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God for the retarded

I RECENTLY discovered Ben C O Grimm’s Atheism News Magazine – and have been regularly checking into it to see what’s going on in the mad, bad world of religion.

The reports on Grimm’s site are, by and large, pretty grim, the most horrifying today being the Christmas day attacks by mad Muslims in Nigeria – but I couldn’t help chuckling over a book cover reproduced there.

Entitled Helping the retarded to know God: A guide for Christian teachers of the mentally handicapped by Hans R Hahn and Werner H Raasch, it set me wondering whether this abomination is still available.

It is. Just. Amazon has two copies for $8.85 and $11.00, respectively.

But is doubtful either will sell, as the only review on Amazon isn’t exactly encouraging.

El Reviewor wrote:

 Cognitive disability is one of the effects of religion. If you want your child to become mentally retarded, by all means indoctrinate them into a religion.

People who already have a legitimate disability do not need this book; it would be like a double whammy of tragedy, compounding one mental drain with another.

The very concept of this book is criminal and perversely depraved.

21 Responses to “God for the retarded”

  1. stargraves says:

    LOL! Thanks for a st steven’s day chuckle. (at the book – not the bombings of course!)

  2. Hitchens'apprentice says:

    My thoughts, exactly! In fact I have posed the question to friends….”Does Religion make you stupid?” I have an ex-friend who is a confirmed ‘Jehovah’s Nitwit’ who insists that the Planet Earth is only 4,000 years old. She’s in her 50′s now, but found Jehohvah when she was 18, and her mental capacity has devolved for more than 30 years, until now, I consider her a complete ‘Retard’.

  3. barriejohn says:

    I don’t actually find this funny myself. I knew several Christians who had “retarded” children, and who still considered it their duty to brainwash them with their fundamentalist beliefs, even though the children couldn’t possibly have known what it was that they were assenting to or have made an informed choice themselves. They are still “sinners” though, and in need of “God’s salvation” – absolute bollocks! And regarding brainwashing, have others read this TES article, highlighted on the NSS site recently?

    http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6158763

    This country is going in the wrong direction!

  4. Angela_K says:

    There is something wrong with this book – apart from the obvious – there are bits of the babble that exclude the physically and mentally imperfect from church so the purpose of this book is? And another thing – according to the xtians – have not the retarded been smitten by their god?

  5. barriejohn says:

    Angela: That’s the Old Testament! Christians don’t believe any of that nonsense – unless they want to use it to bash the “militant gay lobby”!!

    (PS How many of the current crop of priests had their genitals examined prior to ordination, I wonder?)

  6. barriejohn says:

    Fear not. Even when children are incapable of “deciding for Christ”, all is not lost:

    http://christiananswers.net/q-dml/dml-y014.html

  7. john c says:

    The judgement that someone is “retarded” should be reserved for those who chose religion without a prior mental disability.As a parent with a son with severe autism, i find the word as applied to genuine mental disability highly offensive.
    The picture of a mentaly disabled child is another annoying stereotype,the starry eyed staring into space is more fitting the congregation members.I almost feel like buying both copies so i can burn them,but i refuse to put money into the hands of peddlars of such hatefull material.

  8. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    I think I’m with john c here. The really retarded are those who actively choose to be religious (I don’t like using the term retarded, even when I’m insulting religiots) for no reason other than they refuse to face the truth.

  9. barriejohn says:

    Like imbecile, idiot, and moron, the word “retarded” is really a technical term, and was being used properly in the book title (1969). Unfortunately, due to usage, the term is generally seen as inappropriate now:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_retardation

    The terms used to describe this condition are subject to a process called the euphemism treadmill. This means that whatever term is chosen for this condition, it eventually becomes perceived as an insult. The terms mental retardation and mentally retarded were invented in the middle of the 20th century to replace the previous set of terms, which were deemed to have become offensive. By the end of the 20th century, these terms themselves have come to be widely seen as disparaging and politically incorrect and in need of replacement. The term intellectual disability or intellectually challenged is now preferred by most advocates in most English-speaking countries. Clinically, however, mental retardation is a subtype of intellectual disability, which is a broader concept and includes intellectual deficits that are too mild to properly qualify as mental retardation, too specific (as in specific learning disability), or acquired later in life, through acquired brain injuries or neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. Intellectual disabilities may appear at any age. Developmental disability is any disability that is due to problems with growth and development. This term encompasses many congenital medical conditions that have no mental or intellectual components, although it, too, is sometimes used as a euphemism for MR. Because of its specificity and lack of confusion with other conditions, mental retardation is still the term most widely used and recommended for use in professional medical settings, such as formal scientific research and health insurance paperwork.

  10. Daz says:

    Thanks Barriejohn. My sister and I were discussing the same phenomenon, but regarding ways of referring to skin-colour, just this afternoon. We decided there was probably a technical word for it that we didn’t know, and I uttered the immortal words ‘I’ll google it when I get home.’ You saved me a job!

  11. AngieRS says:

    You can apply deaf and dumb to that as well. Most Deaf folk speak, if at all, quite badly and this, even now is taken as a sign of stupidity. It’s actually because they can’t hear the words they’re speaking so can’t correct themselves. Those Deaf folk who can speak well have been taught Aurally, that is, as opposed to learning sign language, they have been shown how to speak, and have undergone intensive therapy to enable them. This applies to those born Deaf, not those who become Deaf later on in life.

  12. Brian Jordan says:

    Abebooks.co.uk has six copies – all from the USofA – at prices up to £30. Its American Lutheran publishing house Concordia also offers a Lutheran curriculum

    The Concordia Curriculum Guide series is a practical, easy-to-use, dynamic new resource that equips Christian educators to incorporate the faith into every lesson throughout the school day.

    so it’s not just the afflicted they’re after. No doubt the Church of England is looking at this curriculum already, in view of its plan to likewise infuse religion into each and every school subject.

  13. Pete H says:

    @ Hitchens Apprentice:

    Either religion makes you stupid, or…

    http://i.imgur.com/gz87p.jpg

    ;-)

  14. Mark Richards says:

    The title, lacking the presently clarifying illustration, might at first glance appear as a book that “preaches to the choir”, for it is simple to make a direct connection between reduced mental capacity and holding to a set of illogical “beliefs” which directly counter solid, clear, unarguable evidence to the contrary on all points.

    Given the torrent of nonsense religion embodies the question of handicap is quite legitimately to be raised and in this case, all one need do is hold up the book.

    It speaks well for itself in present-day culture as it did when first published.

    The idiocy continues on. The only modern part is an occasional rebuild of religion’s shroud of facade.

  15. Pete H says:

    @ barriejohn,

    I knew several Christians who had “retarded” children, and who still considered it their duty to brainwash them with their fundamentalist beliefs, even though the children couldn’t possibly have known what it was that they were assenting to or have made an informed choice themselves.

    I’m disabled, and I clearly remember seeing a girl at my school (she no older than 10, as I recall, and had Cerebral Palsy), with a sticker on her wheelchair that said “I KNOW GOD LOVES ME”.

    I found this most odd. Pathetic actually. Clearly it was the opinion of her parents. It probably wasn’t unusual for parents of disabled children to turn to relgion to explain/cope with having a disabled child back then. Hopefully it’s less common these days.

    Thankfully my folks were very matter of fact about it all and preferred basic honesty when dealing with my disability themselves, and helping me understand/cope with it, for which I am very grateful. :)

  16. Marky Mark says:

    Here’s a good read!
    “God Particle’ Refudiates the Religious Right”

    Link: http://newstrust.net/stories/8483976/toolbar?ref=rss
    Quote;
    What rational being proposes a humanoid first mover who “in the beginning” out of the void “created the heavens and the earth”? That’s just so Old Testament, signaling the true “void” was human knowledge, lacking the technology, mindsets, and hard-won evidence that conveys orderly creation. We don’t look to the Bible for medical cures, shape of the earth, structure of our solar system, genealogical precision, geographic accuracy nor historical veracity. Why then swallow its take on creation hook, line and sinker?

    The true retards are the religious morons, since they are incapable of understanding anything intelligent they make up their own stories of mystical beings and such, to give themselves importance…something they can make-up along the way, than proclaim themselves and expert. Like being an expert on “Little Red Riding Hood” by adding to the story.

  17. Angela_K says:

    “….since they are incapable of understanding anything intelligent…”
    There lies the problem. To understand the foundation sciences: physics, chemistry and biology requires an immense amount of effort and continuous study – and an open mind. Whereas the religious read a badly written book full of factual errors, say “job done” and look no further. Retard is not the word to describe them, intellectually lazy, ignorant and stupid is better.

  18. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    intellectually lazy, ignorant and stupid

    Works for me :-))

  19. [...] I’m sorry, but this made me laugh (via). [...]

  20. Buffy says:

    It makes me sick the way religious people prey on those with cognitive impairments. Such individuals have fewer defenses against religious bullshit.

  21. Jubjub says:

    I was going crazy trying to figure out why the girl on the cover of that book looked so familiar. I just realized that she has the exact same facial expressions as Michelle “my vagina is God’s little clown car” Duggar!

    http://cdn02.cdn.thesuperficial.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/08/michelle-duggar-pregnant-1108-00-600×450.jpg

    http://bossip.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/duggars.png