Can we please call the enemy by its real name?

We now face a new menace in the Mideast: a body of fanatics (armed with weapons we left) who will kill anybody who gets in the way of their turning the clock back to 1500.  They're openly threatening the US.

Once again politicians dance around the real problem.  It's not terrorism.  It's not even Dubya's "evildoers."  

No public figure has the guts to call the enemy by its real name: RELIGION.  A vicious, ineradicable set of shared beliefs that is responsible for 90% of the armed conflict in the world (and Muslims are involved in 90% of that).  9/11 was driven by religion -- specifically, by the presence of foreigners on their holy soil, i.e., the whole country of Saudi Arabia.  We left quietly a few years later.

Sunnnis and Shi'ites slaughter each other over who Mohammed's heir should be.  Most Americans aren't aware of the difference, and why should they be?   Who cares?  But it matters a great deal to the Muslims - because that's how they've been programmed.  In Nigeria, animists (I think) are fighting Christians and Muslims.  Such insanity!  Such horror over stories that didn't happen!  

It seems to me that religion gets a moral pass, which is even more significant than its humongous tax breaks. Should secular humanists be more vocal in identifying religion as the source of so much human suffering?

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Comment by Joan Denoo on August 28, 2014 at 9:49pm

"Should secular humanists be more vocal in identifying religion as the source of so much human suffering?"

A profound and unqualified YES!  and the sooner the better!

Comment by Loren Miller on August 28, 2014 at 8:58pm
Whether you want to talk about the Khmer Rouge, the Soviet Union or Russia, or the various forms of religion out there at the moment, what most if not all of them are after in the long haul remains the same thing:

Comment by Daniel W on August 28, 2014 at 8:43pm
Alan I agree religion is a villianous concept. I wonder, what do wo make of the Khmer Rouge, the Rwanda genocide, the horrors of the Cultural revolution? Soviet pogroms, genocide in East Timur? I religion a subset of a greater evil that includes the same mindsets and practices? is there a tribalization that includes religion as one aspect! Is the evil, religion, or the us/them dichotimization?

I think about these things too much. :-)
Comment by Loren Miller on August 28, 2014 at 8:32pm
As long as religion is seen by the general public as a respectable institution, no one will be able to call this spade a spade and gain any traction with it. This will very likely be a war of attrition where atheists and nones repeatedly point out the obvious and pick away at the reasoning that has been used to this point.

Remember, we think this is obvious. The average Joe does not. We need to be repetitive and we need to be insistent.
Comment by Alan Perlman on August 28, 2014 at 8:07pm

More than belief...the brainwashing includes the essence that precedes belief, e.g., a student once told an atheist professor friend of mine that he, the student, would be Christian even if he'd been born into a Hindu family! 

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on August 28, 2014 at 6:08pm

Back in the 90s the Jesus fish became a popular accoutrement on the back of people's cars. As a creative response, some people stuck on an identical looking fish except for little feet and saying "Darwin" instead of Jesus. Not to be outdone, the xtians then came out with a more elaborate arrangement of a Jesus fish swallowing the Darwin fish. I remember marveling at the exquisite irony of this, not only because it directly illustrated the evolutionary notion of survival of the fittest, but also because it exposed the true christian goal of conquest. I don't understand how the world can consider the history of the catholic church and not run them off the face of the earth. For centuries they made Hitler look like a rookie, and yet here they are "infallibly" preaching away with their bilious nonsense, abusing the hell out of their tax exemptions, generally inflicting misery on unsuspecting millions and continuing to amass untold wealth. I don't doubt for a second that they'd be torturing and killing anyone and everyone who disagrees with them if they could still get away with it. And then we have those fun-loving Islamics . . .  As you say, these organizations have been the perpetrators of most of the evil throughout history, and they try to claim that atheists have no moral grounding. The ultimate weapon is belief, and they're masters at manipulating it. Centuries of practice makes perfect!


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