Rabbi Brad Hirschfield is very concerned: atheism has turned ugly, he says. Oh, no, I says, what atrocity have we perpetrated now? Have we been…
- raping children in our care?
- hunting for witches in Africa and setting them on fire?
- rioting over poorly-drawn caricatures of Madalyn Murray O’Hair?
- stoning women to death for adultery?
- telling air force cadets to prepare for a righteous armageddon?
- chopping the hands off thieves?
- displacing and oppressing people because they live on land Dawkins said was ours?
- pouring money into California to suppress the rights of gay couples?
- building compounds and filling them with automatic rifles?
- lying to children in our educational system?
- telling women they aren’t allowed to speak at our meetings?
- flying planes into buildings?
- chopping bits off baby penises?
- inculcating shame and guilt in generations of children?
- ignoring the stewardship of our planet because nature couldn’t possibly allow us to mess it up?
- denying children medical care because disease is Hitchen’s will?
- strapping bombs to our bodies and boarding church buses before detonating them?
- telling poor people they aren’t allowed to use family planning?
- butchering albinos for body parts we use in our secret ceremonies?
- legislating death and imprisonment for sexual practices we disapprove of?
- making women dress up in bag-like tents before allowing them to go outside?
- dynamiting ancient works of religious art?
- chopping off clitorises?
- demanding special privileges?
- dismantling the social support network?
- using our tax-free income to lobby for conservative politicians in our tax-exempt buildings?
- calling for pogroms and ethnic cleansing?
- setting our critics on fire?
Because those would be UGLY. That’s the kind of thing that comes to my mind as representative of disgraceful, hideous behavior by established social institutions. For a representative of a religious faith to claim that atheists have done something ugly implies that they must have really done something awful.
So what has Rabbi Hirschfield covering his eyes in horror?
The Backyard Skeptics were tearing pieces of paper in half…paper that had magic words written on them. O Lord, avert thine eyes that thou would not witness the great evils your people perpetrate on this earth. God, with your perfect all-seeing vision, I think you would prefer to change channels, avoid this heresy, and instead peep in on some of your good and holy people: I’m sure somewhere there’s a priest buggering a choir boy, or a rabbi gnawing on a baby’s penis, or an imam cutting off someone’s head, providing a soothing spectacle for a holy mind. Whatever you do, do not watch this horrific video of smiling people on a sunny day in California cheerfully disrespecting your sacred words. Amen.
You watched it, didn’t you? Now you’re going to have flashbacks to those frightful images all day long. Don’t blame me if you are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder now.