Episode 7: Partial Transcript
by Noah Lugeons
This week’s episode of the Scathing Atheist is brought to you by all the awesome people who sent encouraging emails and tweets, left complimentary comments on the blog, gave us positive reviews on iTunes and otherwise helped convince us to start doing this thing on a weekly basis.
And now, the Scathing Atheist…
It’s Thursday, It’s April 4th, and I’m already tired of changing my fantasy baseball lineup.
I’m your host Noah Lugeons and from decadent New York, New York, This is the Scathing Atheist
On this week’s episode,
- A Riyadh woman has consensual sex despite overt bicycle riding,
- God blames his mysterious ways on the lack of a father figure in his life,
- And Tom Beasley of an American Atheist join us to explain how he gets off naming his atheist podcast after a country that was clearly founded as a Christian nation.
But first, Heath Enwright with the diatribe…
Many religions believe that the universe is created by an intelligent designer. Existence is an experimental game and god is the initial inventor of the game and is now an all-knowing spectator watching as we humans misuse the power of choice he gave us. This notion is fucking absurd, but let’s explore it anyway.
If god’s a sports fan, his model sport for humankind is definitely NASCAR. The world he built is a very similar, ridiculously dangerous situation . . . A bunch of crazy rednecks, competitively wasting fossil fuels and god’s just watching from the stands waiting to see the really good wrecks.
The takeaway here, is that if god is a NASCAR fan, he’s can’t be that intelligent.
So if he even exists, intelligent design is not the preferred nomenclature. I’d call it Military intelligent design at best. Even GOD didn’t think through his exit strategy. Intelligently designed games end elegantly, like checkmate in chess. For this game of existence on earth, his exit strategy seems to be nuclear holocaust.
I’m just saying, if religion were to dial back their stance on the intelligence, and just go for the design claim I’d still think they were silly but noticeably less so. But they don’t do dialing back very well. Admitting fault isn’t exactly in the church’s wheelhouse. Granted the faults they’d need to admit are often unspeakable, but I’m pretty sure that actually makes it worse.
The point . . . is that god’s clearly not that smart, and it looks like devoutly religious people agree. Everyone I’ve ever met who takes a religion really seriously, is always trying to justify absurd ways to bend the rules. Like god didn’t read his own fine print.
Great example . . . take butt sex. If you’re willing to bend over the rules a little, anal sex is the #1 virginity preservation method. I like to call this the poop-hole loophole . . . Like this somehow softens the blow later when you’re married, and trying to make your sexual history sound less bad; “No I’m a legit virgin. I’ve had huge amounts of cock in the hole right next to it, but that vagina is clean virgin territory.”
Bullshit . . . Even then, you know they’ve played, ‘just the tip’, a few times.
Speaking of just the tip, my circumcised friend from college, named Israel, also a firm believer in the validity of the poop hole loophole, was excellent at finding ways to just barely avoid directly breaking all these detailed Orthodox Jew-y rules he had to deal with.
For example, he’s not allowed to use any fire, electricity, or machinery of any kind on Shabas, which is sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. So if we were all hanging out smoking pot on Friday night, he couldn’t partake. Unless of course somebody drew a bong hit into the tube without inhaling it, and then happened by chance to leave that random, glass, smoke-filled column sitting on the table with a coaster over it, and then Israel happened to randomly choose to take one of his normal breaths of air while that coaster was quickly removed and that glass tube was on his face.
This would just be a chain of unrelated events. The fire used to burn the pot to make the smoke to fill the tube was wielded by someone else and the bong water acted as a mystical justification barrier, completely separating the fire from whoever might have, by chance, been breathing too close to the bong afterward.
Like Jew God is up there going, “Shit, yeah that bong water really ties my hands on this one. My boss – “God God” – will be up my ass about this if I smite this crafty stoner.” And as far as I know, Israel’s never been smote, so clearly the loophole worked. And this encourages further abuse of the rules.
So why are we so surprised about priests raping kids? Bunch of priests sitting around – trying to figure out loopholes:
“God says we can’t have sex, and can’t masturbate. What option does that leave us? Roll with me on this, keeping in mind, the lord works in mysterious ways. What if a kid gave me a Dutch Rudder?
“We’re not touching dicks. I’m touching my dick, and he’s just working my arm. So I’m not jerking it, and he’s not jerking it, and everybody wins.”
I guess not that many priests are big Kevin Smith fans. All I’m saying . . . it seems like nobody is telling the priests’ side of the story. Maybe the rape thing was a little extreme, but clearly the current rules aren’t sustainable. If I were a priest, I’d be lobbying for glory holes in the confessional booth. At least slutty sinners could try to buy indulgences with happy endings .
There is another solution. It’s nowhere near as fun as my glory hole idea, but probably more reasonable. The church could always just acknowledge that celibacy is ridiculous and goes against the biological instinct to reproduce, or at least the instinct to get laid. But this solution would never happen, because the church would end up having to reconcile its absurd universe view with contradictory things like evidence.
Church’s just don’t do epistemology. Figuring things out with reason is a giant hassle compared to faith.
Joining me tonight for headlines is the Tango to my Cash, Heath Enwright. Heath, are you ready to tango?
Alright, in our lead story tonight, Pennsylvania State Representative Tim Krieger has introduced legislation designed to act as an impediment to the first amendment. There’s a lot going on here, but the important thing to take away from it is that Representative Krieger is willing to boldly stand up to a beleaguered minority, as long as they’re kids.
Our story begins with Moses wandering down a mountain with a couple of tablets and placing them, in a roundabout way, in front of a school near Pittsburgh. A few secular students pointed out that a giant copy of the Ten Commandments shouldn’t be there. Officials refused to voluntarily remove it so the students got together with the Freedom From Religion Foundation and sued the school.
Well the judge in the case is trying to let them sue anonymously, but that’s reasonable so the Christians are against it.
Enter Tim Krieger, fanatical Christian blowhard and guy who looks like he would be second-in-command for a plot to take over the world, but not the main bad guy. He calls bullshit on that and proposes a law that would make it illegal for a plaintiff to sue anonymously regardless of the ruling of the judge in the case. But don’t worry; this would only apply to cases where religious monuments were being challenged on a Constitutional basis, so at least they’re not trying to pretend it’s fair.
Pennsylvania representative proposes law that would force atheist students to sue publicly: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/03/29/pennsylvania-rep-tim-krieger-doesnt-care-if-atheists-get-harassed-by-christians/
And in other centuries, the morality of Catholicism is in the news again, despite not having changed in generations. The latest incarnation of their pre-scientific ethics comes to us from Boston, home of the nation’s oldest public park, numerous substandard sports franchises and Boston College where officials have threatened disciplinary action against students for the unspeakable crime of promoting safe sex.
Yes, it’s the fucking condom thing again.
The group BC Students for Sexual Health was hit with a “cease and desist” order saying that the group’s goal of promoting common sense was (quote) “not in concert with the mission of Boston College as a Catholic and Jesuit University”
Boston College stops students from handing out condoms: http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/27/us/boston-college-condoms-dispute/index.html
In other news, our whirlwind tour of bat-shit crazy states makes a long-overdue stop in Utah where the Mormons look to cement their reputation as backwards even compared to other religions. The Christian Newswire alerts us to a new service offered by a Salt Lake City based Mormon pseudo-clinic that brings cyber-homophobia into the 21st century.
This is another one of those “pray the gay out” type of things where some callous charlatan takes money from a conflicted person whose preacher tells them they’re identity is offensive to god. In the press release they refer to homosexuality as “same-sex attraction”, which I thought was a nice touch.
Anti-gay web resource for Mormon homophobes: http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/8297071798.html
And from the “Somebody-Had-To-Say-It” department, a new study warns parents that extreme religiosity in a child could be a warning sign of insanity. Every article I saw on the study was really careful to point out all the beneficial corollaries of faith in kids, such as lower incidence of criminal behavior, higher self-esteem, better academic performance and less trouble fucking the preppy chicks, but the association between religion and crazy is pretty hard to ignore.
The study warns that extreme devotion to a religion could be emblematic of anxiety, unaddressed trauma or stress, obsessive compulsive disorder, bi-polar disorder, scrupulosity, schizophrenia, manic depressive or early onset of being-an-insufferable-dick.
Now, we make a lot of jokes about this, but this is pretty serious because one of the really pervasive side effects of religion is that it gives crazy people something to cloak themselves in. Everybody has to be at least a little “crazy” to profess some of the beliefs that organized religion demands, so it’s easy to imagine somebody delaying psychological treatment for a child because they don’t want to say, “he’s so religious it’s crazy”. Faith has been mislabeled a virtue so if something that would be clearly nuts in any other context pops up in the context of religion, people are way less likely to go, “that motherfucker’s crazy.”
Study warns that children who are “too religious” may be crazy: http://news.yahoo.com/child-too-religious-094552602.html
Moving on to some “Other-Countries-Are-Laughing-At-Us” news, an atheist shoe company in Berlin is charging that the US Post Office deliberately discriminates against them and backs up the allegation with an informal study that showed that identical packages with their abominable “Atheist” logo took an average of 3 days longer to arrive at their destination.
To be fair, this wasn’t exactly a scientific study and it wasn’t exactly published in a peer review journal, but the results look pretty damning for the USPS, especially since the whole experiment was prompted when US customers starting asking the company to leave off the telltale tape that said “Atheist-Atheist-Atheist” across it.
The take away, though, is that there’s a company that makes pretty cool looking shoes that say “Ich Bin Atheist” on them and they’re getting some free advertising on our show courtesy of the Post Office being a bunch of miserable dicks.
Atheist shoe company accuses US Post Office of discrimination: http://www.atheistberlin.com/study
And in this week’s living, breathing evidence against intelligent design, Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo has announced that he will impotently wave $10,000 around in the air in a vainglorious, insincere, meaningless publicity stunt.
Mastropaolo, a grown adult with an advanced degree who believes in Noah’s Ark is pretending to offer $10,000 to anyone who can “scientifically disprove” the literal creation account described in Genesis. And yes, that’s the one where they say god created night and day a full three days before creating the sun.
People with competent navigation of their own brains point out that “scientifically disproving” something is a meaningless term and thus an impossible standard to meet. They also point out that if Mastropaolo was so confident, he wouldn’t be insisting that anyone trying to claim the prize also put up $10,000. And of course, they also point out that the generally accepted foundations of biology, astronomy, geology, chemistry, cosmology, anthropology, literature and philosophy all “disprove” a literal interpretation of the bible to any reasonable standard.
Creationist offers $10,000 to anyone who can scientifically “disprove” creationism: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/27/joseph-mastropaolo-creationist-10000-disprove-genesis_n_2964801.html
And finally, in international news, Saudi Arabia makes a bold move to counteract the baseless stereotype that women are mistreated in majority Muslim countries. In a valiant and unprecedented move that would have made Elizabeth Cady Stanton look like Archie Bunker’s wife, the religious police in Saudi Arabia have lifted the ban on women riding bicycles.
Now, obviously you can’t do this all at once or you’d risk utter chaos, so they’ll be limiting this to specific parks and recreational areas, and, of course, the women will have to be chaperoned by a male relative and covered from head to toe in a potato sack, but I think it’s safe to say that sexism in Saudi Arabia is pretty much over.
Saudi authorities lift ban on women in bikes: http://news.yahoo.com/saudi-religious-police-lift-ban-women-bikes-111923001.html
That’s all we’ve got for headlines tonight, Heath, thanks for hanging out.
When we come back, Tom Beasley will join me to circle religion like a hungry buzzard.
Occasionally we get feedback from listeners that really enjoy the show, but think that we sometimes get a little carried away. For example, in last week’s episode, when discussing the Westboro Baptist Church, my co-host Heath Enwright expressed a desire to savagely penetrate Fred Phelps’ rectum.
We received several comments about the segment but I chose two that represented what I’ve come to think of as the two distinct audiences that this program appeals to.
Jon on Facebook said he really enjoyed parts of the show, but felt that the anally penetrating Fred Phelps portion went (quote) “beyond edgy and made me squeamish”. On the other hand, we also got an email from Daniel in Plano who said, “Love it! I almost pissed myself when Heath started talking about butt-fucking Phelps!”
So in our ceaseless quest to push the envelope of podcasting, I’d like to offer two explanations of the Fred Phelps comments. And because the show is only 30 minutes, I’d like to offer both explanations at the same time.
So if you find yourself in the “Jon” camp that feared that segment might make them vomit, please remove your right earphone for the remainder of this segment. If you’re more in “Daniel’s” spontaneous urination camp, please remove your left earphone. And if you’re not generally inspired to exude any bodily secretions over our skits, feel free to leave both earphones in and get twice as much podcast for the next few minutes.
We live in a world where the walls of censorship are fast falling away. Where once some government (censor/ cock-stain) stood between your ears and the vulgarities of less (cultured/ prudish) (individuals/ motherfuckers), in the 21st century, you’re no longer protected from words like (George Carlin’s notorious seven/ shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits).
There is, of course, one (negative/ positive) consequences (While/…) it expands the scope of the first amendment to previously unimagined heights, we also (have/ get) to (endure/ enjoy) a lot more (off-color/ dick and fart) jokes and (lewd/ hilarious) social commentary. As a result, some (refined/ uptight) consumers of new media with little (tolerance/ appreciation) for vulgarity get (offended/ fucked).
As a producer of such content, one must act as one’s own censor and must thus strike a (delicate/ frustrating) balance between being too (vulgar/ boring) and being too (academic/ vulgar). While I respect and appreciate the concerns of the people who wish I would be (vulgar/ myself) less often, I’m naturally inclined to side with the group that most mirrors my own sense of (propriety/ humor). The unfortunate result is that I must occasionally ask some members of my audience to (endure in good humor/ go fuck themselves).
Take, for example, our recent headline segment about the (detestable bigots/ spunk-garglers) at the Westboro Baptist Church. During that segment, our mutual dislike for the group was obvious and my co-host made some (untoward/ hysterical) comments about their leader, Fred Phelps, and things that might be hatefully inserted into his (anus/ asshole), including Heath’s (hateful /throbbing) (member/ dick).
While some (people/ prudes) found this offensive, I think it’s important to keep in mind that Fred Phelps is (despicable/ an ass nugget) and deserves to be (mocked/ gay hate fucked) mercilessly. What’s more, we should do so with (unapologetic/ un-lubricated), (spite-filled/ splinter-filled) (voracity/ broom handles) in the deepest, most (scornful/ painful) way.
And when we, here at the Scathing Atheist, (comment publicly/ blow our juice) on Fred Phelps, we hope that we can hit him (where it hurts/ in the eyes) and really make it sting. A gifted few can do so by way of intellectual criticisms, but those of us without the (education/ desire) or the (verbal dexterity/ words and shit) to express such scathing distaste without resorting to (obscenity/ fuck) filled tirades (have/ get) to resort to the (basest/ funniest) type of humor.
The important thing to remember is that regardless of what words we choose, we all agree that if any target is deserving of our foulest utterings, it is the kind of (visceral/ass-brained) (animosity/ fucktardary) and (lunacy/ bullshit) promoted by the Westboro Baptist Church.
Okay, this (segment/ shit) is really hard to edit, so please put your (right/ left) earphone back in now.
It’s time for the Atheist Calendar portion of the show. This week we’ll be highlighting some of the great secular meet-ups and conventions coming up in April.
We’ll start in Lawrence, Kansas where “Reasonfest 3” will be taking place over the weekend of April 20th. The lineup is fantastic, led by Seth Andrews, JT Eberhard, Jerry DeWitt plus Matt Dillahunty in a debate called “Moral Combat” and something with the enticing title “The Godless Pervert Story Hour” featuring notable godless perverts Greta Christina, David Fitzgerald and more.
A lot of action the following week in the nation’s capital: The Secular Coalition for America will be hosting a Secular Summit from April 24th to the 26th that’ll include some great instruction on effective secular lobbying.
Also in DC on the 27th of April the Center For Inquiry will be hosting “Why Tolerate Religion”, a day long symposium tackling the contentious issue of religion’s role in our supposedly secular government.
And for our West Coast heathens, CFI on Campus will be hosting a Leadership Conference in the City of Angels on the same weekend.
Of course, wherever you are in the world, don’t forget that according to the Secular Students Alliance, Thursday, April 18th is National Ask an Atheist Day, so check your local listings to see if there’s any way you can get involved.
If you want to learn more about this or any of the other events discussed on this episode, check the shownotes for episode 7 at Scathing Atheist (dot) com.
That’ll do it for this week’s calendar. As always, if you’re involved in an atheist, skeptical or secular event that needs a little free publicity, let me know. And if you’re not involved in an atheist, skeptical or secular event, what the hell are you waiting for?
An American Atheist Blog: http://anamericanatheist.org/
So that’s about all the time we’ve got for tonight. I want to thank Tom Beasley for hanging out with us, I want to thank Alan Blumlein for inventing stereo sound and also want to give a big thanks for Cecil & Tom from Cognitive Dissonance for providing this week’s circuitous Farnsworth quote. Those guys put on a really fun podcast, so you should definitely check them out at Dissonance Pod (dot) com.
I also want to thank the lovely Lucinda Lugeons for everything she does behind the scenes, Heath Enwright for everything he does in front of the scenes. But mostly I want to thank god for making this podcast possible by not existing.
Be sure to check back with us in 168 hours for the “Holy Babble” edition, in which Heath, my wife and I will do something that at least two of us will regret almost immediately. If you can’t wait that long, be sure to check out our erratically published blog, follow me on Twitter @Noah (underscore) Lugeons and like us on Facebook because apparently people still use Facebook.
If you enjoy the show, please help us spread the word by leaving us a glowing review on iTunes or whatever you use. Don’t forget to help drive up our Stitcher ranking by listening to us there and if you don’t have the Stitcher app yet, don’t worry, I’m not judging you for it the way all the attractive members of the opposite sex are.
If you have comments, questions or death threats, you’ll find all the contact info on the Contact page at Scathing Atheist (dot) com. All the music used in this episode was written and performed by yours truly and yes, I did have my permission.