I haven’t weighed in on the Cranston prayer banner ordeal yet, but I’d like to take a moment to recognize this young lady as a true patriot and an American hero. Jessica Ahlquist took a stand, not for her beliefs, but for the beliefs of every person in this country against an overwhelming tide of ignorance and hatred. She saw a divisive, sectarian prayer hung in a public school and asked that it be removed so that students and educators of all faiths (or none) could feel equally represented and respected. Jessica knew that this country was not founded on Christian principles but a desire to get away from an oppressive religious regime and allow everyone the freedom to choose what and how they’ll worship. Jessica knows this. Christians do not.
I saw a video recently from some kid who seems to have it all figured out. His thought process is a lot like mine was when I was a kid: my parents told me what to think, I adopted it as my own, and I knew I was right. His video is titled, “Atheism Sucks.” Dislikes on this video currently outnumber likes 3,113 to 89. You can watch it here:
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I speak out quite a bit on the subject of same-sex marriage and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights. I speak out because I feel very strongly that individuals and/or groups of people shouldn’t be discriminated against. You don’t have to be gay to fight for gay rights any more than you would have had to be a woman to fight for women’s suffrage or an African-American to stand for racial equality. You merely have to recognize that there’s a very outspoken and powerful movement among Conservative Christians and homophobes in this country who wish to ensure that LGBT people are kept in closets. These are the same detestable people who got all up-in-arms about the repeal of Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell (never mind that regardless of whether people were asking/telling, there were still homosexuals serving in the military all along).
In my news feed on Facebook I will be served a daily dose of Christian affirmations from friends. In this series of posts, which I call “Facebook Affirmations™,” I will post and discuss some of these gems. Here’s the affirmation for today:
Something’s really bugging me. It’s the blatant disregard for the sanctity of life displayed by religious people. I’m not talking about the sanctity of their family’s or their friends’ lives. I’m talking about everyone else. Take, for example, the fine, upstanding Republican Christian military wife and mother’s view of how to handle immigration (the checked answer is mine, not hers). Is this what Jesus would do?
Fuck no! What the barnacles is going on here??!! You know how many other people answered the same way? 3,700! That’s right, there are almost four thousand blood-thirsty motherfuckers out there who would much rather set Mexico up as a human shooting gallery than really try to figure out a solution to a legal and social problem. As if shooting people isn’t a social problem in itself.
This is not an isolated incident. I see things like this all the time from the I’m-more-moral-because-I-know-god-personally crowd. Topics like welfare, immigration, war, poverty, and women’s rights are dominated by the inane, mind-numbing garbage spewing from the mouths of people who proudly wave around their “WWJD” banners. Am I an angry atheist? When I see shit like this, hell yeah I am. What would Jesus do, my ass.
For the record, I’m currently in a discussion with this same person who is arguing that religion doesn’t amplify insanity and promote anti-social behavior. Huh.
I can’t figure out why something like this is necessary:
Is Jesus going to give you an extra pillow on your bed in the afterlife for re-posting this? Are you going to convert someone to Christianity by declaring you have an invisible friend? Doubtful. And what kind of irks me is that if I were to counter with something like this:
I personally believe in humanity. One Facebooker has challenged all others to put this on their wall. Nietzsche said, “There is not sufficient love and goodness in the world to permit us to give some of it away to imaginary beings.” This is a simple test. If you love humankind and you are not afraid to show it, re-post this…
I would get backlash because I’m voicing a view that is contrary to the forwarded e-mail mentality surrounding the above Facebook post. Is there a reason I shouldn’t post what I’ve written above? Not really, aside from the fact that it’ll be taken as a retaliation against believers who are forwarding this other thing around (which it obviously is). There’s also the problem of some of the Jesus posters being my family members. That would make it a little less comfortable.
The biggest thing keeping me from actually hitting the “post” button is that I’m not a freaking sheep who just forwards crap around for the hell of it. What would either of these Facebook statuses hope to accomplish? What practical use would either of them have? In my mind, none. They’re just a stupid spam message clogging up the news feed when I could be seeing more important things like what color my friend’s baby’s poop was or how good their sushi was at lunch. You know, things that actually matter.
Should I post my counter status or not? What do you think?
On a daily basis I see things like this in my news feed:
I’m not sure what my friends typing these things are trying to accomplish. As far as I know, god doesn’t actually have a Facebook account. It’s nice that they want to share their prayers with the world, but why?
Anyway, that’s not even the reason I’m posting this. It doesn’t really bother me that religious people put religious stuff in their FB statuses because I put irreligious stuff in mine. I’d be a real ass to complain about their statuses. What bothers me is that this is considered by them to be the epitome of normalcy and carries some kind of implied protection that doesn’t extend to anything else on FB. If I comment on these types of posts it invariably comes down to “stop attacking my beliefs!” or something similar. For that reason I’ve stopped making comments on things like this.
What really gets me is that if I post a link to a video or a news story or a quote by a famous atheist, it will immediately generate comments from my religious friends about how I should just stop talking about it or how I’m wrong. For instance:
GrapplingIgnorance’s video here.
I had to fire back on this one. It’s patently ridiculous to propose that everyone in the world must respect your beliefs while continually chiding others for their views. If you want to have the privilege of voicing your opinions then you must extend the same courtesy to others. Also, if you you post something publicly on FB then you have to assume that somebody will have an opinion on it. With that in mind, you are inviting comment by posting it and must therefore be ready to defend it without getting your panties bunched up.
Seriously, stop being such hypocrites, FB people!
Kentucky State Senator Joe Bowen has resurrected a bill that was killed last November that “sets the foundation” for offering Bible classes in Kentucky schools. Admittedly, nothing prevents public schools from offering comparative religion courses now. This begs the question as to why the state government would feel the need to even introduce such legislation in the first place.
I can think of one answer: Bowen is a Christian who feels that the current school curriculum is too secular and that Kentucky children are being led astray from core Christian principles. This is another push by religious zealots to have their view spread to everyone by any means necessary.
Now, to be perfectly clear, this bill would not require that all Kentucky schools offer a Bible class as a requisite to obtaining a high school diploma. The classes would be electives and that, I think, is their only redeeming quality.
First question: why isn’t Bowen pushing for Qur’an classes? Why not Bhagavad Gita classes? Or Buddhavacana classes? The answer is obvious. Bowen doesn’t want to educate children about world religions. He wants them to learn about his religion.
Second question: since when does the State Senate dictate school curriculum? Isn’t that the job of the school board? Kentucky’s department of education organizational chart is here (PDF). It steams me that the state government (even though it’s not my state) is wasting time and resources fighting battles in which it shouldn’t be involved.
Third question: aren’t there Sunday School classes every Sunday in Kentucky churches? If a child wants to hear about the Bible in a classroom setting they already have ample opportunity! Keep your religion in your church and we’ll keep logic and rational thought in the schools.
Can we please stop our lawmakers from spreading this kind of arrogance and ignorance across the entire country? Please, people, let’s do something about this!
Using the first link (“resurrected a bill”) you can vote in the news channel’s poll. Not that it’ll mean anything, but go vote this down. As of the time of this posting there’s an overwhelming majority voting YES for these antics.
Bowen photo courtesy Facebook.