Friday, November 23, 2012

A few thoughts on religious extremists

Anybody who meets me will slowly come to realize that I have no time for religious extremism. Adding even more stupidity to an already illogical belief system is just compounding the brain damage.

On a (potentially unrelated) side note, I like to say that I use Facebook much in the way most people use their refrigerator door: as a place to hang things I find interesting/funny/unbelievable. I think it's a better idea than sticking things to my computer with refrigerator magnets.

(This is not a non-sequiter - it just looks like one. I once worked with an older woman, and one day I caught her using a magnet to put a picture of her grandkids on her hard drive. And just to make it better, she was putting it over her air vents. She didn't appreciate my input on the subject.)

My sister, the Episcopalian priestess, gets a little cranky with my lack of respect for her chosen profession. (By the way, she really dislikes the term "priestess." Just so you know...) She even wrote me, on Facebook, to ask why I kept putting down Christianity, and no other religion. You can probably insert a little "why do you hate god?" into that, too, if you'd like. Entirely subtext, of course.

My answer included the fact that there were plenty of other people out there bashing Islam, so they don't need any help on that front.

But overall, my opinion of religion is pretty much like the somewhat-overused joke:
Religion is like a penis. It's fine to have one and it's fine to be proud of it, but please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around... and PLEASE don't try to shove it down my child's throat.
There's a thousand variations on that one, but there it is.

With all that being said, I came across the following video clip, which is worth the ten minutes out of your day that it will take to see it. It's a bit from Russell Brand's talk show, where, inexplicably, two members of the Westboro Baptist Church agreed to appear.

For any of you that are unaware, Westboro Baptist is a cult dedicated to the idea that the Prince of Peace wants them to picket funerals and sporting events holding up colorful signs saying that "God hates fags" and explaining that you're all going to hell.

There's a lot of people out there, who've spent a lot of time and venom talking about the Westboro Baptist Church, so I'll let you look them up on your own. (At this point, all you need to google is "Westboro," so it isn't like the material is difficult to find.)

So, a couple of takeaways from this.

1. Russell Brand has a talk show? I mean, admittedly it's on FX, so how many people actually see it? But still... really?

2. Nobody should be surprised about them appearing on this show. The Westboro Baptists have made a life out of putting themselves on display, so this is just a logical extension of their standard behavior.

3. The guy with the hair, Steve Drain, can at least fake having some kind of charisma. The head-shaver, Timothy Phelps, can hardly hide his disdain for this crowd of heathens. Even when he tries for a crappy joke, his hatred for everyone and everything peeks out: "Well put. Other than the accent, very well put."
3a. Really? You dislike the fact that he's British? When there's so much else to hate there?
4. That being said, Russell Brand definitely came out on top here. (There's no double entendre there. Trust me.) He was polite, kept his audience in line, and, although he was in full Tease mode, he managed to keep it friendly and avoid most of the snark. But he didn't really take it easy on them, either.
Brand: "Have you considered that the Bible, like all religious doctrine, may be allegorical and symbolic to direct us toward one holy entity of love, as opposed to a specific litiginous text to direct the behavior of human beings? The Bible wasn't literally written by a cosmic entity. It was written by people."

Drain: "It was written by the holy spirit."

Brand: "The holy spirit ain't got a pen!"
And really, that's the only way to deal with people like that. Point and laugh.

1 comment:

Reamus said...

Thanks for the clip and the excellent post. I concur.