[extropy-chat] The Trouble With Religion

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 10 18:37:45 UTC 2005

--- Emlyn <emlynoregan at gmail.com> wrote:
> A nice article by Salman Rushdie. It's appeared in papers all over
> the
> world, so many of you have probably read it. If you haven't, it's
> worth a look. He is such a fan of religion, it turns out (funny
> that)...
> http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050320/asp/opinion/story_4506104.asp
"In Europe the bombing of a railway station in Madrid and the murder of
the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh are being seen as warnings that the
secular principles that underlie any humanist democracy need to be
defended and reinforced. Even before these atrocities occurred, the
French decision to ban religious attire such as Islamic headscarves had
the support of the entire political spectrum. Islamist demands for
segregated classes and prayer breaks were also rejected. Few Europeans
today call themselves religious — only 21 per cent, according to a
recent European Values Study, as opposed to 59 per cent of Americans,
according to the Pew Forum. In Europe the Enlightenment represented an
escape from the power of religion to place limiting points on thought,
while in America it represented an escape into the religious freedom of
the New World — a move toward faith, rather than away from it. Many
Europeans now view the American combination of religion and nationalism
as frightening."

Yet it was european atheism that created the Holocaust, the genocides
of Stalin, how quickly these are apparently forgotten. It is today what
leads a nation of Frenchmen to go on vacation, leaving 15,000 of their
elderly parents to die in a hot summer, and even refusing to return
from vacation to bury their dead. How is the depraved indifference of
the modern French any different or better than the depraved concern of
Inquisitors for the souls of heretics over their lives as they
subjected them to the auto da fe? Furthermore, it was French
'enlightenment' that led to the Terror that subjected tens of thousands
to the guilllotine after their revolution while the US version pledged
moderation and compromise. It was the enlightened english government
that started a two century record of genocide that started at Culloden
and continued through to the Sepoy Mutiny.

European atheism and enlightenment has the greater record of tyranny,
fear, and death. Salman is showing he has been listening to too much
Ward Churchill.

Mike Lorrey
Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
                                      -William Pitt (1759-1806) 
Blog: http://intlib.blogspot.com

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