No, I am not kidding; and, no, it isn’t mine. But, asinine as it sounds, a real-life, swear-against-God, Blasphemy contest.
The so-called Center for Inquiry (CFI) is an off-shoot, rather malign growth, of the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (now shortened to Committee for Skeptical Inquiry). When these folks used to chase ambiguous noises mistaken for ghosts they had a sense of humor, but after their success exposing Uri Geller’s spoon bending tricks, they had nothing left to do and they became dour and depressed. Instead of gracefully disbanding, they sought new enemies, resorting to imaginary ones when necessary. The Party must survive! They now feel that a good time can be had by encouraging people to curse a God in which they do not believe. Rules are here.
What’s blasphemy? Not a bad question, that. In our egalitarian, ego-centric universe the concept is now known only to academic historians, a few isolated and timorous humanitarians who fear being accused of it, and those who live in Flyover Country. Knowing this, CFI helpfully provides a definition:
Blasphemy: n. the act of denying or scoffing at God or God’s alleged attributes.
This called to mind a word which succinctly describes CFI’s behavior:
Juvenile: a. characteristic of children; immature; childish; puerile; infantile; as, a juvenile temper tantrum.
Who else but a spoiled brat teenager would rhetorically ask, “Are there topics you shouldn’t be allowed to discuss?” Not to be denied any whim, they are indignant that some “governments and institutions—and even some individuals—want to keep certain topics off limits.” With this, they broadcast their stunted imaginations and espouse a desire for an absurd philosophy. As an individual (I am not yet a government), I can think of plenty of topics that are off limits, and should be.
Suppose I know where the secret attack will take place. Any competent government should restrict my speech on this topic. It’s a cliché, but everybody agrees that my freedom to express “Fire!” in a placid theater should be circumscribed. And in keeping domestic harmony, an infinite set of subjects are sanely verboten.
But perhaps they are not arguing about the limits of free speech? Maybe they suggest only that all sufficiently broad subjects should be allowable. If so, then who disagrees with that? The folks at CFI have invented for themselves a pious foe; they fret that they are being hounded by befrocked men carrying ropes. When in fact, everywhere in the Western World, religion is on the retreat. Smug buffoons like John Stewart have made it a national sport to derive the best clever insult of faith.
Only restless adolescents derive pleasure from burning straw men. We can see this in their contest rules:
To enter, all you have to do is create a phrase, poem, or statement that would be or would have been considered blasphemous. Entries may take any form (haiku anyone?), but must be 20 words or less.
The key words are “would have been considered blasphemous.” This acknowledges forcefully that the battle they fantasize themselves in is long over. Not only that, but they are the victors. This spurious contest casts them as the kind of ungracious winner who shouts “Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!” over his victim.
There is the bare possibility of such a challenge providing a microscopic benefit, but only in a society which ruthlessly suppresses any hostility to the native religion. The martyrs who organized such a contest would rightfully enter into the Annals of Humanity. But that time has long past in these United States, and I wonder if these brave souls will shuffle off to Iran and publicly fly flags denouncing Allah. Much more likely, they will remain safely on the divan and chuckle to themselves Beavis-and-Butthead fashion, “Huh, huh. Religious people are stupid. Huh.” Brave, brave.
Anyway, it’s idiotic to malign the objects of faith when it is the acts of certain men that deserve castigation. This is like a quack doctor cursing the symptoms and ignoring the disease of his patients. Or as senseless as protesting the makers of a knife used by a maniac on a killing spree.
But let us acknowledge that some subjects are sacred to Progressive Man, and that speaking disparagingly of these topics is thought to be blasphemous. Here, then, are my entries for the contest (I emailed them per the rules). I want to emphasize that I am not necessarily endorsing these statements. But I do know what thoughts sting the modern mind. Some of them are low blows.
- The equality of mankind is not desirable and is foolish to seek
- Race A is intellectually inferior to Race B
- Substitute “Sex” for “Race” in the above
- George Bush was a good and wise president
- Barack Obama should not be president
- Theistic men are more moral than atheistic ones
- Israel has the right to defend their country in any way they see fit
What are your entries?
Update, Friday morning: I forgot to include the email address to submit your blasphemies. Here it is: firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also required to have “CFI Blasphemy Contest” in the subject line.