I had a big debate with Kordahi over dinner the other night about whether or not I was wasting my time with the religion v science discussion.
One of the points I made was that the “live and let live” motto that atheists have pursued over the last couple of hundred years hasn’t worked. The religious right around the world are fighting for control of our political and education systems. In supposedly “civilized” countries such as Australia, the USA and the UK, we have witnessed the rise of the Christian right political parties. They are well-funded, well-organized, vocal and forceful. They are trying to reverse the intellectual and social freedoms that were hard won by rational thinkers over the last 2000 years. And if we don’t check their rise, if we don’t prevent them from taking power, I fear that we will wake up one day to discover that we have lost those freedoms we take for granted. We will wake up in a world where believing in bronze age mythologies is deemed not only acceptable, but mandatory. I don’t want my kids to live in a country where irrational thinking is considered equal or even superior to rational thinking. The thing I think most of you forget is that for the majority of human history, that’s how it was! Anyone, like Galileo, who used evidence and rational thinking that contradicted the beliefs of the religious, could be threatened with execution. Let us not forget the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Cathars. Let us not forget the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.
Let us not forget that the Bill of Rights of the Texas Constitution (Article I, Section 4) last amended on September 13, 2003 states that an official may be “excluded from holding office” if he/she does not “acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being”. Let us not forget that North Carolina’s Constitution, Article 6 Sec. 8 states “Disqualifications of office. The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God….”. Let us not forget that Tennessee’s Bill of Rights: Article 9, Section 2: “No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.” Let us not forget that in the 1988 U.S. presidential campaign, George H. W. Bush said, “I don’t know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God.” (source)
The good news this week in Australia was the most recent census data, which shows that the number of people classifying themselves as having “no religion” has jumped from 15.5% of the population (2001) to 18.7% (2006). (source)
It is still a frighteningly small percentage of the population (4 out of 5 adults in an educated, intelligent society, still believe that mythological, supernatural beings govern the universe), but at least it is slowly growing.
Now – for my detractors who say “you’ll never change people’s minds”, think about this – the 2.2% of the population who considered themselves religious in 2001 but no longer do – haven’t they changed their minds? Unless, of course, they are all new adults who happen to be less delusional than their parents…
And now for the video that demonstrates why Christians should be feared:
http://view.break.com/291886 – Watch more free videos
Remember – even the warm, fuzzy Christians who don’t advocate violence, believe in the same gods this guy does. They believe in the same bible. They believe the same mythology.