The hardest thing about embracing my atheism and deciding to do my part in calling creationists out on their bullshit is the wall it’s put up between my best friend and I.
Take tonight. There we were, having a fairly decent conversation about life, the universe and everything. I can’t even remember how we got to this point – it was that innocuous a conversation – but his church’s views on evolution had come up, probably due to my crowing over PZ’s pranking the Expelled crew, and without any warning, a creationist talking point comes tumbling from the mouth of my usually rational best friend:
“Well, it’s the theory of evolution, you know – it’s not like it’s the law of evolution.”
Said in that somewhat indulgent, somewhat admonishing tone I dread, that gentle voice of correction the churches use when you’re going astray.
I didn’t react well. I tried to keep a civil tone as I explained that a theory in science isn’t the same thing as a theory in layman’s terms, but I know I was nearly shouting. And no, I’m not angry at him. I’m outraged at the pompous assclowns who love pulling blindfolds over people’s eyes and drill these fuckwit phrases into folks who only want to live good Christian lives. As if accepting evolution means spitting on God. As if God couldn’t have come up with such an elegant and simple idea for the creation of higher life forms.
We got past the bad moment. That’s why he’s my best friend: these things are nothing compared to the love we share. The walls are going up, but they’ll never get so high we can’t talk over them.
But it’s made me understand how pervasive the lies are. The only good news is that his church isn’t pushing Expelled as a must-see. They have better taste than that, a fact for which I’m forever grateful.
Let me just state something clearly: I have no problem with faith in God. Some people need God. They can have Him (take my God – please! hur hur hur – sorry). I understand the need for something greater in our lives. Some of us fill that need with secular things, some with spiritual, and it’s all good. I wouldn’t mind seeing less religion in public in this country, and I despise a lot of the things supposedly “religious” people do, but that doesn’t equate to wanting it eradicated like a mental illness. Fanaticism needs to be fought lest we end up living in a theocracy, true, but let’s don’t get stupid.
But I have an enormous problem with people lying for Jesus, and good people getting taken in by those lies. I cannot let that stand.
So that’s right, creationist cretins: I’m coming for you, you lying sacks of shit.
I’m going to link to sites that debunk you. I’m going to join that chorus spanking you all up and down the internet. I’m going to vote your asses down, and I’m going to counter your pathetic lies, and I’m not going to let you impose your narrow, rabid, fanatic, ugly, distorted view of religion on me and mine. I won’t let you do it to kids, and I won’t let you do it in my community, and I will try my damnedest to take my country back from you, and I am not alone.
It begins here. Listen:
According to the National Academy of Sciences,
Some scientific explanations are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them. The explanation becomes a scientific theory. In everyday language a theory means a hunch or speculation. Not so in science. In science, the word theory refers to a comprehensive explanation of an important feature of nature that is supported by many facts gathered over time. Theories also allow scientists to make predictions about as yet unobserved phenomena. [emphasis added]
And don’t you start blowing smoke up our asses with “the Theory of Intelligent Design.” That so-called “theory” falls under the vulgar definition of theory. It has nothing to do with science. It’s the fucking fantasy of Intelligent Design. It’s a euphemism for creationism, and if that weren’t true, you all wouldn’t be fighting the battle in the political arena: you’d be too busy in the lab to mess about in politics, trying to force your fantasies on the rest of us by fiat.
You want the truth? Science doesn’t lead to atheism. You do. You’re the ones presenting it as the choice between science or God, and considering the company I would have been keeping as a church-going Christian, I chose science. Evolutionary theory didn’t shake my faith in God: you did. Your lies and your frothing and your intolerance and your self-righteousness shoved me right out the door. There are atheists who got there through science, true, but there are a hell of a lot more who ended up happily God-free because we couldn’t stand the fanatical fuckheads that were destroying faith. So don’t try to spew that “science will turn our children into atheists!” crap. Tell it to Ken Miller. Let him tell you how much science destroyed his faith.
Oh, wait. You can’t. He’s Catholic, and he’s an evolutionary biologist. Whoops.
Here’s the deal. Stay the fuck out of my government, and the fuck out of science classrooms, and stay the fuck away from my friends. ¿Comprende?
No. I know you don’t. And that’s why we’ll be having this little talk again.