Ugh. I hate it when I open up the LA Times, over my lunch time salad, and find that Lee Siegel has written an article. It ruins my lunch.
Among other things, Mr. Siegel says:
"In the last few years, so many books have rolled off the presses challenging God, belief and religion itself (by Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Victor Stenger and Christopher Hitchens, among others) that a visitor from another planet might think America was in the iron throes of priestly repression. You'd never know that we live in the age of Paris Hilton, HBO, Internet porn and flip-flops. The 17th century Catholic Church proscribed Galileo -- just imagine what it would have done with the creators of "Entourage."
I'm not exactly sure how he went from books challenging a belief to porn and HBO. For that matter, what the hell do flip-flops have to do with atheism? The lack of logical progression...it burns!
"Nor would anyone know from reading the latest rash of anti-God books that promiscuous sex and polymorphous sexuality are taken for granted in modern-day America..."
Nor would anyone know that the Christians are quite fond of the kink... *cough*Christian Domestic Discipline*cough*.
"If anyone thinks that Dawkins' book, "The God Delusion" -- with its "scientific" attempts to refute the existence of God -- is going to persuade today's religious fanatics, here or abroad, to loosen up and enjoy a little MTV, you have to ask yourself just who is "deluded."
So... hold on. I don't recall "The God Delusion" instructing good little Christian teens to go forth and watch "TRL". Youth Specialties, however, is a Christian publishing company who created the poorly received "MTV Bible Study". From the study book: After watching Snoop Dog's "Drop It Like It's Hot."
"Just for grins…pick up a Bible and randomly select a Proverb and see if your group can say it in “izzle” speak... The images in the video show some of the “perks” that go along with great wealth. If you had unlimited money at your disposal what would be the first “perk” you would by (sic)? It’s okay to think selfishly for this question."
Mr. Siegel? You were saying?
"The attacks in the books often don't make much sense either. For instance, Bush and his gang preach Christian values while lying us into a slaughterhouse overseas, ransacking our public coffers and ignoring social inequities and iniquities at home -- and so our heroic anti-religionists attack . . . Christian values."
I think it makes perfect sense! Bush and "his posse" (see previous paragraph) claim that they serve a higher, invisible sky daddy, rather than the people. That service has now resulted in a Christian jihad with Georgie Boy sitting at the controls. There's no video game as violent and horrifying as the one in George's Bush's imagination. The "militant atheists" attack the "Christian Values" of George Bush because those values are killing our soldiers, guaranteeing our children's future debt, and taking innocent lives in a country we have no business occupying. President Bush campaigned on Christian Values. Why shouldn't those who oppose his methods and his motivation bring up the obvious? Oh...wait, I get it. We're not supposed to question your faith...we're supposed to respect it. Right.
"If anything, you could imagine these assaults on religion becoming infamous in the Muslim world, confirming for fundamentalists that the West is every bit as godless -- and hostile to Islam -- as they thought. Hitchens' intemperate invective against Christianity, Judaism and Islam, for its part, will probably strengthen the resolve of fanatics in all three religions. What an intellectual mess."
Oh goodie!! I was wondering when we were going to get around to some good, old fashioned fear mongering. Yes, yes...stop the atheists or America will turn into Afghanistan. ???? Huh?
"They are publishing their books in an atmosphere of complacency and self-congratulation; they preach to the secular converted, who are buying the books in droves."
It's quite amusing that, when one reads this sentence pulled out of context, you could easily see it as being an accurate description of Christian authors and books. Me thinks he doth' protest too much.
"But they make me concerned nevertheless, because I think they strike a blow against something more important (at least to me) than belief in God. In their contempt for any belief that cannot be scientifically or empirically proved, the anti-God books are attacking our inborn capacity to create value and meaning for ourselves."
Oh, yeah. Of course, Mr. Siegel. When I became an atheist, I just lost all creativity and meaning. I have no idea how this blog came about. I'm not quite sure why, after ditching belief in the Big Sky Daddy, THIS life became more valuable than it had previously seemed under Christianity. Surely there are no atheist artists...oh. Wait. There are?
"When our anti-religionists attack the mechanism of religious faith by demanding that our beliefs be underpinned by science, statistics and cold logic, they are, in effect, attacking our right to believe in unseen, unprovable things at all. Their assault on religious faith amounts to an attack on the human imagination."
Man...I hate it when people make other people grow up, stop investing in fairy tales, and get to the business of living in the real world. Mr. Siegel, for those of us who don't live in Never-Neverland, things like science, statistics, and cold logic, are valuable tools that enable humans to understand, and ENJOY, the world around them. We don't have to make up crocodiles with ticking clocks or horrible, pirate captains to make our lives meaningful. Your God is nothing more than a fictional tyrant --- a Captain Hook who is watching your every move and tallying your imperfections.
"By taking a leap of faith in God, you create value out of nothingness."
Hey! My four year old does that, too. The difference is that my four year old is smarter than you! She knows that her pretend world is just that,...PRETEND. There's value in having an imagination and using it. But, there can be grievous consequences for those who become so immersed in their imaginary world that they can't get out. It's a cruel psychosis.
Oh and, "Hey!"... did you write this article before or after Christian youth leaders decided to "use" Halo 3 to draw in kids for church? ?? I suppose when you consider what's in the Bible, a "rated M" game with massive gore, gunfire, violence, pilaging, and gratuitous murder, seems kinda' tame.