Proselytizing with Wolf

What annoys me about this interview is that Wolf Blitzer, for some reason, was insistent that someone say the “Thank the Lord” line so he could fill out his report.

He could have just said, “well, you have to thank the Lord,” and ended with that.

But, no! He insisted that the woman, who has just been through one of the most terrifying events of her life, had to say the words.

I admire her for being honest about the whole matter and shutting him up. Not everybody in the heartland is a Bible thumper, no matter how much Wolf and the CNN crew want to pigeonhole them into a specific demographic.

She could have just said, “Sure,” but if she’d done that, I bet Blitzer would have badgered her with a “You have to say the words.”

And then he follows with that condescending “but you made the right call.” Like people who don’t believe in God don’t have sense enough to find shelter when a tornado is about to take them on a one way trip to Oz.

This is the reason I stay away from television news.


Oh, and why is he a jerk?

Because he justifies other jerks like this one:

An atheist lawmaker’s decision to give the daily prayer at the Arizona House of Representatives triggered a do-over from a Christian lawmaker who said the previous day’s prayer didn’t pass muster.

Republican Rep. Steve Smith on Wednesday said the prayer offered by Democratic Rep. Juan Mendez of Tempe at the beginning of the previous day’s floor session wasn’t a prayer at all. So he asked other members to join him in a second daily prayer in “repentance,” and about half the 60-member body did so. Both the Arizona House and Senate begin their sessions with a prayer and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

“When there’s a time set aside to pray and to pledge, if you are a non-believer, don’t ask for time to pray,” said Smith, of Maricopa. “If you don’t love this nation and want to pledge to it, don’t say I want to lead this body in the pledge, and stand up there and say, ‘you know what, instead of pledging, I love England’ and (sit) down.

“That’s not a pledge, and that wasn’t a prayer, it’s that simple,” Smith said.


So the “Christian” lawmaker gets to overrule another person’s beliefs. And no one will stand up to him and say, “Screw you.”

Actually, someone did:

Rep. Jamescita Peshlakai, who represents a northern Arizona district on the Navajo reservation, did take offense. She said Smith’s criticism of another member’s faith, or lack of it, was wrong.

“I want to remind the House and my colleagues and everybody here that several of us here are not Christianized. I’m a traditional Navajo, so I stand here every day and participate in prayers,” even without personally embracing them, said Peshlakai, D-Cameron. “This is the United States, this is America, and we all represent different people … and you need to respect that. Your God is no more powerful than my God. We all come from the same creator.”

(This week in religion was brought to you by the good people at Little Green Footballs.”)

Marco Rubio needs to talk to Pat Robertson

Pat Robertson constantly amazes me. One minute, he says atheists are responsible for mass shootings and if your spouse has Alzheimers get a new spouse. Then I get whiplash when he turns around and says marijuana should be decriminalized and oral sex is just fine.

But this is off the charts:

Pat Robertson says creationism isn’t based on science. It’s absurd to say the Earth is 6,000 years old. He talks about carbon dating and dinosaur bones. It’s a fact-based answer.

What is going on here?

Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who’s going to seek the presidential nomination of “the Stupid Party” in 2016, refuses to answer the question “How old do you think the Earth is?” But televangelist Pat Robertson says you can’t “fight revealed science” and expect to be seen as credible.

And who the hell is Bishop Usher?

James Ussher (sometimes spelled Usher, 4 January 1581 – 21 March 1656) was Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625 and 1656. He was a prolific scholar, who most famously published a chronology that purported to establish the time and date of the creation as the night preceding Sunday, 23 October 4004 BC, according to the proleptic Julian calendar.

Wait a minute? The creationists base their entire attack on science and want to rewrite textbooks because of a 17th-century archbishop? On a guy who was combining religion and science at a time when Galileo was being persecuted by the church for saying the Earth went around the Sun?

It’s worse than I thought!

Since the GOP has lost its mind on rape

Here’s a color-coded guide on what Republicans think about sexual assault.


One nation … indivisible

You can blame the religious right for this:

One-fifth of U.S. adults say they are not part of a traditional religious denomination, new data from the Pew Research Center show, evidence of an unprecedented reshuffling of Americans’ spiritual identities that is shaking up fields from charity to politics.

But despite their nickname, the “nones” are far from godless. Many pray, believe in God and have regular spiritual routines.

When a group insists on imposing their religion on our political system, people who want to believe in a higher power don’t tune out politics. They tune out religion. Think I’m kidding?

The study presents a stark map of how political and religious polarization have merged in recent decades. Congregations used to be a blend of political affiliations, but that’s generally not the case anymore. Sociologists have shown that Americans are more likely to pick their place of worship by their politics, not vice versa.

Some said the study and its data on younger generations forecast more polarization.

“We think it’s mostly a reaction to the religious right,” said Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, who has written at length about the decline in religious affiliation. “The best predictor of which people have moved into this category over the last 20 years is how they feel about religion and politics” aligning, particularly conservative politics and opposition to gay civil rights.

Here’s a link to the complete study.

It’s the end of the world, and I feel fine

Remember Harold Camping? Earlier this year, the Oakland radio evangelist said “the Rapture” was going to take place May 21, 2011.

May 21 came and went. People said, “Yo, Harold! What happened? (Or didn’t).”

He said his calculations (because things like this have to be calculated precisely) were off and that May 21 was a “Spiritual Rapture” but added that he recalculated based on extensive Bible study and determined that the real, “You’re all gonna die,” “everything must go” end of the world (along with the complete end of the universe) would take place six months later.

That date was yesterday.

I’m still here.

I went outside and talked to my neighbor, who’s still here. I took a drive and was a little thrown off when my post office near downtown Louisville was closed (Could Harold have been right?), but a woman there said the one on Broadway and 27th was open until 1, so I drove over there, and they were still here.

I wonder if Harold’s still with us? And if he is, when is he going to return the money to his deluded followers?