Comic: Atheist Hell

Via Reddit

Linda McGibney reaction to Ben Stein op-ed regarding tax on rich

Check out the video below in which a “have” responds to dumbnuts Ben Stein, literally the dumbest guy in the room. I’m proud that this wealthy woman spoke up and I hope more people do. The fact that Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and other rich bastards lead popular “opinion’ toward hating the taxation of the rich, and their dumb minions follow suit without thinking it through … it shows how unintelligent so many people can be.

Even in my situation, where one of our household is making much than the other, I would gladly give more in taxes, if it were to help the economy and the less fortunate.

I may not be a Christian, but these are the ideals that I was taught. If it means taxing me more. If it means I get more opportunity to give back, then I’m down with it. It pisses me off that the political position that opposes helping the less fortunate call themselves Christians.

And it’s one huge reason why I couldn’t call myself one. If that’s Christianity, than keep it far from me.

Via Cynical C

Witnessing in public

Last Thursday night the photography job I was on moved from The Merchandise Mart to the Field Museum. To avoid passing out at the Field Museum, I decided to eat something at The Mart. I walked with all my equipment to the second floor food court to grab a bite to eat before leaving.

The Merchandise Mart is huge. It’s the largest commercial building in the United States. It takes up one square city block. It even has its own zip code. When you walk through its hallways, the sounds of voices carry and echo as if you’re within the grand canyon populated with tons of people.

During my walk from the second floor elevator to the food court (literally one end of the building to the other), there happened to be very few people on the floor. It was after 5:45, and most of the working stiffs had left the building. From a distance I noticed two guys sitting on a bench having an animated conversation. They appeared to be my age or a little older, maybe 36 to 38. Both were handsome, professional types. Well dressed. One was black, the other hispanic.

As I got closer, their words were less echo-y and indecipherable. Their conversation became intelligible. We’ll call them Bobby and Eddie.

Bobby was telling Eddie, “I love Jesus! He has done everything for me. He literally rules my life in a way that I couldn’t do on my own …” Eddie listened to Bobby with a glazed over look. He wasn’t giving eye contact. He stared forward blankly. I imagined he was thinking, “How in the world do I get out of this?”

If I weren’t trying to get to my next location, I would have pretended to tie my shoe or look at a map for a while to listen more. This was a conversation I didn’t want to miss.

I strolled by schlepping my gear trying to memorize their conversation.

Far from earshot, I bought a meal deal from McDonald’s, and sat in a corridor, which happened to be about 60 yards from where Bobby and Eddie were sitting. After I had taken a few bites of a Southern Chicken sandwich, I could barely hear their conversation again, and it was getting louder. Bobby and Eddie walked right in front of my field of vision. I looked up at them, chewing my cud, listening intently.

Eddie was talking now, “I love my life the way it is … just the way it is.” Eddie’s hand was a hatchet, chopping through the air on each point. He continued, “I don’t need anything or anyone. I’m cool just the way I am.”

Bobby looked away from Eddie  to notice my face rubbernecking this train wreck of a conversation. He looked straight at me and said, “You just got an ear full didn’t you?” He laughed.

I smiled and laughed too. “Yes, I did … HONK!”

Then they were gone from view. Their voices were doing the doppler effect.

That conversation keeps returning to my mind. Obviously this was Bobby’s attempt to proselytize Eddie. And Eddie didn’t need proselytizing. I keep wondering if Eddie turned the tables and said, “Man, Jesus can’t be all that great. Where is he? You said he helped you when you needed him. I don’t see him. You seem to need him now, but he’s not nearby. He’s not helping you tell me about him, because I don’t believe a word you’re saying.”

Bobby would have said, “He’s in my heart, and he’s with me all the time.”

“Really?” Eddie would say. So you’re telling me I’m going to have to take your word for it? Great.”

Break that down with me. Should this conversation happen in the middle east, Bobby might have been saying, “Allah is there for me when I need him.” Or if it were in Rome 2,000 years ago, “Zeus is all I need. He does everything for me.”

When is the religious rodeo going to stop touring? Put any religious conversation into context, and it becomes something cultural-centric. I’ve overheard it in every corner of the world. It doesn’t take long surfing the Internet to see that this language of proselytization depends on the religious person who’s preaching it.

Like I’ve said before, the difference between different religious perspectives is vocabulary. I could tell you I have an invisible friend all day, but until I produce proof, you have no reason to believe me. So until there’s some proof, different religious cultures are going to continue arguing over invisibilities to no end.