Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shameless Popery vs. The Oatmeal

Let me start this post by stating that I am not anti religion; I am anti organized religion. I also believe in allowing everyone their beliefs, which is why I attend church every Sunday with my daughter (youngest of 3). She has been baptized (by her choice) and serves as a torch bearer (also her choice) during services.

To start, The Oatmeal is a webcomic, it is satirical in nature. As any comedian, they get their humor from life and exaggerate it to make their joke. The humor is in the mixed reality with the absurd. All comedy is like this.

Now back to my point, from the points listed at Shameless Popery:

I did not see The Oatmeal comic as specifically targeting Catholics. In fact, I saw Mormon, Jewish and Scientology specifically named. Although Catholic was implied in # 2, everything else was implied as Christianity as a whole.

1.) I have had some Catholic parishioners actually tell my eldest child that, "the devil is going to open the earth and snatch your mother to hell for not taking you to church." And yes, actually in those words. My son is now 18 and still, to this day, REFUSES to step foot on church grounds because now he believes church is all about threatening small children.

2.) The point the Oatmeal was making is that in many generations, what the church (yes I know, this looks like the Pope in this particular drawing, still think he wasn't TARGETING Catholicism) didn't understand about science tends to be deemed sacrilegious and shunned. Continued in point 3.

3.) I am not pro-life or anti-abortion, but I have CHOSEN to never have one myself. I am pro-choice. Stem cell research can save millions of lives. Although, the best stem cells come from embryos, stem cells can be harvested without killing embryos. I have seen stem cell studies that came from not only aborted fetuses/embryos, but also from amniotic fluids and placentas.  But again, sacrilegious and shunned due to what? The potential for encouraging abortions or test tube biological material?

4.) At Shameless Popery, this one seems to address The Oatmeal's final thought rather than the fourth panel in the webcomic.

5.) (panels 4-8? on The Oatmeal) I loved the color comparison to shoving religion down a child's throat vs. the explanation that no one really knows as a good way to open a dialog with a child. That's all this was, a place to start. Asking a child what they believe is a lovely idea. When I was a child, we did not go to church. My parents did occasionally send me to church though. The first time I brought home books from the public library on mythology and witchcraft, my dad went ballistic. Suddenly I was turning my back on God. Shoving your beliefs down a child's throat by being ridiculous instead of having an open conversation about religion, I'm sure, has a lot to do with why I oppose the organization of religion as a whole.

6.) I felt the point from The Oatmeal here is that religion and our sexuality should not be one in the same. Telling you that sex is bad and only for procreation as a doctorate, seems unfair. Why would it be enjoyable if it was solely for the one purpose. Yes, as Shameless Popery pointed out, there are responsibilities to our sexual actions, but I don't think religious sanctions are quite the answer.

7.) I believe it is okay to share your beliefs in the proper venue. Going door to door and chasing people down to "spread the word" in any religion doesn't feel right, like a violation of personal space. Sure, some people stand and listen, a few maybe go try out your church and maybe agree with you. Here's what I do: In the past, I would stand there (not wanting to interrupt), smile, nod and say whatever I thought would make them go away without hating me (this makes them want to come back). In the not so far past, I would either hide and hope they went away or  tell them I believed in the devil and slam the door (I didn't, but they went away anyway and rarely came back). Now, I open the door, and very politely interrupt them and say, "No thank you, I'm not interested." (They do sometimes still come back, but rarely and I feel better about myself.) I actually have anxiety attacks when dealing with unsolicited door knockers.

8.) I sort of agree here with both sides. Mockery of any religion by another is not done as a whole. However, I have heard, and even occasionally been part of, discussing what comes across as silly or weird to me  This is where a majority of humanity falls short and The Oatmeal actually gave a decent enactment of conversations I have actually heard.

9.) Sadly, I really do believe people vote based on religion. Religion and politics shouldn't be combined (separation of church and state is in the Constitution), but boy do people love to do it anyway.

10.) Every religion has extremists, and honestly it is a sad place in the world where we can't draw an iconic figure in a humorous way without being a target for murder and mayhem. 

11.) If you would kill for your religion, you are probably violating your religion.

12.) I don't see how allowing others to believe what they choose and you believing what you choose and keeping it to yourself when unsolicited is equal to "placebo" which means "fake." Be honest Shameless Popery, If I came to you, door to door or in public, and told you why I don't agree with organized religion, or if I went door to door explaining Ancient Astronaut Theory you would be annoyed with me. Maybe we could march to the White House and insist that creating hybrid clones of human headed horses is our religious right. I completely understand The Oatmeal telling you to keep it to yourself!
I have always believed in the "Live and let live" philosophy. If I am wrong, I will suffer for it in the end, but that is my choice. As if you are right, you will be rewarded IF you follow what you believe. HOWEVER, one of the core beliefs that MANY Christians violate is, "Thou shalt not judge, lest ye be judged." For that matter civilization breaks that rule in general. You can not say he is a bad person for making his webcomic, because you are judging his opinions. He is judging yours. I am judging yours. We are all going to rot in hell based on this one quote from the bible. So who goes to heaven and ascends? Most likely children and the mentally ill. Because they are the truly pure souls who are have yet to be tainted by real life. Oh, but I can ask forgiveness before I die and go to heaven, right? So I mass murder 1,000 people, and right before the police open fire, I beg God forgiveness and repent. Now I go to heaven, right? Seriously? Now lets move on to marriage equality... So, since the bible, in the old testament says marriage is between a man and a woman, our government should not allow gays to marry. Well the bible also allows us to own slaves in the old testament, shuns women on their monthly "unclean period", and allows you to stone "to the death" people who disobey the bible.
So does it matter if you agree or disagree with me? Not at all. I am educated and honest. I am a good person. Not because I go to church or believe in a deity, but because I am polite. I did not call either argument stupid or insult either party in any way (I hope). However I did notice that in Shameless Popery's rebuttle, the author referred to The Oatmeal's points as "stupid." I find this kind of debating technique offensive.
If you got this far, thank you for reading.

1 comment:

  1. I got this far and thought it overall a good response. (We don't know each other; got here via FB). I think the fundamental error in the popery response was a) pretending that the Oatmeal comic was the only thing ever written critical of some religious beliefs and b) therefore pretending if it wasn't Bertrand Russell it was junk. Of course, the Oatmeal comic was not a considered, deliberate argument against religious belief. Instead it simply pointed out some extremist tendencies that really fo exist for comedic purposes. Unfortunately, many people are only aware of the extremist tendencies and not everything else. Popery should be really concerned about that.