Is This Funny or Idiocy?

An advertisement in the latest issue of Scientific American (June 2017) has me grinding my teeth after laughing a little, well, a lot. It is an ad for the “Freedom from Religion Foundation” with Donald Trump and Mike Pence having leading roles.

Here is the copy and I’ve tried to use the ad’s type style, punctuation and grammar:

“IN REASON WE TRUST; Don’t let The Religious Right Trump The First Amendment; [Picture of Pence pushing a painting of Thomas Jefferson behind him.] The ONLY WALL We Need Is Between CHURCH And STATE; Your gift to FFRF’s Legal Fund in Mike Pence’s name will help us fight religion in our government. Phone for free copy of FFRF newspaper. Gifts deductible for income tax purposes. 1-800-335-4021 /; FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUNDATION”

I have no doubt that just about all left-wingers will find this advertisement funny and might send in generous donations to the Pence fund for Freedom from Religion.

Yes, Mike Pence is a true Christian believer, heavily supporting a ban on gay marriage and wanting to make a law that defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman. He is also in favor of the religious freedom act as incorporated in Indiana for our entire nation.

What is the religious freedom act? In a nutshell it maintains that if someone enters your store and is gay and wants a wedding cake, if such gayness violates one’s religious beliefs you do not have to sell the cake to such a person. That was an actual event. The owners of the bakery would not sell an inscribed wedding cake to (I’m making the names up) Michael and Donnie.

A Kentucky clerk named Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to a gay couple even though issuing such licenses was her job. When asked why she wasn’t following the Kentucky law she said to the effect, “I am following God’s law!” Republican Presidential aspirant Michael Huckabee flew down to Kentucky and was hanging all over Ms. Davis at a rally supporting her religious freedom even if it meant she wouldn’t do her job.

You can see the problem here. If an individual’s religious belief claims that a women should be dressed a certain way in order to come into his store to buy something, and the woman isn’t dressed that way, then he can tell the woman to take a hike. This is happening at an orthodox Jewish store in Brooklyn, New York.

Or if a black businessman says that his religion will not allow him to sell anything to whites then that is okay too. Or whites selling to blacks. Or Indians selling to Pakistanis. Or…on and on.

The right wing is in favor of religion being a part of government. They protest when the 10 Commandments are removed from court houses. They want civil government to be able to officially decorate for Christmas. I understand this too – hell, I love Christmas but I agree that Christmas and official government decorating for it is not the best practice.

So by using Trump and Pence as examples of the kinds of people who want to shove their religion down our throats the foundation thinks it has made the point. (I actually don’t know if Trump is religious but he now talks as if he is, so if the words fit he should wear them.)

Except –

The Freedom from Religion Foundation just zinged half their potential donors! Can’t someone who wants a wall between Mexico and the United States also want freedom from religion? They sure can. But the ad has now labeled them as retrogrades. Why donate money to a group that disdains you?

I am sure that Republicans and independents who voted for Trump and Pence would be less interested in supporting the Freedom from Religion Foundation than leftists. But some of them just might. I would guess that a percentage of Trump and Pence voters might even be atheists or otherwise opposed to mixing religion with government.

Making fun of their former candidates Trump and Pence is stupid; yes, it is total idiocy – funny idiocy at that but idiocy nevertheless. The “freedom from religion” cause is a serious one, calling for rational thought, as opposed to satire.

[Read Frank Scoblete’s books I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack, I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps and Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! All available from, on Kindle and electronic media, at Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.]



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