Tag Archives: Hatred

A brief but fascinating look into the life of two KKK groups

From the Washington Post: A photographer hung out with the KKK in Tennessee and Maryland. Here’s what he saw.

KKK Wedding

It’s fascinating to see these people doing their thing. I’m surprised to see that these people closely match my idea of the KKK. It’s rare that one’s idea of a group so exactly corresponds to the actual people in that group.

Conservative Christianity is Self-contradictory

Conservative Christianity is self-contradictory. It doesn’t exist, other than as a tribal identity.

Millions of people who were raised in Christianity and have not advanced beyond tribal ethics claim this term in order to band together with like-minded people and create a safe space for themselves in the world. The internal inconsistency makes this a very fragile belief system, so they experience any opposition or questioning as an existential threat.

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This chart is obviously not derived from a rigorous study, but it’s true for purposes of this post.

Christians Responsible for Most Hateful Internet Speech

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An article in The Christian Post discusses the claim by Washington Post religion reporter Sally Quinn that Christians were behind the majority of nasty and vile feedback she had received throughout her career. This vicious behavior by Christians will be no surprise to anyone who’s spent significant time on Twitter, Google Plus, or other social networks discussing anything of substance.

I’m sharing this article because it’s critical that Christians stand up for what Jesus taught and call out those falsely claiming to follow him while acting contrary to his life message. As an atheist and humanist, I know I need to become more active in opposing those who attack theism under the banner of atheism.

I can empathize with those who lose their tempers when discussing these issues. It’s hard for me to remain calm on many political and religious issues, but it’s critical. I’m working on it … 🙂 … The moment my rage overcomes my empathy and I start attacking my opponent, any chance for humanity and dialogue is lost.

GOP Catholics of Convenience and their Trouble with Pope Francis

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The GOP’s so-called Catholics have long had problems following the principles of their church, but with the advent of Pope Francis, their opposition to most of Jesus’ teachings in The Gospels, as exemplified in Francis, has become much more prominent. This Salon article highlights the issue.

It’s remarkable how even a supposedly ardent Roman Catholic like Santorum is a Catholic of Convenience, freely working against the head of his church when it suits him.

As someone noted in the original post, these men would argue against Jesus if given the chance. The majority of their beliefs and actions directly contradict those of Jesus in the Gospels. They exist for themselves and their values, independent of any religious or moral system. This independence of thought and action would be commendable if they would be honest about it. Instead, they pretend to follow a great spiritual leader, while in reality they follow only their own desires.

Good Read on the End of Religious Right Dominance

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I agree 100% with the facts and conclusions drawn in this piece. I live in Virginia, home to many serious progressives and many Escalade driving, Obama hating, Tea Party reactionaries. I have three kids under 20 and they all have lots of friends over. I know exactly one kid who’s likely to vote Republican, and it’s because his parents are Christian Extremists.

Many kids here have conservative parents, but the kids see their parents’ views on the poor, same sex marriage, immigrants, and progress generally as hateful and grossly outdated. This is great news for the US and the world. By the mid 21st century, the current US right wing dominance will be seen as a period of reactionary madness, a period ended by the refusal of children to buy into their parents’ fear and hatred of a different but better world.

 

Toward a General Response to Right Wing Trolls

Despite the lofty title, this is just a beginning note in my effort to create a relatively automated, or at least cut and paste, system for responding to right wing trolls. My note below was written in response to the ridiculous comments in this G+ post by Bernie Sanders’ office.

I know I shouldn’t read the comments on a Sanders post because there will be clueless/hateful/crazy people making ridiculous claims in the thread, but my curiosity usually gets the better of me. It’s just comical that regressives spend time on a post by a true socialist, a man who’s honorable and consistent but whose idea of the best government structure differs from theirs. (FYI: I’m a democratic socialist too, which is why I follow Senator Sanders.)

The unreasonable people attacking Sanders are the digital equivalent of the crazy people on street corners waving signs at cars and yelling that it’s the end times and The Illuminati/Obama/Sinners are causing the rapture.

Those of us on the side of reality should take turns ensuring the unreasonable people on the thread don’t go unchallenged. This is often how it goes:

1. A reasonable person asks for credible evidence to support the unreasonable person’s (regressive’s) claims.
2. The unreasonable person either continues their rant, stating that the libtard/lefty/idiot won’t believe his evidence anyway, or says they should do their own homework because “the evidence is out there”, or points to the propaganda sites where he gets his ideas.
3. The reasonable person points out that without a “credible” source to back up his claims, the unreasonable person’s claim is baseless and can be dismissed without further discussion.

I’m writing this partly to save myself time in the future in dealing with unreasonable people that I feel compelled to engage despite knowing how it will end. I welcome any comments.

Angry, Greedy, Ignorant White Men Need to Go Extinct

I’m very active on G+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ChristopherLamke/ – and I often argue against the willfully ignorant and the grossly stupid. Some aspects of the hateful opposition really irritate me, and one of those is the angry, greedy, ignorant white man who’s angry because he’s being forced to give back a little to the nation that made him what he is. The setting for this particular foolishness was an ACA post – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+OleOlson/posts/1T5dM584ZBY.

Here’s the comment:

Offender: “Got something against creating wealth from hard work? Well I’ll tell you something. I’ve worked hard all my life. In College and 62 years of working (all non government) I can tell you this….I’ve tried poor and I’ve tried rich and I much prefer rich and the lifelong achievement it took to attain it. Redistributing the results of achievement is ignorant envy. Get off your dead ass and make something good happen….Amen”

Me: “Your faulty assumption is that others don’t work as hard as you, especially those who aren’t as wealthy. That’s not backed up by evidence. If you’re wealthy, you had help getting there, by living in a nation with the infrastructure and culture that made it possible, by having or being able to gain desirable skills, and by being fortunate. You may have worked hard but so do most others, including many who work harder than you just to make ends meet.

It’s borderline absurd for a white male in this nation to claim he’s a self made man. You’re playing the game on “Easy”. If you were born a poor black female, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Try peeking outside the shell of your narcissism and seeing the world through the eyes of others. It’s called empathy and it’s essential to being a full human being.”

The fool who wrote this had no reply, certainly not because he agrees with my comment. I’m sure he just wasn’t clever enough to answer it meaningfully.

If you’re lucky enough to live in the developed world and to be born a white male in the current era, the only reasonable stance is to be grateful and the only humane stance is to reach out to help others achieve some measure of what you have. If you can’t do these things, you don’t deserve any of the bounty nature and chance have given you.

The Biblical Basis of Right-wing “Christian” Beliefs

A G+ user (I’ll call him TP in this piece) posted this article (from his blog) to the G+ Democracy community, explaining (in his mind) how his absurd beliefs are justified by the Bible. I normally ignore his posts, explaining how compassionate conservatives are and how Christian they are, because they aren’t worth my time, but this one struck a chord and I decided to reply. My original reply post is here. I’ll restate my reply below.

 There is no Biblical Basis for Right Wing “Christian” Beliefs.

In his attempt to demonstrate Biblical justification for his beliefs, TP cited several of the Ten Commandments, rules given by the Judaic God to Moses for the Israelites. This is an interesting and very telling choice. These commandments were for the Jewish people and are a small subset of the many, many laws given to the Jews during that period. They are also not at all exclusive to Judaism. Most of all, TP ignores the very clear teaching of Jesus on virtually all the issues he cites as Biblically justified.

Honor your father and your mother
Every decent human being honors their father and mother. This is not a “conservative” concept at all. It’s a human social concept. Societies completely independent of Christianity, including those who’ve never been exposed to Western ideas, follow this idea.

You shall not commit adultery
The prohibition against adultery is implicit in the definition of marriage. It’s not original or exclusive to the Judaic line of religions. If we were to consider the fact that nothing under this Judaic law prevents a man from adding women and “concubines” as he desires, then it’s not really a very strong commandment, is it?

Consider the prohibitions against lying and bearing false witness. These are implicit in the definition of a viable human society. Just as you cannot have a proper marriage if one partner is sleeping with people outside the marriage, you cannot have a stable society if people are allowed to lie and bear false witness.

You shall not steal
I find it fascinating that TP interprets this commandment to support smaller government and no wealth redistribution. His interpretation contradicts not only the clear Judaic laws requiring that you help the poor, but Jesus’ own very clear stance on helping the poor and his command to “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods
TP brings up the myth of left wing wealth envy here. I don’t know any left leaning thinkers who care whether someone makes more money or has more stuff than they do. I bet he doesn’t either. I know many left leaning thinkers, and their concern, as mine, is that all are capable of living a good life, which requires good food, water, shelter, health care, and education.

Arguably, Christian Conservatives attempt to protect the weakest of the weak; the unborn.
This is not a commandment, but it’s striking that the vast majority of right wing politicians are against abortion but also against providing for the needs of children once they’re born. It almost seems like right leaning people care about the unborn as a symbol, but when the symbol becomes a real life that consumes resources, they abandon their concern. In fact, this is exactly how the right treats life, as a precious symbol to be safeguarded when it gives them power over others, but not so precious that it’s worth supporting with “their” resources.

You shall not kill
This is not one of the commandments TP listed, which is interesting. I’m well versed in the interpretations of this commandment and somewhat in Just War Theory. I would have liked to hear him explain how the right’s focus on using violence against other nations and people who’ve committed crimes against us is consistent with this commandment.

There are a couple other commandments which are at best inconsistently followed by right leaning Christians. I’d like to hear TP’s opinion on the Sabbath Day and graven images. I’d also like to see him justify his beliefs based on what Jesus actually said in the Gospels. Jesus covered all TP’s concerns, because these concerns have been with us since the first civilization worthy of the name.

TP never replied to my analysis. He’s one of the many on the far right who are trapped in a closed worldview devoid of reason and empathy.

A Christian’s Responsibility to Defend Christianity

 

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Now this is a sight for sore eyes. It’s good to see Christians publicly calling out people like Palin and Perry as false Christians, people who absolutely do NOT follow or represent Christ.

If your worldview is Christianity, or Islam, or Humanism, and you claim it as your basis for life and action in the world, then you have a responsibility to call out hypocrisy and blatant falsehood in those who claim to follow the same path.

If you allow your worldview to be used by anyone for anything, to justify evil as well as good, then your worldview becomes meaningless or negative as a claim and a public symbol. This has happened to Christianity already. When someone publicly claims to be a Christian, that gives me reason to avoid them. If I can’t avoid them, I must wonder if they are one of the few who follow the Jesus of the Gospels, like Jimmy Carter or Fred Rogers or Martin Luther King; or one of the many who claim Christianity as a license for hatred, like Perry or Palin or Dobson; or one of the majority who claim Christianity as a convenience or comfort in life, but refuse to stand up for the ideals implied by that claim.

It’s because of people like those in this picture, people who wrap themselves in the flag and carry a cross, and use their patriotism and “Christianity” as a license to persecute and deny the humanity of those they hate, and because of the silent majority that stands by and does nothing, that Christianity has come to be regarded as evil or meaningless.

Ask yourself if you use your religious beliefs to justify hatred and violence, or if you stand silently while others work evil in your name.