Thursday, December 26, 2013

I'll take health care, you can keep your Jesus and Duck Dynasty

Chris Mooney has an interesting piece in Mother Jones about how existential security leads "toward less religion and also more tolerance of atheism" in society. Religion, on the other hand, often preys on our insecurities. And our fear of death and suffering provide fertile ground in which to plant a seed of faith that we can somehow survive our bodily death.

A case in point appeared in my Facebook feed yesterday in the form of this video. Speaking to the congregation of Saddleback church in July of this year, Phil Robertson explains in the video (starting at about 16:05) the problem with health care:
"It's not gonna keep you out of the ground...The best you can hope for is a little temporary reprieve...We're not going to live forever. I don't care how much money we spend on healthcare. It's all a farce. It's smoke and mirrors. It's just another way to get your money."
Praise Jesus, mail the duck, eat mor chikin, and opt out of health care! Whites onlyQuack. Quack.

Thanks, but no thanks. I'm with my brother-in-law (an agnostic). He wants more health care and doesn't really care much about Jesus or Duck Dynasty. In 2004 he had a stroke, and thanks to quality heath care (provided for at the time by his employer) he was able to recover and avoid crippling debt (or a premature death at age 44). He switched employers and lost health care after his recovery, and he just purchased a new health care plan under Obamacare to cover him and a dependent. The final costs for him: $86 a month. Prior to Obamacare, he was quoted $3800 a month by the same provider.

I'll take health care, you can keep your Jesus and Duck Dynasty Phil-o-stinians.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck

Guess who is airing Duck Dynasty marathons on Sunday Dec. 22 from 5 p.m. until 4 a.m. the next morning, Monday Dec. 23 from 7 p.m. until 4 a.m. the next morning, Christmas Eve 6 p.m. until 9 p.m, and Christmas Day 3:30 p.m. until 4 a.m. the next morning? And guess who is airing new episodes of Duck Dynasty with Phil Robertson starting January 15?

My vote for best coverage goes to Right Wing Watch (What Persecution Looks Like). On the opinion front, Josh Barro is blunt. And Ta-Nehisi Coates nicely covers the often overlooked issue of race. The Westboro Baptist Church also weighed in: if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

My favorite Tweet goes to God (and numerous references to ZZ Top)...

And this meme pic just says it all...

Happy winter solstice. And remember, axial tilt is the real reason for the seasons.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Local business uses religion to discriminate against Hickory Humanists

As a founding member of the Hickory Humanist Alliance (HHA), I support the group leadership's decision to not pursue legal action or publicly shame (or fame to the religious bullies) the local screen printing shop who recently refused service to our AHA chapter. This type of discrimination is never acceptable, but having to find another sign and t-shirt printer is de minimis (to HHA) when compared to some of the other current threats to religious liberty. As long as it doesn't become a pattern, I agree with HHA's decision to ignore this lone bigot and not feed his persecution complex. I trust that HHA will soon find another local printer happy to get their business (or at least a business who takes advice from an attorney instead of a pastor).

So, what are you waiting for? Go join HHA and buy the t-shirt!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Remembering John

"And so dear friends, you'll just have to carry on..."

John Lennon (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980)