Arx Hereticus

Welcome to the ramblings of a merry heretic, an ex-pat (Tex-pat?) American living in Maryland after having spent six years in Germany. Arx Hereticus is part travelogue, part cooking, part budo, part socio-political commentary and mostly just me BSing.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sit Down and Shut Up?

Recently, the infamous (and utterly incorrect) Sit Down and Shut Up meme has raised its ugly head again, this time in an ad flogging a Kieffe and Sons Ford in Mojave and Rosamond, Calif., Ford dealership radio ad telling non-Christians to "sit down and shut up."

It's been all over the intertubes recently ...

BoingBoing reported on the ad May 26, then again on May 28, saying: "J.W. Horne", who claims he works for the dealership writing the ads posted to his blog, defending his decision, telling "non-believers" and "plain doubters" that we are "in the minority and as loud as you yell and protest, you will always be in the minority."

On May 28, the Bakersfield Californian reported that dealership owner Rick Kieffe has apologized for the ad and said that he didn't actually approve it. Who knows what the truth of all THAT is?

Basically, the meme is this:

"It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore, I have a very hard
time understanding why there is such a mess about having `In God We Trust' on
our money and having God in the Pledge of Allegiance. Why don't we just tell the
14% to Sit Down and SHUT UP!!!"

I've actually received this glurge a couple of times over the years, and know folks who've received in in snail-mail, e-mail and as postings to blogs. I've addressed this before, but feel compelled to do so again ...

Dear Believer,

A lot of you really want people like me to "Sit Down and Shut Up." You say we're a minority, and that the USA is a "Christian Nation" ... and that we're inconsequential and irritating to the "Christian Majority" because we're beginning to stand up for our (non) beliefs and defend the Constitution and the First Amendment.

Fact is, the "Christian Majority" is a myth. Amongst that "majority", the
several various denominations can't even agree on what the term "Christian"
means, much less about doctrine and dogma.

Many "Christians" believe the folks in the church across the street aren't
True Christians (tm) and are damned to hell; and vice-versa. Catholics believe
Baptists will bunr, Baptists know Mormons will burn, Mormons are positive that
Methodists won't make it into their highest level of Heaven, and Methodists aren't too sure about the Pentacostals. And we haven't even touched upon the other Abrahamic faiths (Judaism and Islam) or the non-Abrahamic religions.

If you start stripping away the contention, the spite, the back-biting (and
stabbing) and sheer hatred that exists between the various flavors of
Christianity, you ain't got much left to be a majority with, Bubba.

Some estimates (look up Pew and the Barna Institute figures, for instance)
put the unchurched (i.e. not religious - leaving the remaining folks divided
between various Christian sects AND other religions ...) at anywhere between 9
and 16% of the American population.

Today, the US Census Bureau puts the population at about 301,139,947. If we take a conservative estimate of 10% of American who are unbvelievers, we're STILL looking at about 30,000,000+ Americans who don't believe in the god that you do.

You want to silence 30 million voices, strip their rights to freedom of
(from) religion and freedom of speech?

Of course you do. Not all of you, but some very vocal and persistent folks like the guy who did the Ford ad, do ...

Fact is, though, the unreligious are the fastest growing 'religion' in the
USA. You're fighting a lost battle and your rear-guard is getting


30 million of your atheist/agnostic/apatheist neighbors, colleagues, relatives, friends,
team-mates, store-clerks, teachers, students, cops, firefighters, Soldiers, meter-readers ...


Post a Comment

<< Home