“Is it political if I tell you that if we burn coal, you’re going to warm the atmosphere? Or is that a statement of fact that you’ve made political? It’s a scientific statement. The fact that there are elements of society that have made it political, that’s a whole other thing.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson (via socio-logic)
One of the prickly issues for a society that attempts to be liberal is how tolerant it must be of the intolerant. Writing in the last issue of this magazine, Cristina Odone says that she feels her rights as a taxpayer, a citizen and a Christian have been trampled on. She warns of a world around the corner in which religion will be a secret activity behind closed doors.
So, what is this dystopian vision of the future? A world where if you run a bed and breakfast, you cannot discriminate against gay couples, and you have to abide by the rules of the job you are contracted to do. That’s it, really.
No one in our society has it all their own way: as an atheist, I am just as much of a trampled-on taxpayer and citizen as Odone. I pay for the BBC, yet nobody non-religious is permitted on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day. Humanists are not allowed to lay a wreath during the annual remembrance ceremony at the Cenotaph. (The 14 faith groups that reviewed the ceremony decided this – the same groups that have supposedly been pushed out of the public arena.) There are 26 bishops in the House of Lords, there solely because of their religion.
Journalist: "I need to be clear on this point: Are you telling me that Satan is literally working to confound your plans to release this game? You’re saying that the actual Devil is scheming against you?"
Game Developer: "I believe that, 100 percent,"
Whenever something doesn’t work out for me I always make the assumption that it is the workings of an anthropomorphized manifestation of evil. Except in my case, I believe that manifestation to be Reba McEntire.
Friend:"I need a 4th for a golf tournament. You in?"
Me:"Well, I don't play golf. More importantly you sure as shit don't want me playing golf on your team or anywhere near other humans. I have never played on the greens. Not once. I have just hit a ball a few times in high school PE and at that driving range next to Dee's Deli on RT 940. While drunk. And high."
Friend:"Didn't you earn a master's degree while drunk and high?"