I love the tolerant attitude of some Americans.
The Land of Freedom.
We presumably have all heard of Wikipedia? The on-line encyclopaedia?
Some Americans have taken great exception to this. So much so that they have started their own.
Now Wikipedia contains millions of articles, so they have a lot of work ahead of them. What on earth could upset them so much that they have to take on such a task?
Well, for a start, apparently Wikipedia refers to dates in the format B.C.E. instead of B.C. and C.E. instead of A.D. There is no difference between these. This is 2007 A.D. and it is 2007 C.E. It’s a bit like Celsius and Centigrade. So why are they complaining? Well, apparently C.E. means ‘Common Era’ and was introduced to remove the religious connotations in B.C. and A.D. so as not to offend non-Christians. But instead it has offended the Christians. So they are re-writing the encyclopaedia!
I suppose next they’ll be changing the days of the week because they are named after Pagan Gods?
There is another thing that galls them.
Wikipedia insists on using ‘foreign’ spelling. Now what is ‘foreign’ spelling? Apparently it is the usage of English spelling in the English language. So the English are speaking a ‘foreign’ language? I love it!!
They say that all of Wikipedia is biassed. In other words, it says things they don’t like. It presents both sides of the story and they don’t like that. It is not Christian enough. It is not American enough.
They give a list of reasons why Wikipedia is biassed. Read it for the laugh.
I came across another classic in John Mortell’s blog. I hope he doesn’t mind me borrowing it?
I love this letter. It shows a logic that is mind-numbing.
So freedom of religion means you have to believe!
And the last sentence – “I don’t care if they have never committed a crime, atheists are the reason crime is rampant”. Wow! That is an argument I’d love to hear debated.
Presumably Alice Shannon is equally intolerant of Islamic Fundamentalists? You’re heading down the same path, Alice.
I’m sorry for constantly harping on about the Americans. But you see, there is a harp on the Irish coinage so I have to.
yeah, we’re a country of wackos. no argument here.
but we’re also a country of brilliance and humor and hard work.
also crime and thievery and trickery.
also scholarly activity and great strides in medicine, and ….
we’re a damn big country there, granddad.
lots to make fun of.
lots to admire.
I know. We are the same here. Unfortunately, our wackos aren’t quite as colourful. They just end up running the country.
Sure I’m only making fun of a tiny minority anyway. I hope……
Just look up god hates fags you will see what it is like here. Proud Atheists Texan. And you have a damn good blog.
What a very, very dim woman!
(Incidentally, attempting not to cause offence isn’t the only reason to use BCE/CE; BC/AD are not, of course, actually centred on Jesus’s birth at all, and the standard system of dates is now used in many areas where Jesus’s birth is fairly irrelevant to most people. BCE and CE also have the benefit of being in the same language.)
Fundamental Christians are just mind-blowing. I recently received an anonymous email on my food blog, telling me that God wanted us to be vegetarian like they were in Eden and I was going to hell for cooking unclean meats and promoting them! WTF? I suppose that’s why Jesus was a vegetarian, because Daddy wanted him to be? Oh wait… the one guy who might actually know and he wasn’t! *SIGH* These people who claim to be doing “Christ’s work” don’t seem to realize that half of what Jesus preached completely contradicts the vengeful God portrayed in the old testament. Reading scripture can be inspiring and bring comfort to many, but when it starts to get taken literally, everything goes wrong! I love how all these people are “pro-life” as in anti-abortion, but when it comes to Capital Punishment, it’s “off with their heads!” Life is life surely? Feck… I’m off! This subject really gets to me! Okay… stepping back… away from soapbox! LOL!
“The USA is so enormous, and so numerous are its schools, colleges and religious seminaries, many devoted to special religious beliefs ranging from the unorthodox to the dotty, that we can hardly wonder at its yielding a more bounteous harvest of gobbledygook than the rest of the world put together.”
-Sir Peter Medawar
If you’re going to lump us all together in one big batch, what’s the point? You should check out the diatribes about conservapedia on http://www.scienceblogs.com. (Mostly american authors)
B – I think you will find in the very first sentence Grandad says “SOME Americans” – I too can be quite sensitive about Irish people bashing Americans, as I lived there many years and my husband and kids are American, but I don’t think Grandad is trying to lump you all together! I think he is just pointing out the absurdity of the situation and of “some Americans!”
Thanks Deborah. 🙂
I very deliberately put in the “some” in the first sentence, as if I thought this was a majority American attitude, I would be seriously scared.
Of course I know they are a small minority, and this is why the article is intended to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Of course the majority of Americans are tolerant to race, colour and creed [and even spelling].
What actually amused me about the letter to the paper was not the obvious lunacy of the writer [I mean to say – who could possibly take that seriously] but rather the policy of the paper that published it. It must have been published for the laugh!
@Robert – That was the main reason they cited [the B.C.E. vs B.C. debate]. The whole thing is daft anyway as a) no-one knows precisely when Christ was born, and b) the calendar has been mucked around with since then anyway. The number 2007 is just a relatively arbitrary number that is internationally recognised. That’s why I was highly amused at the doom forecasters who worried about 2000.
Grandad: The letter is intended as humor, or humour, as you wish. It’s called taking the piss.
Fundamentalists are ignoramuses.
According to Luke, Jesus was born in the reign of Herod the Great. Herod died in the year they would call 4 BC. If one takes into account Matthew’s story of the Magi, Jesus was born possibly two years before that date, maybe 6 BC.
There was a monk called Dionysius Exiguus who began our system of counting the years, in the year now called 525.
If one wanted to be a Fundamentalist one would have to say the current year is 2011-2013 AD.
Fundamentalists are only fundamental about things that suit them. When Jesus says give all your money to the poor, they say, “Ah, but we shouldn’t take this literally”. The same guys are the ones who would persecute Jesus of Nazareth if he was in their little town.
@Henry – Like what I’m doing?
@Ian – You are the expert. And I have also heard that Jesus was born in September or thereabouts?
But does it matter? No. The way we count the years does not alter historical events, or lessen their importance. The calendar is just a commonly accepted international convenience that works. Similarly the use of AD or CE [or vice versa] doesn’t change any facts.
God help us if the fundamentalists suddenly insist that we set our calendars forward by by a few years. I have a hard enough time adapting to British Summer Time.
Are you allowed to call it ‘British Summer Time’? shouldn’t it be UTC +1 (Daylight saving time) or something like that?
The Christmas stories are thought by some scholars to be poetic licence, though if one was making them up it would be a bit odd to include shepherds (who were definitely not respectable) and Magi (who were definitely not kosher).
We can get very Amero-centric in our thinking. It is a place far removed from the rest of the world which has passed the peak of its influence. Smart punters look East to the majority world – India and China hold the future.
Zulu + 1?
I have heard some very strange theories on the Christmas story. On I heard recently was literally incredibly credible, if you know what I mean. However, that is not a topic for a comment or even a post. Much too complex. There are some thing that are not suited to blogging?
yikes, henry, do you really think the letter is ironic? it’s not very skillful, then, because it reads just like actual letters i read every day in our newspaper. ok, a tad more extreme, but …. i re-read it after looking at your posting, and i still think it’s real.
maybe i’m just slow. but hey–don’t blame me. i’m an american!
I must admit, I took the letter at face value. It looks real to me.
I have heard many extreme views here in Ireland, but the press wouldn’t publish them, not because of any form of censorship but simply because the ideas are so far off the beam.
One more comment on this thread, then I’ll push off.
I find the Flying Spaghetti Monster a very good antidote to Fundamentalism.
I have a friend who is a geologist who was especially impressed by the logic of FSMism!
Brilliant!! Where can I join?
So I am a criminal!
‘Fraid so, Phil.
Just keep away from the U.S.
Next time I talked in Chinese my American pals wouldn’t believe I can speak more than two languages without being a commie spy, I can well imagine what they mainland US is going to be.