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CFINO Presents: "The Wrong Enemy- Religion as a Red Herring"

Join us for Center for Inquiry Northeast Ohio's April Cleveland chapter meeting, featuring a program by longtime CFINO member John Fazio.

Do rationalists and freethinkers spend far too much time and energy attacking religion, and not nearly enough time and energy tackling issues of social and economic justice? Does our preoccupation with the ills of religion make us less effective as a force for change? John Fazio will explore these questions in his presentation, titled The Wrong Enemy: Religion as a Red Herring.

From John's program desciption:

"Religion should be opposed, and forcefully, only when it interferes or attempts to interfere with our civil and/or political rights. Otherwise, benign neglect is by far the better policy.

All the evil in the history of our species, which appears to have been committed in the name of religion, has in fact been committed for reasons other than put it another way, religion is almost always the accessory to atrocity rather than the driving force of atrocity."













John C. Fazio has a B.A. and J.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He now lives in Akron with his wife, Mary, who is retired after a career in public relations. Between them, they have seven children, all of whom have left the nest.

John joined Mary in retirement recently after practicing law for 47 years. He is a student of history, with an emphasis on American and European history and with an even greater emphasis on the most defining event in American history, the Civil War. He is a member of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable and has been its President. He frequently speaks on the war and other subjects before Roundtables and other groups and has written and published numerous articles on the war and other subjects. He is also a member of the Center for Inquiry (CFI). At present he is writing a book on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, which, he advises, is close to completion.

Light refreshments will be served... see you there! :)

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  • Mark F.

    Religion is prison. I’m sure there were dudes named Jesus Christ a couple millennia ago roaming around Judea but they weren't waking up dead people or walking on water. Not a one fed thousands with a couple dead carp and some moldy rye bread. Maybe they ate some moldy rye bread and thought they were god but not a one was the son of a supreme being. There's nothing sophomoric about exposing insanity. Debating the bad book reveals liars. William Lane Craig is a great used car salesman but he shuns discussion of the bad book because he knows the ugly insanity that lurks within. The Hubble telescope has given us a glimpse at both edges of our universe yet Christians teach children Jonah lived in the belly of a whale? We probably exist within a multiverse and to teach children bronze age mythology is a road map for today represents child abuse. That mental manipulation is almost as cruel as the sexual exploitation of innocents. All exploitation emanates from the bad book. God is dead.

    May 5, 2013

  • Claire S

    Some 'free' thinkers unwittingly impose a prison onto themselves by becoming preoccupied with bashing religion, Christianity and the Bible in particular. One can have regular Bible studies for the purpose of trying to win junior high school style tit-for-tat debates with religious people and to try to put them in their place. It's easy to fall into the trap of the secular humanist versus the Biblical fundamentalist paradigm, particularly in the U.S. where groups and issues easily become polarized and mired in a morass of senseless, useless squabbling and name-calling. After decades of engaging in such behavior and finally realizing that it didn't change anything, it dawns on truly free thinkers that they wasted decades of their life engaging in such behavior when they could have set their minds free and engaged in more productive things in life.

    May 3, 2013

  • Sam S.

    I didn't think the niceties about religion helped the main part of the speech which was excellent. Religion has absolutely added to a lot of the problems that were discussed. And it certainly has not helped a lot in the areas of starving children and human trafficking and war. Something seriously needs to be done about these issues. I don't think pandering to the religious is the answer.

    1 · April 12, 2013

  • Suzy W.

    Thank you, John. I thought you were a very good speaker and your talk opened up a lot of good discussion! This has never been an easy subject and people need to venture into public forums with this topic. Until we lose our fear about doing this, advancement in the areas addressed will remain stifled. IMO, internet discussions do nothing, but offer an atmosphere where disrespectful conversations can arise. However, in the public forum, respectful adult behavior can add to progress, if all sides have that as their goal.

    April 12, 2013

  • Mark F.

    You cannot cure a disease by addressing the symptoms. Bronze age mythology is a dead end road map for this ongoing modern world. The moment a child accepts the belief there is a god and demons which influence or control their thoughts and actions, that child has learned to doubt their self. That's the cornerstone for alienation and people disconnected from their self are easily manipulated. The old testament is nothing more than an owners manual for early empire and the new testament is the title transfer to the gentiles. War, murder, rape and robbery are just symptoms of that disease. I'm willing to work with religious people as long as they are willing to admit they are confused. The Hubble telescope has given us a glimpse at both edges of our universe and religious hucksters are still teaching children that Jonah lived in the belly of a whale? Cure the disease and the symptoms will go away. We should shovel as fast as we can to cover that stinking cadaver called god.

    April 11, 2013

  • Dale

    Unfortunayely, the speaker at CMNH is at the same time. I wish I could hear this one at another time.

    April 11, 2013

  • Ram


    April 11, 2013

  • Debbi

    I will bring treats and a lot of curiosity.

    April 10, 2013

  • Nathan L.

    I will try to make it to this, but I can't guarantee it.

    This is bound to be a very interesting discussion. My first thought, reading the description, is that religion is the accessory to atrocities in the same way that soil is the accessory to plants. Take away the "soil" of the Appeal to Authority - the dogma - the faith- and I would think the bad guys wouldn't have a leg to stand on. I'll make it if possible. I tend to think the opposite way about this - that the "root of all evil" is dishonesty (intellectual and otherwise), and religion gives aid and comfort to this type of dishonesty and therefore enables all the things built on top of it.

    Sounds fun.

    April 9, 2013

  • Nathan L.

    Tentative. I will try.

    April 9, 2013

  • Maude

    Oh WOW! This is exactly my thinking. I am sorry to have to miss this!!!! Really, really sorry. But I signed on for a HandsOn volunteer opp a month ago that's on Thursday. Oooooh, someone tape it for me. Ugh, if only this had been announced earlier!!!!!!!!

    April 9, 2013

    • Maude

      Seriously, I am in pain because I will miss this.

      April 9, 2013

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