Waco: Faith, Fear & Fire

Nearly 20 years ago, 76 people lost their lives during an FBI raid near Waco, Texas. CNN‘s Drew Griffin looks at those events at 8 ET/PT and 11 ET/PT Sunday night in “Waco: Faith, Fear & Fire”:

By James T. Richardson, Special to CNN

I remember being struck by one of the early stories about 1993’s siege of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.

Shortly after an initial raid by federal authorities ended in a gun battle that left 10 dead (six Davidians and four ATF agents), a lengthy story appeared in my local paper, the Las Vegas Review Journal, about the history of the Davidian group, which had existed at Mount Carmel, Texas for decades.

The story noted that Branch Davidians were a spinoff sect of the Seventh Day Adventists, a Christian denomination. The term “cult” did not appear in the story at all. And yet the headline of this front-page piece screamed “Cult Standoff in Waco” in inch-high capital letters.

Some headline writer had decided that the Davidians were in fact a cult, no matter what the story said.

The term cult also factored into the federal trials that grew out of the Branch Davidian tragedy.

Some survivors of the fire that ended the siege, which left 76 sect members dead, faced a criminal trial in 1994. Early in the trial, the defense made a motion to disallow the use of the term cult in the proceedings.

The federal judge presiding over the trial quickly rejected the motion.

I was intrigued by use of such a powerful, pejorative term to refer to the Branch Davidians, a decades-old offshoot of a Christian denomination that did not fit the definition of the type of group to which the term cult had traditionally been applied…

[continues at CNN]

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  • Hadrian999

    nice to see the atf hasn’t strayed far from it’s early fuck up roots

  • Hadrian999

    nice to see the atf hasn’t strayed far from it’s early fuck up roots

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I hate ATF and all the other alphabet soup agencies…

    …but I hate wacky cultist Christards who arm themselves and live in isolated compounds even more. Not a great loss. Follow a retard into madness…and madness ensues…lesson learned.

    • De Carabas

      Did the harm you? If not why do you hate them? Seems to me a healthy dose of live and let die would alleviate most religious hatred in the world, including yours. I’ve seen much more hatred directed at religion by atheists than visa-versa. Fringe elements of religion tend towards hatred of other religions(atheism included). Most atheists if met(not all but most) profess an unreasoning hatred towards the believers of religion.

      • Hadrian999

        generally the atheists that act that way do so because they were endlessly harassed as children by the faithful.

        • De Carabas

          I know how that feels all too well, trust me I had it worse than most. But I fail to see how a child’s hurt feelings and flesh justify needless slaughter of people who weren’t personally responsible for it. I am no saint, I hate as much or more than the next man. But I hate individuals, not groups, not ideas. To do otherwise is a madness I fail to see the utility of.

          • Hadrian999

            I agree it’s not right but it is very common, look at the way middle eeasterners are looked upon based on a small number of them.

      • Simaintongue

        You didn’t ask me but I’m going to answer.

        “Did the harm you? If not why do you hate them?”

        For me “hate” is strong descriptor. I don’t hate them, I save my hate for people much more worthy of it. One reason why I dislike the Ideas of the Branch Davidian’s is because of the child molestation. Taken from I.M. Strange above.

        “Sheila Martin, too, condones Koresh having sex with underage girls. “In the Bible, if a girl is old enough to menstruate, then she can be a wife,” she insists.”

        Yeah well, we have had empirical evidence that says otherwise. That is why in our society we have decided that having sex with children has an overall detrimental effect on child development, hence an effect to society as a whole, therefore we set legal ages of consent. Scientific study after study shows that just because a girl is old enough to menstruate, does not mean they are psychologically developed enough for the responsibilities of adulthood. Such children who are molested have a much higher probability of ending up screwed up psychologically. I don’t know why but I have this bias that we know a hell of a lot more about such things than the asshats that wrote that bronze age poppycock in the bible.

        So to answer you question of why I might dislike them. If you’re a Davidian, or whomever else, who chooses to ignore what we have learned. Decide that they can diddle with kids, most likely fucking the children up psychologically. Because it is believed that some asshats back in the bronze age had a supposed real neato rule of thumb about the age of consent. Then I’m probably not going to like you much. In some instances choosing to believe in some supposed ancient wisdom over what we know to be true today doesn’t do much harm, having sex with children is NOT one of those instances.

        “Seems to me a healthy dose of live and let die would alleviate most religious hatred in the world, including yours.”

        It’s almost impossible to be an atheist today and have that attitude. I’m sure most would like to just live and let live. But religion and the faithful are continually in your face. It’s not in the nature of religion to live and let live and I don’t think it’s rational to expect others to live with that religious aggression passively. Almost every day, family life, at work, in the public sphere, the religious insist on not only pressing their religious culture, but that their own religious culture and belief is privileged. Some days it’s meh who cares, others it’s an insufferable insistence by the religious that we all do things by their particular book. The religious make it all but impossible to live and let live.

        “I’ve seen much more hatred directed at religion by atheists than visa-versa.”

        Then you’ve not been paying attention. First lets not forget that in the last couple of thousand years what it meant to be labeled an atheist. For all of that time it would have been impossible, but for my safety sake, for us to even have this conversation on most of the planet at the risk of imprisonment or even my life. Now that more secular institutions prevail, religion now comes into our conversations in a smiling ingratiating way. Because religion has had to give so much ground, we now know so much more than we did and we live our lives according to that knowledge now instead. So here is religion, hat in hand begging for respectability asking that we forget how it acted when it was strong, which the religious have no right to do. You forget the times when religion really did believe that it had god on it’s side and with that authority acted accordingly. Now many atheists feel empowered by the cessation of imprisonment and death enough that they can speak out against religious ideology. But even so today atheists cannot hold public office, in some states in the US atheists cannot even adopt children. There are many more examples of religious hatred today still.

        http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistbigotryprejudice/a/AtheistSurveys.htm

        Religious hatred and oppression was religion with a boot forever stomping on the faces of atheists. What do we see today when it appears that the boot may be going to the other foot? Are atheists doing likewise? Lets take a look at one of the most outspoken atheists. Some of the popular criticisms of a famous atheists like Richard Dawkins is that he seems to be strident. Strident!? Is that the hatred you see directed at the religious by atheists? Is that to be compared to the religious boot that was forever stomping on the faces of atheists? That radical stridency of an Oxford Professor is a far cry from the religious hatred of today. I mean be serious, any theist is aware of the situation. Atheists have religious family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and are quite satisfied to let them be. But on the other hand most atheists know that if some of those same people knew they were atheists there would likely be much more trouble in their life because of that. You’re false equivalency of religious violence and hatred toward atheists and the criticisms of religion by atheists of today is utterly ridiculous. If you can’t see the difference between Inquisitions and “strident” Oxford professors then I’m sorry you are an idiot.

        “Fringe elements of religion tend towards hatred of other religions(atheism included).”

        No I disagree, divisiveness and ingrouping that leads to fear and hatred is pretty mainstream in religion, it’s not just fringe elements. Fear and hatred of those not within ones religion is a pretty core principle to the three major monotheisms. So that’s not true at all. The religious even have the pious caveat that they don’t really want to hate you and this could be remedied if you would but convert. lol but I’m digressing.

        “Most atheists if met(not all but most) profess an unreasoning hatred towards the believers of religion”

        “Most atheists” eh? You know a lot of atheists do you? I’m an atheist and I seek out the company of other atheists, I know quite a few. If you want to know any you do have to look for them because atheists are in the minority after all. Despite the claims of many religious people to be “friends with many atheists”, in actuality atheists in every day life are content not to wear their atheism on their sleeve and it’s not commonly known they are atheists. No atheists that I know have what you would call “hatred” towards believers either. Animosity and frustration toward religious ideas yes. Usually their feelings toward the believers themselves can be described as pity though. But you are intimating that atheists hate people just because they are religious, I don’t find that to be true at all. Only a small percentage of people are atheists and they would find themselves hating almost everyone in their lives if that were the case.

        You have this this very stereotypical religious characterture of atheists, it’s almost cartoonish. The reality is much different though. Even if you look to sensationalist, rapacious view seeking atheists on youtube, “most”(I’d say nearly all) still fall quite short of your characterization. I find those atheists to be very extreme compared to what we might see in every day life. Lets be honest here, how many religious people are open about their religion, lets say at work. Then we see them attacked by an atheist because of that. I have yet to see that happen in my lifetime, I’m willing to bet that anyone reading this would find that a very rare occurrence. Though how many atheists have been forthright about their atheism in the same context, at work, and there are dire consequences? “Most” atheists reading this could tell you that they have had some experiences like that and now think twice before doing so.

        So lets get off “The religious are sooo persecuted by those hateful atheists, oh woe to us” canard. The religious still actively seek and are given a privileged status in society.

        • http://profiles.google.com/justgil84 Justin Gilbert

          That was an epic rebuttal and your officially my newfound hero on the subject. Thank you for saying everything I couldn’t and more.

        • josh

          religion is an outdated social construct designed to placate,divide, and control the masses. it should be abolished.

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        Technically I’m not a true atheist…since I’m inclined to accept that there are things which remain inadequately explained by science alone, but in defense of Athiesm…I call BS on your comment…comb the history of atheism and you find much harsh commentary…but nowhere near the bloodshed, fraud, graft, hate, violence and general maniacal savagery of religious nuts. Not even close. Even while not being a full atheist…I still feel the deepest contempt for ‘suckers’ of every stripe…who waste their lives and money, devour resources while doing the bidding of some yutz with a God-complex, and generally make the entire human race look even more foolish than it really is. Letting these living wastes of air and water just die is a favor they almost don’t deserve…but only almost.

        • Simiantongue

          In that sense then I’m not a true atheist either, not that many people are. Atheist simply means that one does not believe in the existence of a supreme being or beings. So the question is, what gods have you got? I’ll let you know if I believe you. Very few reasonable atheists will state “There are no such things as gods” rather they usually say “I don’t think there are such things as gods”. There is a difference and it matters.

          Even famous atheists like Dawkins says that on a scale of 1 to 7, one being absolutely sure god exists and 7 being absolutely sure gods don’t exist, he is a 6.9 at the most. Even the vociferous Christopher Hitchens only says that he “hopes” there are no gods. He doesn’t say there aren’t. They say pretty much just as you said Voxmagi, nobody can be absolutely sure as we do not have absolute knowledge. So you are pretty much on par with some of the most famous examples of “atheists” of today.

          The problem with the term atheist and peoples willingness to accept the label as such, is the continual contrivance of religious people that it is some kind of “position” or “belief”, an assertion equally opposite to religion. But that is so much bunk. Atheist simply means non-belief in “their” gods. It is not a positive statement of an alternative belief. It’s just a contrivance of linguistics that it can be stated as such. As in “You do not ‘believe’ in god” making it a positive assertion. But that is very dishonest. It is sort of necessary for the religious to state it as such in order to frame the discussion into an Us vs Them paradigm. As I said in my previous post religion is very divisive like that. Atheism is no more a belief than NOT collecting stamps is a hobby. Or off is a TV station. Most atheists don’t wake up in the morning saying “I don’t believe in gods”. I don’t really consider myself an atheist until there is a theist around making positive assertions about the existence of their god. Then by default I become an atheist. As the preeminent philosopher Jerome (Curly) Howard says “I’m a victim of soy-cumstance.”

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Entirely true. Mine is the philosophy of “the jury is still out”…and absolutes…especially unfounded absolutes, have no place in it. Non-belief is not the same as belief, and cannot be compared in the same terms as the certainty that some people center their lives around. The key difference is that I and many others can cope with and function in spite of uncertainty…while other people seem to require some kind of series of signposts to guide them constantly.

            I always compare it to exoskeletons and internal skeletons. I have an internal skeleton…it allows me to walk upright and live my life day by day and get by just fine making decisions as I go along. The religious require an exoskeleton…their faith…so that they can assume a distinct shape and make it through the day…without it they would be a mushy pulp of slime…a mass of amoral confusion. In their world, a person without faith is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode into evil at any moment…a car with no brakes headed toward a cliff…all of which is nonsense. Religion is for moral cripples who require constant course corrections…which certainly explains why they’re so frequently off course much of the time, even while they kvetch about everyone else’s immorality. No one who is reasonably well adjusted requires religion to guide them.

            If I seem hateful, its because I’ve lived a life under the perpetual assault of dullards and flocks of sheep ‘baaaing’ endlessly about the ‘one true way’…of which there seem to be hundreds. If I seem cruel when I suggest that these people are stupid…and they resent it…its partly because stupidity is all you can call it when they can’t even grasp the basics of my non-belief and literally have to redefine it as a form of belief so that they can process it. If they don’t have an answer…they change the question to one that they can answer…which defeats the purpose of asking them anything and pretty much discourages anyone with an ounce of rationality from coming anywhere near them if it can be helped. Faith is their One Ring…and they’ll wring the neck of anything that maligns their ‘precious’.

            You might enjoy this site… http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      • josh

        religion is an outdated social construct designed to placate,divide, and control the masses. it should be abolished.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I hate ATF and all the other alphabet soup agencies…

    …but I hate wacky cultist Christards who arm themselves and live in isolated compounds even more. Not a great loss. Follow a retard into madness…and madness ensues…lesson learned.

  • De Carabas

    Did the harm you? If not why do you hate them? Seems to me a healthy dose of live and let die would alleviate most religious hatred in the world, including yours. I’ve seen much more hatred directed at religion by atheists than visa-versa. Fringe elements of religion tend towards hatred of other religions(atheism included). Most atheists if met(not all but most) profess an unreasoning hatred towards the believers of religion.

  • Hadrian999

    generally the atheists that act that way do so because they were endlessly harassed as children by the faithful.

  • De Carabas

    I know how that feels all too well, trust me I had it worse than most. But I fail to see how a child’s hurt feelings and flesh justify needless slaughter of people who weren’t personally responsible for it. I am no saint, I hate as much or more than the next man. But I hate individuals, not groups, not ideas. To do otherwise is a madness I fail to see the utility of.

  • http://www.greetmewithcriesofhate.com I. M. Strange

    Someone should take a long, hard look at everything surrounding this entire case. Listen to the entire set of 911 calls. Read all of the court documents. It will become apparent that the government wanted to flex some muscle, so they did. That is about as simple as it can get. Even though some of the members’ mindsets were conditioned, manipulated… Aren’t all of our mindsets constantly bombarded with propaganda on a daily, if not hourly, basis?

    ______________________________________________________________________
    From a CNN interview with Clive Doyle and Sheila Martin (Still Loyal Branch Davidians):

    Doyle insists that his daughter Shari, even at a young age, was capable of deciding whether to have sex with Koresh. The teen was also clearheaded, he says, when she chose to remain inside the compound despite having the chance to leave.

    “She wanted to be with David and to hear and follow the message,” her father says.

    There is silence for a moment. Doyle knows that trying to justify Koresh having sex with underage girls incites nothing but outrage from nonbelievers. And, initially, when David began preaching a message that his holy seed must be spread to any girl he preferred, married or in pigtails, Doyle admits he was bothered by it.

    “I wondered, I asked, ‘Is this God or is this horny old David?’ ”

    But Doyle’s concern didn’t last long.

    “I couldn’t argue because he’d show you where it was in the Bible.”

    Sheila Martin, too, condones Koresh having sex with underage girls. “In the Bible, if a girl is old enough to menstruate, then she can be a wife,” she insists.

    There are three crucial points to understanding the Branch Davidian brand of religion.

    First, God can appear in the flesh as a man. Second, that man doesn’t have to be a good person. Third, if you question whether that man is God, then you are questioning God. In other words, the devil is responsible for your doubt.

    “Now,” Doyle asks, “are you going to give the devil control?”
    _________________________________________________

    If we choose not to explore and attempt to understand our “shadows” then it is only a matter of time before we are consumed by the darkness. Embrace it, before it embraces you. Integrate. Evolve.

    I think, therefore I am strange.

    I. M. Strange

  • http://www.greetmewithcriesofhate.com I. M. Strange

    Someone should take a long, hard look at everything surrounding this entire case. Listen to the entire set of 911 calls. Read all of the court documents. It will become apparent that the government wanted to flex some muscle, so they did. That is about as simple as it can get. Even though some of the members’ mindsets were conditioned, manipulated… Aren’t all of our mindsets constantly bombarded with propaganda on a daily, if not hourly, basis?

    ______________________________________________________________________
    From a CNN interview with Clive Doyle and Sheila Martin (Still Loyal Branch Davidians):

    Doyle insists that his daughter Shari, even at a young age, was capable of deciding whether to have sex with Koresh. The teen was also clearheaded, he says, when she chose to remain inside the compound despite having the chance to leave.

    “She wanted to be with David and to hear and follow the message,” her father says.

    There is silence for a moment. Doyle knows that trying to justify Koresh having sex with underage girls incites nothing but outrage from nonbelievers. And, initially, when David began preaching a message that his holy seed must be spread to any girl he preferred, married or in pigtails, Doyle admits he was bothered by it.

    “I wondered, I asked, ‘Is this God or is this horny old David?’ ”

    But Doyle’s concern didn’t last long.

    “I couldn’t argue because he’d show you where it was in the Bible.”

    Sheila Martin, too, condones Koresh having sex with underage girls. “In the Bible, if a girl is old enough to menstruate, then she can be a wife,” she insists.

    There are three crucial points to understanding the Branch Davidian brand of religion.

    First, God can appear in the flesh as a man. Second, that man doesn’t have to be a good person. Third, if you question whether that man is God, then you are questioning God. In other words, the devil is responsible for your doubt.

    “Now,” Doyle asks, “are you going to give the devil control?”
    _________________________________________________

    If we choose not to explore and attempt to understand our “shadows” then it is only a matter of time before we are consumed by the darkness. Embrace it, before it embraces you. Integrate. Evolve.

    I think, therefore I am strange.

    I. M. Strange

  • Simaintongue

    You didn’t ask me but I’m going to answer.

    “Did the harm you? If not why do you hate them?”

    For me “hate” is strong descriptor. I don’t hate them, I save my hate for people much more worthy of it. One reason why I dislike the Ideas of the Branch Davidian’s is because of the child molestation. Taken from I.M. Strange above.

    “Sheila Martin, too, condones Koresh having sex with underage girls. “In the Bible, if a girl is old enough to menstruate, then she can be a wife,” she insists.”

    Yeah well, we have had empirical evidence that says otherwise. That is why in our society we have decided that having sex with children has an overall detrimental effect on child development, hence an effect to society as a whole, therefore we set legal ages of consent. Scientific study after study shows that just because a girl is old enough to menstruate, does not mean they are psychologically developed enough for the responsibilities of adulthood. Such children who are molested have a much higher probability of ending up screwed up psychologically. I don’t know why but I have this bias that we know a hell of a lot more about such things than the asshats that wrote that bronze age poppycock in the bible.

    So to answer you question of why I might dislike them. If you’re a Davidian, or whomever else, who chooses to ignore what we have learned. Decide that they can diddle with kids, most likely fucking the children up psychologically. Because it is believed that some asshats back in the bronze age had a supposed real neato rule of thumb about the age of consent. Then I’m probably not going to like you much. In some instances choosing to believe in some supposed ancient wisdom over what we know to be true today doesn’t do much harm, having sex with children is NOT one of those instances.

    “Seems to me a healthy dose of live and let die would alleviate most religious hatred in the world, including yours.”

    It’s almost impossible to be an atheist today and have that attitude. I’m sure most would like to just live and let live. But religion and the faithful are continually in your face. It’s not in the nature of religion to live and let live and I don’t think it’s rational to expect others to live with that religious aggression passively. Almost every day, family life, at work, in the public sphere, the religious insist on not only pressing their religious culture, but that their own religious culture and belief is privileged. Some days it’s meh who cares, others it’s an insufferable insistence by the religious that we all do things by their particular book. The religious make it all but impossible to live and let live.

    “I’ve seen much more hatred directed at religion by atheists than visa-versa.”

    Then you’ve not been paying attention. First lets not forget that in the last couple of thousand years what it meant to be labeled an atheist. For all of that time it would have been impossible, but for my safety sake, for us to even have this conversation on most of the planet at the risk of imprisonment or even my life. Now that more secular institutions prevail, religion now comes into our conversations in a smiling ingratiating way. Because religion has had to give so much ground, we now know so much more than we did and we live our lives according to that knowledge now instead. So here is religion, hat in hand begging for respectability asking that we forget how it acted when it was strong, which the religious have no right to do. You forget the times when religion really did believe that it had god on it’s side and with that authority acted accordingly. Now many atheists feel empowered by the cessation of imprisonment and death enough that they can speak out against religious ideology. But even so today atheists cannot hold public office, in some states in the US atheists cannot even adopt children. There are many more examples of religious hatred today still.

    http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistbigotryprejudice/a/AtheistSurveys.htm

    Religious hatred and oppression was religion with a boot forever stomping on the faces of atheists. What do we see today when it appears that the boot may be going to the other foot? Are atheists doing likewise? Lets take a look at one of the most outspoken atheists. Some of the popular criticisms of a famous atheists like Richard Dawkins is that he seems to be strident. Strident!? Is that the hatred you see directed at the religious by atheists? Is that to be compared to the religious boot that was forever stomping on the faces of atheists? That radical stridency of an Oxford Professor is a far cry from the religious hatred of today. I mean be serious, any theist is aware of the situation. Atheists have religious family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and are quite satisfied to let them be. But on the other hand most atheists know that if some of those same people knew they were atheists there would likely be much more trouble in their life because of that. You’re false equivalency of religious violence and hatred toward atheists and the criticisms of religion by atheists of today is utterly ridiculous. If you can’t see the difference between Inquisitions and “strident” Oxford professors then I’m sorry you are an idiot.

    “Fringe elements of religion tend towards hatred of other religions(atheism included).”

    No I disagree, divisiveness and ingrouping that leads to fear and hatred is pretty mainstream in religion, it’s not just fringe elements. Fear and hatred of those not within ones religion is a pretty core principle to the three major monotheisms. So that’s not true at all. The religious even have the pious caveat that they don’t really want to hate you and this could be remedied if you would but convert. lol but I’m digressing.

    “Most atheists if met(not all but most) profess an unreasoning hatred towards the believers of religion”

    “Most atheists” eh? You know a lot of atheists do you? I’m an atheist and I seek out the company of other atheists, I know quite a few. If you want to know any you do have to look for them because atheists are in the minority after all. Despite the claims of many religious people to be “friends with many atheists”, in actuality atheists in every day life are content not to wear their atheism on their sleeve and it’s not commonly known they are atheists. No atheists that I know have what you would call “hatred” towards believers either. Animosity and frustration toward religious ideas yes. Usually their feelings toward the believers themselves can be described as pity though. But you are intimating that atheists hate people just because they are religious, I don’t find that to be true at all. Only a small percentage of people are atheists and they would find themselves hating almost everyone in their lives if that were the case.

    You have this this very stereotypical religious characterture of atheists, it’s almost cartoonish. The reality is much different though. Even if you look to sensationalist, rapacious view seeking atheists on youtube, “most”(I’d say nearly all) still fall quite short of your characterization. I find those atheists to be very extreme compared to what we might see in every day life. Lets be honest here, how many religious people are open about their religion, lets say at work. Then we see them attacked by an atheist because of that. I have yet to see that happen in my lifetime, I’m willing to bet that anyone reading this would find that a very rare occurrence. Though how many atheists have been forthright about their atheism in the same context, at work, and there are dire consequences? “Most” atheists reading this could tell you that they have had some experiences like that and now think twice before doing so.

    So lets get off “The religious are sooo persecuted by those hateful atheists, oh woe to us” canard. The religious still actively seek and are given a privileged status in society.

  • http://profiles.google.com/justgil84 Justin Gilbert

    That was an epic rebuttal and your officially my newfound hero on the subject. Thank you for saying everything I couldn’t and more.

  • Rivv3t

    Someone should take a long, hard look at the Bible itself (and other ‘sacred’ texts) and, then, ask his or her self if it possibly resembles some kind of freaky deaky cult or not. One which operates on a global scale, in fact.

  • Rivv3t

    Someone should take a long, hard look at the Bible itself (and other ‘sacred’ texts) and, then, ask his or her self if it possibly resembles some kind of freaky deaky cult or not. One which operates on a global scale, in fact.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Technically I’m not a true atheist…since I’m inclined to accept that there are things which remain inadequately explained by science alone, but in defense of Athiesm…I call BS on your comment…comb the history of atheism and you find much harsh commentary…but nowhere near the bloodshed, fraud, graft, hate, violence and general maniacal savagery of religious nuts. Not even close. Even while not being a full atheist…I still feel the deepest contempt for ‘suckers’ of every stripe…who waste their lives and money, devour resources while doing the bidding of some yutz with a God-complex, and generally make the entire human race look even more foolish than it really is. Letting these living wastes of air and water just die is a favor they almost don’t deserve…but only almost.

  • Simiantongue

    In that sense then I’m not a true atheist either, not that many people are. Atheist simply means that one does not believe in the existence of a supreme being or beings. So the question is, what gods have you got? I’ll let you know if I believe you. Very few reasonable atheists will state “There are no such things as gods” rather they usually say “I don’t think there are such things as gods”. There is a difference and it matters.

    Even famous atheists like Dawkins says that on a scale of 1 to 7, one being absolutely sure god exists and 7 being absolutely sure gods don’t exist, he is a 6.9 at the most. Even the vociferous Christopher Hitchens only says that he “hopes” there are no gods. He doesn’t say there aren’t. They say pretty much just as you said Voxmagi, nobody can be absolutely sure as we do not have absolute knowledge. So you are pretty much on par with some of the most famous examples of “atheists” of today.

    The problem with the term atheist and peoples willingness to accept the label as such, is the continual contrivance of religious people that it is some kind of “position” or “belief”, an assertion equally opposite to religion. But that is so much bunk. Atheist simply means non-belief in “their” gods. It is not a positive statement of an alternative belief. It’s just a contrivance of linguistics that it can be stated as such. As in “You do not ‘believe’ in god” making it a positive assertion. But that is very dishonest. It is sort of necessary for the religious to state it as such in order to frame the discussion into an Us vs Them paradigm. As I said in my previous post religion is very divisive like that. Atheism is no more a belief than NOT collecting stamps is a hobby. Or off is a TV station. Most atheists don’t wake up in the morning saying “I don’t believe in gods”. I don’t really consider myself an atheist until there is a theist around making positive assertions about the existence of their god. Then by default I become an atheist. As the preeminent philosopher Jerome (Curly) Howard says “I’m a victim of soy-cumstance.”

  • Hadrian999

    I agree it’s not right but it is very common, look at the way middle eeasterners are looked upon based on a small number of them.

  • djfilthyd

    just showing the infringement of our government,where is the bill of rights in this atrocity?

  • djfilthyd

    just showing the infringement of our government,where is the bill of rights in this atrocity?

  • Anonymous

    I see this whole Waco thing in simple terms. Both sides of this conflagration were a bunch of paranoid fools who were essentially made for each other. The ATF fucked-up in a major way here though, as usual -force is favored over common sense and decency. I’m no fan of religious zealotry or sex with young girls but there was no good reason for such a massacre. The children being the most tragic of the victims.

    I remindes me of some bar fights I’ve seen. Two belligerent, drunk, irratonal idiots who end up fighting only because neither side will back down. As they say, “Pride always comes before a fall”.
    Who is more prideful than a bunch of gun toting, adrenaline-junkie ATF agents?
    Answer: David Koresh followers who had tragically mistaken pride for faith.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    I see this whole Waco thing in simple terms. Both sides of this conflagration were a bunch of paranoid fools who were essentially made for each other. The ATF fucked-up in a major way here though, as usual -force is favored over common sense and decency. I’m no fan of religious zealotry or sex with young girls but there was no good reason for such a massacre. The children being the most tragic of the victims.

    I remindes me of some bar fights I’ve seen. Two belligerent, drunk, irratonal idiots who end up fighting only because neither side will back down. As they say, “Pride always comes before a fall”.
    Who is more prideful than a bunch of gun toting, adrenaline-junkie ATF agents?
    Answer: David Koresh followers who had tragically mistaken pride for faith.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Entirely true. Mine is the philosophy of “the jury is still out”…and absolutes…especially unfounded absolutes, have no place in it. Non-belief is not the same as belief, and cannot be compared in the same terms as the certainty that some people center their lives around. The key difference is that I and many others can cope with and function in spite of uncertainty…while other people seem to require some kind of series of signposts to guide them constantly.

    I always compare it to exoskeletons and internal skeletons. I have an internal skeleton…it allows me to walk upright and live my life day by day and get by just fine making decisions as I go along. The religious require an exoskeleton…their faith…so that they can assume a distinct shape and make it through the day…without it they would be a mushy pulp of slime…a mass of amoral confusion. In their world, a person without faith is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode into evil at any moment…a car with no brakes headed toward a cliff…all of which is nonsense. Religion is for moral cripples who require constant course corrections…which certainly explains why their so frequently off course much of the time, even while they kvetch about everyone else’s immorality. No one who is reasonably well adjusted requires religion to guide them.

    If I seem hateful, its because I’ve lived a life under the perpetual assault of dullards and flocks of sheep ‘baaaing’ endlessly about the ‘one true way’…of which there seem to be hundreds. If I seem cruel when I suggest that these people are stupid…and they resent it…its partly because stupidity is all you can call it when they can’t even grasp the basics of my non-belief and literally have to redefine it as a form of belief so that they can process it. If they don’t have an answer…they change the question to one that they can answer…which defeats the purpose of asking them anything and pretty much discourages anyone with an ounce of rationality from coming anywhere near them if it can be helped. Faith is their One Ring…and they’ll wring the neck of anything that maligns their ‘precious’.

    You might enjoy this site… http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Vigilante Sozadee

    I watched this event on TV 18 years ago. I thought 51 days and millions of $$$ was enough of a wait. I was relieved when tear gas was used, even though I was shocked at the loss of life. However it was all on the shoulders of Koresh, the murderer. He opposed my government back in the days when it actually effectively governed.

  • Vigilante Sozadee

    I watched this event on TV 18 years ago. I thought 51 days and millions of $$$ was enough of a wait. I was relieved when tear gas was used, even though I was shocked at the loss of life. However it was all on the shoulders of Koresh, the murderer. He opposed my government back in the days when it actually effectively governed.

  • josh

    April 19 happens to be the first day of the 13-day ritual relating to fire – the fire god, Baal, or Molech/Nimrod (the Sun God), also known as the Roman god, Saturn (Satan/Devil). This day is a major human sacrifice day, demanding fire sacrifice with an emphasis on children. This 13 day ritual ends April 30 – May 1 with the Beltaine Festival, also called “Walpurgis Night”.

    Some important historic dates that were staged according to this blood sacrifice day:

    (1). April 19, 1775 – The Battle of Lexington & Concord which marked the beginning of the American Revolution with the “shot heard ’round the world”

    (2). April 19, 1943 – After trapping the last Jewish Resistance Fighters in a storm drain in Warsaw, and holding them for several days, Nazi Storm Troopers began to pour fire into each end of the storm drain, using flame-throwers. They continued pouring the fire into the drain until all fighters were dead. Another blood sacrifice brought about by a fiery conflagration.

    (3) April 19, 1993 – government troops, tanks, and other military equipment stormed the compound of David Koresh and his followers at Waco, Texas. Certainly, this operation fulfilled the basic requirements for a human sacrifice: trauma, fire, and young sacrificial victims.

    (4) April 19, 1995 – Oklahoma City bombing – Once again, many young children were killed this day

  • josh

    April 19 happens to be the first day of the 13-day ritual relating to fire – the fire god, Baal, or Molech/Nimrod (the Sun God), also known as the Roman god, Saturn (Satan/Devil). This day is a major human sacrifice day, demanding fire sacrifice with an emphasis on children. This 13 day ritual ends April 30 – May 1 with the Beltaine Festival, also called “Walpurgis Night”.

    Some important historic dates that were staged according to this blood sacrifice day:

    (1). April 19, 1775 – The Battle of Lexington & Concord which marked the beginning of the American Revolution with the “shot heard ’round the world”

    (2). April 19, 1943 – After trapping the last Jewish Resistance Fighters in a storm drain in Warsaw, and holding them for several days, Nazi Storm Troopers began to pour fire into each end of the storm drain, using flame-throwers. They continued pouring the fire into the drain until all fighters were dead. Another blood sacrifice brought about by a fiery conflagration.

    (3) April 19, 1993 – government troops, tanks, and other military equipment stormed the compound of David Koresh and his followers at Waco, Texas. Certainly, this operation fulfilled the basic requirements for a human sacrifice: trauma, fire, and young sacrificial victims.

    (4) April 19, 1995 – Oklahoma City bombing – Once again, many young children were killed this day

  • josh

    religion is an outdated social construct designed to placate,divide, and control the masses. it should be abolished.

  • josh

    religion is an outdated social construct designed to placate,divide, and control the masses. it should be abolished.

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