Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Power and Control Wheel and Religion

I'm an Outpatient Psychotherapist and I've been working in the field of mental health for about twenty years.  In college, I volunteered and worked at a domestic violence shelter for around two to three years.  I learned a lot working at the shelter with women and their children.  One of the things the staff there showed me was something called The Power and Control Wheel.

The Power and Control Wheel was developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, Minnesota and is used to educate people about common behaviors and tactics abusers use to maintain power and control over those they abuse.  Based on my own personal experience of working with people in different settings in this field, I would say this model does a good job of describing what abusers do.  The model is based on the premise that the abuser is a man and the abused is a woman, which is most often the case, but not always.  Here is an image of The Power and Control Wheel:

I have used this model in therapy with women who were in abusive relationships and most found it very helpful to see a description of their experiences laid out visually in front of them.

It was some time after I had come to rest comfortably in my Atheism, that I saw this model in a new light.  It seemed to occur in a moment of insight that this model not only described how abusers maintain power and control over their partner, but how certain religions maintain control over their followers.  While what I'm about to discuss applies to many, if not all religions, I'll mainly use the example of Christianity for the purposes of this article.  This is because it is the religion most of my readers will be familiar with.  Clearly, the same analogies could be made to Islam, Judaism and others.  This article will address each part of the eight pieces of this pie graph to demonstrate the similarities:

1.  Using COERCION and THREATS - making and/or threatening to do something to hurt her, threatening to leave her, threatening to commit suicide, threatening to report her to welfare, making her drop charges, and making her do illegal things.

This is applicable to Christianity in many ways.  First, there is the threat that if you do not do what god tells you to do, then you will be sent to hell to be horrifically tortured forever.  Actually, I cannot imagine a greater threat that a human abuser could give to someone they abuse, though perhaps the fact that an abuser could follow through with their threats immediately makes their threats more imminent and therefore are perceived as immediately serious.  This threat by Christianity creates great fear in many or perhaps most believers and I think is one of the main reasons why people are afraid to think certain thoughts or even question their beliefs.  The seriousness of this threat clearly trumps all human threats listed in this piece of the graph, which says something about the abuser.

2.  Using INTIMIDATION - making her afraid by using looks, actions, and gestures; smashing things; destroying her property; abusing pets; and displaying weapons.

Of course, the Bible is rife with examples of god threatening and intimidating not only individual people, but entire civilizations who did not do what it told them to do, so I'll start by looking at how the Christian god was intimidating itself.  The Bible is replete with verses about how important it is to "fear" god.  Now I know that many Christians make excuses for that word, saying "fear" really means "respect", but if that were true, then why not use the word "respect"?  Clearly, it is through threats and intimidation that believers come to fear god and for good reason.  The god of the Bible, in most instances, follows through on it's threats and intimidating words and actions, such as drowning the entire world except for one family and two of every creature (which, of course, would have led to worldwide incest of EVERY living creature).  Now that's incest and destruction of property on a truly epic scale.

Since the Christian god is allegedly all powerful, it needs no weapons to be intimidating.  Of course, what could be a more intimidating display of power than turning a staff into a snake or some other magical act?  A god which is all knowing is also intimidating because of the power differential.  As for abusing animals, I do not recall god abusing pets in an effort to be intimidating, but the god in the Bible was certainly a big fan of animal sacrifices, or of having animals killed to glorify it.

Historically, there are many large scale instances of Christians being intimidating to people who didn't do what they wanted, such as the Inquisition and the Crusades.  The intimidation took the form of "follow us" or "believe what we believe or else".  Today, intimidation by Christians in America does happen to different groups, such as homosexuals and Atheists, while not as widespread or violent as in the past.  Yet, a poll by Newsweek magazine in March 2007 showed that 62% of Americans would refuse to vote for any Presidential candidate who was an Atheist.  This would make any candidate who was an Atheist feel intimidated about being honest.

3.  Using EMOTIONAL ABUSE - putting her down, maing her feel bad about herself, calling her names, making her think she's crazy, playing mind games, humiliating her, and making her feel guilty.

There are so many examples of emotional abuse from Christianity that a list of examples could be a book in and of itself.  The whole concept of being a "sinner" unworthy of god's love is emotionally abusive and tears down a person's self esteem and self concept.  Many Christians consider the song, "Amazing Grace" to be a beautiful song, but the lyrics, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me" are perfect examples of emotional abuse, especially because followers are made to recite such statements over and over again in services.  This is how brainwashing works.  Tell someone something about themselves and have them verbally repeat it over and over again and in time, the person comes to believe it.  The whole premise of Christianity is that humans are unworthy sinners who need to repeatedly ask god for forgiveness.  We have all heard of the installation of "Catholic guilt" into children, but other denominations do the same thing.  Often believers are made to feel guilty about their thoughts and feelings which come involuntarily, such as being told that sexual thoughts towards other are sinful.  Thoughts do not necessarily lead to action when we employ our willpower.  This guilt-inducing, pathologizing of normal thoughts is abusive.

4.  Using ISOLATION - controlling what she does, who she sees, what she reads, where she goes, limiting her outside involvement, and using jealousy to justify actions.

I see this piece as a core part of what veritably all religions and denominations do to encourage people to maintain theistic beliefs.  There are veritably countless examples of this.  One is the stigma and discrimination which is widely taught by religious institutions that people should have towards Atheism and Atheists.  Again, the March 2007 poll written about previously is an excellent example of this.  But this is not only relevant on the national stage, but in local politics, such as the election of school board members, who would be open and honest about their Atheism. 

Another way to isolate believers is creating and maintaining the cultural belief that it is rude and insensitive to speak against or question religion and religious beliefs.  This is an attempt control and stop any conversation and valid questioning from even starting.  The more that people, especially Atheists, agree to live by this manipulative censorship, the more isolation occurs.

Religions attempt to control what people read.  This was true in the recent past with book burnings or attempts to ban books.  More recent examples are Catholic leaders telling people not to read the book The Da Vinci Code, Muslims calling for the death of Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses, and the fundamentalist Christian response to Harry Potter.  Limiting what people read limits knowledge and thought.  The less the abused learn and think, the more power the abuser has.

I see very few religious leaders encouraging an honest and open search for truth among their followers.  No more evidence of this is needed than in going to a Christian church and looking in its library.  There you will not find books by Susan Jacoby, Sam Harris, or Richard Dawkins, which discuss many important religious topics. 

5.  MINIMIZING, DENYING and BLAMING - making light of the abuse and not taking her concerns about it seriously, saying the abuse didn't happen, shifting responsibility for abusive behavior, saying she caused it.

This is another piece of the wheel where religion and domestic abuse match almost identically.  Here, religion minimizes the extremely abusive actions of the Christian god and places the blame on people.  In Christianity, believers are taught god is perfect and moral in everyway and yet religious leaders minimize the barbarism commited by god in the Bible, such as killing every living thing on the planet in a flood, sending people to be horrifically tortured FOREVER in hell for finite rule violations, animal sacrifices, human sacrifice, sending groups of people to commit genocide, condoning slavery, giving parents permission to kill their children for misbehavior, telling people to kill homosexuals, etc.  All these things and much more are not only minimized, but are called righteous acts.  Abusers do this as well.  They tell the people they abuse that the person deserves it.  "You made me do it" is the abusive and childish response.  In psychology, this is called "crazy making", meaning that the abused accepts that they deserve the abuse, as they are trash, unworthy, or in Christianity, "sinful".  Let me make this clear: NO ONE DESERVES TO BE ABUSED EVER, BY EITHER ANOTHER PERSON OR A GOD.  But religious leaders will tell their followers that the people deserve it.  That is a load of crap.  We don't teach kids that inflicting harm on others is okay.  We tell them that there are alternatives to hitting or harming others.  There are alternatives to violence.  In the same way, god had and has alternatives to violence as well.  The blame for the violence and abuse should be on the abuser.

6.  Using CHILDREN - making her feel guilty about the children, using the children to relay messages.

There are many ways religion can use children to manipulate followers.  One is by convincing parents that only religion and church can effectively teach children morality and that people have to take their children to church if they are to grow up as responsible and good adults.  Adults who do not take their children to church can be made to feel guilty or that they are doing something wrong.  This teaching stems from the myth that Atheists cannot be moral people.  Atheists can be and are just as moral as religious people can be and are.

Children are also used by starting religious indocrination at an early age, especially before the ability to think critically is developed.  The religious ritual of baptism encourages parents to get their children in the doors in their infancy.  Children are helpless at this age and cannot accurately assess and think about what they are learning.  This combined with the other pieces of The Power and Control Wheel make it extremely difficult for people as they grow to step back, think clearly, and see what they are in and what they have been taught.

Abusers also use children to relay messages for threatening purposes and to create confusion.  The Christian god does no different.  Effective communication takes place best when the messages are direct and clear.  Using a book ridden with contradictions and ambiguities is not a good way to communicate messages of the highest importance.  Clearly, with thousands of Christian denominations, confusion exists.  Any moral and reasonable god would make direct efforts to clarify the understandable confusion.  The fact that the god does not directly and unambiguously clarify things is evidence against the existence of such a god.

Abuse disempowers people.  I wish parents would instead be empowered to believe that they can be effective and sufficient teachers of morality themselves, so they can raise their children with strong ethics and values, without the abusive teachings of religion.  This can and does happen.  Regardless of his political and religious beliefs, most people think our current President is a good, kind, caring, and compassionate person.  He makes time for his family despite the demands of his job.  He is a good father and a good husband.  He has only been married once.  His mother was a nontheist.  Atheists can be and are good parents.

7. Using MALE PRIVILEGE - treating her like a servant, making all the big decisions, acting like the master of the castle, being the one to define men's and women's roles.

These things are exactly the way followers are taught to think of themselves and the Christian god.  The Bible is filled with people asking how they may follow or be a servant to god.  This mindset prevents people from thinking themselves and empowering themselves.  It also prevents, or at best delays, the healthy evolution of morality, leading people to hold on to ancient immoral codes, such as slavery and persecution of homosexuals.

With a god who makes all the rules and calls all the shots, there is no cooperation with the Christian god whatsoever.  I can think of no better example of this than the valid and understandable human request for the god to clearly and unambiguously demonstrate its existence and to clarify it's expectations, the latter of which is an essential part of any good and healthy relationship.  To not do so is stubborn, selfish, and mentally abusive.  It is immoral not to help someone who genuinely asks for help, when the help you can offer takes little to no effort and would make an enormous positive difference for the person.

Also related to this piece is the fact that the church has also taught people that men are superior to women, which is immoral and harmful.  These religious teachings have actually been used to condone the subservience and abuse of women.  Women have been devalued in the past by keeping them limited to the home, which has stunted our growth as a species, as we have only recently been able to benefit from the skills, abilities, talents, and potential of women in professional settings.

Even to this very day, women struggle to overcome their devaluation by religion, such as rules asserting that only men could serve as priests in a church.  However this is changing, but not because of god.  It is changing because humans are changing it.  Human morality evolves and changes for the better over time, leading to increases in freedom and human rights.  To continue our moral evolution, we need to discard the immoral and abusive teachings of the past, just as we did with slavery, which the Christian god condones in the Bible.

8.  ECONOMIC ABUSE - preventing her from getting or keeping a job, making her ask for money, giving her an allowence, taking her money, not letting her know or have access to family income.

Perhaps the most blatant form of economic abuse in Christianity is leaders using guilt to pressure followers to give money to the church or the leaders themselves.  We can look to the past for good examples, such as papal indulgences, but there are many contemporary examples as well.  In Christianity, the Catholic church and popular evangelical leaders have incredibly vast financial assets, which they spent on lavish churches and ceremonial trinkets, instead of caring for people.  I wonder what scientific advances in medicine would be achieved if instead of giving money to churches, people gave their money to medical research.  I have no doubt that we humans could much sooner make the blind see and the deaf hear on a worldwide scale.

In closing, it is important to know that abuse thrives in silence and isolation.  This is why I am so proud of so many people like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Susan Jacoby, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Dan Barker, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens, for their courage to stand up and point out that not only does the Emperor have no clothes, but that the emperor is abusive.  Domestic violence used to be something that people didn't talk about and with silence came passive acceptance.  Time, in concert with the positive evolution of morality by humans, have changed that and those abused domestically have so many resources and can get so much more validation than they used to.  Now it is time for Atheists to stand up and speak out against the injustices and abusiveness of religious teachings, as it is only though doing so that the abuse will end.  We can leave the abuser and continue to evolve our morality for the better without having to hold on to ancient superstitious beliefs and values which we know are no longer valid or moral.

Here is a link to the organization which created The Power and Control Wheel for domestic abuse:

Also, here is the number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which receives calls 24 hours a day from all 50 states:  1 800 799 SAFE (7233).  If by reading this article, you come to think that the relationship you are in or have been in previously has aspects of abuse described in The Power and Control Wheel, please call the number for help.


  1. Is this abuse really by the Christian god or is it by abusive humans that will use any means including religion to dominate others?

    Also, why always with the Christian criticism? Is this an atheist blog or an anti-Christian blog? The tangible abuse in religion is coming from Islam. Entire nations have an official policy of oppressing women and killing others based in this religion. I guess we shouldn't talk about that because it isn't the current fashion and we wouldn't want to stereotype anyone.

    I am sure you'll come back with the tired old examples of the Crusades or the Inquisition - things that happened hundreds of years ago. The fact is that everyday in the modern world a Muslim is killing someone in the name of religion and oppressing and abusing others. To say that Christianity as a whole endorses these behaviors is wrong and to sight individual examples of a few nutty people out there does not begin to compare with the national endorsement of oppression that many nations in this world currently engage in.

    Who provides healthcare to a large part of the undeveloped world? Faith based NGO's. Who has been faithfully working and financially contributing to eradicating poverty and bringing education to the undeveloped world? Faith based NGO's via the monetary support of Christians.

    The fact is Christians are doing much more good than harm in this world. I fail to see the abuse of that, but I suppose your hatred for Christianity won't allow you to see that simple truth.

    At what point in time can we apply the Power and Control Wheel to the other abusive persons such as the progressive movement of this country? Or can we only apply it to barbaric Christians?


    First and foremost, I want to thank you for all of your responses. As I say in the blog, I enjoy having people point out errors and inaccuracies in my belief system and articles, because doing so forces me to reflect on what I say, write, think and believe. This leads to changes in what I think towards the ultimate goal of getting as close as possible to what is most likely to be true and accurate. It also gives me practice at explaining myself in clear ways to others, which is always a positive thing.

    As someone once said, “Part of intellectual honesty is admitting when you’re wrong”. From reading this thoughtful response of yours and rereading my blog, I think I haven’t adequately emphasized how and why the blog focuses mainly on Christianity, when the same criticisms apply to most if not all other religions. Thank you for pointing this out. I will make changes to the blog to reflect your astute point.

    Of course, getting comments about how people like my blog and articles is nice. All people like to be validated. However, such comments do not force me to think and respond to different points of view, which are the comments I personally get more out of. I wish I had more comments from others who would offer constructive criticism to the writings, as you do.

    Now I’ll turn to your comments and questions. The answer to your first question is “both”. As you can see, most of this article is focused on the actions of the Christian god found in the Bible itself. I also show how some Christian leaders act in similar ways to what is described in The Power and Control Wheel. Of course this does not mean all Christians are abusive. Some are, some are not, and some are somewhere in between. My criticism is of some of the teachings and beliefs of Christianity, which are abusive and which promote superstition, the supernatural and pseudoscience. Further, you should know that while I criticize some Christian leaders, I truly like and have a great deal in common with the vast majority of ministers, priests, and reverends. I find we both care about other people greatly, are interested in abstract concepts, and are interested in improving the lives of others.


    You ask an excellent question when you ask why these articles are focused more on Christianity rather than other religions and it deserves a clear answer. Probably the main reason is that I live in a country where Christianity is the primary religion. Most of the readers to my blog are from America and therefore I am writing using an example which my readers will be able to easily relate to. Note that at the beginning of this article, I point out that the analogy I draw could be applied to other religions. You are correct that another religion which would apply just as well would be Islam. I am equally as opposed to the superstitions and supernatural claims of all religions, just as I am equally in agreement with the good morality taught by the vast majority of religions.

    I agree with you that there are theocratic nations based on Islam which are terribly oppressive to their populations and practice the very same abuses I discuss in this article. I’m sure you’d agree that there have been theocratic nations based on Christianity which have done the same. The Taliban is just the modern day equivalent of the Christians during the Crusades and the Inquisition. Further, this blog is obvious proof that I don’t agree with not talking about things based on current fashion.

    I am a bit surprised that you would call the Crusades and the Inquisition “tired old examples”. This seems to be the kind of minimization my article discusses. The Crusades resulted in the deaths of over a million people. The Inquisition is not “old”. It lasted for 700 years and continued until the early 20th century. Both of these events were not a misreading of the Bible. They were actual applications of the Bible taken literally, such as “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”. The most important point to make here is that the reason why Christians don’t act in these ways anymore is because of the evolution of morality over time by humans and not by a god intervening to clarify its expectations.

    You are absolutely correct that faith based NGO’s provide much good to the world. To me, this is because historically, secular people have allowed morality to be monopolized by religious people. My hope is that with more secular people and Atheists coming out of the closet, we can more effectively encourage and influence people’s views of morality to continue to positively evolve without being tied down to the traditional and harmful morality of the past.

    I believe people do not do good works because of religion alone, but people do good works because most people are inherently good and want to help and be cooperative with others. It’s not the good things that Christians do which concerns me. To me, the same Christians would do the same good works if they weren’t Christians. It is the beliefs Christians do hold which are harmful and which I discussed in the article that concerns me.

    “Hatred” is quite a strong word. You have made a false assumption when you say that I “hate” Christianity. I suggest you read my article where I discuss Psychotherapy for more information about assumption making. I would say that I am greatly concerned about the harm which the supernatural beliefs of all religions have caused and not Christianity alone.
    To answer your next question, people can begin making other analogies using The Power and Control Wheel at any point they wish. It certainly could apply to many other things, though it can’t be applied to Atheism. Atheism has no dogma or creed. Atheism is nothing more than the belief that no gods exist.

    Again, thank you for your thoughtful comments.


    Interesting Bret, you can't actually tackle any of the criticisms head-on, you only whinge that Muslims are worse. The oft cry of Christian hatred in the face of valid critique shows up the persecution complex you would-be martyrs carry around too.
    Undoubtedly some (or possibly even most) Christians are capable of doing good deeds in the world, and by the same token they are just as capable of committing evil and violence. That really isn't TSA's point; he's addressing the psycholigical issues that arise from dogmatic religious adherence. You can clearly see the criticisms against Islam in the wheel, why is it that you cannot accept it against your own? (Don't answer, see persecution complex and martyr wish above)
    Obviously different sects and cults of Christianity practice these points to varying degrees, and you could argue correctly that Scientology for example, takes some of these to even more far extremes than most mainstream Christian churches do, however, not THAT much further. The groundwork for all 8 sections are laid out clearly in the bible and its teachings. If you bothered to read TSA's mission you would understand he holds a crtique mainly against Christianity because that was where he was raised and is the most force fed religious viewpoint in our country.
    I would actually love to see a comparative religious approach to some of the criticisms because it would show the bald faced hypocracy held about "values" that Christians seem to think they hold a monopoly on. It's hilarious to hear you accuse the religion of Islam of all the evils in the world on the one hand and then turn around and complain that its the sinners of the world, not Christianity, that make it so bad. (I'm pretty sure you can find your contradiction in one of the 8 slices)
    Yet another great analysis TSA. Keep up the good lord's... oops, I mean the good work! ;)


    I am going to create a couple rules for myself regarding this blog. One, I will not get in the middle of responses which different commentors direct towards each other. Two, I will never edit any comments sent to me.

    I wish to clarify something Jeremy wrote which I know he did not intend, but could be misinterpreted.

    I was raised by my father who is a minister and my mother who is a Christian Education Director. I have had theists assume the reason I am an Atheist is because of some falling out I had with my parents and my Atheism is a response to some anger I have towards them. This could not be further from the truth and such an assumption is very arrogant. Of course, I have had some falling outs with my parents. What child hasn't? My parents are I are very close though and we have worked through problems we've had. I feel lucky to have had the parents I did. We are loving and accepting of each other and our differing beliefs do not take away from that. I just didn't want the statement, "because of where he was raised" to be taken the wrong way. I think I have done a good job explaining why I believe what I believe in these articles.

    The reason I focus my articles on Christianity is that it is the religion which I and most of my readers are most familiar with.

    Thank you for the words of encouragement Jeremy. They mean a lot to me, as does your friendship.


    Cool! I'm reading your blog. Psychology in general and of religion is the kind of thing that interests me. Philosophical and scientific approaches of criticisms are all nice but religious narratives are far more ofthen about emotional than rational. More psychoterapists/ psyhcologist should get vocal about such things.

  7. Mirenna:

    The psychology of religion has interested me for a long time as well. I wish more people in the field of psychology would get vocal. The honest truth however is that the field is ridden with pseudoscience. I think we first need to clean our own house before we start looking at others.

  8. this would make a great youtube video.


    Thanks so much for taking the time to write this up. I love it.


    Here is an additional interesting quote: "It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that)." - Richard Dawkins. One cannot be a Christian and beleive in evolution; therefore, education will never help some Christian fundamentalists to overcome their ignorance or stupidity. Should we then conclude they are insane or wicked? I do not beleive in evolution and never will. What should be done about that? I have heard the supporting evidence and understand it, yet I reject evolution for very simple reasons - namely because if it is true, then god is false. (You see I do understand logic very well and I don't try to have it both ways like so many others.) I will also do my best to make sure my children share the same basic beliefs I have, so yes I am going to actively try to ensure my children beleive in god and reject evolution and try to get them to share my morals and reject behaviors I don't agree with. What rights and privileges should be granted to incurably ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked people? How can we break the cycle of ignorance and stop parents from passing on these insane, igonorant, stupid or wicked beleifs? I have a hard time believing that at some point atheists would not like to use the Wheel of Power and Control to impose their will on Christians due to comments such as those by Richard Dawkins. Here we see ridicule and marginalization of Christians by an atheist. What other abuses await us when atheists finally are able to change the institutions that perpetuate the myths of religion? So if morality evolves, who decides what is right and what is wrong? It seems to me that atheists and progressives share a common moral philosophy known as Utilitarianism - the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. It sounds good and well but has essentially been debunked yet still reigns in modern progressive America who clings to a failed idea. I am a subscriber to the philosophy of Natural Law, which does not allow for changing moral laws, only the discoveries we may not have been aware of but have always existed. You can post this if you want, but it does not really pertain to abuse.

    By the way. Abuse? What about abuses by therapists? Should we discount therapy altogether because there are a few therapists that have abused their patients?

    I’ll start by saying that I absolutely disagree with pieces of that quote by Richard Dawkins and find it very unfortunate that he chose to use some of the words he did. I wish he would have left out everything after “ignorant”. I would agree with him when he says that people who claim to not believe in evolution are lacking in education about evolutionary theory. Either that or they are simply not being intellectually honest.

    Remember, the word ignorant means lacking knowledge. It has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence. Every person on earth is ignorant about a huge number of things. The human race has amassed so much understanding about reality that one person cannot possibly be knowledgeable about all disparate fields of knowledge.

    I must admit that I am confused when you say that you “do not believe in evolution”. Perhaps what we have is a problem of semantics, so allow me to clarify. Evolution is the change in inherited genes which occurs in all living things over time. In layman’s terms, each offspring of two parents receives some combination of “shuffled” genes from their parents. It is a valid, reliable, and demonstrable fact that this occurs. As this shuffling of genes continues over time, it results in changes in species.

    I am also confused when you say that “one cannot be a Christian and believe in evolution”. There are myriads of Christians who accept the fact of evolution and still call themselves Christians.

    I think the reason education will not change the mind of people who say they don’t believe in evolution has nothing to do with ignorance, stupidity, insanity, or wickedness. To me, this denial is just unreasonable (literally) and/or stubborn.

    You said you reject evolution because if it is true, then god is false. All I can say is that there are tons of Christians who would disagree with you. Again, evolution does happen. It is plainly demonstrable that it happens. Mountains of evidence back up the theory and it is an incredibly sound theory because of its reliable, predictive power. Just one example of a useful tool based on the theory of evolution would be paternity tests. Paternity tests are almost perfectly valid and reliable.

    To me, there really is no difference between the creationist/evolutionary argument and the past argument between those who believed the earth was flat and those that believed the earth was round, or the past arguments between geocentrism and heliocentrism. There is as much evidence for the theory of evolution as there is for the theory of heliocentrism. The evidence of both is demonstrably verifiable.


    Regarding the anxiety you expressed again regarding Atheists taking away the rights of Christians, I’ve never heard any Atheist advocate for that and certainly I am not. I readily admit to be ignorant of and Atheist who would condone such a thing and, with no sarcasm intended whatsoever, I’d appreciate you presenting me with evidence of this to educate me if I am mistaken.

    Regarding the evolution of morality and who decides what is right and what is wrong, my answer is we humans do, just as we came to reject slavery, which the Christian god endorsed (see Exodus 21). It doesn’t matter to me if this law only applied to some people for a finite amount of time. I consider the ownership of one person by another person immoral in all situations. This chapter of the Bible also pertains to abuse, as Exodus 21: 20-21 says, “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave was his property.” So the Christian god says a slave owner can beat the living crap out of his human slave to the extent that the slave can’t get up for up to TWO DAYS and not receive any consequences for this because the person is their property. To me this is not moral. I could be wrong, but I think I’m safe to assume that you would also think this is not moral. I see you as a good and moral person.

    Lastly, to link therapy in the same way as I did to Christianity is problematic to say the least. Therapy isn’t based on rules by a god who condoned slavery, genocide, killing disobedient children, sacrificing an innocent person, sacrificing animals, setting humans up for failure, the threat of eternal torture for finite crimes, etc. Surely, if it were, I would not be a therapist. I am ignorant of any founder of any therapeutic model or a therapeutic model itself whose basis is grounded is any piece of The Power and Control Wheel. To the contrary, it is therapy itself which attempts to free people from others who use the pieces of The Power and Control Wheel against them. Doing this kind of work with someone is one of my favorite things to do in my job.