Please note: This is very disgusting stuff. Don't read further if you're squeamish.
"Duck Dynasty" star and conservative icon Phil Robertson told a gruesome, vivid story on Friday about the hypothetical rape and murder of a family to illustrate the perils of atheism, according to audio surfaced by Right Wing Watch.
The website reported that Robertson made the remarks during a speech at a Florida prayer breakfast that was later broadcast by the conservative radio program TruNews.
From the Right Wing Watch report on Robertson's speech:
“I’ll make a bet with you,” Robertson said. “Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him. And then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot them and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him. And then they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now is it dude?’” Robertson kept going: “Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if this [sic] was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.’”
“If it happened to them,” Robertson continued, “they probably would say, ‘something about this just ain’t right.”
Yes, something about this "just ain't right," but Robertson doesn't seem to realize that it's him.
No atheist says that there's no right or wrong. How could Robertson even imagine such a thing? No atheist would say that there's nothing wrong with that scenario. Indeed, it's the Christian who seems to enjoy fantasizing about horrendous violence. What does that tell you?
Besides, Robertson's little story, as sick as it is, doesn't demonstrate that there's a magical judge somewhere in the sky who'll punish such crimes. It only demonstrates that Robertson, and people like him, really, really want to believe that.
Christians imagine an ultimate judge, because they want to think that people they don't like will be punished, eventually, whatever happens to them in this world. And they want to think that deserving people - themselves, of course, and people like them - will be rewarded,... eventually.
Maybe that's a nice fantasy, but so what? Atheists aren't competing over fantasies, to see who can invent the nicest one.
And in the real world, it's useful to recognize that justice, if it's to come at all, must come from us. We must work to defend the innocent and determine justice, because there's no magical solution if we fail to do that ourselves.
We must work to protect our environment, to save ourselves from ourselves, because this is the only Earth we've got, this is the only life we've got, and if we don't do it, no one will.
And we must determine right from wrong, because there are no shortcuts. There is no magic book to tell us that slavery is good and women's rights are bad. (Thankfully, the faith-based are very good at ignoring what they don't want to believe, even when it's written in their own Bible.) There is no magic man in the sky telling us to kill people who work on the Sabbath or burn women alive for having sex.
Sure, when tragedy strikes a Christian family, they might believe something which will make them feel better. (Or not. Often, Christians are led to believe that it's their fault, somehow, because otherwise 'God' would have defended them.) But whether comforting or not, is there any reason to believe that it's true?
Some of us think that the truth matters.