Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why Zombies and Vampires are so Appealing to Americans.

I walked into the gun shop the other day and bought some gun powder to keep me busy reloading ammo over the winter.  The clerk, a friend, asked “Will that be enough to cover your needs for the zombie apocalypse?”  They also sell full color zombie targets, in various poses, genders and species, as well as a brand of ammunition specifically for Zombies. [ No, not kidding. Here:  http://www.hornady.com/ammunition/zombiemax ]

Seems you can’t flip through the cable channels, or browse a book store without finding walking dead show, vampire show, or books on the same. The Twilight franchise has generated over $6 billion in sales. The Walking Dead’s new season episode drew in 16 million viewers, a cable TV record.   

With Halloween just around the corner it’s a good time to ask:
       “WTF is with American’s obsession with zombies and vampires?”. 
I’ve seen a few theories. The most touted is the sexual implications associated with Vampires …all that lust, and male on (mostly) female bare neck salivating and such. But it goes much deeper than that. Besides, there’s nothing too erotic about rotting corpses…well, at least to those of us who don’t practice necrophilia.  Other countries don’t obsess over the un-dead as much as America does. The Japanese for example tend to prefer giant city destroying lizards and insects, or spirits and ghosts out for revenge for some perceived wrong done to them in life. 

So what’s up with this American fixation? My hypothesis is that America’s fascination with the undead is tied to it being the most religious (read: Christian) Western / Industrialized nation on the planet.   


Christians have this thing about eternal life. They fear the finality of death, thus reject it for the promise of eternal life.  Anything that promotes the continuation of life after death is to be admired, embraced. Jesus created zombies by bringing back the dead, and was a zombie himself three days after death. If Jesus can do it then it must be good, after all he was perfect! 
But it doesn’t stop there. Less obvious, but equally important - zombies like to eat brains, the organ devout religionists find utterly superfluous. Its intended use  causes questioning and reason thus is an impediment to the blind acceptance and spreading of belief.  Christians voluntarily refuse to use their brains to reason so it atrophies from lack of exercise. Thus brainlessness is a Christian sacrament. [You'll recall Martin Luther’s quip on reason being the enemy of Christianity.]  

As for Vampires - Christians have been symbolically drinking the blood of Christ during communion ceremony for almost two millennium. It’s doubly important to Catholics who actually believe the wine IS blood. And think about the reason vampires are traditionally frightened by a crucifix is: if your leader was nailed to one would you want one thrust in your face just before dinner?  Drinking blood is like mingling your DNA with the  Eternal Zombie’s, a veritable guarantee of eternal life.  My proof of this?  … Have you ever seen a Christian come out of  church after mass, slap himself in the forehead and exclaim: “I could’a had a V-8!” ?   I rest my case. . 

Hey, what could be more appealing to Christian Americans than blood drinking, brain eating, pre-programmed and fully predictable eternally undead with limited vocabularies and utter disregard for reason? (try reasoning with the undead or fundie Xtian and see how far it gets you).

So when the Zombies and Vampires make their annual appearance at your door this Halloween, as you drop the candy into their bags be sure to tell them:  “Thanks, but I’m not interested in giving away my brain or bodily fluids, or reading The Watch Tower … lurch on.”  


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tramped to Death for Allah & Islam’s Version of Respect for Life

Thus far this year 50 Muslim faithful have been trampled to death on their pilgrimage to Mecca.  But this isn’t so bad.  A few years back 244 of them were crushed to death while performing the ritualistic stoning of the Devil. 
The latter story included this wonderful quote from an Islamic cleric:

"All precautions were taken to prevent such an incident, but this is God's will."

It was Allah's will these people died in 2004 throwing stones at an imaginary Devil, and it was Allah's will that only 50 died this year walking around a big cube with tens of thousands of mesmerized people peeing in place.

The religious madness of this annual assembly, the self induced ignorance that subjects the faithful to play Russian roulette of self imposed human sacrifice every year, the cavalier attitude of the defenders of the absurdity and the waste of human life for the sake of superstition .. ..such are the wages of religious ignorance and delusion. It disgusts me, and anyone with a modicum of respect for life and reality.

The respect for life and reality isn’t something the devout Muslim values. I commented on this issue on the Huff Post’s story covering the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca  (they fail to mention the deaths thus far, presumably as it seems to be something Muslims would prefer not be discussed).  In response to my commentary on the acceptance of this wasteful dance of death and Islam’s apparent disregard for or devaluing of life I received this reply from “OneTrueLight” who took exception to my perspective:

”Regarding respect for life. I tried to save a baby squirrel who was hit by a car today. It still weighs on my heart. She lay on her back in the middle of the road waving her arms around, I didn't get to her in time.

The Prophet said, ‘No human being kills a sparrow or something larger, without right, except that Allah will be asked why on the Day of Judgement.’”

Never mind that he screwed up that last sentence, I get the gist of it.  My reply was brief and to the point:  ”Save a squirrel, kill an apostate. Yup, sounds perfectly moral & sane to me.”

Three days and thus far and no retort.

I’d like to think he’s pondering that.  That he is wrestling with the incongruity of it all.  But that would be wishful thinking. My guess is he’s still thumbing through the Koran, or Hadith to find a pithy verse that will make that obscene in-congruence seem perfectly moral and reasoned. Maybe he’ll cry “Context!” like Xtians do when faced with an embarrassing biblical verse.  Or maybe I drove him to declare a fatwa on American camels, or behead an infidel, or beat his circumcised and burqua bedecked wife out of frustration. 

If you see a guy wearing a rag on his head,  giving CPR to a squirrel,  while toting an AK and carrying a sign saying “Death to apostates and those who don’t think Islam is the religion of peace” , please… give OneTrueLight the finger for me.

Friday, October 18, 2013

“I Hate Religion!” says the religionist. What’s behind this non sequitur?

If you spend any time following  Xtian news and the reader commentaries on line, you will eventually come across the hyper-religious fanatic who declares  “I hate religion too.”    You’ll even come across this absurd “God Hates Religion” message through-out the internet. 

This patently contradictory disclaimer makes sense to the fanatic because they are attempting, through word games, to separate their own flavor of religious delusion from the religious delusion, dogma, rituals and politics of established denominations.  They will even go so far as to admit the damage and horror religion has caused over the centuries. But this is a falsehood – either intentional or as a result of self delusion - for at least two reasons.
First, by definition their Xtian belief and acceptance and adherence to the belief system of Xtianity is by definition a religion.

 : the belief in a god or in a group of gods
 : an organized system of beliefs,
ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods

:  the service and worship of God or the supernatural

:  commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance

:  a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

Note that while they’d like “religion” to be defined as belonging to an organized sect, or denomination, and boiled down to “… ceremonies, rules … or institutionalized system”   religion obviously means much more than that.  In fact as we can see, those elements are the least important aspects of the definition for religion. The meat and potatoes of the definition are a personal belief in god/gods, acceptance of the Xtian doctrine/set of beliefs, worship of said god/gods, devotion to and observance of that faith, and a personal set of religious attitudes, beliefs and practices.  This is precisely what the devout believer embraces. Thus, they are religionists / practitioners of religion.

Second, whether or not they identify with a sect or denomination and that sect’s  prevailing social or political perspective or the activism of some sects, if they perceive their scripture to be against homosexuality, and it prompts/guides/ justifies their homophobia, they don’t have to be members of notoriously homophobic denominations (Catholic, Baptist, Mormons for example) to be thus influenced by ancient scripture. Their perspective of this (and other) hot button social or political issues is in fact religiously driven…they are just “unaffiliated” or perhaps better stated: they are freelance religious bigot homophobes at god’s behest.   

Even if their interpretation is that scripture does not condemn homosexuality, if they are establishing their more liberal social perspective on religious scripture they are by definition religionists / practitioners of religion.

No, word games not withstanding,  there is no escaping being a religionist by cherry picking what parts of the definition of religion one prefers.  And if you’re a Xtian and  truly “hate  religion” you may be schizophrenic and in a love hate relationship with yourself.  Get some professional help.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Justice Atonin Scalia: More than a national embarrassment, he's just plain scary

No surprise that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a religionist.  His frequent commentary, books, and interviews have made his devout Catholicism very clear. 

But in a recent interview Scalia espouses his total and unabashed belief in Satan, the Devil … not in abstract terms; not as a metaphor for human misdeeds; but as a genuine living breathing entity that goes out of its way to create evil and make life on earth in opposition to all the goodness his God-thing had intended.   

The whole interview here:

Of particular interest is this startling comment in response to the interviewer’s incredulous reaction:

”You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil!”

I don’t know about you but that one statement sends shivers up my spine. It literally scares the beJebus out of me.

Let’s see if I have this right: Because some large percentage of people in this nation believes in the Devil, it somehow makes it more real, more valid?  As though when most of the Colonies accepted slavery as a natural condition, it made slavery right?  If most people 1000 years ago believed that a two headed calf was an evil omen, it made it so? This is how this life long appointee to the highest court in the land reasons?

Sure, lots of  Americans believe in the literal Devil; and my bet would be that a great many of them have intellectual shortcomings that places the Devil believing majority aggregate IQ below the national average. That's probably why the interviewer was taken aback by the Justice's belief... he expected better.
No doubt the highly religious marginally educated of Arkansas and Mississippi would be resoundingly in agreement with Scalia. To the more enlightened religionists the Devil is a metaphor, just like they prefer to interpret the creation story to be a metaphor for the Big Bang and evolution. Those are the people who have evolved past blind acceptance of fable as reality and are inching toward modernity.

But Scalia will have none of that.  To him, snakes talked, mules talked, Noah rescued two of every animal, and Satan walks the earth in human form…no doubt planning his next mass murder at a school, or encouraging homosexuality, or pushing people to accept a woman’s right to choose.

Scalia is a dangerous and ignorant man whose mind is ensnared in 13th century supernaturalism. He has made his position clear numerous times through his decisions and interviews, albeit, he'd obfuscate if asked straight on: to him the Bible comes before the Constitution. Period.  Scalia serves two masters, and the secular one invariably is taking it up the whazoo.

He'd make a great Supreme Court Justice, if the Supreme Court existed in the 13th century. What a narrow minded, stunted embarrassment to this nation.