I have but one thought on the subject.
To all of you that spent the months and years after a single terrorist incident shitting your pants or, more importantly, enticing others to shit their pants at the merest mention of swarthy persons of a certain … type:
Take heart. You and your ilk are only the second most pathetic, miserably, barrel scrapings on the planet. The most pathetic are those poor wretches that carry out the tasks your kind are too chickenshit to carry out yourselves.
Fear not. So long as the most powerful profit so greatly on the willingness of the oppressed to accept the claims of their oppressors that a third party is responsible. Then a cozy relationship develops between the “enemy” organizations, wherein each profits from the attacks of the other for propaganda purposes.
You have a long and bountiful future ahead. So sail on, malevolent parasites. Sail on.
The sources of funding for right wing nuttery seems infinite. Much of this cash is aimed at organizations that are primarily or at least overtly religious. Not just religious, but crazy religious. By that, I mean religion of the “Science is the work of the Devil!” variety. Yet those providing these funds seem to be mostly secularists. In fact, the key aim of these people appears to be just to convince the rubes to support the sorts of policies used to shackle the same rubes. Is it evil to use racism and intelligible-only-to-morons-who-don’t-understand-the-tenets-of-the-religion-to-which-they-claim-to-adhere religious arguments to convince the downtrodden to support their own downtreading, as long as some other group bears a more severe downtreading?
I have spilled imaginary gallons of electronic ink decrying the quality of our media. Yet I find the recent hubbub involving news reading airhead Lauren Green’s interview with Professor of Religion Reza Aslan unimportant. I suppose it is possible to become jaded that a typical news reader is hired largely for aesthetics, as the former Miss Minnesota suggests. I did make some half-hearted comments in various social media.
Below is quoted from Whatever Works:
Green: “It still begs the question though, why would you be interested in the founder of Christianity?”
Aslan: “Because it’s my job as an academic. I am a professor of religion, including the New Testament. That’s what I do for a living, actually.”
Mr. Aslan is a scholar in religions. A professional news reader (with a graduate degree in journalism, no less) doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the phrase “to beg the question.” Yet this hackneyed stereotype (former beauty queen turned TV news reader) incorrectly uses the phrase in questioning the religion expertise of a professor of religion at a major university.
On an old Army friend’s posting, a former colleague wrote this comment:
As poorly as the interviewer conducted herself…she raised a valid set of questions….and the supposition is that (just like a Christian scholar can hardly write – even with “scholarly authority” – on Judiaism or Islam, Buddhism, Mithraism…etc…..(her question, at least least in my view, was never answered).We are the sum total of our beliefs….and it will, and does, (because it defines our ethos) affect our views, our “studies” etc. COme on guys….this man converted as an adult…which requires a SEE (significant emotional event). Of course it is going to affect how he studies, writes, theorizes. Duh. All the more reason to be skeptical while reading his book…makes it all the more enjoyable.
If a person does not worship Zeus, he obviously can’t write with “scholarly authority” on the Olympian gods.
That’s also why no scholarly work has ever been done on the Nordic or Mesopotamian gods.
Ultimately, though, I can barely get up the energy to climb upon the soapbox to point out the abject ridiculousness of the infotainment approach to journalism. It is no longer like beating a dead horse. Rather, it is like standing downwind from the much scavenged beast, which is now clearly in a gruesome state of decay and yelling the obvious at annoyed passersby.
Update: I shouldn’t neglect to point out that the only other place I have heard the name “Aslan” was as the lion (the obvious Jesus character) in C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Little Green Footballs linked to a Think Progress article, AFA Warns That Christians Will Soon Be Treated Like Blacks in Jim Crow Era.
Two teenagers, apparently being treated exactly like modern Christians. From Radio Diaries
I am often familiar with songs for many years without ever understanding the lyrics. I never paid attention to the lyrics of “Strange Fruit” as sung by Billie Holiday (written by Abel Meeropol, according to Radio Diaries). One day a few years ago, however, I saw a video of “Strange Fruit” with this picture or one much like it. Now Billie Holiday’s beautiful voice disturbs me. What I hate most about this particular picture is the man in the tie (front and second from the left) and his female companions. Regardless of the transgressions of these young men (probably aggravated uppitiness), the expressions of those three individuals in the crowd reflect sick minds.
Somehow I missed the hundreds of Christian lynchings that have been apparently happening in America every year. Perhaps I should do a better job keeping up with the news.
I have said it before, and I’ll doubtless continue saying it until advanced dementia has rendered me incapable of recalling physics:
This simple statement means that it is impossible, by the laws of physics, to know anything perfectly. While I should mention that the position and momentum of large objects may be known quite accurately, that is not particularly important. From modern chaos theory we know that, in chaotic systems, even arbitrarily small differences in initial conditions result in vastly different outcomes.
The so-called Copenhagen Interpretation of modern physics holds that the uncertainties associated with quantum particles are not merely measurement anomalies. Rather, the item in question has neither an exact position nor an exact momentum until it is measured. What this means is that even if your imaginary space friend really did exist, and even if he were omniscient (that is to say he had a computer that provided exact information on every individual subatomic particle and photon in the universe), he would not be able to predict events precisely beyond a very short time beyond the present. Also, I should point out that a computer with perfect knowledge of the universe would require memory modeling the entire universe 1-to-1. So any sort of storage medium with perfect modeling of the universe would, in fact, be another identical universe. That seems pretty pointless.
So for all the scientists in the world, if your religion depends critically on prophecies, you are screwed.