“You (Atheists) are not someone who can co-exist with others.” Glenn Beck
Glenn. It’s the Christians who’ve hijacked public policy, where the signs say, “It’s either our way or the high way.” Now, some Christians may deride me for taking the fundamentalists too seriously. I take them seriously, because they’re a SERIOUS threat. Many non-literal theists are college-educated and mostly come from privileged White families. I’m glad you don’t want to kill Muslims. Nevertheless, as we’ve seen from Phil Zuckerman’s essay*, there exist many within ignorant and poor families, who swim in fundamentalism.
“the United Nations’ Report on the World Social Situation (2003) found that of the 40 poorest nations on earth, all but one (Vietnam) are highly religious nations with statistically minimal or insignificant levels of atheism. Concerning illiteracy rates, the same report found that of the 35 nations with the highest levels of youth illiteracy rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism.”
The same can be observed in Zuckerman’s other essay**
“Within the United States, we find similar patterns: the states with the highest rates of poverty tend to be among the most religious states in the nation, such as Mississippi and Tennessee, while the states with the lowest poverty rates tend to be among the most secular, such as New Hampshire and Hawaii (United States Census Bureau 2008). The states with the highest rates of obesity are among the most religious in the nations, while the states with the lowest rates of obesity are among the least religious (Calorielab.com 2008). And it is the more religious states that tend to have infant mortality rates higher than the national average, while the less religious states tend to have lower infant mortality rates (United States Census Bureau, 2005). Additionally, it is among the most religious states that one finds the highest rates of STDs (Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2007) and teen pregnancy (Guttmacher Institute, 2006). America’s Bible Belt also contains the lowest rates of college-educated adults, and of the states with the highest percentage of college educated adults, most are among the most secular in the country (United States Census Bureau, 2007).”
Have you gone to a Black church? A wacky White one in the South? The debris of war that calls itself a Mosque in Syria or Afghanistan? On the periphery, we observe the equivalent within bigoted conservatives circles, which hold more danger. Historically, Religion has been the way by which a group with interest in power used a moralizing high god (appeal to authority fallacy) to profit from a developed and productive civilization. “They are tools of control used by purveyors of religion to cement their grip on power,” says Pagel. “As soon as you have a large society generating lots of goods and services, this wealth can be put to use by someone who can grab the reins of power. The most immediate way to do this is to align yourself with a supreme deity and then make lists of things people can and cannot do, and these become ‘morals’ when applied to our social behaviour.”***
Religion is dangerous when left unchecked; when it controls the state; when it overpowers facts. Who shows wrath over differing ontological beliefs through violence? Mostly the religious. Which belief is ontologically incorrect? The religious one. The Emperor is naked and it is ridiculous that we condemn those who say what he is: naked. Sorry, he isn’t an Israeli jew with blue eyes who walks on water and comes from a virgin mother.
*Phil Zuckerman. a professor from Claremont PItzer, teaches secularism and sociology. This is an essay where he writes about the correlation between illiteracy/poverty rates and the rate of Atheism. https://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Ath-Chap-under-7000.pdf
** His second essay https://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Zuckerman_on_Atheism.pdf
*** “Evolutionary biologist Mark Pagel of the University of Reading, UK, says that societies became more politically complex as networks of trade and reputation emerged, and that the key to this process was language, not religion.”