Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My mother made me an atheist

Dr. Laura objects

I punched the buttons on my radio. It was too early for Dr. Edell on KGO, one of the saner voices in broadcasting. So what were the crazies up to?

Catholic Radio was burbling along with a boring Q&A on Open Line. Too dull. I hit the jackpot, however, with KSFO, the official right-wing station for Bay Area hatemongers. Dr. Laura was on.

Laura Schlessinger is often boring, too, doling out predictable haut moralism—served with a steaming dollop of sniffy disdain. This time, though, she was on a tear. In fact, she was gibbering in horror.

You have to wonder about people who call Dr. Laura's show. As Sam Goldwyn is famously reputed to have said, “Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.” Fortunately for Laura Schlessinger—whose doctoral degree is in physiology, not psychiatry—plenty of foolish people are willing to line up for her sententious abuse. I guess a certain dullness is necessary if you're going to stick your head in the beast's maw.

A silly woman had called in to complain about her mother-in-law. Mom-in-law is a fervent Christian who was interfering by indoctrinating her two grandsons with her religious beliefs. The caller described herself as a Christian, but she and her husband had a rather relaxed attitude about religion and were not providing their sons with religious instruction.

“I don't think my mother-in-law should be doing that,“ complained the caller.

“But you're not doing it,” replied Dr. Laura.

“We're not ready yet. We will when we're ready.”

“When will you be ready?”

She said she didn't know. She reiterated that her mother-in-law was infringing on their parental prerogatives by pre-empting the boys' training and by trying to make them embrace her own rigid views instead of their parents' more laissez-faire perspective. Grandma was prompting the boys to say grace before meals and was teaching them prayers. This upset the caller.

“I think we shouldn't impose beliefs on the children. They should be exposed to many views and allowed to make up their own minds,” she explained.

Dr. Laura was deeply offended.

“What you're doing is horrendous! You and your husband are being lax and negligent in your responsibilities!”

Dr. Laura wanted the caller to recognize that she should be thankful to her mother-in-law for trying to make up for her criminal negligence.

“Your children have to believe in something! If you don't teach them, and you don't allow their grandmother to teach them, they could end up as atheists!”

Oh, the horror! Atheists!

Now here's the funny part. (What, you thought that was the funny part?) Dr. Laura was exhorting her caller to allow her mother-in-law to teach the children that Dr. Laura is going to hell. The grandmother was teaching her grandsons a very conservative form of Christianity (as described by the caller), so the boys were undoubtedly being taught that Christ is the only way to salvation. Laura Schlessinger, an Orthodox Jew, is therefore doomed to burn for all eternity.

While Dr. Laura is really keen on religion, and encourages her listeners to brainwash their children with whatever orthodoxy the parents prefer, it doesn't bother her that a probable majority of her listeners must regret that she is condemned because of her lack of a personal relationship with Jesus.

But at least the kids won't be atheists.


Alex, FCD said...

My mother made me an atheistIf I buy the yarn, will she make me one too?

Zeno said...

Oh, Alex, shame on you for ripping off a gay joke from the 1970s! (And what do you need with another atheist, anyway?)

monado said...

Alex beat me to it!