Observations and inanities by a second-shift assistant supervisor in the Puppy-Grinding division of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy® (our motto: "Sure it's cruel, but think of the jobs!"), your host, Brent Rasmussen.
Word To My Mother
My mother is a great believer in forwarding emails of the Republican or Christian variety. I've seen most of them before, and generally I don't respond. Eh. My mom is awesome, but a little far right politically and religiously at this point in her life - and I'm too damned tired to start a war. Heh.
But when she forwarded this essay (quoted in it's entirety below the fold), and claimed it was written by our own curmudgeonly atheist Andy Rooney, I had to reply:
This was actually written by a sports writer by the name of Nick Gholson who worked for the "Times New Record" newspaper in Wichita Falls, Texas, back in 1999, NOT Andy Rooney. Andy Rooney is actually an atheist!
"Why am I an atheist? I ask you: Why is anybody not an atheist? Everyone starts out being an atheist. No one is born with belief in anything. Infants are atheists until they are indoctrinated. I resent anyone pushing their religion on me. I don't push my atheism on anybody else. Live and let live. Not many people practice that when it comes to religion." -Andy Rooney, Boston Globe, May 30, 1982.
"I am an atheist... I don't understand religion at all. I'm sure I'll offend a lot of people by saying this, but I think it's all nonsense." -Andy Rooney, from a speech at Tufts University, Nov. 18, 2004.
And as for agreeing with Gholson's essay below, obviously I don't. I think it's a pretty desperate argument to claim that "might makes right" like Gholson does here - especially in America! Adult Americans don't usually agree or use petty, childish, playground arguments like that. We usually stand up for the little guy, don't we? Defend those who need defending? We say, "I disagree with what you say, but I would die defending your right to say it!" Right??
Our Constitution and Bill of Rights are designed to counteract the sort of "tyranny of the majority" that Gholson is promoting, and to protect the rights of the minority from being trampled by all the frothing "Christian Nation" kooks in the majority who want to have MY kids pray to THEIR god in public schools paid for by my taxes. You can say your prayers any time you want - on the street corner, in church, in your home, heck, even at a football game! What you *can't* do is have public school officials lead *my* children in saying *your* prayers to *your* god, to the exclusion of all other religions, or non-religion - and then expect me to pay for the privilege!
Argh! It drives me nuts! :)
I love you Ma, and I'm really not trying to make you upset, but I think you're 180 degrees off-center on this issue. I hope you'll reconsider your position.
Ugh. I hate writing to my family about this stuff. It's going to make the holidays interesting, in any case! :)
*With this issue, I agree. If you don't, delete it,* but at least read it!
HOORAY, HOORAY, HOORAY for Andy Rooney . I myself have been grumbling and wondering how a handful of people have been able to take our right to pray in public places away from us. So, agreeing with Andy, I GLADLY will forward this email AGAIN, AGAIN AND AGAIN.
Andy Rooney and Prayer
Andy Rooney says:
I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don't agree with Darwin , but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his Theory of Evolution.
Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire Book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.
But it's a Christian prayer, some will argue.
Yes, and this is the United States of America , a country founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect -- somebody chanting Hare Krishna?
If I went to a football game in Jerusalem , I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer...
If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad , I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.
If I went to a ping pong match in China , I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.
And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit.
When in Rome...
But what about the atheists? Is another argument.
What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer!
Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.
Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying.
God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well, just sue me.
The silent majority has been silent too long. It's time we tell that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority doesn't care what they want. It is time that the majority
Rules! It's time we tell them, You don't have to pray; you don't have to say the Pledge of Allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right; but by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back, and we WILL WIN!
God bless us one and all... Especially those who denounce Him , God bless America, despite all her faults. She is still the greatest nation of all. God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.
Let's make 2009 the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions. And our military forces come home from all the wars.
Keep looking up. If you agree with this, please pass it on. If not delete it.