Friday, October 14, 2011

Are All Religious People Frightened by Logic & Fact?

This is a terrific blog from 2006: The worth of a woman: the Bible vs. the Quran. It's a great rebuttal to all the Christians who claim the Koran is oh-so anti-woman but the Bible isn't.

In the comments of that blog is a reference to Why Won't God Heal Amputees?, an online book that I found out about only recently. This online book, together with the book Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible & Why by Bart D. Ehrman, are very similar to my own journey away from Christianity and any belief in the supernatural.

What I'm stunned about is that some people try to claim that these are examples of "militant, in-your-face brand of atheism." While Atheist-focused blogs or books can be snarky, even vitriolic, the resources noted in the second paragraph aren't at all. There's nothing acerbic nor obnoxious about either; instead, both take a detailed, logical, dispassionate examination of the Bible and Faith. A fundamentalist would find these resources utterly frightening, but not every religious person takes the Bible, the Koran, or other religious teachings literally; I have religious friends who would be able to read these two resources and be able to maintain their faith, and wouldn't feel threatened at all - if anything, they would use it to say, "This is exactly why I'm not a fundamentalist."

Blogging facts and questions should never be branded as unfair attacks on religion, nor as automatically snarky, vitriolic, acerbic or obnoxious by merely being said or written. Facts and questions are quite fair, even if they may be painful to "believers."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gay marriage no, child marriage yes?

In nearly every state in the USA, it’s perfectly okay for children as young as 15 to get married. In New Hampshire, that child can be 13. In South Carolina, 14, only requiring parental consent. In Florida, not only can minors wed, but minors who have been married before don’t need parents’ permission, meaning a 13 year old wed in New Hampshire can get divorced, move to Florida, and marry again at any time under 18 without parental consent.
Many of these states, coincidentally, allow people below the minimum age to get married with certain qualifications met, usually getting permission from the court. In other words, the state gets to decide if children barely in their teens get married or not. The usual cause for such a request, of course, is if a teen gets pregnant.
Not a single state requires that everyone getting married be 18, without exception.
You can see for yourself in this excellent series of charts about marriage laws in the USA.
So, let me get this straight: religious conservatives scream about girls under 18 being able to get an abortion without parental consent, but children getting married is just fine?! And these same religious conservatives scream about gay marriage, but aren't doing anything about the horrific, barbaric practice of child marriage in the USA?!
Atheists, secularists, and agnostics are a very diverse group, but I can say with confidence that every single one of them that I know does not support child marriage, under any circumstances, and many are actively campaigning to stop the practice.
As usual, actions speak louder than words.