Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Goddamned Podcast #31:
September 11, 2008

THIS WEEK - 9/11 and Its Religious Ramifications

Original audio source

So the U.S. is attacked and the very first thing Congress does is sing "God Bless America." Great for freethinkers, eh? Ex wonders whether fundy political clout increased after 9/11. Did lots of people believe that our country was attacked specifically because we're a "Christian" nation? Chappy thinks that for many conservative Jesoids, Christianity is conflated with Americanism. Philly says the ever-growing atheist community should thank George Bush. Is he right? (00:00)

Evo sees an ugly face peeking out of an open window. Relax, though -- it's probably not you. In response, SI teaches the Herd about the "buttfer" test. Ex asks: Is it possible to imagine a world free of religion? Philly can imagine something, but it involves flatulation and butterflies. OG, channeling evangelicals, compares rejecting religion to rejecting Americanism. Are moderate-to-liberal theists partially responsible for the acts of 9/11? Or does the morality of a society shape its religion rather than vice versa? And what does a Chinese menu have to do with anything? (14:10)

Which came first: the disgusting chicken or the rotten egg? Are nationalism and religion related? Who's persecuting whom? More important question: Can people ever stop playing "the Game"? And why does everybody hate atheists -- particularly Chappy?(30:22)

Another Goddamned Puzzle is solved with the help of some fictional characters, but Ex imagines having to console some puzzlers about his con job for next week. Talk about wack-a-doo ideas: Amazingly, 51% of the world's population believes that Evo exists. Whoever "Evo" is, he (or she) poses a science question about climate change. Why not give it a try while you're still comfortable? (48:19)

Opening Music [00:00]: excerpt from "Another Goddamned Draft"
Bridge Music [13:10]: excerpt from "Waltz of the Dead"
Bridge Music [29:05]: excerpt from "Child of the 80s"
Bridge Music [47:17]: excerpt from "Jesus Loves Me feat. Satan"
Bridge and Closing Music [1:03:57]: excerpt from "As Jazzy as I Get"
(All music: copyright 2008 by Rachel Murie)

This Week's Goddamned Links
Sing along with the U.S. Congress (start around 4:10)
George Bush talks about a crusade
FFRF full-page ad in The New York Times
Hey, Sean, your check is in the mail!

Puzzling Listeners

Another Goddamned Puzzle:
Krystian Kyhl, J-Mil

Evo's Science Quiz:
Krystian Kyhl


Thorum said...

For some reason, I have come up with a completely off-the-wall comment spurred by this week's podcast. While listening to the "society affecting religion" part of the podcast, I was reminded of how I speak. The words and phrases I use. I have been atheist all my life though brought up in a "Christian" home. Went to church on Sundays, etc. Never believed though. Anyway, I am conscious of using these expressions: "Thank God", "God only knows", "Pray for rain", "Someone was looking out" and I am sure I use others too. Recently I have stopped myself from this (if I am quick enough). Perhaps, this is a good illustration of how a religious society can affect even non-believers. I do know it pisses me off...........

The Exterminator said...


Well, Jesus Christ. We all use those Goddamned phrases now and then. How could we not, living in a Christian country like ours. God only knows how we could avoid them. I do try to be extra aware and keep them out of conversations when I'm talking to theists, and I think I'm usually successful. Knock on wood.

PhillyChief said...

That's a good point, but I think your usage of these phrases shows how ingrained they are habitually but also thoughtlessly. Certainly you don't believe what you're saying, nor are you praying for divine intervention in one's health when you say "God bless you" when they sneeze (I've long ago broken myself of that and use gesundheit instead). Most people in America say a lot of things thoughtlessly, like "irregardless", since let's face it, Americans rarely think, so although annoying to hear (like upspeech or "utilize"), I don't always find such comments a serious problem, but I do find them as an example of thoughtlessness.

Well, maybe thoughtlessness is a serious problem after all, like when you thoughtlessly send text messages while trying to drive a passenger train. So perhaps try and make a more thoughtful effort to exorcize the religious shit from your speech, except when cursing, because Jesus Christ, it's fun, goddamnit!

Ordinary Girl said...

I stopped saying "God bless you" or even "Bless you" (which was my substitute for a while) some time ago, but I still notice an awkward silence after someone sneezes. I feel like I'm breaking social etiquette, even if it's a stupid etiquette.

I still say "Goddamn", "Jesus Christ", and "Oh My God" though, but I figure those are more blasphemous than religous. And I only occasionally find myself saying "Thankfully" instead of "Thank God" as I stop the reflex.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

I say "Thank Dog" and let everyone think I'm dyslexic.

PhillyChief said...

Maybe we need a list of secular substitutes.
Thank goodness
For fuck's sake
Oh my balls (or simply "balls!" for short)

Ordinary Girl said...

All good except Gesundheit. I still find it superstitious even if it's lost it's religious meaning. It's like knocking on wood. When someone sneezes I don't need to say something to make sure they don't die. Except that for some reason people think you're rude if you don't.

The Exterminator said...

In New York City, we always said "G'bleshu." Yeah, "God" is lurking in there somewhere, but it's sort of like saying "goodbye," which is a contraction of "god be with ye."

I never say "thank god" or "thankfully." I guess that just didn't become habit for me when I was a kid. I do sometimes say "luckily" or "fortunately."

But these kinds of expressions don't bother me much. They're idioms, like "raining cats and dogs" (I don't believe there are really animals coming down from the sky) or "kick the bucket" (in case you didn't know, there isn't even a small pail). I agree that it's better if we can clean them out of our speech, but there's no way I'm giving up "Oh, Jesus fucking Christ."

PhillyChief said...

I thought it was just wishing the person has good health. What's the superstitious back story for gesundheit?

So why is there a saying for sneezing but none for coughing or something more serious like vomiting? I think if someone suddenly vomits, they'd be more deserving of a well wishing of good health than someone who simply sneezes. Perhaps at that point you just assume the person is fucked and run away hoping you don't catch what they have.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

I thought the superstition behind blessing someone when they sneezed had something to do with the spirit temporarily leaving the body, or some other similar rubbish. I should look it up.

OK. I did. Here's Snopes take on it.

Ordinary Girl said...

I'm not saying it makes sense to say the phrase in one situation above another. I just thought it was kind of weird to wish someone good health when they sneeze. Many people sneeze due to something totally outside of their health. Something may just be acting as an irritant rather than a person actually having an illness.

I don't think anyone knows where the terms originated, but most of the explanations I've heard was that both "Gesundheit" and "God Bless You" were used to ward off ill health. Maybe that's an explanation people made up after the fact though.

I just thought it was strange to say it when I thought about it. There's nothing I can say to make someone feel better. And if they're not really sick, it doesn't seem to be very meaningful. Maybe it is just one of those things that's just become a polite thing to say, but if there is some meaning to it I'd rather be aware than just say it without thinking.

The Exterminator said...

Our listener yunshui had a nice post about this a few days ago.

Anonymous said...

I still say "Goddamn", "Jesus Christ", and "Oh My God" though, but I figure those are more blasphemous than religious.

Saying those terms, especially as a former Christian, is kind of like saying a huge "Fuck You" to Christianity.

Venjanz said...

RE: Philly on the secular sneeze substitutes.

I tend to use one or more of the following:

A) A silent, cold glare.
B) "If you get me sick, I'm gonna murder your children, muthafucka"
C) "Oh, look! A sickly boy! Feeling sick, sick boy?" *guttural laughter*

P.S. Women don't sneeze.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I save my blasphemy especially for times when I am around Christians :)

Most of the time when I stub my toe in private it will depend on the level of pain.

Fuck = for short sharp pain
Jesus Christ = slightly longer
Jesus fucking christ for 3-5 seconds
Sweet Mary mother of fuck 5+ seconds
Anything after that its usually, " Hello I'm in shock and I need to pull that fencing wire out of my foot or I am going to faint"

Thorum said...

My boss just walked in my office and gave me a strange "what the fuck are you laughing at by yourself" look as I got to PhillyChief's comment "Oh, my balls"!!
Jesus Christ!! Fucking hilarious comments!! You all have made me feel better. But what really is nice is now knowing it is still ok to say "fucking hell!!" Maybe a good catch-all phrase would be "Eewwwwww!!". Y'know, like when someone lets out a stinky squeaker at the dinner table and everyone's nose wrinkles.

PhillyChief said...

I will certainly have to start incorporating "sweet Mary mother of fuck" into my speech. Thanks for that.

Thorum said...

Re: PhillyChief

Kind of reminds me of the Chris Farley "Holy Mary, Mother of God" rants he did which were so hilarious.........

The Exterminator said...

My father used to say "Oh, my aching balls!" when he was exasperated. He was very selective about its use, though, and limited it to situations that would be in Category 3 on Sean's BP (Blasphemy-Profanity) scale.

I love the way "sweet Mary, mother of fuck" feels when it bounces around my mouth. Maybe you should change the name of your blog to Shirty Sean, Father of Fuck. Not that I'd want your blog bouncing around my mouth, but maybe some of your other readers would find that to be a pleasurable experience.

The Herd does sell job-loss insurance for laughing at our podcast and/or blog while at work. Make your check out to "Another Goddamned Policy." That may sound risky to you, but I'll let you in on a secret: We're currently in talks with the Federal Reserve Bank, which has offered to bail out our company. So, despite the way we come across in our recorded conversations, we're fundamentally sound.

Thorum said...

Ex - I assume you mean AIG = Atheist Insurance Group?

John Evo said...

Fucking bloody Jesus in a bucket of pigshit. You guys don't know how to curse.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Now if you want a curse, my wife once burnt her hand while cooking. We had guests over and one of the other women was very prudish and very catholic.
My wife usually very demure and reserved let out a,
"Cunt, mongrel, bastard". They never came back.

Thorum said...

I feel so dirty, so misunderstood, as if I have sinned, to know that I posted the first comment here and it has evolved to "Fucking bloody Jesus in a bucket of pigshit" and "Cunt, mongrel, bastard". Perhaps I should go back and re-listen to the "Elitist" podcast.
Naah, I think I'll just go home and drop a hammer on my toe so I can yell to my wife and kids, "Fucking bloody Jesus in a bucket of pigshit cunt, mongrel, bastard for fuck's sake
oh my balls Jesus fucking Christ sweet Mary mother of fuck your hat is too small for your head wench!!!" Yes....yes, much better.

PhillyChief said...

I would be rather proud of myself if I had lead this expletive express out of the station.

Thorum said...

Thanks Phillychief, thanks alot. For the second time this week my boss has given me the "look" for seeing me laughing at my monitor........... And it's not like I can say, "Come here take a look, this is hilarious!!!" either. (Though if I took up Ex's offer of job loss insurance I would consider it.) Here at the "firm", I am already frowned upon for listening to Alice In Chains, T-Model Ford, Michelle Shocked and DEVO at my desk. I suppose it just doesn't "fit in" with working at a bank. Then again if they saw my blog they would piss holy water. (I live in western Maryland......."God's country" you know.

PhillyChief said...

Try Satan and Adam. It could be fun if someone hears what you're listening to and asks about it. "Why, it's Satan and Adam, of course!"

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Hey, just got to the end of the podcast. Thanks for the shout out and link.