'They were swarthy; I thought they were felons,' admits shaken Lord

This is horrible. Seeing scores of dead raccoons and turtles on the region's twin ribbons of death, I-95 and Florida's Turnpike, every day is bad enough, but it's hard to envision a more heart-wrenching scene than a bunch of hurt and terrified kids -- underprivileged or not, diabetic or otherwise -- in the wake of a major motor vehicle accident.

It appears everyone involved may survive. However, if the comment about praying for the kids uttered by the executive director of the Migrant Association of South Florida doesn't cause both your frontalis and cremaster muscles to contract, see a neurologist; those who would continue praying after such a calamity to a God who -- at least in the operational framework of supplicants -- must be held uniquely accountable are hapless gasbags who in an ideal world would receive either re-training from the pupa stage or chemical or surgical lobotomization. (At this point an apologist would typically interject a noncontributory bit of garbage along the lines of "Your ignorance about God, free will and religion is laughably evident." He might also assert that all of this interference from unbelievers has been ably dealt with before, which of course is a joke. Fine; consider these things done and keep reading.)

Following events such as yesterday's bus wreck, those who are in their day-to-day lives openly scornful of "faith" are, owing to nominal respect for the affected and bereaved, loath to say such thi皜gs. From a Christian theological perspective, every one of these unjust occurrences is by definition a mini-9/11. But given religion's far-flung negative consequences on humanity both overseas and domestically, its futilty -- contrary to the queef-like cries of "Get a life!" extruded from the twatiform mouths of the faithful -- cannot be overemphasized, and the scowling members of the brainwashed faction complaining of atheistic single-mindedness and hate are invited to plug their oscillating yammermaws with large cylindrical knobs of flesh. Many Christians believe that it is literally their obligation to pollute various institutions and realms with their bigoted mythology, yet a Christian hallmark is angrily calling for an end to dogma-busting messages of all types; this is yet another example of banal religious hypocrisy.

The truth? It is precisely in terrible circumstances such as the one in West Boca, which simply cannot be reconciled with the notion of a caring god, that people should be encouraged to question their childish notions of higher powers, both those powers that are allegedly benevolent or at least give a rank burst of flatulence and those that obviously aren't or don't.

Of course, this isn't about privately held religious beliefs and the various mechanisms (e.g., Heavenly fathers, drugs and alcohol, exercise) by which beleaguered citizens keep afloat; it's about law and governance. The more asinine President Bush and the other members of the Religious Reich branch of the GOP sound and behave and the more the nation resembles Christians' raucous, prophecy-fulfilling dream of a theocratic superpower, the more urgent the need to drive religion to the sidelines becomes. The Concord Monitor, my hometown paper, is a sketchy, self-important publication that for years has ignored endurance sports while devoting precious column inches to hunting and fishing drivel shat into its newsroom from the bungrings of notoriously illiterate hicks. That judgment notwithstanding, its editors last month published an excellent piece underscoring the dangerously unbalanced state of public consciousness and the resultant and perverse norms now encroaching upon all aspects of Americans' lives as a result. In particular it notes how gloriously full of shit Christians complaining of "persecution" are, although the editors might have considered the fact that hollow martyrdom is an essential element of hard-line Christianity, with only the context subject to change.

The nation's millions of incurious faithful may lack the motivation or cognitive wattage required to care about such matters, but others are certainly concerned. Religion as an institution should be laughed the past, to a time when the minds of bipedal organisms had evolved to a point at which contemplation of one's own eventual end was coupled with a certain creative streak capable of filling vast rifts in science knowledge with bondo that quickly became God. We no longer need this shit, but as it helps power-hungry people pursue and attain their avaricious ends, it's not likely to involute on its own.

Before jumping to the typical byrus-driven and erroneous conclusion that such commentary can only spring from a cold heart and a poisoned mind, keep in mind that I'm the optimistic humanist in this situation. People wishing to believe that there's an all-powerful god standing on the sidelines while his most ardent supporters perish in flames are the cynics.


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