Two Facets Of The Same Weakness
You might never think of it like this, but you know who has more in common than not? Ready? Atheists and biblical literalists. After Monday’s Supreme Court ruling, this spot-on tweet came out:
If you think a moment of prayer is "forcing my religion" on you, maybe you are very weak-minded.
— Cinco de Gayo (@GayPatriot) May 5, 2014
This is exactly correct. Most atheists fall into two categories:
- Non-believers, who sincerely believe the universe does not bend to the whim of a supreme power
- Humanists, who are assholes
Quite a large number of atheists don’t care about and don’t care for religion. They even say “Merry Christmas,” and take the day off. Whatever. If you want to get up on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and pray with the family, good for you. Just don’t expect them to join you.
The rest not only hate religion, they hate you for it. If two humanists get together, they spend most of their time reassuring each other how smart they are for rejecting the claptrap. They criticize you for not saying „Gesundheit“ after a sneeze, freak out when a park district storage locker has a bistro light up after December 15th, and basically want La Croix, Wisconsin, to change its name. Actually, no: what they really want is a news camera showing the world how much smarter they are. Humanists are the intellectual equivalent of the guy who sues a manufacturer of hard hats because they lack a sticker warning you that hard hats cannot stop bullets.
Its so easy to get under their skin, and likely you have already thought of several examples. And you know why? Because they are so rickety in their beliefs they take on a characteristic engineers call an unstable equilibrium. Yeah, like a soda can balanced on its edge, it stands tall until the slightest tap knocks it over. The Czar is not the only one who thinks so.
Not surprisingly, of all theocratical beliefs, Georgetown University found that atheists have the lowest retention rates between generations. Only 30% of atheists’ kids remain atheists. We blame the parents: they are such neurotic pains in the ass that the kids will join almost anything to avoid being like Mom and Dad:
This suggests to the Czar that the more in-your-face a person is about their belief system (liberals, take note!), the less they can defend their position over time. This is not to prove that atheists are wrong about their non-beliefjust that they make lack sufficient…dare we say faith?…about their convictions.
And now to biblical literalists. You know, the young-earthers. The folks who insist that evolution is just a guess-theory, and not something readily demonstrable in nature. The idea that every word in the Bible is the literal, absolute truthwithout wiggle roomor else apparently the entire world falls apart.
Catholics, often perceived to be mired in an archaic belief system, are indeed the more scientifically advanced: a lot of the work proving the formation of the earth-moon system, evolution, and the Big Bang is the result ofgaspCatholic researchers, many of whom were priests. St. John Paul II was quite clear on this, more so than the previous statements of other Popes: faith should never fear science but incorporate it. Moreover, the two are inseparable.
Non-Catholics are obviously welcome to reject this and forge their own beliefs. Perhaps this pronouncement is unreasonable. But it is more reasonable, by far, than the rejection of modern science because you believe your entire faith falls apart if the earth was not created on October 23, 4004 BC. This idea is most humiliatingyoung-earth creationists will reject a Catholic idea of the Big Bang demonstrable with photographs, but will certainly accept an Irish Catholic* bishop’s sketchy guess from the 1600s.
How weak is someone’s faith that it collapses when a galaxy is shown to be 20 billion light years away? Or that rock can be carbon dated to billions of years? Or that a yard weed is now suddenly resistent to RoundUp? None of these things are literally mentioned in the Bible, but the literalists insist they are because they have read every word, including the ones not actually there.
Here come the protests, the assertions, the demonstrations that science is wrong! That a Theory is just a guess, that your belief system is wrong, wrong, wrong because it contradicts how they think, and they are so much smarter than you.
Forgive the Czar if he finds humanist atheists and biblical literalists sharing an equal intoleranceone of equal instability. If a person’s convictions require shouting and spitting and name-calling, well, perhaps it takes the merest poke to tip the whole thing over. In which case, he isn’t as strong in his convictions as he hopes.
[*James Ussher (1581–1656) was technically not a Irish Catholic, but an Anglo-Irish primate of the Anglican Church of Ireland. Just in case you’re keeping score at home. —ŒV]
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.