Religion empowers idiocy

I’ve often been asked what moved me to become an activist atheist, rather than just a live-and-let-live atheist.  Well, you’ve probably seen me blog about my home town in Arkansas, but here’s where I went to college.

Next on the campaign to protect rights that aren’t under assault, they’ll fight for their right to shower in their own bathrooms.  Unless they live in Arkansas.

Growing up around stuff like this made me seriously worry about the adverse effects of widespread assurance that stupid, stupid opinions/beliefs were endorsed by god.  This poster is a testament to how religion empowers idiocy.

Now I’m all hacked off.  I think I deserve Jimmy John’s.  I’m gonna make that happen.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • bubba707

    I like the last one on the poster. I can just see a kid telling the teacher math is against his religion.

    • Steve

      I’ve read some stuff that suggests that fundie Christians are against set theory, but I could never figure out why.

      • smrnda

        I studied mathematics and I encountered some really idiotic misrepresentations of set theory used by both Christian apologists and by nutty fundamentalists all of which more or less totally failed to understand set theory in the least. I think the deal is that it concerns ‘infinite’ things and that makes it appear to be treading on the toes of religion.

  • Rachel

    When I looked at the sponsoring organization (at the bottom of the poster) I read it as “Missouri Rapists” and thought “Well, I see how a group like this could endorse prayer, but it’s quite bold of them to organize so openly…”

    • Jeff

      I read the same thing. That’s quite the cutoff!

  • LawnBoy

    Americans United for Separation of Church and State will have a conference call to strategize a response, and they have some good flyers.

  • Alverant

    Of course if a muslim student starts praying to Allah I bet the Baptists are going to start complaining. Didn’t anyone tell them that freedom of religion means ALL religions?

    • ed

      Probably not…given the outcry in Missisippi (or Alabama) recently regarding school vouchers.

    • margaretwhitestone

      Didn’t anyone tell them that freedom of religion means ALL religions?

      No. To the average wingnut, “religion” means “Christianity”.

  • SO sorry.

    I am so sorry you guys feel this way. If we want to believe in God there is nothing you can do or ever do to stop us. You think it is so easy for you to think it is easy being a Christian but do you ever stop and think how many people actually hate us. If you think we are stupid you have the right, I could care less. It takes a person with a lot of bravery to sit down and know that becoming a Christian you will be hated by 95% of the people on this earth, that is if you openly admit it. I know that you will be stating in your next post on here that I am a retard… So what, the world is not the greatest place to live. There will always be people that hate us. It says so in the bible and thus your hate for me makes my belief stronger because it says that people, like you, will hate people, like me, in the bible. Oh and another thing you cant control there will be someone praying for you tonight. God bless :P

    • anteprepro

      Christians, making up 80% of our country and 99% of those in power in our country, are the most oppressed minority group of them all. Please, won’t somebody think of the Christians? Please, won’t somebody weep on behalf of all of the oppressed Christians? Can you feel no pity for those Christians who are hated by 95% of people in the world for simply being Christian, despite the fact that 33% of the world is also Christian (and thus at least 28% of those supposed Christian haters are also Christian)? Can you not cry for the fact that they are so hated, and overlook the minor fact that Christians tend to hate non-Christians just as much as non-Christians hate Christians? Have you no sympathy for the plight of the members of the largest religion in the world? No sorrow for their horrible predicament? Not even a few seconds of music from the world’s tiniest violin?

      Tough crowd.

      • anteprepro

        Also: If 95% of the world hates Christian, and thus 28% of the Christian haters are Christians, then 83.33% of Christians hate Christianity, and only 16.66% don’t. And the sad part of that is, it is probably true. Evangelicals think Mainliners are too namby-pamby and think Catholics are Mary-Worshippers and not even Christian at all. Mainline Protestants think Evangelicals are unsophisticated nutters and think Catholics are too hung up on ritual and belief in magical priesthoods. Catholics scoff at the arrogance and dismissiveness of a Protestant “sola scriptura” viewpoint. And all of the above just scoff at Orthodox Christianity, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mormons.

        All of this is to say: Get your head out of your privileged ass. You aren’t as persecuted as you think you are or claim to be. You have handily illustrated the accuracy of the title of this post.

        • Bob Hope

          Did your mommy tell you those %. Or do you believe them from the internet like everything else.

          • Bob Hope

            Oh, and 28% might say that are Christian… but that is the key word saying… lol

          • SO sorry.

            Thank you Bob for defending me but that is not the way I would like to handle this conversation. anteprepro has his right to his opinion and I of course am in titled to mine. Yes you might be right on a lot of things you said anteprepro. I know there is a lot of corruption in the church. But you for get baptist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mormons are man made ideas of how they view the bible and I believe them all to have error. Even I am a Presbyterian and believe it has vast amounts of errors in the doctrine I do not believe that anyone is better or worse than I. There are people that look down on one another or think they are better. But that is not what it means to be a Christian. As Jesus said when he was asked why he sat down with sinners to eat. Is it not the well that needs a doctor but the sick. I myself have a lot of different friends. I have atheist, Buddhist, 7th day Adventist and since I lived in Peru for a while I have Catholics. I did not mean to come in here and insult you and I apologize if you thought that was my intention. Your right I was exaggerating when I came up with the 95%. But I do believe I am closer to it than some census you might have or might have read on the net. Those people that you refer to are showing a false Christianity when the look down to people that are not like them. I believe I am no better than you are and if you have the belief that you are you have that right. And I can understand why you would be so upset with me if you believed I was that type of person. So I choose not to be. If I have wronged you in anyway I also apologize. I just don’t see the need for you or anyone to hate people on a belief system they might have. I don’t hate you in fact I used to think I was a lot like you in one point in my life. I hated people on there belief because it was not mine or it just sounded insane to me. And trust me I let them know just like you have to me. I could sit here all day and try to explain to you that this picture I have here on this wall was here since the beginning of time. The canvas slowly grew up from a rotting tree limb, dyeing animals and things from the ocean made what appears to be paint. Now you would laugh in my face if I told you that. But many people tell me there is not creator to this world that it was by chance. I just can’t sit here and believe we are that lucky. And then who created the things before there was the big bang. It is really hard for me to grasp ,might be my lack of intelligence, that there was not creator of that mass of object to just be formed from nothing. I am not here to sit and say that is what you believe if but you can see how any person that does not understand anything about religion to find that absurd. Thank you for your comments even if you do have a tiny violin to play the sad song of how much the world doesn’t care if they hate me are not. Frankly everyone will say what they will. Just makes me wonder why we cant have a civil conversation though?

          • Steve

            Try some more mathematics and some less Bible reading

  • SO sorry.

    Oh, and one other thing about me not being persecuted as I thought. That is a good one since I risked my life for five years for being a missionary in the Philippines.

    • anteprepro

      For this post:
      I didn’t realize you were talking about how hard it is to be a Christian in the Phillipines in the context of Missouri Prayer Amendment. And here I thought you merely had delusions of persecution, when you simply just decided to talk about something tangentially relevant. Unless you are just dishonestly conflating “life is so hard for Christians in Third World Countries where they are a religious minority” with “life is so hard for Christians”.

      Your previous comment:

      But that is not what it means to be a Christian.

      “No True Scotsman”, eh?

      I just don’t see the need for you or anyone to hate people on a belief system they might have.

      Look, I appreciate your concern in thinking that you offended me or something. Don’t worry about it, alright? I am just criticizing because you are wrong, in a way that Christians consistently are (believing they are despised in America despite the fact that they are among the most privileged, large, and powerful groups in America). And I don’t hate you or Christians. I just think your beliefs are wrong, and that your belief about how hated Christians are is also wrong. Here, an example of this kind of error:

      I could sit here all day and try to explain to you that this picture I have here on this wall was here since the beginning of time. The canvas slowly grew up from a rotting tree limb, dyeing animals and things from the ocean made what appears to be paint. Now you would laugh in my face if I told you that. But many people tell me there is not creator to this world that it was by chance.

      This is a dumbass thing to say. Life is pretty much fully explained by evolution and if you dismiss evolution, you better have a damn good reason because evolution is pretty well supported science. And the universe itself is pretty much fully explained by simple physical principles. There is no reason to invoke magic to explain life or the universe. There is no reason to believe that life or the universe is analogous to a painting or any other form of human artifact. There is no reason to believe it is anything but natural.

      Just makes me wonder why we cant have a civil conversation though?

      Civility is overrated and, around FTB, it is generally not assumed by default. You may want to especially ask for civility if you want it. Just be cautious to stress that it is a personal preference, and don’t go on a lecture about how everyone needs to be nicer.

    • Steve

      Oh yeah the Philippines. One of the most Christian countries on the fucking planet. You really had it hard there.

  • anteprepro

    Bob Hope: You are innumerate. The only number I obtained from elsewhere was 80%. 80% is roughly the percent of the population that is Christian. For example, go here:

    Evangelical Christians + Mainline + Catholic + Orthodox + Historically Black + Other Christian is

    26.3% + 18.1% + 23.9% + .6% + 6.9% + .3% which equals 76.1%.

    You can find data saying that the number of Christians are 75 to 80% all over the place. Similarly, the count of Christians worldwide is consistently somewhere between 2 to 2.2 billion. If you doubt it, prove otherwise, because it is trivial to find data in that range. With a world population of 6.9 to 7 billion, Christians make up 30% of the world (so, yeah, I was wrong about 33%, it usually isn’t quite that high).

    As for the other numbers:
    -28% is what you get when you take the percent of the world population that is Christian (33%) and subtract the percent of people who supposedly like Christians (5%). It is the percent of the world population that is Christian but hates Christians.
    -83.3% is what happens when you take that 28% of the world population and try to see what percentage it is of the Christian population. It is found by 28/33 and represents the percentage of Christians that hate Christians.
    -16.6% is the previous number subtracted from 100 to find the number of Christians that don’t hate Christians.

    You’ll note that your takeaway in your second comment is wrong: It is not 28% of Christians that are Christians-in-name-only that hate Christians. The percentage for that would be 83.3%, as stated above. That number should be far more difficult for even you to accept as accurate.

    And, because you are daft, my above calculations are only true if you assume that 95% of the world hates Christians. The calculations simply illustrate how absurd that situation is. Since So Sorry has admitted that it was an exaggeration, which was what I wanted to do in doing the math, I guess at least xe grasped the point. As for me spelling out the math for you? It’s just to show you that you have no idea what you are yammering about. Have a nice day.

    • anteprepro

      For anyone who would want information on how many people actually dislike Christianity in the U.S., try here:

      My summary:

      15% of people say they are biased against Jews, 14% admit bias against Buddhists, 18% against Christians, and 43% against Muslims.

      The people who say that they have a very unfavorable view of those groups is 15% for Jews, 21% for Buddhists, 4% for Christians (!), and 31% for Muslims. The total who have a unfavorable view (i.e. adding together very unfavorable and somewhat unfavorable) is 25% for Jews, 36% for Buddhists, 8% for Christians (!!), and 53% for Muslims.

      So yeah: Poor, hated Christians!

      • SO sorry.

        Wow and I have never said America this whole time. I will leave you alone. You want to defend yourself so bad you have to use insults to justify yourself. If I wanted that I could go to the playground at McDonald’s. I will let you talk with your friends here. But I am still glad I meet you. I wish you well in life and in all other situations you have problems in. I was just hoping we could have had a conversation without the insults but if you want to go there I wont. I like everyone equally and I see no need for it. I know I have come where I am not wanted I just wanted to talk to someone different to see why people think the things they do. But I didn’t come here to get attacked. I didn’t need math spelled out for me because I did not come here for a math contest just some incite into your world. So far I see it would not be a great place for me to come to again. People Christian and atheist can get along just fine. There should be no reason for a argument. That is where people get ideas that aren’t good from. I don’t want that. You could be the nicest guy in real life but why do you so much hatred toward someone you just meet. But like I said before I could care less you cant hurt me one way or another. I just wondered a few things thought I could get them without a few people insulting me but its fine. I guess people will not like what they cant understand. Sorry for your waste of time.

        • anteprepro

          Honestly, I don’t know how to reply to you. I’m sorry for insulting you but I didn’t think I was being too insulting but insulting is pretty much fair game in these parts and you’re also insulting in mocking me for being insulting but you are also seeming to be apologetic for it at the same time and want to reign in the insults from someone who agrees with you and yeah. You seem decent enough. I’m not sure what you want to have a conversation about but you posted in the wrong thread to do it. The thread was already 3 days old when you came here, wasn’t particularly active even when it was new, and the most recent comment was a day old. I really don’t have any advice on how to strike up a conversation with someone here unless you send out a general invite to your own blog or you luck out and JT posts something new that is relevant to something you want to discuss. You could try a different Freethought Blog too. I would suggest Pharyngula since it is very active, but if you thought I was too impolite then I don’t think you could cope there. Whatever you wind up doing, please keep this mind: If you find a group of atheists in the blogosphere and have an argument for them, never assume that they haven’t heard it before and acknowledge that they may have heard it many times before. Presenting it as if it is new and irrefutable will piss them off.

          So, good luck with whatever you plan on doing regarding investigating what the other half believes. But I’m pretty sure I’m done here.

  • SO sorry.

    One other thing before I go. There is lack of evidence on both accounts. That is what the need for faith is. You have faith of something that I don’t believe in and vice versa. Well Please watch this for me. All both sides can come up with is need more evidence. So therefore I can not believe you on the whole this world has no creator. Once you have come up with the evidence then we could have a talk. But none of this I will meet you by the monkey bars after school childishness. You can stat that I don’t have to expect nice out of you. That is what I would expect from my 3 year old.

  • Bob Hope

    Lol Monkey Bars after school. Don’t think he could talk without his little defenses. And it would seem that from this conversation dood hates you. But SO Sorry has nothing but respect for you 3 year old. hahahaha

    • Bob Hope

      Oh I am believing SO Sorry more than you cuz Dickhead live near assholes and nutts.

  • anteprepro

    And it would seem that from this conversation dood hates you.

    Do all Christians have such a low bar for hate? And if so, how come they get all uppity when we accuse them of hate in regards to their attitudes towards gays?

    • SO sorry.

      That would mean there not truly a Christian. I don’t hate them or dislike them I might think there confused but they could thing the same about me. Most of them are pretty funny at times I think.

  • SO sorry.

    Ok Bob your just going to make him feel like we are 2 against one and Like I told you before were not here to do that. Take it to McDonalds if you want to be on that level. No disrespect but the man has valid points to how the world works.