Some Say That's Progress

« November 2015 »

Memo to an apparently increasingly secular America: YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO DEAL WITH A LOT OF ASSHOLES.

A new Pew poll made the media rounds this week, basically saying that an increasing number of Americans don't identify with any particular religion, and that the increase is most pronounced amongst millennials. And it makes sense. The younger you are, the more your life has been spent in an era where you have information at your fingertips. And while the Internet is by no means a cure for stupidity, it DOES make it harder to keep people isolated from other points of view.

And quite frankly, most religions can't compete in an open marketplace of ideas. If people want restrictive dietary laws, they can just be vegan. If people want a voice from the sky telling them what to think, they've got Fox News. If they want to dress up in robes and wave stinky candles around, there's LARPing. Traditionally, religions have propagated themselves by giving children no choice in the matter until habit and social peer pressure can take over. That's a less effective strategy these days.

But it's not party hat and streamer time yet. Houston's defeat of a gay rights measure was largely fueled by religious wingnut propaganda about pervy men pretending to be women so they can go into women's bathrooms with impunity, even though nobody's actually enforcing entry into public restrooms now and any perv who wants to put on a dress in Houston right now and sneak into the ladies' room isn't going to meet any opposition.

And if we've learned anything from recent history, it's that many religions, and many religious Americans, will not adapt, nor will they take their waning influence well. And when I want to laugh at horrible stupid people not taking good news well, I immediately turn to the greatest comments section in America, the fine commenters at USA Today, where I found this wonderful Christian prophecy. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"The core of American atheism resides in its costal megalopolises. Pacific rim earthquakes and cataclismic tidal waves occur cyclically and will in future annihilate cities located thereupon. Iran currently has submarines patrolling the western Atlantic -- whereas they now only possess field grade / suitcase nukes, they will soon be able to deliver "dirty bombs" (great for causing panic, chaos, and economic collapse). The ratio of believing to the non-believing will increase when tens of millions of urban Americans 'go away'." - One "Able Witness", who brought the same disassociation with reality to choosing a user name that (s)he has to the rest of their life.


Now, this person is clearly off their meds, big-time, but I have to admit, I legitimately, sincerely love the idea of a bunch of Christians, looking at this poll, and thinking their big comeback is right around the corner at the hands of Iranian suitcase dirty bombs delivered by secret submarine. Sure, some coastal faithful might suffer, but you know those city Christians are all soft on the buggery anyway, so no big loss.

Personally, I'm enjoying the demographic shift. Not because I think a more secular America will be less stupid, because people will just seize on some other stupid shit to live their lives by, like anti-vax or men's rights. But at least it might cut back on the particular brand of stuipidiy that led to one USA Today comment, which said "Don't drive faster than your angels can fly." That breed ot theologically-iffy, physics-ignoring, Hummel figurine Christianity can't go away fast enough for me.