Monday, February 28, 2011

Christ Killers?

One of the most glaring and shameful contradictions in the Christian mind is that between their explanation for Jesus' death and their continual need to blame the Jews for it.

The primary Christian myth is that Jesus was god's son, sent to Earth for the very purpose of being killed so that he might "take our punishment" for us.  This, they assert, was planned by god.  This is the notion that is most central to Christianity as a religion.

If it is the case that Christ came to Earth with the determined purpose of dying for our sins, then the Jews (or the Romans or any party somehow guilty of killing him) would have simply been carrying out god's will (if they were in fact guilty in some way for Christ's death).  To blame them for it at all, much less hate them for it, would make no sense if one truly believed that central myth of Christianity.  This is clearly an irreconcilable contradiction indicating that Christians themselves don't truly accept their central myth as truth.

Apparently, this contradiction has been inherent in the minds of Christians from the very beginning because the earliest Christian writings include passages clearly blaming and vilifying the Jews for killing Christ.  This seeming contradiction, however, is yet another bit of evidence that Jesus was probably an actual person whose sudden death left his followers stunned and confused.  How could the Messiah simply be killed by the Romans?  Why didn't his people recognize him as the Messiah and rally to his side?

His stunned followers tried to make his death seem sensible, noble, and celestially pre-ordained.  This is another point that James Carroll makes very well in his book "Constantine's Sword".  The hodgepodge of conflicting claims that they left us is very compelling proof of Mr. Carroll's thesis and of Jesus' humanity.  It is also compelling evidence of the moral madness that religion in general, and Christianity in particular, instills in people.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Stalin and Mao

I mentioned in a previous post that the greatest horrors of history can almost all be blamed directly and justifiably on religion.  If one mentions this, the religious like to point to Mao and Stalin as examples of the evils perpetrated by atheists.  (They also like to point to Hitler, but as I noted before, several times, this is so blatantly false that it reveals the complete dishonesty of the religious and destroys all their credibility.)

First, it should be noted that many if not most of the communists' victims did not die as a result of direct persecution, but as a result of a forced attempt to bring about a radical change in the economic system to a system that was doomed to failure.  The majority of their victims starved to death as a result.

There is simply no comparison between this and the crimes of religion.  Religion regularly engages in the deliberate murder of those who disagree or who simply don't fit in.  Furthermore, the religious commit these murders in the most heinous ways they can imagine, torture, burning, stoning, etc. 

Consequently, you should reply to such arguments by saying something like:

"Most of their victims were not killed deliberately.  They died simply because communism doesn't work."

Second, the times when Mao and Stalin killed because of ideological disagreement, they did not kill because of atheism, they were motivated by communism.  Thus, to lay these crimes at the foot of atheism is simply incorrect.  If anything, such crimes are comparable to religious crimes in my mind.

Thus, another reply can be:

"Stalin and Mao didn't kill because of their atheism; they killed because of their communism."

I think of communism as a religion because it is an irrational belief system that caters to the emotional needs of its adherents.  I think it is irrational because of its assumptions about human nature.  I think one can legitimately make this point in debate with believers, though it will fall on deaf ears--at best--or be seen as simply an insult (even though it is true).

At its core, communism is based on an assumption that humanity can become nearly perfectly altruistic.  There are two schools of thought on this:  Some say that humanity is inherently good or altruistic and simply needs to have a system that allows this alleged basic nature to come out.  Others, including most communists, think that people are blank slates upon which their society can write any set of characteristics it desires.  Both of these notions are simply, demonstrably untrue.  Thus, communism is very close to being a religion because it is based on firmly held beliefs that are false.

Thus, another reply to the Stalin and Mao gambit can be:

"Communism is just a competing religion:  It is an irrational belief system that caters to the emotional needs of its adherents."

Third, remember that communism was a reaction to the systems of economic oppression that the church actively fomented for centuries.

For 16 centuries, at least in the West, there was an unsavory alliance between religion and those in secular positions of power.  The clergy and the aristocracy combined to enslave the rest of the population.  (And, make no mistake, that is religion's purpose--and a topic I will discuss in a later post.)  Was it not predictable that in places where a middle class was not permitted to rise that there might eventually be an upheaval brought on by the resentment of the poor?  If you aid in the perpetration of evil, don't be surprised if the victims hold it against you.

Religion literally declared war on communism, not the other way around.  If you look at the history of communist revolutions, the new governments never tried to eradicate religion.  They simply tried to shut down the brainwashing mechanisms and the state enforcement of tithing obligations.  They were a threat to the business of religion.  So, religion whipped up a mob and declared war.

Thus, when one hears these arguments, one can reply:  

"Your religion declared war on communism simply for trying to end religion's privileges and force it to compete in the marketplace of ideas.  If you declare war on someone, you don't get to complain when they fight back."

And, you can add:

"When Stalin and Mao killed because of atheism it was because those who opposed them for their atheism had declared war on them."

Finally, you can point out that the number of victims of Stalin and Mao have often been grossly overestimated by their religious opponents in the West.  Thus, you will hear from the religious people trying to make this argument such overblown figures as 40 to 60 million dead under Stalin, when the actual figure may have been 10 to 15 million, including 6 to 10 million who died as a result of famine. 

Finally, it is important to remember that Stalin and Mao lived in a different era, with huge populations and modern technology, which makes huge numbers of victims much less surprising.  If you adjust the numbers of victims of religious persecutions to reflect larger modern populations and modern methods of killing, then you can make a good argument that religion is deadlier than communism.  The differences in the sheer numbers of victims is thus not meaningful when judging the relative depravity of the two groups.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Classic Intellectual Dishonesty

I have mentioned before how the religious engage in intellectual dishonesty on numerous levels.  One of their most frequently used tactics is to try to shift the burden of proof.  They do this by engaging in a series of dishonest arguments.  A recent article in the Huffington Post by Rabbi Adam Jacobs is a classic example, which illustrates perfectly the sort of dishonest arguments used and also many of the points I have tried to make in my posts in this blog about the dishonest nature and tactics of the religious.

The first such dishonest argument is the "straw-man" argument in which the person claims that his opponent has made a certain argument which the opponent did not, in fact, make and then attacks that argument.  It is called the "straw-man" argument because the person making it has metaphorically replaced his opponent with another, much weaker, opponent.  The straw-man argument is always a much weaker argument than the actual argument the opponent is making, which is why the person making the straw-man argument wants to shift the discussion to it.  He feels he has a better chance of winning on that point.

Often the person making the argument will think he is engaging in a sort of "reductio ad absurdum" argument.  This confusion arises out of a misunderstanding of what a "redutio ad absurdum" argument is.  "Reductio ad absurdum" is an argument based on inherent contradictions in the opponent's argument.  For example, the argument that the existence of the universe proves god is subject to a fatal inherent contradiction:  If all things that exist must have a cause, and god exists, then god must have a cause; but if god exists without a cause for his existence, then the initial premise is contradicted.

Many people, however, seem to think the argument consists of simply making fun of the opponent's argument--or, in this case, making fun of what he thinks are the implications of that argument.  Sometimes, however, the implications that the person thinks he sees are in his mind only and not in the argument itself.  Such is the case here with Rabbi Jacobs.

The straw-man that Rabbi Jacobs insists on attacking is the same straw-man that believers have been attacking with regard to atheists ever since believers stopped burning us at the stake:  That atheism is an assertion of absolute certainty that god does not exist.

The implications of this straw-man argument is that atheists are making a positive assertion and therefore are assuming the burden of proof on that assertion.  As I pointed out before, believers engage in this dishonesty in an attempt to shift the burden of proof from themselves to atheists.  They know that they have made a positive assertion and that they can't meet their own burden of proof, so they try desperately to shift the debate to new ground.

The Rabbi's article is a classic--a reiteration of numerous such articles I have seen in the past.  These articles are almost always written by clergymen or other members of the religious "intelligentsia".   Like all such articles, it is merely an attempt to give a veneer of intellectual respectability to the intellectually psychopathic sneer "prove it".

Another implication of the argument, and one that those who make it seem not to notice, is that the argument is based, in part, on an assertion that it is impossible to prove god does not exist.  In other words, it is an admission that the god hypothesis is unfalsifiable.

The author admits himself that the only way to disprove the existence of god would be to know everything about the universe.  This is an admission that proving that god doesn't exist is literally impossible because the standard he sets is one that is impossible to meet.  The universe is, for all practical purposes, infinite.  It may not be infinite in size (though even that is subject to debate), but once one considers other dimensions such as time, then the fact that its size in the first three dimensions may be finite quickly becomes overshadowed by our inability to estimate its size taking into account other dimensions.

One can never falsify the god hypothesis for at least three reasons:  First,  the hypothesis includes the notion that some power is being used to fool you into thinking you have (or have not) falsified it, which was a point I made before.  In addition, the god hypothesis is infinitely malleable and therefore an infinite number of proofs requiring an infinite amount of time would be required.  Finally, the hypothesis contains the notion that the thing being hypothesized is outside the realm of human sensory experiences.  Thus, there are at least three separate reasons to conclude that the god hypothesis is non-falsifiable, any one of which is sufficient. 

When a hypothesis is unfalsifiable, the burden of proof is always on the proponent of the hypothesis for the simple and obvious reason that only the proponent can ever meet his or her burden of proof.  As I also pointed out before, the lack of evidence for such a proposition is more than sufficient to meet any burden of proof on those who deny its truth unless and until the proponents produce some evidence that it is true.  This is particularly true when the proposition is extraordinary and accompanied by numerous indicia of falsehood.

Why is the Rabbi so eager to state that the god hypothesis is unfalsifiable?  So eager that he overlooks the fact that it undercuts his argument?  Because he is engaging in another bit of dishonesty called "raising the bar".  As I pointed out before, burdens of proof are not simple static things.  They can be lesser or greater when compared to each other.  The Rabbi is so eager to state that atheists can't prove him wrong that he ends up making the case that the burden of proof is impossible to meet and therefore the god hypothesis is unfalsifiable.  (And, as is usually the case with religious apologists, appears too dimwitted to notice that he has done so--or the implications of having done so.)

Why does he not see this?  Because for him, like most believers, the burden of proof with regard to disproving god will never be satisfied.  Believers do not base their belief on reason or evidence and their repeated assertions that no amount of evidence can dissuade them shows this.  Only complete, airtight proof could ever begin to dissuade him.  More important, he wants not only to shift the burden of proof to atheists but to make it insurmountable.  The goal is to make the atheist feel that his position isn't supported by logic and to try to pressure him into calling himself agnostic.  By doing so, the atheist would be, for all practical purposes, giving up the fight--withdrawing and therefore conceding--even though his position is the correct one.

Like all the others who try this ploy, the Rabbi seems to miss the fact that his argument cuts both ways.  If atheists are actually all agnostics because they can't prove that god doesn't exist, then believers have to be agnostic as well because they can't prove god exists.  He says he is willing to admit this only "for the sake of argument".  This sort of outrageous double standard is uniformly asserted by the religious and reveals their utter dishonesty.

If you point out that they cannot prove god exists, most of them will respond with an assertion that they don't have to prove that god exist, and that, of course, was the point that they wished to make in the first place with their dishonest charade:  that they do not bear any burden of proof.

(Ftnt.:  If there were any doubt that the Rabbi is intellectually dishonest, it is dispelled by his assertion of the outrageously false calumny that Hitler was a secularist.  As I have pointed out previously, twice, this assertion is so clearly false and contrary to all evidence that anyone who asserts it is necessarily pathologically dishonest.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fear of Hell

The first thing one needs to understand about the concept of hell is that the absolute horror of it--the experience of being burned at the stake forever--is nothing less than evidence that the entire concept is a ploy to control the behavior of the flock.

For the threat of punishment to be effective, it must be sufficiently adverse to affect the intended subject's thinking and behavior.  For a punishment to work it must have a sufficient combination of immediacy, certainty, and severity for the subject to be afraid of it enough to modify his behavior.

For example, if a person were tempted to steal a large amount of money and the punishment for stealing it would be a slap on the back of the hand 30 years later, then that punishment would play little or no role in his thinking regarding the temptation.  On the other hand, if the punishment would be a prison sentence of ten years beginning the very next day, then the punishment would loom very large in the person's mind and have a decided effect on his thinking regarding the temptation.

Now, let's say the punishment were a ten year prison sentence, but the person wouldn't have to go to prison until ten years after stealing the money.  This delay causes the deterrent effect of the punishment to be reduced.

If the certainty of the punishment were also reduced, then the deterrent effect would be further reduced as well.  For instance, if the threat of punishment for stealing a large amount of money was a 5% chance of serving ten years in prison starting ten years after the theft, then the threat of punishment would be much less important in the person's thinking than if the punishment were a certainty.

For most believers the majority of their lives are spent happy in the knowledge that their deaths are in the far distant future.  Thus, even if a believer thinks he is going to hell, he is not very deterred from evil deeds because the punishment is in the far distant future.  This is why one sees an increase in religiosity amongst elderly believers and believers in dangerous situations.  In those cases, the threat is no longer a distant one.

Furthermore, as I have explained before, the threat of being condemned to hell is really not much of a deterrent because the likelihood is so small.  Most religious people believe that god will forgive them if they ask him to and only the remote possibility of sudden death without an opportunity to ask for this forgiveness could ever actually cause them to be seriously subject to this threat.

Thus, the threat of punishment in hell is, for most believers most of the time, a very unlikely prospect in the far distant future.  For it to have any deterrent effect at all, it must be a truly horrible threat.  That is, the severity of the punishment needs to be increased to offset the extreme lack of immediacy and certainty.

This is why I say the description of hell is evidence that the very concept is a man-made construct designed to control the behavior of others.  The severity of the punishment was obviously ratcheted up to the most extreme imaginable in order to offset the weakening of the deterrent effect caused by the fact that the punishment is both remote in time and probability.

As is so often the case with the tactic of increasing the severity of punishment to offset uncertainty, the tactic can backfire.  The punishment is made so severe that many people come to see it as a gross injustice--especially since so many other guilty parties will obviously escape punishment altogether.  This causes many people to conclude that this particular god is NOT a just god.  Sometimes the injustice strikes an individual as so gross that the individual begins to question the existence of the god altogether.  Generally, in such cases, agnosticism or atheism will result because the entire god construct is so ridiculous that only a complete lack of objectivity keeps believers in the fold.  Once that lack of objectivity is diluted by doubt, it is often difficult to stop the process of questioning and realization.

Also, like so many other religious concepts and thought, the threat of hell is an example of circular reasoning.  The threat can only have meaning if one actually believes in god.  To then reason that one needs to believe in god in order to avoid being sent to hell is to make an argument that implicitly assumes at the outset that the conclusion asserted is true.

If one debates a believer or discusses this notion with a believer, then it is useful as a first step to point that out by saying something like:

"You realize that to believe in hell a person has to believe in god first?"

If they don't get what you mean (and they probably won't), point out what this means with regard to you:

"I don't believe in god, thus I don't believe in hell and that threat is meaningless to me."

The threat of hell also has to be horrendous, because, contrary to the false premise in Pascal's wager, believing in god costs an individual a great deal.  Belief in god is a worldview, in fact a view of the universe, and affects the way a believer sees everything in his life.  Believers spend huge amounts of time and money on their belief and make all their most important life decisions in light of their belief.  Some believers literally dedicate their whole lives to their religion--or, worse, even give up their lives for their religion.  They would not do these things were they not convinced that there is life after death and that this life dramatically outweighs their current lives in importance.

They continually ask us non-believers to contemplate the possibility that we are wrong and what that will mean concerning our fate in the "afterlife".  One response is to point out that this thinking cuts both ways.  They, too, need to contemplate the possibility that they are wrong and that this is the only life any of us will ever have.  To waste it or throw it away on a fantasy would be a huge tragedy.  And, there is not a shred of evidence that the "afterlife" is anything other than a delusional fantasy.

(Believers will point to so-called near death experiences as proof of an afterlife.   The best response to that is to point out that those are only near death experiences, just as they are called.  The people involved didn't actually die.  Death is a process that takes quite a while.  Only when the individual cells in the body are dead and the person cannot be revived can he or she be said to be dead.  When such a person somehow lets us know what that experience is like, then we can start to take the notion of an "afterlife" seriously.  But not before.)

Believers need to understand that they do, in fact, have a lot to lose from believing.  They are, in all likelihood, throwing away the only life they will ever have.  Worse, they are throwing it away on a scam, turning their whole lives over to con men and charlatans.

It is that threat that they should be afraid of more than they are of some imaginary and distant lake of fire.   (Notice also that the very imagery used to flesh out the details of hell indicate its man-made origins.  Hell is said to be a "lake of fire" or a "pit of fire" in the "underworld below" and one might be "cast down" into it.  What this imagery obviously brings to mind is volcanic activity.  Obviously, the notion of hell is simply an outgrowth of primitive man's observations of volcanic activity.)

To get past believers' fear of hell, try to substitute the fear of wasting this life worrying about the fantasies con men use to control them.  Use anger to get them to see that religions are giant con games and they have been taken in.  Religion thrives on pride; use pride to destroy it.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bias Against Non-believers

The evidence of bias against non-believers is overwhelming, yet one meets many people who deny that this is true.  Some of those people are even non-believers themselves.  I can only assume that these non-believers who doubt that this bias exists are lucky enough to be in situations where they do not experience it themselves.  I have met a few, however, who were obviously simply in denial.  Needless to say, many if not most believers will either deny that they are biased in this regard or claim that their bias is justified on moral grounds.

So, first, let me address the reality of this situation--though full treatment of the reality of the situation is beyond the scope of this post.  I have already mentioned the cases of Prof. Zellner, the Smalkowskis, and Jeremy Hall.  Those incidents alone should be enough to convince any objective person that there is a problem because such overt discrimination and persecution can only be the tip of a much larger iceberg.  The media doesn't report these things because the victims are unpopular.  The victims themselves often don't report these things because they fear more persecution.  (I can attest to this fear from personal experience.  In fact, many of my observations in this post are based on my own personal experience because I have experienced discrimination over my non-belief on numerous occasions.)

Furthermore there have been numerous opinion polls and studies of bias that confirm that atheists are the most reviled minority in the U.S.  It is simply not credible to assert that the most reviled minority does not have its civil rights violated on a regular basis.  That much hate will manifest itself, it will cause the victims to be silent, and it will cause the other religious people to protect the ones who actually engage in the discrimination.  The result being that, even if the media were inclined to report such things, most incidents are never publicized enough to come to the attention of the media.  The few that do will seem like anomalies for the same reason.

In my post on the dishonesty of religion, I explained the basic problem inherent in the religious mindset as follows:

"If one were honestly seeking the truth, then one would judge all similar propositions by the same standards.  Thus, all religions would be examined with the same set of criteria.  Instead, the religious approach their own religion with unshakable faith--immune to all doubt or evidence--while at the same time they regard other religions (even closely related ones) with absolute skepticism, seeking only to find fault and reason to reject it."
It is essential to understanding the sort of prejudice faced by non-believers to realize that this is the way religious people usually approach everything--certainly everything that touches upon their religion and especially the validity of their religion--with unshakable bias.  To many of them, an atheist is the embodiment of a rejection of their religion, and they approach atheists with the same implacable hostility and bias that they approach direct challenges to their religion.  They attack them incessantly and obsessively.

Believers pick on non-believers because they can't separate the ideas from the person.  They feel a huge need to "prove" that they are smarter than the non-believer and will obsessively find things to criticize until they find something valid enough (at least, in their minds) to satisfy them.

In many cases, however,  no amount of criticism, valid or invalid, of the non-believer will satisfy them.  They will continue until either the non-believer finds a way to force them to stop--usually by virtue of some sort of legal action--or the non-believer breaks off all contact with them.  Even then, in some cases, the believer will try to find ways to cause distress or trouble for the non-believer.  In other words, the believer will engage in some form of stalking the non-believer.  This has happened to me personally.

This is not hard for them to do because the dominant religions form what can be seen as interconnected networks of self-righteous mobs for whom gossip is one of the most important things in life.  The stalker need only pick up a telephone and call someone who might know the person he is targeting or who might know someone who does, etc.  It has been said that we are all separated by six degrees of separation or less.  The religious and the manipulative psychopaths who use them count on this.

They also count on the bonds of the religious community being strong enough to protect them.  If they interact only with those of their religion or trusted allies, then they can be assured that the target will likely never have sufficient evidence to take any action.  In fact, the target may never even know what happened.  Notions of in-group morality and prejudice will protect them and condemn the target.

As I mentioned before, there need not be any truth to the things the stalker might say.  All he really needs to do is preface his comments with accusations that the target is a non-believer, someone who thinks believers are wrong or even stupid.  After that, it really doesn't matter what he says.  His fellow believer will be listening for something he can use to punish this person who dares to think his beliefs are nonsense.  He will be no more concerned about the truth of the allegations than he is about the truth of his belief.  Nor will he really care about notions that an objective observer would call justice.  To him, anything he can do to harm the non-believer will be justice.

In a previous post, I referred to situations where this sort of thing happened to Christians in Muslim dominated countries.  Follow the links in that post and you will notice that these stories of Muslim based mobbing of Christians are covered with outrage in the Christian press.  I can tell you from personal experience, however, that when a Christian does something similar to a non-believer in the U.S. the other Christians will not only try to pretend they never saw what happened, they will actually do their best to cover it up.  Their loyalty to the group trumps all other notions of morality--just as predicted by notions of in-group morality.

Most religious people have been well primed to take part in this sort of behavior and to believe that it is well-justified.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Saint Edith Stein

I have previously mentioned James Carroll's wonderful book "Constantine's Sword" and its unflinching examination of the history of anti-semitism in Christianity.  That book and Daniel Goldhagen's book, "Hitler's Willing Executioners" lay out the history and causes of the Nazi Holocaust and make it quite clear that it was a Christian enterprise from start to finish.

Christianity laid the groundwork for it with centuries of the most virulent anti-semitic propaganda imaginable; then Christians planned and carried out the killing.  After the war, Christians (the Catholic Church in particular) spirited the guilty away to countries they controlled where the guilty usually lived out their lives free from any justice.

I have also mentioned how the Christians now claim that they were ignorant of this huge genocidal scheme and how these denials are simply not believable.  They are obvious lies.  In addition to factors I mentioned before, one must remember that this was a very large, long term undertaking by the entire Nazi state--coordinated with the puppet governments set up in the occupied territories.  There were huge camps, thousands of Christian guards, and special trains full of deportees to those camps that took precedence over other trains full of Christian soldiers and civilians--who had to wait on side tracks while the trains full of Jews destined for the camps went by.

The evidence clearly shows that before, during, and after the killing virtually everyone in Germany and much of Europe knew what was going on and essentially did nothing to stop it.  In fact, it is arguable that many Christians not directly involved took actions to make sure that the killing continued, such as by trying to delay or prevent the entry of the United States into the war.

One of the most revealing parts of the documentary based on Carroll's "Constantine's Sword" concerns the life and actions of Edith Stein.  Edith Stein was a German Jew who, after earning a doctorate in philosophy, converted to Catholicism and then later became a nun.

In 1933, nine years before the Wannsee Conference in which the actual extermination plan was formed and well before the extermination plan was put into effect, Edith Stein wrote a letter to the Pope asking him to speak up to try to stop the "extermination campaign being waged against the Jews".  She made sure that he actually received her letter.  He did nothing.  As the documentary also pointed out, the Pope did nothing even when Jews were being rounded up for transport in Rome less than 300 yards from the gates of the Vatican.

When Edith Stein was made a saint in 1998, the Church did not mention her letter.  It quietly released the letter to the public several years later, however.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tolerant of the Intolerant II

As I mentioned before, the constant attempts by the religious to paint non-believers as intolerant is simply an attempt to use social pressure to get us to shut up.  It is so completely at odds with the facts that the accusation is nothing less than absurd and monstrous.

They want us to shut up for two reasons:  First, the delusional nature of their beliefs is so obvious that only an appearance of unanimity of belief can keep the cognitive dissonance at bay.  When people say that atheists are somehow "depriving people of the comfort of religion", they are essentially admitting that religion is not only a delusion but one maintained by a public pretense of unanimity.  The need for this public pretense is the true motivation behind the insistence of the religious on un-Constitutional public prayer.

Second, once we shut up, they can continue to malign and slander us in order to bring social and economic pressure to bear on us and force us to pretend to believe or even actually delude ourselves in order to protect ourselves.  If we are publicly leading decent lives (usually more decent than those of the supposedly more moral believers), and openly speak of the gaping holes in their reasoning, then it is very difficult for them to convince each other than we are simply evil and immoral people who want to rebel against god's rules.  (Make no mistake, what they want is actual conformity; the pretense is only enough to keep them at bay temporarily.)

It is no accident that the U.S. Constitution puts both religious freedom and freedom of speech in the same provision.  They are inextricably intertwined.  You cannot have one without the other.  If you have to hide what you believe, then you are not truly free to believe it.  If we let them shut us up, as we have for so long, then we are complicit in our own persecution.

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them." --Frederic Douglas