Another Mass Shooting.  More Thoughts and Prayers.

Y ’all, I’m tired…this shit makes me so mentally and emotionally exhausted.

I used to ask myself:  How many tragedies have to happen before we do something? But after a guy walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 kids and Congress did nothing…we, as a country did nothing, I stopped asking.  We decided then that guns were more important than the lives of children, so I stopped wondering what it would take to get people to drop their guns and do something.  If the lives of 20 children in a school didn’t do it, nothing ever would. So each time I see something like this on the news…the Orlando shooting, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs… I mourn the victims, sick to my stomach because I know I CAN’T do anything to change it, our government WON’T do anything to change it, and this WILL happen again…maybe not for a couple of weeks or a month, if we’re lucky.

In the U.S. we average 1.08 mass shootings per day.  ONE. MASS. SHOOTING. PER. DAY.  You can tell me that’s not about guns until you are blue in the face and I still will never believe you. Why? Because it IS about fucking guns. No other country in the world has problems like this because no other country in the world has more guns than people.  Not one.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reported that the number of guns manufactured in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2010 and 2013 from 5.5 million to 10.9 million…and most of those guns stay on U.S. soil with only 400,000 exported in 2013 (so fewer than 4%).  The gun homicide rate in the U.S. is over 25% higher than in any other high-income country. And guns kill over 1,300 children in the U.S. EVERY SINGLE YEAR. And we do nothing. Except produce and sell more guns.  And pray…which is really what this article is about, so I’ll get off my gun soapbox (since clearly it will never do any good anyway).

Thoughts and Prayers

So this morning I was watching the news in the aftermath of the Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting…once again I watched in horror as I got ready for work…nearly in tears as they talked about the families and the children that we mercilessly killed for apparently no reason (as if any reason would make it any better).  Anyway, Chris Cuomo was interviewing the governor of Texas (Greg Abbott…who of course has an ‘A’ rating from the NRA) and Chris asked what he feels his responsibility as a leader of the community is in a situation like this. You know what this asshole said??? (Paraphrasing) ‘Well Chris, there is evil in this world and all we can do is rely on the power of God.’

I’m sorry…the what, now?  My sadness was immediately overcome by anger.  Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these people?  The governor of Texas thinks that the way to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people is to “work with God.” Where was your god when these people were getting mowed down yesterday morning, Governor? There is nothing more useless that anyone can do than sending people thoughts and fucking prayers. When things like this happen, I have to pretty much stay off social media because I can’t keep the outrage over the “thoughts and prayers” brigade to myself.  I find myself screaming at my screen ‘FOR FUCK SAKE, GO ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING’ whenever I see them out in force.

And the Sutherland Springs shooter was apparently an atheist

Of course he was…so today it was worse than most other days…because according to the news, this guy was an atheist. There are people on the news talking about how the shooter ‘preached atheism’ as if that is a real fucking thing. But people (Christians) will see it and believe it. Because they don’t know the first thing about what being an atheist means and they remain ignorant of it willfully.  I went to Hemant’s Facebook page to the visitor’s section (since there is a screenshot of the shooter’s FB profile and he just happened to ‘like’ The Friendly Atheist) to see what kind of shit he was getting and it wasn’t exactly pretty.  There weren’t as many messages as I thought there would be, but atheist activists and other well-known atheists are definitely taking a hit over this one.

For any Christians (or other religious people) who might be reading this, we (atheists) don’t have any sort of unifying dogma or belief system. BUT of the atheists I know and know of (and that’s a lot), exactly NONE of us condone this kind of behavior for any reason, period.  I may not like your religion, but I am a humanist and I care about YOU. I care about the victims of this (and every other) shooting.  But I can’t do anything about it or anything to stop the next one without your help. And help does not consist of thoughts and prayers.  Christians continue to think and pray and rely on the power of god.  It’s been just over 500 days since Orlando.  There have been over 500 mass shootings.  There have been zero actions from Congress or the President.  Over 600 people have died.  Nearly 3,000 people have been injured.  If religious people want to do that shit on their own time, fine…but right now is the time to demand change.  Choose right now that our children and families are more important than arsenals and let’s actually do something to stop the next one.

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#GodlessPolitics: The Confederate Flag

There has been some concern in the public about the Confederate flag being taken down and it’s impact on Free Speech. There are some key things to know about this situation.

  1. It has no effect on Free Speech.
  2. The LGBT flag isn’t replacing the Confederate flag
  3. What think of as the confederate flag isn’t the official one, rather it is a battle flag.
  4. You can still fly the confederate battle flag all you want to.

Watch the full video here:

Why the “Dred Scott” defense fails

Today I read an article by Neil Carter on the Godless In Dixie blog that points out the hilarious failure of a particular argument used by a lot of popular conservatives. This is the “Dred Scott” defense and it’s best exemplified by good ole Mike Huckabee:

What if no one had acted in disobedience to the Dred Scott decision of 1857? What if the entire country had capitulated to judicial tyranny and we just said that because the Supreme Court said in 1857 said that a black person wasn’t fully human—suppose we had accepted that, suppose Abraham Lincoln, our president, had accepted that, would that have been the right course of action?

Well that sounds a bit suspicious… at least it should and it did to Neil. Neil goes on to explain the specifics of the Dred Scott case:

The SCOTUS fail they keep referring to is the one in which a slave named Dred Scott, who had been living on free soil, sued for his freedom in 1846. The case took eleven years to finally culminate in a 7-2 Supreme Court ruling in 1857, and he lost his bid for freedom.  The reason?  Because the court deemed that people of African descent didn’t deserve the same rights as everyone else.  Even though Scott’s owner had moved to a state in which slavery was illegal, his status as human property couldn’t be changed because in order for him to sue his owner for his freedom, he would have to have the same rights as everyone else. But what rights does a slave even have in the first place?  The court decided they have none.

Sooooooooo lemme get this straight Huckabee & Co.

You’re trying to use a supreme court case in which they denied basic human rights to a class of citizens that are now of course recognized as humans that deserve the same fucking rights. A decision that would seem so racist and bigoted now that it’s quite literally unable to happen. You’re using that argument in support of denying a class of citizens basic rights that they deserve… effectively upholding the original SCOTUS ruling in the Dred Scott case…

(H/T Neil Carter)