Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blimey, Ms. Althouse! MSNBC Analyst Mark Halperin Calls P. Obama a Dick, and You Take Offense to Joe Scarborough Saying,"Oh My God?" Jesus Christ!

Front-loading the following. I was going to put off the Mark Halperin = dick incident (yes, I deliberately used his insult on him, there,) till later, but then I saw Ann Althouse's alternative reality take on the thing. And I have some, well not exactly unique, but in America? I have some restrictive views on religion. And I haven't gone there in a while. And that might be more fun than politics, for a spell. So here goes. Oh. And this is not so much about her. She's just the match to the firecracker. Are we all set? Then let's go.

As the title suggests, some douche nozzle by the name of Mark Halperin called President Obama a dick, during the broadcast of "Morning Joe." And when Ann Althouse chatted about it on her blog, she took the incident in what I (and many of the minions in her commentariat) thought of as a strange direction. She said:

"Am I the only one who takes more offense at the blurted phrase "Oh my God" (by Joe Scarborough) than the use of the word "dick" to explain the President's behavior? I think insulting the President is rough political discourse, but saying "Oh my God" is taking the Lord's name in vain."
Ann Althouse Misses the Point, on the X and Y Axes.

Suffice to say, many of her commentariat did not consider that to be taking the lord's name in vein. And as a half-sidebar I used blimey there, as that's one of the old "blasphemy" covers. I recently googled to find it's meaning, and that's something on the order of,"God blind me." I already knew, since taking my high school Shakespeare course, about "Zounds" and "S'blood." Zounds is the cover for, "By God's Wounds." "S'blood," is cover for "By God's Blood." So why am I recounting that? Well, and I don't mean to demean any one's particular religious beliefs but all that shit is stupid shit.

Was a time when Europe was universally christian (mostly Catholic, specifically.) And one could face a very bad penalty for being caught in blasphemy. Even during the earlier days of America, blasphemy was a punishable crime in the state criminal court, as opposed to ecclesiastical courts. Back in the days of pre schism Europe, they wielded power over nearly every aspect of people's lives. I would call those days, the bad old days.

And even if I created the tag before I started typing, Ann Althouse's tangent got me thinking about what I would call "Religion as oppression." That's the case even if she did not go so far, go all bat shit about what she mistakenly thought of as "Taking the Lord's name in vein." Some people really get their holy roller noses bent out of joint over that shit. I take the, "Get over it, and yourself," view to that shit, as you could well guess.

I understand that the "Western Word," used to be nearly uniformly agreed that christianity is the way and the light. I understand that as of now, in America, it's said that more than 2/3rds of the nation identifies as some flavor of christian. Never the less (and I am going to curse and curse badly to make my point) but I really wish religious people would stop being such fucks. I mean really. You pick and choose what religion floats your boat? Goody for you. Don't fucking expect me to respect either the choice you make or the fucking dogma, rituals, or any of that shit, save if I am invited into your places of worship and or homes and I agree to enter. At that point it would be plain fucking rude of me not to at least go through the motions. But outside of those limited exceptions you have no reasonable expectation for me to pretend to show the tiniest bit of respect for the nonsense that you say you believe in.

And I have had that conversation with with people, in the past, and it has been heated and totally disrespectful on both sides. And I have had the conversation in a more reasonable fashion. Point is. If one is someone like me, so deeply an agnostic that the best I can say is, I can't prove there is no real God. As in, Father and Creator who will sit in judgment of us all in the end of days. Then one can not honestly show respect for the very idea of religion. Agnostics and atheists reject or at least greatly doubt the core idea of religion: the very existence of all-powerful beings who deserve to be worshiped on account of being all powerful beings.

To us, a choice for practicing one religion over all others has no more objective meaning than a choice of one hobby over another. Presbyterian or Anglican? Stamp collecting or coin collecting? Paper or plastic? Over or under, for the toilet paper? They are all rather mundane choices. Personally I get the reality of the fact that many people take the matter of their chosen religion to be of the greatest meaning and seriousness of anything in their lives. But I still don't get why. (And you can't make me.)

Here's the part I really get. I get it that historically religion and oppression go hand in hand. I know that a bias (if not bigotry) against all others is sorta built into the idea of the institution of religion. But here's my take on the proper base line regarding religion in a purportedly free society, where matters of religion are to held as matters of individual conscience. Everyone is allowed to believe in whatever they wanna. And that means as well, everyone is free NOT to believe in whatever they wanna. That means if someone wants to believe that saying "Oh My God," is bad, they are allowed. And if someone is like me, and finds such a belief to be batshit crazy, that's allowed too.

Remember it's about individual conscience. That's the key. That's the part not only where reasonable people agree. That the part that defines reasonable people.

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