Twit of the Week – 01

This week there is a real toss-up between Robert Mugabe, demented incumbent dictator, and Angus Buchan self-appointed prophet and erstwhile potato farmer from Greytown, Kwa-Zulu Natal. Seeing as Mugabe qualifies for twit-of-the-decade, and I have already berated him in a previous post this week, Angus Buchan is the winner this time.
 
Why Angus you may ask? Well, an interview with Angus was broadcast on Carte Blanche last Sunday, probably after his “successful” Mighty Men Conference (MMC) held on his farm, one weekend in April this year. The good evangelist boasted how 60 000 men turned up; he claims they were not invited (“And you’re going to ask me – the next question is – who invited them? I don’t know – they just came. I mean, there were no big speakers here… it was just us.”). Turns out that 80 percent of those who attended were farmers, mostly Afrikaners, presumably looking for a quick-fix to all their problems. The fact that mostly Afrikaners attended is telling in itself; this group are becoming increasingly marginalized in the new Apartheid-free democratic South Africa. It’s easy to see that they were looking for some sort of miracle; maybe Angus could help them pray for a return perhaps, to the days when their bibles vindicated their abuse of black farm workers, and their hegemony on ruling the country.
 
But Angus, from a misguided sense of morality gleaned from his precious bible, decided to preach about the “erosion of masculinity” and how wives should “submit to their husbands”. Yes, this twit was preaching, in the modern era, the paternalistic doctrine so prevalent in the bible of Abraham’s days. This “men wear the pants around here” practise does not belong in the era of equality. Surely there ought to be laws against people who advocate sexism. Not to mention laws against evangelists misleading pitifully desperate people who have no self-respect or self-confidence. There should be free psychiatric help for all people in need of “saving”, to ensure that they don’t waste their money on enriching evangelists.
 
Those who visited this years MMC, coughed up R100 per person for the “privilege”. Considering that about 60 000 men attended, and most of Angus’s costs (by his own admission) were covered by religious benefactors, that’s a good bit of dosh to be pocketing for a weekend’s work. Religion is the world’s best business model. Imagine a business empire where you can sell shares in an imaginary product (salvation), use eternal damnation as your insurance policy/scare tactic/selling point, and make your customers believe that they can expect their dividends to be payed out in the afterlife. Ask Angus Buchan; he’s also discovered that religion sells better than potatoes…

The Atheist’s Cross to Bear

Following the AvC (Atheism vs Christianity) discussion threads on Google Groups, I am constantly amazed (shocked really) at how weak the arguments are, from the faithful brigade. And yet, they persist with weaker and yet more disingenuous arguments, each time they are shot down by Atheist posts. It’s not that hard to visualize them hanging onto a precipice, clutching onto the last few straws in desperation, while we Atheists pull them (the straws) out, one by one. It is pathetic in the extreme. And yet, this penchant to hang onto a discredited ideology, far from indicating a strong sense of perseverance, is an extremely dangerous proclivity.
 
Believers ask us Atheists why we care so much about their beliefs and faith. As a matter of fact, we are sometimes accused about being more concerned, obsessed even, with religion than they are. It is true we are overly concerned about religion and I’ve tried several times to come up with a rational reason why this is so. It has finally dawned on me that we are not so much concerned with religion as we are about the well being of the world. Yes, I now finally understand that Atheists are the world’s minders. We provide rationality and reason in a religious-mad world; we are the only force left that is preventing these religious nut-jobs from plunging us back into the dark ages. It is entirely  possible that if left unchecked they are liable to pre-empt global war to fulfill the “apocalyptic visions as described in Revelations”. As fellow Atheist, Psycho Dave (David W Irish) warns us on his blog Fundamentalist Deceit: An American Tradition, the evangelical-dominionist movement is all too real.
 
As Atheists, we keep the religious crowd, who are potentially fundamentalist, in check. You might say it is our cross to bear. Fellow Atheists, stand up tall and proud everywhere…