"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"
is the fourteenth episode of the third
season of Star Trek: The Original Series.
The episode guest-stars Lou Antonio
and Frank Gorshin,
I'd like to say good by to a bunch of my followers.I was thrilled when it hit 38. Too bad I'm about to lose a bunch. The reason is I do every time I talk about politics. A bunch of people get use to following the blog based upon the things I say that are gung ho for the faith, they just assume I share their politics. when they find out I'm a liberal they say "o you spawn of satan I thought where a Christian! You are out doing evil deeds like raising my taxes!" The picture of the yellow dog in the right side bar is there for political reasons (in Texas parlance I am what is called "a Yellow dog" meaning, I'm a democrat and I would vote democrat if they ran a yellow dog. The fact that that particular dog looks just exactly like my dog that I had as a kid and loved so much, "Mutt," is merely icing on the cake).
I must ask that you read what I say before you go. Don't worry it's not a big diatribe about republicans. It's really about Christian fundamentalism and atheism. Christian fundies and and so called "New atheists" (I call "Dawkamentalists" or "Dawkies") are book ends. One is heads one is tails. They are both fundamentalists. We (the American people) are rapidly becoming trapped between two waring camps of extremes that some how resemble each other closely. When I say that I am reminded of the star Trek where the two guys were black on one side and white on the other. Their waring camps killed off their planet. They still fought to the death. I still remember the great eye opening scene where Frank Gorshin (Batman's "Riddler") says "I am white on the left side, and the other guy is white on the right side." Light bulb time, good analogy for showing the stupidity of racism. We the audience (like the crew of the enterprise) for the most part never noticed the difference which to them was paramount. We two have two waring camps in the religious end of things. Although it's a pretty lopsided struggle.
Recently the head of the American Atheist organization, Al Stefanelli, called for the "eradication of Christian fundamentalism." He spoke in very strident and angry terms, clearly seeking to agitate the situation.
Catholic Blog Creative Minority Report
Stefanelli wrote at Atheists.org:
The fact is that fundamentalist Christians and radical Muslims are not interested in coexisting or getting along. They have no desire for peace. They do not want to sit down with us in diplomatic efforts to iron out our differences and come to an agreement on developing an integrated society.Read more about it on Atheistwatch
They want us to die.
Their interpretation of the Bible and Koran are such that there is no other course of action but to kill the infidel, and if anyone believes otherwise they are only fooling themselves. It is not just in the best interests of atheists to be intolerant of fundamental Christianity and radical Islam, but it is also in the best interest of mainstream believers within these faiths, as well. Moderates and even Progressives who stand in support of extremists just because there is a claim to the same deity are not doing themselves any favors. Fundamental Christians make all Christians look bad and radical Muslims make all Muslims look bad.
The growing ranks of fundamental Christians and radical Muslims should be of concern to everyone who is not part of these two groups. Everyone. Again, bigotry, discrimination, hatred, coercion, terrorism, slavery, misogyny and everything else that is part and parcel of fundamental Christianity and radical Islam should not be tolerated and anyone who agrees with this needs to adopt extremist points of view that includes the intolerance of their very existence. The only reason these groups exist is because they are allowed to, and we, as a society, are allowing them to...
But the underbelly of fundamentalist Christianity and radical Islam does not operate in the legal system. They don’t respond to lawsuits, letters, amicus briefs or other grass-roots campaigns and they must, must, must be eradicated. As long as they are allowed to exist, we will continue to be inundated with accounts of buses, buildings, markets and abortion clinics being blown up, rape victims being murdered for adultery, wives being beaten (sometimes to death), airplanes being flown into buildings, people being tortured and sometimes beheaded for blasphemy, people being burned for witchcraft and sorcery and all the other horrific, inhumane and insane practices that are part of fundamental Christianity and Radical Islam.
If we don’t take a stand and, as a society, insist that these doctrines and beliefs are treated just the same as they would be if religion were not part of the equation, we will become extinct not due to natural selection, but at the hands of those who believe that the supernatural has made the selection.
Sounds like a paranoid lunatic claiming that Christians want atheists to die. I really never hear them talking about it. I think the right wing extreme tea party Christians are a lot more desirous to see poor people dying then they are of atheists dying. Look at the last claim he makes. We are going to go extinct if we allow people to believe in the supernatural. That paranoid hatred of something and they don't even understand the concept. The idiotic analysis that connects 9/11 to all religious belief. You would think just one atheist would have the brains to research the suicide bombers and see that it's not a religious movement at all. The American media has played a role in glamorizing the myth about how they believe they will go to haven and be attended by 72 virgins. That really has little to do with their motives. It's certainly not as though all Muslims agree with them. The fact of it is it's a political movement and it's tainted and colored by politics. The atheists are no better and have no room to talk. Their track record was the murder of a hundred million people. I am far from being the only one to observe the growing totalitarian threat from atheism:
However, in the worlds of academe and some media, particularly since 9/11, a more strident breed of atheist is being heard. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Chris Hedges, etc. are now arguing that civilized people need to join their "crusade" to end the tolerance of all sorts of "faith," tolerance such as "old atheists" practiced for millennia.the author goes on to discuss the God delusion and statements about destroying religion completely.
Of cousre the atheists are all a twitter trying to do damage control. They are going on and on about "hey he backed off that, he said he didn't want to kill people." Read my thing on Atheistwatch because I don't think that is exactly the point either. Nixon said he wasn't a crook but I didn't believe him either. He's clearly agitating but not necessarily to produce actual death. He clearly wants a climate of unreasoning hysteria. It's easier to control people in such a climate. The insurance companies started the tea party hysteria about health care with BS about death panels not because they wanted liberals killed but just becuase it's easier to manipulate the masses when they are scared to death. Steffanelli obviously wants to control people. There's no question about that. The atheist working on damage control who say "he just means eradicate the beliefs" never explain how you do that without eradicating those who believe them deeply and passionately. That's the the happiest smiley face one can put on it; it still means control. The best we can hope for form that guy is that when controls and manipulates people maybe he will be nice about it. Sorry but that's just not my vision of a "free thinker."
On the other hand, we got troubles form the other direction. We Christians can throw stones at the atheists and go "aren't they silly, they are all a bunch of freedom crunching fuddie duddies." yet so are we! Chris Hedges Pulitzer prize winning war correspondent had written about the totalitarian methods on both sides. He agrees with the assessment of the so called "new atheists." Atheist leader P.Z. Myers of course mocks and ridicules him.
Hedges has been totally nuts for the last few years: he's got this crazy irrational hysteria about atheists that makes him utterly unhinged whenever he writes about us. His latest is of a piece with his mania:Notice that sharp analysis. He doesn't consider what he says, the is off template, he is in disagreement with the word of atheism so must be "nuts." Anyone off template is automatically to be ridiculed as nuts. Look at his logic, he builds an analogy bewteen the way both sets of extremists think and so Myers concludes that he's blaming atheist for what the Christian fudnies think. Hey anyone off templte is a fundie. There are two kinds of people, the ideologues who agree with me and the enemy. that's the way Ideology works. Hey he's black on the right side and I'm black on the left side! Cant' you see how important that is?
The gravest threat we face from terrorism, as the killings in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik underscore, comes not from the Islamic world but the radical Christian right and the secular fundamentalists who propagate the bigoted, hateful caricatures of observant Muslims and those defined as our internal enemies. The caricature and fear are spread as diligently by the Christian right as they are by atheists such as Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. Our religious and secular fundamentalists all peddle the same racist filth and intolerance that infected Breivik. This filth has poisoned and degraded our civil discourse. The looming economic and environmental collapse will provide sparks and tinder to transform this coarse language of fundamentalist hatred into, I fear, the murderous rampages experienced by Norway. I worry more about the Anders Breiviks than the Mohammed Attas.
What? Muslims riot over cartoons, Breivik massacres young people in the name of reactionary Christian nationalism, and Hedges blames the atheists? Madness. Pure madness.
Its' not as Hedges doesn't give both barrels to the Christian fundies as well. He says the right wing is closing down freedom. Democracy is being dismantled by religious absolutism. He calls them fascists and has book: American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.
In an interview with Amy Goodman he speaks of some of the people he points to:
What do we do? Friend, atheist enemy, loyal reader, and constant irritant "Hermit" said something to the effect why do I not lambast the "other side" meaning the Christian right? I do sometimes. As Stokley Carmichael said (I thin it was him) when ask why he didn't rail agaisnt the viet Kong as enemies of freedom, "The Viet Kong never called me N_____." The religious has not mocked and ridiculed my ideas and told I don't know anything that I didn't really go to graduate school. When I argue with them they are pretty bad, but they don't try to make out like I'm an idiot and I don't know anything. Now they may not value what I know but they do at least allow me to know it. The atheists are a lot worse they would say there's only one source of knowledge and that's us, we are science, and all the while call themselves "free thinkers." I think 1984 is much more insidious than Al Capone. Capone was a thug he lacked the finesse to make you re-describe your whole sense of reality. Although, as Mick Jagger said "a choice of cancer or polio."
AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to have you with us. Why did you write this book?
CHRIS HEDGES: Anger. I mean, I grew up in the Church and, of course, as you mentioned, graduated from seminary, and I think these people have completely perverted and distorted and manipulated the Christian message into something that is the very antithesis of certainly what Jesus preached in the Gospels.
AMY GOODMAN: Who are "these people"?
CHRIS HEDGES: These are — you know, they’re not — we use terms like "evangelical" and "fundamentalist" to describe them, and I think that those are incorrect terms. Traditional fundamentalists always called on believers to remove themselves from the contaminants of secular society, shun involvement in politics. Evangelical leaders like Billy Graham’s always warned followers to keep their distance from political power. He, of course, was burned by Richard Nixon, came to Nixon’s defense and then when it publicly came out that Nixon lied, it taught a lesson to Graham.
This is a new movement, as embodied by people like James Dobson or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell, who call for the creation of a Christian state, who talk about attaining secular power. And they are more properly called dominionists or Christian reconstructionists, although it’s not a widespread term, but they’re certainly not traditional fundamentalists and not traditional evangelicals. They fused the language and iconography of the Christian religion with the worst forms of American nationalism and then created this sort of radical mutation, which has built alliances with powerful rightwing interests, including corporate interests, and made tremendous inroads over the last two decades into the corridors of power.
AMY GOODMAN: Why the term "dominionist"?
CHRIS HEDGES: It come out of Genesis, you know, where God gives humankind dominion over creation. It’s articulated by ideologues, such as Rousas Rushdoony, Francis Schaeffer and others, and essentially is a new concept within the radical Christian right, and it’s used sparingly. And some dominionists don’t like the term, but I think it denotes or is probably a better term for denoting those people who want to take political power.
I can see that one day I will have to fight either side. It will probalby be the Christian fundies before it's the atheists. The fundies are a lot closing to being in power than the Dawkies. The one thing we can't do at this time is lose our bearing and think that either side represents the lesser of two evils. The lesser evil is still evil. It's the A team and the B team of evil. The only thing we can do is keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and stay true to the faith. The faith is that God bestows free will and gives us freedom. the Gospel is about freedom it's not about being controlled. The truth will set you free, not save your tax burden.