December 09, 2008

More right wing spin rears its ugly head

Natalie, in a comment in my previous post said, "Actually many children are now feeling the brunt edge of discrimination in schools and rec centers." I agree with that statement wholeheartedly. I have read numerous accounts of young people who have questioned religion, or publicly professed their atheism being ostracized, bullied, had their belongings stolen or vandalized... Oh, wait. Natalie was talking about something else:

The government has seen to it that children of different religions including Christianity, Judaism, Sheiks, Hindus who wish to pray may not...

it is encouraged that these children are made fun of...

It is encouraged that these children are laughed at in class...

Really? Are religious children - including Christian children - being made fun of in schools? Are the other children being encouraged, by their peers or their teachers - the inference is unclear - to ridicule their religious classmates? These are outrageous accusations, and, well, I'm skeptical. Natalie, I'm going to have to ask you to provide some corroborating evidence to back up those statements, because I think they're (pardon the strong language) Bullshit.

Send me some links to news articles describing the events mentioned above. If you have them. I won't be surprised if you don't. I won't be even the slightest bit tempted to raise an eyebrow if you cannot support a single one of those statements.

See, Nat, I think you are much like Fred was, simply repeating things you have heard as if they are gospel truth. Unless you can back up those claims, I am going to dismiss them.

As for the other things you said in your comment, about the respecting the "historical" religious aspects of your country's founding, you are sadly mistaken. You should study some history, Nat. The founding fathers of your nation - the ones whose signatures grace the Declaration of Independence - were, for the most part, either weak Deists, Agnostics, or outright Atheists. Your country was founded on secular ideals, not religious ones. The appearance of God on your currency did not happen until almost a century after the founding of the country, and He did not find his way into your Pledge of Allegiance until almost another century after that. So your over-the-top hyperbole about dropping our Judeo-Christian roots in the trash can is just so much dishonest jibber-jabber. What has long been dropped in the trash can are the secular ideals of your founding fathers. The revolutionary ideas they had, and fought for, and are the very basis of what made America great, are being undermined and discarded on a daily basis by the current power brokers of your nation.


Dan said...

That's one of my biggest pet-peeves: This notion that America was somehow founded upon Christian principles and ideals.

It's maddening, and it's nothing more than a transparent act of the god-soaked revising our nation's history so as to give their religion the veneer that it is somehow historically valuable to our nation in terms of legislative power.

It is not, and the beliefs of our nation's founders are so incredibly irrelevant to the fucking laws of this nation, it's amazing that some Americans would have the unmitigated gall to read the Constitution and still make the claim that their religion is somehow worth more than the others in this nation.

It doesn't matter if our founders were kitten-eating sadists!

It's sad that after more than two hundred years, we are still having this conversation. We are still holding the hands of the religious faithful, patting them on their heads and explaining to them that in order for this country to work as our brilliant founders imagined, all religions, regardless of how popular or not, must be given equal status.

It's been more than two hundred years, and these gibbering Christians still can't grasp that. Which is why I propose nailing up a nice, big copy of the First Amendment front and center in every church, synagogue, temple and religious school and gathering place in America. Let them sit and let them ponder its meaning. Inevitably, it's got to sink in. If this country is to remain free, it has to sink in.

Still, people who seek to rewrite history for the benefit of their own mythology disgust me more than anything. I have no respect for them, and yes. Their beliefs should be mocked and ridiculed until they see the horrible damage they are doing in the name of their stupid, stupid gods.

It pisses me off, and I am sorry for the rant. However, Christians have become one of the most vile and ignorant and socially destructive groups in America, and it's a bit bothersome when people blinkered and clueless about history tell me that I need to embrace their beliefs and respect their delusions.

I don't. I see them as idiots.

Why would I ever encourage or respect those who would destroy our nation's precious history so as to prevent us from receiving the rights and freedoms promised to us by our nation's founders?

It makes no sense how someone calling themselves an American citizen could willingly be part of a group seeking to erase everything that citizenship grants them.

Gyaagh! I'm sorry, but this just hits a nerve with me. We all should have the same rights in this nation. And, when one group seeks to trample the rights of another, it pisses me off. And, please... Before anyone accuses me of trampling the rights of Christians and other religious faiths, reread what I wrote. If asking you to respect my rights and the rights promised to us as American citizens somehow infringes upon your rights, do yourselves a favor and try to comprehend what the Constitution tells us.

If you can't do that, then please find yourself a nice, tidy corner of the planet where you create your own god damned theocracy built, not upon reality, but upon a book of supernatural myths and fables. I'm sure you'll go far once you stop killing yourselves for eating shellfish or silly shit like that.

vinny said...

Call me Paul said...

Thanks for that completely irrelevant page of Google search results, vinny. Did you even bother to read any of that material, or did you just blindly post it here thinking it somehow demonstrated something realted to the discussion here? Let me tell you why those links are meaningless in regard to this discussion.

1) They are all based on findings in UK schools. Natalie's comments were very specifically about the USA.

2) The bullying found in the study to which all those links refer found that religious children were being bullied by other religious children. Intolerance in its natural form.

3) And a quote directly from the study: "the levels of religion-related bullying were not found to be significantly greater than other types of bullying found in schools." This is just school kids bullying other school kids because that is what school kids do. The religion aspect of it was just an excuse. If religion were absent, the kids would just pick another reason to be bullies.

Were those the stories to which you were referring, Natalie? If they were, do you understand why they do not support your position?

fv said...

Like Alec, I enjoy misdirection.

natalie said...

actually Paul I listened while mothers told me accounts of how their kids were bullied.
And I don't mean just Christians; I said Jews, Buddhists, Sheiks and Muslims.
I also said that they were denied the right to pray.
I was making an attempt to be civilized and represent to you actual events by actual kids.
You don't live here and Dan does not have kids Paul.

natalie said...

Actually I do not represent the right wing anything.
It's just me natalie your friend and Dan's friend
I want to make peace abotu this.
My intent all along was to make peace.
There are actual problems in the schools and preschools and Head Start programs. I understand that it does not concern you and Dan directly.How about we forgive hurt feelings and move on and you call me natalie instead of other things...
And I wish you guys a Wonderful Holday season

Call me Paul said...

Two things, Nat.

1) Your claims about children above are just anecdotes, then. So I can safely dismiss them as meaningless.

2) We are friends, Nat. We are having a friendly discussion. Nowhere have I accused you of being representative of the Religious Right. I have accused you of having been misled by them, but that's hardly your fault.

Merry Christmas, Natalie!

Stew said...

Paul, I found your site via your comment at Skeptico.

Anyone who regularly checks Skeptico can't be all bad I thought.

And I find you're an atheist to boot! I shouldn't have been surprised, skepticism, rationality and atheism often go hand in hand.

So, pleased I followed your link, nice blog.

Astaryth said...

Haven't seen you around in a while... hope it is because you are enjoying the Winter Holidays with your family!

Wishing you and yours the happiest of (insert appropriate Winter holiday here)!! LOL!

Anonymous said...

You skeptical?
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. So glad nothing changed while I was away.
Can we talk about puritanical control over sexual desires now? Someone was preaching about that being the "better way" to me. Haaaaaaaaaaa, again.
~Mary (Frankandmary)

~Rebecca Anne~ said...

Your starting to blog about as often as I do.

But I wanted to come by and wish you a good 2009. Hopefully you and the family are well and simply resting up from the holiday festivities.