Cue the crying on Fox


As expected, the media have been all over the new Pew survey on religion that shows a sharp increase in the number of atheists, agnostics and others who are unaffiliated with religion and a corresponding decline in the number of Catholics and mainline Protestants.

There has undoubtedly led to much wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over at Fox News. The first out of the gate is Bill O’Reilly who has applied his razor-sharp mind to diagnose the cause of the disaffection (those damn kids with their rap and drugs and permissive TV shows) and warn us as to where the US is headed if the trend is not reversed (to hell, duh!).

Without any trace of irony or self-awareness, he says that this is what happens when the people of a nation forget about the common good and only think about themselves. He then weirdly draws comparisons to the fall of the Roman Empire. It was kind of fun to see him in such despair.

Comments

  1. says

    Watching Bill O’Rielly complain about atheism makes more young atheists than hip hop and weed put together. Don’t tell anyone but: Bill’s on our side. It’s so secret even he doesn’t know it.

  2. doublereed says

    I’ve heard the Roman Empire line several times by right-wing Christians. It’s one of their memes. The whole idea is that sexual promiscuity and idolatry caused the Roman Empire to crumble.

    I don’t have a coherent response to it. No idea where to begin.

  3. raven says

    I don’t have a coherent response to it. No idea where to begin.

    That just shows they are stupid and ignorant. But there is no point in telling them that. They work hard for their ignorance which is quite fragile. A few minutes with Google and and it is gone.

    He then weirdly draws comparisons to the fall of the Roman Empire.

    Which was destroyed by xians. There is a superficial similarity there.

    1. The Germanics who invaded and occupied the Western Roman Empire were…xians.

    2. To be sure, the Roman empire they pushed over was also xian.

    3. It’s is just a correlation though pace Gibbon. No one quite knows why Rome fell. There have been over 200 explanations. Chances are it was a lot of things. (And yes, lately I’ve been reading Roman history at night.)

    4. What we can say with certainty. Being a xian empire under Constantine didn’t stop the fall. Xians claim their god is all powerful but we never see him do anything tangible. My cat is more powerful.

  4. raven says

    I’m not going to pay much attention to the xian’s excuses and denial. They don’t do thoughts or analysis so why bother. They do lies, denial, and excuses. It’s like watching a chicken run around after someone cuts off their head*.

    Xpost from Dispatches
    1. Most of the xians don’t do facts, data, or thinking at all. So why this is happening is a huge mystery to them.

    2. Their all purpose explanation for everything is demons and satan. I’m sure the imaginary beings will get blamed for this one.

    Because, their other all purpose explanation is even worse. God is in charge and everything happens for a reason. Their god must hate US xianity then!!! (This would be a benign god. They don’t do benign gods either.)

    3. And of course, it is all Obama’s fault. NOTE. This has already been said on Fox NoNews!!!

    So the real reason is demons, satan, god, jesus, the holy spirit, and Obama. Quite a powerful combination here. No wonder US xianity is dying.

    *(According to legend anyway. I’ve never actually cut the head off a chicken or would want to. I have had chickens as pets and they are more interesting than you would expect)

  5. Chiroptera says

    I can see how they’d be upset. In their world, the majority gets to pass any law that pushes their beliefs onto everyone else.

  6. raven says

    What I’ve said for a while and Amanda Marcotte posted on Alternet.

    1. The (fundie) xians are getting dumber, more hate filled, and more vicious. This is both the driver of their losses and produces more losses.

    2. This is a positive feedback loop. The more they embrace ignorance and hate, the fewer of them their are.

    3. It might also be self assortment. The best and brightest just get fed up and leave. Leaving behind the haters and kooks.

    I could document this but not in a blog comment box. Anyone who cares can read Amanda Marcotte on Alternet.

    White Christian America in Decline: Why Young People Are …
    http://www.alternet.org/…/white-christian-america-decline-why-young-people-...

    Mar 11, 2015 – White Christians are now a minority in 19 states. … Amanda Marcotte co-writes the blog Pandagon. She is the author of “It’s a Jungle Out There

  7. doublereed says

    It’s also a fact that churches are becoming the only places where it’s acceptable to say racist, homophobic, and sexist things. You can’t say that kind of stuff in schools or workplaces anymore. Everyone’s hobbies and professions are becoming more integrated as well. There’s too much sunlight on everything.

    It’s sort of a tacit sorting. If someone says “women were made to serve men” or something similar without social or legal repercussions, it’s probably in a church (or at home).

  8. says

    doublereed (#2) –

    I’ve heard the Roman Empire line several times by right-wing Christians. It’s one of their memes. The whole idea is that sexual promiscuity and idolatry caused the Roman Empire to crumble.

    I don’t have a coherent response to it. No idea where to begin.

    I do. The Roman Empire collapsed because of the greed of its elite, its excessive militarism and occupation of foreign countries, and the economic unsustainability of such a system.

    O’Reilly is right to use the “Roman empire and christians” argument, but he fails to grasp which side of the power dichotomy the christians are on this time.

  9. expatriarchy says

    The real nerve of the comment on the picture is it is his 1% sponsors who have prospered by acting selfishly. Are Wall Street managers thinking their bonus “is good for them” although it is a skimming of the national wealth for no reason? Are corporations careful of the “overall good” when they outsource manufacturing to the lowest wage countries? The nation has adopted the successful greedy ethos of their elders. O’Reilly assumes his viewers won’t catch his hypocrisy.

    Also too, this is not a “changing” America. The only change is the rentier class is not able to hide their parasitism any more.

  10. anat says

    On the unsustainability of the Roman Empire, see Peak Civilization. In the comments there is someone discussing the contribution of the role of the development of the sewage system and ending the use of ‘night soil’ as fertilizer to the Roman collapse, in contrast with relative continuity in China.

  11. says

    Wait a minute! Isn’t “whatever is good for me is good, period,” the sum and substance of Libertarian philosophy? Isn’t O’NotReally criticizing his own beliefs?

  12. Mano Singham says

    eoraptor,

    Exactly so. That is why I commented on his lack or irony or self-awareness.

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