Sunday, April 26, 2015

Never Been a Sinner, Never Sinned – The Not Particularly Lurid Confessions of an Atheist

“Open up the gates of the church and let me out of here
Too many people have lied in the name of Christ
For anyone to heed the call
So many people have died in the name of Christ
That I can't believe it all” – Graham Nash

In My Midnight Confession, When I Say All the Things That I Want To

I, nycityman, unknown and unrecognized political, social and satirical blogger, male-pattern baldness victim, rioja reserva quaffer, long-suffering New York Jet fan and born and bred resident of the most supreme metropolis on the face of a hoped for god’s own green Earth, am also a proudly, avowed Atheist. There, I’ve said it aloud. It’s not illegal, it’s not evil, and for the sake of familial harmony, we’ll just agree that neither of us will tell my mother.

I’m not wicked, immoral, a Satan worshipper (a character as fictional as the Lorax or a Tea Partier with a diploma.) I don’t lack love, humanity, care, concern, compassion, sympathy or empathy for others (can you just hear the sounds of the self-congratulatory pats upon the back?) I’m steadfastly tolerant, reserving my intolerance solely for the intolerant (find that quality in the average Christian Conservative.) My feelings and perceptions of morality and right and wrong, are derived not from a fear of an afterlife of eternal Hellfire (see previous Lorax/Tea Partier allusion) nor from the hopes and desires of a burly, man-hug greeting from St. Peter and some infinite reward frolicking amongst long-gone friends and family and possible heavenly encounters with Groucho, Harpo, Stan, Ollie and Marilyn Monroe, but rather from an intrinsic, and natural place of genuineness and sincerity.

Friends, an ethical atheist is a truly ethical person, for the non-devotional’s morality is driven only from the innate need to behave properly toward others, sans expectation of either recompense or punishment in a hereafter, of which there exists not a single shred of evidence.  And, as far as the idea of life without end as incentive, I, personally, have never understood the appeal of that concept. Never ending life is an absolutely frightening notion. Do you really wish to live forever? Look how bored you are right now reading this blog. Forever is a concept that is basically impossible to grasp or imagine because, but for energy, it doesn’t exist in nature in any form, and it’s very likely that we are all better off for that reality.

Whatever Gets You Through the Night

If you, on the other hand, are a Christian, or a Jew, or a Sikh or a Muslim or a Druid, whichever the case may be, put down your armaments and stop despising each other for but this moment. Your decision to be faithful, and your choice of faith reflects wonderfully on the benefits of free thought and free societies, and if it fulfills a need or enriches your life, mores the better.  As John Lennon warbled, “whatever gets you through the night it’s alright, it’s alright,”with one vital caveat in mind, that you don’t use your religious beliefs as justification to discriminate against others. And there’s the rub as, unfortunately, that far too frequently occurs. For example, should you reference your Christianity as a reason or an excuse to hate homosexuals, no matter how righteously you label yourself as such, you are not a Christian.  Crack open the New Testament on occasion if you question that harsh judgement.
This part of the lecture is now over, feel free to re-raise your weapons and resume your killing in the name of your deity.

Then I Saw Her Face, Now I’m a Believer

I refute the designation of “non-believer” thrust upon us heathens among the population. I’m a believer. I believe in various and sundry things. What I reject is personal belief in Norman Greenbaum’s spirits in the sky. What I believe in is facts and science and history and evolution and climate change and equality and tolerance and unassailable truths, just for starters.

Never Been a Sinner, Never Sinned Redux

Like the late Mr. Greenbaum’s lyrics, I’ve “never been a sinner, never sinned.” Not because “I’ve got a friend in Jesus” but because sin is non-existent. Sin is but a man-made conceit contrived by the powerful to control what they unjustifiably perceive as unwanted and unruly behaviors by those seen as inferiors in society.


Now it’s Time to Say Goodnight. Goodnight, Sleep Tight

A growing number of us don’t want or don’t need promises of an infinite tomorrow to sustain happiness or hope. The undertaking of a satisfying and gratifying life today is more than sufficient impetus to propel us toward proper and honorable conduct. And rather than look to an external force as explanation or rationalization for our daily deeds, we are more than willing to accept full responsibility for our actions.
Atheists are not monsters, really. We are regular folk just like you, who happen to have been born with unsightly horns poking out of our foreheads.  If you earnest people of faith will consider us with open minds, we will try to tone down our unfortunate attitudes of superiority.

We conclude with Crosby, Stills and Nash performing the classic “Cathedral.”

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions?  Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Conservative Creed: Fear and Loathing in America

Cheers For Fears

“Of freedom and of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world”

When I was but a youngster growing up in the 60’s (thank goodness I was shaped in that era) and raised back in the New York groove (much gratitude to providence, happenstance, fate or chance for ensuring my birth occurred in this open-minded, tolerant, progressive and accepting metropolis) and was just learning the ropes of the vicious, malicious maelstrom that is politics, I bore no bilious opinions toward either Conservatives or Republicans. I thought that Conservatives and Liberals, Republicans and Democrats all wished only the best for our nation and its citizens, albeit with conflicting ideologies regarding the methods to achieve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But that was once upon a time, very long ago when Right Wingers were worldly, educated, intelligent and open to thought, discussion and debate. Alas, this now ancient form of Conservatism is as unfortunately extinct as the velociraptor, the erectopus (the most sexually suggestive sounding of all dinosaurs) and the possibility of W being carved into Mount Rushmore.

Ooh, you're a fine witch
Modern Conservatism, aka neo-Conservatism, Tea Party Conservatism or cruel senseless lunacy, is an entirely altered and unruly beast, a bigoted, hateful, ignorant dogma with no concern for country or citizenry but for the welfare of corporations and self; a relatively small, but presently dominant, nightmarish conglomeration of Freddy Kruegers weaned on the mercenary and self-regarding valueless philosophy of Ayn Rand, perfectly willing to destroy the world and its future to fulfill current egotistical needs.
Time was, Conservatives were William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater not Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin. Republicans were Nelson Rockefeller and Dwight Eisenhower not Louie Gohmert and Tom Cotton.

Yet to declare for 2016, but still leads GOP polls
Since Barack Obama’s initial inauguration, Tea-publicans have made it a primary mission to establish a narrow and prejudice definition of what constitutes a “real American” – Caucasian, Christian, heterosexual, Republican, male – nothing else.

Concurrently, the GOP vision of what the “real America” is, exists only as pure delusionary invention, an  unrealistic, imaginary 1950’s fantasy, a black and white (correction, white) Mayberry recreation  (by the way, not to shock anyone, but Gomer is openly gay and recently married his male partner of 38 years) where everyone votes Republican, goes to church on Sunday, cools fresh-baked apple pies on the window sill, women and African-Americans know their proper places, homosexuals  subsist only in Godless Gomorrahs like New York and California, immigration was wholly halted after the arrival of the Western Europeans, and everyone remains in their small town hamlet, marries their high school sweetheart and takes over Dad’s business (The Mount Pilot S&M Emporium) when he retires.    

And, that’s actually all perfectly hunky dory and acceptable to aspire and wish for, as long as one doesn’t dismiss, discriminate against or harm others who don’t fit in that mold.  Our current dilemma is that Republicans prove, over and again, through both their speechifying and their legislating, that they not only distrust, but thoroughly despise anyone who is not in line with their very specific and very limited ideal of what constitutes a patriot and an American. The Right’s compulsion to act upon their intolerance, their willingness to benefit at the expense of others, and their eagerness to quash the rights and liberties of those with whom they disagree, is utterly intolerable.

Tea-publican Poison

They steep their tea with arsenic,
A lye and hemlock brew.
Served on a cloth of Gadsden flag,
With John 12:32.

They shout their love of country
Each a modern Paul Revere,
Yet loathe their fellow countrymen
And view immigrants with fear.

Their dream world a Utopia,
Where only white men rule,
And education lacks in facts
Just scripture taught in school.

Science, history, knowledge, truth
Sear souls like Hell’s own flame,
The tools of liberal devils
To be damned in Jesus’ name.

Empathy, an empty plea
When speaking of the Right.
Common ground, a hollow sound
Republican kryptonite.

No pity, no compassion
Ill will is de rigueur.
Just southern fried, old boy white pride,
And no comfort for the poor

Not when wealthy won’t pay taxes
Yet will always have their way.
And when Christ is on the dollar bill,
Incarceration, if you’re gay.

Their rainbow and their color wheel
All whiter shades of pale,
They’ll fight for rights of Klansmen knights,
Others freedoms they’ll curtail.

Conservatives beat the war drums
While liberals cry for peace.
Conservatives count their profits gained
From wars that never cease.

Then side with foreign enemies
And our President defame.
Pledge Allegiance to another land,
Just Americans in name.

So to feed off corporate corpulence,
Every snout shoved in the trough.
Raped the riches of this giving land
Every acre’s been sold off.

Enemies to the people,
Enemies to the state,
Enemies come from within,
Corrupting faith to spread the hate.  

Following that last bit of jolliness, Tears for Fears bookend this posting with “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions?  Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.