I’ll make this brief, because I’ve been overkilling religion lately. But this isn’t another rant. This is important.
Some of you may or may not be aware of Pat Robertson. You can check out the Wikipedia entry on him yourself. Suffice it to say that Robertson is an ignorant close-minded hate-spewing fundamentalist bigot. This isn’t just my opinion (although it is indeed), it is fact.
In a world where we are (rightly) worrying about the religious fanatics in the Middle East, I worry that many people are overlooking a potentially worse threat in the Far West.
Robertson is an outspoken fierce proponent of Christianity and its fundamentalist values. He would have the Church-State separation of American torn down, and have the whole country governed by the Ten Commandments, if he could.
His views coincide with those of Jerry Falwell, and he agreed with Falwell who blamed the 911 terrorist attacks on “pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, lesbians”. Back in 1998 Robertson said that accepting homosexuality “could result in hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombings and “possibly a meteor.” – quoting from Wikipedia.
Does this sound like the ranting of a man in touch with reality?
It gets worse. Robertson has established his own Regent University. One of the graduates of which is Monica Goodling:
“Goodling is only one of 150 graduates of Regent University currently serving in this administration, as Regent’s Web site proclaims proudly, a huge number for a 29-year-old school. Regent estimates that “approximately one out of every six Regent alumni is employed in some form of government work.” And that’s precisely what its founder desired. The school’s motto is “Christian Leadership To Change the World,” and the world seems to be changing apace. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft teaches at Regent, and graduates have achieved senior positions in the Bush administration. The express goal is not only to tear down the wall between church and state in America (a “lie of the left,” according to Robertson) but also to enmesh the two.
The law school’s dean, Jeffrey A. Brauch, urges in his “vision” statement that students reflect upon “the critical role the Christian faith should play in our legal system.” Jason Eige (’99), senior assistant to Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, puts it pithily in the alumni newsletter, Regent Remark: “Your Resume Is God’s Instrument.”
So as if George W. Bush being an ignorant deluded bigot wasn’t bad enough, some people serving in his administration are “disciples” of the obnoxious Pat Robertson.
By the way, I am not trying to be objective here. My own opinions are laced in this blog because, well, it is mine and that is the point of a personal blog. But is anyone else not truly terrified by what this world is coming to?!
We have murderous fanatics on one side of the planet and well, the same on the other. Anyone who thinks Christianity is a more enlightened religion these days is kidding themselves. If Christianity is more enlightened than other faiths, say Islam, it is only because Christianity has been tempered by secularists and the non-religious. Remember when Christianity ruled the world? We called it the Dark Ages. In fact, whenever religion has any kind of authority over people the result is always always repression, oppression, curtailing of freedoms and human rights, fighting, and death. Fact. That isn’t my opinion. History has taught us this lesson time and again.
Imagine America if the separation of Church and State was abandoned! The world’s most powerful country would be a police state where the law of thousands of years ago would become new rule. Were adultery, abortion, homosexuality, believing whatever you want, saying whatever you want, would be capital crimes. Free-thought would be a thing of the past. And would science have to cater to the whims of the fundamentalists? Would research and discovery be limited to those areas the Church felt didn’t contradict the bible?
My fear is that this state of affairs is possible! We have Christians and Muslims spewing vitriolic bile at anything they disagree with; at anything that contradicts their person beliefs; both claiming they have the truth and the world should belong to them; that anyone who is an “infidel” should be killed. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.
And yet, people still ask atheists and free-thinkers “why do you bother?”; “why do you keep going on about religion?”; “can’t you just let them get on with their beliefs?”; “why do you have to keep attacking other people’s faiths?”
If people kept their beliefs to themselves, I would be happy (I cannot speak for all atheists) to let them get on with it. Preaching and converting is one thing; I do no like it but everyone has the right to free speech. But the faith-deluded fundamentalists out there are trying to change the world. Our world. Your world, and mine. They are trying to turn it into their world. They want to change the way you live, and think, and act.
And all for what? Because of an imaginary creature they believe in! Isn’t it ridiculous?! Humans have fought and died for all sorts of reasons, but to kill and be killed over a traditional belief in a fantasy creature that lives in the sky??……to quote Richard Dawkins “it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic.”
We can’t let this happen. But we cannot fight with weapons of war, no. Free-thinkers and people of enlightenment must use the very tools that the religious hate: reason, intellect, freedom, communication. Let’s not turn a politically-correct eye to the nonsense of religion. If we keep challenging it and saying “I’m sorry, but you’re talking shit. Your belief is one thing, but don’t tell me how to live my life”, and if we all keep saying it, we can push back the onslaught of this intellectual homicide and stop people like Robertson trying to dictate how any government should operate.
The world belongs to everyone. If it hurts no one, you should be free to do whatever you want. Everyone is free to believe what they want. Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion. Which means that no one should be affected by another person’s delusions. The power to stop this happening lies in the free minds of each of us.