Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
I read an article about a big brouhaha in Leesburg, Virginia, where ten displays were permitted on public property for the holiday season on a first come, first served basis. As a result, in addition to the usual crèche thing, a number of displays depicted a Pastafarian nativity scene (see picture above), an atheist pine tree, a crucified skeleton Santa as a protest to consumerism, and other non-Jebus / non-Xmas related contributions..
Evidently this created a firestorm among the good Christians of the town, outraged that their one belief isn’t the only permitted display like it has been for years. Here’s the whole story: http://www.usatoday.com/USCP/PNI/NEWS/2011-12-17-bcholiday_ST_U.htm
This one particular quote from an irate Xtian resident really irked me:
“The [Jesus, Joseph and Mary] creche is not religious,” Caulkins insisted, his voice trembling.“It is a belief symbol. You have to believe in something.”
It’s not? You do?
Monday, December 19, 2011
There is something about the greenery on the porch rail, set with dignified small white lights; the ribbon tied wreaths on the doors; the miniature trees on the mantle and sills; the string of lights on the wreath that’s carefully hung over the moose antlers on great room’s log wall; the pixie elves perched on the window casement with their varied (and somewhat creepy) facial expressions; the Victorian soldier nut cracker, tiny sleigh, antique Santa, holiday candles, and tacky bubbling snowman in the kitchen that brings back a more innocent time and the comfort of childhood. Not necessarily my childhood but my wife’s. I’m comforted by the fact that absolutely nothing says fictional virgin of questionable morals, deluded not-so-wise men, baby Jebus man-god in training, or anything else that can’t be traced back to its pagan or purely commercial roots.
Bottom line - Hump’s house looks as though a flash mob of meth crazed elves ran amok turning it into a bad imitation of “Little House on the Prairie meets Santa’s Work Shop.” It makes Mrs. Hump happy. It’s her only fault.
Soon the sons and their better halves will make the pilgrimage north, bearing gifts and offerings of Xmas cookies and pastries from New York City’s finest Italian bakery. We’ll drink spiked eggnog around the wood stove, listen to classic carols, maybe observe the ancient and little known Xmas tradition of shooting machine gun at the range (weather permitting), chow down on honey smoked spiral cut ham, and retire late on Xmas eve with visions of whatever the Jack Daniels, vodka martinis, and appletinis cause to dance in our heads..
Bright and early (hangover permitting), we’ll gather together to dive into the mountain of gift wrapped treasures, evidence that Mrs. Hump considers it her personal mission to single handedly stimulate the economy. The charge card bills will be enough to make the baby Jebus cry. But that’s not till January, so for now family fun,food, and conspicuous consumption is the order of the day and the reason for the season.
At some point invariably one of my heathen sons will chide me and ask where the Lamb of God is. Without missing a beat I’ll reply with one of my two favorite retorts, either:
“The Lamb of God is where it belongs, glazed with mint sauce and cooking slowly in the oven at 400 degrees where it can’t harm anyone.” or “He’s in the loft getting a hummer from the Sugar Plum Fairy.” And we’ll all laugh ... well, not so much the girls. But we're used to their disapproving looks.
Ah, Xmas! I’m good with it.
Wishing you and yours a happy holiday, no matter what you call it.
Friday, December 16, 2011
With the death of Christopher Hitchens we lose a torch bearer of reason, wit, and intellect. Even religionists with whom he debated, and always bested, have chimed in with their acolades of respect... a rare occurance in the scientific age where the battle between reason and faith has reached its zenith.
Death be not proud. Hitchens faced it head on and never stooped to supernaturalism in fear, desperation or weakness. Not many like him will come his way again.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Hey, a Christmas/Winter Solstice/Hannuka without an atheist camel under your Saturnalia tree is like a mangod without the obligatory death scene. Enjoy, and thanks!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I am usually subjected to doses of moronic theist statements spaced wide enough apart that they often fly under the blog article radar. But this past week was particularly noteworthy. I hit the trifecta, the trinity, the hat trick of religious stupid.
Having run out of buffalo burgers, I made a run to “Elmer” my local bison farmer to pick up a few packages of patties. You’ll recall my friendly buffalo meat rancher as the guy who had a birthday party / church gathering and invited me as the token atheist earlier this year (see Aug. 1, 2011 blog).
After completing the transaction Elmer offered that he saw a news story about my Eternal Earth-Bound Pets post rapture pet rescue business in New Hampshire Magazine (news to me, I don’t subscribe.) and asked how business was. He apologetically explained that he only had this one cat and didn’t expect it to live long enough to see the rapture. I assured him that neither of them, nor anyone, will live long enough to see the rapture.
It was at this point he enlightened me: “I wouldn’t be so sure. They found papers in Noah’s Ark that ...” Oh boy.
Now, Elmer is 80 years old and losing it at an astounding pace. I could have had a field day mercilessly bombarding him with reality and heaping a few cubic cubits of ridicule upon him. But not wanting to exacerbate an already iffy mental condition I jokingly inquired if there was a 250 HP Johnson inboard/outboard on the Ark, or was it simply an electric trolling motor. A weak half smile flickered across his confused countenance. I thanked him for the burgers, wet my finger to test the wind, and weighed anchor for home.
An internet news article reported that three Muslims were arrested in Sweden for plotting to kill the cartoonist who rendered a picture of Mohammed as a dog. The commentary from the readers was, as one would expect, almost unanimously supportive of their arrest and eventual prosecution; voicing support for freedom of expression and derision for the insanity of Muslim sensitivity to their pedophile prophet’s portrayal.
But one respondent, not so surprisingly named “Florida84” offered this brilliant piece of wisdom: “[The cartoonist] had it coming. When you insult someone’s religion you best be willing to pay for your blasphemy with your life.” I was able to detect a strong southern drawl, and even the genetic damage borne of a few generations of inbreeding, right through my laptop.
I proceeded to explain in my most erudite and civil manner that freedom of expression isn’t just for the protection of speech we agree with. Its true greatness, its power, is that it is meant to ensure that even things we find hateful or disturbing are protected. I summed up the lesson with the imagery of Mohammed, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, his mother, and his pet pig engaged in a frenzied carnival of carnal lust; leaving him with the suggestion that his irate jihad, fatwa, crusade or inquisition can be directed to my Langdon, NH camel ranch.
I’ll be brief, as I discussed this at some length on my Facebook page. I just want it noted here for posterity. I hope my fb friends will forgive my repetition.
The Today Show, Ann Curry interviewing the parents of a model who walked into the propeller of an airplane resulting in the amputation of a hand, destruction of an eye, a crushed scull, massive facial injury and brain damage. Quote: "Do you think it was a miracle?" presumably intending to prompt the hyper religious parents to opine that Jesus opted to intervene and only let the props maim their daughter and destroy her otherwise promising life instead of letting it kill her outright.
I already know Curry to be the journalistic equivalent of a chimpanzee, but this nearly drove me to apoplexy. As one of my very astute fb friends so perfectly put it: “A miracle would have been if the prop gave her a beautiful haircut.” (kudos to “Far Left” for that perfect descriptor of a potential miracle). Any journalist possessing an iota of integrity, dignity and respect for their craft would have told the producer to shove that question up their ass. But not Ann, nope. She oozed that question out of her mouth with all the trademark fake sincerity she could muster.
Unfortunately, I do not have Ann Curry’s email, telephone number, or home address. Actually, maybe it’s just as well.
Yes, it was quite a week. Given the toll it took on my sensibilities I’d gratefully go a month without being subjected to any more theist stupidity. But if past is prologue I’ve probably got a few hours before it starts all over again.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Incoherent religious babble; quoting of scripture; proffering pseudo-science; misrepresentation of history; total denial of documented fact, science and even scripture; blatant lies, and religious platitudes flowed like pus from a festering sore when a religious fanatic became enflamed over my disrespectful analysis, as though my single critical review of the horrid book would itself be enough to render it obsolete and impede its sale. If only.
You’d have thought I dug up Jesus’ corpse, dressed it in a prom dress, and brought it to the home coming dance the way he went on. If only.
Anyway, among the crazy statements and rants was this: “It’s easy to prove the existence of God, but atheists are too stupid to understand it.”
A couple of hours later it was edited to read: “It is easy to prove the existence of God (in the theist sense) is [sic] far more plausible than the absence of God, at least to rational people.”
Hmmm ... prove? As in “proof”? Super. Please, cast your pearls of proof before this stupid and/or irrational person. Favor me with your irrefutable evidence that I may be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. Please, suffer a little waste of your time to permit this unworthy respecter of science and reason, this user of highfalutin – multisyllabic words to be enlightened by your objective evidence that it can be subjected to and sustained by the scientific method.
Oh wait ... proof “in the theist sense.” Uh-oh. I was unaware that proof has multiple meanings depending on whether it is invoked by theists or secularists. I promptly checked the old Funk and Wagnall’s. Nope. No such distinction exists.
Merriam Webster defines proof as the cogency of evidence that compels acceptance by the mind of a truth or a fact; the process or an instance of establishing the validity of a statement especially by derivation from other statements in accordance with principles of reasoning; something that induces certainty or establishes validity.
So...gimme some cogent evidence. Impress me with the validity of your proof predicated in reason. Lay upon me that which induces me to accept the existence of God with a certainty that cannot be invalidated. I shall try hard not to allow my stupidity and irrationality to be an obstacle to this enlightenment. I was primed and ready to receive what no theologian in the history of the planet has ever been able to provide. Alas, I was to be disappointed
No proof followed. Not even an attempt. I guess he rethought that sentence (for a third time.) Perhaps his “proof” of God's existence included things like the beauty of a rainbow, the silence of a forest on snow covered night, the existence of good, the perfect fit of a banana in a man’s hand, rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Perhaps this is what he meant, and he'd be correct, that these things don’t quite constitute the same idea of proof of the divine to us stupid and irrational atheists as they do with his brilliant and rational fellow lemmings.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Ya gotta give amazon.com credit for approving this review, albeit, I get a sense that it isn’t going to be up for long when the religious nutters read it.
Here’s the link catch it while you can: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1VAP69OQ8D07S
And if it’s still there, give my review a “Yes” for helpful, please.
Just in case it’s gone before you get there here’s the actual review as posted:
“As violent fantasies go, this book is a page turner!”
November 28, 2011
By B. Centre (USA)
This review is from: Holy Bible (NIV) (Kindle Edition)
This book has it all. Cutting off women's hands for helping to fend off their husbands' attackers; directing the slaughtering of children with a bear attack and by mass murder; genocide galore; human sacrifice and the threat of it; and killing an innocent on behalf of others to placate himself. It doesn't take much to come to the conclusion that the author is one sick puppy with major issues, namely he is obviously a psychopath.
The author also claims to love all his children, but wow, he sure has a weird way of showing it. When my children disobey me, and I know they will, I almost never throw them out of the house into the street and place a curse on them and their children for all time. And I sure never nail gun them to the playroom wall, well, ok...just that once. But hey, I'm also sane.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
That provoked me. I set out to educate him:
Since when is the antiquity of an inanimate object worthy of universal respect owing to its age or presumed “holiness” by its adherent? It is due respect only from those who foolishly imbue it with supernatural qualities, like an animist fetish, or voodoo doll.
And that would have been that until this reply:
“... you have disrespected hundreds of millions of follower’s belief in the Holy Scripture’s truthfulness ... Consider that you might be endangering the value of those who place value an inanimate object, such as a book or a picture, because you do not value it and say so in such a derogatory and vicious manner and therefore may become as that which you describe.”
Perhaps I was not clear enough.
Your book of fables is due all the respect as is Grimm's Fairy Tales. Now, if I had a first edition Grimm's I would certainly treat it with respect if only for its history, rarity and value.
However, whether first edition or reprint, I would hold its stories of witches, terror, cannibalism, murder in exactly the same reverence as I would your preferred book of fables ... which is to say none.
That this insults 100's of millions of believers (in either the scripture, or Grimm's Fairy tales) is of zero concern to me. That a billion Muslims are insulted and driven to rage by my depictions of Muhammad, and that I credit the Koran with spewing the same degree inhumane, repressive and intolerant lies and trash as I do the bible similarly leaves me nonplussed.
If Hindu devotees are repelled by my depiction of Ganesh eating peanuts; or Mormons don't like my calling their prophet a charlatan, and their book bad sci-fi worthy of derision; or that I mock Neo-Druids, Wiccans, Scientologists, or Cargo Cultists for their equally inane beliefs and rituals, all means exactly the same to me - Nothing.
Christianity, its doctrine and its handbook carries no more weight, validity, gravitas nor warrants any more respect than any other man-made/ self induced delusion or societal control mechanism. That your fellow deluded adherents are troubled by that is fine with me. So, now what? Inquisition? Jihad? Holy war? Fatwa? Crusade? Perhaps a more passive aggressive route ... you'll pray for me?
Finally, I do not endorse book burning. Book burning is largely the provenance of Christians. More books have been burned by Xtians through history and to current time than by all other belief systems, governments, or movements. But If my mocking your scripture, demystifying it, rejecting it for the dangerous and harmful thing it is to humanity is endangering its continuity...well then... I shall redouble my efforts. While I appreciate the credit, and do wish it were so, I am hardly worthy of such an accolade.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
They use coercion. You initially resist, but when that fails you go through the motions. The invading culture suspects heresy and metes out punishment. Figuring the best way to ensure conversion takes root is via the young, they take your kids and send them away to better control their minds and strip the ancient heathen belief system from them. Success is measured by the elimination of the old culture’s beliefs, and the acceptance of the new culture’s ... and body count of those stiff necked traditionalists who resisted. No title of “martyr” for them; just “dead heathen.”
And so it was in the 16TH, 17TH, 18TH, 19TH centuries and into the 20th in North and South America. And so it was in Africa, and the Pacific Basin. And so it was in Australia and New Zealand. For this is the “mission” of Christianity. Destroy indigenous cultures, steal their children’s birthright, rape their minds, and instill the fear of hell and damnation the better to cultivate a love for their mythical “prince of peace” man-god. Save their souls even if it kills them.
No other religion on the planet, save Islam, proselytized by the sword and gun. No other belief system of an invading culture more worked toward the eradication of the conquered culture’s indigenous superstitions. Not the Romans, the Saxons, the Persians, the Greek city states, the Visigoths, the Hun, the Mongols, none of the “barbarian” tribes and cultures. Only Islam rivaled it.
Fact is, considering Christianity's methods and impact, calling those tribes barbarian is a misnomer. For while those tribes conquered and pillaged and laid claim to the spoils, pre and non-Christian conquerors left the vanquished people their birthright - their cultural beliefs and practices. And if those beliefs gradually declined as a result of assimilation, it was not by threat of death or institutionalized brainwashing.
This is the legacy of Christianity. But it doesn’t stop there. It goes on, just more subtly.
As I type this there are hundreds if not thousands of “Christian Group Homes” for troubled children in the US and around the world who are spreading the faith and saving souls through Christian barbarism. Operating under the guise of helping the most vulnerable among us to education, social adjustment and assimilation they rape both their minds and their bodies.
Not until one of these religionist snake pits are exposed due to some outrageous excesses becoming public is there an investigation and intervention by secular authorities who always feign surprise that such a thing could happen. Why? Because Christianity gets a pass. In Western culture if it's Christian sponsored it must be good, the barbaric history of Christian outreach to those who never asked for it not withstanding.
Whether for financial gain or out of this sick need to infest minds and save non-existent souls, the barbarism of Christianity missions will never end until its false attributes of goodness and godliness are stripped away and it’s thrown into the trash bin where the atrocities of history belong.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Notice I said in awe - not respectful, in admiration, or supportive of him, for he is worthy of none of those accolades. I am in awe of Paterno’s chutzpah. Oh, for sure he ran a great team, developed it with hard fought persistence, dedication and leadership. If ones life’s worth were measured by sport or success in his life’s passion, Paterno would be a national hero.
But when it came down to real life, the last play on the goal line of an sterling career, he failed and failed miserably. He chose between a game and children’s wellbeing. He chose between complacency and indignation. He chose between right and wrong. He chose poorly. When it really mattered Paterno fumbled, and fumbled beyond forgiveness.
His termination by Penn State was right and proper, and that would have been the end of it save any legal actions that might befall him as a result of his inaction. I’d have had nothing to comment upon, no further ax to grind with him. But then he said this:
"As you know, the kids that were the victims, I think we ought to say a prayer for them,"
And there, in that one sentence is the very heart of the grotesqueness of religion, the very core of what I have raged about, fought against, and endeavored to put a face on for these many years all summed up nice and tidy by a disgraced coach.
PRAYER?? Say a PRAYER for the child victims? You self righteous sanctimonious jerk... some of those kids are victims partially because you failed as a man. You relinquished your responsibility as a human being. Your hubris and self interest over shadowed those victims interest. But, now, NOW you’ll implore us to mumble words to a nonexistent thing in the sky as though that will fix things? As though those kids’ lives will be repaired by words to a deity when your own misbehavior, self-serving actions, or apathy was a causal factor for their pain?
No Joe, the only thing that can help these kids now is years of therapy by trained child psychologists. Your call to prayer to millions of your fans and followers won’t do a damn thing for those kids, it never has and it never will. Thanks anyway. And as a Hail Mary play to repair your image- forget it, that’s been tried by fools, frauds, and tyrants for eons. It’s the hall mark of disgraced religionists to drop back into supernatural mode and punt, the better to distract from their failed humanity and inability to carry it across the line.
Sorry Joe, no supernatural platitudinous hackneyed “let us pray” is going to erase your penalty, remove the shame, shift blame, salve things over, or heal wounds. You dropped the ball big time. Invoking your imaginary god and supernaturalism may have worked for your half time locker room pep talks...it doesn’t work in the real world, it only makes it worse.
(Thanks to Rachel H. for the inspiration for this article)
Monday, November 7, 2011
No surprise that this law was pushed by the GOP. It was introduced by Bob Barr, R-Georgia (above left), who himself was divorced in 1985, accused of infidelity. The GOP loves meddling into peoples’ personal lives and genitalia. What is a surprise is that law passed the House 342 to 67...with half the votes of Democrats being in favor of the law, while only one Republican voted “no”. It passed and the Senate 85 to 14, again almost half the Dems voted yes, while 100% of Republicans voted yes.
Worst of all, President Bill Clinton signed it into law. Of all the Democratic presidents, Clinton should be the last one to get involved with “defending” marriage. After all, it’s not like his marriage is anything more than a sham and marriage of convenience to begin with.
Naturally the God-fearing GOP and their clergy supporters invoked the name of God, warning of his being offended; immorality; the impact homosexual marriage has on diminishing and destroying the blessed institution of hetero-sexual marriage; and all of the insipid, mindless and silly rhetoric one has come to expect from the defacto Party Of God and Hate.
Divorce between men and women in the US hovers around 50%, it has for many years. In the Bible Belt divorce rates are the highest in the nation*. Along with Barr, Newt Gingrich (above right) pushed this act. He is famous for his having dumped his wife of many years for a new girl friend while his wife was undergoing breast cancer treatment. The numbers of married Republicans (and Dems) who have cheated on or divorced is legion, too long to be recapped here. Let it just be said that besides Bill Clinton, many of our elected officials who signed that grotesque piece of legislation have strayed, been exposed, shamed, and/ or filed for divorce - self righteous God believers all.
One can only wonder how allowing gays to marry could undermine the institution of marriage or cause marriages to dissolve any worse than they already do; or somehow encourage straights not to marry. And exactly why does the government care about marriage to begin with? How it is governmental business as to who gets married, who gets divorced, who is living together, who is celibate, and whose genitalia is going where among consenting adults defies explanation. It certainly isn’t constitutionally directed.
And exactly WHOSE marriage needs “defense,” much less defense by a bunch of mealy mouthed two faced religionist hypocrites whose instances of sexual misconduct and infidelity is rivaled only by the President of Italy, Catholic priests, and Baptist youth ministers?. I challenge anyone to find a single married couple who will confirm that the Defense of Marriage act either encouraged them to marry, or saved their marriage. Not one will be able to point to a family member, friend, associate or acquaintance whose marriage was encouraged, or divorce forestalled by this Act of Congress. Similarly, I’ll venture that you’ll never find any intellectually honest and sane person who can reasonably explain and support how gay’s getting married has or will destroy their or anyone else’s heterosexual union.
How do I know this? Simple; I asked Mrs. Hump if she feels our marriage of forty-one years needs governmentally directed defense, and if she has any inclination to divorce me if the Defense of Marriage Act is ever over turned. She told me that even with my sagging hump and hideously annoying camelus dromedarius disposition she’ll always be my wife... then told me I’m an idiot for asking and to go fix my own dinner for asking such a question.
Ah, the institution of marriage! Why should heteros be the only ones to be institutionalized and given the opportunity to divorce?
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
I will not waste any more time than it takes to type this sentence to wonder who gets voted off Dancing with the Wanna Bes, The Island, or The Race, The X Factor, The American Idol, The So You Think You Can Talk and Chew Gum at the Same Time show, or any other contrived non-reality reality shows with their insipid hosts, contestants and judges.
Other than expressing my disdain, I could not care less about the drunken excesses of stereotypical low life, under educated white and semi-white Italian American trash portrayed on Jersey Shore... albeit, I do hold out hope to hear someday that they all contracted a new and incurable strain of venereal disease.
While I have always reviled knee jerk conspiracy theories, I’ve permitted myself to engage in a flight of fantasy and pondered if the media isn’t somehow in cahoots with a covert segment of the government to placate and distract Americans from genuinely important issues that could rouse them to indignation and action. In as much as these mind numbing people and programs are so important to 90% of the adult American population, can it be we are being fed the equivalent of what the Circus Maximus and gladiatorial games were to the Roman masses?
Yesterday I saw evidence that this theory may not be as far fetched as it sounds. The House of Representatives, or more succinctly - the Republicans in control of the House of Representatives- announced it was going to hold a vote to reconfirm “In God We Trust” as the official US motto. That’s right - this monumental issue, critical to the health and well being of the nation, will be brought to a vote. Why? Did some leftist god hating Dem propose bringing back the more sensible and inclusive “E Pluribus Unum”? No! Was a secret cabal of atheist congressmen planning to force through a constitutional amendment to remove the idiotic theocratic misstatement from our currency and coinage? Not likely.
Would reaffirmation of the motto (which any child of twelve could see has as much chance of failing reaffirmation as Newt Gingrich has of growing an adult size penis) some how improve the unemployment picture? Will it reduce housing foreclosures? Can it help resolve the deficit? Any chance it will stabilize the financial markets, improve the economy, stop global warming, resolve the illegal immigration question / secure our borders, make us safer from terrorism, bring an end to the Afghan war, improve our public schools' performance, lower rising health care rates, reduce the national obesity epidemic, or lessen our dependency on foreign oil? Nope.
But what this absurd waste of time, energy and money will do is raise an issue where none exists. It will falsely inflame the ire of Christian theocrats and Christian Nation advocates as though there has been some concerted effort to destroy their god and their mindless, meaningless and exclusionary motto along with it. It’s a slight of hand, a diversion of monumental proportion by the GOP. It will distract from the fact that they are stone walling ... doing nothing that will help the people, the nation, or the president because to do so would not be in the best interest of the Republican Party this close to a presidential election. It comes down to this: “Let the nation and the real issues be damned ... we have a motto to reconfirm, a God to protect, and a new president to elect!”
Thus, they wrap themselves in a flag, wave their crosses, imply the motto is under threat, assure the people that God likes and wants this motto; that God will forsake the US if we don’t keep the motto; that this motto is what makes us good and great (while the motto Allah Akbar / God is Great, makes the Islamic extremists evil).
Less savvy freethinkers will become animated and enthused at this wonderful non-opportunity. The religionist masses will rally to the cause, baa in agreement, revile the godless among them, while in the next breath they will praise Bruno for giving so-and-so a 10 on their fox trot.
And America will go on - fat, deluded, stupid, on the brink, and unimproved. Thank god for the GOP.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The Values Voters Summit was an October gathering of the most extremist born again right wing theocratic thinking rabid-sheep the nation has to offer. The GOP candidates were summoned before them to give their reasons why they deserve the votes of these God Fearing men and women. Each of them took their turns at the microphone, trying to impress the hallelujah crowd with their holiness and commitment to being guided in office by their faith and solid Christian credentials.
During that assembly Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association – an extremist fundamentalist Christian organization - took the podium and declared that the Religious Right should only support the candidate with a “sincere, authentic, genuine Christian faith.” (He also said they must reject any candidate who backs evolutionary theory instead of Creationism). That disqualifies Romney and Huntsman on both counts.
Given this litmus test for the GOP Presidential candidate- Abe Lincoln, arguably the greatest president this nation has ever had, would not get the Religious Right’s vote for the nomination. They would have sent William H. Seward or Salmon P. Chase up against Stephen A. Douglas, the democratic Presidential Candidate. Lincoln could never have passed the religious test of today’s Super Christians; his own words would disqualify him. Among them this:
"The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession." -- Abraham Lincoln
And as though that needed any corroboration there was this statement after his death:
"Mr. Lincoln had no hope, and no faith, in the usual acceptation of those words."-- Mary Todd Lincoln
The GOP which has proudly proclaimed itself “The Party of Lincoln” would, by Fundamentalist standards, rejected their name sake.
Who knows what course the nation would have taken had that Christian requirement been applied in 1860.
- How much longer would slavery have continued?
- Would the slaves ever have been emancipated?
- Could a black man ever have run for the presidency today?
- Would the nation have split in two permanently?
- Would the victor in the war have saddled the vanquished with reparations and crippling penalties?
We can only speculate.
But there is no speculation as to how Fischer, Reverend Jeffries, and their mindless supernaturalist theocratic ilk would have responded to Lincoln’s candidacy. He was a damnable heathen unworthy to hold office. And we don’t even know what he thought of Darwin.
"The Party of Lincoln,” indeed. The Republican Party today holds nothing in common with Abraham Lincoln. The very words and actions of the GOP defile his name. The only thing they remotely have in common is death: Lincoln in physical form, the GOP by virtue of their intellect.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
A facebook friend* recently posted a video to my page. It was part of a cartoon aired by EWTN, a Catholic TV programming network, geared toward infants and toddlers. It shows a cartoon like baby Virgin Mary or a baby nun (see photo above) gleefully smiling and singing under the crucified body of her “son”. There are a series of these DVDs available to Catholic parents, geared toward the ages “0 to 5 yrs.” That’s ZERO to FIVE years old! One can imagine that the parents who buy these things are living in fear of their newborn child falling under the spell of Satan, or being possessed by a demon, or worse... stumbling across a secularist with their filthy immoral ways and their rejection of religious nonsense before they get out of diapers or into pre-school.
Then there is this delightful video. Gawd only knows what this image is intended to convey to an infant or toddler http://www.throughthefamily.org/holybaby2.jpg
A child priest? Clearly being a priest is just the “funnest” thing in the world. Jesus loves child priests. Priests are just big kids. Now there’s a message you want your toddler to embrace in this day and age. Maybe growing up to be a priest is the bestest thing in the whole wide world! Note the puppy.
What says Jesus loves you better than colorful wooden baby sized rosary beads with cross for your infant to suck on or stick in her eye? The intent is clear: to take this blank slate infant’s mind and accustom it to handling religious paraphernalia so it becomes second nature in a few years.
I have considered this phenomenon carefully and have come to the conclusion that indoctrination of babies and toddlers to mindless superstition ranks as one of the most obscene, despicable, and grotesque religious perversions ever conceived. I cannot imagine what the comparable efforts of similarly fanatical atheist parents would be. Perhaps giving the infant a miniature copy of The Origin of Species? A stuffed Darwin doll? A video of a child-like Madalyn Murry O’Hair , or Hitchens or Dawkins figure singing and dancing with puppies while praising the wonders of secular thought, science, reasoning and questioning?
No, atheists aren’t so insecure in their grasp of reason and their rejection of superstitious foolishness to be compelled to perpetrate such things on their children. Freethinking parents understand the value of allowing a child to grow, explore, question, and think.
There’s a fine line between imparting social values, providing guidance, and cultivating a well adjusted child; and co-opting a child’s mind to infest it with his parents’ beliefs or non-beliefs in an effort to avert any possibility of independent thought through the developing years. Marketing religion to infants crosses that line.
But maybe I’m being too rash. In fact, perhaps this represents an opportunity. I’m picturing a line of religious relics for ages 0-5 years. Catholics are big on relics. I’m picturing a mobile made up of baby sized replicas of Jesus’ foreskin; a rattle made from replica nails used to crucify Jesus, blood stained of course; maybe a smiling child like Saint Peter doll, who, in keeping with tradition is crucified upside down naked. A series of devotional DVDs, with forty-two children being torn to pieces by cute teddy bears, or a little girl having her hand cut off by a smiling neighbor boy child; or happy smiling Hebrew children putting happy smiling pagan children to the sword - all documented in the bible as good things.
* Thanks to my friend Kay Patterson for providing the inspiration for this article.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Harold says that there is no mistake, it's certain and it ain’t gonna be pretty. The world will come to a sudden and immediate end on October 21. No period of Tribulation, no mincing around with the Anti-Christ for seven years. Only those who were selected by God during the May 21 non-event (his latest explanation for what happened on May 21 that wasn’t discerned by anyone but him) will be saved. The rest of us, and the planet Earth, will cease to exist in a blinding flash of fire and earthquake. That would be the quintessential hell and brimstone end.
The media is pretty much ignoring him this time. Well, the major media outlets anyway. The Christian Post, an online source of religious idiocy geared toward Christians who just can’t get their fill of daily delusional douche-baggery, has published no fewer than four stories on Camping’s latest prediction. http://global.christianpost.com/news/harold-camping-oct-21-rapture-preacher-takes-engineer-approach-to-reading-bible-58317/
Even while they dismiss Camping as wrong headed...or just wrong, it appears they just can’t break the habit of sucking at the teet of any religious whore that happens to carry a bible or wear a cross around his or her neck. I can’t even conjure up a situation that would be analogous to this fixation in a secular context. It’s peculiar to Christians it seems.
Unlike the May 21 foolishness, this predication doesn’t do much for my Eternal Earth-Bound Pets post rapture pet rescue service. Last May I was up for as long as 36 hours straight doing interviews all over the world by phone and Skype every thirty minutes. This time I received only one email from one hapless and not too savvy reporter asking if I’ve seen an up-tick in business. I called her and schooled her on Camping’s new and improved explosive prediction, explaining that the planet becoming a ball of fire and crinkled up cinder doesn’t exactly encourage the sale of pet rescue contracts. She sounded genuinely disappointed that I had nothing more to offer.
Maybe as the 21st approaches, and assuming it’s a slow news week, we’ll see more on this. Not likely we’ll be seeing buses carrying signs declaring the End is near filled with hopeful Christians welcoming the Earth’s demise. They seemed to have decided to sit this one out probably because having been burned three times by Camping since 1994 they want to retain what dignity they still have, and not to expose themselves to anymore ridicule than absolutly necessary.
As for Camping? He has no dignity. He has partial use of his brain, lots of money, a massive dose of prophet-envy, a terminal case of religiosity, and one foot in the grave. Perhaps on October 22nd Harold will summon just enough dignity to lower the other foot.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers
3.the object of such devotion.
4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5.Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
Recently, in an attempt to discredit Mitt Romney, a Texas Evangelical preacher and supporter of Rick Perry referred to Mormonism as a cult. This drawling, inbred, worshipper of a dead Jewish figure who was either a charlatan sorcerer, or a Cynic preacher, or a befuddled maniac, or a social revolutionary, but clearly a composite of various pre-Jesus man-god myths is casting aspersions by using “cult” as an epithet to diminish Romney’s suitability for office.
Of course, he is correct. Mormonism is a cult. It satisfies every definition of cult. So too do the Baptists, the Methodists, the Catholics, Episcopalism, JWs, the Snake Handlers, Shakers, Quakers, and every other denomination or sect of Christianity. The early Romans writers referred to Christianity as a cult / cultus. Of course to religionists their form of cult isn't a cult at all...as though the term "religion" has more credibility and less dangerous connotations.
Oh, no doubt the befuddled bible banging twerp meant to use the term in the vernacular, where cult has taken on a sinister meaning reserved for 20th century upstart societies of outcasts misfits, and freaks. You know them as the Heavens Gate suicidal Nike wearing whackos; the Branch Dividian, Waco Texas human torches; the Kool Aid slurping followers of Jim Jones; Fundamentalist Mormons polygamist child rapists; and the ever lovable and completely deluded followers of a notorious charlatan sci-fi writer who invented Scientology.
It used to be said that the difference between a religion and a cult is its financial solvency. If that’s true, Mormonism, and Scientology are full fledged religions, having amassed a treasury that would put many third world countries to shame. But the fact is a religion by any other name is still a cult, and vice versa.
The only people who do not have rites and rituals; who eschew veneration of a person or an ideal; who have no object of devotion around which they kowtow; who are bound by no ideal or ideology; and who reject sacred symbols - are atheists. If anyone has the right to refer to religious groups as cults, in the vernacular sense or by the dictionary definition, it’s us.
To the undereducated, right wing, stone throwing, holier than thou, Gawd fearing mainstream worshippers of a myth imbued dead man this of course is impossible to comprehend. They will argue against the dictionary definition. They will insist they are exempt from the definition of cult. But the fact is this nation has had a cultist as its head of state ever since Thomas Jefferson left office. We’ll have another one in 2012.
Damn...I miss Jefferson.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
We have all watched clouds pass on a summer’s day, and pointed at the various faces and figures they seem to morph in and out of. Most of us have looked at the figure of a slab or marble, or board of pine wood and imagined the grains or the knots looking back at us like eyes in a face. The “man in the moon” is readily identifiable to us.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Back when I was an avid comic book aficionado DC Comics ruled my literary world. Superman was one of my favorite characters and I looked forward each month to his latest exploits and feats of daring do. This is where I came to learn of Bizarro World.
Bizarro World was an imaginary planet in another galaxy that on the surface paralleled Earth... but in the opposite. The planet was a cube, not a sphere and philosophically everything was backwards. Pretty was scorned, ugly was admired; perfection was evil, imperfection / distortion was good; intelligence was condemned and ridiculed, while backwardness/ignorance was praised. It made for some interesting stories.
I didn’t know it then but Bizarro World wasn’t a complete fiction or an imaginary planet. It may well be that the writer who developed this strange venue was commenting on civilization and foretelling the future, much as Orwell did with Animal Farm and 1984. If so he was frighteningly on target.
- Recently the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said that capital punishment is “pro-life”; by deduction then being anti-death penalty must be assessed as being “pro-death.”
- The Bible preaches that life is tribulation and pain - a curse caused by Original Sin in the Garden of Eden; true happiness and ones “reward” comes when you die.
- For centuries the church has deemed thinking, questioning, and reason the great evil, the enemy of faith; it encourages unquestioning blind faith and the acceptance of ancient fable devoid of evidence deserved of praise.
- The preponderance of scientific proofs for ancient Earth, the Big Bang, and evolutionary theory is all “deception”; while the deception, promoted by shaman, of the scriptural myths devoid of evidence is “truth.”
- The pope condemns condom use and blames it for contributing to the spread of AIDS in the Third World; while he asserts that only belief in Jesus as ones savior curtails the spread of the disease.
- To Mother Teresa the physical suffering of the terminally ill was good. She told tortured sufferers and the soon to be dead that pain was “Jesus kissing you”; all the while she withheld pain relieving medications. Painful death good, comfortable death bad.
- Their man-god deemed praying in public to be avoided as a great hypocrisy; mass pray- ins, praying at graduation ceremonies, football games, and at legislative sessions are promoted by politicians and shaman.
- The bible preaches that the rich cannot enter heaven; while millionaire preachers accumulate luxury cars and mega mansions with the contributions of millions of their often impoverished followers.
- To Evangelicals war and unrest in Middle East is to be welcomed as part of God’s ultimate plan; anyone who promotes peace in the region is The Anti-Christ.
- Christians tout Jesus as the “Prince of Peace,” Muslims claim the “Religion of Peace”; yet the most devout among them are pro-war, seek to suppress or kill gays, and perform acts of terrorism across the globe.
The list of bizarre contradictions promoted by a segment of our population in complete contrast and diametrically opposed to a civilized society continues on. You can probably add to this brief list of Bizarro like codes if you think about it. Bizarro World lives! Not on some distant planet, but here, now, on Earth. But its name is Religion World.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I don’t know if he was guilty or not. I do know there was enough information to warrant reducing the sentence from death by lethal injection to life imprisonment. But this is all water down the River Styx now.
Friends and family of Davis met regularly to pray with and for him. Supporters, ministers, the Pope all prayed the truth would out, that Davis would get justice, that mercy would be shown, that his life would be spared. As the hour of his execution approached crowds prayed for some miracle...a divine intervention. It didn’t happen.
Now, the faithful will tell us that their prayers were answered, but God said “No.” That God had a bigger plan for Davis. That he took him for a reason we can’t understand. I expect that they will eventually get around to saying God sacrificed this man on the lethal injection table just like god sacrificed his son on the cross, in order to save the world from future injustices by wrongful execution. It’s all rather predictable.
Somewhere, most certainly in The South, these Jesus lovers are lifting a long neck beer to Jaay-zus in thanks that their prayers have been heard and God said “Yes!”
Thursday, September 15, 2011
When the GOP presidential wannabes brought religion into the race they opened the door to questions relative to religious perspectives in their professional and personal lives. The most overt offender is Rick Perry, with Bachmann not far behind. But since Bachmann has as much chance of winning the nomination as she has of growing a penis, or Sarah Palin has of developing a fully formed brainstem, it is Perry who needs to belly up to the bar and answer some questions.
Unfortunately the media is largely uncomfortable posing the fundamentalist nutter challenges. On the rare occasions where religion questions are raised the candidates quickly take the offensive and claim media bias, or adamantly protest that their religious comments were taken out of context. This tends to make the media less than aggressive lest they be perceived as partisan or worse...atheist.
Therefore I composed a list of questions which were submitted to Rick Perry through his site Here are the questions I think the American freethinking public, and all liberty loving voters, are entitled to have answered by Gov. Perry.
- As a pet owning , Pre-Tribulation Rapture believing Christian, have you made arrangements for the care of your pets in the event the Rapture occurs in their lifetime? If not, why do you condemn your pets to a slow and hideously agonizing death by thirst or starvation?
- Since you have openly declared man made global warming a fraud at worst, or a scientific error at best, and reject the opinions of 98% of climatologists who state it is real; if 98 cardiologists said your child needed immediate heart surgery and would die if he didn’t have it, and 2 said there was no problem, would you similarly ignore the advise of the 98% of those people of science?
- Back in April you appealed to your Texan constituents to join you in prayer to God to end the drought. After six months the drought has still not been broken, and worse...it seems God saw fit to permit the worst wild fires in the state’s history. How do you reconcile that with a loving God, a God who hears the prayers and desperation of his creations, and the efficacy of prayer? And on a related note: since you claim that “political office is a pulpit”, and God put you in it and gave you the original “calling” to run for president; wouldn’t it be reasonable to believe that God’s fiery reply to your prayer for rain is an indicator he changed his mind? Will you obey him and remove yourself from race for the nomination?
- In May this year you were quoted as saying “It’s time to just hand it over to God and say ‘God, you’re going to have to fix this.’ ” as a way to resolve the country’s most pressing problems. Have you officially handed it over to God to resolve our economic and social problems? If not, why not? If so, why do we need you to be president, why can’t God just be president and have a democrat as a vice president? And a follow up to that question: If God is now responsible for fixing things in this country, how long must we give him to resolve the problems? Will it be in God’s 1st or 2nd term? If things get worse under God’s administration would you lead a movement to have him impeached? Or would you just ignore the failure, like the pray for rain fiasco, and come up with a new religious platitude about God ?
- If elected to the presidency, do you plan to sponsor and lead national Christian only-Jesus praising-prayer meetings, like you did in Texas - joining forces with Christian Dominionist radical clergy of whom at least one sees the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of Satan? Or will you also be promoting Hindu, Muslim, Wiccan, and other religious prayer meetings that exclude Christians? If so, for what purpose, since your last prayer rally didn’t have any practical value or measurably beneficial affect? Or will this just be your version of the Nuremberg rallies?
- As a dedicated lover of Jesus the “Prince of Peace,” how do you reconcile your being the greatest executive executioner in our nation’s history? Since you have no qualms talking on behalf of Jesus and since Jesus was himself a victim of capital punishment, what would Jesus say about it and the apparent glee your Christian supporters have exhibited over your execution record?
- Relative to the US being a “Christian Nation” as you have implied and as many of your supporters have asserted, how do you reconcile that perspective with the words and will of some of our most respected Founders?:
“Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptists, 1802
“Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common Law.” -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814
“I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect over another.” - Thomas Jefferson, 1799
“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” - Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823
“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. ... . It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.” -- John Adams, "A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" (1787-88),
“I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!”-- John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson
“What is it the New Testament teaches us? To believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married; and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.”-- Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, 1794
I received the automated “thanks for your email” reply. I don’t expect anything more. After all, a genuine response would require intelligence, introspection, and intellectual honesty... qualities that Perry won’t even pray for.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
During this past week's GOP debate two things stood out that sent shivers up my spine, made my skin crawl, and for an instant made me ashamed to be an American. One was uttered by the GOP front runner, the other was an outburst of enthusiasm by the venue’s audience. I’m not the first to write on this issue, but I want to offer my perspective and record it for posterity or at least so I’ll remember it for as long as I still have a memory.
Rick Perry attempted to justify his rejection of the scientific evidence for man made global warming by implying that scientists can be and have been wrong before. In his bumbling attempt to find support for his denial of scientific reality he made this absurd statement: “Galileo got outvoted for a spell." WTF??!
It took a few seconds for that to register with me since it made zero sense. Galileo got outvoted? By whom, and over what? Galileo supported the solar centric versus the Church endorsed Earth centric model of the universe. What peer review group of scientists “outvoted” him? Was he ultimately proven wrong? WTF was Perry saying?
What Perry was saying was pure and blatant idiocy. Or, if you are more generous, he is a pathetic whore playing to the dumbest of the religious zombies that he depends on for support. So dumb that likely many of them still believe in an Earth-centric model of our solar system. But no matter what spin anyone puts on it this was the statement of a living breathing jerk.
Galileo wasn’t outvoted /overruled as a result of his theory being subjected to peer review and found lacking by qualified astronomer scientists of his day. Galileo was silenced, a victim of the Church’s Inquisition! The Church forbade Galileo to promote the heresy of truth; threatened him; and put him under house arrest until he recanted the truth of his statement. How does the exercise of unlimited power by the Church to suppress reality and truth because it disagreed with their fable and lies, in anyway equate to being “outvoted” and more importantly how does it relate to the global warming issue? It doesn't, except ironically Perry would likely be delighted to play Grand Inquisitor to the 98% of the climate scientists whose science he rejects.
I hope it was his stupidity. I want it to be his stupidity. The implications of it being the latter alternative are so horrific, so insidious, so foreboding in terms of what a religiously guided government would be that it boggles the mind, or should, of any freethinking American and respecter of reason. But I dare not dismiss the possibility. It is entirely plausible given Perry’s history of combining religious fanaticism, feigned or real, with governance.
Then came the most telling and horrific event of the evening. The moderator brought up the hundreds of executions that Texas has carried out under Perry’s administration, more executions than under any other governor, in any state in the nation’s history. At the mention of this fact some significant portion of the republican/tea party/ Christian audience erupted into applause. APPLAUSE!
At first I thought I missed something. Maybe there was a delayed response to a prior comment from a candidate. But alas, this was not the case. These people were applauding the over 230 executions carried out under Perry’s term of office. They were gleeful, proud, and exuberant over the size and scope of unbridled state sponsored killing. They were being Christian.
My mind immediately formed the image of filthy, stinking, jeering crowds of peasant Christians reveling at the writhing bodies of heretics as they are burned at the stake during the Inquisition; or gleeful at the screams of incinerated “witches” during the 17th century. Of Muslim extremists stoning women to death, or loping off heads as crowds laughed and goaded and cursed the condemned.
I looked at Perry during this unholy display. He did not look distraught, or disapproving, or in any way phased by his supporters’ outburst - emotions /reactions that a better man, even a death penalty supporter, might have elicited simply as a respecter of human life. No, nothing. Religionists love executions, they always have; and the more religious/ Christian they are the more they love them. So, what’s to be ashamed of? Where’s the contradiction?
I support capital punishment for certain cases. I’m not proud of it; I just see it as a necessary response to certain crimes under certain circumstances. But for a fleeting moment I felt dirty and ashamed. Americans don’t revel in execution rates, at least not in the America I thought I knew. They do in Rick Perry’s America.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I won’t bore you with the details. Let it be simply said that I have once again had my sensibilities assaulted by another of those religionist’s “Our Christian Founders’ vision for America...” inventions of historical “fact” by proffering why our Founders wanted In God We Trust as our nation’s motto. I will tell you that I went apoplectic. Had the offending tea bagging right wing religious buffoon been in my presence I would have administered the enema cranially and the history book anally.
In 1782 the US Congress adopted a motto which represented the vision of the Founders as they sought to unite a multifaceted confederation into a united entity. Irrespective of the colonies’ social, cultural, political, philosophical, religious, or economic differences the great objective was to bring them together to form a strong union, a single nation. That motto, part of the Great Seal of the United States, was E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One).
The motto also reflected what would become America’s heterogenic make up. Unique among nations, America became a nation of immigrants who came seeking the freedom and opportunity that eluded them in their respective homelands. And out of those “many” peoples rose “one” nation, the great melting pot, where irrespective of ones heritage, each was every bit as much as an American as his neighbor. This is what America came to represent to the world. For one-hundred and seventy-five years the motto came to exemplify this unique experiment in equality - “oneness from many.”
Then 1956, and Senator Joe McCarthy’s congressional inquisition. Designed to ferret out the “creeping Red threat”, the insidious take over of our nation by the godless commies who were in our midst working to destroy us and suck dry our vital bodily fluids (a Dr. Strangelove reference there), black lists, people losing their jobs, threats of reprisal for failure to name names, people living in fear of being called a Communist sympathizer. Perhaps one of the darkest eras in our nation’s history - hysteria ruled.
From this madness arose a streak of genius: change our nation’s motto from E Pluribus Unum to “In God we Trust,” in order to stop those commie bastards from ..uh...from something. So by act of congress In God we Trust supplanted E Pluribus Unum on our paper currency, and became the official motto of the United States. And a damn good thing too since even though McCarthy was eventually dethroned and dismissed as a demagogue who exemplified the excesses of single minded non-think, Communism never took root and the nation was saved from Joe Stalin’s tyranny- thanks, no doubt, to the new motto.
So now our historic roots of coming from many factions and joining as one; our mantle of acceptance of the many who seek to become as one with their adopted nation; our uniqueness as a melting pot is no longer exemplified by E Pluribus Unum. Instead, we have a motto that emulates theocratic mindless reverence for an imaginary being.
Instead of pride in our nation’s formation and celebrating a society that embraces our many heritages, our motto echos the empty minds of the lowest common denominator. What the heck does the motto even mean? Does it imply that as Americans we all believe in a singular supernatural entity that is entrusted to manage the nation’s affairs? If so, what need is there for elected officials, for a Defense Department, for a Department of anything?
In the least it makes the assumption that all citizens are alike in belief, dismissing the fact there are non-believers and believers in multiple pagan gods. It places no value on reason or reality, nor does it honor the “Great Experiment” , the first example of democracy and freedom upon which all other democratic nations will base their own. It flies in the face of the Founding Father’s use of the deistic term “Creator” and their specific avoidance of the word “God” with all its Judeo-Xtian connotations and baggage.
It puts our motto right up there with The Confederate States of America’s motto, Under God, Our Vindicator; and third world nation’s mottos like Iraq’s God is the Greatest; Nicaragua’s, In God we Trust (Yep, that’s right); and Saudi Arabia’s, There is no God other than God and Muhammad is His Prophet. Yes, our motto puts us in wonderful company of similarly deluded nations.
Perhaps the motto change and the addition of “under God” in the pledge (also a by product of the McCarthy era - sixty years after the pledge was written), were the early warning signs of our nation’s abandonment of reason, and slide into third worldism. Maybe it was fate’s way of saying: “Someday this great country will come to admire ignorance, praise superstition, deny and demonize science, and seek the leadership and guidance of those who pray to a boogie man for rain and for people’s sexuality to be changed.”
I’m guessing Adams, Jefferson, Paine, et al, never saw this coming. For their sake, I’m glad they didn’t live to see it.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
The condemnation of their home state / region is not directed at them nor meant to insult them or anyone who has risen above the ignorance and backwardness that The South has come to exemplify, endorse and propagate. That said....
I’ve pussy footed around it in a number of my blog rants and in my books, but I’m putting it out on the table openly, plainly and unabashedly: I despise The South. There, I said it. [Pause, wait for audience to finish gasping in horror]
The fact is that I’ve pretty much always harbored a dislike for The South, or at least for as long as I could read or interpret TV news broadcasts. Racism; anti-Semitism; anti-homosexual activism; a general lack of respect for advanced education; the highest rates of all the social ills known to our nation; a peculiar penchant for executions; a glorification of violence; a distinct taste for re-writing history; and the breeding ground for the most Religiously afflicted people in the nation, if not the entire civilized world... all of it festers and thrives among the twelve to sixteen states (depending on whose counting) known as The South.
My opinion of The South was not a sudden revelation. It was formed over the years starting in childhood when I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Then Mark Twain. Then
“Inherit the Wind.”
It began to solidify when I saw the “Whites Only” seating, restaurant and rest room designations when I traveled with a tour group in my early teens. Then watching the epithet spewing/ spittle lathered grimacing faces of enraged Southern whites on TV news broadcasts during integration of Southern schools in the 60’s. Then there were the lynchings, shooting and night time terror perpetrated on the civil rights workers, the Freedom Riders. My experiences with red neck drill instructors in Fort Jackson and Fort Polk during my army service didn’t improve my perception, and the assassination of MLK pretty much slammed the door on any respect or empathy for Southern anything. I even harbor an intense disgust for Kentucky Fried Chicken that foul grease congealed crap that passes for fowl.
In this month’s issue of Church & State, the magazine published by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, 75%+ of the domestic stories are related to battles against Southern states’ religious intrusions into government, schools, and our lives. Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Delaware top the list... multiple times. This is the norm.
The birthplace of the KKK and other uniquely Southern hate groups; the cry of “the South will rise again” and associated reverence for a defunct flag/symbol which glorifies a culture that embraced slavery and fought our history’s most horrific war to retain it; the reticence of state and local governments to abide by the Constitution and decision of the Supreme Court vis-à-vis separating government and religion; the rejection of reason and reality by an overwhelming majority of the citizenry who prefer to embrace the religious delusion heaped on them by backwards preachers and preachers of questionable sanity and even more dubious ethics i.e. the Falwells, Robertsons, Swaggerts, Bakkers, Grahams, John Benefiel (look him up- it’ll creep you out); the stomping grounds of a populace with a greater knowledge of their local high school football players’ stats than who the secretary of state is, or the name of a single supreme court justice, or what the Establishment Clause of the 1st amendment means. All of this is just the icing on the cake of utter contempt I hold for “Dixie.”
Some will protest and say:
“But Hump, this is stereotyping. Certainly you realize these things aren’t confined to The South. Just look at Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, or the Fundamentalist Mormons of Utah and the South West. Craziness, bigotry and blatant stupidity can be found everywhere.” and they’d be right. But stereotypes very often have a basis in reality, and the reality I point to is undeniable. And while racism, homophobia, Christian fundamentalist idiocy, right wing violence endorsing wackiness, gross stupidity, et al, can be and is found everywhere in the US, the highest concentration, the epicenter, the Mecca, the hub, the core, the focal point resides in the region south of the Mason Dixon Line.
Proof? I’ve often sited the Pew Survey on Religiosity from 2008, as well as the statistics available by state on unemployment rates, poverty, infant mortality, education levels, illiteracy, violent crime rates, alcoholism, teen pregnancy and even estimated aggregate IQ. Invariably, The South rates highest among the negative attributes, and lowest among the positive ones. Not surprisingly, the degree of their societal ills is largely in direct correlation to their respective levels of religiosity. It confirms everything I perceived to be true anecdotally.
- Want to see Xtian Snake Handlers, or the largest number of faith healers? Go South young man.
- Wonder which region represents 30% of the nation’s states but has more than half of the creationist museums and theme parks in the nation; and which state gave a $46 million tax break to the builders of a religious theme park?
- Curious as to which region of the nation most often starts their legislative sessions with specifically Christian oriented prayers invoking Jesus’ name?
- Wonder which states' governors have appealed to their constituents to pray for rain or for economic recovery in the past six months?
- Wonder what region can claim nine of the top ten execution states?
- Wonder in which state an incoming governor during his inauguration said that unless his constituents were Christians they were not his brothers or sisters?
- Curious as to what state claims the only sitting governor who actually participated in an exorcism of his fiancée?
Wonder no more. The South gets all the credit.
I am convinced that if The South left the Union and joined Mexico, the aggregate IQ of the remaining United States would increase by 20 points, and the average IQ of Mexico would drop similarly. This presupposes that the Southern freethinker minority immigrates north.
There are fine and intelligent people who reside in The South. My Southern readers and Facebook friends are proof of that. I think of them as islands of intelligence and reason in a raging sea of ignorant delusional dullards.
Of course, The South isn’t all bad. On the positive side there is the heat, drought, and gawd awful humidity; the long neck beer swilling-giant belt buckle wearing-Confederate flag adorned pickup truck driving red necks; the profusion of Waffle Houses; George Bush Jr. and Senior; and that kid who dangles his feet off the bridge while playing the banjo in “Deliverance.”
Yes, much like snowballs in Hell, even The South has its redeeming qualities.