Thursday, September 21, 2006

This is what I think.

I think a class in Ethics should be taught in public school. I hear the same thing over and over again from parents whom I talk to about schools. And that is that the reason they don’t send their kids to public school is because that they don’t teach "morality." I’m not sure this is true, frankly. I mean, I was taught about God wanting us to behave this way and that, and if we didn't... what would happen. And, it wasn't going to be pretty! I'm not sure that's ethics. I think that's more in the scaring children category.

But I do think that there should be a class called "Ethics" and it should be taught from first grade. There is a lot to teach about ethics without getting into religion: trustworthiness, responsibility, family, and lot of ambiguous and complicated situations that could be debated and talked about. There is enough shared agreement over certain behavior that this could be taught. When the public schools refuse to teach ethics, they reinforce the idea that morality and religiosity are synonymous. And that is untrue.

Here’s the other thing I think: Religion should also be taught from first grade on in public school. When people say they don’t want the Bible in schools, I say the opposite. The Bible should be in schools. Along with the Koran and all the other major religious texts. Children should learn about religion. Just look around us, religion is a major force in the world. It’s a mistake to think that ignoring it is the right way to go.

The instructor/teacher should teach about religion, not indoctrinate children. If the teacher is a member of a certain religion, he or she may spend ten percent more time on that particular religion. He or she must not speculate on the veracity of any one religion. They must simply teach about the different religious beliefs. (See? I can already make up rules!)

I know this all may seem statement-of-the-obvious, but to me this is fundamental knowledge that each child deserves to know about. Last night another parent told me that public school was no good for them because those schools don’t teach “how to be good.” I wasn’t sure what that meant, but on my daily dog-walk today, I ranted in my head about it.

Today I got to interview a scientist at Caltech (see, I spelled it right this time!) who is working on the special glasses that allow some types of blind people see some objects and the future of that research. I spoke to him yesterday as well, but today it was much more in depth. I mostly just sat in the background and listened to him hold a model of an eyeball and talk about the retinal implants that are possible. It was really fun. It actually takes my breath away that these types of technology are being developed.

Also, I spent some time talking to a person at the Paramount Theater in Seattle (where I did a show with Ira Glass last May) about doing “Letting Go Of God” on December 26th there. It seems possible. It might even be fun. It might even be successful! I will keep you posted…

41 comments:

April said...

I like those ideas. They remind me of the last paragraph of "Sophie's World," a sweet book about a man teaching his daughter about philosophy. I really wish I'd had ethics in high school. It seems like all my friends ever wanted to do in high school was sit around and discuss/argue about our different ideas and backgrounds. A class with some structure and history for our thoughts at a time when we were ripe for it would have been great.

Atheism Quotes said...

Julia, I completely agree about educating children in religion!

I know a LOT of Christians who would be opposed to the idea because they'd be afraid their children would pick the "wrong" one. I figure it's a reflection of the strength of their own faith that they have to make sure their own children are never exposed to other religions.

I think the greatest exposure I ever had to religions was at the Jesuit high school I went to. We had a term of comparative Christian religions, and a term of comparative world religions. It was taught exactly how you would hope: historically. Even our bible study of the Old and New Testaments was as a piece of literature in a historical concept.

People are always shocked when I, as an admitted atheist, can debate pretty much any religion and quote sources from their scriptures.

Just because I don't believe in a god doesn't mean I don't want to know about something that's shaped the world. I'm not afraid of other beliefs. I'm not afraid of being "converted" against my will.

One of my favorite quotes:
"When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
- Stephen Roberts

It says it all... every religion is just as valid as every other... not at all.

Flippy said...

I agree that ethics should be taught in school, because when I was a kid it was taught to me by my parents - damned atheists! But it seems that many parents are incapable of that these days. Maybe kids should be required to have a class every year called "Life", which teaches what we used to call common sense. That way, each year it can progress from "be nice to each other" to "philosophical ideas".

I'd agree about religious studies in school, except I fear the majority religion rule. I'm gay and Jewish (culturally only), a child of a Holocaust survivor, and I guess religion scares me. If your rules would be obeyed, then I think religious studies would be a great idea. I'm pretty tired of having Leviticus thrown at me, so it would be nice if even the religious folks could learn to thrown different biblical junk at me for variety.

Bruce said...

Dawkins' site is live now.


http://richarddawkins.net/

Atheism Quotes said...

Flippy, I know what you mean about the tyranny of the majority. I know Julia's wish is, in a perfect world, the major religions could be taught in a secular way so that children could understand that different beliefs are not necessarily a bad thing.

Of course, we live in America, a "Christian" country (according to the those who want to legislate our beliefs)

I just heard about a study that was done in Texas. They have what are supposed to be "bible as history" classes, which would avoid the separation requirement. If they actually did, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

The problem is that the study showed that, with the exception of something like *two* schools, every other bible class taught in public schools is basically Sunday school, with the bible presented as divinely inspired and the Christian religion as the right one.

The schools say the class was approved by the board, so it must be ok.

Tell that to the Dover folk who pushed ID into the classrooms.

Of course, in Texas, you take your life into your hands if you say something in those areas against forcing religion down your throat.

shannon said...

I'm not so sure school is a good idea.

LorMar said...

I teach at the high school level. Teaching ethics is a great idea. Words cannot describe how crucial it is.

Petra said...

Our family homeschools and I am introducing each religion as it relates to history. My kids have learned about the Egyptian, Roman, and Greek gods, and Siddartha or buddha so far. We studied the beginnings of judaism, with "Abraham's god." We will study early christianity next and approach it the same way. It is difficult, but it can be done.

As for ethics, I think it ought to be taught in schools - but mostly because the kids need to go home and share what they learn with their parents! In general, I think basically ethical people attempt to instill that in their children. But there are not that many "basically ethical" people left I think!

My biggest issue arises when I come across people who believe that morality and ethics are directly and proportionately tied to religion.

Anonymous said...

julia:
agree
tnx 4 ur existence..
tlc

SweetThursday said...

You have my total agreement too!

Especially since I often encounter the rabid afterschool rambunctiouness of teens. On the subway they hold the doors so they can go in and out and in and out, all the while laughing & screaming loudly. And once inside their conversation is set at 11 on a 10 decibel scale.

I know this is more manners than ethics. But manners are based in the ethics of thoughtfulness and respect of others.

I'm for kids learning the whole she-bang.

A female friend of a friend was beaten up by a gang of four girls, in school uniforms, for no reason. The police said this happens alot at the beginning of the school year, the stress of fitting in, and that it was a hate crime in that these girls targeted a white woman to wail on.

How stupid is that? Can't other races learn from the white race's stupidity? That prejudice is wrong. Anger and fear projected on someone just because of their ethinicity, sex, religion or sexual preference is idiotic, no ifs ands or buts.

Obviously, many kids aren't learning these lessons at home, so having to learn them in school would be a safety net for society.

Sheldon said...

Okay my like-minded friends, this is apropos of nothing, but…

A while back, I saw a documentary about some idiotic Christians – led by a crazy man named Fred Phelps – who make it their mission to protest the funerals of gay men, most of whom had died from AIDS complications. Some of these geniuses were carrying signs scrawled with the phrase “God hates fags!”

At first I was very offended, but then I thought, "Wait a minute! God hates everybody!"

He hates the blind, the disabled, and people with flat noses so much that he won’t allow them into his churches.

He hates women so much that he won’t allow them to preach his teachings, some of which include a whole host of “cleanliness” edicts both during and after their menstrual cycles (You wouldn’t believe how many! He’s like borderline OCD, there are so many!)

He hates adulterers so much that, if they don’t bleed enough on their wedding night, he orders fathers to drag their daughters to the edge of town to be stoned to death…alongside blasphemers, anyone caught worshipping another deity, and anyone caught working on the Sabbath (even if you were just collecting firewood to stay warm!).

He’s also a very Xenophobic god, hating anyone born non-Hebrew. Moses, Joshua, Saul, Gideon, David and the rest are commanded to slaughter every non-Jewish man, woman, child and suckling (baby). Come on! Even the sucklings? This guy is seriously hate-filled!

And don’t tell me the New Testament god is any better. Jesus said that any man who even LOOKS at a woman with lust in his heart is an adulterer, and is in danger of eternal damnation.

I'm left asking myself, "Who DOESN'T God hate?"

SweetThursday said...

Please take my last comment with a grain of salt.

I was being puckish in my "white-race comment"

I think that it is in human nature to judge the unknown, a deep rooted self-preservation instinct that in modern times can, in the extreme, be twisted into justifying genocide.

I agree with you Sheldon that all races have had their hands dirtied by bias.

I wasn't trying to be uber-liberal.

I just picked a paradigm.

Corey E. said...

Non Sequiter...

Julia....you were a Jeopardy clue last night!

Category: Before & After

Answer: Former SNL Comedienne Who is a Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Question: Who is Jula Sweeney Todd

Peter Waldvogel said...

Hey there,
I just listened to your old This American Life broadcast (love that show)... and then read a bit of your blog. Its just kinda sad. I agree with you on some things, I am sure but your perspective and understanding is just so skewed that its hard for me to believe that your account of "conversion" away from catholicism is real. It made fun listening, but there were so many times when I just couldn't help saying to - "yeah, sure I can see why she would say that, but if she just made the next logical step..." Anyhow, I know it will sound extremely hokey to most of the people who read this, but I am praying for you - that the spirit of God will reveal to you the reality of God and beauty of the Bible. I have seen some people, though admittedly no one as anti-christian (or should I say anti-catholic?)as you, have there eyes opened in ways they had previously seen as completely inconcievable.
-Peter

lynne said...

Danger! Danger!

Do you really want your child's morality to be based on, or even supported by, whatever the state decides is moral (curriculum standards)?

We homeschool, not because public schools don't teach morality, but because that's exactly where they appear to be heading at the expense of education.

Regarding religion, I agree with petra, another homeschooler who teaches it as a vital part of history. I don't see how history can be taught without it!

I often find it amusing when my child, the child of two flaming atheists (as we have been described by friends), knows more about Christianity than her Christian cohorts.

Steven said...

Hi Julia,

I seen a clip of you on youtube and thought it was hilarious. The age of reason lol.

ginny said...

I've always been too skeptical of public schools teaching religion because I vividly remember the way they managed to warp so much other information and use it as a tool for brainwashing. I can only imagine what a religions class would be like!

I also believe that most pre-college level teachers would be completely unqualified to teach a religious studies class. The schools are never going to hire someone who has a degree in religious studies -- instead, they'll stick the history or the English or whatever teacher on it because he/she had an extra hour with nothing to do.

In college, however, the instructor
has to have at LEAST a master's degree in the subject to teach it -- meaning the person would be well-versed in religious studies. So, I guess, I would argue that making everyone learn about different religions is EXTREMELY important, but I don't think public k-12 school is the right setting for it at all because they just don't have the right resources and I believe it would inevitably become something we never intended for it to be -- one of those classes where the kids feel like they get a free hour to nap, or, worse, a chance under qualified teachers to push their religious views on children . Now, if we made it a requirement at the college level...

This might sound awfully critical of teachers, but I am a teacher myself so I don't feel so bad about critiquing the system I'm a part of.

Christopher D. B. said...

You have some very interesting ideas about religion--I appreciate them, and as tonight is the first time I've heard of it, I plan to check out "letting go of God," and I will get back to you as soon as I do.

Just wanted to say that, and as a believer in something that I wouldn't feel appropriate to call 'religion' (I just don't like the idea much) I am very interested in your thoughts.

Blessings

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmm, yeah. An ethics course would be nice. Maybe a critical thinking one as well? That could easily be a 'blog post in its own right, I suppose.

I'd've loved to have been exposed to the Qur'an and the Book of Mormon at an early age, and maybe learned more about Buddhism and Hinduism as well -- I had to go learn about them on my own. Even though a lot of really bright people I know are atheists or agnostics, lots of folks have very active spiritual lives, but they don't always grasp how their faith journeys compare to others'.

I think in Germany and some other countries they have a religion class as part of the curriculum. I could easily see this being an adjunct of social studies (geography, history, government), but it could bleed over, in a nicely interdisciplinary fashion, into art, music and literature too. If it's taught in a survey, comparative fashion, it shouldn't rankle any overzealous First Amendment defenders. More personally, I like to think it could help a lot of us Christians understand our own faith better by letting us see it in a more complete context.

Of course, to be really comprehensive, a study of religion ought to talk about some things like animism, "pagan" (for lack of a more non-perjorative word) faith systems, agnosticism, atheism, and a lot of other 'isms besides. I'd have no problem at all with that, but I agree with some other posters here that some folks (the ones my pastor and I used to joke privately about) probably would.

Wilbur Owen said...

I dunno.
Ethics are, from what we see around us in our own government, and its actions at home and abroad to which we have given tacit approval. clearly subjective.
But everybody, everywhere, professes to knowing right from wrong, so whom among us would we choose to teach us ethics?
Besides, a course in ethics suggests that there is something complicated about having them, when really ethics could be summed up by:
1) Baby, thou shalt not kill, (nor try to weasel out of it by labeling it murder). No, never. And not under any circumstances, even if your teachers, parents or government tells you it is a noble thing to do., and,
2) Brother, thou shalt not take from another man what he has earned by his own sweat, again not under any circumstances, not by coming through his door uninvited with or without a gun, and not even if the incursion is labeled, BUSINESS, or RELIGION , or ADVERTISING.
That would cover the major sources of human ills that are man made, rather than natural.
And would leave time to consider other things, such as how much of anything does anyone have to have?
How have we arrived at a stage of development where concern for human life, stops as soon as the fetus emerges from the womb?
What does " religious tolerance" really mean... and how tolerant does one have to be before becoming a rutabaga?
Or, that maybe "love they neighbor" is overrated and should be replaced by " love less, and leave to his own devices (or to the legal system l) more."
Help when asked, but salvation is not your responsibilty.
Because sometimes, particularly religiously, minding one's own business seems to have been nailed to the cross of late.
And ethically speaking we could do with its resurrection .
With real love (i'm not your neighbor; you know who I am),
WO
.

Wasp Jerky said...

I think that schools in England teach the five or so major religions. We should too.

shannon said...

The more I think about it: schools are a crock. Only dumb-asses go to school or join the military.

How ethical is that?

How ethical is it to laugh at your own jokes when they are not that funny?

Anonymous said...

Schools are not the place for religious inquiry but for learning the skills of reason and growth.

Families need to take responsibility for their sproglings' religious education, not palm it off on some professionalized format. The notion of communities, or parents, demanding that I, as a teacher, start teaching their sproglings religion--jeez, THERE'S a losing proposition. They miss and poan as it is about how I teach arithmetic! (They always know better than we teachers...but somehow they can't manage to do the teaching themselves. When they DO homeschool, then they demand that we fawn all over them, providing the services that they can't...because teaching is a lot harder a job than anyone wants to admit. "We want EVERYTHING for our puppies, but we want OTHERS to provide what we feel like!")

But back to the topic of "religious education." This is how my freethinking father handled it: he sat me down with all sorts of religious texts from all faith traditions. And all sorts of history texts as well. He said, "Read whatever you want. Ask whatever you feel you need to."

He and his brother, my bachelor uncle (the most interesting member of the family), were always talking about history, about religion, about science, and they involved me in those conversations as an adult-in-training. My uncle was always buying and reading interesting, wide-viewed books, and he and my dad never batted an eye at my reading, wondering, asking. The irony is that my father had only an 8th grade education, my uncle, a high school diploma. Yet I learned more with, and from, them about many things than I did even in my Ivy League Ph.D. program.

But they NEVER tried to impart to me ANY attitudes about religion--not even that it was important. Religion was just one more thing to be curious about, not set apart by the propaganda of being So Important To So Many People. Christ, so is shopping and war and computers...but that doesn't make those phenomena important or attention-worthy. (Never mind worthy of picking taxpayers' pockets to teach it.)

It's common and fashionable these days to bash public schools as a way of setting oneself apart as a rebel, a thinker, or whatever. However it's easy to forget that the public schools were created to teach people very basic, and important, skills. Skills that my father and mother seemed to have in spades from their basic public schooling...but that seem to have gotten lost since World War Two turned public schools into consumer factories.

Public schools per se can't be blamed for the fact that communities have chosen to burden them with all sorts of responsibilities that should reside with those who breed new humans (then expect to palm them off on others, at others' expense). I get so sick of parents whining about how I, and others, won't provide or pay to provide their breedlings with an ever-escalating set of expectations and entitlements...most of which have absolutely nothing to do with learning to be a good person and citizen. The idea of them starting to demand religious education--I'd rather stick my head in a farm combine than think about it.

But this is part of the culture of irresponsibility and greed. The parents I deal with to a person believe that they are something special because they got pregnant and delivered a kid. Now suddenly they are Doing The Most Important Job in the World. Really? So why am *I* the one worrying about your kid's meds, their safety from sexual predators, and whether they got fed today? That's YOUR fucking job. I'm here to teach them how to read, write, and reckon--but by the time we finish doling out drugs and raising money for the football team, there's no interest, time, or energy for those corny old things.

So now we're going to add RELIGION to the mix?

The other question I have is, what is the upshot of this? What is the goal? For me, the only possible reason to teach a kid anything about religion is to co-opt their thinking and beliefs at some level. Therefore the only safe thing to do is to give them some road maps and tools, and turn them loose, with the offer of directions as needed.

As a result of my father trusting me to find my own way through the thickets of religion, and giving me the tools and support I needed on that journey, he let me evolve my own beliefs. Even more importantly he ensured that I'd never be "taken in" by any religious sect that sought people's compliance when they were in need or feeling lonely or weak. I always had myself to fall back on. This has been his gift to me par excellence, and there is rarely a day that I don't say "thanks" to him. (He died 27 years ago.)

By the time I was 11, I had concluded that god's first commandment to me was "Disbelieve in me with all your might." I am deeply grateful that my parents got out of the way and gave me roadmaps but no tour buses (or worse, prison camps) on the religious journey. It allowed me to consider many things...and then reject all of them.

For in the long run I have come to see religion itself as the single most pernicious oppression of human evolution. Above all else, religions teach that humans are something other than just another species. Out of this exceptionalism, and ecological exemptionalism, we are destroying the fabric of life on earth, while remasking and remodelling the most destructive ethic ever conceived:

Go forth and multiply.

For more on that read Jared Diamond, and Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee.

Religion represents a stage in human thought-evolution that it's time to abandon. Every fractured, ruptured, and shredded ecosystem--and extincted species--on earth witnesses to that.

No gods. No masters.

And no more breeding of new humans by humans incapable of doing the most basic caregiving work, like teaching their own critters basic reasoning and growth skills. My parents, with their limited formal education, gave me extraordinary opportunities to think for myself and become aware of others' beliefs. They gave me the courage to argue my own views, to stand up for myself, and not to be cowed by epistemological bullies. They gave me the compassion to listen to others' beliefs...and to question them in honesty and with love.

When I face death (which I do every day), the most valuable experiences I have had in this life consist of those moments when someone came to me, asking for religious stroking, and instead I gave them loving dissent. 95 percent of the time, that was exactly what they were looking for: a path out of the dogma, the doctrine, and the soul-lobotomy it represented. They were looking for permission not to believe. My family gave me that when I was a tiny child, and always they nurtured the conditions of it. They never tried to inflict their religious beliefs on me (though several times I rebelled against specifics they believed; once they got over their initial discomfort with having to question something they never had to before, we all talked like loving adults, and came to a more evolved, compassionate, and loving conclusion).

SweetThursday said...

I respect and admire your post Anonymous.

I see your point, because I have lived your point.

But you and I are very fortunate to have family that teaches and guides us in the way I feel family should.

But, out there, so many children are not as fortunate.

If it isn't broke I wouldn't fix it.

But I see the state of ethical development in younger generations suffering simple and compound fractures.

School has always been a place to learn and experience ideas one wouldn't at home.

Learning about the world's religions seems just as beneficial as learning Geography.

Anonymous said...

This is what I think . . .

I just got home from the 29th Annual Freedom From Religion Foundation's Convention in San Francisco where I saw for the first time your "Letting Go Of God" talk.

On another blog, I wrote the following:

"Sweeney's Letting Go Of God was rivetingly splendid, reprimandingly scathing against her revealed lunacy of religion.

I laughed, I cried, I clapped near incessantly while thinking, dang, I wish others of Phoenix Atheist Meetup group could be here with me enjoying this master piece of blasphemy."

Thanks Julia for making my Saturday evening one to remember for a long time.

Darrell Barker

Jesus Freak said...

I, as a christian, agree that children should be educated about all religions. I am not afraid that my children will pick the wrong one at all! I also wish they would teach logical thinking in schools which they don't teach at all anymore. Logic tells us that if naturalism and/or materialism is TRUE, a priori, then all laws of thought, laws of reason, and moral laws are non-existent entities. This is because both these worldviews depend upon empiricism that says that everything can only be known by our senses and if you can't put something in a test tube and prove it exists then it doesn't. Laws cannot be put in a test tube and are not matter or compositions of nature, therefore they cannot and do not exist. Therefore all of life is total non-sense. In light of this for an atheist to be able to debate anything is a contradiction in terms in that all their thinking and reasoning and rationality is nothing but based upon random chance processes, therefore has no value and is invalid. Think about this for awhile (if you can think because thinking is not a non-material/non-natural thing and doesn't exist either)!

Sheldon said...

Dear "Jesus Freak":

You seriously need to go back and take some science classes. Your statements about how logic progresses, and about how scientists determine what is real, are completely off the mark.

In a logic course, you'd be accused of setting up "straw men," defining things on your own nonsensical terms, and then tearing them down as if you've proved someone wrong.

Scientists don't state that everything must "fit into a test tube." They simply ask for evidence that something exists or is true BEFORE they'll add it to the list of things we know. If it makes more sense to you that we should simply believe something because some old book tells us to, then fine. But don't tell scientists (or atheists) that their methods are flawed.

May I suggest some Richard Dawkins for your viewing/reading pleasure?

shannon said...

Actually, you can write a law down and put it in a test tube.

You can put the whole universe in a really big test tube.

Jesus Freak said...

Dear "Sheldon",

Since you seem to be reasonably intelligent,
I have a question for you? How does new (never before
known) information get in the DNA? For example, before
an eye existed in any life form, where did the information
come from that had to somehow get in the DNA for the eye
to form?

Wilbur Owen said...

Just a note on nomenclature:

An atheist is not a member of a 'no god' club, although such clubs exist, and some atheists may choose to join them.
Atheism is a word: a =non, theism=belief in a god, any god or gods, or divinity.
That's it.
Atheists come in all shades, shapes, sizes AND collections of beliefs..
Some are rigid, adamant and often (like me) angry in their non-belief in a supernatural entity and some simply shrug when the subject comes up.
Atheists can be libertarians, democrats, republicans, engaged and engaging in the world around us, and some don't give a damn.
Atheists are not necessarily more moral than believers but they certainly are NOT less so.

I only mention this - and think it is important to point out- because in my now extensive inquiry in the world of fundamentalist religion, its rise, (and one hopes eventual fall in our faith beleaguered world), there seems to be a general belief among the faithful that atheists are indeed part of an organized conspiracy referred to as .. an AGENDA, as in "your ATHEIST a-gen-da."
Would that it were so, but the nature of the beast is that it is decidedly otherwise.
And while I personally believe - being a life long non-believer, victim of a congenital failing: totally unable to get my brain around the idea of a god. much less one who created our universe in 6 days without any help in planting the tulips in Holland, and the opium poppies in Afghanistan- that atheists DO have in common that we are much more intelligent and judicious, much more productive and amenable to progress in man's search for his optimum self, I know having kicked around for a long time in this best of all possible worlds, that it is not so..
There is a big gap, for instance, between Richard Dawkins and my ex-father -in-law, both adamant non-believers in the possibility of a world ruled by a goblin and (occasionally) his only begotten son, where things go bump in the night.
And I should add that there certainly are atheists who believe - an entirely different issue than disbelief in a god - that the world would be better off if every church, synagogue, mosque , assorted temples and ashrams were summarily bulldozed, and the building materiel used to construct libraries, theaters, concert halls, and even bowling alleys (man does not live by serious alone).
But most are more benign, and are happy to simply not be forced to have to enter into the monuments to man's gullibility.
And there are atheists (myself among them) who believe that religion, not the capacity for belief, which we do not yet fully understand, but the concept of religion as a human identity, is the worst thing that ever happened in human history, and the root from which all our other crimes against one another - man against man- have sprung.
But like all other atheists, I speak only for myself.
WO

Sheldon said...

Dear "Jesus Freak":

Ya got me. The new information comes from Jesus. I was trying to hide that fact, but you somehow figured it out and called me on it. Kudos.

By the way, Sheldon is my real name. No need for the quotation marks. I used them to connote the fact that your name must be something other than your handle; if I'm mistaken, and your name actually IS Jesus Freak, then I apologize...and sympathize.

Sheldon said...

Rock on, Wilbur Owen!

wilburowen said...

Hello, Sheldon:
Wilbur Owen here.. and alas, I am too old for rockin' (on or off).
Would that it were otherwise.

But does it count that I DO tremble?
A lot?
Sometimes with rage at all the god-palaver that seems to have crawled out of tent-revival meetings and Christian broadcasting and into our collective nervous systems.

And sometimes with fear that the hysteria ain't gonna go away any time soon, but will engulf us all regardless of race, creed or national origin, and we will drown in rivers of AMENS!

And I also twitch a lot.
Because the thought of 300,000,000 of us all screaming "Hallelujah, and Lord be Praised" with one voice as ordained by law, seems to be giving me a permanent case of urticaria.

And while it may sound supremely selfish, if it makes ME itchy, that means it has to have really serious repercussions for the rest of you guys (mankind).
For *I* am the world according to Wilbur, and he who believeth even in me (or takes any other deity too seriously) shall have eternal outbreaks of nervous symptoms that cause a lot of scratching.

That said, I return what I interpret as a compliment by saying that I have been flattering you up and down the Eastern seaboard, (cyberly speaking) by quoting your -to me- poignant and plaintive "Who DOESN'T god hate?"
That IS a heartbreaker.
And it brings to mind the bizarre notion that leads some of us to mistake god's patent animosity toward humanity for some form of affection, as in "GOD LOVES ME!."
That HAS to be the saddest, most heart crushing fraud ever pulled on any species.

But - it's also incredibly, sidesplittingly, ribcrackingly, hysterically funny.
Maybe a more rational world wouldn't be as amusing.
WO


WilburOwen

Bill Snedden said...

How does new (never before known) information get in the DNA? For example, before an eye existed in any life form, where did the information come from that had to somehow get in the DNA for the eye to form?

Asked and answered Creationist troll...

sparafucilli said...

Hi Julia
Just tuned you in (got here from digby I think). Good blog.

Yes, teach religion in schools and get Karen Armstrong to prepare the syllabus. Karen's "A History of God" being required reading.

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