Religions are perverted

Yesterday I watched Greta Christina’s superb “Why are you atheists angry?” talk at Skepticon 4 last year. I haven’t seen that talk before and I am slightly ashamed of that fact. Today I read Atheists and Anger, her transcript of the same talk, and am convinced that this is one of the single best pieces of atheist writing anywhere. Needless to say I agree with almost every single thing she says (not living in the USA means that some of her points were not directly relevant to me).

One of the things that stands out the most in my mind, after watching that talk and being in touch with some of what is happening in the world, is that religions are perverted. The sickest, most disgusting and despicable ideas and actions – the ones that make me feel ashamed to not be doing more about it – come from religious texts, religious leaders and their obedient followers.

Religions treat women like dirty, stupid sperm receptacles. It is the view of Abrahamic religions that women must be covered up, disdained, hidden, treated like a burden by the oh-so-superior males of the species. A women walking down the street in an Islamic country faces a real threat of being murdered if she is not covered from head to toe in a black sack. Girls trapped in a burning school are left to die instead of being allowed out of the building without their burqas on. Because doing so would bring shame onto their families.

No, leaving the children to die brings shame on the entire community that allows this kind of perverted madness to continue.

In both the Muslim (under Sharia law) and Christian faiths it is explicitly stated that a girl or woman who is RAPED by a man must marry him or be put to death. Women are severely punished and made to apologise and repent their sins after being raped. By men who were far stronger than they are and who are far more respected than they are.That is deeply, disturbingly perverted.

Even if a woman is not forced to marry her rapist, she is not allowed to have a safe abortion. It is considered far better that she raise a child which will always remind her of a brutal attack than that she be allowed to terminate the pregnancy before the blastocyst has attached itself to the wall of the uterus. Even though the Bible itself says nothing of the sort. The Christian god, in fact, is quite fond of murdering foetuses and doesn’t even consider an infant less than one month old to be people. Perverted.

Religions mandate that women be subservient and submit to their husbands, even if they are being abused, raped and terrorised by those men who are supposed to protect and care for them. Perverted.

Children are terrorised by ghastly visions of eternal damnation in a fiery pit if they do not prostrate themselves before a magical fairy in the sky. They are told that this fairy loves them, that he will care for and protect them, but only if they deny the very impulses that mark them as human. They are forbidden to question the unproven existence of this god (whichever one you like). They are told to wish as hard as they can for things they want, that God will provide, that if they don’t get what they asked for they didn’t wish hard enough. Perverted.

Children are denied life saving medical treatment in favour of wishing really hard, or trusting in the will of a being created in man’s own image. A resentful, malicious, hateful bastard who would rather kill 50% of embryos, before the pregnancy is even recognised, than reduce the suffering of one child. And if they don’t feel better, they didn’t wish hard enough. Perverted.

Children are taught by their religious parents and leaders that sexuality is dirty, that if they are not attracted to one person of the opposite sex something is wrong with them and they will go straight to hell. And they are told this while being systematically raped and sodomised by the very same religious leaders who are protected by the highest figures in their churches. Fucking perverted.

Boys have their penises mutilated in the name of one sick god or the other. Perverted.

Girls have their clitorises hacked out to appease some filthy god or another. Perverted.

Children are ritually tortured and killed because their parents or their parents’ religious leaders say that they are possessed by demons. Because they have emotional problems. Or they have epilepsy. Or they are too young to know why their Mommy is witholding their dinner. Perverted.

Religious leaders lie, steal, incite hatred, take sexual advantage of their followers and get away with it because they are “men of god.” Perverted bastards.

Mother Theresa. Sick fucking pervert.

While all of this is going on people like me, people who love their families and friends, people who go out of their way to be courteous to strangers and refuse to judge people for being different. We are the ones who are accused of being morally corrupt because we do not have faith in a malevolent dictator in the sky. We are told that our lives are devoid of wonder and meaning because we choose not to believe in fairy tales. Something is very, very wrong here.

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39 responses to “Religions are perverted

  1. It is human nature to be religious and to use religion to make oneself superior to others. Religious people (including most christians) are not humble. They use religion to further their own selfish agendas and enslave others. This however is not the teachings of Christ. Christ continually emphasized humility, being a servant, turning the other cheeks, forgiving your enemies. He knew and warns that religion breeds fascists and hatemongers. I do not call Christ an atheist, but I proudly call Jesus Christ anti-religion. Unfortunately, his followers don’t get that.

    • Well there are some nice things that this supposed Christ said, however not all his teachings were moral. For example:

      “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division” (Luke 12:51).

      Jesus declared “I have come to cast fire upon the earth” (Luke 12:49) and promised the death and suffering, the wailing and gnashing of teeth, and the burning of flesh for anyone who was against him (Matt. 12:30, Matt. 13:4-42, 50, Luke 11:23).

      Furthermore, To threaten people with eternally burning in hell for not believing in him as the true son of God, is not an ethical thing to do by any standard.

      Jesus says: I come not to bring peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34

      The alleged jesus my have taught some moral things but there are many immoral things that taints all “his” teachings.

      • Jmmanuel (alias Jesus Christ) did not come to bring peace because he understood that humankind was not in the right mindset to put true peace into action. So instead he brought “the sword of knowledge”, which is a metaphor given for the voice of logic and reason, so that humans would one day create peace on their own by dispelling the illusions on their own, eg. in the same manner in which scientists now metaphorically “cut through the bullshit” to dispell people of their illusions. Do you see the analogy? “To cut through the bullshit”… using what? That’s right, using “the sword of knowledge”. But obviously not nearly enough people wield the sword of knowledge yet, because so much ignorance still abounds.

        All of the other examples that you have provided also have corresponding correct interpretations, but I won’t go into them in detail here. But it suffices to say that much of the “threats” that he gave were not treats at all; they were only astute observations of the kind of reality that humans would one day create for themselves, eg. they would be the cause of “the gnashing of teeth” and “the burning of flesh” through their own thoughts and actions.

        So then also any statement allegedly made by Jmmaneul about the promise of burning in a Hell of eternal brimstone were nothing but bold-faced lies constructed by the church, so that they could continue to exploit the people for centuries and even still as is the case today.

  2. Hi Angela,
    l love your website…..its making me think!

    Your statement “A women walking down the street in an Islamic country faces a real threat of being murdered if she is not covered from head to toe in a black sack.” is a little bit alarmist. There are a few Islamic countries where women do not need to wear a black sack and will not get murdered if there are seen in public wearing normal clothes……These countries are Oman, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.

    Keep up the good work also like the word fuck ton you used (forgotten where now) in the phrase “metric fuck-ton of evidence”

    • Congratulations Bob. You’ve successfully proved that you have no idea what you are commenting on and you have proved without any doubt that you are a close minded individual with no interest in opening your eyes to the truth. I would like to pity you, but unfortunately I ran out of fucks to give when it comes to individuals such as yourself.

  3. I like your article, you’ve got really strong views, and i agree with you; Its sickening to listen to people using the word “god” to carry out ideas that come from their own sadistic minds. Most of the religions are hIGHly misogynistic, and for those few that aren’t, they are considered are by the others to be “Devil worship”. The hell!?

    • Female genital mutilation has become a “law by custom” in many Muslim states and is wide-spread across Northern Africa and the Middle East. It is not mandated in the Islamic holy books but has become a requirement for marriage in many of these places.
      FGM is seen a way to “cleanse” the female genitalia by removing the clitoris which is considered to be a female penis by these backward idiots. It conforms with the Islamic tradition of treating women as dirty.
      The Shafi’i law of Sunni Islam names the practise as a religious duty, as does the Hanbali and Maliki schools of Sunni Islam.

      This reinforces the position that religions, and the gods that preside over them, are the perverted constructions of the minds of men who twist the rules to suit their own preferences.

      • Here is why that is hair splitting: Both religion and female genital mutilation are cultural constructs. And in this case, they are cultural constructs that overlap. The goal of FGM is to be “freed” from parts that are sexually “unclean”. Since sexuality is such a fraught issue in religion, the overlap should be clear.

      • “Female circumcision is frequently described as an “age-old Muslim ritual,” when in fact it predates Islam and is even believed to be pre-Judaic. Strabo claimed that “the Egyptians circumcised their boys and girls as do the Jews”. The Virgin Mary was likewise said to have been circumcised (Briffault R76v3 324). Islamic tradition also says it was practised by Sarah on Hagar and that afterwards both Sarah and Abraham circumcised themselves by order of Allah. There is no evidence any of Muhammad’s wives or daughters were circumcised. There is no mention of it in the Koran, and only a brief mention in the authentic hadiths, which states: “A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: ‘Do not cut severely, as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.’ But because of this still debated hadith, some scholars of the Shari school of Islam, found mostly in East Africa, consider female circumcision obligatory. The Hanafi and most other schools maintain it is merely recommended, not essential (Goodwin R249).

        http://www.dhushara.com/paradoxhtm/circ.htm

        I have no idea how reliable this website is. I have, however, previously read the Hadith where cutting is permitted, but “not too deep.” I cannot find the link now.

        Cutting may not be obligatory, but it is certainly endorsed.

        • EvN, it doesnt really matter does it? fact remains is, there are mainstream muslim societies still practicing it. It may not be part of the religious scripture but some islamic based countries have adopted this. So yeah, we are not interested in what your scripture is saying, fact is they are doing it and it must be stopped. why is the ullamah (islamic leaders) not stopping it if it is so wrong? Why is this sharia law not being amended?

          • Luckily not MY religion or scripture, Fasseeg!

            I do not know why Sharia is not amended to prohibit this and I do not know why cultures often cling to outdated and barbaric practises. Perhaps a sociologist can give us some idea.

            I can only point to the deaths from botched circumcisions of young boys and men in South African “initiation schools” and say that we have the exact same thing locally.

            I speak out loudly against injustices perpetrated in the name of religion and/or culture. I gather you do too.

            • Oh right, sorry i speed read it and never noticed you were quoting a website. my bad.

              yes i do speak out, but i would rather eliminate religion as a whole from society rather than just individual practices.

              • No prob, Fasseeg.

                I start at the “bottom” and work slowly “upwards” to my ultimate goal of instilling scepticism and reason. I try to, gently, dilute the effects of religious and other magical thinking by asking questions and letting people find their own way. Other people have different approaches and rightly so.

                BUT where the welfare of children and other vulnerable people is threatened, I really get militant and loud!

                Keep well and keep on speaking up.

          • There are many practices that are not specifically required by the bible that Christians adhere to, such as the opposition to abortion.

            I think this stems from the face that the bible is man-mad anyway, so adding “new” preferred practices and saying it’s god’s will is relatively easy.

  4. I have no issue with disgust at people who perpetrate social evils. I do, however, take issue with the idea that because some people who do so happen to subscribe to an incredibly broad social organisation, that organisation is clearly the cause of the social ill.
    Many evil things are perpetrated by people with no religious background, and no reason linked to religion to justify it. Does this mean that a-theism is the cause? Certainly not.
    Social evil will occur whether religion is involved in the world or not. Find me statistics that correlate that, say, with 95% probability (not scientifically significant, but I’m setting the bar low) there is a significant correlation between a people of faith, acting in the name of said faith, are the cause of a social injustice, and I’ll consider that you may have a point.
    Or perhaps it’s the other way around? Again, find me, with even a slight significance, a correlation between what a person does in the name of a religion, and acts of social evil.
    Everything I’ve ever seen that could potentially justify this rant is anecdotal. Someone who espouses a doctrine (theist or atheist) they don’t rightly understand does something that may or may not be contrary to that very doctrine, and suddenly there is reason enough to think that said doctrine must be the cause.

    • What — you see no wide-scale, traditionally reinforced, entrenched discrimination and gender oppression in the Abrahamic religions in particular? Are you serious? No, wait. I don’t care. Shut up.

      • Entrenched discrimination yes. Gender oppression – debatable, I’ll give you that. Whether, say, the atrocities you mention are directly caused by the doctrine/meme and not by, say, selfish and ignorant people? That I’d contest.

        And it occurs to me that “I don’t care. Shut up.” is sorta how Abrahamic religions respond to people who try to challenge them.

      • Anyone who says “All good things are done in the name of religion and all bad things are done by people who don’t believe in the one true god,” or vice versa, is wrong. It’s a generalisation that cannot be made. That is why I chose specific examples to illustrate my argument.
        There will always be counter examples.
        It escapes me that you don’t see the entrenched gender discrimination which is rife within these religions and claim that this is “debatable”.
        As the doctrine is made up by the selfish people in order to craft the world they like, it is kind of redundant to try and separate the two. Especially when the doctrine explicitly condones violence, oppression and murder.

        I do care what you have to say, and don’t want you to shut up.

      • Oh, I’m no stranger to the “no true Scotsman” argument – I agree that some people who are evil espouse some faith. I just don’t see the correlation between the religion and those who are evil. If faith didn’t exist, atrocities would still be happening daily – I’m not going to venture an opinion on whether said atrocities would be more or less common (I suspect that is where our opinion would differ), but every scrap of evidence I’ve seen says that it wouldn’t be statistically significant if the change did occur.
        In terms of discrimination/oppression: I personally take no issue with the concept of discrimination. I treat people differently for dozens of reasons – sometimes even just a ‘gut feeling’. Religions discriminate between people, but largely it’s in the same way as they discriminate between, say, young and old. It’s role- and action-based, not value-based, at least in the majority of Abrahamic religions that I’ve studied. Depending on your definition of ‘oppression’, then, I don’t think that religions *do* oppress based on gender – at least not in terms of doctrine-as-written (again, see lack of correlation between evil people and religion).
        And I’m curious as to which Abrahamic religion condones murder – could you please enlighten me? If I may make a point with somewhat less seriousness, the argument could be made that if the religion says that something is explicitly evil, then the killing of a person committing said evil is justice, not murder. Whether another point of view says that the act in question is not evil is irrelevant: from the point of view of the religion, it is certainly not advocating murder.

      • God is a mass murderer: http://nobeliefs.com/DarkBible/darkbible3.htm#godly-mass-murder
        God says if you don’t listen to priests you must be killed: Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)
        Gad says kill homosexuals: “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)
        God says kill an adultress (adapted by the Muslims to include women who are raped): If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)
        Or, fuck it, kill an entire town if one person who lives there worships another god: Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

        That’s only one of the Abrahamic religions, Christianity, taken directly from their holy book. Justification of murder. And there is a LOT more where that came from.

        • He that is without SIN throw the 1st stone. Jesus Christ was without SIN, yet he chose to forgive instead. There is also beauty and grace in the Bible. If you read it with prejudice, you miss it.

      • John, yes you will always get people that want to commit atrocities but the problem with religion is it creates followers. Take modern terrorism you have one guy that wants to destroy western world namely bin laden. If there was no Islam it would just be him and he would not get much done but because he uses islam to get followers, nice people that really believe they are doing good things for their faith, he was able to perpetrate things like 9/11 and the bombings of embassies in Africa. This is the problem with religion it creates blind followers that to not question what they are told and before you say “no but most people wont commit evil acts like these” it is because they dont really believe. If you truly believe the bible is the word of god and priests are put there by god to help you interpret the bible correctly you wont question orders like go out and kill 50 moslems and you will get into heaven.

  5. “Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile.” [Kurt Vonnegut]

    • That is, unfortunately true. And I think that the societal misogyny has to be addressed as a problem regardless of religion. It is, in a word, transcendent. But this post is not about sexism in general, it is about what I see as perverted behaviour accepted because it wears the sweat-streaked stage make up of that clown you always thought was particularly creepy.

      • Couldn’t agree with you more. Religious misogyny is of a type over which I have no conflicted feelings. Throwing acid in girls’ faces for the crime of going to school … honour killings … the woman’s place in the kitchen … unspoken approval of a patriarch’s beatings of wife and child alike … stoning rape victims who refuse to marry their rapists … it’s “back of the bus” (if allowed on the bus at all) for women in most religions. Just a shame so many of them are so thoroughly indoctrinated that they believe themselves to be supporting all of that of their own free will.

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