The Skeptic's Guide to The Universe

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chapter Eight; HUMANIST POINT OF VIEW part thirty

But as I have said before, since non-adherents do not have a dogma we really have no need to meet together or organize. But I have a feeling that will change as we fight through the courts to return our nation to the secular nation that it was founded as. People seem to be tiring of the rules and control of dogma and want to be good peaceful people living with one another. Helping out where we can and staying out of the way when we should. In the past few years many voices of the non-believing nation have began to speak up. Many of these have found a new audience in the Internet and podcasts. But also more gatherings are being organized around the country.
While most Christian Americans have no problem with having beer and liquor sales regulated according to the wishes of the dominate fundamental Christian view, they would be, rightly so, up in arms if the laws of Islam (shirea) were to be introduced as laws in America. Today, Muslim cab drivers in New York City are fighting for the right not to carry a person that has been drinking or carrying unopened alcohol with them. This goes in the face of the “drink responsible” programs that have been promoted across this nation for years.
In Sweden recently, young women are brutally beaten and forcible raped by sick cruel Muslim men that think that just because a women on planet earth doesn't dress the way they think she should she has no rights and is fair game to be sexually assaulted. This issue has gone as far in Sweden at to be called a Muslim rape wave.

From the Assyrian International News Agency dated December 15, 2005:

“In Oslo, Norway, immigrants were involved in two out of three rape charges in 2001. The numbers in Denmark were the same, and even higher in the city of Copenhagen with three out of four rape charges. Sweden has a larger immigrant, including Muslim, population than any other country in northern Europe. The numbers there are likely to be at least as bad as with its Scandinavian neighbors. The actual number is thus probably even higher than what the authorities are reporting now, as it doesn't include second generation immigrants. Lawyer Ann Christine Hjelm, who has investigated violent crimes in Svea High Court, found that 85 per cent of the convicted rapists were born on foreign soil or by foreign parents.”

The story goes on to relay how the Muslim men feel about how the woman are treated:

“Some Muslim immigrants admit their bias quite openly. An Islamic Mufti in Copenhagen sparked a political outcry after publicly declaring that women who refuse to wear headscarves are "asking for rape." Apparently, he's not the only one thinking this way. "It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl," says Hamid. "The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably fucked before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries."

When I read something like this, it actually makes me want to return kind for kind retaliation upon these so called men. If these Muslims, living inside these countries, do not wish to see woman dress as she wishes, then they should move to a country that shares their views. Otherwise they should be subjected to the same brutal treatment that has happened to these women. I would have little problem with fathers, mothers, sisters, brother, friends and the victims themselves, inflicting a penalty on these Muslim men that have no respect for women.
While the rape wave issue is religiously based, in the town I live in Oklahoma I was told that on the local public transportation a person cannot be taken to or from a bar or transport a person that has been shopping and has any alcohol with them. This seems to me to be a way to encourage a person to act irresponsibly concerning drinking. After all why should the state have any issue with a person acting responsible? These are state laws and can affect the funding of the local transportation service if they are violated. This is a odd reflection in Oklahoma of what the Muslin New York City cab drivers were asking for. Maybe they should move to Oklahoma. In the past few months I have seen every sort of an attempt to create the State of Oklahoma in to an actual theocracy. Sally Kern is a Representative here and has proposed a Proclamation for Morality. it claims among other things,
“WHEREAS, this nation has become a world leader in promoting abortion, pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse, and many other forms of debauchery”
Kern seems to think that same sex marriage is the same as child abuse and sex trafficking and who the hell knows what is debauchery to her. As far as illegitimate births, Kern needs to endorse the teaching of sex education that actually prevents girls from getting pregnant and not the failed pipe dream of “just say no to your natural desires”.
In the past few years, stone tablets of the 10 commandments have been placed on county courthouse grounds in Haskell County, Oklahoma. An attempt was made to prohibit Professor Richard Dawkins from speaking as a guest of the University of Oklahoma to an audience. There was passed a law and signed by the Governor that is authorized to place a monument to the 10 commandments on the Statehouse grounds. Then again Representative Sally Kern wants to pass a Proclamation of Morality which also states in part:
“NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we the undersigned elected officials of the people of Oklahoma, religious leaders and citizens of the State of Oklahoma, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world, solemnly declare that the HOPE of the great State of Oklahoma and of these United States, rests upon the Principles of Religion and Morality as put forth in the HOLY BIBLE

It is amazing to me that the religious adherents are either so unable or unwilling to control their own nature and behavior according to their self imposed rules of dogma and religion that they feel compelled to pressure lawmakers into passing legislation that reflect their personal dogma. It seems the way these pious and religious people are able to control their own actions is to also control the actions and desires of people who could careless about their beliefs. However, if an other religious group was to force their views on them they would be the first to cry for freedom from religion instead of integrating more of them.
The Native American tribes in many parts of the country have the ability to establish casinos on land that is owned by the tribe. So by default that basically makes gambling legal in Oklahoma as well as many other states where the state itself doesn't allow gambling. I have been to casinos several times. My first time to go to a legal casino in the United States was in 1994 in Las Vegas. I was doing well at blackjack. I won some money the first part of the night and then lost all I won plus the $80 I came to play with. I did know I needed to get back to Kansas and that I needed the money to be able to make the trip so I put that aside plus money need for food and hotels. I was trying to be responsible for my actions. After going up so big that first night them losing it all plus even more I had decided that I am not very good at gambling. So I basically gave it up. [lesson learned Las Vegas, thanks]
I have known people that go almost every week to casinos and will win thousands of dollars and then lose the same amount the following week. I guess if they can afford the fluctuation in their funds that is fine. I cannot, so I prefer not to risk it. But I am still a supporter of casinos.
Because of this I have decided for my own behavior that this activity is not for me. No lawmaker had to regulate my behavior, not dogma had to convert me to its system of belief. Simple experience shows me that gambling is something that I cannot win and will only come up on the short side. I do still indulge on the occasional lottery ticket. [I haven't won yet.]
Because of this, I don't see any reason to have laws that restrict how you can perform otherwise legal activities. It is one thing to have a law in place for drinking and driving. It is quite a whole other thing to have taken the right away from an adult to choose for themselves how to regulate their behavior. I am all for enforcement of laws that keep people that are under the influence of medications and legal substances from driving. [I wonder how many of these local prohibitions on drinking would be in place if the only way they could pass were for the churches to be shut done in the same municipality or counties?]
If a person doesn't want to have liquor, don't drink, if I person doesn't like abortion, don't have one, if a person doesn't like to smoke, then don't. If a person doesn't want caffeine, please have a root beer. I certainly recognize that some people have addictions to such activities and need help but that is a different situation than letting otherwise reasonable and able people from acting in a manor that suits their desires. The religious right some times fail to recall that our nations independence was sought with the idea of rights of liberty, life and the pursuit of happiness. As Benjamin Franklin said in Poor Richard's Almanack, (sic) “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” These ideas are driven by the individual not the collective body of America.
When it comes to religious laws in America some of the biggest ones that are de fato in place are the closing of public buildings and businesses on Sunday morning or all day and alcohol and smoking laws. There is not regular mail delivery on Sunday. The reason implied or driven by ordinances for business being close serves the purpose of making sure people have the ability to attend church without being encumbered with it affecting their income.
In many places in America one cannot buy a car on Sunday. I fail to see any religious based logic in that. Certainly there cannot be a reason to have a law to prohibit such “evil” activities.
Having lived and traveled in many states I find the inconsistencies with liquor laws to be quite fascinating and nearly incomprehensibly. These attempts by a moral majority to police a persons behavior are truly the result of an attempt to force religious morality upon a group of people that do not hold their view. The idea that a person is not free to decide for themselves is an insult to an adult. I could write a great deal about the different laws themselves but I will touch on a few of the more bizarre ones.
Keep in mind, any of these business that do these things based upon their personal choice is great. I am talking about either direct governmental or social pressure that are laws of the community.
On alcohol, In Oklahoma you cannot by any wine or liquor at any store on a Sunday. No bar can serve any liquor on a Sunday. No beer greater than 3.2% abw can be sold cold. In Texas, North Carolina and New Mexico a person by themselves cannot purchase a pitcher of beer in a bar. However a person can purchase several beers at one time, in some states. The issue with this morality by legislation has got to be one of the most futile attempts to try to regulate the behavior of citizens. These are all related to the desire to have a moral code forced upon people that may have no desire of belief in that said code.
To better explain this situation would be to turn the tables on those that wish to push their morality on the general population. So here are some fantastical laws governing religion.
• Must be at least 18 or older to attend a church.
• Church only on Sundays.
• No display of public religiosity.
• No open Bibles or religious books in public places.
• Other than in a church or your home, religion cannot be practiced anywhere else.
• You can only attend church at state approved churches.
• It is illegal to preach to or let children under 18 read the Bible or other religious material.
• Any person praying in public will be held at least 8 hours in a non-praying cell.
• Multiple violations will result in loss of your driver's license.
• Pastors on duty must cut a person off from religion if they have had too much.
• Preaching and driving strictly forbidden.

On views concerning liquor and tobacco I tend toward a Libertarian view, this would include the decriminalization of marijuana. I find letting out these person that have had only convictions related to the laws concerning marijuana possession and such to be a good way to ease up the high cost of housing non-violent offenders and have their record expunged of the offensive.
June of 2009 The State of California proposed to legalize marijuana to help ease the budget crisis that they are in. The measure would come up for a vote in 2010. The taxing of cannabis would produce millions of dollars for the state while taking dollars for law enforcement from arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens and putting them in place for more effective uses. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Said that he would welcome debate on the issue but has as of yet to cross the line to promote the wholesale legalization of the naturally fast growing plant. It is predicted that the legal sale and use of marijuana in the State of California could produce up to 1.3 billion dollars of additional revenue for the state budget.
Of course this set the religious right on edge. But even among the more conservative states the frustration of dealing with the overrun of dealing with the cost of enforcing the marijuana laws. The status quo of the religious fundamentalist is falling into the minority of this view and if the voice of the people is to be heard, then the complete legalization of marijuana is just a matter of time. Oddly enough, the people that have or had used marijuana in the past sound quite reasonable when talking about the issue and the ones that are opposed to the legalization of pot are the ones that seem “high” when you hear what they say.
I am thankful to President Barack Obama for deciding not to prosecute persons that are in line with state laws concerning medical marijuana use. It will be even better when the Federal Government decides not to pursue this issue whatsoever. While I disagree with motorcycle helmet laws and seat buckle laws I would be hard pressed to show a connect for these libertarian issue to be related to religion.
It is still odd that the pace of legalization is taking such a long time. It would be hard to imagine how different the country would be if Prohibition was still in place after 72 years, Ending in 1991 instead of 1933.
I recently read a comment on a forum about the legalization of marijuana. The poster wrote a comment to the effect as this, “Do you think the drug dealers are going to just turn over their plants and become law abiding citizens? Of course not.”
This person is in need of a history lesson. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt passed the law to allow beer to be produced it wasn't the illegal companies that benefited but the legal ones. But it did stop the resources of law enforcement from having to deal with all the massive law enforcement efforts to prohibit the use of alcohol. Those that were the gangsters went into other forms of crime to deal in, such as marijuana and cocaine. The legitimate businesses were the ones that benefited from the repeal and the government got the much needed tax revenue of the legal products and a break on the overwhelming pressure that law enforcement was dealing with to keep alcohol out of the country.

Coming Next Time;

SPORTS AND RELIGION part thirty-one

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