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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Thank you for helping to save my life"

I recently got the most wonderful and heartening message regarding the impact my work has had on at least one person's life. Over the years, I have received many thoughtful and encouraging missives, from individuals of all walks of life, both genders, and all ages, races and religions. These friendly messages are always welcome, as it is the nature of my work to reside in the realm of the contentious, and I have endured not a few unpleasant assaults over the past 12 years I've been online.

Hence, whenever I receive such heartfelt missives as below I am thrilled and delighted to have been a part of bettering life on Earth. Lovely messages such as this one have profoundly moved me and kept me on track all this time.

I am sharing this particular message in hopes that it may be helpful to others as well. While it is not my interest to make "atheists" out of everyone, as I do not append either that or the "theist" moniker to myself, I am extremely happy and gratified that concepts found within my work have helped others free their minds and souls from the self-hating bonds abundant within fervent religiosity.

After all is said and done, this spiritual liberation and love for life constitute why we do what we do.

(The following missive, received at MySpace, is reproduced with permission from the author.)
From: Jack
Date: Jul 8, 2007
Subject: Thank you for helping to save my life

Dear Acharya:

I am asking to be your friend and thanking you for being one of the people who truly have helped save my life.

I was in extreme Baptist fundamentalism and in the "ex-gay" movement for 12 very long and painful years.

I almost killed myself.

Through much luck (which is ALL I believe in now) I met my friend August Berkshire, with Minnesota Atheists, who helped lead me to questioning "krishtianity itself"... I embarked on a huge, huge journey, finally discovering both of your books as well as the DVD Suns of God/Christ Con which I am sharing with the entire city of "Saint" Cloud, MN where I live.

You, Robert Price and Ken Humphreys are among the people who have literally saved my life. I finally made the journey and studied anthropology/ paleoanthropology, evolution and DNA genetic code and bought the book "Born Gay" by Dr Quazi Rahmann.

With atheism, EVERYTHING IN LIFE makes total sense now.

Acharya, I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Price when he spoke at an event we had right here in very "Catholic" Saint Cloud, MN .

I hope some day I am fortunate enough to meet you.

I studied voice, Opera and drama in NYC at the Eastman School of Music and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. In the ex-gay movement, my voice was stilled.

Thanks to your work, my life has meaning and purpose once again.

I am now trying to resume a career which was very much "interrupted".

...You truly are a most beautiful gift to the world.

Never let those who hate you stop you in your most important work... remember my friend, you are saving lives and humanity.

Much love and hugs,
Jack Richter

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Muslim Misogyny Strikes Again

The apparent targets of last week's attempted bombing allegedly by Muslim fanatics were the patrons of a "ladies night" at the London club outside of which the bombs were found.

The statements made by Christopher Hitchens regarding the targeted victims in the thwarted bomb attacks underscore the grotesqueness of the vicious attitude towards women - and life in general - promulgated by so-called radical Islam. That women are considered subhuman within Islam could not be more readily exemplified than by the hateful attitude that female British citizens are "slags" and "sluts" about whom nobody would be concerned.

Without a doubt, Islam is oppressive of women, as well as men and children. No amount of sophistry or mendacity asserting the opposite will serve to convince otherwise anyone who has given any serious thought to these important issues.

A nightclub full of uncovered women drinking alcohol is about as antipathetic to this mentality as one can get, and this violent attack is how it's going to go with this psychopathology that thinks it has the right to rule the world. Unless fiercely resisted and contained, this dementia will terrorize the rest of humanity into capitulating to its enslaving will. It has no intelligent argument to be made, just barbaric, animalistic and sadistic violence and aggression. If this derangement possessed significant weapons, the world would be dead already, as it succumbed to the cult of death.

We must take a stand now, as Muslim authorities in the UK and elsewhere are doing this time around - finally! Of course, we hope they are sincere, and that the words will sink in with the younger generation, if this world is to survive.

We will not be covered up and chased out of life, cowering in the corners surrounded by darkness and threats of harm. The world's dividing lines are clearly now those who love life and those who hate it - and we simply cannot allow those who hate life to win.
The London car-bomb plot was designed to kill women.
by Christopher Hitchens

...Only at the tail end of the coverage was it admitted that a car bomb might have been parked outside a club in Piccadilly because it was "ladies night" and that this explosion might have been designed to lure people into to the street, the better to be burned and shredded by the succeeding explosion from the second car-borne cargo of gasoline and nails. Since we have known since 2004 that a near-identical attack on a club called the Ministry of Sound was proposed in just these terms, on the grounds that dead "slags" or "sluts" would be regretted by nobody, a certain amount of trouble might have been saved by assuming the obvious. The murderers did not just want body parts in general but female body parts in particular.

I suppose that some people might want to shy away from this conclusion for whatever reason, but they cannot have been among the viewers of British Channel 4's recent Undercover Mosque, or among those who watched Sunday's report from Christiane Amanpour on CNN's Special Investigations Unit. On these shows, the British Muslim fanatics came right out with their program. Straight into the camera, leading figures like Anjem Choudary spoke of their love for Osama Bin Laden and their explicit rejection of any definition of Islam as a religion of peace. On tape or in person, mullahs in prominent British mosques called for the killing of Indians and Jews.

Liberal reluctance to confront this sheer horror is the result, I think, of a deep reticence about some furtive concept of "race." It is subconsciously assumed that a critique of political Islam is an attack on people with brown skins. One notes in passing that any such concession implicitly denies or negates Islam's claim to be a universal religion. Indeed, some of its own exponents certainly do speak as if they think of it as a tribal property. And, at any rate, in practice, so it is. The fascistic subculture that has taken root in Britain and that lives by violence and hatred is composed of two main elements. One is a refugee phenomenon, made up of shady exiles from the Middle East and Asia who are exploiting London's traditional hospitality, and one is the projection of an immigrant group that has its origins in a particularly backward and reactionary part of Pakistan.

To the shame-faced white-liberal refusal to confront these facts, one might counterpose a few observations. The first is that we were warned for years of the danger, by Britons also of Asian descent such as Hanif Kureishi, Monica Ali, and Salman Rushdie. They knew what the village mullahs looked like and sounded like, and they said as much....