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on December 14 at
…smoking-hot, deliciously-cruel, totally-pedo spanking top.
Our father, who art getting off while spanking my ass in heaven.
(Dan, I love your Playboy stuff lately! More Playboy ads please.)
That image somehow seems to encapsulate all of humanity's darkest impulses in one small JPEG.
This is Totally Way Out of Control. Twooc
Stop the madness.
This just opens the door for every secret perve Christian dad to have an excuse to put his hand to his kids ass.
Nothin' like a little old-time masochistic theology. See, all this "God wants you to be rich" mumbo-jumbo that's been popularized by folks like Casey Treat might seem crass and greedy, but it's still better than "God will make you violently ill and slap your ass if you screw up."
Dan where did you find this? These are familiar.
I can't help but feel this is a parable.
When I see religious people acting like this I wonder about the value of religious tolerance. Do sane people have to be respectful of crazy shit like this? Maybe when Christians seek respect for their bizarre superstitions, its a tacit admission of just how ludicrous they really are.
This is so medieval. I mean, honestly. Who believes God makes you sick if you misbehave? This can't be serious. Or can it?
All the nonbelievers, they get to eat dirt, and the believers get to spit on their graves.
this hurts my brain. make it stop.
okay, this is funny, yes. but some of the posters here seem to have some issues. sexualizing this image is like sexualizing the olympic sculpture garden's father and son. it's not what was intended, and tell us more about the viewer than the image.
Wow. Not cool or funny.
@13 so god just pulled off the pants so that his righteous spanks could be felt more through the panties
Oh, that reminds me, I meant to submit this as a Slog tip.
"A Christian Domestic Discipline marriage is one that is set up according to Biblical standards; that is, the husband is the authority in the household....He has the authority to spank his wife for punishment, but in real CDD marriages this is taken very seriously and usually happens only rarely. CDD is so much more than just spanking. It is the husband loving the wife enough to guide and teach her, and the wife loving the husband enough to follow his leadership. A Christian marriage embodies true romance and a Christian man a true hero."
(discovered via http://www.citybusinesschurch.org/blog/)
C'mon, you know that the thought of Jesus spanking you makes you hot. Doesn't it?
"So remember kids, bad things happen because people have done something to displease Jesus."
"So why did Grandma get sick and die?"
"I don't know honey, but she must've really pissed Jesus to deserve a spanking like that."
Where DO you find this shit Dan?
Moral: God loves wasps. More than he loves you.
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
Jesus loves them when they're tight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
The Lord appears to be sportin' wood.
And it's not a cross, either.
I know people who would pay good money to be spanked by a hot, bearded jewish man!
look - i wasn't spanked as a kid, nor would i spank mine (if i ever have them). are these disclaimers necessary?
but come on, i don't see anything sexual about that. i just assumed when you got spanked by your parents that maybe they pulled the pants down.
you guys sound like you could have sent this letter of the day...
Man, Christianity is such a pain in the ass.
He loves the children but not the British children... oh wait, that's George Washington.
My very sweet 13 yo niece forwarded an email to a bunch of people, me being one of them, that was a list of all these people who smited God and/or Jesus and suffered for it. One on the list was a gay activist who said something to the effect of not needing god and later died of AIDS.
So apparently the Homo agenda and the Christian agenda is the same... get to the kids first.
Needless to say my sister and I had a little chat about how not cool that was.
I don't find anything sexual about it, but I do find it creepy manipulative.
I mean ... wow!
Wow. Where the hell did you find this?
Does the girl in bed have acne? Or is she sweating?
What kind of sins have can ill tiny babies gotten up to? Is Jesus punishing them with birth defects becuase of what they are destined to do? Were all of those wee tots who died from the Spanish flu pandemic such sinful horros they had to be "spanked" to death? Surely, very young children are not being punished for trangressions commited by their parents, tell me that is not so, Jesus!
What about babies who get sick andthen sometimes die? Surely they are not also in league with the devil... Is Jesus spiritually spanking those babies by allowing them to be sick and then occasionally allowing them to die? I have never heard of a more scary and fukked up thing to teach a child!
@30: She got stung by all the wasps.
Note to some above -- it's not saying that Jesus will MAKE you sick or hurt you, but that he won't protect you. The girl in the picture is not acting in a kind (i.e., Christ-like) manner, therefore Jesus let her get stung.
Not believing, just explaining.
PS -- The Spanking Jesus is just wrong.
Ok. I see...The fact that the girl stupidly made the hornets angry had nothing to do with her face getting stung. She made Jesus angry.
Ok. I guess. Since when is it naughty to try and get rid of a bee's or wasp's nest?
@33: So, Jesus didn't protect the girl from getting stung? Would he protect her if she tried hugging the hornet's nest to show them how much she loved them?
So my hangover today can't be due to the fact that I had 6 manny's. It is because of the impure thoughts that I had about several female sloggers last night.
These are comics by the infamous Jack Chick of "Chick comics". The guy is a dirtbag.
But that wouldn't stop Dan from attempting to malign 1 billion peoples closely held convictions and faith, now would it.
I notice something with you Dan. You take a small example of people (christians) and blow it up to attempt to suggest that all christians are like that. Kinda like how your ranting and raving, your love of glory holes, meth using, and general perversion, gives gays a bad name. I can understand a little bit more why you only see the freaks. You are a freak, and not a cool, twenty something captial hill way.
You are actually dangerous.
General Perversion would be a good top name.
I don't know, I don't see a hole in Jesus' hand. That's not Jesus. That's the dude from the Bee Gees.
@38: Good post. I would agree if it weren't for the fact that the christian "feaks" in question aren't actually freaks these days; they are becoming more and more the norm every day. I think it's important to point out when something is fucked up (like the comic above) so that it doesn't become normalized.
This will sell well in Japan ... major perv city ...
The really sick thing is that this picture was published by a crazy religious cult called "the Children of God" or "the family". Among other things their leader encouraged prostitution as a method of conversion (see: Flirty Fishing) and sex with infants and children.
The group was convicted of child abuse by a British judge for imprisoning and abusing several teens in order to save them from their sins.
@31 & @6:
It's just more of The Secret and the old "AIDs is God's curse."
My question--how will this play out with the increased interest in AIDs in Africa and poverty in the US by the religious right?
@36: He would bless her with the joy of feeling a portion of the pain of His crucifixion. He's got all the bases covered.
Flying Spaghetti Monster would send pirates to remove the nest for her.
I am just so confused as to why Jesus needs to take down her pants in order to spank her. This is really bothering me.
Please god, let someone make this into an entry for Hump! next year.
Okay. I (kind of, to a point) agree with ecce, which is difficult since I don't really like him...
It's just hard to stand by and watch Dan constantly misinterpret Christianity. Why do you do that? Because you’re ignorant, and you’re scared of something you don’t understand. Sound familiar?
My parents and a lot of my friends are non denominational Christians. I was raised Christian. For a long time, I played along with everything. The façade ended when I turned 13. My dad was taking me to different jewelry stores to pick out a Chastity ring. The ring was representative to me of more than sex— my lifestyle. I felt uncomfortable making a promise I knew I couldn’t, and didn’t want to keep. I wanted the freedom to choose my own morals, instead of living by the book.
Granted there are some scary Christian extremists, but there are scary everything extremists, including scary gay extremists. When all Dan's silly fronts are stripped away, what's left is the fact that Christians are opposing homosexuality. Right? And by opposing homosexuality, they’re opposing your lifestyle. So in response, you stoop down twelve times a freakin’ day and post bull shit like this. When you learn to give respect, you'll be respected and a lot more effective as an activist.
@23 Yeah, that's not his knee under there, which says to me Jesus is effing *HUNG*. But hey, he is God's son, I guess....bet it runs in the family...
@48 - I'll give shit to Dan for overgeneralizing any day, but I honestly don't see how it was implied here that this is to be deemed representative of Christians everywhere. Merely showing the existence of Christian batshittery isn't, by itself, a condemnation of all Christians everywhere.
For the record... My dad was a Catholic Deacon--he was in the first class of ordained Catholic Deacons when the Church created the Permanent Deaconite in the '70s. My mom was a Catholic lay minister. I went to a seminary school for high school because I was thinking about being a priest -- at 14. Came to my senses pretty quick.
Needless to say, my parents and a lot of family and friends are Christians. I consider myself a cultural Catholic. And there's a Christmas tree in my living room right now. Even a manger scene.
The Christians I know aren't bothered by these posts--including my mom, who reads Slog--because they're just as annoyed by the sexual hypocrisy and the whackier Christian extremists as I am.
And it's not just about homosexuality. But you can comfort yourself with that thought, Amelia, if you like.
But I have no interest in giving respect to folks who have dedicated their lives to discriminate against me and my family. Fuck 'em.
@50: Exactly. Too many christians defend the fundi extremists by not outwardly speaking out against them and then condemning those that do.
Dan's not misinterpreting Christianity. He's posting what some Christians are doing, writing, saying, voting. I'm sorry but Christians in Michigan played a huge part in wrongly vilifying the gays in order to pass an anti-gay marriage amendment. The Catholic Church pledged $1 million to the anti-gay campaign while closing inner city schools in Detroit. Some Protestant churches published out-and-out lies in the newspapers misleading people on purpose.
The Catholic Church is pretty big in Michigan--especially in SE Michigan and up north. And the Protestants have the Western half of the state covered. I wouldn't qualify them as extremists, though. They aren't. They're mainstream. Mainstream Christian denominations were publishing lies and wrongly vilifying people. What's the right way to handle that? With polite respect? I don't think so. . .
I'm not arguing in favor of blanket generalizations of Christians or any group. I just don't buy the "scary extremist" argument. The Christian anti-gay thing has been pretty mainstream for a few years now.
Oh, and it's not merely that they're "opposing [my] lifestyle." It's that some Christians with power are actively vilifying me and mine, working to take away health care benefits, stripping rights to visit family in the hospital, keeping me from teaching, or making it illegal for me to adopt children. If that was happening to you, what would you want to do? Wouldn't you feel the need to lash out in anger just a little bit once in a while?
@38 Thanks! I was wondering if that was one of Jack Chick's. That man is fucking nuts.
I think you are correct in that their analogous, however, the major difference is that I'm not trying to force anyone to suck dick who doesn't want to. I'm not trying to manipulate government into forcing guys to bend over for other guys, or for chicks to lick other chicks' pussies.
Right wing Christians are trying to force their lifestyle choices on me, by pushing and retaining blue laws like Sunday liquor sales; mandatory prayer in schools; an Israel policy that neither the majority of American nor Israeli Jews supports so they can have their eschaton that much sooner; harmful abstinence only education; the abolition of divorce; and so on.
Dan is undoubtedly anti-religious. His views on the validity of Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism are just as dismissive, but as none of their followers are using the tools of everyone's government to outlaw the sale of pork, make haircuts illegal, subsidize monasteries, or require sky burial respectively, there's no need to be contemptuous. He can say, live and let live, probably with a snarky aside, but no venom.
#54: Dan's been hating on Zoroastrians? I must've missed that post.
dan, what you say is true.
unfortunately, what follows in the comments, people taking their cue from you, isn't always the same. in this post, and more so in past posts, people question tolerance for any christians, equate raising your child as a believer with child abuse, etc... i don't think you feel the way you were raised was child abuse.
just as a christian leader -- to some extent -- is held accountable for the actions of their followers, so too should you consider the beliefs regarding christianity you might be encouraging.
so, personally, i think you are rather fair with your posts. i don't think you should have to provide the disclaimers every time. but it is something to consider that you often see both people being offended at the way you seem to characterize christians, and people repeating what you said as if it applies to all christians.
I notice you leave out Islam.
oh, nevermind. i don't know what i'm talking about. i'm saddened by the silly christians who are making life so miserable for so many people. but i'm also saddened that because of their actions, other's have become hardened to the point of hating (all christians) back. there are people on both sides who do not deserve that hate. amelia's right. and so is dan.
Good point, e.h., we need more pics of Mohammed preaching to the Oil Barons.
I don't hate all christians, but I think they are at best misguided, (many of them outright hateful and dangerous), and I do think that raising a child with religious indoctrination is tantamount to child abuse. Why not let the child choose religion as an adult without emotional manipulation at a young, impressionable age? Oh, that's right: because no one in his right mind would choose religion as an adult without said manipulation.
Okay, now I'm really confused - if "we get sick because the Lord (um, Jack, isn't that Jesus there doing the spanking, and not his dad?) is spanking us", then what was his point in making all those bacteria and viruses, and whatnot?
God sure must be stupid to have gone to all that wasted effort...
Why not let the child choose religion as an adult without emotional manipulation at a young, impressionable age? Oh, that's right: because no one in his right mind would choose religion as an adult without said manipulation.
Of course. No one ever converts to crazy religious sects as an adult, right?
Funnily enough, I don't think Dan could possibly misinterpret this image. And showing people what various people of various religions are getting up to isn't "misinterpreting" their religion, either.
Feel free to argue that the people who believe these things aren't interpreting their own religion correctly, but they certainly believe that they are Christians. And like it or not, they're speaking out as Christians.
So, the same advice would follow for this as for people who don't want Islam to be seen as a religion for extremist misogynists... if you are of the religion, speak out against the abuse of it by those who claim to practice it. Get your churches to speak out, make a stand. Because otherwise, you'll all get tarred with the same brush.
Is it unfair? Sure! But given that any religious discrimination I've ever been on the receiving end of has been from "Christians," forgive me for not being particularly sympathetic.
@60. see, your comments about child abuse -- and you are far from the only person who exposes those beliefs on this slog -- those worry me. i don't feel i'm the victim of child abuse, and feel people should have freedom of religion in raising their children.
sorta looks like she's "stokin' the nest"
under those covers, using jesus for her own fantasy. It's more common than one would guess. As #24 noted, he is a hot, bearded jewish man, and theres that whole messiah coming/second coming thang..
christians speak out against it all the time... even on this blog!
@57 I intentionally left Islam out. Muslims are pulling the same shit as Christians, such as the Minneapolis taxi drivers who refuse passengers who are carrying alcohol.
ignorance = religion
religion = fascism
fascism = hatred
hatred = ignorance
I love the circle of life.
see, dan? you make a point about some weird christian thing, or group, or action, and in the thread we get:
religion is ignorance and fascism...
teaching religion is child abuse...
and a bunch of nonsense about pedophilia.
but, sure, we all know a there are a few nice, well-meaning if not misguided, christians out there.
when i was young, my christian and republican friends and family drove me crazy with their stereotypes and judgments. but over here, it's not all that much better. once someone refused to continue a conversation with me because i wouldn't agree that all christians are idiots!
I think it would be safe to say that not all Xtians are idiots. It would also be safe to say that not all idots are xtian, but MOST xtians are idiots.
It is like believing in the tooth fairy at 45
Its not like some of us would want to sympethize, but you have people running for NATIONAL OFFICE running the republican nomination like it's a born again pissing match!
You aren't making it easy to do the "christian thing" and turn the other cheek.
just to provide the disclaimer, again, i am not a christian. but there is more vitriol here than i remember in my home growing up, or at the silly youth group i went to before i knew better.
i don't necessary promote turning the other cheek. i say stand up for yourself. but do so to the person who hit you, some some other person wearing the same colored shirt.
i don't want to live in a world with so much animosity. or where telling your children you are a republican (not that i am one!) is child abuse. etc... etc... etc...
as if i haven't posted enough in this thread: that should have been not some other person wearing the same colored shirt!
@74 ... there are better "nice" chirstian advocates in another thread ... but I guess ... I WOULD like to advocate for better Christians, hell I grew up in one of those parishes, but it all just got swallowed up in the noise.
So, she's sweating in bed with her hands underneath the covers while she imagines Jesus spanking her bare ass for being naughty?
Well, to be fair, christians are ignorant and many are indeed fascists. That doesn't mean all ignorant and fascist people are christian, though.
As for child abuse, many would argue that brainwashing your kid into believing they'll go to "hell" if they masturbate and that Harry Potter movies are evil -- or telling them the earth is only 6000 years old and that "God hates fags" -- most rational people would see that as irresponsible behavior on the parent's part, if not flat out cruelty.
The pedophile thing is a toss up, but statistically, your children are more likely to be molested by a christian than an agnostic or atheist.
I guess my point is, making this generalization isn't unfair, because most christians exhibit these qualities. In fact, saying "christians are good and loving people for the most part" would be an unfair statement because it isn't true.
I was not surprised to see these cartoons were authored by Jack Chick, a certifiable whack-job if I ever saw one. They may be a crude way of making their point but the God-is-punishing-you-if-you-are-bad theology is far more common among more mainstream American Christians than they would admit. The whole line of Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell etc is that God is punishing this country with economic problems, natural disasters, 9/11 hijackers and the like because as God's chosen nation(!) we have been disobedient by tolerating abortion and homosexuality. I knew people who thought like this in my long gone evangelical days and they have only gotten louder and more shrill since then. Normally I would ignore them, as I try to do anyway, but these are the people who brought us the imbecile who at this moment sits in the Oval Office and the Republican candidates are trying to outholier-than-thou each other in their quest to continue this tradition for the next four years and beyond. These are not the people I would like to see in charge of this country.
Are all the religious patients out of this talkings yet? I have a penis that is very strong it goes into a vagina and a rectum. Where do the baby come out from? The poopy or the pussy?
Wait a second, everyone. Why are the welts on the girl's face and not on her ass,where Jesus supposedly spanked her? It is most likely that her face and not her ass was exposed when she took a stick to the hornet's nest. She really should be asking HERSELF (not Jesus) why she was so incredibly stupid. Her distress was caused by her own stupidity, not by Jesus' withdrawal of "protection" due to her sins.
Will that girl or, for that matter, any other moron ever realize that Jesus doesn't punish us by disease or bee stings or whatever for being sinful(or, in this case, merely stupid).Look around you and see how many people should not only be spanked but slapped around violently for their sins, but are not. What about the millions who are struck down with disease who are without sins nearly as grievous as those that are not affected by Jesus's "spank-downs".
It all seems to be bullsh*t to me.Tell me, christians...Tell me something that makes sense.
@78: One of the other great tragedies of Fred Phelps, Gerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson is that some people now think that they represent the mainstream of Christianity.
Greg, from what I've seen, they often unfortunately do.
There's a reason those asshats get ratings on TV: people agree with them. Often. I dunno if you've been in their churches, but I have more times than I care to remember.
I was brought up in a "mainstream" kind of church (regular, common denomination of protestantism) with the regular, common bs pushed on me fairly regularly. I don't live in the boonies, but in a regular suburban area, and as a child, I went to churches with insane people who praised biblical literalism.
I was raised to believe that the world is 6,000 years old because the bible says so, and is perfect. Evolution, clearly, in their retarded opinion, was a lie because "there's still monkeys on the trees," homosexuality is wrong because, in the pastor's words "God made me Henry and not Henrietta," "women are not to be in authority over a man" and when I asked why biblical patriarchs had more than one wife, where no women were shown with multiple husbands, the answer I was given (by a woman, no less) was that men are simply better than women.
This shit IS child abuse, not physically, no, but certainly psychologically damaging, especially if that person should happen to be female and/or gay and/or interested in higher education.
It teaches a girl that she is always less than, and unworthy of god's love. A child of four or five can go up to the altar and "preach" as long as he is a male, but you, even as an adult, are not worthy. You are less than. Always less than.
It teaches a young gay kid to bury all of his/her feelings in general, because sexuality is forbidden in general, and yours in particular. The idea of so much as holding another girl/boy's hand comes with the fear of damnation, and the aching suspicion that, even if you surrender the believe homosexuality leads to hell, your own mother is terrified that you'll end up there.
It teaches a child interested in higher education to disregard logic and evidence in those many places where it clearly seperates from the bible and what you've been made to believe. You must know one thing for classes and exams and then also "know" that it's not true. This dual track is near impossible to sustain, even harder as you get higher and higher up.
This is why you don't see many religious people in higher ed. It's not that education causes people to drop religiousity, it's that religiousity causes people to drop education they can't reconcile to their faith.
It's abuse, Greg. It's not physical, or sexual, per say, but it is abuse, and often leads to physical and sexual abuse (because of the misogyny).
Gotta love the example they use. Hm, no, she didn't get all those bee stings directly from shaking that hive (can you get any more direct?), it was from Jesus spanking her.
Unless it's measles? Whatever.
@77 -- huh? what? your writing was so full of generalizations, sweeping conclusions, stereotypes and false information i'm not sure where to begin.
you say christians are ignorant. that is what many people believe -- that if you identify with christianity in any way you are ignorant. that is just not true, using any system to evaluate the characteristics of people you will find many people who are both christian and who would not be described as ignorant.
neither are most christians fascist. though i would like to see your proof for this.
The pedophile thing is a toss up, but statistically, your children are more likely to be molested by a christian than an agnostic or atheist. well, first, i guess i wouldn't mind seeing proof for this. not only that, but there are certainly other factors. humanity can be very dark -- that that darkness can be found amongst those claiming to be religious and those claiming to be communist is exactly what you would expect. so more pedophiles want to be around children, in positions such as teachers. does that mean teachers are bad? or does that mean we should watch our teachers closely? your logic doesn't consider other factors and is similar to arguments used to stereotype races.
to say a religion is child abuse? you cite examples that can be present in a non-religious household. poor body image? is that child abuse? how about unhealthy food? how about teaching your child to be a republican? please, if you seriously believe these common acts should be classified as abuse, consider the world you would then be living in. one without freedom, that is certain.
that is just not true, using any system to evaluate the characteristics of people you will find many people who are both christian and who would not be described as ignorant.
Incorrect. Believing in mythical beings and fairy tales as an adult qualifies one as being ignorant, or willfully ignorant at the very least, and/or mentally ill.
In situations were a christian is intelligent, it's far more likely that they are simply mentally ill or troubled emotionally.
The human mind is far more apt to believe in things that are irrational or imaginary when under the influence of stress, depression, "brainwashing", low self-esteem, and/or an undiagnosed pathologic mental or emotional disorder.
There's really nothing more to say about it.
neither are most christians fascist. though i would like to see your proof for this.
A fascist is defined as, "a person who is dictatorial or has extreme right-wing views." [Random House Unabridged Dictionary]
"A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion." [Robert O. Paxton, "The Anatomy of Fascism," 2004]
Now that you know what the word "fascist" means, the burden of proof is in your hands to show me a christian that DOESN'T fit those descriptions.
so more pedophiles want to be around children, in positions such as teachers. does that mean teachers are bad? or does that mean we should watch our teachers closely?
I'm pretty sure christians are allowed to be teachers. ;) My point was that statistically your children are more likely to be molested by christians as opposed to seculars.
@85 - there are plenty examples of religious people who are not ignorant, including who ever ends up the democratic nominee.
@86 - well, you didn't prove anything. you defined something. since "fascist" and "christian" are not synonymous, then you still have to correlate them. most christians do not want to be dictators, or be in a dictatorship.
@87 - okay, well, maybe, but that's just a silly argument. you'd need to compare percentages of population verses percentage that molest... and even then it would be far from a perfect science.
there are plenty examples of religious people who are not ignorant, including who ever ends up the democratic nominee.
Please read past the first paragraph before you snap post. Thanks.
first off, the "Please read past" insult is overplayed and the second-worst internet debate tactic following the Nazi accusation (often manifesting itself as a comparison to Hitler).
you said all christians are ignorant because believing in fairy tales is ignorant. i accept none of what you posit here. 1) not all christians believe in fairy tales, 2) "believing" in fairy tales isn't what defines one as ignorant, 3) a mental shortcoming in one aspect does not determine one's total intellectual state, and 4) there are examples of people who are christians who are not considered ignorant even if you don't like any of the reasoning provided earlier (including, but not limited to, obama, clinton, and edwards).
your second paragraph posits that In situations were a christian is intelligent, it's far more likely that they are simply mentally ill or troubled emotionally.
first off, that would seem to be an example of a christian who is not ignorant, unless you also consider everyone who is troubled emotionally an ignorant person. but glossing over that potential contradiction, there is no commonly accepted definition of being mentally ill that includes believing in a religion as a symptom.
i would be willing to grant that social and/or cultural pressures, combined with the nurture of upbringing, could "brain wash" someone into believing in a religion. but you still not not provide a link between being "brain washed" and being ignorant. and if you could, you would still only show they were ignorant in one, very explainable way.
but more than that, you seem to make an assumption i see often here on slog, that religion is merely belief in a myth resulting in most despicable actions (war, bombings, laws that oppress, etc).
for many religious, the spiritual component is what is most significant. (if you don't believe that there are "many", you must acknowledge there are "some".) even jung thought spiritual experience was essential to our well-being, whether or not the each aspect of that "spirituality" was true. this supposes there is an element of the human condition that (as this point in our scientific journey) is difficult to define, but may nonetheless exist, or at least have cognitive power.
that is not ignorant. that is, much akin to science, observing the human condition and drawing conclusions based on the experience.
the short of it being, i read past your first paragraph, and i don't believe obama, clinton, or edwards are ignorant, mentally ill, troubled emotionally, or brain washed. therefore, my answer should have been sufficient without having to spell out my entire thought process.
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