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Our God's Cool And Your God Sucks!
Love, George.

Joanna Sugden posts "The Top 50 Bushisms" on god on the religion blog at The London Times:

1. I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did. Sharm el-Sheikh August 2003

2. I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job.
Statement made during campaign visit to Amish community, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Jul. 9, 2004

3. I'm also mindful that man should never try to put words in God's mouth. I mean, we should never ascribe natural disasters or anything else to God. We are in no way, shape, or form should a human being, play God. Washington, D.C., Jan. 14, 2005

23. And I just -- I cannot speak strongly enough about how we must collectively get after those who kill in the name of -- in the name of some kind of false religion.
Press appearance with King Abdullah of Jordan, Aug. 1, 2002

27. One of the great things about this country is a lot of people pray. Washington, D.C., Apr. 13, 2003

36. The United States of America must understand that freedom is universal, that there is an Almighty, and the great gift of that Almighty to each man and woman in this world is the desire to be free. Nashville, Tennessee, Aug. 30, 2006

49. The reason I'm -- asked [these AmeriCorps workers] to join us here is because I want you to know, America can be saved one person at a time. Green Tree, Pennsylvania, Aug. 5, 2002

50. Government can hand out money, but it cannot put hope into people's hearts. It cannot put faith into people's lives. West Ashley High School, Charleston, South Carolina, Jul. 29, 2002

Of course, these days, especially, that doesn't seem to stop them from trying.

Yes, the leader of the free world, and presumably every other candidate running for the office, believes that there's a big invisible man in the sky guiding our every move. This impacts the rest of us in a whole lot of ways, obviously -- down to our ability to breathe the air.

The religious nutters believe in the notion that man has "dominion" over the planet, and that "The Apocalypse" will come, and infidels like me will be thrown in, I guess, some flaming pit somewhere, but that they'll go someplace better. So...no biggie if they treat the earth like a giant toilet. The way they see it, they won't need it much longer anyway.

P.S. And thanks for thinking of me, Mr. Bush (in the note about being "saved") but I don't believe the silly crap that, as a newborn baby, I came into the world a sinner simply because my parents fucked me into existence. I realize this sort of notion keeps the church collection plates full, but come on, should grown adults really believe in this sort of thing?

And P.P.S. As I always say about that "virgin birth": If, like Mary, you were 16 and got knocked up, what do you tell your daddy, "It was that hippie stablehand Joseph, or...God did it"? Typical smart Jewish girl, that Mary! But, look what a mess she's made for millions upon millions of Christians.

list via dubyaspeak

Posted by aalkon at August 21, 2007 8:25 AM

Comments

I trust God speaks through me.

Did God also do that when George was drinking?

Posted by: Doobie at August 21, 2007 6:04 AM

What a lovely juxtaposition:

"And I just -- I cannot speak strongly enough about how we must collectively get after those who kill in the name of -- in the name of some kind of false religion."

"I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."

Just who is killing in the name of religion? Of course, no one thinks his or her religion is false...

Gack, that the leader of the free world is willing to abdicate his responsibility to whatever random inspirations he attributes to his god. Depending on his emotional state of the moment, that could be practically anything. Preemptive warfare, perhaps?

Posted by: bradley13 at August 21, 2007 6:18 AM

Now THAT'S a voice I can relate to...

God: "Have a few more shots...I command thee."

Me: "Woo hoo!"

Oh, wait...I don't need the excuse, I'd do it anyhoo.

Posted by: Jamie at August 21, 2007 6:28 AM

Believers tell me that all religious teachings are either misguided or fraudulent. Except their own.

I alway agree with such people. Without exception.

Posted by: Axman at August 21, 2007 7:05 AM

From a purely logical perspective, theism and atheism are the same freakin’ thing. Both claim to know what is unknowable and both camps let that belief shape their actions toward other people. Agnostics are those people brave enough to say I don’t know, my mind is not made up and I will continue to collect evidence, have a nice day.

For believers and unbelievers alike, the burden of proof is on whoever announces that their actions toward others will be shaped by what they believe. Granted, we hear a lot about those types who say, God commands it therefore hand over your wallet. But the historical role of government is to get large numbers of people to hand over their wallets for reasons they don’t truly understand. The secularists just use different terminology.

Let’s all agree that everyone reading this blog is of above average intelligence, well educated and good-looking besides. Now look around you at the great unwashed mass of drooling lobotomites ahead of you in line at the ATM who take 20 minutes to realize they are broke and…sorry, you know what I mean. How many of them really understand how a microwave oven works or what role the Fed plays in how much a burrito costs at the Pump ‘n’ Munch? How many of them still have opinions about those things anyway? How many will vote passionately but would not trust a microwave they had repaired themselves?

Empirical knowledge is great but while we talk about the onward march of technology we also hear about plummeting scores in math and science. Watching a PBS documentary with lots of cool graphics won’t make you an expert in either quantum mechanics or government policymaking. But you can persuade people that they understand something that just happens to correspond with your policy on that thing and off you go.

A politician is a professional self-promoter. If they were as brilliant as their supporters think, they’d be making a fortune doing something productive. If they were as stupid as their opponents think, they’d be institutionalized. The very stupidest politician and the very smartest are probably within a few IQ points of each other. And they all understand how to play to the middle. If they played only to smart, good looking folks like us, they’d have to find honest work. Our job as smart, good looking people is to tune out the inane banter aimed at the masses and focus on the real issues. Now, does anyone know if duct tape blocks harmful radiation?

Posted by: martin at August 21, 2007 8:47 AM

From a purely logical perspective, theism and atheism are the same freakin’ thing.

You're either just not very good at logic, or more likely, won't take the trouble to actually use logic or correct information.

The difference between theism and atheism is the role of (credible) evidence. The theist does not require evidence or does not know the difference between "evidence" and evidence. The atheist simply wants credible evidence. I have never met the atheist, including myself, who would not accept credible evidence of the existence of god or gods. The operative word is credible.

Regarding being agnostic, Richard Dawkins differentiates between being agnostic due to insufficient evidence, and being agnostic due to being inadequate to deal with sufficient evidence. He puts religious agnostics into the latter category.

Posted by: Machida at August 21, 2007 9:19 AM

martin, that's a good post. Machida, perhaps he didn't put it well. The problem an atheist has is impossible to solve, in the absence of credible evidence for the existence of a god.

Specifically, if you want to say "there is no god", then you have to prove a negative. Prove to me that there are orange elephants! You can look at elephants till the world ends, but somewhere, well-hidden, might still be an orange one...

To my mind, a "non-theist" is someone who accepts that there is no credible evidence for the existence of a god. Some of these folks call themselves agnostics, and some call themselves atheists. The difference is more in how they see themselves than in what they believe.

Posted by: bradley13 at August 21, 2007 9:53 AM

Sorry, that should be "prove to me that there are *no* orange elephants...

Posted by: bradley13 at August 21, 2007 9:54 AM

The idea that one has to prove a negative is false. One has to decide based on available evidence or decide that the available evidence is insufficient.

http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/theistguide.html

Posted by: Machida at August 21, 2007 9:59 AM

I used to call myself an agnostic, because there is no proof one way on the other. Then I decided that Issac Asimov was right, that I am an emotional being as well as a logical one. I now call myself an atheist. I believe there is no way the gods of the Christians, Jews, or Muslims could exist (yea, I know they are all supposed to be the same god). The god of the deists I suppose is possible, but it doesn't explain anything to assume it exists, so why add a layer of belief?

Posted by: William at August 21, 2007 10:16 AM

Hi Machida
“You're either just not very good at logic, or more likely, won't take the trouble to actually use logic or correct information.”

I have to break this one down a little bit. I am either not good at logic, or more likely… which means I likely am good at logic, thanks!...or won’t take the trouble to use logic, which negates the compliment a little bit but not all the way, cool!

“The difference between theism and atheism is the role of (credible) evidence. “ Well, not really. The difference is that one believes “A*” while the other one believes “not-A.” A great many things flow from those beliefs but that’s what the words mean.
(*where A= The universe was created by…etc. you know the drill.)
“…credible , credible… The operative word is credible.” Sooo, what you are telling me is that the word “credible” is what this comes down to. Believable right? Don’t you mean provable? Because if you used something you only believe as evidence for something you claim is demonstrably true, well that wouldn’t be very good logic, would it? I know it’s just a word choice and I knew what you meant but you use a word which means believable to argue that we should stay in the realm of what we know to be true empirically. I’m like you, I’d rather get into a cab with a safety certificate than one with a good luck charm but both those things are expressions of faith in something I can’t see.
“Regarding being agnostic, Richard Dawkins differentiates between being agnostic due to insufficient evidence, and being agnostic due to being inadequate to deal with sufficient evidence. He puts religious agnostics into the latter category.” The guy from Hogan’s Heroes and Family Feud!?! I’m kidding! Yes, yes, Dawkins is a sharp guy and his work is essential to this kind of discussion. But my point is that it is only when you start pushing people around BECAUSE of what you believe (A or not-A) that this becomes of any real interest. The average person can be forgiven for not KNOWING the true origin of the universe.

Posted by: martin at August 21, 2007 10:38 AM

Let me try this another way. I have a feeling that if the next presidential election were boiled down to three candidates and all we knew about them was: Atheist, Theist and Agnostic, all of us smart, good-looking people would be at the front of the line demanding more information. We’d want to know who these people were, what are their policies and what kind of actions can we expect from them. And if someone countered with: You mean you’d actually consider voting for one of the others? Isn’t that label good enough for you? You’d have to concede that you might prefer an agnostic or even a theist over an atheist if they made you more comfortable on the whole as a candidate for public office.

Someone can believe in the tooth fairy and still be a pretty nice person (horoscopes anyone.) But someone who claims to believe only what they can personally prove to be true is a liar and a freak (if I can use a technical term.)

A political system and a religious system are really the same thing, a shared set of beliefs. As Americans, we believe in freedom and individual rights. Not everyone believes in those things. Some people think it is WRONG to believe in those things.

If a religion causes people to make bad choices and treat other people badly, I’m against it. But if it comforts them and brings them together and leads them to help those in need and stand together against injustice, I’m onboard. (That is a paraphrase of Fuller Warren speaking on the relative merits of drinking alcoholic beverages.)

Posted by: martin at August 21, 2007 11:26 AM

Sorry to take so long to get back to you, Martin, but I was occupied adding to my dentist's portfolio.

I don't think I should carry this thread any farther. I hate it when people make their point and then spend forever clarifying it to the umpteenth degree. I respect what you said and didn't mean to imply agnostics are bad people. One of my best friends is an agnostic. :)

Hogan’s Heroes and Family Feud!?! I know these guys are from television, but I don't get the connection because I haven't watched television since Have Gun Will Travel was cancelled.

Posted by: Machida at August 21, 2007 12:48 PM

Hi Machida, Hope your dentist did good work and if you feel differently after the Novocain wears off I'm there for ya'.

Posted by: martin at August 21, 2007 12:59 PM

Great link, Machida.

From a purely logical perspective, theism and atheism are the same freakin’ thing.

No, they are not. I see no evidence there is either a god or a giant toaster with magical powers, so I don't believe in or worship either one. Are you only theistic when it comes to god, but atheistic when it comes to the Great Flying Toaster?

But my point is that it is only when you start pushing people around BECAUSE of what you believe (A or not-A) that this becomes of any real interest.

Look, I'm not anti-astrology buff because people who believe in it (while silly) are not trying to legislate based on it or flying planes into buildings because their astrologer said they'd get to fuck a lot of virgins if they did.

The problem with religion is the residual damage it causes. If you want to stay home worshipping god or the flying toaster, well, have at it. The moment you start trying to prevent stem cell research because of it, I'm going to start caring that you believe in unfounded crap. (Beyond merely thinking it's pathetic and sad.)

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 21, 2007 3:47 PM

But God DID inseminate Mary! I saw the paintings with my own two eyes in the Museo del Prado just last month!

Posted by: Lena at August 21, 2007 5:04 PM

"Are you only theistic when it comes to god, but atheistic when it comes to the Great Flying Toaster?"

I know what logicians mean when they refer to God (omnipotent, omniscient, beneficent.) The G.F.T. ,is a catch all euphemism for mythical beings in general like the tooth fairy so that would be something substantively different. A reasonable person can consider the posibility that God exists without having to believe in things that don't share the same hypothetical properties.

"The problem with religion is the residual damage it causes." Again, something different. A guy on a crowded bus once threatened me along with everyone on the bus with death and mayhem if any of us said a peep against his beloved Atlanta Braves. Nice people like you and me can believe all kinds of things without being jerks about it and jerks will always find something to be jerks about.

Posted by: martin at August 21, 2007 5:30 PM

St. Peter: "Boss, you have a week's vacation coming up. Any big plans?"

God: "Pete, I really haven't thought about that. Maybe I'll go to the Andromeda galaxy."

Peter: "That's a long trip. How about Earth?"

God: "Earth! With those nosy Humans? I had an affair with a little jewish girl and they're STILL talking about it!"

Posted by: DaveG at August 21, 2007 5:49 PM

I don't think that being agnostic and atheist is mutually exclusive. For the past 5-10 years I have considered myself to be both (ever since I read a book by Thomas Huxley).

Furthermore, I believe that all rational people are agnostic and all people who are not agnostic are also not rational, whether theists or atheists. I've known some of both irrational kinds, although far more of the religious kind.

So, for me, agnosticism = being rational = acknowledging evidence and only evidence as making something dependably true.

Atheism, for me, is simply believing there is not a god. It's a strong hunch. If there were evidence to the contrary, I would give up the belief.

Here's a quote from the Dalai Lama that illustrates religious agnostism:
"If the scientific cosmological theory of the Big Bang accepts only one Big Bang as the beginning of everything, then...that would not fit...Buddhist cosmology. In this case, Buddhists would have to...come up with some way of explaining how the Big Bang does not contradict [Buddhism]."

In other words, if science proves something contrary to our belief, we have to adapt our belief as opposed to vice versa. This is refreshing coming from a religious leader. I'm not expecting this from GWB or his creationist cronies.

martin:
> How many of them really understand ...
> what role the Fed plays in how much a burrito
> costs at the Pump ‘n’ Munch?
You're setting an awfully high bar there. I don't understand it and I've read a few econ books. I suspect very few people do.

On a tangent, what's the deal with convenience store names? We have Kum and Go here, but we like to call it ejaculate and evacuate. For the record, I prefer to munch and then pump.

Posted by: Shawn at August 21, 2007 8:54 PM

You're a good man, Shawn. Perhaps you would like to munch and pump Lena sometime?

Posted by: Lena at August 22, 2007 6:25 PM

Hi Shawn,
"I suspect very few people do."
Ding, ding, ding.

Great tangent BTW. I'm putting together a coffee table book of all C-store names that have the [something] 'n' [something else] construction. As evidenced by Lena, I expect it to be a great success.

Posted by: martin at August 23, 2007 6:40 AM

Not a convenience store (and not even the real name of the place), but some of the guys here call the local diner the "Chew 'n' Screw".
And I had a friend who used to call the Stop & Shop, the Slop 'n' Drop.

Posted by: Flynne at August 23, 2007 8:00 AM

TO: Doobie
RE: Drinking

"Did God also do that when George was drinking?" -- Doobie

Thanks for reminding me of an encounter with some Southern Baptists at a light-rail station en route to a Promise Keepers event.

It was early sunrise on a Saturday morning in September. No one was there unless they were (1) crazy or (2) going to the PK event. [Note: Some people here might say they're one-in-the-same...]

So, being the non-religious, God-fearing man of the world I am, I'm there enjoying a fine A. Fuente on the stand, as the Sun begins to peek over the Denver skyline.

Over to my right are some younger men giving me the 'Look'.

So, to strike up the 'discussion', in order to tease out the reason for their interesting 'looks', I ask them if they're going to the Promise Keepers event. They reply in the affirmative. The conversation continues and, eventually, they bring up my 'sin' of smoking a cigar. Something their 'religion' is adamantly opposed to.

So I turn the proverbial tables on them and ask them who made the tobacco plant. [Note: A cute play on Omar Khyam's verse....

Who declares the twisted tendrel as a snare.
If a blessing we should use it;
Should we not?
And if a curse;
Why, who put it here?]

At any rate, I asked these 'religious' zealots if they understood where bread came from. They understood that. Then I pointed out that God, who loves fermentation, uses the same tool—yeast—to make beer and wine, as well as bread.

And I asked them, indirectly, if they hated beer, why don't they hate bread as well....after all, the yeast produces alcohol in bread as well as it does when it is making beer.

This gave them 'food' for thought.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[God builds His temples in the heart, on the ruins of religion.]

Posted by: Chuck Pelto at August 26, 2007 12:44 PM

P.S. I know of computer programmers who do their best work at 2 am, after 7 scotches.

Posted by: Chuck Pelto at August 26, 2007 12:45 PM

TO: Amy Alkon
RE: Better 'Understanding'

"The religious nutters believe in the notion that man has "dominion" over the planet, and that "The Apocalypse" will come, and infidels like me will be thrown in, I guess, some flaming pit somewhere, but that they'll go someplace better." -- Amy Alkon

Well....

....in my learned 'nutter' understanding, you've got items 1 and 2 correct.

However, I suspect you've got some matters of 'ignorance' with respect to (1) stewardship over the Earth, (2) 'flaming pits' and (3) 'infidels'.

You're reminding me of the Southern Baptists I mentioned (above). They were 'ignorant' too. But, with a few simple words, they began to think 'anew' of what they had thought before.

So, if so-called mind-bound 'religious nutters' can be caused to think again....couldn't someone as enlightened as you?

RE: Bad Stewardship

"So...no biggie if they treat the earth like a giant toilet. The way they see it, they won't need it much longer anyway." -- Amy Alkon

Actually....I think, based on a few years of study, that if they are bad stewards of this Earth, given into their hands, they'll be judged accordingly.

Afterall, is it not written that they should obey God? And God did not give them this garden in order to turn it into a 'hell on Earth'. Or some people might 'think'.

Don't you think?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Just because you are given authority over something, doesn't give you authority to ruin it. -- CBPelto]

Posted by: Chuck Pelto at August 26, 2007 1:44 PM

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