Thursday, December 23, 2010

Season's Beatings!

You've probably already read this Ricky Gervais piece by now, but if not, you should.

Something to consider in the wake of the Don't Ask Don't Tell law finally being repealed, as people congratulate one another over the US finally joining every other industrialized nation in something, if not health care and education -- an openly gay politician has a much better chance of getting elected than an openly atheist politician (if there are any). Like Gervais, like most atheists, I choose not to pester people, religious or not, about my personal belief system. But I think most atheists could put their senses of morality and justice up against those of any devout person, and come up as good or better in comparison.

Generally we're just quiet about it, because we all have shit to do, and life is too short, and it's tough to talk people out of that particular tree; evidence obviously won't sway them on the subject, so rational discussion is usually not an option. But one could point out that there is only one openly atheist federal legislator (Pete Stark), and that's pretty much it at the federal level. Every time there's a Supreme Court vacancy to fill, the endless "diversity" trolls start counting gender and race as finely as they can, but when you get right down to it, it's six Catholics and three Jews.

It's easy to point the finger at American Christians -- sweet merciful Jebus, is it easy -- since most of them seriously seem to think that their religion was created in toto sometime between the landing of the Mayflower and the founding of the Republic. The idea that it could actually be a hodgepodge of cultures, histories, and traditions that co- or even pre-existed their usual touchstones does not seem to have even occurred to them. This does not, however, let the Euros off the hook, with their carefully sculpted hypocrisies -- state religions, symbols festooning public buildings, yet very little actual keeping of the practices. But very nice seasonal festivals, especially in the Germanic countries. So it goes.

Contrary to popular belief, atheists do have hope -- hope in the rational and empirical, hope that humans stop fine-tuning their traditional belief books to amplify their personal preferences, hope that they can eventually get over themselves and just leave other people the hell alone, instead of telling them what to believe or not believe.

Peace on Earth. Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen. Ahem.

Thanks for the Ricky link. Can always use more of those.