we aren’t angry enough

18 February 2007

A fascinating dialogue between Sam Harris and Dennis Prager starts here. Of course, I root for Harris, and, unsurprisingly, Prager, while making some interesting (but completely predictable) points, comes off looking much worse for the wear. Certainly a win for atheism. I am not really sure what the purpose of discussing such subjects is; after all, a true believer would remain unconvinced by anything we could tell them.

A few years back several friends and I were in Santa Cruz, helping keep Operation Rescue people from the Planned Parenthood clinic. It was a rather mellow day, and we had an opportunity to talk to the opposing side quite a bit. I remember arguing against theistic conception of a deity and for individual freedom of conscience with some middle-aged, suitably intelligent-looking protester on the other side. I made what I thought to be a beautiful, logical, watertight case. He listened, seemingly with some appreciation and comprehension. I almost considered giving him a beer. When I was finished, he dispelled my confused hopes with a simple statement:

“Yeah,” he said, “You make a great logical argument here. But, you know, LOGIC IS THE TOOL OF SATAN!!!”

Of course, rather than giving him a bottle of Sierra Nevada I instantly reached the conclusion that the only thing to be done in response to such a blatantly idiotic statement would be to bash him over the head with it, and it took all of my considerable reserves of willpower not to do so. I am sure he would have enjoyed his martyrdom, anyway, and I would not give a brainless dickhead of such kind the pleasure.

Back then, we thought that the religious right would be a minor, passing thing; we hadn’t connected it with, narrowly, Republican party, and, wider, with some deep and troubling changes in our society. Of course we are angry. We are shat upon, denied our rights by sitting presidents of this country, vilified as not even Muslims are in this country (actually, to quote one fundie dimwit, “new research demonstrates that Atheists are just a sect of Moslems”). I have friends that have lost their jobs when they came out of the atheistic “closet”. Born-again fuckwads are openly calling for our death (only one example of a widespread phenomenon). Not even I, with my admittedly drastic ideas and solutions want to destroy all of them. See: tolerance and kindness will always lose to bigotry and self-righteousness. I am not that kind, but I make a great effort to be tolerant, and so do all of my atheist friends (some of whom are much kinder than me). Maybe we shouldn’t.

Fuck it. At least I can listen to Purcell and Dowland. The bloody fundies probably have no idea who they were.;)

GraveJorg, the milk of human kindness, over and out.