March 5, 2006

Fixing America's Dependence on Oil

In the State of the Union Address, President Bush finally voiced what everyone has known for decades - America's dependence on oil is unhealthy. He even made mention of using science (gasp) to advance alternative energy. Even if we can somehow forget his subsequent enegry budget cuts (demonstrating that he didn't mean a word of what he said), I agree with his statement that our oil dependence represents a national security concern.

After much thought, I have a solution to the oil problem. Yep, you heard it here first. Best of all, my solution requires no investment in alternative energy research, no increases to the current energy budget, no consumer sacrifices through conservation, and none of that evil science we keep hearing so much about. Intrigued?

I'd like you to imagine for a second that I manage to get myself invited to a meeting of Energy Department and automaker big wigs to unveil my bold new solution. The suspense is palpable - everyone has heard that I have a solution, but no details have yet been revealed. Everyone who is anyone is present - maybe even President Bush and VP Cheney (in case anyone needs to be shot in the face).

I step onto the stage, and a hush falls over the crowd. My solution involves vehicles powered not by gasoline, not by ethanol, but by...prayer. That's right - cars that run on "god's love."

Regardless of my audience, we all know that the outcome is that I get laughed out of the room. The more serious question I have for you is why. Could it be that everyone in attendance knows that god doesn't actually exist or that if he does that he's indifferent to human concerns? Could it be that the "But God doesn't work that way" objection running through your Christian mind right now is a feeble excuse that even you recognize to be false? Could it be that this whole religion thing is just a well-organized charade designed to maintain the social status quo?

Based on the supposedly inerrant biblical description of god, we know he is able to power our cars. Omnipotence doesn't somehow stop with motor vehicles, does it? I mean, if he can punish New Orleans for "sin" with a hurricane, you can't expect me to believe that he's unable to power my car! Since this is the god who created everything in the world, it is clear that he knows how to power our cars. The human brain is vastly more complex than the engine in a car, and I hear constantly that god designed our brains. This brings us to the last question: would such a god want to power our cars? Christians will offer their trite quotes about god helping those who help themselves, working in mysterious ways, etc., but most rational individuals can see through this. Why would a god who is interested in and cares about the plight of humanity not be willing to lend a hand. He's quick to punish homosexuality, immorality, etc., so you'd think that at least devout Christians could get some automotive help.

I believe that my car won't run on "god's love" because god does not exist. Christians are forced to argue that god can power our cars perfectly well but chooses not to. Why? "God helps those who help themselves." "God doesn't involve himself in such matters." "No man can know the mind of God." Yeah, but none of these absurdities really answer the question, do they? Any Christian who laughs at the image of my car being powered by "god's love" is really laughing at his or her own superstitious beliefs. So go ahead and laugh. Now you know how we feel.

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