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Sen. Dole (R-NC) Vilifies Atheists in Campaign Ad

UPDATE: Democratic challenger Kay Hagan defeated Libby Dole. Thankfully, the residents of North Carolina saw through the BS and recognized Dole’s ad for what it was: unfounded, bigoted tripe.

George H.W. Bush’s now-infamous quote regarding the patriotism of atheists is old news for most. At a 1987 campaign stop in Chicago, Bush 41 made a disgusting statement that should be offensive not only to atheists, but to theists as well. The shocking amount of judgment that he passed on an entire group of people should have been a career-ending soundbyte. Unfortunately, Americans were more disgusted by Michael Dukakis with a goofy helmet in a tank than this bigoted quote by the (then) Vice President of the United States. Here is the text of the statement:

Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are atheists?

Bush: I guess I’m pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me.

Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?

Bush: No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?

Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I’m just not very high on atheists.

It’s no secret that atheists are the most reviled minority in the United States. It’s no surprise that there are very few atheist elected officials in this country. So it certainly comes as no surprise when Senator Elizabeth Dole runs an attack ad attempting to draw a connection between her opponent, Kay Hagan, and… dun dun dun… ATHEISTS!! Never mind that the ad is completely false. It is attempting to create guilt by association and make viewers question the judgment of the opposing candidate simply because she may have known some atheists. I thought it was bad that most other attack ads focusing on guilt by association had to do with terrorists; I never thought I would be a member of a group referenced in one.

Check out the ad below before the cease and desist order goes through. While I don’t think that attempting to tie someone to atheists should be considered a defamation of character, insinuating that a candidate makes the quote at the end of the video when she did not, is a misrepresentation of the truth (a.k.a. LIE). If the video is taken down, I’m sure it will pop up somewhere else on YouTube. I’ll fix the link if and when that happens.

Reason to Be Ashamed of the South #23

Walk through the parted waters while following a pillar of fire, just like it never happened in the Bible.As if the Creation Museum didn’t do enough to brand America’s South as a religion-infested fundie haven, the proposed Bible Park USA near Murfreesboro, Tennessee will certainly sway those who have not taken sides.

This fun-filled attraction is currently pending approval by the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners. I can only hope the fun-loving gents and ladies of the board find it within themselves to deny the developer from moving forward with this travesty.

I sometimes question the need for such an attraction. With church camps and vacation bible schools to keep the kiddies in touch with Jeebus, would such a park even be relevant? Do parents realize that they are actively engaging their children in brainwashing activities? How many times must one hear about the parted waters, the pillar of fire, and the burning bush before they internalize it as steadfast truth?

Fundies oppose the presentation of evolution in a classroom because, if the children aren’t shown alternatives, they might accept it as absolute truth. Isn’t that what these people are doing by cramming the Christian belief system down their children’s throats from the earliest possible age?

As reported in the Murfreesboro Post, one of the county commissioners of Rutherford County who lives across from the proposed site said he’d rather have the theme park than 240 houses. Seriously? Think of the added traffic, noise, and local pollution said traffic will produce in your neighborhood. Balance that with the prospect of increased sales tax revenue, and see if you like the location now.

Either way, it’s not the location that bothers me, it’s the very existence of the park. Christians have more than enough things available to brainwash their kids without further muddying the reputation of the Bible Belt.

Baby Does Not Have Book

I know this is an old video; I saw it freshman year. I hated it then, and I hate it now. I suppose its purpose is to make Bible study seem really cool with the younger crowd. What better way to tie in with the younguns than to set a story of piety to the sounds of Sir Mix-a-Lot. Is it just me, or is a song about a penchant for large asses not a good backdrop for tales of Jesus?

If you made it through the entire video, I applaud you. If you now are inspired to go study a Bible, I do not applaud you. I cry for you.

Overdue Jesus Camp Story

If you are like me, you probably attended some type of summer camp at some point in your youth. I attended 4-H camp, which had no religious connections at all. The second year I went, the camp overlapped a Sunday, and the campers had the option of attending an all-faiths service, but that was it. As a matter of fact, looking back at every away-from-home-on-Sunday function I have ever attended, I can’t remember a single person getting bent out of shape because church services weren’t arranged.

I guess you have figured out that I never attended church camp. I never even understood the idea behind church camp. You can go to church twice a week and follow your beliefs all the other times, why would you want to do it every single day at summer camp?? Most people find solace in a group of like-minded individuals, but are religious camps just about creating an environment of those with similar beliefs? Some evangelical camps, as highlighted in the movie Jesus Camp, are geared towards pumping children up to spread the word of their god. As one child puts it, “we’re being trained to be God’s army.” This camp’s goal is to prepare children to take the nation back and put it in Jesus’ hands.

Not all camps are as extreme as the one illustrated in this documentary, but it goes to show how far some people are willing to take their cause. Being a free thinker in America is apparently a bad thing. Having an idea contrary to the evangelical money/power machine is a good way to get noticed in a bad way. As one person states in the movie, “There are two types of people in the world: those who love Jesus, and those who don’t.” You don’t say? Those who love bread, those who don’t. Those who love origami, those who don’t. It’s a rather broad and meaningless statement, but when you look into it a little, it shows how black and white the world is to an evangelical. Evangelical Christianity is good and anyone who stands in their way is fueled by Satan.

My main beef with all of this is that they are targeting children. One of the camp leaders notes that the “enemy” is targeting children, so they should prepare a good evangelical offense. Children are highly impressionable. Anyone who was ever fed the Santa Claus bullshit story knows this. When you are young, you actually believe things like a fat man delivering presents to all Christian boys and girls in one night via chimney mail. What do you have to do to get those presents? Oh, it varies from household to household: eating your vegetables, cleaning your room, doing well on your math test, etc. Santa-ism is a miniature religion replete with all of the elements of control and obedience seen in its macro predecessor.

Centuries of common law have led us to the conclusion that children are unfit to handle certain decisions. No driving until. No drinking until. No sex until. No legal documents until. All of these things are rather menial when compared to committing oneself to an eternal being. How can a child of five even begin to comprehend what is going on when they are saying a prayer of salvation? No matter how bright the child is or how much religion has played a role in his life up to that point, there is only so much, developmentally speaking, that he can process. Look at marriage: a very sacred ceremony, the strict definition of which is heavily lobbied by evangelicals. That being the case, why aren’t children allowed to marry? Surely choosing your earth-bound love is a far cry from accepting Christ’s love eternal. Herding a child toward salvation and then casting them through the gates at such an early age serves no purpose aside from furthering your own religious agenda. That child will no longer look at things and see what they are, but how they are connected to Jesus’ plan.

Regardless of whether you like the film or find it too “propagandistic”, it provides some insight to how at least one group of evangelicals plan to reclaim their religious foothold in the hearts and minds of Americans.