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Why is the United States allowing Karzai to pass some of the laws he is passing without really much pressure to not pass them? He most recently passed a law that basically allows husbands to legally rape their wives. Yes, this is an Islamic republic, but that does not mean the U.S. cannot exercise some of its influence when there are obvious human rights violations going on. The law also allows the husband to deny his wife food if she doesn’t not have sex with him at least once every four days. Are you freaking kidding me? Seriously Islam, this is just one of the many reason that the rest of the world is not a big fan of your religion. At least most of Christianity has moved on from treating their women like complete crap. Though I will say that I’m sure this does not represent all of Islam. I’m sure there are many very good Muslim husbands who respect their wives and treat them well, just not in the Middle East.
If Karzai wants continued U.S. support and protection from his many assassination attempts then we should require him to treat women like people or just leave him to the Taliban. This kind of crap should not be allowed to fly in the 21st century. If you want to follow your crazy, evil, dark ages nonsense religion, don’t legislate the craziest stuff that it is says, or that you interpret it to say.
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Though it’s really not that surprising, the Texas State Senate passed a bill requiring all public schools in the state of Texas to offer an elective course on the bible and its influence on culture. Now, I am generally in favor of such a class, at least one that treats the bible as just another text, and not the divine revelation of god. I completely agree with having a class that shows how the bible was supposedly passed down throughout history and gives the scholarly consensus of the accuracy of the translations, where the books came from, and why the certain books were chosen. Because it is in this that I think maybe some of the kids will see how inaccurate translations are and how pretty much the entire bible is not based on historical fact.
Unfortunately this is Texas we are talking about. The problem with the bill (HB 1287) is that it really doesn’t set many overall standards for how the individual schools are going to handle this. It leaves it up to the individual districts to govern the curriculum. The major problem with this is that some of the small schools that don’t have many students and have one church in that town that literally everyone goes to may abuse this and use the class to continue to preach to the students on the taxpayer’s dime. It should not be much of a problem in the larger schools, but Texas isn’t exactly a bastion of free thought.
Another problem is that they do not specify one or a list of translations that the classes are supposed to use. If you are teaching a class on the historical influence of the bible then each student should be required to have at least a copy of the King James Version of the bible, since it was used for such a long period of time, and maybe an English translation of the Latin Vulgate. Some translations are indeed superior to others, but, they have not been used for a very long period of time and there do not have much historical impact (i.e. the NIV, etc.).
I’m sure that the ACLU is already researching a lawsuit against this bill, but I disagree with this. Let them have the bible classes as long as they are taught without proselytizing. If some school abuses it and then they find out, yes, by all means bring a lawsuit against that district, but don’t punish all of them. I’m going to reiterate what I heard on The Non-Prophets yesterday by saying that I would not be surprised if the first person to bring a lawsuit against this bill is actually a fundamentalist Christian. I know that there are some very conservative congregations that teach the King James Version of the bible as god’s completely literal English translation of the scriptures, even though it is one of the worst. We all know how completely and totally sane some of these right wingers are and if their version of the bible is not completely taught from I would not be the least bit surprised that they would bring a lawsuit against this or at least pitch a huge fit.
Well Texas, the ball is in your court, don’t screw this up (though you probably will).
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I have heard a few different explanations from other people for why I left the faith and became an atheist. Some say I just didn’t want to have to be accountable to god anymore for my actions because I enjoyed “sinning”. Others I was never actually a true Christian (I’ll probably address that one some other time). But the one that frustrates me the most is that I’m just pissed off at god, religion, and the world. Why do people think that they know what my reasons are without even asking me about them? I don’t pretend to know why other people chose the path of unreason when they joined a religion because it could be any number of reasons. I would much rather ask them what they believe and why than just speculate that they are all idiots, because I am sure that isn’t true 99% of the time (though unfortunately that 1% that is tends to be the most outspoken). Don’t rush to judgment about something you don’t know.
As for being angry at god, how can I be angry at something I do not believe exists? I guess I could compare it to a Christian being angry at Poseidon for causing hurricanes. It doesn’t make any sense. I assume it stems from the belief that some people hold that even atheists know that there is a god, but we just refuse to acknowledge it. I suppose I could be angry at the concept of god and the use of his presumed teachings by his followers, but this would fall more under the category of being angry with religion. I’m not really even angry with religion in general. I admit that it can be used as a force for good in the world through the helping of others. But people shouldn’t require religion to force them to do good deeds for their fellow man. Helping should be a reward in itself. You don’t need the promise of eternity in heaven to force you to be kind to others. If there is anything that I am angry with it’s the use of religious doctrine for evil. Once dogma is used to oppress other people I immediately have a problem with it, and I believe that it is the job of secularists and liberal religious people to make sure that such things do not happen.
This is still not why I left the faith. I left the faith because I saw no evidence in favor of believing that there is a god up there and that the bible is a true historical document. If you want to know exactly what I believe and what I don’t believe, just ask me. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t pretend like I have them. I only ask that you be civil and don’t pretend like you have all of the answers. I really enjoy having conversations about such things and I think that they are necessary if anyone is going to grow as a person. Just don’t be rude about it.