A late night rant here. Hope this makes sense.
Do other atheists just roll their eyes when they read articles like the one in today’s New York Times by Mark Oppenheimer?
But while Mr. [Marco] Rubio, 39, presented himself on his Florida Statehouse Web site and in interviews as a Roman Catholic, bloggers and journalists have noted since his election that he regularly worships at an evangelical megachurch whose theology is plainly at odds with Catholic teaching.
For much of the last decade, Mr. Rubio has attended Christ Fellowship with his wife and children. He “comes very regularly to worship service” at the church’s Palmetto Bay campus, said Eric Geiger, the executive pastor…
He retains ties to the Catholic Church, too. “On the final Sunday of the campaign, for example, he attended Mass at Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa,” according to an e-mail from Alex Burgos, his spokesman. “On the morning of the election, he attended Mass in Coral Gables.”
Let me paraphrase for you what I just read:
For much of the last decade, Marco Rubio has deluded himself by way of one faith.
But he also deludes himself with another faith in order to gain more votes. Somehow, this is news.
In both cases, his faith has no basis in reality, so who really cares?
Oppenheimer makes the point that “religious distinctions matter less all the time” and I agree. Same bullshit. Different name. It shouldn’t make any difference which (ultimately irrelevant) beliefs he holds to.
Like this sentence highlighting a difference between the Southern Baptists and Catholics:
Southern Baptists practice adult rather than infant baptism, for example…
Guess what? It doesn’t matter if you get dunked in water as a baby or as an adult. Nothing. Actually. Happens. You’ll end up in the same place when you die either way.
I’m sure religion writers get off on this sort of story, because they really want to pin down which faith Rubio and other politicians adhere to. Yes, it’s true that faith may guide a person’s actions so it’s important to know what we’re getting into when we vote someone into office.
But from the atheist perspective, does it make a damn bit of difference whether Rubio’s a Protestant or Catholic?
It’s the same feeling I get when I hear that people were once all up in arms over John F. Kennedy being a Catholic. “Oh no, we can’t elect a Catholic! He’ll take direction from the Pope!”
I want to say to them: Yeah, well, you all elected a bunch of people who think Jesus rose up from the dead… are their religious beliefs any more sane than Kennedy’s?
A message to the reporters: If you’re going to mention candidates’ faith, let’s hear everything. How often do you see reporters really discussing the Mormon beliefs of Mitt Romney? They too often “respect” it because it’s his faith and that’s all that apparently matters. Even though his beliefs are batshit insane. It shouldn’t be “disrespectful” to ask him which parts of Mormonism he buys into.
If candidates want to label themselves with a faith, then let them explain those beliefs Tell us what they are without sugar-coating them. If they think Jesus turns himself into a cracker so we can eat him, let’s hear it. If they think Jews are going to hell, let’s hear it. If they only decided that black people could become priests in 1978, let’s hear it.
Unless candidate say they’re atheists (or some secular variation), my only hope is that their religious beliefs aren’t really all that important to them. It’s just something they bring up to get votes and that’s about the extent of it.