Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day or, as we call it in America, the National Day of Prayer

In much of the rest of the world, today is May Day or the International Workers Day. It's what the rest of the world has instead of Labor Day. It has socialist and communist roots, so Americans don't celebrate it - instead we were given Labor Day. I don't like Labor Day. I do like May Day. It won't be until workers unite that we'll have any real chance of changing the world.

For a long time, May Day was nothing in America. Most Americans didn't, and still don't, even know that this is a big worker's holiday in most of the rest of the world. But recently it's become the US National Day of Prayer.

It's one of those holidays that really twists in my gut. First, it does that thing that happens when religious folks get defensive about religion - it lumps them all together. Sorta forgetting that virtually every religious person in the world is condemning people of other religious fates to a variety of horrible events, mostly in the form of eternal punishment. But for little get togethers like this, the first thing that everyone pretends to do is forget that folks in those different religions hate each other's guts, too. But I guess they hate and fear atheists more, which is absurd, because atheists aren't the people going door to door or standing outside of churches trying to convert people to their cause.

The second thing that is actually happening is that the National Day of Prayer is being hijacked by fundamentalist Christians. PZ Myers had a link on his website that linked to this little article about how the multi-faith NDP celebrations have been taken over by the fundies in the form of Shirley Dobson. Which is what people with brains in America knew would happen from the outset. One of the things I repeat again and again in religious discussions with moderates is that the face of religion in America is fundamentalism - because moderates spend all their time trying to convince atheists that they're not like those nutjobs, they aren't spending too much time trying to convince their co-religionists to stop being nutjobs (which would be a more effective way of getting us atheists to shut up, if religious people had the guts to clean their own house, by the way). Tho' I guess that makes sense, too. Fundies are crazy. Us atheists might be adamant, but there's not any chance we'll burn your house down or kill you, which isn't a guarantee with fundie nutjobs.

Still, I obviously loathe everything about the "National Day of Prayer". It was founded in bad faith and intellectual deceit and has been taken over by stupid reactionary religious fundamentalists.


Baht At said...

Well in Oxford it's get pissed and jump into the Isis day.

BTW effing wikipedia (the encyclopedia created by a team of autistic geeks) has Morris Dancing as the only reference to Oxford for Mayday - believe me Morris Dancer are NOT part of Oxford's mayday (PS sorry for the rant but wikipedia really gets up my nose)

Baht At said...

argh bugger me that link mentions bloody morris dancing.

'Scuse the second rant but my poly gf was a folk dancing fanatic and "Cecil Sharp" meeting clashed with the essential Union debates.