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Dumbass Quote of the Day

One of the most annoying arguments in the fundie arsenal goes like this: “Even atheists worship something. If they don’t worship God, then they’re their own god.” Rep. Rick Saccone of Pennsylvania, who is trying to pass a bill to post “In God We Trust” in every school in that state, offers his version:

Saccone: My Muslim friends can look at it and say… what God means to them. My Hindu and Buddhist friends can look at it, my Christian friends, my Jewish friends, can all look at it in their own way and they can interpret it in their own way. So it’s not excluding anyone. It’s actually inclusive, and that’s what the Supreme Court’s ruled.

Hanrahan: What about atheists?

Saccone: Atheists, you know, they look at things their own way, also. They can either interpret that as whatever God that they worship, in the form of, maybe it’s materialism, or something else in life that they look at. I actually talked with the head of the Pennsylvania Atheists who came to me after my last rally and said, “You know what, Rick? I support the bill. I see that it’s historic. And I don’t really have a problem [with it]. I don’t believe in God,” he said, “but I support the bill. It’s a good thing.”

He’s almost certainly lying about that, by the way. As Hemant points out, there is no group called Pennsylvania Atheists and no atheist group in the state that supports the bill. I think he should be challenged to name this anonymous atheist he allegedly talked to. I’m guessing he’s as imaginary as his god is.

Comments

  1. marcus says

    Does he not realize (or not care) that if God means everything then it means nothing? Of course this is pretty much the meaning that the Supreme Court attached by calling it “ceremonial deism”. Once again it is just the Xians pissing all over everything so they can claim it as their own.

  2. scienceavenger says

    It just shows how unable they are to relate to other POV that they treat worship as a necessary condition for the human experience. Never had much use for it myself.

  3. jnorris says

    Will Rep. Saccone let the Mormons in Pennsylvania post some howdie do’s to Jesus’ brother Satan?

  4. jnorris says

    Scienceavenger, it shows how ineffectual their churches and Sunday Schools are when the only way to convert children is to poison the public schools.

  5. dugglebogey says

    By this logic we can post “There is no god” and those that disagree can interpret it however they want, right?

  6. says

    These guys sound like 14-year-olds who’ve realized that they can make sophistimacated-sounding arguments, but who really haven’t got enough experience – you know, thinking – to do it well. Like what Nietzsche probably sounded like when he was 5.

  7. Chiroptera says

    Words: do conservatives even know what they mean any more?

    Or, to quote cartoonist Scott Bateman, are they even aware that the sounds that come out of their mouths are a form a communication?

  8. rabbitscribe says

    #5 Dugglebogey:

    By this logic we can post “There is no god” and those that disagree can interpret it however they want, right?

    Absolutely. It would be a perfectly innocent display of ceremonial secularism. Theists, you know, they look at things their own way, also. They can interpret that as whatever God that they reject, in the form of, maybe it’s Zeus or Shiva. I actually talked with the Pope of the Pennsylvania Baptists who came to me after my last Bible-burning and said, “You know what, Scribe? I support the message. I see that it’s historic. And I don’t really have a problem [with it]. I believe in God,” he said, “but I support the message. It’s a good thing.”

  9. RickR says

    My Muslim friends can look at it and say… what God means to them. My Hindu and Buddhist friends can look at it

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the likelihood of this guy having any Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist friends is essentially zero.

  10. peterh says

    scienceavenger said, “It just shows how unable they are to relate to other POV…”

    I submit it shows how unable they are to relate to reality.

  11. says

    He appears to be ignorant (yeah, I could leave it just there) of the fact that Buddhism is non-theist: while Buddhism acknowledges the existence of gods (plural), it says that veneration of gods is an attachment like any other and will hinder one’s salvation. Yup, you can only escape the cycle of birth and death by giving up worship.

    And since this yahoo seems to be taking the “all gods are one” approach, I suppose he would have absolutely no problem grabbing a prayer rug and going through the salat five times a day, right? Take part in the worship at a Zoroastrian fire temple? Attend a Sikh service? Dance naked under the full moon? He would at least be willing to take part in the ceremonial deism of offering incense to the deified emperors, right? I mean, if they are all one god….

  12. kevinalexander says

    . I’m guessing he’s as imaginary as his god is.

    Because imaginary is the same as real because quantum.

  13. lclane2 says

    “Worship” is a relic of the era of kings. Nowadays we consider things or investigate things rather than worshiping things.

  14. greg1466 says

    Wait. So the “God” in “In God We Trust” can be interpreted to be what ever god you like? So that means the fundies are going to quit citing “In God We Trust” on money as evidence that we are a “Christian Nation” right? Yeah, thought not.

  15. suttkus says

    Since some of the religions he mentioned have multiple gods, might I suggest they change the sign to “In God(s) we trust (except for gods of evil or deception in whom we certainly do not trust)”. There, that should cover all the theistic religions.

  16. had3 says

    Shuttkus @ 18: we better trust in the gods of deception or else they aren’t really the gods of deception, are they?

  17. Crudely Wrott says

    Never in my life have I been able to get a handle on this critter called worship. Not for lack of trying, though. Twice. Once when I was a proverbial knee-high and then again when I was in my early twenties.

    My good fortune was, by the age of thirty, to discover that there is no wild or indigenous species of worship. Only the several man made species that are all made up of whole cloth and have always been completely domesticated. Beasts of burden, all of them. Poor oxen, the lot.

    No worship? No problem. Er, strike that; far fewer problems, the ones too frequently being due to running afoul of the poorly disciplined pets of the faithful.

  18. cry4turtles says

    “Worship” is my most detested word. You can call me a f*%@%ng c*#”t, and I’ll laugh and walk away. But call me a “worshipper”; now themz fightin’ werdz.

  19. Freodin says

    So if all he is saying that “we all have something we trust in”… why not that say that in the law?

    I bet he would all be for changing the text to a more generic and inclusive “In something we trust”.

    Or wouldn’t he?

  20. says

    “Saccone: My Muslim friends can look at it and say… what God means to them. My Hindu and Buddhist friends can look at it, my Christian friends, my Jewish friends, can all look at it in their own way and they can interpret it in their own way.”

    “In Cthulhu we trust (and fear?)!” ? Nah, I didn’t think so.

    ““Even atheists worship something. If they don’t worship God, then they’re their own god.”

    Well, when I get up in the morning, I look for my glasses (can never find my teeth without them) and then, while performing my ablutions, I look in the mirror and see the god that I have created in my own image and say to him:

    “Don’t be making any fucking promises you can’t honor, schmuck!”.

  21. evodevo says

    “If they don’t worship God, then they’re their own god” So, he has us confused with Mormons? Or what?

  22. sc_72717b0d8dc4053e632b6512091cef73 says

    Hopefully I won’t piss everybody off by saying this, but doesn’t every body have reverence for something larger than themselves? Life, the universe, whatever? If some people want to use the word God and it makes them happy and keeps them out of my business I’m happy to go along with that, as long as I can define God in any way I want. I don’t see a big problem with ceremonial deism, in the same way I don’t mind references to Mother Earth…I’m sure there are some loons out there who actually anthropomorphize the earth, but that’s not my problem. Throw the dogs their bone, let them have all the references to “God” they want, but don’t let them define the word in any way. I also don’t get all the fuss over a courthouse having a monument to the Ten Commandments; yes, they are part of religious traditions, but there are also an example of an early rudimentary legal system that has an important role in our cultural history. If some people want to believe that they are universal rules written by God through magic I don’t care anymore than I care if someone were to thinking The Apotheosis of Washington painting in the Capitol is a true representation of George Washington attaining divinity (as some Mormons apparently do). Just my two cents.

  23. says

    a person can only examine the world from their own subjective perspective. since he worships a god, he assumes everyone must worship something. this is retarded thinking.

    even if the bible-god existed, i would not worship it. a god who demands worship doesn’t deserve it and a god who deserves worship wouldn’t want it. so there is no conceivable scenario in which i would worship something.

  24. Curtis Cooley says

    There are Buddhists who believe anyone can transcend to be a god, but it’s not desirable. Being a god means you are so satisfied with you status you have forgotten the path to Nirvana.

    To them, “In God We Trust” would mean they are trusting a state of being they have no respect for.

    He has no Buddhist friends, obviously.

  25. Wylann says

    The anonymous message @25:
    You give yourself away by capitalizing ‘god’ every time you write it. If it were ceremonial, and we were just throwing them a proverbial bone, the more correct way of doing it would lower case ‘gods’. But we all know that’s just bullshit, and the xianists in the US like to use this as their version of territorial pissing.

    I’d rather not throw them a bone, proverbial or otherwise, because you give them an inch, they claim a mile. So we need to go back to the original, inclusive motto: E Pluribus Unum.

  26. Iain Walker says

    sc_72717b0d8dc4053e632b6512091cef73 (#25):

    Hopefully I won’t piss everybody off by saying this, but doesn’t every body have reverence for something larger than themselves? Life, the universe, whatever?

    There’s an enormous difference between possessing a well-developed sense of the Sublime (in the Burkean sense) or something like it, and worshipping something. The first is an aesthetic response to the world around you. The second is the adoption of a submissive, supplicating attitude towards the thing in question, normally accompanied by treating it as an agent and usually involving communal rituals that act to reinforce bonding and commitment within the group. One can indulge in the first while still regarding the second as pointless, absurd and more than a little creepy.

    Throw the dogs their bone, let them have all the references to “God” they want, but don’t let them define the word in any way.

    How are you intending to stop them defining the word? The entire point is that the term has already been defined (as a particularly powerful kind of supernatural entity), and carries an even narrower definition (the Christian god) in the minds of those who want to impose this kind of crap on everybody else. It’s not inclusive, it is quite consciously and deliberately hegemonistic.

    I also don’t get all the fuss over a courthouse having a monument to the Ten Commandments; yes, they are part of religious traditions, but there are also an example of an early rudimentary legal system that has an important role in our cultural history.

    American law, like English law, is descended mainly from Roman and Anglo-Saxon legal traditions. The Ten Commandments, about half of which are straightforward religious taboos rather than legal or moral principles, have little to do with either legal system. If you want to display ancient legal codes, then the Code of Hammurabi probably has a better claim to be the first comprehensive such code. Setting up monuments specifically to the Ten Commandments outside courthouses is again an act of sectarian hegemony.

  27. freehand says

    peterh: scienceavenger said, “It just shows how unable they are to relate to other POV…”

    I submit it shows how unable they are to relate to reality.

    Yes, reality is a point of view which they reject.

    sc_7 – I stand in awe at times while looking around me. I value life and knowledge, sometimes more than words can express. But I worship nothing. Nor do I lightly surrender any rhetorical or legal trick these assholes can pull off to pretend that we are “A Christian nation” or conflate the language with different meanings in order to claim evidence that I “worship” anything. I have heard a president say that “atheists cannot be real citizens”. They’re not including us; they are denying us.

    I do not worship myself, I do not worship materialism. Worship is for slaves who have embraced their lot and their masters. As far as I could tell growing up in its midst, it most resembles the fearful assurances of the cowed to an abusive but insecure authority.

    I understand, a little, the devotion of a monk, but he or she would be better off (we all would be) if he devoted his focus and devotion to music, or gardening, or science. God made real, so to speak.

    This politician would pretend that he is being nice by defining us as inferior worshippers. I would reply that he would be improved by making his God manifest by defining it as charity, or beauty, or knowledge, and serving that.

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