Religious Affiliation Open Thread

OPen thread below.


A recent Pew study had some interesting stats on worldwide religious affiliation:







Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

What has changed?

mmghosh's picture

Very Interesting Chart re Adoptions, No?...nt



"Me, Me, Me!"--The National Hero's Funeral Edition

M Scott Eiland's picture

Even the rather liberal Slate is ready to tell the narcissistic a****le to STFU about himself already. Another reason to hope that John Glenn and/or Chuck Yeager doesn't pass away at least until The Ego In Chief is safely in retirement in Hawaii.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

So Snark is Now an Acceptable Form of Intellectual Accumn?

(#298290) may be fun, but it is still only vacuous Snark with no real value whatsoever.


But thanks for the Nothing-is-there-of-value Link.


Best Wishes, Traveller

Speaking Of "Guns Are Icky!". . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .a little peek into the mindset of (liberal) journalists:


The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

And speaking of "vacuous snark with no real value whatsoever."

Jay C's picture

credit Traveller.....


Do you have a source for this otherwise unattibuted and oh-so-amusing "chart" *, or did you make it up yourself?



*this is snark, as well.

Hey, if we didn't have snark


the recent comments bar would have postings dating back to July.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I Always Liked that "Whatsoever," Is One Word...Kinda Cool...



...sort of like, "Nevertheless," and...Well, I can't think of another at the moment...I need to go to Costco for Christmas Supplies, Rotisserie Chicken, Full Trouts, Spring mixes of greens, etc...I know there's another good multiple word word out there but when I'm thinking shopping....I'm helpless.


In truth, I've never cooked full trout fish, but I saw them there in a pak of 4....heads and tails and it seems about time to teach myself how to do them whole, I


Best Wishes, Traveller 

Just got back

HankP's picture

Costco for USDA prime Prime Rib for Christmas dinner, Uwajimaya for a whole fresh Golden Snapper and a dozen oysters for dinner tonight, and also for a fresh Duck to be prepared Korean BBQ style tomorrow night.


Oh, and the liquor store for a case and a half of good cheer.


I blame it all on the Internet

Moi Aussi, 4 Trout, 1 Rotisserrie Chicken, Baby Back Ribs!



...I may be having my first Christmas ever alone, (and naked, I can't wear clothes for very long at all, skin fantastically sensitive and painful...some people have said I could come over to their house naked, (children are gone), but I think and hope they are not, but I intend to eat well.


I hope to make the trout crispy and whole, the way it used to be served to me at the Golden Horn in Salzburg, Austria, on the  Salzach River, at the northern boundary of the Alps. Salzburg became too expensive for me to go to any more....but with 4 trout I am bound to get one of them right.


I remain of good cheer and hope the same for everyone.


Love everyone you see over the next 3 days!


Best Wishes, Traveller

Watching the SF - Seahawks game

HankP's picture

I can't hear a f(*king thing. But Seattle is kicking ass.


I blame it all on the Internet

How about those 'Hawks!

Bird Dog's picture

That hit by Chancellor was epic. And legal.

Russell Wilson has all the tools, except height. I liked him from Day One. He's got the intangibles, and the players love the guy.

Pete Carroll has the brought the team to a mindset of the sort that wins championships.

It's nice to be a Seahawk fan these days, especially when we have a good QB and a brutish runner like Marshawn.

Oh, and Harbaugh is a jackass. So is Belichick, but Belichick is a jackass with a few Superbowl rings.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Are You Actually in the Stadium?!? I Hope So, A Big Win....


...for you if they can pull this off.


Start of the 2nd half is looking good also!


Yes, Uncle Pete.


Best Wishes, Travelller

Nope, lying on the couch

HankP's picture

but the networks never seem to get the audio mix right when a game is played in Seattle.


I've been to a lot of Seahawks games, though. Playoff games leave your ears ringing the next day.


I blame it all on the Internet

I Think Harbaugh Ran off Field Without Shaking Carroll's Hand

(#298308), I'd be curious if I saw this correctly. If you hear anything about this, I'd appreciate if you could post it.


Best Wishes, Traveller

Not Really News. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .that Harbaugh is a bit of a jackass, and he has a history of being a jackass specifically directed at Pete. Ah well, it's not as if I need any additional motivation to wish humiliation and defeat on the Niners, so good luck to the Seahawks in getting farther in the playoffs than the a****le and his crew.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I Know I'm a Carroll Fanboi, but I've Liked the 49'ers Also...



...I don't want to have a Jim Harbaugh.


I actually felt sorry for San Francisco tonight...the game was a beat down.


Best Wishes, Traveller

Yup, three beatdowns in a row

HankP's picture

that's how you want to go into the playoffs.


I blame it all on the Internet

Hey Trav


Can you explain "notwithstanding"?  I never get whether it means the thing after the word wins or loses.

It Referrs to Something that Occured,(Gotta be Back for SF v. S)


... But Still Did Not Change the Subject or the Thing that is the Main Subject of the Action.


Or so that's what I wrote....but I wasn't sure, so, Google being my (Only) friend:


: despite <notwithstanding their inexperience, they were an immediate success> —often used after its object <the motion passed, our objection notwithstanding>



Free Online Dictionary
Find Definitions To Any Word Fast & Free w/ Dictionary Toolbar!
Holy Bible Download
Search Verses, Daily Bible Quotes, & More with the Free Bible Toolbar


[not-with-stan-ding, -with-] Show IPA

in spite of; without being opposed or prevented by: Notwithstanding a brilliant defense, he was found guilty. She went to the game anyway, doctor's orders notwithstanding.
in spite of the fact that; although: It was the same material, notwithstanding the texture seemed different.
nevertheless; anyway; yet: We were invited notwithstanding.
1350–1400; Middle English  (preposition, adv., and conjunction); see not, withstand, -ing2

1. Notwithstanding, despite, in spite of imply that something is true even though there are obstacles or opposing conditions. The three expressions may be used practically interchangeably. Notwithstanding suggests, however, a hindrance of some kind: Notwithstanding the long delay, I shall still go. Despite indicates that there is an active opposition: Despite procrastination and disorganization, they finished the project. In spite of implies meeting strong opposing forces or circumstances that must be taken into account: She succeeded in spite of many discouragements.

1. because of, on account of.
Can I go shopping now?
Best Wishes, Traveller


Yo, Trav

Jay C's picture

Good explanation: pedantry notwithstanding! 

Anyway, good shopping!  And if you're unfamiliar with what to do with whole trout, I'd suggest trying a simple grilling first, or a pan sauté . Just keep in mind that trout filets are thin, don't overlook them.


Oh, and also "albeit" too......


Given that I don't give a rat's ass


regarding comments about the dead, at least when they've proved themselves to be overbearing @55h0les, I present some choice quotes from Ur-wingnut extremist, Bork:


Feminist gatherings within traditional denominations celebrate and pray to pagan goddesses. Witchcraft is undergoing an enormous revival in feminist circles as the antagonist of Christian faith...The feminists within the [Catholic] church engage in neo-pagan ritual magic and the worship of pagan goddesses.



As one might suspect from their hostility to men, marriage, and family, radical feminists are very much in favor of lesbianism.



So far as I know, no multiethnic society has ever been peaceful except when constrained by force. Ethnicity is so powerful that it can overcome rationality. Canada, for example, one of the five richest countries in the world, is torn and may be destroyed by what, to the outsider, look like utterly senseless ethnic animosities.



Hispanics, who will outnumber blacks in the United States by the end of the century, often do not regard this country as their own.


*** is on the Internet. That's a category. They have a variety of things under, which is alternative sex. Particularly horrifying was this I don't know how to work the Internet yet, but I did that research. I found it written up.



The fossil record is proving a major embarrassment to evolutionary theory.

Perhaps all of the above can be chalked up to a rich intellectual life, Burkean restraint and Hayekean modesty. Or simply to the fact that the man was a boorish, anti intellectual jerk who gained fame and noteriety during the hot'n'heavy reagan moloch-worship days.


Clearly, this giant among men, whose reputation was so besmirched by the lesser mortals who bit his ankles, can be summarized by the quotes in the following link:


Shorter, F*** robert bork, and F*** his memory to hell. Wingnuts will continue to ask for his graven image to be displayed near saint reagan's, but as long as I'm alive I will offer up the reality behind this silly, petty, hateful and ignorant man.


Condolences to his friends and family for ever being associated with him.


Merry Christmas! 





Bork; verb: Accurately summarizing someone's positions

brutusettu's picture


In 2008 we refused to look backward at bank fraud in the past


so we could look forward ... to bank fraud in the future. All from 2012:


Bank of America: the US Justice Department is seeking $1 billion in fines for troubled loans sold to Fannie and Freddie; MBIA’s lawsuit against Countrywide, which was disastrously acquired by BofA, rolls on; BofA is one of five banks participating in the $25 billion national mortgage settlement. (Price to book: 0.56, here and throughout via Yahoo Finance)

Bank of China: the families of Israeli students killed in a 2008 terrorist attack are suing the BOC for $1 billion “intentionally and recklessly” handling money for terrorist groups.

Bank of New York Mellon: a subsidiary paid $210 million to settle claims it advised clients to invest in Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme; the DOJ continues to investigate possible overcharges for currency trades that it says generated $1.5 billion in revenue. (Price to book: 0.86)

Barclays: $450 million settlement in the Libor scandal; also fined by the FSA for mis-sold interest rate hedges. (Price to book: 0.72)

BBVA: settled overdraft suit for $11.5 million. (Price to book: 0.83)

Citigroup: settled CDO lawsuit for $590 million; one of five banks participating in the $25 billion national mortgage settlement; paid $158 million to settle charges it “defaulted the government into insuring” risky mortgages. (Price to book: 0.62)

Credit Suisse: sued by NY state for allegedly deceiving investor in the sale of MBS. (Price to book: 0.85)

Deutsche Bank: settled a DOJ mortgage suit for $202 million; FHFA fraud case is ongoing. (Price to book: 0.56)

Goldman Sachs: FHFA fraud case is ongoing; after a ruling by federal appeals court, a class action lawsuit over MBS will go forward. (Price to book: 0.91)

Crédit Agricole: sued by CDO investors two times. (Price to book: 0.35)

HSBC: settled money laundering charges for $1.9 billion; set aside $1 billion for future settlements related to mis-selling loan insurance and interest rate hedges in the UK; Libor settlement still to be reached. (Price to book: 1.17)

ING: settled charges that it violated sanctions against Iran, Cuba, etc. for $619 million. (Price to book: 0.5)

JP Morgan Chase: being sued by NY state for MBS issued by Bear Stearns; class action lawsuit and criminal probe over failed derivatives trades in its Chief Investment Office; one of five banks participating in the $25 billion national mortgage settlement. (Price to book:0.87)

Mitsubishi UFJ: paid an $8.6 million fine for violating US sanctions on Iran, Sudan, Myanmar and Cuba. (Price to book: 0.54)

Morgan Stanley: fined $5 million for improper investment banking influence over research during Facebook’s IPO. (Price to book: 0.63)

Royal Bank of Scotland: $5.37 billion shareholder lawsuit related to 2008 rights issuance; set aside $650 million to cover claims it mis-sold payment protection products; also fined by the FSA for mis-sold interest rate hedges. (Price to book: 0.28)

Santander: fined by the FSA for mis-sold interest rate hedges. (Price to book: 0.77)

Société Générale: rogue trader Jerome Kerviel loses appeal his appeal 3-year sentence for trades that generated $6.5 billion in losses. (Price to book: 0.45)

Standard Chartered: $340 million fine paid to NY state department of financial services for allegedly hiding the identity of customers in transactions with Iran and drug cartels; $327 million paid to the Federal Reserve and US Treasury’s anti-money laundering unit.

State Street: fined $5 million for lack of CDO disclosure. (Price to book: 1.09)

UBS: $1.5 billion Libor fine and two traders criminally charged; rogue trader responsible for $2.3 billion loss found guilty of false accounting. (Price to book: 1.12)

Wells Fargo: Federal lawsuit over mortgage foreclosure practices ongoing; paid $175 million over mortgage bias claims; one of five banks participating in the $25 billion national mortgage settlement.

"Enlightened" Moment Of The Day

M Scott Eiland's picture

"Progressive" newspaper editorial board made up overwhelmingly of old white people tasks some guy named Adolph to accuse Republicans of tokenism and racism in appointing Tim Scott as the first black Senator from the Deep South since the Reconstruction Era. How can we argue with such wisdom?

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.



He will be the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction; the first black Republican senator since 1979,


Then you point to one black guy out of seventeen at the NYT? Pointing out stuff in this way only makes it look worse, but carry on with the point tallying.

The NYT's Designated Fuhrer Is The One Bringing Up Tokenism

M Scott Eiland's picture

I'm just pointing out the hypocritical implications of that particular institution doing so.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

The Hitler store called ...

HankP's picture

I blame it all on the Internet



so now we can't name people Adolph, Benito, Che, Joseph or George.




aireachail's picture

There goes my boy band idea.


I'm always just that much behind the curve.

Uh, ok


so ignore the long-ass history of the south electing only white men. Which brings to mind the fact that 90%+ of today's black americans vote against the GOP. So yeah, in your face- NYT editorial board 2013... buncha hypocrites. Woot! Can I getta high five anna chest bump??


Hope he works out as well as Steele did for the gop. I'm sure marco rubio will bring around all those hispanics, too. 


Ha! I May Still Be Sicker Than a Dog, But Life's Gotta Be Lived

  ArcLight Logo  

6360 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 464-1478

ticket-border ZERO DARK THIRTY ticket-border
10:30 PM, Wed Dec 19, 2012
Your seats:

Double Up on Pain Meds and rock out...actually I haven't been to anywhere significant for well over two months...But Hollywood it is on opening night.


I'll let you know how the movie is.


Best Wishes, Traveller

The fiscal cliff


OBAMA IS ONCE AGAIN ... never mind.

Robert H. Bork, 1927-2012

Jay C's picture

Conservative jurist Robert H. Bork has died at age 85.


I'm sure a lot of comments can (and will) be made about the man and his career, I'll just leave it for now at "RIP".

Funny how things work out

HankP's picture

if Bork had been on the court, he'd now be Obama's first chance to replace a conservative with a liberal.


I blame it all on the Internet

Darth, you'll never leave the house again

HankP's picture

EasyStill home alcohol distiller

I blame it all on the Internet

It comes with the plastic collection container? SOLD!



In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Ummm, Darth?

Jay C's picture

Before you rush out to order a battery of these things, you might want to check the fine print on the EasyStill's product description:


but has been factory modified for alcohol distillation by changing the heating element, increasing cooling, and omitting the chlorine release valve, plus additional proprietary adaptations

So if you think you're going to be cranking (or, more likely, dripping) out the Chateau Cuddly version of Remy Martin VSOP, don't be disappointed when it ends up tasting more like eau de piscine...


And that "plastic collection container" is pretty lame - if you can't collect your homebrew in a stoneware jug with three "X"s on it, why bother?

I think the chlorine release valve


is to allow tap water chemicals to vent off when distilling water.  That isn't an issue for me, I'd use urine, it gives the wort/must color and provides a subtle asparagus note on the finish. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Remind me to ask for bottled beer if I ever visit nt

HankP's picture


I blame it all on the Internet



trevino fired from some media job recently when his Tweets or some blog post encouraging the murder of US citizens by a foreign country (Israel) came to light?


Hack. The doofus beard is simply perfect for him. Hopefully media matters or some such org haunts him with his bullsh!t for the rest of his professional life. And why the hell is trevino stalking someone named Loomis? WHy does anyone care about this, other than the trivial fact that trevino is a d!ckhead?

It's a pretty popular blog

HankP's picture

so any target in a pretty gloomy environment for conservatives, I guess.


I blame it all on the Internet


Bernard Guerrero's picture

That guy Loomis looks like a piece of crap.  Good on Josh for putting him in his place.

I think Loomis Will Actually be Injured by This....

(#298068) surprises me the degree to which supposedly  sophisticated people spout off on various media platforms.


This is crazy.


I think Josh is taking advantage of someone who has foolishly spoken, written rashly...I entirely understand what Loomis was saying...and Josh is just kicking a stupid dog because, in truth, that is the only Talent Mr. Trevino has.


This is not an attractive trait of his. (He could be framing the question in some useful fashion instead of harming someone, but harming is the choice Josh will reflexively make every time).


Best Wishes, Merry Christmas, Nice to see you...



Treviño "kicking dogs"

Jay C's picture

It's sad, in a way: as an old Tacitus hand, I know that Josh Treviño is a lot smarter than he writes:  his descent into hackery has not been pretty.  Also, his whole point is pretty bogus, IMO: righties getting incensed over Erik Loomis' remarks strikes me as being a hysterical - and more than a tad pathetic - attempt to defect the conversation (at least in the Twitterverse and blogosphere) on national gun violence away from any real discussion of its causes and effects, or any possible fixes. And as usual, said deflection is being carried out in what seems to have become the standard modern style: public and personal demonization of a critic over the Internet. Has Prof. Loomis (ever) posted intemperate tweets? Obviously. So what?  Does this (or his comments on Wayne LaPierre) necessarily make him an "advocate for murder" as Mr. Treviño so confidently asserts?


That last question is, to say the absolute damn least, debatable...



More Support for Loomis


from Crooked Timber and others.


What a marvelous, stupid sh1tstorm of a sideshow this has become.

Pretty poor score all around


1. Loomis - Really not guilty of anything, except possibly stupidity.  Someone whose job is to teach history and law at the college level ought to know that what is expected after children are shot is for everyone to outdo each other in solemnity and abhorrence of violence.


2. Glenn Reynolds -  Stupid and disingenuous overreaction to Loomis,  but then if one Googles a bit it's clear that "eliminationist rhetoric" is itself, like "head on a stick", a phrase overused to the point where it's not to be taken literally.  It's really just a synonym for intemperate.


3. Crooked Timber - Worse than either of the first two, actually, and I would have expected better of them.  Their reaction is to go after two completely innocent parties, the dean and University president, for (supposedly) not backing up Loomis.  What the university said is that

  The University of Rhode Island does not condone acts or threats of violence. These remarks do not reflect the views of the institution and Erik Loomis does not speak on behalf of the University. The University is committed to fostering a safe, inclusive and equitable culture that aspires to promote positive change.

What else could they say, if asked for a statement of the University's policy as a tax-funded, state supported institution?  Perhaps CT wants some kind of free speech statement, but why?  Obviously Loomis has freedom of speech, and there's no need to say he does, because no one* - certainly not Reynolds - is suggesting that he doesn't, and anyway it's printed in various official URI documents.  CT is falsely implying there's an academic freedom issue here where there's no evidence that I can see.


To summarize what really happened:  Loomis says he doesn't like LaPierre.  Reynolds says he doesn't like Loomis.  CT wets their pants.  LaPierre probably isn't even aware of the "issue".


*Michelle Malkin doesn't count as a person.

We're reading this differently, eeyn


The official statement directly implies that Loomis made a threat of violence, which is false.


And you say the University needn't/shouldn't mention any support for Loomis's freedom of speech b/c it's "obvious" ... but then why are they making "obvious" statements about how they don't support acts of violence?


These events look like conservatives going after a scalp and the University should be seeking to defuse that, not inflame it.

I wonder if there's more to this?


The link to the link in the original comment has Loomis claiming he met with Rhode Island police.  The tone sounds like the police initiated the meeting but I'm speculating.  I don't see the police taking the time to respond for what Loomis wrote in the links provided, so I wonder if some other venue or outlet may have been exploited causing both the police and university response.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

There Wolf, There Castle

brutusettu's picture

Unless Dooley has a weird Mitt Romney style of talking about separate things in a manner that makes it appear like he's staying on the same topic, it looks like Dooley was bamboozled into thinking (or spineless slinking into implying) Loomis wanted heads on a pike.

Oddly Enough. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .university officials can be rather large tools about this sort of thing. I won't mind if this one suffers some backlash for being a little quick to abandon one of his faculty to the wolves, even a faculty member who is pretty much a tool himself.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Just so you know. I was thinking the same thing


regarding the Firefly hullabalou. 

Save this.  Someday you may need a bump on a resume and you can say, with your hand to God, that you and I were thinking the same thing :) 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

What Darth expects when you mention you agree with him



What actually happens:


No, my going in expectation is that one agrees with me


or they are misinformed.  I was motivated by one of those 'Most Interesting Man in the World' commercials.  'When he pats you on the back you put it on your resume.' was the line. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

No it's not debatable

HankP's picture

it's a f(*king idiomatic expression. People use them all the time any rarely if ever intend the literal action implied. I read through the tweets, the guy says that things make him angry a lot. Big deal.


I blame it all on the Internet

Oh, I dunno...


Loomis was angry, enraged. Is that hard to understand? If you actually bother for a few seconds to imagine the scene of a guy shooting six year old children repeatedly in a school, and you picture their little bodies piling up and the blood splattering all over, yeah, I'd be enraged. I was, in fact.


What Loomis wrote was counterproductive, stupid. But it was human. And that's more than I can say for Josh.


Trevino talking about the memory hole? Him? Are you kidding me? Hypocrite!


What happened to He blew it away. And we asked for the database for this community. I asked for it personally. And he refused. Not only that, he had wiped the site on at least one previous occasion.




Let us refresh some memories:



Loomis might want to know about this, if he's going to engage.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.


HankP's picture

Trevino complaining about someone wiping an account is pretty rich.


I blame it all on the Internet

Oh, I Don't Know. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .I've noticed that in some quarters even full blown temper tantrums about "eliminationist" language is considered quite enlightened and mature. Mr. Loomis should feel honored to receive such well-meaning attention to his linguistic patterns.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Oh, Yes I Do Know from the Link...Trevino SOB Confirmed...nt



It Took Me A Moment To Interpret The "Unaffiliated" Breakdown

M Scott Eiland's picture

One wonders what would happen to the overall numbers if open religious belief wasn't subject to official or semi-official crackdown as it is in the (now mostly Far Eastern) Communist nations.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Communist Banning Of Religion Wasn't Based In "Rationality"

M Scott Eiland's picture

As Ayn Rand--herself an atheist--put it, they were acting like a street gang and eliminating the competition.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.


HankP's picture

How is that not rational? It sounds just like the anti-communists.


I blame it all on the Internet

Soviet communism=Liberalism in a hurry

mmghosh's picture

in this case.  


Not everything the Soviet Union did was wrong, either, although several aspects were.

That Could Be Said Of A Lot Of Things

M Scott Eiland's picture

The Ukrainian genocide certainly greased the skids for collectivized agriculture in the USSR, after all.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

A little genocide is too foundational to successful societies

mmghosh's picture

be it of natives, other religions, races or cultures, for us to be duelling genocidal narratives.


The better point is that since most nations now subscribe to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, such actions are universally, or almost universally, condemned.  We should look to the positive side of things - how things became better, in the example of the Soviet Union, literacy, healthcare and so forth.  Rather than genocide, which happened awhile ago, I would consider the lasting bad effect of Soviet Russia and Communist China to be their degradation of their environmental landscape which happened in part because of lack of free speech, free press etc etc.  No Rachel Carsons or James Hansens, in other words.

Funny You Should Bring Up Universal Declaration of Human Rights

M Scott Eiland's picture

Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Apparently not, if it's inconvenient for communist mass murderers, or if some people think that religion is icky and irrational.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

There have been mass murderers, Communist & non-communist

mmghosh's picture

I'm not clear why you should think Communists are specially to be blamed in this regard.  In any case, Communist mass murders were not usually specifically targeted to eliminate religious belief. 


Also, the Constitution of both the USSR or China or Vietnam did not specifically prohibit individual religious belief.  In Vietnam, especially, Roman Catholics were indeed targeted for both assassination and murder, and in large numbers too, but this was more to do with Catholics being identified as supporters or collaborators of the French and Americans, rather than being Christians, specifically.  In any case, matters were often reciprocated by the religious Right when they got the chance - for example White terrorists under Denikin, or the Diem regime in South Vietnam, especially after the Hue Vesak killings.

And Ayn Rand's Basis for Her Atheism?


Narcissicism, one supposes.

Her Own Choice

M Scott Eiland's picture

As it always should be in these matters, ultimately.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Have the Czechs forsaken Christianity?

mmghosh's picture

Good for them.  Also, why aren't atheists counted - or are they in the "other" group?

They're "unaffiliated"?


The Czech Republic has been majority atheist for some time. 


It was majority atheist when I lived there in '98 - at the time the only country in Europe.

There are many great cities in the CZR


And the general attitude toward life there makes it excellent as a vacation destination in some respects, though I feel confident predicting you would not like the food. There's only so many times you can eat fried pork, potato pancakes and cabbage.


I wouldn't get carried away on the rationality thing. They treat their Roma population with irrational racism and their conservative politicians, which have been in power for some time, are irrational by European standards (however they're more rational than the US's tea party types).


But there is a healthy cynicism running through the society, likely from having been kicked around by so many different powers.


And the beer is as good as its reputation.

Can eat


fried pork and potato pancakes an unlimited number of times;  if the cabbage is part of the package I'll eat it to.


My wife and I went there several years ago.  Although we really enjoyed it,  I was surprised by the New Orleans flavor of Prague - everyone we bumped into was running some kind of not-quite-straight-scheme and we got ripped off three times in the first 24 hours after crossing the border.


The most embarrassing (but least serious) one was buying some classical concert tickets right outside a concert hall downtown.  I admit it was very stupid to buy tickets for the "Royal Czech Philharmonic" in a country that has been a republic for a century or so,  but my wife really wanted to go to something cultural, the tickets were cheapish.  We went in and there really was an orchestra billing themselves as the RCP but they were on the last movement of the last piece so we got  5 minutes of music for $10.

Any Baseball Fan Would Say You're Wrong On That

M Scott Eiland's picture

After Jackie Robinson broke the color line in 1947, the teams that followed the Dodgers' example by setting aside their institutional racism to tap the new source of talent thrived--the ones that delayed (mostly the American League) became objectively inferior as a result, though it took almost two decades for the impact to topple the Yankees into the second division. Ignoring the individual gifts of a human being because of racism (or any other irrelevancy ending in -ism) will ultimately disadvantage one against competitors who do not believe in--or who at the very least are willing to act as if they don't in their hiring and employment practices--such idiocy.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

See My Earlier Comment

M Scott Eiland's picture

I think that "unaffiliated" is a euphemism for "atheist/agnostic/none of your f***ing business."  The fact that China is majority that category pretty much confirms my suspicion.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I've toyed with the idea...


...of starting an agnostic church.


Not that I have the drive or charisma to do it successfully, but perhaps someone will. Then I could be "affiliated", but still not a believer.


The agnostic church would, it should go without saying, have no central authority. It would be decentralized but would officiate things like marriages and burials and so forth, as well as develop and foster moral guidelines, not quite a code, agnostics could identify with, and generally fulfill the social needs of non-believers that believers have religion for.


I think this has been tried but to my knowledge not too successfully.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

It doesn't work because it sort of craps itself in the mechanics


 'Our Father, who may or may not art in heaven which we're not sure exists, hallowed be thy name, whatever it is, while not specifically endorsing the concept of anything being hallowed........................

'Alrighty then, the mass has ended, go in peace with the possible blessings of the almighty we're not sure is out there.  Don't forget the chilli cook-off at the rectory after the football game.'


In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 



The mechanics, if by that you mean coherent messages, for most religions are totally dysfunctional and I doubt an agnostic church could do worse. For example, God has a plan and is all knowing, all powerful, but you need to pray to him so he knows what you are thinking and what you need, and would be willing to change his plan on your behalf. That makes no sense at all.


No, the trouble with an agnostic church is that though many agnostics might miss some of the advantages of having a church, we can manage fine without one. But a church needs people who need the church badly enough to support it. So the challenge is to make an agnostic church really attractive to agnostics, somehow. I am not sure how.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

I disagree.


Any group of people who come together need a basic sense of conviction.  I don't care what it is; a church, rotary club or bowling league, there's some basic steering principle.  You'd need to establish that conviction or principle and I don't think that's an easy task for an agnostic.

I've had a different experience when it comes to coherent messages.  That may be just me.  I don't want to get into what I pray for but it's not at all what you suggest. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

That sounds right


This depends on how you define 'atheist' and 'agnostic' of course. 


I worry that 'unaffiliated' might be very messy - e.g. capturing people who believe in the supernatural but don't like organized religious institutions. 


My recollection is that the CZR had a straight up majority of 'non-believers'.