Good Christian Man

Pat RobertsonThis morning, Pat Robertson was speculating about why people are always shooting up “houses of worship”—as though people shot in movie theaters don’t count. He wondered aloud, “What is it? Is it satanic? Is it some spiritual thing, people who are atheists, they hate God, they hate the expression of God?”

I think he is mistaking atheists with Christians and oh some many other people of faith. We atheists[1] don’t hate God, because we don’t believe in it. I don’t hate God any more than than I hate Frodo Baggins. Actually, I am rather fond of both. They are major characters in books that I like. (I’m speaking of the biblical God here, although I’m fond of the many other gods in other books, even if I don’t know them as well.)

By “the expression of God,” I think that Robertson is referring to the worship of God. Again, atheists don’t hate such expressions. We may find it silly. But most of us look at it with a kindly disregard, “Whatever floats your boat.” What we do hate can be seen in all its glory by Robertson in this clip:

Why are we being attacked for this? And who exactly are “we” anyway? Atheists aren’t exactly in agreement about much other than that God isn’t this thing that if pleased will take us to the land of fairies and elves where we can have all the cotton candy we want.

We now know that the shooter of the Sikh temple was a white supremacist. That doesn’t mean that he was a Christian. But the vast majority of white supremacists are Christians. Now I know what Christians will say, “He wasn’t a Christian because Christians don’t do things like that!” To that I have one article to say: I hear you but I ain’t buying. (Also: the vast majority of hardcore Christians don’t accept this argument when applied to Islam.) What’s more, there are explicit indications that this guy was a Christian.

I remember after Mother Teresa died, a lot of born again Christians claimed that they didn’t know if she was going to heaven. If she had that “born again” experience (indigestion?) then she went; if not, she didn’t because no amount of good works makes up for that special personal relationship that God demands one have with Jesus. It works the other way around. Maybe the the shooter was just having a bad day. Maybe he held God in his heart and got it back right before he died. Maybe he’s playing pool, talking smack, and chillin’ with Jesus at this very moment. And if that doesn’t make him a Christian, I don’t know what else does. I can tell you this: if I died right now, there would be no arguement—I’d be in hell, how ever you wish to define it.

So Robertson can take his ignorant attack and shove it where the savior don’t shine. One of the best things about not believing in heaven is that I know Robertson will soon be dead and forgotten. There will be no bar where there is nothing happening and yet is so much fun.[2] We can file his obituary under W for wasted lives of privilege. But perhaps he can take solace in the fact that his hate speech will live on in countless other Good Christian Men.

[1] I still don’t feel very comfortable with that word. One thing I do know is that there is no such thing as God the entity. Theism implies that one believes that there is some thing that exists that needs worshiping. This is clearly not the case. There are, however, profound spiritual questions, which I’m afraid most religions only obfuscate.

[2] It is hard to imagine that nothing at all, could be so exciting, could be this much fun:

Great song. Studio version is better. David Byrne is a dick. Just saying.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Good Christian Man

  1. NAME DROP TUESDAY: I just had to add, I met David Byrne and he IS a dick. I was even warned by my boss and his wife at the time, that he was a dick, but I wanted to meet him so much I went and visited his ‘production company’ anyway. Well, they were right and so are you-David Byrne’s a dick. . .just saying.

  2. @karl – LOL. I’m glad to have confirmation! I thought his behavior has generally been bad–he clearly thinks too much of himself. (The same goes for Roger Waters, although maybe he’s grown up a bit.) Then, his lawsuit over No Talking was beyond the pale.

    Anyway, it has been much too long since Remain in Light. At least the others have done some interesting and fun work since then. It makes me sad to listen to recent Byrne.

  3. @frank, Haha, nice! Yeah. I can’t speak for Roger Waters (but I’m with you. . .he seems like a dick to me) as for David Byrne I have physical confirmation. At first I thought he had some kind of ‘autism’ or a really bad case of ‘shyness? He seemed painfully shy and awkward and literally behaved like someone with autism or ‘OCD’ or something. But then, I saw how he behaved with ‘famous people’ and he was fine, there was nothing wrong with the guy-he’s just a plain ol’ dick. . .

    I also agree, his recent output (including those with Eno, who has been sliding down hill. . .for awhile) is just plain sad. But then I met Byrne (again, he’s a dick!), so maybe I’m biased?

  4. @karl – I understand. I ran into Lou Reed and he was a dick–exactly like I expected! But frankly, I stopped listening to him. Was it that his work got worse? That is part of it. But being nice to fans is important.

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