays we would all take up fasting and flagellating ourselves for ramadan? Then again, why shouldn’t we celebrate ramadan? I have celebrated passover with Jewish friends and have had christian ritual forced on me all my atheist life. Nobody ever asked if I wanted to celebrate Science, Darwin, Big Bang or No-Religious-Nonsense day. Nobody is trying to stop the religious having their little festivals but why does that mean the rest of us must have them enforced on us in the form of public holidays. Lucky for the christians, I recognise the pagan ritual behind their important dates and can laugh at how stupid they are crying about their precious pagan holidays. I love pagan presents and chocolate eggs too.

17. The Constitution and true representation in Government.
MP’s are to represent the concerns of their community first—not their party. We are a democracy and MP’s are our voice into the Government. Petitions with 2 million signatures are currently being ignored and referendums by passed when the people should be consulted. Minority parties hold major parties to ransom. The two party system at present is not serving the people.

– “The constitution”, may as well state “the alphabet”. This statement doesn’t tell us much about what they want with the constitution, it’s a good thing they clear it up. Unfortunately their clarification only shows a limited understanding of the democratic process. Yes we have a two party system which does not always seem democratic but to then dismiss third party options and their influence on government is to ignore the first concern about party politics. Parties are answerable in a democratic way when third party options achieve enough votes to hold the balance of power. Doing deals to pass policies is extremely democratic, one party holding all the cards is not democracy and switching between two parties with all the cards is not far short of a two party dictatorship. Party politics may not seems democratic but it is meant to provide a method by which government is not always stuck in petty one-on-one debate. A party can make a decision and push as one voice to the resulting policy. Our system may not be ideal but it is a workable system and I have no better alternative, nor do Reclaim. I tend to agree that the two party preferred system needs to be changed but as it becomes apparent third party options are growing in strength the way to change things is not to simply crush all opposition or try and make government a rabble of ineffectual individuals. Is it any wonder our democratic system seems broken when people who make simplistic statements like this are given the vote.

18. Australia’s sovereignty at law, over all other nations including the U.N.
Our nation is adopting legislation in line with UN agreements. If the UN is able to exert this level of power on Australia that leads to the introduction of new laws then perhaps we need to have a referendum to belong to it.

– This is simply stupid and I feel it is aimed at the idea of all people trying to seek refugee status in Australia are muslims and given too much protection under our agreements with the UN. It seems these people don’t want us having humanitarian concerns for refugees. I can’t think of any other way in which the UN is having a great deal of impact on our laws. Given the UN’s reports and condemnation of how we treat refugees it may be said we don’t do anything we have agree to anyway.

19. Separation of Religion and State
Whether we are religious or atheist we have a right to act and speak according to our own moral compass. That is the true test of a tolerant, free and democratic society. Political correctness is today’s sign that “the state” is incorrectly interfering with the individual’s moral compass. In cannot legislate on matters of conscience like gay marriage, abortions and religion. These are matters of personal conviction for every individual and cannot be legislated on in order to stop uncomfortable debates.

– I am all for this copy of #11, as much as I was at #11, but suspect Reclaim don’t mean “stop enforcing christian holidays on non-christians” (#16). I have a real problem with this statement, “Political correctness is today’s sign that “the state” is incorrectly interfering with the individual’s moral compass” because it indicates that these people believe our laws are not a reflection of our countries moral compass and their morals are better. In effect, because they want to discriminate the law must let them or the law is wrong. It also tells me they know nothing of how morals are formed and acted on, I have to assume they think it was some god what did it.The examples they use are signs only of bigotry, not a moral compass. Gay marriage is only marriage, an ask for equality for all people who want to make a life together. Abortions are not being enforced on anyone and people are free to decide their own moral stance on how they use the service provided. The government providing a safe service for those who choose abortion is a health issue not a part of any “national moral compass”. I had not realised people were being refused their right to have a chosen mythology, it would actually seem to me that our government have a wish to ensure everyone has a religion – if possible, their religion – and atheism is not allowed. The current SRI in state schools issue is clearly not about government taking gods away. I am certain that there is no law saying I MUST believe in a god or not and I would defend anyone’s right to believe or not (even though I am an anti-theist who would if I could rid the world of religion, I would never want it made law).

20. Recognition and respect of Australia’s indigenous community and their requirements.

– Maybe they don’t know enough about Aboriginal Australia to elaborate. While they push the cause of “Anglo and Christian heritage” they are not really that interested in indigenous culture. “Christian Holidays” are cited but where have they expressed any interest in impossible holidays with an indigenous feel? They want to dictate our clothing choices which I take to mean loin cloths and/or bare breasts are out (where such things are the norm, not all Aboriginal nations are the same and I don’t mean to imply so). Reclaim want English as our one and only national language with not one word of recognition to the fact that many Australians, who did not come from other nations, speak a native language of our nation as their first and foremost language. I can’t take Reclaim seriously on this one, this is just vote buying, they care not about the Aboriginal people.

21. Self-sufficiency in oil, industry and as a food producer for Australia.
The Lima Agreement pushed Australia to drop its tariffs and allow for a global marketplace for food and manufacturing. As a result we have lost our self sufficiency in manufacturing and farming and are now dependant on a global marketplace. This places Australia in an vulnerable economic position.

– I would support the position of a sustainable Australia myself and in may ways we are. What this very simplistic solution to our national debit and/or job markets means is these people have little knowledge of how Australia did manage to maintain its self-sustainability for as long as it did. It ignores the diminishing quality of our ground water resources and our dried up river beds. It ignores the possible changes that may occur with climate change and population growth. It ignores the benefits of international trade. I don’t have a position against sustainability, I am a sustainability activist where and when I can be but I am also a realist. What I do have is a position against yelling for sustainability without real solutions and an understanding of the problems and benefits.

2. Australia’s land from 100% foreign ownership.
Currently vast tracts of farmland are being bought up by overseas countries. There may come a time when our land produces the food for other nations yet our people have not enough to feed them, what then?— will our security forces be used to protect foreign interests against its own people.

– Fair enough. Make Australia separatist. I am to some degree all for national ownership but I don’t think discussion of the benefits and principles of Fascism is everyone’s cup of tea. I don’t want another nation buying the nation out from under our feet but being a realist I also have no concern that is what is happening. Corporations could not technically be considered countries (though legally they are people I guess and as such must have nationalities..). I don’t know this is a big issue I am not ready to address in a short reply. This simplistic demand for a broad reaching concept is not as simple as Reclaim would like to make it sound. On the topic of defence forces, they already protect other nation’s interests; the USA has had bases and troupes here for some considerable time. I don’t for one second believes the USA has our interests in mind our put our interests first. The UK tested nuclear weapons on or soil with our troops and our government have still not backed a claim for compensation for victims. How are we not already protecting other nations interests with our military?

23. Australia’s regional and rural voice.
We grew fat of the back off our primary industry. If changes need to be made to long term policies of procurement then they need to have a voice and be compensated, especially if Government changes the ground rules for long term investments…like dropping tariffs.

– Citing the past is always good nationalism. Our country, the world, our economic realities have all changed. I live in Outback Australia so I know what it means to have no voice. Our local representative flies in a couple of times a year (less now we have no air service) to have his photo taken with someone who received some pitiful grant and yet somehow manages to get elected time and again. When it comes to tariffs and trade agreements there is room for concern but putting this down as “Australia’s regional and rural voice” does little to address the problems of hospital services, government representation and general services, access and transport or even getting an air service back in a number of regions. My (and 5000 others in my community) local hospital is 300km away, Ambulance or flying doctor are not free, fuel and accommodation are murder on a family budget, transport claims are often not paid and accommodation is limited to 2 people at $60 a night, I know about not being represented. This is just another simplistic nationalistic statement from Reclaim with no substance or thought behind it.

24. Respect for our history, culture and ideologies, needs to taught in our education system and in our public media.
Our Judeo-Christian foundations are being eroded and our white heritage is being rewritten by cultural marxists trying to belittle our nation’s beginnings—using aboriginal genocide to hit back at todays Australians. Many brave settlers died making our land habitable for the cities and classrooms that now benefit from their courage, money, beliefs and hard work. We owe it to them to respect their efforts in allowing Western Civilisation to flourish. Free Market Enterprise, imperialism, socialism, democracy, christianity, immigration, indigenous Australians and capitalism have all played a part in making Australia Australian. We are a mongrel nation and ALL parts need to be recognised for what they added.

– I have watched Play School recently, I didn’t feel I was getting taught Chinese culture. Did you know white history was being rewritten? “Ideologies” was the key to where this was going and yes, the first line of explanation says it, “Judeo-Christian” and “white heritage”. So much for “Recognition and respect of Australia’s indigenous community and their requirements” (#20). I guess what they mean is treat them like they’re special, subhuman maybe, treat the little dears with a kind hand and make cooing noises at them as we drive them to their out of the way communities. It’s such a great favour we did them bringing them “Western Civilisation”, by force. My white Australian family are from Gippsland in Victoria near the 90mile beach. I went to school in Melbourne in Victoria, yet it was not until I was in my 20s that I learned of stone hut Aboriginal settlements having existed where my family are based. It is time our “white” history was rewritten because it is a lie. This country was founded on the work of many nationalities and people of many religious backgrounds. The Aboriginals, Europeans, Chinese and Afghanis all played a part in our nations identity. The problem without nation is its “white heritage”. Our “white heritage” crushed and destroyed everything that did not meet its picture of how this country should be. I am white and I have no love or want of a fixed and false “white heritage” reality. This one is what Reclaim is about, making us all christian and white (which is odd given how many of the members of the evangelist group behind it have Asian wives). For the sake of my own Asian wife and half Asian child, and for my White Australian family I hope we never return to a time where our history is hidden from us or people try to push their bigoted vision on the rest of us. The only thing I take issue with in the line “Free Market Enterprise, imperialism, socialism, democracy, christianity, immigration, indigenous Australians and capitalism have all played a part in making Australia Australian” is the fact that they leave out the buddhist Chinese, muslim Afghanis and the fact that all of my nearly 50 years I have grown up atheist (third generation of Australian atheists that I know of, my kids and my brothers make four generations) knowing this was one of the world’s least religious countries, not a christian nation. I’m not sure why they focus on profit motive and forget socialism and unionism, repression and slavery. We white Australians do not deserve special consideration of our cultural heritage, we forced it on this nation and everyone in it and it was not a good time. The wonderful nation we now have is due to the breaking down of that “white heritage” and our embracing multiculturalism and the equality it brings. We have grown up and learned to care, where once we intimidated and tortured we now work to accept and integrate. The only thing we keep from our white heritage worth keeping are the legal and political systems that show they can adapt to change, the very political and legal system Reclaim wants taken back to a time when we lived off the sheep’s back and repressed people. Finally they make the only completely true statement of this document, “we are a mongrel nation”.

We are a mongrel nation and trying to make us anything but a mongrel nation is not very Australian.

————————————————–

Last time Reclaim came out their most prominent face was that of a white supremacist but the pro-christian message was loud for anyone looking. After this public outing the primary person behind Reclaim is being noted as an evangelist christian preacher from the group Catch the Fire Ministries. I have always taken care not to support inter-religious war, I am an atheist and antitheist and I see religion in all of its forms as a problem for humanity. When the pro-christian message is also tied to race hate and white supremacism I have no problem saying these groups are our enemy, not our friend against the evils of islam. I prefer to fight on my own in my own way than side with the enemy.

May your gods remain fictional

The Antitheocrat

This week in Australia, in my current state of residence New South Wales, our government is taking the entire state 3 steps backwards for the benefit of their christian beliefs. Over the past 2-3 years many problems with state indoctrination classes – sorry, Special Religions Instruction or SRE – have been addressed, not all, but many. Though this situation is far from perfect and change has not happened without considerable fighting and legal action, the implementation of things like opt-in rather than the old everyone-goes-until-the-parents-find-out system and the inclusion of secular ethics as an alternative were great improvements on the old system.

So now we have it, the Christian lobby couldn’t stand to loose fee tax funds when parents were given a choice and didn’t take it. This backwards step should not have come as a shock, the greatest shock should be that with so much criminal action and fraud in the party last term, with so many MPs resigning or on charges, this lot still got re-elected for another term. Now they have another term our very christian and not shy about his religion premier and his chief of staff who believes he is gods own chief of staff are showing their true colours. With the government over riding the education department and reinstating SRE books banned for not meeting the standards required by the department it was clear that secularism would be outside their limited abilities. Then things got worse when to the shame of our state, nay country, the senates balance of power was given to Fred Nile, one of Australia’s longest lasting preacher bigots and state MPs (shame NSW, shame).

Oddly enough, everywhere I have lived in Australia NSW has been looked at as a forward thinking and progressive state. With the current trend I find I may as well have stayed in Queensland and wished for the clock to go back 20 years.

“Why all the song and dance”” you say. The state government look set to try and hide any secular option and possibly revert to a new form of opt-out system for SRE in which as a parent you don’t even get all of the options presented until you opted-out of all of the religious offerings first. As it is presented on the ABC’s website “Current enrolment forms give parents a clear option for picking ethics classes as an alternative to Special Religious Education (SRE) for their child, but under the changes being considered by the Government, parents would only be asked what religion their child is”.

This effectively means all kids will get religious instruction unless their parents are wise to the loophole of not choosing a religion. I am not sure if they can offer every denomination their own instructor as Fred Nile has suggested be done. Is it possibly the instructors or schools will decide what they believe is best given to represent the various belief and non-belief options that will be registered. I have no doubt that christian SRE instructors believe they can offer a secular religious instruction to atheist kids if they need to and if the tax money starts rolling again. I’m sure jesus was secular and god loves us all, even atheist kid who will burn in hell. Maybe they can even teach the hindi and muslim kids, who will also burn in hell.

Secular Ethics already had enough hoops to jump through to even get in to the offering. Fred Nile and his ilk had their hats in the ring when ethics classes were established. They and government made a deal that suited them best when forced to offer a secular option, one that made it so difficult to get an ethics class up and running that I myself have been registered to be overseer or instructor in my region for 3 years without it happening. Finding a second person willing to undertake the hours of “volunteer” work and reporting required was not something that proved easy. With the overseer requirement it was also as if they expected us to all suddenly turn into priests and put children at risk, even the teacher in the room wasn’t going to be enough. What this meant was that ethics was harder to get off the ground than the well funded and taxpayer assisted religious options available. As it is, much harder in a small outback town of only 5000 people.

If anyone is confused at this point about what is happening Fred Nile did a wonderful of clearing the entire topic up for us on his ABC radio interview (https://soundcloud.com/702abcsydney/rev-fred-nile-mlc-talks-to) in which he insisted we parents are idiots and SRI participation went down when we had a choice because the form confused us. He also insisted that we all supported him making our choices for us and that the education charted insisted on religious education and did not including any secular options. Parents shouldn’t be offered any secular alternative until they have be forced to deny EVERY other religion on offer.

If this is the thinking behind the governments move to change the school enrolment forms I can’t see how every parent of school aged or nearing school aged children should not be deeply insulted. I for one am a parent and not an idiot. I understand quite well that I can choose not to have my child indoctrinated at school and I do not need the government hiding my options from me when it comes to my child’s education. Who do these people think they are? Fred Nile commands less than 3% of the states votes, what makes him think he has rights over my child when more than 97% of the state think he should pull his head in?

If as Fred suggests, 50% of parents (I don’t know the figures but have heard they are significant), have not opted-in to a religious indoctrination course what business of the government, regardless of votes, to force 50% of parents back into some form of indoctrination of their children. Surely 50% of parents choosing not to have schools indoctrinate their children is a clear statement of our wishes for our own children. Even if some part of this group were unable to understand the forms – possibly under 3%, Fred supporters maybe – why is it the other 47+% of us should be treated like idiots and have our options removed from view so we don’t know they are there to be utilised?

As parents we should all concern ourselves with the indoctrination of our children. We should not let the state employed evangelists to do it for us. This must be as true for me, an atheist, as it is for parents from any of the various belief systems that are truly concerned about what their children believe.

Having vented my anger at yet another government full of twats being elected in this once great country of our I will have to take my leave. Good night all and may your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat

This is written after a short break while a new member of our clan presented himself to the world. It is written on a sleepless night, one of many as I am the night shift person. This writing may contain some of the frustration of being a new parent but with no actual malice towards my son.

This is not my first time as a parent but there has been enough years between for it all to have been forgotten in the haze of time. I don’t remember my first having midnight screening sessions like this one but maybe we just dealt with it differently back then.

Sitting here wondering what stops me from dropping this screaming child on its head gave me cause to write again, so maybe there is value in being a frustrated sleep deprived parent.

No, I have not dropped my son on his head and have no wish to do so. Although I have often been accused of having no moral guide and so no moral values something in me say there is no possible reasoning or lack of theist morality that would cause me to drop a baby. I have also been accused of not having any reason or ability to care or love without a god as my reason for living. Without god I could do anything I want to stop this persistent crying. I know that without a god needing to be invoked, that I love my son and nothing outside the realm of insanity would cause me to hurt him. I care for his health and welfare and know it to be my job to push on through the sleeplessness and cranky nights.

I have knowledge of my love, I have no knowledge of gods, I still can and some times have odd but not driving thoughts. In have thoughts, knowing they are nothing but sleep deprived crankiness. I feel the wish to write when my mind runs wild, not act out in a way that could only be classed as insanity.

The people I worry about at times like this are those who have god but believe not having one would give them a free hand. I have heard much worse proposed than dropping a baby from people who insist I have no morals. Only this week I viewed a video of a theist I have heard them propose things that would never cross my mind, even in the state I’m in. What would these people do if released from their bonds? How many babies would be dropped? How many people raped? How much death and destruction?

The only thought I find comforting when thinking about those who would question my morals, is that they may never find their way to reality. If they do I hope very much they find it through reason and a realisation of just how wrong they were.

My son is settling having cried himself into a manageable state. The crying actually bothers me less than the fact that I am the one doing nights to allow the rest of the family to rest. Tonight nobody gets a full nights rest but soon we will feed him get what’s left. There is always tomorrow night for sleeping.

Through all of this I didn’t find my morals or my ability to care tested to breaking, even though I am godless. Tomorrow I have to work and as always I will pull myself together and manage one more day on minimal sleep. I never was a sleeping sort of person and my first son still made it to 17 years old. Give or take an “act of god” (you have to love those fictional insurance clauses 😛 ) this one will also make it to a grand old age.

For all of those theists who would question my morality and pose examples of the harms they would enact on the world, think hard about your own morality and your mindset. To me they both your morality and mindset seem very fragile things. Consider this while you consider my flippant thought and consider how evil I may or may not be. Consider the number of christians in this world currently exorcising demons from their children (to death in one case this month) rather than struggling through the normal tasks of parenthood. Consider the muslim and hindi parents killing their own young daughters to protect family reputations from real and imagined crimes. Consider the theists who disown or worse their sons for loving someone of the same sex. Consider the doctrines that give these people cause to act on the thoughts that I consider flippant.

At least I know my thought was flippant and have no doctrine on which to base any dangerous act.

In finishing I wish to ask that you please excuse the rant like nature of this post. I think I myself will put it down to that ever present new parent sleeplessness 🙂

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

Recent events in Australia have highlighted the danger presented in being overly passionate about antitheism. Passion can sometimes cloud a person from rational thought and leave themselves and their motives vulnerable, open to manipulation and question. I think the German people in the wake of WWII would have some reason to agree with me given Adolph’s rise to power over a largely non-Nazi population. Emotion and rational thought will always clash and unfortunately we are all susceptible to emotion.

I myself have pointed out these vulnerabilities, these wounds in some peoples personal anti-theism because of the danger it presents. I have argued them and been accused of many things including being a muslim sympathizer, muslim lover, lefty and greenie as if these emotional attacks on my person made the counter argument stronger. I argue because I believe that as a community it is better that we open the wounds ourselves and not allow it to fester and poison atheism.

That is not to say I support that wonder drug and failed attempt at an ideology for atheism, atheism plus. Religion suffers from the problem of festering wounds because it is trapped in its codes, its unquestionable doctrine and always covering up its problems. Atheism has no such problem and we shouldn’t ever allow it to be so. Atheism plus all at once tried to present itself as the only perfect political correct voice of atheism – and got it wrong – as if most atheists were not already trying to be better and more rational people. We are trying to be more and we are not stuck in the past trying to excuse the horrors contained in ancient moral codes. To become better atheists atheism needs different voices, different ways in which to express our atheism and anti-theism, different ways to evolve our way of thinking.

The event that drove this article was a series of comparatively small Easter Sunday anti-sharia protests across Australia. Not unsurprisingly – because atheists come in all shapes and sizes – a small number of atheists surfaced saying they had taken part in the event, an event which is well in line with the current trend of hate powered ignorance being promoted in our current political and social arenas.

Protesting the very idea of islam is not new, as an anti-theist myself I often protest islam and the actions of muslims. Christianity has been at war with islam for hundreds of years, an extremely severe version of protest. Christianity is not alone, in other places other religions are also at war with islam. Islam, it seems, has a way of making enemies and action against it is certainly not new. My own anti-islamic actions are not new and I will side with most any anti-theist action that is free from hate of race, people or unsupportable agendas.

Unsupportable agendas is where we find our problem. Anti-islam groups can include ignorant people who don’t know a great deal about islam but will absorb anything they are told by vested interests, white supremacist groups who often fail to understand that Arab muslims are a minority group in islam, religious groups who often hate atheists more than muslims and we atheists and our anti-theism. Sometimes these groups are mixed, it takes nothing to find an ignorant christian nazi hating islam on social media or ever an undereducated reactionary racist atheist for that matter.

At the event the obvious swastikas tattooed about some peoples bodies was the focus of press coverage because news broadcast is all about sensationalism. I have personally known bikers who are educated and friendly people I also know the darker side of the clubs. It is very possible there was a white supremacist ideology present and that the tattoos were not simply decorative. That doesn’t make them the bulk of the people represented. The pseudo Nazi biker groups may have been the focus of the press but in focusing on them the press missed the fact that many of the speakers and organizers were right wing evangelist christians and known racists. These people who may themselves have little real knowledge of what an islam or sharia are are not stupid, they understand islam is an theological enemy to many and easy target that will bring supporters to their cause. Amongst their supporters would be the people willing to soak up their message on social media, people just like them. The leaders don’t care who comes to the rally however, to gain numbers they send a false message of nationalism, impinged upon freedoms and liberties and promote a hate of things-unknown amongst the many event attendees. The message is promoted with examples of atrocities in far off lands that don’t support the argument for claimed legal, political or social changes at home. These messages are meant only to appeal to the deepest fears of anyone in ear shot.

Neo Nazi groups as they are often called and evangelist christians don’t drive these campaigns because they feel we should remain a secular state, far from it. They argue that this is a christian county, a white country and demand that sharia endangers or “christian values”. They hate we atheists with the same if not more vigor than they do muslims and if they could rid the world of islam atheism would atheism be next? These people are not our friends and we should always give careful consideration to standing beside them as allies. Anyone with an anti-islam agenda who also supports an anti-atheist agenda surely has to be unsupportable.

To make clear my own perspective on who I perceive as an enemy, I am not frightened of a few loonies who want the world to be the thing they imagine. I am also not adverse to protesting islam or any other religion that harms individuals or restricts freedoms. Doctrine, regardless of its being political or religious, should always be open to question. Even though I believe hate is a very important tool in the human emotional arsenal (hating individuals with solid foundation for said hate is not something I would condone) I am against is any doctrine or belief that empowers blanketed blind hate on entire populations of people.

This is the heart of the issue for me, empowerment.

As the dust settles from the easter weekend the haters promote how widely accepted their hate is by the numbers of people who attended. No matter how ill informed the participants were, how varied their thinking, the level of their understanding or how wrongly they fear sharia law in Australia. The truth they will promote is that their personal version of hate was supported by a large number of people (though the numbers attending the counter protests were it seems bigger). The promoters and speakers will not shy away from using this support to justify their own underlying agendas to anybody willing to listen. They will not care that atheists also stood in the crowd as they call for christian law rather than islamic law.

The trouble is that biblical law is no less my enemy. Biblical law is often cited in our society and due to christian bigotry our legal system still struggles with some very basic concepts such as allowing marriage to be for everyone who wants it. Christian bigotry held back our legal systems with regard to abortion and birth control. When HIV became an issue christians became a problem spreading false information and slowing the implementation of free condom programs. In my life christian law or the impact of christianity on or laws, has had a worse impact on my friends and family. Christianity has subverted public funds for it cause like no other religion and tried to indoctrination me and my children. Christianity abused my grandmother as an orphans in their care causing her mental problems late in life and beat from one of my uncles his natural left handedness all with protection from legal action until quite recently. I already have one religion playing the part of very real enemy and I will not empower it to stop a possible or potential enemy. If anything biblical law is more my enemy.

Okay so as an antitheist I openly admit that I am also very anti-sharia but what is sharia and how do you stop it? What is it the protests are actually achieving?

Protests first, what do they achieve. This is problem that surfaces for antitheist often, entrenchment. Antitheism is largely a war of words where we atheists attack religion at the core of its doctrines and beliefs. There is not one standing argument for god that has not been refuted time and time again. Theists keep dressing up their arguments in different clothing but be it a coke can, and aircraft or a watch it is still the watchmaker argument. The last defence of theists, when arguments run out is to dig in, to entrench themselves in their beliefs and their community, to stop listening to any form of reason and deny all forms of evidence. When this happens over a war of words how much more entrenched do people become when they see a mob protesting them in the streets? Anti-sharia protests serve more inclined to create people willing to become martyrs and entrench others in defence of their beliefs.

How do we overcome this problem? Not through ignorance and hate. Of the people I have spoken too none seem to understand that sharia is an integral is part of muslim ideology and that to stop it the way they want to stop it you must implement thought policing. To stop a section of the islamic population forever seeking sharia you would have to outlaw islam or put in place constant surveillance of the islamic population to catch them out if they mention the idea.

Now obviously sharia is not a real impending problem, the muslim population are far from having the voting power to change our legal system. Even if they had greater voting power our legal system as it stands would take nothing short of revolution to change in a single generation. It would be our kids kids generation at best who chance to make that much change to our society. The only part we have to play is in the education our children about the dangers or radical politics of any sort. If we really want to ensure sharia never takes hold in Australia our best efforts are not spent creating extremists and martyrs but in educating children with a fact based education. Fact based education is import because studies now show that religious children are less able to recognize fact from fiction. Converts to islam are less likely to be from atheist circles because accepting a lie is harder if you know it for the lie it is, converts are more inclined to be those moving between imaginary friends.

I am no defender of that which even believers can't defend. Wanting to rationalise my dislike of islam doesn't and not go off half cocked doesn't make me a supporter.

I am no defender of that which even believers can’t defend. Wanting to rationalise my dislike of islam doesn’t and not go off half cocked doesn’t make me a supporter.

Sharia is an issue in the muslim community with communities often hiding their problems and settling them themselves. Even so not all muslim communities support the same level of sharia adherence, sharia is to some degree a matter of interpretation. Sharia in communities is not a problem for our nation overall and the idea of communities hold their own court has precedent in our nation. The commonwealth government many years back allowed Aboriginal communities to use tribal law so why not religious laws. The jewish community has, for maybe as long as they have existed as a community in Australia, held their own courts without legal grounds but nobody was concerned about that. The christian churches are now being found to have held their own court for longer abusing children and hiding the crimes through their own internal systems. It’s time some perspective was used here and perhaps time the laws of this country were again one law for all.

Stepping down from the extremes of sharia to halal food certification we find the one complaint people have which holds some water. Halal means accepted or approved so I’m told and can have relation to things not food. Halal as most people understand it is food certification and all too often is held up as a sign that sharia is being implemented in our country thought it is far from the same thing. The valid argument against halal is that by certifying foods corporations are taking it upon themselves to implement a religious tax on us, a tax which goes to unknown places and projects through unelected parties. There are many “taxes” on our food, costs and regulations that companies must undertake to sell their product in our market. In the name of profit motive halal is one additional and not legally required cost corporations would I think do well to avoid.

However, as consumers we do have a vote on halal taxation, we vote with our coin. You may think you are being hard done by if you have to go without your morning Vegemite while you exercise your right to not buy it or you can write to the corporations or even start petitions. Not having your Vegemite is a small sacrifice compared to the people who sacrificed themselves to get us shorted working weeks and other improvements we take for granted, maybe the thing missing is perspective. A corporation is a private entity not a government and they can make any decisions they like regarding products but they will always bend to the dollar when it comes to maintaining sales. Vegemite and butter didn’t stay on shelves long and baby Vegemite also didn’t last, we simply voted not to use these pointless variations on our trusty spread and the corporations listened. Consumer campaigns can work to change corporate minds.

When it comes to the necessity for halal certification in islam we have another issue altogether. Halal certification is not required at all. Mohammed is the example for all muslims to live up to (a very low level to reach) and even for mohammed it was enough for him to pray over food that he suspected as not being halal. Mohammed didn’t want his life to be more difficult than need be, he took shortcuts around protocol any time it caused him trouble. To top it all off vegetables and a very large range of other products never need certification or even praying over, they are not mentioned in islamic writing and considered free from doctrinal rulings.

There is one last item needs to be addressed with relation to religious food taxes. Why it is only now people are complaining? Jewish kosher certification has existed a lot longer without complaint. Why was it these protests were not held over the risk of jewish law? Most people don’t even know that the islamic food certification is taken from jewish law and that the jewish community have discussed working with the islamic community to do their certification because the two laws are so similar.

With so many unjust and corrupt practice’s being discovered in religious communities or organizations in our country why are some people so focused on islam? Where are the marches against sex crimes in religious communities? Where are the marches against tax free status for religions who play at politics and take tax money anywhere they can get it? Where are the marches against religion in our secular public schools? The simple answer for most is that those religions are more acceptable but that answer should be the wrong one for any serious anti-theist. ”

We anti-theist atheists have a duty to understand our enemies and the causes we follow in combating them. We have no reason to follow blindly the dictates of other people, we should learn about the topic at hand and the people pushing the agenda. It is a duty to ourselves as much as our community to not to support any one enemy over the perceived dangers of another. Even if we were facing very real dangers it is important that we stand to the side and make it known that we do not support the other agendas being promoted at events. We should remain intellectually true and honest to ourselves and others and not let emotion rule our actions wherever it is possible to do so. Failing to be honest to our own anti-theism and atheism endangers our personal creditability and downgrades the message we are trying to send.

May your gods remain fictional

The Antitheocrat.

Sometimes personalising a problem does bring discussion into the open. I am not against pushing buttons in a non-violent way :)

Sometimes personalising a problem does bring discussion into the open. I am not against pushing buttons in a non-violent way 🙂

Well that didn’t last long. A vocal facebook atheist killed three muslims and we atheists are everything evil. The person in question is not in my social networks, have no idea where he is vocal and I have no first hand knowledge of him or his mindset, I only know atheism does not inspire killing. Many a christian has named Dawkins and others as instigators but none have produced the documents showing these people as instigating anything.

The news stories (mostly in the US) have focused on the muslin/atheist aspect trudged under foot a long standing disagreement over parking. If we were talking about Australia I would be inclined to let that fact wash but in the USA where shooting and rage crime is common you can’t ignore that a gun nut shooting someone was just expected behaviour. The possibility that three people in the USA confronted someone, or he confronted them, ending in a shooting is not amazing.

statistically wIf we put this in perspective one atheist shot three muslims while a five second Google search will find endless stories about deaths associated with muslims killing christians and anyone they don’t like, christians killing christians and anyone they don’t like, buddhists killing muslims killing buddhists… I am not saying religion causes these deaths though the doctrines often allow or even promote such action, fact is it is still people and their own problems that cause people to kill. Using your religion as an excuse to kill doesn’t automatically make it the religions problem. The big difference however between atheism and theism is atheism is only a denial of theist philosophy and doctrines, atheism has no counter proposal or doctrines. An atheist need no more have a counter proposal to god than anyone else does for unicorns or elves. Atheism has some writers, none taken as god like authority and none I have ever seen that promoted killing. You may be an atheist and kill but you can not say I killed because Richard Dawkins said so (he hasn’t and wouldn’t, just an example).

I did see something which upset me even more during this time, more than all the talk of how immoral atheists are. I spend a lot of my time correcting people errors about atheism, my fellow atheist not theists, and this was one of those things. Someone said they were ashamed to be atheist because of this one event. It is right for us to condone this one persons actions but how is it being part of our community is suddenly the worst thing to be? You simply don’t see christians getting up saying how much they don’t want to be christian every time someone shoots someone else in a church. Theists take pride in being theist regardless of how often people use their religion to excuse killing. An atheist kills, there is nothing to show he killed because of atheism or in its name, and we have to be ashamed of who we are. This upsets me.

From this one immoral baby eating atheist to everyone listening or reading, I personally, without doctrine or belief, do not condone killing (or baby eating).

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

Well not quite, though I have been told often how immoral I am without god, allah or the bible it isn’t the truth theists wish it to be. I go as far as arguing that it is not me they accuse but their fragile beliefs they defend. If they can’t get morality from their beliefs, if you can get it without them, what value can you give those beliefs. It doesn’t take long to find good caring law abiding atheists, even one still hanging on to many of the ones they had when they were religious and I’m sure the theists know this deep down under the mental barriers they erect around their beliefs.

This topic comes to mind not for the first time but as I sit waiting for my wife’s scheduled midwife visit there is a woman sitting in front of me who’s jumper is covered in little metal crosses and she has an angel tattoo on her ankle. Suddenly, first time today and like so many days, religion is bought to my attention. So this isn’t a new topic for many atheists but one that is for some reason hot on my mind.

I cant help but wonder what morals theists think we should have, why the ones we have are not enough for them and how are theirs better than ours? What’s wrong with how I live my life and how does it hurt anyone?

hellmedMidwife visits are not new for me nor are accusations of immorality, this isn’t my first time as a parent and with my eldest turning 18 this year I suspect my morals may be in working order. To date I have not eaten my offspring or anyone else’s (regardless of baby eating being another accusation against atheists) and the fact my eldest has never been in trouble with the law or even looked like he is able to get in trouble with the law may be some measure of my ability to navigate morality. I’m as sure as anyone can be that my son will developed into a fine young man (give or take regular teen parenting issues). I myself have never been in prison, I haven’t even lost a license and haven’t had a point on it in 10 or more years. I don’t have any issues with my morals or those I have instilled in my son, why would anyone else given our record to date? Even if the claim of immorality as supported by statistics (it isn’t) why would you tarnish us all that way? I don’t call all theist paedophiles because so many of your institutions are under investigation world wide.

I am far from being a perfect parent – who is – and having made my share of mistakes but I also recognize that there are far worse parents with far worse kids in this world. Giving in and buying my son an XBox when he was 16 and a mobile phone at 17 don’t really count as terrible errors and not immoral but for me these were significant points in my parenting I am as yet unable to call good parenting. My mistakes are significant to me but certainly minor in comparison to some and of those some doing worse than I feel I have many believe in the fictional moral giver. I am a realist about everything possible and I don’t even promise to parent my next one better. There will be differences and problems I – and all parents – can’t hope to navigate before they happen. 18 years ago we may have foreseen the rise of gaming but who could have known the social impact. Now when your teens don’t talk to you they do it in your lounge room (as my son does) instead of out with their mates getting drunk or stoned (as I did). Who would have know? I don’t know the future or pretend I can control it. What I do know is that as a parent I will do my best to instil a since of community and caring in my next child, the same as the sense of community and caring I have had most of my atheist life.

So what is the difference between being a moral theist and an immoral atheist?

Not believing in a mythical god is an easy one. Given I’m the 3rd generation of atheists on my fathers side I can’t see that as being important. If not believing in a god is a moral problem it is one I can’t make sense of because I have no evidence to suggest there is a god or that the proposed gods (more than 3000 of them) set a good moral standard. Even buddha who is meant to have been all about peace and wisdom had a low regard for women an unacceptable notion in or modern society and not a sign of sound eternal morals. Any immortal all knowing eternal god character would give perfect morality the first time not give us primitive morality and say “that fits your current thinking, use that” so we later work out it was wrong and find something better for ourselves. Maybe giving us the wrong morals is a test and because theists are not developing they are failing the test. In any case how would giving us the wrong morals be moral? As an atheist this is easily explained, I understand gods are fictional and their morality equally so. For me the 10 commandments are no more a problem than any of the other 300 commandments because fiction books that says things about human behaviour are everywhere in literary history we just don’t consider them god given or law. The bible is just a terrible fiction novel, it is most certainly not historical or moral. Even if holy book weren’t fictional there is no morality lesson in “thou shalt have no other gods before me” or “thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”, these are just the demands of a jealous deity, not morals.

I often hear it said our morals are given to us by god along with every stage of human development and learning. These people know how to cheapen their achievements and every achievement of humanity but there is no evidence to suggest we don’t learn and developed or morals on our own. If our morals were given by an overlord we would all start out with the same morals and even if we factor in free will, the end result of our morality would be a variation of the basic moral code. I have since primary school had an interest in socio-economics current and historical, I have travelled a little, lived in China a short time and known my share of people from a range of religious and cultural backgrounds. I can’t see the effect of a supreme moral giver in the behaviour of my fellow humans. I have spent around 15 years working as a children’s entertainer, I even see differences in how children behave and reason and it varies a great deal suggesting there is no starting morality only learned behaviour. I most certainly can’t see this overlord morality. If I am to believe rules like “no gods but me” is a god given moral instruction, one of many amongst the thousands of gods and rules we know, how is I exist and live as an atheist. I known some will say I don’t but lying about me to protect your religion doesn’t change the facts.

One final point on this line of thought, if god gave us our morality how is it satan (or any other evil fictional entity, demons are very common in religion) get the blame whenever a theist does something immoral. Satan (and kin) it seems are the primary excuse given for bad behaviour and bad parenting. What use is the claim of god given morals if satan (and kin) can simply make you break them? Thinking here of christians and their satan and his being sent by god surely indicates gods low regard for morals, he is tempting you – more than life itself would – to break your moral code. God it would seem wants to end morality. Is god a moral giver or do you find your own morals and god tries to break them?

I don’t know which of these lines of reasoning is best, they all seem equally bad. All I can gather from the evidence at hand is that there is no god involved in any way in our lives and most certainly not in anything called moral giving. We have to be personally responsible for being good or bad people. I think personal responsibility and knowing you are responsible is one of the best paths to good morals. Passing the blame to invisible magic men invites immorality.

It’s been two days since I started this article and I considered letting it go until a christian again bought the topic to mind. Religion is not my every day life.

nothing doing aIn an attempt to lure atheists into a moral trap this theist put forward a hypothetical that proposed kicking two women in the stomach and killing them, the variable being that one one was pregnant. Not just any version of pregnant but six months pregnant, a time indicating she had decided to carry through her pregnancy. This person was suggesting we decide a new course of action for her by killing her and another woman with the premise being a need for us to select which death is morally superior? Not one atheist fell for this very obvious trap because not one atheist thought there was a moral option. After having some trouble getting anyone to take the bait he changed from two women to one pregnant woman who he would kick to death because the baby when born would be noisy and keep him awake, this was his idea of a moral compromise. These people scare me, they have no morals I can see and represent a danger to humanity.

I will admit the person in question is an idiot but stupidity is not rare in religion and those who defend it. I have seen similar mindsets time and again, this is not even the worst example. How with this level of thinking can we or anyone take the idea of theistic moral superiority seriously? When theists are willing to consider – even as a hypothetical argument – kicking anyone to death as a moral option, theist morals seem to be a very sad and inferior thing indeed. This persons only concern with this entire line of question was an unborn child, there seemed to be not one second given to the thought that killing a person is wrong. Is that the level of morality learned from the bible? These people are the ones arguing religion with atheists, they know and recite apologetics and represent the “knowing” section of the theist community. Even the most dull minded atheists (yes they exist) reasons 10 levels above these people. Is christian morality (and muslims argue the same way) such a dangerous and meaningless concept that the stupid represent its most knowledgeable representatives.

If we take a second look at the problem the idiot presented and consider only the woman and the baby as nothing else matters then the problem is at least better represented.

Using personal experience, it being the best way to argue, not entirely hypothetical. I have a wife one month from giving birth, her belly kicks like escape is number one on it’s mind. At no point in the past 8 months have I thought the child more important than my wife. If I thought it was my choice to make I would never choose the life inside her over my adult living loving wife nor would I regret making the choice. Too make choices for her over her body and her life, to put the child’s life before her welfare doesn’t show my wife to love and respect I owe her. I don’t care for the morality of the options however because I hope with us having actually decided to have a child we have a healthy one and the choice never has to be made. If I were not educated and knowledgeable about sex and impregnation, if I had gotten my wife pregnant by mistake, had she not wanted it, if this was something we did not both want, even if I wanted and she didn’t, I would not have one second have thought to stop my wife choosing to abort. Maybe this is the real moral issue. My eldest will not get anyone pregnant by accident, he knows enough to not do so because my morality doesn’t say to pretend sex doesn’t happen or it is evil, that some sex is not really sex. My morality doesn’t enforce the result of rape or correctable mistakes on people and pulling out is not contraception. My morality says educate them and make their lives better than mine, not, keep them ignorant and with child at 13. I don’t ask who do we kill, I ask how do we avoid it.

The thing is that I am not alone in my thinking on women, christians also killed babies to save women. Until the advent of modern medical assistance baby’s heads were often crushed, killing the baby, if it was thought she couldn’t give birth safely. Many cultures had practice’s that allowed abortion for reasons as simple as illegitimacy to health. Simple fact is, a woman may have more babies if she lives, she serves no purpose dead. Adult women have always been more valuable to society than unborn children so why do christians make so much fuss in our modern age? Often it is the same christians who deny aspects of science and medicine that have saved babies dying on mass, do they want the dark age killing of babies back? Why do they choose to overlook their own history? Why do they think their protection of the unborn has anything to do with morals? The idea of killing babies is not unknown to the Abrahamic religions or their texts. The abortion argument is not entirely new but is entirely over blown and over rated. How about we just do what is morally right, how about we let women decide what to do with their bodies.

I suspect this is not the last time I will discuss morality as I will go on being told how immoral I am the rest of my life. For now and from this perspective I will let the topic rest.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

What a nasty cycle religion creates. It creates a cycle of fear and depression in believers on which it feeds like a leach. Like a leach it also provides the lubricant to keep the fear alive as it sucks the life from it’s victims. Sucking the life from people is not how I personally felt during the past 2 days, being quite immune to the methods I viewed, I do however suspect that a few poisoned and toxic brain cells were discarded in the wake.

Religious scams are so simplistic. Send us money, as much as you can. We will send an African a bible some time and you get brownie points for the heaven that, even if it exists, isn't ours to sell.

Religious scams are so simplistic. Send us money, as much as you can. We will send an African a bible some time and you get brownie points for the heaven that, even if it exists, isn’t ours to sell.

I have spent the past 2 mornings in a hotel and not being good at spending time alone in hotels I don’t sleep well, creating as it does long periods of stagnation in four walls (being the immortal atheist I am said to be, I never want to find myself in prison). At home I’m not much of a television watcher, the sheer stupidity of news reporting and sometimes the content, cause me to rage at the screen. Subsequently I have been banned from television news for around 10 years. That is how little television I watch and how little I enjoy it. Documentaries and comedies are my limited television diet. When alone in hotels the rules change and I use television as both company and entertainment. From the time I step in the room until the minute I leave the television is on.

This does present the problems of being faced with the increasing levels of crap regarded by television executives as entertainment and the need to channel surf. My laptop, writing and books offer occasional relief but not enough, I need noise to work and without noise find reading sends me to sleep. Being faced with television as my noise option I also have to face the fact that I end up waking to morning television and nothing is worse in the morning than christian televangelists (late night television psychics run a close second). No scam is quiet so blatant or been so openly allowed throughout human history as religion and the pinnacle of religions contemptible nature is money hungry televangelists.

In two days I have witnessed the most blatant scam and in those two days the price of participating in the scam went up from $300 to $500. Two different presenters, the same shallow project and slightly different god given offerings being presented. These are not donations or payments mind, you are asked to plant seeds. Both presenters continually say they want you to sow seeds, and that sowing will create positive outcomes for the person giving. Both guys had also been explicitly and conveniently instructed personally by god to get these seeds from 1000 people.

The second guy had me wondering if they were going to ask for half of everything their followers owned. He was rattling on about how he gave half of everything when god called him to give and nothing is too much for god. He had lots of anecdotal stories of people who gave and magically the phone rang saying they received money there and then as he spoke to them. One story was of a guy giving and a client who was late paying, paid. Even if it were true are his audience so stupid as to believe that only god could have caused someone to pay their outstanding invoices. What I did get from the sales pitch is that god loves your money and having people lie to get it is just fine by god. Even if were an element of truth to any of the stories they we so embellished and edited that they were nothing short of a lie. The preacher did eventually get to the point of asking us for the new and increased seed price of $500 but I felt at the end he was naming his minimum price. I suspect his minders let him ask for more because his sales pitch was better, you could get your seed at a discount price of only $500 from him, much cheaper than half of everything.

For around 30 minutes both mornings I watched these people promise everything and nothing to get my money. The first guys seeds were for blessings and bonus points with god. If you gave last year you need to remind god this year. The second guy was mystical cash returns, give now and money will just appear everywhere in your life. The more you give the more you get, give enough and maybe someone will drop dead and leave you a fortune (sweet thought). Both guys insisted that giving them money was going to drive satan away, the only common tie outside which church doing the asking and the project they were offering to fund.

The project itself was not often mentioned and if I had not decided to listen to the methods and words used I could have missed it. I was unusually focused on the content having woken early and little else to do before heading out. The project was sending bibles to the third world. Yes, bibles. These people over 2 days insisted you give $300 – $500 or more for bibles (no specific number of bibles was ever discussed while I watched, it may have been 2 worth $250,000 each).

So offering nothing but lies and bullshit to those giving in this life they were offering fire starters to Africans worth $300,000 and $500,000. Let’s face it, if bibles were going to save Africa it would have been done long ago. Many places in Africa were introduced to the christianity and the bible long ago, the world oldest known christian culture is in Ethiopia where people died on mass during long periods of drought and political turmoil. These idiots alone have been delivering bibles for years, some result should be clear by now. The bible being the single most printed, sold and stolen book in history, even the first book printed, surely the world should already be saved.

If, if you were the sort of idiot who believed this crap surely sending a bible to a random African address would be cheaper and not have you paying the wages for multimillionaire middlemen for god. Why does god need middlemen anyway? For $500 you yourself could send a box full of bibles to a church in Africa and they can share them out.

The saddest thing for me in watching this is that I knew someone who watched and believed, she sent these people money. She had all the DVDs and books they sell and she still died before the world ended or any of the promises came to pass. Her family found that the cash rewards were not coming in her life or after her life and eventually sold their farm and moved on. If she got any blessings at all ever there is no evidence of it. Maybe she got her brownie points in heaven but even if you believe that shit is real how can you really believe lying and cheating US millionaires are the key to getting those points. It is more likely that her wishing at heart to be a nice person, not her delusional state and making other people rich that won points. All these scams do is make someone in the USA richer, then they die too.

retrospectPeople like the lady I just mentioned (not an anecdotal story, I knew Thelma personally, I live 2 farms away and sometimes helped out if they needed extra hands, I was out with her grandson when I met my wife, I don’t need to lie for atheism) don’t get better or think better with religion playing on their fragile mental states. Televangelists play on peoples fears and their depression, they target them and enhance their problems to scam them out of their hard earned incomes and investments. Thelma believed the television news was a sign of satan and end times and these people re-enforce that belief.

The victims of these scams don’t seek help for their conditions because religion presents itself as a cure. By properly fearing the stories of evil told by the religion you allow god to save you from the religion and everything will be fine. This relationship is often and correctly compared to abusive relationships because getting the victim to accept the abuse they receive is a key to both religion and abusive partnerships. The fact is religion doesn’t cure and people start to avoid the victim making them even more alone, miserable and insecure. People find them harder to associate with and this only gives religion more hold. Thelma was eventually left with visits from people with a vested interest in her money being given to their church as her primary companionship. Her husband had little say over her money and he continually fought with her over how much she was giving them. The rest of us only went near Thelma if we were asked to come and help unload hay or other farm tasks best left younger folk. At our farm we put effort into making it look like we were never home so Thelma wouldn’t visit, we even hid ourselves on occasion when she did. She used to comment at how often we were not on the farm. This is just one sad but true story of how religion destroys peoples lives and it didn’t do much for us in turn. It made our lives change, we hid to avoid being rude, nobody really wants to tell sad deluded old women to fuck off.

Thelma was addicted to televangelists, she would whenever possible lend us books or videos knowing we were atheist (and before I became a father with children to protect, I would not be so polite now). For us, her nearest neighbours (only vacant farm lots and cows between us) avoiding her was our best option.

Religion is a social disease and like many diseases it feeds on the unhealthy aspects of the thing it is infecting. Religion seeks weaknesses in people and played them to its advantage, growing in them like cancer. Televangelists are amongst the worst of religions cancers, the lung cancer of humanity.

I am going home now with this short and rant like post behind me. I hope one day we will be free of bad television and religion, until then I will return to my state of mostly television free bliss (and consider sending my $500 😀 ).

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.BADA 1

Atheism, theism, deism, agnosticism these and the many other often useless and unproductive terms get used and abused in discussions of a theistic nature. Mostly the practice of a theists, some less informed atheists also manage to fall into these traps. For the theist it is often ill considered arguments learned from a professional in the art of “lying for jesus”, for the atheist it may be the result of prior indoctrination or social conditioning that has not been completely shaken off.

On to business…

Thinking GenerationBELIEF.

Belief is an odd thing that needs some explaining.

Most people believe in things, only nihilists believe in nothing, they seem to think we all live in the matrix computer. Other than the nihilists we all start with a few basic testable assumptions about our lives and the world around us. Theists do often try and throw nihilism into a debate not understanding it negates all argument even their own. Simply put, if none of us exist what use does any argument or any god actually serve? I prefer to accept that we all start with the same basics, I am here, I am alive, I have four senses (touch, sight, taste and hearing) to begin exploration of my existence.

We are not at belief yet because I trust rather than believe my senses. My trust has limitations because I also know they can be wrong as would anyone who has tried to catch something under water. There is still room to examine things in my environment and confirm things I normally accept. For instance, a rock is hard and I have no reason not to believe my senses here, but, the reason a rock is hard is something my senses are unable to tell me. I know my senses don’t explain everything and I will spend my entire life learning about my environment and to that end I am one of the lucky ones, as are all people willing to open their minds.

At this point I will quickly throw off science rather than bog down in it. For some reason science causes problems for many theists yet science is not about belief and is not a rebuttal to religion. Science is a method of discovery and reporting that allows us to build a better evidence based picture of our universe. You don’t believe science you accept the value of science as a tool and in turn accept the value of its findings. If you “believe” science you are not understanding science. Equally wrong is the idea that science is a “phenomena”, science is not some magic mystical out of the ordinary thing. We humans have experimented with our environment since we first made tools, science is the modern and more accurate way of addressing our already exploratory nature.

On to belief finally because saying we accept science doesn’t mean we cant also believe things, atheists can believe in many things. The problem with belief is not that atheist have it but that all belief is not equal, this idea confuses some people.

Belief based on intangible evidence (evidence I can’t put in a test tube and boil until it reveals it’s secrets) and a theist favourite is love. It’s a favourite of mine too because in my own life I believe I’m loved and it is lovely. Should I have my belief wrong and this is not be the case I would not be the first person to believe in love based on reading the evidence (words and motions) incorrectly. I can’t very well test my wife’s love without a sounding jealous and possessive, traits I believe are undesirable and dangerous to relationships (and another belief I have based only on life experiences). So love, how I assess it, even how I manage to maintain it, remain based on largely intangible evidences,. Life it turns out is not always about picking up every rock to see how hard each one is, often we judge our environment on prior experience, we decide to not lift every rock but choose to believe the next rock is hard. Should we really need to know we can always go a little OCD and go back to lifting. An even better and less confusing word to describe this belief would be trust, we trust our judgement based on the available evidence and previous experience. Regardless which word you use, evidence based on real world events and actions still constitute a form of evidence.

Religious belief, the problem belief, should be a short on to explain. Religious belief is best described by the word faith, the final argument for all gods. Faith by definition stipulates that evidence is not required you just need to hope and if you hope hard enough it will be true. I don’t understand it myself, it sounds like Santa for adults. This form of belief differs greatly from the earlier belief in that only your own opinion matters. Evidence is not only unimportant but can be ignored and even denied in favour of simply hoping you have it right. This version of belief should be opposed by all atheist as it is at the heart of what constitutes a god. The biggest problem for atheism is that theists hoping for several millennia that there is a god still haven’t managed to provide a single clear definition of what god is or what god means. Religious belief is basically belief in whatever you imagine/guess/hope/are told/feel like. Some theists use doctrine to base their definitions but the instant anyone show doctrine to be incorrect or falsified the last defense is always faith or religious belief, the belief in nothing simply because “I want too”.

FAITH.

I know I mentioned it but this one is meant to be an argument buster for the theists. Basically, if you have faith everything is okay and no argument can defeat your personal want to have an invisible friend. The problem is that saying you have faith is like insisting anything can be real if only we just want it hard enough, the christian bible even has a pretty line about praying and the mountains will move (praying being an extension of having faith). I could think of a few things that still don’t exist but have very high levels of faith. Santa for one would be much more fun than most gods but how about a rabbits that excrete chocolate, the pet we would all like to own. All those kids for all those years knowing beyond doubt that Santa and easter bunny were real, so much faith and still we parents shop for gifts and eggs. Nothing is more childish than thinking faith is a good argument except having father in adult imaginary friends.

RELIGION.

So many people try to palm off their belief in a god as not being religion. Statements like “I’m not religious, I have a personal relationship with jesus” are just plain stupid. Working from this particular example, Jesus is a mythical character associated with one specific set of religious doctrines (and edited to fit islam), anything associated with jesus is christian and christianity is a religion. Other arguments are put forward by people around the idea that you are not part of a big church and only attend sermons and do bible study in a house or a hall you are not somehow involved with religion. Quite well known for this variation on stupid was a preacher named Banana Man, sorry, Ray Comfort. Ray, a christian preacher with a small christian congregation but a congregation none the less, claimed to not like religion and to not be religious. Talking to these people you can always find a specific variation of god with a specific religious doctrine behind their ideology. Sometimes they even claim to be atheist probably under the common misunderstanding that atheism is a belief. Regardless of what you imagine your relationship is with your fictional friend, if you have one called spirit or jesus, without religious doctrine you may very well not have that specific variation of friend. You are religious and the variation of friend tells us which religious foundation.

CATHOLICS.

This is a good one that should have Catholics hopping mad. To try and justify their own beliefs and separate themselves from catholic dogma many christians claim catholics are not christians. A christian is quite simply someone who believes in the mythical character jesus which catholics most certainly do. The biggest difficulty for these catholic denying christians must be the fact that the Roman catholic church collated and edited the bible they use as their definitive reference book. Other than the eastern orthodox churches all christians are little more than catholic cultists (itself a cult of earlier jewish beliefs, which are an amalgamation of earlier known beliefs).

BORN AGAIN.

Bloody ridiculous unless you popped out of a vagina for a second time. Being “born again” would be easier described as confirming your brain washing as it is mainly a undertaking of people already religious but need to take that one extra step towards labelling themselves clinically insane. They demand that they believe in adult imaginary friends much much much more than everyone including other christians who they describe as “not proper christians”. Born again christians have serious problems and extreme indoctrination method with which to instil them.

PROPER CHRISTIANS.

Now I am not a biblical scholar but I know the bible says you shouldn’t judge others. I would even go one further and say that it says only god can judge, and yet, so many christians judge this way. The obvious case at hand are the many atheist who once had some variation of religion, some prominent ones were training as ministers, at least couple I know of were priests or in seminary to become priests. How christian do you need to be to be christian? Still some christian judge the christianity or former christianity of others to try and devalue their becoming anything but christian. How dare you devalue someone else’s life in any way, more so, how dare in front of your invisible friend do his job? If someone says they were atheist I am wary but I don’t right away say you were not a real atheist even though many a born again christian see their earlier christianity as being atheist. What I do is ask the person about their earlier atheism and work out the actual condition of their belief. Only then do I let them know if they are lying about having been atheist or have for some reason unknown to me developed a mental illness. I don’t have an invisible friend who claims the job and yet I still consider the other persons position with some care. I hope nobody minds me holding the higher moral ground over anyone who tells someone they were not a proper christian for simply changing sides.

My relationship 1RELATIONSHIP.

I detest hearing this, not so much because it is stupid and wrong but because it lacks respect for family and friends of the person saying it. Hearing someone say “I’m not religious, I have a relationship with jesus” says to me nothing short of, “I am an idiot who thinks my imagination more important than my family”. The christian religion is having an imaginary friend called jesus so you get no medal for understanding your own beliefs but then you want to bring that imaginary friend to a level equal to or higher than the real life people you are meant to love and care for. How can I respect you for even suggesting such a thing? Your imaginary friend can not hug or kiss you, your imaginary friend can not nurture and feed you, still you want to dismiss the people who can and imply they are of no more value than your imagination. You my friend, your with the relationship with your own imagination, you are a class one idiot.

As an atheist I have one very real life with very real people who get from me 100% of the love and care I have. If my family don’t feel loved and cared for it’s only my fault, no imaginary friend detracts from my ability to work harder on my relationships. No imaginary friend takes my time nor his representatives take my money, all my resources are for my family. If I have spare I have and do give to my friends and broader community. No imaginary friend gets to claim its importance over real life flesh and blood people, my family have it better than your just on principle and I feel for them being related to such an emotionally stunted human being.

proudly purple AATHEISM / ATHEISTS.

This may be long.

1) atheism is a belief.

A dictionary, a good dictionary, will define atheism as “a lack of belief in the existence of gods”. I had a software dictionary that got this wrong and I no longer install it on peoples computers for them, if you can’t get a simple one line definition right your dictionary is rubbish. This dictionary now offers 2 definitions, they may have the correct one now because I complained often but they still have the old one offering atheism as a “doctrine or belief”. These words are as far removed from atheism as gods themselves and in line with some very misleading theist argument. The point of defining atheism as a belief is to bring it down to the same level as theism. This offers two basic and incorrect outs for undereducated theists, one is the idea that it is easier to deny another belief, all you do is say “it’s wrong, I’m right”. The second is related to the idea of atheism being a serious threat to belief, if atheist can live without gods why can’t other people? People changing between beliefs is easier to accept because they may return if you can convince them they are wrong, if they stop believing and life continues without god, the problem of getting them back is escalated and for most people impossible. I for one can not see a time in which my mind is still functioning where I could convince myself to believe something I know to be unnecessary and a lie.

2) atheism has doctrines.

There are no doctrines involved in atheism. No rules, no doctrines, no leaders, no churches (just some people playing churches to keep the social feel), no definitive writings, no authorities. There are individual atheists who do all the things humans do, following, accepting without question, accepting authority and playing church but every atheist is an individual, not drawn together by doctrine but by one single thing, a lack of belief in god. There are many people who have written about atheism and many good quotes from their writing but no one person or writing can be said to represent atheists. If I look at my own reading I like Smith who views atheism as I have all my life, I also like Dawkins and as a biologist the man is brilliant but Dawkins got some things wrong with his atheism. This is how many of us read and view our atheism, everything is open to question and blind acceptance is not required or even demanded. The other things with these books is that they are not read and interpreted for us once a week by someone who’s only qualification is often that on book or books about that one specific book. Atheists read everything, as I write I have in my bag The Happy Housewife (a christian book from 1975), a copy of the Muslim Teens Handbook and in this pad device I am reading The Necessity Of Atheism. I don’t always read on religion and atheism, this is just a good time to sample, I also like reading fiction and science.

Atheism is only a counterpoint to the philosophical proposition of god/s and as such atheism runs out of things to say as fast as theists run out of arguments for their god/s. Every few months I see the watchmaker fallacy come to life yet again, this time a house, next time a car but always the same argument. How can atheism find new refutations for the same warn out arguments that have been waved about for hundreds of years? We don’t have our own doctrine to build on, only the same iron age religions and their extremely pathetic modern counterparts.

3) atheists just want to sin or be immoral.

There are more than 300 rules in the bible alone on how to live your life, not suggestions, god given commandments. To live by them all may drive you insane and most certainly make you a criminal. Christians ignore these rules though the bible makes it clear all of the rules are of equal importance in getting to heaven. It seems even christians don’t put much value in the concept of sin and like we atheist choose their own morality.

For catholics this even less important because all they need do is say sorry. Not mind anyone they wronged, only to their imaginary friend.

To my knowledge most religions and most followers have similar blind spots in their beliefs that they choose to ignore as it suits them.

For an atheist sin is easy, there is no such thing. Sin is an imaginary illness created by an imaginary friend to which it is the only imaginary cure.

When an atheist does bad and atheist put their life on the line. With one life to live there can be little reason to want to spend it in prison or devoid of friends and family. It is simply easier to be a good person. When a theist does something bad they see forgiveness and life forever in a magical wonderland, sometimes because they believe the bad they did was in their chosen deities name. Being bad must ideally hold less meaning for the theist than the atheist.

4) Atheists are satan’s…

Who cares what we’re meant to be, that particular god entity is no more real that the other one. We may as well agree that we act in the name of Frosty the Snowman.

5) atheists just want to rebel.

I am a little rebellious. I questions, I don’t stand for flags or anthems (but have pride in many things about my country) and I don’t always vote the same way. This is not what theist mean though, they mean rebel against their imaginary friend. Again we come to the fact their friend is imaginary. How anyone could seriously think I was trying to rebel from their personal imaginary friend I just don’t know.

Taking this argument to the next logical step, what about the law. Atheists have to accept personal responsibility for their action, there is not asking forgiveness or blaming you imaginary friends evil twin. Studies and statistics can be used to show this has an element of truth because it has been shown that atheists make a considerably smaller proportion of prison populations than they represent in the general population. Figures from both Europe and the USA have crossed my desk showing this to be true. Given this it would seem statistically that atheists do in fact respect law, just not mythical ones.

6) atheists don’t exist.

Having never in my life believed in any god, uttered a single prayer and believing the only thing that could get me to believe would be insanity, I find this offensive. I may punch the next person who says it to me and risk the assault charge I find it that offensive. Fancy having the balls to tell anyone they don’t exist, to simply with one simple phrases deny a person any value. To take away any good they have done, to imply they have no place in the world. I know atheists exist, I am not christened or baptized and even have my for skin (sorry if you were about to eat :p). No religion has even be allowed to claim me and I was raised without religion. I am most certainly atheist and my life has value and has had value to many people (I hope mainly positive).

I am not easy to offended but his offends me every time it’s stated. I am slightly offended that I even have to write about it.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

NOTHING.

1) Universal nothing.

Lets start with one simple fact, atheism is not science nor does it require science. Theism is a purely philosophical proposition and atheism is counter argument on purely philosophical grounds. Without doctrine trying to keep us ignorant, having a open and educated mind may be an advantage to atheists, but, not a requirement of atheism.

Science is in part to blame for this one but theists are to blame for its continued use in the form they use it, knowing full well they are lying. This idea of nothing being nothing has been refuted time and again, continuing to use it is simply lying for jesus.

Nothing as it was proposed would be better phrased as nothing-we-as-yet-understand. There are many theories about what was before the big bang but we don’t have a solid case yet (that’s fine, not knowing and saying so is better than guessing the answer, ie. god). To our knowledge and in our experience a state of nothing is not possible and we have no reason to think it possible. Science suggests that all of the matter and energy now in existence has always existed and we have as yet no reason to think otherwise. Only the state of existence may have changed becoming the universe we now know.

To the theist nothing sounds better because claiming science can’t possibly have it right, nothing exploding and becoming the universe is just stupid, is a far better story to tell (a lie). They’re right that nothing becoming everything is stupid but for those of us not trying to rob people of their hard earned wages by selling them lies, god is nothing. By our understanding that means god is nothing did some magic and from the nothing came the universe. Nothing is not a scientific position, it’s a theist one.

We know this claim means they think god is something but if that were true where is god now? Any real god should be somewhere in all of our scientific knowledge but god as theists would have it remains a nothing. Not one scientific paper accepted in academic circles says “and then god”. Theist would have us believe this is a conspiracy but if god was valid god would then be required to prove the next step in research. Science doesn’t just forge ahead ignoring past findings, it can’t. Worse it has to prove past findings or find itself basing its research on incorrect foundations. Back in the early days of science, in Darwin’s day, people were building entire scientific works on incorrect assumptions and when the original assumption collapsed so did the entire tree of research. Modern science doesn’t make that mistake as often and it discovers the problems very fast when it does.

If for one second I was to take up the case of god and run with it it would simplify down to this. There was god; god had nothing and no friends; god made some spirit friends but they had no substance; trying again from nothing he made a universe of pretty things then put some new friends on one of the pretty things he made from nothing; not knowing how to have friends made mistakes, putting things where he shouldn’t, like apples he didn’t want eaten; rather than being a good friend and guide the friends he created he punished them for his mistakes; over time he punished, threatened and killed his friends on mass demanding they play his way or burn forever (at least as kids most of us just took our ball home when the game wasn’t going our way).

I am an atheist, I don’t need science to be atheist but ask me again which nothing option makes more sense and I have to side with science every time.

2) god nothing.

This idea is something I don’t see as often as I once did but for the entire history of religion nothing has ever been forgotten. Some arguments may change form but they keep retuning regardless of how bad they are.

This idea presents itself in the form of “without god I am nothing”. It fits with many other top is already covered, the universe, atheists, life, none of it would exist without god making it. All the efforts and the suffering of humanity become cheap and meaningless with this one statement. I studied formally for a total of around 20 years of my life plus informal learning to get where I am and yet in a single breath the theist says your knowledge is from god. Why the hell then did I have study, I fall apart in exams, it wasn’t easy for me to get through my education. Why did I bother when I could have it seems just prayed for knowledge.

Any of us who know people or have met people with home schooling or from less educationally advantaged countries, places where they do pray, we know it to be bullshit. I would like to meet the theist who had not one day of education, never seen a book and prayed 6 hours a day. I find children wonderful, I chose to give up my trade and now entertain kids for a living, I love the fact I can tell stories and make terrible jokes that my audience will react to with none of the adult inhibition we all learn. I think that christian would have a child’s mind, in short burst I may enjoy his company, I could make terrible and very simple jokes about things he understood, smelly feet maybe. I couldn’t stay long, the best thing about entertaining, I don’t have to keep the kids at the end of the day :).

Without god I am exactly like everyone else with an open mind. I am a biological entity doing my best to get through life as best I can and willing to consider every option as I do. The other difference between me and someone so tied to an imaginary friend they can’t manage life without it is that I am not wasting my one short life on imagining something better, I am work to make it happen now and beyond for myself, my partners and my children.

MonkeyMadnessTRUTH

Personally, I don’t believe 90% of preachers would know truth it if it tripped them up, kicked sand in their face, gave them an additional kick while they were down and screened I their face, “I am truth”. I have seen so many preachers present arguments and have it ripped wide open and yet the next week they are out repeating he same argument word for word. This level of dishonesty, as it must be in the preachers who claim to be the knowledgeable members of their community, is inexcusable. I can excuse it to some degree in run of the mill sheep theists but I have personal experiences that tell me dishonesty is not a rare commodity in the religious at any level.

Still when a believer says truth, their honesty towards their fellow man is not normally what they mean. What they mean is some sort of atheism, science breaking truth, a thing so true only believers can find it.

Buddha was the highest of all people – and gods – according to buddhists, he became enlightened and nothing was beyond him. He became a super-god above all people and gods. He achieved this contemplating his navel for a very long period, this great revelation, this great revelation, and still it took us the better part of the next 6000 years to discover the true nature of electricity. The stuff that flashes in the sky, stuff buddha would have seen, was beyond buddha’s navel contemplating ability. Considering your imaginary friend to be the source of truth is no different to navel contemplation. It was not until we did the work of generations, learning, testing and discovering the truth of our existence that we started to learn what it was. In not one in our learned truths has god been a requirement, worse, it has often been a hindrance.

There is no truth in religion, religion more often maintains levels of ignorance. There are people in this world with no better qualification than having studied one particular variation of mythology and passing themselves off as educated. These people are often happy to present themselves as experts on everything or as knowledgeable representatives of their community, exercising that communities political and social power. A number of these people have never even studies a second variation of mythology let alone all competing mythology. Even then, if they knew every mythology known to man, it would only qualify them to tell fairy stories. This isn’t truth, this is nonsense.

OPEN MIND

This one is laughable. I never had to give religion much thought when I was younger. I was allowed to learn on my own and I chose to do Religious Instruction and go to Sunday School (sorry mum, so I could go she has to sit through 3 hours of catholic Sunday sermons, she is still non-religious, but was raised anglican, it was a torture she undertook just for me) until both became boring. Oh I got told all the cute kids stories they tell while missing the death and destruction of the bible, but I never took it as anything but art class with fairy tales. I had better thing to do with my life. I had a mad aunt who insisted we went to church if we visited on Sundays and I remember complaining a lot if it even looked like we would visit on a Sunday. My mum thought it good manners to go so we went a few times, just to polite we had to go and act like we knew the songs and pretend to sing along. In my 20s I returned to looking at religion and considered every one I could find looking for something of value and failing to find it. We all have that point in life where we go from invisible to contemplating our mortality and for me it meant considering as many philosophical perspectives and scientific facts on the topic of death as possible. I considered what religion was presenting and I have been atheist all my life.

Many atheist don’t have the luxury of my secular upbringing, many come from very religious backgrounds.

To say that atheist have a closed mind is to ignore the fact many of us were once religious and every one of us has religion shoved in our face at some point in our lives. It ignores the efforts of many religious people to promote their beliefs everywhere they go and all the bumper stickers that must have made someone rich. It ignores the fact that the bible is the number one selling book ever, the first book ever printed and a copy was once in almost every hotel in the world (everyone I stayed in but it seems to be less frequent). Even the morons and joho witlesses have to admit that not many escape their door knocking. Christmas, easter, passover… I could go on all day with the many religious holidays and events we all suffer (I hate carols, simplistic rubbish music and played everywhere) during our lives. You can’t not consider religion.

Forget what telling an atheists they have closed their mind says about your efforts to make your beliefs known, it says your god is impotent when it comes to making itself know. Are you sure you want to admit that?

Looking from the atheist perspective, looking back over this blog post, looking at what it means to be atheist, considering how inescapable religion is and how ignorant and denialist the religious can be, it is laughable to think we atheists are the ones with closed minds.

Open your minds, take in everything and learn to evaluate it.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.