Neither Bound by a Threat nor Led by a Carrot or Why am I the Afterthought rather than the Goal?

Posted: February 2, 2009 in Politics, Religion

I loathe Fox “News”.

In fact I loathe Fox in general.

Fox Co. waited until the last second to sue Warner Bros. over the rights to develop a Watchmen film, thus endangering the release of what promises to be the pivotal cinematic experience of my young life. Fox did everything it could to kill Firefly, Joss Whedon’s space western masterpiece and now, on the eve of his first new television foray in over four years, they’re doing their very best to abort his new show, Dollhouse, in advance. When a projectionist working stateside for a multiplex chain dared to write a negative review of Fantastic Four 2 and posted it on, Fox forced the chain to fire him under the threat of denying said chain distribution rights for any future Fox properties. And, more heinous than any other sin they’ve ever committed (including giving O’Reilly any airtime at all) Fox Co. was the network that sued all the way up to the Supreme Court of the U.S. to reclassify news services as being entertainment rather than providers of factual information designed to safeguard the public from corporate or government propaganda; this in order to justify their termination of three employees who tried to run a story about the dangers of Monsanto’s BGH being added to the American milk supply.

I tell you all of this so you understand that, when I say I hate Fox, I mean I hate them like I hate the fact that, after spending a lifetime safeguarding my anal virginity, I find out that I have to get regular prostate exams to avoid death.

And yet…

I find myself in the unlikely position of feeling grateful to Fox News. You see, when everyone else was enthralled by President Obama’s inauguration; when every other news service in the world was waxing optimistic about the rebirth of America; when every white person who’s ever felt the stinging shame of thinking a racist thought about those different from them was patting themselves on the back for voting the first black man into the office of POTUS, Fox News took the time to analyse one teeny tiny insignificant elephant in the new President’s inaugural address.

Thank you, Fox News, for bursting my Obamania bubble.

As shown in this video.

A round table of commentators took the time to dissect Obama’s comment including “non-believers” in the patchwork tapestry that is America. Expressing confusion as to why Obama would alienate the faithful by acknowledging the very existence of American atheists, the talking head in question turned plaintively to evangelical Republican Mike Huckabee and asked him to please, please make some sense of the scary noises coming from the mouth of B. Hussein Obama. (Thank you, oh thank you Anne Coulter for that ever so clever reshuffling of emphasis on the President’s name. Without you how would I know that he’s supposed to be the black, moderate, terrorist cousin of Sadam, Bin Laden and Satan?) Huckabee’s response? “Well uh, I think the President was just pointing out that there are some Americans who don’t believe in anything but themselves.” (Kind of a paraphrase but sadly not deviating in any significant way from the actual venom shat, South Park turkey style, from this simpleton’s gaping maw.)

So, I had my usual chuckle at the straw grasping responses of team “Fair and Balanced” to anything non-Neocon, and was about to move on to bigger and better things (masturbating furiously to the idea of a world without Paris Hilton springs to mind) when I had a moment of wait-a-sec.

Did Obama…did he actually…did he pause and maybe grimace just a tiny bit before uttering the phrase, “non-believers?” Okay, so maybe the grimace is in my imagination, but who can tell, the man has the visual emotional range of an autistic Keanu Reeves, but the pause was definitely there. (Also, for the purpose of this rant I like to think there was a big caricature smirk lurking ‘neath his lips, just go with me on this.) So, why the pause, Pres?

There is a definite discomfort present in our society when it comes to those who reject religious faith as being unnecessary and a little jejune. Maybe it’s the feeling that we all get from time to time, that the better dressed, slightly too loud boisterous kid who’s sitting across from us on the bus, is secretly laughing at the stain he just spotted on our pants. Maybe it’s that bitter lump we get when we realize, after hours of argument, that the person sitting across from us will never come around to our point of view. Maybe it’s just a simple case of our reflection not being quite as forgiving as we’d like it to be. Whatever the cause, there is an ideological rift in our culture between those who cling to the solace and comfort of tradition and those who seek truth, no matter what.

I don’t know whether Obama’s faith is real or manufactured to placate the masses of deeply devout folks who helped put him in power. I really don’t care. What I do care about was how very pregnant that pause was and how deeply belittled I felt to be among those relegated to the afterthought of inclusion.

A few months ago, a born again co-worker of mine told me she could never vote for an atheist because atheists don’t believe in anything and therefore have no morals. For you Sandy, and Mike Huckabee and for all ye of many faiths, here is a short list of those things that we with no beliefs hold dear; besides ourselves of course.

1) The truth is always more important than the warm and fuzzies.

2) If you can’t prove (logically rather than gospelly) that a behaviour poses a clear and present danger to someone, beyond just offending their sensibilities, you don’t have any moral grounds to prohibit that behaviour.

3) The law should always be about true justice, not divine retribution.

4) Faith without evidence is like pie without ice cream; you can shove it down your throat but why would you want to?

5) Morals stem from reason, compassion, and a concern for the common good, NOT from the teachings of howling, blood thirsty patriarchs screaming impotently at us from the dim reaches of our shamefully ignorant cultural infancy.

6) All books speak some truth, but not all truth can be found in one book.

7) It is never okay to kill someone because of an idea.

8) It is never okay to judge someone because your favourite story tells you they’re wrong about stuff.

9) Screw it…Thou shalt not accuse whole races of people of killing your, never historically proven to exist, deity/personal (Jewish) saviour without a seriously fucking great historical record to back it up.

10) Thou shalt NOT build museums which depict humans riding around on saddled dinosaurs for the sole purpose of “scientifically” justifying the more, um, fanciful elements of your particular creation myth. Say it with me kiddos. Perpetuating ignorance helps no one, especially not kids who don’t know any better than to trust Mom and Dad.

I could probably come up with about 613 of these (see what I did there?) but you get the idea. Truth is good, even if it chips away at our most cherished beliefs, because it brings us together instead of tearing us apart.

I don’t disbelieve in God, I have an absence of belief in that which can’t be reasonably explained, and I think that’s the more fair and balanced perspective.

Thank you, thank you, Fox news. I forgot how much fun it is to get angry.

But isn’t Obama dreamy? 😀


  1. Jenn Thorson says:

    I admit I’m still annoyed that because of the cartoon series, Fox took all of the rights to Ben Edlund’s “The Tick” comic book characters of American Maid and Der Fledermaus, etc. so he wasn’t able to use them again unless for a Fox contract.

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