Saturday, March 22, 2008


Sam Harris is so awesome.

And he's kinda cute too.

Good quotes:
Might the Senator from Illinois be unsure whether the Creator of the universe brought forth his only Son from the womb of a Galilean virgin, taught him the carpenter's trade, and then had him crucified for our benefit? Few suspicions could be more damaging in American politics today.
Like every candidate, Obama must appeal to millions of voters who believe that without religion, most of us would spend our days raping and killing our neighbors and stealing their pornography. Examples of well-behaved and comparatively atheistic societies like Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark--which surpass us in terrestrial virtues like education, health, public generosity, per capita aid to the developing world, and low rates of violent crime and infant mortality--are of no interest to our electorate whatsoever.

Obama's candidacy is also depressing, for it demonstrates that even a person of the greatest candor and eloquence must still claim to believe the unbelievable in order to have a political career in this country. We may be ready for the audacity of hope. Will we ever be ready for the audacity of reason?
Mike and I were talking to a Yankee Friend ("YF") of ours re Canada having Good Friday off and the US not. Our YF suggested this was because the US was more secular.


I grant, 100%, that Canada and the UK are more officially religious. Our Queen's title, in both countries, includes "Defender of the Faith." Ever last coin ever minted in Canada includes "Elizabeth II D.G. Regina," which means "Elizabeth II, By the Grace of God, Queen." Our second anthem (and Britain's first) is God Save the Queen. And, though I'm atheist, were I Governor-General, I would end every Throne Speech with the traditional invocation (more common in the Provinces) of "God Save the Queen" (or "May divine providence guide you in your deliberations.") Our constitution--easily the most enlightened on the planet--begins with placing god on the same plain as the rule of law.

But if a candidate for high office stood up and bragged about his faith, he'd be laughed down. Think of Stockwell Day (to which the response was "no, the Flinstones was not a documentary"). Simply put, in Canada, in the UK, in the rest of the Commonwealth and the EU, religion and politics are separate, notwithstanding "established religion."

This country (the US) is fucked up. In no other reasonable western country would a contender for the country's highest office (er, I should qualify that with, for constitutional monarchies, the phrase "head of government," because, of course, our head of state is not elected) have to say how much they love Jesus and how much superstition guides their world view. And yet here we are forced to endure--to the rapturous applause of the masses--how so-and–so's pastor and so-and-so's priest are important figures, and how great Jesus is, and whether Obama really is Christian blah blah blah.

America: Not only are you a pathetic nation of pussies who fall over in terror the minute bin Laden or whomever suggests he is looking at you, you're also a pathetic nation of superstition.

And I end this with a very secular statement: God Save the Queen.

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