"Evolution is a theory in crisis" is my favorite creationist claim. You know your viewpoint is standing on solid ground when you have to depend on ignorance, straight-up lies or some butt-ugly mix of the two to keep people believing in it.
…the poor? No!
…the sick? No, silly!
…the hungry? Are you kidding me!
…the homeless…? No, no, no…!
…well, what did Jesus tell his followers to do? They are obviously not followers of Jesus, then, are they, silly!
Self aggrandizement…! Property…! Shiny buildings…! The Crystal…
Fresh remix from the wonderful team that is melodysheep, bringing you a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation "Holiday Emergency".
In lieu of the traditional “business as usual” American embarrassment that is Fox News and Christian Fundamentalism bringing everyone the perpetual “War on Christmas”, this new melodysheep tune couldn’t come at a better time to remind everyone that we’re all in this together.
Seasons and Reasons Greetings To You All.
"Countless people were so convinced Camping was correct that they quit their jobs and sold their belongings, helping the evangelist spread his message. When May 21 came and went with little more than the Dallas Mavericks beating the Oklahoma Thunder in Game 3 of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals, Camping was crushed. He later said his calculations were off by six months because of a mathematical miscalculation. When nothing happened on Oct. 21, he retired from his radio pulpit."
Hitchens didn’t think rejecting religion would solve everything. But he knew only reason would give us justice.
The ever-polemical atheist author Christopher Hitchens died two years ago this month, yet his incisive, erudite diatribes against religion continue to rile the faithful and spark debate. The latest anti-Hitch outburst comes from Sean McElwee, a writer and researcher of public policy who describes himself as “a poorly practicing Christian who reads enough science to be functional at dinner parties.” McElwee calls for a “truce” between believers and nonbelievers. But he stands on the losing side of both public opinion trends and history. According to a Pew poll conducted in 2012, a record number of young Americans – a quarter of those between the ages of 18 and 29 — see themselves as unaffiliated with any religion. Atheists’ ranks are swelling, and believers are finding it increasingly difficult to justify their faith.
McElwee begins by calling the New Atheist movement “a rather disturbing trend” in a country “whose greatest reformer” – Martin Luther King, Jr. – “was a Reverend.” Dr. King won fame as a civil rights leader, not as a religious figure. McElwee would do well to recall the words of Founding Father John Adams: “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” McElwee goes on to attribute to New Atheists an unsound premise of his own concoction:
1. The cause of all human suffering is irrationality
2. Religion is irrational
3. Religion is the cause of all human suffering
Hitchens’ most notorious atheistic tome is entitled “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.” But no serious reader could conclude from this book (or from the writings of the other New Atheists — Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett — whom McElwee also hopes to debunk) that he considers religion the sole wellspring of humankind’s woes. Though he derided religion long before and after he published “God Is Not Great,” Hitchens never said any such thing, and no reasonable person would believe it. Are cancer and flesh-eating bacteria manifestations of irrationality? What about about wars over territory or natural resources? Poverty and inequality? Bullying and bulimia? The “classical logical error of post hoc ergo propter hoc” McElwee ascribes to New Atheists simply does not exist.
McElwee then jumps to Hitchens’ (misbegotten) support of the second Iraq war and attempts to press it into service to discredit him in matters of faith. Hitchens, as McElwee correctly notes, opposed the 1991 invasion of Iraq, but when George W. Bush was in office, according to McElwee, Hitchens “decided that, in fact, bombing children was no longer so abhorrent” because the 2003-2011 conflict was to be a “final Armageddon between the forces of rationality and the forces of religion.” No, this was not how Hitchens viewed the second Iraq war. He advocated invading Iraq to overthrow Saddam, who was, he contended, guilty of crimes against humanity, and he (mistakenly) assumed a stable democracy would result from the dictator’s ouster.
Hitchens understood the secular nature of Saddam’s Ba’ath Party, which made all the more puzzling and problematic his stubborn insistence that Saddam was colluding with Al Qaeda. But McElwee then asserts that “the force of rationality and civilization was led by a cabal of religious extremists” – in the Bush administration — which “was of no concern for Hitchens.” George W. Bush was a convert to Evangelical Christianity, which does not necessarily make him a “religious extremist,” and the (mixed) faiths of the Iraq War’s other architects (Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, et al.) did not fuel their zeal for deposing Saddam.
McElwee proceeds to mischaracterize Hitchens’ post-9/11 worldview as a “war between the good Christian West and the evil Muslim Middle East.” How McElwee can expect us to believe this of Hitchens, who authored a book (“The Missionary Position”) denouncing Mother Theresa as a fraud and relentlessly attacked Christianity, baffles me, as does McElwee’s blindness to his own blunder. Is Hitchens now, according to him, pro-Christian?
McElwee also falsely attributes obscurantist motives to New Atheists. “Might it be better to see jihad as a response to Western colonialism and the upending of Islamic society, rather than the product of religious extremism? The goal of the ‘New Atheists’ is to eliminate centuries of history that Europeans are happy to erase, and render the current conflict as one of reason versus faith rather than what is, exploiter and exploited.”
Stripping jihad of its religious grounds invites nothing but confusion. Jihad in Arabic means “struggle,” but, with respect to Islam, denotes “a struggle in the name of faith,” which includes holy war against infidels waged as a matter of religious duty. Such jihad is, ipso facto, religious. Informed readers also know that jihadists, in their addresses to the Muslim umma, rail against Western occupation of Islamic lands, “infidel” Western-backed dictators in Muslim countries, and so on — all the while citing passages from the Quran. Hitchens and Dawkins, both Europe-born and versed in their continent’s past – a past replete with religious and political conflicts of all kinds — have never sought to “erase” its history or present “the current conflict” as solely one of “reason versus faith.”
McElwee then tendentiously defines religion so as to paper over its often decisive role in precipitating conflicts. Though he allows that it might “motivate acts of social justice and injustice,” “[r]eligion is both a personal search for truth as well as a communal attempt to discern where we fit in the order of things.” Religion first and foremost consists of unsubstantiated, dogmatically advanced explanations for the cosmos and our place in it, with resulting universally applicable rules of conduct. A good many of these rules – especially those regarding women’s behavior and their (subservient) status vis-à-vis men, and prescriptions for less-than-merciful treatment of gays – are repugnant, retrograde, and arbitrary, based on “sacred texts” espousing “revealed truths” dating back to what the British atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell justly called the “savage ages.” (Islam by no means has a monopoly on such rules – check Leviticus for its catalogue of “crimes”: working on the Sabbath, cursing one’s parents, being the victim of rape – that merit the death penalty.) Just how such “holy” compendia of ahistorical, often macabre fables are supposed to help anyone in a “personal search for truth” mystifies me.
Lacking any alternative, McElwee then tells nonbelievers to lay off the faithful: “any critique of religion that can be made from the outside (by atheists) can be made more persuasively from within religion.” The last time I checked, those “within religion” who denounce religion as untrue, unfounded on fact, irrational by its nature and preying upon our fears, would in fact be atheists. The problem is not, as McElwee says, “the Church’s excesses” – but the Church itself, its backward rules, its reactionary ethos, its groundless assertion of moral authority. The latter is laughable, especially regarding the Catholic Church, in view of the catalogue of crimes – including the persecution of Jews, the Crusades, the Inquisition and silence with respect to Hitler’s Final Solution — for which it bears self-admitted guilt. If one breaks free of the racket of faith, then faith-sanctioned strictures, fantastic tales (human parthenogenesis among them) demanding faith to be believed, to say nothing of the justness of tax exemptions for faith organizations, all appear as entirely human creations that are questionable at best, criminal at worst, and certainly deserving of no kid-glove treatment.
“The impulse to destroy religion will ultimately fail,” McElwee claims. Just what he means by this is unclear. Hitchens spoke out tirelessly against religion but never believed it could be eradicated; rather, he likened it to Camus’ plague-infected rats, scurrying about in humanity’s sewer, ever awaiting a chance to reemerge. Hitchens certainly never foresaw the bizarre scenario McElwee outlines: “Banish Christ and Muhammad and you may end up with religions surrounding the works of Zizek and Sloterdijk (there is already a Journal of Zizek Studies, maybe soon a seminary?). Humans will always try to find meaning and purpose in their lives, and science will never be able to tell them what it is.” New Atheists have never assigned science such a role. Hitchens himself often recommended the consolations of literature for this purpose. The broader point rationalists make is simple: People, having set aside fairy tales and mandated moral certainties delivered from on high, must seek meaning on their own, seek to order society in ways beneficial for all, and do so with reason as lodestar.
So what is to be done? McElwee trots out the idea of a truce – “one originally proposed by the Catholic church and promoted by the eminent Stephen J. Gould,” that “Science, the study of the natural world, and religion, the inquiry into the meaning of life (or metaphysics, more broadly) constitute non-overlapping magisteria.” One straightaway must regard as suspect a “truce” advocated by an organization guilty of repressing scientists and opposing the scientific Weltanschauung. And one would be right to be suspicious, according to McElwee’s proposition: “Neither [science nor religion] can invalidate the theories of the other, if such theories are properly within their realm.” Just what the boundaries of those realms are and who decides them have been matters of contention since time immemorial. Just ask Galileo.
McElwee next concludes that “religion (either secular or theological) does not poison all of society and science should not be feared, but rather embraced.”
No one is waiting for McElwee’s green light to “embrace” science, which holds its place among us by virtue of its proven utility, its lab-tested veracity. At this point, McElwee’s second citation of Martin Luther King cannot avail him. “Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.” Dr. King’s saying this does not make it so. Faith and reason are fighting for supremacy the world over, and rationalists must make their case with ardor, shying away from no battle. Atheists who wobble in defense of nonbelief would do well to recall 9/11, Baruch Goldstein’s Hebron massacre of Palestinians, the Salem witch trials and violence meted out in the name of religion to “unchaste” women throughout the ages. This is, of course, an incomplete list of atrocities motivated by religion.
The sooner we accord priests, rabbis and imams the same respect we owe fabulists and self-help gurus, the faster we will progress toward a more just, more humane future. Enlightenment must be our goal, and that was what Hitchens advocated above all.
It has been a very active holiday season for us as far as hate mail goes, so we thought we would share just 10 of the many hundreds (we don’t count) we’ve received in the last month or two.
Hate Mail #10: Is Hitler your idol you bunch of child hating jack*****? God Bless, go out and celebrate the birth of Jesus
Hate Mail #9: highland school fund raiser in Colorado are you kidding me? you want them to stop collecting funds and gifts for children? Really? am an attorney in Colorado, considering how I can prevent this. What, you’d rather our children turn to Muslims, who want to kill us. Really?
-Craig R. Esq.
Hate Mail #8: Wow, you hate he who created you so much that you’ve bedded down with Satan himself. I read about your getting a teacher fired over her RIGHT TO PRACTICE HER CHOSEN RELIGION BY PRAYING. Burn in hell, you self-righteous pious a**holes, burn in hell.
Hate Mail #7: I can”t believe you sons of b****** would take christmas away from little children. Don’t you idiots realize that the vigilante is going to crash on you’re a** and when it doe’s all hell will break loose! Look up, look down and watch out! (It’s going to happen)!!!!!
Hate Mail #6: I read the story on Fox news about how your organization threatened a small charter school in South Carolina because they wanted to give Christmas presents to children who needed them. You are a hate group who I hope one day will die an ugly horrible death. My only regret is that I will not be one of the ones who can help provide that opportunity to the world by ridding people like you from our society. I cannot believe an organization like yours would want to harm little children. Unfortunately liberal a** holes like yourself are the reason our country has fallen apart. Like I stated already I hope each and every last one of you die the most horrible deaths the can possibly be imagined. And by the way I will include my email address and my name so if you want to report me for this to your liberal a**hole friends, be my guest.
-Jbaker “Not your Friend”
Hate Mail #5: Just saw Herr Professor Doktor Oberlieutenant Roy Speckhardt on Fox. Like all “humanists”, his real is that NORMAL people don’t worship people like Speckhardt. Well, just keeeeeeeep on pushing around people like me, Speckhardt. One day we’ll say to hell with the ballot box and reach for the cartridge box. Since like all leftists you people believe you’re entitled to rule the rest of us by diktat, you should be unsurprised that at some point people like me will decide to dispend with democratic niceties and point our guns at your faces and say you can leave our country on a boat or in a box, we don’t give a shit.
Hate Mail #4: I will take a shot .of who you people are? gay and lesbians who never had a nice Christmas. You have no pride in themselves or country. Are you scared? why would you change people’s thoughts on God? leave it the way it is even atheist which my grandfather was still celebrated for family. And country. maybe you found out there is no toothfairy at a late age. So pull the d*** out butts and leave God alone. The best thing you people can do for society going home and kill yourself
Hate Mail #3: F*** all of you mother f******. I hope you f****** die. Mind your own business. If I ever meet any of you, I’ll kick your stupid a**. F*** off
Hate Mail #2: I just came across your website. Please kill yourselves and everyone that follows your s***-eating ideals. Do the world a favor and kill your children as well.
Hate Mail #1: Have you considered suicide? If not, now would be a grand time. No one will miss you. I can promise you that.