I thought about beginning this post with a boilerplate disclaimer about not wanting to demean anyone’s faith, but that would have been dishonest. The warmest feeling I can conjure for the religious is only a pitying tolerance, and after watching the reaction from the Jesus-addled to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s veto of that state’s appalling anti-gay bill, the air is steadily leaking out of that balloon, too.
No, just because you believe in virgin births, resurrection, and Noah’s ark, this does not entitle you to anything, except perhaps some remedial science classes. In a rational world, the fact that you admit to being religious ought to be disqualifying for any job above Walmart greeter, and most certainly make your attempts to run the world a ludicrous impossibility.
But we live in pretty much the opposite of a rational world, and here in America, despite its unbrokenly dismal record, from the Salem witch trials to the present, “Christianity” has been, well, lording over us for far too long.
The fastest growing religion in the country, and much of the world, is “none, ” and that’s for a lot of damned good reasons. Hopelessly co-opted by the Republican right, the most powerful religious groups all but abandoned the concept of charity, and have merged as increasingly despised hate groups; useful only to dupe the rubes while the cash drawers are emptied. Younger Americans facing an ever-grimmer future are voting with their feet and souls, quite understandably, and leaving religion in droves.
But despite such obvious failure, Christians continue to punch far beyond their weight in politics; you could count the admitted atheists in elected office on one hand, and still have a finger left over for your chastity ring. If it takes an ol’ cocktailhag like Jan Brewer to finally step up and tell the bible bangers, albeit delicately, that their incessant whining is errant bullshit, I’ll take it, but the battle won’t be won as long as they continue to think, against all evidence, that they are better than the rest of us.
Many years ago, when I was manager at a theatrical lighting company, I could fairly accurately gauge the awfulness of a church (this was when there was an anti-gay measure on the ballot every election), by the amount of money they spent at our store. You see, the more toxic your message, the more you need smoke machines and lasers to sell it. Inevitably, when their Easter service ran up a bigger bill than a Bowie concert, they would ask if we gave discounts to churches.
Of course, I couldn’t say what I thought, and which they truly needed to hear, because I didn’t want to lose my job, but I patiently explained, “All our customers are good causes: the schools, the theaters, the opera, and the ballet. We’d like to help them all, but we can’t favor one over the other.” Grudgingly, they paid, but the sheer effrontery has stuck with me all these years. No other customer expected special treatment, much less routinely asked for it.
Maybe reintroducing the concept of feeding them to the lions occasionally would be a bit much, but the coddling that so-called “Christians” have been receiving in America has clearly gone to their heads. And finally, someone is telling them so.