Archive - Jul 2011

July 20th

Now You, I Hate

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Memo to Todd Akin, Todd Akin, and Rick Santorum: YOU ARE CONFUSED.

Do liberals hate God and faith? It's a common charge, but it's demonstrably untrue. Because clearly, I'm one of the most atheistic leftists out there, frequently antagonistic towards religion, and even I don't hate God or faith. I don't hate God because there's no God to hate. And faith only bothers me as much as any other hobby someone might have - do whatever you want in your spare time, but don't corner me at a party and give me all the details. But this charge has been rife lately, so it's time to address it in today's IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

"Well, I think NBC has a long record of being very liberal and at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God. And so they’ve had a long history of not being at all favorable toward many of things that have been such a blessing to our country." - Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, explaining why NBC cut the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance during either a golf or a tennis tournament.

I have to say, I don't know why NBC would go to the trouble of excising "under God" from the Pledge. I don't know why they're even saying the Pledge during the U.S. Open Championships (golf and tennis both have one, and I'm not going to root through news stories in the hopes of finding out which it was). Nor do I know why the Pledge was part of what NBC would be showing at all. Nor do I know why they stuck "under God" into the Pledge in the 50s, for that matter. Which makes my vast ignorance on this subject still seem tiny compared to Akin's, which is, as far as I can tell, either a moon or a space station.

I mean, first he connects NBC to liberalism. But this is NBC Sports. Sports in general are conservative. Golf and tennis are, in fact, the two big country club sports - some of the last bastions of segregation. And how, exactly, does government "replace God"? God doesn't deliver the mail. God doesn't fix bridges. God used to smite unbelievers, but he's been so derelict in that duty we've had to outsource it to Blackwater.

"No, I don’t think there’s anything to apologize for. I think I can clarify that I was talking about public references, too. I think that clarifies it a little bit. But there’s just such a historic pattern there, that I think that it probably could’ve been clarified but no, I’m not going to apologize for what I see liberalism doing in trying to take God out." - Todd Akin again, after his previous statement was inexplicably met with criticism.

Let's just get this out of the way right now that if you substitute "public references to God" for "God" in Akin's first statement, you can get about halfway through it before it stops making any kind of sense whatsoever. So if that's what he meant by "clarifying", I'm not really happy with him clarifying himself from a raging theocrat to a doddering old imbecile. Either way, he probably thinks we'll be able to see Heaven more clearly if we just let that debt ceiling go away.

And the reason liberals, by which I mean the ACLU and atheist wings of the left, are so hostile toward public references to God is that when people in the government like you say God, you mean Jesus, and when you mean Jesus, you mean running this country like a backwoods Alabama parish. And some of us, frankly, like dancing and premarital sex and rap music and saying "fuck" and eating tabouleh.

"The reason the left has gone after same-sex marriage is because it’s a two-fer. When you redefine marriage, you cheapen marriage. You make it into something less valuable, less special... it is a sure bet that will undermine faith." - Rick Santorum, frothing it up on the campaign trail.

He's so close to the truth that he's really far away from the truth. He's in the Uncanny Valley of rhetoric. Because yes, same-sex marriage will in fact undermine certain belief systems common to conservative Christianity. This is not gay marriage's fault, though. Nor is it a sinister plot, nor is it a matter of intent. It just happens. Looking up happens to undermine certain belief systems common to people who think the sky is plaid. Happy married gay couples undermine the idea that homosexuality is an unnatural abomination that will destroy us all. Same shit, every day.

But that's not undermining faith. Faith is about believing in things that can't be proven. Faith is fine. Not a great basis for public policy, but fine in a general sense. Believing in things that are demonstrably, provably untrue is not faith. It's denial. And if you want to accuse me, or any other liberal, of undermining denial, then go right ahead, because we SHOULD be undermining denial at every turn. Because denial cheapens reality. It makes it into something less valuable, and less special. And reality matters a hell of a lot more than a couple of passages out of a 2,000 year old book.