Archive for Religion

Why Christmas Bugs Me

David Neiwart popped up a post on Orcinus today about the whole mess in Washington State (as an aside, I grew up in Washington, and don’t believe in calling it ‘Washington State’ to differentiate from Washington DC, you should just call Washington DC Washington DC, you know?). I’ve been chewing on this now for a few days, and thanks in part to Christopher Hitchens, I’ve found out why things are bothering me.

Ideally, like Christopher, I’d love to live in a world where us atheists mind our own business and the folks of all of the other religions mind their own business, but the world isn’t like that. The very nature of religion and the very nature of the world makes this impossible, which then makes every display of religion a tacit attack on not only atheism, but every other religion out there.
… continue reading this entry.


Churches Find Glee in Misfortune

Times are hard, but apparently there’s one industry that seems to grow during those hard times. Religion… and religious leaders are crowing the virtues of unemployment and fear of unemployment driving up their numbers.

“It’s a wonderful time, a great evangelistic opportunity for us,” said the Rev. A. R. Bernard, founder and senior pastor of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York’s largest evangelical congregation, where regulars are arriving earlier to get a seat. “When people are shaken to the core, it can open doors.”

This puts the churches right in the same category as another company that is profiting off of the misery of others. Wal-mart:

“In my mind, there is no doubt that this is Wal-Mart time,” H. Lee Scott Jr., the company’s president and chief executive, said recently at a meeting of analysts and investors in Wal-Mart’s hometown, Bentonville, Ark. Referring to the discount chain’s founder, he added, “This is the kind of environment that Sam Walton built this company for.”

Perhaps it’s time to merge the two together. Create another type of Wal-Mart megastore with a built-in church. That way, you can get all of your Sunday chores done in one swoop. First, you can go to the Wal-Mart church, then as soon as you’re done praying for your job or praying to keep your job, you can go and contribute to the nation’s lack of jobs by buying cheap stuff made by slave labor in third world countries.

Holiday Hilarity Ensues!

I gave the Freedom from Religion Foundation a nice, fat donation the other day. Part of my “Holiday Giving” or whatever you want to call it. It’ll be my yearly thing. This is, in part, because of their “attack on religion” with their anti-religion sign at the Washington State Capitol. Because… it’s working. It’s working absolute miracles, and what a wonderful time of year for that!

The cat is out of the bag and everyone and their brother are realizing just what free speech really means. The Washington State Capitol is being turned into the RL equivalent of a forum flame war. “God Exists!” “No U!”

Imagine all of it… the first nativity scene, a sign attacking Christianity, a few other signs denouncing Atheism and blessing other people, a ‘Festivus’ pole (from a religion created during a Seinfeld episode), a BALLOON nativity scene, a Christmas Tree (Yule Tree, really), and they’re even talking about a Flying Spaghetti Monster display and a sign from a hate group.

In short, the Washington State Capitol building is starting to look like that tacky house down the street that everyone avoids. I propose one more sign. It should be in neon and the letters should flash and glow. It should say: THIS IS WHAT FREEDOM LOOKS LIKE.

PZ hit it right on the head, though:

I know, I know! How about keeping the government entirely secular, throwing all the Christmas kitsch out of the capitol, and admitting that government has no business promoting any religious beliefs at all? That would be my solution. I think it’s clear by now that in a country with a crazy plurality of religious ideas, each one demanding equal recognition, the only fair decision is no recognition at all.

This is, rightfully, the best decision to make. Anyone want to make any bets as to just how long it’ll take that to happen?