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Sunday, December 23, 2012

God to Bryan Fischer: You're Not Helping!

Posted by on Sun, Dec 23, 2012 at 1:35 PM

NYT:

A growing number of “nones” live in our midst: those who say they have no religious affiliation at all. An October Pew Research Center poll revealed that they now account for 20 percent of the population, up from 16 percent in 2008... Bryan Fischer, spokesman for the American Family Association, told me that he saw the “nones” as proof that “the foundations of our culture are crumbling.” The Pew poll, he said, “is one of the signs.” A couple of weeks after we spoke, he told a radio audience that God did not protect the children killed in the Newtown, Conn., massacre because of the Supreme Court decisions banning prayer and Bible reading in public schools. “God is not going to go where he is not wanted,” Mr. Fischer said.

In other news:

A man fatally shot a woman decorating for a children’s Christmas party at a tiny church hall and killed two men elsewhere in a rural central Pennsylvania township Friday before he was fatally shot in a gunfight with state troopers.

Every time Bryan Fischer opens his mouth a "none" gets his wings.

 

Comments (47) RSS

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47
I sort of wonder about the comments about the shootings being "God's will" or a punishment for taking god out of school, or gay marriage, or reproductive freedoms, or feminism, or any other of the awful affronts to his god-ness. Are we to believe that the children of Sandy Hook, the little angels whom god has called home, are now sitting at the feet of the father who arranged their slaughter? I sincerely hope that the god that the fundamentalists believe in would not be as cruel to those families as they seem to want him to be.
Posted by ephena on December 26, 2012 at 8:45 AM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 46
If one is told they must emulate god, they then devote their lives to taking on the role of god. They seek to become god.

The mormons are at least honest about it. The other christians seem to be in competition with each other to see who can feign humility the loudest.
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on December 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM · Report this
45
Anyone know whether Bryan Fischer has commented on the the mosque that got partially burned by a drunk with a handgun? I mean, no one was hurt, so that's gotta be a sign of God saying *something*, right?

And it's not just the people who might've been in the mosque didn't get shot or burned, either. The drunken jerk didn't have an accident when he was drunk driving down the highway.

So....Bryan? Any comments? Does any other "this is proof of God's hate for a thing I'm pissy about" group want to step to the plate?
Posted by EclecticEel on December 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
44
Brian Fisher would *also* say that if the church in question was any church but his own.
Posted by gromm on December 24, 2012 at 8:32 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 43
@6- It is entirely possible that cold-as-the-grave eyes are a mark of being filled with the spirit. After all, why would you assume God is beneficent? It's just as likely God (if such a thing exists, which it probably doesn't) likes watching us suffer and only grants us happiness so the sadness can feel worse.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings http://www.reddit.com/r/spaceclop on December 24, 2012 at 1:57 PM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 42
36,

There, but for the sake of reason, go I.
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on December 24, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
sloegin 41
If God wasn't in the school, he must have been with the shooter, since the shooter was home-schooled.

Not a fence-sitter, this God.
Posted by sloegin on December 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
LaSargenta 40
Just want to emphasize this from #13:
Nihilism today is the nihilism of the right. The gun nuts, the religious right, the self-styled "job creator"s: none of them believe in America any more. While liberals and progressives and centrists are trying to hold civilization together and make the country function, a cancer eats the tissue of society. A cancer called 21st century conservatism.


And @ 37, that's where the "inefable" stuff comes in. (But I probably spelled it wrong.)
Posted by LaSargenta on December 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM · Report this
dirac 39
"So yes, religion is the suspension of critical reasoning. Yes, religion is a lie. it is a noble lie. A lie that makes it possible to mitigate the pain of living."

What is this, high school English class?
Posted by dirac on December 24, 2012 at 11:00 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 38
God didn't protect them for the exact same reason that Santa Claus didn't protect them.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 24, 2012 at 10:13 AM · Report this
James6 37
Isn't god supposed to be omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent? How else can you reconcile those beliefs with the reality that people die in horrible ways and suffer awful things EXCEPT to think that these things happen because god intends them to and for no other reason?
Posted by James6 on December 24, 2012 at 8:21 AM · Report this
McJulie 36
@32 I started reading your post expecting to disagree, but I ended up thinking you were on to something.

I tend to see religion in an existential fashion -- the universe lacks meaning, but the human mind has a need to perceive meaning, and so we invent religions. The need for meaning is constant, so if people are leaving traditional religions, that means either people are getting their meaning elsewhere, or the religions are failing to provide meaning, probably both.

Your analogy of drug addiction puts another spin on it. The presence of hardcore junkies tends to discourage the casual recreational user, and can make it very unpleasant to be part of the scene if you're not a junkie. So it adds motivation to formally leave a religion that isn't providing meaning, rather than just going along with things for the sake of tradition or family.
Posted by McJulie on December 24, 2012 at 8:18 AM · Report this
Ophian 35
Tacoma Traveler @32...You are a twit.

As a "none" myself, it is people like you that really get under my skin. You proclaim with absolute certainty shit that you are not qualified to support, shit that is offensive and demeaning to good people.

You think you are being reasonable and a light for truth, but you are just as misguided as any person of faith that uses their belief to feed their ego trip.
Posted by Ophian on December 24, 2012 at 8:12 AM · Report this
Ophian 34
Amen @8!
Posted by Ophian on December 24, 2012 at 7:54 AM · Report this
33
@13 - I'm struck by this, looking at the US from the outside. We tend to think of the US as the world's leading democracy, but when you speak to Americans - more the right than the left, but, honestly, in some ways it is all types of Americans - there is a real and very strong sense that no one believes in democracy. Even with small things like local bylaws, where a small group of interested citizens can really make a difference, to suggest getting involved politically is to invite scorn - "Ha! You can tell SHE'S a Canadian, ho ho".
Posted by agony on December 24, 2012 at 7:22 AM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 32
Religion is an anesthetic. It soothes the wounded mind during times of crisis.

Anesthesia is a kind of a lie. It tells your nerve endings, and thus your brain, that nothing is wrong when in fact something is very wrong. However objectionable this kind of lie may seem as an abstract concept, in practice it is what keeps us from losing our minds with pain when we are wounded. Surgery without anesthesia would be cruelest torture. So there is a role for anesthesia. Simply because it is a lie does not make it evil.

So too with religion.The truth is that we live in a very random universe, where people die for no reason at all. But what comfort is that when your father dies of cancer? What solace comes from thinking that your child who died in the crib now no longer exists, except as so much decaying flesh and bone? How painful it is to lose a loved one, and believing that they are in a blissful place, that someday you will see them again, and that reunion will be one of unending joy-that is the balm that keeps us from going insane with grief.

So yes, religion is the suspension of critical reasoning. Yes, religion is a lie. it is a noble lie. A lie that makes it possible to mitigate the pain of living.

Like any anesthesia, taken to excess it creates madness. The fundamentalist religious are like addicts caught in a drug-induced psychosis. Like morphine addicts, they will cause others great harm to obtain more of their precious escape. When they roll around on the floor and "speak in tongues" how is this different from a junkie's hallucinations? And like that junkie, who stuffs the vacuum inside with anesthesia that mimnics the feelings of love and affection which they have been deprived of by a society that cares little for people, the religious person imagines himself wedded to the universal mind,

Like every lie, like every drug-religion too must be used in moderation. It is better that it be your servant and not your master. Once you become a slave to it, your life becomes worse by degree.
More...
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on December 24, 2012 at 7:14 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 31
God does love him some child killin'! The Bible is full of God taking his wrath out on the little ones to punish their parents.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore http://www.wishbookweb.com/ on December 24, 2012 at 6:05 AM · Report this
30
Fuck me I'm glad I live in the UK. And of course, laughably for the US, it's the country oft criticised for NOT separating state and religion.
Posted by private universe on December 24, 2012 at 3:33 AM · Report this
29
@25: What he said is objectively true. Faith, by definition, requires a break from rational thought. Try reading some of the sequences related to faith on Less Wrong.

This does not mean, and 23 was not saying, that all people of faith are bad people.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on December 24, 2012 at 2:14 AM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 28
Note to all Right-wing-nuts, including Slog commenters: When addressing America, the first thing you should do is convince us that you actually care about other humans. Show some decency. Show us that your ideologies will take a back seat to consideration & empathy.

The assumption that you don't hate everyone else is no longer true. From now on, it is assumed that you would happily fling babies into the fire if it furthered your political ends, to prove a point, or just as a way to demonstrate your loathing of "moran libtards."
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on December 23, 2012 at 11:48 PM · Report this
27
@26 No way. Gun sales are up with each shooting. Did YOU support the economy by buying more during the holiday season this year than last year? (That is the way the gun industry thinks about shootings - awesome PR)
Posted by cracked on December 23, 2012 at 11:14 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 26
that's 5 mass shootings in 10 days. another one at the FBI minimum of 4 dead. jesus fucking christ of fucking nazareth stop the madness.

Posted by Max Solomon on December 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM · Report this
25
@23, Please activate your critical reasoning power. Hopefully that will get rid of those anti-religious stereotypes you're expressing.
Posted by sarah70 on December 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM · Report this
Chelydra_serpentina 24
I've never been able to understand religious people who think of God as some kind of magical charm that, used properly, will ward off evil. Spilling salt is unlucky, but tossing a pinch over your left shoulder will make that all better. Praying in public schools will keep out the bad guys with guns.
Posted by Chelydra_serpentina on December 23, 2012 at 7:57 PM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 23
To be religious, one must suspend critical reasoning. The degree to which critical reasoning is suspended roughly matches how fundamentalist none is with regard to their religion. this is why fanatical sects actively denigrate independent thinking.

This lack of independent thought allows the believer to ignore instances when reality does not comport with the belief system in question. If one believes that natural disasters are the result o divine vengeance, one seeks validation when they strike regions where fundamental adherence to the belief system is low, and ignores examples of the same natural disasters striking regions where adherence is particularly high. Disease patterns present in the unfaithful or those hated by the religion are advertised wildly, and patterns present in the faithful themselves are not mentioned.
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on December 23, 2012 at 7:31 PM · Report this
22
"Right, try to argue rationally with a Global Alarmist...we've just replaced a named religion for an unnamed one."

Let's focus on one idiotic denial of reality at a time, asshole.
Posted by mubhappy on December 23, 2012 at 7:11 PM · Report this
21
@20, yay; someone actually gets it.
Posted by sarah70 on December 23, 2012 at 6:53 PM · Report this
20
I recall somewhere at the very beginning of the Bible, we are told that God gave us free will. That means God pulled back, and is letting us do our own thing here. God can advise, but not control what we do. For those who believe, it means we are responsible for what happens here on Earth. For those who do not believe, guess what? We are responsible for what happens here on Earth. Only complete nut jobs say that God "would" step in except we have become too "heathen" or some stupid shit like that.
Posted by SeattleKim on December 23, 2012 at 6:27 PM · Report this
19
As far as I know, God wasn't implicated in gun-driven murders, nor does God speak through Fischer or anyone else. This hateful stuff is done and said by human beings.

And ditto to what Venomlash said.
Posted by sarah70 on December 23, 2012 at 6:25 PM · Report this
18
Yeah, apparently the omniscient, omnipotent creator of the universe can't go anywhere or do anything where he is not wanted. By not wanted I where there are no loud sanctimonious prayers by loud sanctimonious people.
Posted by JJinAus on December 23, 2012 at 5:54 PM · Report this
venomlash 17
@4: Please don't tar all faithful with the brush of the religious fundamentalists. DBAD.
Posted by venomlash on December 23, 2012 at 5:51 PM · Report this
COMTE 16
So Mr. Fischer, does God just happen to be stepping out for a smoke or something every time a child is molested by a Youth Pastor or member of the clergy in one of his Houses of Worship or affiliated parochial schools?
Posted by COMTE on December 23, 2012 at 5:32 PM · Report this
15
If those children in the church would've been armed, none of this would have happened.
Posted by TimMathis on December 23, 2012 at 4:35 PM · Report this
sirkowski 14
The guy shot at the State Troopers too.
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on December 23, 2012 at 4:26 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 13
Nihilism today is the nihilism of the right. The gun nuts, the religious right, the self-styled "job creator"s: none of them believe in America any more. While liberals and progressives and centrists are trying to hold civilization together and make the country function, a cancer eats the tissue of society. A cancer called 21st century conservatism.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on December 23, 2012 at 4:02 PM · Report this
Skye Blu 12
A man who doesn't go where not invited? That'll be a first.
Posted by Skye Blu on December 23, 2012 at 3:28 PM · Report this
11
God hasn't been chased out of public schools, and these people know it. There are plenty of fully supported, legally protected ways in which individual students are absolutely able to exercise their religion.

The only thing that isn't allowed is the government imposing a specific form of religion and mandating participation.

These people need to seriously consider how they would feel about state-sponsored Muslim or Wiccan prayers and activities, and then apply that to the Christian equivalents.

You can't get away from Christianity in public schools. If God's got His nose out of joint, He's pretty petty for someone who said that praying in public doesn't count.
Posted by Lymis on December 23, 2012 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Bauhaus I 10
How does he know that God wasn't wanted there? By the lack of prayer? And if praying had been taking place, then he would have said, "God was calling theses youngsters home." Circular, fallacious logic used by people (usually religious hierarchies) to intimidate and threaten critical analysis.

Some societies would have used what this guy said as justification to get him the mental healthcare he desperately needs before he causes more sorrow.
Posted by Bauhaus I on December 23, 2012 at 3:15 PM · Report this
9
god hates firearms
Posted by kinaidos on December 23, 2012 at 3:14 PM · Report this
8
Jesus Fucking Christ... Why the fuck should a Christian care whether or not other people "believe?" I mean, think about it. If religion is a benefit, then isn't it its own reward? And nonbelievers would therefore be the only ones who "suffer" from their choice.

Really! Or could it be that the fact that nonbelievers can exist and have perfectly happy, ethical lives just really burns their bacon, challenges the "teachings" that these Christians believe they need to follow themselves.

For the record, I'm a Quaker who's happy to get whatever I get from my participation in our Meeting. If I pity anyone, it's not nonbelievers, it's those mired in a web of sectarian identity theo-politics like Bryan Fischer. I don't see any reason for anyone who has religious beliefs to get their panties in a twist over anyone else's peaceable religious, ethical, or secular beliefs. I see lots of reasons, btw, for nonbelievers to be pissed off at the way some people let their religious beliefs make them stupid, hostile, or selfish parasites.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on December 23, 2012 at 2:54 PM · Report this
7
Let's not forget that God also didn't protect an usher during worship services at the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, back on May 31, 2009.
Posted by Also Not Helping on December 23, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 6
God may or may not be in our public schools but his love is most certainly not in Fischer's heart. It's as dark and cold as a grave.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 23, 2012 at 2:39 PM · Report this
5
#4

Right, try to argue rationally with a Global Alarmist...we've just replaced a named religion for an unnamed one.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on December 23, 2012 at 2:15 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 4
I think it's the internet. Before, young people thought everybody believed the same things. Now, young people have access to a wide range of beliefs and non-beliefs. When you compare the hateful rantings of religion to the humanist's views of science and the multiverse, religion looks horribly backward.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 23, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
3
Attention SLOG commenter Dr. Awesome:

Online Mental Health Screening

Take the opportunity to fill out a brief self-assessment test for Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Alcohol or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.


http://counseling.uw.edu/omhscreening/om…

Perhaps then your obsessions will quiet down...
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on December 23, 2012 at 2:11 PM · Report this
2
From teh tail end of the same article:

"Friday’s shootings were the second involving a rural western Pennsylvania church this month.

Gregory Eldred, 52, an elementary school teacher is jailed on charges he fatally shot his ex-wife, a church organist, during a service in Coudersport on Dec. 2. The pastor and church members subdued him until police arrived."
Posted by PortervilleNerd on December 23, 2012 at 2:09 PM · Report this
zombie eyes 1
Atheist to Bryan Fisher: Fuck off!

Those killings in rural Pennsylvania took place eerily, incidentally and ironically while LaPierre was presenting his lunatic missive.
Posted by zombie eyes on December 23, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this

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