left biblioblography: Atheist Nation? Ben Stein Botches The Blandishment

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Atheist Nation? Ben Stein Botches The Blandishment


Cross posted at God is for Suckers!

“Equal rights for all, special privileges for none” - Jefferson

I've been reading about Ben Stein (you remember this guy? Visine commercials? Ferris Bueller's Day Off? He's got a lotta accomplishments racked up) over at Pharyngula, mostly about his shenanigans vis-a-vis that ridiculous new piece of dreck, Expelled.

As the goodly professor Myers puts it, "Did you know that 'scientists are not allowed to even think thoughts that involve an intelligent creator'"?

I wasn't aware that such an invention as a patented mind-reader had been developed. Or perchance the US government is in cahoots with them thar durn nasty ole 'evilutionists'?

The short version is "WAAHHH! Why won't these big frelling meanies let OUR side of the story be heard?"

Shorter response: "Science. Not a democracy. Never has been."

So, I was scoping out Snopes.com, when I stumbled across this sow's ear (I borrowed the snippet in toto from this message board as Snopes seems to have some kind of anti-paste 'n copy thing on their website):

Herewith at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart:
I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up?

Well, I've not a clue who Nick is, but I know who Jessica is (I'm assuming Simpson?). And while I'm something of an intellectual snob, my eyes light up when that little ditty from that dreck 'Dukes of Hazard' comes on - you guys know what I mean, right? I can't stand country western, but there's something so...hypnotic about those gyrations.

Anyways, moving on. No, life goes on, despite the vicarious thrills of the tabloids for the duller amongst us.

Why are they so important? I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is, either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise's wife.

Ditto. I've already forgotten Cruise's trophy 'I'm not gay' wife's name, anyways.

Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are. Is this what it means to be no longer young. It's not so bad.

I can get along with that.

Next confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu.

I'm down with most of that: but if that manger scene's on government property, I think that's a violation of SOCAS - that is, unless there's equal time for Ramadan, Hanukkah, and other varied superstitions.

If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

Curious: I've never heard of public displays of Menorahs.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.

No one should be pushed around for any such thing - that's (one of) the great things about the U.S.A. Of course, they shouldn't get special privileges either, regardless of their beliefs, or lack thereof.

Can you hear the bleating of the martyr yet? Here it comes...

I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.

If by 'pushed around', you mean that they don't get special treatment anymore, boo-fucking-hoo.

I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country.

I have no idea where you pulled that egregious bit of bullshit from: probably your ass, Bendy-Boy. We were founded on secular values, but most distinctly not atheist ones. In fact, both Locke and Paine were anything but pro-atheist (though Franklin had a bit of a correspondence with David Hume, as I understand it).

I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Right back atcha, Bendy. Neither atheism nor theism are mentioned in the Constitution. Yeesh, for a fucking lawyer, you sure don't understand the term objective.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him?

Probably the same fucking place people got the stupid idea that the European royalty ruled via divine fiat? People always need someone to look up to, live vicariously through, and otherwise drool because the grass always seems a little greener on the other side of the pasture. Worship away, Bendy-boy. Just do try to keep it to yourself a touch more, wouldja?

I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

Or in the words of Ned Flanders: "I wish we lived in a place more like the America of yesteryear that only exists in the brains of us Republicans."

Which America would that be? The suburban utopia of Ozzie and Harriet? Bad news, Bendy: that was a fictional show and nowhere near being reality. Obviously Bendy's caught this godly glaucoma, the whiny carp of how 'things were better in the good ole days!'

What do you expect, from a Republican as well as a Nixon apologist?

Until next week, the peanut gallery is closed. This is the Apostate, signing off.

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Maggie Rosethorn said...

KA...actually, around my area, (northern NJ) we often have public displays of menorahs next to creches next to Santa and his reindeer. The menorahs actually light an additional "flame" each night for Hanukkah. Signs will often denote the first night of Ramadan, and always there are articles in our local paper about the start of most religious holidays, no matter what the religion.

Maggie Rosethorn said...

Meant to add...Ben Stein is an idiot.

Stardust said...

O/T You've been tagged for an evolution of your blog meme...when you have time.

Stardust said...

If by 'pushed around', you mean that they don't get special treatment anymore, boo-fucking-hoo.


Krystalline Apostate said...

Maggie - thanks for pointing that out. I hadn't heard about Menorah's being next to xmas lights, etc.
Course, I don't get out much, either. ;)

Thanks, Stardust. I'll try to get to the tag when I can.

mxracer652 said...

I used to get this so often when I worked at FedEx, I kept a word doc saved to copy n paste the reply. I found a closet atheist that way.

Stein really isn't all that intelligent.

karen said...

Ben Stien is just Andy Rooney on red whine.

And Rooney's funnier.

But just barely.


Merry Fuckin' Channuka, Bennie.

Chris Bradley said...

As the goodly professor Myers puts it, "Did you know that 'scientists are not allowed to even think thoughts that involve an intelligent creator'"?

Also, factually untrue. For instance, in the field of archeology they talk about intelligent creators all the time. Not just human ones, either! Non-humans, archeologically speaking, made a lot of tools. Indeed, some other animals alive today make tools (and one of them, a kind of raven, has actually improved a tool that it made; they use leaves that they chew to thrust into cracks to pull out bugs and recently it has been discovered that they have started to make their leaves with serrations to get more bugs - that's real technological improvement!). So, y'know, both biologists and archeologists talk about intelligent designers pretty often. The difference being, of course, they have PROOF of intelligent design. They can demonstrate who built what.

However, it is factually wrong to say that scientists can't think about intelligent design. Several sciences do so quite often, it's just that their intelligent designers happen to, y'know, exist.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Chris - that bit about the 'not allowed to think' was a bit of sarcasm.
Good of you to drop by. Sorry I've been so scarce lately.

karen - I rather like Rooney. Bit of all right, he is.

I used to get this so often when I worked at FedEx, I kept a word doc saved to copy n paste the reply.
Hey, long time no see, racer! (Go, go, speed racer, he's a demon on wheels...hehehehe).
Get what, exactly? You kinda lost me a bit there.

Chris Bradley said...


I haven't been around much, either. NP, man. ;)

And I know you were being sarcastic, hehe. I just wanted to be really clear that scientists, in a variety of ways, do deal with "intelligent design" and there is a wholly scientific standard on which to apply to the subject. That, y'know, ID proponents not only fail to meet but say is irrelevant to meet, and then say that scientists are against ID. They're not. Except that it's wrong. And that's relevant, hehe.

It's also a good argument against ID types because they've been told so many times that science hates "intelligent design" they have absolutely no retort when you point out that it's been a part of science for centuries. They are not, as a group, very well educated about science. ;)