Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Surprise, More Religious Hate

There was a plane crash over the weekend in Montana. A tragedy where 14 people died. A number of them were Seventh-Day Adventist, which brings the events somewhat close to home for me, but isn't really motivation to blog about it. What is somewhat interesting is the ridiculous about of religious hate and self-superiority that has come in the aftermath. Some smug, self-righteous, sad excuse for a human in Hanford, CA (also a location that hits close to home) is reveling is the horrible loss suffered by one family in particular. Irving M. "Bud" Feldkamp III an Adventist Dentist and businessman lost 7 children and grandchildren in the crash. The trigger for the hatred was that Dr. Feldkamp may be the owner of a chain of abortion clinics. His ownership is alleged by those rejoicing in his misfortune, but I couldn't confirm his exact involvement by what I considered to be a reputable source.

This is one flavor of Christianity raging against another somewhat different flavor. Add this episode to your file, for when someone makes claims for religion's benefit to society.

23 comments:

Lori said...

RRRRAAAARRRRR.

Tim said...

Jeff, it strikes me as outrageous to be keeping a metaphorical "file" on examples of religious hatred. Anyone but a wild partisan can tell you the the effects of religion are mixed. Both sides can multiply anecdotes ad nauseam, and using anecdotes as argument is only going to demonstrate a poor grasp of evidential reasoning or a frank commitment to eristic. Those who believe that religion only has good effects are already in such a state of denial that your anecdotal counter-evidence will be taken as faked, a test of faith, extreme outliers, tragic examples of people who need true religion, etc. Also, looking for assholes on the internet is like looking for fish in the fishmarket [a bit of an overstatement, obviously, but I like the sentence and think it has a certain truth].

Are you trying to work up a permanent state of anger/bitterness about religion? You've never seemed to me to be that sort of person, and probably still aren't, but I am perplexed about your motivation here.

Iron Soul said...

Tim, you are right the interwebs are full of assholes, morons, idiots, etc. I'm probably one example is someone's mind. I only comment here on the ones I come across that seem 'close to home' to me.

While it is true that arguing by anecdote is not sound evidential reasoning, I disagree that is outrageous to note examples of religion not living up to its pious billing. So what if True Believers reject the veracity of these events. They won't hear anything that doesn't fit their preconseptions anyway. There are other positions along the spectrum of belief. It is my opinion that moderate Chrisians need to know that they can be enablers for this kind of extreme ideology. To me that would be a reason to use an example of hate from my folder.

Now and then I do like being bitter about religion. It may be cheap sport to go after the lunatic fringe, but once in awhile it is nice to blow off some steam. I don't conflate religion with religious people.

Tim said...

Moderates already know that bad things can come from religion. By keeping a file (which to me implies the steady accumulation of new material if not the outright search for it) you are just ensuring that your own view of things becomes needlessly warped. Reminding the moderates doesn't need five new examples each week.

I'm glad that you don't conflate religious people with religion. I hope your sport/steam-blowing doesn't change that. I'll just assume that your blog is a very lopsided, perhaps even misleading, presentation of who you are and the direction you are going. It seems a reasonable assumption.

Iron Soul said...

Tim, of course this blog is an incomplete representation of who I am. I actually can't imagine how it could be otherwise. When I started I wanted to focus on two projects I was heavily involved in: bodybuilding and shedding religion. Since I'm not competing this year I've been less focused on the iron part lately. Though I'm trying to get into some cycling if the weather will cooperate.

I will disagree with you somewhat on religious moderates. For every moderate that has accepted and reconciled religion's potential for harm there is at least one who will stick their head in the sand and ignore things that make them uncomfortable. That is their choice and I wouldn't choose to force the issue, but if it comes up . . .

When I start posting 5 times a week about all my hate for religion I'm glad to know that you'll be watching to let me know how warped my outlook is.

storkdok said...

I saw your comment on pharyngula. Thanks! I grew up in Redlands and Loma Linda. Most of our family is still there. We're going out for a visit in a couple of weeks. I am just incredibly sad that three families died. They were really nice people. The comments by the ultra-fundies is so pointless. I wish they could get a perspective on themselves, it is an ugly site, and they can't even comprehend how wrong they are.

Anyway, hello!

Herb said...

My uncle knew at least two of the people who died in this crash when they were students at PUC.

Herb said...
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Herb said...

[re-posted with improved spelling]

Oh shit! I just looked up the names of the crash victims. I knew the Pullens. Mike shared advice with me on dentistry and fishing and Vanessa showed me some hilarious children's books they had for Sydney last time I saw them in the Wallowas. I also enjoyed getting to know them better when their extended family generously included me on a trip to Hawaii several years ago.

Tim said...

Jeff, I'd like to substitute "worrisome" for "outrageous." I use "outrageous" rather loosely, I've noticed, and here is certainly one of those places.

Iron Soul said...

Yeah, the internet is a hard place to convey the correct tone. I did thing that 'outrageous' was stronger than I deserved, but that was how I was reading it not how you were saying it. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Herb said...

I find it worrisome that you're such an outrageous asshole, Jeff.

Lori said...

Tim-
I know I have no business even taking part in an intellectual conversation here, but as a mere simpleton I am frequently confused by you. It seems that your comments here are such that a reader as myself has NO idea what it is that you believe, stand for, and intend to convey to the world with your voice. Do you simply enjoy taking the opposing view and having an argument for the sake of philosophy? Or, maybe just as you sense an imbalance in Jeff's posts, I sense an imbalance in your willingness to "opinionate" and make your feelings vulnerable. Which, in a sense, makes it seem rude that you would "judge" Jeff's intentions... Just wondering...

Tim said...

Lori - I am not trying to lay out my beliefs with any of the comments I've made on Jeff's blog. Instead, I am reacting to what Jeff has written, usually with the theme of "but it is more complicated than that . . ." To some degree I simply enjoy philosophical arguments, though I do also believe what I have written. It seems I am usually writing from the pro-religion side, but that is partly because the anti-religion side is so thoroughly covered. My own position is that of an atheist with sympathy for religion.

I do make judgments, and that may be rude, but I feel like my judgments are open to revision, and that it is not so unfair to make judgments of someone based on their blog, especially when the topical content of the blog and the judgments overlap significantly.

Lori said...

Tim-
Thanks for clarifying. I see that my confusion is just in the matter that you are indeed atheist with "sympathy for religion". That seems to be a unique combination and that is why I felt that your attitude was somewhat contradictory at times in different posts.

Indeed it is not unfair to make arguments/judgments in this venue of communication and I know that is what Jeff is looking for. Please continue on...I would enjoy hearing more pro-religious themes that aren't saturated with dogma.

Reverted said...

Boooo! Can't use <img> tags!

I was going to embed this. :p

Lori said...

?????

Reverted said...

I just thought the picture was funny, Lori. And, I figured I'd throw-in a few labels, just for fun.

It's not especially relevant to this thread, other than your point that Tim has tended here (on the blog, in general) to consistently take-up a contrary-sounding position towards Jeff's blog posts.

Since it's Jeff's blog, I figured he should be sitting on Tim, rather than the other way around. And, since you identified the contrariness and are obviously connected to Jeff, I figured I'd include you in the photo as well, albeit indirectly.

Again, it's not to be taken seriously. I just thought the photo was funny. :)

Pevensie15 said...

You sound like Christopher Hitchens.

Reverted said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reverted said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reverted said...

[For some reason, my earlier two posts did not appear correctly, even though I previewed them (and they looked just fine in the preview). So, here goes try #3...]

Pevensie15, with a comment like that, you sound just like the "stereotypical fundamentalist Christian" who simply wants to instantly pigeonhole and dismiss anyone who even hints at criticizing anything about Christianity, rather than actually listening to what they're saying and genuinely absorbing and contemplating it. Try to get a little perspective, preferably with an effort toward seeing things through others' eyes, and trying to truly understand. (Side note: which of Hitchens' books have you read, anyway?)

Just what part of this tragedy are you missing, whereby you are able to ignore your basic humanity and empathize (at least sympathize with!) the tremendous suffering being experienced by the family and friends of those on-board the airplane? Put yourself in their place. I mean it: really take some time to honestly place yourself into their situation. I'd be utterly devastated. Heart-broken and crushed. I doubt you can even begin to imagine the degree of suffering. And, then these idiots come along...

I cannot understand how a person can become so utterly twisted as to be incapable of mustering thorough disgust for those who are, in effect, saying "they deserved it", even though they've likely never met anyone involved and basically know nothing about them. These people are latching onto some random fact, assuming the role of God in instantly passing judgment, and then loudly proclaiming it; they are condescendingly denouncing the victims during this very difficult time.

They come across as a bunch of self-righteous, heartless jackasses to anyone with an ounce of humanity and common decency. I wonder how long it would take for people of other beliefs (i.e., nearly everyone else on the planet) to find things about THEM with which they profoundly disagree? Should they scream about it when their families die? It's salt in the wound, spit in the eye, kicking someone when they're down, anti-Christ-like. Nobody is perfect, and life is complicated and filled with gray areas. The very least we could do is show a little mutual respect and support instead of saying horribly inflammatory, judgmental, and painful things during already-superlatively difficult times. These people just lost their whole families, for Christ's sake! What kind of sick person tells them they deserved such a thing?!----------

This will almost certainly sound extreme to you, but such a hateful response is, to me, very much analogous to those Arabs who were dancing and rejoicing in the streets in response to 9/11. It's all a matter of perspective. I hope you will at least TRY to understand how other people could view such "Christian" responses in this way. If you genuinely want to promote Christianity, then try speaking out against such awful behavior by so-called Christians, because it is way, way, WAY too common. And, believe me, it seriously turns people off from Christianity.

Reverted said...

Well, that one didn't quite appear correctly either, but oh well. It's good enough, I guess.

(Remove that long chain of hyphens at the end of the second-to-last paragraph, and it's good. For some reason, Blogger was merging those final two paragraphs into one.)

----------

As a follow-up, to Pevensie15, I should clarify that I was not trying to categorically attack Christians as a worldwide group. But, there ARE plenty who are only too willing to speak out, as these jerks have.

And, it also seems virtually nonexistent that other Christians publicly speak out against THEM (loudly criticizing their fellow "Christians" for such behavior).

In fact, I find it absurd in the extreme that it seems more common to find other Christians attacking those people who are criticizing this awful behavior, and actually defending the "pious" jackasses instead!

(Heck, even if you *agree* with their basic sentiments (Yikes!), it's still in *horrible* taste to actually speak out about it during such a time!)