Monday, December 24, 2012

Twelve Apostates - Tim Minchin

People who know me know I appreciate sarcasm.  I probably couldn't get through my day without it.  So, of course, I appreciate Tim Minchin.

Sound check before the Reason Rally
I was aware of Tim Minchin before the Reason Rally and already a huge fan of The Pope Song[1] because it illustrates precisely how I feel about the Pope and the Vatican.

That song hits a complicated issue right in the face with how simple it is.  If you protect pedophiles, you're culpable in their crimes.  In other words, fuck the Pope.  I've encountered Catholics who see that song and only respond with complaints about the language, completely missing the point and further highlighting why the message of the song is spot on.

Before the Reason Rally, I hadn't yet heard his song "Thank You God"[2], but it resonated with me like nothing had since I first encountered George Carlin's take on religion.  That moment was the closest I've ever come to knowing what religious people feel when they think they're feeling the Holy Spirit.  The song mocks the notion that prayer works, while highlighting some of the errors people make in thinking it does.

He's also used comedy to give the Bible itself some due criticism.

This song shows quite well how Christian Bible is a terrible book that should absolutely not be upheld as a source of morality.

New age woo woo, as James Randi puts it, has not escaped either.

I'm sure we've all met someone like Storm and wanted to rant at them like that.  Silly beliefs aren't restricted to religious beliefs and should not be immune to criticism.  Also similar to Randi, he's offered a reward for anyone who can prove claims such as Storm's.

On top of that, he's handled, better than most, one of the most talked about topics in the debate between religion and atheism.  Evolution.

And after all that entirely appropriate criticism of religion, he managed to create a beautiful song about celebrating Christmas.

1.  It was rainy that day, and this picture is of the sign language interpreter, who spent much of that day in the rain signing diligently, during the Pope Song.

2.  This is probably because my exposure to Minchin had been primarily on YouTube and it's not up there.  Although, a decent cover has posted since.  It's still the only version of the song on YouTube, while I've seen some others get posted and later removed.

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