I hate to be the one to tell you, but the guy who wrote The Devil Went Down to Georgia is a half-wit. Well, okay, more like a quarter-wit.
Yesterday, popular skeptical blogger and punk rock star Rodney Anonymous sent out an alert that country music star Charlie Daniels was blathering away on his site with anti-rationalist hatred. I see that PZ has beaten me to the punch, but what the hell, Charlie could use some more bad press, don’t you think?
The other day, Charlie posted this rant about atheist activist Michael Newdow, whom we’ve never really discussed in the past on Skepchick (I think because I always felt Newdow usually has a point but also is usually kind of douchey?). Anyway, Newdow is the guy who rightfully would like the phrase “under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance (which is completely stupid anyway and shouldn’t be required chanting for any public-schoolchildren), a phrase that was added during the McCarthy era of Communist witch-hunting. Now Newdow is asking that prayer be deleted from the official inauguration of the President of the United States of America. Which, yeah, kind of makes sense.
Charlie, with his wise and worldly prairie rambler ways, had a lot of questions about Newdow and his mission. I’ve taken the time to answer them here, in the order in which they appear:
If you look at this issue using cowboy logic, if atheists don’t believe there is a God, why do they care where his name appears?
First of all, by “cowboy” Charlie means “illiterate” and by “logic” he means “blathering.” Second of all, to answer his question with a question: If fundie Christian morons don’t believe there is a Cthulu, why do they care where His name appears? So why don’t we just print tentacles all over our money and be done with it? Idiot.
Just what in the name of Sam Hill is atheism, if not a religion?
Answer: IT’S NOT A RELIGION. Break it down, Charlie: “A-,” a prefix used to indicate “without,” like “a-moral” (without morals), “a-sexual” (without sex), “a-theism” (without religion), and “a-sshole” (without a doubt Charlie Daniels).
Well if Mr. Newdow has his way and they take the prayer out doesn’t that amount to the government endorsing atheism?
No. Removing all religious references from the ceremony would be the ultimate way to adhere to the First Amendment of the Constitution’s requirement that the government stay completely independent of religion.* If the government were to actively endorse atheism, they’d require all the inauguration attendees to study basic rules of logic and then force them to read every “holy book” ever written.
If we deny God His rightful place in the affairs of this nation should we expect Him to intervene when we need protection?
No. Since he’s never intervened before, there’s no reason to expect him to do so now.
Just what do you think has kept us safe from terrorist attacks since 9/11?
This appears to be a typo, since surely Charlie means that God has been keeping us safe from terrorist attacks since 9/12, since on 9/11 He allowed terrorists to fly airplanes into the World Trade Center in the largest terrorist attack ever to occur on American soil. Also, by “us” I assume Charlie must mean a very specific, as yet undefined subset of the American population, since Americans are regularly killed and injured in terrorist attacks like the recent tragedy in Mumbai. Yep, His ways are mysterious, aren’t they?
Why should the majority of the people in a free society be pushed around by a miserable little man and his cohorts, who don’t have anything better to do than try to make everybody else as miserable as they are?
They shouldn’t, which is why, happily, we don’t have to live in Charlieland, where Jesus is Vice President and Guitar Hero is banned.**
Even if [atheists] don’t believe [in a god], why they would be so intent on taking away everybody else’s right to express their individual belief?
Oh, Charlie. Speaking on behalf of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy, we don’t want to take away anyone’s right to worship whatever and whomever they’d like. That’s the beauty of the First Amendment.*** You can worship Mithras, or whatever, and we can not worship anyone, and the government never, ever says anything about the topic at all. Wouldn’t that be a nice, happy world?
If it’s all a bunch of junk, why should they care?
Again, if Charlie thinks Cthulu is a bunch of junk, why should he care if tentacles are shoved in his face all the time? Or if he has to chant Cthulu’s name in unison with others before homeroom every day?
Charlie’s final question is:
What do you think?
. . . which I believe I’ve answered in full. Charlie: if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
*Skepchick Phun Phact! Charlie Daniels won the First Amendment Center’s AMA “Spirit of Americana” Free Speech Award in 2006. Free speech is another right granted to the American people by the first amendment â€“Â the very same amendment Charlie Daniels just took a giant shit on!
**I’m not kidding. Charlie is anti-Guitar Hero because one of the songs is a duel with Satan on The Devil Went Down to Georgia, and if you’re not good enough, the Devil wins.