Wednesday, February 17, 2016


That headline pretty much sums up my response to this story, which has to rank up there as one of the dumbest things I've ever seen on the Internet - and as regular readers of this blog know, that's really saying something. I talk a lot about how fundamentalists Christians seem like they inhabit their own insular universe, and this shows just how far removed from everyone else's reality they've managed to get.

So here's the deal. As just about everyone in the world now knows, United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in his sleep last weekend at a remote ranch in Texas. Scalia was a staunch conservative, so conspiracy theorists already are spinning scenarios in which he was murdered by some mysterious liberal assassin, rather than the official explanation of death by natural causes.

Scalia was very private about his health, but apparently he was suffering from some medical issues that could have contributed to his death. He was also 79 years old. But according to Christian radio host Rick Wiles, none of that is relevant. Wiles contends that not only was Scalia murdered, he was murdered by President Obama as a sacrifice to Lucifer to commemorate the Roman holiday of Lupercalia.

Yeah, that was about my reaction. And here I thought that Obama was supposed to be a secret Muslim.

Wiles explained that the “Luciferian” “devil-worshipers” who control the government are out for blood, noting that Lupercalia is observed between February 13 and 15. Scalia’s body was discovered on the 13th. “There’s always human sacrifice involved,” he said, claiming that Scalia was “killed” to mark the beginning of pagan fascism ruling over the U.S.

“The 13th was the 44th day of 2016, Obama is the 44th president of the United States,” Wiles said, “so you have this numerology thing taking place.”

Wiles said that the assassins who killed the conservative justice “deliberately left the pillow on his face as a message to everybody else: ‘Don’t mess with us, we can murder a justice and get away with it.’ And I assure you, there’s a lot of frightened officials in Washington today, deep down they know, the regime murdered a justice…. This is the way a dictatorial, fascist, police state regime takes control of a nation.”

Now I do realize that to fundamentalist Christians, there's not much difference between a devil-worshipper and anyone who doesn't share their exact form of Christianity. If Wiles wants to spout off about that I'll defend his right to do so, even when I think he's being an asshole - which is apparently a lot of the time. As a matter of theology, the mechanics of salvation can't be empirically disproved.

But it's a far different thing to assert that everyone who is "unsaved" according to your religion runs around doing objectively harmful things - like, say, murdering Supreme Court justices and "worshiping the devil" in a manner that only exists in Chick tracts and bad horror films. That's just plain wrong. Obama can't be both a Satanist and a Muslim. Muslims hate "black magic" as much as fundamentalist Christians do. For that matter, the Roman festival of Lupercalia didn't even involve human sacrifice.

My best working hypothesis here does not paint these folks in a very positive light. The only way I can explain this ridiculousness is if people like Wiles really would go around murdering people if they weren't terrified of retribution in the afterlife. If that's your perspective, it becomes logical to assert that clearly anyone who isn't scared of divine retribution must be out there committing as many murders as they like.

I'm a Thelemite, which makes me pretty darn close to a Satanist as far as Wiles is concerned. And to be fair, I literally do murder as many people as I want, but only because that number of people is zero. I'm an ethical person because I'm an ethical person, not because I'm worried that some deity is going to spank me.

If religion is all that stands between folks like Wiles and mass murder, let's just say that they aren't folks I want to spend any time around. In fact, they sound like some pretty dangerous people. And just for the record, here's what Scalia might have to say on the matter.

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