Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Atheism and Religion in the News - Dec. 14th, 2011

Religion has been in the news a bit more than usual, but I just haven’t felt like writing about it. I just don’t have very elaborate opinions on the matter, and when I start to write about them… I run out of steam quite quickly. So, I figured, why not compile a few and combine them into one piece? Maybe this can be a regular feature… but hopefully not, because if I feel compelled to do this every week or every month, I’ll really reach for things to write about. I’d rather just address issues as they come up, if they come up.

While I have largely stopped paying attention to sports as a whole, I became aware of Tim Tebow quite early. I remember hearing about him writing Bible verses on his face in college, and I remember him and his mother being in an anti-abortion commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.

Now, “tebowing” is a thing. Does it bother me? I dunno, I don’t watch football… but I can’t imagine it would make one difference to me if a guy wants to bow down after scoring a touchdown, since I also support all other forms of celebration (though I hear that the NFL commissioner doesn’t agree with me). I will say this, though: winning football games does not constitute a “miracle.”

Atheists have inundated the charitable organization “Doctors Without Borders” with tens of thousands of often modest donations, totaling over $180,000. Many gave just a few dollars, but a concerted effort organized through the r/atheism subreddit on was responsible for the large group effort.

A study I heard about over a month ago is still making the rounds in some news outlets. The conclusion was that atheists are distrusted by some Christians as much as rapists. If you actually read the study, the questions asked were… just a little loaded. People were asked whether someone who dinged a car and left the scene was more likely to be “a teacher, an atheist teacher, or a rapist teacher.” This was repeated with the question asking if someone found a wallet and took the money, was the person more likely to be…

It’s good news that the study is flawed and ridiculous, I guess. Without knowing the horrible methodology, I looked at it differently than most. I just assumed Christians forgave rapists, so I didn’t think, “Gee, Christians hate atheists,” I just pondered, “Huh… no wonder they just keep letting rapist priests interact with children.”

I guess the last thing I can think of is that Christmas is around the corner, so Christians have stepped up the unjustified righteous indignation. They always get really uppity this time of year, when they imagine that their pagan traditions are under attack. Rick Perry even thinks kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas anymore…

I don’t know about Texas (and I don’t want to know), but everywhere I know of, you can publicly celebrate Christmas. In fact, I don’t know of any place you can go in this country where Christmas won’t be shoved down your throat. Perry must be upset that he can’t use government funding to put up religious iconography, spreading his faith on the taxpayer’s dime. There’s no war on Christmas, unless you count the Christians trying to scale the wall separating church and state.

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