Apr 13, 2012

Religious Freedom in America. Theocracy is Trying a Comeback

As many faithful here in the US have been celebrating some of the most important religious holidays in April, it's worth noting that the many of our compatriots don't understand the constitution, do not have knowledge of our history, and, most importantly, do not recognize other people's rights when it comes to religion, nor do they recognize the wall of separation between church and state.

This is one of the better documentaries I've seen on the issue of religious freedom. The focus is King, North Carolina, but the statements and beliefs those residents also reflect religious people all over the country. What's great about this documentary is that once the subject of religiosity is examined beyond the slogans and bumper-sticker mentality, a whole other pictures emerges: that of contradictions, belief without even a smidgen of skepticism, lots of ignorance of someones' own faith, and ample fanaticism.


It's a long documentary but definitely worth-watching. Scott Burdick became a filmmaker after he witnessed the small town of King, NC having a rally for Xtianity that had been ignited by a returning Afghanistan veteran who threatened to sue the town if they didn't remove the Xtian flag from the public Veteran's Memorial.

There are the voices of intolerance but also of those who, in the name of religious freedom, argue for a separation of Church-state. There are also a few skeptics and non-believers, but I think the best effect comes not from those who criticize the believers but from the believers themselves.

Richard Dawkins commented, 

"One highlight, for me, was the spectacularly stupid woman around 0:22:40. She begins by denying that God could ever sanction slavery. Scott then gets her to read aloud the relevant passage from Leviticus and she then completely changes her tune, saying that homosexuality is worse than slavery. That's right: homosexuality is WORSE than slavery. Why? Because the Bible condemns homosexuality and (as she has just that minute learned from Scott) it doesn't condemn slavery.

Even more horrifying is the section (starting around 0:59) labelled "Following Orders": a covert allusion to the Nuremberg Defense. Scott asks people to put themselves in the position of Joshua, ordered by God to slaughter the native peoples already living in the promised land, or of Abraham, ordered by God to sacrifice his son. One after another, the faith-heads say (reluctantly in the case of the young man with glasses and curly hair, but with something close to relish in the case of the odious man with a bald head and little beard) that yes, they would commit genocide and infanticide if God ordered them to. This is as clear an illustration of the evil of religion as I have come across for a long time.

With all the tools of reasoning and knowledge, and having the relative safety, leisure, affluence, freedom it's truly incredible why people believe crazy stuff. Take the identifiers out, or the identity of the author, and then examine the moral imperatives in holy books... most people would see the horrors and the ridiculousness of those beliefs. They do that for the ..others people's faith already! 

So, it must be a virus of the mind: self-replicating, zombiefying, fear-inducing, paralyzing, reason-killing, hiding the infection and making the host believe this virus is the host's greatest asset!

And, now something totally new.... (or, old)
Author D.M. Murdock (a.k.a. Acharya S.)

Evidence is for persons who are curious about what actually happened or actually is, so no evidence can convince the religious fanatics. They ask for a ton of evidence from the skeptics (and that the skeptics ..prove there's no god) while they present none to prove their own extraordinary claims.