Monday, December 30, 2013

FOX News' War on Atheism: What exactly is this all about?

Fox News seems to have a fetish.  Not content with their annual imagined "war on Xmas", now they are "gifting" atheists with reasons God that we may better see the light and come to Jesus.

What's behind their and the Right's bizarre obsession with atheists? I think the reason is two fold.

First, they see their belief system as a target and they're scared.
Scared over reduced church attendance, over the drop in people calling themselves Xtian (76% now, down from 86% in 1998); over the growing ac
ceptance of gay rights/gay marriage which is unstoppable in spite of the efforts of their preferred followers and viewership.  They're scared of the dwindling influence of the religious-conservatives; over the refusal of school boards to accept Creationism as science, even in their southern strongholds. In short, they see their looming impotency, the end of the heyday of religious demagoguery as has already happened in the rest of the Western World. 

This fear is also palpable among the most outspoken conservative clergy.  Just this past week John Hagee, the Texas pastor whose anti-Semitic statements caused John McCain to back away from Hagee's endorsement of his presidential run, has called on atheists to "get on planes and leave the country."  If only the atheist threat would just go away!

Secondly, instilling fear and loathing of a minority has always been a way to rally support, and distract the majority population from real issues. 

Nazi propaganda films portrayed Jews as vermin, infecting society, working to destroy Germany from within.  More recently Pat Robertson outrageously claimed gays in San Francisco intentionally try to infect heteros with AIDS by wearing rings that will cut during handshakes, the easier to transfer the infection; and that they "recruit" children to homosexuality. In wars on the African continent, demonizing of minority tribes worked to instill a frenzy of inter-tribal mass murder, most famously in Rwanda by the majority Hutu's against the minority Tutsi. Between five-hundred thousand and one-million people died in just a few months. 

Declared atheists in the US represent only between 5% and 10% of the population.  To hear FOX News and the far right religious extremists tell it, you'd think we were the majority, or on equal footing with the 76% Christian population. But for their propaganda and obsession to work they simply need to imply, plant the seed, that the power of atheists is disproportionate to our popular representation... like the Jews of Germany, or the Tutsi in Rwanda. We become the vermin seeking to take power, to undermine the patriotic Christians, to work as agents of Satan to overthrow their God given moral superiority and condemn the nation to a godless hell of hedonistic immorality.  
preading the fear of atheist influence, as small as it is in reality, is a strong motivator to the FOX faithful ... not famous for their ability to think critically or discern reality from hype.  It works like a rallying cry, it cements support for the most extreme conservatives, never mind the fact that atheism is the least of the causes of what truly infects and affects this nation's stability and progress.

Indeed, it's the threat of progress itself that is the true demon to them, but that doesn't play as well among the religiously afflicted ditto heads of the Fox flock.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Camel Weighs in on Ducks, Dipshits, and Douche-bags.

It's likely you've been Duck Dynastyed to nearly comatose. But I'm going to briefly weigh in on this issue. I just can't ignore it. 

To the religiously afflicted, which includes virtually all of the far right homophobes, the insipid utterances of this backward religious fanatic Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, are pure gold. The self-righteous defenders of the faith will flock around him and demand that the broadcaster rescind their suspension. (Whatever happened to the much espoused Conservative position of freedom of business to do as their conscience tells them?) .  Already they are screaming "Freedom of Speech", as if suddenly it was pulled out from under him. 

Yes, Mrs. Sarah "Africa is a country" Palin, and Gov. Booby "quick, call the exorcist"  Jindal your icon of homophobia is guaranteed the right of free speech.  But in your undereducated state of delusion and typical Conservative idiocy, you fail to realize that the 1st amendment  guarantees only that the government, Federal, State and Local, may not impede your right to express yourself.  Just as it protects the rights of  the KKK, the American Nazi Party, and the likes of Pat Robertson and the Westboro Baptists to freely express their hate and delusion  free from government interference and censorship, so too can your bearded backwoods bible banging Louisiana inbred moron.  But, what you, and your like non-thinking sheep fail to realize is  that  there is no right to expect ones hate, prejudices and intolerance to be applauded,  ignored, supported, or insulated from the interests of the business that airs their show. The right of private entities to reject, censor, or edit speech is sacrosanct.

Just because one's intolerance is founded in ancient religious ignorance doesn't give that ignorance any special weight that demands individuals, groups, or businesses endorse or tolerate it.  That goes for homophobia, misogyny, racism, the endorsement of witch burning, or the stoning of unruly children.

Yep, spew your religiously supported homophobia, exercise your freedom of speech all you like, just be prepared for the fall out from people who have embraced modernity and who disavow your grotesque simple mindedness - who see it for the obsolete obscenity that it is.   Just as the Christian Network isn't forced to give Modern Family a platform for their liberal ideology, so too does A&E reserve the right to reject that which offends its clientele, or is in opposition to their own perspectives. 

Cancel the damn show, I say.  Let this be a shot across the bow of backwardness, another volley of determined reason at obsolete non-think, a loud and clear affirmation that it ain't your Grand Wizard endorsing father's nation any more. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pope prays for God to suspend freewill on behalf of the poor. He almost got it right.

So the pope prayed before the graven image of Mary that people will remember the poor this Christmas. Nice sentiment.

I was deeply moved by the pope's prayerful appeal to god, for god to make people remember the poor this Christmas.  Evidently god suspended freewill at the pope's request because while standing in line at Tiffany's I prayed for the poor to all receive a platinum Rolex from Jesus. 

Wow, god really DOES act in strange and mysterious ways. Well, my work is done. Hallelujah!!!

Strangely, I neither need a god nor the pope's prayers to it for me to do the right thing and make a couple of contributions to the food bank in my town, like I have been doing for years, and through out the year. Funny how Xtians tend to require a prompting from their shaman and god to do what should come naturally as simple humanity and empathy.

Understand, I’m not criticizing the pope for hoping or wishing his followers do the right thing for the poor. Not at all…I hope they all do as well.  I criticize the need for him to pray to a graven image, to influence a non-existent boogie-man to suspend peoples' allegedly "god given freewill" to get people to do what they should be doing as civilized beings. And his not setting a real world example.

How much better had he said:

“I want every one of my billion plus sheep to give to the poor this Xmas…whatever they can, and in some meaningful real world way. And if necessary short change the collection plate in order to make a meaningful difference directly  to a person or family you know is in need.

Additionally, I vow to sell off $2 billion of the Vatican's golden trinkets and art work this year, and donate it directly to Doctors without Borders, Unicef, and two other secular institutions that will ease the burden of the poor and needy; and do so - annually & in perpetuity - incremental to our own Catholic charitable works.”

If he could only do that.  If he could only get off his knees and make an appeal not through some imaginary middleman but directly to his flock; then take meaningful action that would knock the socks off the hypocrites that infect his church, then he’d have credibility and my genuine respect.

But, as usual his prayerful appeal is getting the oohs and ahhs from his followers, as well as from easily fooled freethinkers, enamored over how wonderful this “humble man” is and how close he is to the common man. 

I guess expecting reality to rear its head and supplant make believe and imaginary third person intervention to get people to help the poor is a few hundred years ahead of the Church's time.  What else is new?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Doing my holy duty per the Pope's request: Let us pray.

The pope has called on everyone to pray for the twelve nuns who have been abducted by Syrian rebels.

Evidently Christians there are viewed as being supporters of President Assad, or at least not sympathetic to the rebel cause (not surprising since the rebels include Islamic fundies, who likely would make life miserable for Christians if they controlled Syria). 

This is an unfortunate situation, and I hope they are released unharmed.  So, in response to the pope’s appeal I have written a note and burned it in a sacrificial fire laced with incense that it may more readily be received by god, and stand out among all the other non-documented / neutral smelling prayer mumblings of the faithful; you know, like having a resume that really pops.

Here it is: 

Dear father, and/or son, and/or holy ghost,

I hope this non-prayer finds you all in good health.  Oh, and before I forget, happy birthday!  What is it going to be now, like 2,009 years or 6,000 years?  I always get confused.  Anyway …

You guys know what's happening in Syria, right? About your brides who have been kidnapped? I mean, you know everything, and see everything, what with you being omniscient and all.  So there's probably not a lot of sense in anyone praying for you to do anything for the nuns, as suggested by the old white guy and your self - appointed representative on earth.

In fact, I suppose you see such appeals as rather presumptuous of your creations… like they can’t trust you to do the right thing without their sticking their noses in your business.  I mean, lets face it: you're either going to save those nuns of your own accord, or you're going to let them die a hideous death, contingent on your mood. But, either way, it's part of your "plan" right?

So, no prayer here; I’m just writing to let you know I'm on board with whatever you choose to do, or not.   No need to reply, I’ll just watch the news.

Your reasoned opposition loyal to reality,


There, I’ve done my part.  Gee, I feel so holy now.