I missed this one last week, sorry.
So here’s what happened. Arizona State Representative (and secular humanist) Juan Mendez gave an invocation that did not include God. They take turns giving the invocation, it was his turn and he gave an invocation based on his beliefs. Which is totally his fucking right.
Representative Steve Smith was so upset about it, he offered up a special prayer the next day for “repentance of the previous day.” In addition to a prayer he’d already given. Because he had to make up for Mendez, I guess.
Now let’s step back for a moment and ask what the appropriate response would be had Mendez given a Hindu prayer. Or a Jewish one. Or an Islamic one. Would that have been OK because he’d mentioned a god or gods (even if they weren’t the right one)?
Assuming Smith’s response had been the same (two prayers to make up for the lack of a Christian one), would he have taken flak for choosing to disrespect any belief system other than humanism?
I’ll bet people would have been pissed as hell. Not just Muslims or Jews or whatever other religion he’d chosen to disrespect but Christians as well.
As it is, Smith will be applauded by the religious right for standing up to the godless left even though the godless left has had to tolerate Christian prayer in the Arizona state house for every day except one.
It sounds really stupid when I say that I can’t be silenced, doesn’t it?
I mean, here I am writing a blog entry and I get to say whatever the fuck I want. Nobody is telling me to shut up because I’m a white guy. Nobody seems to think that I haven’t a right to speak my mind. It’s really fucking easy for me to have my say any time I like.
I bring this up because I’ve been reading a lot about a welcome address given at the Women in Secularism conference just over a week ago. The address got on the nerves of a lot of attendees because the speaker, a white male, chose to use part of his speech to admonish the women in attendance for perhaps taking feminism too far.
Now the fact he is a white male should not be the big issue here as he is the CEO of the Center for Inquiry and they did sponsor the event. Having him open the conference does seem somewhat appropriate.
I gotta be honest. I could have talked about this week’s topic for a lot longer than we did. Our jumping off point was a discussion of a jackass that Molly had as a professor in college. From there, we talked about the idea of aesthetic beauty and what art we all found attractive or interesting.
Of course, given the theme of the podcast, we also talked about whether or not religion could be afforded any intrinsic value because of the art and architecture that has been created in the name of religion.
It is all very philosophical and involves discussions of trips to Europe, artistic styles and even comic books. Have a listen if that is your thing!
Same-sex marriage is about to be a reality in Minnesota but the folks over at Minnesota for marriage tried their best to lie their way into a victory.
They warned folks that if the marriage law passed, people who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman would be labelled as “bigots” (because they are) and “prosecuted under the law” (which is complete bullshit).
See, the law says that same sex couples can get married. You don’t have to like it. There are lots of laws different groups of people don’t like. Not liking a law is completely legal and nobody is going to prosecute you for it.
Now if your job is to issue marriage licenses and you refuse to issue them to a same sex couple, you might lose your job because they are legally allowed a marriage license. You don’t get to re-write the law to suit your “deeply held religious beliefs.”
However, suggesting that people will be prosecuted for believing that same-sex marriage is wrong is a great example of inciting homophobia. All they are doing is trying to make people afraid of homosexuals. They seem to imply that once homosexuals have rights, they are going to trample all over everyone else’s.
That’s what bigots do.
Look, I know that this movie isn’t all that good. It spends a good portion of it’s incredibly short running time recalling funny moments from old Looney Tunes cartoons in ways that make them nowhere near as funny.
When Marvin the Martian said “where’s the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an Earth shattering Kaboom” in “Hare-way to the Stars,” it was funny. When he says the same thing in this film, it feels kind of desperate.
Back in my youth, I fell in love with the Looney Toons on Saturday morning. For 60 or 90 minutes, they would play the best of the classic cartoons. A lot of them were shortened or they would splice together a couple of road runner cartoons to make a really long road runner cartoon in which Wile E. Coyote really got the shit kicked out of him.
Eric Jacobson bid a tidy sum of money at the Fearless launch party for the right to join us this week. He wanted to talk about atheists in politics so that’s exactly what we discussed. Of course we talked about the upcoming votes in the Minnesota House and Senate and perhaps you will enjoy reaching back into history to hear our thoughts about the legislation and the chances for success.
The central question for anyone who is living a godless life is how do we have more impact on the political process as atheists? We didn’t answer that question in the podcast but we hope that by talking about politics, we can convince other godless folk to get involved in politics.
Eric also provides a stunning level of detail about his sandwich. Click here and enjoy!!