Sunday school for atheists


“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

I posted Friday that I’m fighting CIGNA for two and a half months of Short Term Disability pay they owe me. That pay is only 60% of hourly base, minus a week here and there they call an initiation period of or some shit, so it works out to about $6.05 an hour even if I win. Sometime in the next few days or weeks I’ll be fired if they continue to blow me off. Here’s the real kicker though: In Texas you don’t get to file for unemployment if you’re deemed too unhealthy to work full time.

Under this system it is entirely possible for CIGNA to decide having a serious problem that initially caused a heart attack followed by an array of complications, some of which could have killed me or rendered me a vegetable, aren’t serious enough to qualify for the pay. They would decree I’m too healthy. And that would be enough to get me finally fired. But at the same time, when filing for unemployment and having to list the reason for being separated from service, Texas could legally decide I’m too unhealthy to work, deny people like me unemployment on those grounds, and basically tell us tough luck pal, you should have applied for short term disability!

When I consider religion there are two objections that stand out in my mind. One is the cerebral angle, the implausibility of it, the contradictions, the odds that only one band of neolithic ranchers hold the one true answer for the the origin of time and space. Then there are the repulsive actions of a group who clothe themslves in peudo-religious garbage justifying their naked thirst for money and power. States like Texas are run by those foul Bible thumping greedy bastards we all know too well. This is just one small example of how states shaped by the teaparty conservative, religious right base serves the zillionaires and grifters and screws the regular working class person. I’m lucky, I’m single, no kids, and unlike the vast majority of people who get left behind, I have a website where I can bleg for money and a skill that lands me occasional contract work from time to time. Imagine the ordinary single parent without those benefits trying to raise a couple of kids.

Not only did Texas and dozens of other redstates reject the Medicaid expansion that would have brought healthcare to millions — the Lone Star State has the highest number of uninsured people on the nation. It is now or soon will be illegal by state law for anyone to help or advise a Texas resident on comparing and contrasting private healthcare insurance policies offered on the federal exchange.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.

There are entire ministries dedicated to tricking Christians into believing Jesus meant the opposite of what he plainly said. It’s just sickening, it’s revolting. I don’t know how such people can look in the mirror, much less congratulate themselves as followers of Jesus Christ. As an atheist I don’t believe Jesus or anyone else is of supernatural origins. But as someone who can read plain English, his words about helping the less fortunate are crystal clear.

There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”

There are many Christians who practice what Jesus preached. But here in Texas they are drowned out by clowns like Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Louie Gohmert, just two of the many who are eagerly working to deny the extension of unemployment benefits, food for hungry families, and healthcare for those in dire need, to every citizen in the US.

If there is such a thing as judgement in an after life, I’d rather take my chances standing with progressives of all faith and no faith, those who contribute to UNICEF, who deliver meals on wheels and spend time with the lonely and elderly, who support shelters for battered and abused spouses, who man our local Hospice chapter, who fight for the human rights of our gay brothers and sisters, than get anywhere near the likes of self-proclaimed Christians posers like Cruz and Gohmert.

These sociopathic clowns are practically giddy at the thought of cutting food stamps, gutting the safety net, and doing everything possible to prevent the poorest, most vulnerable people from getting basic healthcare. I believe the Bible has a message for them too.

Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

My problems pale in comparison to the misery so many face every day. For starters, I’m getting healthier by the day. After staring a heart attack in the face and enduring the long wait for a possible leukemia diagnosis that came out clean, the old cliche is true: if you have your health you have everything, because you have a future where good things are possible. Years ago when I was an active climber there was a young kid from a broken home who used to hang out with us. I just heard from him after years, he’s now battling cancer at the age of 36, lost his job and his health insurance, and is living in a shelter in a wheelchair. It really puts things in perspective. I know how progressives would view this young man, I know what our plan is for him and millions like him. But Sen Cruz’s and Rep Gohmert’s plan for people like him is also a cliche: don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die fast.

I don’t have much money, obviously. But thanks to you guys I was able to send him 10 bucks, enough for a good meal. And that felt real, real good. What I cannot fathom is how billionaires like the Koch brothers wouldn’t find that same warm feeling irresistable. When you contrast the good they could do with the suffering they cause, it feels me with sorrow for their victims and, strangey, pity for them — pity, that they can’t find in their hearts that single ounce of compassion for their fellow human beings, like my old friend, who’s pain and last days could be so greatly eased with what to them isn’t even pocket change. It is simply incomprehensible in my view.


  1. Al Dente says

    I’m reminded of a famous literary quote:

    “That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.

    “It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.

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