I recently signed up to volunteer for 'Recovering from Religion.' http://recoveringfromreligion.org/

I had to furnish contact information for two individuals.

My perspective is that religion causes people to suffer in a variety of ways, and I'm trying to reduce that suffering.

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Comment by tom sarbeck on August 11, 2014 at 9:44pm

A true story from the late 1950s. A chain of paint stores where I lived then advertised a sale:

Buy one gallon of our best paint for $9.99 and get a second gallon for one cent.

A man I worked with bragged about getting a gallon of quality paint for a penny.

I was in college part-time and just had to teach him some logic.

I told him he had not paid a penny for a gallon of ten-dollar paint, but had bought two gallons of five-dollar paint.

He got real pissed off at me.

I recently googled the paint company's name and found that a year or so later it was in court for false advertising.

When Barnum said there's a fool born every minute, he low-balled the number of fools.

With only one fool per minute, conservative xianity would go extinct.

Comment by Andrew Bradford Hoke on August 11, 2014 at 9:42pm


"Do they want religion in the classroom? Only if it's coming from "the one true religion.""


Fully rejecting the absurdities seems like a good first step. Reject nonsense. 


Comment by Andrew Bradford Hoke on August 11, 2014 at 9:39pm

I agree Bertold. Religion is suffering, and it starts in the individual mind. Absurdity, confusion, fear, anger and ultimately suffering.

Comment by Michael Penn on August 11, 2014 at 6:19pm

I agree with you fully, ABH, on Daniel Dennet's proposal for education of all religions in the classroom. Since this is school and not church it would break the so called "hold" on religion in public schools that fundamentalism wants to have now. Do they want religion in the classroom? Only if it's coming from "the one true religion." This would stop them cold.

Comment by Andrew Bradford Hoke on August 11, 2014 at 4:04pm

I mentioned this on another post, but education of all religions would probably diminish belief in the supernatural, to point out Daniel Dennet's proposal.

Comment by Andrew Bradford Hoke on August 11, 2014 at 4:02pm

I see education problems with blue and red demographics...

Comment by tom sarbeck on August 11, 2014 at 3:50pm

"We don't have sex while standing because it looks like dancing," said a character in a movie I saw  a few years ago.

Religions do use fear. It's most effective with the poorly educated (= conservative Repubs).

Comment by Andrew Bradford Hoke on August 11, 2014 at 2:03pm

Hey John,

Thanks for sharing some of your story. It sounds like you were fortunate that your parents were not big holy rollers. Some parents have deeper loyalties to the church than to their children. Example: A child comes home from church and tells his parents that he was abused by a priest. Do the parents get upset at the priest? No, they beat their kid for saying something so awful to them - This Happens!

Also a good point about fear being religion's main tool. I am reminded of this eponymous law:

  • Thomas theorem – "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences," a social law as far as there are any. (After W.I. Thomas and D.S. Thomas.)

For this reason, something that does not really exist (God) becomes real in the mind of the believer, and then people fly planes into buildings.

Religion causes suffering, and it starts in the mind.

Comment by John Aultman on August 11, 2014 at 12:35pm

I've never blamed my parents for introducing me to Religion (Southern Baptist) they were on-again off-again Christians themselves both had seventh grade educations and did the best they could to raise my brother and I.  My father served in the in WWII and suffered shell shock (PTSD) which he treated with alcohol.  He died at 43 of cirrhosis of the liver. My mother worked as a receptionist until she married another alcoholic.  I didn't start going to church until I was ten and I think by that time I was beyond brainwashing stage.  The sermons I remember were hellfire and brinstone which scared the crap out of me and the pitfalls of dancing that the devil uses to lead you to sin (It's a Baptist thing).  By 14 the fear had turned into resentment and that led me to ask questions, which was not welcome, which led to my Sunday school teacher telling my mother that while I was a good boy I needed to stop asking questions and just believe.  I never went back and my mother quit a few months later.  That resentment still remains not at my parents but at the preacher, Sunday school teachers and deacons who's only defense against questions was to try to scare you into silence.  Fear is the club religion uses to beat it's followers into submission.

Comment by Andrew Bradford Hoke on August 11, 2014 at 8:14am

Tom it sounds like you really found the right thing. I think it's helpful for people to tell their own stories to someone who will listen without judgment. In fact I think it's helpful for both parties. 



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