4 Reasons the Christian Right’s Claims of Moral Superiority Over the Rest of Us Just Don’t Hold Water

Atheists — even Satanists! — are exhibiting more moral behavior than the Bible thumpers. When Bill O’Reilly recently tried to pin America’s spree of mass shootings on atheism rather than guns or mental illness, he hoped to tap a specific set of beliefs that is common among Bible believers— that morality derives from religion; that Born Again Christians are a light unto the world while atheists (who lack any basis for ethics or morality) spend their empty lives in pursuit of money and sex; that when Christians get raptured or otherwise lose the upper hand, America will descend into the orgy of sex, violence and anarchy depicted in the Left Behind books and movie.  This view feeds both righteous superiority and genuine anxiety among conservative Christians. Calvinists and other fundamentalists teach that humanity is “utterly depraved,” and that the only hope for our fallen world and for fallen individuals is the saving blood […] Read More

1995: How British Free Trade Starved Millions During Ireland’s Potato Famine

by Paul Gallagher Printed in The American Almanac, May 29, 1995. Not Potatoes, But Slavery Any historian, who has studied the subject further than former Vice-President Dan Quayle, knows that potatoes (or the lack thereof) did not cause the Irish famine and genocide 150 years ago. The potato blight which struck the harvest in autumn 1845 had begun in North Carolina, and spread to destroy potato crops throughout the Northern Hemisphere for several years; it did not cause famine or mass death anywhere except in Ireland. Nor were potatoes the only major produce of Irish agriculture at the time; they were just the only produce which the Irish – 75 percent of whom were feudal tenants of British landlords, fanatical preachers of “free trade” – were allowed to eat or to feed to their livestock. The historian Arthur Young had written, like many others, that the Irish tenant farmers […] Read More