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.

5 comments:

Alex Pendragon said...

As someone having something to do with this post, I want to thank you for devoting some font to the atheists amongst us, who might very well be the WISEST amongst us, having weighed the evidence and coming to the same conclusion any sane person or lawyer would. My desperation to lend meaning to this insanity we call life is the only thing that separates me from them. There but by the grace of Gods go I..........

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

this SPUD'S for you

John Beckett said...

While I find the rantings of the New Atheists to be almost as annoying as the rantings of Christian fundamentalists, I have the utmost respect for those whose honest search for Truth leads them to conclude that there is nothing beyond the material world.

I think they're missing something, but I freely admit I may be wrong and they may be right.

And I agree wholeheartedly about Mr. Potato Head - Tinker Toys were MUCH more fun.

Lori F - MN said...

I'll take an erector set any day!

But I have a great deal of respect for Athiests in general. But those who argue for the sake of the argument are tiresome.

Quite honestly I don't know exactly What I believe. But if I want something to think about I head over to the athiest.org site and poke around. But I'm just as likely to head to 'no unsacred place' for daily inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I just happened upon this page, but as a native Idahoan and a practicing Agnostic (but almost Atheist)... THANK YOU! Your analogies will help me in this very, extremely, severely, unbelievably ultra right-wing conservative Christian (and overwhelmingly Mormon) slice of heaven I call home. I wish your brand of common sense was more common. Thanks again.
And another thing... I never owned a Mr Potato Head. Here in the heart of spud country we used real potatoes. Accessories and appendages came from our sister's dolls. My sister did not appreciate me dismembering Barbie, but I had fun! Legos were my real choice of plastic toys.