I actually enjoyed this little rant by a fervent Catholic, Mary Kochan: You Whiny Sniveling Little Atheists Are Pathetic! She’s in a rage because the Freedom From Religion Foundation challenged the declaration of a “Day of Prayer” in Arizona (a case they lost, by the way).
Let’s get this straight. The atheists are suing because they had to turn off the television to avoid the topic of religion or news announcements about the Day of Prayer. They had to alter their conversation to avoid the topic of religion. This made them feel like “outsiders”.
No. We atheists are quite accustomed to silly people praying, and we see religion on TV all the time; it’s entirely within everyone’s personal rights to believe whatever they damn well please, as long as it doesn’t infringe on others’ rights to do likewise. The case was about an elected official using the apparatus of our common government to endorse sectarian religious belief. We don’t mind altering our conversation to avoid religion, and sometimes we’ll alter it to confront religion. It looks like the atheist case was poorly argued, but the crux of the problem is the violation of the establishment cause.
Once upon a time, in a country containing diverse religious views, Catholics and Baptists could appreciate the fact that the absence of a state religion allowed both to flourish, and would have been standing right up there with the atheists demanding that the government not meddle in religious belief. Now, though, as atheists get louder and more prominent, they instead find common cause in this myth of a “judeo-christian nation” to start using government to enforce belief. Let’s hope for their sake that the Mormons never take over the government!
But let’s move on to Ms Kochan’s entertaining fury, built on a false understanding of the substance of the complaint, and in which she throws in further stupidities.
You whiny, sniveling, little, pusillanimous cowards. You have the audacity to tell us Christians that we are “weak” and that our religion is a “crutch.” You are supposed to be so “courageous”, venturing forth boldly into the existential mystery of being alone, facing with stoicism the nothingness that awaits you at death, priding yourself on your realism and self-reliance. You are a bunch of feeble fakers.
Yes, you are outsiders. Go start your own damn country. This one was started by Christians, you puerile dimwits. It is Christians who established and largely Christians who fought and died to maintain the freedoms you enjoy. And Christians are still the majority. Apparently your vaulted belief system doesn’t equip you to handle being in the minority. That’s interesting, isn’t it? After all, this was and is a societal situation valiantly handled by millions and millions of Christians who suffered — and currently suffer — real oppression, violence, torture, economic deprivation, and cruel deaths. But you have to go through turning off the TV once in a while and so your precious puny feelings are hurt. How delicate and frail your mental architecture is!
You are a pitiful joke. Trembling over the mere mention of God. Running like babies to court because of your brittle feelings. “Oh, but judge, but judge, I saw a cross and I just can’t stand it.” “I heard someone say ‘Merry Christmas’ and it hurt my feelings.” “I just can’t sleep knowing there is a manger scene at the courthouse.” “The sight of the Ten Commandments makes me wet my pants.” Now we see how inadequate and feeble you really are. Rage, therapists say, is the flip side of helplessness. And so we see your rage against religion in the public square for what it is: a product of your own insubstantial internal resources. Go look at yourself in the mirror if you can bear the pathetic, contemptible sight of yourself. Our merest martyr shows you to be a wimp – fourteen-year-old Kizito of Uganda singing hymns while being burned alive. But you, you anemic, lily-livered worms – you quail at pushing the off button on the remote! Hah!
Right there in the second paragraph is the justification for the FFRF’s lawsuit, and she doesn’t even notice it. She wants to use religion as a criterion for citizenship, something clearly in violation of the letter and spirit of the American constitution. There certainly were Christians involved in the founding of the United States, but also freethinkers — and the US Constitution is largely a product of the Enlightenment, not Christianity. If Christianity had its way, we would be living in a theocratic monarchy, like those in the Bible, not a representative democracy.
The praise for the bullying capability of a majority is ironic, too. One of the concerns at the founding of the country was giving protection to minorities — they tyranny of the masses is always going to be a worry in a democracy. Perhaps Ms Kochan would be more appreciative of that if she recognized that America was also largely founded by Protestants, and Catholics through most of our history have been a mistrusted minority, despised as Papists, and the focus of a great deal of hatred, particularly when Catholic immigrants started to enter in large numbers. It’s kind of amusing in a sad, bitter way to see members of an oppressed minority now sidling up to downplay their differences and claim membership in the biggest gang of bullies, in order to shout down another minority. The worm has turned.
It’s also telling that in her last paragraph she has to invent imaginary quotes. My response on seeing a cross publicly displayed is a sneer of contempt, a roll of the eyes, a snide curl of the lip, not fear. But I recognize that the deluded are also citizens with the right to erect whatever personal exhibitions of their foolishness they desire. I don’t object to “Merry Christmas” at all, and even say it myself now and then — the War on Christmas is a nonexistent Christian boogeyman that makes atheists laugh. I lose no sleep over Christian myths, nor am I incontinent at the sight of the ten commandments, that irrelevant collection of silly rules that are unenforceable and mostly ignored even by believers, except for the few that are actually common to every lawful society, including that of atheists. We aren’t afraid of Christians, but we are rather tired of seeing their useless delusions promoted as solutions to real problems.
It’s also ironic that her own post full of rage and fury tries to make the claim that rage is a symptom of helplessness. Oh, really? Just how self-unaware are you, Mary Kochan?
And that parting snipe is so Catholic — to find smug satisfaction in the brutal, painful death of a fellow believer is beyond barbarous. It does not justify your superstition to have people suffer pointless agony while under its spell — atheists find greater virtue in living for our ideals.