Oh, please.

I am rolling my eyes so hard right now that it hurts. Alain de Botton proposes building “atheist temples”.

You may take a moment to retch. I hope you have buckets handy.

Done? There’s a spot on your chin, you might want to clean that up.

Anyway, he wants to build a 46 meter tall (because the earth is 4.6 billion years old, get it) black tower in London. Perhaps with a throne at the very top, where he can sit and peer out over his domain.

You know, I think that when you are building a movement, you should get the people first, before building the monumental architecture to awe and contain them. I think his black tower would be awfully echoey and empty when all the acolytes of Atheism 2.0 gather. The only thing he’s got to fill it up right now is ego and hubris.

Zombie sightings

Garrison Keillor falls flat

People are already talking about Garrison Keillor’s ghastly opinion piece, the one that basically revels in anti-semitism and preaches that only a select few are allowed to enjoy Christmas.

Unitarians listen to the Inner Voice and so they have no creed that they all stand up and recite in unison, and that’s their perfect right, but it is wrong, wrong, wrong to rewrite “Silent Night.” If you don’t believe Jesus was God, OK, go write your own damn “Silent Night” and leave ours alone. This is spiritual piracy and cultural elitism and we Christians have stood for it long enough. And all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck. Did one of our guys write “Grab your loafers, come along if you wanna, and we’ll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah”? No, we didn’t.

Christmas is a Christian holiday — if you’re not in the club, then buzz off. Celebrate Yule instead or dance around in druid robes for the solstice. Go light a big log, go wassailing and falalaing until you fall down, eat figgy pudding until you puke, but don’t mess with the Messiah.

It’s so over-the-top that there is a temptation to call it simply badly done satire, but Keillor has regularly spewed bile at gays and atheists, and the “he’s just joking” excuse is a bit tired. He plays one note and one note only on the subjects of atheism and homosexuality, and it’s not even played well.

But who cares? He can be a public bigot all he wants, especially when he does such a fabulous job of making himself out to be such an idiot. This is everyone’s time, not just the Christian’s; we don’t conveniently shuffle out to a nearby transdimensional shantytown and disappear for a few weeks while they pretend to be the only people on earth who enjoy a vacation and a nice party.

He is right, though, that we’re going to commit a little piracy (not spiritual piracy, though, which is nonsense — it’s more of an institutional hijacking, along the lines of the Crimson Assurance). We’re breaking into their smug little holiday, see, and making it ours, too. And everyone’s. I get to put Baby Cthulhu in my creche if I want to, and no antiquated sap gets to stop me, no matter how much they want to squeal. We get to mess with the Messiah all we want, and we will, and especially now that we know it will make Mr Keillor’s maudlin pablum all rancid and bitter.