Movie Review: Religulous

Director: Larry Charles
I did NOT want to see this movie. But Changeling wasn’t out yet, and I certainly didn’t want to see Eagle Eye or Roadside Romeo.

Frankly, I expected Religulous to be a shallow and disrespectful examination of complex religious issues, focused on the fringiest of the Christian fundies in an effort to further discredit the Bush regime (as if that even needs to be done). There is a definite anti-Christian backlash going on, exemplified by the popularity of Zeitgeist, and I’d rather not be a part of it. I respect religious freedoms and I try to see the positive in every religion. For instance, many of the relief services in my city are funded and run primarily by churches.

I was in for a pleasant surprise. In Religulous, Bill Maher sets aside a good deal of the smarminess that I found so grating back when I watched Politically Incorrect, asks some surprisingly thoughtful questions, and gives us lots of laughs…not always at religion’s expense. Here are a few of the film’s hit and miss highlights:

Miss that turned out to be a hit: The filmmakers liken Muslim-turned-Christian preacher “Dr.” Jeremiah Cummings to a pimp because of his bling and his nice suit, and insert subtitles claiming that Cummings isn’t really a doctor. Cheap. But Cummings is taking his cheap shots as well; he claims that the director altered the footage to make it sound like he said, “Call me doctor”, even though he uses the title “Dr.” on his website.

Hit: Maher uses believers’ own logic to expose flaws in it. By exploring the notion that “everything happens according to God’s plan”, he gets an actor who portrays Jesus at the Holy Land Experience to say that the Holocaust was probably part of God’s plan for…something.

Miss: Creationist Ken Ham and his goofity-ass Creation Museum (in which exhibits show humans and dinosaurs hanging out together) don’t get much screen time, meaning Ham isn’t fully exposed as the intellectually dishonest fool he is. In one of his anti-evolution videos, Ham declared that all of the scientific evidence presented by the defense at the Scopes trial has since been debunked. Anything wrong with that statement….?

Hit: Maher interviews people of faith who have embraced science, technology, and rationalism, like Vatican astronomer George Coyne, giving lie to the popular notion that all religionists are superstitious dunderheads.

Hit: The film was not as anti-Christian as I expected it to be. It surveyed most of the major religions, and the only visible annoyance Maher showed came not when he was talking to Christian fundamentalists, but when he was frequently interrupted by anti-Zionist rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss. We see footage of the rabbi hugging President Ahmadinejad at the Holocaust denial conference held in Tehran in 2006, just before Maher cuts off the interview in disgust. Can’t say I blame him. Though some people are still insisting the conference was an anti-Zionism gathering rather than a holocaust denial conference, Ahmadinejad made it painfully clear in interviews and in his opening address that the conference was designed to give Holocaust revisionists a forum for their pseudohistorical views. Attendees like David Duke and Gerald Fredrick Toben made it clear that Jews are lying about the Holocaust and exploiting their “lies” for political benefit, hence cannot be trusted. The thought of any Jew supporting this conference, for any reason, is sickening.

Miss: The filmmakers never really get to the root of religious belief, yet they put forward the idea that it’s time to scrap religion entirely because of the division and irrationalism it creates. They imply that without religion, folks will become saner, more peaceful, and generally better. I respectfully disagree with this conclusion. Spirituality could be an innate part of our humanity, a common bond. Perhaps what we need is not the end of religion, but the start of a more humble and enlightened form of it, free of exploitation and aggression.

14 thoughts on “Movie Review: Religulous

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  1. Dude. Religion and spritituality are “not” the same thing. The later is awe at the world, and a desire to explore it. The former is, **usually** a set of bars, telling people that “that bit of the world over there you shouldn’t look at, and besides, {waves a book of some sort} everything about it is {demonized and distorted, or explained at all} in here.”As for the idea that it could be replaced with a better version, that is already happening, in small starts and stumbles in the US, and to an insane degree in Europe, where religion is more traditions and community, with a bit of babbled nonsense thrown on top, which no one really believes, and where most people don’t even bother to show up at the church to listen to it any more, assuming they even associate with a church.The thing Fundies are freaked out so much about is that this “has” happened in Europe, and in the US, you get people calling themselves “Christian” based on a few minor bigotries and traditions, which they hold to as cultural, but 1/3 of them don’t go to church (like my parents), another 1/3 do, but use it as a social club, and the rest go all the time, but don’t hate gays, and think fundies are completely insane.Religion is slipping. In Europe, where its been “ingrained” into government, its almost irrelevant, and in the US, its getting more and more liberal and accepting, even to the point where the “practice”, in no way shape or form, resembles anything in its own texts. But, there is a backlash from this from those that see *any* deviation from monomaniacal church rule as bad, and a backlash to the backlash, from people that point out, rightly, that no matter how “moderate” religion gets, until its followers basically stop believing “any” of it, it continues to teach magical thinking, denial of reality, and that you can define how the universe “should be” and then claim that God wants it that way, based solely on whether you “like” the way the world is, or you don’t, i.e., whether you find something icky or not, not based on the real facts of how the world really works.In other words. Mild religion has the same flaws as extreme religion, it just rejects fewer tangible facts, and pisses off less people (see California this election and Prop 8, vs. some radicals that still think letting blacks marry white people was a bad idea.) Same bigotry, it just pisses on fewer people, and.. this makes it better, why?

  2. I know and acknowledge that religion and spirituality are distinct, but let me point out that spiritually inclined people (a vast percentage of the population) usually gravitate to other people who are similarly inclined. They hang out together, exchange ideas, promote the same causes. Oops, you’ve got a semi-organized religion on your hands! But it’s only natural. I have no desire to prevent people from doing this. Now that organized religion is under fire and record numbers of people are becoming disenchanted and estranged from it, we’re going to see an uptick in equally wacky (if not wackier) movements like UFO cults, New Age/Communist silliness like Zeitgeist, etc. Why? Because it’s an innate desire of humans to connect with the great unknown and the future of our planet. This is why we have so many movements that mimic religion in fervour: environmentalism, anti-consumerism, etc. Here’s a non-typical yet perfect example: David Icke has replaced Satan with Reptilians, creating the illusion of a “new” moral panic. In reality, it’s the same old sh**, with scales.Heck, people turn their political affiliation and dietary preferences into quasi-religions! Is this any worse (or any better) than traditional religion? Not in my opinion. There are a lot of reasons why I’m not anti-religion. One is that, as you point out, many religious folks are lukewarm about it and never work themselves into that annoying fundie state of wholesale condemnation of anything that doesn’t glorify the god of their choice. Another is that churches provide social support for seniors, people who are virtually nonexistent in the rest of society. Another is that churches often fill voids in social/relief services. Example: Several churches in my city open their doors to homeless people in the coldest months to prevent them from freezing to death (a regular occurrence). They have received absolutely no support from the surrounding community in this endeavor. In fact, local bars protested the program because they didn’t want their drunk middle-class customers to be harrassed by homeless people who were making their way to the churches. Now, I’m not saying that non-religious orgs don’t do many of the same things. They certainly do. But am I going to condemn a religion that teaches and practices concern for your fellow man, provides essential services that no one else gives a rip about, and minds its own business the rest of the time? Of course not. Religious freedom is a cornerstone of human rights. I simply won’t condemn an entire religion. Sure, I’ll pick on the goofier or stupider aspects of some religions from time to time. The freedom to do that is also a cornerstone of human rights. But I respect people’s freedom to make their own mistakes. Go ahead and believe in the god of your choice, or the lizard-men, or the aliens who were going to pick you up in their mothership but never got around to it. None o’ my business. P.S. Take away the religion, and the Prop 8 opponents would still be frothing at the mouth. Why? Well, because they’re freakin’ nuts. You can remove the religious framework, but not the propensity for magical thinking, superstition, and paranoia. One Prop 8 opponent I know also believes in chemtrails, the North American Union, and the deadly effects of fluoride. We’re not dealing with the brightest crayons in the box, here. If they aren’t listening to their religious leaders, they’re listening to Alex Jones et. al….and that’s just as bad, if not worse.And they obviously have an aversion to homosexuality that goes deeper than a handful of Bible passages.

  3. Er, Prop 8 *proponents*. Doy.Another P.S.: I love variety. Annoying as some varieties of religious belief are, I wouldn’t want to eradicate them because I enjoy differences. I’m friends with Mormons, agnostics, spiritualists, Marxists, nihilists…Keeps life interesting.

  4. What you are missing imho SME is the point that its possible to have groups with common beliefs and goals, and even ideas, without making those “religions”. Your argument that old style religion is “replaced” by New Age stuff isn’t entirely valid either, since, in reality, its fairly common for both hard liners “and” luke warm types to be into those things, either as expressions of “Satanism”, or as, “other ways people magically know about the after life and the ‘true ™’ nature of the universe. The problem isn’t a need to believe, but a basic failure to teach people how to critically evaluate them. The same flawed logic that leads to “accepting” hardline religion is simply reapplied to believing crystal magic, magnetic healing, or evil underground reptiles. That this is common is only proof that humanity is ***very bad at*** critical thinking, if they are not taught how to do so in the first place, and that just ‘thinking’ is not the same thing. The later only depends on our ability to come up with perceived connections and emotional, entirely past experience based, emotional responses to them, without regard for whether the connections are real, the emotional response reasonable, or the resulting belief rational.I happily condemn **all** religion to the trash bin, because there is a key difference between, for example, people that show up every year at Star Trek conventions, who believe whole heartedly in Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future, while being ***absolutely*** aware that the entire serious is made up, and religions, which **by definition** demand, even of those that “are” moderate, that they believe in, follow, practice and consider **true**, things which are just as fictional, but which its adherents are supposed to either believe “are” real, or at least “pretend to believe are real”.In other words, they contain one distinct difference from those that simply follow a vision or ideal. They believe the fictions those ideals are based on, to various degrees, and *by* believing in the fiction, they can’t grasp why it **is** fiction, or how to properly evaluation either their own and other people’s beliefs, never mind the validity of the claims made by what ever fiction gets used to support it.In other words, organized religions breeds gullibility, and it hardly matters if the “religion” is one that promotes Christian mythology, Buddhist mythology, Islamic mythology, or “new age medicine” mythology. Its still mythology, and anyone that falls for believing the myths are real, cannot make “valid” determinations about the validity of anything remotely similar either.One of the founders, James Madison specifically, said it thus:”More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.”We see this in anti-vaxers, new age homeopathy, and every other modern “religion”. It is universal, since the only way to “support” your fictions, is by denying both the truth and other people’s fictions as anathema. Its this desire to place ones own fictions higher than everyone else’s, which is the “definition” of religion as it has existed, and I would argue that those who do not commit such, do not qualify. And thus, at least by this definition, you can’t defend the idea that “religion” can really be replaced by less “annoying” forms of it.At some point, you either find yourself extending the definition to such a ridiculous extreme that “every” group with some common goals or ideals must be religions, or you have to admit that there isn’t anything left to “call itself” a religion. At that point, you either make the term entirely meaningless, or you have to abandon the term entirely to describe the result.

  5. “humanity is ***very bad at*** critical thinking”Kagehi, in that regard we are in perfect agreement.I think I’m just lazier than you are. You have nobly decided to tackle religion head-on. Now if I was a hardline skeptic, I’d be fighting religion just as vigorously. But in truth, I’m cool with it. Yes, it drives me up the freakin’ wall sometimes (*Prop 8*), but I’m willing to deal with the aggravations on a case-by-case basis for the sake of intellectual and religious freedoms: The right to be stupid, the right to be wrong, and the right to make your own mistakes. One thing I will fight is this business of churches injecting themselves financially and politically into the democratic process. That’s total B.S. It infringes on our rights. Christians talk a lot about “lifestyle evangelism”; teaching by example. I think skeptics could benefit from this tactic. Rather than beating religionists over the head with their mistakes and their faulty reasoning, maybe we should sit back and quietly beckon from our slightly saner, infintely more logical Garden of Thinkin’.

  6. Well. Strictly speaking, I tend to agree with you that the mild form is more… annoying, than the later. But, I also tend to agree with PZ and others that being mildly delusional, or mildly poor thinking, has a down side.As an example, since its the current trend to pick on them. There is a Muslim woman that comes into the store where I work a lot. She is one of the “wear a head scarf and ‘descent’ clothing types, not the more loony ones.” Problem is not that she is an issue, though I personally think that obsession over sex and nudity is what ***causes*** the problems such “modesty” concepts are trying to address in the first place, but, one then considers the kids. The religion in question can be anything from the “mild” form she follows, to the insane extreme version that dresses women in a tent, then beats them to death if they accidentally show an eyelash. What her kid(s) end up learning is going to be that this false modesty, which is really irrational fear of themselves, is normal, and in the end, how extreme the take it is going to depend not as much on what the mother believed, but how literally they take the religions, how *they* interpret it, and whether or not their own experiences drive them to reject the ideas even more, as nonsense, or they experience bad relationships, and other problems, with women that don’t also have the other social baggage that comes with the male dominated religion, thus leading them to conclude that mom was the fool, and more extreme versions of the faith where “correct”.So long as the more extreme versions exist, so long as we refuse to recognize such extremism as the mental derangement and illness it really is, and so long as we have to “accept” people drifting into the dark corners of belief, because its all “protected” from challenge, we are all, basically, screwed.If religion changed to completely abandon those darker corners, the truly insane versions where relegated to the dustbin of history, and we recognized such extremism as something to be treated, not “respected and protected”, I wouldn’t care of the guy down the street prayed to Allah or an invisible pink unicorn. The odds of him killing me over it would be the same as anyone else that “failed” to get treatment for mental illness, which is small, and chances are real good that he wouldn’t be a member of a 10,000 person congregation of wackos, who all showed up once a year to ride the great unicorn into the sky (when the world was predicted to turn into a marshmallow), or spend their time trying to make me wear a symbolic horn on my head, and dye my hair pink, via legislation.I can deal with the mild ones, and they *tend* to leave people alone, unless they get bamboozled by much bigger nuts, who are willing to lie to get laws and amendments passed to enforce that lunacy. Its that later problem that make them just as bad as the crazier ones.But, heh, I am lazy too. If I wasn’t, I would be fighting them harder in the real world, in my own city. Dipshits here are pushing “speech and dress code” rules on the beach, driving out companies like MTV, which used to show up during spring break, as being too “disruptive”, and then trying “very very hard” to pretend that this hasn’t helped screw up the local resort economy more than the depression has. But, unless you could find like.. 500 people willing to strip naked in protest, or something… Its not California, or Florida, etc. Its a state where someone dressed, convincingly, as Sarah Palin on Halloween in my store, and probably 1-2 other people, besides my self, out of 40, actually thought their was anything off kilter, wrong, crazy, or dangerous about electing her to “any” high office, never mind Vice President, with some guy who had one foot on the banana peal, and the other, well, at **least** in a cancer specialists office, if not necessarily in a grave yet. Protest of this sort of stupidity here, would be a) expensive, b) probably pointless, and c) too likely to cost me my job in a town where there isn’t much of any damn thing to be hired to work at. Bit hard to do more than talk in such a situation. lol

  7. I can see why the problems of religion are extremely relevant for you, with all the moral crusades going on down there. I think I’ve been away from it all just long enough to forget how truly crazy it can get (I grew up in the States, but currently live in Canada, where religious extremes are…well, far less extreme; we don’t even have a Bible Belt, though there are a few isolated Bible Pockets scattered across the prairies). But growing up in the vicinity of pornography panic, Satanic panic, Tammy Fay and the other telescandals, etc. left a lasting imprint on me, certainly. I guess that’s why I defend religious freedoms – because I’ve watched militant religionists trying to undermine and even destroy “rival” religions, and can’t abide that. The most disappointing aspect of religion, for me, is that I see people who DO possess solid critical thinking skills, decent educations, etc., but do not consistently apply them when it comes to alternative medicine, religion, conspiracy theories, and other nonrational things. Some of the most intelligent people I know employ their logic to find loopholes for belief in these areas. For instance, and I don’t mean to pick on Mormons, a highly intelligent and very logical LDS member I know realizes that Joseph Smith did not REALLY translate the “Book of Abraham”, but has convinced himself that Smith was receiving a dictation from God and merely using a piece of Egyptian papyrus to focus his concentration. It’s not that this fellow CAN’T reason or doesn’t have the tools already; he just chooses to not be logical sometimes. What are we to say to such people? Should we become dogmatic and obnoxious, demanding that they knock it off? Isn’t that as unhelpful as what rabid religionists do?For me, it all comes down to rights. Religionists have the right to be religious and to share their views. I have the right to avoid them, disagree with them, or criticize them. Just as I do not appreciate any individual or group attempting to impose a worldview on me, I have no desire to impose mine. I want to share it, certainly, but not impose it. The problem with opposing extremism is that are so many competing/conflicting definitions of it. Personally, I draw the line only at violence, harrassment, property damage, or threats of such. Others would consider traditional dress as extremism. If you apply “anyone who thinks their religion should be imposed worldwide”, then there are an alarming number of Christian extremists….and Sarah Palin would be among them. But I don’t think anyone would argue that she should be persecuted for her views. Ignored, opposed, and ridiculed? Of course. But not persecuted.

  8. [The following Nasrudin tale is original to me. Please note that the use of the form: “Mullah” is traditional, as transmitted by Idries Shah, and not a comment on any faith community. Nasrudin works equally well as a Rabbi, Minister, Guru or any other such title]Why Are We Here ?The Mullah Nasrudin had a new disciple. One day the disciple asked; “Great Mullah, why are we here?””Ah!” replied Nasrudin, “The eternal question. Put five pennies in the pocket of my robe.”The disciple did as he was told. “Now, see that open book upon the table? Place your chin on the table in front of the book” said Nasrudin. The disciple did as he was told and the Mullah slammed the book shut on the disciple’s nose.”OW!””Now do you understand?” inquired Nasrudin.”I am unworthy, great Mullah. I still do not understand why we are here.” replied the disciple.”Very well then. Put five pennies in the pocket of my robe” The disciple did as he was told. “Now put your hand in this open drawer.” The disciple did as he was told, and Nasrudin slammed the drawer shut on his hand.”Aaaaiiieeeee!” screamed the disciple.”Now do you understand?” inquired Nasrudin.”Great Mullah, my poor brain still does not comprehend why we are here.””Very well then. Put five pennies in the pocket of my robe.” The disciple did as he was told. “Now, look very closely at the tip of my finger.” The disciple bent down and peered at Nasrudin’s extended finger. “Closer” instructed the Mullah. The disciple peered very closely at the tip of his teacher’s finger, and Nasrudin jabbed his finger in the disciple’s eye.”Yeeearggghhh!” screeched the disciple.”Now do you understand?” asked Nasrudin.”I am in despair, great Mullah” replied the disciple. “I am poorer now, and in greater pain and confusion than I was before I even asked the question!””Exactly!” exclaimed Nasrudin. “I have just spared you twenty years of study and meditation. Now, if you still do not understand, go out in the street and continue begging for alms and we will continue the lesson tommorow.”

  9. Problem though is.. To someone that thinks they are absolutely right, and wants to spread this fact to everyone else, not agreeing with this goal, or their right to make it happen, ***is*** persecution.Like PZ put it a while back, more or less, “If people all stayed at home and believed what ever they wanted, without trying to make other people follow it too, no one would ever have a problem with them.”But, yeah, being good at logic doesn’t mean you can’t find ridiculous justifications for believing absurd things. It often means you can come up with more complex “explanations” for why its true, which less smart people can’t tell are pure bullshit.But again, it crosses the line when some wacko insists, not just that therapeutic touch, as an example, works, but that its “better” than real medicine, should replace it, and then plays the “persecution complex” argument, by which failure to acknowledge these “facts” is evidence you are trying to suppress them and their ideas.Well, in a sense, they are right, but unlike “recognized” religions, which get special protections, gibberish religions, like altie medicine, get not such protections, and we happily persecute such people all the time, with everything from ridicule, to removing licenses, to jail time.Yeah, doing so with relgions would be a damn mess, and just isn’t practical, but.. seriously, when someone can, like a recent article I read, tie up life saving equipment, over the “beating heart” some lame religious definition says equals life, while even the parents agree the kid won’t wake up, and what is left of his brain, after a tumor completely destroyed it, is starting to undergo necrosis… That is just idiotic. And its something we might, through a court, do something about. But, its also just one example of thousands of abuses, stupidities, and doctrinal idiocies that happen every year, which do everything from prevent people getting treatments, to forcing people to follow a parents religion over that of the other parent, to denying someone jobs with a church, or even denying retirement pay to someone that is old and got sick, etc. All of which would be so illegal in the real world that the people responsible would spend, collectively, millennia in jail for it, but all of which get by with it, precisely because we say, “Its their religious rights, so its off limits.”Honestly, since most cases never come to court, because both sides know the case will be thrown out, and like 99.9% that do, are thrown out, it impossible to come up with “any” accurate estimation of how many people are abused, cheated, robbed, denied their own rights, or otherwise persecuted *by the church* within the protections of its own doctrines. The only thing that can be said is, if stealing someone’s pension and life savings is “legal”, because even the pension is part of “how the church opts to run itself, and thus not in the purview of the state”, then what does that say about the 40 million other lesser offenses that fall under that protective umbrella?Your right ends when it harms me, as you said. The problem is, under the church protections that separation ironically provides, ***they*** get to define what harm is, if they harmed you, and short of killing you, you probably can’t even protest, never mind find justice.

  10. To someone that thinks they are absolutely right, and wants to spread this fact to everyone else, not agreeing with this goal, or their right to make it happen, ***is*** persecution.Well, exactly! That’s my point. I don’t want to become one of those people by insisting, “My worldview is the only correct one and I am going to spread it far and wide so that everyone can be like me.” I do my tiny part by maintaining this blog, gently injecting factual information into conversations about alternative medicine and other bunkum, and living what I “preach”. (By that I mean you’re not going to catch me buying structured water or credulously sharing info I hear on Alex Jones.) That’s really about all I want to do. Sure, I could get into epic debates over the Book of Abraham, Reiki, “angel readings”, etc., but I feel they would be of little long-lasting benefit to anyone. I’ve found that the more you harrass someone about their most cherished beliefs, the more entrenched those beliefs become, because the believers have been forced to defend them and don’t want to concede to you no matter what. How do you think Christianity has thrived? I think that if the Romans hadn’t come down on it, it wouldn’t be around today. Nothing strengthens faith like having to practice it underground in the face of relentless persecution. I even fear that this current anti-religion backlash will strengthen religious convictions around the world, contributing to the surge of extremism.I make a strong distinction between pseudoscientific/anti-medical/alternative med practices and religious belief for the simple reason that listening to someone’s weird religious beliefs won’t physically harm or kill you. Going to an alternative healer just might, particularly if you reject treatment that actually works. Holding these practitioners to the same laws that apply to real health workers isn’t persecution by any stretch of the imagination. I’m even of the opinion that parents shouldn’t be able to deny their underage children lifesaving medical treatment on the basis of religious affiliation/belief, and should face prosecution if they insist upon it. That’s murder, period. I don’t care who “told” you to do it; in the civilized world you should not be allowed to kill your child. As far as end-of-life decisions go, the law seems to be tipping heavily in favour of those who agree with you: Braindead is dead, and there’s no point in preserving those lives. But that’s something I want to evaluate on a case-by-case basis, rather than declaring ALL vegetative people “useless eaters” (as an example). Actually, I sided strongly with the fundies on the Schiavo issue.But lest anyone think I’ll always stand up for the churches…WRONG. You’re right about church crimes and misdeeds being committed under our noses. I am deeply disturbed that nearly every mainstream denomination in this country took part in the administration of residential schools; abduction of children from their parents; atrocious abuses and preventable deaths; padding enrollment records to squeeze more money from the government; sacrificing children’s safety, education, and comfort to save money. Thanks to some fancy footwork on the part of the government, not one of the churches involved can be held legally responsible for a single one of these acts today. It’s a horrifying injustice on a nationwide scale. That’s the kind of thing I oppose – not the church-on-Sunday believers who are just following tradition.

  11. P.S. Although, there is some merit to the idea that in order to dismantle religion, you should start with trying to convert the everday believers. Going after the leaders (popes, mullahs, lamas, what-have-you) won’t do a lick of good; they can and will be replaced in a heartbeat even if you somehow succeed. But without “butts in pews”, churches simply can’t function.

  12. I am reminded of a Jefferson quote:”“But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”The problem being, most of them want to do both, in the name of advancing their beliefs, even if the existence of the belief doesn’t by itself. lolSo, yeah, we are mostly in agreement, I think. The slightly odd guy down the street isn’t “too much” of a problem, in a vacuum.Problem is, Jefferson was a bit naive (and maybe you are too), I think, when it came to what happens when such people are not on their individual, separate, little islands. 😉 In his case, it probably comes from having re-written the Bible to exclude all the magical hokum, then presuming anyone else in that time would agree with the new version. lolBut, yeah. I would “love” to see the courts have enough guts to call rape, murder or abuse, rape, murder and abuse, instead of taking on look at some lawyer yelling, “Religious belief and church doctrine”, and dropping it like a hot potato. But, until that happens… I ain’t givin them no slack.

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