Monday, October 10, 2011
The Sacred Spud: Idaho
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," Idaho edition! Never been there, probably never will go -- but I'm not ruling it out. We here at "The Gods Are Bored" are just practicing a little counter-magick to a group that would like to rob us of our rights.
One of my readers, Alex, suggested that when I get to Idaho, I ought to interview Mr. Potato Head. Did you ever play with Mr. Potato Head? Very few things bored me as a kid, but that toy did. Once you got his face and arms all arranged, what was the fun of doing it over, or mixing it up? I preferred Tinker Toys.
Alex's suggestion did get me thinking, though. I'm writing about Christian theocrats from the point of view of a believer in alternative praise and worship systems. There are many, many people in this country who just don't believe in any deity at all. These people are called atheists.
They have it tough.
An atheist who loses his brother in battle has to listen to "God Bless America" at every Memorial Day ceremony. Atheists can't pledge the flag, can't look at paper money, can't even be sworn into public office without being reminded that god is everywhere. It must feel kind of like the person who thinks NASCAR is ugly, environmentally unfriendly, and dangerous -- and who lives next door to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Atheists are often portrayed as dogmatic and snobby. But actually, if you think about it, they're pretty impressive.
1. They do good deeds without any expectation of celestial reward.
2. They live with the sure knowledge that death brings a state of nothingness, and they can take it.
3. They are widely maligned, and the deaths of prominent members of their group are met with tasteless cheers and celebration. (Thinking Madalyn Murray O'Hair here.)
4. Their proselytizing is met with hostility, defensiveness, and resentment.
Yet, as science gives us more and more evidence about the nature of the Universe, it becomes easier and easier to accept atheism.
So, what does all of this have to do with Idaho potatoes?
An atheist would say that worshiping a Higher Power makes as much sense as worshiping a potato. Or maybe even less, since you can eat a potato, and it even has nice vitamins in it.
Am I an atheist? No. Do I believe atheists have the right to their beliefs and shouldn't be forced to see GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD everywhere, most importantly on and in property they pay taxes for? Emphatically, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes!
To the atheists everywhere in America, and especially in Idaho, this spud's for you. The right to hold no belief at all is the most important right we have in our enlightened nation.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Let's be fair.