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Atheism and Religion

October 8, 2011

Some of you who have read my blog posts here or in Daily Kos and even in my personal communication have commented on my apparent fixation with religion over the past few months, often quoting unsympathetically from the Good Book and modern christian divines and at other times posting tidbits about the notorious personal lives of various religious leaders throughout the ages. One reader asked if I were a communist atheist. Communist I will leave for another time, atheist, hardly. 

To me atheism and religion both represent a similar syndrome, a fixation on what they do not and never can know. The organizing principle of most religions usually are based not on any discernible morality but on exclusion (I’m saved but you’re not), except for something like Buddhism who’s organizing principle seems to be “I don’t give a shit what you believe because it doesn’t matter anyway.” Atheists, although generally a fiercely independent and curmudgeonly bunch, are equally affected, especially when they get together, as we experienced in, say, Soviet Russia where they practiced merely a less virulent form of intolerance.

No, what fascinates me is the penchant of these religious elites to blithely ignore the horror of their own history and their so-called sacred writings in their mad rush to control (Dominion, if you must) the fruits of society. 

For example in Deuteronomy 20:10-17 :

“When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it … And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women … shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. … But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them … as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.”

I find it frighteningly amusing to observe, certainly in the case of modern fundamental christianity, their leaders alliance with capitalism and its ideology. Their goal seems to be to expropriate the fruits of liberal democracy and capitalism without having to participate in the risks of the market, work hard, increase productivity or any of the other requirements of a free enterprise economy. The purpose of the religious elite has always been to secure for themselves a by on what the rest of us have to do to survive.

Have you noticed the tendency among most politicians to ape the religious elite more than their industrial benefactors and padrones. They, especially those of a conservative bent, frantically seek to make money without working, while at the same time their voices thrash with emotion in anger at some of those whose labor affords them this option to live on the dole, and instead, taking the pols and religious elite as role models, attempt to get something for nothing. 

I say send them all into the tomato or cotton fields to work alongside some illegal aliens and learn something about real life. Lets have our own “great leap forward,” except that instead of sending our intellectual elites out to enjoy the pleasures of rural and industrial toil we send out our conservative religious and political brethren (and perhaps a few of those classical economists who argue with a straight face, unemployment does not exist). It could not have any worse impact on our economy than that inflicted on it by our own brand of parasites; the politicians, bankers, fundamentalist preachers, lawyers and economists.

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