Top 10 in 2010

Published by Minnesota Atheists on

By Eric Jayne

Headshot of Eric.

When people take time to remember the events of 2010 they’ll probably think back to the Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days before being rescued; or they might remember the horrific earthquake in Haiti that killed over 200,000 people.  Perhaps they’ll remember the signing of the health care bill, the contentious mid-term elections, or the rallies held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. For me, however, the following is a list of my personal favorite and unforgettable top 10 stories of 2010:

10. God destroys Jesus, spares porn shop
Lightning strikes and subsequently burns down 75 foot statue of Jesus in Ohio but the pornography store nearby remained unscathed.

9. War on Christmas stories becoming more outrageously funny
Every year after Halloween a bunch of Christian zealots and cable news pundits try to convince us that there is a war on Christmas.  Gretchen Carlson, the Minnesota native who co-hosts Fox & Friends, is one of the most vocal crusaders in the unnecessary fight to protect Christmas from no serious threats.  In November Carlson demonstrated the unique journalistic standards practiced at Fox News when she reported that a public elementary school in Florida banned everything red and green because of the connection those colors have with Christmas.  A little fact-checking would have revealed that the story was completely false and based solely on the fabricated claim of an angry parent.  After the erroneous story aired, the school district released a statement that said “the banning of red and green is simply not true.”

8. U.S. senatorial candidate assures voters that she’s not a witch
Due to the anger-fueled “tea-party” movement, and a Sarah Palin endorsement, Christine O’Donnell beat out Mike Castle—a moderate nine-term congressman—for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Vice President Joe Biden.  After she won the nomination, HBO Real Time host Bill Maher shared some interesting clips from O’Donnell’s past appearances on his former Politically Incorrect show.  In these clips O’Donnell shared her views about the evils of masturbation, pitiful misunderstanding of evolution, and past experiences where she “dabbled into witchcraft” and had picnics on satanic alters.  O’Donnell consequently defended herself in a TV campaign ad assuring the voters of Delaware that she is not a witch.  A few weeks later, Democratic candidate Chris Coons won the election by a 17 percent margin.

7. Florida pastor holds Qurans hostage and demands that Ground Zero mosque not be built
Gainesville Florida pastor Terry Jones threatened to burn Qurans to commemorate 9/11, and to protest the proposed construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. Jones dropped his threat after policy makers, military commanders, the White House, and diplomats all around the world begged him not to burn his collected pile of Qurans.

6. Steve Johnson holds God accountable for football game mishap
We’ve all seen professional athletes give credit to God and Jesus for an important team victory or personal achievement, but it’s rare to see it go the other way.  When Buffalo Bills wide receiver, Steve Johnson dropped an easy touchdown pass in overtime against the Steelers, he tweeted: “I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…”

5. Pope Benedict blamed atheism for Nazi tyranny
After being welcomed by the Queen and the newly elected Prime Minister, David Cameron, Pope Benedict delivered a speech that blamed atheism for tyrannical movements in the 20th century, including the Nazi goal of exterminating the Jews. The Pope, who joined Hitler Youth when he was 14, must have forgotten that Hitler self-identified as a Roman Catholic.

4. Atheists are better educated about religion than Christians
The Pew Research Center released a study in September 2010 that showed atheists know more about religious teachings, religious origins, and the role of religion in public life more than any religious group. The study suggests that the more one investigates and learns about religion, the more skeptical they become of its teachings.

3. Smithsonian Institute pulls short film from exhibit because Catholic League president is offended
William Donohue, the Catholic League president who celebrated Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic film Passion of the Christ, chastised George W. Bush for sending out “Holiday” cards instead of “Christmas” cards, and equates pedophile behavior with being gay, convinced the tax-payer supported Smithsonian Institute to pull a four minute short film titled Fire in My Belly by David Wojnarowicz. Donohue claims the film is anti-Christian because a bunch of ants crawl over a crucifix at the beginning of the piece.  Olga Viso, the Director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, refused to pull the film and allowed free showings at the Walker until the end of 2010.

2. Secularist billboards protest religious conservative fundamentalism…in Iraq
Demonstrating the notion that freedom and liberty are secular and progressive values, completely separate from religion, Iraqi secularists fight religious fundamentalists by exercising free speech. As one Iraqi secularist put it: “We know it’s fighting between the religious foolish man and the civilization man.”

1. Gay bashing, mega-church pastor in trouble for gay sex ~AND~Pat Robertson’s unique insight
It doesn’t seem right to go one full year without a gay-bashing evangelical pastor taking some heat for having gay sex or Pat Robertson sharing his insensitive remarks with the world. 2010 gave us both. First, Robertson explained that the reason Haiti experienced an earthquake that killed over 200,000 people including children was a simple matter of revenge: God was settling the score with Haitians due to an 1804 pact their ancestors made with the Devil in an effort to gain independence from their French occupiers.  Sorry, but that’s the cost of freedom.

Next, televangelist Eddie Long was accused of coercing four teenage boys into performing sexual acts with him in exchange for exotic trips, new cars, flashy jewelry, and cold hard cash. The popular African-American evangelist has been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage and led a march in 2004 to the grave of Martin Luther King to promote his idea of marriage being exclusively for opposite sex couples.

Here’s to a new year! May 2011 be just as exciting!

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