Remembering Christopher Hitchens…..But!

Christopher Hitchens’ 62-year-old scotch and cigarette soaked body, which he wore as a badge of honor in the form of a physical protest against nanny states gone awry, gave way to esophageal cancer on Thursday evening. As Vanity Fair announced news of his passing, social media lit up with touching tributes to one of this generation’s most controversial and confrontational writers.

Typically I don’t grieve the death of people I’ve never been acquainted with, and similarly I find a certain sense of vulgarity in people who mourn celebrities in the same way as if they had lost the family dog. Having said that, I found myself spending a great deal of the past few days contemplating Hitchen’s life, his writings, and the influence they had on me. When I think of his genius, my immediate thought is I would never have had the testicular fortitude to seek a publisher for my first book, ‘God Hates You. Hate Him Back’ (Sept 2009), were it not for his international bestseller ‘God Is Not Great’. A book that not only led an entire generation of atheists out of the closet, but also enlightened countless many religious folk to abandon superstition for reason. As such I acknowledged the profound effect his work had on me by dedicating my second title, ‘Jesus Lied. He Was Only Human’ (Oct 2010), to the legendary writer.

As a writer, the sooner you accept you will never ever  possess the faculties to write as well as Hitchens, the easier one’s life gets. Literally, there is no one who can imitate his extraordinary vernacular, nor his vast geo-political experiences. After all, it was iconic television personality David Frost who said of Hitchens, “He has met everybody who is anybody.” But outside of my jealousy for his use of words, and admiration for his verbally combative opposition to any person or entity that attempts to blur the line separating Church and State, there ends my man crush for Christopher Hitchens. Why? Well, he was a warmonger and an unabashed misogynist. He was a neo-Conservative masquerading as a Liberal. While he may have been drawn to liberal politics in the 60s as a result of his disgust for racism and the Vietnam War, he certainly abandoned that ideological position during the last decade of his life.

(Now, if you listen carefully, you will hear the sound of my atheist brethren setting my books on fire. But hear me out, you inglorious godless bastards. Firstly, the same folk, myself included, who praised Hitchens for his firebrand obituaries, namely those targeting Princess Diana, Jerry Falwell, and Mother Theresa – immediately following their respective deaths, will presumably hurl venom in my direction for speaking ill of Saint Christopher. Irony much?)

Now I won’t spend too much time on the misogynist charge as I did not know the man personally, but when you call the Dixie Chicks “fat fucking slags” and “sluts”, because they dared release a song denouncing George W. Bush’s march to war in Iraq, then there’s one clue. Another clue came in the form of a Vanity Fair article titled, ‘Why Women Still Aren’t Funny’, an article that opined numerous and vexing reasons as how women are not adequately skilled to make men laugh. Certainly, standing at the front of a long queue is Tina Fey, who among millions of others, is owed an apology she will now never get.

As far as his warmongering is concerned, it was always perplexing to hear Liberals champion him as a torch bearer for the progressive cause. As far as neo-Conservatism goes he was to the right of Paul Wolfowitz, Josh Bolton, Richard Pearle, and even Dick Cheney. Effectively, Hitchens was a Bush-ite! While he criticized Bush the Younger as an “inarticulate intellectual buffoon”, he was lock step with the policies of the Administration. Further, during the 2004 election said, “A John Kerry presidency would be a disaster for the United States.” Worst than eight years of Bush, really? Most genuine Liberals would’ve taken that chance!

Dennis Perrin, a friend and former protégée of Hitchens, described all the way back in 2003 how Hitchens’ virtues as a writer and thinker were fully swamped by his pulsating excitement over war and the Bush/Cheney imperial agenda:

“I can barely read him anymore. His pieces in the Brit tabloid The Mirror and in Slate are a mishmash of imperial justifications and plain bombast; the old elegant style is dead. His TV appearances show a smug, nasty scold with little tolerance for those who disagree with him. He looks more and more like a Ralph Steadman sketch. And in addition to all this, he’s now revising what he said during the buildup to the Iraq war.

In several pieces, including an incredibly condescending blast against Nelson Mandela, Hitch went on and on about WMD, chided readers with “Just you wait!” and other taunts, fully confident that once the U.S. took control of Iraq, tons of bio/chem weapons and labs would be all over the cable news nets–with him dancing a victory jig in the foreground. Now he says WMD were never a real concern, and that he’d always said so. It’s amazing that he’d dare state this while his earlier pieces can be read at his website. But then, when you side with massive state power and the cynical fucks who serve it, you can say pretty much anything and the People Who Matter won’t care.”

The irony is Hitchens, a Brit native, detested British colonialism, while adoring the imperialism of his adopted nation, the U.S. More accurately, he was besotted with the projection of American military might. His statements endorsing bombing Muslim nations would make even the Muslim hating Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorums of the world blush. Shortly after 9/11, Hitchens stated, “My first reaction to the 9/11 attack was exhilaration because I knew it would unleash an exciting, sustained war against Islamofacism…..I realized that if the battle went on until the last day of my life, I would never get bored in prosecuting it to the utmost.”

Like other neo-Cons, Hitchens rarely commented or examined the cause of the Islamic hatred of America i.e. U.S bases in the Holy Land; prejudiced treatment of the Palestinians; economic sanctions against Muslim countries; and support of tyrannical Arab dictators. Hitchens’ attitude towards the Middle East, however, was not too dissimilar to the maligned Ann Coulter, who once said, “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.” Except for the last strand in that sentence, their hawkish attitudes were shared. If you believe that’s a stretch, here’s what he had to say on the use of cluster bombs, a weapon 108 countries have ratified a comprehensive ban against using them:

“If you’re actually certain that you’re hitting only a concentration of enemy troops…then it’s pretty good because those steel pellets will go straight through somebody and out the other side and through somebody else. And if they’re bearing a Koran over their heart, it’ll go straight through that, too. So they won’t be able to say, “Ah, I was bearing a Koran over my heart and guess what, the missile stopped halfway through.” No way, ’cause it’ll go straight through that as well. They’ll be dead, in other words.”

Admittedly, it’s impossible to make a complete judgment of a man based on a few pieces of commentary. The point being, however, it would be wrong to remember him as a person who was flawlessly enlightened. He, like the rest of us, wasn’t! He was a fighter against wrong doing, but that didn’t make him immune to endorsing the wrong doings of others, and for atheists and anti-theists to make a false idol of him, insofar as overlooking the numerous instances he was fundamentally and morally wrong, is something I doubt he would have even hoped for.

Regardless I will remember him for the positive and profound influence he had on my life, and I will leave you with my one my favorite passages from ‘God Is Not Great’”:

“Faith is the surrender of the mind; it’s the surrender of reason, it’s the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals. It’s our need to believe, and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated.”

CJ Werleman

Author ‘God Hates You. Hate Him Back’

www.cjwerleman.com

Live Tweeting GOP Debate 10/11/11

If you missed the New Hampshire leg of the circus, below is my commentary as it happened in real time.

* Mitt Romney said he “cares about people.” Mormons are taught that. That’s why they marry so many of them.

* I think Romney said he’d make a good leader because he has led on both sides of every issue.

* Gingrich says prostate cancer screenings can kill you. But 5 out of 5 doctors agree the survival rate is higher than having prostate cancer.

* Mitt Romney says he has spent is whole life in the economy, which is like saying he has spent his whole life in weather.

* We should lay off Romney. Just like he laid off 85,000 of us when he worked at Bain & Capital.

* Hermann Cain has said 999 plan more times than the number.

* The moderators are using Reagan’s words against the current GOP. Just like the GOP use their words against Jesus.

* The candidates blame Obama and China for the economy. It’s what you do when you love white people way too much.

* Romney says he understands the OWS protestors. Last week he said it was “un-American.” He’s slipperier than a fluffer’s lip balm.

* Santorum just said, “Freedom loving people.” That’s sexy time talk meant for old people who are scared of brown people.

* The moderator asked Rick Perry about “mandates.” Marcus Bachmann heads to the bathroom. Now he waits!

* Moderators talking to GOP candidates about children living in poverty is like talking to Hitler about a Jewish person suffering a head cold.

* When the moderators showed a clip of GW Bush, America was reminded Perry is GWB but with the HPV shot that gave that one kid “retardation”

* Bachmann made a 666 joke about Cain’s 999 plan. Then got scared the round table was a ouija board & whispered, “Sorry, baby Jesus”

www.cjwerleman.com

Live Tweeting the GOP Debate 9/22/11

If you missed tonight’s GOP debate, here are the headlines as tweeted from my Twitter account:

* The GOP debate is sponsored by Google. Michele Bachmann looks hot! I’m wearing beer googles.

* Newt Gingrich wants to make English the official language. Americans died in the Revolutionary War to prevent that

* The biggest hurdle for building a wall along the U.S-Mexico border will be finding illegal Canadians to build it.

* Michele Bachmann wants to rid the U.S of all taxes. Will making driving on a road from school to a hospital difficult.

* Hermann Cain is still unsuccessfully going after the Tea Party vote. I don’t have the heart to tell him he’s black.

* Mitt Romney said you need a job to create jobs. Mitt Romney doesn’t have a job.

* The sexual tension between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney is electric (chair).

* Smart move, Mitt Romney. He told Republicans they can find his policies in the one place they’ll never find them. IN A BOOK.

* GOP wants to replace Department of Ed. with home schooling. They want to replace ‘No Child Left Behind’ with ‘Blind Leading the Blind’

* Rick Perry says, “we need to put our aviation assets in the ground.” We have sneaky ground planes?

* So it’s now land of the free, home of the brave, Israel’s bitch.

* The Republican audience booed a gay soldier. Onwards, Christian soldiers. Onwards as the intellectual & moral infants of our species!

* Gary Johnson made a poop joke about the economy. He won’t be president but he will kill it on Twitter.

www.cjwerleman.com

Why Hillary’s 3am Wake Up Call Was Right About Obama.

In the two hours of trading that followed Obama’s address to the nation, a speech timed to calm the markets, the DOW dropped a further 200+ points. The President rightfully blamed the wrangling and legislative gridlock in Congress, but I was no longer listening. In my personal diary of U.S history, today’s address becomes the bookmark I confirm the failure of the first term of his presidency. In front of the camera and behind the lectern, he looked small and plaintive. But most of all he didn’t look presidential, and when the aura that comes with holding the world’s highest office evaporates, it is never regained. Just ask Grover Cleveland. Kidding. Ask Jimmy Carter.

Obviously, the market had made its mind to accelerate into free fall long before Obama spoke to the nation. He was never going to successfully catch a falling knife. And certainly, this is a Tea Party downgrade – the S&P report cites the GOP’s unwillingness to raise taxes as the flaw in the debt ceiling deal – but his failure to lead; his seemingly unwillingness to lead should trouble us all. In fact, he has followed the dialogue created by the radical right, rather than squashed it with the creation of his own narrative. That Americans cared about the deficit was a Tea Party narrative, not an American one. Americans want growth and jobs, not political grandstanding. According to polls, 4 out of 5 Americans wanted a compromised balanced approach, but the 1 out of 5 defeated him without him mentioning the 1 by name. In fact, Obama has mentioned the Tea Party by name only two times during his term. In other words, he doesn’t even have the courage to call extremists out. Sadly, I’m starting to believe the only thing he’s good at is delivering an eloquent speech and shooting bad guys in the face. But when it comes to standing up to the really bad guys within the nation’s own borders, the political far right; the terrorists with a capital Tea; and the thuggish rhetoric of Speaker John Boehner, he cowers like a frightened kitten.

Now I understand vacillating and deliberating are trademarks of his personality, but there comes a time to lead. There comes a time to stand up to bullies who hold the economy hostage. There comes a time to stand up for what is the right thing to do, which is defending the downtrodden who lost their jobs and homes as a result of the decisions made by the rich who broke the system in the first place. But Obama has shown a proclivity to preserve the status quo no matter the moral cost, as exemplified by his failure to indict any persons whose recklessness wrecked the economy. As a matter of fact, he reinstated them!

Unfortunately, I don’t believe he is as smart as his soaring rhetoric leads us to believe. Also, I doubt his predecessor was as dumb as his jumbled, folksy butchering of the King’s English convinced us – and autobiographies of those who worked in or around Bush during his presidency do not question his intelligence or lack thereof. Possibly, the current president lulled us with his grandiose teleprompted delivered oratory, his voice a quiet comfort to the contrasting shrillness of John McCain and Hillary Clinton, and just maybe his rhetoric sandpapered over the cracks in his resume. The cracks being his lack of experience, having never run a business or a state; that his one term as Senator of Illinois shows a voting record of someone unwilling to lead on difficult issues.

It is right about now Hillary Clinton’s Democratic primary campaign ad against him returns hauntingly to mind. You remember the one? The 3am phone call. An ad that hurt ultimately did more damage than good to her campaign, but now seems ironically prophetic. The main theme being the presidency does not come with training wheels.

Unfortunately, whenever his leadership credentials have been questioned, he has capitulated. Like he did in accepting a stimulus bill that didn’t go far enough; like he did in the protracted healthcare debate when the Democrats held all three branches of government; like he did in not repealing the Bush tax cuts; like he did in signing a deal that favors the richest 400 Americans and not the bottom 300 million.

Drew Westen, ‘The Political Brain’, phrased it as such: “when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze.”

So where to from here? Well, unfortunately there’s no alternative other than hoping he finds his chutzpah in his second term. The Republicans have proven they are unfit to govern; a majority of their 2012 candidates reach out to the small group of Americans who do not represent what most Americans want; and a Democratic challenger would surely hand the victory to a radical like Rick Perry or a Michelle Bachmann, given that no incumbent forced to ward off a primary challenge has gone on to win reelection. Ford and Carter being the most recent victims.

So what must Obama do to find his mojo? Well, he has to let us know where he stands, because on virtually every issue I have no clue. Most of us might have disagreed with Bush’s positions or his doctrine, but we knew what he stood for – the rich, big corporations, and faith-based initiatives – whereas with the Obama, he seems to flip-flop depending on the populist position, but then waivers when faced with confrontation. Honestly, where can you say Obama really stands on gay marriage, the environment, rights of the poor, fiscal policy, the war in Afghanistan, or big corporations? You can’t! And that’s not leadership. He told us he was a reformer who would clean up the system, here’s hoping a second term will finally reveal this promise, or history will be crueller with his legacy than that of his predecessor.

CJ Werleman

www.cjwerleman.com

Author ‘God Hates You. Hate Him Back‘ and ‘Koran Curious’

 

Herman ‘Goering’ Cain : Banning Mosques

Admittedly, I’m as guilty as most when it comes to whipping out the Nazi trump card all too quickly when ridiculing far-right wing ideologues or politicos. I do it because it’s fun, but more often than not out of sheer laziness. After all, calling Ann Coulter a bowel baby of Hitler is easier than providing a lengthy diatribe on why her political compass points directly to the poetical prose of Mein Kampf. And by “poetical” I mean sociopathic ramblings. But as I mature and spend an increasing amount of my hard-earned on Just For Men hair coloring, I have refrained labeling anyone ‘Mein Fuhrer’ for a considerable period. Unfortunately, however, my personal Hitler metaphor moratorium was forced out of retirement yesterday while watching Fox News Sunday.

Appearing on the program, Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain said that communities have a right to ban Islamic mosques. The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO said protests and legal challenges to a planned mosque in Tennessee are an example of local residents pushing back, as if this were an example of what President Reagan had in mind when he proclaimed his shining city upon a hill.

Cain said his view doesn’t amount to religious discrimination because he says Muslims are trying to inject Sharia law into the U.S. (Sharia is a set of core principles that most Muslims recognize and a series of rulings from religious scholars. It covers many areas of life and different sects have different versions and interpretations of the code.)

“Let’s go back to the fundamental issue that the people are basically saying that they are objecting to,” Cain said. “They are objecting to the fact that Islam is both religion and (a) set of laws, Sharia law. That’s the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes. The people in the community know best. And I happen to side with the people in the community.”

In America, this is the stupid shit politicians on the right say when they want to win votes from white Christian evangelicals, and this kind of stuff is red meat for those terrorists who spell terrorism with a capital Tea. Now we can wax lyrical about how his comments are unconstitutional and un-American until the cows come home, but there is something even more sinister lurking beneath his remarks. *Here comes my Hitler card* His comments echo the statements used to stoke the flames of the Jewish holocaust, and mirror the policies undertaken by the Nazis.

Herman Cain Goering would be well advised to refer to a history book, so as to learn what took place throughout Germany on the evening 8 November 1938. Here he will discover what happens when communities are allowed to take matters into their own hands when it comes to banning places of religious worship. Historically, we refer to this evening as the ‘Night of Broken Glass’ (Kristallnacht), whereby 1,668 synagogues were ransacked, and 267 set on fire.

As an atheist and a staunch protector of the separation between church and state, I’m not a big fan of any mosque, church, or synagogue. It’s where stupid happens. It’s where praying often leads to thinking about politics. Therefore, at least hypothetically, I could be persuaded to help shut down all religious houses of worship, but that’s happening on it’s own, anyway, as modernity continues to swallow the last generation of the superstitious throughout the Western hemisphere. But history has demonstrated in the clearest and most heinous terms what happens when you single out a minority faith for exclusive treatment. Metaphorically, it’s an ugly snowball rolled down the hill, which is brought to a halt with unimaginably horrific consequences.

As far as American Muslims wanting to implement Sharia law, well, that’s the boogey man card. There are less than 3 million Muslims living in the U.S today, representing less than 1% of the population, and current polling suggests that as many as 90% of American Muslims believe in the principles of separation of church and state. In fact, it’s the reason a majority of Muslims say they immigrated to the U.S in the first place i.e. to flee theocratic regimes such as Iran.

Ultimately, the cultural divide between  red state and blue state ideologues is wider than any time I can recall. Possibly, the 2008 election sandpapered over these chasms while the nation was stumbling punch drunk in the night after eight long years of Bush. But the far right of 2009-2011 is a far more vicious and xenophobic animal than its Karl Rove led brother of 2004. Social Conservative Christians are coming, make no mistake, and Herman Cain’s remarks, like those of Bachmann and Palin, show the animal is hungry.

CJ Werleman

Author ‘Koran Curious’ and ‘God Hates You. Hate Him Back’

www.cjwerleman.com

A Former Jerry Falwell Minion Discusses Child Indoctrination.

Tim Short is the author of soon to be released, ‘AtmosFear’ (From Liberty to Atheism), and this week I welcome him as a guest blogger. I’ve had the privilege of reviewing a pre-release copy of his debut work, and I can promise you this: it’s an expose! A fascinating insight into the machinations of the later Jerry Falwell’s school, Liberty University, of which Short is a graduate. 

To not indoctrinate a child while teaching him is indeed a slippery slope. Knowing when to draw the line is a tough call for a parent or guardian/teacher to make so many times. However, religion definitely is an area of indoctrination where adults cross the line excessively. Many who educate children at churches and religious institutions (even college) not only inculcate the student body with their religious taboos and customs but actually go to that next unforgivable step of discouraging dissent and inquiry. It is one thing to tell students, “We believe Jesus is God’s son and His Word is absolute Truth” but it is another thing altogether to stifle learning by insisting there be a sincere certainty on the part of the student that the Bible is true. Knowledge of a holy text, then, is not the goal but mindless allegiance and obsession are the desired outcomes.

For those who have been abused sexually or violently as a child, I don’t mean to belittle the severity of their experience just because I dislike Sunday school so ardently. I could easily point out that “spare the rod” sentiments have contributed to child abuse, and it would be too easy a target to mention the Catholic Church’s involvement in sexual abuse of young children. I could…but I will not. My grief du jour with religious culture touches on a more basic understanding of what it means to be abused.

Many adults who were abused by a parent claim that the abuser “took something away” from them that cannot easily (if at all) be given back. Trust issues, feelings of guilt, shame, innocence…to name a few.  How does Muslim, Catholic, Jewish and Christian schooling carry out making their students feel likewise? It’s easier to do it than to explain it but I will certainly try!

Education happens inside and outside the school classroom. Children are like sponges, soaking in information all the time. My four-year old has a knack for picking up some obscure mannerisms and copying in a way that makes sense to him. Perhaps the children in your life are like that too, I would wager they are. The problem is that religious indoctrinators rob children of a process of growing up—and that is the ability to investigate and draw valid conclusions. The ability to investigate can make a child feel successful and intelligent as he or she uses wit, pluck, eagerness and enthusiastic inquiry to evaluate all available information with all available resources. Children are not adults, so their capacity for abstract thought and the tendency to think anecdotally is why we will never allow 7 year olds to own handguns or drive cars–even if they are really good children. But part of growing up is knowing how to deduct from one’s findings and investigation with more and more accuracy and precision.

Religious indoctrination is in principle, the antithesis of that process of deduction and conclusion-finding. The conclusion is not some place to arrive at but rather the starting place! One starts with the biggest questions (who was Jesus/Mohammad/Moses?) and what implications does his identity have on my life personally? Starting there, one can only work backwards, never truly doubting the “big picture.”  This is why Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists and etc. can get alone when they have to, because they don’t disagree on the “biggies.”

An astute reader like yourself may cry foul here (you are allowed)…”Don’t homicide detectives start with a dead body and a crime scene and work backwards to figure out who did it and what the possible motive was?” Yes indeed. But they have a body and a crime scene. Christians, for example, conveniently do not have an empirical point of unquestionable historicity that compares to our hardboiled detective finding a stiff in the alley. Even if I begrudgingly concede that Jesus existed and was something of a big deal in his day, that does not prove that he either pre-existed his supernatural birth (as John chapter 1 says) or that his life was supernaturally rebooted after his alleged crucifixion (Matthew 27). Worse yet, a Bible believing Christian is kind of handcuffed to all of the immoral or plain moronic content of the Old Testament that he probably never read. Once you get “saved,” you just learn how to go with it.

I am not for book-burning or closing schools but I challenge those who actively manipulate the senses and developmental strengths of children (like the woman in “Jesus Camp”, who was a gifted communicator and very effective) to stop exploiting them and robbing them of the joy found when someone legitimately concludes that Jesus is in fact, alive in spirit form and living inside him, as one such example. When that happens, mystified as I may be, I could at least respect his attempt at finding truth without suspecting an over zealous, proselytizing yet trusted adult companion who took the low-road and simply fucked with his head.

CJ Werleman

Author ‘God Hates You. Hate Him Back’ and ‘Koran Curious’ (Due July 2011)

www.cjwerleman.com

Why Do Atheists Care So Much About Religion?

With the sudden rise of evangelical atheism in the United States during the past decade, widely attributed to popular anti-religious literature, coming out campaigns and billboards, a question commonly asked of the godless is, “Why give a hoot about things you don’t believe in? Why not go pick on unicorns?” Others have gone even further, however, accusing atheists of being just as irritating as evangelical Christians. Whaaat?

Firstly, I agree atheists can be as annoying as evangelicals, but generally annoying people are annoying no matter what they are proselytizing.  For example, Miley Cyrus could be promoting a ‘Stop Kitten Juggling’ campaign, and I’d still change the channel. So let’s come back to answering the question, “why do atheists care so much about religion?”

In answering that question in reverse, I’d contend atheists wouldn’t care so much about religion if its practitioners and believers practiced their religious observations entirely in the confines of their own home. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t care if someone’s religious belief meant they were obliged to snorting a line of cocaine off a Tijuana prostitutes’ midget sidekick, on the proviso all parties were willing participants and I didn’t have to see or hear about it.

Unfortunately, when it comes to religion, however, it’s in our face, making it impossible not to care. There are churches on every street corner; ‘Jesus Saves’ signs on our neighbor’s lawns; ‘In God We Trust’ on our cash; ‘One Nation Under God’ snuck into the Pledge of Allegiance, while none of us were paying attention in 1954; athletes thanking God for their victory; and the banal ‘God Bless America’. But I can deal with all that! For me, these are just minor irritations, and I ignore it as flippantly as I would a Tea Party candidate lecturing us on why giving tax relief to the rich can help solve the financial woes of the middle class.

Specifically, where I care more than an emotionally needy Care Bear is when the religious step outside of their own abodes and thrust their lunacy into social and political discourse. Particularly, it’s the sneaky circumvention of the separation between church and state. Here are some examples of why religious belief grabs my goat:

  • Tax exemption for churches. This increases the overall tax burden for everybody else. Let’s be honest, churches are generally the last institutions that need financial support from the government.
  • Religious ideology blocks critical advances in scientific breakthrough. For instance, George W. Bush’s veto of stem cell research has set back one of the most critical medical advancements against diseases such as Parkinsons’, cancer, and more.
  • The perversion of school curriculums with the sneaky and disingenuous rebranding of Creationism as Intelligent Design.
  • Some states prohibit non-believers from holding positions of elected office.
  • Some organizations prohibit homosexuals and atheists from membership due to religious ideology i.e. the Boy Scouts.
  • Religious belief often influences public policy. One such example is Republican John Shimkus (R-ILL), member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, stated in 2009 that there was no need to concern ourselves with climate change because God promised in the Bible not to destroy the world again.
  • Faith-based initiatives consume  tax dollars that could be otherwise used for more effective or better deserving projects.
  • Religious groups have a great deal of political power.
  • Faith based programs provide false information and individual harm i.e. ‘Abstinence Only’, and Christian Scientists, who deny their children medicine.

That’s why I care.

CJ Werleman

Author ‘God Hates You. Hate Him Back’ and ‘Koran Curious’ (Due 7/1/11)

www.cjwerleman.com