Shayna posted an article by Ben Stein. Normally I plead out of the War on Christmas as an atheist who celebrates it but isn't a fan of the commmerce. But this piece speaks to something different. If I didn't have enormous respect for Shayna, and, you know, a bit of respect for Stein (Shayna doles out the awesome in a far less assuming way and never asked for her own TV show), I might not say anything. Some people hold their tongue out of respect. I challenge that notion entirely. If I hold my tongue it either means, (a) you don't matter, or (b) it's not worth the trouble to say anything.
I'm a delight at parties, I'll tell you.
I guess the central assumption of Ben Stein's piece is that there's some overarching persecution of people of faith in this country, where people of faith are in fact the majority, and people with no faith are one of the most universally distrusted minorities. A country that had a state funeral for Jerry Falwell. In my lifetime, the elected leader of the free world said that he didn't believe it was possible for someone without faith to be a true American, and Ben Stein is saying that the secular are the persecutors? He's smarter than that.
Katrina as the withdrawal of divine protection as punishment for separation of church and state? "Insight" is the last word I'd use to describe that. It's less offensive than "gays, feminists, secular Jews and the ACLU are responsible for 9/11," but it's in the general rhyming vicinity.
The majority of people who lament the departure of God from our culture are the same ones who themselves are guilty of glossing over the teachings of the man they call their Saviour and greatest prophet. A man who got nailed to a tree for saying that it would be great if we could be compassionate and non-judgemental. Who, depending on one's interpretations of "Render unto Caesar what is due Caesar, and unto God what is due God" was in favor of separation of church and state, and certainly wouldn't have been nailed to anything if there was any such concept in his day and age.
I say Merry Christmas, and scoff at those who adorn the sentiment in PC sobriquets because the idea that the birth of a man who died for expressing those ideas isn't worth celebrating whether or not you believe he was the son of God is absurd.
The world is going to hell in large part, though not entirety, because of the twisted fanaticism of people who believe that they are doing God's work. This is, I suspect, the real intent behind the words of the God-bashers he refers to. They're lambasting the hypothetical character who allows his own words to be twisted when he used to shout them aloud from burning bushes. A character who says that if two guys kiss it's totally gross. I say this because I myself have gone on the record that if this God person does exist, he's got some fucking explaining to do
I don't ask people to change what they believe, only not to use it as an excuse. Citing a belief doesn't magically erase the label of bigotry from the persecution of Jews, gays, witches, and non-beleivers, nor does it erase the ignorance of rejecting scientific evidence. Surely when Stein scorned the ban of Bible study in public schools he wasn't saying Intelligent Design was the way to go, was he?
And if one was truly bothered by the backlash that does exist against organized religion, the constructive thing to do as a person of faith is to loudly and notoriously disown and disavow the apish purveyors of faith-based hatred and ignorance; to burn the pedestal out from beneath their feet. Not blame society's ills on the people who are sick to fucking death of those swine and sometimes make the mistake of painting with too broad a brush.