Private schools be damned!

One of the most contemptible stunts American conservatives have pulled over the past several decades is attempting to undermine the public school systems in the various states of the USA (which are expected to be open to and educate ALL children) and promote private schools which are designed to teach members of one specific religion. The results can be places of brainwashing instead of genuine education. Instead of merely teaching ABOUT religions, they often indoctrinate children with lies to justify religious bigotry.

This was shown clearly to me by this comment on another blog:
http://johnpavlovitz.com/2017/01/12/no-my-diversity-doesnt-have-to-include-your-bigotry/#comment-189808

I spent first through fourth grades in a Roman Catholic private school. We were taught that the only people who were Christians and who were going to Heaven were Roman Catholics. Everyone else was damned. No one else believed in God.

The summer between fourth and fifth grades my parents bought a house and I was told I would be going to the public school. I was terrified because I was going to be associating with the damned.

On the very first day of fifth grade I had a crisis of faith because how did the school day start? One of the kids stood up in front of the classroom and read five verses from the Psalms. In four years of school at a RC private school, we never once read from the Bible.

In my public school there were Jews who believed in God, Methodists who believed in God, Presbyterians who believed in God, black people who believed in God, Asians who believed in God…

That was the beginning of my leave-taking from the Roman Catholic Church because those lay teachers, nuns, and priests had lied to me.

I find it hard to believe that the Roman Catholic Church would deny the Christianity of Protestants, of Eastern Orthodox believers, or of others. Then again, it is common for conservative Protestants to claim that Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists, or even Seventh Day Adventists are not true Christians, but are “cults” instead. But from a Jewish perspective, Christianity clearly began as a cult breaking away from orthodox Judaism. A cult is merely a dogmatic religion that has not (yet) gotten very popular.

Which is why I said elsewhere, “It is easy to assume you have the only true faith when you have only that one faith in your community and do not know followers of other religions except through crude stereotypes. Once you get to know those followers as people, those stereotypes tend to break down. Exposure to those people breeds tolerance quite naturally.”

In places like Saudi Arabia, only Islam is tolerated and it is therefore like a cult there. In some other countries of South and Central America, Roman Catholicism may be the cult. In parts of Israel, Hasidic Judaism may be the cult. When the state directly supports ANY religion and excludes all others, the religion no longer becomes a healthy means of support for the community and instead becomes an instrument of oppression and thus EVIL!

Weren’t Christians persecuted by Romans before they came to dominate the Roman Empire later? Wasn’t the Prophet Muhammad and his first followers persecuted by their pagan neighbors? Weren’t the Puritans persecuted by the Anglicans before leaving England to found the colony of Massachusettes….only to oppress others who were not Puritans, even killing some suspected of being witches? And don’t get me started on Israel’s Jewish dominated government and its bigotry against Arabs and Muslims!

These things happened because people did not fight for religious FREEDOM for all, but only for the right of their own specific religion to take over and rule the society. And that is evil. Equating any religion with exclusive goodness and truth is to lie to people. Goodness and truth can only be determined by how it actually affects real people in the present time; it does not matter in the slightest what scriptures said in the past, because we are not living in the past!

We need to stop the lies in the USA, in the Middle East, and elsewhere in the world. We have to oppose and condemn private schools that are designed for one specific religion so that all children can be exposed to as much truth as possible.

Quite simply, I do not want children being taught only religious bullshit like what is recorded on these earlier blog entries without some sort of response from non-believers:

https://dalehusband.com/2011/03/09/insulting-and-libeling-unbelievers/

https://dalehusband.com/2009/10/12/lying-about-history-for-the-bible/

https://dalehusband.com/2017/03/12/lying-about-history-for-the-bible-round-2/

https://dalehusband.com/2010/09/14/the-book-of-mormon-is-a-p-o-s/

https://dalehusband.com/2011/01/05/how-to-lie-to-children-about-evolution/

https://dalehusband.com/2010/08/20/the-prophet-isaiah-did-not-predict-the-coming-of-jesus/

And it is not just religion I worry about. What if private schools teach nonsense like that from the “Health Ranger” Mike Adams and insist everything he says is true?  https://dalehusband.com/category/skepticism/natural-news/

Or the lunacy of Pamela Geller as if she is always correct:  https://dalehusband.com/2014/08/30/pamela-geller-pathological-liar-hypocrite-and-bigot/

Or how about these dogmas?

https://dalehusband.com/2017/03/16/responding-to-the-future-of-freedom-foundation/

Yes, I already said similar things here, but I think it is well worth repeating now.

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What is really “dangerous” within Christianity?

First, consider this Bible reference:

Luke 9:49-50
“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”

That seems like an absolute proclamation. Jesus certainly did not say, “Whoever preaches my doctrines exactly according to some standard made long ago is for you.”

Continue reading

Jehovah, the Homophobe.

Recently, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, one of the many Christian based cults founded in the 19th Century, produced an attractive and professional looking video with a clear message: Jehovah will not allow gays and lesbians into Paradise.

Watch that video here:

Afterwards, consider the following questions.

How do we know that Jehovah invented marriage for us? Why him and not some other god?

What if Jehovah told us to reject interracial marriage too? The Mormons have a book that condemns people with black skin!

What if Jehovah ordered us to kill anyone above the age of 65?

How do we know there is a Paradise for us to go to?

How do we know that gays and lesbians will be excluded from Paradise?

Indeed, how do we even know Jehovah exists at all?

We KNOW that gays and lesbians exist and that some of them are PARENTS.

Using one or more things that may not be real to attack things or people that are certainly real is irrational.

And making something cute to teach BIGOTRY is the worst kind of brainwashing!

It does not matter if you say, “God hates fags!” or if you say, “Jehovah does not approve of your gay lifestyle and he will love you more if you change.” Sugarcoated bigotry is still bigotry, period!

“Classical” Atheism vs. “Contemporary” Atheism

Once again, I find myself dealing with the tiresome issue of the competing definitions of Atheism. See my previous blog entries on this subject for references:

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/atheism-is-a-dogma-get-over-it/

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/misdefining-terms-for-purposes-of-propaganda/

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/make-up-your-minds-atheists/

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/richard-dawkins-is-an-agnostic/

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/is-agnostic-an-obsolete-term/

Now I learn that Aron-Ra, a fellow Texan and activist against promoting Creationist bigotry and lies in public schools, has not only accepted the “contemporary” definition of atheism, he asserts that the “classical” definition of it was a lie all along! Really??? Continue reading

More Idiocy from Answers in Genesis

Opposing Views is a website that generally presents different opinions on various topics and allows its users to debate them freely. So it was a surprise to see the Creationist propaganda mill known as Answers in Genesis publish this rank nonsense for all to see on that site:

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/religion/dear-atheists-bodie-hodge Continue reading

Theocracies by nature are evil

Religions as tools for social cohesion are indeed valid reasons for having them, since people are by nature social beings. However, using any religion that has demonstratively false dogmas as that tool is by nature unethical because you are encouraging people to lie to others about reality. It is even worse when you have a government take that religion and use force to make everyone follow it. All this does is make many people into hypocrites who act a certain way in public while privately doubting or denying the religion. This results in greater corruption. It is no coincidence that the ones who often come across as the most moral and are also deeply religious also turn out to be the most hypocritical. I think the reason for this is because their moral values are simply not based on anything real and things that are not based on reality are themselves not real. If you need to believe in the Bible, the Quran, or some other scripture to believe in God, to be moral or function in a social order, then you are actually a dangerous person because you will resort to all sorts of dishonest arguments, claims and assertions to keep your faith. Likewise, getting a government to enforce your religion on everyone merely makes the government dishonest. We shouldn’t tolerate this any more than we should tolerate mob bosses taking over a government.

Thus, Islamic states like those of Saudi Arabia and Iran are contemptible and should be condemned and opposed at every turn, and the concept of Sharia (Islamic law) should be completely thrown out in all societies. They are simply phony by nature!