Religion doesn’t always take high moral ground

By Hank Zumach, November 3, 2011

The Rev. David Olson’s recent letter (Tuesday’s Tribune) can serve as an important learning opportunity for those readers who are interested in fact-based reality.

In Olson’s version of reality, it is acceptable to claim that a review of theist-based morality should be looked to as the height of moral leadership. He supports his claim by asserting that a teaching of Christianity directly led to the stopping of a horrendous cultural practice many centuries ago.

He then claims that freethinkers would have no philosophical basis for condemning any cultural evil.

Olson somehow failed to cite the Bible’s commands to commit genocide — including killing all of numerous nation’s men, women, and children (well, it was morally OK to keep the virgins for later use).

Olson also overlooked the Christian theists’ use of extensive torture and eventual killing of heretics, witches and others. And the Inquisition, the crusades, the theft of land and decimation of Native American culture, slavery, the suppression of women, the Holocaust. All of these were given religion-based moral justification.

The fact-based reality is that as freethinkers have gained influence in societies, those societies have experienced a decrease in such things as murder, unplanned pregnancies, childhood mortality, income disparity, etc.

Those who want the basis for this information can find it at

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