• The Stake, Blasphemy Laws, Death Threats, “Friendly” Letters, etc: How Religion Has Tried To Silence Dissent









    Making the threats as graphic as it gets.

    Over at Why Evolution Is True, Jerry Coyne goes over a letter send to the New Humanist magazine from a believer. The letter is barely more than a litany of lies and straw-man arguments. I haven’t seen the full letter, but from Dr Coyne’s quotes it seems, I haven’t missed much. Particularly when someone parrots the “atheism is like a religion” canard, I want to tell them to get a life.

    But what got my attention was this gem:

    It’s as if there is some transgressive little ripple of satisfaction which can only be obtained by uttering the words “sky fairy” or “zombie rabbi” where a real live Christian might hear them. Now this, dear brothers and sisters, cannot be good for you. It is never a good idea to let yourself believe that the pleasures of aggression have virtue behind them.

    Well. That is rather cheeky. I mean, it is not like we have a sadistic urge to gloat about other people being tormented forever for thought crimes.

    Now, aside from the condescending “brothers and sisters” nonsense, what does he mean “this cannot be good for you”? Good for us, in what sense? Does it put our physical/mental health at risk? Does it stand in the way of our numbers increasing? Whatever it is that he has in mind, sounds like trying to silence us with just an affirmation and no evidence (how typical).

    The evolution of the methods they use to silence dissent is rather intriguing. For centuries they burned “heretics” at the stake; they threaten their followers with eternal hell fire in case they stray(which, as many of can attest from experience, feel as real as any physical threat to a believer), they blacklist and ostracize those who have lost faith; they come up with apostasy/blasphemy laws that remain on the books in many (mostly but not exclusively Islamic) countries; and they use death threats when all of that doesn’t work, to this day.

    And they have the nerve to whine about our language?

    As for hearing or reading words that have hurt his feelings, it would have more sympathy if he offered a shred of evidence in support of what he believes. Barring that-he just needs to grow a thicker skin. It is not my problem that he holds views that lends themselves so easily to ridicule.

    (Speaking of which, is it really any surprise that they have had to use the tactics listed above, and more, to protect them?)

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    Article by: No Such Thing As Blasphemy

    I was raised in the Islamic world. By accident of history, the plague that is entanglement of religion and government affects most Muslim majority nations a lot worse the many Christian majority (or post-Christian majority) nations. Hence, I am quite familiar with this plague. I started doubting the faith I was raised in during my teen years. After becoming familiar with the works of enlightenment philosophers, I identified myself as a deist. But it was not until a long time later, after I learned about evolutionary science, that I came to identify myself as an atheist. And only then, I came to know the religious right in the US. No need to say, that made me much more passionate about what I believe in and what I stand for. Read more...