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Another Waste of Space

Entry 1760, on 2016-01-02 at 13:56:22 (Rating 5, Religion)

Most politicians are a waste of space. By that I mean the volume they occupy in the universe would be better filled with a vacuum. The same applies to most managers and other worthless bureaucrats. But does it also apply to that ultimate politician, manager, and bureaucrat: God? I'm being rather facetious here of course because according to any rational analysis there is no god, but let's just assume there is for a moment. How does this God guy measure up?

Actually the motivation behind my rather odd introduction is what I consider the greatest news headline of 2015. It was from the New York Daily News on 3 December 2015, where the front page said in huge type: "God Isn't Fixing This". The full title was "14 Dead in California Mass Shooting - God Isn't Fixing This - As latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes."

The headline followed the mass shooting in San Bernadino, California and referred to the mindless comments made by many politicians after the event. Here are some samples of the comments being made...

Paul Rand: My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families, and brave first responders."

Paul Ryan: "Please keep the victims of San Bernadino, California in your prayers."

Lindsey Graham: "Thoughts and prayers are with San Bernadino."

Ted Cruz: "Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and the first responder in San Bernadino."

Jeb Bush: "Praying for the victims, their families & the San Bernardino first responders in the wake of this tragic shooting."

Donald Trump" "California shooting looks very bad. Good luck to law enforcement and God bless. This is when our police are so appreciated!"

The problem should be obvious by now. Instead of fixing the problem these worthless pieces of scum just invoke some meaningless incantation to their invisible fantasy figure in the sky. They can generally get away with this sort of garbage in the US because that country has a bizarrely high rate of religious belief.

I'm fairly sure that any politician from New Zealand making such a trite comment in relation to a political issue like gun control would be totally ridiculed, and rightly so. It really is the most pathetic, demeaning nonsense.

Actually, I'm not sure which of the two possibilities I'm more concerned about: whether the politicians really believe this praying nonsense is worthwhile, or whether they are so cynical that they just say it because it's an easy way to avoid the real issues and it's what people want to hear.

Of course, either way, the fact that in most cases the audience for these comments agree or at least let it go isn't exactly complimentary to them either. Except that might be changing, because the newspaper headline was just the most obvious example of a pushback against the misuse of religious solutions.

Here are a few examples of the outrage against politicians who refuse to act on gun violence yet continue to make the most fatuous statements when yet another mass shooting happens...

Comedian Billy Eichner tweeted: "Your 'thoughts and prayers' don't mean a damn thing. #GunControlNOW".

Democrat congressman Chris Murphy (the representative for the area where the Sandy Hook massacre happened, tweeted: "Your 'thoughts' should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your 'prayers' should be for forgiveness if you do nothing - again."

And journalist Igor Volsky tweeted back to politicians by exposing their links to the National Rifle Association.

But there was also criticism of those making the criticism...

A tweet from "Lord Macintosh" said: "Stop with the ridiculous mocking of the 'Pray for' people. It's possible to both pray and act! #SanBernadino"

And another by "Markeece Young" said: "Currently getting attacked by atheists for praying for #SanBernadino. Twitter is great but there is a lot of human garbage on here."

So the whole thing is a bit of a mess. If there was a god and if there was the slightest evidence that he gave a damn about what happened in the universe he created then maybe the prayer comments might be OK. But then there's the old "God helps those who help themselves" thing so even if you're silly enough to believe in prayer some real-world action is also required.

But in reality the prayer thing is just an easy way for people who really have no intention of doing anything to make it seem like they care. That's the problem (or one of many problems) with religion: it makes it too easy to do nothing and still seem like a good person.

I have to repeat yet again that I'm not saying religion is all bad or that it can be blamed for gun violence, but I do believe that religion on balance is bad (that is the bad far outweighs the good) and that it is partly responsible for the violence.

If nothing else it encourages people act and think irrationally and it's difficult to solve any problem without approaching it rationally. It should be obvious to everyone by now that god is useless. He doesn't listen and he doesn't help. Most of the progress we have made as a civilisation has been specifically through rejecting religion. Even if God did exist it's time to give up on trying to talk to him.

In fact I did find a tweet from God himself (at least that was the name he used on Twitter although I'm a bit skeptical). Here's what God said: "Stop praying. I'm clearly not listening". Another waste of space.


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