Why I can't take religion seriously

I grew up as a Southern Baptist and both of my parents are very religious. I respect them as I respect most other religious people so as long as they don't try to force or manipulate their beliefs on to me. Since I was a child, I was raised to believe in god and jesus and all of the other beautiful and inspirational stories found in the bible. However as I got older, I found myself questioning them more and more until eventually it drove me crazy inside. I felt like it was impossible to be a good Christian and impossible to practice a religion that I didn't fully understand. After many years of analyzing things and breaking them down, I decided to proclaim myself as non-religious. I do still believe in some sort of intelligent being(s) that created us or at least set things in motion soley due to the sheer amount of organization in the mechanics of the universe. Here are the reasons why I gave up religion:

My Ancestry

Why I can't take religion seriously

As a Black American, I find it incredibly difficult to practice Christianity with any sense of sincerity. Like most blacks in the West, most of our ancestors arrived here through the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and were robbed of their former lifestyles, belongings, freedom, culture, and even birth names. Our ancestors had their own very well developed religions as well as relevant lore, customs, legends, laws, and moral codes surrounding these religions. These religions were practiced uninterrupted for thousands of years and even to this day in Africa as well as many countries in the Carribean and Latin America. The only reason why blacks practice Christianity in the first place is because European masters robbed us of our identity and forced European ideals and ways of life upon blacks. Had it not been for this, I'd very likely be worshipping the dieties shown above. This also brings me to my next point.

Distribution of Religion

If there is this all knowing and almighty powerful god who can create light and darkness from the snap of his fingers, why would he only bring the "correct" religion to Europe and the Middleeast? Why would a good, benevolent and almighty powerful god be so unfair? Why wouldn't he send Moses, Jesus, Noah, Abraham, the 10 commandments, the Arc of the Covenant etc. to other parts of the world? The birthplace of Christianity was in the Middleast. Nearly everyone in the entire world worshipped "false gods" and it was only through brutality and force that people were converted into Christians. In fact, Europeans often used this as justification for conquering other lands and enslaving their people.

Fear

One important part of Christianity that makes it so effective is fear. People are raised and bred to respect the religion out of fear of going to Hell. We are told from an early age that if we sin, we will burn for all eternity in a firey pit deep within the ground. Not the most comforting thing to tell a child in my opinion but the mind of a child is underdeveloped so it's weak and easily corrupted. That being said, telling things like that to a kid can stick for a long time and possibly forever. It sticks in a manner similar to a traumatic childhood experience such as rape or abuse. This fear is usually accompanied by sets of moral codes that you must follow to avoid punishment.

Moral Codes and Guidlines

Religions always have a set of standard codes of conduct. Things such as lying, cheating, and stealing are considered "sins" and you will be punished in some way during or after your time on this Earth if you disobey that code. Many people lack the ability or the self-control to adhere to moral codes without any incentive to do so. Telling someone that they will endlessly burn in a firey pit for stealing will enforce their morality similarly to the way people avoid stealing things for fear of being put in prison or paying fines. However not everyone needs an incentive to do the right thing. I don't need a 3000 year old book to know what is right or wrong.

Well the Bible says...

This one has always been hard to get around until you really truly think about it. The Bible says many things indeed but who wrote the Bible? Many superstitious people from various cultures, through various time periods and various translations. People often lie and exaggerate things especially in ancient times. Most religions of the world have their own "Bible" whether it be in the form of a book, a statue or oral tradition. All of these cultures swear up and down that their way is the RIGHT way and other ways are the WRONG way and they believe it just as strongly as Christians do. History has proved time and time again that just because "the Bible says it" doesn't mean it's true. The only things that have been consistently correct have been science which is conducted through a trial and error basis and not accepted as fact until proven. The Bible even condones many questionable things such as slavery and discrimination against women.

Don't question him

This ties into the previous paragraph. The Bible tells you so many things that you must obey without question, even if you don't fully understand it. Even if you can't bite your tongue any longer, there is always this simple response to anything you may find confusing "God works in mysterious ways." That response pretty much encompasses any and everything that can possibly happen in life and it has no real basis to back it up. It doesn't answer any questions and gives you no evidence. It is basically an easy way out of any situation that is hard to understand in the bible and you are expected to follow it like a mindless sheep. They don't say "the lord is my shepard" for nothing.

Sex and Homosexuality

Naturally we are sexual creatures. We naturally get aroused whether we like it or not and we need a release in order to be happy. If this was such a big problem for "the almighty", why did he make us that way in the first place? Most mammals only mate once a year even though they clearly get pleasure from it. Other mammals like humans, and dolphins have very different reproductive cycles that make them ovulate more often thus mate more often. This naturally makes us more promiscious creatures and in many cases even attracted to the same gender. What was the point of creating us this way if it's such a terrible and sinful thing? Homosexuality isn't a choice, it's a natural urge that is just as strong as heterosexuality. My sister is a shining example of a Christian who is faced with this dilemma. She has been in a genuine, loving relationship with another woman for over 4 years yet she feels terrible because she is sinning by doing so.

Outdated

Christians often frown upon Islamic practices such as their treatment of women and their seemingly barbaric practices against sinners. However, no more than a few centuries ago, Christians were doing the same things with striking similarity to Islam. They were also doing these things correctly in accordance with the Bible. Islam remained relatively pure and uncorrupted by modern changes in culture. Christians pick and choose what and what not to obey and rest easy "knowing" that "God will forgive them." Despite the fact that not too long ago, their ancestors were executing people for comitting similar offenses. Modern society simply doesn't cater to what is expected of a "good Christian."

The Simplest Solution is Often the Best

The Bible provides relatively clear guidlines and codes to follow accompanied by vivd fairytales that explain our creation and our existence. The moment complexed science and testing come into play, people lack the patience to try to understand things or analyze it for themselves. It is much easier to accept the "God works in mysterious ways" statement and move on with life. Let's take evolution for example: There is undeniable evidence that living creatures change over time. You will often hear the common question "If we evovled from monkeys... why are they still here?" Questions like that show that the asker clearly lacked any knowledge of evolution. Why? Because we didn't come from monkeys, we share a common ancestor similarly to how cars and trucks share a "common ancestor." There are thousands upon thousands of fossils found in various layers of Earth. The deeper you go, the more "ape-like" the skeletons appear. The changes in the body clearly display the transitions in the anatomy of the creatures. For example, modern apes walk on all fours so their pelvis is shaped as such. Humans are bipedal so our pelvis has a bowl shape to support our upper body weight. This same shape has been seen in older fossils with a gradual change from a quadrapedal to a bipedal shape over thousands of years (through layers of earth). Modern apes have changed over time as well but they took a different evolutionary path which never evolved the need for bipedalism.

In Conclusion

There are simply far too many holes in religion for me to believe it. Just to recap:

  • Why would God only introduce the "correct" religion and prophets to a certain part of the world?
  • Why would he allow the majority of the human population to worship false gods without any fair or clear knowledge of the correct one?
  • Being scard into believing was the only way that ever truly worked me and I don't feel like respect should come from fear. I don't think I need a 3000 year old book to dictate what is right and wrong. I can learn what is right or wrong in the same manner as I learn other things in life.
  • Just because it's in the bible doesn't mean it's true. Every culture had it's share of myths and tales and the Bible is just another one of them. The only reason why it's so successful is because of the fact that it was a religion practiced by the most powerful Empires on Earth like the Romans and later the British, Spanish, French, etc. who spread it by force.
  • I think I should have every right to question and investigate things that I don't understand. Being open minded and exploring things is how we progress as a society and accepting that "god works in mysterious ways" without searching for evidence is a mentality that holds us back. We need to figure things out on our own.
  • If God is almighty and all knowing, why would he create us to be biologically promiscious if it is such a terrible thing. He created animals and plants that only mate once a year but made humans and few other creatures have sex soley for pleasure.
  • Christianity is an outdated concept and it's nearly impossible to integrate it into the modern world.
  • And finally it offers a "simple" guidlines to follow in life rather than having to go through the trouble of investigating things and figuring them out.

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What Girls Said 8

  • I completely agree with you. My family is Christian and I'm an atheist. Of course, ever since I was little they tried to force their beliefs on me. I liked them cause they were fairy tales and until I was about 11 or 12 I was basically trained to say "God loves us, God is everything good, God is love" Then I was slowly starting to realize I was brainwashed and they didn't let me think with my head. So I stopped believing in God and every time someone from my family asks me "did you finally change your mind? (about god)" and I say no, nor do I plan on changing my mind they'll be like "But you were baptised in the church!" And that's super annoying and it proves how delusional they are- someone poured some water on my head, cut my hair, recited a few things and because of that I'm supposed to believe in God? That's just crazy.

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  • Why would God only introduce the "correct" religion and prophets to a certain part of the world?

    You don't have to follow the "correct" religion to go to heaven but there is perfect sense to be found in Christianity while other religions might require that you break some of the traditions of your faith in order to appear moral. I can't say this is true for all religions but it is true for some.

    Why would he allow the majority of the human population to worship false gods without any fair or clear knowledge of the correct one?

    They do not worship false gods - they worship different aspects of the same god and sometimes they worship God in a false way. All sincere religious faith is founded on a belief in either God or an evil being that is the anti-thesis of what is good.

    Being scard into believing was the only way that ever truly worked me and I don't feel like respect should come from fear.

    Fear can make somebody come to God when they have no desire for God. When you believe in God and DESIRE God - you do not need fear to come to him. Fear is for those who have not yet gained or developed a desire for God.

    I don't think I need a 3000 year old book to dictate what is right and wrong. I can learn what is right or wrong in the same manner as I learn other things in life.

    The website limits how long your answers are so that is all I will say for now. E-mail me if you want to talk more.

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    • You are wrong when you said every major religion believes in "The don't worship false gods, they worship different aspects of the same god". No they don't, I'm not just referring to Abrahamic religions like Islam and Judaism. I'm talking about Buddhism, Hinduism, Yoruba mythology, Shintoism, etc. Almost every religion in the world is polytheistic and many don't believe in a devil at all. Some believe in an "underworld" and it's not Hell at all. Also when you said that "fearing God" is only for people who don't have desire. I see plenty of religious folk proudly flaunt the fact that they are afraid of God. "I am a God fearing man looking for a Christian woman."

  • Just want to comment on one point you made, about not being able to fully understand everything about God/the Bible. If God is the creator of the universe, wouldn't it make sense that we cannot fully comprehend everything he says and does? God is not human, he has existed for all eternity, God is not something we can really wrap our heads around... if we could understand everything about Him, wouldn't that make us God too?
    It's called faith for a reason.

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    • Also want to add that no one should tell you that you cannot question the Bible. I think it's important to ask questions about things you find confusing, to deepen your knowledge.

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    • Well for me, I understand wanting proof. I'm a very logical person. You might have wondered, why doesn't God just reveal Himself to the world? The answer is, God wants a real relationship with us, He wants us to have a choice, and to choose to love Him. If he created undeniable proof of His existence, then anyone would be a fool to deny Him. It would be like God created us as puppets with no free will- the only choice would be to believe in Him. Why would God want that? What would be the point of a relationship where we have no choice in the matter?

    • Because there are literally thousands of religions in the world and the one that you learn at an early age is likely to be psychologically burned into your brain. The child's mind is a weak, vulnerable, and easily manipulated thing and what you learn that age is likely to stay ingrained for the rest of your life. I can understand the concept of God wanting to "test" you but there are a million other "gods that want to test you" too and none of these Gods seem more correct than the other. Islam has many very convincing points too. So does Judaism. In fact, Christ himself was a Jew. Then there are religions like the Dogon Religion of West Africa which has nothing in common with Abrahamic religions yet many interesting and deeply convincing aspects.

  • Very interesting take.

    Something that i've always failed to understand is how so many people have convinced themselves that their way of thinking and believing is 100% correct.

    Religious debates just make me laugh in all honesty and the people who have convinced themselves they are right are the ones who I can't take seriously, regardless of their personal beliefs.

    I personally believe in God but I don't follow the bible or the Christian religion and never will. I don't think everything under the sun is a "sin". I realize that the bible was written in a very different time under very different circumstance and I don't put any importance on it or even know if I believe most of the things written in it.

    I don't need to be motivated by heaven to be a good person because I already choose to be one and I don't need to be feared into not sinning because i'm afraid of hell. I would rather believe in something genuinely, without being persuaded by those things.

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    • I totally understand what you're saying- people who won't be open to what others have to say are not easy to talk to... I think there's nothing wrong with having strong beliefs, but that does not excuse the inability to just have an open conversation.
      One thing I just want to comment on about your last paragraph though, I think it's great that you choose to be a good person. However, going to heaven is actually not about that. The only way is to accept Jesus Christ as your savior. Not to give to charity, have good morals, or be nice. Which is pretty cool... we don't have to put this huge pressure on our life to be perfect because we can never live up to that standard. All we have to do is accept and truly believe that Jesus died on the cross for us (because he just loves us that freaking much).. being a good person just kind of happens along the way when we decide to follow him, and be more like him. Just thought I'd share that with you! :)

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    • Where is your proof of this? The bible was written by people, not God. Just as myTake says "just because the bible says it doesn't mean it's true." The bible also says:

      "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet." 1 Timothy 2:11

      Is that true too just because it's in the bible? People also don't get a sense of "right and wrong" from God. They get it from the way they are raised. That is why children who are spoiled are restless and ungrateful. The bible even tells you that you don't properly discipline your children that you spoil them. The bible is just a compilation of things that were known by humans at the time and mixed into it were crude attempts at explaining the unknown.

    • That's why different cultures have varying degrees of moral standards. Most East Asian countries are Buddhist or Hinduist yet they have lower rates of crime and are significantly more moral and peaceful than Western countries.

  • Actually most Africans were Muslims before foreigners came to Africa for slaves. Africa was the 1st continent outside of Arabia that Islam spread into the early 7th century. Don't Believe me? Look it up
    I'm level 1 so I can not post links

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    • I'm very well versed in African history and yes there were many Muslims there buy definitely wasn't "most" of Africa. Only North Africa, the Swahilli Coast and parts of West Africa. The rest of Africa had their own indigenous religions. Most of the resembeled religions like Japanese Shinto.

  • Way to go man ! Also the bible doesn't condone rape or slavery !

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  • I am a Christian because in the darkest moments of my life when i was swverly depressed God came to me not because I was raises that way. As a Christian teen I completely understand that tuis world makes it very hard to navigate with God through life. However if people actually pray and change their mindsets, these once impossible tasks such as premartial sex actually become easier and easier to do. Although there are many translations of the bible they all say nearly the same which means that Gods words are true and not just made up. Non religious historians have proved that there was a Jesus who came back to life even though they have no logical explanation which means that God is real. Lastly true Christians are not hateful bigots that people love to make them our representatives. I am a Christian that believes in gay rights and equal human rights because God spreads love and peace and not destruction and hate. We are all sinners and no sin is greater than another so people cannot judge only God can when the day comes. My job is to love people, be a servant of God on earth, and make God my lord instead of trying to be the lord of my life and deciding whats good and bad. I would love to have an intelletual discussion with you and continue this because maybe we can both learn from each other.

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    • Please dont mind my many typos.

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    • Im not picking and choosing what i believe. I am believing in the things i know from the bible. The things that i have experiwnced and the way my mind has changed is only the work of God in my opinion. I really can't explain the difference but people in my life have noticed it. I am really not trying to force you to become a Christian because i have many friends that are good people and dont believe in anything. I was just trying to provide a different perspective on the subject and maybe make you analyze things differently based on my personal beliefs and experiences.

    • I know you're not trying to force anything and I appreciate the fact that you are remaining civil. You are right that the bible has many things that are true however I don't think those things prove that a man named jesus walked on water, made a blind man see, turned water into whine, and rose from the dead. I also can't see myself following a book that says slavery and inequality are fine.

  • Awesome take. It's the same with me, I was brought up in a very religious household. Church every Sunday but also Tuesday and Thursday evenings and bible study on Saturday. I never felt connected and I just had too many questions that were unanswered so by the time my mum no longer forced me to go to church I chose not to go and became non-religious. I've decided to just not question any of it and just disassociate myself with it all.

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What Guys Said 10

  • Wow. So insightful!
    *sarcasm*

    Please buddy. Statistics have shown time and time again that no one gives a rats ass and you ranting on here isn't going to change anyones mind.

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    • "Nobody gives a rat's ass about you ranting." This isn't a rant, this is me simply expressing my religious beliefs and why. Almost everyone who replied to this both religious and nonreligions have clearly displayed interest in the topc so speak for yourself. Also if you don't care then why the hell did you even read it in the first place?

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    • Well the overwhelming majority of the opinions on here are civil regardless if they agree or not which was my intention. I appreciate the apology but as I said, the purpose of this was simply to share my religious beliefs and why I feel that way. Many deeply religious people can simply not grasp the concept of not believing in God and the reasons are usually very close-minded. The sad part is that religious people usually simply lack the knowledge of many of the things that I am sharing and that is why they can't understand why I don't believe it.

    • Oh no. I converted from Budhism to Atheism to Christianity.

  • "Europeans often used this as justification for conquering other lands and enslaving their people." Not really accurate, the europeans where the ones who where conquerd and enslaved, in fact many europeans where enslaved by the romans, and later by middle eastern groups who actually founded the slave trade along side Africans that europeans would then exploit hundreds of years later to acquire African slaves from African slavers. As for land grabs, that was political, and was partook in by all groups across the globe without any real exception. Technicly the religions of the carribean, like haitian voodu are actually a conglomeration of African voodu, christianity and native beliefs. As you explained christianity was a middle eastern religion (based off judism which itself was based of zoroastrianism also a middle eastern religion) and as such the europeans themselves where forcably converted, as where other regions like turky who originally practiced tengri, a form of shamanism). I think your anger is misplaced, when it comes to race, no people in this world where never not slaves, or slavers. All groups are guilty not one of them is pure, that should be excepted. Even the beliefs you speak of traditionaly African where in all probability forced upon conquerd tribes who's gods where then forgotten.
    "•I think I should have every right to question and investigate things that I don't understand. Being open minded and exploring things is how we progress as a society" this is very true, but then that also means excepting that the bible (and any other religions/holy books) does have value, you simply need to analyze it. I do not believe the bible is truth, but it does have some truth within it as most philosophies and religions and its important to except that so you can progress as a person. We are not biologicly promiscuis, promiscuity is the same as gluttony, just becaues you can eat doesn't mean you do so to the exclusion of all else. Promiscuity is an imbalance due to us removing most negative ramifications of sex like pregnancy and disease. It functioned as a motivator to get men to take greater risks to try and impress a mate. Originally we lived in very small groups so promisicuity was infact near impossible for us, its only as we have grown in numbers that this mechanisim has created conflict in the form of promiscuity. "let he who has not sinned cast the first stone." do you believe that is outdated?

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    • I am not suggesting you are wrong, in fact I would say you are on the right track. However you are angry and that always clouds a persons judgment. The bible has some very good ideas in it (most of jesus teachings where in fact about non judgment and of encouraging forgivness because we all make mistakes, not a bad idea really) it also has a lot of dated and outright wrong ideas. Its the ones who can't tell the diffrence that are the issue, the ones who can't understand that its as much political as it is spiritual and as such many rules within it where of a politcal nature not spiritual. Same goes for the quran and most religions. As for the history, again, be aware that there was no boogey man, there was no evil empire there where slaves, slavers and every couple of generations the roles would flip turning the slaves into slavers, and the slavers into slaves, the conquerd into conqurors and the conqurors into the conquerd. Not a bad take but perhaps some self reflection would help.

    • Think about it, you once believed as your parents did, there should be some empathy for people like that. Its how they have been conditioned, patience is a virtue, and one which we should also apply to our selves. They have preconcieved notions, and despite your thoughts, so do you. Thats why its important to not be to dismissive because then we become the very thing we fight against. As I said I appreciate your goal, and your intentions but there seems to be a lot of resentment and thats only going to get in your way. Good luck to you.

  • Religion is absurd, god is not. I'm open minded to consider the possibility of a god but religion? It's man made. If god existed, it's not in our power to understand him. It's like ants trying to understand the universe, stay in your lane.

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  • Islamic barbaric act? Arabs CAN'T HIT women coz simply if a man hit a woman he's not considered a man thats like a law in the arabs we don't hit women women have their rights expect in Saudi Arabia which I disagree with their law NOT SHARIA sharia provides all women rights

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  • The only problem with monarchy is the person in power can discriminate against people and break the law himself.

    Religion is monarchy without an actual ruler,

    Problem solved, bitches.

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  • Most people who claim to be anti religion are simply anti christian.
    Your first point is invalid. Just because your ancestors did something doesn't mean that you have to do it.
    The point with fear is not unique to religion. Same as fear of a time out or of going to jail. It's just how people get people to obey them.
    Your last point "people lack the patience to try to understand things or analyze it for themselves".
    Have You? Because unless I see your research papers then I'm led to believe that your simply believing what someone told you. Not much different.
    I'm not religious, I just like a fair, unbiased argument

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    • He could have easily made us have a "mating season" like animals. And as far as integration, watch that video on that section of the take.

  • Why would God only introduce the "correct" religion and prophets to a certain part of the world?

    He didn't that is why the Bible and known in every country on earth today.

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    • Why would he allow the majority of the human population to worship false gods without any fair or clear knowledge of the correct one?

      Free will is why they are allowed, but then he provides enlightenment by his word.

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    • And finally it offers a "simple" guidlines to follow in life rather than having to go through the trouble of investigating things and figuring them out.

      It's not guidelines it's actually requirements, and simple sure in a way, but that doesn't make it wrong.
      And you do have to go through the trouble of investigating things in the bible to figuring them out, the bible is an enigma to most so called Christians.

      You clearly don't know the bible at all, despite your upbringing, and so it is with, let's say 99%, of all "Christians".

    • Yes the bible is known in every country today and I explained why in myTake. It was done through warfare, brutality, and slavery. People didn't worship "false gods" solely because of free will. They did it because they had no idea who Jesus Christ was, or the bible, or anything to do with Christianity whatsoever. You won't go to Nigeria and find a 2000 year old bronze cross or star of David buried in the mud. I learned what is right and wrong without having to experience it. I didn't need to bible to do it for me. The success of the religion is due to the abusers, and not God or the bible, you are correct but my point is that the reason it is so successful is because of those things. If West Africans became seafaring conquerers like Europeans then we'd be worshiping Orishas right now. God made humans promiscious, Yes we have free will but our sexual urges are fueled by our biological processes and hormones. He created us that way just to watch us do things he didn't like?

  • Why're you telling me this?

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  • You know, In response to all your questions at the end, All the religious people will just say some shit like

    ''Because god works in mysterious ways''

    That shit really makes my blood boil haha.

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  • Oh hello Howard Zinn.

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