Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The “Religion Section” Gets Proper Placement


I noticed something interesting in my local newspaper the other day. After reading the main news and business sections, the next section was the Religion Section. It’s a weekly part of the paper. It’s not a very large part -- one folded page / four printed sides. But only one and a half of those pages are actually devoted to religion. This is, after all, New Hampshire where religion takes a back seat to living, logic and lobster.

There’s only one religion story on the lead page. I always peruse it since one never knows if there will be some good fodder for my blog, or something to animate me to write a scathing letter to the editor debunking some theist’s crazy statement. This week’s story was devoted to Catholicism, boring. I turned the page and browsed the announcements that take up half of page two, the remainder of the religious section: all you can eat church buffets, church bingo events, church tag sales, church raffles, church pancake breakfasts, priest singles night, an alter boy molestation seminar, and previews of the coming Sunday’s sermons from churches all over the area.

Then, what I noticed for the first time about the “Religion Section” made me laugh out loud. On the bottom half of page two was “Strange News Stories” from around the country; you know the type “Dumb Crook Holds Up Bank with Skunk,” “Deer locked in Baskin Robins Store Gets Ice Cream Headache,” etc., etc.) On the third page of the religion section was the comics, the horoscope, and Ann Landers’ advise column. Page four was a full page business ad.

The comics, daily horoscope, funny news from around the country, and an advice column for the chronically befuddled [i.e. “Dear Ann, My boyfriend’s crotch stinks. How do I get him to bathe more frequently?”] … all grouped together there in the Religion Section!!

It caused me to ponder … do they group all the laughable, superstitious, and totally vapid parts of the paper together in this section on purpose, or is this just a coincidence? I’m thinking the former. Either way, it couldn’t be more appropriate. No sense mixing important real world events, information and fact with superstition, humor, pseudo-science, and advice to the confused and weak minded.

I wonder if this is a common practice or peculiar to NH. Check out your paper, you may be living in a less religiously infected area than you think. Or maybe your newspaper’s publisher is an atheist.

10 comments:

Tracey said...

We have a weekly religion section here, too. It's chock full 'o xtain news, with a sprinkling of jewish news to coincide with the jewish holy days, and the obligatory rambling about the rag heads sometime around Ramitin. A few years go, they did a small (3 or 4 paragraphs) write-up about Wicca just before Halloween, and there has been an article about Buddaism, but by and large it's devoted to the abrahamic beliefs with xtianity being the primary focus.

Oh, and as for Barb's tampons, I'm sure jeebus needs them to put in the holes in his hands.

Oreo

DromedaryHump said...

tracey said: "Oh, and as for Barb's tampons, I'm sure jeebus needs them to put in the holes in his hands."

HAHAHAHA!!!

universalheretic said...

Well, the horoscopes definitely belongs in the religion section. As does any news about Jenny McCarthy's anti-vaccination crusade, ghosts, and Bigfoot stories. They are all similar lines of thinking. Unsubstantiated beliefs. Religion needs to be separated from it's Ivory Tower to even allow people to think critically about it.

DromedaryHump said...

Yeah, they should call it the "Delusion and Humor" section.

Krutches to R12 said...

Sad the northeast is losing its sense of christianity or at the least its concept of the judeo-christian ethic. We have so much to be thankful for in regards to jews and christians and their contribution to western society. Thus far we have little to be thankful for in regards to progressives/humanist and their contributions in comparison.

DromedaryHump said...

Krutches said: "Thus far we have little to be thankful for in regards to progressives/humanist and their contributions in comparison."

Thanks for your comment.

I'm not going to dismember you for this remarkably erroneous statement, for one reason: I know you're not particularly well read and lack a higher education. So, out of respect for what you can't help, you get a pass... this time.

What I will do is offer you the opportunity to look over a list of atheists and their contributions to civilization.

If you have a modicum of curiosity and intellectual honesty you'll take a few minutes, review it, and perhaps learn something no one else has bothered to teach you.
Scroll down to "atheists by profession". Look at the Nobel winners, the Pulitzer winners...the contributions to science, human longevity / the human condition, disease erratication, exploration, discovery, etc. Look at the contribution to law, the arts.
Education is a good thing. It prevents people from making inane satemenst out of ignorance. statements.HERE, try some:

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


Secondly: While the judeo-christian ethic has certainly contributed to western civilization, none of those things require belief in spirts, dead ressurections, water walking, heaven hell, life after death, etc. etc., all the foolish supernaturalism means not a jot or tittle. Morality and ethics are independent of supernaturalism,delusion, rejection of scientific fact, and dependency on a makebelieve riend.

Finally; once one leaves behind the judeo-christian ethic, and observes the extreme acts of excess committed in religion's name, we could have done just fine without the christian need to murder, exterminate, torture, and persecute millions down thru the ages. THAT is as much the legacy of religion as is the contribution to morality and ethics. And don't ever forget it.

Regards,
Hump

DromedaryHump said...

Oh, and Krutch..its not just the northeast that has become less religious and more secular, its a nation wide phenomena.

The Pew Study, released last month and reported in Newsweek, shows christianity in the US has declined from 82%to 76% since 1990, while atheism/ agnosticism has increased from 8% to 15%. This follows the trend in all other civilized eestern countries (read: educated countries). The European Union, twhat was the seat of Christianity for almost 1800 years, is now 52% non-believers, based on a 2005 study.

Only in thirdworld, countries, where poverty, ignorance, starvation, and desperation is endemic to their lives, have missionaries found a receptive audience. Africa especially. But then, that's to be expected. Islam is growing even faster in Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

I've reported on all this before. Its all verifiable.


Hump

DromedaryHump said...

KRUTCH:
check out Yesterdays NYTimes.

This will put things in poerspective. Here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/us/27atheist.html?_r=2&th&emc=th

Live and learn, I alwsys say.

Hump

Tracey said...

universalheretic,
Don't diss on Bigfoot/Sasquatch. I know there really is a Sasquatch because I watch Messin' With Sasquatch. Even Hump became a believer after seeing Messin' With Sasquatch.
Oreo

DromedaryHump said...

all hail Sasquatch. His will be done!