Among Religion's Harmful Influences in Our Lives...

"America was founded on Xianity!" insist some Xians.

 

Not true. Politicians who need Xians' votes to win elections pander to them by writing laws that impose their values on all Americans, but the "founded on" claim is not true.

 

From the "Closed on Sunday" laws that kept so many stores closed one day each week when I was a kid, to the attempts now to ban abortion and even contraception, some Xians won't quit. The most extreme Xians want to replace the Constitution with the Old Testament.

 

Federal Appellate Court Judge Richard A. Posner, in his book Sex and Reason, said that among the world's nations, only America has both Catholic and Puritan influences. He said that only America has both Catholicism's strictness-in-theory-and-laxity-in-practice and Puritanism's laxity-in-theory-and-strictness-in-practice.

 

What has your experience been? What evidence have you to add?

 

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Well, first, religions stress obedience but do not have a reasonable criteria for that which should be obeyed, except women obey men; a sick proposition for many women. The healthy course of action for women married to batterers and/or alcoholic husband is to get out of the relationship as fast as one can. Anything less creates emotional and sometime physical scars difficult to heal.

The imperative to submit has the same problems and solutions.

Religions stress service, but does not have a good record on giving. What good does it do to give food to the hungry, clothes to the naked, the medicine to the sick, and education to the ignorant if one does not address the causes of hunger, nakedness, sickness, and ignorance? They keep pulling the drowning out of the river and don't go upstream to find out why so many people fall in. 

Religions make a terrible racket about unborn children, even as they blame and criticize women with dependent children. 

Religions attempt to get nursery rhymes, myths, propaganda into our publicly funded schools and expect to be excused from learning basic science while demanding academic credit for learning they should have accomplished and refused because it is "against their BELIEFS"! Can you imagine the hubris of such reasoning and legislation?!

Religions make a public spectacle of themselves praying before city, county, state, and national events even as their listeners come from a wide variety of faiths. Swearing on a bible is as powerful as swearing on a pile of rocks. 

Sports teams put on a circus, praying to a god no one sees, hears, smells, tastes, and feels, expecting almighty power to influence the outcome of a child's game! I mean, how immature can one be? 

I could go on, but you get my point. The greatest, most disgusting thing after all these abuses is they  whine and wail about a "war against religion!" Of course there is resistance to them, they committed the outrageous acts, they need to face the facts. We do not want, need, desire, or support religion and god coming into our public lives any more than we want it in our private lives. 

Oh! that brings me to another issue, people I don't know, don't want to know, intrude upon me and my property with their "loving" propaganda. I say, "STAY OFF MY PROPERTY! KEEP YOUR RELIGION YOURS!"

I have found it disturbing how Protestant evangelicals and right-wing Catholics have high-jacked the discussion about what it means to be an American citizen.  Their attempts at 'revising' history are everywhere.  The values a pluralistic, secular, well-educated, well-informed society seem to fill them with fear, in my opinion! 

The progressive movement is somehow threatening, I guess.  Cultural conservatives are clinging to a sinking ship.  Clinging onto old ideas and rituals/habits instead of accepting change as a natural process, for example.  Yes, social change is difficult and messy sometimes, but to resist is futile. The worldview of the 'creationist' threatens to send us all backwards as a culture and a nation, to some romantic vision of a better time.  This has consequences for us on the economic level, not to mention making our country appear intellectually stunted!

I will quote Susan Jacoby, from her excellent book "The Age of American Unreason" to expand what I'm saying:

"Creationism denies the most critical scientific insights not only of the 20th Century but of the 19th Century [and] has adversely affected public education in many areas of the nation and is one important reason why American high school students know less about science than their contemporaries in Europe and Asia." (p187)

The Age of Reason is in jeopardy and being replaced by people who say what they 'feel' is true...and the truth comes from one accepted source: Holy Scriptures.  I would like to think of religion as a 'nurse crop', like Daniel Dennett compared it to:  It sets up the foundation for what is going to come next...it was important as a stage of human history but will die away and bring on a better crop of ideas and human progress in its absence.  A truly evolutionary idea.


 

I agree, absolutely. You address the major issues and in my opinion, they need to be confronted when and wherever we hear and see them. Fear is so subtle, and hope springs from delusional thinking. Just think of the "Great Awakenings" that sprang up in USA over our history. I wonder if there is a correlation between delusional economic theory as we have now and delusional religious theory? I'll have to do some digging. Jacoby is a treasure!

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