Posts Tagged ‘church and state’

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”…

The ACLU: Banner Banners

by Noah Lugeons

Gotta love the ACLU.

The ACLU announced yesterday that they would be filing a lawsuit to force a Boston area school to remove an explicitly Christian banner from the school’s auditorium. Apparently just pointing out that the law expressly forbids it hanging there wasn’t enough to convince the school, who voted to keep the banner up when the same issue was brought before them last year.

The ability of Christians to play “repressed” never fails to amaze me. In a nation where virtually every position of power in the government is controlled by a Christian, every president through our nation’s history has been Christian (unless you believe Bradlee Dean) and Christianity enjoys a cornucopia of privileges not granted to other faiths, still the holier-than-me of the world will claim oppression whenever they are expected to play by the same rules as everyone else.

Keep in mind that when atheists put a harmless sign on a bus with the pussy-footing message of “There’s probably no God”, the Christians get apoplectic. They sue, they protest, they write angry letters to the editor and eventually vandalize the signs. This is their reaction to a message so watered down it’s drowning. This is their reaction when we simply say “by the way, we also exist”.

And yet, somehow in the miswired mind of the faithful, it’s perfectly okay to indoctrinate the children of atheists (not to mention Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and those of any other faith). So much so that it will require action by the courts just to get them to stop flaunting their majority in a way that is expressly forbidden in the Constitution.

I’m okay with Christians claiming oppression, but shouldn’t we at least get the joy of oppressing them first? If they were complaining because they were being fed to lions, I would completely understand that. I’d also be on You-Tube searching every derivative of the words “Christian”, “Lion” and “Disemboweled”.

I’ll never understand how the Christian brain manages to overcome the inherent paradox of saying that they are being treated unfairly because they are being treated the same way as everyone else.

By the way, I double checked… there are no You-Tube results for Christian, Lion, Disemboweled. All for the best… it might have been a video of CS Lewis’ Jesus allegory getting ripped open.