You can be killed by the state for being an atheist, well not everywhere


Some of you I guess have seen this report that documents treatment of atheists, apostates and blasphemers in several countries around the world. Read it see how you fare.

Kenya, the cradle of mankind, and the current home of yours truly is a not a bad place for freethinkers. It says in the report

A new constitution adopted in 2010 guarantees freedom or thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom of opinion and expression, and the freedoms of assembly and association. However, some laws
and government policies restrict these rights in practice.

The constitution provides for kadhis courts to adjudicate certain types of civil cases based on Islamic
law, including questions relating to personal status, marriage, divorce, or inheritance in cases in which “all
the parties profess the Muslim religion.” About ten percent of Kenyans are Muslim. The secular High Court has jurisdiction over civil or criminal proceedings, including those in the kadhis courts, and will consider appeals of any khadhis court decision.

Even the second paragraph that deals with kadhis courts I don’t see as really bad for it deals with cases where both persons are Muslims.

Well, I have a problem with

STATE-FUNDED SCHOOLS OFFER RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION WITHOUT SECULAR ALTERNATIVES BUT IT IS OPTIONAL

since I don’t think students cover African Traditional Religions and so on. They are limited to Christianity and Islam for those in Christian and Muslim sponsored schools respectively.

That’s all about it folks.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

60 thoughts on “You can be killed by the state for being an atheist, well not everywhere

  1. john zande says:

    Petition to have Satanism taught. A Satanic group in the US is presently asking for equal observance in school prayer, which i find hilarious! Fight fire with fire 🙂

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    • makagutu says:

      I saw it online and am elated. They must have forgotten when they enacted the law that allows religion in public spaces that a sword such as that cuts both ways. Now they got to deal with it. Either they allow the satanists to do their thing or they disallow all religions in the public square!

      Like

  2. “The crime of criticizing a religion is not always called blasphemy; sometimes it is categorized as hate speech (even when it falls well below any sensible standard of actually inciting hatred or violence) because it supposedly insults the followers of a religion.

    These crimes—of expressing ‘blasphemy’ or offending religious feelings—are still a crime in 55 countries, can mean prison in 39 of those countries, and are punishable by death in six countries. In addition, most of the twelve countries which punish apostasy with death also sometimes treat ‘blasphemy’ as evidence of apostasy.

    When someone takes a hard drug, i.e., heroin or cocaine, they are not experiencing the drug—they are experiencing dopamine. The drug causes the release of dopamine. Neuropharmacological studies show dopaminergic activation as the leading neurochemical feature associated with religious activity. Belief in god releases dopamine (the most addictive chemical on the planet). So in essence, those who enact these laws are actually drug lords and pushers. And the U.S. isn’t much different.

    For example, the US has a range of laws and practices that equate being religious with being an American, and vice versa. Sometimes these are dismissed as mere “Ceremonial Deism.” But when
    every court and every dollar has “In God We Trust” prominently displayed, and when children start their day in the state school by pledging their allegiance to “One Nation under God,” it inculcates a
    conviction that to be American is to believe in God.

    The only mention of religion in the US constitution is the statement that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office”; yet the idea that only religious Americans can be good Americans is so powerful that not one out of the 535 members of the US Congress publicly admits to being non-religious.

    Therefore, we also include religious discrimination, or religious privilege, in this report even when its supporters claim it is merely ceremonial or symbolic.

    In my state, you cannot run for office unless you take this drug — belief in god.

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  3. Eric Alagan says:

    …and so they start down the slippery slope paved with good intentions.

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  4. aguywithoutboxers says:

    In publicly-funded schools (state supported schools), I believe it is totally inappropriate for any belief system to be taught as past of the required curriculum. If it needs to be offered at all, it should be an elective (optional) course only. This is a simple thought, I know, but it is my contention that the unknown has no place in an accredited education institution.

    Thank you for publishing this observation. Great selection! Be safe, my Nairobi brother!

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    • makagutu says:

      I have no problem if they give each religion a hearing so that students grow up aware of the evolution of religious belief and what different people have believed elsewhere. But to teach one version only as being true, then there is a hell lot of problems

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      • aguywithoutboxers says:

        So true! And for the secular to teach the sacred (?) is very dangerous! I know many of my peers who have extremely skewered faith beliefs! 🙂 But the alternative is for me to instruct all the classes…and then I’d be executed for certain!

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  5. shelldigger says:

    If it were still acceptable here in the states for x-ians to burn atheists/witches at the stake I really believe many would gleefully participate. Living in the so called bible belt really gives one a unique perspective on religious social behavior. It is a little scary to think about, I keep an eye out for a mob with torches and pitchforks to march up my driveway any day now… All it would take to ignite these idiots is a charismatic leader with the will to turn these people into an army of zealots. Religion, setting the example for how to be hateful, bigoted, murderers for centuries.

    I may be over hyping this possibility, but I often wonder, especially when the Taliban easily sets the example to follow. It wasn’t really that long ago when x-ians were the same way. in a way they still are, although it it’s primarily political these days. Fortunately their political gains have been few. But, I still believe if it weren’t for the threat of lawful retribution, it would not take long for isolated pockets to regress to the Taliban state, where a veneer of religious law sets up the justification of all kinds of atrocities. Note to x-ians, this is where you postulate the No True Scotsman fallacy.

    I am a little surprised that the Kenyan laws are that liberal. I have on occaision wondered how safe you were there, being open with your atheism and willingness to confront religious thinking. So, I’m grateful to know that you are offered some constitutional protection.

    I married a Puerto Rican mamma, still haven’t learned Spanish, might be a good thing not knowing what I’ve called sometimes 🙂 The language of love is universal, the language of every thing else is open to interpretation.

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    • “Living in the so called bible belt really gives one a unique perspective on religious social behavior. — All it would take to ignite these idiots is a charismatic leader with the will to turn these people into an army of zealots.

      I live in the so called bible belt, too, and I agree with you. I have to keep a low profile for my own protection. I’ve already lost 3 jobs in 2 years when it was discovered that i didn’t believe in god. Oh, they have their ways of letting you go without it seeming like they are discriminating or breaking the law. The only other time I was ‘let go’ from a job was because I wouldn’t sleep with the boss — who also happened to be a Christian.

      There were studies out of Leeds University where the researchers demonstrated that approximately 95% of people follow without their awareness. So if they can follow without their awareness, they certainly can follow if some zealot gets into power, as in the case of Hitler who used Christian language, quoting scripture as well, to seduce the German, Christian population, and convince them that the Jews killed Jesus. Therefore, ethnic cleansing/genocide was justified as is clearly noted many times in the Bible.

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      • makagutu says:

        I find it sad that people is the US of A can loose a job because they are without god belief. It is disturbing, very disturbing I must say and I agree with you people will just follow a charismatic teacher even to their death as has already happened with some of the death cults.

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        • Mak, it is disturbing and devastating, too. My name is out there now. I live in a city where everyone knows everyone pretty much. If you want to survive in my city you have to believe like everyone else. I’m still unemployed. I think the study I posted clearly explains why.

          When you are broke you are not able to move. It’s a double-edge sword. I had a thriving business before the economy took a dive. So I have a double whammy. No one hires nonbelievers and no one hires previous business owners, and if you are both, you’re fucked.

          Sorry for the woe is me rant. I’m feeling vulnerable today, lol.

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          • makagutu says:

            That sucks and sucks big time. It is a shame when a country that is taunted as the land of the free still doesn’t treat non believers with fairness.

            For all its worth, I hope your business can pick up again or a window of opportunity will open for you sooner.

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          • Thank you Mak. I had to closed my business, but I closed it without owing anyone. I’ve tried to apply for loans but being a single woman, especially in a southern state is considered a risk. I feel like I live in a baboon troop, lol.

            Things will look up again. I’m strong and they will not get the best of me. I’ve been through much worse. =) I keep myself busy with online advocacy work. That and people like you keep me sane.

            Hope you had a great day today. The weekend is soon upon us. For me, that really doesn’t make much of a difference. All the days of the week run together when you’re unemployed. *grins*

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          • makagutu says:

            I have a long weekend, started today. The clowns in government gave us two days off to celebrate 50 years of independence for which I don’t think makes sense. After 50 years of self rule unemployment is rife, lack of medical facilities and personnel is the norm, illiteracy still rampant and many places lack any semblance of infrastructure. What is there to celebrate in that?

            Keep the hope alive. Don’t despair. You give us a very different perspective on belief.

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          • Thank you, my friend. There are always silver linings.

            Sorry about your country’s situation. I’ve done a lot of research reading on the countries in Africa regarding human rights, including women’s rights. Studies show that when women thrive so does the economy and society. We only have to look at the Nordic countries to see the evidence. It’s no surprise that they also happen to be the least religious and considered the most peaceful countries. It’s a no-brainer.

            I laugh when people try to convince me that humans are the most advance species on the planet. 😉

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          • makagutu says:

            I rubbished that claim of humans being the most advanced species on planet. It is not true of all humans, if it were we would not have issues such as stupid wars about whose god is the right one or which tribe is supreme as in the Rwandan genocide or our own post election violence a few years ago.

            They say whoever educates a woman improves society in quite a profound way. We must empower our women, end male chauvinism and age old bigotries supported by ancient texts.

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          • Well said. It can’t come soon enough my friend.

            I read this article from Psychology Today a while back and it really did confirm much of my own research.

            “Our frontal lobes brought us from our hunter-gatherer ancestors to space travel. It all worked reasonably well, but now the older parts of our brains have caught up with us, dooming the human race.”

            http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/is-your-brain-culture/200906/we-humans-have-fatal-biology

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            That’s an interesting read.

            Like

          • Thanks for taking the time to read it, Mak.
            It makes sense. We are paying the price for not making emotional intelligence a priority.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Maybe we should lay the blame on nature’s doors. We had no choice in the matter 😛

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          • LOL — excuses, excuses. 😛

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          • makagutu says:

            Hahahaha. But we have done badly as a species. We invented means to inflict pain to each other, to kill countless with the push of a button remotely and so many other sad things that I wouldn’t want to list here. Children might be visiting the blog eh 😀

            Like

          • Children, indeed. 😉
            Oh, I’m feeling feisty today. *smirk*

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            I feel better now! Didn’t like it when you were feeling so vulnerable. I love a good laugh and to spread good cheer around.

            Like

          • Like I said, my good friend, people like you keep me sane. I may get down, but I don’t stay down for long.

            A good laugh is a a good survival mechanism. 😀

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            A good laugh is a good thing. One should learn to be able to laugh at themselves

            Like

      • shelldigger says:

        While your situation hardly surprises me, I understand all too well how these highly moral people operate. Can you detect a hint of sarcasm?

        The one thing religion has going for it is the good ole boy system. If you will subjugate yourself just right, they will reach out and help you in the community. The problem is you have to sacrfice your intellectual freedom/integrity to attain that help. If there is one thing I would love to see, it’s that same kind of help from the secular community. Alas we are too few and spread too thin to make that kind of leap. One can hope.

        While I am in no position to help…I am with you in spirit. Have you tried casting a wider net, for job oppotunities? If you can get a job in the next town over you may be able to remain under the jebus radar.

        As far as the sexual harassment, let me take a moment to apologize for my gender. Some guys are really low on the evolutionary scale, despite how they might dress or their position in the community.

        Like

        • Hi Shelidigger, I can’t tell you how much your comment meant to me. You are absolutely right, you have to sacrifice your intellectual freedom/integrity to attain help. In my case, I have a double whammy because I’m a woman, living in (as you put it on your about page) a redneck infested zone, full of RWCRFM’s (Right Wing Conservative Republican Fundamentalist Morons). In my case, it’s Southern Baptists. They run the banks, the communities, the prisons, hospitals, legislation, courts, and are attempting to overtake the school system — pushing for vouchers.

          As you know, this is not an exaggeration, and is actually worse than most people think. You will find this article quite alarming if you haven’t already read about it. I’d also recommend the two other articles the author links at the beginning of his article.

          http://www.talk2action.org/story/2013/10/16/143336/01

          It is dangerous to live in America — especially knowing what their agenda is with regard to us ‘heathens’. They want to take dominion over us, go to battle, take our money and property, as is clearly stated in the article. Also, what better way to keep a woman in her place than to deny her a loan to keep her business afloat or deny her employment to try and force her to become depended on a man. These people are sick.

          After my business went south, I could no longer afford to keep my car, so when my lease was up, I couldn’t renew it. I also had to move in with my sister and BIL. I’ve never been dependent on anyone in all my entire adult life, not since I left home at 18. With all 3 jobs, I was laid off just before I would have qualified for unemployment. Not having a car really affects my job search. Not having a job affects my ability to purchase a car, too. I tried to purchase a car and here’s what the manager of the dealership told me after I waited over 6 hours at the dealership to be approved.

          “You are divorced — you are a risk.”

          I kid you not. The salesman called me the next day and apologized for what the manager said to me. He said his hands were tied. America is going down the tubes fast. If I could afford to move out of the country I’d do it in a heartbeat. Hell, I can’t even afford to move out of the county much less the state. They’ve got me where they want me. They cut the food stamp program so I can’t even depend on that. Maybe they are hoping I’ll get so depressed I’ll commit suicide. No surprise that suicide rates are up alarmingly among middle-aged Americans, according to the latest federal government statistics and the CDC. They will not get their wish with me.

          The only reason I’m sharing such personal information is because this is evident of how much the religious right and their corporate cronies have infiltrated nearly every facet of society in America.

          Thank you for your kind words. They were timely.
          Victoria

          Like

          • shelldigger says:

            Wow, you are really between a rock and a hard place. Hang in there. Just don’t make the mistake of saying “it can’t get any worse” 🙂 There are high and low spots in life, it is cliche but you gotta roll with the punches, things will improve. I have no idea how or when but I am sure of it.

            That link made me go check on my ammunition stockpile. I fear I need more. I have felt for a long time, and maybe I’m a tad paranoid, but these religious wingnuts give me the heebie jeebies. They are like zombies, I always feel like it is just a matter of time before they start roaming the countryside looking for brains…or witches, devil worshipers, or atheists to gather up for a BBQ. There is something disconcerting about a group of people that worship some genocidal, maniacal, narcissitic, petty, murderous god, and just know everything they do is justified in their beliefs.

            Like

          • Shelldigger I’m rather surprised at myself for opening up so much in this thread. (Sorry Mak – rough week this week. 😉 ). I’m an advocate/activist for human rights, and my mind pretty much stays focused on the plight of others. I know that it could be much worse for me when I see what goes on around the world — especially for women. I thank you for being so gracious. I’m not one to whine.

            But yeah, the article and the other two articles within that article (three actually) are shocking, to say the least. I’ve been keeping a close watch on this group and their progression since 2005. They are not to be underestimated. I, too, get the heebie jeebies. World-renowned psychologist Philip Zimbardo states that civilization in America is but a thin veneer.

            I’d love to live in one of the Nordic/Scandinavian countries. My best friend lives in Denmark. Such a cool culture, and when things get rough, I doubt they will regress to baboon behavior like people would most likely do in America. However, some research suggest that the Muslims will overpopulate there and be the majority by 2030. It’s already happening in Sweden.

            Thanks again for your thoughtful words. Hope you have a great weekend.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Victoria, you need not apologise for opening up so much. This should feel like a get together with friends over a beer talking about those things that matter to us without fear of being judged.

            Have a lovely weekend.

            If you don’t go to the Nordic countries, you can join me here in Kenya and we work a way of living despite the fuck ups that is the specialty of the government.

            Like

          • “This should feel like a get together with friends over a beer talking about those things that matter to us without fear of being judged.”

            Mak, I really did let my guard down, which says a lot about you and your blog. Thank you for providing an outlet to people who really need a voice. About that beer, are you buying? I could sure use one right now. 😀

            “If you don’t go to the Nordic countries, you can join me here in Kenya and we work a way of living despite the fuck ups that is the specialty of the government.”

            Haha, thank you, my dear friend. Will I be required to buy rape insurance there like what’s being required of women here in at least one state? I suspect this requirement will spread here like wildfire among the RWingers in high places.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Fortunately here we recognise that rape is a violation that is reprehensible and the perpetrators are punished even if sometimes most rapes go unreported. Our legislators are not as mad as some of yours.

            Beer is on me my friend, don’t you worry about it 😛

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Mate you paint a bleak picture of the religious wingnuts with whom you live. You guys must remain vigilant or they will overrun the place.

            Like

          • shelldigger says:

            They have already overrun the place. They are just held in check by state/federal laws from setting up localized theocracies.

            I think the one thing we have in our favor is the fact that the many sects of x-ianity don’t care much for each other. You know, that old standard of “ours is right, yours is wrong, and you are going to hell” thing. They can’t stop at just hating gays, liberals, atheists, Obama, science education, education in general, and all of the inconvenient facts that contradict their beliefs…they have to hate each other as well. Which IMO works for us. If they ever do band together for a common cause, and are victorious in that cause (if they could get that far), they would soon turn on each other.

            Victoria said in one of her comments something about a well known psychiatrist saying something along the lines of society itself being a thin veneer. If there is one thing I am confident of, that guy/gal is right. Look to the middle east for a fine example.

            All it would take here to cause a collapse would be a long term interruption in commerce, or electricity. The catalyst could be anything from a terrorist attack that takes out all of the bridges across the Mississippi, a large disaster such as the supervolcano out west blowing up, perhaps a huge solar flare knocks out large swaths of the power grid, maybe the economy takes another big dive, it doesn’t really matter what the catalyst is, people would soon turn on each other for a half a loaf of bread. One week later the religious theocrtas will be on their way to setting up the x-ian Taliban. That is the episode of Doomsday Preppers (a reality show here that depicts people prepping for all kinds of stupid reasons) I want to see.

            Maybe I’m turning into a paranoid S.O.B but their own bloody history, and the ways of the modern day theocracies, is the proof in the pudding. Give them an inch… This is all admittedly just specualtive possibilities.

            The reality right now (and I know you and the majority of those that visit this blog already know this) is the religious are doing everything they can, in every way possible, by legal means and manuevering, to enact laws that would cripple education by eliminating or undermining with their idiotic ID, the study of evolution and climate change. They infiltrate school boards solely for the purpose of pushing their religious agendas. The professional IDiots write books flaming evolution with no evidence other than ass backward reasoning that misinterprets the facts, or live by virtue of quote mines, or the old standby of Making Shit Up. These facts alone give you an idea of what lengths they would go to, given the right opportunity.

            Now given my specualtion, and the reality, how would you feel living here…where every damn where you turn you are looking right into the eyes of a religious fuckwit?

            Like

          • Shelldigger — touche`.

            The moderate and liberal Christians, who claim they don’t support the radical views of RW extremists are, in fact, supporting them every time they claim to be Christians, acknowledge the Bible and the biblical god, Jesus daddy, who as you described to a tee, is a genocidal, maniacal, narcissistic, petty, murderous god.

            I don’t think you are being paranoid at all. I stay abreast with what’s going on in America, and what you described is spot on. As Philip Zimbado stated so well, it’s not the bad apples, its the barrel.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            When the religious had power, the stake, the hangings were the order of day, blasphemy- opposing the priest- was a crime punishable by death, witches existed and even animals were arrested and killed on suspicion of being possessed. It is not far from the truth that if they held sway and could combine their efforts into one group that they will bring mayhem. It is a real possibility and one that is worrying.

            They are aware that education is the key out of delusion and are doing everything in their power to have children receive a skewed education and this is just not right.

            Like

        • This is how they can get away with murder — thinning the herd before they reach retirement age.

          http://www.nbcnews.com/health/suicide-rates-go-middle-aged-cdc-finds-6C9742532

          Ha — I bet you regret replying to my comment. 😉
          Like I said — they will not win in my case. I have no idea how we can turn this around. The government gives the fundies tax free status, and the corporations federal welfare, so they are both gaining unprecedented wealth and power.

          Like

    • makagutu says:

      Other than the zealotry of priests and religious shamans who want to control reproductive health of one half of the population or our silly politicians passing laws that would contribute to gagging the media, we have struggled for the right to free speech and free conscience and some of the gallant fighters have been religious but with the conviction that man ought to be free to think even if they don’t encourage it among their congregation.

      Like

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