Next Time, Send Beer

To the Kind Reader who signed me up to the National Council of Churches Newsletter: I understand that not everyone who goes to church is a twitterpated bigot. I’ve known that for quite some time. And while Liberal Christians aren’t quite as mythical as Unicorns (or Jesus) you certainly aren’t going out of their way to get noticed. Oh but Al Sharpton was on the Daily Show a few years back! Yeah. And Pat Robertson has his own freakin channel.

Look, liberal Christians, the scary truth you aren’t admitting to yourself— wait, scratch that— one of the scary truths you aren’t admitting to yourself, is that the rise to power of the Chowder-headed, drooling Fundy is your own God Damned fault. They’re your people. They go to your church, or the one on the next block. They sit at your Good Friday Pancake Suppers and Fourth of July cookouts and jabber on about how Bill O’Reilly makes some sense and you say nothing. You do nothing. You’ve sat there for the last six years, meekly pointing at Uncle Pat as he wipes his mouth on the tablecloth, insults my wife’s heritage and sugests an after dinner “Turkey Shoot” and quietly mouth, “I’m not with him!” Then you get in his car and let him drive you home.

Both Liberal Christians and the kill ’em all Christians in the GOP are from the same family. You both believe in myths that aren’t even remotely true. Only they actually believe in them all the time while you only pretend to believe in them for an hour every Sunday and two hours on Christmas Eve. They spout off about the Rapture and End Of Days and them Dern Mexicans and you look at us Secular Humanists and expect us to correct their lunatic behavior and call them on their bad theology and antediluvian social habits. You want me to be the bad guy, so you won’t have to deal with the uncomfortable silences and awkward coffee socials.

Well, tough shit. That Racist Douche Bag with the Christian fish magnet on the back of his SUV is your Crazy Uncle, not mine. If you want Atheists to respect your beliefs, you should have taken care of your family shit at home, before it got messy in public.

Now, to the person who signed me up to the newsletter. You could have started a dialogue in comments. You could have sent me an email. But instead, you took the same passive-agressive route that’s caused this whole mess in the first place, which is cowardly and lame.

Another Children’s Crusade

Today, I catalogued a glorious thing, a first edition of Slaughterhouse-Five. Being a bookish sort (a bookish Librarian? Do I repeat myself?) I couldn’t help read the first page or twenty. What struck me was the profound sense that here, in my hands, was a book that I was sure George W. Bush has never read. I’ll bet money on it. Seriously. If you can tell me honestly and truthfully that the Codpiece Killer has read this book and still thinks War in general and the bloody heap of the one in Iraq in particular is worth anything, fifty bucks is yours.

I’ve read Slaughterhouse-Five before. It’s one of my favorite books, one of those that has had a profound effect on me and my life, not just my writing. Every time I read it, I’m reminded of the madness and death that Kurt Vonnegut and millions of people have seen and are seeing, right now. And it hurts. You read Slaughterhuse-Five and if you have, you know what I’m talking about: that raw exposed nerve that you can’t help but fondle, gently at times, other times, you bash it like a drunk dentist with a rusty hook. You don’t read Slaughterhouse-Five and come away with a good opinion of war. Maybe that raw pain fades and you no longer feel nauseous at the idea of killing people. Fine. You’re less human for it, but hay, the world needs robots, apparently.

Somewhere, very likely in the vicinity of Fox News Channel or the White House (again, do I repeat myself?) there is someone right now who has accepted in their heart the idea that some human being has the power to wage a peaceful war, one in which no one gets hurt. This ignoramus has accepted George W. Bush as their personal savior. They have renounced reality in all its multiform beauty and tragedy and embraced a cult of personality the likes of which this country has never seen before. And they have not read Slaughterhouse-Five. How could they? If they had, they’d know that Bush has an asshole just like everyone. Only, he has a rare condition where his asshole is in the lower middle half of his face rather than nestled between his buttocks. That’s why he always looks like he’s just smelled something bad.

These same people of faith claim that I and others like me who are opposed to War as a general principle and the Iraq War in particular are defective humans. That we somehow aren’t right in the head because we think that mauling other people and turning them into rotting meat is a bad thing. They don’t understand how we can find the idea of burning someone’s flesh off with chemicals a nauseating prospect. This is because they’ve smelled what comes out of the hole beneath Bush’s nose for so long, they can no longer tell when something stinks.

Because once you accept George W. Bush as your personal savior, you no longer have to put up with the burden of compassion or empathy. You also get to ignore people with different opinions, people who still can think for themselves and feel familiarity with other, different humans. These people scare me because they are loud, obnoxious, vote and have never read Slaughterhouse-Five, or anything. They’re probably planning on banning it from the Public Library so that their junior ADHD brat won’t accidentally skim a few pages and have a thought or two.