viernes, noviembre 11, 2005

Discrimination against Christians, yeah right!

Why do I watch that insult to human intelligence that is Fox News? Why do I submit myself to the bigotry, ignorance and plain idiocy of liars like Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly? Why do I withstand hours and hours of sycophantic ranting by brain-dead pseudo-journalists with and overt interest in maintaining their audience in a mental state comparable to that of a three-year-old?

Oh yeah, because I’m a sick, sick bastard with nothing more productive to do. Hey, it’s either this or studying quantum field theory while listening to Metallica’s crappy “St. Anger”, so bear with me, ok.

So, I’m watching that skull-numbing attack on the senses called The O’Reilly Factor when Bill O’Reilly starts his talking points: on how the wicked secularists, led by that bastion of godless evil that is the American Civil Liberties Union, are trying to turn the U.S. into an atheist nation by turning illegal any public display of religion. He then decried the horror of how the liberal left (apparently liberal amounts to an insult in the U.S. nowadays), empowered by the fame of many celebrities and fortunes of George Soros and others are out to undermine good ol’ traditional American values.

The ranting did not stop there: even the courts are a part of the Dark Atheist Conspiracy against pious god-fearing Americans. Through their judicial activism, justices have sponsored the turning of America, from a nation of God (why else would presidents say “God bless America”?) to a secularist hellhole comparable only to (gasp) Europe.

I, as a thinking human being (and a proud secular humanist), have a few questions for Bill:
Have you ever read the First Amendment of your Constitution? How about the Establishment Clause? Belief in god is precisely that, a PERSONAL belief and a religious one at that; state advocacy for it is expressly forbidden by both laws. And don’t even begin to give me that crap of how the founding fathers where all firm believers in God. So what? They were white, male slave owners that said that all men were created equal (can you say hypocrisy). Besides, anyone remotely educated (unlike most of your viewers) knows that the founding fathers weren’t fundamentalists: they were deists in the sense of Thomas Paine and the dreaded freemasons.
You claim that Christians are ‘under siege’ and two seconds later say that 80% of the U.S. is Christian (it’s a lie, as any census information will prove, but I’ll give you some rope to hang yourself with), the idea being that, since most Americans are Christians and America is a democracy, then America should be Christian. That’s some very fine reasoning… for fundamentalist totalitarian nations like Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Vatican and Disneyland. One of the tenets of modern democracy is that the majority is not always right: that’s the point of laws to PROTECT minorities. So, what are we to draw from your rant, O’Reilly? That it’s ok to oppress minorities as long as the imaginary man in the sky is on your side (“Gott mit uns”)?
Do you know ANYTHING about secular humanism? Have you read Socrates, Democritus, Aristotle, Epicurus, Epictetus, Spinoza, Erasmus, Hume, Voltaire, Kant, Bentham, Mill, G. E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, John Dewey or the Secular Humanist Declaration, for that matter? I happen to know the Christian faith rather well (I came third in a contest of religious knowledge sponsored by the Venezuelan Association of Christian Schools) so I can reject religion from an informed point of view, can you say the same?
Are these the Judeo-Christian-Muslim values you wish to preserve:
“At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon . . . there was a loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead” [Exodus 12:29, New International Version]. Child murder.
“He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation” [Exodus 34:7, NIV]. Mercilessness and injustice.
“And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.” [Numbers 32-36, King James Version].

I don’t think I have to add more.

What I have concluded, after weighing the evidence for and against O’Reilly’s statement, that all that drives him, as well as the vast majority of religious conservatives is a gargantuan fear of losing their privileged place in American society. They are scared and are fighting tooth and nail to defend their imposition of religion on a necessarily secular state. But, as Americans learn more of the world and become open to the cultural differences at home and abroad, they will start to embrace that glorious tenet: “Keep thy religion to thyself”.

But hey, as we secularists are fond of saying: “I may hate what you say, but I’ll die to protect your right to say it”. Would you do the same?

P.S.: Do I need to remind everyone that the guys that took down the World Trade Center were not exactly left wing liberal secularists?