Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pro-life status conditional

If you're convicted as an abortionist by due process of the law in a country where abortions are unconditionally illegal, it's ok to kill you in God's eyes. Evidently. At least judging from this sermon. But if you take matters into your own hands and kill a man you believe is a murderer because pastors like this told you so all your life, then you're a murderer yourself because... um... something about rebellion. Seriously? Rebeling against authority is the only thing he did wrong? So if the United States became a theocracy and this man became an executioner killing all the abortionists lined up on death row, that would be ok?

I wanted to reply in a comment, but naturally the moment anyone outside of their congregation discovered the sermon's inanity, they shut down commenting on the thread. So here's what I wrote right after they shut their eyes to criticism:

"I am not impressed with the justifications given for what was said in this sermon. Suppose you informed a minority group in Nazi Germany of the Holocaust and they wholeheartedly believed that it was horrifyingly amoral and must be stopped. Then suppose you told them that they should use the Word of God and due process of the law to fight the Holocaust rather than form a sort of resistance against the German Army and join up with the Allies, as reason would dictate. They would either be disgusted with your ignorance and irrationality concerning the situation, or somehow be extremely gullible and get themselves killed in due process of the law.

Now imagine what you claim to be true right now. Supposedly 50 million or so human beings have been massacred in due process of the law, and all available evidence suggests that the influence of God's Word in America seems to be decreasing. What in your God's name makes you think the best way to fight an unborn Holocaust is to try in vain to change the minds of lawmakers? And why are you taking your time in doing so? Why aren't you making this your number one priority, and if you are, we are less than amazed by your fervor. Everything in this country should grind to a halt when you demand this, you shouldn't be going about your day as usual if there's a Holocaust in your backyard.

And then this sermon comes along and somehow the pastor feels the need to say that killing is not always forbidden. I don't care if the sermon says to use due process of the law, because that, as mentioned, is a horrendously stupid idea if you truly believe a Holocaust to be occurring. There is no reason to point that out in a condemnation of a murderer. Someone who hears this kind of stuff all the time throughout their lives is bound to reach the conclusion that they should take matters into their own hands and try to save many lives by taking one, and would also be dismayed to find that you don't take abortion seriously enough to rise up as one and demand that it stops at any cost. And who are you to say that it's not God's will that he should do this? Maybe he was right and your concept of God is a terribly misrepresented idea of your own personal beliefs. Or maybe everybody's concept of God is like that.

I'm not justifying Tiller's murder, as you can no doubt tell from my use of language; I'm pointing out the terrible inconsistency and inanity of your beliefs concerning this matter. And I'm disgusted by all of this gibberish that's supposed to be a critique of a murderer but ends up supporting the very reason why he took Tiller's life. And I'm further disgusted by the fact that there is nothing in your moral dialogue that includes secular reasoning. Is your only reason for hating the idea of rebellion because God told you to respect authority? Do you seriously believe that the only reason Tiller's murder is wrong is because his killer did it against God's wishes? It disturbs me that your moral conscience could turn on a dime if the right people told you that God thought differently than you previously believed. Or that if God himself told you something of that nature, that it wouldn't even occur to you to get your head examined.

Really, I don't understand why you can't take a reasonable approach to any of this. I don't understand why you don't try to take the other side's point of view and understand why "God-haters" are so distraught by your words and actions. (The term "God-hater" is fairly indicative of your ignorance of atheists and atheism in general.) I don't hate anything or anyone; I'm just terribly concerned by this pseudo-criticism of a murderer. I’m a former believer who at one time fully believed everything the thoughtful Christian readers here have written, and came to realize how bizarrely counterproductive it all was to my moral development. I truly believe that this is making Americans suffer unnecessarily for the sake of a belief in the consciousness of the unborn that simply doesn't exist.

I know this won't change anything, but it had to be said."

Monday, June 1, 2009

2012 will be a grave, grave year...

It will be the year that I have to graduate and leave college. Maybe.

What? No. No, not me, I don't buy into that 2012 bullshit one bit. I've already lived through one apocalypse, and it made for a terrible New Year's.

Really, what is it about the year 2012 that is so damn significant? Because the Mayan Calendar ends on that year? A cycle of keeping track of time on an ancient calendar will end, so what? Did they accurately determine the age of the earth and the universe itself? What credibility did they have for determining the destiny of existence? The calendar goes by cycles of 5125 years; what happened 5122 years ago that was so earth-shattering? Why should I believe the ancient Mayans knew anything we couldn't find out for ourselves with our more advanced understanding of the cosmos? And no, there's nothing astronomically sigificant about this year. There's no "galactic alignment", and a rearranging of how we view arbitrary constellations will not have any effect on any aspect of your everyday life, much less the fate of civilization.

Oh, and astrologers, you'd be interested to know that our view of the original 12 zodiac signs changes monthly alignment* every 2000 years, so all of your horoscopes are already one sign off. Not that it has any impact on the validity of astrology, because there isn't any.

And this New Age idiocy about a paradigm shift in spirituality? Does anyone really believe that on the 21st of December, 2012, everyone's suddenly going to have a change of heart and live together in peace without explanation? Get real, please. It's hard enough trying to figure out feasible solutions to the world's problems without this nonsense muddying things up.

More importantly, there will be a really bad movie coming out in November of 2009 about this supposed doomsday scenario. Look cool? No? Good. Yes? Keep in mind this is the same idiot (I'm not even going to dignify him by mentioning his name) who made Stargate, Independence Day, Godzilla (the american remake), The Day After Tomorrow, and to top off this shit sundae, 10,000 BC, a movie taking place during the agricultural revolution about cavemen who must do battle with woolly mammoths and horsemen who are capable of building pyramids. Yeah... Why exactly should we think this guy has any say in the significance of specific dates if he can't even get it straight with regards to events in the past. How do you screw that up? "Before the coming of the End Times in 2021, just remember how close humanity came to an abrupt end when the dinosaurs came back in the 19th century, and... Wha- Oh shit."

All of these movies are made to be big and gaudy with trailers designed to pull you in by not letting on the actual plot of the film. 2012's trailer is fairly indicative of this pattern. Fortunately there's never much of a plot to any of these godawful things, so you've got it all figured out from the beginning whether you know it or not. What do you see in the trailer? It's the end of the world, and the incompetent governments of the world can do nothing to save us. No, more than that. They will not try to do anything to save us. That's what the captions say. They've blatantly played the anti-government card to try and hook in as many americans and rebels-without-a-clue as possible. As much as I criticize the United States government for being an overall incompetent political body, I'm not that stupid. I'm not going to be psyched for a movie just because you tell me the government can't be trusted. I know that already, tell me something I don't know. You know, something interesting.

Oh, but they do tell us something. They tell us to "find out the truth". Upyours. Tell me the truth! It's your movie, you do your research! What is it with truth-finding in american pop culture that usually means buying into hyped-up bullshit? The truth is not out there, it's not waiting to be uncovered, it's not hidden, it's not coded, it's not secret. The truth is right in front of you. You may point out that there's too much bullshit to figure out what's real. But that's my point. Watch anything on television, and you'll realize the truth: it's all bullshit. That's the truth. What? You were expecting a thriller to start up when you found it? If you're so damn curious about a specific claim, look up a credible academic or professional source.

But then if everyone thought critically, we wouldn't have hack film-makers informing us that 9/11 was an inside job.

But what's most alarming about this film is not the subject matter or premise or even the sheer idiocy that is bound to flow forth once it's released. It's that this film is most probably going to make a massive profit, despite all forewarning that it's going to be really, really bad. Think I'm too presumptuous? Look at all those movies listed above. Actually, look at the one. The Day After Tomorrow. Can you think of anything that could make 2012 any different? The premise is the same, the effects look (from the trailer) the same, the plot of these movies never deviates in complexity or coherence, and the standard of acting is far from impressive. (Matthew Broderick? Are you FUCKING joking?) And we keep telling ourselves the same thing every time the same guy makes another movie. So why do we keep going to see them?? These films have collectively raked in almost a billion dollars. That's no small amount for a series of terrible disaster movies. Why do we keep giving these guys the benefit of the doubt? I can judge a book by it's cover if the cover treats me like a 12-year-old. This is not impressive material for a high-budget film-maker.

DON'T SEE 2012. DON'T SEE ANY OF THIS GUY'S MOVIES EVER AGAIN. You're doing yourself a favor.

By the way, the music stolen blatantly from the Shining trailer was a nice touch of incompetency.

*I don't know why all the videos of Bill Nye pwning astrology have the ratings and comments disabled. Are people that persistent in their faith in astrology that they make rational discussion impossible? Christ, it's all made up, guys, kids' stuff.