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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Heard

Here’s Where You Can Stick Your Bible After You Take An Atheist To The Sistine Chapel

When you open a blog post with, “Not trying to start a fight here, but this probably will.”, you’ve already lost. You’ve lost at life, you’ve lost any right to call yourself a writer, and you should lose the privilege of posting to the Chicago Now Blog. This is just the absolute most mindless, uncreative and useless opening line of any blog post, ever, including the tried and tested, “Sorry I haven’t written for a while.” horseshit.

I may be an atheist, but I am a writer before that, and this should just simply be the end of anyone’s writing career. For fuck’s sake, someone take his keyboard away.

Of course, even if someone did, it wouldn’t have been soon enough to have prevented the rest of his post.

Meet Jack Spatafora, ladies and horny men. He shares the same simpleton headcock as Ray Comfort and the facial hair of Ken Ham, the famous dinosaur training expert.

And he’s discovered the tour guide’s dilemma.

After someone who doesn’t accept the idea of a God properly oo’s and ahh’s in this sacred place [The Sistine Chapel], there really isn’t much to show them next.

I don’t really feel comfortable with where this is headed, Jack. I feel like you’re fixing to whip out your little bishop. Let’s talk about this calmly, before anyone gets arrested in the Sistine Chapel for indecent exposure.

I mean, people throughout history — from pagans to Jews to Christians to Muslims — have been inspired by their beliefs to create stunning works of art and architecture.

Very good, Jack. Did you also know they’ve been inspired by nature and science? It’s true!

The number of these inspiree’s totals in the millions from the Stonehenge builders, to Shakespeare, on to musical giants like Bach, Mozart and Billy Joel.

If you hadn’t already lost with your opening line, Jack, you would have just lost associating Billy Joel with the Sistine Chapel.

On the other side of the ledger, whatta ya got? A great many angry manifestos and declamations and even Supreme Court decisions. But darn few Pyramids, Pantheons, St Peter’s, ‘Hamlets’ and ‘Our Town’s.’ When your core belief is disbelief, what grand sounds and images are you inspired to create?


Moon Landing

Have fun with your paints, Jack. We’ll be up here.

Hadron Collider

That kazoo is cute, Jack, but I’m a bit busy with my collider.

Carina Nebula

Please, Jack, keep your play dough away from the telescope.

You were saying… Jack?

This is not to say atheists can’t savor great religious art. They do. But it seems when they do, they have to applaud the artist’s efforts at the same time they are laughing at his/her inspiration.

You mean money, Jack? We’re laughing at money? You do know that the artists behind the artwork at the Sistine Chapel were all commissioned by the church, right? The very same organization that controlled most of the economy at the time? These artists chose their subject matter, because they were being paid to do so. As Richard Dawkins once said, so perfectly,

If he’d [Michelangelo] been commissioned to do the ceiling of a museum of science, wouldn’t he have produced something just as wonderful?

How about the artists who weren’t paid large sums to do a commissioned painting? Like Mark Twain? Isaac Asimov? Bukowski? Proust? Kafka? Arthur Miller? How about Claude Monet, one of the most prolific impressionists to have ever painted, and the artist behind some of the most stunning artwork the world has ever seen?

What about those guys, Jack?

Maybe this is why most uneducated believers seem to get more out of the Sistine Chapel than over-educated skeptics

Now, Jack, self-loathing isn’t going to get you anywhere. You know us educated folk appreciate it even more than you do, because beyond the art inside, this building was created with science and architecture.

Now zip your fly back up, Jack. Your bible is showing.


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