smackshack: a crude digital self-portrait (Default)
A few loosely connected thingmabobs.  Let's see...

Number one.  Lisa Miller wrote an article for Newsweek called Two White Guys Walk Into A Bar... and it's about how boring she thinks debates between atheists and theists have become.  Well, I can sympathize; it's irritating having to listen to the same old vacuous by-the-numbers religious apologetics over and over agai...oh, wait.  She's bored by the atheists

Apparently atheists "are, more than other interest groups, joyous cannibals and regurgitators of their own ideas."  Wow.  You'd think she'd never heard of theology.

Apparently the ability to sell books means that people like Dawkins and Hitchens are insincere. I'll remember that the next time I look at the size and sales of the religious literature market.  And what about all those Bibles and prayer books and devotional tsotchkes swag merchandise produced to fulfill the spirituality of the masses?

Apparently---oh hell, now I'm getting bored.  See Jerry Coyne for the red-blooded beatdown, if that's your thing.  There is one good thing about Miller's essay, however, which is that she mentions Doubt: A History, by Jennifer Michael Hecht.  Unfortunately she draws the wrong lesson from Hecht's book.  A poetic and pluralistic reading of religion only works, after all, if you already know on a deep level that religion isn't actually true.  For dealing with the people who think that their god actually exists and provides a template for how they should be allowed to run the world, you need some atheists who are willing to be obnoxious.

You're welcome.

Number two, and a case in point.  Richard Dawkins has a hilarious essay in the Washington Post about the Catholic Church's recent bid to absorb disaffected conservative Anglicans.  He's too good not to quote:  "Give me your homophobes, misogynists and pederasts. Send me your bigots yearning to be free of the shackles of humanity."  I wonder if the Anglicans will take Dawkins' advice and respond in kind? "Send us your women, yearning to be priests, who could make a strong case for being the better-qualified fifty percent of humanity; send us your decent priests, sick of trying to defend the indefensible; send them all, in exchange for our woman-haters and gay-bashers."  Somehow I doubt it.

Number three.  Paul Haggis has renounced Scientology and written an open letter to explain why (in short: Scientology sucks). He cites the abusive bureaucracy, the dirty tricks, the cult atmosphere.  Lots of people are praising his courage.  Me?  I'd be more impressed if his reasons for leaving included the fact that Scientology is just about the stupidest fucking thing on earth.  The scary thing about Scientology is that in a few more decades we're all going to be walking around pretending (like we do for Joseph Smith) that L. Ron Hubbard, like Joseph Smith, was something other than just another con man proving that a flock of suckers can be assembled every minute. (Edited for clarity.)

Number four.  Atheists have cartoons now.  It's a miracle!

Edit---one more!

Number five. Heh!


smackshack: a crude digital self-portrait (Default)

June 2012



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