April 02, 2008
Darwin fish annoy me as nothing else does. Maybe because I understand why the fish became a Christian symbol, and remember that people died because the believed. Or maybe because, as Jonah Goldberg says, Christians are an easy target for intolerance like this.
I find Darwin fish offensive. First, there's the smugness. The undeniable message: Those Jesus fish people are less evolved, less sophisticated than we Darwin fishers.
The hypocrisy is even more glaring. Darwin fish are often stuck next to bumper stickers promoting tolerance or admonishing random motorists that "hate is not a family value." But the whole point of the Darwin fish is intolerance; similar mockery of a cherished symbol would rightly be condemned as bigoted if aimed at blacks or women or, yes, Muslims.
Christians aren't rioting in the streets over Darwin fish. There are no official pronouncements decrying this co-opting of an ancient religious symbol. No drivers displaying Darwin fish have been targeted for elimination.
But the most annoying aspect of the Darwin fish is the false bravado it represents. It's a courageous pose without consequence. Like so much other Christian-baiting in American popular culture, sporting your Darwin fish is a way to speak truth to power on the cheap.
Darwin fish folks are trying to show the world their opposition to the "oppression" of organized religion. How about trading in that tired old Darwin fish for something hitting Islam? Oh, yeah -- Muslims will kill you for that.
Christians have died for millennia for daring to speak out against people who could kill them. We've practiced our faith in places where even owning a Bible meant death. We have the courage of our convictions -- well, at least most of us do (that's a post for another day, I think). If you really believe what you think is true, put your money where your faith is.
People of faith do it every day, all over the world. Atheists haven't yet. Guess that says something about conviction, doesn't it?
Yes, I'm in a foul mood. Inconsistency bothers me, no matter where it comes from. I have a lot more respect for an atheist who consistently lives by his convictions than a Christian that doesn't. Unfortunately, I find very few of the former, and a whole lot of the latter.
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