It's been my dubious...pleasure, morbid curiosity perhaps, to make Right Wing Watch part of my blogroll, someplace I go to time and again to keep track of the latest ridiculousness of right-wing extremists. The religious right is featured frequently, so RWW felt the need to mention that as a warm-up of sorts.
In the last few weeks, we have heard Religious Right activists cite Bible verses to declare that those who do not have a proper "fear of the Lord" cannot be wise or have understanding and cannot be a good scientist or mathematician because they do not possess true knowledge.Now, that's from the sorts of folks who believe we coexisted with dinosaurs and suchlike. Yeah, your prescription is a grain of salt, a big one. But that was the setup for the latest instance of some preacher citing Psalm 14:1 again to demonize atheists such as myself -- literally.
It's a fairly short and bitter clip, so I transcribed it with a little help from YouTube -- their automatic captions try, so valiantly.
Let’s discern the spirits here. Here’s this atheist complainer, and can we just say that she’s ruled by a demonic spirit of doubt and unbelief? It’s not just a human sin, not just a choice to doubt, to unbelieve, to disbelieve in god, but to…shall I say defy god. But here’s what the bible says in psalm 14. The fool says in his heart there is no god. What’s inside of those people? Corruption. Their deeds are vile. There’s no one among them who does good. Whenever they say we’re good atheists, no, there’s no one among them who does good. Because god is not ruling in the heart and the holy spirit is what makes good inside of us.So, just another right-wing extremist draping his hate in the bible, who cares? Well. It's not as if he's misinterpreting what his book told him.
1 The fool[a] says in his heart,I suppose one could say (from this verse alone) perhaps the preacher, cited by Right Wing Watch as "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt, may be embellishing somewhat in adding demon possession to the list of offenses. No, seriously, he does appear to call himself "Dr. Chaps." It pops up in the video and does not seem to be a cheeky addition from RWW. Perhaps he has a reference for that demon possession claim out of his book, too. But yes, basically his book is telling him that no atheists do any good.
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
a. Psalm 14:1 The Hebrew words rendered fool in Psalms denote one who is morally deficient.
I do indeed evaluate the god of the bible and find it self-contradictory, impossible, nonexistent. And for that I get to be labeled corrupt, vile, demon possessed. Because for some people doubts are demons, evil spirits. Skepticism is apparently of the devil.
Considering how he makes a living, I can certainly understand why that notion would become an article of faith.
So this is just some preacher who accepts this as reality and chooses to disseminate it as truth, sure. There's also his "Pray in Jesus Name" show. There's also the flock who accepts this preaching. And why not? This book is considered holy; there's two billion people, more, who value it. Those billions may all not subscribe to atheists as demon-possessed; they may look on the verse more kindly and just think me unfortunately hell-bound, foolish, or misguided, perhaps an opportunity for conversion, give it some less incendiary interpretation. But they don't reject it; they don't kick that hate out of their book.
Preachers like this have little influence on my life, but they have some. Preachers like this are just a somewhat more extreme expression of the belief system. Preachers like this help to explain why even our Democratic candidates have to trip over each other trying to sound more religious.
Just another day in right wing world, I suppose.