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12 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Dealing With Bigotry · 0 replies · +1 points

Having grown up without gods and with frequent contact with atheists, I have not worried much about the "coming out" issue since I was a child, and then it was because I found out at school that my family was different. My father counseled me to say I was Christian, by which he meant a follower of some of the ideas of the biblical character Jesus. That is still true today -- I try to love my neighbor, etc. -- but even in elementary school I understood that this was a social workaround. I only used the technique once and did not like the results: What kind of Christian?

I never tried it again, and today I would not even consider bothering with that. If someone needs to ask me the question then they are just going to have to deal with the answer, and I'll say so in no uncertain terms, urging them to consider the implications of their insistence. Maybe I'm a mean atheist, but so what? Injustice pisses me off in general, and the way Christian privilege works in the U. S. is a perfect example.

All that said, I still marvel at people's incredulity when they understand I am completely non-religious and attempt to be reality-based in all matters. I also still wonder about the psychology of the vehement objection and even hatred toward the non-goddists. A fundie would say it's bad enough that I'm not Christian, but OMG I'm not even faithy! I think that may be part of the key to it, that the distinction is between those who are willing to believe in phantasms and those who aren't. Why else would a Christian consider a Muslim to be superior to an atheist when they are literally sworn enemies? We are not like them; we do not believe. Often it's as simple as that.

So the easiest way to really disturb the religious is to ask for evidence, and that is something we rationalists do all the time. The demand from the religious camp is that we be given to delusion just as they are, at least in some way, and that is something I am not willing to do or even fake.

I am very sad for Rachel because it has always been much easier for me to shrug off the protestations of the religious. Most of my large, extended family are from Texas and are devoutly Southern Baptist; I just ended up in the atheist branch. I will always fully support the Rachels of the world who are trying to live happy lives in spite of people messing with them all the time, and I will say it out loud, repeating it as many times as is necessary.

12 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - What\'s in a Name? · 0 replies · 0 points

My atheist comrades and I may militate intellectually and verbally against what religions have done and intend to do, but never has anyone advocated any kind of violence. There may be actual militant atheists out there, but I have never met one. RevOxley above gave refusing to bow your head when others pray as an example of an essentially harmless act that could be described as militant by those who insist you pray. Contrast that with the God Hates Shrimp people counter-protesting Fred Phelp's religious lunacy. Neither of these are militant, nor is anything in between. I could describe Phelp's group as militant as a rhetorical device, because they are fairly aggressive, but it's still just a tag until there is militia-like activity. There are a lot of Christians in the public forum who blurt out some pretty strong stuff when it comes to how they want to treat the out-groups. They could be aptly described as militant, because they are advocating in an organized way that various injuries be visited upon unbelievers and other-believers. Look at urging people to kill abortion doctors if you want to see militant.

Good post vjack. I get as angry as anyone when I see religious injustice and stupidity, which occurs way too often, as we all know.

12 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Thank You to All Athei... · 0 replies · +2 points

I have an extremely bright 10-year-old, and he finds the whole field of interpreting historical evidence fascinating, and is currently delving into the issue of whether Jesus actually existed. Jesus was listed in something he read as one of the 30 people who changed the world. He was not the only one in the list whose existence is legendary, so we discussed what it means to have credible historical evidence, and my son was, as I said, fascinated with interpretation in this meta-cognitive way. I could not be more proud as a father, and my son gets to benefit from the support for intellectual freedom he receives from both parents. (His mother is a very lapsed Catholic.)

Why anyone would insist on producing an ideological clone is beyond me, as this exploratory method, no holds barred, is infinitely more satisfying for everyone involved. There is nothing to compare with the amazing stuff children come up with, and inhibiting that process in any way seems like a crime.

12 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - American Atheists More... · 0 replies · -1 points

No "replacement" necessary. There does not not need to be a god; nor does there need to be any strong-father figure in the form of big government. But one failure of one common libertarian stance is there are no plans to provide needed services to our burgeoning populace once the big, bad, big government has been reduced.

/fourth post; i'm done.

12 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - American Atheists More... · 0 replies · +1 points

Same here, and I just don't get the need to make other people be the way I am. I support others' right to take the actions they think they need to take to be happy. I see no problem with that as long as no one is being hurt.

12 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - American Atheists More... · 0 replies · 0 points

Religious conservatives have sex on the brain. I may also, on occasion, but I don't make a lot of important decisions based on that, and I am certainly not willing to tell other people what to do according to any positive urges or disgust-reactions I may have to anything sexual. It's a problem for them. How long can you sanely maintain hatred for some people because you imagine they are not doing it the right way, and what does that say about where your imagination repeatedly goes?

12 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Idiot of the Week: Rep... · 0 replies · +1 points

Before that, the pledge was in their hearts, ya know.

12 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Priest Advocates Takin... · 0 replies · -2 points

Love the simile, and I've broken the three-post rule, so I'm out.

12 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Priest Advocates Takin... · 0 replies · 0 points

You're right. This is the way cultural changes usually occur when not as a reaction to some catastrophe (the volcano-god destroyed our village, therefore, human sacrifice). It happens little-by-little; I see it happening in my Catholic in-laws even though the older ones try to cling to the old ways and try to embrace the church even in the face of absurdity. The younger ones just kind of do whatever seems right at the time, which usually is not the church-proscribed action.

12 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Christian Militants Di... · 0 replies · -1 points