Episode 11: Partial Transcript
by Noah Lugeons & Heath Enwright
(Note: Transcript contains some lines edited from the final version of the episode)
Today’s episode of the Scathing Atheist is brought to you by the new brand of non-alcoholic Christian beer, “What Would Jesus Brew?” because who needs alcohol when you have Jesus? After all, like cheap beer, religion tastes bitter going down, sedates you, numbs you to your problems while exacerbating them, makes Sunday morning suck, gives you headaches, explodes violently if you shake it up, reduces your ability to make rational decisions and makes you ashamed of your sexual encounters.
“What Would Jesus Brew?” because alcohol is like liquid religion.
And now, the Scathing Atheist…
It’s Thursday, It’s May 2nd and abstinence didn’t work for Mary, now did it?
I’m your host Noah Lugeons and from reluctantly spring-like New York, New York, this is the Scathing Atheist.
On this week’s episode,
The LDS says that the Boy Scouts are still just bigoted enough,
I’ll have sex with Darrel Ray… oh, no wait… I’m sorry, I’ll “talk” sex with Darrel Ray. Which is still good, too, I guess… and
And Benny Hinn will be a cruel, heartless fuck,
But first, the Diatribe:
So before I tell you what happened on Sunday, let me tell you what didn’t happen on Sunday. In preparation for the show this week, I didn’t go to the “Christian” page on the Guardian’s website and when I wasn’t there, here are a few of the headlines I didn’t find:
Joel O’Steen hates Jews and I have proof
The Pope thinks gay people are gross
Christians must accept that they’re almost certainly wrong, and
I may believe in Jesus, but that doesn’t make me a Christian.
And what’s more, I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t find them there when I wasn’t looking. Because what kind of tampon-stain would print headlines like that on a Christian news aggregator? They wouldn’t. Because they would have to be total assholes.
Alright, so now, for act two, let me tell you what I did do on Sunday.
I went to the “Atheist” page on the Guardian’s website and when I was there, here are the headlines that I found:
Dawkins’s latest anti-Muslim Twitter spat lays bare his hypocrisy
Sam Harris, New Atheists and the anti-Muslim animus
The secular must accept that religion can save
I may not have faith, but that doesn’t make me an atheist
I didn’t cherry-pick the bad ones here, by the way. These were the top 4 headlines on the page. That’s what the Guardian was giving the atheists to read. They have pages for all your major faith groups. The lead headline in “Christianity” was “At Easter, the tortured face of God teaches us to love our fellow man”… almost four weeks after Easter.
The lead story on the “Islam” page was “America’s greatest asset against radicalisation are Muslim Americans” and on the “Judaism” page, their first offering was “Poland’s ‘generation unexpected’ leads resurgence in Jewish culture”. Amazingly, in more than a dozen different faith-by-faith breakdowns, none of them lead off with a story where one of the most prominent and respected members of the group is smeared as a bigot on the thinnest shreds of dubious evidence. But since atheism isn’t a religion, they can lead off with not one such story but two.
As to the accusations against Dawkins, they’re the same ridiculous bullshit as always. He says Muslims are stupid because they believe a human being rode to heaven on a flying horse and that makes him an “Islamaphobe”. The fact that he also says that Christians are stupid for believing a zombie army wandered into Jerusalem doesn’t make him a “Christaphobe”, of course. And the fact that he says Jews are stupid for believing that Jacob outwrestled vampire god doesn’t make him a “Jewphobe”. The fact that he says astrologers are stupid for believing the relative positions of planets will adversely affect their financial situation doesn’t make him an “astrologophobe”. But if you think Muslim beliefs are stupid it’s because you’re scared of them.
The accusations against Sam Harris are only slightly less specious. He’s pointing out that a lot of terrorism comes from Muslim extremists so clearly does so because he hates Muslims. He also points out that when the car is running low on gas it needs filled up, so clearly he hates petroleum producing nations as well. And when he points out that his steak is actually more of a mid-rare than a medium, it can only be because of his irrational and seething hatred of cows.
These accusations aren’t new, of course, and they’re hardly worth refuting. Anyone who achieves prominence in this or any other social movement will be attacked by jackasses who trying to make a name for themselves. There’s nothing new or noteworthy about that.
But there’s something to be said for a major media outlet that runs a page dedicated to atheist readers and loads it up with character assassination pieces from wingnuts. They follow those up with a great op-ed about how secular people need to really accept the fact that the entire core of their movement is wrong and religion is actually right. And finally a piece on how miserable it must be to be an atheist.
It’s nice to have a page of our very own isn’t it?
Look, atheism is not a religion and atheists aren’t a “faith-group”. You’ll never hear me or any other atheist make the kind of absurd, bullshit demands of “respect” you hear from religious people. You’ll never hear us issuing death threats for drawing images of Christopher Hitchins or taking Dan Dennett’s name in vain. You’ll never hear atheists demanding that anyone capitalize the H in her when they talk about Madalyn Murray O’Hair and you’ll never hear us declare war on somebody for not believing that the magical calamari really turns into the body of PZ Myers.
But I do think it’s fair to ask that we’re treated with the same respect that would be afforded to any other group of human beings. There were no stories at all in their other “faith” sections defaming prominent figures as bigots and let’s face it, you wouldn’t have a hell of a lot of trouble finding stories like this if you were looking. Hell, you wouldn’t have to weave together strands of suspect bullshit to get there like they did with Harris and Dawkins.
I was so angry about it that I thought about dropping the Guardian as a news source for this show altogether, but then I remembered that they were the only outlet I saw that covered last week’s exploding Spanish dildo headline, so they’re off the hook. But it still pissed me off.
Joining me for headlines tonight is my hetero life-mate, Heath Enwright. Heath, are you ready to not have gay sex?
Let’s not do it.
In our lead story tonight, the American Humanist Association has filed a lawsuit against Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood, Mississippi.
The suit alleges that students endured a mandatory Christian sermon during school hours in an assembly that didn’t even have the decency to pretend it was about science or dinosaurs or something. Instead, a representative from the Pinelake Baptist Church was invited to the school to talk about finding hope in Jesus Christ and even closed the assembly by leading the students in prayer.
Well I’m assuming there was an Imam leading a Muslim show-and-tell the week before. They probably have all kinds of special science classes like that.
Oh, I’m sure they do, and I’m sure they always stop the kids who try to leave, like they allegedly did at this one. William Burgess, legal coordinator of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center, points out that “when a school sponsors an event, the religious speech of the speaker… is attributable to the school [itself] and is therefore subject to the Establishment Clause,” adding, “Fucking duh!”
Are they really worried that kids in Mississippi aren’t getting any exposure to the whole Christianity thing? Like there were kids leaving the auditorium that day, saying “You know what, I’m gonna google this Jesus guy. See what that’s all about.”
Died for my sins you say?
AHA files lawsuit over bullshit Christian Sermon in Mississippi school: http://www.americanhumanist.org/news/details/2013-04-humanists-file-suit-against-public-school-that-held
In other legal news, Pennsylvania judge M. Teresa Sarmina has filed a brief defending her recent decision in the trial and conviction of a Catholic church aide in a child-rape conspiracy case. Monsignor William Lynn, the first Catholic Church official in the US to be convicted in the cover-up of child sexual abuse by priests, is facing a paltry three to six years in prison and is still appealing the decision.
So he’s getting a punishment on par with stealing a car. Systematically covering up a decades-long righteous rape spree, or Geico makes slightly less unfair profit that quarter? Those balance.
Well no, according to Lynn’s attorneys, his crime was way more benign than grand theft auto. They’re appealing the decision because the judge allowed evidence of child abuse cases that predated Lynn’s involvement with the diocese. They argue that these details unfairly prejudiced the jury against their client.
“I didn’t start covering up those rapes until well after they clearly happened.”
Being the defense attorney here is rough . . .
I read they’re claiming that Lynn can’t be guilty of child endangerment because he didn’t actually supervise any children. That’s like blaming the abortion on the coat hanger.
Wow… it’s hard to transition out of a back-alley abortion joke so I’m gonna carry on like it never happened.
Judge defends Church aide’s trial and conviction for child rape conspiracy: http://news.yahoo.com/pa-judge-defends-church-aides-trial-conviction-211500942.html
And turning from Catholic pedophelia to Catholic sexism, the Vatican is now officially even less progressive than Kentucky. Former nun and current maverick, 70 year old Rosemarie Smead was ordained a priest over the vehement objections of the Roman Catholic Church. She faces excommunication for this heinous act, but dismisses the threat as a (quote) “Medieval bullying stick the bishops use to keep control over people…”, though it was unclear whether she was referring to excommunication or Catholicism.
She claims she’s not gonna let octogenarian men tell people how to run their lives.
Instead, she’s gonna start her own church, where a septuagenarian woman will tell people how to run their lives in the same way minus the male priest rule. Can’t exactly use a Bible as a study guide for your feminism class.
And according to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, you can’t use the Vatican as a study guide for what Catholics believe, either. As many as 70% of American Catholics believe that women should be allowed to be priests if for no reason than they would rather their sons were molested by women, but the church warns that allowing women to be priests might lead to beastiality and hurricanes like gay marriage.
In that sense, I’m all for having priestesses.
Bestiality and hurricanes are both good job creators.
And those donkey shows are another perfect example of where replacing a man with a woman is definitely an improvement.
I bet lesbian marriage becomes legal in red states before gay marriage.
Kentucky woman ordained a priest despite Roman Catholic Church’s objections: http://news.yahoo.com/kentucky-woman-ordained-priest-defiance-roman-catholic-church-005633378.html
And in a follow up to our lead story from Episode 9, the Church of Latter Day Saints has kind-of endorsed the Boy Scouts decision to kind-of lift their ban on gays. Despite the multiple levels of half-assedness involved in this noncommittal pseudo-endorsement, conservative Christian groups are up-in-arms as though something had actually happened.
First, to the compromise. Facing pressure from pretty much everyone but Fred Phelps and the Ku Klux Klan, the Boy Scouts are backpedaling their 19th century stance on homosexuality by allowing gay boys to join the scouts, but not letting gay men serve as scout leaders.
This is great for preventing the hiring of scout leaders who are openly gay pedophiles.
But I think they might be slightly underestimating the amount of in-the-closet gay pedophiles. You know, the ones who are a little bit hush hush about being a gay pedophile during their job interview process.
In the interest of fairness, though, the Boy Scouts make no claim that their bigotry is based on a fear that gays are pedophiles. They just hate fags. And speaking of hating fags, the Mormon church, the largest financial supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, has sort-of endorsed the proposal. Recognizing this as the most anemic action they could possibly take to stem the tide of tolerance that threatens to force the Boy Scouts’ hands they issued the closest thing to an endorsement that they could get away with.
Well if the Mormons are behind it . . .
Surprising though. Those MoMo’s are super hetero.
Having 3 wives is double-plus-ungay.
Well you’re not the only one who was surprised. Among the bloviating, frothing bigots that have voiced opposition to this non-condemnation is one John Stemberger, head of something called “On-My-Honor(dot)com”. He points out that the Boy Scouts resolution doesn’t address how to (I shit you not, quote) “manage and ensure the safety and security of the boys in the program.”
Now, I can’t decide here whether this asshole is wondering how they’re gonna keep the other kids from beating up the gay kids or whether he’s worrying about the gay kids butt-raping the straight kids, but the tone of the message actually suggested the latter.
Based on what I believe to be an accurate depiction of gays on TV, the 11-year-old gay rapist survival expert is definitely KNOT the issue.
Family Research Council President and two-headed-dildo-aficionado Tony Perkins chimed in as well. He warns that this compromise sends the message that “homosexuality is morally acceptable until a boy turns 18” and remarkably, his point wasn’t that after 18 it continues to be morally acceptable.
This guy obviously sucks, but let’s not smear the 2-headed-dildo. Who doesn’t love Jennifer Connelly in the ass-to-ass scene in Requiem for a Dream?
Mormon’s say that Boy Scouts are still just bigoted enough: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/25/mormon-church-leaders-say-welcome-boy-scouts-proposal-to-lift-gay-ban-for-youth/ But many Christian groups say “Not so fast”: http://www.christianpost.com/news/lds-church-criticized-for-endorsing-boy-scouts-proposal-on-accepting-gay-members-94835/
And from the “If-you-can’t-beat-’em-join-’em” department, the Vatican has sharply criticized the Vatican for failing to prevent ongoing child rape and torture. Proving that the Catholics are always the last ones to the conclusion, internal reports now admit massive culpability within the Vatican hierarchy for failing to do more to prevent abuse and failing to do less to ensure that it continued.
Sometimes a worldwide intervention and hundreds of millions of dollars in rape damages makes you take a look in the mirror.
And sadly, sometimes it doesn’t. The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Churches of Ireland couched the horror of the decades of horrendous sexual abuse in terms like “unacceptable delay”, “risky behavior”, “unsatisfactory response” and “double-plus ungood practices”.
An unacceptable delay would be getting raped, and then in order to rape the rapist back and get some money damages, you had to fill out some paperwork at the DMV first. Maybe a few hours.
But the message was clear and it was in keeping with the recent theme of “Internal Catholic Investigations”: We did some horrible shit, but now we’re positively awesome at not raping kids.
“There were a few, minor executive oversights, but we didn’t want to micromanage. All the way in Rome, out of context, who were we to dictate policies to others?”
Catholic Hierarchy had “unacceptable delay” in dealing with serial child-rapist: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/24/catholic-hierarchy-priests-clogher Actual report: http://static.rasset.ie/documents/2fm/clogher-report.pdf
And finally, in “Fuck Pretenses, Just Give me Money News”, Televangelist and hairpiece repository Benny Hinn is asking his listeners for two and a half million dollars to get his ministry out of debt. Or rather, God is asking them to give the money and Benny is just the intermediary… a tool, if you will.
So there’s some mysterious benefactor who will match up to 2.5 million in donations . . . but only during the first 90 days.
And if you donate in the next 10 minutes, he’ll throw in this free slap chop, a 30 dollar value.
Act now, supplies of debt are limited.
Hinn, whose ministry must be about five million dollars in the red, promises his viewers that if they help god wipe out his debt, then God will help them wipe out their debt. So basically he’s saying that if you have financial problems and you’re mired in debt, the best thing to do is give your limited resources to a guy with a private-fucking-jet.
“Yeah I’ll get you some drugs. Give me the money and wait right here.”
We should set up a kickstarter campaign to finance an indulgence factory.
We could mass produce heaven stairways and easily outpace a megachurch.
Benny Hinn is a cruel, heartless fuck: http://www.christianpost.com/news/benny-hinn-asks-followers-for-2-5-million-to-get-out-of-debt-94822/
That’ll does it for headlines tonight, thanks for joining me Heath.
And when we come back, author and activist Darrel Ray will join us to talk dirty to me.
“…hm… who’s next on the list here… oh, Yahweh.”
(Button push, beep)
“Tonya, can you send in Yahweh, please?”
God, God, come on in… yeah, just leave the door open, that’s fine.. Here, have a seat.
Yeah, that chair’s not as comfortable as the throne you’re used to, I’m sure.
Now, I suppose this is going to be kind of an awkward meeting, what with my fragile human form being unable to withstand the awesome power of your voice and all but honestly, in this instance, it’s probably better if I do all the talking anyway.
I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that we’re not very happy with your performance. Your last several centuries of performance reviews have been well below standard and I think we all knew that this day was coming.
I mean… all we have to do is look over your performance history. There was a time when you were first appointed… you were flooding the world, parting seas, turning people to salt, raining down frogs… you were a go-getter! You were a god’s god.
But now what do we get out of you? We’ve got the AIDS epidemic in Africa, we’ve got nuclear proliferation, climate change and what are you doing? You’re taking the wheel! You’re finding people’s car keys. Finding car keys, god, really? Did you think I wouldn’t find out about that? You’re omniscient and you couldn’t think of anything better to do with your time?
I know you work in mysterious ways. You said that in your resume and we accepted it because of the whole omnipotence thing, but I’ve gotta be honest, here lately it seems like you’re resting on all seven days.
I’m looking back over it and I can’t find a significant achievement for you in over 1800 years! You’re averaging less than a miracle a millenia, bro. I’ve got saints doing better than that. You know I’ve always been in your corner. I fought for you since the beginning. Every day’s a thousand years but you still wanted a day off and I fought for you on that one. I’ve been fighting for you since the day we hired you and to be frank, lately you’re just embarrassing me, and I don’t think that’s too harsh a statement.
I think we both know where this is going and I want to make it as easy as possible. You’re still under contract so we’ll pay that off, but we’re gonna have Ricky Gervais step in as interim god until we can permanently fill the position. So just leave your keys to the pearly gates with Tonya and if you need a letter of recommendation, you have my number.
Alright, thank you very much. Close the door on your way out please.
Whew… that went better than I expected. Damn, I should have done that centuries ago.
We’ve only got a couple of minutes left and apparently we had a pretty error-ridden show last week so I’ve gotta make a few quick corrections before we close things out. Most of the mistakes came in the Holy Babble segment and most of it was stuff like saying Jacob when I meant Joseph or saying brothers instead of sons. For that I apologize and we’ll try to do better, but one way or the other I wouldn’t recommend using this show as a stand alone source for the bible.
There was one major correction I wanted to make. We got duped into reporting on essentially an Onion headline last week. The story about the Christian couple who maintained their abstinence for years after marriage was a gag piece from Lark News and if I’d made any attempt to vet it I’d have figured that out. That’s a huge fail on my part and I want to apologize for it. We’re not exactly a “hard news” show, but that doesn’t excuse me from my due diligence as a newscaster and I owe you better than that. Without some modicum of journalistic integrity we’ll devolve into CNN reporting in the wake of a disaster.
Also wanted to throw a quick shout out to our incredibly awesome Canadian listeners, who apparently pushed our show all the way up into the top 100 of all podcasts on the Canadian iTunes ranks for a couple of days last month. Excellent job, Canadians. If listening to the Scathing Atheist was an olympic event, you’d be the team to beat.
Obviously I want to extend a huge thanks to Darrel Ray for such an informative and entertaining interview. Also need to thank Jake-Farr Wharton of the Imaginary Friends Show dot Com Podcast for providing tonight’s Farnsworth quote. He’s got a great podcast if you haven’t checked it out. It’s kind of like ours only more informed and in Australian. We’ll have a link to it in the shownotes, but I trust our listeners to be able to puzzle out where to go to find the Imaginary Friends Show dot Com Podcast. Need to thank Heath as always. Also want to thank all the listeners who sent in emails, especially the ones that include news items to make my life easier. Thank so much for taking the time out to help.
But most of all we’ve gotta thank our very favorite listeners of the week, John, Michael and Evan, who gave us money. Giving us money is a noble and moral act that brings peace and joy to all and we are all indebted to John, Michael and Evan for their heroic selflessness. Oh, and Evan, it went to a bottle of Laphroaig, but it was for before we recorded, not after.
Remember, if you’d like to prove your virtuous nature in the only way that really counts anymore, you too can donate to our show by clicking on the “Donate” button on the right side of the homepage at Scathing Atheist (dot) com. Every little bit helps, but every big bit helps a lot more.
And if you want to help but have taken a vow of poverty, you can always help us spread the word by leaving a review on iTunes. Those ratings and reviews do wonders to help us build our audience and they really make my day as well.
That does it for us tonight, but if you can’t get enough of us, be sure to check out our erratically published blog, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to us on YouTube, like us on Facebook and check us out on Stitcher. Seriously. Because all the other atheist podcasts on Stitcher are making fun of us.
If you have questions, comments 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.