Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Bring on the theocracy!

Recently, I have been receiving e-mails from people who think I am a shade anti-Christian. I can say with absolute certainty that I am not anti-Christian. I am, however, anti-Christianity. I'm also anti-Islam, anti-Buddhism, anti-Hinduism, and basically anti-Religion in general. While I certainly understand the desire to believe in an imaginary-friend who watches out for us in our day-to-day lives (Except, you know, when he doesn't since, as we all know, good things happen because of god, but bad things just happen) I personally dislike the effects religious systems have on human communities.

Now, having said that, I don't want y'all to think that I'm actively against religious people. While I personally don't like religion, there's nothing I can do to prove that there really IS no god, and so I'm more than willing to live in a pluralistic society with believers. In other words: if you let me live my life as an atheist, I'll let you live your life as a god-lovin person. Sounds fair enough, right?

Of course, one of the conditions for such a thing is that government and religion must remain separate. See, when the U.S. government starts using religious organizations to accomplish civil functions, as it does in faith-based initiatives, it is priviledging particular religious groups over others. I maintain that this is the case even if the government gives money to Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu groups, simply because there are many additional religions beyond those. What about the Raelians? What about Scientology? Aren't they faith-based organizations? And don't tell me they're cults- the difference between an established religion and a cult is tax-exempt status. Even if you DID give money to each and every wacky religion, however, you would still be behaving improperly with regards to we atheists and agnostics. If we are entitled to services by virtue of our citizenship, there is absolutely no reason why we should have to tolerate religious messages in the process of accepting such services- particularly in an ostensibly secular state. For the Fundies in the audience, it would be the equivalent of being forced to read a treatise on Darwinism every time you paid your taxes.

So, you can imagine why it disturbs me so much to learn about good old President Bush's actions when he was governor of Texas. I refer, of course, to his proclamation of "Jesus Day."

No, I am most assuredly NOT kidding. The proclamation reads as follows:


Throughout the world, people of all religions recognize Jesus Christ as an example of love, compassion, sacrifice and service. Reaching out to the poor, the suffering and the marginalized, he provided moral leadership that continues to inspire countless men, women, and children today.

To honor his life and teachings, Christians of all races and denominations have joined together to designate June 10 as Jesus Day. As part of this celebration of unity, they are taking part in the 10th annual March for Jesus in cities throughout the Lone Star State. The march, which began in Austin in 1991, is now held in nearly 180 countries. Jesus Day challenges people to follow Christ's example by performing good works in their communities and neighborhoods. By nursing the sick, feeding the poor or volunteering in homeless shelters, everyone can play a role in making the world a better place.

I urge all Texans to answer the call to serve those in need. By volunteering their time, energy or resources to helping others, adults and youngsters follow Christ's message of love and service in thought and deed.

Therefore I, George W. Bush, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim June 10, 2000,

Jesus Day

in Texas and urge the appropriate recognition whereof.

In official recognition whereof, I hereby affix my signature this 17th day of March, 2000

George W. Bush [signature]
Governor of Texas

If you like, you can see a facsimile of the document here. Now, I'll grant that Bush is probably right that people of most religions recognize Jesus Christ as, "an example of love, compassion, sacrifice and service." Some of us also regard him as, very likely, a sterling example of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, but that isn't really the point. The problem is: why didn't Bush use this logic to declare a Buddha day? Or a Mohammed day? How about a Vishnu day, to recognize the contributions of this deity to peace and harmony? Maybe a Confucius day? Crap, why not an L. Ron Hubbard day? The scientologists sure like him and, let's face it, any guy who orchestrates a private intelligence operation against the United States Government is probably deserving of SOME sort of nod. What about us atheists? Can we get a goddamn Darwin day or something?

Or, you know, here's an idea: let's just not start taking state action to recognize religious figures. Wouldn't THAT be a helluva lot easier? I think so. I really, really do.

Besides, if all that isn't enough for you, there's one more little detail: we already have a Jesus Day in the U.S. during which the President himself often displays his affection for the teachings of Christ with huge symbols of the faith.

Merry Christmas, motherfucker.


Blogger Brayden said...

We also have Easter, which is typically more religious than Christmas in the way its celebrated. I wouldn't be so down on the idea of Jesus Day if I didn't feel that it was such an explicit political move to appease the fundamentalist types who have no problem forcing their religious agenda on non-religious others. But my other problem with this idea is that the name "Jesus Day" just sounds so completely stupid.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Bozzo said...

I tried to have Darwin day today, but I got theocracy day instead. Oh fucking joy. I almost forwarded you one of my e-mails for your assignment, but am afraid of what will happen if I resurrect the thing from the trash.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005 3:43:00 PM  
Blogger Belle Reve said...

Note that in the proclaimation _his_ is lower case.
I'm hoping that an unknown intern left as that her mark of protest.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005 2:55:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter