Sunday, April 27, 2008

What if Conway were an Atheist?

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is writing a letter of clemency on behalf of Phillip Miles. Graham thinks the hapless pastor should get a pass for smuggling ammunition into Russia.  I wonder, if Miles were an Atheist, would Graham care? Would anyone care? My guess is no.  Senator Graham would not care, nor would the press, nor would anyone else. If Miles had been an Atheist this issue would not make the press at all.

Why is this issue in the press? Because Phillip Miles is a Christian pastor and we all know, pastors can do no wrong. Except, they do plenty of wrong, and we all know that too. So why does everyone seem to care for what befalls this man?

Those of us who travel know the rules, leave your weapons, explosives, ammunition, and pornography at home. Countries like Russian and China (ask me about the fun I had in China with a hand held GPS a few years ago), have little or no tolerance for violating their laws. Miles should have known better.

Does Miles deserve special treatment? No! He should serve his time like a man, or his family should pay the appropriate bribe to secure his release, or his family should allow the State Department to work out some deal with Russia. Who knows, maybe he could serve his time back in the USA?

I am curious, what do my fellow Atheist think on this issue?


the chaplain said...

WTF is a pastor doing smuggling arms into Russia? When did they graduate from Bibles to arms? And why? Throw the damn book at him.

the chaplain said...

Okay, I read the news story. Apparently, he was smuggling some hunting ammo. Still, it doesn't take an IQ above 75 to a) figure that importing any sort of weaponry or ammunition anywhere is probably a no-no, and b) check the importation laws of the place to which one is traveling.

He's lucky he only got three years. He should have gotten a lobotomy for being stupid too.

DromedaryHump said...

Here's my measured assessment: Graham is acting on behalf of a constituant at the request of his family. The fact this guy is a pastor is irrelevant.

My guess is if the guy was a janitor or a business exec, Graham would do the same and I doubt religious affiliation or lack there of would come into the conversation. Somehow I don't see this being the convo: "I see, you say hes' a book salesman ... well... he's not an atheist is he???"

One doesn't have to be a theist to be stupid (although it helps), and you don't need to declare your religion to get help from your senator or congressman for halp with an excessive prison sentence abroad.

Carolyn Ann said...

Smuggling ammunition into Russia?

With 3 years he got something close to clemency! Give him 10 more for being stupid. Not because he's Christian, but for being Stupid. Capital "S" that time.

Can you imagine how many years someone would get for trying the same, here? I reckon they'd be lucky to see daylight. (Of course, once you're here - Gun Shows are plentiful...)

Heck, Graham isn't even right to protest. My understanding of Russia's gun laws implies they are "draconian". So 3 years is a slap on the wrist.

Ah well - if you can't bring them bibles, bring the guns and ammo. They work just as well in sorting out who gets to Heaven, Nirvana, Valhalla, Hoboken, wherever.

Carolyn Ann

PS My apologies if you're in Hoboken, or come from there. :-)

DromedaryHump said...

Yikes... "smuggling"?? Those were the Russians words. Maybe I missed it...did he have the SINGLE BOX OF COMMERCIAL HUNTING AMMO secreted up his ass?

Maybe he swallowed it in a rubber balloon?

Can anyone in their right mind see this as a threat to the government, life, limb, or social order of russia?

I read the article and it was inferred he had it in his pocket or luggage. Obviously "smugglng" wasn't exactly on his mind...or that thing he calls his mind.

No...i sincerely doubt anyone coming into this country with a single box / 20 rounds of commercial hunting ammo in their lugggae would be locked up for three years. Anyone who thinks that has zero understanding of our criminal justice system. At worst they'd be deported back home and incur a serious fine. Heck, There are people who stupidly try to take guns on airplanes... "by mistake" ... who serve no time at all. So lets get serious.

Yeah..the guy is a xtian and an idiot...both offenses to my sensibilites. But locking someone up for three years for this kind of thing is the result of a society that has no flexibility in their laws and little humanity. You imprison people for years because they are a danger to society and to punish them for knowlingly committing illegal acts. Not for being an imbecile in a foreign land.

You may want to examine your own humanity if you think this is just and warrented.