Why is religious freedom so hard? It's not

This isn’t analogous. The example should be that the man buys his wife roses every day EXCEPT Valentines Day. What answer could he give that would appear rational? if he says. “religion”, no one bats an eye.
I’m not sure your example even make the point you seem to think it does. All I am saying is that religion can be used to justify irrational behavior. This is not a controversial statement. Just think of Muslim suicide bombers, if that makes it clearer. There are many such examples.

I guess that’s why the French Revolution tried to change the calendar to have ten day weeks, to avoid Sabbaths and Sundays and all religious holidays and memorials. So much rationality.


I’m not sure how that makes any point? Again, it is not a controversial statement to say that religion is used to justify irrational behavior. Not at all controversial.

So, is a ten day week more rational than a seven day week?

Is a seven day week irrational only because it appears in the book of Genesis?

Is a ten day week more rational because it was proposed by the French Revolutionaries?

What do non-religionists use to justify irrational behavior, such as abortion or trying to turn men into women?


To equate someone choosing to honor the Creator by keeping Holy a special day and not playing basketball with an Islamic terrorist committing suicide and blowing up innocents in the process as somehow both examples of irrational religious behavior is to my mind itself - irrational.

That is the point. We find different ideas irrational. The example above regarding the French Revolution trying to force a 10 day week on the populace so as to undermine the Christian calendar in the name of atheism may also be seen as irrational by many people.

If we cannot agree on what is rational or irrational then the truth is that we can never dialogue and we are compelled to grow apart into different tribes.

This is the legacy of the ‘new atheism’ you spoke about.

Getting the state to impose your tribe’s view of rationality on all others is something that history has taught us we need to fight against lest we suffer the inevitable horror that follows.

There is nothing more we can say to each other.

Regards and peace.

The point I think is not that we disagree on what is rational, it is that a secular society ONLY determines what is rational based on evidence, logic and experience. If you can somehow prove something incorrect, a society based on reason will change. In fact, you will be celebrated. The issue with any religion is that their worldviews are based on dogma and faith. You can provide as much evidence as possible, but they will never change.

Well if you listen to Catholic politicians such as Pelosi or Biden they will say that it is the body of the woman and she has the right over her own body. Of course this makes no sense at all when you consider late term abortion where the baby is right there except for the umbilical tube and they kill the child in cold blood. With the present lineup of Democratic candidates for President, i only heard Tulsi say things against later term abortions.

Yes religion can be used that way, agreed.
Stalin, (atheism)
Pol Pot (atheism)
Hitler (paganism)
Mao (atheism)
The many Christian atrocities (Christianity)
Many other wars that have religious overtones.
Yes, religion can be used as justification for war.

On the other hand, we have western civilization, and the huge charitable initiatives and civil rights system…which largely rests on the shoulders of the Catholic Church.
So I think religious peoples of all stripes, from atheists to Bhuddists, can do many awesome things even thought their religion might be used for evil purposes.

Just to be clear - “atheism” has never been used as justification for anything. It is a LACK of belief.
Think of it this way. If everyone in the world were an atheist, atheism could never start a war. But if everyone in the world has a religion, religion could still start a war.

Now, to be fair, you can say that anti-theism can be used for horrible things. That is true.

However, the specific problem with religion is that, by definition, there is no rational underpinning for the beliefs. This is extremely dangerous, and is why religion is the cause of so many problems. Consider the example of the Muslim suicide bomber that believes he will be rewarded in heaven for killing people. You cannot rationalize with that. If he was instead told to kill people because his family would be rewarded with money (non-religious reason) you could disprove it. This why, although many worldviews can be used for evil purposes, religion is the most dangerous.

Of course Catholics do wonderful things, as do Muslims, Buddhists, and Atheists. But Hitler (who was a Catholic by the way, not a pagan) fixed the German economy and brought child sex offenders to justice. Mussolini fixed the public transportation system. Do the Chinese not build hospitals? Did the Arabs not invent algebra. the alphabet?
I cannot take the comment that Catholicism is responsible for the advancement of civilization seriously. There are just as many contrary examples that it slowed or even reversed the progress.
Can you give one example of something beneficial that Catholicism brought into the world that could not have been brought in by some other religion of atheists?

And even if you are correct, and we are better off because of Catholicism - why should we not attack the lies, mistruths, bigotry, scandals, misunderstandings and so forth that are the cause of so many problems?

Whoa, but earlier you stated that religion is the cause of irrational behavior and then reference crimes against humanity:

Are you rethinking that?
If atheists kill people, and theists kill people, how can certain religions be blameworthy but atheism is not?

Is atheism as blameworthy as other religions, or is irrational behavior simply the choices of badly formed human beings of all kinds?

Honestly, I have no idea what point you are trying to make, other than you want to cast religion in a bad light.
That’s not an argument, that’s prejudice.

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How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

And Hitler was nowhere near a practicing or believing Catholic. He was baptized like probably 99% of the German population at that time, and that’s about the extent of his Catholicity.

Hitler and the Nazis were specifically and explicitly pagan. The Nazis praised and cuddled up to the churches when they could be used. But they persecuted Catholics, protestants, Jews, gays handicapped, and just about anyone else. But Christian churches were specifically persecuted, as they were in the way.

There is a lot of good reading on the subject.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s biography by Metaxas is excellent.

“Zookeeper’s Wife” is a good exposition of Nazi naturalist pagan philosophy.
You’ve heard of the Thule Society?

Atheists never start wars?? Do they ever kill their own people, open gulags, suppress dissent and kill dissenters? If atheists are so good, should Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Khrushchev, Castro and Che Guevara (who loved killing) be considered saints to be emulated?

And yes, Hitler and the Nazi regime embraced pagan ideals.


Because atheism != anti-theism.
They are two different things.

It is a common red herring to apply attributes of religion to atheism because theists have no way to attack atheists, so they assign properties that are not true. Atheism is NON-belief. It has no agenda.

Consider - Christians do not believe in Zeus. Did a Christian ever start a war because he or she did NOT believe in Zeus? Of course not.

Anti-theism, on the other hand, has an agenda. An atheist is not necessarily an anti-theist, and vice versa.

The point I am making is that religion, as with any dogmatic position, can be used to harm other people. The reason religion is dangerous is because, by definition, it does not use facts, reason or evidence to justify its claims.

For example, Stalin used Communism to justify atrocities (he did not use Atheism - that’s an oxymoron). Bin Laden used Islam to justify terrorism. The reason the religion-based justification is more dangerous is because you can;t argue with it - it’s not based on reason. With Communism, we can prove using history, evidence, logic, and so forth that it is invalid. With religion, there is no way to refute it. A believer will do what they believe.

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