Michael Medved: Assclown Extraordinaire

I was going to write a blazing post beating Michael Medved down for his fuckery regarding why an atheist could never be President, but others have done the job for me. To them, I am grateful. It means I can turn my attention to other assclowns.

Carpetbagger highlighted the dumbassitude in “This Week in God:”


First up from the God machine this week is an eyebrow-raising column about why Americans couldn’t possibly vote for a non-believer as president.

The very idea is remarkably remote. Gallup did a poll last year and found that Americans would sooner vote for anyone other than an atheist. But far-right commentator Michael Medved devoted his weekly column to explaining why Americans are right about this, and should only consider monotheists for the presidency. To elect a non-believer to a secular office to lead a secular executive branch, Medved said, would be “bad for the country.”

[snip]

This is probably the dumbest thing I’ve seen in print in quite some time.


Considering the stupidity CB runs in to on a daily basis, that’s saying something.

Daylight Atheism gives Medved the pounding he deserves, saving me the trouble:


This is the old canard that atheism is somehow intrinsically disrespectful of the religious in the way that other religions are not. It’s hard to see how this claim can be sustained, though, because Mormonism and Judaism both deny fundamental tenets of Christianity: one rejects Jesus’ claim to be the messiah, while the other asserts that he was just one in a potentially infinite line of deified humans. These faiths already deny so many of each other’s major tenets: why does the one additional tenet denied by atheism make all the difference?


If you want to know what I was going to say, go there. I might have a few potshots to take later, but honestly, I can’t muster up the energy. Not for a wingnut radio host who believes in Bigfoot and is a Discovery Institute fellow.

No, I’m off to find more challenging game. Spanking someone who’s already removed their pants is just not the same.

One Apology Down, 303,829,130 To Go

Atheist-hater extraordinaire Monique Davis has finally issued an excuse apology to atheist extraordinaire Rob Sherman:


Yesterday, State Representative Monique Davis (D-Chicago) called me from the Floor of the Illinois House of Representatives to apologize for what she had said to me at last Wednesday’s hearing of the House State Government Administration Committee.

[snip]

Rep. Davis said that she had been upset, earlier in the day, to learn that a twenty-second and twenty-third Chicago Public School student this school year had been shot to death that morning. She said that it was wrong for her to take out her anger, frustrations and emotions on me, and that she apologized to me.

Rob reports that he forgave her, which proves he’s a kinder human being than I.

I think this is a sad fucking excuse for an apology, and I shall now count the ways.

1. It took being named Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” before she even bothered to offer an apology that should have been profuse and immediate.

2. It was issued privately, which is wonderful – except that while her statements were aimed at Rob, they hit us all. Christians, atheists, et al deserve a very public mea culpa. This wasn’t a private matter. The offense happened when she was acting in her official capacity. It’s ridiculous that she seems to think she can then apologize as a private individual.

3. This wasn’t even an apology. It was a fucking pathetic excuse followed by “I apologize” and it does nothing to solve the latent problems that led to her outburst in the first place.

The phrasing in this so-called apology tells me she’s only sorry she let her feelings out in public, not that she’s sorry for the underlying prejudice. Note the key words “anger, frustrations and emotions.” That so-called apology offers no understanding of or remedy for her (b)latent motivations. It’s just damage control. It’s spin. It’s pure fucking bullshit. But I’m sure she thinks this solves everything.

It doesn’t.

Oh, I grant you she fulfilled the letter of an apology:

1. An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense.

2.


a. A formal justification or defense.
b. An explanation or excuse…

But she sure as shit didn’t manage the spirit:


[A]pology usually applies to an expression of regret for a mistake or wrong with implied admission of guilt or fault and with or without reference to mitigating or extenuating circumstances. [emphasis added]

Without that pesky little implied admission of guilt or fault, her apology means nothing. It’s ass-covering. She’s just trying to make people stop giving her a well-deserved spanking. She’s not going to take anything to heart. She’s not going to rethink her attitudes toward atheists. She’s not going to take a step back and realize that such attitudes have no place in public service. She’s not going to face what her outburst says about the meaning of the Constitution with its Establishment Clause and prohibitions on religious tests for public office.

She doesn’t see how damaging her outburst is to the dignity of her office. She doesn’t understand the damage done to her church. All of this is manifestly obvious by that half-assed excuse for an apology offered to Rob Sherman and no one else.

And she can get away with this because Christianity has a stranglehold on this country, and atheists are god-haters with no morals, no PAC, and no impact. Everybody can feel just fine hating on atheists. It’s a total non-story.

If she had said “You have no right to be here” to a Muslim, there would have been an outcry. If she’d said it to a Jew, the media would have been screaming it 24-7. Same thing for a gay, a welfare mom, a drug addict, or any number of reviled minorities who still get defended when some complete assclown of a Democrat slips up. Even Republicans are forced to backpedal furiously when they let their prejudices slip that badly. Her apology would have had to be profuse, and extremely fucking public.

But she shouted down an atheist, and so there’s nothing.

That, more than her lack of insight, apalls me. It shouldn’t matter what shade of citizen was the subject of that tirade. You could have sat a serial killer, a child molester, or a Republicon in that same chair, subjected him to that same abuse, and I’d say the same thing I’m saying now: “Twasn’t right, and you need to apologize to us all.”

There’s that pesky Constitution again, you see.


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It’s the right of the people to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. The Constitution never, not once, adds “unless they are atheists, or another despised group, or unless the Representative is having a bad day, or if the theoneocons get in power and decide who does and does not deserve these rights.”

The right to petition is even in their very own Illinois State Constitution, in case you were wondering:


SECTION 5. RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE AND PETITION

The people have the right to assemble in a peaceable manner, to consult for the common good, to make known their opinions to their representatives and to apply for redress of grievances.

That’s right below the section on freedom of religion, mind.

To sum up: No public official has a right under either the United States Constitution nor those of the states to tell any citizen of this country that they have no right to come before the government and testify. And this is what I think Monique Davis needs to realize, and make abundantly clear, in a very public apology.

I’ll even draft a sample one for her:

“I want to extend my sincerest apologies to Rob Sherman, to the people of this great State of Illinois, and to all Americans, for the remarks I made to Rob Sherman during his testimony before the House State Government Administration Committee. My outburst was inexcusable. I apologize to those I hurt. I reaffirm the rights of all citizens to petition their government, whether they profess a faith or no faith. And I pray that I can understand and overcome the fear that led to this regrettable outburst. Let this incident give us the opportunity to reach out to each other in understanding and in hope, and strengthen our commitment to the principles of freedom this country was founded upon. Thank you.”

See? That’s not so hard. And it’s a fuck of a lot better than a snivelly excuse and a quick dodge.

Lessee… it’s been two hours since I started this. Let’s see how many people Monique Davis needs to apologize to now:

303,829,771

I’d hurry before that number hits 400,000,000, myself.

News Flash for Monique Davis: It’ll Only Get Worse

As the citizens of the United States still await her apology, Keith Olbermann sits up and takes notice:

It’s not every day that a Democrat earns the dreaded “Worst Person in the World” top honors on Countdown. Muchos gracias, Keith!

Illinois Rep. Davis’s antics have even earned her immortality in song. And a good song it is, although she can’t carry much of a tune.

Your own dear Dana has jumped on the email bandwagon, as a full week without an apology is seven days too many:


Dear Rep. Davis:

You do not represent me, but you have affected me as a citizen of this country.

On April 3rd, you told atheist Rob Sherman, “You have no right to be here!”

You launched a tirade against him for not believing in God. You did this not as a private citizen, but in your official capacity as an elected representative of the citizens of Chicago. Your behavior was utterly outrageous for one of our democratically elected leaders. And yet you’ve shown no shame.

No apology. No explanation. Not a single word.

You should be deeply ashamed, as an American, as a Christian, and as a human being.

I feel sympathy for you. I truly do. I can only imagine that your vitriol came from a deep-rooted fear of atheists. It must be a terrible thing to live with so much fear. But that doesn’t excuse your ignorance or your actions.

Atheists are part of your constituency. You represent them. You cannot do so effectively when you scream at one of them that he has no right to be testifying before his own government.

Atheists are human beings. We have a moral compass, just as you do. We live, we love, we feel. Our lack of belief in a deity does not in any way minimize our humanity, or make us dangerous to you. Do not mistake a desire to see church and state safely separated for the desire to destroy all religion. The vast majority of us have no issue with what others choose to believe. We do take issue with those who would force their faith on us. We most certainly take issue with those who would tell us we have no right to petition our own government.

I want you to reflect, and pray, and consider what happens when a population is dehumanized, ostracized, and condemned by virtue of their creed. I’m sure you have a basis for comparison. Christianity, after all, was once a reviled faith until it grew strong enough to oppress in its turn.

You owe your city, your state, and your country an apology, but you owe one to your savior most of all. From what I
understand of him, he preferred compassion to condemnation.

Sincerely,
Dana Hunter

In my copious amounts of spare time tomorrow, I will be compiling a list of news outlets and writing up a nice little email we can all send along demanding attention. Such outrageous attacks from elected officials shall not pass unnoticed and unanswered.

And if many more days go by without a heartfelt mea culpa, I won’t be in such an indulgent mood, either.

“I am Fear! I am Evil! They Call Me… Peaches”

I’ve spent years wondering why some Christians are so damned scared. I mean, from my brief excursion into the church, I thought it was supposed to be “God-fearing,” not “God, fearing.” Then again, fearing God didn’t make any sense to me either, so what the fuck do I know?

My Christian friends are of no help to me, because they’re practically fearless. They’re not scared of gays, lesbians, liberals, pagans, atheists, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Christians from the church down the street, evolution, epithets, the ACLU, sex, magic, rock n’ roll, video games, or any of the 10,452,867,983 other things that many other Christians seem to fear. So I doubt they’ll be able to explain what I sensed from Rep. Davis’s little tirade.

It wasn’t just contempt. It wasn’t just anger. It wasn’t just disgust. All of those things were there, but above all, filling my nose like a nosegay dipped in raw sewage, was naked, shitting-herself terror.

I’ve got theories. Maybe it’s to do with the fact that someone’s getting along just fine without God propping him/her up like the U.S. of A. supporting a useful dictatorship. That can’t be comfortable. Here you are, letting go and letting God, and there’s some schmo frolicking happily in the meadows of free thought. Manifestly not suffering. Suspicious lack of bursting into flames, or getting struck by lightning, even. Blessings abounding, despite the fact said atheist has poked ye olde middle finger straight up God’s nose. You toil and sweat and suffer through those gawd-awful hymns sung off-key at church on a Sunday morning, while the atheist lolls abed or plays in the park, and yet you both get an equal share in the blessed and the cursed.

No fair, eh? Makes one wonder, don’t it?

So yes, I suspect it has a lot to do with atheists giving the lie to sacred teachings, just by dint of living human lives like everybody else. But is that really all that leads to that vicious fear?

I mean, come on, ye faithful. God might just be biding His time, giving said atheist just enough rope for a good self-hanging, right? Hellfire and damnation to come, no? You’ll be laughing all the way to Heaven while Satan’s asking that dirty atheist “Would you like your damnation spitted or flayed?” What’s to worry?

Here’s a clue: “It’s dangerous for our children to even know your philosophy exists!”

Except… no. It’s not. Kids are indoctrinated brainwashed taught how to resist the siren call of those Christ-denying Jews and those Johnny-come-lately-to-behead-you Muslims and the they’re-not-following-the-Bible Baptists down the road. There’s less fear and a lot more sneer in those cases. So why are they terrified of pagans and shit-scared of atheists?

And they really are that scared. There’s a subset of Christians who just can’t handle the presence of one of said pagans or atheists.

It’s anecdote time. Settle in and grab your drink.

So this one time, at the library, a few years after I’d given up Christianity for a bad job, I was sitting on the floor in the stacks. Doing research, you see. Had a story featuring a Native American character, didn’t I, and I knew bugger-all about the Kiowa. So I had a bunch of books on the Plains tribes spread out around me. Books with titles like Red Power and Native American Myth and Legends. Which maybe should’ve been the first clue to the willowy young woman who came mincing her way between the shelves. But she had me dead in her sights, she did, and that cross was sparkling on her chest, and she was going to bring me to Jesus, oh, yes.

“Hi,” she said in this bright, quavery voice. “I’d just like to invite you to our Bible study class.”

Back in those days, I wore an ankh from Vampire: the Masquerade. Maybe that’s what made her ignore the fact I was wearing all black and sitting cross-legged among all those Native American books: to the untrained eye, that ankh looks something like a loopy cross. Regardless, I slowly looked up at her eager little face and thought, awshit. I had to think fast. My first instinct was the truth: I’m agnostic. Only, if you say something like that to a prostelytizing Christian, they hear I’m wishy-washy on the whole God thing, tell me more! I didn’t have time for ten hours of argument on the subject, and I had fresh in my mind the incident wherein one of my friends told some Jehovah’s Witnesses he’s a witch and got to watch them run away. So, in an inspired moment, I said in my most forboding tones, “I’m pagan.”

She turned sheet-white, stammered out “I’m sorry!” and ran away. Literally. Ran away.

I couldn’t fucking believe it.

I’ve mulled that little scene over for years. I don’t understand it. I have no idea why they can’t abide the mere presence of an avowed pagan. They’ll run from those, but atheists are a different story: we godless sorts make them act like cornered animals, shaking in fear and loathing and fighting for their lives. It’s incredible. Rational Christians, like my friends, just sort of roll their eyes when I proclaim my lack of belief, but Christians like Rep. Davis just go apeshit. And if you were really secure in your faith, if God’s really with you, why should that be so?

Is it because atheists are better with Bible quotes? Satan can quote Scripture to his own ends, right, so maybe that’s it: we’re literally Satan. But if you read your Bible, if you understand what it means, you’ll know that, Satan started out as just an adversary, and he and God liked to have a bit of fun at the expense of people named Job. Job clung to his faith with his fingernails and all was well. Did he run? No.

Did Christ run away screaming when Satan came a-tempting? No. They had a debate, and Jesus won. That simple.

So that’s why I don’t get this “I must run away before I’m destroyed by this atheist” mindset. We’re not so dangerous to people of faith. Even the atheists who like to try to talk sense into Christians can’t make a dent in strong faith. We do have fun trying, sometimes, but I’ve talked to many Christians who find it just as fun to turn the tables. I respect them. Those who are truly secure in their faith also tend to be warm-hearted toward infidels such as myself, and that’s returned in kind.

So perhaps that’s what it really comes down to. The most homophobic are often closet homosexuals. The most anti-atheist could just be closet atheists. We scare them because we resonate.

Interesting thought, no?

I wish I had a useful summation here. It would be nice to have the solution to all of the fear and loathing and bigotry. But I’m afraid all I can do is show a bit of understanding: yes, you’re terrified of atheists, and you lash out from that fear. That’s what frightened animals do. Rise above that or get the fuck out of public office, right?

In the end, we atheists may just have to revel in our status as a scourge worse than Islamofascisthomobabykilling freaks until time proves that the entire world isn’t going to descend into hedonistic chaos because we gave up gods. After all, it gives us the chance to quote Rocko’s Modern Life:

“I am fear! I am evil! They call me… Peaches.”

…and I think you’ll agree that’s pretty fucking awesome.

Dana’s Court of Opinion

On the docket today: People vs. Pat Robertson

Charged with: Being a crazy fucking lunatic.



PAT ROBERTSON,
DANGEROUS FUCKING LUNATIC


GERRY STRAUB,

GENUINE CHRISTIAN*

I now admit into evidence this article by Bill Sizemore from the Virginia Quarterly Review:


Robertson had long rued the day in 1947 when the Supreme Court, in Everson v. Board of Education, enshrined Jefferson’s 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Convention describing a “wall of separation between church & State.” That decision, he has written, paved the way for the high court’s rulings in the early 1960s banning organized prayer and Bible reading in the public schools, which Robertson blames for “virtually every social pathology” in the United States today: the exploding prison population, teen pregnancy, drugs, divorce, murder, alcoholism, and low scholastic achievement. The lamentable result, he insists, has been the “establishment in the public schools of the religion of secular humanism with its attendant sexual permissiveness, embrace of one-world government, and Marxist-inspired economic theory.”

By training a new generation of lawmakers, Robertson hoped to reverse the Supreme Court’s wayward path. The first step would be to reject the legitimacy of the court’s landmark Marbury v. Madison decision of 1803, which established the concept of judicial review—the ability to declare laws unconstitutional. The final corrective, he wrote, would be for Congress to “nullify the decisions of the Supreme Court” by refusing to allow it to overturn new Christian-based laws: “Then those laws will remain in effect.”

At the same time, however, Robertson was pursuing a second trategy—a bid for the presidency. A president, he wrote, could simply refuse to enforce the court’s decisions. After all, he noted pointedly, the court has no army.


Further damning testimony, from Gerry Straub, former CBN producer:


“I would be terrified,” he wrote, “to have the president of the United States be a person who has daily conversations with both God and the Devil.”


The court, based upon testimony from intrepid reporter Bill Sizemore, rational Christian Gerry Straub, and countless other reality-based individuals, that Pat Robertson is a batshit-crazy, dangerous fucking lunatic. It is so ordered that Americans of all political and religious stripes shall fight like hell to confine this man to a tiny corner of the nuttosphere where his harm to society can be limited.

Court is adjourned.

*You may wonder why I call Gerry Straub a genuine, rational Christian. Peruse the evidence for yourselves:


A short hop from the glitz of Hollywood and the opulence of Beverly Hills, in a drab office behind a Quiznos sub shop in Burbank, California, Gerard Thomas Straub—Gerry to his friends— sits in front of a video monitor and watches endless pictures of poverty flash by. A leper colony in Brazil. A teeming slum at the base of a mountainous garbage dump in the Philippines. Homeless people living in cardboard boxes on Los Angeles’s skid row. Starving children lying helpless in the dirt in the remotest reaches of Uganda.

A gifted photographer and storyteller, Straub weaves these distressing images into documentary films aimed at exposing Americans to the harsh reality of persistent poverty. The films are difficult to watch. The scenes of abject squalor are presented with an unblinking eye, in an all-too-real cinema-verité style.

[snip]

“We try to find people who are living their faith,” he told me when I visited his small, windowless studio, which held a tangle of electronic equipment and mismatched office furniture. “People who exemplify a kind of self-emptying love, giving themselves away.”

Straub came to embrace this brand of Christianity—emphasizing social justice, concern for the poor, peace, and nonviolence—after a long and winding spiritual odyssey that included a life-changing stint with Pat Robertson and a public fracture that threatened to shake the ministry to its foundation.


Read the whole article. Just… read it.

Mark Mathis Opens Mouth, Proves Stupidity (Again)

Someday, I’m going to write my Great American Novel, Cornflakes. I’ve been gathering material for it going on two decades now. It’s about the rampant stupidity of certain human beings. Mark Mathis, Associate Producer of Expelled, has earned his place within it, for verily, he is a corny flake.

Well, actually, he’s a total fuckwit, but the novel’s not called Fuckwits, alas. Perhaps it should be.

Many of you will have had the great good fortune of not knowing just who the fuck Mathis is. I’m sorry to be the one to draw your attention to this raving lunatic. Just take comfort in the fact that, despite all of his efforts to draw attention to himself, you had no clue who he was before I foisted him on your attention. Those of you who needed no introduction, my sympathies.

Perhaps the only thing you need to know about Mathis is that he’s one of those lying sacks of shit making sensible Christians feel ashamed of their brethren. That, anyway, is all the introduction I’m willing to give him: He’s one of the bastards responsible for the atrocity that is Expelled, and he’s a lying sack of shit. Everybody say hi to Mr. Mathis.

Now that introductions are taken care of, let us proceed.

I wanted to thoroughly spank Mathis for a few particular inanities he spouted in that “conference” call so spectacularly interrupted by PZ Myers. I know I don’t have to wear my own arm out – just search ScienceBlogs for “Mark Mathis” and you’ll see what I mean – but I just get this twitch when I’m confronted with this level of inanity. Paddling his tender bottom will help that twitch subside.

Brother Richard from Life Without Faith was part of that conference call, and he was so kind as to post his raw notes. One of the questions and answers in particular caught my eye, but before we get to that, let me share the Mathis quote that had me nearly pounding the floor with laughter. Appetizer, then main course, as it were:

[Mathis] also points out that he had a personal grudge against Myers and he wanted him to have to pay for the movie. He points out that he let Michael Shermer attend another viewing and that Shermer enjoyed the film. [emphasis added]

Let’s put aside the fact that Mathis only settled on the “personal grudge” excuse after trying the “PZ was causing a disturbance” excuse (he wasn’t) and the “Myers and Dawkins were gate-crashers” excuse (they weren’t). That isn’t what made me nearly fall to the ground in hysterical laughter. Look again at the line in bold.

Michael Shermer? Michael Shermer? Seriously Michael Shermer, you mean, the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine? The one who had this to say about Mathis:

My take on Mathis is that he’s an opportunist. He says and does whatever he thinks necessary to get his film made and now promoted. My guess on the latest flap about tossing PZ out of the screening but not Dawkins was PZ’s original assumption that they just didn’t notice Dawkins there, and only after the fact rationalizing the whole affair with plausible (and ever changing) reasons.

And this about Ben Stein:

I also pointed out to him that Darwin has been used and abused by ideologues of all stripes, and that in any case that is all separate from
whether the science is good or not. That seemed to tax his thinking too much, because shortly after he announced that he had to take a rest break and he just got up and went out to his car for about 20 minutes!


[snip]


Then Stein came back in and that’s when we walked around the office with the handheld camera to get some B-Roll footage, and they showed him asking me about my books, and that’s where I told him I thought ID was much closer to pseudoscience than science.

That Michael Shermer? Oh, yeah. I’ll bet he enjoyed the film. It must have been the same sort of life-changing experience as being interviewed for it by those two assclowns.

And yet, that wasn’t the most inane thing Mathis said. That wasn’t what had my spanking arm twitching. Brother Richard notes:


The question is asked, if the issues are just about science, then why are so many Darwinists upset? Why do they have such passionate anger? Mathis says that Darwinism is a worldview. Scientists like Myers and Dawkins are scared because their atheistic worldview might come crashing down on their heads.


This is wrong in so many ways that it’s going to take me the rest of the night to deconstruct it. Grab yourselves some snackage and drinkage and make yourselves comfortable. We’re in for the long haul.

Firstly, “Darwinism” is only a worldview in the miniscule mind of Mathis and those of his ilk (and how I wish I didn’t have to add that last bit). Rational people who enjoy objective evidence for claims of how life came by its incredible diversity have accepted the scientific theory of evolution because it provides abundant evidence of said diversity, no myth required. If someone proved by means of objective scientific evidence that evolutionary theory was incorrect, and came up with a better explanation, our world would not end. Thinkers such as ourselves are quite used to adjusting to new evidence. I refer you to the excitement rather than panic when Einstein’s theory of relativity nudged Newton aside for a good example of this.

As for people like PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins being scared that their “atheistic worldview might come crashing down on their heads”… puh-leeze. I’m no scientist, merely an avid consumer of same, but I am an atheist, and I can tell you that the last thing I’m scared of is having that worldview come crashing down. We’re not angry because we’re scared. We’re passionately angry because we can’t stand lying sacks of shit trying to force their useless dogma on us.

“Why do we have such passionate anger?” I have a few ideas. And I can tell you why I’m spending so much time and energy fighting these assclowns and the poison they’re pushing with this propaganda flick.

1. The (scientific) theory of evolution has led to medical breakthroughs that save lives. Intelligent Design has not. Au contraire, “Goddidit” and pseudoscientific explanations do nothing to further the science that gives us new treatments for disease, and sometimes they kill.

2. Intelligent Design is not science. It has no claim to be treated as such, and therefore deserves expulsion. Academic freedom isn’t even in it. So it really pisses me off when some total bastards try to get their religion into the classroom by playing us for fair-play suckers. They want Intelligent Design in the classroom, fine – it can go in Comparative Religion where it belongs.

3. Three words: Creationism’s Trojan Horse. Two more words for you: Wedge Document. Real sci
ence doesn’t have to come up with systematic schemes to lie and cheat and game the system to get recognized as science. Even if it weren’t for the above two items, the IDiot’s whining claims for equal time and the right to academic freedom would be annihilated by the stunning intellectual dishonesty their strategy displays. Credibility destroyed(.pdf).

4. Science class is for science, not pseudoscience, not the frontiers. And for those who claim Intelligent Design can be introduced and then debunked, face facts: you’d cry bloody murder, infringement on religious rights, persecution, the whole works. You don’t want it debunked, you want it enforced. So even that little strategem fails. ID doesn’t belong in the classroom under any pretense, period.

5. But I know they don’t give a shit about science or integrity, so I’ll just mention this: it’s bad religion. It’s harming the Christian mainstream message. Go on. Everyone, now, even the IDiots in the audience. Go read the whole comment I linked to. It’s on a Christian message board, so you don’t have to associate with those icky atheist scientists.

You know you’ve fucked up when your religious compatriots are saying that “the ‘Intelligent Design’ movement is a plan by Satan to discredit the Gospel in the minds of many…,” eh?

So let’s review: the fuckwits pushing Intelligent Design are floating a pseudoscientific raft of bullshit under the misnomer “Theory of Intelligent Design.” Their “science” has made not one useful contribution to medicine, while evolutionary theory has. They lie six ways of Thursday and have nefarious little plans on sneaking their fanaticism into the classroom. They’re making things miserable for their fellow religious travellers. And they think scientists and atheists are just scared our worldview might be challenged? They think we’re fighting them because of that?

Worldview isn’t even in it.

And sadly, my five points above have just barely scratched the surface. I encourage you, even if you think Intelligent Design can’t harm you, to click on a few of the above links. It’s not just about Intelligent Design trying to edge out evolution in classrooms, my darlings, although that should be quite enough – this country is failing miserably at science education, and it’s not like adding religious pablum will make it any better.

No.

It’s not just that.

It’s about keeping the fanatics from getting a toehold. They catch enough young ears and bend them, we’re all going to end up in a theocracy run by the most outrageous elements of the Religious Right, and I damned sure don’t want to wake up to that world in a few years. Neither do you.

I’m not asking you to do anything more than be vigilant. Watch out for the lies. Keep the theocrats out of our government, our school boards, and our personal lives. Don’t be swayed by the silver tongues of the terminally stupid. You’ll feel badly if you end up featured in Cornflakes right there beside Mathis.

Tip o’ the shot glass to Brother Richard.

Oh, Noes! They Got My Best Friend!

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.