Religion poisons everything

April 6, 2009
I Heart Madoff

I Heart Madoff

Columnist Rabbi Avi Shafran is  infamous for his anti-atheist bigotry, often blaming the world’s problems on the godless set. But now he’s written something so absurd one wonders whether he knew that April Fools was even over. Take this opening line, for instance:

Something tells me I won’t make any new friends (and might even lose some old ones) if I confess to harboring some admiration for Bernard Madoff.

And it only goes further downhill from there. Here’s the next sentence:

And to make things worse, I can’t muster much for Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who safely landed a full commercial airliner in the Hudson River back in January.

And it only goes further downhill from there. Later he writes:

What is more, Madoff likely began his crime spree in the hope of rewarding, not swindling, investors, and by the time it became clear he wouldn’t be able to do that, he was already deeply entangled – and daily becoming more entangled – in the web he wove.

Yes, and obviously Madoff intended to use all that money he stole to save Christmas, cure cancer, thwart the Nazis, and end the Middle East crisis. Aww! Now I feel sorry for him and the 65 billion dollars he stole. Let’s buy him a present. GIVE ME A FUCKIN’ BREAK!! The man ruined more lives than Genghis Khan!

None of that, though, is to belittle the great pain Mr. Madoff caused, and is certainly no cause for affording the iniquitous investment broker respect. No, what I admire about him has to do with his owning up to his crime.

Oh, well that’s different. Since he owned up to it, let’s just pretend it never happened. See Hitler, all you had to do was own up to the Holocaust and Rabbi Avi Shafran would have admired you.

Instead, though, he chose to essentially turn himself in and admit guilt.

Was that before or after they cuffed his ass and hauled him into court?

He apologized to his victims, acknowledging that he had “deeply hurt many, many people,” and adding, “I cannot adequately express how sorry I am for what I have done.”

Yeah, he took your money but he returned it in empty apologies. What more do you people want?! If you prink him, [sniffle] does he not bleed?

Why can’t you all just leave Brittney–err, I mean, why can’t you all just leave Madoff alone? Why? Why?

No one can know if those words reflect the feelings in his heart, but I don’t claim any right to doubt that they do.

Really? After years of remorseless bilking fortunes out of people including Holocaust survivors like Elie Wiesel while lying to their faces and betraying their trust, you’re incapable of doubting his words? Seriously? Yeah, somewhere the world’s smallest violin is playing.

Oh, now here’s the best part:

No such sublimity of spirit, though, was in evidence in any of the public acts or words of Mr. Sullenberger. He saved 155 lives, no doubt about it, and is certainly owed the hakoras hatov of those he saved, and of their families and friends. And he executed tremendous skill.

But no moral choice was involved in his act. He was on the plane too, after all; his own life depended on undertaking his feat no less than the lives of others. He did what anyone in terrible circumstances would do: try to stay alive. He was fortunate (as were his passengers) that he possessed the talents requisite to the task, but that’s a tribute to his training, and to the One Who instilled such astounding abilities in His creations (and Whose help the captain was not quoted as acknowledging).

. . .

Sully has reportedly inked a $3 million book deal with HarperCollins, and is also planning a second book of inspirational poems; Bernie, likely for the rest of his life, will languish in jail.

That may make societal sense, but personally, I’m still unmoved by the pilot, and, at least somewhat, inspired by the penitent.

This is why religion poisons everything. When you’re so deluded that you admire a monster while simultaneously deny the virtue of a hero saving 155 people, you’re truly lost.

Of this article, PZ Myers concludes:

My short summary of the difference between religious and secular morality is this: will you obey, or will you strive? Rabbi Shafran’s answer is that you must obey.

My conclusion is slightly shorter.

Rabbi, I think I speak for all of us when I say:  FUCK YOU!


News From Around The Blogosphere 12.15.08

December 16, 2008

House Resolution 847 – Proving even in an economic crisis Congress can still manage to waste more. Seriously guys, this isn’t Brewster’s Millions. Can someone please explain the point of this bullshit?

Remember the Iranian guy who recently blinded a woman by throwing acid in her face? Well his punishment is to be blinded as well. Ya gotta love the Iranian justice system, huh? Not really. As just as this punishment might seem from an safe distance, this is a preposterously barbaric and antiquated form of justice that leaves me once again wondering why that fairly accurate and still fairly accurate lyric in Disney’s Aladdin (‘where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face.’) was ever deemed “controversial.”

Teacher banned from primary school for saying Santa isn’t real? – This is the stupidest story I’ve heard all day. . .

. . .because obvious Santa is real. How else can you explain the Christmas presents, and the devoured milk and cookies?

Harry Potter sticking his broom where it doesn’t belong – I have no issue with Harry Potter. I’m not too into it but lots of other people are. And he seems to piss off a lot of religious kooks. . . and of course I love that. But one place where Harry doesn’t belong is in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

Talking religion with the kids from Children’s Scientology Pageant - I blogged about this show before here. Now the kids in the show are having a conversation about religion, which is hilarious. I’m also very happy to see how many critical thinkers there are in the group.

Have scientists finally solved the yawn? – The notion that yawning is a sign that an individual is tired is an almost universally accepted myth.  As far I’m aware, scientists have had several hypotheses regarding the purpose of yawning but have yet to reach a solid conclusion. But according to this article a new study suggests that yawning is primarily to regulate brain temperature.

Ghosts stop thief? -

A burglar in Malaysia who decided to rob a house while its owners were out of town on vacation claims his getaway was held up for three days by a ghost that took him prisoner.

Wow. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the amazing feats of these alleged ghosts are exaggerated and that the guy’s just very superstitious. But I’ll admit, it makes a good story. But of course once again, where’s the evidence? But a ghost solving crimes sounds like a mid-season replacement show you’d expect to be coming to NBC.

The other day I mentioned that the Japanese were working on capturing dreams. I didn’t realize how close they were. They can already display images from the brain.

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyPesticides In Fruit-based Drinks Outside U.S. – “In the first worldwide study of pesticides in fruit-based soft drinks, researchers in Spain are reporting relatively high levels of pesticides in drinks in some countries, especially the United Kingdom and Spain. Drinks sampled from the United States, however, had relatively low levels, the researchers note.”

Brain Genes: Obesity All In Your Head? – “Is obesity all in your head? New research suggests that genes that predispose people to obesity act in the brain and that perhaps some people are simply hardwired to overeat.

A genetic study of more than 90,000 people has identified six new genetic variants that are associated with increased Body Mass Index (BMI), the most commonly used measure of obesity. Five of the genes are known to be active in the brain, suggesting that many genetic variants implicated in obesity might affect behaviour, rather than the chemical processes of energy or fat metabolism.”

Waste Coffee Grounds: Source Of Biodiesel Fuel – “Researchers in Nevada are reporting that waste coffee grounds can provide a cheap, abundant, and environmentally friendly source of biodiesel fuel for powering cars and trucks.”

THE FUNNIES:

Science explains nothing!

The flu is here – Get vaccinated.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 60 other followers