blunt essays with sharp points
Feb 2, 2004 6:08 PM–Religions do many good things for people. And when they are not helping, most of the time they are not harming anyone either. There are only a few dangerous religious ideas—ideas which, when believed, hurt people unfairly or pointlessly.
- A belief in life after death has caused the deaths of many people.
- Divine right of kings
- A belief in the divine right of kings has caused the enrichment of a few people to the detriment of many.
- Divine redemption
- A belief in divine redemption has led many well-meaning people to believe they have been healed of horrible behaviors such as child molestation, so that instead of staying away from children they come into contact again.
- Abomination of some sex acts
- A belief that certain sex acts, such as homosexual acts, are an abomination has caused normal human animals to be outcast.
Benjamin Matthew Williams, the 31-year-old white supremacist accused of murdering a gay couple outside this Northern California town in July, is now admitting that he slipped into the men’s home while they were sleeping and shot them to death in their bed.
But Williams insists that because the Bible holds that homosexuality is a sin that must be punished by death, the responsibility for the slayings rests with the victims.
“You obey a government of man until there is a conflict,” Williams said. “Then you obey a higher law.”
—“I’m guilty of obeying the laws of the creator”
- Submission of women to men
- A belief that women must submit to men has led countless women to endure years of emotional and physical abuse.
Phoenix, Arizona, police arrested a Christian school headmaster, Michael William Wetton, and charged him with child abuse. A woman and her 15-year-old daughter had met with Wetton to consider enrolling the girl, and, according to police, Wetton demonstrated the school’s Christian discipline by forcing the girl to strip and submit to a paddling while reciting the Lord’s Prayer.
—Police Stop School’s Biblical Discipline by Chuck Shepherd, Arizona Republic, March 22, 1995
In Montreal, Quebec, Judge Raymonde Verreault sentenced a 37-year-old man to only 23 months in prison for a series of sexual assaults from 1989 to 1991 on his stepdaughter, who was nine years old when the attacks started. Verreault, who is female, said the mitigating factor for the light sentence was that the man had “spared the victim.” Said Verreault, because the assaults had been by sodomy and not “normal” intercourse, “[the victim] retained her virginity, which seems to be a very important value in their religion [Islam].”
—Court: Religious Values Mitigate Sodomy of Child by Chuck Shepherd, Globe and Mail, January 15, 1994
- Unreality of the physical world
- A belief that the mind creates reality has led many people to choose faith healing over medical treatment and caused unnecessary suffering and deaths.
A two-year old baby girl, dies of a treatable lung infection, as her mother “follows church guidelines” (Insight, June 20, 1988, p. 57). In Florida, a family withheld insulin from their diabetic daughter which resulted in her death (El Paso Times, December 6, 1988, p. 6-A). In 1984, Natalie, an 8-month-old child died “of complications from a virulent flu-like illness” and in March of the same year a 4-year-old girl “died of meningitis” (The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, CA April 12, 1989, p. B-3). These are but a few of the countless cases, in which members of this nationally recognized Church, have died as a result of refusing to seek medical treatment.
According to the doctrine of Christian Science, when members appear to be sick, that is but an illusion. To be cured, the member must be treated mentally by a Christian Science practitioner, for “It places no faith in hygiene or drugs” (Ibid, p. 15).
—Christian Science: Healing To Death
- Dietary laws
- A belief that some things must, or must not, be consumed has led many people to avoid medical treatments and caused unnecessary suffering and deaths.
Jehovah's Witness members used the fear of damnation in Armageddon to convince a young leukemia victim to shun blood transfusions, a lawsuit claims. And the influence exerted on Bethany Hughes by her mother and other Jehovah's Witnesses directly led to her death two years ago, the court action alleges.
—Kevin Martin, Calgary Sun, August 27, 2004, “Lawsuit targets church”
BRIELLE, N.J. - An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot eat wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained no wheat, violating Roman Catholic doctrine.
—John Curran, Associated Press, August 20, 2004, “Church Says Girl’s Communion Not Valid”
Holy Communion is morally necessary for salvation. All are bound to receive communion at least once each year.
—Catholic Encyclopedia: Holy Communion
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes they fool you by walking upright.
What part of “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” don’t you understand?
Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life. —Terry Pratchett
Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig. —Robert Heinlein
Do not ask why the past was better than the present, for this is not a question prompted by wisdom. —Ecclesiastes 7:10
Power lines abruptly stopped causing cancer in 1997 after the U.S. National Cancer Institute conducted a better study. —Robert Parks
Встретимся под столом! (Vstretimsja pod stolom: To meeting you under the table!)
The more you cry, the less you’ll pee.
Relish the love of a good woman.
It’ll never get better if you keep picking at it. —advice from Judge “Maximum” Bob Gibbs