Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Insanity Defense

Danielle Bean is having none of this "restoring sanity" business since it endangers the reputation of her favorite deity. Or something. Take this, Jon Stewart!
Anti-faith personalities like Jon Stewart and Richard Dawkins might think that they have all the answers, but real believers know that only God does. And He's not invited to the mall this weekend.
Whether or not Bean's god's invitation was lost in the mail, the rally's stated purpose is to repudiate the kind of know-it-all ideologues who have come to dominate public discourse, and its success on that count will be available to the assessment of all, if not impossible to avoid as a mass spectacle.

But for now, in Bean's fevered present, the stated aim only proves that the rally's organizer is a know-it-all ideologue! The further proof, if anyone needs it, lies in two words: Richard Dawkins. Cue dramatic music.

Determined to protect insanity by enacting it, Bean has lumped Jon Stewart with Richard Dawkins on grounds she is too kind to explain. Maybe Dawkins is thinking about hosting a satirical news program? Maybe Jon Stewart is trying for an open zoology professorship at Oxford? Maybe it's both! Much as economic progress requires continuous growth, maintaining insanity requires ever-crazier, bolder, more unhinged assertions.

In fairness, Bean's comments come with a basis of sorts for linking Stewart with Dawkins -- the topic to which she has been invited to respond draws a thin, vague, tendentious line, one fitted with carefully placed scare-quotes:
This weekend, Jon Stewart is holding "a rally to restore sanity" on the mall, two months after Glenn Beck's religion-infused "Restoring Honor" rally. Beck said he was called by God to hold the rally. Now atheist groups are planning to use Stewart's event to promote "reason." [emphasis mine]
See? Unspecified, unnamed "atheist groups" are "planning to use Stewart's event" to spread, advocate, and otherwise speak favorably of this so-called scare-quote reason scare-quote stuff -- it says so right there in the discussion topic at the On Faith group blog.

Therefore, by unassailable logic and inescapable fact, Jon Stewart and Richard Dawkins are indistinguishable in their contempt for true reason, the world's believers, Glenn Beck, god, some other god, the next god over, the god headquartered catty-corner from that last one, and the unassuming decency of all. Q.E.D., bitches!

Were he truly so diabolical as Bean seems to think, Jon Stewart would have seen fit to plant a column such as hers to prove the need for his rally.

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