Cordially Invited to Leave the Country

Ugh…here I am on vacation trying to relax, play a little Child of Eden with Christina, maybe write a couple fun blogs.  But then people write opinion columns that make me want to verbally vomit on them for the world to read.

Here’s the story.  Arizona’s governor proclaimed a statewide day of prayer and the FFRF attempted to sue them back to the stone age.  The judge dismissed the case because…

Freedom From Religion Foundation had no legal standing to sue Arizona’s governor for proclaiming a statewide day of prayer. The court said they were not injured by the governor’s proclamation, saying:

Plaintiffs provide affidavits to establish they turned off the television and altered conversational habits to avoid the topic of religion or the day of prayer.

Plaintiffs, however, do not explain why their alleged injury is different than injuries in other Establishment Clause cases in which the plaintiffs did not have standing, such as the President’s day of prayer proclamation. Essentially, Plaintiffs seek a ruling obliquely holding that injury sufficient to confer standing exists under the Establishment Clause where government action is covered in the news or the subject of a social conversation.

The Court declines to depart from Establishment Clause case law on this ground. Plaintiffs have not shown injury beyond “stigmatic injury” or feeling like an “outsider.”

Feeling like an outsider in the eyes of your government is a pretty big fucking deal.  You can bet how eager the faithful would be to lap up this ruling had the governor proclaimed a national day of no prayer, where people were asked (but not obligated) to get up off their asses and try to fix problems the new-fashioned way.

Anyway, Mary Kochan wrote a column for Catholic Lane that gloated over the ruling and summed up her displeasure with atheists in general.  

You have the audacity to tell us Christians that we are “weak” and that our religion is a “crutch.” [We certainly think Christians are wrong, don't know about that other stuff] You are supposed to be so “courageous,” venturing forth boldly into the existential mystery of being alone, facing with stoicism the nothingness that awaits you at death, [tornadoes kill people, children die of starvation...because you think something's depressing doesn't make it false] priding yourself on your realism and self-reliance. [What but religion could get someone to sneer at "realism"?  "Yes, sit over there in your tower with your realism!"  ...um...ok?] You are a bunch of feeble fakers.

Yes, you are outsiders. [Notes that atheists are outsiders and the response is not for religious people to stop treating us that way. I wonder if she thinks Christianity makes people more compassionate...]  Go start your own damn country. [Could we stay and try and fix this one?]  This one was started by Christians [who must have been amazing idiots if they meant to put god, Jesus, or special privilege for Christians in the Constitution and just forgot...have a little respect for our founding fathers, geez!], you puerile dimwits [says the person who believes a guy rose from the dead 2,000 years ago]. It is Christians who established [even if that were true...so?  They also thought slavery was a good idea...they were wrong about that too] and largely Christians who fought and died to maintain the freedoms you enjoy [the freedom to be Christian or get out of the country?].  And Christians are still the majority ["Soon the rebellion will be crushed..."  ...and people wonder why we worry about power in the hands of religion].  Apparently your vaulted belief system doesn’t equip you to handle being in the minority [we're cool being in the minority, it's the demonizing, prejudice, and people using the tyranny of the majority to preserve inequality that sucks]. That’s interesting, isn’t it?  [No]  After all, this was and is a societal situation valiantly handled by millions and millions of Christians who suffered — and currently suffer — real oppression, violence, torture, economic deprivation, and cruel deaths [In the United States?  What happened to "Christians are still the majority?].  But you have to go through turning off the TV once in a while and so your precious puny feelings are hurt [Yes, I can imagine how you look down on people who have had their precious feelings hurt and lash out angrily...]. How delicate and frail your mental architecture is! [There is stigma against non-believers produced and maintained by religious institutions.  We could either accept it or push back.  Most of us, with a few exceptions, are pushing back. This strikes me as the more courageous route...then again, I don't know how courageous it feels writing from the majority position, telling others how hard the majority has it, and using that majority position to invite the minority to jettison themselves.  Probably takes more balls than it looks from down here]

You are a pitiful joke. [Then you've got one lousy sense of humor. A pitiful joke is selling someone on the idea that woman was made from a rib, or that the most moral being in the universe commanded the death of anybody who worked on a Saturday, or that you should give 10% of your income to somebody who speaks for god. You want to talk about pitiful...] Trembling over the mere mention of God. [More pissed at the people who think believing absurdities entitles them] Running like babies to court because of your brittle feelings. [Silly judges considering the rights of the minority against the tyranny of the majority. Don't they know how many Christians there are?  Then again, if religious people weren't so frequently willing to shit on the law to nab sectarian privilege then the courts wouldn't help us much]  “Oh, but judge, but judge, I saw a cross and I just can’t stand it.” [Show me that lawsuit] “I heard someone say ‘Merry Christmas’ and it hurt my feelings.” [Show me that lawsuit. Also, stop chiding people for wishing you well] “I just can’t sleep knowing there is a manger scene at the courthouse.” [I do lose sleep over one religion getting precedence over all others on government property and endorsed by the government. Read: I get pissed when my fellow citizens break the law.  You don't get exemption because you're the majority. Those laws would also protect Christians if they were in the minority] “The sight of the Ten Commandments makes me wet my pants.” [The government endorsing one religion over others is illegal.  I get pissed when my fellow citizens break the law.  You don't get exemption because you're the majority. Those laws would also protect Christians if they were in the minority...and given how much you bellowed about Christians being oppressed earlier, I would think you'd be all for this]

Now we see how inadequate and feeble you really are. [If we're inadequate, you've got some really thin skin...] Rage, therapists say, is the flip side of helplessness. [Perhaps we could do well to emulate the picture of halcyon calm that is this opinion column...] And so we see your rage against religion in the public square for what it is: a product of your own insubstantial internal resources. [Say what?] Go look at yourself in the mirror if you can bear the pathetic, contemptible sight of yourself. [Checked the mirror. I look like a human being.  I have chipmunk cheeks and upward-slanting eyebrows that make me look kind of snuggly.  In fact, I look just like a Christian!  I'll bet I have a beating heart and everything!  Should I want the same rights as other human beings who happen to be in the majority?  I'm so conflicted]

I love it.  “Majority rules, but consider the poor, oppressed Christians!”; “Atheists need to shut up and leave, and stop pitching fits when they’re affronted!”; “Rage is so unbecoming of you !@#$!%!$! atheists!”

So Steven Hawking?  Gonna burn for eternity.  Mary Kochan?  Gets a seat right next to Jesus.  Perhaps we shouldn’t expect Christians to have a discerning eye for what is fair or just.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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