Of Course AIDs is God’s Punishment

Rainbow Mickey MouseThe blistering news that in 1992 36% of people thought AIDs was god’s punishment is down to 14% is comforting maybe even surprising–but aren’t all evils due to moral turpitude? 25% of Americans still think the sun goes around the Earth. Latinos get science better than the average American.

“I teach around the world and I notice that the scientific literacy in the U.S. is lower than just about everywhere, including Latin America. Also some teachers in certain Southern states are prohibited from teaching climate change. That contributes to the lack of literacy of climate change,” she concluded.

And Americans don’t even give a shit as a third don’t think science needs more funding.  So immigration actually helps Science and saves the Earth?

Better news is millennials aren’t less religious merely because of gay rights issues, though that would be enough.

Maybe Sunday brunch is just a more palatable religious experience for millennials.

Absolutely! But then I have been to Sunday church maybe five times in my life and that was always an unpleasant experience. Sunday brunch on the other hand is just fantastic! If church is about community how is lining up like tomato sauce cans on a shelf listening to an authority figure community? Even Megachurches get you need games, food, and other bribes.

Amanda Marcotte writes about the change in conservatives where abortion was once not about sex (poor little babies) and now it’s about sex (procreation only people)–contraception and abortion are issues only because the people involved are sluts. Marcotte also writes that teenage boys asking for supermodels (like Kate Upton) to come to their prom in Youtube videos is really kind of disturbing.

Let’s mark every sex offender’s license so everyone knows there is a sex offender about–maybe if we dealt with rape litigation better–nawww, let’s just do a big old Scarlet S on their forehead so everyone knows. I’m sure that will help push them over the edge and back to jail where they at least have a community–and we can’t laugh at community as a reason to join any and all groups. I really don’t want to know…and no, it’s not a safety thing.

The irony of Wendy Davis is while she seems like a hero she’s still a Texan which means she only wants more allowances for the 20 week mark and not late-term abortion at all, in any way. That only 1% do abortions after 20 weeks and most of those because they couldn’t abort before 20 weeks–often because they don’t even know they’re pregnant–seems illusive. Texas-sized baby, uhhhh, fetus steps.

While we cherish stories of stars raping or molesting children, I have to agree with Marcotte again and ask why aren’t we bashing the hell out of Bill Cosby where there is so much more evidence of his guilt. And yes, when I talk to people about this they get a huge Ick factor and don’t want to know more about Bill, so it’s not just protective love of children. We continue a long tradition of only wanting to associate with perfect people doing perfect things in a perfect world–the only perfect person died and who can ever replace Mary Poppins?

I actually felt better finding out the insane bills flowing through Arizona are championed by CAP a conservative organization–I’m used to religious groups hijacking people’s minds but have some faith in the people themselves.

Since the group’s 1995 establishment, 123 CAP-supported measures have been signed into law, including the state’s 2008 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. That effort was spearheaded by the group’s president, Cathi Herrod. Twenty-nine bills backed by CAP have been vetoed by various Arizona governors after being passed by the state legislature.

The high school student Kalei Wilson who asked for a secular club who was denied has now retreated and doesn’t want the club anymore. She was threatened and harassed to retreat.

However, we never expected our family and friends to be sought out and demonized. Please know that we recognize the importance of the club but we can not justify our involvement with the risk of our families safety and well being.

That’ll teach those uppity students. As if it weren’t difficult enough to survive the social pressure cooker of school.

The best news is Disney is refusing funding to the Boy Scouts because of their ant-gay policies. While most love to hate Disney, old Walt was more interested in talent than anything else. The biggest employee complaint I have with Walt is he created a pressure cooker environment where everyone was competing and working insanely hard to rise up the food chain.

Jim n

Atheism and Self-Censorship

autocensuraIn 2004 my aunt gave me Sam Harris’s book “The End of Faith” with little comment other than it wasn’t her kind of book. I loved it. Over the years she has become more conservatively religious and I have come out more and more. It’s been a long journey as I have been a life-long atheist with few people to discuss who we are and how we are different than converts, no offense intended. But the issues that strike us as salient are often different. We don’t talk about them because it actually leaves most atheists out since so many have converted out for intellectual or abuse reasons.

How to express the deep meaning to me when at 11 I rebuilt the family Creche with lights and switches and then cried my ass off late that  night because the story meant nothing to me, sounded so horrific, and I felt so empty in the face of others loving it. Others got abused and left. I made lights and got disgusted and sad to tears.

self censorship 6Points of confusion like religion as comfort; it had never comforted us. Religion as utility; it has  not helped us nor does it seem to really help others. Religion as freedom; have never seen religion as freeing people. Religion as normal or natural; huh? Religion as effective impulse control; so many better methods. Religion as governance; huh, aren’t we living in the US? Religion as traditional; so varied in its history and so broad in its diversity as to be meaningless as any kind of coherent tradition. Religion as political; how the hell did this happen?

self censorship 7My spouse fought my growing intensity in response to the political push of religion saying I should choose a more tangible and universal target like LGBTQ rights. Who would guess this advice back in 2002 to me would become so prescient–millenials claim this issue to be a major reason for their interest in atheism and the doubling of nones in a decade–with a big push back to spiritual but nonreligious. It’s not god they fear but lack of social justice.

self censorship 2Really? For me it was obvious that a lack of belief entailed some conclusions about accepted morality and governance. But every sacred text had to be criticized separately because the only things they have in common are superstitions and circle-jerk, power grabs. Very hard for me to see good intentions in any of it but for the particular. Individuals could be moral in spite of being religious. Usually because they were abandoning the heinous part of their religious canon or dogma, using the best phrases and ignoring the rest regardless of how they are connected. Natalie Portman a self stated atheist has married Jewish and commuted to Israel. Drew Barrymore married Jewish and says she loves it, the family and community aspect of it. Jody Foster a big atheist says her family celebrates all of the religious holidays–a utilitarian frenzy possible only if one doesn’t give a shit about the philosophy and tradition of them.

Katha Pollit says religions will only morph and Jesus will really be gay and Eve a brilliant innovator that created freedom for all people by insisting that we gain wisdom. The snake will be seen as a universal, historical sign of good will, especially when shown as a circle with the head eating the tail. After all snakes eat rodents and varmints and help keep disease away–cultural materialists will find still-practical reasons behind the ideology.

Self-censorship is becoming endemic. I won’t tell you what I am really like because you may shun me. Trolls, friends, neighbors, and software all will keep you censoring yourself. I quit Facebook because it would jeopardize my family and my career possibilities–oops there it went. The quest for friends and a good fit causes us to lose our identity. I should just lie? We are now to be made in others’ image and that image has been crowd sourced. The purpose of privacy was diversity amidst intolerance. How much of your life do you really want everyone to know? We need the space to be different and often that is a private space. Social media emphasizes self censorship to make you acceptable. Thanks. Now I am no more myself than another’s opinion of me. I am now fucking afraid to Google anything because it can haunt me years and years later. Freedom is nothing left to lose? Bullshit. They can always arrest you.

self censorship 3For me, these aspects drove me to become more derisive while hiding out in my own extended family. Mostly because I wasn’t willing to divorce to fight atheism more openly–I married a dynasty (albeit low-key now) not a family, not a person. Yet, if I did I would get more hits, more news, more publishing, and on and on. Ad revenue will make sure of that.

The social and community aspects have become so supercharged. Like “deviant” school kids it’s not a gang, it’s a club and the club gives me everything I need. People will do anything for community and social inclusion.  Really? Isn’t this too  much like being a self-hating atheist? Isn’t this like being afraid to go all the way because….because why? I really don’t know why? In the face of the religious that are absolutely sure of what they believe should I demure?

By contrast, I view as counterproductive the stereotypical “self-hating atheist” who—maybe even subconsciously—buys into an unexamined presumption that somehow it is actually more correct, appropriate, and polite for nonbelievers to be less aggressive than believers in publicly promoting our worldview

Further.

Other atheists may not disapprove of more assertive arguments on principle but think that we need to adopt a more restrained approach on tactical grounds, perhaps because the dominant religious culture is still so formidable that our current efforts to chip away at it need to be more subdued. I disagree. Moreover, I would argue that if nonbelievers face social disapproval because we exercise the same rights to assert our worldview as do religious proselytizers, then this social disapproval in and of itself becomes part of the phenomenon of social repression that we must work to overcome.

self censorship 4By focusing on social justice issues we do much good and gain support. But now there is a huge group of atheists that are not being represented and also censoring themselves. The recent CPAC refusal to allow American Atheists a booth supports the deep desire and need to marry conservative issues with religiosity, uhhhh, confirm that conservative and religious are synonymous. Otherwise they would have to embarrassedly admit that religion as a required force for all people was not supported by the old guard of conservatism like Barry Goldwater. Many, many old-time businessmen believed religion was important to them but not a requirement in business or governance.

It looked like libertarians were going to continue this but they were absorbed, usurped, by the Tea Party. Yet, how many libertarians are out there that are atheists? Hmmm. Do you hear their voices? No, they self censor themselves. I guarantee there are plenty of atheists that don’t support welfare, abortion, market regulations, environmental regulations, voting laws, and a host of other conservative issues. Are they quiet because they think that atheism is the single-issue in these politics or are they just being quiet because they don’t want to be fed on by their own kind, other atheists?

Indeed, we haven’t heard much here but for the ego-blasting infighting of male rights activists and secular groups that now have, gasp, women. Women who are still way too tired of male bullshit and the terrifying cacophony of trolls that should clearly be silenced by any means necessary. It hasn’t been since Robert Bly began beating drums and forming male circle-jerks, uhhh, drumming circles that women have seen men as oppressed too and in need of like-gender space for reasons other than ingrained separatism. Susan Faludi lost many feminists when she wrote “Stiffed” which pointed out how men are being screwed too–yes, Virginia, the system does fuck everyone but especially women. The most resonate take on Miley Cyrus by Gloria Steinem was that it was the system that should be criticized and not the women who learn how to succeed in its apparent prurience (how sexuality became prurient is another puzzle). Wouldn’t the thing to do then be to attack the entire system and leave our brothers and sisters alone? We still have to eat while we protest.

self censorship5That’s where self-censorship hits the rubber. If you don’t feel safe you won’t say shit. Unless you have that kind of personality. Women shouldn’t have to self-censor themselves to make peace either.

When women pointed out how atheists are still sexist assholes we all had to wonder how in the hell is morality going to play into atheism? It seemed so obvious and then…all those quiet women started bitching, so we said. And it was good. Yep, it was good because the discussion had to occur. No more self-censoring from women. Men did push back poorly but men too would benefit from saying the system is fucked and refrain from eating its members or shunning them. And yes men had to shut up and listen–what a pleasant change. Hopefully, now the discussion can continue to greater meaning and men can contribute in less manly ways. The first thing is to get everyone to show up and everyone to feel safe. Well, it would help if men showed some semblance of having read or partaken in any kind of gender-issue education. And women too. Astonishingly, women  show ignorance in their own history, which speaks volumes but not against them.

When the oppressed scream…when women atheists pointed out that atheist men were still being asses and women didn’t want to discuss basic gender issues and rather atheist issues, the boys came out and cried self-censorship or just plain censorship. Odd? This “me too” free speech bullshit and my support of the women will certainly gain me ire but fuck it.

Outside atheist circles the single biggest criticism is that atheists are too critical. Jonathon Haidt has said he has found atheists use more words of certainty than religious authors. What he doesn’t get is that’s the point of science, to be more certain, to predict better, and  to understand more. All Haidt shows is that science is more true. There is also the polemics, rhetoric of criticism. Minorities fighting for their rights generally use stronger language than their oppressors to make a point, gain an audience, and show they have just reason for their position. They are pissed and have to show it to get attention. If you can’t show the evils then how do you create change?

old-atheists-vs-new-atheistsAgain in 2006 or so another of my family members said atheist militancy was going to destroy the movement. The movement doubled. This desire to not make waves because it causes an equal pendulum swing is bullshit. The McCarthy era and abolitionism both showed how much emotional intensity creates lasting change. The first negative and the second liberating.

malcolm xA recent republished photo of Malcolm X with a raised carbine had to be retracted because his own family thought it cast a bad image. What? They lost a beautiful opportunity to say black people have had to defend themselves any way they can in spite of the Civil War and in spite of the Civil Rights era. (The Tea Party should be proud and if he weren’t so black they would show the photo as proof that US citizens truly need arms to prevent being murdered. No, just black people insisting on their rights. Just more so than whites. They assassinated Malcolm X at a rally in a ballroom.)

I have supported civility but San Romero is also right that the abuse of civility and even civility itself is a way of ensuring self-censorship. Civility is a kind of universal self-censorship with the assumption that you will be heard in turn. Would that the mores of it be agreed upon by all but often they become traditional, empty, flaccid, without meaning. If civility is failing its purpose of allowing greater inclusion then it is corrupt and should be changed. I once bought a suit purely for a single legal appearance–civility is a privilege and that’s a problem.

self censorship 4Now that 20% of people are Nones and young people are showing greater numbers it is tempting to tone it down. Yeah? To please the shrieking conservatives, nonatheists, and moderates that don’t like to hear a shrieking voice back? Doesn’t that feed in the mindset of CPAC that only the righteous can shriek? And only religious conservatives are righteous.

The best oppression is the one that demands no work. Self-censorship is a beautiful construct. You don’t have to flagellate the public, they’ll do it themselves. And they’ll do it thinking they are being more civil.

An ethics of care is tempting–we’re just trying to make everyone well; attentive, responsible, competent, and responsive. When is it permissible to say you are very, very wrong, very, very loudly? If you lose your voice or cannot be heard you cannot care and are a slave. I cannot sleep with that any better than I cannot sleep because I’m pissing off someone.

Jim n

Carol Tavris on Dylan Farrow and Woody Allen

-WOODY ALLEN-Carol Tavris has written a lucid response to the issue of child abuse in Woody Allen & Family. I didn’t make an opinion when this issue first came up. I simply didn’t feel I could know without more investigation; there were good reasons for either or both parties to have the issues wrong, or right…how to know?

The social worker side of me that used to work in a shelter for battered women wanted to opine that victims are too often rejected and told they exaggerated. But occasionally, victims also have reasons to be dishonest or I should  say they misattribute or have human memory. Which is to say the brain is a metal sieve that keeps patching and reinforcing, not even caring if it gets it right, but only if it pleases. Like many of these cases both parties are neurotic as hell, ladened with emotional intensity, and it would be difficult to know what’s going on in the best analysis.

I have no idea what happened that day so long ago, and neither do you. But science and skepticism can, perhaps, help us ask the right questions and avoid emotional reasoning. For example, it’s one thing to be sympathetic to Dylan’s account, but quite another to base one’s support mindlessly on the criterion of “believe all claims of abuse.”…

I was also dismayed to read claims by many of Dylan Farrow’s supporters that have long been scientifically disproved:

  • Children never lie about sexual abuse.
  • If a memory is vivid, detailed, and emotionally laden, that is evidence that it is accurate.
  • In the case of Woody Allen and Dylan Farrow, one must be “lying.” As Aaron Bady posted in The New Inquiry, “If one of them has to be lying for the other to be telling the truth, then presuming the innocence of one produces a presumption of the other’s guilt. And Woody Allen cannot be presumed to be innocent of molesting a child unless she is presumed to be lying to us.”

Here is the takeaway, you don’t have to be lying.

In her TEDGlobal talk in 2013, the eminent memory scientist Elizabeth Loftus said that memory was less like a recording device and “more like a Wikipedia page—you can go in there and change it, but so can other people.” She and other researchers have implanted false memories even of bizarre events—such as, she says, “being attacked by a vicious animal, nearly drowning and being rescued by a lifeguard, or witnessing demonic possession.” False memories can be implanted with suggestions, misinformation, hypnosis, and even doctored photographs. She calls these “rich false memories,” because people truly believe they are accurate. They “recall” them with confidence, adding details as they go and feeling deep emotion, as I felt about my memory of my father reading The Wonderful O. Rich false memories can persist for years. That’s why Dylan Farrow doesn’t have to be “lying” when she reported her version of events. But without independent corroboration, we don’t know.

This mismemory is a huge isssue. How many people have refined their memories to reflect what they want without their knowing it? As Dennett famously says, every time you remember something you are creating another version. Be aware that that version is edited.

What this means for free will is a salient point. If I will not remember correctly then how am I responsible? Contextualization, selfawareness. and verification. Knowing that our memories are not representations but interpretations we seem locked in some sort of “all interpretations are misinterpretations” unable to sort truth from not. That’s why we have science and verification by others, as well as contrasting and comparing other similar cases that help clarify. It also means to always be aware that your most cherished opinion could be crap.

This seemingly insane mental memory variance should make us more compassionate towards others in empathy that memory can be wrong, regardless of how intense it is. Religious visions and revelations are often part of this confabulation. I have had many religious friends insist they have heard god speak to them or they have seen an angel. I would rather call them mistaken than crazy–if they are crazy we all are.

The difficult to digest irony is the more you have studied something or think you know a topic the more prone you are to confirmation bias. Yep, the more sure you are the  more likely you are to be wrong–your assertion is more dogmatic than conceptualized–you are more willing to negate contrary evidence because you have so, so much supportive evidence that it seems like, mistakenly, a classic “big claims need big evidence” situation. If you are willing to say “I am absolutely sure…” in the face of another’s questioning beware.

That is the reason for the vehemence with which many of Farrow’s supporters are shouting down the opposition. (The title of a research paper captured this phenomenon perfectly: “When in Doubt, Shout.”) Given a choice of whom to believe, they say, we must always side with the accuser in a rape or molestation case; otherwise we are supporting the patriarchal “rape culture.” As Bady writes, “if you are presuming his innocence by presuming her mendacity, you are rape cultured.” Anyone who asks skeptical questions of Dylan Farrow’s story is a pedophile or a sexist who is abetting the abuse of children and women. That kind of self-righteous certainty shuts down thoughtful inquiry. It does not help the cause of feminism or justice.

This kind of psychological profiling can be somewhat correct. More women are raped then men and it’s more likely that the victim is telling the truth. For the same reason we don’t want to support profiling people of color in stop and frisk laws or muslims in airport security, we don’t want to assume that all accusations of sexual violence from women are true. Most cases it’s clear but too often we don’t want people we admire or like to be immoral. Especially if one practices shunning–you won’t believe or follow anything of the person any more–the investment to be correct is so strong as to make the opinion even more biased.

How, then, should we think about Dylan Farrow’s allegations? It’s relevant that they occurred during a bitter custody dispute, when Mia Farrow’s understandable rage at Allen over his affair with Soon Yi was going at full blast. We might ask why Dylan is making her story public now. We might wonder whether she has been influenced by recovered-memory therapists or, as her brother Moses writes, by an angry and vengeful mother. We would want to take into account that this family remains bitterly divided. Most of all, we have to accept the most difficult lesson of critical thinking: tolerating uncertainty.

It is extraordinarily difficult for me to not see Woody as a brilliant but deranged person whose personal neurosis and/or personality disorder has thrived in cinematic exposition and whom could be capable of anything–especially after considering the example of marrying an adopted duaghter. It is equally suspect when a child of a fighting-contesting-divorcing parent comes up with extremely negative evidence of abuse. I would be the idiot to think I can guess who’s right as it’s too easy for me to see any and all of them bullshitting, sincerely.

This situation is so over the top, the take away is not how a powerful man got away with everything but rather everyone is mistaken and they are all sincerely deluded. In most sexual harassment and abuse cases the victims need support and that should continue. It is also true that when women have more power there may be more balance in verified claims of abuse to men but that’s not true yet. Even though Mia Farrow is famous Allen is more so but they are/were more equal in power than the average couple.

I can’t imagine after such a long time that any revision will occur. But I can guarantee that every new memory “retrieval” (writing) of the episode will carry slight confirmation biases that support each other over time. They all will go their death believing their view is correct. What is clear is they all need deep therapy.

Jim n

CPAC The Ultimate Ironic Tone Trolls!

American Atheists Logo The ACU board promised that American Atheists could have a booth at CPAC ( Conservative Political Action Conference).  Now, the people who love Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh have stated that they don’t like the “tone” of American Atheists.

I just got this message from American Atheists….. (Share and donate)

Almost as soon as we announced that we would be attending CPAC, religious conservatives started to voice their outrage.

This afternoon, I received a phone call from the American Conservative Union Executive Director Dan Schneider informing me that the ACU board is breaking its agreement to permit American Atheists to host an information booth at CPAC.

Schneider cited “the tone” of a quote from me in a CNN article about our booth.

This is exactly the problem. The ACU, which has invited CPAC speakers such as Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Sarah Palin, is afraid of my tone? My ‘tone’ was clearly an excuse to back out after our press release angered religious conservatives.

Continuing to conflate religion and conservatism is not a viable strategy; this was apparently too scary for CPAC attendees to hear. America’s religious conservatives can deny it all they want, but soon they’re going to realize that ignoring the growing number of atheist constituents is a losing proposition.

This isn’t over. We’re still going to CPAC, even if they don’t want us there. We’ll be there to represent the interests of the 20% of conservatives who are non-religious and to advocate for our position that religious dogma has no place in government.

I’ll keep you updated.

Sincerely,

David Silverman
President

PS: Our outreach work is only possible because of the generosity of our members and supporters. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.

Atheism to Creationism

pussy riot sochiWhat is the greater stability and tenure compensated by the hegemonic bias of belief, confirmation bias? It’s not a debate it’s a discussion…

At ay rate, that religious parents can be tried for the death of their children by refusing treatment for an unusual, but treatable disease with extremely uncomfortable medicine and saying “God did it?” certainly implies an intentionality to the act of abuse that is beyond apologies to religion. But I wonder…if they could prove that refusing a vaccination had caused the death of a child by exposure…  That not funding stem-cell research–hell, if we can use Ken Hamm’s historical science to prove dinosaurs were vegetarians…

Jaclyn Glenn has a  video responding to creationist video clips.  I’m hoping that this is like targeting the fringes of belief but a recent poll says 36% of the US general public thinks miracles occur in some way. They aren’t saying it’s science we don’t know yet…

So, am I just jaded, or just tired of the constant self-censorship in spite of our so-called militancy? Should we be burning tires in the streets and getting arrested to allow gays to marry, women to abort, criminals to be restrained or recovered, and the poor and the disenfranchised to be helped? If I showed up at an Olympics held in the US and sang protest songs against Obama (hypothetically) would I get electrocuted and thudded? Or is that horsewhipped and beaten as in Pussy Riot at Sochi? Isn’t that what happens to 50% of people of color in this country? They just call them tasters, batons, and drug users, uhhhh, common criminals? Cameras everywhere. No place to hide, good or bad.

Jim n

Are Religious People More Addicted to Porn?

It’s a great lead when you can claim that somehow religion makes one less moral. After all that is often the foundation of religion for many if not most. If religion doesn’t make you more happy or more moral, one has to wonder the point, at least as a choice. Why choose religion? Are religious people more addicted to porn? No, they just think they are

Compared with their less spiritual peers, people who identified as very religious were more likely to have a perceived Internet pornography addiction, no matter how much porn they actually consumed, according to a new study.

It would make more sense that religious people watch more porn, as they do in Utah as a whole, since religion as police-counsel would attract those who need the help–religion as lightning rod for sinners–to be better, or not care because they can be forgiven. But it’s an odd distinction. Not only do some actually watch more porn but when they don’t they still think it’s a full-on medical problem.

“We were surprised that the amount of viewing did not impact the perception of addiction, but strong moral beliefs did,” the study’s lead author Joshua Grubbs, a doctoral student in psychology at Case Western Reserve University, said in a statement…

Regardless of whether porn addiction is “real,” Grubbs and his co-authors note thatperceived addiction has been linked to several real elements of psychological distress, such as depression, compulsive behavior and anxiety.

This hypersensitivity to sin is the result of responding to an oppressive religion that wants people toe see themselves as sinners for any reason, good or bad, to get them to church, get them to Christ, and get them staying in the religion.

Religion making people feel guilty, embarrassed, or shameful at any transgression ensures full pews and full dependency of Christ to overcome their many sins. Addiction to a sin embeds the sin in ongoing transgression as a character or personality flaw. It’s not just a mistake dammit, it’s a full on sin that is so part of you you need Christ to recover?

This goes way beyond the impulse control benefit some psych’s and soc’s give to religion. Placing someone in constant fear may indeed lower frequency but at what cost. You can see why they had to invent the confessional or their flock would be frozen in guilt, unable to act for fear of sinning. Like an Army boot camp, religion beats you down to nothing and then rebuilds you in their image.

While most of us can see the difference between watching porn five times a day, once a day, once a week, or once a month any repetition is considered an addiction for religious folks? Hypersensitivity to sin means people overreact and think they have more of a problem than they do. They are obsessed with  sinning and salvation which is more effective in lowering functionally than the action they chastise. It’s not the addiction that’s bugging them but their worry that they are addicted, contaminated, unredeemed.

Grubbs and his co-authors speculate that feelings of addiction could be seen as “the religious individual’s pathological interpretation of a behavior deemed a transgression or a desecration of sexual purity.” The findings could help therapists understand that the perception of addiction might have more to do with religious beliefs than actual porn-watching habits, the researchers said.

This death spiral attitude to self-esteem has bled into other areas of nihilistic self awareness. Nihilistic because it causes people to think less of themselves for no good reason other than religious power over the flock. Like cooties in elementary school, touch a girl once to get her cooties and doing it five more times doesn’t matter as you were addicted the first time? We’re all addicted to porn. Some just know it sooner? Just like you can fall in love (lust) at first sight, you’re addicted (obsessed) at first try? Is this just a socialized perfection complex?

Aside from this as proof that religion destroys healthy sexuality you can follow into all of the other sins that show you are a permanent addict that needs supernatural help and possibly human help as well. It’s a sick spiral that should be stopped. Therapists standing by.

The irony is that if you went to the gym every day for an hour, if you took an hour for yourself every day, if you read fantasy fiction every day for an hour, all would be fine and you wouldn’t be called a fantasy book addict… Religious people should call it a routine and give themselves a break so they can concentrate on other far worse sins, like hating gays and prochoicers.

Jim n