GO QUEST, YOUNG MAN

Given that religious belief not only ignores but staunchly opposes the very standards of reality that even the faithful apply to other aspects of their lives (evidence is not only not a prerequistive to belief formation, but a detriment; God is an inefficient murdering bumblefuck precisely because He is all-powerful, all-knowing and compassionate), it's not surprising that many adherents' special brand of stupidity is characterized not merely by errors and knowledge deficits but by programmed inversions of logic. This is evident in certain reactions to a New York Times article about Camp Quest, the only known summer retreat expressly serving children of atheists and agnostics. According to the article, staff members at the camp -- located in the Ohio River Valley and thus analagous to a Southern Baptist Convention conference in the Castro -- assure clients that there's nothing wrong with believing in a supreme being, but aim to promote kids' appetites for rational inquiry.

If you visit the blogosphere often, you may be aware of Technorati, a site that yields up-to-the-minute topical search results of all the Internet's yammering idiots. First and foremost it's a great tool for seek-and-destroy-style bloggers intent on showering their philosophical adversaries with narrowly targeted streams of toxic urine. Type "Camp Quest" into the search field and the database of course returns a slew of results ranging from the amused to the outraged, including, I imagine, this very page. Here is a fine example of assblather from an offended party evincing just the sort of backwardthink I mentioned at the beginning of this entry; note the various ideas here that are birthed of a self-imploding belief system (not exposing kids to God is child abuse; not believing in God is ignorant; the triune God and His ites are all about sweetness and light; the default condition for kids is to believe in the absurd; death implies eternal life). Then there's the obligatory triumphant argument from incredulity coupled with implicit "God of the gaps" reasoning: "Like this all happenened by chance!!!"

This kind of neuronal activity can be boiled down to a peculiar syllogism:

1. Assume that in the observable universe, if A, then B.
2. God exists and inverts universal laws on an ad hoc basis.
3. Therefore, if A, then not-B.

One of the premises doesn't appear to hold much water, but evidently this means it's obviously true. This post sucks, so I'm not even going to publish it, and as a side note I'm really enjoying all of the ultrapertinent comments below about Katie Holmes' ancient, cavernous vagina. The more this place resembles an interactive message board for babbling dipshits, the better.

6/30 ADDENDUM: The brains behind the aforementioned blog has, predictably enough, attempted to keep the truth at bay by deleting the spot-on comment to which I linked earlier. Fortunately I was able to reclaim it from my cache. Here it is:

"If someone chooses to be an Athiest, Agnostic, whatever, that’s fine."

Were this standard applied to religion, the world's churches would quickly empty of all but a select (i.e., schizophrenic, senile, or profiteering) few. We're all born atheists, and the only reason children come to believe in God in the first place is because of early indoctrination. You'd be hard pressed to find examples of people who, after given an honest opportunity to weigh the evidence around them and unfettered by the mores imposed on them by churchgoing parents, have concluded that the Bible fables represent any sort of historical or instructive account, or that the godthing is even worth laughing at, much less worshipping.

"No child should have his or her parents saying 'Yeah Johnny, God doesn’t exist. When you die, that it, game over.'"

I know, how terrible. (By the way, just how old is too old to believe in Santa?) Instead, children should be subjected to Biblical tales of unjust suffering, incest, slavery, misogyny (which you interestingly call "love, morals and humanity") and other solecisms, all of them overseen and fomented by an incompetent and capricious god.

Christianity has my vote, too. Just not the same vote you cast.


I'll never understand how upright-walking primates can regard acknowledging the finiteness of life -- which for most is marked by a modicum of pleasure, to be sure, but is also rife with diseases, disasters, evils, struggles and general fuckery -- as "pessimistic." Most people, even in prosperous times, spend the bulk of their stays on Earth dodging illnesses, criminals, loss, pain and turmoil -- their own and others' -- every waking day, yet it's "offensive" to believe that it's over when it's over? A billion or more people would do well to be weaned off the phantom teat they're sucking on so desperately, somehow unaware that it was leathery and dry from the very outset.
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