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“”Nothing beautiful and awe inspiring ever came from an atheist worldview. If religion is a banquet of hope, atheism is tofu injected spam.
Brad Stine aka God's Comic (born 1960) is a conservative Christian "comedian", actor, author, and Denis Leary lookalike. Ironically, Leary is stated to be one of Stine's influences and has been described as "a clean Denis Leary." His cleanliness is to acknowledge the lack of profanity and sexual humor in his skits, but his physical appearance, however, looks as if he was thrown out of a posh restaurant for misconduct and woke up on the side of the road with a nasty hangover. Stine even emulates Leary's angry comedic style, however, there is one significant difference; he is dreadfully unfunny. His "comedic style" comes across as incoherent rants that one may expect from an angry YouTube commenter or message board blogger who spends his entire stint on mocking the same targets. His normal targets include atheists, liberals, humanists, political correctness and judgmental Christians.
Stine's style has been described by Newsweek as "conservative" with a "rat-a-tat delivery" and by The New Yorker as "frantic," "conservative," and "ADHD." His primary influences include Denis Leary, George Carlin, Alan Keyes, Bill Cosby, Sam Kinison, Robin Williams, Bill Hicks and Steve Martin. However, unlike these and a lot of other comedians, he does not use profanity or sexual humor because of his conservative Christian faith (not to mention being an unfunny schmuck). He has claimed that his conservatism has sometimes resulted in the loss of appearances. He argues that much of his more extreme material is facetious and satire, getting riled up for humorous effect to make a point.
Views on atheism
Stine has a complete disdain and cranky view toward atheism. He expresses this notably through is "comedic skit" called Atheism is Irrational as well as his "appropriately" named web blog, Let There be Pee on Earth, both stand out as particularly hostile in his treatment of secular humanists and atheists. In it, he appears to be waging a war against them in response to some perceived threat to his cherished belief system and way of life. To some extent, the threat may indeed be very real for him. For him, he is engaging in a persecution complex behavior that acts as if atheism is the mother of all that is evil. Of course, he overtly engages in an embittered act of hypocrisy, since he attacks humanists and atheists with precisely the same zeal which he condemns. He apparently doesn't realize that this only fuels the flames of the culture war.
Atheism is Irrational
Probably Stine's most well-known "comedic skit" is Atheism is Irrational where he goes on a painfully unfunny rant to explain why atheism is dumb to his easily amused audience. He does this by using some weak arguments, which through his smug satisfaction believes to be "gotcha arguments" against atheists. Here are the following arguments he makes.
- Argument #1
- Premise A. Atheists are upset/offended that their “little stinking 'niche market’ isn't being stinking represented."
- Premise B. Atheists want, “Under God,” taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance because God offends them.
- Premise C. Atheists do not even believe God is real. Conclusion: Since Atheists don’t believe God is real, it is irrational that they should be offended by said God and His name being in the Pledge. He frames his conclusion in the form of a question: “DUDE! You’re an atheist! You don’t even believe God is real! How can He offend you?!”
- Counter-argument #1: So far at premise A. goes, that is just a subjective and anecdotal assertion that Stine is making with no evidence presented. We would not, of course, expect him to give statistical evidence for his claim during a stand-up comedy routine, but this needs to be said, no atheist (majority speaking of course) would want the government blowing a trumpet for atheism like many believers do for theism. If the federal government put forth a vote to see if people wanted, “There is no God,” on our legal tender, I would vote against it. It is the government’s job to guarantee freedom of, and freedom from religion, not to push a particular religious ideology. Individuals should be able to share their beliefs publicly unless dangerously disturbing the peace or maliciously infringing on the rights of another.
- Counter-argument #2: Onto premise B, atheists do not find Under God, offensive; the problem is that the government compels it to say this in the official Pledge of Allegiance. I would be very surprised if Mr. Stine knew at the time he wrote that “bit” into his act that the phrase, Under God, was not even in the Pledge until 1954. American politicians did this because felt the need to batten the hatches of their ideology against the Red Scare of Communism at that time. From 1892 to 1954, the Pledge was alright without, “Under God,” in it. Today many believers think if the phrase got removed, the Nation would fall apart, which is pure poppycock. Also, for a Christian, the God being spoken of in that phrase always has an equal sign to Jesus, Yahweh, or the Triune Godhead depending on the denominational doctrines the individual holds to be true. They know God isn’t talking about Allah, Zeus, Vishnu, etc. in the Pledge. We all comprehend that because Christians are the mark majority of Americans, the God in the Pledge implicitly means the Christian God. This usage is an infringement on the rights of Americans who believe in another god. The Pledge is entirely complete without any proclamations about invisible, supernatural beings. It isn’t a matter of needing my "niche market" asserted, so to speak. It is an issue of the protection of religious liberties for all Americans.
- Counter-argument #3: Premise C spills directly into the concluding question; “How can He offend you?” Well, “He” doesn’t offend me. I do not make a knowledge claim that there is no god somewhere in the universe playing hide and seek. I assert that there is not currently enough evidence to persuade me that any god exists. That said, there are many things about the portrayal of the Judeo-Christian god that can be offensive. Still, that is not the issue at hand. The issue is the fact that the government pushes a particular ideology that supports theism specifically in the Pledge, on our currency, and in a multiplicity of other ways. It is ironic that Stine uses another mythological creature, the unicorn (mentioned in the Bible in multiple passages), to compare his God to for the sake of mocking atheists. But, Stine is missing the point by a mile. As he smirks with self-satisfaction in the video, he does not realize that the average American atheist has heard similar arguments ad nauseam. My favorite is, “Hey! You don’t believe in Santa, but I don’t see you running around talking against him!” (sigh) The thing is, atheists don’t have the majority of Americans trying to use the government’s authority to push a belief in Santa, tell us we’ll be tortured forever in an imaginary place for not believing in Santa, and try to force legislation that promotes doctrines that Santa taught. No one prevents two loving adults from marrying based on what Santa said. I also know that though Stine is mocking atheists for being “freaked out” by “God” being in the Pledge, if “Allah” were in the Pledge, he would see the situation much differently. It isn’t a matter of whether one believes in (or Stine’s) particular god or not, the issue is that many Christians in America expect the government, State, and Federal, to trumpet their individual beliefs to the rest of us. That is unconstitutional. To sum up that whole segment of the routine, Stine asks, “Who is more irrational… the guy that believes in a God he doesn’t see or a guy who is offended by a God he doesn’t believe in?!” Well, Mr. Stine, you must not recognize that part two of that question bases on a straw man assertion. We are offended by the people asserting the god we don’t believe in who have an expectation that we should shut up while they attempt to manipulate the religious dialogue in our Nation by using the government as a missionary organization. We aren’t offended in some direct way by a being that we reckon to be imaginary. The definition of “irrational” is: “not logical or reasonable.” So, it would be irrational in my thinking to assert a definitive belief in a specific being that is invisible and for which there is not sound evidence. It is rational to be put off by said person’s attempts to trample my religious freedom via the government.
- Argument #2
- Premise A. Christians believe life has meaning and purpose, as well as believe in the ideas of love, honor, nobility, and courage.
- Premise B. None of those ideas are “in matter and molecules.” (Whatever that means; He must not realize that his body and brain are made up of matter and molecules)
- Premise C. These ideas could not come from humans or have evolved since evolution “says” that “whatever happens to survive is all that matters… Right and wrong doesn’t exist. Culture just creates it as it goes.” Conclusion: “You’ve got to be kidding me. You see God in his handy work. How can you not see that?” Also, there is the implicit conclusion that the evolutionary process is not sufficient to allow the development of the aforementioned social virtues.
- Counter-argument #1: Well Mr. Stine, if you assume that atheists find no meaning or purpose in life, you must have never had an honest and open conversation with an atheist. I can honestly say that I find more purpose in this terrestrial life now than I did as a believer. This world IS my “home.” I’m not just “passing through.” Though I will surely die, it is the only home I’ll ever have. Not only that, it is the only home my progeny will have. So, I want to leave it better than I found it. Trying to make the world a better place is not just, “Polishing the brass on the Titanic,” like I have heard many preachers say. I am not looking for Jesus to come bail us out with the rapture. I don’t believe that I am seated in heavenly place next to Jesus. I am right here. My family, my friends, and even strangers give my life immense purpose. Nature is beautiful, music is numinous, poetry is moving, philosophy is challenging, science is encouraging, and the universe is awe-inspiring. Love is a mystery, joy is a cherished commodity, and a feeling kinship with, and duty to my fellow humans is tacit. No god required.
- Counter-argument #2: Evolution, via natural selection, is an established, scientific fact. If after reading that you immediately reply, “NO! Evolution is just a ‘THEORY!’ Duh!” then it is suggested that you study what a “theory” is in science because you don’t know what you are saying. Evolution demands cooperative populations. We would not even exist currently as a human species had we not developed and possessed inherent values such as fairness, altruism, compassion, etc. Even our very distant cousins (primates) in the animal kingdom possess such qualities. The fact that Stine has an impoverished conception of evolution and humanity shows that theism further undermines the credibility of his poor arguments and weak assertions.
Let There be Pee on Earth
In this hate-filled blog, a cluttered response to the War on Christmas, Stine states, "The atheist idiot ideology is at it again. Apparently taking umbrage with a 19-year tradition of putting a nativity scene and Christmas tree on the lawn of the Washington state capitol they responded with a placard denouncing Christianity as a fairytale and also state that many of the Christmas traditions like choosing December 25th and decorating trees was stolen from the pagans."
The fact that the December 25th date was stolen from the pagans in the 4th century CE is indeed agreeable at this point. Even Christian scholars concede this point. Under Emperor Constantine, this date (also the birthdate of the Roman savior-god Mithras) became merged with Jesus' birthday to unify both Christians and pagans. The New Testament never actually specifies December 25th as the birth of Jesus: in fact, it indicates a birth sometime in Spring or early Summer whenever shepherds kept watch over their flock (Luke 2:8). He undoubtedly sought comfort in the false assurances of favorite apologists like Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel, but he ought to know that informed skeptics and critical scholars aren't buying their bullshit.
Regarding the charge of pagan thievery, Stine whines, "Only an atheist could be self-deluded enough to believe insulting a religion they don’t believe in by sticking up for a religion they don’t believe in could be considered rational." Only a dimwitted demagogue could be dumb enough to think that atheists are "sticking up for a religion they don't believe in." There's no double-standard here: atheists are equal opportunity insulters with logic and reason by their side. In regards to reason, he feels that "Reason, after all, is the god of the atheist." You heard right; Stine thinks "reason" is a bad thing. No wonder he believes what he does. Virtues like reason, rationalism, logic and critical thinking are the Devil. Fucking Plato!
He then continues by saying "Atheists have been emboldened in recent years not to debate the tribe but instead to insult, malign, attack, disparage, and crap on those of us who hold to a traditional Christian worldview." Au contraire, Mr. Stine. While indeed some atheists do nothing but produce negative visceral toward believers, many are more earnest to engage in friendly, constructive debate with believers of all faiths, and the gesture never involves reciprocation. Of course, since all atheists come across as mean-spirited assholes to Stine's perspective, why should one bother to express any cordial dialogue from someone like him? In response to that question, his next statement further cements his bigotry and irrational disdain toward atheism, "Nothing beautiful and awe inspiring ever came from an atheist worldview." Apparently, Stine seems to incline to only think about the likes of atheistic dictators like Stalin, Castro, Mao, and Jong-Il. He probably has never given notice to the works of Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, George Orwell, Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, Bruce Lee, Gene Roddenberry, Steven Soderbergh, John Lennon, or George Carlin. Judging by this statement alone, he most likely restricts "beautiful and awe inspiring" to the likes of Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Jon McNaughton, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell.
Stine has appeared in minor roles in a handful of low-production Christian movies, including Welcome to Paradise, Sarah's Choice, Homeless for the Holidays, Christmas with a Capital C and Persecuted.
- Let There be Pee on Earth by Brad Stine Beliefnet