GUESS I'LL START RIOTING IN PROTEST
Most TV opinion shows have the decency to have at least one person from each side of the issue they're discussing. When they don't, it makes them look a little catty.
Like this clip from Paula Zahn's show that I found via Hot Air (and an e-mail from Frank J. of IMAO), where they discussed their final solution to the atheist problem without having an atheist on the panel.
First, ya gotta love those big, yellow, hornets'-nest-stirring questions in the background:
"Why do atheists inspire such hatred?"
"Are atheistic tactics too militant?"
Anyway, it occurs to me that just as non-terrorist Muslims need to speak out, condemn, and separate themselves from the splodey-dope lunatics who claim to be members of the same religion, I - as a tolerant, sane, non-evangelical atheist - need to do the same thing.
When people talk about atheists, they usually think about the frothing, blasphemous, God-hating, religion-mockers. People who write screedy, antagonistic diatribes like Russ of Pam's House Blend.
I just don't understand that stuff.
I think most people agree that in-your-face Christian evangelicals can be annoying with their constant fretting about the state of your soul, and their polite-but-condescending invitations to Bible studies. It's like having your 70-year-old mother who lives in another state calling you before you go to work to remind you to take an umbrella because the Weather Channel says it looks like rain.
Thanks for caring, but really, I'm good, here.
But why should atheists adopt the same tactic, going out of their way to antagonize Christians? It's a waste of time. You're not going to de-convert anyone. Try doing something productive with your life.
Personally, I'm not so insecure about my lack of religious beliefs that I feel the need to sway people to my way of thinking, and I'm not afraid of or offended by the little scraps of Christianity that poke their heads up in day to day living, like having "IN GOD WE TRUST" on the back of my currency. Let's face it, no one's ever said to me "You must be a Christian because the money you're spending professes trust in a deity".
And just because I don't believe in God doesn't mean I think that "love thy neighbor" and "do unto others" must automatically be bad advice. I believe in wisdom, regardless of the source. I just don't believe in miracles.
So you go ahead and worship your God, and I'll go ahead and not worship mine, and as long as neither one of us are obnoxious about it, I don't see any reason why we all can't get along.
posted by Harvey
on February 12, 2007 at 09:55 AM
I consider myself an agnostic instead of an atheist, simply because nobody's been able to conclusively prove to me there ISN'T a god either. That said, I tend to judge people's religious beliefs by the extent that they leave me the fuck alone. If you want to believe that I'll burn for eternity, fine, have fun imagining my suffering: I don't give a shit.
When you start passing laws based of your beliefs that affect my lifestyle (IE: Bullshit "no liquor before noon on Sundays" laws) I start to get pissed.
If you show up at my house before 10am on a Saturday, you had best have beer or a warrant. A copy of Watchtower magazine ain't going to spare my wrath.
When you call me infidel and say you want to cut off my head if I don't convert to your religion, I start tipping my ammo in pig fat so I can send every one of you camel humping shitheads I see to hell.
Likewise, when an atheist screeches that a Christmas tree anywhere in sight offends them and it needs to be taken down, I wasnt to bitchslap their fucking teeth down their throats.
Leave me alone, and we'll get along fine.
I have a lot of respect for the Bhuddists and Wiccans for this very reason. Think about it: when was the last time you saw a headline like "Wiccan suicide bomber kills 5" or "Bhuddist kidnaps and beheads schoolchildren"?
I think the majority of people Christian and atheist fall into the category of live and let live - especially in America today. It's that fringe group on either side that will drive us all insane because they insist on shoving their beliefs down everyone's collective throat.
As for Paula Zahn... she wants ratings and having a one sided screed going will get people to pay attention to her show - for better or worse. Personally I try not to listen to that crap. *grin*
If one is going to hold to an irrational belief system (that would be atheism), one must not get bent out of shape when the people who agree with that irrational belief system act irrationally. It's kind of a logical necessity for them to do so.
Using only logic, reason, and real observational science, proving the existence of *A* creator takes about 20 minutes of a person's time. Worshiping that logically necessary being is only logical, since one owes one's entire existence to that logically necessary creator.
Am I the only one who sees a problem with holding to a religion (atheism most certainly IS a religion...) that justifies the murder of over 100 million people in just one century? The lack of *A* creator is necessary for Communism, National Socialism, 'global warming', Socialism, Totalitarianism, Fascism, and Anarchism (not really anarchy, but, we'll use their idiotic name for it). Other than that, there really isn't anything wrong with atheism.
The existence of *A* creator is necessary for freedom, liberty, and capitalism. Other than that, it doesn't really have anything going for it.
Wait... are you saying Paula Zahn's an atheist? :-)
Calling one's self a Christian and then acting like an atheist would tend to lead others to believe that you are actually an atheist.
In addition, without watching the video (Paula Zahn isn't too hard on the eyes, but, that's about her only redeeming quality), I could very easily make the argument that atheists WERE represented on the panel...by Paula Zahn.
There are a microscopic amount of non-atheists in the mainstream media outlets (and I include Fox News in that...they're only conservative by comparison), so, it would be safe to assume that any major personality in the MSM would be an atheist, unless otherwise informed.
When 98% or so of a demographic holds to certain beliefs, it's not a wise bet to assume one of that demographic will NOT hold to those beliefs.
I'll pray for you all! ;)
For the most part, we Catholic-types don't tend to preach on street corners or knock on doors, but we do pray and hope for our friends... I'm frequently surprised at how misunderstood the Catholic faith is, sometimes (and sometimes especially) even by other 'Cradle-Catholics'.
I was raised Catholic - sometimes even 'against my will'. When I rebelled, I was accused of being atheist, and I discovered to my own chagrin that neither was that the case. I settled on agnosticism for a while - even studied other religions to see if I could find a better 'fit'... For rebellion's sake, I even delved into Wicca and the Occult.
Personally, I think each person has their own journey. "There are as many paths to Heaven as there are people to walk them."
Right now, I'd definitely say I'm not the best Catholic among the ranks - I'm suffering what amounts to a self-imposed separation from the sacraments. I've actually been pretty pissed at God lately. But I have a feeling He understands...
I do know that I've experienced some powerful moments of faith in my life. "Miracles" that I can't deny, and true evil, too. Of the two, Evil exists in undeniable abundance in this world - and perhaps ironically, it is THAT which gives me reason to Hope...
*slaps and shakes head 'loose'*
Whoa, Dude! I never thought I'd go there on Bad Example!
/Jeff Spicoli moment
From my perspective, Catholicism has one good thing going for it - LOTS of ritual. And rituals have a lot of comfort value, especially during hard times.
Plus they have that giant spider...
(ducks and runs as the catholics who get the South Park reference start throwing things at me)
Damn Grau - now I have to go hunt the "giant spider," 'cuz I have absolutely no idea...
I'll deal with YOU later!
For what it's worth, I have noticed that just about every single atheist or agnostic I know used to be Catholic, or came from a Catholic family.
Not a lot of former Presbyterians out there among the ranks.
I wonder if there's a connection? Yeah, there is.
Well, by sheer statistics, there are far more Catholics (25.9% pop.) than Presbyterians (2.8%). So you have more chance of meeting a former Catholic than a former Presbyterian atheist/agnostic. And I would suspect that more non-Catholics convert to Catholicism than Catholics becoming atheist or agnostic. (And so many of those former Catholics 'turn-back' as they face death...probably, like Harvey said, because of the comfort of the rituals.) Frankly, however, if I wasn't Catholic, I would want to be Jewish.
But I believe in live and let live. I don't think God keeps a scorecard. And if there is no God, it doesn't really matter WHAT you believe. Just play nice.
Okay, so I'm ruminating this religious stuff shortly after having been branded a "Super Geek" and the 'slogan' enters my head...
"CathoLinux: We Are root!"
Heh. I'm putting that one on a T-Shirt.
Last church I attended regularly was Baptist.
But I was like 7, so that probably doesn't count.