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Episode 21: Partial Transcript

by Noah Lugeons & Heath Enwright

Sponsor:

Today’s episode of the Scathing Atheist is brought to you by Hostess’s new brand of Halal, vitamin rich, fast-friendly snackcakes for Muslims, Ramadan-a-Ding Dongs.  These whole-wheat, holy-month, wholly delicious treats are the perfect way to satiate yourself after a long day of needlessly starving yourself at the command of an illiterate, delusional horse-pilot.

Ramadan-a-Ding Dongs, because we really want our own fatwa.

And now, the Scathing Atheist.

Intro:

It’s Thursday, it’s July 11th, and vaguely spiritual agnostics piss me off too.

I’m your host Noah Lugeons and from <<<redneck repellent>>> New York, New York, this is the Scathing Atheist.

On this week’s episode:

  • We’ll discuss a new ass-holistic cure for migraines,

  • We’ll learn exactly how many rape jokes our listeners are willing to tolerate,

  • And we’ll eat whenever the hell we please

But first, the diatribe.

Diatribe:

Last weekend Lucinda and I took Heath and his prostitute on a double date to see “This is the End”, which actually did me the favor of not sucking for the $13.50 I dumped on it.  The movie is basically Pineapple Express meets Left Behind.  And if those references don’t do it for you, it’s a movie about Seth Rogan and his buddies smoking pot during the apocalypse.  And it’s a pretty safe bet that if you’ve made it this far into an episode of our show, you’d probably like it.

It consists of a half-dozen Judd Apatow acolytes playing parody versions of themselves at a housewarming party when suddenly the end times cometh, the good Christians ride to heaven on a blue light and the folks leftover (including all the pot-smoking, self-absorbed actors) are tormented by demons and Danny McBride’s sperm.

And as hard as this movie tried to not make you think, I couldn’t help it.  After spending an hour and a half laughing about Jonah Hill’s exorcism scene, I started reflecting on the petty vengeance that underlies so much of modern Christian mythology.

In it’s lightest form it comes across in primetime TV shows where, let’s say, an atheist and a theist team up to fight both crime their mounting sexual tension.  Should they debate the existence of god at some point in the episode, nine times out of ten the atheist will end the episode with some perplexing oddity that may or may not be a sign from god.  After all, how else could that present gotten under the tree or whatever?

Shit like this doesn’t happen in real life because in real life there’s no god, but what does that matter to some hack TV writer?  Why not throw 75% of your audience a bone and end on the “maybe there’s a god after all” cliffhanger?

But in the extreme, it turns into that “torture porn” rapture crap.  The Left Behind, “despite all the evidence to the contrary the nutjobs were right all along”, “everybody but us good Christians gets ass-raped by thorny devil cocks” death-gasm fantasy.

For me, it’s easy to understand the appeal.  It’s gotta be hard for religious people to ignore the way science keeps being right all the time.  Science keeps pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and then they back it up with Large Hadron Colliders and iPads and missions to Pluto and shit.  And the whole time they keeps saying “oh by the way, that god stuff is silly, knock it off”.

Imagine how appealing it must be to step out of that real world where you’re never right and god never sends a sign and step into a dream-world where you’re right and you can rub the scientists faces in just how wrong they’ve been the whole time.

So Christians create these elaborate fantasies where they get the post-mortem last laugh and all of us non-believers that made fun of Jesus and owned them on Twitter have to cower under satan’s forty-five foot lava cock for a couple of months while they get blown by 72 virgins or whatever Christians get instead of that.

The obsession with the apocalypse is a relatively new thing in Christian culture.  Revelations has been there awhile and virtually every Christian from the apostles down thought they were living in the time of the second coming, but this infatuation with the literal 8 headed dragon and hell on earth and the coming of the anti-Christ is distinctly contemporary.

And I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the clearer it becomes that the tenants of Christianity are verifiably false, the more obsessed they get with creating some parallel universe where they can ignore all these damn fact that conflict with their faith.  The end result is that they read about heretics getting tortured and the sinful earth being destroyed as a guilty pleasure.

As disturbing as this is, I think it’s a good sign for the secular movement as a whole.  If kids didn’t get bullied, none of them would dream of being the Hulk.  If kids could spin webs they wouldn’t give a fuck about Spiderman.  If my wife was a pair of six foot Swedish bisexual contortionists I wouldn’t need porn and if God was real you wouldn’t need fictional accounts of his intervention in the affairs of humans.

I like to think of this as one of the most desperate defense mechanisms of Darrel Ray’s God Virus.  Once it loses it’s ability to justify itself intellectually or even fully compartmentalize itself the virus turns to fear in hopes of frightening the mind into submission with images of the inevitable torment and suffering awaiting the non-believers.

And as I reflected on all that I started to wonder about all those Christians who like to threaten atheists with hell.  We laugh at it and mock them for not understanding that one can’t be afraid of something one doesn’t believe in.  But maybe we had it wrong the whole time.  Maybe they were never trying to scare anyone but themselves.

Headlines:

Joining me for headlines tonight is my brother in blasphemy, Heath Enwright.  Heath, it’s been a while . . . Are you ready to blaspheme in religion’s general direction?

Let’s do it.  In 3, 2, 1 . . .

<<<Jesus swallows!!!>>><<<Fuck Buddha!!!>>>

In our lead story tonight, Pope John Paul the distraction has cleared the last hurdle towards full blown canonization by posthumously miraculously curing a Costa Rican women of a traumatic brain injury.

I heard he also was the guy who posthumously talked to Sarah Palin in a dream, and convinced her not to abort Trig, so really chalk up one more.  I love that kid.  Yeah, Palin had close ties to God and the dead Pope.  You can actually see the Vatican from western Alaska.   

And just to soften the blow of the Trig reference here, these are just the sort of jokes he won’t understand.

This miracle, which boasts the rock-hard credentials of being confirmed by a team of catholic theologians that really, really, really wanted it to be true and have no objective standard, will mark the second time Pope John Paul the sequel has used his magic pontifical death powers to halt a medical affliction.  The first was a nun who prayed over his body and was cured of her Parkinson’s disease.  Which is odd, since Pope Two-Beatles didn’t use his magical Parkinson’s curing powers to cure the Parkinson’s disease that had so recently killed him.

I heard he tried praying over his own body, but he just ended up masturbating.  What he needed to do, was find Rogue from X-Men, and get a ‘dutch rudder’ simul-stroke thing going to cure the Parkinson’s.

And also . . . What an asshole?!?! . . . He’s capable of miracle cures, and he only does it once during his entire life, just so some nun can be better at Jenga.

Often called the “rockstar” Pope by people who are kind of fuzzy on the definition of rockstar, Pope John Pauly Wants a Wafer was, himself a canonizing fool, churning out more saints in his tenure than the previous 800 years worth of popes combined, so it seems only fair that he should set records for the quickest papal canonization.

Pete Rose could cure the Costa Rican woman, cure cancer, get another 3000 hits, and still not get into the Hall of Fame.  And all he did was gamble on himself . . . no associations with institutional pedophilia scandals – consentual or otherwise.  I guess the Hall’s just gotta be a little more selective . . . for reputation management purposes.

Indeed, some have argued that canonizing a guy who presided over the largest pedophilia scandal in human history sort of diminishes the whole saintly image, but proponents of his canonization point out that some woman in Costa Rica was kind of cured of a non-specific ailment for which she also received traditional medical treatment.

What the fuck?!  She got real medicine too?! They didn’t even isolate the- Apparently, they’re allowed to make this shit up after the fact, so why not pick a better example?  Like the Trig Palin  thing.  

Now, there are some cynical atheists with pun-based nicknames that point out that the timing of this latest miracle is pretty auspicious amid the constant barrage of new evidence and allegations about the Vatican money laundering scandal, not to mention the Milwaukee Archdiocese recent involuntary release of thirteen and a half Illiad’s worth of sexual abuse documents, but the major news outlets have dutifully shifted their focus and given Pope Francis with Wolves the benefit of the doubt.

Yeah this is the part where a few people at the top of the shitty failing investment bank know it’s going under, and either lawyer up, flee the country with offshore accounts, or die and get sainted QUICK.

John Paul II (to be) declared a saint: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/05/late-pope-john-paul-ii-to-get-sainthood-vatican-says/

And from the “Drowning-People-Fear-Water” file, the Pew Forum recently released a new poll that showed that nearly half of Americans think that the growth in irreligion is a bad thing.  Of course, the fact that more than half of Americans are religious says a lot about this poll, but instead of focusing on the substantial portion of religious people who think the growth in irreligion makes no difference or is paradoxically a good thing, the media narrative on this one focuses on an admittedly surprising percentage of unaffiliated “nones” who say that the growth in irreligion is a bad thing.

So atheists really love religion.  Their absurdist confusing thesis has grabbed my attention . . .

Atheists have been in Freudian denial this whole time.  We actually LOVE religion.  We want to fuck our religion mother.  When we push religion on the ground, and pull religion’s hair, and do atheist podcasts, we’re not really displaying obvious intellectual superiority, like it seems.  We’re merely engaging in the beginnings of a rough sex ritual.

Not so fast.  As with all these polls, it’s important to draw a line between “unaffiliated” and “atheist”, as many of the “spiritual but not religious” dingbats are being counted along with the true non-believers and recent polls would suggest that they might even make up the majority of that subcategory.

Why the fuck would you count somebody who believes in a non-denominational spiritual being that created the universe, as an atheist in this study, or any other study, or any other use of the word atheist?!

Well, the study itself didn’t use the word atheist.  That was just the media.  But strangely enough, even those people who are quick to point out the difference between a “none” and an “atheist” when polls show non-belief on the rise have been slow to put it together with regards to these data and somehow frame the story as “even atheists know that atheism is a bad thing for society”.

And what we really want, is to have rough sex with nuns.  

To be fair, everyone wants Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

New survey shows half of Americans think growth in irreligion is a “bad” thing:

http://www.pewforum.org/growth-of-the-nonreligious-many-say-trend-is-bad-for-american-society.aspx

And in “What-Does-Fox-News-Have-Their-Panties-In-A-Wad-About-This-Week” news, we bring you the story of a Michigan high school administration that recently had a nice talk with the football coach and reminded him that he can’t lead the team in prayer before the game and he also can’t stand to one side while one of the students leads the team in prayer.

Right, because that would be cheating.  Prayers always work, so if both teams pray, we’d get all ties.  But we don’t get all ties, and again prayers always work, so obviously both teams aren’t allowed to pray.  

For his part, the coach seemed understanding and said afterwards, (quote) “When it comes to discipline, whatever you allow, you encourage.”  The ACLU prompted the move by sending a letter to the school’s administration explaining that pre-game prayers have the potential to alienate students who do not want to participate or single them for not being part of the majority religion.

Here’s where it get’s tricky, from a legal standpoint.  There’s a time honored tradition in Christianity, and in American high school sports, of excluding Muslims and Jews.  If not before a football game, where CAN a Christian exclude these other heathen children?  And it’s not like the turbans, yarmulkes, and NSA surveillance don’t serve to single these kids out already.

What are you talking about?  The NSA doesn’t surveil jews… they just ask their moms.

So the ACLU did the right thing, the school responded in the right way and the coach acted like an adult about it.  It would seem that everyone involved behaved exactly as the first amendment would have them behave.  But at no point in the decision making process did anyone seem to give any thought at all to how this was going to affect the anchors at Fox News.

Yeah, this is a tough one  . . . Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any obvious ways to grossly distort the facts of this story.  Were they able to air a show?

Recognizing that this story would lack the punch to resonate with their audience, Fox News contributor Father Jonathan Morris pretended that the school had banned individual students from praying before or after the game.  He further pretended that the school had banned so-called “Tebowing”, a ritual where you throw the ball into the ground sixteen feet shy of your intended receiver and then blame god.

Oh I thought Tebowing was a term for the kneeling posture used to blow someone while they’re sitting down and Bradying.  It’s part of normal weekly practice for backup QB’s in New England.  You’d be amazed at some of the stuff they catch on hidden camera at Gillette Field.      

Yes, they are known for their hidden cameras.  Student Blaine Stannard also criticized the ban, wondering why the school would prioritize separation of church and state over the outside chance that this change could negatively affect the outcome of a meaningless high school football game.

He must have mistakenly thought this was America.

Michigan high school bans pre-game prayers, Fox News gets panties in a wad over it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/02/michigan-football-prayer_n_3535414.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

And in a namaste of execution last week, a California judge ruled that school yoga programs don’t violate the establishment clause.  The ruling was in response to an attempted lawsuit from two parents who argued that because yoga comes from Hindu practices, teaching it in the schools is the same as promoting the Hindu religion.

These parents should be a lot more worried about all the science classes that promote atheism.  And math classes that promote atheism.  And history classes that REALLY promote atheism.  

Right.  The same argument could be used to say that teaching kids about planets promotes astrology, but rather than pointing that out, the judge tossed out the lawsuit citing the incredibly non-religious nature of the yoga program.  Basically, they teach the kids to stretch.

Judge Meyer said, “A reasonable student would not objectively perceive that Encinitas School District yoga does advance or promote religion.”  So I’m guessing the plaintiffs weren’t of the reasonable and objective ilk?  The Christian/Reasonable/Objective shared region seems to be almost nonexistent, almost by definition.   

Several parents objected to the use of Namaste in greeting at the classes and the use of terms for some yoga poses said to represent worship of Hindu deities.  Despite the brazen stupidity of these objections, the program stopped saying Namaste, took down anything that had any Sanskrit and renamed all the objectionable poses with things like “turtle pose” or “criss-crossed applesauce”, but even that wasn’t enough for Christian parents, who fear yoga is a gateway drug to satan.

Well then I probably shouldn’t mention how I was doing downward facing dog the other day, and out of nowhere it turned into gay sex.  Don’t even know where the other dude came from.  Behind, I guess.  I was gonna say from the front, but that’s such an obvious gag…

I’m still straight, but I can’t say the rape didn’t pique my curiosity just a little.  And it’s all thanks to yoga, so . . .

Sometimes you choose a sexual orientation, and sometimes a sexual orientation chooses you … by rape via yoga.  Christian parents beware.    

Make sure you sell the sarcasm there or you’re gonna get subpoenaed for the appeal.  The judge was almost as dismissive of this case as I was, pointing out that the prosecution plucked a lot of their facts from random websites and didn’t seem to care too much about whether they were true.  He even dubbed the case, “trial by Wikipedia” before grabbing the prosecuting attorney’s wrists, pummeling him with his own hands and saying, “Stop hitting yourself.”

“Let the record show that the prosecuting attorney is indeed hitting himself like I said.  Also, though I am throwing out this case . . . it will be noted that we are – as a nation – perhaps only a few toe-touches away from a Hindu theocracy.”

Yoga declared non-religious, ok for California school: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/02/us-usa-yoga-california-idUSBRE96016Y20130702

And turning now to the parts of the world that aren’t America, retired Los Angeles deputy sheriff and current bloviating street-bigot Tony Miano was arrested in front of the centre court complex during Wimbledon for spewing hate-speech about how immoral homosexuality is.

He didn’t get beat up by 90% of the womens tour?  I bet Martina Navratilova could throw some haymakers.  Remember that huge lefty serve?  

Right into this fucker’s testicles, yeah, that would be nice.  She serves and he makes the Serena Williams sound.  I like it.  Miano’s confusion about the first amendment no longer working when you’re not in America was overshadowed, in my mind, by his warning that his arrest presaged the coming of the “thought police”, somehow not understanding that being arrested for what you think is different when you’re shouting what you think to everyone who walks by.

And, if there were thought police like that, that could actually read your mind, they should be arresting people that have hate speech type thoughts going through their head.  Even the quiet ones.  In fact, especially the quiet ones.  Quiet bigots are at least as bad.    

During an interview with police, he was asked if he felt that what he did was 100 percent acceptable in a public place and if he intended to do it again tomorrow.  But since he not getting arrested wouldn’t be newsworthy, he opted for the “When in Rome, fuck Romans” approach and answered in the affirmative to both questions.

I guess the British jail system is a good place for him to learn more about immoral homosexual acts.  Of course I’m speaking of gay prison rape.  

Pastor “arrested” in UK for calling homosexuality a sin: http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/7921672394.html

Speaking of gay-rape, in our final story tonight, we turn to Cape Town South Africa where we confront the age old question “Is it still rape if it cures a migraine?”

See how I set you up so you wouldn’t have to make that difficult segue to rape?  There’s always that awkward moment when you go from ‘no rape’ to ‘rape’.  

Like white people hitting the dance floor.

This is the admittedly horrible story of a 17 year old boy who went to a local pastor to see if there was anything he could do to help him with his headaches.  Recognizing that the potential healing benefits of forcibly penetrating his own rectum with the boy’s erect penis and then forcing him to suck his cock and his man-tits had not yet been fully explored by medical science, the pastor allegedly tried that treatment regimen and the ungrateful kid called it rape.

“I’ve got a headache THIS BIG”

“Well are you hung like that too?  I’ve got an idea . . . “

Pastor Zanokhanyo Mnyukulo, who tried to protect his identity by having such a ridiculously unpronounceable name, argued in court that he was simply involved with a healing ritual and that no sucking of penises transpired.

I was about to ask about that.  The crux of the argument, with respect to the Pastor’s culpability here, seems to come down to whether anybody got their dick sucked, and if so, did anybody swallow?  “If he didn’t spit, you must acquit.”

The pastor was originally arrested on charges of rape but the charge was later reduced to indecent assault.

Well, drawing on my knowledge of the South African judicial system, I don’t think it still counts as rape if you rape your own ass with somebody else’s dick.  From a legal standpoint, it’s more like he tripped and fell, head over exposed asshole over heels, and accidentally raped himself on a nearby erect 17-year-old penis.  Indecent, maybe.  But assault?!?  Aren’t we splitting pubic hairs here?

Yeah, I’m thinking afterwards he re-read the pastor-child-rape manual and facepalmed.  “Oh, my dick in his ass… yeah, that would have been a lot more fun.”

If he had been ass-raping the kid, I could see him claiming the healing benefits of prostate massage.  But I’m pretty sure if you’re the masseuse, and your penis is doing the massage, poking the prostate of a gaypostate can’t help your headache.

It pisses me off that none of the articles I saw mentioned if it cured the headache, though.  I mean, it wouldn’t be my first choice of treatment, but I’ve had headaches where I’d have eventually gotten there.  “Alright, that’s it, this shit is killing me.  Get me a gay South African pastor with man tits.”

Somebody get this man an “anal”-gesic!

Pastor claims sexual abuse was intended to cure victim’s migraines: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/07/05/pastor-claims-he-was-curing-a-boys-headaches-by-sexually-forcing-himself-on-him/

And on that disturbing note, we’ll close out the headlines segment for the night.  Heath, thanks as always for joining me.

Pleasure as always.

And when we come back, there’ll be more words and shit.

Pitch:

Heath and I wanted to take a minute to respond to a recent review we got on iTunes from Senor Blanco, who said “Brilliant. Donate now so that Noah can give up his day job and fight idiocy full time,” and then backed it up with a donation.  A sage piece of wisdom we wholeheartedly endorse.

In fact, this show and a consenting Anna Kendrick are the only two things I dream of doing full time.

And if we could increase our donations by a scant 2000%, we could make that dream a reality.  But to help you see things Senor Blanco’s way we thought we’d share with you some of the great things that your donation might buy.

So remember, each time someone donates to the show, we’re that much closer to…

  • Daily bonus content,

  • A less erratically published blog,

  • As many as one extra 30 minute podcast a week,

  • 33% more montages of crazy You-Tube preachers.

  • Improving upon my staple diet of “Kraft parmesan humidity clumps and scotch”.

  • Giving you a drunken blow job you eventually… in fact, if you were doing coke in the northeast between 1997 and 2005, at least one of probably already has.

  • We’d also be even more scathing if we could afford better whores.  Nothing gets the atheist juices flowing like renting an orifice or 3.

But it’s not just about what your money does for us, it’s also about what it does for you.  That’s why we’ve set up a new incentive program for our donors.

  • For example, on every week we make more than $500 in donations, I promise to capture one Mormon with the trap door on my front stoop..

  • And for every individual donation over $500, you will get one used Mormon personal slave.

  • For a $20 donation, one of us will slap a bible from someone’s hands on the street the next time we get the chance.  And we’ll really do it.  We do this anyway.

  • Anyone who donates over $25 can ask us any question, and we have to answer it.

  • Anyone who donates over $50 gets 3 wishes.

  • For every $100 donation, I will violently tackle one subway preacher.

  • For every $200 donation, I will fart loudly in a church.

  • The first person to donate over $1000 gets ownership of my eternal soul with signed certificate of authenticity.

If you’d like to help us realize that dream, you’ll find the donate button on the right side of our homepage at Scathing Atheist (dot) com.

Skit:

From time to time on this show, we like to set aside a few minutes to discuss some of the common apologetics used in defense of theism.  Heath, what ecclesiastical contortion do you have for us today?

Today we’ll be talking about one of the ballsiest of apologetics, presuppositionalism.

Gotcha.  So tell me, how does presuppositionalism purport to prove the existence of the divine.

By presupposing that they already have.

You’ve gotta be kidding me.

I wish I was, but it’s really come to that.  The argument goes like this: The bible is the inerrant word of god and Christ is lord.

And?

And what?  That’s the whole thing.

Yeah, but that’s a conclusion, but it’s not an argument.

That’s why they call it “Presuppositionalism”.  You’re presupposing your conclusion to be true.  God exists and he’s the god we think exists and that’s all there is to it.  That’s premise A, premise B and the conclusion all in the same tortilla.

But that’s not how argument works… Hell, that’s not even how thought works.

That’s how a burrito works.

That’s ridiculous nonsense.

Ridiculous?  Yes.  Nonsense?  Yes.  But that’s the beauty of the argument.  It’s too stupid to be wrong.

But it’s not.  I mean it is stupid, but it’s also wrong.  It’s utter horseshit.  It’s an upside down pyramid.  Hell, it’s named after an improper epistemological device.

Exactly.  And you can’t fault presuppositionalism for being presuppositional.  It’s in the name.  It has to be.

But I don’t understand how admitting that your argument is fatally flawed up front bolsters it.

Maybe it would help if you see it in action.  I’ll start with the assertion that the bible is the inerrant word of god.  Go.

Okay… the bible can’t be the inerrant word of god because it’s contradictory.

But your ability to recognize contradiction is derived from god, so by admitting that it’s contradictory, you’re admitting that god exists and, by extension, that the Bible is the inerrant word of god.

But I’m not admitting that in any way.  I’m doing the exact opposite; I’m demonstrating that it’s untrue.  And all you’re doing is putting the cart before the horse.

But we know that horses and carts are created by god, so by even using that metaphor, you’re admitting that god, who also invented metaphors, exists.

That’s not an argument, it’s an assertion.  What you’re doing doesn’t even count as debate.

Well, if that’s true, and you used words to form those sentences and god created both words and sentences…

Okay, I think I see where we’re going here, but I don’t see how it adds up to a defense.  It’s like the argument sketch from Flying Circus.

No it’s not.

Yes it is.  The point of an apologetic is supposed to be to offer a logical reason to assume that a god exists, not just deflect every question by pretending that your conclusion and your premises are interchangeable.

Aha, but that’s the beauty of presuppositionalism.  It’s not designed to prove anything; it’s designed to make you shut up without making me recognize any of the logical flaws in my theology.

So it’s the intellectual equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and threatening to hold your breath until you turn blue.

Well, I don’t know that it’s any more intellectual than that, per se, but it’s far more effective on Twitter and Facebook than the “La-La-La” defense.

But, by employing an apologetic that’s named after a logical fallacy, aren’t you kind of admitting up front that you’re full of shit?

Yes, but only to the person you’re debating… and they already know.  Presuppositionalism is less of a ‘convince you I’m right’ kind of an argument and more of a ‘fuck off and die’ kind of an argument.  

But you can’t just say “I’m right” and pretend that you’ve won a debate.

On the contrary, as presuppositionalism teaches us, you can say any damn thing you want and then pretend any damn thing you want… in any order.  

But that doesn’t make it a valid apologetic.

Valid or not, it’s an effective apologetic.  In fact, the success of presuppositionalism in making atheists walk away with their hands in the air muttering profanities under their breath is unrivaled.

Yeah, but that shouldn’t be the point of an argument.  Shouldn’t you be trying to win the argument rather than just evade it?

Well, sure, but only the side that’s correct can actually win the argument.

Okay, so if their goal isn’t to best us in a logical competition, how should atheists deal with presuppositionalism?

By invoking presuppositionalism, the theist is opening the door to logical-fallacy based arguments.  To level the playing field, the atheist might want to start invoking some fallacy-based arguments of their own.  For example, they could try “False-Dichotomism”.

Which is?

For example, “Well, if the bible’s the inerrant word of god, then why isn’t okay to rape your dog?”  Or perhaps they could try “ad-hominism”.

And I assume that’s where you just tell them to go fuck their mothers.

Precisely.  You can even get creative and offer fallacy combos like “Slippery-Slopism” combined with “Non-Sequiturism” in the form of “Well if the bible’s the inerrant word of god, It won’t be long before there’s nobody left to paint all those turkeys?”… or “Reductio ad Absurdumism” combined with “Straw-Manism” in the form of “Well if the bible’s the inerrant mid-coital exclamations of god, then you must also gargle with eskimo sperm.”

Okay, well… I still think there has to be a better way to convince a presuppositionalist that their logic is flawed.

They already know their logic is flawed.  Again, it’s right there in the name of the argument.  The precepts of presuppositionalism actually state that there is no mutual frame of reference that a presuppositionalist and an atheist can share.  That makes it impossible to defeat them in a way that they recognize.  So once that is established, the only real question that matters is how angry you want to make this asshole before he walks away.

Outro:

Before we reel in the nets tonight, I wanted to make a quick correction to last week’s show.  During the diatribe I was highlighting a few reasons why one should dismiss the nonsensical “Christians Tweet Happier Than Atheists” research out of the University of Illinois and as I was listing all the things wrong with the study, I accidentally said, “poorly constructed” twice in my list.  I meant to say “poorly conducted” the second time but either I misread the page or mistyped it, so my use of “poorly constructed” and “poorly conducted” was either poorly conducted or poorly constructed and for that I apologize.

I also wanted to respond to a dingleberry in Nebraska named Sam who wrote to us to explain the very real threat of hell our souls face for doing this show.  So Sam, on behalf of Heath, Lucinda, myself and everyone you’ve ever said that to, go fuck yourself with an unvarnished plunger handle.

I’d also like to take a few minutes to recognize this week’s most exquisite anthropoids, Eric, Kitty and Chris who proved their prodigious munificence by giving us money.  And not only have their donations purchased the peace of mind that can only be obtained by paying someone to tell God to fuck off, they can also bask in the knowledge that when the zombie apocalypse hits, I will see to their safety personally.

If you, too, would like to insure against death by swarms of the undead, you can earn your place in my zombie resistance protectorate by clicking on the donate button on the right side of our homepage.  And if you’re looking for a way to help without unpinching any of your pennies, you can help us immensely by leaving us a good review on iTunes or listening to us on Stitcher and helping our ranking over there suck less.

I also need to thank Heath for consistently going above and beyond to make this whole thing work, Jesus for taking it like a bitch and lastly, I need to thank Dan from Thank God I’m Atheist for providing this week’s Farnsworth quote.  He and Frank have an excellent podcast out of Salt Lake City and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you’ll be able to correct that oversight with a handy link you’ll find on the shownotes for this episode.

Link: http://www.thankgodimatheist.com/

That’s all the blasphemy we have for you tonight, but we’ll be back in 168 hours when Lucinda will join us to break down the final book in the Pentateuch.  If you can’t wait that long, you can always check out our erratically published blog, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to us on YouTube, like us on Facebook or vomit on Pat Robertson.

If you have question, 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.

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Episode 12: Partial Transcript

by Noah Lugeons & Heath Enwright

(Note: Transcript may contain portions that were edited for time reasons)

Sponsor:

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And now, the Scathing Atheist.

Intro:

It’s Thursday, It’s May 9th and somebody needs to tell people in Kentucky to stop wearing “I ‘heart’ KY” shirts

I’m your host Noah Lugeons and from voluptuous New York, New York, this is the Scathing Atheist.

On this week’s episode,

  • Christians will get upset about imaginary threats to their imaginary friend,

  • We’ll learn that in Turkey, you’re autistic,

  • And Darrel Ray will rejoin us to talk about pee-pees and coochies,

But first, the Diatribe.

Diatribe:

I started my post-secondary education at a small state college in rural Georgia.  And while you may not know me that well, even if this is your first time listening to the show you’ve probably already figured out that I’m not exactly right for a small state college in rural Georgia.  Let’s just say that my theological opinions ran counter to the prevailing ones.

You may have also picked up on the fact that I really don’t give two shits who I offend.

As you can imagine, this made for a combustible mix that didn’t take long to ignite.

I all but insured it with what I thought a harmless and excessively hilarious gag.  My dorm number was 174, but with a piece of posterboard and a sharpie, I cleverly changed it to 666.  Now, rural Georgia or no, I didn’t think this would actually piss anyone off.  Sure, they’re all Christian there, but this was college.  We were all a bunch of seditious rebels telling the status quo to go fuck itself, right?

Well, as it turns out, not so much.  Later that day I came back to a 174 where I’d left a 666 and below it there was a handwritten note.  I don’t recall every word of it, but I remember the opening line exactly:

“All the rest of us on this hall are Christian.”

The righteous vandal went on to explain that they didn’t want to see none of my satanic crap any-no-how and if I didn’t love Jesus I didn’t belong in that dorm hall, I didn’t belong in that college, I didn’t belong in that state and, come down to it, I didn’t belong in this country.  I was not welcome.

And, of course, I left a response.  Again, I don’t recall it verbatim, but it was a variation on the following:

“How feeble is your conviction if the very fact that someone doesn’t agree with you threatens it?”

I probably used a lot more words than that and I probably ensured that a few of them would force his ass to the dictionary, but that was the core of my rebuttal.  It’s been twenty years and I’m starting to think he’s not going to respond at all.

But that continues to be my strongest issue with religion as a whole.  If your idea has merit, it doesn’t need you there to defend it.  You can simply place it in the public arena and it can fend for itself.  Hell, how impressive would an omnipotent god be if he needed you to fight his battles for him?

If you want to see the deafening echo of this threat-response, just express your atheism on any social media venue and watch the wagons circle.  They’ll attack your intellect, your motivations, your morals, your conviction and occasionally your penis size (regardless of your gender).  They’ll gather together like white blood cells to defend their precious idea.

But meritorious ideas don’t need white blood cells.  If your ideas need to be reinforced once a week, they’re bullshit.  If you need to read the same book over and over again and hang out with people pre-screened to agree with you, you’re giving the bullshit armor.  If your ideas need to be propagated by an organized group that exists only to propagate your ideas they are bullshit.  And finally, if you’re threatened by people thinking you’re full of shit, it can only be because you’re full of shit.

Nobody ever had to show up at my door on a Saturday morning to convince me that A is equal to C if both are equal to B.  Nobody ever had to sneak a pamphlet into my Halloween candy to convince me that elephants are bigger than gerbils.  Nobody ever woke up early and dressed their kids up so that they could go somewhere and sing songs about cesium atoms having 55 protons.

Nobody ever passionately held a belief because it was true.  If it’s true, you don’t need passion.  Logic is more than enough of a scaffolding to hold up a genuine fact.  You only passion if logic isn’t enough.

Headlines:

Joining me for headlines tonight is the Pythias to my Damon, Heath Enwright.  Heath, are you ready to… be pithy, I guess?

Like Tina Fey if she were a dude?

She’s not a dude?  I feel so much less gay now…

In our lead story tonight, Christians across the internet are screaming themselves hoarse over an almost completely bullshit story about the Pentagon court-martialing people for being Christian.

Christianity pays for an entire staff of dudes who speak loudly about bullshit stories every week.  As a group, not exactly the pantheon of epistemological rigor.  

The tiny nugget of truth buried among this citadel of bullshit involves an April 23rd meeting between Mikey Weinstein, the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and a group of pentagon officials including several generals and a chaplain.  And the very fact that the pentagon had the audacity to sit down with a person bearing legitimate complaints about clear violations of military prohibitions against religious proselytization was more than Christians could bear.

If they’re not careful, all this logic is gonna snowball out of control.  

Don’t worry, the paragons of journalistic integrity at Fox News were quick to put the brakes on it.  They noticed an article about this meeting and asked the pentagon if there were any plans to court-martial chaplains who proselytize.  The pentagon said no, but that wouldn’t piss of their viewers so they pretended the answer was yes.  And before long bloggers were leading off with headlines like “Pentagon Confirms They May Court-Martial Soldiers Who Hold Christian Faith”.

Yeah, court martialing 90% of the armed forces.  That shouldn’t fuck up military readiness, should it?  I mean, who’s gonna remotely fly all these drones?

They manage to inflate a low-level meeting to Weinstein now chairing a panel to reform court-martial procedures, they conclude that this will mean the end of military chaplains and that Obama’s Defense Department was (quote) “promising to bring criminal charges against any military personnel who express or share their faith.”

I’m beginning to think Obama made up all that stuff about being Christian and white, just to get elected.  

So yeah, scant amount of dubious evidence, passionately held conclusion despite overwhelming data to the contrary.  Been there, done that.

Pentagon warns Christian soldiers that proselytization will be met with court martial: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/may/06/blog-posting/bloggers-say-pentagon-may-court-martial-christian-/ & http://nation.foxnews.com/religion/2013/05/03/rear-admiral-says-faith-under-attack-military & http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/2569472030.html

And in other Christians-Being-Furious-Over-Shit-That-Didn’t-Actually-Happen News, a high-school track team in Texas was disqualified from a 4 by 100 meter relay last weekend when a runner made a religious gesture at the end of the race.

Jews are gonna get offended by swastikas . . . Muslims are gonna get offended by Danish cartoons . . .  As an atheist, I’m supremely offended by any trinity-related gesture.  Don’t we get to pick an N-word too?  We’ve got unholy cows.

That sounds fair to me, but it really wouldn’t matter in this case because they weren’t actually disqualified because of a religious gesture, but rather because the judges deemed it “excessive celebration” and backed it up with clearly stated rules that specifically forbade “raising the hands or arms in celebration” after winning because, you know, it’s un-Jesus-y.

Do we really need to sit Christianity down for a quick seminar on what subset means?  Did religion really manage to brainwash away the Venn diagram concept?  That’s like a free built-in piece of brain functionality they’re throwing away.  And don’t they believe that somebody REALLY IMPORTANT designed all the brains?  

Well, I don’t know… if god made man in his own image then most of god is an idiot.  But this is how desperate Christians are to maintain their “help, help, I’m being oppressed” narrative.

Supreme omnipotent power is a mandate from the masses.

Excellent supplementary reference.  So here we’ve got a high school kid who gets disqualified from a track meet and it’s being reported on national news.  Nevermind that he was DQed for “excessive celebration and acting disrespectfully toward officials” and admits himself that there was no oppression of his faith here.

We can’t keep having laws that say “No doing stupid shit, unless you REALLY believe in it, and have a group of people with similar hats.”

Track Team disqualified for making “Religious Gesture” (Officially for “excessive celebration”): http://www.christianpost.com/news/was-relay-team-disqualified-from-state-championships-for-religious-gesture-95251/

Our next story takes us to New York Cities parking lot, New Jersey, where three members of the Trenton Diocese have resigned amid allegations that they knowingly allowed a child-molester to accompany them on overnight youth retreats.

Father Michael Fugee was convicted of fondling a teenage boy in 2003, but the conviction was overturned on appeal despite the fact that he had previously confessed to investigators.  Rather than retry the case, the prosecutors struck a deal with the archdiocese of Newark that would allow Fugee to remain with the ministry provided that he didn’t work with children.

I’m worried we won’t get in a dick joke if we don’t take the opportunity here.  

This show does have a two dick-joke minimum…

So what do you suppose they had in their video library there?  Movies like A Few Good Boys

The Priests of the Southern Child?

Altar Boys on the Side

Rosemary’s Adolescent

The Best Little Rectory in Texas

Super 8… Year Olds

Defrock of Ages (8-12)

And for the Jewish clients maybe Who Fucked Roger’s Rabbi?

It’s worth noting that in 2009 the archdiocese assigned him to the Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark and eventually removed him amidst scandal when this unsettling history came to light, so basically they’ve been moving this child-molester from place to place and waiting for somebody to say, “Hey, isn’t that dude a child-molester?” and then moving him somewhere else.

Wonderful . . . they figured out bit torrent for pedophiles.

3 resign from NJ church in pedophile priest scandal: http://news.yahoo.com/3-resign-nj-church-priest-scandal-161033762.html

And in our next story, a Turkish taint-stain has proven that when it comes to autism, one can actually have one’s head further up one’s ass than the anti-vaxers. Fehmi Kaya, the head of the Health and Education Associations for Autistic Children in Adana, Turkey said in a recent interview that atheism is (quote) “a different form of autism”.

If you’re gonna compare atheism to a mental disorder, autism is possibly the most flattering choice.  Rain Man was an awesome dude.  Sometimes autism comes with some super powers.  

On the other hand, theism as a mental disorder, would be something more like addiction to delusional psychosis with an extra chromosome on top.

Arguing that autism is the result of a lack of development in the “faith” center of the brain, he explains that this is why autistic children lack empathy with others, just like we atheists.

Kind of like the way Martin Luther King had an underdeveloped bigotry center of his brain.

Turkish Head of Education Dept. says Atheism is a Form of Autism: http://www.examiner.com/article/all-autistic-kids-are-atheists-and-atheism-is-a-form-of-autism & http://www.timeturk.com/en/2013/04/22/all-autistic-kids-are-atheists.html

And finally tonight, from the “If-God-Existed-He-Wouldn’t-Make-It-So-Easy-On-Me” News, the priest who was in charge of the treatment center where they sent priests accused of inappropriate sexual conduct has resigned amid allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct.

You’ve gotta be a little suspicious of these corporate climber types.  “So I hear you need somebody to head up the new Rape Department.  Look no further.  I’m your guy.  I know rape backwards and forwards.  I know it inside out… coming and going.  I know it like the back of my fist.

What would that resume look like?

Now, in defense of Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault, former president and CEO of the Saint Luke Institute he was accused of more than just sexual impropriety.  He’s also being investigated for some shady financial practices so he’s really proving himself Catholic to the core.

Throw in some Nazi affiliation and you’ve got the holy trinity.

And, of course, to a Monsignor the term “inappropriate sexual conduct” is redundant.  So this could be an inappropriate, consensual relationship with his hand for all they care.  If he’s coming, it’s inappropriate.

What if God blows you in a dream? . . .  An Immaculate Erection scenario . . .

Or Ejaculate Conception…

Would that count as honorable discharge?

Priest who heads top clergy treatment center resigns amid allegations of impropriety: http://www.religionnews.com/2013/05/06/priest-who-heads-top-clergy-treatment-center-accused-of-impropriety/

Well, unfortunately we’ll have to leave you on that puzzler, as that’s all the time we’ve got for headlines tonight.  Heath, thanks once again for joining me tonight.

And when we return, you’ll witness the second coming of Darrel Ray.

Calendar:

It’s time for the atheist calendar portion of the show.  Back and well rested from a hiatus on last week’s episode, this is the part of the show we set aside to keep everyone up to speed on all the great atheist and secular events happening around country and around the world.

We’ve already talked them up a couple of times on the show, but a quick reminder that the weekend of May 17th has two big events; Imagine No Religion 3 in Kamloops, BC and the Women in Secularism Conference in Washington DC.  Details on the lineups are linked on the website.

Imagine No Religion 3: http://inr3.eventbrite.ca/

Women in Secularism Conference: http://www.womeninsecularism.org/

At the end of the month we’ve got the American Humanist Association Annual Conference in beautiful San Diego, California.  They’ll be honoring some of the very best in the Secular Humanist movement including 2013’s Humanist of the Year, Dan Savage.  Other honorees include Greta Christina, Katha Pollitt (I hope I’m pronouncing her name right…), Carl Coon and Richard Leakey.  Oh, and did I mention Richard Dawkins was gonna be there?  So yeah, if you’re in the same hemisphere as this thing (and by that, I mean Western or Northern), you should really try to make it.

American Humanist Association’s Annual Meeting: http://conference.americanhumanist.org/

The following weekend they’ll be doing something pretty similar on the other side of the Atlantic.  The British Humanist Association Annual Conference will be taking place in Leeds over the weekend of June 7th.  They’ll be honoring Terry Pratchett with the 2013 Award for Services to Humanism.  They’ve already got a pretty impressive list of confirmed speakers and they’re promising more to come.

British Humanist Association’s Annual Meeting: http://bhaconference.org.uk/

You’ll find more information, including links to the homepages for all these events under the “Show Notes” for this episode.  Remember, if you’re involved with an atheist, humanist, skeptical or secular event that could use a little free publicity, let me know.  I’d be happy to plug your event to thousands of people who probably live nowhere near it, many of whom will hear it in archives long after it’s over.  You’ll find all the contact info on the contact page at Scathing Atheist (dot) com.

Outro:

Before we wrap things up for the night I wanted to make a quick correction about last week’s episode.  But unfortunately it looks like we didn’t fuck anything up last week so I won’t get to.  I promise to try less hard next time.

Normally I close the show out by thanking all the people who help make it go.  I usually thank all the people who send encouraging emails, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, subscribe to us on YouTube, rate us on iTunes and tell their friends about us.  Then I’ll thank people like Heath Enwright and Darrel Ray who joined me on the show and I’ll usually thank people like Bill and Suzy from the “Bar Room Atheist” podcast for providing the Farnsworth quote this week and for putting together a really fun and relaxed podcast which you’ll find linked on our shownotes.

Bar Room Atheists on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bar-room-atheist

And I usually thank everybody who could have spent the last 30 minutes listening to any number of awesome things and chose to listen to this show instead.  And above all, I usually thank the world’s most astute, intelligent and discerning people, the one’s who donate money to our show.  People like Justin, this week’s most valuable human.

But I’m not going to do that tonight.  It’s not that all those aforementioned people don’t deserve thanks; they do, especially Justin because he gave us money, but I’ve got a really important thanks this week and I’m afraid it would have overshadow all those other ones.  I want to thank one of the most dedicated, influential and admirable people in the modern secular movement.  Eugenie Scott, long time director of the National Center for Science Education and valiant warrior against creationism and science denialism recently announced her retirement.

So I want to say to Eugenie Scott that we in the secular community cannot thank you enough for all the hard work you’ve done in defense of science and rationality.  After a long and successful career taking on all comers, you’ve earned the right to retire in peace, knowing that you’ve made a substantive difference and that you’ve inspired an army of freethinkers to follow in your footsteps even if none of them will ever quite fill your shoes.  So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

That does it for tonight, but we’ll be back in 168 hours with the “Out of Egypt” Edition where Lucinda and Heath will join me to pour over 40 more chapters of immoral bullshit in the “Holy Babble”.  But if you can’t wait that long for more us, fear not.  Even in two parts I didn’t have quite enough room for all the good stuff from that Darrel Ray interview so I added a quick bonus question and answer to the “Extras” page on the website.  While you’re there, be sure to check out our erratically published blog and if you want to help me buy a new alternator and a car to put it in, click on the donate button on the right side of the page.

If you have comments, questions or death threats, you’ll find all the contact information 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.

Live Blogging the Bible, Exodus 10:1

May 6, 2013 3 comments

by Noah Lugeons

Holy shit is this god guy a dick.

So I’ve gotten to the plagues and I have to admit that even though I knew how many their were, I never bothered to check out what all of them were.  Sure, I knew about the bloody Nile and the staff into the snake and the boils and the first born and the frogs, but I didn’t realize he also plagued the Egyptians with gnats and flies and hail and shit.

But the other thing I never realized was that God made pharaoh disobey him just so he could show off how many flies and gnats he could make.

It actually says that throughout the plague narrative.  Again and again the bible talks of god “hardening pharaoh’s heart” so that he will disobey Moses’ commands.  He hardens the hearts of both pharaoh and his officials.  He ensures that pharaoh refuses to let the Israelites go just so he can send more plagues.

I could back this up by directing you to passages like Exodus 4:21, 7:13, 9:7, 9:12 and 9:35, but why bother when you can just look at Exodus 10:1-

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his officials, in order that I may show these signs of mine among them…

And if this doesn’t spell it out plainly enough, the next verse really nail it down,

…and that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I have made fools of the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them – so that you may know that I am the Lord.”

Thus far there haven’t been many things that were clearly spelled out in the bible.  The authors and editors seemed to have a thing for ridiculously vague and ambiguous.  But this is one of the minority of instances where they make good and damn well that you know what’s going on here:

God is threatening the people of Egyptian with Eli Roth level horrors, he’s circumventing pharaoh’s freewill so that he won’t obey the directives, he’s perpetrating the horrors and then he’s doing it some more.  And why is he doing this?  Because fuck Egyptians, that’s why.

I suppose an apologist could argue that sometimes God just has to remind everyone how bad-ass he is and I’m willing to concede that, but couldn’t he show how awesome he was by curing diseases instead of creating them?  Couldn’t Moses have sauntered in there and said, “Hey, if you let my people go, God will cure all the disease in Egypt, turn the Nile to beer and give you a lot of kids (which seemed to be the only currency these biblical folks cared about)”?

Or if he insisted on being so damn negative, couldn’t he have just given boils and gnats and shit to the pharaoh?  How much more effective would the hail storm be if it was following pharaoh around and not hitting anyone else?  That’s some seriously divine intervention.  But no, he makes his point by giving all the people boils, killing slaves with hail, starving people with pestilence, dehydrating them with stinky, fatal blood-water and murdering their first born children.

What irresponsible fuck gave this guy omnipotence?

Episode 11: Partial Transcript

by Noah Lugeons & Heath Enwright

(Note: Transcript contains some lines edited from the final version of the episode)

Sponsor:

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…

Intro:

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:

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.

Headlines:

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.

Go Cougars.

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.

Skit:

(Rustling Papers)

“…hm… who’s next on the list here… oh, Yahweh.”

(Button push, beep)

“Tonya, can you send in Yahweh, please?”

(Door opens)

God, God, come on in… yeah, just leave the door open, that’s fine..  Here, have a seat.

(creaking 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.

(door closes)

Whew… that went better than I expected.  Damn, I should have done that centuries ago.

 

Outro:

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.

Michele Bachmann for President: More Bad Ideas From God

by Noah Lugeons

In my anti-religious cynicism, I usually just assume that when people say that they feel “called by God” to do something they’re just trying to push their own crappy decision-making abilities off on someone else. Decision turns into a disaster? Doesn’t matter. It was god’s decision, not mine. I was just the vessel through which god enacted his crappy decision.

But perhaps I’m just too jaded about faith. Perhaps there really is a feeling that we atheists are unfamiliar with that could only be described as being “called by God”. Perhaps there is some unmistakable non-verbal message that only faithful people feel and generally only during relatively momentous moments and we atheists simply can’t detect it through our filter of wry, pessimistic skepticism.

So let me try to brush aside my preconceived notions and examine one of these stories with my best approximation of the eyes of the believer.  Michele Bachmann says she and her husband prayed heavily on her decision to mount a losing campaign for the Republican nomination for president. In the end, she felt “called by God” to run. That was god, channeling his decision through a crazy person in Minnesota, which is apparently a pretty common occurrence.

Anyway, I’m going to fight the temptation to dismiss this claim outright and ask myself why god would want her to do such a thing.

I first have to remind myself of the two cardinal rules of examining god’s analytical process. First, of course, is that god works in mysterious ways and second and only slightly less well-known is that I am far too inferior to comprehend the vast totality of His grand plan. Unless, of course, he wanted me to win and I did, in which case I know exactly what he was getting at and I thank him for his help.

Before I continue into my exploration of the mind of an imaginary Jewish deity, I should take a second to note that this is not a political blog and thus I won’t be attacking any of the wackier conservative ideas of Bachmann’s. I’m sure there are plenty of blogs doing that and they are probably available from both liberal and conservative bloggers. She’s enough of a lunatic that the people in her own party generally hate her more than those in the opposing party.

But she also earns her way into the atheist blogosphere by taking some pretty extreme views on religion and its role in government. She vehemently supports the dumbing down of American education, she considers homosexuality to be a sexual dysfunction and she believes that the jury is still out on evolution. Oh yeah, she’s also one of those “Left Behind” wackos. What’s more, she’s a complete idiot that says stuff like:

”[Pelosi] is committed to her global warming fanaticism to the point where she has said she has even said she is trying to save the planet. We all know that someone did that 2,000 years ago.”

So if god is all-knowing, he already knows she’s too bat-shit crazy to win the nomination. Plus, it’s looking more and more like the Republicans might have overbooked the crazy-tea-party-lady portion of their field this year. So god must have been setting her up for failure. Perhaps he has some grand scheme that will require humbling her a bit. Who am I to judge his great work?

Of course, if I had to lay my money down on it (and believed for the merest fraction of a second that there was such a thing as this god-person), I would say that god is just punishing her for making his religion look stupid.

So the way I do the math, either god does exist and has a really shitty track record as far as decision-making goes (just look at slugs) or he doesn’t exist. I’d say either way he isn’t worth worshipping. And even if he’s worth that much to you, I wouldn’t listen when he starts “calling”…