Sunday, 19 December 2010
When is a bigot not a bigot? When he's a Black Squirrel?
So I've had a few decent conversations with some atheist friends on here and figured I'd see what FB could offer in the way of atheist interest groups to join.
Kushdi, I thought; a bit of enlightened debate about empiricism, freethinking, humanism etc will be intellectually stimulating and an excellent diversion from writing ever weirder comments on friends statuses to sate the boredom of being stuck indoors. I'm not kidding either, in the last one I wrote that Donald Sutherland has been entirely animatronic since Kelly's Heroes and was operated by Jim Henson until the whole dying of pneumonia thing in 1990 when Nick Park took over. It's OK. I know I need help.
Anyway, I stumbled across this (what is the collective noun for numb nuts anyway?) group called the Black Squirrel Society apparently run by a Californian who goes by the name of 'Steppin Wolf'.
Instead of discussions about philosophy, politics, science, history and all the stuff I associate with my own search for answers to 'The Biggies' I was confronted with the kind of views usually reserved for hardcore English Defence League and BNP supporters. The hatred was 80-90% directed at Islam, the rest Christianity and was the predictable, monocular hand-wringing about sexual oppression, conversion at gunpoint, the death penalty for apostasy and the notion that all of this is coming to a doorstep near you if we (or more specifically you) don't do something like, er...you know, big... right?
After most of the exhaustingly dumb and vile nimbyisms was the inevitable suffix, "and when I say this to people they think I'm being racist"
Well, you are. So there. Or bigoted at the very least and xenophobic to boot.
And I want to make this absolutely clear for those not paying attention at the back: The rise in atheism, secularism, humanism and freethinking is a very, very good thing indeed. Just not the militant fundamentalist bullshit propagated by Steppin Wolf and his dribble-witted ilk.
I'm all for a sensible debate about how we can persuade countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United Kingdom to fully devolve theism and state. Especially to ensure secular penal law is universal.
Of course I think it's wrong for anyone to be put to death for insulting Mohamed, or for a woman to be beaten because she doesn't wear 'modest enough' clothing, or for some wackafuck redneck preacher to go bragging about all the Qur'ans he's gonna burn, or for the leader of the most powerful country in the world to invade Iraq because 'God told him to'.
And when we devolve religion and state in every country on Earth we remove the power of religion to do this kind of harm. With a secular penal system in place you can't oppress, hurt, or kill anyone for any reason; faith or no faith without expecting to get nicked for it. (So look out Bush there's a war crimes tribunal with your name on it hombre).
I don't care if people believe in Jesus or Jedis. All that matters is that no-one else is harmed or hindered by your particular brand of crazy.
So please, if like me the supernatural ramblings of centuries old control freaks interest you less than scientific enquiry, empirical truth, logic and reason don't fall into the trap of thinking the Black Squirrel Society feel the same way you do. They don't.