Just a quick format note before I proceed with the blathering. I have been making strictly black and white versions of the cartoons, without any grayscale in them, to make the awful task of photocopying the comics a little bit easier. That was time consuming and pointless since I submit everything electronically anyway. After some fiddling with my printer, I found that this version looks just fine at high resolutions. But if you see the cartoon in print, I’d appreciate your input on the legibility and crispness (crispiness?) of the images in this new format.
When I wrote this cartoon, I had no idea Kristof wrote this article. I no likey the reading the Op-eds of douchebags. But I was clued into it later with Atrios’ commentary about it. And then this week’s Frontline was all about Bush and the moral certitude he enjoys thanks to being Born Again. I have stumbled upon a current events issue purely by accident. And all I wanted to do was draw robots.
The idea for this comic was blatantly ripped off of Michael Newdow’s comments in front of the Supreme Court regarding the Pledge of Allegiance hoopla. Surprisingly, the best account of his argument I can find is here, on ChristianityToday.com. I probably just haven’t looked very hard. Basically he talked about how atheists are marginalized, with the court claiming that sticking “Under God” into everything is cool, because Christians, Jews, and Muslims all believe in some dude who tells them what to do. Another point Newdow made was how no atheist could ever be taken seriously as a presidential candidate. This comment got an applause break.
Anyway, I believe that if given the choice, most people would vote for a robot that could recite the Bible instead of an atheist who actually knew what he was doing. I am atheist, and even I agree that atheism sucks and can scare a lot of people. It presents our world as a pretty bleak existential nightmare, but that is reality. There’s no epic battle between good an evil either. People are shitty because cro-magnon man did not effectively breed out douchebags from our genepool.
I can understand why people don’t like to know that there are people out there who think that when they die, they cease to exist. It makes their beliefs less certain, or at least threatens to. I am not dead, so your guess is as good as mine, but the dead certainly don’t wear sandals and haunt the lives of children like Grandpa in Family Circus. As an atheist, I don’t care what you believe, just don’t try to validate your beliefs by imposing them on me, my money, or by sticking the ten commandments in the federal courthouse I may have to visit once I snap and kill everyone in an Applebee’s.
Gary Leupp makes a much better argument than me.
Believe it or not, the robot isn’t supposed to be Bush. I think he really believes God made him president, and all of those dumb religious platitudes are the only heartfelt things he says. And that’s ten times more frightening than a president who keeps his faith to himself and just does his Sunday morning church photo-op.