People need alternatives to shitty religions

Ayaan Hirshi Ali has written a new book out called Nomad, which picks up where Infidel left off and covers Hirshi Ali’s move to the United States from Europe. She’s been on a book tour for the past few weeks, and I recently caught her on Real Time with Bill Maher and the Colbert Report. She didn’t get to say much on Real Time but she did mention something on Colbert about offering up more moderate religions as a cure for Islamic fundamentalism.

Obviously when you’re dealing with Stephen Colbert you don’t get many opportunities to explain ideas past their surface, but the above video goes into her argument again that many people are going to believe in a higher power regardless of what the evidence says, and it’s important to have options for these people that don’t skew heavily towards the psychopathic. She says Christianity is a good alternative because basically most Christians are pretty lax about their religion’s specifics and just believe in a nebulous lovey dovey God / Jesus entity who just wants us to be good. I don’t know if I agree with that, but I figure after spending half your life getting subjugated and the other half terrorized by Islam, Christianity would indeed seem lightyears more moderate and less problematic.

Comments (7)

  • avatar


    Most people are in DEEP fear of both life and death.
    This leads to BS religions to help them thru life and face death thru the delusions of the religion. But this is all based on delusion so many will laugh at their beliefs. Thus starts the hate and bigotry that leads them to force everyone else to believe their way or else.
    The best we can hope for is the very thin veneer of the imaginary ‘loving jepus’ or ‘peaceful islam’ and when the veneer is rubbed the wrong way the hate and fear will show. The veneer is a bit thicker on xtians because they have had the schite kicked out of them by either their on splinter groups or by the enlightenment. Until some group stands up to islam and their BS theocracy and kicks the schite out of them they will continue as they are.
    I do not trust any religion as far as I can spit.
    When a religion can say…’we have a g0d of LUV!!! Fuck the gays!!!’
    or something similar then the veneer of NICE is very very afraid!

  • avatar


    Nope. I don’t like it. :I
    The concept of self-replicating, competing viruses of religion is still abhorrent. How about self-revealing, independently verifiable TRUTHS?

    Lacking in her analysis is the fact that people getting squishy with their beliefs and giving up on hell is NOT a result of proselytizing.

    Even lax, smoothed-over xtianity leads people to excuse their fellow “believers” of various crappy behaviors in the name of solidarity. “Oh, their heart was in the right place.”, “At least that war-mongering mouth-breather says he loves Jesus.” Also makes an easy “in” for conservative politicians. Fuke that schit.

    A belief system that may fill the “gotta believe” option is new-agey “I’m not religious, I’m SPIRITUAL” shtuff. Not without it’s flaws and flakiness, (leading folks to buy into all kinds of pseudo-science) it nonetheless generally espouses tolerance, respect, and a “live and let live” credo. I’d take that over lip-service, flock-together xtianity.

    Still, much respect to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s an amazing person; to have escaped meta-oppression, and rail against it in public. “Courageous” is an understatement.

  • avatar


    I don’t have any respect for Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her “cause.”

    1) My father was good friends with her father. She badmouths her father who, according to my father, was really a nice individual. He didn’t even have any hand in her upbringing because he was put in prison for opposing Siad Barre. My father is also an atheist and yet he steadfastly maintains that her father was a very nice guy.

    2) She is simply anti-Islam. She doesn’t have any problem with other religions. That’s why Conservatives champion her. I mean, look at this BS about advocating “alternatives.”

  • avatar


    @ Zeke – I do not know Ali’s father. It’s possible to be a nice person and still do bad, wrong, or hurtful things. The person Ali knows as a father is probably a different man than the person your father knows.

    I see this happen a lot in families. I have extended family members who did terrible things to other family members, but I have only ever known them to be nice.

  • avatar


    Conservatives champion her? Since when? She clearly identifies herself as an atheist, so that would surprise me.

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    She is a resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute which is a Conservative think tank.

  • avatar


    I think what she says has some merit. We can’t ever delude ourselves that we can snap our fingers and convince all muslims in heavily muslim countries that it’s all BS and to embrace rationality and scepticism. It’s not gonna happen.

    But in any case, I think the ultimate solution is simply improving education and access to education.

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