myself (Teacher Eric), Yuki, Dora, Vivi, Tina.
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Faced with this uncomfortable but persistently deadly reality, what should we and our politicians (and pundits) do? For starters, we need to cease granting religion--and not just Islam--an exemption from criticism. If we do not believe the fables foisted on us (without evidence) by the faithful, we need to say so, day in and day out, in mixed company, and especially in front of children (to thwart their later indoctrination). We must stop according religion unconditional respect, stop deferring to men (and mostly they are men) who happen to preface their names with the titles of reverend or rabbi or imam, and de-sanctify the sacred, in word and deed.Uh-huh. How did the argument shift suddenly from the serious problem of radical jihadism to the whole of humanity's religious culture? The answer is clear: it shifted on the dime of Tayler's personal hatred of religious people. (Never mind the lame misunderstanding of academic religious studies he reveals in his last line. Such lapses are typical of him, and characteristic of the New Atheism generally: they know virtually nothing about the subjects they harangue us on.)
Laughable absurdities--be they virgin births, parting seas, spontaneously burning bushes--deserve not oblique pardons (“We don’t have to take everything in the Bible literally”), but outspoken ridicule; courses in “religious studies” in campuses across the country might better be referred to as “lessons in harmful superstition, dangerous delusion, and volitional insanity.”
In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. . . . There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:26;28)This text was written around 55 CE. It is an ancient text, but it offers us an uncannily contemporary-sounding vision of human dignity and equality. And that is no mere coincidence: in fact the New Testament is behind much that is greatest in our Western heritage. Here Paul’s recognition that God became unified with humanity in Jesus Christ leads him to a further recognition of the dignity of human being as such. So that every individual person, regardless of gender, race or social standing, is due a kind of absolute dignity. This biblical teaching is the root of what grew into our modern notions of inalienable rights, freedom of expression, a non-negotiable individual dignity. There’s a reason these concepts first developed in Western Europe. At the time of the Enlightenment and before, European civilization was Christian.