Archive for May, 2011

NEW YORK LOTTERYHere’s a stunning example of how not to do critical thinking, and why amateurs and idiots should never attempt it on their own. A (believing) woman won the New York lottery recently, as a result of a mock prayer by her (atheist) son, and he’s now a “true believer.” WNBC-TV in New York City reports on this irrationality (WebCite cached article):

A mother and son’s prayers were both answered with one scratch of a lottery ticket.

Gloria Bentivegna of West Babylon won $1 million in the New York Lottery’s Sweet Million game one day after her son had called on God to give his mom the money. …

But Sal Bentivegna, 26, never saw eye to eye with his mom’s beliefs, describing himself as somewhere between an agnostic and an atheist. …

Last month, mother and son’s ongoing debate over religion came to a head as they played the slots in Atlantic City.

Sal Bentivegna challenged God to prove he exists.

“I said, if he wants me to believe, he’ll give you a million dollars.”

The answer came within twenty-four hours. …

A few days later, Sal joined his mom at Ss. Cyril and Methodius church in Deer Park. It was his first church visit in some twenty years.

“I don’t think one can ask for more proof than something like that short of God or Jesus appearing physically in front of you,” said Sal.

Unfortunately — in the eyes of strict logic — this “challenge prayer” is proof of absolutely nothing whatsoever. First, there is no direct, causal link between the “prayer” and the lottery win. It’s possible that the mother would have won the lottery without the prayer being said. There is such a thing as a coincidence, you know … even if religionists conveniently refuse to accept that coincidences happen.

Second, a lottery win is too wild, statistically, for one such event to tell us anything. What would be needed is something bigger and more meticulous; a larger sample size, i.e. many more lottery tickets than just one, and controls, i.e. some of them which are not prayed for. In other words, demonstrating a connection between prayer and lottery winnings would require a large, well-designed, tightly-structured study.

One challenge prayer and one lottery win do not meet this standard.

In fact, given the nature of the supernatural, it’s ultimately impossible to design any such thing, since one can never exclude elements of the supernatural, which — by definition — lie outside the control of anyone operating such a study, as R.T. Carroll of the Skeptic’s Dictionary points out. In other words, even the best-structured study could, conceivably, be mucked around with, if God chooses not to cooperate with it or purposely muddles its results. No study can possibly be set up so as to work around or isolate out the supposed omnipotence of God.

As one would expect, fierce Christians are jumping for joy at this news, e.g. this story from the Christian Post (cached):

Realizing that the odds of his mother winning were so farfetched, Sal has now become a firm believer.

He testified, “I can’t shrug off that Jesus had a hand in it.”

“No pun intended, but it was a Godsend,” he said.

Gloria Bentivegna, reflecting on what had happened, is thankful to God for her winnings, but even more thankful for her son’s conversion. She said: “’God performed two miracles, a true miracle.”

What these jubilant Christians forget is that their religion is not supposed to be based upon challenges to God and real-world events. This is what their scripture explicitly tells them, e.g.:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Converting to Christianity as a result of a financial boon doled out (supposedly) by God, is precisely the kind of “boast” that this epistle condemns. Thus, any Christians rejoicing over this, are actually being anti-scriptural!

Photo credit: Leo Reynolds.

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Ten Commandments with Hebrew Numbering (read the description for an explanation of why)I’ve blogged a couple of times on the phenomenon of militant Christians promoting Ten Commandments idolatry. This time it’s happening in the great religionist state of Louisiana, as the Times-Picayune of New Orleans reports (WebCite cached article):

A resolution calling for House and Senate members to support the concept of a Ten Commandments monument on Capitol grounds cleared a Senate committee without objection Wednesday and now goes before the entire Senate.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 16 [cached] by Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe, approved after more than 40 minutes of debate by the Senate Committee on Senate and Governmental Affairs, would direct the governor’s Division of Administration to find a location for the monument, to be paid for with private funds.

Of course this is an example of a state forcing religion onto its citizens. That fact is not changed by the transparent contrivance of private funds paying for it; in the end, the monument is going up at the direction of Louisiana state government, so there’s no logical way anyone can say it’s anything but a government action.

This monument’s promoters are also trying to envelop it in a veneer of “historicity”:

“The Ten Commandments is where laws first began,” Walsworth said. “This (Capitol) is where the laws of Louisiana are made each and every year. … This is more of an historical thing.”

Unfortunately for these Christofascists, it is absolutely, 100% not true that “laws first began” with the Ten Commandments. No way! Not even close. Legal systems predate the appearance of the Decalogue by millennia. Yes, folks … that’s by millennia! The Decalogue as we know it dates to about the middle of the last millennium BCE; but the ancient Sumerians had written law codes by the middle of the 3rd millennium BCE, and those in turn were based on a tradition of legal decisions which were made during the preceding several centuries. The Sumerian king Ur-Nammu (who lived in the 21st century BCE) and the Babylonian king Hammurabi (who lived in the 18th century BCE) were both famous for having promulgated widely-influential law codes — but the tradition of Mesopotamian kings propounding law codes was ancient, even in their times. And other peoples of the region, including the Egyptians, also had law-codes of their own, likewise dating centuries or millennia prior to the Ten Commandments. What’s more, the content of the Decalogue isn’t even innovative; admonitions against theft, murder, and lying in court, for example, are all part of these earlier law codes; they were prevailing legal principles in the region long before the Hebrews ever appeared.

It’s incontrovertible: As a legal code there is virtually nothing innovative about the Ten Commandments, aside from its admonition against worshiping other deities. Walsworth’s false claim puts him in my “lying liars for Jesus” club.

Yet another problem with any Decalogue monument, is which list of the Ten Commandments is posted on it. Most believers are not aware of this, but there are several ways in which the Ten Commandments have been enumerated over the centuries. Judaism has its own list; Catholics have theirs; Protestants have one of their own (with a few variations among denominations); and so too do the Orthodox churches. Any single list of the Ten Commandments will, therefore, inevitably be sectarian in nature, favoring one Decalogue tradition — and therefore one religion or denomination — over the rest. It can’t be any other way.

I’ve previously referred to the movement to build Decalogue monuments as “idolatry,” and it quite obviously is that. But I don’t expect proponents of these religionist monstrosities to see it that way. They’re doing it for Jesus, you see, so it just can’t be idolatry … by definition! This is, of course, very wrong. Idolatrous behavior is idolatrous behavior, without regard to the reasons one engages in it. Not only is the construction of Decalogue monuments idolatry — explicitly forbidden to all Christians, under all conditions — it’s also a form of public piety, which is likewise explicitly forbidden to all Christians, under all circumstances.

If there are any Christofascists out there who, nevertheless, still think Decalogue monuments are godly, and that I, as an American, am required to worship them just as they do, I invite you to do whatever you wish in order to make that happen. Force me to bow and scrape before your monument. I dare you to try it, by any means you wish. Go ahead. Make me. If you’re so sure it’s what your precious Jesus wants, why would you not do everything in your power to make it happen?

Photo credit: abbyladybug.

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The Bible Guarantees It ... except when it doesn't! (Based on photo of Family Radio billboard.)The Bible scholar religionist crank Harold Camping finally came out of hiding after the failure of his Second Coming & Rapture prediction this past Saturday. He addressed his failure on his own Family Radio network of radio stations, according to the (UK) Daily Mail (WebCite cached article):

The preacher who predicted the end of the world has taken to the airwaves to reveal why we are all still here.

Harold Camping, 89, who became a figure of national ridicule after his warning of the apocalypse, said last night he was ‘astounded’ when May 21 came and went without the Rapture.

But he is already examining new theories… including the possibility that God did not want mankind to suffer for five months, and so will end the world all at once on October 21 instead.

And while the cadaverous crank admits the Rapture didn’t occur, he’s not conceding the Second Coming didn’t:

He also claimed that God did visit Earth on May 21 — but that he did so ‘spiritually’.

It was one of his faithful listeners, Camping claimed, who “revealed” why the Almighty changed his mind about the scheme he’d previously revealed to Camping:

He explained by saying he’d received a letter from a ‘listener’ who offered a very interesting theory he wanted to read.

He quoted: ‘The great earthquake and rapture and the universe melting in fervent heat will be happening on the last day — October 21 2011.’

‘It’s all going to happen on the last day.

‘The great earthquake didn’t happen on May 21 because no-one will be able to survive it for more than a few days or let alone five months to suffer God’s wrath because everything will be levelled and destroyed after that earthquake and there will be no food or water to keep everyone alive.

Aha. There, you see? God couldn’t impose five months of violent tribulation on post-Rapture humanity, because they’d never survive it. This only makes one wonder why the Almighty would have created this scenario in the first place, if he’d known all along that it was unworkable (and yes, the Almighty had to have known this in advance, due to his omniscience). This “explanation,” while it sounds sensible, only further reveals the irrationality of predictions like this, and it undermines the notion that God is implacable and once he makes a plan, he sticks to it forever (as he did, supposedly, in his covenant with Noah). If God can change his mind, then everything he ever said becomes questionable, and all of his promises, become useless.

What’s more, Camping based his prediction — which included a worldwide earthquake that was to have occurred at 6pm in each time zone during the day of May 21, 2011 — on (his reading of) the Bible, and one of Family Radio’s slogans, used in their ads, said, “The Bible guarantees it!” Camping thus admits the Bible’s “guarantee” is actually no “guarantee” at all.

Lastly, Camping’s claim that Jesus Christ did return on May 21, 2011, but he did so only “spiritually” or invisibly reflects what both the Millerites and Jehovah’s Witnesses did, when their own “End of the World” predictions fizzled in 1843/44 and 1914 respectively. Since the Millerites’ “Great Disappointment,” the Bahá’is have latched onto it, claiming that Jesus Christ did, in fact, return as predicted in 1844, when their proto-prophet, known as “the Báb,” began his mission.

Go figure.

The reason Camping, William Miller, Charles Taze Russell (of the JW’s), and so many others have managed to get away with this kind of stunt is because it’s all based on metaphysics. As such, their predictions are fuzzy and malleable, and there is no way either to confirm or refute them, even after they prove false … since people just cook up more metaphysics in order to explain the failure of the original metaphysics.

The bottom line is that anyone can make a doomsday prediction, any time s/he wants … but being correct about one, is damned near impossible.

Photo credit: Based on photo of billboard via Stuckinlondon.

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Judgment Day: May 21, 2011As I type this, it’s just after 6pm EDT where I am. Harold Camping’s promised May 21, 2011 Second Coming & Rapture — which he had said would occur at 6 pm in each time zone around the world (WebCite cached article) — has gone by, but without Jesus Christ reappearing, and with no discernible ill effects. The same time (i.e. 6 pm) has previously gone by, in — what? — 17 time zones around the world already, but likewise with no Jesus showing up, and no ill effects. And all the Christians are still here … no one, again as far as I know, has been vacuumed up into the sky to meet Jesus.

It would be easy for me to say something like, “I told you so!” or “I knew it!”, but honestly, that’s too easy. Anyone with half a functioning brain knew it wasn’t going to happen. For millennia, so-called prophets have claimed to know when “the End of the World” would come (cached), only to be proven wrong later, when the world managed, somehow, not to get exterminated at the appointed time.

For the record, the universe is also not going to end on December 21, 2012 … the so-called “Mayan Apocalypse” … either. The Maya did not actually predict any such thing, but even if they had, their credibility would be limited by the fact that they didn’t foresee the collapse of their own civilization around 900 CE.

I must, however, congratulate Camping and his sheep at Family Radio for diligently promoting this false prediction. The (failed) prophet was interviewed by many media outlets over the last few months, but never once conceded he might be wrong, and consistently refused even to entertain the question of what he would do if his Rapture never came.

That said, I’m still laughing at the cadaverous Bible scholar religionist crank, and at the morons and idiots who actually believed his nutty scenario. What do you fucking clowns think now that your “Bible-guaranteed” Second Coming never took place!?

Photo credit: JonDissed.

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Battle of Ascalon-engravingFor some reason, the nation’s Christianists get all up in arms over public school graduations. It’s a kind of obsession. They seem to want to hold them in religious venues (e.g. in Enfield, Connecticut a year ago) and they demand that school officials say prayers at them during graduations. There’s just one teeny little problem with this obsession, and that’s the First Amendment. They aren’t permitted to do the former of these unless they have no choice, and they can’t do the latter at all — ever. Nevertheless, they still act as though they can and should do both, and that anyone who prevents them from doing either, is trying to destroy them personally. They just can’t handle being told “no.”

Case in point: Bastrop High School in Louisiana, where a courageous student named Damon Fowler dared say “no,” and the community — mostly made up of militant Christians — has gone after him over it. The Bastrop Enterprise reports on this revelation of Christians’ character (WebCite cached article):

For the first time ever, prayer will not be part of graduation ceremonies Friday night at Bastrop High School.

Principal Stacey Pullen said the school received an e-mail on Tuesday from a student who identied themself as an atheist.

“They said if we included a traditional prayer in the ceremony that they would contact the (American Civil Liberties Union),” Pullen said. “We asked our attorney about it, and we are making changes to the program.”

While this is a proper and legal response, the reaction of local Christians has been typical condescension:

Mitzi Quinn has been on the staff at BHS for almost 25 years, much of that time as a senior advisor. In the past, Quinn said there have been students who were atheist, agnostic and other non-Christian religions who “had no problems” with the prayer.

“They respected the majority of their classmates and didn’t say anything,” Quinn said. “We’ve never had this come up before. Never.”

Ms Quinn apparently does not understand the legal concept here. Violating separation of church and state is unconstitutional and impermissible in the United States, in every place, and under every condition. It does not matter that, in the past, non-Christians have held their tongues for fear of Christians’ wrath. They should not have had to do so, and that they did, does not make the practice acceptable. It is flat-out illegal. Period.

Moreover, it is not the job of non-Christians to have to be silent in the face of a Christian majority. That Christians are in the majority does not meant they are entitled to have their way all the time. This sort of thinking is what fueled the “Jim Crow” era, and is just another way of saying it’s up to minorities to “keep in their place,” be both silent and unseen, and not “get uppity.” This philosophy is immoral, inappropriate, and an unacceptable basis for public policy.

Other students have jumped on this issue. BlagHag reports that some of them used the graduation rehearsal to express their (understandably, given their ages) juvenile outrage that their precious graduation prayer was taken away from them (cached).

The real gem of this case — and what makes the (vile and disgusting) character of militant Christianists most evident, is that Damon’s own mother is throwing him out over this, according to his brother Jerrett (cached):

My brother has been cut off from all communication by my mother. He is not allowed to speak to me and I live 6 hours drive away from him. There’s nothing I can do. My sister is supposed to go pick him up tomorrow and he will no longer be living in that town or with my parents. He’s coming to Texas with me.

Way to go, Christians. What a fantastic way to represent “the Religion of Love.” Why, this example of godly, loving behavior makes me want to run out immediately and convert to fundamentalist Christianity as soon as I can!

… Not … !

Remarkably, this attitude is scriptural, and I suppose expected of militant Christians, since Jesus himself declared:

Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. (Matthew 10:34-37)

Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. (Luke 12:51-53)

Jesus said, “Those who do not hate their fathers and their mothers cannot be disciples of me, and those who do not hate their brothers and their sisters and take up their cross like me will not become worthy of me.” (Gospel of Thomas 55)

So maybe I should congratulate Damon’s mother for being dutiful to the explicit words of the gospels and rejecting her son as a result? Maybe this was a courageous, rather than cowardly, act?

Or maybe — just maybe! — this shows how horrific it is to actually apply, literally, the words of scripture to one’s life, and how dysfunctional and counterproductive fundamentalist Christianity is.

Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, has created a Chipin scholarship fund for the young Damon. I’ve contributed, and urge you to do so, too:

One last thing for all you militant Christianists who don’t get it: No one is preventing you from praying, anywhere you wish to. You can pray silently, any time you want, even in public school, and even during a graduation. Neither Damon Fowler nor the ACLU have stopped you from doing so, and for that matter, they aren’t even trying to do that. What they’re stopping is the school system forcing students to pray at public school events. That’s all. Your religious-freedom rights are not being taken away from you. For you to make any such claim, is a lie … a lie for Jesus. Many of you have no problems lying for Jesus … but your lies will still be lies, whether or not you feel entitled to tell them.

Hat tip: Friendly Atheist.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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Papal tiaraThe Roman Catholic Church is nothing if not predictable. The Los Angeles Times provides this story on a report that the Church released about the abuse of children in the care of Catholic clergy (WebCite cached article):

Sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the United States is a “historical problem” that has largely been resolved and that never had any significant correlation with either celibacy or homosexuality, according to an independent report commissioned by Catholic bishops — and subjected to fierce attack even before its release on Wednesday.

The report [cached] blamed the sexual revolution for a rise in sexual abuse by priests, saying that Catholic clerics were swept up by a tide of “deviant” behavior that became more socially acceptable in the 1960s and ’70s.

First, I find I must comment on the writing of this story. It is contradictory to say that a report “commissioned by” the bishops, is “an independent report.” If the bishops commissioned it, then it’s their report, not someone else’s. They may not have written it themselves, or even researched it, but they “own” it nevertheless, so it cannot logically be said to have been “independent.”

Second, I note that the report refuses to acknowledge that the Church’s actions, including protecting abusers, played anything other than an incidental role in the scandal:

“The abuse is a result of a complex interaction of factors,” said Karen Terry, a John Jay criminal justice professor who led the research team. One major factor, she said at a news conference in Washington, was social turmoil in the 1960s and ’70s that led some priests “who had some vulnerabilities” to commit child sexual abuse. She said Catholic seminaries had done a poor job of preparing priests “to live a life of chaste celibacy,” as their vows demanded.

In other words, it was all the fault of society … and the “sexual revolution” … and if the Church did anything wrong, it was in failing to deal with that as well as it might have.

It’s absolutely stunning how the bishops continually rationalize their own criminal behavior. When they chose to shield abusers from prosecution, and when they chose to move them around in order to avoid letting anyone know their dirty little secrets, that was NOT because society or the sexual revolution put a gun to their heads and forced them to do it. No. It was a cold, calculated choice based on the information they had at the time they had it, and it was made in order to protect their Church’s reputation and wealth. Neither society nor the sexual revolution had anything to do with that. Not the slightest damn thing. Oddly enough, the report itself describes at least one instance of inaction by the Church hierarchy:

On October 18, 1984, a Louisiana grand jury indicted Gilbert Gauthe, a former priest of the Diocese of Lafayette, for a long list of sexual crimes against children. The Diocese of Lafayette had received multiple reports of Gauthe’s abusive acts for seven years before he was indicted but had not managed to control his behavior. Gauthe had been repeatedly cautioned about his behavior but was not removed from ministry until 1983, when, following another report of abuse by a parent who demanded action, he was sent to the House of Affirmation in Massachusetts for treatment. The specifics of the Gauthe case were shocking: Gauthe had not only raped and sodomized dozens of boys, he had used the “cloak” of his status as a priest to justify his actions to the victims and to intimidate them into silence. Harm to Gauthe’s victims was profound, requiring hospitalization for some and psychotherapy for many. The criminal case and related civil litigation filed by the families of the victims drew national and international press attention. Despite the sensational press coverage and extensive discussion of the case, the failures of the leaders of the Diocese of Lafayette were many. Diocesan leaders hesitated to remove Gauthe from ministry even after he admitted to the abuse, and they failed to redress the harm to the child victims and their families. They were preoccupied with controlling negative publicity and so were not forthcoming with information to the affected parishes. Such failures on the part of the Diocese of Lafayette were to be repeated by leaders of some other dioceses in the coming years. (p. 77)

Nevertheless, elsewhere the report downplays the bishops’ furious efforts to cover up for the abusers, passing them off as something all institutions tend to do:

This response framework, as well as the lack of transparency, is not an atypical response to deviant behavior by members of an institution. (p. 4)

Of course, most institutions do not claim to be the sole remaining arbiters of morality in the world. The R.C. Church cannot legitimately use “But other organizations do the same thing!” as an excuse. That’s “two wrongs make a right” thinking, and is fallacious.

Leave it to Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, to rationalize why the “scandal” was not really a “scandal” and why neither the abusive clergy nor the bishops had done anything wrong:

William Donohue, the outspoken president of the conservative Catholic League, noted on the group’s website that the report found that 81% of abuse victims were male and 78% were beyond puberty. “Since 100% of the abusers were male, that’s called homosexuality, not pedophilia or heterosexuality,” he said.

Aha. So it’s “just” homosexuality. Oh well, I guess that makes the abuse of children OK, then, eh Bill?

What a fucking reprehensible bunch of creatures we’re dealing with, in the Catholic Church and its defenders … ! If you’re a Catholic and you’re not sickened by these people, then there’s something wrong with you.

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Ayn RandThe subject of Ayn Rand is a bothersome one that, so far, I’ve avoided addressing. I admit to having been initially fascinated by Rand and her Objectivism while in college, but it didn’t take too long before I saw her — and it — as being more or less worthless. Over the past couple of years, she’s been held up as something of a prophetess by the Right, including Religious Rightists like Glenn Beck. While she definitely supported the very kind of plutocracy that the Religious Right seems to love, the glaring reality about Rand — which these people are purposely ignoring — is that she was a vehement atheist, and despised Christianity in particular. I bring this up, now, because I saw Time magazine’s Swampland blog entry pointing out this vast contradiction, which in turn was sparked by Charles Colson condemning the reverence for Ayn Rand that he sees in his fellow Rightists (WebCite cached article):

The conservative evangelical leader Chuck Colson has become so concerned about Rand’s booming popularity in the GOP that he recently recorded a video warning that Rand “peddles a starkly anti-Christian philosophy” [cached]. And the Christian group American Values Network, which presents itself as an alternative to organizations like the Family Research Council, has distributed a memo [cached] to congressional offices highlighting Rand’s criticisms of Christianity and some of her more controversial comments, including praise for a man who raped, murdered, and dismembered a 12-year-old girl. “Ayn Rand’s strong atheism, absolute rejection of Christ’s teachings, and goal of replacing religion with her belief system,” reads the memo, “stands in total opposition to all that which America’s faith community holds most dear.”

Ayn Rand is, indeed, a particularly troubling figure, in her personal life and in her career. The assumption that she “admired” William Edward Hickman … the rapist/murderer referred to in the AVN’s warning … is, perhaps, a little strong, but it’s not too far from the truth. Hickman turned out to have been the model on which she based her “ideal man.” Ayn Rand cheated on her own husband, for many years, with another married man (Nathaniel Branden). She also fell out with almost everyone with whom she’d associated professionally (this included Branden, who originally had been one of her most loyal disciples).

But these character flaws, no matter how serious they may be, hold little significance to Religious Rightists (notwithstanding the AVN memo). Let’s be honest, Religious Rightists generally don’t give a flying fuck what sort of vile pricks they follow (if they did, they would hardly be supporting the womanizing, twice-divorced Newt Gingrich or the felonious Chuck Colson, among others). What matters to Religious Rightists is that one spews Religious Rightism, not one’s ability to actually live out the values one claims to espouse.

What these Religious Rightists fail to notice is that Rand was actually an outspoken atheist who condemned faith and religious thinking of any kind. She viewed religion as the basis for collectivism, which she despised passionately. The Institute which bears her name and promotes her philosophy, currently opposes the mixture of religion and politics (see e.g. this article on their Web site, cached). Were she still alive and writing today, I have no doubt she’d be lumped in with the so-called “New Atheists.” Her philosophy is also closely tied to that of Friederich Nietzsche, who himself was no fan of Christianity, and he’s not very popular among Christians, either.

But what Rand did support was plutocracy; control of society by the wealthy and powerful, with the masses subservient to them. Arguably that’s how things are now, and likely how they will always be … but what she promoted was something even more extreme, a world in which there was no charity at all (whether governmental, religious, or otherwise) and in which the “haves” secretly conspire to destroy the “have nots,” merely because — well! — they can. As it turns out, this latter goal is the premise on which her famous novel Atlas Shrugged is based. And we all know the Religious Right loves plutocracy, even an extreme one in which the masses are left to starve and die, in vast numbers.

The popularity of the vehement atheist Ayn Rand among Religious Rightists only serves to show how hypocritical they are … cherry-picking their way through life, ignoring any inconvenient inconsistencies in an effort to retain a worldview they find emotionally satisfying. Their heroine would not even want their admiration, were she still alive, and would likely condemn them for this hypocrisy.

Photo credit: DonkeyHotey.

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