Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy, published every other day.

Tag: mythology

Liberal Media? Off by 15!

If we truly had a “liberal media”…

  1. We would know that job loss is due to corporations offshoring.  NOT taxes.
  2. We would know that income and wealth inequality is now beyond the wildest dreams of the 1890s Robber Barons
  3. We would know that ALEC hands state legislators fat checks and pre-written regressive legislation, all over the country.  They deposit the checks and submit the legislation unchanged.
And twelve more, equally infuriating…  Read here
“Liberal media” is a made-up term from the right-wing, designed to pull the existing corporate right-center news media even further along the road to the ruin of the middle class.

h/t Daily Kos

Betty Explains Religious Freedom

Religious freedom: Only for privileged religions, if you follow the Christian conservative rhetoric in the USA.  Here, the privileged religion is Christianity.  Over in most of the Middle East, it’s Islam.

They have more in common than you’d think, and could benefit well from comparing notes.  Here’s America’s Best Christian, Mrs. Betty Bowers, with a summary.

When to Snopes

At least three or four times a week, I respond to someone’s social media posting with a link to an article on www.snopes.com .  Yes, I am that guy.  Snopes is the single best site I know for debunking urban legends – those compelling, seemingly relevant stories that spread like wildfire just by word of mouth.  The Internet takes “wildfire” and accelerates it to “nuclear chain reaction.”

These are the kinds of stories that you read or hear and then you never really seem to feel like putting in the effort to verify.  They may be short on specifics or they may cite the teller’s friend, or friend’s cousin.  They may be very specific and quote the police chief of a certain town in California.  When told on the East Coast.  Or Massachusetts when told out west.

I think these stories tend to be at their strongest when they reinforce fears we already have.  Gang initiation rites spun out of thin air because of some driver randomly clicking his brights.  Or spiders spilling out of cacti because… Ewww! Spiders!

If you see a story that gives you that little chill of fear you just felt reading “Spiders!” and it manages not to cite a source you’re familiar with, then please o please!  Before resharing or retweeting or reposting or even Liking, please do a quick search for it on www.snopes.com .  You too can be that guy.

Additional Info: http://people.howstuffworks.com/urban-legend.htm

and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_legend

“You are being fooled by the Devil.”

“You are being fooled by the Devil.”  This is something you’ll hear from that vocal minority of Christians who take things much more literally than the average bear, and who therefore interpret passages in the Bible about Satan as referring to a literal creature.

Since this creature takes on any form, or no form, and is responsible for anything the speaker dislikes, it’s rather difficult to pin down a testable definition or description.  But that doesn’t make it any less real to your interlocutor.  Here you are spouting what sounds to them like blasphemy and they can only ascribe that to the work of the Evil One.  This is the same evil one who introduced sin to the world in the form of a talking snake.  Now, this snake was not a regular snake, it was the Devil taking on that form.  No matter, all ordinary snakes were punished for it ever after.  Logic and fairness are clearly not biblical values.

The level of rejection you are experiencing when you hear this is just about maxed-out.  To the speaker, nothing that comes of the Devil is worthy of anything but rejection.  You are being informed that your conclusion, arrived at through your own reasoning, is not yours at all.  You are being told that it is an artifact of a creature as mythical as the god you don’t believe in.  Along with the thousands of gods your theist friends and family don’t believe in either: Jupiter, Isis, Krishna, Thor, Moloch, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Astarte….

I have not found a way to re-establish meaningful communication with people whose view of reality is as far away from mine as that.  If you have achieved this feat, please tell us about it in the comments.

This is #10 of a series covering the top ten goofy things religious people say to atheists (but there will be one more, bonus installment)


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