Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

This is a video blog. In other words, instead of ranting in writing I just did it at the camera.
Not sure why I had such trouble with my English today, but perhaps this is coherent enough.
This is on the Abrahamic God, Rape, Sexism, Feminism, Darwinism, and Atheism. Specifically, addressing the religious argument that without gawd, rape is permissible. I argue to the contrary from a secular humanist perspective.

Advertisements

I see myself as a skeptic, but I hesitate to associate myself with atheist groups. There are reasons for this.

563768_342904879141739_1630566303_nFor one, taking advice from musing velociraptors is questionable at the best of times.

I was a fan of Christopher Hitchens despite his faults, and still enjoy prominent atheists like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. I recognize that organized religions are detrimental to us as a species, yet it seems as though a great many vocal atheists take a sexist page from the religious handbook (arguably the very worst of religion).
I have no problem with offending people with the truth — to jar people into reality.
I think it is fantastic when Harris and Dawkins openly challenge religious doctrine and its defenders and I do not begrudge them their insistence to call into question people’s personal ‘anecdotal’ experiences (one cannot debate against such perspectives). It is important to be ‘militant’ about challenging people to communicate in a logical fashion, as worthwhile debates simply cannot exist otherwise.
That is why the seemingly inherent misogyny of the online atheist is so especially troubling.

558119_418315591586115_1109174470_n“God told me we should be together!”

A great many well-subscribed atheist Youtube personalities are very fervently anti-feminist. I realize that the only binding principle that actually unites atheists is a lack of belief in gods and that all other topics including gender, ethnic and political issues are fair game to break ranks on. However, one would think that atheists would want to distinguish ourselves from the many negative elements of religion, foremost of which are undoubtedly regarding women and gender-roles. Not so, says The Youtubes, as popular atheist uploaders such as Thunderf00t and self-titled ‘The Amazing Atheist’ demonstrate with their anti-feminist rants. They object to the idea that women (majority of the world’s population) could possibly have a unique perspective. To them, it is sexism itself to allot ‘special treatment’ to this historically (and modernly) enslaved and oppressed half of humanity. They enjoy using their magnified voice to take statements out of the context of centuries of oppression and generally projecting themselves (fat, balding white-men) as victimized BY women. Even mainstream atheist icon Richard Dawkins himself got into hot water not only dismissing but actively mocking the concerns of female atheists at a skeptic convention some years ago (as if women in ‘first-world’ countries should just shut up because women elsewhere have it worse).
Evidently, sentiments of sexism or racism are just as alive in the atheist community as they are doctrine in their religious counterparts. I could never find common-ground on the subject of dismissing basic human liberties. It is precisely because I would not that I find myself an atheist today.

391087_440066362751771_1805497146_n                                                    Is there an atheist on the recliner to the left?

But fear not, for not all is lost. Male-atheist ‘Cult of Dusty’ recently decried sexist statements on his videos in defense of fellow outspoken atheist Jaclyn Glenn. Of course, both of them share a ‘fashionable’ knee-jerk reaction against feminism while in the same breath praising equal rights. Perhaps they should take some notes from the seemingly sole shining online example: atheist Rebecca Watson?  It is clear, that even among the most open-minded (popular) atheists, there needs to be a reconciling of values between the non-believers and the rights-activists if there is to be any future of common-goal within either group.

 

“The abuse of women and girls is the most pervasive and unaddressed human rights violation on earth.”                     – Jimmy Carter

I consider myself a feminist.

1794583_1411270042456098_24096862_n                                                                  “Any day now…”

As such, it is blatantly obvious that I depart rather starkly with others of my associations due to my degree of perception of feminist issue.
For one, I do not — as some feminists do — shy away from openly naming the institutions and groups directly responsible for the many layers of woman-hatred that are prevalent in even the most progressive of nations worldwide. Whereas many feminists are quite content to react to single individuals’ sexism, I find myself among others (particularly atheists, be they associated with feminism or no) as having no qualms about calling out religious groups and specifically patriarchal (predominantly monotheistic) religions in general as the leading causes for misogynistic social axioms that have been indoctrinated into the human populous over the course of history. This far-reaching pervasiveness seems to inexorably seep into the fabric of all nations – to varying degrees.
Further, and much more radically, while all but the most fringe feminists dream of gender equality, I feel that such a goal aims not nearly far enough.

29542_593199634029363_415837869_n                                                                             “Ta-Da!”

Females are not just part of an arbitrarily ostracized religious group, or members of a perpetually beleaguered nation, nor even part of a brutalized ethnic group. No, women are ALL of these and constitute 51% of the TOTAL human population (and that is not taking into account the rampage of femicides in some of the most populous countries on earth). Considering that throughout the course of our entire species, females have been the targets of atrocities due to either accidental membership in an outlying group/ethnicity/nation, or targeted specifically because of their gender, it should be easy to persuade even the most staunch Men’s Rights Activists that women have been the single most oppressed group of humanity in all of time. (Unfortunately, such convictions are late in the coming)
Being that 99% of all the truly horrifying violence in this world since time immemorial has been initiated, perpetrated and continued by males, I feel that women asking ‘equality’ with us men is in itself a great inequity.

zzzzzzzzzzzfdd
Please do not mistake my position for insecurity or self-loathing. I am quite satisfied with my existence as is. In fact, sharing the trope of my gender, I consider myself to be an unflinchingly vain individual. While I’ve always surfed the edges of poverty, indeed in some cases diving right in, I have nevertheless been immeasurably privileged in my life, enjoying such experiences as earning the status of veteran, becoming a well-traveled linguist, and being the owner of a small business. No doubt, all this is due in large part to the accident of birth that is my male sex, heterosexual orientation, and Russian ethnicity. While I feel no particular personal guilt, I find it appalling on the most innate depths of both reason and morality that more men not merely do not share my view, but are actively working against even the most basic progress of women’s right to exist. Surely given all of history, if one cannot stand to concede my admittedly extreme views, one can at the very least take the time to listen and sympathize with the vast number of regular, reasonable, and rightly troubled feminists – women and men.

Marriage is the sexist, socially-accepted selling of people into male domination. I find it, and the unnatural state of monogamy it attempts to enforce to be quite abhorrent. Therefore, I greatly enjoy the idea of turning the whole twisted institution on its head and having the female take full control of the whole process. As such, if I were ever to indulge in the masochism of marriage, I would insist that it be I who loses a last name in that arrangement. All the interesting history was on my mother’s side anyway.

Now, I realize that most people do not exactly see it all that way, so allow me to address some concerns you may raise in response to the above sentiments.

First of all, this video says everything I need to say about monogamy.

Its bought and paid for, dammit!
And I’ve got the receipt to prove it too!

Second, some men act as if marriage is a trap* set for us by the conniving females – a loss of our independence, as opposed to the concept of gaining ownership over another person.
*please don’t read the entirety of that article. That entire website is rather distasteful, but alas, illustrates the mentality I am referring to perfectly.
And I’ll grant you, things aren’t exactly as barbaric as straight-up human-trading like in those wondrous biblical days certain folks pine for. You know, the good old simple times, where women were legal property to be sold off and their primary function was to produce heirs. Heirs who, by the way, would be traced by the patriarchal line – a practice about as logically backwards and intellectually absurd as insisting that women came from men, not the other way around.

whynotmatrimony
You should listen to him. After all, he’s a Doctor!

In a way, I understand the male resentment of the whole arrangement — upon entrance into this contract, we lose our sexual independence as the marriage implies a monogamous relationship. Naturally, the same is true for women but we’ll get to that in a minute. Men may feel marriage is a woman’s invention (its not) to insure they are around for the raising of children and providing for the family and so on and so forth and some men take to the ‘natural’ model of this idea and have no problem with it. Traditionally, the men are still in charge. Modern-day ‘first-world’ nations continue to have an earnings gap of in favor of men (here is a great video explaining why thats the case), so its still pretty easy to be the ‘bread-winners’.
So whats the harm, REALLY?
Speaking of people-spawn… (an oft-cited by-product of human coupling in and outside of marriage)
…it really IS pretty shitty to run around impregnating folks and then leaving them alone to deal with the psychological, physical, fiscal, familial, social, and possibly religious implications.
Like, WAY worse than jaywalking.

deadbeatdudes
Happy Father’s Day, MOM

Many women, on the other hand, are raised since childhood to look forward to The Wedding Day. In fact, it is often cited as the ‘Happiest Day of a Woman’s Life‘.
Isn’t that sad?
To think that getting hitched to some bloke is the culminating achievement of a person’s existence?
I would think not, and indeed some people want more from life.
But alas, not everyone sees the practice as backwards.
Okay.
Be that is it may, I don’t exactly see the appeal of partaking in an archaic tradition of subjugation — even if your modern variant might not actually be at all oppressive. But hey, I guess thats what happens when people let others define the idea of ‘romance’ for them. You get long-dead people’s ideals entrenched into a social psyche and you end up with people raised into gender stereotypes of pink and fluffy versus blue and gruff(y?) even if those things might not feel at all natural to you on an individual basis (and probably shouldn’t on a group basis either). Also, unlike the males, there is a certain kind of pressure for the female to be chaste — a by-product of the days (not exactly all gone) when a woman was seen as a tool for procreation (and it seems ‘used’ tools are worth less…because people are ‘things’ and a woman who know how to enjoy her gentiles is ICKY! And probably a witch).

mrs..anderson
Considering the options…

So anyway, I’m sure most people aren’t so morbid about the whole affair but I find the idea of other people’s wacky binding rituals of two lovers (lovers, provided it isn’t one of those arranged-marriage deals) to be pretty much useless to me. Whats worse, this forced, unnatural monogamous relationship (meaning it governs the sexual aspects of the marriage as well) is not only made the standard socially AND in the eyes of the Law, but all too often has religious elements tied intrinsically into the entire affair (a by-product of theocratic rule spilling over into modern-day government regulation).

And so the two people burn an effigy to the deity of fertility and dance naked around a fire on the full moon….or have the patriarch of the bride pass her off to the new penis-haver while people throw rice and stroll solemnly through a religious temple — whichever sounds less ridiculous to you — and then they are MARRIED.
Yay.
Now these two people are entitled to certain government-sanctioned privileges and have a noticeably different social standing as opposed to their unbound (unwed?) counterparts. Well jolly good for you, then!
Mazel Tov!

Now back to the important topic – myself:

526804_475130382540833_370298069_n
If I’m awesome and you know it clap your hands!

My current lover of several years and I are considering marriage. She is a practicing pagan and as such, the religious aspect of such a union are important to her.
Before we became lovers (how juvenile does ‘girlfriend/boyfriend’ sound?), we agreed that in order to avoid the rather cruel act of betrayal that is ‘cheating’ (on people, not on tests), we would inform one another if we found other people attractive BEFORE we deigned to sleep with them (sleep as in having The Sex). If the other party was not comfortable with this revelation, we would attempt to find some resolution. If no compromise could be made, we would part amicably as adults (not as Jerry Springer guests-stars).
This arrangement of genuine, beneficial-for-everyone honesty has worked quite well for us.

A year ago, the prospect of marriage was broached by me as something that made fiscal sense if she were to go into the military. This led to the revelation that marriage is something that is ultimately important to her spiritually. Nothing about our previous arrangement would have to change and since it means so very little to me, it would have been odd for me to refuse. So, I set terms for the arrangement to the effect that she would need to buy me an engagement ring and propose to me in a crowded (but fancy) restaurant. Were I to then accept (I would), we could have a ceremony with one of her Wiccan priestesses presiding as cleric and I would take her last name (which sounds more cool than mine, anyway).

pinkyoutfancy
If you like it put a ring on it

I find this to be an example of a healthy relationship and a rather fun reason to partake in the ritual of marriage. It changes literally nothing about my life, except maybe change the way I file taxes (we are already co-habitating), and grants my partner something that is important to her because of her beliefs.

I see no reason why the trust that can be established between two people cannot be extended to other people as well. Arguing to the contrary is akin to claiming you only have enough love for exactly one person. Some people have more affection to give. Others feel just peachy with one partner. I say do what makes yourself and those you care about happy and you’ll be just fine.

In short: make your own definitions. Define yourself. Do not allow others to rule you with entrenched social axioms and absurd ritualistic peer-pressure.
I think that is very basic and sound advice.

government is on the womens side...right
“Hey Chris Brown, I was thinking of beating the shit out of my wife and then having 11.7 million fucking idiots be OK with that. Any tips?” – John Cheese

Hi! I am a war veteran who owns my own military-grade self-defense business. Some might say I’m a ‘man’s man‘.
I’m also a ‘beta-male mangina’.
At least according to you, because I just don’t give a shit about your sob-stories or how we men have it ‘so much tougher’ than women — especially when you bring up your ‘grievances‘ to undermine topics centered specifically around women’s issues.

false rape accusations...my asshole
Oh and less than 4% are false accusations

You are literally so insecure, one can find hordes of little monsters like you and your buddies in every comments section not strictly guy-centric, holding each others dicks, throwing around gay slurs and slut-shaming.

FUCK. YOU.

Men have NEVER been systematically and consistently targeted throughout history because of our gender with genocide, persecution, enslavement, and sexual torture all with the blessings of both church and state.
And we likely never will be.
Women have and continue to suffer and endure at the hands of men like us. They are strong because of their struggles. YOU are the weak.
I respect strength, and you have none but that borrowed from your mothers.
You advocate for the rights of people who have dominated everything since everything started existing. WTF kind of crazy are you?
You became obsolete the moment you got your first hard-on. You are not special merely by virtue of being male (though the world will certainly treat you as such). One has to EARN respect and you are running the other way.

So save your poor-me stories for one of your knuckle-dragging, keyboard-warrior, “alpha-male” monkey friends and clear the fucking air-waves. You all are great at stroking each other while sneering at the real continuing struggles of people directly affected by the corrosive environment you create. You shame us all.

Me? I’ll stick with the words of “betas” like George Carlin.

HOOAH
Die for your country? Of course! Basic burial rights? Maaaaaaaaaaaybe.

I’ve written about the religious discrimination that Pagans face in mass-media outlets of the United States before.
Pagans do not worship the devil, but peacefully praise varying aspects of nature and humanity in reverence of faiths that far outdate more modern, monotheistic, patriarchal religions that were conversely born of vast histories of violence. The USA military only very recently allowed fallen soldiers of a Pagan affiliation to bare a pentacle (a pentagram with a circle around it) on their tombstones. Pagans, in all their various faiths (Wicca, Asartu, and Druidism among others), make up roughly 2% of the United States’ population. Being true religions, with histories of extensive and brutal genocide done unto them by followers of the other more pervasive faiths,  it is therefore somewhat baffling to me that they are relegated to the same niche in modern entertainment as werewolves and vampires (who, aside from some unfortunate cases of porphyric haemophilia or very widespread body hair) are most certainly not historically repressed groups.

There have been quite a few ‘evil witch’ movies in recent years, and I’d like to discuss them just a tad.

Wicked Fun
Beauty = Good, Ugly = Evil. Got it.

There’s a new Oz movie out now. Its REALLY “deep”. But thats already two fragmented sentences, so enough about the reboot or prequel or whatever it is, I want to talk about the original. Sort of.

In the book ‘Wicked’, the official sequel of Wizard of Oz, the ‘Wicked Witch of the West’ was born with a terrible deformity (including a horrible allergy to the most common substance on earth) for which she was shunned and abused merely by misfortune of looking different from the other characters. Meanwhile, Glenda the ‘Good’ Witch (Whitey McHonkyKlan) laughed in Elphaba’s face (Wicked Witch of the West’s non-slave name) after her sister was killed by a falling house. Hilarity ensued as residents of Oz gleefully celebrated the horrible death, singing, dancing, and declaring it a national holiday.
Glena asks the occupant of the house if she is a ‘good’ witch or a ‘bad’ witch.

Dorothy, in possession of the sensitivity of a three year old child, responds that she can’t be a witch because witches are ‘old and ugly.’ Glinda, in possession of the logic of an Alzheimer’s patient points out that ‘only evil witches are ugly’. (And remember only bad people are disabled)” –

Glenda then steals the shoes off Elphaba’s sister’s still-warm corpse, and quickly topped that act of in-your-face body-looting by way of hiring a gullible kid (simple-minded Dorothy) to assassinate Elphaba herself (however, not before prema-magicing the shoes that are Elphaba’s rightful inheritance on the poor child). Glenda further endangers Dorothy by telling her to leave Munchkinland (the only place where Elphaba has no power) to see a charlatan wizard instead of simply telling her how to heel-click her way home.
But the devious level of fucks-not-given of the characters isn’t the issue. Nor is it the author’s pointed allegories of racism in a story (that my twisted mind sees as) full of murder and revenge. The problem is the unquestioning, blind acceptance of the audience when taking Glenda’s chirpy side of the story…which is basically just ‘look, her skin is dark, laugh at her then kill her with allergy overdose!’
Thus, instead of the usual ‘burn the witch for her suggested evil’ trope, we have ‘melt the innocent deformed woman’ as the celebrated result.
And so evil dolled up as goodly triumphs once more.

But what about other films?

More witch evilness
A whole new article is required to delve into the fucknuttery of Disney’s many creations.

Well there’s the usual, like Hocus Pocus with three evil (but silly) witches go about sucking the souls from children. The Craft where three evil  (but angsty) witches go about causing a general ruckus but this time one witch is ‘good’ and fights them (actually like this movie). There is the new Hansel and Gretle: Witch Hunters, where the main antagonists are three evil (but dumb) witches who’s plan is snacking on childrens, but this time TWO good witches try to stop them…(although it should be mentioned that unlike in The Craft, being a witch AND the alignment of said witch is not a choice but an accident of birth, meaning the countless hundreds of ‘bad’ witches slaughtered in-movie goes from disturbing to genocid-y very quickly if you think about it — DON’T THINK ABOUT IT!!). There’s also Season of the Witch, which intriguingly enough starts out sort of mournfully showing the execution of some accused witches by the hands of the Church in the Medieval Ages (when this actually happened to innocent people)…..but then demonstrates the Church was TOTALLY right to kill those bitches by the thousands because they ARE possessed by the devil!… and so is the rest of the movie! Whoo! Go Church! Our saviors! What would we ever do without you?

Just imagine literally any other historic group being dehumanized in this fashion for entertainment value. Imagine, if you will, Nazis being commercially portrayed as saviors of humanity because they ‘saved’ us from the Jews. Or the same for the Klan or slavers in regards to African-Americans. Sounds like hyperbole? Sounds extreme? Sounds like you haven’t heard of The Eternal Jew or Birth of a Nation or archives upon archives of others because the only thing that keeps this type of bullshit out of our movie theaters and by extension our (mainstream) cultures, is that enough people give a fuck to boycott it. Apparently those who identify with witchcraft got passed over for that moderate decency. Thats too bad, because people sure do enjoy an awful lot of their holidays.

1292701783911_7704474

woman chooses
No one has ever won their freedom by appealing to the humanity of the those enslaving them

The men who speak of self-sacrifice, speak of slaves and masters — and aim to be the masters. Those men insist that you are wretched and vilify any sense of happiness. The people that follow such men are accordingly filled with Fear at the concept of rejoicing in their own natures, which they are told are inherently base, flawed and/or ‘sinful’. These self-loathing followers are therefore filled with seething Hatred for all those who do not follow their self-deprecating creeds. Their consistent Fear of themselves and Guilt at their own natures causes them to like ways strike dread into the hearts of others (sometimes violently). The people that follow these doctrines jeer at the sight of any who manage to achieve any sense self-sustaining happiness not born of their own deprecation or the ridicule of others. In the eyes of the followers, these religious apostates/political dissidents fall even lower than themselves on those demented ladders of ‘morality’ and ‘virtue’.
But if ever you hear a woman telling you that you must be happy, that it is your natural right to smile, that your first duty is to delight in your existence — that will be the person who needs nothing of you and is the enemy of those who would rule you by denying you joy. Historically, the individuals urging for personal happiness get shot for their trouble. Why? Because the followers get taken in en-mass by the Fear and the Hate of countless philosophies — religious and secular — that preach guilt and sacrifice of the self. Then people wonder why atrocities are common-place.

God-Hates-Everyone
You are not responsible for the programming you were force-fed in childhood. However, as an adult, you are 100% responsible for fixing it.

Fear and Hate are two sides of the same twisted coin — they are prosthetics built by feeble minds attempting to grasp at the nuances of stimuli beyond their small cognitions. They are also a tool of manipulation. It can be argued that ‘Fear keeps you alive’ and ‘Hate gives you strength’. To the logical who have a grasp over both their own actions and emotions, Caution and Anger provide all the benefits of Fear and Hate without the self-destructive drawbacks.
You must be active if you wish to be free of oppression and then to keep the freedom which you have earned or inherited.
Face your oppressors.
Confront your abusers in every space they occupy.
Give not an inch.
Challenge all their fear-fueling, hate-filled rhetoric and feel no shame.
Allow no guilt to hold you from your task and tolerate no apathy to seep into your soul. Guilt is the tool through which the manipulated followers can garner self-satisfying redemption for their failures, and apathy is the excuse. That is not to say you should be immoral (needlessly cruel). The logical have no need for guilt and no patience for apathy. You have within you the discipline to not simply live by your chosen creeds, but to also seize responsibility for your lapses in judgment — a necessary action in order to fix mistakes instead of simply regretting them (as guilt would have one do). Guilt therefore, is a crutch for those who need others to validate their morality.
You do not have time for apathy. The stakes are far too high. We, as a species, are losing far too much.

Quote 2
Quote 3
Freedom is not given, it is fought for and earned or lost, each and every day.

Women have and continue to be legendary philosophers, warriors, and scientists, despite being the single largest and longest-standing oppressed group of humans throughout history. Many ethnic, gender, and religious groups have and continue to face similar persecution despite our collective claims of ‘virtue’ and ‘civilization’. If you feel that the oppression of these people does not effect you, think again — every individual is adversely affected by global atrocities against the nature of our species to varying degrees, even you.
Do not bother with guilt.
Take responsibility for your apathy, then fix yourself by taking action.

Quote
To any sentient being, there is no emotion more important than Hope. Nothing can begin without first being a Dream.

One finds freedom from Fear, Hate, and Guilt when one is able to let go of everything that one clings to — and not in that ‘self-sacrificing’ way. You have to come to terms with Death and the changing nature of the universe. You have to fully love and enjoy everything you are and everything you have and everyone you care about even as you know that all those things will eventually become lost to you. You must take the time to feel that loss and grieve before it inevitably comes. Taking the time to do this, will free you of the fear of that loss and allow you to truly cherish what you have while you have it. And when the loss finally comes, you will be ready to accept it with dignity and be able to be grateful for the experiences you enjoyed.
You already faced the music before it started.
You are invincible to loss because you embraced it so fully.
Yet you are not made of stone.
You cherish and savor each emotion but you no longer despair.
Your passions are even and ever-burning.
You are an eternal fire and you are ready to stand up for something worthwhile —
Yourself.

Which is stronger, fearlessness or bravery?
Bravery implies intent and action. Fearlessness is a state of being.
“We are what we repeatedly do, excellence therefore is not an act, but a habit.”