Some you find it odd that an avowed atheist like WC makes religion a subject for his annual, end-of-the-year review. It’s not an endorsement or a condemnation. Lots of folks seem to enjoy religion and derive enjoyment from fiddling with it. WC has no quarrel with them. Rather, WC is increasingly concerned that the religious zealots, the Christianists who want to make the United States a theocracy, the criminal hypocrites who shoot up Planned Parenthood clinics in the name of saving babies, and the Jihadists who think their god directs them to blow up innocents; it’s those who are thugs in the name of religion that makes WC write about the subject.
In the United States, at least, the recurring tide of religious zealotry seems to have peaked and may even be receding. Peering into the tea leaves:
Same-sex marriage is the law of the land. It didn’t trigger the apocalypse. The U.S. Supreme Court, to WC’s surprise and the Christianists’ horror, admitted to the obvious: that there was no legitimate legal or constitutional basis for marriage discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. It says a lot about our national priorities that some county clerk in a Kentucky county no one had heard of before made national news and became a conservative hero by violating the law.
The Christianists’ efforts to advance creationism as science also failed on a number of fronts. The Ark Encounter, the latest pseudo-science boondoggle of con man Kenneth Ham lost its public bonding last year; the completion is now pushed back to “the end of 2016.” The financial scam is impressive. You may have thought Jesus had thrown the moneychangers out of the temple. You’d be wrong. There will, no doubt, be vast crowds that continue to visit his idiot museum. But among younger Americans, the fundamentalist fever seems to be passing.
WC will revisit a point from last year. The claim by most religions, and certainly by most Christianists, is that religion is necessary for morality; that without the moral anchor of the Ten Commandments and the certainty of burning in a Christianist Hell, we won’t be able to tell right from wrong. But torture1 is egregiously, obscenely wrong; it’s one of the few things that most nations have been able to agree upon. There are even international treaties. But study this bar chart from a December 2014 Washington Post/ABC poll:
Can we be clear about this? The only Americans who by majority think the CIA torture was not justified are those who claim no religion. All those pious, church-going, God-fearing Americans, by overwhelming majorities, think the CIA’s torture of illegal detainees was perfectly fine.
Ah, the bitter taste of hypocrisy, rinsed down with the wormwood of sanctity. It’s too much to hope they all choke on it. As Stephen Colbert said, “‘Jesus said I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you….’ And if they don’t say ‘welcomed me in’ then they are either a terrorist or they’re running for president.”
Religion in America in 2015? Simply appalling.
- God can torture, apparently. That’s what Hell is all about. So that’s okay. We’re not supposed to torture each other. ↩