Hitting Below The (Bible) Belt

Every so often I flirt with joining the prestigious, lucrative world of atheism blogging, but the fact is I’m just not cut out for it. I can’t consistently come up with marginally-clever-but-slightly-unfair zingers demeaning religious people on a daily basis.

But I do seem to be gradually getting better at this important skill.

For example, today I saw a hilarious video on the Patheos blog Why I Am Catholic. It was one of those shows where some comedians pretending to be a news team go out and ask the “man on the street” for opinions on increasingly ridiculous news items. In this case, they were asking for opinions on how the new Pope is doing – a new Pope, remember, who has not yet been elected. Watch it. It’s pretty good.


Anyway, my immediate reaction was “Man, who could possibly have guessed that Catholics would be so quick to praise a nonexistent father figure just because someone exerted mild social pressure on them to do so?”

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21 Responses to Hitting Below The (Bible) Belt

  1. Fnord says:

    I like that the new Pope has a background in the sciences (well, pharmacy). He’s also acknowledged the importance of youth and interdependently minded congregants in the Church.

    Yes, even in these times of political turmoil, it seems like Coptic Pope Theodoros II is off to a good start since his election last November.

  2. Joe says:

    “But I do seem to be gradually getting better at this important skill.”

    When ever I hear an atheist make superficial or snarky jokes about religion it honestly feels like listening to a closeted gay guy tell you about his girlfriend. In both instances you are dealing with people struggling to cope with a reality they are uncomfortable with.

    • g says:

      Just to be clear: are you saying that when atheists make snarky jokes about religion, the explanation you jump to is that they really know God exists but are desperately trying to convince themselves otherwise?

      That seems to me like a really strange reaction, enough so that I wonder whether I’m completely misunderstanding you. Am I?

      • Joe says:

        Yes. I’m saying that many closeted gay guys are in a state of denial. Many of them try to lie to themselves by making conspicuously superficial hetero conversation. They don’t want to face the truth the subconscious is slowly revealing. A deep thinking rational atheist is similar his subconscious cant help but be convinced by Catholic philosophy and anthropology, so he desperately resorts to snark and superficiality to maintain the lie to himself and others.

        • Charlie says:

          Huh. So, given that this is true, what would we predict in the future? Are people who self-identify as more firmly atheist more likely to convert to Catholicism soon than deists? How about childhood – since people raised in a Catholic family are more exposed to it, do they disproportionately become self-identified firmly atheist?

        • Misha says:

          Whenever I see a christian say that atheists are using cheap humor and snark to cover up the growing realization of the truth they’ve been denying, I wonder if they see the irony.

        • David Gerard says:

          Say, friend – have you heard the good news about … the typical mind fallacy?

    • Mary says:

      Lucky you. The superficial or snarky atheist comments I run across tend to be of the “blasphemy is the new potty mouth” schools, like five-year-olds or lame comedians.

  3. aretae says:

    Generic upvote for the blog.

    I am quite shocked to find someone else independently making the same anti-moldbuggian critiques I’ve been pushing for the last several years. Of course, you’ve said it a fair bit better than I have, but the thrust of your critique is shockingly in line with my own.

    I’m very happy to “meet” a fellow-traveller.

  4. Deiseach says:

    (1) This is why we’ve been complaining about the state of catechesis for the past forty years πŸ™‚

    (2) This is why Europeans complain about Americans

    (3) These are not identified as Catholics – how many of them are ‘spiritual but not religious’ types? Come on Scott, be fair when you’re laughing at us!

    • Mary says:

      And how many people did they have to interview to get them?

      • Joe says:

        And how many acted stupid just to get on TV?

        • Deiseach says:

          The chap at 1:34 in that clip certainly strikes me as having a potential future as a “Washington Post” reporter, particularly for their “On Religion” column/blog. After all, Lisa Miller will have to retire some day πŸ™‚

          Seriously, some of the press speculation really has been along the lines of “Does the next pope really have to be Catholic? Couldn’t he ease up on all that doctrine stuff and just be, you know, a modern liberal Episcopalian?”

  5. endoself says:

    Did you see the interview with the Pope’s ex-wife?

    Yeah … she was hilarious.

  6. Doug S. says:

    Well, as Larry Niven put it, there is no cause so right that you cannot find a fool following it.

  7. Sabio Lantz says:

    Doing an street-interview with a questions like, “So, what do you think about ___” :
    — the discovery of cold fusion?
    — the underground head quarters of the illuminati?
    — the discovery of life on Mars?

    Science, religion, current events — people are always willing to pretend they know more or care more than they actually do. Language is often about social signaling instead of content sharing.

    Humans are such an evolutionary dead-end!

  8. mrmandias says:

    More folly from conspicuously religions individuals: