Episode 22: Partial Transcript
by Heath Enwright, Lucinda Lugeons and Noah Lugeons
Today’s episode of the Scathing Atheist is brought to you by Deuteromino’s Pizza. Try some of our angelic wings, our cheese’s crust, or a delicious salad with all the cruci-fixins. Every pie is sliced by Christ, just for you.
Deuteromino’s: Delivering you from evil in 30 generations or less.
And now, the Scathing Atheist…
It’s Thursday, it’s July 18th and during Ramadan, Muslims are like Mogwais in reverse.
I’m your host Noah Lugeons and from sweltering New York, New York, this is the Scathing Atheist.
In this week’s episode;
We’ll learn that Deuteronomy is really repetitive,
We’ll learn that Deuteronomy is really repetitive,
And we’ll have to turn off the window unit while we record
But first, the Diatribe…
This past Saturday, Heath and I were invited to emcee a roast for a mutual friend that was moving out of town.
We were delighted to do it, but the guy we were roasting is exactly the kind of guy you hate to roast: He has no flaws. He’s in good shape, he’s good looking, he’s confident, he’s talented, he’s intelligent and he seems to have a new woman on his arm every weekend. Not exactly the cornucopia of personal defects that you hope for in a roast victim. So most of us were forced to make jokes about the number of different women he’d slept with in the time we knew him.
Now, it’s a roast and in a roast the guest of honor isn’t the only one that gets ripped on. Everybody rips on everybody and that’s the fun of it. We make fat jokes about the fat guy, we make bald jokes about the bald guy, we make timid jokes about the black guy. And I’m the atheist guy so they make atheist jokes about me.
It’s a roast. I’m a good sport about this stuff so I smile and I laugh along. Hell, I started making jokes about god early on so I wasn’t about to take anything said about me or my beliefs personally. But there was one brief exchange in the roast that I thought was worth reflecting on.
Before we get to the exchange, I need to play a clip to set it up. It’s a skit I wrote that revolved around a mock-scrapbook of memorabilia that I was leafing through:
(First Sound Clip)
A little later, the dude that we all knew was gonna bomb was up. It was an awkward four minutes of him trying to figure out why he’d volunteered for this and as he wrapped up, he closed by turning to me and making corrections regarding two things I’d said that evening:
(Second Sound Clip)
Like I said, it’s a roast. I definitely didn’t take his little “believe in god” aside personally. Earlier in the night one guy did a mock dialogue where I tried to explain the intellectual justification for my atheism to Saint Peter (which was actually fucking hilarious) and another guy thanked me for providing an example of atheism that would lead so many people to Christ. It’s a roast. That’s the point.
And if the only time a Christian had ever said to me “You should try believing in god” was during a roast, I wouldn’t have bothered to reflect on it at all. But I think we’ve all heard this or the equivalent of this plenty of times before. You say “I’m an atheist” and somebody just stares at you wide-eyed and jaw agape and offers an incredulous, “Really!?”
It’s hard to imagine this kind of reaction to other groups. It’s hard to imagine a person saying, “Have you tried not being a Jew?” or, “Muslim, huh? How the fuck did that happen?” or “Did you become a Christian because Buddha disappointed you?” but in at least most of this country, when you meet an atheist it’s socially acceptable to throw holy water at them and yell “The power of Christ compels you!”
In the interest of fairness, there are also plenty of places in this country where you’d get the same blank-faced stare if you said you were Christian. Places like institutions of higher learning, science labs and the East Village. And in the parts of this country where I grew up you could earn such a stare for any answer to the faith question other than “Baptist”, so we’re not the only ones who face this kind of shit.
That being said, I think it’s fair to say that through most of America, atheist is the only religious choice that people feel no social qualms about trying to talk you out of. And I think it says a lot about religious people that they’re more comfortable with you having a religion that is irreconcilable with their own than they are with you having no religion at all.
Joining me for headlines tonight is a man who needs an introduction, Heath Enwright. Heath, you’ve been introduced. Say something to all the listeners.
I’d like to apologize for a Sarah Palin joke last week that mentioned her son Trig, who happens to have Down’s Syndrome. He’s actually a lot brighter than you might think. He’s only 5 years old, and he’s already reading as many newspapers as his mother.
All of them?
In our lead story tonight, it turns out that despite rumors to the contrary, atheists are normal humans. And apparently a lot of people were waiting for some hard data before they were willing to make this call.
Well, not quite normal. Apparently we do have a normal ‘personality distribution’ . . .
But our atheist group has statistically better IQ test-taking ability, or IQ.
We’re also – by definition – better at ontology, and that’s really the crux of the whole argument, isn’t it?
Yes, but the study was not without its flaws. It sloppily categorized nonbelievers into 6 groups and the divisions prejudiced the fuck out of their conclusions. Some of the categories made sense; they separate out “Seeker Agnostic” and “Non-Theist”, which they define as a person who is completely apathetic to religion. But after that shit gets pretty wonky.
Like Gene-Wilder-as-Willy Wonky . . .
The whole study seems like a confused attempt at examining a superior race of aliens.
Were they hoping to use atheist stem cells to help cure faith cancer? Like real faith healing?
Not sure where they were going, but I don’t think they got there. Here are three separate categories of non-believer, according to University of Tennessee researchers: “The kind of atheist that reads books and learns stuff”, “the kind of atheist who is an activist” and “The kind of atheist who thinks religion is harmful to society”. They actually treat those three characteristics as though they were mutually exclusive.
Doesn’t it seem like the study was conceived by the characters from Lord of the Flies?
One of the kids says “Hey I think I should explain what a Venn Diagram is.”
“Put that nerd’s head on a stick!!!”
Right, and because they ignored Piggy,they were able to make some insanely stupid statements like “activist atheists are the least narcissistic” and “anti-theists are the most angry and dogmatic”, without bothering to point out that since these two qualities almost always co-exist in a single human, they’re using shit like dogmatism and narcissism to define the fucking categories in the first place.
These guys love them some Juicy Juice logic.
“But it says what I’m saying on the tele-prompter, and in the fictional book about which we’re arguing.”
In all, I suppose I have to be happy that they’re not treating “thinks god is bullshit” as an abhorrent monolith.
Study shows that nonbelievers are as diverse in personality as any other group: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/07/02/atheism-study-authors-congratulations-non-believers-youre-just-like-everybody-else/
And in a transparent attempt to force Heath and I to make testicle jokes tonight, Ball State made waves this week by hiring one Guillermo Gonzalez as a new professor of astronomy despite his 2004 authorship of a book that pretends that intelligent design is valid science.
When he gets fired for lying on his resume about being a scientist, the headline will surely read: “Ball Sacks Nutty Professor”
Heath Enwright, king of the ball joke.
Apparently “The Privileged Planet” was bad enough to prompt 120 faculty members at Iowa State to sign a petition renouncing it when it was rumored he would be working there. Gonzalez claims this was a political move and that a single blogger who isn’t even an astronomer was responsible for it. So yeah, not only does he believe god made shingles on purpose, but he also believes that one blogger can be responsible for a petition of 120 people.
And why would the blogger (or anyone else) need to be an astronomer to know that intelligent design is complete nonsense?
Is he suggesting we should go check with the astronomy community, and they’ll back him up on the intelligent design thing?!?
What’s worse, this news comes on the heels of another non-testicular reason to make fun of Ball State. There’s also an ongoing investigation into Ball State assistant professor of physics Eric Hedin who is accused of essentially teaching a Creationism class in the science department.
Shouldn’t teaching wrong things – in any class anywhere – be considered a bad thing?
Also, gotta squeeze more testicle headline jokes in here while we can . . .
It’d be a slap in the face not to. There’s plenty of low hanging fruit.
Facing Hairy Situation, Ball Trims Staff.
More of a sticky situation.
There’s a new wrinkle everywhere you look.
Now Ball clearly has two dicks.
Feeling His Taint, Ball Gives Hedin Shaft.
What can I say, you’re the king.
Ball State hires creationist professor: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/07/09/ball-state-comes-under-scrutiny-for-hiring-professor-who-wrote-book-on/
And in this week’s child-fucking report, the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child has posed a list of tough questions to the Vatican in preparation for the stern talking to they’ll be giving them next January over the systematic child rape, child torture and consequent global cover up that has come to define the papacy in recent years.
Define is a strong word . . .
But “Rape Scandal Blues” is definitely track 1 side 1 of the Vatican’s greatest hits.
I like the older stuff, but they seem to prefer the younger stuff, and that’s illegal.
As insubstantial as a voluntary meeting with a group that has no enforcement powers may seem, this will actually represent the first time that any international panel has had the chance to publicly question the Holy See about the scandal.
“Did you guys rape those kids?”
“No, no, no, . . . a bit . . . we did do the nose . . .” — “Many of them had headaches!”
The Vatican, for its part, is quick to ensure the UN that they are doing everything necessary to keep pedophiles away from kids, they’ve weeded out the bad seeds, they’ve definitely stopped running slave-laundries in Ireland and they can totally prove it. But they can also totally pull out of the treaty on the Rights of the Child, so they’re gonna definitely do one or the other.
Too bad they didn’t pull out of those kids assholes when asked nicely the first time.
I think I understand part of the confusion though.
In the Bible, know means begat, but in the real world, No means No.
So these weren’t rapes as much as homo-phone issues. Just a little case of consent getting lost in translation.
UN probes Vatican child abuse scandal: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/07/10/uk-vatican-abuse-un-idUKBRE9690LK20130710
And in “How the fuck are we even discussing this?” news, the Senate may soon consider a revision to FEMA policy that would allow untaxed houses of worship to collect federal disaster relief money.
FEMA doesn’t have time for this.
They’re just barely started with fishing te black people out of New Orleans harbor.
Also, I thought those houses of worship were designed more intelligently, to withstand even the most catastrophic acts of intelligent design.
Under current law, federal disaster relief can only be used to rebuild and repair homes, businesses and infrastructure. And since churches aren’t necessary, should be insured and can go fuck themselves, they’re left to fend for themselves with hopes that the combination of not being taxed and selling a product that doesn’t exist for money that does will be enough to keep them through hard times.
Yeah what’s the overhead on selling indulgences? Not getting a good enough markup on those lies? They manage to get people to pay today for an impossible hamburger they won’t get until after they die on Tuesday. How fucking dumb do you have to be?!
But thanks to the bi-partisan pandering of Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri and Democratic bitch that I actually voted for Kirsten Gillibrand, all of that could change. Both our tax dollars and our potential future disaster relief might be diverted to characters from Jew-sop’s fables.
How are churches going to learn to compete in the free market economy?
You know the competitive marketplace loved so dearly by the political party they hijacked?
But don’t worry, the bill does stipulate that the federal money could only be used to cover the costs of the building itself, the doors, the windows, the building envelope, physical plant support spaces, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, sprinkler systems and related site improvements. So apparently they’re not allowed to use federal money to buy bibles or pay off sex abuse victims but everything else would be okay.
Didn’t think this would need mentioning or repeating, but money is fungible. The $10,000 FEMA check stolen from secular taxpayers, is very similar in value to 10,000 different dollars.
By the same token, giving the church 40,000 taxpayer quarters, or 100,000 taxpayer dimes would also clearly violate the First Amendment.
Senate may lift House of Worship ban on FEMA: http://www.christianpost.com/news/us-senate-may-take-up-bill-to-lift-fema-ban-on-aid-to-churches-100094/
And finally tonight, we bring you the story of the this month’s greatest sleight against god. Montage of crazy YouTube preachers, would you care to guess what it was?
No, I’m sorry, while I’m sure that all those things pissed him off, he also got snubbed from a Sam Adams commercial this month.
Snubbing God in your beer commercial . . . Always a good decision.
This might be the best God snubbing decision since Roe v. Wade.
The ad in question uses a brief appended quote from the Declaration of Independence, with the spokesman saying that people were (quote) “endowed with certain unalienable rights” while conspicuously leaving out the part about those certain unalienable rights coming from a magical man-fairy.
You said “coming from a magical man-fairy” . . .
Sounds like a Joseph on Joseph version of the immaculate conception.
Those type of conceptions do tend to be immaculate.
Imagine how much better the world would be if abortion had been legal when God went all Roethlisberger on Mary?
Yeah, even the conservatives tend to make exceptions in the case of incest and rape and that was both.
Was that God’s first time too, by the way? Did God lose his virginity during a magical rape when he was over 1000 years old?
And proving once more that there is no rung of pettiness under which religious people can’t limbo, the Sam Adams facebook page was bombarded by Christian jizz-rinsers demanding that the company love and fear the lord, our god, and threatening to boycott the brand if they don’t issue an apology to Jesus.
The beer is named after Sam Adams so why didn’t they just use the founding father’s actual, documented opinions on religion?
Tell me this wouldn’t move some brew: “Sam Adams’ Beer; because Catholicism ‘leads directly to the worst anarchy and confusion, civil discord, war and bloodshed’. Please drink responsibly.”
Idiots pissed about beer commercial not paying homage to god: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2013/07/samuel-adams-defends-ad-omitting-god-reference/
“Deuteronomy in Rhyme”
by Noah Lugeons
Deuteronomy’s on to me, I’ve got say, honestly;
I’m not paying the bible the attention I wanna be.
It’s long and it’s dull and it’s so full of bull,
that the stress of the process is hurting my skull.
I’m plodding through and I’m human; I’ve got shit to do, man.
I can’t study each verse like a Hassidic Jew can,
So I skim and I skip, and I flip through and scan,
I glance at the footnotes here and there when I can.
But I’ll admit I hit bits I don’t get and I’m split,
Should I study it further or not give a shit?
After all, we’re not scholars and I got no white collar;
I’d trade biblical knowledge for Liberian dollars.
Besides, most verses are worthless like the begats and the curses,
That god intersperses with no discernable purpose.
What’s worse is the verses they don’t read in the churches
I’m not sure why they skip ‘em, though, it be a hell of a service.
But I digress. And I guess what I mean to express,
Is that no one who reads this thing knows what it says.
How could you? Why would you? It’d do you no good, you’d
be mem’rizing words that no one understood. True,
I guess there’s a few who have nothing to do,
that obsess over passages and pretend that they’re true.
But what about the incredulous rest of us who stopped listening at Exodus
We’re bored and it’s nebulous and among the effects of this,
Are low comprehension and even lower retention
So in hopes of prevention and to hold your attention.
Moses proposes verboseness, he know us;
He rightly supposes we’ll be losing our focus.
So Deuteronomy’s a colloquy that repeats all the policies,
God laid down earlier about sex and idolatry,
A dishonest anthology that restates the chronology,
And explains the pathology of Jewish theology.
So the gist, if you missed it, is that when god gets pissed
It’ll likely consist of him swinging his fist.
He insists he exists and if his laws are dismissed,
You’ll be reaping his vengeance and he offers a list:
And it goes like this…
He’ll curse your cities and your countries and your basket and your bowl,
He’ll curse your womb and curse your vineyard and your cattle and your soul.
He’ll cause your enemies to rise before you, sword in bloody hand,
He’ll curse you coming, curse you going, drive you screaming from your land.
The lord will send to you disaster, and frustrate your every whim,
He’ll cover you in leprosy from limb to fucking limb.
He’ll inflict you with consumption, inflammation, heat and drought,
He’ll turn the ground below to iron so no sustenance can sprout.
Your corpse will be a meal for every creature on the earth,
And your wife will eat your children and her bloody afterbirth.
The lord will give you boils, ulcers, scurvy and the itch,
You’ll be abused and robbed and helpless and your home will be a ditch.
Begrudging food to your own brother and to the wife that you embrace,
You’ll be a pariah to your people and he’ll remove you from his grace.
You’ll starve and want for water and screw up everything you touch.
Because the lord is wonderful and he loves you very much.
The Holy Babble:
Ah, Deuteronomy, the rewrite notes of the Pentateuch. It’s repetitive, immoral, disgusting and verbose, but beyond that, it manages to simultaneously shock and bore you in a way the other books could only dream of. So joining me to discuss this chore of a book is my lovely wife Lucinda. Lucinda, welcome to the show.
And of course, triangling out this trifecta is Heath Enwright who you’ll remember from 3 and a half minutes ago. Heath, welcome back, it’s been a lonely few minutes.
So where does Deuteronomy rank so far in terms of boring?
You get Moses telling us what god told him that he already told us that we already read. So pretty fucking boring.
It was like reading about somebody being bored by the book they’re reading.
Yeah, the word Deuteronomy literally means “second law”. It consists of three speeches that Moses gives before he dies and almost no new information comes out. Sure, there’s an odd testicle-grabbing rule here and a revision to meat slaughtering custom there, but basically he’s just repeating shit. It’s like getting to the first big battle scene in Braveheart and then listening to Mel Gibson deliver the “They’ll never take our freedom” speech over and over again for an hour and a half.
Except it comes off less like William Wallace, and more like Woody Allen complaining. It seems like they got Ridley Scott to direct Genesis and Exodus, but by the time they get around to producing Deuteronomy, they’re stuck hiring his suicidal brother.
We spend the first three chapter listening to Moses brag about his greatest hits. It basically recaps the bloodiest highlights of Exodus through Numbers.
Then we spend chapter 4 rehashing all the crap that just happened in the first three. We rehash the rehash.
And reinforce the message that only god is god, god damn it.
And since we’re clearly dealing with Moses’ farewell concert here, you knew he was gonna do “The Ten Commandments”, and he gives us the long version with the full blown sax solo and everything.
“Play Exodus: 20!” “No – Play Exodus: 34!”
And of course the asshole musician has to do it all new and different, so nobody really likes it. “It’s called Deuteronomy: 5 now, man! No more of that tired Exodus crap!” Wouldn’t want to play it like it sounds on the fucking album that brought everyone to the concert in the first place.
Then in chapter 7 God spells out the importance of a good, thorough genocide.
If you’re a Jew, you gotta be worried about running into some sort of genocidal backlash one day. Although their strategy of concentrating themselves all in a safe place like Israel seems to be working.
By chapter 9 Moses has completed his transformation to Chris Farley; “You remember that time when I went up on that mountain and talked to god for a month? That was awesome.”
More rehashing, but an interesting phrase in my translation at 10:16 “Circumcise, then, the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer.” So let’s hope the biblical literalists never make it this far…
We don’t want those dicks or hearts getting hard, now do we?
By chapter 12, Moses’ Alzheimer’s has turned into full blown dementia. Now he’s telling the Jews they can eat meat in the same way you would eat gazelle or deer, which are, of course, vegetables.
And we’re reminded that you can only be Jewish with the help of union rabbis at the union temple.
Then we learn that if you should ever have tangible evidence that god is bullshit, it’s just god testing you.
Oh, and kill the person with the evidence.
We rehash the rules about diet then slavery, then holidays, then judges. I swear this fucking book reads like a filibuster.
Reads like a James Joyce filibuster
Reads like a Dan Dennett analysis of a James Joyce filibuster.
Give your shit to the priests when they tell you to, kill sorcerers and if anything in this book later proves to be untrue, we know it isn’t the word of god. Because it says so.
Moses repeats himself some more and throws out the “eye for an eye” line.
And then in 20, Moses spells out the rules of engagement:
Before making war with a city, at least offer to enslave all the citizens.
So you start by offering them a Billy Martin. “Listen, we’re willing to overlook the whole thing where you stole our land while we spent 40 years over there in the woods . . . Just submit to slavery, we takes the women you have on you, and we calls it even.”
Yeah, we’re awesome slaveowners. Tell you what, I poke out your eye, I’ll let you go. Promise.
Be sure to kill all the men.
Steal the women, children, livestock and riches.
Unless the women and children are Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites or Jebusites. In that case, kill them, too.
And whatever you do, don’t cut down the fruit trees like a barbarian.
In chapter 21 we get CSI: Promised Land. If you find a dead body in the street, just break a cow’s neck, wash your hands over it… you know, the usual stuff.
Also, marrying captive women is okay if they’re bald and naked.
Slave harem etiquette is important. We’re not savages.
And if you’re into government sponsored murder, don’t hang the victim on a pole for more than a day. In the sequel, we’ll get into using 2 poles to form a T-shape that’s useful for public murder of Jew-traitors.
Then we get the chapter where Glenn Beck gets his morality from:
Here we finally learn that god hates trannies, though we were suspecting it the whole time.
“Bitches shalt not steal my boxers and favorite T-shirts after sex, and then wear them home.”
We learn the etiquette of when you can and can’t stone someone to death for having a vagina.
Oh I missed something – when can’t you do that?
And don’t forget to bleed profusely when your husband fucks you.
We learn that if a woman is raped in town she gets killed along with her rapist, but if she’s raped in the country, she gets to just be a rape victim.
Being female, in a town, and out of earshot – that’s basically asking for it.
And again with the fucking tassels…
Chapter 23 starts with the words, “No one whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off shall be admitted to the assembly of the lord.”
More on nocturnal emissions
God actually gives proper instructions for taking a shit.
No shit, cum, or atheists allowed in a foxhole.
There’s a chapter that’s almost moral…
And then we’re back to crazy, random shit. This is the chapter where we get gems like:
If your brother dies you have to fuck his wife and if you refuse, she gets one of your sandals and she spits in your face.
If a woman grabs a guy’s nut-sack when he’s fighting her husband, you should cut off her hand.
Kill every Amalekite on the fucking planet.
This book is a sign that says “Read this sign”. I swear, half the book is spent saying “obey this book or I’ll fuck your skull”.
And I think it’s worth mentioning that In three chapters of curses, there’s no mention of an afterlife, no mention of postmortem retribution, no concept of heaven or hell.
Now, follow me on this one. This book tells the story of the writing of this book. And then in chapter 31 it starts talking about shit that happened once the book that I’m reading was done being written. So the Deuteronomy explains the aftermath of the writing of Deuteronomy… and the death of it’s author, but that’s later.
Even back then they had to know that they weren’t gonna get away with having Moses say the exact same fucking things he’s repeated half a dozen times again.
Yeah, so in chapter 32 he sings them! He actually sings about how skull-raped you’ll be if you piss god off.
And apparently the Israelites were holding up their lighters, so he breaks into another song in chapter 33. One for each tribe for fuck’s sake.
By now it’s clear that God said, “Go say your last words and then I’m gonna kill you, Moe” and Moses is obviously just milking it at this point.
And then Moses dies on a mountain and according to the book it’s a pretty spectacular death, but you know how it is when people tell you about their own deaths; they always exaggerate.
It was frustrating to learn that we could have just skipped from Genesis to Deuteronomy and not missed anything but Moses’ origin story and some Tabernacle details.
In all honesty, though, I’m actually kind of looking forward to Joshua now… it’s like I’m done jerking off but I’m still watching for the money shot. You know, like, I don’t care about anything that’s going on in the story, but I’ve made it so far I want to see these bitchy jews inherit the holy land already.
Or at the very least, see some jizz on somebody’s face, so I can get up and wipe my hands on the cat already.
Seems like exactly the right note to close on, so Heath, Lucinda, thanks again for joining me.
We’re gonna take a few weeks off of this book, but the Holy Babble will be back in three weeks to wrap up the Pentateuch in an hour long “5 down, 61 to go” special.
Before we shut down the oven for the night, I wanted to take a minute to thank this week’s most unabashedly, flagrantly, shamelessly awesome humans, Rob, Richard, Andrew and Ann, who affirmed their high-minded beneficence this week by giving us money. In addition to providing all the stuff that makes this show possible, giving us money has been clinically tested to improve lung function or something. Seriously, because advertisers now say shit has been “clinically tested” for stuff and hope you hear “clinically proven”.
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I also need to throw a big thanks and a big shout out to President of the Atheist Alliance of America, Chuck Vonderahe for providing this week’s Farnsworth quote. It’s a great organization, they do great work and they also have a great convention coming up next month in Boston.
The Atheist Alliance of America’s 2013 National Convention is stacked. Host of the Thinking Atheist Seth Andrews will Emcee and the speaker list includes Dr. Steven Pinker, Ed Buckner, Aron Ra and the keynote speaker Paula Apsell, Senior Executive Producer of NOVA. They’ve got early-bird pricing still going so check out the link on our shownotes for the complete list of speakers and events and do it with great haste.
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