Posts Tagged ‘Fred Phelps’

Episode 23 – Partial Transcript

July 25, 2013 3 comments

by Heath Enwright, Lucinda Lugeons and Noah Lugeons

(Transcript may contain material edited out of the final version)


Today’s episode of the Scathing Atheist is brought to you by Fox’s new reality talent show, American False Idol.  Watch as cult-leader contestants from around the country compete against each other and against god in feats of talent and existence.

The last prophet standing wins their own religion and a lifelong tax exemption.  American False Idol, because even when Fox puts the name of the sin in the title, Christians still watch it.

And now, the Scathing Atheist…


It’s Thursday, it’s July 25th and it’s not too late to wave some popcorn under a Muslim’s nose tomorrow afternoon.

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

In this week’s episode;

  • Former celebrity Kirk Cameron is told by Facebook to cease and desist the fuck up,

  • A new law in Louisiana won’t not make it not not legal to obey the law.

  • And we’ll make fun of Fred Phelps’ dead mother,

But first, the diatribe.


Boy, this new pope sure is awesome.  He’s a reformer.  He’s a radical.  He’s a beacon of light illuminating the dimmest hour of Catholic decline.  He’s beloved by all, Catholic and otherwise.  He’s approachable, off-the-cuff and lovable.  He’s the antithesis to Pope Palpatine the second.  He’s a game-changer.

Except for all the places that matter.

The major-media outlets are suffering from a bit or “Protestant Guilt” after spending two decades covering stories about Catholics butt-raping children so I guess I understand why they’ve been so quick to cram into the papal-fellatio waiting room, but in their eagerness to finally have something good to say about the Vatican, I think they’ve forgotten that balanced doesn’t equal honest.

So let me make something clear about Pope Franks-but-no-Franks:  He hasn’t done a fucking thing.

Despite the publicity juggernaut to the contrary, carrying your own bags and posing for a photo-op in a jalopy doesn’t count as reform.  Living in a palatial guest house instead of a palatial palace doesn’t count as reform.  Washing feet and ad libbing shit about atheists going to heaven doesn’t count as reform.  To reform something, you have to actually do something.

Let’s face it, during the reign of Pope Bene-dickhead we had some pretty legitimate complaints about the papacy.  And none of them were, “That old fucker won’t even carry his own luggage!”

So where does Pope Frankly-my-dear-I-don’t-give-a-damn stand on the big issues?

He’s against condoms.  He fully endorses the genocidal opposition to contraception that exacerbates the AIDS epidemic in Africa.  It would take nothing but waving his magic pope wand to halt these detrimental policies, and yet he’s done nothing.

He’s against ordaining women.  Not only has he made no moves on that, but he also left a long line of politically motivated misogyny behind him on the way to the Vatican… not to mention a few allegations of war crimes.

He’s staunchly homophobic.  He’s actually described the move in Argentina to legalize gay marriage as “a war against god” and shows no signs whatsoever that he’ll be moving the Vatican into the twenty-first century with regard to gays.

He staunchly supports celibacy for priests despite the fact that it isn’t biblical (and actually directly contradicts the biblical prescription for priests and their sex lives) and could give a damn less if it’s harmful psychologically.

Come meet the new pope, same as the old pope.  In all the ways that matter, he hasn’t done a fucking thing.  And yet everyday I hop onto a religious news site and read about all these great “symbolic” reforms he’s making.   Symbolic actions are great unless they’re coming from somebody who has the authority to make real change.

But the media is so desperate to paint him as a reformer that I’ve seen him extolled for coming out “strongly against the financial misdealings of the Vatican bank.”  Like there was some other pope who was all about publicly endorsing money laundering for the mafia?

Look, maybe the media is right and I’m wrong.  Maybe Pope Franky-Doodle-Dandy really is planning on reforming the Vatican from the ground up.  But he hasn’t started yet.  And when you take over as the head of the most corrupt institution on the planet you don’t get any extra credit for dressing less flamboyantly than the last guy.


Joining me for headlines tonight is my fellow expositor Heath Enwright.  Heath, are you ready to exposit?

I’m all about exposition.  Whenever I need extra cash, I make an exposit at the sperm bank.  That’s what that means, right?   

In the interest of getting the sperm jokes started early, we’ll say yes.

Sperm gags are all about coming early.  

The Spanish Inquisition of sexual events.  

In our lead story tonight the state of California is considering a bill that would help child abuse victims receive compensation if they were otherwise unable to file suit because of time or age restrictions.  Obviously, this bill enjoys wide, bipartisan support because who on earth would actually oppose allowing victims of child sexual abuse to pursue long overdue justice?


That’s right.  The Los Angeles archdiocese made the mistake of taking the high road on justice for sex abuse victims back in 2002 and the bill California passed back then almost wiped them out.  So this time they’re fighting against justice for abused children with everything they’ve got.

So a whole bunch of those tax-deductible donations to churches, are going to pay for pedophile advocacy experts.  There’s a positive social externality in there somewhere.  

Yeah, one has to imagine the lobbyists are all hoping not to get the “maintain strict statutes of limitations on child rape” assignment.

They’re trying to argue that “A certain day needs to exist, on which these people wake up, and they’re no longer a rape victim.”  

Usually it’s the other way around in Christianity … Fall asleep a virgin, and wake up a rape victim.  That’s how it went for Jesus’s mom, and lots of slutty altar boys, I imagine.  

The archdiocese recognizes the public relations tightrope one must walk when vociferously siding with pedophilic rapists, so they’re hard at work trying to sell this bill as a prejudicial witch-hunt against Catholics.

If the tightrope represents the right way to side with pedophilic rapists, then I wouldn’t say the church is walking it.  I don’t think they can see the tightrope from where they’re standing.  I’m not impressed by “The lord rapes kids in mysterious ways.”

Well, they point out that the bill would not allow victims to sue public schools for abuse that had passed the statute of limitations, so clearly they’re just going after Catholic child rapists.  After all, allowing victims to sue for tax dollars is directly analogous to allowing them to sue a private institution that is still largely governed by people who were and are actively involved in covering up the details of child rape and torture, isn’t it?

I don’t think the public school system could have pulled the same moves to cover for pedophile teachers . . .

“What?!?  We sent the rapiest ones to teach Nazi grandchildren in Argentina.”

Catholic Church fighting child abuse bill in California:

On now to the ever-burning question “Could we have freed the slaves but not kept the South?”, we turn to Louisiana where Democratic state senator Mary Landrieu has introduced a piece of legislation called the “Freedom to Pray” bill, which would, in her words, “protect American’s right to pray.”

Was that part of the larger, “Right to Being and Nothingness Bill”?

This might mean the end of the atheist psychic nanobot thought police.

And as we long ago learned, making legal shit legal is a favored strategy for sneaking bullshit religious laws through the legislature and this one is no different.  If you dig even a little, you’ll find that the intent of the bill is clearly to allow state and federal funds to go to programs that are explicitly religious in nature.

Does the legislation explain exactly how The Bill of Rights no longer applies in Louisiana?  And if the church needs more money, they should just pray for it, hold their breath, and die.

Amen.  Anyway, this all comes as a response to a recent hullabaloo about a quasi-military religious indoctrination camp being run by a Louisiana Sheriff’s department.  The program was denied $15,000 in federal funding due to the ubiquity of prayer within the program along with pledges to “attend the church of my faith” and to “Love god”.

Bible Camp for redneck cops makes me nervous.  Like ‘venerated obsoivances and rituals’, ‘Waco, Texas’ nervous.  

Well hopefully you’ll be reassured by the evangelists running the program, who insist that the prayers are voluntary and a whole room full of people praying around you isn’t coercive at all.  And that’s enough for senator Landrieu, who would clearly have no problem with a state run, federally funded program encouraging her children to bow to Mecca, as long as it was voluntary.

In theory, this would create an awkward, alienating situation for any Jewish or Muslim officers.  But Jews and Muslims certainly don’t get hired by police departments – or sold property – in Louisiana, so in practice, it’s a moot point.

Louisiana Senator proposes bill to protect religious groups that receive federal funding:

And in satanic lesbian news tonight, Fred Phelps’ dead mother is now gay thanks to the efforts of the New York based Satanic Temple.  Person whose name left him no career options except arch-villain or spokesman for the Satanic Temple Lucien Greaves explained that the action was meant to convey (quote) “a message of love in the face of hate”.

Like a money shot all over hate’s face.  Chicken fried hate smothered in white country gravy.  Phelps needs a Chia Pet, so people everywhere can put sticky seed all over his face.  

6 sperm jokes already.  He’s going for the record!

Anyway, the ceremony, which the Satanic Temple refers to as a “Pink Mass” was performed by Greaves and two same-sex couples and took place at the Mississippi grave of Phelps’ mother.  The goal of the ritual was to turn the mother of the notoriously sodomy-obsessed preacher’s spirit into a posthumous lesbian.

This strategy makes sense, given the way shit works in the bible.  This can even get her expelled from heaven.  Jesus stops having pre-emptively died for your sins if you posthumously witness gay sex near your gravesite.  Plus, that bitch natured and nurtured her bile duct of a son.  

The ceremony was, of course, tongue in cheek, as in some dude’s tongue in some other dude’s cheek.

Jelly?  Syrup?  Rusty Trombone?  What does a party like that cost?  I guess if I have to ask, I probably can’t afford it.

Apparently the ritual called for two prolonged homosexual makeout session over the headstone along with some divine cock-stroking.  Phelps’ mother, who died as the result of god’s retribution over our butt-sex loving culture, could not be reached for comment.

Satanic church holds same-sex ceremony at Fred Phelps’ mom’s grave:

And in “Apparently there’s a snooze button on your 15 minutes of fame” news tonight, Kirk Cameron, who you’ll remember from trying to remember where you remember him from, is in a tizzy because people can tell the difference between him being earnest and spam.

Who could forget about Mike Seaver and his best friend Boner?  Classic member of the shitty 80’s sitcom canon. And let’s not ignore Cameron’s illustrious film career, including “The Growing Pains Movie” in 2000, and of course the Godfather 2 of sitcom movie sequels, “Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers” in 2004.   

Cameron, who has used his post-C-list celebrity decline to promote creationism, has a new movie coming out and he’s been having a bit of trouble promoting it on social media.  It began when Facebook blocked promos for his movie and called them “abusive”, “unsafe” and “spammy”.

It’s good to hear that Facebook is using algorithms that can sniff out abusive, unsafe, spammy shit like religion.  Software that can process content, and then quantify its level of malignant wrongness – love it.  Or maybe they just noticed Kirk Cameron’s name on it.     

Facebook later apologized when almost dozens of Cameron’s fans made a fuss but just as Facebook unblocked him, YouTube gave him the boot calling promos for his film, “spam”, “scam” and “deceptive”.  This block was later lifted as well, though promos for his film are still “spam”, “scam” and “deceptive”.

Spoiler alert: God did it.  He was the rapist in the end.

Which end?

I was impressed by Cameron’s unflinching optimism when he boldly used the plural form of theater in describing the film’s upcoming release.

Further proof that you were never really a celebrity if people could say of your solitary known vehicle, “The star of that show was really Alan Thicke”

Kirk Cameron’s movie blocked on Facebook: &

And in this week’s papal back-walking report, the Vatican is offering time off from purgatory for his Twitter followers, unless you ask Catholic pundits, in which case they definitely aren’t, because that would be stupid.

And if you retweet a papal bull in the next 10 minutes, the Pope will personally murder you, and send you directly to the good part of heaven with the comfy chairs for all the rape victims.  

The latest in an illustrious Catholic tradition of trading imaginary favors for real ones, this story reminds us all that Catholics still kind of endorse the antiquated notion that you can earn perdition vouchers for climbing certain stairs and attending certain parties in Rio.

Also, if you duck for 3 seconds while standing on a white platform, you can fall into a 3rd dimension, and get a whistle that takes you to a warp zone that bypasses purgatory altogether.

The story begins when the Apostolic Penitentiary issued a document offering a plenary indulgence for those who attend the upcoming World Youth Day in Brazil.  And because the Apostolic Penitentiary is known for being cutting edge and hip, they extended the indulgence to those who follow the event on Twitter.

For those who don’t want to be kidnapped by a dance-fighting cocaine cartel, they decided to allow the Twitter exception to participate without actually entering Brazil. . . I’m okay with that.  But why not just go all the way, and put up some indulgence buy-it-nows on eBay?  

That sentence may very well have contained earth’s first capoeira joke.  Well done.

Recognizing that everyone loves a good “Damn is Catholic theology stupid” story, headlines like “Follow Pope online and reach heaven sooner” started popping up all over the place.  Because, you know, that’s exactly what they said.  But the accuracy of these mocking headlines didn’t stop Catholics from getting pissed off about them.

When your group is regularly offended by things that are true, it’s your group’s fault, not truth’s.  

Try explaining that to Reverend James Martin who wrote a lengthy blog for CNN where he explained that you can’t get time off from purgatory for following Tweets, as that would be silly.  It doesn’t count unless you follow those Tweets contritely.

Pope offers indulgences for following him on Twitter:

And finally tonight, in lubricated jew dick news, we bring you the story of Trigg laboratories where a congregation of rabbis from the Rabbinical Council of California have recently declared their “Wet” brand of personal lubricants to be Kosher, making it the first sex lube that is approved for orthodox jews.

Unless you count the fact that “Moses parting the Red Sea” was code for using menstrual blood as a lubricant.  

Check out the mid-rash on that one . . . is what they would say about an unkosher vagina.  

It’s important to note the implications of this move.  Kosher laws are dietary laws.  There is no requirement that suppositories, cosmetics or vaginal cleansers be approved by rabbis unless somebody plans on eating them.  So this sex lube hasn’t been cleared for use as a sex lube, it’s been cleared for use as a condiment.

Yeah I could see marinating a chicken in that . . . and then shoving it up a Jewish girl’s ass, if she was into that sort of thing.  I mean I wouldn’t suggest it, but if she asked, I’d step up.  

And this is great for the Jews . . . They can finally go ass to mouth without worrying about the dietary repercussions.

You never go ass to mouth!

Ass to mouth notwithstanding, this does open up a wide range of new orifice/object permutations for Jews.  

Yeah, just what are the rules about sucking orthodox cocks?

In other words, is it okay for women to kneel before the wailing balls?

Can Hassi chicks suck Hassi dicks?

This new lube opens the door to some easier Schindler’s fisting.  

Maybe now they can finally put a glory hole in the wailing wall.

Gives new meaning to “Torah new one”

I guess it’s just the latest in the ongoing rabbinical debate on whether or not it’s okay to suck a dick that isn’t eight days old and recently mutilated.

To be fair, when CAN YOU suck an eight day old dick, if not right after you mutilate it?

Also to be fair, whose recently mutilated dick CAN YOU suck, if not that an eight day old boy?

Kosher lube opens orthodox jews to oral sex?

That does it for headlines tonight, Heath, thanks as always for joining me.

You’re not gonna trim the end of those circumcision jokes off in post are you?

And unlike Jesus, we’ll be back soon.


It’s time for the atheist calendar portion of the show.  This is the time we set aside once a month to talk up some of the great atheist, secular and skeptical events going on around the country and around the world.

We’ll start in Toledo, Ohio on the weekend of August 18th where the Great Lakes Atheist Convention is welcoming JT Eberhard, Zack Kopplin, Jerry DeWitt and many more, including the Mayor of Toledo, which I find encouraging.  And let’s face it, if a speaker lineup can get me thinking “I wish I was in Toledo”, it’s gotta be pretty damn impressive.

Moving 7 days ahead and 7 thousand kilometers away, we’ve got the 15th European Skeptics’ Congress in Stockholm, Sweden on the weekend of the 23rd.  Even though parts of the website are in Swedish, the conference itself will be in English

The speakers list includes DJ Grothe, Max Maven and a bunch of Europeans I’ve never heard of that have really interesting topic lines for their talks.

We talked up the Atheist Alliance of America’s upcoming National Convention in Boston last week, but it seems like every time I look at their website they’ve added more awesome speakers.  Aron-Ra, Ed Buckner, Seth Andrews, Steven Pinker, Greg Epstein, Sean Faircloth and the list keeps going.

That one’s taking place in Boston over Labor Day weekend.

Lastly, of course, over that same weekend in Atlanta you’ve got DragonCon, which isn’t an atheist or humanist convention, but it’s awesome and it has a hell of a skeptical track so definitely worth checking out if you’re going to be anywhere near Atlanta.  Michael Shermer, David Silverman, Rebecca Watson, Mythbusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage.

If you want to know more you’ll find links to the homepages for all these events on the shownotes for this episode.  And, of course, if you’re involved with or aware of an atheist or secular event that needs a plug, you’ll find all the contact info at Scathing Atheist (dot) com.

Top Ten:

Ah, Ramadan, the only holiday that could also be considered a war-crime.  It’s that desultory time of year when Muslims gather together in misery so that they can be reminded that sometimes being a Muslim really sucks.  Considered to be one of the five pillars of Islam, Muslims work hard to ensure that Ramadan will never be commercialized like Christmas by making it as miserable as possible.

But knowing that our listenership might not be as familiar with the Muslim customs as they are with the Christian ones, we decided to dedicate a few minutes to answering the top ten most often-asked questions about Ramadan.

  • Number ten: How do you celebrate Ramadan?

You don’t.  This isn’t the kind of holiday you celebrate exactly.  In fact, it’s kind of the opposite of celebrating.  During Ramadan, all post-pubescent Muslims are required to observe a month long daylight fast.  From sunrise to sunset, they aren’t allowed to eat, drink or smoke and are also expected to refrain from sex and  foul language throughout.  This is in addition, of course, to the lifelong Islamic prohibitions against alcohol, pork and critical thinking.

  • Number nine: Does everyone have to fast during Ramadan?

Not everyone.  Pregnant women, people who are ill, women who are breast feeding and people who are travelling are allowed to forego the fast as long as they make up the days later in divine detention.  

…writing “I will not comprehend” on the chalkboard.

And while Muslims are quick to point out that little kids aren’t required to fast, because in most of the world that would be considered child-abuse, they are certainly encouraged to as practice for later in life.

  • Number eight: Why?

Because the month of Ramadan is believed to be the month that Allah first revealed himself to Mohammed so Muslims mark the occasion by hating life.

  • Number seven: When is Ramadan?

Easier asked than answered.  Because Muslims use a lunar calendar, Ramadan moves around in the year.  Each year it begins 11 days earlier than the year before, so sometimes they fast in the short days of the winter when you need food the most, and sometimes it falls in the summer when not drinking water is borderline suicidal in most of the Muslim world.  

  • Number six: What does the word “Ramadan” mean?

Yeah, even the word itself foretells of the general shittiness of this custom.  It comes from the Arabic word ‘Ramida’ or ‘ar-radam’, and while there is no direct English translation, the gist of the word is “Heat and scorching dryness”.

  • Number five: Why the hell would anyone do this?

Because religion makes people do dumb shit.  Muslims justify it by pointing out that it helps them focus on the spirit rather than worldly things, as though ignoring reality in favor of imagination was a virtue.  They also claim that it helps them master self-control without recognizing the irony that by doing it they’ve explicitly surrendered control of themselves to a fictitious autocrat.

But most of all, they say it helps them empathize with the less fortunate

  • Number four: Well what about the sex part?  Are they also trying to empathize with ugly fuckers?

Yeah, they never really address the fact that even people who are starving and thirsty are still allowed to jerk off.

  • Number three: Is fasting like that unhealthy?

No… how could foregoing all the life giving sustenance for absurd amounts of time possibly harm you?  And what’s more, how could believing that failing in this Herculean task would offend god himself damage a 14 year old psychologically?

Of fucking course it’s unhealthy.

  • Which leads us to the Number two most often asked question about Ramadan: Seriously?

You bet your ass seriously.  And we’re talking about Mulsim seriously.  They’ve got levels of seriously we can scarcely comprehend.  In fact, it’s even encoded in the laws of many Muslim countries.

The ones that have laws, that is.

Right, like Kuwait, where publicly eating, drinking or smoking during the day carries a heavy fine during Ramadan.  Or the UAE, where it’s punishable by hundreds of hours of community service and in Algeria daylight mastication during Ramadan can land you in jail for years.

  • And finally, the number one question asked about Ramadan…

How the hell do they get away with calling this a holiday?

It’s only a holiday in the technical sense of being an annual observance.  In all other ways, it’s a punishment for being religious.  The only real “holiday” part comes at the end of the month with a celebration called Eid al-Fitr, which means “festivity of breaking the fast”.  It’s a day when Muslims reflect on the fact that if you hit your testicles with a hammer over and over again for long enough, the act of not hitting yourself in the testicles with a hammer seems like a reward.

Bible Story:

Gather ‘round boys and girls.  Today we’re going to open our Bibles to Exodus and read about Moses’ wife, Zipporah.

Now Zipporah was a very important person in the bible.  She was so important that we know her name, even though she was a woman.

She grew up in a desert with her six sisters and spent all day doing whatever her father told her to do or getting beaten because that’s what women do in the bible.  One day her and her sisters took their sheep to a well so that they could drink, but a bunch of mean men told them to go away so that they could water their sheep first.

Zipporah was sad and angry, but there was nothing she could do because she didn’t have a penis.  But luckily, there was somebody around who did: Moses.

Moses was sitting by the well wondering if the corpse of the man he’d recently murdered was starting to stink yet when the bad shepherds shooed Zipporah and her sisters away.  Moses decided to step in and help Zipporah water her sheep.

“How can I ever repay you?” she asked.

“A hand job?” Moses suggested.

So she invited him back to her tent so she could tug on his cock for a while, but when they got there her dad was home so she married him instead.


Moses loved Zipporah so much that he didn’t marry any other women even though he could have because that was okay back then.  He took a job tending her father’s flocks, but one day he came home and told her that God had spoken to him and ordered him to free all the Jews in Egypt.

His eyes were red and he wreaked of burning bush, but Zipporah was a woman so she had no choice but to do what her husband said.  So she grabbed their newborn son and left for decades of aimless wandering and random smitings.

But one night, on the way to Egypt, god decided to come to earth in human form and wrestle Moses to death at an inn.  God was winning because he was god, so Zipporah decided she would have to help her husband out.  But she couldn’t out-wrestle god, so what could she do?

Luckily, there was a baby weiner nearby, so she chopped a little piece of it off and touched it to Moses’ foot so that he could wrestle better.  Then Moses suplexed god and everyone lived happily ever after.  The end.


Before we call it quits for the night, I have a very important apology to make to one of the most adept, admirable, altruistic, adroit, awesome, amazing, accommodating, astonishing, astounding, awe-inspiring anthropoids in the animal kingdom, April.  April, I am so sorry that I neglected to thank you last week for your generous donation.  Because of the extreme level of your magnificence, I had originally thanked you separately from the rest of last week’s best people, and then in a hasty, late night edit I cut it out without realizing it.

And to those of you who aren’t April, I should note that April told me she and her husband were competing to see who could get more mentions on the podcast through their extraordinary generosity and because of my mistake, April spent a week unjustly occupying the lower portion of the leaderboard in that noble competition.  So to make up for that, I’d like to point out to April’s husband that I’ve now mentioned her 6 times in the last 33 seconds.

And in keeping with the “A” themed opening to this outro, I’d also like to thank two more prime examples of human DNA in action whose names also begin with A.  Andrew, whose transcontinental philanthropy serves as a shining example of godless morality and another person who would rather remain anonymous but is also a biological exemplification of wit, wisdom and selfless magnanimity.

And while we’re on the topic of apologies to people whose names start with A, I’d also like to apologize to Ann who sent us a very eloquent and well-reasoned email a few weeks ago that deserves an on-air answer.  And unfortunately I don’t have time to give it the response it deserves so for the time being I’ll simply say sorry about not making more pimp jokes.  We’ll work on that.

That’s all the blasphemy we have for you tonight, but if you want more, there’s more.  Tom and Cecil over at Cognitive Dissonance invited me on to chat with them and while it’s not available yet because it hasn’t actually even happened yet, I have reason to believe that you’ll find our conversation on episode 109 of their program, which I have reason to believe will be out on Monday.

And if you can’t make it until Monday, you can find occasional nuggets of Scatheism on our erratically published blog, our Twitter feed @Noah (underscore) Lugeons or our Facebook page at (slash) Scathing Atheist.  And people who leave us 5 star reviews on iTunes are better than people that don’t.  I also have it on good authority that the Flying Spaghetti Monster will give them mansions closer to the beer volcanos in the afterlife so Pascal’s Wager guys, might as well leave us a 5 star review.

If you have questions, comments 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.

Fred Phelps vs the KKK

May 31, 2011 1 comment

by Noah Lugeons

Raise your hand if you liked “Freddy vs. Jason” (and yes, the people dumb enough to have liked that movie just raised their hands).

Once in a while we like to see our villains mixed together. All of us (of a certain level of geekery) have wondered which supervillain would beat which other supervillain in a fight and the media corporations have been happy to sell us those musings from time to time.

Well, something kind of like that played out in real life yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery. According to a report today by CNN, members of the Westboro Baptist Church were counter-protested by the KKK before Obama’s Memorial Day address. The anti-gay firebrands of Fred Phelps’ church had apparently given bigotry a bad name and the KKK sent a few guys round to let them know.

This likely marks the first time that the KKK has ever been on the correct side of anything so I’m not sure I’m ready to get behind their counter protest. For all I know they’re just protesting the fact that the WBC doesn’t protest at more black and Jewish funerals. But the groups were separated and cops were everywhere keeping the peace so there was likely no direct interaction between any of them. And no… the KKK guys weren’t wearing their sheets, despite the fact that laws of fashion allow the wearing of white as of that day.

But it did bring to mind a pretty cool death match. All the members of the WBC taking on the KKK in a hand to hand battle royal in some kind of coliseum with electrified barbed wire and random patches of spikes. The WBC could fight with razor sharp “God Hates Fags” signs and the KKK would (obviously) use flaming crosses. We could broadcast the whole thing live; we could have sponsors and cheerleaders.

Obviously, the KKK would win out pretty quickly. They have a lot more members and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that more KKK members are veterans.

Alas, instead we get an awkward sound clip from CNN of an admitted Ku Klux Klan member saying “those guys are just being dicks” (That’s a paraphrase, by the way).

I don’t want to spend too much time pinning Fred Phelps to Christianity as a whole, but if I was a member of your club, I wouldn’t be satisfied until there were thousands of dedicated Christians that showed up to shout down Phelps message everywhere he went. It shouldn’t be hard to find a few thousand Christians in any area that vehemently oppose his message, should it?

Until you speak loudly against him, this diabolical asshole is speaking for your whole faith. It leads us atheists to believe that far too many of you are against his tactics rather than his message.

Fred Phelps to Protest Memorial Service in Joplin, MO

May 26, 2011 14 comments

by Noah Lugeons

There is no level of vile, inhumane, despicable, heinous, venomous heartlessness that would be considered unreasonable for the Westboro Baptist Church. There is no limit to their thoughtless bigotry. There is no act so unconscionable that we would put it passed Fred Phelps and his loyal band of homophobes.

No sooner had the dust settled over the devastation in Joplin, Missouri than the WBC was loudly proclaiming it to be the latest act of their spiteful and small-minded deity. Their website proudly proclaims this vast smiting to be yet another example of their fag-hating-god and his insatiable blood lust.

Filled with phrases like “We pray for your destruction…”, “God will not acquit you evil beasts of MO (who have sex with animals among your filthy sins)…” and, perhaps most telling of the dark and tortured part of the psyche their religiosity comes from, “Too many dead bodies to bury! That’s God’s Glory!”, their letter of praise to their vicious and petty lord reads like a love letter to death.

And they make it clear that this occasion requires the use of their most familiar weapon; bigoted picket signs.

It amazes me that our nation’s admirable defense of open-mindedness is such a ready tool for the small-minded. Our principled refusal to shut these people up exonerates our nation from the charges that Phelps levels against it (though I’m not sure it exonerates Obama from the charge of being the Anti-Christ). We, as a nation, are considerate even of the inconsiderate.

That is admirable if problematic. Putting up with the ranting, inbred fucktardery of people like Fred Phelps is a small price to pay for free speech and open dialogue. I just hope that there are plenty of us who are willing to stoop to Phelps level when he dies.

I’ve heard a lot of talk about protesting at Phelps funeral… or at least using it as an excuse to have a party as close to his funeral as legally allowable. I might be in for that, but ultimately it would be pointless. He’ll be dead and decomposing and won’t have the remotest inkling that anything ever happened. If you really wanted to turn the tables on him, it would have to be the funeral of his wife or a beloved son. Only then could he glean the slightest understanding of the suffering he’s caused to so many grieving parents.

But even then, his moral absolutism would shield him. When people speak for god, they are invincible. All who speak of god are in some way responsible for the misanthropy of douche-nozzles like Phelps. By empowering an invisible, fictional character with absolute ethical authority you leave a void where any lunatic who chooses to can stand in and speak for him. After all, it’s not like god can speak for himself. Does it matter if two people who claim to speak for the same imaginary space-daddy say different things? How can one message be more valid than the other?

Crucifying Straw Men

by Noah Lugeons

The collective voice of the non believers cried out in a chorus of criticism this week as a small contingent of Christian kooks camped out to await the rapture. Twitter was alive with jokes like “No rapture? Don’t sweat it. It’s not the end of the world”, “If the rapture doesn’t happen Saturday Christianity’s cancelled right?” and “So can I have the Vatican when you’re gone?”  We laughed at their gullibility. We laughed at their mindless adherence to a numerological interpretation of a poorly written compendium of ancient mythology. But between the jokes and insults, we also roundly criticized them for perpetuating such a moronic belief.

Of course, Saturday came and went with the same number of raptures as the Saturday before that and now as Harold Camping’s disillusioned followers slowly start to reassemble their lives. Largely we’ve stopped picking on them and moved back to picking on Christians and faithful folks in a more general sense.

But there’s also been a backlash against our criticism. Many within the religious community are now faulting the atheists for “attacking the extremes”. This is a pretty common critique; that non believers find the most outlandish and ridiculous examples of Christianity and then hold them up as examples as though they represented the average Christian. When Bill Maher’s film Religulous debuted, the majority of critics accused him of only showing the lunatic fringe of faith without mentioning that it was not an accurate representation of Christians in general.

But is that a fair criticism? Do we really only attack straw men? And if we do, is that really a bad thing?

This weekend provides the perfect example. Sure, an overwhelming majority of Christians were not expecting the rapture to occur yesterday. They correctly predicted that Harold Camping and his ministry were full of shit. So is it fair to paint all Christians with the same brush strokes you use to cover these religiou-tards?

Well, I would argue that it is. The rational people rejected Harold Camping because he was an idiot numerologist that thinks the bible is the word of god. The religious people rejected Harold Camping because they thought he had the math wrong.

Christians expend a lot of effort trying to distance themselves from the more extreme end of their spectrum. When Fred Phelps protests at military funerals, the Jesus-ites are quick to remind us that he is doesn’t speak for them. He is a small and insignificant extremist with a warped view of Christianity and they cannot be judged by his nonsense any more than atheists can be judged by the random mental ejaculations of Joe Rogan.

On its surface, that seems like a fair argument. After all, you can’t say Catholics are murderers just because Hitler was a Catholic. You can’t say that scientists are all full of shit just because Andrew Wakefield was a scientist. If you don’t bother to examine it very deeply, the charge that we attack straw men seems fair.

But it isn’t. Fred Phelps didn’t decide that God Hated Fags. It’s written right there in the Christian instruction book. Harold Camping didn’t decide that the world was going to end like the intro to a Michael Bay movie, it’s a major tenet of their faith. These people are simply taking the accepted beliefs of the larger group and carrying them to their logical conclusion.

When Christians faulted Camping by quoting Matthew 24:36 they acted as though this was somehow less stupid than Camping’s original claims. But polls show that the majority of Christians do believe in the same fanciful crap that he was selling. How can you fault one man for assigning it a date without also faulting the moronic set of beliefs that got him there?

Socially conscious Christians do their best to sweep the fundamentalists under the rug. They like to pretend that these are just the insane ramblings of someone who “doesn’t get” Christianity. But all the fundamentalists do is take the crap that mainstream preachers pretend to believe seriously. Some pastors and parishioners might tell these stories with a nod and a wink, but how can they fault someone for taking them seriously when they say that to do otherwise is a ticket to eternal damnation?

Fundamentalism is a predictable and even necessary offshoot of religion. Anyone who endorses the bible as the “word of god” is guilty of fostering them. Anyone who has ever given a dime to a church is guilty of harboring them. Anyone who ever told their children that there was a lake of fire where the bad people spend eternity is responsible for creating them.

Christianity cannot divorce itself from the extremists until they admit publicly that the bible is just a collection of prehistoric essays. Until they admit that Jesus has no more substance than Santa Claus, they are just as guilty as the people holding the protest signs or giving away their worldly belongings in time to get raptured.

You can’t blame an idiot for being an idiot. The only recourse is to stop feeding the stupid.