Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Terrorists are a Natural Product of Religion, not an Aberration

Sent to "The Star", Johannesburg, on Wed 30/12/2009, never published.

Tuesday 29 December's Star Leader Page carries two analyses of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who tried to bomb Northwest Airlines flight 253 on Friday, and his ilk.

There is an important point about "Islamist terrorists" that the analyses miss.  It is this:  These people are faithfully and conscientiously putting into practice exactly what their religion teaches.

The problem is not extremists, it is religion.

The Qur'an condones violence against non-Muslims:
[8.39] fight with them until ...religion should be only for Allah
[9.12] ..fight the leaders of unbelief..
[9.29] Fight those who do not believe in Allah
[9.123] O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you...

A Muslim who dutifully follows the warlike commands in his scriptures will be seen by decent people, including moderate Muslims, as a murderous criminal. Nor are Christians or Jews any better off:
A Jew who obediently followed Leviticus 26:32-36 would stone to death anyone that gathered sticks on the Sabbath.  Is the genocide in the book of Joshua acceptable because a god commanded it?
Matthew [28:19] has Jesus saying "make disciples of all the nations" –and force was not ruled out, witness the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland.

Only if a Jew, Christian or Muslim IGNORES the bad laws in his holy books, is he able to be part of civilized society.  Fortunately there are millions of good religious people who don't obey the evil commands.

Religion makes a virtue of blind obedience.  By this measure, the most fanatical are the holiest.

The world will have fundamentalist violence until we handle the cause: Organised religion.  We will be closer to peace when good people stop deferring to religion as if it were something holy.  These superstitions should be treated like the Greek myths or Santa Claus:  Interesting stories, not a reason to kill people.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Which god was opposing abortion on Tuesday?

Sent to "The Star", Johannesburg, on Thu 16/04/2009, never published.

John Zenstra (Star letters, Tuesday 14 April) says that God Almighty is vehemently opposed to abortion.

He forgot to mention which god of the many on offer –Zeus, Jupiter, Krishna, Jehovah, Jesus, Allah, to name but a few– this is, or to cite where the god makes this statement.  Could he please bring his god to a public press conference so that the matter can be clarified once and for all?

If he can't, why not admit that the above gods (and all the rest) are convenient fictions, because it sounds more impressive to blame his morality on a god, instead of taking responsibility for working it out himself?

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Superstition (aka Religion) Retards Progress

Sent to "The Star", Johannesburg, on Mon 09/03/2009, never published.

I refer to The Star's front-page lead on Friday 6 March ("Mom Excommunicated") about a 9-year old Brazilian girl who had been raped by her stepfather, and was given an abortion.  Her mother and the doctors were then excommunicated by the Catholic Church. This highlights the bad influence that superstition, in this case the Catholic superstition, has on the lives of people.

Religions make wild unverifiable –and often contradictory– claims about gods, heaven and hell.  They are usually accompanied by threats towards non-believers that are plainly hate-speech and intimidation.  It is time to admit that religion is nothing more than superstition, a strange irrational behaviour.  People are free to believe what they like, but the State, public institutions, and sensible people should not dignify such silly ideas.

The good thing about excommunication is that those involved no longer have to take part in primitive practices like the ritual symbolic cannibalism called Mass.