In the past on various forums and boards and such, I've spoken out a lot against the freaky fundamentalist people - more than a lot actually. However as I've said in a previous video, that kind of thing doesn't really motivate me very much anymore. Really who gives a shit what someone thinks about the afterlife? Nobody really knows anyway. It begins to matter when they make public policy out of what should be private beliefs, but if people want to do stupid shit in the privacy of their own homes who are you to stop them?
One thing I have noticed though since about that time is there seems to be an increase of people who are declaring themselves as "atheists" or agnostics (myself included.) Like I said in Episode 6 there's a very large debate on-line between theists and non-theists, which is actually a great thing if you think about it. What we have here are not pastors debating philosophers or priests arguing with scientists - what we have are ordinary people using this medium to debate beliefs directly. Really can you name anytime in history when everyone had such access to disseminate their ideas? The fact that it's being done rationally, without violence is also pretty big if you look at history.
But anyway, suffice to say there's a pretty big atheist presence out on teh intertubes. The problem is however is when you start actually listening to these people, you find a rather large amount of them are former believers who have either had some kind of personal crisis, people who have in some way been burned really hard and have now thrown all the faith they used to place in a personal, all-knowing God behind a non-personal, materialistic science. It seems to me there's very, very few atheists out there who came from a neutral standpoint, studied both sides, and then chose the atheist conclusion.
The problem with these people then becomes that they begin to push their new lack-of-faith as hard as they pushed their former faith. It goes to ridiculous lengths. We have people trying to remove "in God we trust" from the money. People sue to remove of nativity scenes and Christmas trees from public spaces. This is all done under the guise of "separating church from state," but in real life there's also a selfish slant to it. For instance, you notice these people never advocate removing religious holidays from federal paid-status.
Having a Christmas tree in a public square or a nativity scene in a public park isn't State endorsing religion. You know what is? Having daily bible study in the fucking White House. Putting the Ten Commandments in front of a court house is. Giving our tax dollars to one religious institution while seizing the assets of another - that's the state endorsing religion.
So my message to Atheists is this - if you really do not believe, then any of the bullshit that believers do which does not negatively affect you or society should not matter. Who gives a shit if people like putting gifts under their pagan holly tree, or if they like hiding the Easter fertility eggs, or if they want to set up a light up manger scene one day out of the year? You know what the message you people give off is? "I'm such a self-hating prick that I'm gonna fuck up your holidays, because I can." That's why morons like Bill O'Rielly can stand up and declare some farcical "War on Christmas" every single year and people believe his stupid shit, because some dried up idealist out there has taken it upon himself to be the atheist avenger and fuck up someone else's holiday. If you do not believe in it, then what is the fucking problem?
My final point to the Atheists is to choose your battles wisely. You're not going to show anyone the error of their primitive ways by insulting their holidays, or by calling them names, or by suing to get their trite, commercialized displays taken down. You do it by encouraging people to learn and discover alternate points of view for themselves. The truth is educated people tend to not be fundamentalists - so you want to get rid of all those reactionary bible thumpers who seem hell bent on starting Armageddon? Advocate for education, fully fund our schools. Stop letting the fucking Republicans cut down public education until it's crawling to corporations for funding. Get people to read fucking books instead of watching TV - you know, so they can actually learn something.
The video I post after this is going to sound like it contradicts it, but it doesn't.