Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Christian Right: The Educated Need Not Apply

If you have a blog, please feel free to promote it on my “Promote Your Blog” page above.

Santorum and Dennis Terry: Another Tale of Uneducated Christian Bigotry

By now you have probably heard about Rick Santorum attending a mass where Baptist Pastor Dennis Terry delivered a videotaped sermon.  If you have not yet heard about this story, you can read an article written by Katherine Q. Seelye in the New York Times here.

Numerous problems present themselves regarding this story.  The most troubling aspects of this situation are the words that came from (the Baptist) Terry’s lips.  He stated, “I don’t care what the liberals say, I don’t care what the naysayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation…”  There a couple of glaring beacons of stupidity in that statement.  First, I was unaware of the fact that to be a Baptist, one had to be politically conservative.  Someone please point out to me where or when that became a requirement.  I realize that Mr. Terry may not speak for all Baptists, but when do we cross the line of offensive stupidity?  When do we cross the line where members of the flock (or all the flocks) realize that their leaders are leading them towards hate, a lack of education, and moral poverty and decide to leave?  To stand up and speak out against the type of foolish bigotry that comes from the mouths of people like Terry.

Second, I am really becoming sick and tired of the religious continuing to falsely claim that we are a Christian nation.  As I have previously blogged, we are not.  One of two things needs to occur quickly.  Either the religious must all be required to take a refresher course on American History or the historically educated of this country must speak out whenever this type of nonsense is spewed from the pulpit or political soapbox.  It cannot be allowed to continue.  It accomplishes nothing more than to spread ignorance of reality to the masses and serve as a way to keep the flock herded.  The fact that so many in the pews believe nonsense like that is what gives people like Terry power in the first place.

Terry goes on, in a more offensive manner to write:

“There’s only one God, and his name is Jesus,” he continued. “I’m tired of people telling me that I can’t say those words. I’m tired of people telling us as Christians that we can’t voice our beliefs or we can no longer pray in public. Listen to me. If you don’t love America, if you don’t like the way we do things I have one thing to say — get out!”

 

Thunderous applause interrupted him before he went on.

 

“We don’t worship Buddha! I said we don’t worship Buddha, we don’t worship Muhammad, we don’t worship Allah, we worship God, we worship God’s son Jesus Christ.”

 

He said that the church had to be the conscience of the nation and went on to rail against abortion and homosexuality. His goal, he said, is to “put God back in America,” in homes, schools and “in our state house.”

 

As the congregation gave Mr. Terry an enthusiastic standing ovation, Mr. Santorum also stood and applauded.  (Seelye NY Times)

Where to begin criticizing that verbal onslaught of insanity is a tough choice.  I suppose we can start with the question:  Mr. Terry could you please prove that there is only one god, and his name is Jesus?  If you are going to insist that we all fall in line and make this supposed deity such an integral part of our society, I demand that you provide concrete evidence to back up your first point.  Again Mr. Terry does not disappoint us in providing another poorly thought out and uneducated statement.

Second, no one, let me repeat, no one is telling you that as Christians, you cannot believe or say things about your beliefs.  You have the complete right to believe whatever childish stories you wish and you even get to talk about all you want.  What people are saying is that you cannot force those beliefs on the rest of us.  You can even pray in public.  You have the right to do so whenever you want.  At the same time, we have the right to not be subjected to making your prayer any official part of a program, event, courtroom, school, etc that we attend.  You can pray wherever or whenever you like, just keep it to yourself.

“If you don’t love America, if you don’t like the way we do things I have one thing to say — get out!”  I must say, as an atheist, it has been a long time since I have attended a Christian mass, is this what it has become?  Mr. Terry’s statement is nothing more than anti-American hate speech.  I write that it is anti-American because the beauty of this country is that we do not always have to agree, that opposing viewpoints are encouraged.  Mr. Terry’s grasp of our founding is once again illustrated as severely lacking.  I am beginning to wonder if one needs to even have any sort of formal education to become a pastor.

His comments about other religions are equally offensive.  To imply that he and his ilk are superior to those who believe in other religions is nothing more than plain hate speech.  (As an aside, do you think he realizes that his god and the Allah he rails against is supposedly the same god?–judging from his previous examples of poor learning, I am going with a “no vote”.)  At times people say that I write similar things about religions.  There is a fundamental difference.  I am not bigoted towards any one religion.  In my vision of a perfect world, religion and a belief in supernatural beings would cease to exist.  I do not feel this way because of any internal hatred or superiority I feel towards them, but rather, as so many atheist writers have pointed out, religion/god comes from the infancy of human development.  It no longer offers any relevant answers to modern day questions and only serves to hold back human development.  Mr. Terry is arguing that his particular brand of childlike beliefs makes him superior to all others.  That is a key difference to note between people like him and many atheists.

His last statement regarding putting god back in America is a blatant rejection of the separation of Church and State.  We have already pointed out his lack of U.S. History, but that does not excuse his incorrectly educating entire groups of people.  Nor does it excuse those people from buying his nonsense.  It is time that religious Americans take a long hard look at education and start to really question what they are being told by their leaders.  There are undoubtedly many educated religious people in this country.  It is time they apply their critical thinking skills to every word uttered from the pulpit or from politicians.

Mr. Terry is nothing more than an embarrassment to this country.  It is a shame that anyone shows up to hear his poorly thought out and uneducated sermons.  He was interrupted with “thunderous applause” and received a standing ovation at the end of his sermon.  As has been noted on just about every news network, Rick Santorum participated in this response.

This brings us to the second major problem with this story.  Santorum is claiming that he supports much of what Terry says, but draws the line at the ‘if you don’t like it get out!” stuff. Where the truth lies, I do not know.  What I do know is this.  Mr. Terry did not say anything out of character from his usual rhetoric.  Knowing the kinds of things that he could say, why would a presidential candidate be present at an event where such nonsense would surely be spoken?  Furthermore, why would he applaud such hate filled, uneducated, drivel?  One has to at least ask if Santorum believes all of what Mr. Terry said and is now only backpedaling to soften his unpopular stance, as he has done in the past.

Santorum goes on to say:

“…obviously I believe in freedom of religion and all religions are welcome and should be. I think I’ve made that pretty clear throughout my campaign that I believe very much in freedom of religion, and folks should be able to worship whoever they want to worship and bring their thoughts in the public square.” (Seelye, NY Times)

One last question for Mr. Santorum:  Do you really believe that?  If you do, why accuse Obama of false theology?  Why fight so hard against the secular movement, are not we entitled to bring our thoughts into the public square?  Would you support a candidate who happened to be a Muslim from the Wahabi school of Islam running for office to have an equal standing as you and your views and to bring them into the White House or Congress?  I have to be honest here Rick, I don’t think you meant a word of what you said.

One thing seems to be clear—The Christian Right does not want you to think for yourself.  The educated need not apply.

Thanks for Reading.  I look forward to your comments.

 

My Road to Atheism

If you have a blog please feel free to promote it on my “Promote Your Blog” page above.

 

My Atheism Story

I am going to be away for the next week.  I will have access to a computer, but not much time to blog during this time.  My next new blog will be Sunday Mar. 18 (unless I am able to sneak one in this coming week).  I started this blog in late January.  Since that time it has been a great success.  I have a bunch of loyal readers who comment and/or email me daily.  I really appreciate that and ask that you continue.  Your comments and participation are a large part of why I view this blog as being successful thus far.  If you are a regular reader and have not yet left a comment, I invite you do so.  I wanted to take this time to write a little bit about me and my road to atheism.  I do not have a specific “a-ha” moment, but rather a series of things that led me to atheism and eventually to blogging.

I was raised in Catholic family on the outskirts of Boston.  Both of my parents are practicing Catholics.  They go and have gone to Church every Sunday since they were children.  In the spirit of that tradition, I was trudged off to mass as well.  Somewhere around age 8 or so, my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to become an altar server—so I did.  I actually enjoyed it as it gave me something to do during the masses other than just sitting in a pew.   I was too young to listen or really care about what was being preached.  Life was good.

I am not sure what age I was, though I was surely between ages 10 and 12, when the then Cardinal of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law came to say mass at our church.  (As a side note, he is now the infamous Cardinal who swept all of the abuse cases under the rug in Boston and was promoted to a post at the Vatican for his efforts).  At our church I always performed my role as an altar server with a girl named Natalie—every time.  We had female lectors and eucharistic ministers as well.  When we learned that Cardinal Law was coming to say mass, I was chosen to be the altar server.  My parents were quite proud, I suppose I was too, it is always nice to be chosen for something.  It was at this point that I had my first issue with the Church.  As an inquisitive kid, I naturally asked “how come Natalie can’t do it with me?”  The answer I received was that because the Cardinal is here, no women are allowed on the altar.  No female altar servers, lectors, or eucharistic ministers.  Though I was young, this immediately struck me as very wrong.  I told my parents so, and was told “that is just the way it is, to do my job and be quiet” so I did.  This never sat well with me and within a year I was no longer an altar server.  This was the seed that started me on my road to atheism.  The Cardinal’s visit taught me two things:  1) the Church is not always right and 2) question the Church.

I may have gotten out of the altar server thing, but I was still required to go to mass every Sunday.  By the time I was in high school we had a priest at the time, Father Dilorenzo.  He was militantly anti-abortion.  Every week, that was the topic of his sermon, except on those rare occasions where he lambasted the Catholics who do not come to church weekly.  (I always wondered why he did that.  If those people cared, wouldn’t they have been present?)  He is also a pivotal figure in my move away from the Church.  He was routinely arrested for his pro-life protesting efforts.  I had two thoughts on this.  First, I questioned why he kept getting arrested.  At this point, I knew enough to realize that people could protest and not get arrested.  He must be doing something far worse than just standing there with a sign.  (I later learned that he would impede people from entering the clinics by physically standing in their way or even by grabbing and pulling them back).  I came to realize that he was a fanatic and his way of dealing with the situation was poor.  I learned that even priests can be poor role models.  The second I learned was a great deal about the abortion issue.  He preached his particular version of intolerance so often, I was naturally curious to learn what the other side of this issue was.  Upon closer research, I came to learn about women’s rights and from that point on was vehemently opposed to his views.  I made sure that I let my parents know exactly where he went wrong in his weekly sermon.

I went to a Catholic High school.  This was in part my choice, but I was certainly steered that way by my parents.  I wanted to go there for the simple fact that my two best friends were also going there.  Religion did not factor into my decision at all.  I had a great time in high school, but once again I found myself at odds with the Church.  Each year, we had to take a religion class.  The first two years were focused on the bible and were taught by nuns.  I was horrified by what I read.  As many of you know, the Old Testament is a particularly brutal book.  I made some small arguments in class, but quickly realized that would get me nowhere, so more or less kept my opinion to myself.  The last two years of high school the classes focused on moral theology and social justice.  These classes were taught by laity.  I was able to say much more and even take the opposing side of the church on issues.  Don’t get me wrong, my teachers did not care for my attitude, but I was not alone.  Many classmates shared my views and I started to form the more adult ideas that I have now in relation to Church teachings.  This is important to note.  Had I gone to public school, I would never have thought about church teachings at this age, and do not know when and if I would have.  I would like to think that I would still be where I am today, but I cannot say for sure.  The anti-Catholic ideas that formulated in my head at that time were strong and very much influenced who I turned out to be.

I do not want to make much of the following, but it is also important to note that I had a serious problem with Church telling me that what I was learning about my own body and that of my girlfriend’s (we dated all four years) was very very wrong.  That in fact, I would be going to hell.  That never sat well with me and further drove a wedge between me and the Church.

With the dissenting views I already had towards the Church it is important to point out that the thought of atheism never entered my mind.  I never questioned the existence of god; I questioned what his “representatives” on earth were saying.  That changed in college.  It may surprise you to learn that I also went to a small Catholic liberal arts college.  Again, religion never entered into the equation when making my choice.  I liked the school, there were a handful of classmate also going there, and it was a couple of hours from home.  Perfect.

My first semester at college is when things drastically changed for me.  First, I stopped going to mass.  I did not like what priests had to say and no one was there to force me to go.  Second, I had to take two classes on religion in order to graduate.  That first semester I took a bible study class.  This time around, I was able to argue, and did so quite effectively with the many biblical objections I have.  The lay theologian who taught the class was quite open to these types of discussion.  I began to learn that there may be something to my thoughts.

Second semester I took another religion class to fulfill my requirement.  The class I took was Moral Theology.  Things were much different here than in my bible study class.  This course was taught by a priest who was a practiced apologist, and had written some books on the matter.  We read his books, as well as stuff like Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.  All of it resonated as bullshit to me.  I spoke up in class and had my arguments with the apologist Priest.  He welcomed the discussions, but was a much better debater than I.  I was allowed to get away with nothing—that is where it differed from previous religion courses I had taken.  To this day, I disagree with much of what he said and argued in support of.  However, I would be remiss if I did not point out that his class cemented many of my objections to Catholicism and taught me how to argue the points effectively.  I also decided that I liked this whole “philosophy” thing.  It would not be my major, but I took enough classes to minor in it.

There is one professor of philosophy that perhaps had the largest impact on my life of any teacher I have ever had.  He was enrolled in the seminary, graduated, and then proceeded to leave the Church.  He had a PhD in Philosophy as well as masters degrees in psychology and biology.  To this day, I am not sure if he is an atheist.  What I do know is that he is reason that I am.  He was the first person who required me to question the existence of god and the purpose of religion.  He, as a good professor, argued both sides (which is why I still do not know where he personally stood or stands).   I took four classes that he taught over my four years.  The best class I had with him was: Creation vs. Evolution.  One of our evolution texts was Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel Dennett.  The whole god and religion thing collapsed like a house of cards.  My major was Political Science, though I focused on political philosophy.  Between those courses and the numerous other books I read, I learned what many of the great minds of the past thought, but more importantly to think for myself.  I left college an atheist.

The next 15 years of my life were pretty quiet as far as atheism goes.  I went to grad school and got a Masters in Political Science.  I am happy to say that I married someone who shares my views.  It is a nice thing to have a wife who sees eye to eye on religions and god.  I more or less kept my thoughts confined to my house.  Things started to change for me last year.  With the continued rise of the Christian Right I felt the need to become a bit more active.  Once the Republican candidates for President started speaking, I really felt the need to speak out.  That is why I started this blog.  This blog is my platform to speak up.  It is my soapbox to point out all that I find wrong and offensive about religion, particularly in relation to the political scene.  That is what I will continue to do.

As I will be gone for a week, I would like to invite all of you to introduce yourself and tell your stories.  I really enjoy hearing stories of how others came to atheism.  If you don’t want to use your real name, make one up, and tell your story.  I think you will find it an enjoyable experience to write about.  I know I have.  My comments section seems to react poorly with Internet Explorer and long posts.  If you are having trouble posting, break it up into smaller sections.  I really look forward to reading what you all have to say.

Thanks for Reading.  I look forward to your stories.

 

A Celibate Old Man’s Advice on Sex

If you have a blog please feel free to promote it on my “Promote Your Blog Page” above.

The Pope’s Foolish Comments on Sexuality and Marriage

It appears as though the Pope is bungling his way back into the bedroom, or more specifically your bedroom today.  His comments can be found in numerous places on the web.

The Pope feels that current attitudes towards sex, couples living together before marriage, and same sex marriage are harmful to our society.  There are numerous quotes on many Catholic websites and blogs today from Benedict more or less reiterating some form of that sentence.  The question that any reader must ask, and which he fails to answer is “How are these things harmful to society?”  The only answers the Pope gives to this question show how these things are harmful to the Church’s teachings.  I would be negligent in my duties if I did not point out that what is harmful to the Church is not necessarily harmful to society.  In fact, I think that many things that would be harmful to the Church are to society’s benefit—I digress.

The Pope states that, “It is in fact increasingly evident that a weakened appreciation of the indissolubility of the marriage covenant, and the widespread rejection of a responsible, mature sexual ethic grounded in the practice of chastity, have led to grave societal problems bearing an immense human and economic cost.”  It is necessary to point out that much of the immense human and economic costs surrounding sex have quite a bit to do with the Church’s worldwide teachings against birth control.  This is an important line to draw.  The act of sex, in and of itself, is not responsible for our societal problems.  The possible byproducts of sex are the issue here.  These byproducts range from STD’s to unwanted pregnancies.  I do believe that there are fairly inexpensive ways to prevent the larger costs associated with STD’s and unwanted pregnancies.  Perhaps the Church would be better served pursing those, rather than millennia old ideas revolving around chastity that only ring hollow in the 21st century.

Benedict also errs when addressing the current political situation in the U.S.  He stated the following, “”threats to freedom of conscience, religion and worship which need to be addressed urgently so that all men and women of faith, and the institutions they inspire, can act in accordance with their deepest moral convictions.”  This really brings us to the crux of the issue.  The Church seems to think that just because its leaders and dogma hold something as a “deep moral conviction” that it must be so with all Catholics.  This is a grave error.  This is nothing more than a poorly thought out extrapolation.  It is quite clear that the majority of Catholics use birth control and do not struggle with “deep moral convictions” when purchasing it.  The Church is out of sync with its own flock. This does not now, nor will it ever be, a problem for the U.S. government to enforce.  Do not force others to tend to your sheep.

Benedict, in what I can only see as an attempt at humor, though I am sure he was quite serious when stating that chief aim of the Church is for, “”the good of children, who have a fundamental right to grow up with a healthy understanding of sexuality and its proper place in human relationships.”  It takes a colossal amount of arrogance for the Clergy to lecture on sexuality and human relationships in relation to children in the light of recent events.

He also states, “The moral virtues espoused in the church’s teaching on sexuality are “the key to human fulfillment.” And that the Church’s teachings on sexuality are, “a source of genuine freedom, happiness and the fulfillment of our fundamental and innate human vocation to love.”

Someone please explain to me how celibate old men would have any knowledge of a “healthy understanding of sexuality and its proper place in human relations”?  They do not have sex, nor do they have sexual relationships.  The Clergy claiming to experts on sex and relationships is akin to me claiming to be an expert on building a house.  I understand how the process is supposed to go…pour foundation, frame the house, put up walls, roof, do some electrical work, etc.  Let me be the first to state you would be far better off living in a tent than in a house that I built.  Let me further assure you, that you are better off learning from your own experiences of sex and relationships than you are adhering to the advice of the clergy—who has no experience in these matters.  The co-worker next to you is most likely infinitely more qualified to advise you in these matters than a priest.

The Pope does not let the absurdity of his claim rest there.  He continues saying that Catholics must “”recover an appreciation of the virtue of chastity.”  I am sure you are wondering why this is important, so let us get right at it, “[chastity] forms the human heart to love in the most authentic way.”  What an outrageous claim to make.  I demand that the Church immediately provide evidence for that statement.  If this is something that must be done, please provide the facts.  Truthfully, by making claims as unfounded as that, the Pope is doing my work for me.  I must ask, how he can he make a statement like that, then wonder why their pews are not as crowded, particularly with those under the age of 30.  Chastity is not now, nor was it ever the answer to any problem.  Promoting chastity is nothing more than promoting ignorance of human nature.  It is an untenable solution to solving the problems surrounding sex (STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, etc) and must be rejected outright.  Want proof:  Look no further than the clergy.  The clergy, with their “holier than though” attitude could not resist the pull of human nature.  An untold number of children have suffered as a result.  (That statement is no way an exoneration of the atrocities of child rape.  It is meant to show that chastity cannot be sustained.  The Priests chose a target (children) for their sexual urges where they had hoped to not get caught, and did get away with it for a long time.  It is inexcusable, and in my opinion makes any claim to a moral superiority from Rome offensive).

The Church is completely ignorant of the troubles that it faces.  They are blinded by their dogma, faith, and ignorance of reality.  In an answer to questions that Bishops posed regarding falling church attendance and a fewer number of young people seeking marriage in Churches, the Pope responds, “We cannot overlook the serious pastoral problem presented by the widespread practice of cohabitation, often by couples who seem unaware that it is gravely sinful, not to mention damaging to the stability of society.”  I must again demand evidence that demonstrates that pre-marital cohabitation damages the stability of society.  He goes in numerous other statements to detail that the Church has failed to educate the current generation on morality and the dangers of pre-marital sex and cohabitation.  It has been noted in a few articles online that the Pope did not provide any clues detailing how this “knowledge” could be better taught.  I would argue he did not provide an answer to the Bishops, who were no doubt eager to learn how to better brainwash teach the young of these dangers, because there is no answer.  The message was taught.  The message has been rejected as unfounded nonsense.  This is an important thing to take notice of.  The Pope sees the problem as ignorance on the part of the flock.  I see the problem as ignorance on the part of the Pope.

(Aside:  “psst, Benedict, just about everyone in the Western world, Catholic and non-Catholic, is pretty much aware of the Church’s stances on pre-marital sex and cohabitation.  They are not ignorant of it, they in fact reject it!  They reject it as the rubbish it is.  You see, the problem you see as ignorance of the flock is really an awakening of the flock to the fact that anything you tell them really has no factual basis.  It is only going to get worse for the Church; and the sooner the better, if I may add my opinion).

The Pope then points his scepter at the gay marriage debate.  He reiterates the absurd notion that sex is only for procreation.  Then he makes a statement that is very much worth noting, “”Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage.”  Perhaps the most important ingredient for marriage and certainly for a successful one is love.  I think we can all agree that it is something that two people who love each other often look to do.  It is necessary to revisit an earlier quote where he states we have a, “…fundamental and innate human vocation to love”.  It must be noted that there is no proof that we as humans actually have an innate need to love, but for the purposes of the argument of marriage, it is certainly a key thing to have—I am confident the Pope and I can agree on that premise.  I am quite sure that homosexual couples love each other as much as I love my wife and you love your significant other (straight or homosexual).  If love is so important to the Pope, why would he seek to limit that love?  It is after all in his words “fundamental” and “innate”.  It would appear to me that the Pope’s understanding of the human condition of love and his definition of marriage, perhaps the most recognized symbol of love are at odds.  This is another fine example of Church hypocrisy.

The Pope continues his onslaught of verbal refuse stating that defending heterosexual marriage is a matter of, “justice, since it entails safeguarding the good of the entire human community and the rights of parents and children alike.”  Once again, I demand that the Vatican provide evidence for that claim.  Please explain to me how a loving, and by any definition you want to ascribe to a successful marriage, of a gay couple that has adopted a child is less “good” or beneficial to the child than a heterosexual marriage that has failed for any number of reasons (abuse, lack of love, unwanted children, etc).  Which environment is better for a child?  It is the height of ignorance to assume that “traditional” marriages will produce a better environment for raising a child.  I also demand to know how my rights or the rights of my children are in any way affected if the gay couple across the street gets married and adopts a child.  What rights of mine are jeopardized by those occurrences?

It is time for Catholics to wake up and realize that they do not hold with the Church’s proclamations on these issues, and if they learned a bit more about how the universe works, if they start to question the rest of what Rome tells them, that in reality what is left is nothing more than a flimsy house of cards.  It is a house that desperate old chaste men are trying to keep together, so that they can continue to remain relevant and have job in this century.

It is time for atheists to be active in calling out this type of nonsense.  The internet is filled with it.  There are hundreds of Christian bloggers who babble to these ends.  Christianity is in its death throes.  I do not think it will go quietly, but go it must.  As an atheist and freethinker, I view it is as my role to encourage people I know to be skeptical when thinking on their religion and on the messages they are being bombarded with from the pulpit.  I do not want to sit idly by and have the terms offered by the likes of Rick Santorum and the Christian Right dictated to me.  If you agree, then now is a time to be active.

Thanks for reading.  I look forward to your comments.

Religious Morality is a Sham

If you have a blog feel free to promote it on my “Promote Your Blog” page above.

The Limbaugh Debacle

As atheists we are constantly asked how we can possibly be moral without believing in a god(s) and thus religion.  Most of us rightly scoff at the absurdity of that question.   The idea that any god or religion is a source of morality is quite foolish.  I must be honest in saying that I am becoming quite fed up with having my morals questioned by people whose morality appears to be quite lacking.  There is little doubt that current Republican Party, FOX news, and its other pundits are closely allied with the Christian Right.  They claim the moral high ground on every social issue that arises.   Yet publicly they drop the ball over and over again.

It was only a matter of time before Rush Limbaugh somehow managed to insert himself into the Republican Primary race with a large splash.  His comments calling Sandra Fluke a “slut”, a “prostitute”, and then somehow drawing the conclusion that our tax dollars are “paying her to have sex” have landed him on the front page.  (Someone please explain to me logic of the last quote, I just cannot seem to get there).  Limbaugh has since apologized (poorly I might add) for the remarks.

The situation is a bit dicier than that though.  FOX news has not really condemned Rush for his statements.  In fact, on numerous of their shows they more or less stated the same message with quieter tones.  Sean Hannity actually defends Limbaugh’s comments (a quick Google search of that will give you plenty of results).  O’Reilly left out any condemnation at all, and still argued for the illogical quote number three previously noted.  The three Republican Presidential candidates were very slow to criticize Rush and only did so half-heartedly.  They made statements implying that Rush was correct in his thinking, but used a poor choice of words.

In a series of recent articles, Michelle Bachmann has been quoted asking, “Where was the political left when she and her family were being harshly condemned?”  She points out that she has received various messages and tweets that threatened violence upon her and her family.  She further states that these messages are so offensive that she cannot possibly state them in public.  (How convenient).   She wants to know why there is a lack of criticism for those messages.  I have two things to say on this matter.  First, if you can produce evidence that hateful and violent threats were made against you and your family, I will be the first from the political left to condemn those words.  I realize that my meager condemnation counts for little, but at least it is a start.  However, just because you say something happened, does not mean it did.  Produce the evidence, and watch the condemnations come rolling in.  How can we criticize hate speech, that we do not know exists, and that you still will not share with us?  I am sorry it cannot work that way.

Let us suppose that offensive statements were hurled your way, they would be as wrong as Limbaugh’s statements.  Yet, poor behavior by liberals does not justify poor behavior by conservatives, so your argument is debunked either way.   One last thing to note, there was the issue of you on Jimmy Fallon’s show.  Remember you walked out and the band played the song “Lying Ass Bitch”.  I believe that Fallon, the band leader, and NBC all made very public apologies to you for playing such a sexist song.  So in a public case of you being treated in poor taste and in a sexist manner, an apology was rendered and the act condemned.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot to ask, do you plan on apologizing for all of the offensive, hateful, and hurtful comments you have made towards homosexuals?  I am just curious.

This is whole topic is problematic for me for one reason.  It is the political Right, aided and abetted by their Christianity that claims the moral high ground on social issues.  This is the same group that finds birth control unconscionable, the same group that finds homosexuality an abomination, the same group that routinely attempts to deny that any issue with the word “woman” in it, is in fact about women, and is more about social morality, etc.  I have a serious problem with people who claim moral justification for social issues, then proceed to act in a way that most of us would actually find immoral.  I have a serious problem with a group that calls “foul” when they feel slighted, yet are responsible for more hate-mongering than any other group in U.S. society.

The Christian/political Right must be completely unaware of the hypocrisy that they live every minute of every day when it comes to morality.  I would posit that this lack of awareness stems from the fact that they are irrationally convinced that their views are infallible.  They can claim the “moral high ground” all they want.  The reality is that they dwell in the moral basement of humanity.  Examples of this basement dwelling go back thousands of years, and lucky for us who want to point it out, continue to present themselves daily.  Limbaugh’s comments and so many of the biggest names on the Right either defending him or not really criticizing him is just the latest example of the Right Wing Religious Moral Police failing dreadfully.  Want some advice:  Drop the religion and think for yourself.  Your religion is usually the source of your faulty morality.  You might be surprised to learn how foolish you routinely appear when you realize that.

Thanks for reading.  I look forward to your comments.

If god existed…he/she/it would have a lot to answer for…

If you have a blog, please feel free to promote it on my “Promote Your Blog” page above.

My Problems with the Concept of god

There has been a lot of foolish talk recently among the religious about the need to be thankful to god for so many things.  Most recently, they falsely claim that people should be thankful to god for the recent tornadoes to touch down in the U.S.  That these disasters have allowed community members to give selflessly to each other and other such nonsense.  In the words of one Minnesota Pastor “The disastrous storms were calling every person of every religion or non-religion to turn from sin and come to Jesus Christ for forgiveness and eternal life.”  According to pastors, priests, and other evangelicals, most of the disasters that face humanity seem to be either a way for god to call people to him or are used as a teaching instrument on how we should live.

I was reading a recent blog on a Christian website (sometimes I like to torture myself) that said in our current era it is more important than ever to be grateful to god.  That in fact, the attitude that upsets god the most is ungratefulness.  (How this blogger knows this information is a question for a different time.)  This blogger actually writes that complaining opens the door for the devil and that we need to appreciate the struggles we face as they help us to grow.  I must be honest; it has been a while since I felt so much distaste towards this type of ignorant stupidity.  It is my opinion that the idea of “Thank you god.  May I have another?” does nothing more than promote human suffering and pulls back the reigns of human progress.

As an atheist, I believe that god does not exist.  There is a zero evidence to support such a being, and a mountain of evidence to believe the concept is fiction.  That said, and in attempt to humor myself, if god were to exist, I have decided to compile a short list of things that I am not only ungrateful for, but would hold this supernatural being accountable for.

I am ungrateful for and hold god accountable for:

  • The 38 people who died in the recent string of tornados.  I did not appreciate that.  If that is your way to teach people that they must appreciate your power or that they need to be nice to each other, then you are not worth an ounce of respect.
  • The treatment of homosexuals around the world.  In theory, you would have created them.  Did you do that just for the amusement of watching people who claim your will discriminate against them?  If so, then you would be a cruel tyrant worthy of revolution and not admiration.
  • Creating so many different religions that do not agree on any one idea or concept about you and assuring each one of them, that they have the right of it.  Oh, I am also ungrateful for your instilling in these people the justification for killing people by the millions who do not agree with their view of you.
  • The Crusades, The Holocaust, and the countless other wars of religion and genocide.  Nothing makes me feel more grateful than senseless death.  Thanks for whatever lesson we were supposed to learn there.
  • The abject degradation of women done in your name all around the globe for millennia.  Do you really dislike one half of the human species that you, in theory, created that much?  If so, why create them?
  • Slavery.  I am ungrateful for the millions of people who needlessly suffered under this inhumane concept because at one time you thought it was a good idea.
  • Disease.  I have no idea why you ever thought this was a necessary construct.  I am certainly ungrateful to you for allowing millions of people to suffer as a result of disease rather than just letting us expire peacefully.
  • Racism.  When we are hateful to each other and often kill each other by the millions, is that simply a source of amusement to you?  If not, why create such a thing as this?
  • I am ungrateful for your providing false answers to scientific questions.  The blatant lack of foresight on your part is now threatening to hold our civilization back.  It leads to countless episodes of suffering around the world and to the spread of the disease and poverty.  If you really didn’t want us to think and figure this stuff out or are so insecure that you need us to believe that you are responsible for everything you either: should not have made us intelligent enough to figure it out or provided more proof as to where exactly you fit in the whole scheme of things.  Your handling of this one issue greatly displays your fallibility.
  • I am ungrateful for the selfishness that you have instilled in your followers that allows them to believe all was created for them.  This callous act also will allow them to ignore things such as climate change and perhaps destroy what you would have created.
  • The idea that some people (Popes) are infallible in some areas.  We both know that is just foolish, why let that game even start?
  • I am ungrateful for you providing us with such capable brainpower only to encourage all who follow you not to use it.  After all, how could rational person worship someone who has done all the things I wrote about?

I could go on and on, but life (and work) calls.  I think that I have the start of a good list (or at least a list of what is bothering this me morning!).  In the words of Sam Harris, “you must be either impotent or you do not care”.  Either way, you are certainly not worth my time—and certainly not my admiration.

I would encourage my readers to add to the list in the comments section.

I am sure that some fundamentalist Christians will propose their typical blind and poorly reasoned answers for these things down below.  I would urge you not to bother for one reason alone, any reason you give must assume that I or my readers believes your god exists.  We don’t.  Remember this post is hypothetical…and is nothing more than a small example of how foolish the entire concept of god is to begin with.

Thanks for Reading.  I look forward to your comments.