Russian Parliament Passes Bills to Punish Those Who Offend ‘Religious Feelings’ or Promote Homosexuality

Russia’s lower house of Parliament this week passed two bills condemned by Amnesty International for stifling fundamental human rights, including the right to free expression.

First off, the State Duma passed a bill outlawing actions perceived as “offending religious feelings.” That’s right: if your behavior offends a person of faith, you could do jail time:

The bill stipulated that “public actions expressing clear disrespect for society and committed with the goal of offending religious feelings of the faithful” would be punishable with jail terms of up to three years in prison as well as fines of up to AU$9700. … Public desecration of religious objects or books are also punishable by fines of up to AU$6500.

The government won’t hesitate to admit what sparked such a specific bill: the feminist performance group Pussy Riot‘s infamous public performances from last year, which openly denounced the Russian government and landed the band members in jail. Apparently Russia’s still mad about that one:

“People who practice traditional forms of religion constantly face threats of various kinds. This includes the stunts by the Pussy Riot group, this includes the cemetery vandalism, and this also includes attempts on lives of spiritual leaders,” Mikhail Markelov, deputy head of the Lower House Committee for Religious Organizations, earlier told reporters.

Speaking of people who face various threats: it’s as awful a time as ever to be gay in Russia.

The State Duma also voted 436-0 (!!!) to pass a bill that bans any kind of “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,” from gay pride parades to teaching children about homosexuality. Any individual found guilty is subject to a fine up to 5,000 rubles ($156), while companies and media organizations could be fined as much as 1,000,000 rubles ($31,000). Foreign citizens who break the law can be deported or jailed.

While all this was going on, riot police detained more than two dozen protesters who tried to hold a “kissing rally” outside the government building in Moscow. Those arrested were primarily gay rights activists, even though hundreds of Orthodox Christian activists showed up to physically assault and verbally harass the demonstrators.

As always, Russian officials deny any hateful intent, but instead claim the bills are an attempt to preserve “traditional Russian values” rather than fall prey to “Western liberalism.” Whatever the reason for this legislation, Russia has a well-documented history of homophobic laws and cultural practices:

Russian officials have rejected the criticism. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov defended the bill in February, saying that Russia doesn’t have any international or European commitment to “allow the propaganda of homosexuality.”

An executive with a Russian government-run television network said in a nationally televised talk show that gays should be prohibited from donating blood, sperm or organs for transplants, and after their deaths their hearts should be burned or buried.

No hateful intent at all. Clearly.

The bills will move on to Russia’s appointed upper house and then to President Vladimir Putin for his signature, and it’s very likely they’ll both pass. I’m scared for the activists in Russia who will keep protesting publicly even as things escalate into violence, but someone has to keep fighting the good fight.

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a twentysomething working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at

  • Houndentenor

    At the end of the 19th century, the Russian government harassed the country’s greatest composer until he killed himself. Things haven’t improved much for gay people there in the last 100+ years.

  • LesterBallard

    Russia has been on its way to becoming a Russian Orthodox Theocracy; with nukes.

  • C Peterson

    Russia has one of the most damaged cultures of any country on Earth. And it has been that way for hundreds of years. Something is very, very wrong there.

  • Tanner B James

    the first bill, maybe not in practice, basically is a declaration for a sectarian civil war. If any religious minorities/majority speaks foul of another group then the government could arrest whole churches and possibly ethnic groups.

  • Matt Eggler

    Russia seems to be doomed to spending three centuries in the nineteenth century. First, they had the actual nineteenth century; then, in the twentieth century, communism – a nineteenth century solution to the flaws of capitalism; and now, in the twenty-first century, they are living in the nineteenth century with smart phones.

  • Anna

    Yikes, this sounds almost as bad as what’s going on in Uganda.

  • WallofSleep

    “An executive with a Russian government-run television network said in a nationally televised talk show that gays should be prohibited from donating blood, sperm or organs for transplants, and after their deaths their hearts should be burned or buried.

    What the fuck?!?! They’re GAY, not goddamned vampires you stupid asshole.

  • YankeeCynic

    President Putin has basically struck a deal with the devil to remain in power, especially after the opposition to his last election. This bill and the Pussy Riot prosecution is designed to appeal to the theocratic elements in Russia to support him and his efforts to stifle dissent.

    It would seem to be working…

  • Rich Wilson

    Near the end of the 20th century I was reading a book by a British journalist about his trip down the Volga in the latter days of Gorbachev. He wrote about a protest sign someone held that said (in Russian of course) “Democracy immediately, please”. I told my Russian tutor about it, since I thought the “please” was funny. She pointed out that asking for something from ‘above’ rather than doing it yourself, is very Russian, and stems from both the Czarist and Communist periods. Russian folklore is full of simple people who through some kind of luck get magical gifts which bring them wealth and prosperity. Russian heroes never do anything all that great on their own.

    All this to say, she felt there was something in the Russian psyche about doing what you’re told.

    Another example, after most of industry was privatized by Yeltsin, all the former factory bosses went around and told all the employees who were now shareholders to sell them their shares (cheaply of course). Most people dutifully did as they were told and ended up right back where they started.

  • Rich Wilson

    They have a rather odd relationship with the skin color of their favored poet as well.

  • David

    And these are the same guys who own RT. RT is not sincere. They simply push anti-Americanism to get views. Russia is a bygone former superpower trying to be relevant today, which it is not. America can be beaten in the freedom game, but not by Russia.

  • RedGreeninBlue

    OT: For days now, I’m getting irritating pop-up messages on every single page on Friendly Atheist (and sometimes two) telling me to install a particular game on my phone. While not in the same league as restrictions on human rights in Russia, it is bloody annoying. I don’t mind banner ads, but incessant pop-ups drive me away, and this one has just driven me away from Friendly Atheist for the time being.

  • Rich Wilson

    Strange. I used to get a poup every time I visited the site with a new browser session. Now I don’t think I even get one per day (I close them so quickly I’m not even sure). I’m sensitive to popups, and it hasn’t been that bad for me on patheos lately. I also have Flashblock (Chrome) installed, but that doesn’t block popups.

  • Machintelligence

    They do seem to be headed backward toward third world status (or at least attitudes.)

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I am tired of pretending to be nice. Russia appears to want a theocracy, but I say bring back the persecution of the orthodox church. These dictatorial assholes began persecuting gay people as soon as they regained their power and stopped being attacked by the Russia government.

    These people are working with a man that was more than happy to make them disappear a little over two decades ago.

    Anyone that would deny someone their human rights, and to the extreme that these bills do, do not deserve their own rights.

  • Freak

    In the middle of the 20th century, the British government harassed the country’s greatest computer scientist until he killed himself.

  • ggsillars

    In the competition to see whose national legislature is the biggest embarrassment and/or menace, ours may be awful, but Russia’s is still winning.

  • addmis

    I have always wondered what they would do if someone there were to complain about other Christians? Ex: “Excuse me, praying for something is very disrespectful to God. It hurts my religious feelings when others treat God like a genie giving out wishes.” Could complaints like that get pastors who advocate prayer sent to jail? Has anyone tried it?

  • DougI

    Promote reality and go to jail because you offended someone’s nutty beliefs like how saints battled with flying wizards.

  • Rich Wilson

    Mormons and Moonies have both faced a great deal of official persecution in Russia. Matter of argument whether they count as ‘other Christians’ but I think it’s fair to say that the future of Russia doesn’t look to be ‘religiously pluralistic’.

  • Sweetredtele

    They are third world.

    edit from 4th to 3rd world link.

  • Tanner B James

    On my Samsung Galaxy S2 4g JellyBean, UC Browser blocks both pop-ups and ads on F.A. but it also has issues with Disqus and Firefox for mobile will let you use AdBlockPlus.

  • Tanner B James

    Must be something in the ice.

  • Hat Stealer

    I’m not sure they know the difference.

  • Hat Stealer

    At least the British have gotten better about that sort of thing.

  • Katherine Lorraine

    Third-world is a much more highly subjective terminology than I gave it credit for o.o
    “Anywhere that’s not America is 2nd or 3rd world!”
    Er… except for the parts of America that are completely indistinguishable from places in 3rd world countries?

  • The Other Weirdo

    Old news, dude. Haven’t you read World War Z?

  • meekinheritance

    I blocked cookies from and the problem went away.

  • Space Cadet

    It’s times like these that America needs to show the rest of the world the differences between Russia and the US. We need to take a stand; do something to separate ourselves from those god-fearing folk.

    We should remove ‘In God We Trust’ from our money.

  • DavidMHart

    You know what they say; God Hates Facts :-)

  • C Peterson

    Or the vodka.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    Why is it that atheists want to indoctrinate children into their “societal values”, but then complain when someone else does the same thing?

    Atheists are inconsistent hypocrites.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Are they? You mean “societal values” based on reason, compassion and logic? Are they really? Really? Are they? Did you just compare values based on reason and compassion to values based on hatred, exclusivity and denial of basic rights, and deem the latter to be worthier?

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    Are you saying that atheism is based on reason, compassion, and logic? Really? Are you serious? Did you just compare values based on God’s eternal standards to values based on changing sinful human whims, and deem the latter to be worthier?

  • Rich Wilson

    No, ours get better over time. God’s values remain pretty much the same. Which is why it’s no longer generally acceptable to sell your daughter.

  • Rich Wilson

    Humans are inconsistent hypocrites.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    How do you know they’re getting better? “Better” according to whom? Maybe they’re getting worse. What’s the standard you are comparing to?

  • TiltedHorizon

    “Atheists are inconsistent hypocrites.”

    Yes, we sometimes are, which is leaps and bounds better than being the consistent hypocrite you are.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    True. That’s exactly what the Bible says. We are all sinners who can only be saved by God’s grace.

  • Rich Wilson

    Right. The “we can’t know right from wrong unless something tells us” line.

    “Gee, I can’t possibly think of any way to determine if selling your daughter is good or bad, unless I have a book to tell me it’s correct.”

    Hell, if you only had your book, you wouldn’t know selling your daughter is wrong. You cherry pick some passage, ignoring others, and back fill and expand it into individual rights and freedoms, to match the morality that society taught you. If the bible was so clear on these things, then no early Christians would have owned slaves. Human morality had to figure that out, and then figure out a way to read the bible to admonish slavery.

  • Rich Wilson

    The bible is a collection of mostly fictitious works designed to make people behave in a certain way. The ‘certain way’ may have had a purpose at the time it was written, but probably doesn’t today.

    When I was a small child, I was visiting a house with a door in the kitchen that led to a steep set of stairs to the basement. The adults, not wanting me to fall down the stairs, told me there was a boogyman behind the door. I can still remember the feeling of dread as I gave the door a wide berth. Nobody ever told me the truth, but as I got older and remembered it, I realized it was just a story for my own 5-year-old good.

    You’re a human. You’re not perfect. You do bad things. You can try to do better things, and make up for the bad things you’ve done.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    So what is your method of determining morality?

    The problem isn’t with the Bible. The problem is with people. We are all sinners, which is exactly what the Bible says.

  • TiltedHorizon

    “Are you saying that atheism is based on reason, compassion, and logic? Really? Are you serious?”


    ” Did you just compare values based on God’s eternal standards…”

    Sorry? Which god is that? Christianity has around 187 denominations domestically, a thousand or more globally. If we add all other religions based on the Abrahamic texts the waters become even muddier. All claim knowledge of the one true god, and all claim the other contenders to be wrong. I’d ask for proof but you already argued how silly that would be. So I guess they are all right. So to play it safe I’ll recite an “Our Father” while facing Mecca, which is probably the same direction of Kolob, while wearing a rosary, orgami magic underwear made from the latest issue of the Watchtower, yamaka, and a snake. All while flagellating myself. Christianity is sooo consistent.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    Nice analogy, but who are the “adults” in it? You’re assuming that someone already knew “better”. You know, someone like God, minus the boogyman mumbo jumbo.

    Also, please provide evidence of your assertion that the Bible is a collection of mostly fictitious works.

    How do you classify things as “bad” or “better”? If atheism is true, why should anyone bother trying to do better things or make up for the bad things they’ve done?

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    The correct worldview is the one that is consistent. It would take quite a bit of time to go through all of them individually, although some are more easily ruled out than others.

  • TiltedHorizon

    Simple really.

    I don’t like being raped! What? You mean you don’t like getting raped either? Oh joy, we agree! I protect you, you protect me, we now have morality.

    I don’t like being robbed! What? You mean you don’t like getting robbed either? Oh joy, we agree! I protect you, you protect me, we now have morality.

    I don’t want to be killed! What? You mean you don’t want to be killed either? Oh joy, we agree! I protect you, you protect me, we now have morality.

    Now everyone sing with me: Oh joy, we agree! I protect you, you protect me, we now have morality.

  • The Other Weirdo

    God once said that it’s a-okay to slaughter men, women(better if pregnant) and children with edge of the sword, only occasionally being allowed to act all rapey on the battlefield. He also gave his wholehearted approval for killing sorcerers and witches. Christians in the 1400s–1700s enthusiastically burned every witch they could find and when they couldn’t find one(’cause, you know, witches don’t actually exist) they’d just accuse random crazy women living on their own.

    Today Christians don’t do this, at least in civilized parts of the world. So, either God was wrong when he said and Christians were wrong for obeying, or they are wrong now. Somewhere in all this, God’s eternal standards aren’t so eternal.

    Edit 1: Just remembered. Having just committed a Life Extinction Event(Noah’s Flood), God promises never to drown the world with water again, only to later promise to burn it with fire. So, these eternal standards… um…

  • TCC

    So you hold to the coherence model of truth? Funny, I didn’t think that model was en vogue with theists.

  • The Other Weirdo

    You know, either Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil or they didn’t. You can’t have it both ways. If they did, then we can tell the difference, and we can certainly known when “we are getting better”. If we didn’t, then Jesus died for nothing and Christians have been badgering the world for 1700 years over absolutely nothing.

  • TiltedHorizon

    “although some are more easily ruled out than others”

    Based on what determination? And whose? How do you know for sure? Since ‘evidence’ is not a criteria, then all assertions, no matter how bizarre, outlandish, or far-fetched, are equally valid.

  • Rich Wilson

    Simple. I flip a coin. If the scarred side comes up, I spend time trying to explain concepts like suffering and well being to the person I’m arguing with. If the pristine side comes up, I quit arguing with the closed mind and move on to more productive ways of increasing well being and decreasing suffering in others.

    Sorry, pristine side. But you’re in good hands with TiltedHorizon and The Other Weirdo. (Thanks people)

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    Great questions. What is your solution?

  • RobMcCune

    So the bible says the problem isn’t with the bible, but with people? That’s a very circular way to prove make your point.

  • RobMcCune

    You don’t have an answer that meets the scrutiny that you apply to other people’s beliefs, do you?

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    That’s great for issues on which people agree. What about issues on which people disagree?

    That’s what the original article was about. Some people don’t want their religious feelings offended or homosexuality promoted. Other people think offending religious feelings and promoting homosexuality are okay. What is right?

  • TiltedHorizon

    “What is your solution?”

    To hold out for evidence. Till then, go on living to the best of my ability and to the benefit of my fellow man.

  • Spuddie

    Atheists (or pretty much anyone who doesn’t find you completely insufferable) promoting societal values such as tolerance towards others and a rigorous dislike of authoritarianism.

    I can see why you are against such things.

  • RobMcCune

    So then why do you use “inconsistent hypocrites” as an insult to one group of people if the bible says it’s true for all people? Isn’t your worldview supposed to be consistent?

  • DavidMHart

    Some people take offence at the mere fact of the existence of people who don’t believe their religion is true. Enforcing laws against causing such people offence is a recipe for tyranny and suffering. Seriously. You name me one country in history ever where blasphemy laws or ‘offending religious feeling’ laws haven’t been used primarily to enable the majority to bully and silence those who disagree with the majority position.

    And if you think that people ought to be legally protected from hearing arguments that they are offended by (which is a different thing from verbal harassment, just in case you were planning on trying to conflate them), then you must take sides, because there are offence-takers with completely incompatible viewpoints. If Christians are offended by someone arguing that Jesus wasn’t the son of a god, and didn’t come back from the dead (which would render the Bible false), and Muslims are offended by people who argue that Jesus was the son of a god and did come back from the dead (which would render the Quran false), there is simply no way to protect one group’s ‘right’ not to be offended without trampling on the other group’s right to the same protection. The only possible solution that doesn’t involve government dictating what religion is to be protected, and thus institution a theocracy, is to declare all beliefs open to question and criticism.

    Promoting homosexuality = telling people that they ought to be gay. Promoting homosexuality is not the same thing as preventing people from bullying people for being gay. Please reassure me that you understand the difference.

  • LesterBallard

    Yes, and not looking forward to the movie.

  • The Other Weirdo

    People don’t have the right not to have their feelings offended. Nor is anybody promoting homosexuality.

  • phantomreader42

    It involves things like “empathy” and “reality”. You wouldn’t know anything about that, of course, since you’re a delusional sociopathic death cultist.

  • TiltedHorizon

    Your argument from the start has been that atheists have no basis for morality. Claiming, more than once, that without this basis, an atheists cannot know rape or murder is “bad”. So I answered your question to Rich Wilson:

    “So what is your method of determining morality?”

    Now, quite mysteriously, it seems you want to discuss right and wrong in context of the article as a sidestep, thus avoiding the obvious point, which is that morality can be determined using very human means. (I guess you silently concede that there is a basis) If that is what you want to do then……

    Rape, murder, robbery. These immoral actions are predicated on one person ignoring the freewill of another to not have those actions done against them. So on the topic of homosexuality, whose freewill is more severely infringed? The homosexual? Who in simplest terms wants the same thing heterosexuals want, but with a person of a the same gender. Or the Christian, who wants to legislate and stop a behavior which does not directly, nor indirectly, impact them? Who actually has a quantifiable loss to their freedoms?

    Before you answer, let me remove some possible responses.

    1) No. Homosexuality is not comparable to bestiality as the beast is not human nor can it give consent.

    2) No. Homosexuality is not comparable to pedophilia as children are not mature enough or old enough to give consent.

    3) No. Homosexuality is not comparable to rape or any other predatory sexual crime as my “freewill” argument has already covered that.


    “Other people think offending religious feelings and promoting homosexuality are okay”

    So “religious feelings” are being hurt because a *minority* group, like atheists declare religion is bad? Imagine what homosexuals must feel like when a *majority* group tells them that homosexuality is bad. You have barley taken a single step in their shoes and are already claiming to the a victim. Oh the irony.

  • Feminerd

    Hell, if you only had that book, you’d know that selling your daughter was totally fine and sanctioned by the One Moral Compass of the Universe!

    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. Exodus 21:7-11

  • phantomreader42

    Sociopathic death cultists like you want to MURDER GAY PEOPLE. Gay people want to NOT BE MURDERED. Are you really so utterly devoid of empathy and basic brain function that you can’t see the difference here? Yeah, of course you are, you’ve gone to great lengths to make it obvious you’re a sociopath, dumber than dog shit, and incapable of communicating sensibly in English.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Meh. We’ll see.

  • phantomreader42

    Because the fact that his very name is a lie is just one of many ways he celebrates the fact that he worships his own lies.

  • Sweetredtele

    You are absolutely correct. Technology has blurred those lines even more.

  • RobMcCune

    Nonsense, everything he does is to make you KNEEL BEFORE GOD!!!!!

    Well, close enough anyway.

  • The Other Weirdo

    All I can say is that Russia has cast off the then-largely-unknown horrors of the new religion of Communism only to rush right back to by-now-well-known horrors of the old religion of Christianity. Sad.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Well, maybe you are a sinner. The rest of us? We are merely imperfect, as we know we are.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    I agree that people don’t have the right not to have their feelings offended. We need to eliminate “bullying” laws which do exactly that.

    Nobody is promoting homosexuality? Are you serious? I have seen and heard of many instances of advertising, books, articles, etc. advancing the cause and contributing to the growth of homosexuality (including in public schools).

  • The Other Weirdo

    Bullying laws aren’t about offending people’s feelings. Please tell me you understand the difference between that and violent physical and psychological assault.

    You can’t make anyone gay, which is what I think you mean by promoting homosexuality. Well, except for all those loudmouths who scream the loudest about the evils of homosexuality and who want to deny them basic human rights, and then get caught renting boys.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    I agree that people shouldn’t have legal protection from hearing arguments that they are offended by. But that’s exactly what “bullying” and “hate crime” laws are. You’re contradicting yourself.

    I understand that there are cases of physical abuse, and that is wrong. But there are also cases where people merely express their views and are punished for it (eg.

    I checked a couple online dictionaries ( and, and both of them have definitions of “promote” that would include what currently takes place in American public schools.

  • Spuddie

    Now stretch those legs before Zod

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    I understand physical assault. What’s the difference between offending people’s feelings and psychological assault? Who determines if psychological assault has occurred (since it is subjective)? Gay activists and pro-abortion activists psychologically assault Christians regularly. Should they be fined or jailed for that?

    By “promoting” homosexuality, I mean to cause people to think of it more favorably, to make it more generally acceptable. A checked a couple dictionaries, and that is well within the definition.

  • The Other Weirdo

    By that definition, Christians are psychologically assaulted on a regular basis when someone mentions that, not only do atheists exist, but that that particular person is one as well. In that case, Christians would do well to learn something about psychological assault.

    I’m done. I did not realize I was arguing with someone who is incapable of empathy to anyone but his own subgroup. My apologies for wasting all the electrons and bandwidth.

  • DavidMHart

    I didn’t see anything in that article that suggested anything was going on in the school that would constitute ‘promoting’ homosexuality in anything like the sense you know full well I am talking about – i.e. telling kids that they ought to be gay (as opposed to telling kids that it’s okay to be gay).

    Do you understand the difference? I can spell it out.

    Here is one position:
    “It’s okay to be straight, gay, bisexual, or indeed asexual – your sexual orientation, provided that everything is done between consenting adults, is no one else’s moral concern”

    Here is another:

    “It’s better to be gay; all you straight kids should really give it a try some time”.

    The first position is not promoting any sexual orientation in the sense that matters here; it’s establishing equal protection for all regardless of sexual orientation.

    The second is privileging one sexual orientation over others. Do you understand the difference, and do you have any evidence that the latter position is actually being adopted at any public school anywhere?

    The article you linked to does not really go into anything like enough detail for me to be able to tell whether the preacherman in question is in fact being fined simply for expressing his opinion or whether his expressions actually crossed the line into verbal harrassment or incitement to violence. A look at the wikipaedia article for the case suggests that while what he said was certainly bigoted and deranged, it probably doesn’t cross the line.

    It also reveals that the preacherman won his appeal against the ruling, so you can quit your martyrbation over that case.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    On the one hand, the basic idea of what you have said is very similar to the Biblical idea, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” However, the devil is in the details, as they say.

    I will admit that atheists can have a basis for morality (such as what you have put forth). What I would argue is that any such basis can be shown to be inconsistent.

    Besides the problems with determining whose freewill is more severely infringed in a particular instance, there is the bigger issue of why what people want of their own freewill should be the standard. What about people who do not want morality to be determined by people’s freewill? You must reject their freewill to have yours.

    To continue your chorus above:
    I don’t like morality being determined by sinful people’s freewill. Too bad! You’ll just have to accept my morality.

    Accepting God’s morality avoids this problem. He is God. He sets the standard. No one has the right to change it or complain about it. He made everything. He knows how everything works. His morality is for our own good.

    Is it possible to drive a nail with a screwdriver or a screw with a hammer? Sure. But the tools weren’t not designed that way, and the end result won’t be as good. Over the long term, damage and injury will result from using them that way.

    The same thing with homosexuality. Yes, people can do it, but the parts don’t exactly fit together properly (if you know what I mean), and over the long term, damage and injury will result. God’s condemnation of homosexuality is for the good of humanity.

  • phantomreader42

    Since your god is nothing more than a figment of your diseased imagination, it cannot set any standard but the one promoted by the voices in your head.

  • phantomreader42

    As I said, he’s a sociopath. He’s also a presuppositionalist, and everyone knows that all presuppositionalists are child molesting serial killers. In accordance with presuppositionalist logic, the very fact that I have stated that claim magically makes it true, and nothing remotely resembling evidence is needed. :P

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    The article I linked to was really regarding the “hate crime” and “bullying” part of my comment, not the promotion of homosexuality in public schools.

    Public schools do promote “try it out to see if maybe you are homosexual”.

    But actually my initial comment was in response to another comment saying that nobody is promoting homosexuality. Are you saying that no one anywhere is telling kids they ought to be gay?

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    No, that doesn’t bother me, but my point was that “psychological assault” is completely subjective. Anyone can say they were traumatized by what someone else said.

    Psychology is a bogus discipline. It is not science. There are no scientific tests for so-called “mental disorders”.

    Your closing paragraph just shows your inconsistency.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    Come on then. So far none of the atheists on this site have been able to come up with morality that isn’t inconsistent.

    Maybe you’ll be the first and win a prize!

    P.S. I know you can’t, but I’m trying to humor you.

  • Feminerd

    I haven’t ever heard anyone say that, no. Even the most out there of gay activists hasn’t ever said anything more than “people should be encouraged to be happy as they are” and that there’s nothing wrong with any being attracted to the same sex. Trying to make straight kids gay is just as bad as trying to make gay kids straight, with just as many psychological consequences.

  • DavidMHart

    Public schools do promote “try it out to see if maybe you are homosexual”.

    You have subtly but crucially altered what I said. What I said was (with added emphases) “It’s better to be gay; all you straight kids should really give it a try some time”.

    Do you understand the difference between encouraging kids to discover their true sexual orientation, and trying to persuade kids that they should try to conform to one particular sexual orientation? Do you understand the difference between a) telling kids that, if they are experiencing same-sex attraction, they might be gay and there’s nothing wrong with that and b) telling kids that being gay is the better option regardless of whether it’s their personal preference?

    Where in the world are schools actually trying to promote position b)? Citations please, or I call shenanigans.

  • DavidMHart

    “So far none of the atheists on this site have been able to come up with morality that isn’t inconsistent.”

    Maybe not, but no theist has ever managed it either. Solve the Euthyphro Dilemma and the problem of evil and get back to us. In the meantime, we’ll continue to try to work out and progressively refine and improve an ethics that is based on concern for the wellbeing of entities that everyone can actually agree exist, rather than concern for the dictates of an entity that looks to many of us like a figment of some people’s imagination.

  • Feminerd

    This “you can’t do it” attitude, that would be the same one that led you to concede defeat in the face of empathy/fairness being a perfectly valid secular way to build a superior morality to Godsaidso?

  • The Inconsistent Atheist
  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    Read my response above. Atheist morality is inconsistent.

  • Feminerd

    How? You keep saying that, but you don’t actually have examples. How are ethics based on empathy and free will inconsistent? Just because someone wants to transgress doesn’t make the ethical/moral system invalid, or no moral system could ever work. The Bible is full of people transgressing God’s wishes; why, more than once, they weren’t murderous enough to satisfy his bloodlust and he punished them for it! My ethics says genocide and mass murder are never, ever OK; what does your ethics tell you and why?

    PS: Anal sex doesn’t cause damage if you do it right. Lots of hetero couples do it too; if you’re arguing that sodomy is unnatural, I have a lovely bridge I’d like to sell you. And lesbian sex using fingers (smaller than most penises) and toys (specifically shaped to not hurt people and also used by many heterosexuals) seems likely to do less damage than PIV.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    The Euthyphro Dilemma
    “(1) Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or (2) is it morally good because it is commanded by God?”

    (1) is correct. There is no dilemma.

    The “Problem of Evil” isn’t a problem either. If atheism is true, there is no such thing as evil. There’s just a bunch of stuff that happened. God has reasons why He does what He does. A root canal isn’t fun, but it may be for your good. The “Problem of Evil” is like a root canal on a cosmic scale.

  • Spuddie

    Considering your notion of morality is non-existent (God tells me so, therefore its OK) you are hardly in a position to comment on the moral code of others.

    Doing something out of fear of punishment or reward, as your version of “morality” dictates is not moral behavior at all. Neither is following instructions from authority without contemplation or understanding.

    You are right, it certainly is consistent. But it hardly meets the definition of the term moral.

    Morals are personal judgments based on acting beyond one’s self interest. If you do something because you want to go to Heaven, fear hell or because God commands you, you are not exercising personal judgment nor thinking beyond your own personal risk/reward calculations.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    Ethics based on freewill is inconsistent because it rejects the freewill of those who don’t want ethics based on freewill.

  • Spuddie

    Ethical/logical dilemmas are easy when one doesn’t want to think very much. How do you know 1 is correct if your basis of morality is 2?

    “If atheism is true, there is no such thing as evil.”

    Why do you have to lie so often and so badly? Atheists believe evil can exist, but it doesn’t exist merely because God says so.

  • TiltedHorizon

    “What I would argue is that any such basis can be shown to be inconsistent.”

    Which you have not done successfully.

    “Besides the problems with determining whose freewill is more severely infringed in a particular instance, there is the bigger issue of why what people want of their own freewill should be the standard.”

    Oh? Now you want to discuss the “bigger” issues? How odd, in your last post to me you wanted to discuss homosexuality in context of the article. Which I answered, and you sidestepped, again, as you did with the example I cited on how morality is achieved in a manner not requiring pixie dust.

    “Accepting God’s morality avoids this problem.”

    Which brings us full circle back to the other topic you avoided, “whose god”, which you called a good question then proceeded not to answer, choosing instead to have me solve it for you.

    “The same thing with homosexuality.”

    So homosexuality is like home depot? The problem with this argument is that homosexuality is actually nothing like that. All the things I can do in a heterosexual act of love with another consenting adult of the opposite sex can also be done with a persons of the same gender without harm or injury.

    Oh wait. Are you are talking about the ability to have children? I guess that means you also have issue with infertile heterosexual couples too. Or worse, single mothers who want to have children without men. Gasp.

    “God’s condemnation of homosexuality is for the good of humanity.”

    Which god? Oh never mind, you will sidestep this as you have done before because blind “belief” is central to your reality. If you entertained the possibility of being wrong you would have to face a bigger issue; i.e. what else are you wrong about.

  • phantomreader42

    Since you don’t actually know what words mean, your moronic drivel is not worthy of any response except ridicule and derision.
    Of course, even if you weren’t a delusional, functionally illiterate sociopath, your complete and utter failure to live up to the standards you demand of others shows that you’re a lying sack of shit, and your demands are motivated entirely by dishonesty and projection.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    Now you’re contradicting the other atheists who have been saying that morals are based on what individuals want for themselves. (“I don’t want to be killed. I don’t want to be raped.”)

    I hate to bring him up again, but you led me right into it. Hitler did what he did based on what he believed was in the best interest of everyone. That doesn’t make it right.

  • Spuddie

    That was stupid.

    People whose “ethics are not based on free will” actually have no ethics. You can’t make ethical decisions if you are not deciding. No free will, no decisions.

  • Feminerd

    It doesn’t reject their free will. It says they are wrong to reject others’ free will. It also says that, given that humans are all equal in value to others (fairness/equality), they are free to do what they will until such time as they hurt others (empathy). We build ethical systems that work; historically, such systems as we humanists espouse make for better places to live. Why, yes, empiricism matters!

    So the fact that a person who wants to rape or murder feels constrained? Uh, yeah, that’s the whole point. If someone doesn’t want ethics based on free will, why does their will matter at all? You have to value free will to say that going against the will of others matters, and so your argument annihilates itself in a poof of logic.

  • phantomreader42

    Hitler was also a member of your sick death cult, murdering the same people your sick death cult spent so many centuries murdering. You worthless Nazi piece of shit.

  • phantomreader42

    Your morality is nonexistent. It consists of nothing more than lying, arrogance, and cowering in terror of threats from the voices in your head, while jerking off to sick fantasies of watching everyone who isn’t a sociopathic death cultist like you being burned alive by your imaginary friend for your depraved entertainment.

  • Feminerd

    You’re right, it doesn’t. Because what Hitler wanted wasn’t what was “best for everyone”, it was what was “best for my group”. His group, of course, being not-everyone. He definitely wasn’t acting in the best interests of Jews, Gypsies, mentally ill people, gay people, Communists, or Poles. You will note that a common characteristic all those groups share is that of being people who were ill-treated based on being outside Hitler’s in-group.

    And you, in fact, love bringing up Hitler. You’ve done it at least three times and maybe more in the past few days. He’s your lovely little reductio ad Hitlerum + Godwin all rolled together into one lovely package of attempted emotional manipulation. Fortunately, we’ve seen it enough to see right through it.

    TL;DR: “Aryans” != “everyone”. And TIA loves Hitler.

  • Spuddie

    Not at all. You just have been a lying, ignorant fool who never actually bothered to read the atheist responses.

    You only read what you wanted to read. The “I don’t want to be killed. I don’t want to be raped.” is not you don’t do those things for fear of personal retribution That’s your type of morality.

    Its you empathize enough with others that you can understand why doing such things is harmful. You understand what pain and loss such acts produce. Your empathy to others is enough not to want to inflict it on someone else.

    For the simpleminded liars like yourself let me put it to you this way:

    You don’t want to be killed and understand its impact enough not to want others to be victims of it. Its called not being a psychopath.

  • DavidMHart

    Firstly, I have already explained the morally relevant sense of ‘promote’ that we are talking about here, and that’s to promote A as being better than B. The fact that ‘promote’ can also be used to mean to claim that B is okay, and in fact is as acceptable as A does not mean that you get to ignore that. After all, we’d both agree that those are possible meanings of ‘promote’, and that they are different, and I have already explained which one I am using, so stop pretending that I’m talking about the other one.

    As regards that video. if what is claimed is true, it’s certainly awkward to put straight kids in the position of having to pretend to be lesbians for the sake of a role-play scenario as part of a classroom discussion about sexual orientation (though how often do you think gay kids have to pretend to be straight for school plays? A lot more often, I’ll wager) … but nowhere does it appear that the school is actively trying to turn straight kids gay, which would be the only form of ‘promoting homosexuality’ that a reasonable, compassionate person would find objectionable. I’ll note also that the news piece you link to raves about “girls told to ask for lesbian kiss at school” and fails to mention that this was part of an exercise in roleplaying how to say no when asked for a kiss,
    and that no students were actually told to participate in kissing, lesbian or otherwise.

    Deceit by omission much?

  • phantomreader42

    So, you admit that morality is not actually determined by your imaginary friend. This contradicts your previous assertions, making you an inconsistent lying sack of worthless stinking shit. So fuck off. You have nothing to offer but incredibly stupid lies.

  • phantomreader42

    But he is incapable of understanding not being a psychopath, because to do so would require empathy, and since he is a psychopath, he is not capable of comprehending empathy, much less exhibiting it.

  • phantomreader42

    Add “promote” to the miles-long, ever-growing list of words InconsistentLyingSackOfShit does not know the meaning of, and would sooner kill and eat his own family than learn.

  • phantomreader42

    Add “psychology”, “science”, and “inconsistency” to the miles-long, ever-growing list of words InconsistentLyingSackOfShit does not know the meaning of, and would sooner kill and eat his own family than learn.

  • phantomreader42

    Add “atheists”, “inconsistent”, and “humor” to the miles-long, ever-growing list of words InconsistentLyingSackOfShit does not know the meaning of, and would sooner kill and eat his own family than learn.

  • phantomreader42

    Add “morally”, “good”, dilemma”, “problem”, “evil”, and “atheism” to the miles-long, ever-growing list of words InconsistentLyingSackOfShit does not know the meaning of, and would sooner kill and eat his own family than learn.

  • RobMcCune

    If 1 is correct then God is just the middle man, and not the source of morality.

    Arguing that morality is in the nature of God suffers the same problem as 2 because it’s circular.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    “How do you know 1 is correct if your basis of morality is 2?”
    Because God tells us so in the Bible. Are you catching on yet?

    I know atheists believe evil exists. They are inconsistent.

  • TCC

    The Golden Rule isn’t a “Biblical idea”; it’s the most ubiquitous moral principle, and it exists in both religious and secular ethics.

  • Spuddie

    So you don’t believe #1 is correct after all. You lied. Very consistent behavior of yours. Not moral, but consistent.

    When have you stopped lying?

  • TiltedHorizon

    “I know atheists believe evil exists. They are inconsistent.”

    The inconsistency is yours, again. Of course evil exists, just not in a religious context. That bomber in Boston was evil, as in reprehensible, not some agent of the devil ‘evil’. You are now predicating your presupposition on nomenclature.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    No. Morality is based on God’s nature. He has told us so that we would know what is good. The “commanding” didn’t make it good. It simply let us know what is good.

  • RobMcCune

    So then where does God get his morality?

  • phantomreader42

    He doesn’t even have an answer that meets the scrutiny he applies to software license agreements. Once again, the inconsistent hypocrite with no moral standards is whining that everyone EXCEPT him is an inconsistent hypocrite with no moral standards. He has nothing but lies, fear, stupidity and projection.

  • Spuddie

    So you don’t actually have a basis of morality at all. Just blind deference to authority. But then you also said that things can be morally good in of themselves.

    You are not being very consistent except for being consistently dishonest.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    I do believe #1 is correct. Why do you think I don’t?

  • Feminerd

    God is good because God said ze was good and we know God doesn’t lie because God said ze doesn’t lie and God is good because God said so and … spin spin spin goes the logic.

  • Feminerd

    Because #1 posits an objective Good that exists outside of God. God likes what is Good because it is Good; the logical corollary to #1 is that we do not require God to figure out what this outside objective Good is because it exists independently of God.

  • Spuddie

    Your words
    “Morality is based on God’s nature.”

    Therefore you believe #2 is correct.

    If things are moral in of themselves and God is merely the agent of such things, then he is unnecessary for morality.

  • TiltedHorizon

    “He has told us so that we would know what is good.”

    How odd that the most powerful force in the existence had to wait for the invention of the written word and the printing press to spread the knowledge of its own existence. One would think there would be a better, much less human means, of sharing this information.

  • Spuddie

    Beat me to it! =)

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    He didn’t have to wait. He talked with Adam in the beginning. All of creation tells of His existence.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    No, I don’t believe #2 is correct.

    God is good and He tells us what is good. Good is not good because He says so. Good is good because He is so.

  • LesterBallard

    It might be good, if I can forget about the book. Fast zombies, the reporter character being so involved in the actual war rather than reporting on it. Of course, filming the book as it is may not have been Hollywood enough. I can’t see Colson Whitehead’s Zone One being filmed as is.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    #1 does not posit an objective good that exists outside of God. Maybe that is how it is commonly understood, but I did not take it that way. I simply picked from the choices offered me of a false dilemma.

    My position is not that good is good because God says so, but that good is good because God is so.

  • TiltedHorizon

    That explains the gospel of Adam. Oh Wait…….

  • TiltedHorizon

    He is not contradicting, he is describing Enlightened self interest (Mutual Interest) which serves the “I” by protecting the “We”.

    As for Hitler, his actions are immoral because, as I explained prior: “I protect you, you protect me, we now have morality.”

    Here is the thing about Hitler. He did not single-handedly commit genocide, he had the support of Germany, a predominantly Christian country. He used the faith of a nation to get them to turn a blind eye to his ‘evil’ and the blood on their hands. Hitler only had to ease their conscience by telling an entire country; it is what god wants.

  • RobMcCune

    Again the problem is that it is circular, and just as arbitrary as commands.

    Also why did he reveal what is good over thousands of years in messages that conflict with one another?

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    Sorry, I conflated psychology with psychiatry. In any case, the thrust of my point still stands.

  • DavidMHart

    Others have already weighed in with why the Euthyphro Dilemma still stands. But regarding the problem of evil – of course it isn’t a problem for atheists – we’re not the ones who have to square the belief in an omnipotent and omnibenevolent god with the observation that great suffering exists which an omnibenevolent god would want to prevent and which an omnipotent god would be able to prevent.

    You simply can’t get around it with a root canal surgery analogy. Root canal surgery, before decent anaesthetics came along, was agony. Now that we have decent anaesthetics, it would be monstruous to refuse to use them on your dental patient.

    By virtue of being omnipotent, there is no conceivable goal that a god could accomplish that involved putting us through suffering that he would not also be able to achive without putting us through suffering. If he makes us suffer, he does so either by choice – meaning he can’t be all-good, or because he is unable to avoid it – meaning he isn’t all powerful.

    No one has ever articulated a response to the problem of evil that doesn’t involve implicitly giving up either the claim of a god’s omnibenevolence or its omnipotence.

    Of course, it isn’t a problem for atheists, because we live in a universe that is indifferent to our suffering, that wasn’t made for us, and in which the only beings that care about us are us (i.e. each other). Of course evil exists when defined in the way it is ordinarily understood by most people – i.e. the conscious wish to do harm to others (in the absence of good reasons that would make the harm part of a programme with long-term benefit like in the limited counterexample of the pre-anaesthetic dentist).

    But maybe ‘evil’ is just another word that you’re going to insist on playing Humpty-Dumpty with.

  • Mario Strada

    Declaring victory instead of answering is pretty pathetic. Tilted Horizon had you knotted up better than a side of ham so instead of considering his/her points you decide this is as good a time to declare your superiority. Fascinating.
    I guess one of the reasons I have been always interested in studying the various religions is because it takes a certain kind of brain to subscribe to those beliefs. And the way those brains work make it fascination. I guess I like to read about serial killers for the same reason. Trying to understand how people that are as equipped as I am, starting from the same basic chemistry, can evolve into pure evil.

  • Mario Strada

    Keep repeating that and maybe one day it will become true. But I doubt it. What it sounds like to me is:

    Blah, blah, la, la, la, blah, la, la, la. Blah, blah, la, la, la.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    Yes, just as the Bible says, we are made in God’s image and God has given all of us a conscience. It is not a coincidence that most people agree on most moral issues.

  • Mario Strada

    No, Hitler knew damn well that what he was doing was wrong. That’s why he went to great pains to keep it as secret as possible. Because he knew that even among his followers, few would have had the stomach for it.
    And he certainly did not think it was in the best interest of “everyone”. He knew damn well it was in the best interest of the German Race. Even Hitler knew that the Jews, Gypsies and others he targeted weren’t going to be happy about his little extermination program.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    Your argument is kind of like how we should be tolerant of everybody, except, of course, the people who are intolerant.

    ” It also says that, given that humans are all equal in value to others”
    That’s a truth from the Bible. But you don’t believe the Bible. Why do you believe it is true?

    “You have to value free will to say that going against the will of others matters, and so your argument annihilates itself in a poof of logic.”
    Actually, it’s your argument that goes poof. I have never said that morality/ethics are based on free will.

  • Feminerd

    That answer is door #2. Which opens the door to, oh, the Crusades? Witch-burning? Pogroms? Rape? Genocide? Slavery? All of that is “moral” and “good” because God condones or explicitly commands it to happen.

    And that’s sick. No one, not a single person, thinks those are Good things. That’s because we do have empathy and we do have some innate morality which tells us that doing those things to other people is wrong. Your god is a sadistic psychopath, and you argue that sadistic psychopathy is the definition of Good. Stay the hell away from me and mine!

  • Feminerd

    The Bible has a chosen people who are by definition more valuable than other people. It also condones slavery, which also by definition values some humans more than others. That’s one reason I explicitly reject that book as a moral guide, actually. Humans are all equal to each other in value because it is self-evidently true and all the evidence points that way. Also, remember that empirical evidence thing? The world is a better place when we act as though it is true, and since building a better world is what this whole ethics thing is really all about, that’s rather suggestive, don’t you think?

    You said the problem with free will based ethics is if someone doesn’t like it. Well, the whole point of ethics is to constrain undesirable activities that, while they may benefit one individual, are harmful to others and/or society. Universal ethics doesn’t mean everyone likes it, it means it works as a marker for what is Good and Not Good.

    You will note that we allow people to be intolerant; they are not punished by law for their bigotry. We merely ask that their intolerance not be used to pass laws, hurt other people, or be projected by people who are acting in the name of the government. What you think is besides the point; what you do matters. You can think gay people are icky all you want, but we only get in your face about it when you start bullying people, trying to pass laws that specifically relegate them to second-class citizens, or trying to stop laws that acknowledge their rights. We’ve told you you’re wrong, because you are, but we have not and will not tell you that you have no right to think as you do.

  • Sterling Ericsson

    They seem to be going toward Fascism to me (which, of course, Christianity was a large part of in Nazi Germany). Though Fascism is just the flip coin of Communism anyways. The wording is different, with the actions being the exact same.

  • kaydenpat

    Russia hasn’t changed much from its days of communism. Still fascist.

  • kaydenpat

    Never even thought about that but so true. There are still some Protestant denominations which talk about the Pope and the Catholic Church. Will be interesting to see if those churches are shut down/prosecuted under this law.

  • The Other Weirdo

    I don’t remember, but what was the reporter’s role during the actual war?

  • LesterBallard

    Me either. I can’t recall if there is anything about what he was doing during the war or not.

  • Feminerd

    I don’t think the reporter had a role in the war. I thought ze was reporting on it after the fact, as someone born just as the war was ending (think ~25 year old reporter asking a 55 year old veteran about WWII). Basically, try to gather the pieces and explain what happened.

  • Spuddie

    “God is good and He tells us what is good.”

    Therefore something is good because God tells us so. Since you are not God, you learn of this because he says so. You having no independent concept of good without God. Therefore basing morality on God would require acceptance of #2. To accept #1 would be to ignore God in the moral equation.

    I am going to let you in on a secret. You clearly haven’t figured it out. Neither choice will work out for theistic based morality.

    If you admit to #1 as correct, you are admitting that God is unnecessary for morality because good is good whether God is involved or not. The atheist view of morality.,

    If you admit to #2 as correct then you are stating that you have no personal concept of morality at all but are merely following blind authority of God. Which means you can’t tell good from bad without someone else telling you.

  • Tanner B James

    WebKit based browsers work best with disqus. Try Netfront

  • Little Magpie

    My favourite response to this (or at least the bill relating to not promoting homosexuality) comes from (no surprise) George Takei’s facebook group: “Now
    that Russia’s economy is the envy of the world and its politics are
    stable, democratic and corruption-free, it is so heartening to see its
    leaders finally focus on the truly serious problems threatening the very
    future of that nation, such as all the damn homosexuals.”

    As I already said over on fb,… Sarcasm skill level: EPIC.

  • phantomreader42

    Add “tolerant”, “truth”, and “argument” to the miles-long,
    ever-growing list of words InconsistentLyingSackOfShit does not know the meaning of, and would sooner kill and eat his own family than learn.

  • Jack Dowell

    Also, what exactly does he think is going to be done with the hearts other than being buried or cremated?

  • Derrik Pates

    Declaring by fiat that someone else’s morality is inconsistent is not the same as it actually being so. And you have not demonstrated that morality based on the fictional words of the biblical deity you worship is any less so. I mean, the Bible has many examples of might making right, and leaders being subject to a wildly different set of moral codes than normal people. How is that a “consistent moral code”?