Engines of Grief
"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved - the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"
- John Adams (from a letter to Thomas Jefferson)
Some of you might have heard that a tsunami killed several people recently. Scientists believe that the tsunami was caused by a massive underwater earthquake. Many religious pundits believe that the tsunami was caused by sin. Rumors abound that Islamic Arab-language news sources are blaming the tsunami on Israel and the United States and I can personally attest that sources ranging from Michael Savage to Fred Phelps and his degenerate ilk are blaming atheists, homosexuals, and Muslims for the tsunamis. Phelps particularly has spent a good deal of energy exulting over the deaths of thousands of Swedes because they consider murdering homosexuals a hate crime in Sweden. That apparently makes God very angry.
Following closely in the wake of the tsunami came news from Kentucky that investors would be opening the Museum of Creation devoted to all of the imaginary history related to Biblical creation mythology. This coupled with the rampant God-mongering in the media and the upsurge of "my baby has got to learn the Bible in science class" petitions has me starting to get nervous. The situation has shifted from "haha, let's laugh at the dip shits and their cavemen riding dinosaurs" to "holy shit, this fucking idiocy is sweeping the nation".
Now, I don't ask for a lot from the government, nor do I expect much of anything positive to come out of it, but contrary to religious ideologues the United States was not built on Christian values; it was built on the idea of warding religion off like it's a vampire. Think of the whole separation of church and state thing as garlic hung at the doors of every government building. The reason for this is pretty simple; throughout history religion has been used as a means of controlling people, for good and bad, and a government that wields religion as a means of control (or vice versa) has way too much power over the populace. Think of all the idiots who send money to prayer-for-dollars televangelists so that their religious rock star can build new multimedia rooms in his super church. Now think of that same person who was asking you to open up your wallet and give for the Lord sitting in the seat of power and asking you to open up your entrenching tool and smash in the skull of an atheist or a homosexual.
It's one thing to see that sort of grotesque fusion of government and religion happening in third world shit holes; it's another thing to see it happening around you. And it has been happening for longer than I would like to admit.
Robert Sherman: "What will you do to win the votes of Americans who are atheists?"
George HW Bush: "I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me."
Robert Sherman: "Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?"
George HW Bush: "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."
Extremists (an increasingly meaningless term) within Christianity and Islam are waging a war against one another. Caught in the middle are those who don't believe in either's line of rhetoric and mysticism, like atheists and agnostics, and those who can serve a better purpose as a target for hatred, like homosexuals and other religious groups. For those of us - apparently the minority these days - who believe strongly in keeping religion out of government our one historic option is to hope for a charismatic leader with a strong authoritarian streak who will put religion back in its place. We don't have a very good track record with these guys (see "Hitler, Adolph" or "Stalin, Joseph") and I don't really see any of them on the horizon.
But hey, maybe I'm that fucking guy. I mean, I am really really violently fucking sick of religion right now. I'm sick of it being crammed in the faces of kids. I'm sick of it being used as a tool for votes, wars, and hatred. I'm sick of it being a moneymaking scheme as transparent as Scientology that only has credibility because it's fucking old. Hey, maybe we could bring back Roman or Egyptian mythology and we can be ruled over by an immortal God-King. Nah, Christianity is too entrenched here and Islam is spreading like a wildfire through the kindling of the third world. Kind of like Christianity did two thousand years ago, am I right?
I'm sick of whining and complaining and raging impotently against the cliché machine. I'm a reasonable man, so I'm going to tell you what I want to happen. I'm not going to ask you to send me a lot of money so that we can all wear cool black jump suits and combat boots and beat the shit out of any religious people we find out after curfew. This is what I want, and I don't think it's asking too much.
I want mandatory sterilization for anyone who uses the phrase "born again" to describe themselves.
I want a bunch of Marilyn Manson fans in full concert regalia to follow around any anti-abortion protestors and vomit fake blood all over them whenever they start shouting about murdering babies.
I want to cut the heart out of any school board idiot who votes "yes" on teaching creationism instead of, or even alongside, evolution. If you proposed it then I want to castrate your children and feed their sex organs down your throat with a shovel.
I want to form a rapid-response team that will locate any Ten Commandments monuments in government buildings and replace them with sacks full of plague-carrying rats. They would either ride on black horses or fly in a black helicopter depending on budget constraints.
"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
- Denis Diderot
If you even think about blaming a natural disaster or terrorist act on the sins of some minority group you already hate then I want you thrown into an active volcano. Maybe you can pray your way out of that magma filled caldera you fucking ignorant cretin.
If your religion gets in the way of my science then I want my science to build a giant robot with machinegun arms and missile launchers. Let's just see how amazing Christ is when 30mm depleted uranium sabots are hitting him 75 times per second. Oh, wait, haha that's right, he's a fucking imaginary ghost. I guess the bullets will just pass harmlessly through him and into your stupid fucking head.
I want all government subsidies for charities related to religion, even tenuously, to stop immediately. Then I want all of the money doled out to these charities for the past 50 years returned. Failure to pay means we own your church. Get out, we're melting down the solid gold pulpit and turning it into wedding bands that will be used exclusively by homosexuals.
Speaking of weddings, I want all marriages sanctioned by the government to be conducted by a judge in a courthouse. The judge cannot mention God or he will be kicked off the bench. You can still have your unsanctioned church wedding in one of those underground sewer churches that will be cropping up after I get the aerial level bombing I also want.
I want every line of scientific research currently impeded or halted because of religion immediately fast tracked and over funded. I want stem cells overflowing from seething cauldrons of blastocysts. I want a clone of every US citizen whether they want a clone or not. I even want that crazy energy beam built that was supposed to be able to disintegrate heaven itself. It won't work, but I want to just fire it up into heaven and then have blimps hiding in clouds release charred mannequins with wings attached to them.
I want to barcode everyone or tattoo "666" on their foreheads, declare that the world must now obey the will of the United Nations, and then kidnap Kirk Cameron and sodomize him with a cinderblock.
I used to see nuance and diversity in religions and their various followers. That luxury has been swept away by the wave propelling quasi-theocratic scum to success and power. I now resort to their weapon; the hateful generality. Religion is the tool of corrupt men and women with shallow principles and reluctance to see the world outside the monochrome. If you are declared evil for what you believe or who you are, surely you are then justified in returning the favor.