Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Oprah vs Nyad, or: One Example Of How To Tick Atheists Off

ATHEIST: Ambiguous or possibly poorly-word statement.

BELIEVER: Aha! POUNCE!! So you DO believe in God!

ATHEIST: No, I'm an atheist! Let me explain --

BELIEVER: LA LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING. Clearly, you feel awe and certain other human emotions. This would seem to indicate that you are not dead inside, which in turn indicates a belief in God. Well, which is it: do you believe in our all-merciful, perfectly-loving Supreme Being? Or are you dead inside? LA LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING. Why are you getting so upset? I guess you are an atheist, then: no sensitivity or humanity.

On October 13 of this year Diana Nyad, one of the great athletes of our time, played the role of ATHEIST, and Oprah Winfrey played the role of BELIEVER. Nothing new here. Nothing any atheist who's gone public with it doesn't already know all about. Same shit, different day.

Some atheists have demanded an apology from Oprah for her interview with Nyad. Not me. I'm not demanding anything from anybody. On the other hand, good luck trying to get me to apologize for describing the interview the way I did above. I'm not going to apologize for being angry about this kind of crap. I'm really not angry at Oprah personally, I'm angry because it's frustrating to encounter this sort of response over and over. But this is a situation involving billions of people which has been going on for thousands of years. Oprah didn't invent the situation we're in regarding religion, any more than she invented the weather. Like the weather, this situation is just there. And it used to be much, much worse. Unlike people in Europe in the Middle Ages, I can talk openly about religion. Unlike anyone until well past the Middle Ages, I can angrily satirize religious points of view. Things are changing, even if we're surrounded on all sides by attitudes like Oprah's.

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