Pat Condell, responding to religionists’ claims that atheists are being too pushy. This pretty much describes why I am an agnostic anti-theist.
Many countries do have blasphemy laws in force, and some U.S. states have archaic, unenforced laws on the books. Islamists are pushing for Sharia Law in the U.K.
Update: A Full TRANSCRIPT is after the “read more >>” button!
Full transcript of monologue “Aggresive atheism – Pat Condell”:
Well, I’ve been hearing quite a lot of bleating and whining in the press lately about aggressive, intolerant atheism, as if that’s somehow a bad thing. It seems religion can dish it out okay, but it can’t take it. Like a street thug who calls the police when his victims fight back.
“Aggressive atheism” is really “defensive atheism” because right now nothing is more aggressive than political religion. Being an atheist or a secularist today is no longer a matter of opting out, but of actively fending off. So, I’d say that any abuse religion gets, it’s got coming ten times over. And besides, i don’t think it’s possible to be too aggressive in defending freedom of speech which is, of course, absolutely sacred as we all know. Much, much more sacred than any god or prophet or scripture could, or will ever be, from now until the end of time, or for eternity, which ever lasts longer.
[0:54] People sometimes tell me “You know, you’re just as intolerant as the people you criticize” Really? I hope so, because somebody has to be. There are some things I’m very intolerant of and there’s no point in trying to deny that. Let’s see now, there’s misogyny and sexism — I’m extremely intolerant of them. I hope that doesn’t offend. Racism, anti-semitism — nope, no tolerance there at all, I’m afraid. Sorry about that. Homophobia, perhaps? Not a shred of tolerance to be found. Gosh, I do have some issues, don’t I?
How about cruelty to animals? Again, absolutely no tolerance whatsoever. But brace yourselves, because that’s not the half of it. Not only am I openly and brazenly intolerant of all those things, but if religion is used as an excuse for any of them, I’m afraid I’ve become aggressively hostile. And, what’s more, I don’t apologize for that because I have no need to apologize for it, and neither do you.
[1:52] I’m always being told that I should respect people’s feelings. Well, okay but what about my feelings? What about the feeling of utter revulsion I get whenever I think about the God of the Desert, and the horrible thoughts and deeds he inspires? This god is my satan; when I hear his name, I smell sulphur; when I hear his words, I smell death. I can see that his filthy religion has polluted the world I have to live in, far more thoroughly than any fossil fuel could ever dream of. And I can see that everything about this god has been purposely designed to poison our experience of life on this earth, not to enhance it; to keep us fearful, to suppress knowledge, to curtail freedom and creativity, and to celebrate death. It’s nothing less than the sanctified dumbing-down of the human race, and demanding respect for it is, frankly, an insult that deserves to be repaid with considerable interest.
[2:45] Religion deserves no respect at all because a) it offers no respect at all and b) it offers no evidence at all. Evidence is actually unwelcome, as it removes the need for faith, and that would be such a waste of all that phony virtue. Faith is one of three phony virtues, the others being piety and righteousness. Not so much a trinity, as three ugly sisters; unlike the witches in MacBeth who see the world in a cauldron, these three have done their best to turn the place into one, praise the lord, and they’re still going strong.
[3:20] Among the many gifts from these delightful muses we have, well, the Middle East conflict for a start, and that’s the gift that just seems to keep on giving. Not to mention the cancer at the heart of it, Jerusalem, that jewel in the desert, that celestial piss-hole in the sand from which the spiritual black death of the Middle Eastern desert has oozed and spread throughout this world like a vile oil slick, coating and contaminating everything it touches with the thick slime of pious ignorance. Only, we don’t call it ‘ignorance’, we call it ‘faith’. What a horrible little word that is, ‘faith’, exuding as it does its fake aura of purity and virtue, while fronting some of the ugliest ideas this planet has ever seen. Closing people’s hearts when it should be opening them, making them proud of things they should be ashamed of, and ashamed of things they should be proud of.
[4:12] When we look at the violent barbarism of the Islamic world, we can see that no righteous act is too depraved, for a mind that claims the full license allowed by faith. If you take this god completely at this word, you can be just like him – a vicious, heartless monster and feel good about it. Even in the civilized world, nothing is too dishonorable to be sanitized by faith. It was faith, remember, that deprived gay people in California of their basic civil rights on the same day that America elected a black President. It was faith that persuaded Christian black people to send the gays to the back of the bus.
[4:50] And all this would be ugly enough on it’s own, but because of the ‘free pass’ that we consistently give to this fake virtue of faith, religion is now completely out of control. It’s already got its hands around the throat of the United Nations, and it’s pushing for a world-wide blasphemy law to protect people from hearing words that might crowbar their tiny minds out of the Stone Age. The very concept of blasphemy is a perfect illustration of the cowardly immaturity of the religious mind and the emptiness of religion itself. If religion contained any truth, it could be ridiculed, insulted, and even defiled, without being diminished in any way. Its truth would shine through, undimmed, unblemished, shaming those who abused it into silence. But that’s not how things are. Religion is prickly, it’s intolerant, it’s ultra-defensive precisely because it’s brittle and fragile. It’s about as substantial as a meringue, it’s all front and no substance. It’s had thousands of years to make its case, and all it’s produced is sophistry, violence, and a raft of morals that would shame a rattlesnake. And, no amount of windbaggery and flim-flam from clergy can any longer disguise the simple bold fact that there is nothing there.
[6:14] The only true thing about religion is that it’s false. It’s claim to higher knowledge is laughable — it doesn’t even have any lower knowledge. Not one of its ludicrous claims about reality would have a hope in hell of standing up in a court of law, and it’s time that we stopped treating them as if they do. That’s all we’re saying, and that’s all we’re asking. And, anyone who thinks that’s too aggressive knows what they can do with themselves and if they don’t, I’ll be more than happy to tell them. Peace. Crazy idea? Crazy times.