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I’m Sick of Being Polite About Religion

They were walking to school in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, a group of teenage girls discussing a test they had coming up, when two men on a motorcycle sprayed them with a strange liquid. Within seconds a painful tingling began, and there was an unusual smell as the skin of 16-year-old Atifa Biba began to burn.

Her friend rushed over to help her, struggling to wipe the liquid away, when she too was showered with acid. She covered her face, crying out for help as they sprayed her again, trying to aim the acid into her face. The weapon was a water bottle containing battery acid; the result was at least one girl blinded and two others permanently disfigured. Their only crime was attending school.

The next time someone uses the phrase “militant Atheist” remind them of this picture

Girl burned with acid

Girl burned with acid


This is what “militant Theists” do, today, in the 21st Century!

from The Guardian via Butterflies and Wheels.

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5 Responses

  1. Religion scares me, all of it. I can’t believe people honestly put stock in fairy tales. I have one question, can you name one belief we, as a people, have held to be true from the Bronze Age?

  2. […] by Jason In today’s Comment is Free A. C. Grayling makes the point I was trying to make in this post. As you might expect he does a much better job than I did. Let us look at some comparisons. In […]

  3. I would contend that it is ignoring theism that has led to the situation we find ourselves in now. We are now at a point in time where those of us that have the temerity to question and criticise are labeled as ‘militant’ – at some point the voice of reason should be heard for what it is, not what other groups want it to be seen as.

    Ignorance, regardless of its origins, is no excuse for savagery, at some point personal responsibility should take over. The people firing acid into young girls faces as shown above, is done in the name of religiously-inspired hatred. I accept that these people are uneducated and live in desperate conditions – but how can this excuse deforming a young girl, or the stoning of a 13 year old girl a few weeks ago – for the ‘crime’ of enduring a rape?

    Why should we not put our own moral system above that of another group of people? I feel that i am more moral than the pope and i have no problem saying it, and justifying it to all-comers. I feel that i am more moral that the mullah, spewing vitriolic hatred to the masses. Or to the bigot that believes all atheist are evil and immoral.

    As history has shown us, moral attitudes can be changed – and those of us that take the time to think about these things have a moral duty to push for the change. Christianity has been dragged kicking and screaming by secularists into a new moral age, its morals change with the times – i have no doubt that in 50, or 100 years, homosexuality will not be the ‘sin’ that it is today. Contraception will become a ‘moral imperative’ and we will be led to believe that the church was front-and-center driving these changes.

    Change will not be achieved by ignoring what we see as manifestly abhorrent, and if it takes ‘militant’ atheists, or whatever the pejorative the ‘other side’ prefers to label us, so be it – it is long overdue.

  4. Depends on how you look at it. I prefer to ignore theism, some people are openly confrontational, others actively seek confrontation. Have a read through the forums on Atheist.ie. There are some really venomous people posting there who I find it just as difficult as any rabid theist. Same venom. Different opinion.

    Back on topic, I can’t see any situation where such actions as above would be justified by ANYONE of no religion. My being a ‘moderate’ doesn’t stand to excuse such actions, so its easy for me to hypothesise, but the people responsible for such actions are living in the stone age. They are ignorant and have had their thuggery excused by their teaching, its all they know. Its the people at the top of the heap who aim willfully to keep them ignorant to maintain power and money who bear ultimate responsibility for this, on top of honour killings, stonings, hangings (including that of young boys in Iran convicted of homosexuality http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Execution_of_two_gay_teens_in_Iran_spurs_controversy).

    Its easy for us to be critical of religion in our nice tolerant society. Sometimes I feel like we are the people in the swanky bistro complaining about the state of the quiche while others are left to fester and rot in the pig swill.

    Bear in mind, having a row with your auntie about the bishop has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on whats happening in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and such places, and for us to use their suffering as ammunition against the farcical excuse for a church we have the option to ignore is an insult to the people who suffer torture for seeing through the lies being used to actively destroy their lives.

    We’ve got it pretty good. Lets show the crawthumpers that we are free to not listen by letting them wallow in their ignorance. Besides, I make a point of never arguing with idiots… they simply drag you down to their level and beat you with experience..

    😉

  5. The problem, I think, is there is a general “respect” for religion which makes any criticism seem impolite. The trouble then is that there can’t be a rational discussion of religious based probems. I very much agree with you on the “militant atheist” tag – it is a preposterous notion that people who use only rational and reasonable arguments should be characterised as militant.

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