July 17, 2005

In Defense of the Religious

The following has been transcribed from a friend's blog on which I made a lengthy comment which decontructs a "joke" forwarded by a M.I.T. professor: (to see the original post click here.)


Forwarded from a Professor at M.I.T.

Dear President Bush:

Congratulations on your victory over all us non-evangelicals. Actually, we're a bit ticked off here in California, so we're leaving. California will now be its own country, and we're taking all the Blue States with us. In case you are not aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and all of the Northeast. We spoke to God, and God agrees that this split will be beneficial to almost everybody, and especially to us in the new country of California. In fact, he's so excited, God is going to shift the whole country at 4:30 pm EST this Friday. Therefore, please let everyone know they need to be back in their states by then.

So you get Texas and all the former slave states. We get the Governator, stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay. We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss. We get 85% of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get all the technological innovation in Alabama. We get about two-thirds of the tax revenue, and you get to make the red states pay their fair share. Since our divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms to support, and we know how much you like that. Did I mention we produce about 70% of the nation's veggies? But heck, the only greens the Bible-thumpers eat are the pickles on their Big Macs. Oh yeah, another thing, don't plan on serving California wine at your state dinners. From now on it's imported French wine for you. (Ouch, bet that hurts!)

Just so we're clear, the country of California will be pro-choice and anti-war. Speaking of war, we're going to want all Blue States' citizens back from Iraq. If you need people to fight, just ask your evangelicals. They have tons of kids they're willing to send to their deaths for absolutely no purpose. And they don't care if you don't show pictures of their kids' caskets coming home. Anyway, we wish you all the best in the next four years and we hope, really hope, you find those missing weapons of mass destruction. Seriously. Soon.

With the Blue States in hand, the Democrats have firm control of 80% of the country's fresh water, over 90% of our pineapple and lettuce, 92% of all fresh fruit production, 93% of the artichoke production, 95% of America's export quality wines, 90% of all cheese production, 90% of the high tech industry, most of the US low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Amherst, Stanford, Berkeley, CalTech and MIT. We can live simply but well.

The Red States, on the other hand, now have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans (and their projected health care cost spike), 92% of all US mosquitoes, nearly 100% of all tornadoes, 90% of all hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, 100% of all Televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia...a high price to pay for controlling the presidency. Additionally, 38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually eaten by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44% believe that evolution is just a theory, 53% that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11 and - most hard to grasp - 61% that Bush is a person of moral conviction.

Sincerely,
California

Who knows if any of the stats are accurate. I love the facetious delivery, though...
posted by fhold @ 12:18:00 PM

At 7:53 PM, JMars said...
Rather than facetious I would use fallacious to describe this bitter rant disguised as humor. Allow me to deconstruct this affront to reason being passed off as some kind of argument.

The first paragraph starts out innocently enough and in good humor except for the advancement of the fallacious idea that all bush voters are “evangelicals”. The Left loves to pit all religious people against those of us who are not exceedingly religious. Lefties love to point out how “divided” the country is as if to say that it is Bush’s fault. Now if pitting religious people against non-religious (a.k.a. secular) people is not divisive rhetoric I don’t know what is. So, it is fallacious to presume that all Bush voters are heavily religious. The thinking man’s leftie should not advance this idea as the backbone of their argument. Also I do find it offensive that the supposedly tolerant, non-judgmental Left constantly levies judgments on religious people as being somehow idiotic and void of rational thought. I’m not religious at all and in fact find religion a bit silly at times but I would never presume to know better and/or make a judgment on those of us who practice religion. This is an example of how the left preaches tolerance but will only tolerate you if you agree with them.

The second paragraph is a seemingly arbitrary and rather childish listing of good things in America and how they all occur in blue states and bad things in America and how they occur in red states. Perhaps the most egregious fallacy is that he supposes that the democrats are the party of “America’s venture capital and entrepreneurs”. Wait a minute I thought that the big bad Republicans are the party of corporate America, wall street and venture capitalist businessmen. Every small business owner I know is a republican because they prefer a more hands off government and a decrease in the scope and influence of government. The fact is that Wall Street, Corporate America, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and small businessmen are not in favor of expanding government and increasing taxes for social programs like the Left is. Democrats so often try to run away from what they actually are. So much so that they don’t even call themselves liberals any more. They use the euphemism of “progressives” now. The word liberal itself has become a pejorative term. Why don’t lefties revel in what they are rather than run away from the fact that they are for raising taxes and expanding government? They should be proud socialists rather than pretending to be pro-business and pro-growth. Later in the second paragraph the true liberal venom and vitriol comes out when he advances the idea that only “bible thumpers” eat at McDonalds. In this case his anger overwhelms any concerns he may have had to be accurate. You’re telling me that none of the stoners in California nor at Northeast college campuses eat at McDonalds. Comments like this betray the liberal's elitism, as if to say “only us non-religious enlightened people should have a say about public policy because we at the New York Times editorial room and Ivy league College campuses know what is right for America. Again, as long as you agree with the elites they will allow endless discussion. They react with cartoon-like anger to any one who dares to call in to question their progressive secular agenda.

The third paragraph in this opus (how’s that for facetious?) addresses the war in Iraq. Apparently his position is that the war in Iraq has “absolutely no purpose”. In the post “The Siege Of London” on my blog I attempt to explain to anyone who still doesn’t understand what the war on terror entails. In simple terms: The terrorists are against Human Freedom. The only way to beat the terrorists is to advance the banner of human freedom and democracy into their homelands. For better or worse, the Bush administration chose to clean up the Iraq situation first. Now we have a base of operations in the Middle East in case we need to clean up any other nearby festering cesspools of irrational hatred and/or fascist regimes. I suppose this M.I.T. professor has his own vision on how to conduct a pro-active war on terror. I wonder, does he propose we do nothing and hope the terrorists lose interest and go away? Whatever the case, his position, if you can call it that, is untenable. Either he believes we should not be conducting a pro-active war on terror, which is idiotic, or he has other ideas about how to conduct such a war. Any responsible rhetoritician should have an alternative proposal to an idea that they call into question or shoot down. On this question and many others all we get from the left is negativity and Monday morning quarterbacking. The closest thing that I have heard presented as an alternative vision on the war on terror is the old tired idea that “we need to get other countries involved” or “go after Osama Bin Laden more”. First of all, it is other countries that need to realize that they have to get themselves involved. No amount of sweet-talking or diplomacy can get a country to do something that they themselves don’t believe is a problem for them.


On the matter of going after Osama Bin Laden more I would ask left-leaning rhetoriticians to cease and desist using that argument because they are embarrassing themselves when they betray their lack of understanding of the military situation on the ground as well as implying that if we were to get Osama then the concern of Islamic Fundamentalist terror would no longer be an issue. Bin Laden is a small piece of the puzzle. Anti-Western Islamic terrorism goes much deeper and is broader in scope than Bin Laden or even Al Quaeda. We will be battling terrorism for many generations after Bin Laden dies. Our only hope is to advance democracy in these countries that spawn such hatred of the West. As far as the tactical situation regarding the going after Bin laden in the caves of Afghanistan; I have heard from military strategists that even if we were to put every soldier in the whole United States Army into the mountains we would most likely fail to find him and incur unacceptable casualties. The reality is that the terrain of this trackless mountain landscape is such that when combined with weather situations (which do not allow helicopters in at all) our entire army would be essentially swallowed up. The only other military option vís-a-vís Osama is to nuke the entire area. Just imagine the collateral damage that lefties would point to as evidence of America’s heavy handedness if we were to take such a course of action, not to mention the geo-political fallout that would occur when a massive nuclear cloud floats over India, Iran or China. Getting Bin Laden is too politically and logistically costly as well as being practically irrelevant to solving the overall problem of Islamic terrorism. We’re probably better off letting him die of natural causes anyway due to the fact that killing him would just be a rallying cry to future generations of terrorists pointing to The Martyr, Osama Bin Laden.

The end of this diatribe that I am deconstructing is a little too silly to even comment on. Wow, blue states control 93 percent of artichoke production, how telling.

In conclusion, I hope that the left can come up with some more compelling arguments other than religious people are stupid and that the war in Iraq is bad even though we have yet to hear an alternative approach to conducting a pro-active war on terror. I pray that this M.I.T. professor is not in the political science department, otherwise college campuses have become even more elitist, anti-religion, anti-war, and out of touch with the common man (A.K.A. the average voter) than I had known about.

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