This completely supports what I’ve said all along…the faithful cannot be bothered with facts and even if they KNOW something would discredit their beliefs, they’ll still cling on to their superstition. It’s never about the truth when it comes to religious belief.
Monthly Archives: August 2011
Who or what really determines what is good? Mr. Deity has his opinion…
I’m beginning to think I need to start developing a formulaic response to some of the typical meandering bullshit that theists tend to write in defense of this or that boogaboo belief or assclown legislative effort. I’m a lazy ass, so I’ve lifted a scene from Billy Madison and altered it a bit to fit the occasion.
What you’ve just written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this thread is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may the Flying Spaghetti Monster bitch-slap you with his turgid appendage.
Fuck it. It’s not like they’re going to listen to reason anyway. May as well have some fun.
I was on another blog and read a few comments from a Christian apologist that just ate the lining out of my stomach. It’s the height of arrogance to claim that you and a select few have the one and true understanding of holy scripture or the intent of the almighty. My response to this kind of idiocy:
I find it fascinating that one must study and study and then study some more in order to understand what your deity really meant or if indeed the scribblings of some barbaric Bronze Age nomads were really inspired by said deity.
Let’s be real. What kind of well-intentioned god would put forth such a collection of literature that is so confusing as to cause well over a thousand years of agonizing disagreement and dissension amongst even the most intelligent and lettered of men? What kind of loving being would mind-fuck generations of humankind in such a manner? When one considers the numbers of innocents that have been barbarically murdered over the centuries over differing interpretations of this book, the seriousness of the situation cannot be lightly dismissed.
If your god was intent on even the most lowly and uneducated amongst us being able to find a path to their creator, this god would have ensured that it was a path that is clear to ALL of his creation and not open to countless interpretations or manipulation. If you believe otherwise, you are (by default), stating that your deity is, in fact in favor of a special and elevated group of individuals (such as yourself and your favorite authors)who can and should control others faith by virtue of their special understanding of this god and his “inspired” word. Certainly, a clear and unambiguous understanding of this being should not be the purview of a few intellectual elites.
A “holy” and “god inspired” book that requires countless other books and self-appointed experts to explain what should be a simple, concise and clear message is not the work of a beneficent and all-knowing/powerful deity. It is the work of an incompetent entity, an evil entity or of humans. My money’s on humans.
No, not THAT way, but he did make his first public appearance as an atheist at the Oklahoma Freethought Convention.
YouTube atheist TruthSurge hits another one out of the park with the clever “My Least Favorite Things”.
The video I’ve posted below one of the more hilarious YouTube videos to have sprung from the never-ending evolution vs. creation battle.
For those who don’t recognize who is being spoofed…look at the photo above, click on it and check out his channel. It’s Nephilimfree, a young earth creationist who is known for his outrageous lies, bizarre behavior, litigious posturing and overall asshattery.
Courtesy of TruthSurge
Robert Bork has been appointed by Mitt Romney to lead his campaign’s legal advisory team. To the uninitiated, Bork is one scary SOB. Read more about this interesting development HERE.
UPDATE: 08/04/2011 13:22 hours
Apparently some readers are under the impression that this post paints all Christians in a negative light;specifically that Christians are inclined to violence against those who disagree with them. This notion is absurd and I cannot determine what in this post would lead some people to this erroneous conclusion. As I noted to a reader in the comments section, all Germans did not hate Jews, not were they inclined to violence against Jews. Still, the Holocaust happened. It does not take a majority of Christians to plan and carry out organized or spontaneous crimes against humanity. As an aside, I have no doubt that if the worst does happen and I’m on the run or in a bad situation, the folks that will be helping me out or fighting by my side would more likely than not be devout Christians. When commenting, please keep this in mind.
Recently, American Atheists published some screenshots (reproduced below) from Fox News’ Facebook page:
None of the comments were particularly surprising to me. I’ve come to expect this type of behavior from those who dearly love their sweet baby Jesus. What is somewhat distressing is the fact that so many from our camp are not only surprised, but confused by the violent rhetoric of the right. If we are going to beat these folks, it’s important to have a better understanding of where they are coming from and why they speak and act the way they do.
Why they hate us
There are numerous reasons why atheists as a whole are detested by the average American and I’ve come up with a short list that is by no means all-inclusive. I invite my readers to add their own insights, observations and theories in the comments section.
Reactive Backlash – The radicalism of the 1960’s, fueled by genuine domestic dissatisfaction with the status quo was co-opted by the Soviet Union via front organizations even going as far back as the 1930’s in the United States. This is not to say that all left-wing student groups were pro-Soviet or even communist, but some definitely were. That the Soviets were actively involved in shaping American policy from within is an established fact. To what extent they were involved may be debatable but how effective they were is not. While the return on the Soviet’s investment was marginal, the damage done to the reputation of the American left was enormous and its impact is still felt to this day. Atheism has been linked inextricably with communism in the American mind and for the better part of the last century no ideology has been more detested or mistrusted by the American public than communism, our war-time alliance with the Soviets notwithstanding. It was always understood by both sides that it was a marriage of convenience. It should be remembered that direct American involvement in World War 2 spanned only 4 years; the Cold War with the Soviets lasted 45 years. It was in 1954 that the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance was altered in 1954 to include the now infamous “under God” verse as a reaction to Soviet communism. So… is the left truly to blame? Some might argue so, but I see it as just another way of blaming the victim.
Nationalism – Even those who are not particularly religious have tended to connect patriotism with a belief in God. This mindset has been continuously and nefariously reinforced through official government references to the Christian deity on our coinage and currency and by mention in our altered pledged of allegiance. By giving official recognition to this god, the U.S. Government has –in direct violation of the separation clause of the 1st Amendment- given Christianity its official seal and stamp of approval. Because of the strong official connection made by the U.S. Federal government between “God and Country” an atheist living in the U.S., would typically be labeled as “un-American” and even unworthy of being considered citizens.
And then, of course there’s Madalyn Murray O’Hair – For those old enough to remember, she was the #1 poster child for atheism and separation of church and state in the United States for many decades. Was she good for atheism? She may have won some court battles, but I’d say she lost the war for America’s hearts and minds. If one looks at her television appearances or read her son’s accounts of his mother, it quickly becomes clear that she was not the ideal spokesperson for the secular cause. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say she was a PR disaster. She was, after all, known as the most hated woman in America.
How are we seen as a threat and why?
Again, this is a short list and not all-inclusive. Readers are encouraged to add to this list in the comments section below.
Greed – Where there’s religion, there’s money to be made and blood isn’t too far behind– look at Iran’s mullahs and their support for theocracy. Look at the television preachers and the megachurches with their annual revenues of hundreds of millions of dollars. Like modern day drug lords or old time robber barons they aren’t going to go away without a fight as long as there’s lots of filthy lucre involved. In fact, they actively search out and attack anything or anyone that seems to have the slightest potential to lighten their wallets. Greed is a powerful motivator and anyone who threatens the coffers of one of “God’s” messengers is asking for extermination.
Support for Women’s reproductive rights and homosexuals – If the fundamentalist right is against something; chances are that we are for it and civil rights for women and gays are usually in the forefront of the struggle.
We ruin religious holidays – Every December we get to hear about the “War on Christmas”, a myth promulgated and kept alive by the likes of Fox pundits Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. Atheism is closely associated in the American mind with communism and commies hate Santa Claus – at least, according to Red Skelton in his much beloved Christmas skit, The Littlest Christmas Tree, a masterpiece of anti-communist propaganda. My wife had her own version of Santa growing up in the Soviet Union, he was called Father Frost and he came around on New Years, not December 25th. Of course, since we don’t belief in the whole resurrection thing, we ruin Easter as well.
And last but not least…
Fear of the outsider
As “the other” atheists are a wild card in the minds of many Americans. In fact, atheists were identified as America’s most distrusted minority according to a 2006 University of Minnesota study
MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (03/28/2006) —American’s increasing acceptance of religious diversity doesn’t extend to those who don’t believe in a god, according to a national survey by researchers in the University of Minnesota’s department of sociology.
From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.
Even though atheists are few in number, not formally organized and relatively hard to publicly identify, they are seen as a threat to the American way of life by a large portion of the American public. “Atheists, who account for about 3 percent of the U.S. population, offer a glaring exception to the rule of increasing social tolerance over the last 30 years,” says Penny Edgell, associate sociology professor and the study’s lead researcher.
Edgell also argues that today’s atheists play the role that Catholics, Jews and communists have played in the past—they offer a symbolic moral boundary to membership in American society. “It seems most Americans believe that diversity is fine, as long as every one shares a common ‘core’ of values that make them trustworthy—and in America, that ‘core’ has historically been religious,” says Edgell. Many of the study’s respondents associated atheism with an array of moral indiscretions ranging from criminal behavior to rampant materialism and cultural elitism.
Edgell believes a fear of moral decline and resulting social disorder is behind the findings. “Americans believe they share more than rules and procedures with their fellow citizens—they share an understanding of right and wrong,” she said. “Our findings seem to rest on a view of atheists as self-interested individuals who are not concerned with the common good.”
The researchers also found acceptance or rejection of atheists is related not only to personal religiosity, but also to one’s exposure to diversity, education and political orientation—with more educated, East and West Coast Americans more accepting of atheists than their Midwestern counterparts.
The changing face of Christianity
In the not-so-distant past I’ve made the argument that Christianity is different from Islam in that Christianity was softened by the influence of the Enlightenment, and that because of this influence it presents a lesser threat to overall world peace and stability. I’m revising that stance to state that this may only apply to countries other than the United States. This isn’t your grandfather’s Christianity any more. An increasingly scientifically ignorant and generally uneducated population is proving to be a ripe breeding ground for intolerance, hate and stupidity on a scale that this nation has never before seen.
Who to blame?
As numerous preachers have demonstrated, any disaster (manmade or natural) can and will be interpreted as supernatural retribution for sin. It’s already been done countless times and when it happens after a large scale SHTF event, it will no longer be just an annoyance or source of amusement to us, but a death knell. Instead of offering real solutions for redressing specific economic, political, or social grievances, Christian extremists scapegoat groups that are the outside normal political and economic hierarchies (homosexuals, socialists, atheists and liberals ) in order to stir up the anxieties, fears and anger of a gullible and uneducated population. If we go back to Europe during the Black Death it was the socially disenfranchised (Jews, the poor, foreigners) who were victimized by the powers that be. This hateful finger pointing is, in fact, a call to arms and always has been, but we’ve never had reason to take them seriously – until now.
Is the U.S. immune to extremist takeover?
As rationalists, many atheists disparage nationalism and respond to any assertion that the United States is the greatest country in the world with derision and rightfully so. However, with the majority of us, our actions (or inaction) cannot be reconciled with our declared beliefs. We criticize patriotism and nationalism, yet we behave as if the United States is somehow immune from the ills and evils that have befallen nearly every other nation state in recorded history. Whether it is simple naiveté or a belief that bad things can only happen in other countries, I don’t know. Whatever the reason, it is a dangerous and reckless state of mind to be in.
Christian extremists may be a minority, but they have a disproportionate (and growing) influence in government and the media. To get a small taste of how much trouble a handful of dedicated kooks can cause, one need only look at how in the summer of 2011 the Tea Party manufactured the debt ceiling crisis and held the most powerful nation in history hostage to its demands.
Some offer the argument that we don’t have to worry about them seizing power because the Constitution will stop them from acting up. That’s wishful thinking at best. As a group, the religious right has been hard at work over the last 3 decades rewriting history and drastically reinterpreting the U.S. Constitution to match their own twisted views of what this republic should look like. While they have experienced setbacks here and there, they certainly show no signs of giving up in their quest to turn this nation into a camp of mindless Jesus zombies. An ever-growing number of right-wing con artists such as Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann and David Barton are peddling an American past that never was and a future that should never be to a gullible and uneducated public and they do it virtually unopposed. They are stealing our national birthright with impunity – all while waving the flag and cramming a crucifix up our collective ass. They aren’t going to go away without a fight and they’ve all said as much, time and again.
What’s happened to hated minorities throughout history?
Well, what has happened to unpopular minorities in any society in which dogmatic and extremist ideologues exercise unrestrained power over the governed?
The Third Balkan War (1991-2001) and the Rwandan Genocide (1994) may give us an idea of what to expect should extremist elements seize power in the United States . The Rwandan genocide had its origins in tribal animosities, the Balkan War and the ensuing genocides were the result of extreme nationalism fueled by religious and ethnic hatred that had been brewing for hundreds of years. While all sides were guilty of atrocities, the overwhelming majority were committed by Christians.
As with the other Abrahamic religions, the Christians have had a horrific track record when it comes to human rights when they wield political power unopposed. One tragic example is the burning of thousands of European Jews in 1348-49 during the Black Death. Other examples are the Crusades, the Inquisition and the countless atrocities committed by Christian missionaries for centuries upon unwitting innocents around the world.
An idea in the mind of one
Despite what some of us have been told as children, it doesn’t always take two to tango. An idea in the mind of one is enough to put us in a state of war. For decades members of the Republican Party and now more recently its even uglier cousin the Tea Party, have been peddling hate and proposing violence towards those that do not conform to their idea of what makes a good American. Of course, violence is not an official party stance with either group, but their tendency to describe the conflict between left and right in bellicose terms is telling. There’s not a difference of opinion, there’s a “Culture War”. Protesters show up to Tea Party rallies with guns on their hips and signs with thinly-veiled threats scrawled on them. Even in the creation-evolution struggle, images of war are used as metaphors for the conflict. The abortion debate has also spawned a steadily growing rash of violence against reproductive rights advocates and caregivers.
While many anti-abortion organizations preach opposition to violence to achieve their goals, there are some who do so while simultaneously giving scriptural justification for it. It is a confusing message that is both disingenuous and dangerous. It’s perfectly clear from visiting many of these groups’ websites that it is the law of man and not the law of their Bible that restrains them from committing wholesale slaughter of innocents on behalf of microscopic zygotes. In a potential scenario in which there is a breakdown in the social fabric, I have little doubt as to which law these folks will gravitate to.
Also, the face of intolerance has changed complexion over the decades. Now when we see or hear hate being spewed, there is no guarantee that it is coming from a white mouth; there are a growing number of African Americans and Hispanics that are contributing to the seemingly never-ending tirade of bigotry. Hate is becoming more and more accepted, if not quite yet mainstream. Threats of violence against those who disagree with you is something to be joked about.
The Great Race
As never before in our nation’s history, reason and stupidity are in a race for supremacy, and while some take solace in the fact that atheists’ numbers are increasing, I do not feel now is the time to be complacent and rest on our laurels.
As our numbers increase, so too does the influence of the religious right. Like it or not, we are severely outgunned when it comes to both finances and sympathetic media channels. We have no equivalent to Rupert Murdoch and his media empire, and it is through the media that most of this struggle is taking place, not in the courtrooms or halls of academia. We may have the law and reason on our side, but we do not possess the ability to manipulate public opinion and shape national policy the way that Murdoch’s minions do.
The ideal antidote for our current predicament is an educated and enlightened public, and that can only come from a firm commitment by our nation’s educators to teaching critical thinking skills and rejecting the agenda of those who would force a theocracy on an unwitting population.
Such a solution, however, would take a generation to successfully implement and bear fruit. In the meantime, the forces of ignorance and intolerance are gaining ground daily. That leaves us in a rather uncomfortable and tenuous position, with a sword of Damocles handing over our heads, ready to fall at any moment.
Our opponents see this as a competition with the grand prize being the survival of one side and the complete destruction of the other. To them, victory means maintaining the status quo in some areas and turning back the clock to the Dark Ages in others. We, on the other hand are stewards of intellect, reason and hope for a better future. There’s so much more than our lives at risk if the other side wins this race.
This is the first of several articles on survival in a SHTF (shit hits the fan), TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) or a WROL scenario (without rule of law) from an atheist perspective. What has prompted the writing of this series is what I see as the low chances of survival for many American atheists in a WROL/SHTF/TEOTWAWKI scenario and the severe damage that may occur to our culture and civilization as a result of disproportionately high losses in the secular community.
This is not a basic “how to” guide for folks on how to grow crops, trap squirrels in an urban setting or perform battlefield surgery. There are numerous sites, books and training films available for free or low cost to anyone interested in acquiring survival skills. As my expertise lies in security and weaponry, I will devote an entire post in the future to discussing realistic weapons choices and defensive options for varying budgets. No mall ninja stuff, just solid, matter-of-fact observations and recommendations. Guns and gear are not the sole focus of this series, but the need for them cannot be ignored in any realistic plan for surviving in a less than hospitable environment..
It shouldn’t be necessary to make a case for the certainty of organized and spontaneous oppression and aggression committed by Christians in the event of a large-scale natural or man-made disaster in North America. Enough of them have made their intentions known and have been covered extensively by other atheist/secular bloggers as to make such an endeavor seem redundant. However, since understanding the high probability of such a threat provides the main foundational support for all later articles in the series, I will address this subject exhaustively in my next post.
If you are currently not convinced that Christian aggression is a predictable response in the event of a breakdown of society, you will see this series of articles as irrelevant, perhaps even nutty. It is my hope to convince at least a few of this opinion to reevaluate their current attitude and adjust their mindsets accordingly.
As we move forward on this topic, please understand that while the subject matter might be distressing or even depressing, the underlying message is not one of paranoid gloom and doom, but a message of hope and peace. While I am a realist in regards to dealing with the unpleasantries of life, I am also an insufferable optimist. Bad situations bring out both the worst and the best of mankind. Together we can explore how to ensure that in any scenario, the best that mankind has to offer has a fighting chance.