Religion is not about creating communities.

When pushed with the evils and lies of religion, religious believers sometimes push the party line that religion is necessary for community. But, as PZ Myers points out, this can only make any sense if one ignores the existence of half of the human population.

Whenever I hear that tripe about the beneficial effects of religion on human cultural evolution, it’s useful to note that the world’s dominant faiths all hardcode directly into their core beliefs the idea that women are unclean, inferior, weak, and responsible for the failings of mankind…that even their omnipotent, all-loving god regards women as lesser creatures not fit to be intermediaries with him, and that their cosmic fate is to be subservient slaves to men, just as men are to be subservient slaves to capital-H Him.

David Sloan Wilson can argue all he wants that religion helped promote group survival in our evolutionary history, or that his group selectionist models somehow explain its origins, but it doesn’t matter. Here and now, everywhere, those with eyes to see can see for themselves that religion has for thousands of years perpetuated the oppression of half our species. Half of the great minds our peoples have produced have lived and died unknown and forgotten, their educations neglected, their lives spent doing laundry and other menial tasks for men — their merits unrecognized and buried under lies promulgated by religion, in cultures soaked in the destructive myths of faith which codify misogyny and give it a godly blessing.

4 thoughts on “Religion is not about creating communities.

  1. SFF Madman June 14, 2013 at 14:40

    It is so hard to comment on something like this. On the one hand, atrocities in the name of religion are quite common in history, and I make note of them myself sometimes. On the other, like I said over the Dawkins site, oppression and atheism are no more mutually exclusive than oppression and religion. Right now, many atrocities are committed in the name of *profit.* Regardless of the source, oppression is oppression and atrocities are atrocities.

    There are also plenty of spiritual or religious people who have evaluated their beliefs and modified them to something more congenial.

    I had an Jewish English instructor at CCBC. Granted, she’s a woman, which would give a different perspective. But in the mythology class she taught, the first thing she had us read were chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis. She gave me the impression that she is (at least not entirely) secular…she believes in her religion. However, the reason she wanted us to read them is to illustrate a significant difference:

    In chapter one, God creates man and woman at the same time. In chapter two he creates man first and then creates woman from his rib. Then she told us the reason for this is because there are actually two different versions of the story, the “J” and “P” versions. The P version, or “Priestly” version changed the story to enforce a more patriarchal system.

    • Francois Tremblay June 14, 2013 at 21:30

      It seems to me that lifting the veil of Scriptures kinda gives the game away. It must take quite a strong-willed and intelligent person to still maintain belief in the fact of that. In secular countries like Britain, they’ve found that only intelligent people remain Christian, because it takes quite a bit of intelligence to doublethink your way into remaining a Christian.

      • SFF Madman June 16, 2013 at 00:39

        That may be so. There sure is a lot of double-thinking going on there. I have kind of thought my way *out* of being a mainstream Christian (I’m eclectic), and pretty much any church I know of would probably call me a heretic).

  2. SFF Madman June 14, 2013 at 18:47

    Excuse me. Typo. It should say that she is *not* secular.

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