February 22, 2016

In Other News: The South Carolina Primaries and a Shooting (Or Things Religious People Say That Make Me Crazy)

I don't think it's any big secret that I call the state of South Carolina home. You may have heard, but this weekend, our Republican primaries put Donald Trump in the driver seat.

Don't worry too much yet--we haven't gotten it right since 2000, when they selected George W. Bush. Since then, they've also picked John McCain (2008) and Mike Huckabee (2012), sooooo...let's hope the idea of President Trump goes the same way as President McCain and President Huckabee.

Our primary process is open. That means you don't have to register with either party to participate in the primary (although I believe you are only allowed to participate in one or the other). Some people don't appreciate this process, believing that it is unfair:

This gentleman posted this on dozens of news stories from three different media sources that I follow yesterday. Strangely, his profile says he is from Connecticut, but hey...maybe it's not up to date?

Anyway, I like how he lumps together all of these groups: democrats, liberals, progressives, communists, socialists, atheists, terrorists. It's an interesting grouping, isn't it?

It's pretty accurate for this area though. All of them are fairly despised in my neck of the woods, which can make life as a secular citizen somewhat uncomfortable from time to time--especially if you happen to actually be a liberal, progressive atheist with socialist leanings. #Whoops

But really, here's what drives me crazy about this: the assumption that all atheists are liberal.

It's true that many atheists don't feel like they have a home in the current iteration of our GOP, and it's true that many atheists seem to be left-leaning. However, it's by far not all of us. There's a significant variation within atheism, and the idea that an atheist is automatically out of place at a Republican primary is really laughable. There are conservative atheists. Indeed, they frequently speak out about how alienated they feel from other conservatives.

Pivoting slightly, we wrapped up primary night with a report of a shooting at a mall in our capital city--a mall that, in a momentarily frightening turn of events, part of my family happened to be visiting just before the incident.

Fortunately, this turned out to be an incident without any casualties. Two people fired guns into the air. Terrifying, but as I'm sure we're all aware, it could have been much worse.

But the responses, guys. The responses:

I know people mean well with these comments, but in truth, all of these were posted after the situation was resolved. I know that people are going to count this as answered prayer...but is it? Not in my opinion, but I'm biased.

And the whole "I thank God for keeping his hands over us"...I wonder what this person would have felt had this turned out to be a tragedy. Why would God protect them but not others, you know?

However, none of that compares to the glory of this last comment. At least those folks had good intentions, however misguided I find them. This guys...well, I'll let you see for yourself:

Yes, guys. This is "Muslimville". Despite the fact that Muslims were in no way involved and also...no law enforcement officers were in danger...? None at all...? I don't really get the point.

So...it was an eventful weekend. I'm looking forward to voting myself this coming weekend, and I'm sure there will be plenty of opinions floating around our Red State as we choose our Blue Candidate...

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