Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Is Assaulting a Non-believer a Religious Hate Crime?

This will be a quick post of something I learned about earlier today (Mitch Kahle from Hawaii) and only just finally got around to watching the videos. I recommend struggling through this post, for once I have some good things to tell. And if not, then PLEASE go down to the videos, you should really see this. First though:

More people are wanting to submit Patriarchal blessings so I'm holding off on that more. I won't be posting any, I'll just be going through to find anything interesting at all. Which may not be entertaining later on, lol. Also, watched Collision, The Nature of Existence, and now Expelled so I have several movies to talk about.

The atheists of Utah Valley FB group is growing quickly. We are almost to 80 now and may surpass 100 before the end of the month. We are also finding more people who may be able to help with approaching BYU about changing their position on postmos. Brad Carmack, who is a practicing Mormon, is a nice intelligent fellow who is currently involved with USGA and wrote a little book about gays and the LDS church. You can actually find copies at the BYU bookstore, lol. I heard through the grapevine that he is on our side about trying to change BYUs standards on this.

Which, the standards are low. God's standards are low. He is a complete dick, and the worst kind, he's a hypocrite. I don't think the God of Christianity has ever made a commandment that he didn't break in some fashion. BYU's are a lot better, but usually behind in the times with the rest of society. Well, if by society you mean a more secular society, cause I dare say theocracies of the Middle-east are also behind. Or African countries where they psychologically and even physically abuse children who are thought to be witches or gay. Oh right, they just kill the gays in some countries. And usually these things are done in the name of Jesus. Want to see what the dark ages with Christianity were like? Go to some African countries.

Sometimes, I feel I need to be reminded how religion is so good at corrupting people's thoughts and becoming more close-minded. I'm all for moderate religion and there is no doubt in my mind that the church is good for many people, and in many cases I think Mormons approach it moderately. But at the last USGA meeting a totally chill guy showed up and was so impressed with the group and so proud of us, saying it was hard for him in SLC so it must be even more so for people at BYU. Ends up his tires got slashed on BYU grounds cause he had a Pride sticker on his car. My girlfriend's car got scratched (but not keyed) for having an Obama sticker. One new girl tonight was saying how a friend is depressed, literally, cause she's over 25 and not married. I get down when I don't have a gf, but I'm sure that LDS women are far more likely to get depressed if they don't marry right away.

Religion has a way of poisoning things, and maybe this comes from Hitchens, but I tend to agree with him more and more on it. However, I don't think I'm comfortable with saying it is all bad. I'll take Dawkins' approach that 'of course religion isn't the root of all evil.' But with religion I see the happiness it gives people but generally that happiness is attached to sucking the happiness out of others either by contrary arguments or violent opposition. Jesus said, hate your family if necessary, above all else love me.

So, this story sparked this sudden mood and now I've made an actual post, as usual, lol. You dear readers should be use to that now. Anytime I start with "this will be a short post" you should realize I'm about to write a long one. And generally I'm most proud of my posts that have no forethought. And then thankful for readers like Demosthenes who write me back saying "did you really mean this?" so I can go back and be like "yeah... not really, I should reword that, lol."

So, the story! Mitch Kahle, Hawaii, separation of church and state. I listen to Freethought Radio with Dan Barker and Ann Laurie Gaylor [sic?] from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. I actually have contacted them about BYU though they sadly cannot help directly. I listened to a couple episodes today at work and came across a recent one talking about The Atheist' Guide to Christmas, which I bought for my girl and which she has loved. So I wanted to hear an interview with one of the editors and had to go through some Mitch guy who did some protest in Hawaii or something? Wow, surprised by how gripping the interview was. Here's what happened.

Hawaii, I guess, is less than a third Christian. It is also the most secular of the states. I don't have any info handy but it was brought up in the interview. But the state legislature has invocations by Christian preachers for the public meetings. Kahle sent them at least 3 emails explaining to them that it was unconstitutional and that they needed to stop. They wouldn't reply so he said he would protest. And protest he did. His wife even joined him by the end, and he had a friend record what happened. And it got ugly. Here's the video:

Wow, just wow. So Kahle was hauled off to prison and thrown in a cell with a man who had been inside for 17 years (to which Kahle said the man was very pleasant). He was released an hour later. His camera man, Kevin?, actually had to go to the hospital for a bashed head, split lip, and bruised ribs. His camera was wrecked beyond repair. I am actually unsure if anything has been done to the officers who assaulted them, does anyone know?

But we do know what happened with the courts. Kahle had 3 charges pressed against him, but lucky for us he had video evidence and a judge who understands the law:

So in the end good things have come out of this. But boy, at once it makes me afraid to do anything, and at another level I want to just run out there and be right at the front. With people getting there tires slashed at BYU over a gay pride bumper sticker I have to wonder how many people could get so riled up to punch someone in the face. Obviously, anyone, and with numbers and group-think then disaster is prone to happen, but I expect BYU security would act much like they did with the Condoleeza Rice protest = very respectfully and calm and nice.

Either way I am overall very done with 'waiting' for things to happen. Like my recent post about teen gay suicides in Utah, or postmos getting kicked out of BYU, how can I just here and be like "well, religion isn't all bad and some people are doing some things about it." NO. No no no. Not enough people are doing enough things. Some people caring is not enough for people with power to change. I am almost willing to say that it would be best for some clear evidence to come forth that the LDS church and BoM are completely false and destroyed the church if it would stop the gay suicides from occurring so frequently in this god-forsaken state. It's the LDS teachings that do it. I mean, these are not random gay or lesbian kids, the articles and writings show they come from LDS families. Gah! It's horrible, just horrible.

Well, now I'm on fire again and nobody to talk to. Am I the only one who really cares and get's fired up about these things? I hope not. If one thing I am certain on, religion separates people, it doesn't unify the human race. C.S.Lewis knew this, I know this, Dawkins knows his, and even Jesus taught it.


  1. This just makes me sick to my stomach. What a bunch of ignorant power-crazy pricks. It's not illegal to film shit. It's not illegal to speak loudly in public. But once someone is given the "power" as a police officer or security guard or whatever, they just batshit crazy on it. They think they have a right to detain or assault or scream at anybody they please, and tell them to do whatever they want. It's insane. And the scary part is, these people aren't even crazy. It's the position they're put in, it makes reasonable ordinary people absolutely insane.

  2. Thanks for making me aware of this. Glad the courts where sane enough to acquit the guy, but those officers should be up on charges.

    I find myself in line with Dawkins and Hitchens as well. It's not possible, and maybe not even desirable to eliminate all religion in the world, but it definitely needs to be beaten back to the point that it's no longer influencing public policy or giving fanatics licence to harm others.

  3. Yeah. This video ended up being worse than I expected, hence the ranting. America skirts a thin line between ''too'' secular and theocratic. I think it's find to represent the populace, but if you are going to do so then you must represent all religious stances that are present.

    I also find it odd that no one finds it odd that Hawaii is not a Christian state and yet the state legislature officials seem to be white Christians. Maybe it has something to do with how America eradicated the nation of the islands and made it a state controlled by the white folk. Perhaps.