Wednesday, March 21, 2012

To Unbless a Road

In the so-called "war on religion" going on in this country, I've often found that the stakes involved--whether a public school can lead a prayer during morning announcements; whether our coins should mention "God" on them--are petty compared to the actual religous oppression going on elsewhere in the world. Still, the "battles" going on here in America are not without their interesting moments.

In the latest round between believers and atheists, neither side has run out of their sense of smug jerkishness. Some Christian group goes and "blesses" a highway in Florida, so an atheist group one-ups them by "unblessing" the highway.

Does this serve to prove anything? I'd think if you're a genuine atheist, you'd see the "blessing" by the Christians as a pointless exercise, sprinkling plain old water around and calling it holy. If that's the case--if the "blessing" is pure hokum--then doesn't it make more sense to ignore it the same way you'd ignore a baby muttering gibberish? By "unblessing" the highway, you're going beyond nonreligion and entering the dark world of anti-religion. You're accepting that there is something to the believers' beliefs, in that they must be countered. If you're a true atheist, any validation of these beliefs is sort of descending into madness, isn't it?

Better, I would think, to argue that the original blessing meant nothing and leave it at that. Or, maybe to ignore the whole thing, because if someone wants to believe that their sprinkling of water is doing some good, where's the harm in that? It's a far cry from forcing nonbelievers to accept something. On a scale of imposing one's beliefs, this seems fairly mild.

I guess though this is better than raging mobs burning one another's homes. Thank God our disputes are this petty.


  1. Personally, I find America's "battles" to be more like mosquito bites. Seriously - if you think you've "made a difference" by "unblessing" a highway....#$)(*#)@(

    But your overall point is correct - if someone were a true atheist - I wouldn't think they'd put enough stock into a blessing to undo it!

  2. Thanks Frankly--that's exactly it. Unless you actually believe in a witch's curse, is there any point in having it reversed?