While in Russia 


Don’t be a Jehova Witness or Putting may have you sent to the coolers.

While I believe religious belief should be an artefact of our past, I am convinced each person should believe as they do as long as they are not disturbing the peace or harming anyone. If a fellow believes the bible is true, the whole truth and only truth, we’ll and good as long as it remains in the private sphere.

In the public square, it would be ridiculous to believe in talking asses. Not that we don’t have several assholes in our midst 🙂

Directives such as this by the Russian government or the blasphemy laws in Pakistan have no place in a secularizing world. Freedom of conscience and belief should be guaranteed to all by states and I think there is a UN declaration somewhere in the books saying such a thing. 

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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

47 thoughts on “While in Russia 

  1. Violet says:

    Mak, you know darn well christianity doesn’t “remain in the private sphere.” Their god REQUIRES them to proselytize, and then condemn those who refuse to capitulate. One only has to live in america for one minute to see the havoc this has wreaked in our society. Putin might have a point on this one, for I’m sick of idiots banging on my door 3X a day telling me I’m a fucking sinner and need jeebus to save my sorry soul. They also accost me when I’m doing yard work on my own goddamn property. One even tied preaching at me when I was wheeling my garbage bin to the curb this morning. Fuck easter and those assholes who insist on jamming it down my throat every fucking minute I’m alive. Who needs hell when you have this?

    As you can see, Easter makes me cranky. As do spellcheckers, who insist on using a capitol letter for everything to do with Christianity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      The Christian must tell their god times have changed and the world desires they keep their religion private. They can pray as loud as they want in their homes and churches. They must also tell their gods people don’t want to be bothered with stories of world wide floods, blood sacrifices and talking donkeys. Maybe they can update their old book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Violet says:

        The day that happens, I’ll stop being an anti-theist. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          I hope it does so soon

          Liked by 1 person

        • Barry says:

          But most Christians do keep their beliefs private and they gave up believing in world wide floods etc generations ago. Of course there are a few that remain in the dark ages, who are unfortunately the most vocal, but who takes them seriously? Or perhaps most people in this part of the world who claim Christian affiliation (around 40% of the population) aren’t really True Christians at all.

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          • Violet says:

            I think it’s important to note Barry, that neither you or Peter live in the US. It’s an entirely different game here and unless you’ve experienced it, you can’t know the total intrusion of religion.

            The three people I’ve mentioned as suffering horrible religious trauma are all from the US. Our population is 75% christian and 3% atheists. That makes a big difference.

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          • Violet says:

            My apologies, I thought Barry’s comment was regarding a comment in Zoe’s blog (not Maks), where we were discussing religious harm in the US. Oops!

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          • Barry says:

            Apologies not required. For each self appointed voice of God who claims that the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes were acts of God as punishment for churches having gay or female clergy, there are hundreds of other religious leaders who will say that it’s in the efforts of those involved in the rescue, relief and restoration of shattered lives that are the real acts of God. I keep forgetting that liberal Christianity / post modern Christianity / non-theist Christianity is relatively uncommon in some parts of the world. It probably explains why I fail to understand why some atheists are vehemently opposed to any form of religion – including my own.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Violet says:

            I don’t technically have a problem with religion that is kept to oneself or practiced privately…I’ve just never seen such a thing here in the US. Though you mentioned Quakers, and I don’t recall ever seeing a Quaker proselytize.

            I do however take some issue with Quaker’s thinking they receive revelations from god…this kind of thing does affect other people and can be dangerous. Anytime someone thinks they have ANY “special knowledge” from a supernatural being, you’re starting to swim with sharks.

            I will say Barry, you do seem to hold the least dangerous, least offensive religious views I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately around these parts (the midwest of the US) you’d be considered a heretic. 😦

            Liked by 1 person

          • Barry says:

            But Quakers don’t claim any “special knowledge” not available to anyone else, and that includes people who have no religious beliefs at all. I’m not sure how many Quakers believe in a supernatural being, but certainly among Quakers I’m familiar with I doubt there’s any. Any leading of God, whatever you perceive it to be needs to be examined in the light of existing knowledge. Ideas in a vacuum might be brilliant but they are more likely to be otherwise. Hence reason must always be used.

            I daresay most Kiwis who claim a Christian affiliation would be considered heretics by fundamentalists anywhere.

            I do know what a literal interpretation of the Bible can do to someone who previously appeared to be entirely rational. We exclude our son when we invite some of our friends for a meal or other occasion due to his belief that they are sinners of the worst kind. While I believe his claim that he can “love the sinner, hate the sin”, it’s his belief that there’s a sin at all that I object to. Until he stops believing our friends’ lifestyle is sinful, he isn’t welcome.

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          • Violet says:

            I’ve been to a few Quaker meetings, where they sat in a room and when someone was “moved by the spirit” they stood up and spoke their piece. I suppose some might not consider that “special knowledge,” but I do. I was told I could be an atheist an still be a Quaker, but this whole being “moved by the spirit” was just too much supernatural woo for me. Maybe other Quakers practice things differently.

            Ugh…there are few things I hate worse than the “love the sinner hate the sin” mantra. It’s a just more thinly disguised hate IMHO. I live in fear my secular-raised son (only 5 at this time) will someday embrace religion…egads.

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          • Barry says:

            I think you’ve attached too much baggage from past experience to the understanding of what being “moved by the Spirit” means. I’m yet to find a Quaker that says the term requires a supernatural intervention. Sometimes I can watch a movie and afterwards say that I was moved by it. There’s nothing supernatural about the movie itself. My reaction to the information/message conveyed causes me to act in some way, or rethink my position, and that I experience as being “moved”. Occasionally it might really feel like the feelings experienced come from outside of one’s self and I can understand how in less enlightened times it might be attributed to a supernatural source/spirit/being. Two thousand years ago I probably would have believed that a supernatural influence was involved causing me to view something in a new light. But we live in the 21st century, and have a much better understanding of how the mind works. Religion as I understand it works for me. It may not be that way for anyone else.

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          • Violet says:

            I’m not sure what you mean Barry. The Quaker meetings I went to, the people identified as christians and believed it was the Holy Spirit moving them. They said it was “possible” for a nonbeliever to become a Quaker, but none of them were nonbelivers (I was the only atheist in the room). So it is essentially another christian sect here…but an extremely liberal sect. Perhaps Quakers are different in NZ?

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          • Barry says:

            Most Quakers here value and respect the Christian tradition from which modern liberal Quakerism sprung, but there’s often discussion on whether Quakers are still “Christian” in any way. At times there’s even discussion on whether the term “religious” should remain as part of the official name of the organisation (although I don’t think it’ll be dropped any time soon). Yes, they’ll refer to God, and the Spirit at times (sometimes they are the most appropriate words). But I don’t think I’ve ever heard reference to the Holy Spirit or of God as a being. If you ask a Quaker here if they believe in God, you’ll most likely get a response of “what do you mean by God?” because for most, God isn’t perceived in supernatural terms. I’m taking a guess here, but I would think that the vast majority of the Quakers at the local meeting are non-theists. I don’t know the situation in the US, but here, 90% of Quakers come from a non Quaker background. In some parts of the world people can become a Quaker by accident of birth – you’re a Quaker if you’re born into a Quaker family (known as birthright Quakers. Richard Nixon was one). There’s no such thing as a birthright Quaker here. You become a Quaker by convincement. There’s a smattering of Wiccans, Buddhists, and miscellaneous other faiths among the local Quakers, and a few members have dual membership with another faith group where the other group allows it. The fact that most children of Quakers don’t become Quakers isn’t looked upon as failure. It can be considered success as the parents have encouraged their children to think for themselves independently.

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          • Violet says:

            So the Quakers in NZ are different…they’re not christian. Unsurprisingly the Quakers in the US do describe themselves as christian and worship Jeebus (supernatural belief). Yea for more toxic american religion.

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          • makagutu says:

            Barry I agree with you.
            Anyone who thinks my friends are the worst sinners is not welcome in my yard

            Liked by 2 people

          • Barry says:

            On re-reading you comment, I’m intrigued by your comment that I hold the least dangerous, least offensive religious views you’ve ever seen. Does that mean they are somewhat dangerous and offensive? If so, in what way?

            Like

          • Violet says:

            I don’t find your personal religious views dangerous or offensive at all…but I am opposed to your support of christianity…by this I mean the whole “live and let live” concept that Mak talks about in this post.

            I have been severely harmed by religion and my family has been ripped apart by it (I’m shunned for no longer believing). I’ve lost all my friends and my job over it. I was told my son was demon possessed when he was in fact neurologically disabled, and that he needed an exorcism. I also have proselytizers knocking on my door on a daily basis and calling me a sinner.

            “Live and let live” is not a concept I can abide when these things happen in the US on a daily basis. Religion and the dangerous theology it perpetuates needs to be forced to stop infringing on people’s rights to live their own lives peacefully WITHOUT being beholden to a magic being. I’m sorry, I just can’t lessen my stance.

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          • Barry says:

            I don’t have a live and let live attitude to religion. I support Christianity only where belief does not cause harm. Why do you think my son is not welcome at my home when we have some of our friends around? If someone believes supernatural forces cause earthquakes, that’s his problem, so long as he keeps it to himself. But I’m not tolerant of bigotry or harmful practices. What happened to you is in no way acceptable. In fact I find it incomprehensible.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Violet says:

            OK…I appreciate that perspective. Perhaps I just think more religious harm is out there then you imagine. You said a few comments back “most” christians keep to themselves….I have the opposite view. Now if I lived in a place where most christians DID keep to themselves, I probably wouldn’t be so rigid in my stance on this issue.

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          • Barry says:

            I’ll concede that Aotearoa New Zealand is not the USA. But when I read claims that do not match reality as I experience it, then I naturally want to “correct” it.

            I do agree that America has a peculiar fascination with religion, and from our corner of the South Pacific, we find it very hard to comprehend.

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          • Violet says:

            Trust me, it’s hard to comprehend from this side of the ocean too (for at least a few of us). 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            You are not alone in that Barry

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            There is a lot of religious harm, that is true.
            Any ideology held without any investigation is a likely source of conflict

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            My live and let live policy doesn’t include tolerating bigotry.

            Liked by 2 people

          • makagutu says:

            V, I see where you are coming and understand your objections to live and let live.
            Where I live, majority are religious but most of our problems are political.
            You have not lost all your friends, you have me;-)

            Liked by 1 person

          • Violet says:

            Awww, thanks Mak. ❤

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            I think she means they are not offensive

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            He would be considered a heretic in my country too.
            I agree V, anyone claiming special revelation from a god is a dangerous person

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            That has been your mistake. Such forward looking Christianity is not common

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          • makagutu says:

            Oh Barry. The ones I know, and they are many believe the bible stories even if they have not read them.

            Liked by 2 people

    • basenjibrian says:

      Violet: The real problem is not proselytizing….it’s competition with the established church, which is a big part of Tsar Vladimir’s power base.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Violet says:

        Yes, I agree…there are political issues involved in this article Mak posted.

        I was more talking about the proselytizing problem specific to the US, which I’m getting pounded with due to the “resurrection” being near. JWs are big offenders and I do consider them religious extremists for their outrageous proselytizing behaviors. They’re not terrorists, but I do think they’re extremists.

        Not that there aren’t a horrendous number of other street preachers here…on my way to Home Depot last month a street preacher banged my car repeatedly with a bible, screaming I was the “whore of Babylon” when I told him to keep his religious shit to himself.

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        • makagutu says:

          I have seen JWs around here but they have not arrived in my house and I hope they never do so.

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          • Barry says:

            The only missionaries we see are the JW. They call perhaps once or twice a year. Never pushy. If I’m in the mood, I’ll spend a few minutes with them. I kind of feel sorry for them. If I was convinced that the End Times were just around the corner, I think I too would be very frustrated that nobody believed me. But mostly I open the door, say I’m not interested, they say “Ok, thanks”, and leave. I close the door. All over in 20 seconds. We have some fairly stringent regulations governing door-to-door sales, and I think the regulations also apply to pushing religion. Essentially they have to get your permission before starting their sales pitch.

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      • makagutu says:

        Yes. That’s how I see it. Competition with the Orthodox church cannot be allowed

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  2. Barry says:

    Next they’ll be labelling Quakers as terrorists because of their peace testimony. Irrational fear of terrorism is as dangerous as terrorism itself, if not more so.

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  3. renudepride says:

    Are the Jehovah Witness those annoying people that knock on your door early in the morning to try and convert you? Or are those the Mormons? I get the two confused. Either way, we simply answer the door completely naked and let them go away angry and embarrassed. Naked hugs!

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  4. Argus says:

    Yes, and no, Mak. As Supreme Dictator I would insert a clause to the effect that ” … anyone promoting violence to be exiled to the Bible belt of the USA” and have done with it. (Anyone not accepting to be thumped until they do.)

    Like

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