Recently there was a study that found that there were six types of atheists. Apparently, a disbelief in the supernatural is not a monolithic belief system, held in equal measure by all atheists. Actually, anecdotally, I think we would all say that was somewhat true, though it’s nice to have it confirmed. I often find myself in disagreement with other atheists about matters I would expect to agree on, based on the fact that I know how I arrived at my atheism, and assume that their path to disbelief was at least similar. But, lo, it turns out that doesn’t really work out in real life.
I was reminded of this by a discussion I had recently on Facebook. As I said, I sort of expect other atheists to think like me, so I’m a tad bit surprised when they don’t.
It seems that just about everything I read coming out of the mouths of Republicans these day sounds so self-serving, so weaselly, so obnoxious, that I get only the sense that whatever they are saying boils down to one thing, and one thing only – “Vote Republican this November”. I never feel that when they speak, they are trying to voice an honestly held opinion, or are trying to relay facts they believe their constituents and the American people need to have to understand the great issues they are grappling with on a day to day basis. I also get the distinct sense that when their lips are moving I can be assured that they are, in fact, lying. Jaw movement and sound is all I need to confirm prevarication and falsehood.
The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned the FCC’s indecency policy that proscribes, and fines offenders for, fleeting expletives, like the one Bono lit slip during the Golden Globes in 2003. In a unanimous decision the court ruled that the indecency policy was unconstitutionally vague.
Muslim extremists believe that if they kill themselves while taking a bunch of infidels with them in the process (see 9/11, suicide bombers), they will be rewarded for these acts of extreme human cruelty in the next world, when they enter heaven, and are greeted by the sight of 72 virgins available for their every incorporeal pleasure. However, for some reason, if the mastermind of 9/11, the execution of Daniel Pearl, and numerous other atrocities is executed after a fair (?) trial, for some reason this bothers Osama bin Laden, so much that he threatens the life of every American in captivity if Khalid Sheik Mohammad is executed.
You may remember a year ago or so a report that the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security had been required to pay lip service to Almighty God “as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth” (Kentucky is one of, I believe, four Commonwealths in this country). My first reaction, albeit an uninformed one, was: Since when does a state have a separate Office of Homeland Security? I thought the “homeland” was the entire US, not just one state. So if the Homeland of Kentucky is preparing a defense against outside aggression, exactly who do they fear? Tennessee? Indiana? But I digress.
As we get closer to November 4th, there is speculation in the press that we may become subject to an October Surprise. Not by John McCain, mind you, but from someone only slightly more sinister. Osama bin Laden. The prevailing theory is that Mr. bin Laden would like to keep his hands in American politics, by making some kind of nuisance of himself prior to the election. He did this in 2004, by releasing a somewhat threatening tape to the press just before the election, which many observers at the time felt contributed to John Kerry’s defeat by George “Mission Accomplished” Bush. The margin of victory was so slim for Bush, that it’s not unlikely this was true. The somewhat natural inclination of the voting public seems to be that in times of military threat, they vote Republican, on the theory that the Republicans are militaristic war mongers and more likely to protect us, while Democrats or insipid, spineless milquetoasts who run from their own shadows. At least, that’s the caricature that makes the rounds as political wisdom.