Monday, May 21, 2007

It's True: I Look Upon Christianity With "Distain"

I now know that atheists want society to "distain" Christianity, thanks to Chuck Norris! I don't know what "distain" means, but I assume it's like when PETA threw fake animal blood on fur-wearers. Maybe we use wine instead (because it's the blood of Christ, see?)

We also, according to the Chuckster, want to make Christianity's "components" illegal. I'm not entirely clear what that means, but I must be for it, 'cause Chuck said so, right?

Eroding and erasing theistic language in culture is a growing trend.
Really? Wow. It seems to me that I hear God mentioned, thanked, praised, and worshipped on TV, in movies, whenever an athlete is interviewed after a big game, in almost every political speech, on our currency, on the street, and on business signs all the time. Hmm. What am I missing?

Oh, right. For fundamentalist wackos like Chuck, "culture" is the same as "government," and it isn't enough that there's a church on every corner in most cities and towns across the US and that every other car on the road has a Jesus fish on it. No, everyone, all the time, has to be constantly exposed to Chuck's religion, and if government isn't explicitly doing so, then his religious "freedoms" have been violated. 'Cause, you know, religious freedom really just means the freedom for Chuck to use the power of the government to coerce those dirty atheists into believing the Truth. Right, Chuck?

Earlier this year George Washington dollar coins were not only inscribed with the words "In God We Trust" on their edges, but many excluded them entirely! Such minting modifications are a flagrant defiance against theism and a public reflection of the place God is now relegated – to the fringes of society.
Yeah, because having your God explicitly mentioned on the currency every citizen has to use to conduct his or her daily business isn't enough... it has to be on the face, not the edge, because otherwise Christians might forget about God when paying for ice cream and become an atheist, all because they had to look at the fucking edge of the coin to see His name! The barbarity!

And there were not "minting modifications" resulting in some coins lacking the inscription. It was a mistake. Not a fucking conspiracy. Sometimes the post office prints stamps with airplanes upside down. No one screams bloody murder and accuses the post office of being anti-gravity. (Well, not that I know if, anyway...) In truth, I believe it is unconstitutional for the US Mint to put "In God We Trust" on our currency, but the Mint isn't secretly run by atheists leaving the motto off the coins and trying to legislate atheism. I venture to guess that most employees of the US Mint, along with the political appointees and politicians above them, are, in fact, Christians, and not particularly disposed to the destruction of Christianity in the US.

Secularists of course have made repeated attempts to rid "under God" from "The Pledge of Allegiance."
Only since 1954, when theists got those words added. Was the US a nation of atheists before then, Chuck?

I was also grateful to read in the Dallas Morning News May 1 that the House also embraced legislation "that seeks to clarify the rights of Texas public school students to offer public prayers at football games or graduation, hand out religious messages or hold religious meetings during the school day if they want."

This legislation and your gratitude, Chuck, are just pieces of political theater, and I suspect you know it. The rights of students to pray and engage in religious expression are already clear. They're allowed unless they disrupt learning. It's called the 1st Amendment. What is not allowed, Chuck, is for the school to endorse a particular religion. That's all. Prayer has never been banned from schools in the US. Coerced prayer is.

Another example of atheistic advocacy can be found in the 10,000-member Freedom from Religion Foundation initiation of a Supreme Court case, which asserts that President Bush's faith-based initiatives pose a violation of the wall of separation between church and state.
Just "culture" is the same as "government" to nutjobs like the Chuckster, a "constitutional challenge" is the same as "atheistic advocacy." Chuck may or may not know that some of the most fervent supporters of the 1st Amendment, the foundation on which the wall of separation between church and state, was built, were Baptists. They didn't like being discriminated against by other Christian sects through the power of the government. So, I guess they would be atheists too, eh Chuck, since they were engaged in the "atheistic advocacy" of supporting the wall of separation between church and state? I suppose the Jews of Newport Rhode Island, who Washington wrote a letter to while President guaranteeing them freedom of religion in the US, were also advocating atheism? And Washington, too, for his guarantee? In fact, Chuck, by your logic many of the Founding Fathers were engaged in "atheistic advocacy" by signing onto a document including the 1st Amendment. That kinda works against your side's whole "the US was founded as a Christian nation" theme, doesn't it?

Oh, and by the way, whether you like it or not, Chuck, faith-based initiatives are a violation of the 1st Amendment, and trust me, lots of religious folk, like all those who aren't getting any of the plum guv'ment money because they don't have the right faith, agree with me.
Atheists also received a proverbial shot in the arm by locating a representative and advocate of sorts in Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., who "is the first member of Congress – and the highest-ranking elected official in the country – to make known that he is a nontheist."
Lordy, lordy, ma, get the shotgun! The world's a-commin' to an end! They's an ah-theist in them 'thar Congress!

First off, Stark isn't an atheist, he's more of an agnostic. Also, since atheism isn't a religion but rather lack of belief in a god or god(s), there's not much to give a "shot in the arm" to. But, even if we define militant atheism of the sort practiced by Dawkins, Sam Harris, and to a lesser extent myself, as a movement, it's hard to see how it's a big shot in the arm to find out that one of 435 Representatives, that is, 0.0023% of that legislative body, is willing to openly admit to being a non-theist. And that's not even considering that the percentage in the US Senate is still... zero, as is the percentage on the Supreme Court, and the percentage of openly non-theist Presidents. Don't worry, Chuck, the world ain't comin' to an end just because one guy in the legislature doesn't believe in your sky-fairy.

One more point, Chuck: Stark almost certainly isn't the first, or last, non-theist in the US Congress. But the narrow-minded intolerance of religious bigots like you keep such politicians from being open about their beliefs, since you'd like to stone them if you could, and certainly wouldn't vote for them. In fact, Chuck, in terms of bigotry and hatred of those who don't believe as you do, I'd have to say Christians in the US take the cake. You're complaining that 45% of Americans might consider voting for a non-theist as if they wanted to rub shit all over the Bible, but almost every atheist who votes has, does, and will vote for theists. You see, we understand that one's belief or non-belief in a sky-fairy isn't the most important thing to consider when choosing leaders. When you make it the most important thing, you end up in the kinds of clusterfucks our good friend "God speaks to me" George Bush has created.

But yes, Chuck, one freakin' non-theist in the Congress is surely the beginning of the end for Christianity being legal in the US. Right.

By the way, Chuck, one point of order. I'd like to see theism and belief in the supernatural fade away like the belief that bleeding someone with leeches will cure them of cancer. But I don't want nor do I intend to advocate for laws forcing theists -- or anyone else, for that matter -- from giving up or changing their beliefs to suit me. I want to convince theists they are deluded, certainly, but I don't want to tear down the 1st Amendment that protects Christians as well as atheists to do it. Take your strawman caricature of atheists as evil people who want to torture and burn Christians at the stake somewhere else, Chuck. We ain't buying it here.

His election stands in stark contrast to the wishes of our Founding Fathers, who
encouraged American citizens to vote Christians into public office. As John Jay, the first chief justice of the United States, wrote to Jedidiah Morse on Feb. 28, 1797, "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers. And it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians
for their rulers."
I am going to show a bit of... faith here, or perhaps just laziness, by not taking the time to look this quote up to ensure it is genuine. Many similar quotes have turned out to be Christian and/or creationist inventions, but I will take this quote as accurate for the sake of argument.

So what? Madison thought it was a violation of the separation of church and state for there to be a House or Senate chaplain. The Founding Fathers weren't a homogeneous bunch, Chuck. The words of one Founder can't just be taken as the views of all the Founders. That's why, above, when I discussed the Founding Fathers, I said "most," because certainly some of the Founders were not in support of the separation of church and state. As a whole you could say they were for at least a certain level of separation and freedom of religion, since they included the 1st Amendment in the Constitution, but even those in support of the 1st Amendment varied greatly on what they thought it should mean, to whit Madison on one end and those who thought it just prohibited a national, government-backed church on the other.

And, in this case, Chuck, history is clearly against you, since the Founders put into the Constitution a clause preventing any religious test for holding office in the US. Certainly, if the Founders, as a group, wanted only Christians to be able to hold political office, they wouldn't have made a point of disallowing religion being used as a test of worthiness. Perhaps John Jay felt it best that the US elect Christians to office, but apparently not enough to ensure it by making it mandatory. But to say that the thoughts of John Jay, one of the Founders, in this one letter constitute the "wishes" of the Founders as a whole is ludicrous given what they actually decided to put into the document upon which the law of the land is based.

Chuck then goes on a screed against hate crimes legislation, claiming that it would allow clergy to be "accused as an accessory to a hate crime, after he preached to his church on Sunday about the woes of same-sex marriage and discovered on Monday one of his congregants got in a fight with a homosexual co-worker as a result of a moral altercation?"

That's just stupid. Most members of Congress are Christians, dumbass, and they aren't out to pass laws that would criminalize a sermon condemning homosexuality as immoral, less charge such a clergyman of a crime. Further, while I think such a sermon is bigoted and immoral, as would be the preacher who gave it, I still don't think it should be a crime. You see, Chuck, I don't just pay lip service to freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I actually believe it. So, while you would like non-Christians silenced and pushed out of public life, to use the power of government to further your faith and coerce others to accept it, and to institute religious test for holding public office, I don't want the government to silence even speech I find offensive.

The guy who started a fight with a homosexual co-worker, however, should be charged with a crime, and further, don't you dare try to make it seem that it is okay to attack others whose lives you think immoral by calling it a "moral altercation." It isn't moral to discriminate against, physically assault, or denigrate homosexuals for their homosexuality, no matter your moral feelings on the subject. The cause of morality isn't furthered by committing immoral acts, no matter how justified your bigotry makes you feel. Unless you are willing to call white racists getting into fights with blacks "moral altercations," then shut the fuck up. Because racists are just as sure of their moral superiority as you are, Chuck, and just as wrong.

Further, I doubt you'd buy it if I got into a fight with a preacher for preaching hatred of homosexuals, despite my strong moral conviction that spreading hatred is wrong. I'm sure you'd be the first in line to laugh in my face if I called it a "moral altercation." Well, Chuck, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, so if fundamentalists fighting with homosexuals isn't assault but just a "moral altercation," then when I bitch slap the next Christian who says gays shouldn't have the same rights as everyone else, it won't be an assault. It'll just be a "moral altercation."


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