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Hi Internet.

Not to be confrontational, but —

(1)        Liberals, you’re doing it wrong.

People keep arguing against religious homophobia on a religious basis.  This is descending to the level of the religious zealot—fighting them on their home field.  This is pointless.

Rational, intelligent, moral people present arguments similar to the following:  “the relevant passages of Leviticus also prohibit eating shellfish” and “you can’t cherry-pick which passages of the Bible you choose to follow.”

There’s a flaw with that:

Obviously, you can.  It’s a system of values, and each person chooses their own. This is why people run red lights.  We all abide generally by traffic laws, but each person chooses their own personal standard by which to hold themselves.  We all have our own ways of looking at the world.  This is also why there are different religions, and why churches vary on an individual basis.

It’s obvious to anyone who cares to look that the Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality any more than it condemns certain forms of human-mollusk intercourse.  And if someone doesn’t want to embrace that fact, then guess what, it’s usually not because they don’t understand how the Bible works.

Usually, it’s due to a reason best described through scientific psychological terminology: because they’re being an asshole.

ON ANOTHER NOTE, first rule of debate, don’t engage your opponent on his/her/Uds. terms.  Disagree with one of the aforementioned religious zealots? Well, it’s unlikely, but there is a small chance that they (a) actually know their primary religious document pretty well and (b) follow all the rules of Leviticus.  Then you’ve just completely lost the argument, and you have to start again from scratch.  Don’t allow that risk.  Engage them on a higher tier.

Let’s talk about the MEDIA for a moment.  That’s always fun.  They have a practice similar to this.

Freedom of Speech is an intimidating idea.  It can make you antsy about calling someone out for anything—after all, they have a right to speak, don’t they?

Well, they might have a right to speak, but riddle me this, Batman—do we need to see it in the newspaper if it’s stupid? If the argument in favor of a healthcare plan is the thousands of lives it will save and the millions of lives it will improve, and the argument against it is fallacious, full of holes, and based in part upon outdated political principles and an education in economics acquired by reading the first chapter of a textbook on the ride over, then guess what, we shouldn’t have to suffer through the stupid parts.

The proper journalistic action is to investigate the sources and arguments and then write two articles, one about how the healthcare plan will save thousands of lives and improve the lives of millions, and the other about how there are lots of people making stupid arguments based on nothing at all.

Giving everyone equal say doesn’t equate to ‘giving stupid people equal grounds as Ph.D.s in economics.’  I don’t care how many University of Phoenix classes you attended on your Ipad, it’s still extremely unlikely that you have anything constructive to add to a debate with the foremost experts on global warming.

BECAUSE THEY’RE THE FOREMOST EXPERTS ON GLOBAL WARMING.

If you knew as much as they did, YOU’D UNDERSTAND THAT GLOBAL WARMING EXISTS.

BECAUSE SCIENCE, THAT’S WHY.

 

Mark Twain’s quote comes to mind.

“Don’t argue with stupid people: they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

BEHOLD A SUMMARY OF POLITICS FOR THE LAST TWELVE YEARS.

 

Now for the second point.

 (2)       Liberals, we go too far.

BACK OFF ON THE ATHEISM.  My god.  Science is the light of the world and everyone should embrace it because it will usher mankind into a NEW AGE yes that’s wonderful I totally see how that’s different from Jesus bringing humanity together in heaven STOP IT.

 

RELIGION IS NOT EVIL.

THERE.  I SAID IT.

YOU MAY GASP NOW.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.

Rather than rant, I should clarify.  I have nothing against either atheism or religion on general grounds.  Whether you place your faith in God, Jesus, My Little Pony, or an abstract model of the universe, it’s all the same to me.

I do have problems with the following, mostly because they’re wrong.

FIRST is religious people telling me what to believe, demanding that all the world adopt their specific brand of organized spirituality.  NO.  Go away.  This musty political document that most people don’t pay much attention to says I CAN BELIEVE WHATEVER I WANT.  If I choose to worship Stephen Colbert and sacrifice stuffed Kirby dolls to his altar, THAT’S MY PEROGATIVE.  The semi-Millsian nature of our political system means I can waste my free time in just about any way that doesn’t kill people.

SECOND is atheists telling me not to believe anything, demanding that all the world adopt their specific man-made model of rationality.  NO.  GO AWAY.  The aforementioned document says I’M FREE TO BELIEVE ANYTHING.  If I choose to sing 80s power ballads to Jeff the God of Elm Trees every Tuesday, well, guess what, THAT’S MY CHOICE.

BOTH OF YOU are giving your respective organizations a bad name.  How easy it is to paint atheists and religious folks alike as rabid zealots when you both launch rabidly zealous attacks on one another at the earliest opportunity!  ONE OF YOU should grow up. I don’t care which.  Hitchens did a great thing—he also messed some things up, but he did a very great thing for the atheistic argument which many people missed: he took the MORAL HIGH GROUND.

And the rest of the movement promptly lost it again.  Well done. Hitchens’ argument was (and rightly): “We don’t need religious ethics to be rational and intelligent and caring and moral human beings.  Atheists are morally better people.

Which leads me to my next point: If you’re better people, then hush. Let people make their own choices.  If you really are a collection of the world’s best and brightest, GREAT. When solar flares begin to rip our planet apart or Nibiru crashes into us or the zombies begin to walk among us, we’ll look to you for our salvation.

Because the mark of security in one’s self is not continually dictating the actions of other people.  I’ll give you that much of a hint.  And whichever community stops this ridiculousness and just lives their own life first wins the prize for ‘Most Mature.’  I know a number of people on both sides who have this outlook, and it’s amazing how much easier it is to have a conversation with them about anything.  I know a fantastic blogger (http://lesbicrafty.blogspot.com/) who matches this description.

So to sum up: STOP BEING SO IMMATURE.  The world is turning into a religion/atheism grudge match.  WHY?  Science and spirituality are so completely unrelated that there’s not even a Venn diagram here to consider.  They don’t even touch.  THERE’S NOT EVEN VENN DIAGRAM CLEAVAGE.

(the third greatest kind, closely behind mineral)

(3)        PART THREE.

EVERYTHING IS TOO PARTISAN.  Oh my god.  Oreo supports gay marriage? GREAT. Chik-fil-a doesn’t? FINE.

Let’s make this clear.  Unless your companies are actually donating to the political process (Citizens United! Hurrah!), unless you’re actually pushing this agenda, NO ONE CARES.  Without such an action, these announcements from corporations are akin to walking into the middle of a train station and yelling “I LIKE BANNANA MUFFINS.”  A complete non sequitur, an unnecessary piece of information.

Besides, we’re not even hearing what the company thinks.  WHICH, SURPRISINGLY, is NOTHING, because GUESS WHAT, THEY’RE NOT PEOPLE.

ER

MAH

GERD

SRSLY?

I know it’s a shock, but I feel like this point needs to be hammered home: A CORPORATION IS NOT A PERSON.  It is an unfeeling, unthinking conglomerate of human minds that, in most cases, acts on basic predatory instinct.  A good example might be the Portugese Man-O-War—a stinging, predatory sea creature made up of thousands of individual creatures.  Imagine that, except you can have a beer with any one of its components.

Sup. Wanna grab a brewski?

When we hear these announcements that “so-and-so supports X,” guess what, that’s not the corporation talking.  Because CORPORATIONS CAN’T TALK.  What you hear is the result of a CEO shooting their mouth off, or a board of directors reaching a consensus and having the PR guy say something, or a group of employees taking a stand.  For every person who agrees with that stance, that company has an employee who vehemently disagrees.  Do you think Oreo has an anti-homophobia test in their hiring process? No, because THAT WOULD BE STUPID.  It doesn’t matter how a person feels about homosexuality, so long as they can squeeze soft cream between two black cookies for eight hours a day.

NOW, if a corporation is actually contributing something VALUABLE to a political discussion beyond standing up and screaming “OOH I LIKE THAT” like a four-year-old who sees a picture of a dinosaur, if they’re giving money or something, THEN GOOD.  Well, not GOOD, because CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE AND SHOULDN’T BE ABLE TO SPEND MONEY IN POLITICS, but at least it’s SLIGHTLY LESS INANE.  Maybe with all those human resources people working away night and day we’ll actually get a coherent mission statement for one party or another beyond “I LIKE THIS” or “I HATE THIS.”

Which has essentially become our political dialogue, by the way.  One political party is being meek and calm and considerate and timid, trying to make friends, and the other one is standing in the corner with its fingers in its ears yelling “LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU GO AWAY I HATE YOU.”  I leave you to decide which one it is, but here’s a hint: one party supporter just replied to an attack ad with the truth and was promptly attacked by her own side.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/08/andrea-saul-romney-health-care_n_1757550.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012

So there’s MY contribution to political discourse FOR THE MONTH.  Hopefully what it lacks in calm and rationality IT MAKES UP FOR WITH YELLING, because as Bill O’Reilly teaches us, YELLING MAKES YOU RIGHT.

STAY AWESOME INTERNET

I KNOW YOU WILL

BECAUSE I JUST YELLED IT.

And let’s have Colbert sing us out.

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2 Comments

  1. What a terrific blog post! Thanks a lot!


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