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It’s Not Funny Anymore

By Rational Okie --

As an over 40 atheist, I’ve been around long enough to witness the extreme changes that have occurred in the churches over the last 30 years. Churches now seem to compete to see who can be more extreme. From my perspective, living in the South, the evangelic fundamentalists are the most sanctimonious bunch of hypocrites that I’ve ever seen. They are often unabashedly crowing about their perceived superiority and ‘chosen’ status. Whereas in the past they used to be somewhat sheepish and only spoke about things like ‘tongue talking’ and ‘gifts of the spirit’ amongst themselves.

For years I viewed these people as humorous but harmless. They did not have any impact on my life. Then something started to happen. Christians started to engage the scientific community. They wanted to discuss evolution and other scientific topics. Christians started to engage the legal community and started sending their children to conservative law schools. They got their own TV Channel, their own book stores and more recently their own ‘news’ channel.

What about when they want to pass a law that criminalizes speech that is critical of the Christian religion? Me, I thought no one takes them seriously. Have you heard some of the crazy crap that comes out of their mouths? The thought had crossed my mind several times to write down all of the crazy things I’ve heard them say, but I’m usually laughing so hard that I eventually lose consciousness. Recently, however, I was discussing evolution with a fundamentalist that went by the moniker ‘SilkyMcNasty’ on a political blog site. After I had stated that the schools need to emphasize more science he replied, “Religion is a science. His design is obvious in his creation. I for one don’t think they contradict each other.” To which I replied, “So, ‘scientifically’ speaking then, how exactly does a person rise from the dead?”

I keep telling these religious wing nuts to stay out of politics & science because the cards are stacked against them on both accounts. The founding fathers were clear about the separation of church and state. If the church wants to now interject itself into the state then they must be willing to overturn the U.S. Constitution AND start paying taxes on all of their obscenely monstrous church properties. If the church wants to interject itself into science, then they will finally understand how precarious their precious ‘miracle’ claims really are. Science doesn’t allow outrageous statements to go unchallenged. Science doesn’t suffer superstition or care about your personal feelings or emotional experiences. Science is a cold dark place concerned only with facts, figures, repeatable experiments, and peer reviews. Better yet, science is always prepared to state that a theory is possibly …gasp…wrong. I don’t think the religiously inclined are prepared to seriously go down this path. From what I’ve seen these so called ‘scientifically’ minded Christians just want to pick and choose from the scientific smorgasbord. If it supports their religious belief then it’s good. If it would harm their viewpoint then it’s ‘junk science’. As Lemuel K. Washburn so eloquently stated, “Most men would kill the truth if truth would kill their religion.”

What’s interesting to me is that like political parties most of these fundamentalists don’t get along with each other to begin with. The only thing uniting them is their love of Fox News and their belief that liberals are ‘destroying’ THEIR country. So, they lock arms in an attempt to convince the rest of us that they are the ‘moral majority’ and THEY should be in charge of everything from education to off shore drilling.

In Oklahoma and Texas they are in charge of both houses of government. They are passing religiously influenced laws on women’s reproductive rights, abortion, the removal of the liberal Thomas Jefferson from text books, the addition of monuments honoring the role of the Judeo Christian faith in the creation of the United States, encouraging prayer in schools, and legislation that reiterates that marriage is defined BY GOD as between one man and one women.

I’ve heard from non-theists for years that ‘it doesn’t really matter if the religious nuts are in charge, it doesn’t affect me.’ Really, it doesn’t affect you? What about when they want to pass a law that criminalizes speech that is critical of the Christian religion? Are you fine with that? When your daughter is raped, in Oklahoma, she is forced by law to view the fetus on an ultra sound before she can have an abortion.

If you think it can’t happen in your state your wrong. It’s probably already started where you live and you aren’t aware of it. They place people on school boards where your kids go to school with the hope of gaining a majority and influencing everything from textbook choices to what will be emphasized in the classroom. Soon, if you want your child to learn about evolution you will probably have to home school.

This is the price we pay for staying quiet and assuming that it doesn’t matter that the nuts are in charge of the asylum. The ‘Evangelic Movement’ that began in the late 80’s has come home to roost. These nuts have built universities that crank out fundamentalist lawyers who think it’s their God given duty to change the ‘liberal’ interpretations of the United States Constitution. They now have judges that are in line to be hand picked by the next fundamentalist President that comes into office. All of these things make me seriously wonder if we’re not headed for another period of darkness, where scientific discoveries must once again be passed through the prism of dogma and superstition.

In the Marines I served my country in war time. I risked my life to ensure that people like Sarah Palin have the freedom to stand up and tell the world that I am ‘un-American’, that I am ‘un-Patriotic’ and that I am immoral because I’m an Atheist. Regardless of what she thinks I have as much right to the flag as anyone, as much right to free speech as anyone, as much right to pursue happiness as anyone and no wing nut fundamentalist is MORE American than I am.

So I encourage all of you to stand up and fight these bastards at every opportunity. When they make an outrageous claim, challenge them on it. Since none of them actually read the bible tell them what’s in it. The more people that stay silent the more they think they are unopposed and can do whatever they want with public policies. Let them know that just because they want to live in ignorance doesn’t mean that the rest of us want to wallow in ignorance with them. It’s just not funny any more.