Friday, September 11, 2009

Creepy Religious Communities are Creepy

Well, this is pleasant.

There's a great episode from Penn & Teller's Bullshit! called The Good Ol' Days. I'd embed it if I could, but Showtime is part of CBS, which still thinks the internet is a fad. I've found it here, but lord knows how long that will remain up. It's real, no viruses, just lots of ads. Keep clicking play and closing pop-ups and you'll eventually get your video.

Basically, their point is that for the good ol' days to appear good, you must dislike the... um, bad youn' days. If you hate what you are/have now, the past will always seem better. That means that communities built entirely around the concept of now being bad and then being good, you have an entire community built around people that are not right in the head (that's a scientific term. Just look it up. DSM-IV. I swear).

I'm all for alternative life-styles. I love them. If you want to live without electricity in a house powered entirely by decaying compost, that's wonderful. I wish you the best of luck in your experiment. But that's not what we're dealing with, here. We're dealing with people that deserve to be mocked. Dressing like it's Little House on the Prairie is just ridiculous. Everyone should wear pants. I assume they don't because dresses make it easier to rape the women.

But no. The women dress like good little women. The children are seen and not heard. And the men control everything. That's archaic, sexist, dogmatic, and outright idiotic. I mock them. I deride them. Every ounce of subjectivity that goes along with this statement I embrace; their way of life is inferior to mine.

We can look at every metric by which to measure a life. Health. Happiness. Satisfaction. Modern medicine, from that evil OUTSIDE world, keeps us healthier longer than ever before. There is no doubt in my mind that we are happier now than we were one hundred years ago. Our children don't die in comical numbers. The legal system protecting us is stronger. The systems that aid us in achieving our goals are larger. Our world is larger, more diverse, and more stimulating.

We can pick apart everything about our modern world. Over-reaching pharmaceutical companies turning us into hypochondriacs. Constant government bickering. Pollution. Yes. We have lots of problems. But they don't even begin to touch the problems faced by our ancestors. We have more food, more resources, more entertainment, more friends, more everything. Transplanting someone from one-hundred years ago and our world would be a paradise of clean streets and plentiful, high-paying work.

The good ol' days sucked. And any society where systemic sexism and violence is accepted, and a utterly simple paradigm of human goodness is the generally held view is a broken, antiquated, dead system. The people in these communities are not good people. They're bad. They're some of the worst.

'The work of the devil': crime in a remote religious community
Vow Of Silence: How Do Hundreds Of Rapes Just "Come To Light?" (
Sexual Abuse in the Amish Community (

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