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Old 08-31-2022, 02:55 PM   #61
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No doubt. That's an awful experience. Still a minority of people who are religious get abused. Lots of people who aren't religious get abused too.

Once again, the solution here is just to enforce laws. Giving members of a religious organization a pass on being criminally responsible, merely because they are members of a religious organization, is absurd. Enforcement of laws would also include going after people who are adding and abiding the perpetrators by, for example, covering up their crimes or putting them in situations where they are likely to continue committing crimes.
Good points, but I think it goes beyond just saying abuse happens in the church and outside the church so it's a wash.

Isn't it possible the church attracts pedophiles? Again, if you live an areligious life, you don't submit yourself or your children to any leader in the same way you do if you belong to a religion. You don't tell a weird old virgin intimate details about your life and then have him tell you what to do to make yourself whole again. You don't have a concept of somebody ranking above you on a cosmic scale that can hold sway over your eternal soul. And if you're areligious you would never dream of putting your kids in a position of being with an authority figure who would not face legal consequences were he to abuse or assault them.

That parents defer authority and protection of their kids to an institution with such a track record of consequence-free abuse is actually psycho.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:02 PM   #62
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That was definitely a beautiful thing with a dark side to it, unfortunately, the benefits of that support network when based on illogical fallacies and fabrications was not a cognitive dissonance I could live with.
Yup me too.. the more I dug into "why do I believe what I believe" the harder it got to believe.

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In many respects, I have never replaced that community and feeling of family again but I am still much happier for it knowing where I stand and not questioning every Sunday.

Manipulations or "awful things" are likely more the exception than the rule in most religious organizations - of which most folks are kind-hearted and earnest in their devotion and selflessness to each other. The horror stories from religion are not what drove me out - living with innocuous daily lies and fairy tales that made no sense is what did it.
I'm fortunate my actual family are good people and fill some of that role, but now that my kid is getting into adult age I'm starting to wonder about how to go about making new friends at my age

The manipulation I think it just most often implicit and systemic, not overt and malicious, but the end result can be the same.. I still saw quite a few people that got discarded when they didn't fit the mould or when they didn't jump through the expected hoops.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:04 PM   #63
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But, what disturbed me was that they approached my sister in advance of her wedding, and proposed that they would give her an additional $10,000 towards her wedding (specifically so she could have an open bar) IF she got her daughter baptized the following day while my extended family was still in town. So, my sister accepted that.
Your sister is smart. Assuming her daughter is the groom's she was already had out of wedlock, so she doesn't have to worry about the baptism counting anyway. A free $10k for an open bar in exchange for helping Mum and Dad out with some brownie points for their old-timer's cult is a sweet sweet deal.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:04 PM   #64
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No doubt the exorcism aspect is extremely dumb and fringey, no matter what the camp is about. My point about the indoctrination backbone is that it is arguable that the reason d'etre for these camps is indoctrination. Same with Sunday school, religious charter schools etc.
Certainly. But again, I consider it an exception rather than the implication that it's rampantly common.

We're probably just splitting hairs though.

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Man, religion is just so ridiculous.

I think part of the awfulness is the fact that it doesn't value truth and reality. It doesn't value growing our understanding of anything. It reverse engineers so many things (every thing?) to make it implausibly fit an ancient narrative instead of learning and moving in the direction truth takes you.

As somebody raised areligious, I also cannot wrap my head around how religious people can't see themselves as indoctrinated. Is there a parallel in my life to help me relate to WTF is going on in the brains of religious people on that topic? Like, it's just so weird that they'll look at you dead in the eye and talk about a specific god and entire belief structure that just so happens to be the same one they were brought up with in their homes and in specific institutions whose sole purpose is to make them believe preposterous things. Then they'll hear about Scientology, Moonies, Mormons, whatever and will be all, cAn YoU bElIeVe ThE BS tHoSe GuYs BeLiEvE?!
Well there are certainly many religious people who disagree with blind faith. They agree that challenging the beliefs/interpretation is a healthy aspect of religion and not heresy.

Unlike theism which has God as an almighty creature, there's transitions towards something like deism where "God" is basically just natural law. This was an attempt to bridge the concept of an entity that could not be understood by humans as the science/reason that could be understood long term.

But without religion, there's some people who crave it and latch onto crazy stuff. Like the girls who sacrificed their friend to Slenderman.

Humans also need and want to latch onto a form of BS. That's what fantasy media is, gossip/rumors, conspiracy theories, cheering for the Edmonton Oilers (sports fandom), collectors items, brand loyalty... Not everything has to be purely about logic and there's just as much stupid lunacy we can easily lap up without the banner of religion.

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Your sister is smart. Assuming her daughter is the groom's she was already had out of wedlock, so she doesn't have to worry about the baptism counting anyway. A free $10k for an open bar in exchange for helping Mum and Dad out with some brownie points for their old-timer's cult is a sweet sweet deal.
Agreed. The parents paid her to be happy and the sister didn't have to commit to anything. That's not selling out, that's being diplomatic.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:04 PM   #65
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Isn't it possible the church attracts pedophiles? .
Is it possible that hockey attracts rapists? Probably. With the recent rape allegations, plus all the hazing stories we have heard over the years, many of which have a sexual nature to them, it seems to attract a certain crowd. Obviously you can't say they all are, but I would wager that gang rapes and incidents of ejaculating on people in the showers happens more in hockey circles than other segments of Canadian society. The lengths Hockey Canada has gone through to ignore and cover things up is comparable to some organized religion.

I think anywhere where there is a power structure that elevates and protects people above others, it will attract people who prey on the vulnerable.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:05 PM   #66
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Good points, but I think it goes beyond just saying abuse happens in the church and outside the church so it's a wash.

Isn't it possible the church attracts pedophiles? Again, if you live an areligious life, you don't submit yourself or your children to any leader in the same way you do if you belong to a religion. You don't tell a weird old virgin intimate details about your life and then have him tell you what to do to make yourself whole again. You don't have a concept of somebody ranking above you on a cosmic scale that can hold sway over your eternal soul. And if you're areligious you would never dream of putting your kids in a position of being with an authority figure who would not face legal consequences were he to abuse or assault them.

That parents defer authority and protection of their kids to an institution with such a track record of consequence-free abuse is actually psycho.
I suspect a lot of problems would go away if they just let them have sex like normal people.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:09 PM   #67
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Most research shows that religious people live longer than non-religious people by a significant margin (4 years):

https://www.livescience.com/62809-re...longevity.html

You can't conclude that religion has overall negative effects. The solution isn't to ban religion, but instead just to simply enforce laws. We already have laws that prevent people from denying medical treatment to children having seizures. Just enforce those.
Holy crap...

You know, if anyone bothered to check methodology, they might find a significant flaw or two.

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.Study 1 Method
Sample
The first study used the obituaries posted on the Des Moines Register from January 1, 2012, to February 29, 2012. Basic death announcements that did not contain the personís age at the time of death or any information about what they did while they were alive were not included in our sample, resulting in 505 obituaries for analysis. Our stop rule for sampling was the end of 2 months, which we estimated would give us between 500 and 1,500 obituaries, which would have been consistent with the sample size in epidemiological studies on religion and health
If your only sample for this are mid-western folks who are all of the same generation, then any single thing you derive from that is only applicable to that tiny group of octogenarians from Iowa.

If you're going to make a huge claim like "religion helps you live longer" you're going to need a better test for that claim.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:11 PM   #68
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Good points, but I think it goes beyond just saying abuse happens in the church and outside the church so it's a wash.

Isn't it possible the church attracts pedophiles? Again, if you live an areligious life, you don't submit yourself or your children to any leader in the same way you do if you belong to a religion. You don't tell a weird old virgin intimate details about your life and then have him tell you what to do to make yourself whole again. You don't have a concept of somebody ranking above you on a cosmic scale that can hold sway over your eternal soul. And if you're areligious you would never dream of putting your kids in a position of being with an authority figure who would not face legal consequences were he to abuse or assault them.

That parents defer authority and protection of their kids to an institution with such a track record of consequence-free abuse is actually psycho.
I wasn't referring to anything as a wash.

This was all in response to the articles I posted stating that being religious increases life expectancy by 4 years.

There are obviously risks with organized religion. Data shows that the risks or organized religion are less than those of living a non-religious life. That won't deal with extremes obviously. For example living in a religion that forbades medical treatment lessons your life expectancy. That's not the norm though.

With Catholicism, specifically, the risk seems to originate from the practice of forcing priests to live a life of abstinence and isolation. You propose to people that they simply won't have any sexual urges anymore as they are serving a higher power. Ban them from all sexual activity or outlets of any kind. Then put them in an isolated environment with a bunch of vulnerable children....what could go wrong? Then on top of that you have the church telling people with pedophilic or non-hetero (obviously not agreeing with the church's stance on non-hetero people) sexual urges that they can remedy this by becoming priests.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:13 PM   #69
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I would think anywhere where there's frequent gatherings of children and getting access is as simple as volunteering would attract pedophiles.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:15 PM   #70
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Your sister is smart. Assuming her daughter is the groom's she was already had out of wedlock, so she doesn't have to worry about the baptism counting anyway. A free $10k for an open bar in exchange for helping Mum and Dad out with some brownie points for their old-timer's cult is a sweet sweet deal.
Indeed, her and I had this exact conversation when she expressed minor reservations about it. I'm not mad or disappointed with her at all- it would have been stupid not to trade an hour of their lives for 10k. It is my parent's motivations and morality I sincerely question in the wake of this.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:15 PM   #71
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Holy crap...

You know, if anyone bothered to check methodology, they might find a significant flaw or two.



If your only sample for this are mid-western folks who are all of the same generation, then any single thing you derive from that is only applicable to that tiny group of octogenarians from Iowa.

If you're going to make a huge claim like "religion helps you live longer" you're going to need a better test for that claim.
There's more than one study an one sample. There's a fairly large body of research on the subject:

https://www.webmd.com/balance/featur...le-live-longer

https://www.aau.edu/research-scholar...er-study-shows

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/b...ly-live-longer

The trick seems to be having the option of religion, but not have society controlled by religion to the point that it stifles economic and scientific growth.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:25 PM   #72
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Good points, but I think it goes beyond just saying abuse happens in the church and outside the church so it's a wash.

Isn't it possible the church attracts pedophiles? Again, if you live an areligious life, you don't submit yourself or your children to any leader in the same way you do if you belong to a religion. You don't tell a weird old virgin intimate details about your life and then have him tell you what to do to make yourself whole again. You don't have a concept of somebody ranking above you on a cosmic scale that can hold sway over your eternal soul. And if you're areligious you would never dream of putting your kids in a position of being with an authority figure who would not face legal consequences were he to abuse or assault them.

That parents defer authority and protection of their kids to an institution with such a track record of consequence-free abuse is actually psycho.
Religion is a tool. A tool can be used to build or destroy.

Are cars more inherently evil than bicycles and skateboards because more people are killed by them than bikes and skateboards, right? No. That's not really how it works. If religion is a drug, not enough sucks and too much could kill you. But the appropriate balance and situation, it's beneficial.

IMO, religions, like unions, once served a very important purpose for an environment that doesn't really exist anymore. Their purpose for existence has eroded significantly to the point where some people argue they should cease to exist. I think that's fair.

Once upon a time, religion was used to scare people into not doing as many ####ty things or working on things as a group for a greater good or survival. This was good for many populaces which were intent on conquering each other as a precaution for survival.
Now without that environment, you can potentially argue it's scaring people into various levels of social death and negative mental health and it's more a detriment to survival rather than an aid.

The power structure that Catholicism has does seemingly make it easy for some to exploit it. Perhaps you are right that those sociopaths and psychopaths flock to those specific religious positions of power in the same way that non-religious pedos flock to certain countries where they can exploit the local rules and government to acquire what they wish to acquire. The blame and criticism of the lack of work done to block and hinder these people from continuing to exploit these positions of power is appropriate.

But what's kinda screwed up is that the religion does believe that what these people are doing is wrong. This is ascribed to by the absolute vast majority (likely 95%+) of those practitioners as a "sin" and should be punished. Yet there are people that against the religion that make the claim that the religion thinks it's OK. IMO that's unnecessary and unhelpful towards moving towards what beliefs the majority thinks is the best to maintain/cultivate going forward.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:28 PM   #73
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I'm fortunate my actual family are good people and fill some of that role, but now that my kid is getting into adult age I'm starting to wonder about how to go about making new friends at my age
That was actually the biggest and continuing struggle - as I grew up to university age where all my main friendships were from childhood religious affiliations and making lasting friends has been difficult since then. Religious communities were kind of a socializing cheat code and I got used to how easy it was and never recovered.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:31 PM   #74
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There's more than one study an one sample. There's a fairly large body of research on the subject:

https://www.webmd.com/balance/featur...le-live-longer

https://www.aau.edu/research-scholar...er-study-shows

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/b...ly-live-longer

The trick seems to be having the option of religion, but not have society controlled by religion to the point that it stifles economic and scientific growth.
I saw what they did, but if you're using obituary mentions as your data, it's going to have some extreme selection bias. It's not a good way to get reliable data. It's flawed from the start.

As for the other links...

WebMD? Not a great site in the first place, but I cannot see the study they are talking about. next...

AAU is just linking the first study that I pointed out problems with. next...

Psychology today is pop science, and many of the sources are books, not specifically peer-reviewed studies. Yet even so, I think you'd better read that one again because he's making the case that secularism is actually beneficial for longevity in many examples, and if you read it all, it's hard to be sure of any affiliation between religions and longevity.

From the article:
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In the U.S. some health researchers are fond of giving religion the credit for boosting life expectancy. Yet despite being a nation with a large religious majority, Americans have much lower life expectancy than is enjoyed by secular countries at a similar level of economic development such as Japan and Sweden. Evidently, the lower quality of life here both provides a market for religion and reduces life expectancy.

From that perspective, it seems bizarre that health researchers would be so keen to tout the alleged health advantages of religion (2). If religion really promoted longevity, how could people have such short life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa where virtually everyone is deeply religious?
Again, you need better data if you're going to make a claim like that.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:34 PM   #75
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Religion is a tool. A tool can be used to build or destroy.

Are cars more inherently evil than bicycles and skateboards because more people are killed by them than bikes and skateboards, right? No. That's not really how it works. If religion is a drug, not enough sucks and too much could kill you. But the appropriate balance and situation, it's beneficial.

IMO, religions, like unions, once served a very important purpose for an environment that doesn't really exist anymore. Their purpose for existence has eroded significantly to the point where some people argue they should cease to exist. I think that's fair.

Once upon a time, religion was used to scare people into not doing as many ####ty things or working on things as a group for a greater good or survival. This was good for many populaces which were intent on conquering each other as a precaution for survival.
Now without that environment, you can potentially argue it's scaring people into various levels of social death and negative mental health and it's more a detriment to survival rather than an aid.

The power structure that Catholicism has does seemingly make it easy for some to exploit it. Perhaps you are right that those sociopaths and psychopaths flock to those specific religious positions of power in the same way that non-religious pedos flock to certain countries where they can exploit the local rules and government to acquire what they wish to acquire. The blame and criticism of the lack of work done to block and hinder these people from continuing to exploit these positions of power is appropriate.

But what's kinda screwed up is that the religion does believe that what these people are doing is wrong. This is ascribed to by the absolute vast majority (likely 95%+) of those practitioners as a "sin" and should be punished. Yet there are people that against the religion that make the claim that the religion thinks it's OK. IMO that's unnecessary and unhelpful towards moving towards what beliefs the majority thinks is the best to maintain/cultivate going forward.
But if you go to the church every Sunday(an indication of support) and donate regularly(financially supporting their activities) then you are an active participant in the "sin". People may not like to reflect on that, but I don't see how you can let it slide. For instance, the Catholic Church and residential schools. They won't release documents, allow a full clear investigation, and weaseled their way out of paying settlement money. These are real issues that have harmed real people, and by parishioners continuing to contribute, they are essentially saying they are OK with the actions of the Church. Morally, I think it's pretty tough to justify it. I get that it is uncomfortable, but sometimes the truth is.

If a Catholics wants to continue, I think the only moral solution is to join a church that isn't riddled with scandals, or to worship personally, without showing support both physically and financially. Otherwise sexual and physical abuses, and exorcisms will continue, because people have acted in ways to indicate they can accept the damage, and the Church has heard them loud and clear. Keep brushing it under the rug, and the money will keep flowing.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:39 PM   #76
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It is my parent's motivations and morality I sincerely question in the wake of this.
People have never been more isolated and lonely, and especially seniors. They might be talking some of the funny church stuff but really I'm sure this is less about their morality, and their motivation is wanting to fit in somewhere and have a social life.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:47 PM   #77
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I saw what they did, but if you're using obituary mentions as your data, it's going to have some extreme selection bias. It's not a good way to get reliable data. It's flawed from the start.

As for the other links...

WebMD? Not a great site in the first place, but I cannot see the study they are talking about. next...

AAU is just linking the first study that I pointed out problems with. next...

Psychology today is pop science, and many of the sources are books, not specifically peer-reviewed studies. Yet even so, I think you'd better read that one again because he's making the case that secularism is actually beneficial for longevity in many examples, and if you read it all, it's hard to be sure of any affiliation between religions and longevity.

From the article:


Again, you need better data if you're going to make a claim like that.
Selection bias. People eliminating the info they don't want to hear....you don't say.
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:57 PM   #78
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People have never been more isolated and lonely, and especially seniors. They might be talking some of the funny church stuff but really I'm sure this is less about their morality, and their motivation is wanting to fit in somewhere and have a social life.
You're misunderstanding why I am so off put by it.

My mom has lived her entire life on this moral structure. To see her throw most of it away so easily just to get my niece into a single ceremony... well it was disconcerting. You're right, their motivation was wanting to fit in more, or potentially as Fuzz relayed last page it was in hopes of having a granddaughter in heaven. I suspect more about fitting in, because the parents were not married in a church and the baby was born before the marriage, as you previously pointed out.

The fact that my mom threw away her personal convictions based on the religious views, previously the entire reason I thought she supported the religion, in order to fit into to the acceptance of the community more... that is behavior I dont respect. And I am sure she wouldn't respect it if she were able to look at it impartially.
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Old 08-31-2022, 04:04 PM   #79
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Selection bias. People eliminating the info they don't want to hear....you don't say.
No, no, no. You're not going to respond to my honest criticism like that. I'm not harshly anti-religion at all, but if you're going to show merit, it must stand up to criticism. If it can't, it's weak science, and an even weaker argument.

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Old 08-31-2022, 04:19 PM   #80
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But if you go to the church every Sunday(an indication of support) and donate regularly(financially supporting their activities) then you are an active participant in the "sin". People may not like to reflect on that, but I don't see how you can let it slide. For instance, the Catholic Church and residential schools. They won't release documents, allow a full clear investigation, and weaseled their way out of paying settlement money. These are real issues that have harmed real people, and by parishioners continuing to contribute, they are essentially saying they are OK with the actions of the Church. Morally, I think it's pretty tough to justify it. I get that it is uncomfortable, but sometimes the truth is.

If a Catholics wants to continue, I think the only moral solution is to join a church that isn't riddled with scandals, or to worship personally, without showing support both physically and financially. Otherwise sexual and physical abuses, and exorcisms will continue, because people have acted in ways to indicate they can accept the damage, and the Church has heard them loud and clear. Keep brushing it under the rug, and the money will keep flowing.
So guilty by association? Well, I dunno, I guess that's like saying the American people support Guantanamo Bay because they pay taxes and a sliver of that goes to them, maybe?

Or Red Cross is too admin heavy vs actual aid. So donors are supporting CEOs skimming donations rather than dealing with humanitarian aid? Hmm... doesn't seem like it either.

Even if we say Catholicism did indeed pay settlements to make it go away and didn't address it correctly, it goes to many other things that are positive or operational long before that small percentage goes to those settlements.

Additionally, by highlighting what Catholicism is doing wrong and then trying to play the blanket "religions" card is under handed as well. Also to your point where you say the solution is join a church without scandal... it already is a thing. There's a reason why protestants, for instance, has thousands of denominations. But I don't think that's the out you were offering.


There's so many ways to legitimately blow up religion with ease without cheating. There's no need to stoop to that level. That's all I'm saying.
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