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      One of the most amusing things about the 07/8 primary season was how often Obama praised Reagan and how few people took him seriously. Obama thought Reagan was great, and said so repeatedly. “He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like, you know, […]
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Pussy Riot gets 2 year sentence for insulting non-existent beings

Back in February, the Russian female punk band, Pussy Riot, was invited to play at an event at a Russian Orthodox church in protest of Vladimir Putin.  You remember Vlad?  George W. Bush said that he could see Putin’s soul in his eyes, or some other vaguely romantic nonsense that induced {{cringe}} moments in thinking Americans?

So, how did the performance go?  The BBC says:

Along with other members of their band, the women staged a flashmob-style performance of their song close to the altar in the cathedral on 21 February.

Their brief, obscenity-laced performance, which implored the Virgin Mary to “throw Putin out”, enraged the Orthodox Church – its leader Patriarch Kirill said it amounted to blasphemy.

And what were their crime?

Critics of the band have also been demonstrating, saying the stunt was an insult to the Russian Orthodox Church.

One, Igor Kim, told the BBC News website from Moscow: “Shouting and screaming and spreading hate in Church is unacceptable and is contrary with Christian ethics.”

Just the kind of thing you’d expect to hear from whip kissers who are such cowards that they willingly embrace the authority of their oppressors and they *like* it.  But how can what Pussy Riot sang be an insult if there are no victims?  Just curious.

The world needs to start asking itself how much reverence we are supposed to give to people who believe in things that they can’t prove exist.  Do they really deserve tax breaks?  So much free air time?  The right to dictate society based on Bronze Aged mythology?  Unquestioning respect?  When was the last time a religious person on TV gave agnostics and atheists respect?  The religious fairly ooze contempt and condemnation towards the freethinkers and non-believers.

It should be the other way around.

When you really think about it, it boggles the mind.  We are letting the religious skate away tax free and at the same time, they have the unmitigated gall to tell people what they can and can’t get in their insurance policies and NO one bothers to ask them to provide proof of their convictions.  Is that insane or what?  In what other aspect of life are you allowed to make claims and get freebies and respect and publicity and the right to condemn other people and no one asks you for anything to back up your claims?  You could never get published in a scientific journal without data and observations.  You could get sued for libel if you lied about someone in print without proof.  You can’t even advertise that PF Flyers make you run faster and jump higher or that cigarettes are good for you.  All that is forbidden because we recognize that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

But religion answers to no one but its unprovable gods and we give it a pass and a lot of special privileges.  Think about it this way: if an atheist organization opened up a string of places of non-worship and did everything a church does, without the supernatural mumbo-jumbo, would it qualify for tax breaks and all of the other privileges of churches?  Or would it specifically have to acknowledge belief in a entity whose existence is unproveable?  In most states, you can get married by the justice of the peace, who can’t be just anyone, or by a minister of an approved church but as far as I know, there aren’t any states that allow a secular minister to marry anyone.  (Pennsylvania Quaker self-marrying licenses not included)  So, if you believe in a supernatural but unprovable being, you’re qualified to perform the same rites as a judge.  But if you believe in reality, you’re not.

Clearly, in the case of Pussy Riot, the blasphemer-hooliganism charge is just a cover for their real offense- criticizing Vladimir Putin.  We here in America can see the hypocrisy and hard fist of the remnant of the Soviet system, which, ironically, used to be anti-religious.  From a distance, we can see the cruel and brutal force of authoritarianism using  religion to crack down on dissidents.

Here in the US, one party hides behind the religious to pass its own authoritarian, harsh agenda on the rest of us, while the other party tiptoes around the religious in order not to offend them, and we’ve been letting them get away with imposing their ancient morality on a modern country for 30 years.  Look where it’s gotten us.  We have politicians who proudly proclaim that they don’t believe in evolution and they are applauded for that pandering to the ignorant.  We have celibate men dictating parenthood and sexuality to young women.  We have people who supposedly focus on families, condemning the children of gay parents to financial hardship if one of the parents die because they refuse to acknowledge their marriages.  And all of this is a giant distraction and smokescreen for the ruthless politicians and their wealthy backers to take everything that isn’t nailed down.

We should be having a “Hey! We’ve been eating grass!” moment but no one dares to raise their voices to the politicians who are hiding behind the religious except for some brave and defiant atheists or a handful of girls in a punk band.

Enough is enough.

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