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← Why Are Religious Beliefs Off Limits?

Why Are Religious Beliefs Off Limits? - Comments

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 1 by drumdaddy

Religious beliefs are no longer off limits. Dominionists are assaulting science, education, and secularism via court battles and ceaseless legislation on all government levels. Politicians are bowing to their gods in public. Rationalists are emerging from their silence every day and, in fact, are being baited to do so. Media is still stroking its audiences in favor of pandering to the religion industry and its devotees (viewers), but the discussion is ongoing and shedding its 'unmentionable' stigma. It's time for bloviaters for the supernatural to be consistently and fervently challenged in open public forum. It is time for society to take down the charlatans, the parasitic faith healers, the fools, the liars, and the jihadists. A great nation and its space program can not be ably led by a person who truly believes in a planet called Kolob. Adherence to nonsense is fair game in evaluating leaders. Let the competency evaluations commence. The right wing loves red meat. Sacred cows make great hamburger.

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 22:54:43 UTC | #924998

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 2 by aquilacane

They're not, unless you let yourself get pushed around by questionable religious beliefs. But that would be stupid.

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 22:55:51 UTC | #924999

RomeStu's Avatar Comment 3 by RomeStu

Religious beliefs are still off limits because the huge segment of society which quite obviously (and statistically show by the recent poll) does not "believe" is still culturally conditioned to give religion a free pass, because it is seen as harmless tradition.

Until this changes we atheists will be seen as strident and so on, when in fact we are in the majority ...... Just most of us haven't worked out that they are atheists yet.

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 23:39:12 UTC | #925009

Andrew B.'s Avatar Comment 4 by Andrew B.

I've come up with a response to those that object to their beliefs being challenged: The extent to which a belief affects society is inversely proportional to the extent to which criticism of that belief is controversial.

Therefore, criticizing beliefs which profoundly affect people's behavior and judgement should be completely uncontroversial. If your beliefs influence or determine your actions, they're fair game for criticism.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 00:07:14 UTC | #925016

Tony d's Avatar Comment 5 by Tony d

What do we know about politicians.Now i am going to go out on a limb and say that they may not all be lying scumbags.Still i think we would be wise to consider them all to be lying scumbags right up until they show themselves not to be.

If that is the case, is it possible that the religiosity of the republican candidates is merely a pose designed to win favor with the republican voters who are perceived by the candidates to be of a religious inclination?

That being said there might not be a difference between the pretense of a fanatical religiosity and an actual fanatical religiosity.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 00:14:11 UTC | #925017

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 6 by Rawhard Dickins

So the next world's most powerful man would actually believe in magic underpants?

The depth of human stupidity never ceases to amaze!

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 00:38:50 UTC | #925021

Thunderballs's Avatar Comment 7 by Thunderballs

On one level it is funny what these people say they believe.

Then you realise it is tragic and embarrassing.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 00:44:48 UTC | #925023

Saganic Rites's Avatar Comment 8 by Saganic Rites

Why? Because they know how silly their beliefs sound when subjected to a little rational thought, so rather than risk the faithful being tempted into doing a little independant thinking, it's better that the questions are never asked in the first place.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 00:48:50 UTC | #925025

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 9 by Neodarwinian

Yes, why indeed!

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 01:33:28 UTC | #925031

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 10 by Border Collie

I'm rather fond of Mormons, especially on cold mornings. Their eyes remind me of warm glazed doughnuts. And, seriously, where would drag queens be without the Catholic clergy setting style for the past couple of thousand years?

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 01:36:41 UTC | #925033

zengardener's Avatar Comment 11 by zengardener

Andrew B.

The extent to which a belief affects society is inversely proportional to the extent to which criticism of that belief is controversial.


Wed, 07 Mar 2012 02:11:15 UTC | #925038

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 12 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 02:58:37 UTC | #925045

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 13 by aroundtown

The religious whine and cry when you question their beliefs and what their actions might mean for the populace at large but they have no problem whatsoever in dumping a truckload of criticism on non-belivers at every turn. Sorry but that just doesn't work for me. Need to drag these suckers out into the light of day and question the whole phony enterprise in my opinion. My two cents from a concerned 6.99 EVO unit.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 03:31:17 UTC | #925050

Rob Schneider's Avatar Comment 14 by Rob Schneider

Comment 1 by drumdaddy :

A great nation and its space program can not be ably led by a person who truly believes in a planet called Kolob. Adherence to nonsense is fair game in evaluating leaders. Let the competency evaluations commence.

Competency evaluations. :-)

"no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office" (from somewhere in the US Constitution).

Sadly, this cuts both ways. No one can require that a potential candidate espouse certain religious doctrines, and there can be no bar against running because you hold bats#!+ crazy fiction to be true.

That said, I agree with others who say it is time to call this kind of crazy talk on the carpet and not allow a weasel escape with "it's my faith." If they can hold "faith forums" designed to weed out people not faithful enough, we can hold public ridicule forums to demand our leaders base their decisions on evidence and human affairs, rather than wishful thinking.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 03:43:29 UTC | #925052

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 15 by Red Dog

Comment 12

I think you need to understand the difference between rational discussion and attacking people. Krauss is not saying that religious people should be deprived of the rights that the rest of us have. If he were that would be an attack. He is making a rational argument that religion is wrong, that is very different then an attack.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 04:30:37 UTC | #925057

Macropus's Avatar Comment 16 by Macropus

The bible is full of dubious scientific impossibilities, from Jonah living inside a whale, to the Sun standing still in the sky for Joshua.

Correction: the bible is full of impossibilities. There's nothing dubious or even scientific about the proposition that the sun can stand still in the sky. Mars and Jupiter, perhaps, for a short time (they can even move backwards), but not the sun.

Krauss is right in thinking that religious beliefs should be as open to criticism as are views on any other matters, but let's not give these people wiggle room by allowing that the impossible things they believe are in any way dubious or arguable.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 05:08:14 UTC | #925060

SuedeStonn's Avatar Comment 17 by SuedeStonn

I'm of the opinion its 'they're seen as harmless', which someone else pointed out already, and attacking religion is then 'strident'. But the fact is that religious zealots are hypocrites, ready and willing to attack anything and everything, but then cry foul when their religion gets bullet-ridden and people stand up to it.

I get a good laugh every time Maher pokes fun at the religious 'right', and it's because they give him all the ammo he can dream of... especially bombs like "Don't go to college, it's a place where you'll actually learn to think, and question, and learn." Strikes me that everyone SHOULD go to college then!

Will Santorum be the POTUS? No. I think enough people realize that he's a nutcase and Obama has the full support of his party while the Republicans are riddled with idiots. (I feel for Ron Paul... dudes gotta be frustrated as all get out.)

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 07:08:56 UTC | #925067

Yakov's Avatar Comment 18 by Yakov

Their religious belief is that everyone should work for the interest of the wealthy 1%. That's all. The rest is just noise reflecting the superstitions of their constituents, to gain votes and support.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 08:30:00 UTC | #925075

RomeStu's Avatar Comment 19 by RomeStu

@17 suedestorm "will Santorum be POTUS?"

He is so far out there that I agree he is not a viable option for the republican candidate. However the problem is that the general field is so far to the crazy end of right wing nutterdom that it ends up making Romney look quite normal (to your average republican). This is dangerous as there are alot of Americans who will not look further than the most simplistic single issue political concerns, and he may well end up as POTUS.

This means it is more important than ever that his religious views are held to vocal public account.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 08:41:36 UTC | #925076

RomeStu's Avatar Comment 20 by RomeStu

imagine my surprise when I clicked onto the Daily Mash for my morning chuckle and they posted this incisive piece of journalism obama asks romney to explain origins of Mormonism again

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 08:51:22 UTC | #925077

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 21 by strangebrew


Why Are Religious Beliefs Off Limits?

They were off limits maybe as little as five years ago...but that genii is out of that roze coloured bottle well and truly.

They are no longer sacrosanct...they are a busted flush and the glamour is fading, tarnishing and peeling away from the framework in dripping greasy feculent dollops of whining, moaning, fretting and fear laden hysteria from the ancestral chaperones of the great delusion...they are not best pleased. And the fear of atheism has reached a new and resonant pitch throughout the meme from pastor to minister to even the A of C and the pope.

A similar fear is bleeding into the Islamic faith prompting severe and draconian reprisal from the ultra right wing Sharia law fans to challenging directly the principle of free speech in the Western world not only in word but in physical action and they are proud of that fact.

A step which up until the last couple of years would have never occurred, but the malaise in religious faith that is apparent in the xian demise has put the Islamic clergy on full alert...they see clearly that if a major religion can diminish in relevance so much and so fast then what is to stop their own delusion from the same fate.

The moves being made can only be interpreted as a panic and deep unease at the commitment and requisite self confidence of the sheeple in their own psychotic belief.

The West has made a very bad and potentially deadly dangerous mistake in pandering to the Islamic fear from both sides of the same coin. Hence the ridiculous blasphemy laws they are forcing through the UN and the UN being for the most part dumb and ignorant to a delegate are letting them get away with it.

Now they are trying to hog-tie criticism by haranguing and bullying country governmental institutions to enact special privilege laws...a move not unsuspected given the circumstances but deeply revealing all the same...they are shitting bricks and knee jerking to their deepest fear.

They are now emboldened to react in their customary culturally accepted hysterical incoherency which can and will result in bloodshed...just a matter of time and circumstance.

But defending the indefensible they will because they have been told to by their own clerics and spiritual commanders...and historically those calls to 'jihad' are never ignored on pain of death or lack of virginal deflowering they all slobber after...Pavlov eat ya heart out! I wonder if female Islamic soldiers ever get the same promise of 70 odd virgin males on shedding their mortal coil? ...gang bang in heaven...but whose heaven?

Anyway whatever, back in xian land it seems that the bare bones of the meme are indeed being laid and picked bare. Not so much the contentions and claims made by religion and in the subjective tripe they so love to peddle making the delusion a pink and fluffy fact in their poor attempt at rationalizing the unreasonable. That nonsense pretty much sinks itself. It is the mechanism by which the meme is promulgated, promoted and channelled which comes into sharper focus.

The use of the traditional hypnotic by politician, committee, institution, council, and government alike. How they wield the tool of social control and how they define and employ the crud to pacify and dodge awkward situations where the intentions, intolerance, bigotries and hatreds of a few are presented as the sentiments of the many...but as has been recently revealed , much to the discomfort of the ring leaders, not that many as it 'appens certainly no where near the pompous boasts which have never ever been challenged to assume that deep paralysing shock and dismay that the truth is revealed has left the 'faithful' with a tremendous migraine of epic proportions

Religious beliefs are not...and never will be limits...nor should they be...much to the consternation of cretins that always considered their position a privilege.

Maybe humanity is finally growing up!...but there will be pains none the less!

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 09:07:47 UTC | #925080

Doonhamer's Avatar Comment 22 by Doonhamer

Satire on the subject here...

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 10:02:45 UTC | #925086

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 23 by Alan4discussion

Candidates should have the right to keep their religious views private, but in the current climate essentially none of them actually do so.

Just like declaring business interests or other affiliations, transparency in politics is a means of maintaining checks on decision making. If some candidate is going to vote according to directions from the pope, a priest, or preacher, I want to know before the election, just like I would want to know if they are sponsored by carbonaceous Luddites, or have collected bonuses while working as bankers or directors of failed companies!

Rick Santorum has gone so far as to argue that John Kennedy's strict confirmation of the separation of church and state, which many consider one of the pillars of American democracy, should be discarded. In this case, it is all the more important to explore his theological views.

Clearly where religious agendas feature in campaigns, any claim to be immune from scrutiny are farcical.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 11:01:25 UTC | #925098

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 24 by Peter Grant

Mocking morons, it's every atheist's sacred duty :D

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 12:34:43 UTC | #925112

Finch's Avatar Comment 25 by Finch

"Why are religious beliefs off limits?"

They're not off limits, by any means.

The politically motivated Religious Right in the US has been questioning the religious beliefs of politicians and political candidates to determine their suitability for office (and to "educate" their flock to vote accordingly) ever since the advent of the Moral Majority and the rise of people like D. James Kennedy, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson.

So, I'd like to know what keeps Americans who are not affiliated with the Religious Right (whether they are Dems, Repubs, and Independents) from raising questions about the religious beliefs of politicians and political hopefuls across the political spectrum?

In my opinion, the largest obstacle is "political correctness" and the fear of being perceived as bigoted, biased, racist, and prejudiced against a particular religion (and, by default, a particular people group), for questioning a person's religious beliefs. It's such bullshit. One's motive for questioning is the key: When done respectfully and responsibly for the purpose of raising the American voter's awareness to a political candidate's beliefs, so that voter can make a more-informed voting decision, there should be no apprehension or guilt for engaging in it.

If Americans don't grow some balls (a "politically incorrect" phrase, in itself) and get over their fear of asking the tough questions of their politicians and political hopefuls regarding the religious beliefs (and non-beliefs) of those individuals, now, what will they do when the American-Muslim campaigns for high office in light of the pumped-up, bullshit, hysteria over "Islamophobia" in the US?

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 13:13:48 UTC | #925122

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 26 by Vorlund

Religions have made a career out of beating dissent into a corner for the best art of 200 years. We live in an age where that has left us with a social legacy with regard to what we can and cannot challenge. No other epistomology has done this. Wheeras they came to us with offers we dared not refuse the religios can now only sit back, fingers in ears and puff themselves up in righteous indignation at being told their ideas are stupid. It will take a while yet to put them in their places.

My answer is simple when a religion makes claims which are essentially scientific it can expect to be treated the same as any science, open to examination, critique and summary dismissal when shown to be incorrect. That doesn't need any particular psychological equipment on our part and doesn't warrant any arrogance and presumption on theirs.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 14:09:32 UTC | #925131

gr8hands's Avatar Comment 27 by gr8hands

Some journalist should ask Romney if he is currently wearing his magic underpants -- and if he is also accepting any kind of security detail? If he genuinely believes that his magic underpants will protect him, then he has no need for the Secret Service or any other kind of security detail, since god will protect him. Right?

Some journalist should ask Romney and Santorum if they follow the 10 commandments. After they say they do (how could they deny it?), the follow-up question is how they can reconcile that with ever going to war or any kind of capital punishment?

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 15:09:00 UTC | #925142

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 28 by strangebrew

Comment 26 by Vorlund

That doesn't need any particular psychological equipment on our part and doesn't warrant any arrogance and presumption on theirs.

Although I agree with you we still have to factor in the simple but insane contentions of the sky fairy besotted...if it does not fit neatly into the pre-conceptions they invented then it must be matter what the evidence shows...if it negates sky fairy it is discarded.

Kurt Wise creationist geologist does not exactly live up to his surname...

"The earth is young, and the universe is young, I would suggest that it’s less than ten thousand years in age".

Culminating in the main problem....

"if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate"

That mind set you cannot reason them out is a fundamental pattern engraved into their brain from a very young age. And they always go running for it at the slightest hint that all may not be quite right for their story...

Rule 1)...God is real and genesis happened Rule 2)...should either or both contentions be proven false rule number one applies automatically.

But in the main I would say Kurt is not typical of the run of the mill theist...they can be reasoned out if the blueprint is not already etched in acid in their brain waves unlike poor Kurt!

But in order to achieve a blast of reality in their collective hive mind...all pretensions and respect must be removed from a ridiculous fairy story. Respect the owner if you must but ridicule the toy...sooner rather then later the fence sitters grow to heavy with obvious doubts to balance on their perch only to eventually fall off onto the rational side.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 15:32:09 UTC | #925147

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 29 by rod-the-farmer

We never got to see a debate among Republican candidates on the subject of science. That is most unfortunate. But there is still hope that Obama will offer to debate the GOP candidate on science. THAT would be worth watching.

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 16:10:34 UTC | #925156

Sean_W's Avatar Comment 30 by Sean_W

Well said.

I don't understand how these folks have a chance - do you think she was coached on the "poor in spirit" bit and that's why she gives us the laugh? Or did she just tickle herself by coming up with it on the fly, or did just hearing it out loud for the first time tickle? -oh those funny lies, they's the best ones ;-)

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 16:18:41 UTC | #925158