Thursday, December 17, 2009

Someone please tell the atheists to knock off trying to steal holidays


Jewish date:  30 Kislew 5770 (Parashath MiqQeṣ).

Today’s holidays:  Day 6 of Ḥanukkah (Judaism), Ro’sh Ḥodhesh (Judaism), Thursday of the Third Week of Advent (Roman Catholicism), Saturnalia (ancient Roman).

Worthy causes of the day:  “School Lunch Meat Gets an 'F'”, “Obama: Don't Waver in Your Demand for a Public Option - The Petition Site”, and “Save BioGems: Take Action: Save Polar Bears”.

Topic 1:  “Tea and Psychopathy”, the latest episode of Eastwick.  A couple of relevant things are going on in this episode.  Kat embraces her magical ability to heal to such an extent that she starts wearing herself out, some of her hair turns gray, and she gets nosebleeds.  Clearly magic in this world is not free; it might be cheap, but enough cheap items together can be very expensive.  Also, her abusive ex-husband Ray starts to think she has magic powers when she drops icicles on him and less than subtly hints she may do worse in the future.  Furthermore, Eleanor’s plot to kill Darryl (again) continues unfold.  Eleanor herself poisons Joanna and her frenemy Max to keep them from interfering with her plan, while her coconspirator Jamie tries to force Roxie into murdering Darryl with an unusual dagger she once saw in a vision.  She resists and stabs Jamie instead, which puts him on track to kill her as per her early visions of him.  Evidently Eleanor and Jamie are playing according to the rule that the ends justify the means.  There also seems to be an element of predestination in the visions; so far none of them has been avert.

Topic 2:  “Judge OKs winter solstice display at Ark. Capitol”.  Once again, atheists are at it again trying to usurp a preexisting holiday, in this case the winter solstice.  (Hint:  The Neopagans claimed it first.)  They thus sued to put up a display featuring Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and Eleanor Roosevelt.  This alone kills any effect they might hope for, given that Bill Gates is not exactly a paragon of morality or reason.  The text for their display, “As the old year passes and a new year is born, we reflect on that which has passed and hope for a better tomorrow.  May the light of reason be a beacon to a brighter future for us all.” is actually a generic platitude.  Few people of any belief system would say something like “May the light of irrationality be a beacon to a brighter future for us all”, the idea is so obviously bad.  Militant atheism is atheism pushed in ways which may give serious atheists something to rally around, but really annoys everyone else—which is neither bright or rational if they want anyone to listen to them enough to be converted.  My advice again:  Atheists really ought to drop the idea of stealing anyone else’s holiday.  Forever.  And they need to get past this idea of “we’re smart and rational and everyone else isn’t”, because it is false, it is annoying, and no one is buying it.  What they need to do is fire their current PR department and start giving people actual reasons to think they are wonderful, and the only way they can do reliably do that is become wonderful.

Topic 3:  For today’s dose of religious humor:  “The Greatest Christmas Decoration Ever!”  I get the humor, but I really, really do not recommend anyone copy this stunt, as it may make people panic.

Peace and happy Ḥanukkah.

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