April 02, 2008

Somebody Gets It

It's always heartening when I read something written by someone that reflects something that I've been saying for a long time. this LA Times opinion piece does just that.

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.

Wimp.

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.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 12:05 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Hey, on the up side you're getting into heaven and they're not, right? I'd tend to run from anything Jonah Goldberg said, but that's me. - temple

Posted by: Temple Stark at April 06, 2008 11:18 PM (gqn3v)

2 First off Bozo, the Darwin fish denies God in general, whether you call it God or Allah. As for false bravado, I've had my car keyed, I got cut off and not to mention flipped off just yesterday by a nice christian gentleman who saceamed as he passed "You're gonna burn in hell!" Yes, I find "srtong" Muslims as annoying as "strong" Christians but it is not Muslims who come to my door to evangalize. It's not my Muslim neighbors who constantly ask me and my family to "visit" their church. It is not Muslim children telling my kids that they are going to hell because their parents don't take them to church. If Christians have died for their beliefs, oh well, that's their problem, get over it.

Posted by: Rudq at July 27, 2008 05:30 AM (JqKtN)

3 Rudq, First of all, thanks for proving my point. You're a perfect example of the kind of tolerance that people practice -- in fact, you'd make a pretty good fundamentalist yourself. Now to correct a few factual errors: The Darwin fish is a direct ripoff of an explicitly Christian symbol. The fish is an ancient Christian symbol, dating from the late first century, It has nothing to do with any other religion or deity at all. SO no, you're not "denying" Allah or anyone else. If you think so, you're mournfully ignorant of history. And comments like "If Christians have died for their beliefs, oh well, that's their problem, get over it." perfectly illustrate to me the problems with atheism -- a definite lack of concern and compassion. I'm sorry you've encountered some idiots who claim to be Christians. Unfortunately, there are some in every bunch; thankfully, they're in the minority. I've encountered many atheists who are exactly like those idiot Christians -- in fact, judging from your "Bozo" comment, I'd say you're one yourself. Either that, or you're one of those Internet posers who likes to hide behind a fake name and troll blogs -- guess I'll find out after I email you to see if it bounces or not. As I said, thanks for proving my point. And Temple -- I tend to agree with you about Goldberg. That's what made this article stand out to me, that I actually agreed with him.

Posted by: Warren at July 28, 2008 07:02 PM (Y0tXa)

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