Aside from the fact that I have an aesthetic appreciation for spiritual mystery, and aside also from the fact that I have a fairly strong desire to have, or at least understand, what people call a religious experience, I'm an atheist. Even if those two asides wouldn't eternally separate me from the bulk of Internet atheists, their absolutely insane failure to engage with the world as it is, while claiming that they're the rational ones, would do the trick. Like, whenever they act like the 9/11 attacks wouldn't have happened without religion, I feel like stabbing. Religion wasn't the motivation--it wasn't even the stated motivation. To believe so is to ignore a trillion facts, American imperialism being a big honkin' one of them. That's just one example; they exhibit the same fanatic blindness on a huge number of fronts. Another that's been pissing me off a lot recently is their assertion that religion, and religious organizations, have been holding back human progress for millennia--an assertion made in the absence of a control (i.e., an alternate universe where human civilization developed without religion), resting on the unquestioned assumption that human progress is in itself necessarily a good, and ignoring entirely the role that many religions have played in advancing knowledge to focus only on their role in suppressing it. In other words, a completely unscientific assertion.
Anyway, I bring this all up because PZ Myers pissed me off the other day. He links to an article about this Reverend Tim Jones, an almost completely awesome (judging by the article*) C of E priest in England who recently gave a sermon saying that if your financial situation leads to a situation where you have to steal, make sure you steal from large corporations rather than local businesses. For some reason that Myers apparently does not feel the need to explain (I'm guessing it's because a religious person said it), he thinks this is terrible advice. I suppose he wants the poor of North Yorkshire to starve rather than steal from multinational corporations.
As for me, my only complaint about the sermon is that it doesn't go far enough. Father Jones should be actively encouraging his parishioners, even those who don't need to, to steal from large corporations. They fucking steal from us enough. It's the only moral thing to do.
Merry Christmas! I should be back in a few days, ready to tell you all about the beautiful acts of consumerism my family will have engaged in on my behalf.
*I don't share his concern about Playboy stationery being marketed to children, but seeing him throw it on the ground in the stores was at least probably pretty hilarious.