Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why people make fun of religion.

A lot of people like to make fun of religion and religious people do not like that AT ALL. But why not? After all, every single religion operates in the closed minded belief that they are the only ones who actually know the real truth, and that the rest of us are misguided fools or stupendously ignorant. If you acted like this for any other reason people would never take you seriously, but faith wants to be respected and I just won't go along with that.

Many people take these attacks personally, like they are somehow representative of their entire faith. It's not that, it's just that there are too many things that beg to be mocked. As a comedian, I love picking apart things, and religion is always a fun subject. Following are three of the reasons I can currently think of that make it okay to mock religion.

1.) The Pope
Where would Jesus sit?

Somewhere on this planet is an old man sitting on a golden throne making decisions that influence the lives of millions of people. He is not beholden to any governmental body, he's elected for life, and he has followers in leadership positions across the globe. His organization is repeatedly in trouble for molesting children all over he damn place and then covering it up afterwards. Nobody knows how many people have left the church over this issue but, the more it happens, the more I wonder why the true faithful haven't cast down their leadership and replaced them with people who don't allow children's lives to be ruined. If any other organization other than a church did this kind of thing this often, this widespread, the entire world would shun them.

And let's not forget how many lives are forced into this world because the Catholic church refuses to allow their members to do any family planning. The world is over populated in many places, poor people are burdened with extra mouths they cannot feed, and the best defense against Aids in Africa is thrown right out the door because the Pope thinks that condoms are somehow the work of Satan.

And please note I'm not even remotely touching on anything that happened before I was born. History is full of examples where the Catholic faith was responsible for horrendous deeds.

You are always allowed to make fun of the Pope until he sells everything he owns to feed the poor, just like Jesus told him to.

2.) Hypocrisy

There's only one rule.

Long time readers know that I started my own satirical Facebook page specifically to make fun of this one thing. The amount of hypocrisy in the world is appalling. Every single time I see someone like Newt Gingrich talk about family values when he has three overlapping marriages, I want to throw my television out the window. And I have a large television and very small windows. We all know by now that the louder someone yells about gay people, the less we have to wait for them to get caught with a gay prostitute. And it doesn't end with people who claim to love you so much they want to beat the crap out of you for being different either. Here in the U.S. there is a direct correlation to how religious the state is to how racist it is. Politicians and other idiots will gladly speak both hate and religion in the same paragraph, all with a nice little "God Bless You" to tie it together.

This behavior is most common when I get into discussions online with the faithful. Even the smallest disagreement, or sometimes even a question, is frequently met with open hostility and rage. If, for instance, I point out that the same books in the bible that dictate our sexual behaviors also tell us that we aren't allowed to shave, wear mixed fabrics, AND give us rules for selling our daughters into slavery, so maybe they aren't the best standard for modern behavior, I am frequently met with a stubborn insistence that I should just shut up instead of challenging their belief that gay people are evil.

Occasionally someone will blow up an abortion clinic, killing plenty innocent people, most who are there for regular medicinal stuff, and they still have the audacity to do it in the name of the 'Pro-lifers'. As a matter of fact, the Pro-life movement pays the smallest amount of lip-service to calling these psychos the terrorists that they are. Go to ANY comment section where religion is discussed and you'll see countless examples of open hatred towards people who just believe differently. This is not only hypocrisy, but scary.

And, let me set this straight, you are always allowed to mock people who say one thing then do the opposite. If you establish a rule, you must follow it. If you claim to love all creatures and then slap someone in the face, you deserve everything people decide to say about you. Especially if it upsets you.

3.) Logic

Sure, whatever.

In most countries, the faithful far outnumber the rest of us. For thousands of years we've been forced to quietly acquiesce to the will and opinions of the mob. Even last night, the President of the United States ended his speech asking God to bless us and to bless America. Despite the fact that almost no Christian in this country behaves as the Bible tells them to, you don't have to live here more than two hours before you run into the influence that these people have on our society. And, while most of the faithful of all religions are nice and decent people, it's the violent thugs that tend to be the loudest and most willing to decide things for you. Since this is an election year, I get to hear a major presidential candidate cry out against the application of sharia law in the exact same conversation that he insists that we use his religion as the basis for law.

Logic and reasoned thought are the enemy of religion. It is actually the policy of most Intelligent Design 'Scientific' communities to automatically reject any evidence that disagrees with what they already believe. If we ever have the technology to build a wormhole to send probes back into the past to visually record dinosaurs 73 millions years ago, if these people are still alive the first words out of their mouths will be that the entire thing is fake. You could send them there and they would accuse you of drugging them. There is no way to get through to people who have made up their mind and refuse to listen to you.

Eventually you get tired of foolishly trying to reason with the unreasonable, but you still have to deal with them every single day, so how do you deal with this? Well, if you're like most of us, you just make fun of them. Everybody else who secretly agrees with you gets a laugh and when the target of your mockery gets upset, at least you got a laugh out of it. It's just that simple. I'm not trying to make fun of your faith, I'm sure you're a friendly person who feels guilty for not calling their mother every week and tries real hard not to beat your children, just like the rest of us, but the next time you see something on the internet mocking your faith, please remember that's it not target at the normal people. It's for the douchebags who reduced us to this.

Shocking, I know.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why are atheists so smug?

Atheists get called a lot of things, but arrogant and smug are two of the most common. I get where you're coming from by asking, the New Atheist movement has no problem shoving their opinions in everyone's face and, when you watch videos of Dawkins or Hitchens casually dismissing away thousands of years of belief as superstition, it doesn't sit well with the average believer who has built their life on a foundation of ritual and faith. There are also innumerable Facebook groups created seemingly only for the reason of mocking faith, and the condescending attitude that we atheists cam have towards the faithful can be downright infuriating to those who don't understand us.

So, in the interest of creating a greater understanding, here are a few of the reasons why I believe we atheists can be such dickbags when it comes to dealing with people who don't see the world like we do.

1.) Santa Claus

This is how you teach your children not to trust everything you tell them.

This first one is going to require a little bit of imagination on your part. Now, I understand that it's easy to get defensive about what you believe, but if you're really curious about what makes us tick, try to keep it bottled up and ignore the imperfections in the analogy.

Imagine, if you will, a world in which almost everyone you knew never stopped believing in Santa Claus. When you drove to work, there would be posters of him everywhere, and his message of secretly watching you and your behavior for an upcoming judgement day would just casually slip out of the mouth of nearly everybody, from newscasters to politicians everyone believes in Santa.

But here's the thing, you don't. Now, for the most part you can just ignore it, after all, what harm does it really do? But then you start noticing that an uncommonly large amount of daily discussion has to do with this mythical creature. You turn on the news and there's wars overseas over the names of his reindeer or what color he is. Santa's rules for who is naughty or nice seem kind of arbitrary or common sense, but people will straight up punch you in the face if you disagree with them.

Most of the time you keep your mouth shut, but eventually everything just seems so silly. We've been to the North Pole, there's no sweatshop full of elves making toys. When you mention that at a family dinner, your mother tells you that parents buy the toys themselves and are happy to assist in Santa's good work. You want your mother to see the truth, but when you try to have a nice, logical discussion about it she clams up and you can see the disappointment in her eyes. Clearly she agrees with the community that if you don't believe that Santa is watching you every minute, there's no reason for you NOT to go on a murderous rape rampage any day.

I know that sounds silly, but that's pretty close to the world that we live in. You might believe in God, you might not, but if you don't there is absolutely no way to talk about the subject without sounding like you know something everybody else doesn't, because that is exactly the way that you view the world. And when only one out of ten people agree with you, it can get very frustrating.


I think I can see my genome from here!

Humans like to codify their existence. We've always enjoyed naming and then grouping things together, and there are few arguments more intense than over the minutia that separates two very similar things, thoughts, or ideas. We've been noticing patterns in reality for thousands of years and this has led to every single modern advancement, be it beer, cellphones, eyeglasses, or even the Internet you're using to read this. This conversation amongst ourselves has involved every single type of person, religious creed, sex, or nationality that wanted to get involved. It isn't owned by anybody and the advancement of knowledge could arguably be considered one of the best pursuits of our time on this planet. Science isn't a religion, it's the way of the human species. It's how we've grown and evolved from wandering groups of barbaric tribes to civilizations with robots in space.

That being said, a lot of the war about religion takes place here and, while it's true that a lot of scientists are also atheists, it is not an atheist endeavor; there are many people of many faiths involved in the process and if you are ever interested in any aspect of it, the information is practically free for you to discover. The more you know about science, the more amazing the world around us is. So it seems strange to me that this is where the battles are most frequently waged, and the people with decades of experience, knowledge, and training, are somehow given less weight in the discussion when it happens in the public. If you watch a talk show about psychics there are going to be three or four charlatans well versed in duping the crowd, and exactly one person who everyone despises who will try to politely discuss how psychics work and nobody will listen to him. A politician can casually dismiss millions of man-hours of dedicated research, laboratory testing, and heated discussion hammering out theories that stand up to reality, many of them completed by people who believe exactly what he does, and the audience will actually cheer him for it.

Let's pause on that for a second.

There is no other occupation that I know of where the smartest people in the room are considered the least qualified people to listen to. Here in America over 50% of the GOP think biologists are full of garbage. Even the Catholic Church admits that evolution is true, and we even have evidence of it, but that doesn't stop the faithful for dismissing the greatest achievements of human intelligence because it's too complicated for the uneducated to understand. People would instead rather trust the man behind the pulpit (not the molester, we have a new one) who tells them differently because of something he read in a book once. Apparently it's easier to believe that thousands of the smartest people in the entire world are somehow trying to scam the rest of us because, profit? I'm not sure how it works, but that seems to be the discussion.

So, how do you talk to talk to someone who doesn't even believe in reality without sounding smug? I don't know, but it's difficult.

3.) Revenge. 

This is why we get angry.

 I'm going to be perfectly frank here: religion is about control. That's not necessarily a bad thing, parents have to watch their children, but unchecked authority rarely turns out well for the people involved. The list of crimes against religion are legion, and they are still happening every single day.
Is it really arrogant to tell the same group of people who used to burn herbalists for being witches that it's superstition that makes them believe that a woman who owns a cat she so doesn't get the plague must be using the powers of Satan? Sure we don't believe that anymore, because of science, but when the conversation is brought into something that matters today, like who has permission to get married, the arguments against it are unscientific and superstitious. Sure the Bible suggests that we should kill gay people, but there are also a ton of verses that equate women to property, and we're mostly smart enough not to take those seriously anymore. You also aren't allowed to shave or wear mixed fibers in your clothing, but nobody marches in the street over those issues.

Atheists and nonbelievers have been treated badly for thousands of years, almost worse than people tend to treat the heretics of a different (read: almost identical) faith. Now that we understand enough of the universe to be able to close many of the gaps in human knowledge, the conversation and deference to power have started to shift. New Atheists like myself aren't against you or even what we consider to be your quaint and harmless rituals and sacrifices, but when religion is still trying to control us when we know better, the conversation easily takes on a new and different flavor.

If you've been grinding someone's face in the dirt for untold centuries you shouldn't complain when they start to fight back. And now, mostly thanks to the internet and free information, the numbers of nonbelievers are increasing every day. We don't try to actively convert most of them, all it takes is a simple internet search and everything that your religious leaders don't want you to know is right in front of you.

And it's not smug to point at things if you're the only one who has their eyes open.

Monday, January 9, 2012

4 ways to meet your lover.

These are some of the strategies I've implemented in my quest for past relationships. These experiences are all drawn from my early days. I obviously operate from dumb luck and brass balls.

1.) Naivete

I was cute and innocent too, once. Later: Sharp claws and pissing on things

Who was it?

My first girlfriend was a 19 year old premed student and was hands down one of the most attractive young women this homeschooler had ever seen. She was staying with her family through the summer and got a seasonal job at McDonald's where I was working at when I was 18.


None, I had no clue how to talk to women. The Australian surfer dude and Keanu Reeves wannabe found her to be the only girl who didn't respond to his six pack and accent, so he encouraged the virgin to go after her instead. He did everything to coach me ('Just TALK TO HER YOU IDIOT!!') but I had never even come close to asking a girl out in my life and she eventually just did it herself.

Did it work?

If by 'work', you mean 'chaste kissing' and having a pretty girl sit on my lap for the first time in my life, then yes. Our first date was a coffee at a local restaurant and I won her heart by not caring if she brought her kid sister. We saw each other the rest of the summer.

What happened?

She used to be a Wild Child and had converted to Mormonism after alcoholism and depression had almost led her to killing herself in high school, she believed her new faith had saved her life and it was everything to her. I was still 9/10ths of a Jesus Freak, and her heading back to BYU pressured us into trying to convert each other which led to the relationships demise. There were no hard feelings and I sent her off with the first Teddy Bear I owned as an infant. 

What did I learn?

Damaged sexy women respond well to a healthy dose of chivalry. This being my first relationship, I started the mental femanese dictionary that I still use today. Also: Heartbreak sucks.

  2.) Prayer
The best way to feel like you're contributing without doing a damn thing.

Who was it?

My first wife. She was a nice girl and looked like a giant chipmunk with food stuffed in her cheeks.


Starting when I was aprox. 14 I prayed for my future wife every single day. It wasn't hell or damnation that kept me from pursuing women, but the belief in predestination and that if I even touched another woman it was like cheating on my future spouse. Pretty messed up, I know.

Did it work?

Technically yes. Someone did some matchmaking between the two virgins that they knew and we ended up making out on our first date (a home viewing of the movie, 8 seconds. I still don't know how that movie ends). Our relationship grew stronger after her adopted family (She was raised by her aunt and uncle after her mother was considered too much of an alcoholic and the state of Illinois took her away) and her started fighting and she ran away. I never knew where she was, but the resulting stress  kept us together and we ended up getting married less than a year after dating, two days after she turned 18. Also, we were virgins and had no idea what the hell we were doing. I convinced myself it was God's will and the rest was history.

What happened?

She really wasn't into the whole church thing and it turns out she felt like our domestic lifestyle was stealing her youth and she broke up with me so she could go out partying with her friends. We lost touch almost immediately and the last time I saw her she was with her new family over ten years later with a small swarm of children and an even bigger ass. She looked happy.

What did I learn?

Like the lady said, love just isn't enough. I also learned that sometimes someone will leave you without telling you there's even a problem because they care enough about you to try to work through it, which goes against what they selfishly want to happen. Also, being divorced makes you like 10X more cynical. I also figured out that you can't have premarital sex if you've been divorced already, which lead me to doing a lot of really fun things down the road.

3.) P.R. dept.
This picture will mean something different to you after the following entry.

Who was it?

Before my first wife and I even finalized our divorce I had quit my job, started waiting tables, started smoking, and had an entirely new set of friends. Like most large groups of friends, it was held together by the female relationships and I love me some girlfriends. There are a few stories that fit this model, but I'm going to talk about the one focused on Anal Sex.


I was the sweet young guy who gets his heart broken and armors himself with cynicism, but I have always loved women and make friends with them easily. My personal code of ethics at the time prevented me from sleeping with my friends, but women love to promote the decent guys that they know and I started dating a LOT of my friends' friends.

Did it work?

It still works as a great way to meet people. As a matter of fact, this is my preferred route. It's easier to build up great friendships with people and to casually be introduced to all of their friends than to have to filter out all the assholes yourself. This worked a lot better in my 20's before everybody's friends got married and had kids, but now that I'm in my 30's everybody is getting divorced and finally catching up to me.

What happened?

The best story is the three week relationship with a moody girl who was trying to re-establish her relationship with God so was trying to keep her virginity, so we were only allowed to have anal sex. And we had a lot of anal sex. Quite frankly, those three weeks removed the taboo aspect of it for me so I can pretty much take it or leave it. Also, she was pretty crazy and it just didn't work out.

What did I learn?

How to Anal correctly. No, seriously, that's all I learned from this one. Since then, I've been trusted enough to introduce this into several relationships (it's always been their idea), which only backfired once when one of my ex's discovered she got her most powerful orgasms that way and never stopped shoving her butt in my face. So, there's that.

 4.) Bond, James Bond.

I'll take her shaken AND stirred.

Who was it?

Resident overworked and oversexed Denny's waitress.


Wanting to take control of this whole dating thing, I simply started mimicking the most charming character I had ever seen or read about, James Bond. We have absolutely nothing in common, but you would be amazed at how far eye contact, unshakeable confidence, and a charming sense of humor will get you with the opposite sex. This is my go-to personality when I'm interested in someone and every girlfriend I have ever had will tell you how charming I can be when it suits me.  Gentlemen, this is the answer to the question, 'why does that average looking guy get so many attractive women?'

Did it work?

Fuck yes this works. In this scenario I had just finished working security at the local gay bar for New Years Eve, I think I still had lipstick on my cheeks from all the drag queens who wanted to kiss me that night and I left it on there because why the hell wouldn't you? My best friend and I went to grab a bite and the waittress came up to our table with a quip, I responded in turn and, just like in the movies, skip forward a bit to some of the most amazing sex of all time. Despite the fact that she did this kind of thing whenever she wanted to, later she admitted to sex addiction, the difference between enjoying someone and being invisible is sometimes separated only by your ability to straight up act like a boss.

What did I learn?

That playing with women was more interesting than the RPG group I used to hang out with. This was before WOW took all of my nerdy friends away and we had to meet in person to nerd out. Boobs just happen to be a lot more interesting in person than dice and Orcs. I also learned that adults can sexually explore each other without being emotionally attached, which incidentally led to both some of the best stories that have ever happened to me. More on that later.


When I put it out there like this, you can actually watch my evolution with women. These experiences led me to become comfortable around women and confident in my ability to make things enjoyable for both of us. I'm not always so good at the long term stuff, but meeting people only gets easier. I have since earned my Friends With Benefits badge several times and have taken a stab at a second marriage and several other 2-3 year relationships. I was going to stop writing about dating for a while, but my previous blogs have come up in conversation several times since then, and you might as well give them what they want. And that's the best advice ever.