Imagine no religion

No war, no slavery, no inquisitions, all of those things would be vanish in a blink of an eye. Or not:

Police in north China on Friday announced they had rescued a further 220 slave workers from brick kilns and other illegal workplaces, such as small iron and coal mines. The rescues of the workers, all in Shanxi Province, brings the total number of slave workers reported freed in China to 468 in the last month…. The kiln was located in the courtyard of Wang Dongji, the Communist party secretary of the Caosheng Village of Hongtong County. The kiln’s boss was Wang Bingbing, the son of Wang Dongji, according to local sources.

Clearly the Chinese need to crack down a little harder on those underground churches. It’s obviously their fault. And it’s true, some Christians did argue in defense of slavery in the nineteenth century. But it was Christians who ended slavery… and it is atheists who are bringing it back around the world. Does anyone seriously suspect the involvement of any Christian church in the estimated 12.3 million people being currently held as slaves throughout the world?

And in an application of the law of unintended consequences I predicted last year, the “right to choose” is now being linked directly to the enslavement of women by the State Department:

State statistics show a notable gender imbalance in some key regions: in Jammu and Kashmir, 111 boys for every 100 girls; Uttar Pradesh, 111; Sikkim, 114; Punjab, 114 (capital city Chandighar, 129); and Harayana, 116 as of the 2001 census. This gender gap has resulted in several million more men than women in the marriage market, creating a “marriage squeeze” and pressure for men to find women to marry. As a consequence, there are some cases in which women from Nepal, Bangladesh, and other areas of India have been bought or kidnapped as brides for “bachelor villages.” The lack of women also contributes to greater demand for prostituted women and girls, fueling the demand for victims of trafficking.

It’s a good thing I have such a ghastly sense of humor. I find this genuinely amusing because it’s all so utterly predictable. Particularly since so many of the people who find it horrifying are actively working to make the situation orders of magnitude worse. I have no doubt that 50 years from now, a young woman, fresh from being forcibly raped by paying customers for the tenth time that day, is going to look over at the woman chained on the filthy, bug-infested bed next to her and say, “you know, I’m starting to wonder if the right to vote was really worth it.”

“Maybe,” the other young woman mumbles from between broken teeth, smashed by her owner’s fist when she tried to defy him after being told to get an abortion. “But at least they’re still teaching evolution in the schools.”

This isn’t exactly news

From The American Prospect:

American evangelicalism, we contend, is strong not because it is shielded against, but because it is — or at least perceives itself to be — embattled with forces that seem to oppose or threaten it. Indeed, evangelicalism, we suggest, thrives on distinction, engagement, tension, conflict, and threat. Without these, evangelicalism would lose its identity and purpose and grow languid and aimless.”

You’d think that people would be capable of remembering what effect the vicious Roman persecution had on Christianity. And this why the attacks of the New Atheists are so amusing, because they tend to have precisely the opposite effect of the one intended. Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens probably turn 10 Christian moderates into Christian extremists for every non-believer they inspire to full-blown High Church atheism.

In fact, this is precisely what the Bible warns against. Christianity is never less appealing than when Christians grow fat, lazy, hypocritical and complacent. It is never more compelling than when Christian martyrs are demonstrating faithfulness unto death.

I agree with the article, in that High Church atheism is a distinct secular tribe with a recognizable ideology, the protests of the “nothing but a non-belief in god” theorists notwithstanding.

Mailvox: bitching to the bitter end

Merkur bids us adieu:

Like all bullies – physical or intellectual – you can dish it out, but you can’t take it. On your blog, of course, you make all kinds of noises about how sticks and stones won’t break your bones – but they hurt anyway, don’t they? Oh, of course you’ll protest – you don’t debate, merkur, you don’t contribute anything substantial. If that was the case, you’d just ignore me – but no, you need to remove anything that might make people realise how small your playhouse really is.

I’ll always remember you fondly, “Vox”.

That’s nice. I didn’t even remember Merkur had been banned before, so I’ll likely forget she ever existed before the end of June.

Mailvox: competing with women

The Baseball Savant’s experience flies in the face of what we’ve all learned from television:

I’ve been meaning to write you this story since you mentioned the whole Mia Hamm and her knowing the US Men’s Soccer team could destroy the women’s. Back when I was in college, like you, I was an athlete at a D-1 school. Obviously I played baseball, but our women’s basketball team was also D-1 and the women coaches would go to intramural players and other athletes from different sports to find guys for the women’s team to practice against. The interesting part was that the coaches would specifically tell us to take it easy on the girls and not to play that hard. We would be instructed to let them play and make their cuts and let them make their passes and to never block shots. Also, we couldn’t play man-to-man defense but rather would fall back in the zone.

However, every once in awhile the coaches would tell us to just go play. Keep in mind that we were either intramural players or athletes from other teams and it would get ridiculously ugly. At one point we ran like 68-0 in about 10 minutes of play. It was ridiculous. These were girls playing D-1 basketball and it was absurd how bad we were beating them. Not only that, but they were getting pounded physically. At that time I was 5’10” and around 200lbs with 7% bodyfat and I almost felt abusive towards the girl I was guarding. To be honest, all of us had played high school basketball so it wasn’t like we didn’t have any skill, but we beat the women’s team so badly the coaches called it off about 15 minutes earlier than the time they had down for us to scrimmage against the girls.

The other part of the story is that during intramural season, we played a team that had one of the men’s players. Obviously the men’s team was D-1 and it had been the NCAA Tournament a few times while I was in school. Our intramural team was primarily made up of the guys who played against the girls. When we played that one team with just one of the players who played on our men’s team, he single handedly gave us a severe beating the likes we didn’t see from any other team. He had to score 50 almost effortless. The really sorry part of the story is the guy was like the 4th guy off the bench and didn’t get all that much playing time. I could not even imagine what the men’s team would have done to the women’s team if they were to play. My guess would be the men would have put up at least 100 points in a half and I don’t think the girls would score at all.

One summer at the gym, I met a 6-4 guard who played for the Gophers and later managed part of one season with the Detroit Pistons. The first time we played, I got stuck guarding him and I’ve never felt so helpless in my life, as on the rare occasions when I managed to get in the right position, he would just spin up and around me and dunk the ball. It didn’t matter what I did, there was absolutely no way I could slow him down, let alone stop him. It would have made no difference if I’d walked off the court, I would have done as much good sitting on the sidelines as I did trying to guard him.

We ended up getting along pretty well, as he was a huge NBA Live fan and knew me from my video game column in the Pioneer Press, so we played together a few times after that first humiliating experience. And I never once saw anyone, no matter how good they were, present him with the slightest difficulty if he decided to go all out. He seldom did, and usually contented himself with passing the ball and taking long-range threes. But his athletic ability was unreal.

This isn’t to say that girls can’t be effective in playing team sports if they know their relative disadvantages and compensate for them. In last weekend’s pickup game, the one girl there was playing right mid for us and she did very well. The other team tended to leave her open since they weren’t worried about her, so whenever I got the ball as the right defender, I quickly pushed it up to her and told her to cross it when the defense finally moved up to attack the ball. She wasn’t going to beat anyone one-on-one and she didn’t have much of a shot, but she was perfectly capable of making a pass to create a shot for someone else.

When the left defender finally began to mark her, I started running up the sideline so that she could simply push the ball outside when she got in trouble. That let me blow past the defender and draw the central defenders, which created opportunities for crosses to the far post and pull-back passes in front of goal.

Of course, none of that would have worked so easily if the idiot playing left mid for the other team wasn’t dumb enough to continue leaving her alone because she was just a girl.

The moral abomination of abortion

I have long argued that calling a feminist a feminazi is an insult to the German National Socialist Workers Party. And I have no doubt that in 100 years, feminists and abortionettes will be regarded with the same disgust that we currently harbor for Nazis, slave-traders and slave-holders:

After years of wondering whether we’ll ever change society’s permissive attitude towards abortion, I’m convinced that we will some day come to view it in the way we now view slavery, a moral abomination that generations simply became inured to by usage and practice.

The big difference, of course, is that abortion is worse than slavery. Not just in the obvious sense that it involves the taking of life rather than liberty. But because our current debate suggests that deep down most of us really know there’s something quite wrong with abortion.

Say what you will about the slaveowners, I doubt many of them sat around agonising about their decision to keep Uncle Tom and his family chained to the shack at the end of the drive. I doubt they justified it, after much soul-searching, by saying they were only painfully exercising their “choice” to own slaves so they wouldn’t have to sacrifice their standard of living.

Abortionettes should be no more tolerated than Nazis, Fascists or Communists. They are a blight on the planet, an example of the very worst sort of failed humans that humanity has yet produced.

Fortunately, now that a judicial precedent has not only been created, but endorsed by feminists, we can significantly reduce abortion by prohibiting women who have had abortions from ever dating again. We need merely take the names and pictures of those women who murder their unborn children and place them on a national Do-Not-Date registry which can be readily accessed via the Internet, email and SMS.

This would not only prevent any recurrences, but would arguably have a significant deterrent effect.