Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, Atheists and Douchebag Preachers

As I'm typing this, it's just past midnight and Hurricane Sandy is still whipping the New England area pretty bad. I'm relatively safe despite being right in Sandy's path, thanks to a combination of a few things: The house I live in shares an entire wall with the next door neighbors, making it structurally tough; there's no trees right in front of my house, so there's no risk of tree damage, and I live in a neighborhood that is comfortably above sea level, so there's no flooding danger. The worst I've gotten so far is two minor power outages that lasted no longer than a minute(Yay for study electrical infrastructure!) and the crappy plastic storage shed in the backyard is demolished(It's my not-so-bright uncle's shed and I didn't have anything in it, so it's not a worry for me at least).

During my continuing hunkering down in the house with my aunt and cousins, I've been seeing some pretty good hurricane survival advice being shared by fellow atheists on Facebook. Some good tips include: "If you're fairly certain that your water may get shut off and you have a bathtub, clean it good, rinse it, put a drain stopper in it and fill it up before the storm hits", "fill up gallon sized freezer bags with water and freeze them. That way if the power goes out the frozen bags can help keep the fridge cool and you'll have fresh water when the bags melt", "virtually all canned foods can be eaten straight from the can", "If you have a gas grill, you can use it to cook and boil water" and "If you see a zombie, always either cut off the head or destroy the brain"(okay, that last one is made up). Even David Silverman laid out some basic, solid advice to folks last year when Hurricane Irene came around, despite the bullying attempts by the host and guests.

What you won't see from atheists is crap like this: "Christian preacher blames gays for Hurricane Sandy". I should note that Mr. McTernan's irrational and laughable views are not an isolated incident at all. Just yesterday my friend Lee Moore of A-News noted that street preachers were out in force in NYC, no doubt using the fear of Sandy's imminent arrival as a method to get people to believe their religious propaganda. Every time there is a major disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina, the Japanese earthquake/tsunami and power plant meltdown, major earthquakes and other natural disasters, there are preachers of all faiths who will blindly assert that it's not nature behind the disasters, but divine judgement for whatever issue the preacher and his/her religion is currently against(homosexuals, Israel, contraception, abortion, unbelief/apostasy, you name it). Telling people to "pray to be saved" does nothing to help the situation. It only serves to scare people into thinking they are doing something when in fact they aren't. If it did actually do something, then these churches might have still been standing.

So the next time a natural disaster comes your way, remember what Mr. Silverman said: Act like an atheist; be prepared for the worst while hoping for the best. Two hands working are better than a thousand clasped in prayer.