Wretched behavior


The FtBConscience conference happened to be on our 5th wedding anniversary, so the wife and I talked about how we met, and how we inspired each other’s activism. She’s a science teacher, so we have a common enemy in the creationist camp, and we talked a bit about our history with that too. I’m glad she’s finally stepped in front of the camera and has become more vocal on blogs and so on.

Somehow despite all my public appearances, speeches, various radio debates, podcast interviews, and spots on the Atheist Experience TV show, and all the videos I’ve made for 80,000+ subscribers, the creationist community still seems completely unaware of me. They don’t even know who I am. But let my soft-spoken diminutive wife say anything against Ken Ham’s multimillion-dollar annual scam on her 3rd podcast, and the creationists immediately tear into her.

Lilandra wonders why these Religious Right types are so dismissive of women. She noted that outspoken confident women (like Wendy Davis) are dismissed as ‘feminazis’, while gentler women are readily mocked with a condescending tone. Never is the content of their argument appropriately addressed.

Ken Ham himself tried to twist Lilandra’s message to promote his upcoming conference on how to brainwash children in home-school. Then through him, his minions of mystic nonsense try to pick up her trail. At 4:44 into the appropriately named Wretched Podcast, Todd Friel begins bashing “Lilanda”. They don’t say or spell her name correctly, and they don’t mention the name of her podcast either. Me they refer to only as “the Biker Monkey”.

Friel opens his attack against my half-Asian wife by making fun of Chinese names. Not kidding. They played a clip from her, and then edited it in such a way that they could criticize her grammar.  Of course they misrepresented everything she said, and the field of science she was referring to, which is what creationists habitually do. They praised their own ignorance of course, and ended their jeering by using silly voices -exactly the way we’d expect of typical 5th graders. This is the best they’ve got, and that’s why we never see anything better. The most important thing to them is being deceived by a twisted fantasy, and yet they say that it is we who have “no hope”.Oh the irony.

The surreal realm of creationism is a disorienting dreamscape of logical fallacies. As always it boils down to whether one would rather make-believe things that are definitely not true, or whether one would rather try to understand what really is true. Friel is of the wilfully-ignorant variety.

For example, he says we can’t be animals because we walk upright. However ‘animals’ are defined as ‘multicellular opisthokonts which must ingest other organisms in a digestive tract in order to survive’, and there are many animals -besides humans- who are bi-pedal. I’m sure Friel already knows this, but simply doesn’t care. He wants people to think that taxonomy is an arbitrary human construct rather than one that is governed, confirmed, and corrected by objective criteria. He also said that teaching taxonomy in the classroom leads directly to school violence. Once again, creationism is not like the truth and does not like the truth.

Comments

  1. nonsense says

    My mom listens to christian and conservative — it is impossible these days to tell the difference between the two — radio shows all day long, usually in the form of podcasts. Todd Friel is the one I hear the most, and goddamn is he annoying. He was, I guess, at one time a comedian and decided to use his “comedy” to be an annoying christian ass. He is basically the christian equivalent of the morning zoo style talk radio shows, except that there are people who actually take him seriously.

  2. L.Long says

    Its amazin how these followers of the god of love can hate with a skill that surpasses any follower of satan.
    Actually thinking about their track record I can understand how satan is much better morally then the incompetent creator of all things.
    Good luck to your better side in future confrontations with the followers of love and kindness.

  3. Monocle Smile says

    We’re talking about a guy who thinks everyone who died in 9/11 deserved it. Is this kind of behavior really that surprising? Christian talk radio better resembles Mos Eisley than anything else.

  4. Jeremy Shaffer says

    Monocle Smile, I think you owe the scum and villainy of Mos Eisley an apology for such defamation.

  5. Ian Clarke says

    Aron I can believe that the creationists are this bad. I sent an email to a director of a US creationist organisation (ICR) and the response was, “Ian Clarke wasn’t there so he can’t know what happened…but God was and he left us his book… etc etc etc” Pathetic. In Northern Ireland we still have problems with creationists. I teach and on a wider front it pisses me off when a visiting speaker (free) from a christian organisation tells the children I educate that they are bad and God will punish them. Believe anything you want but please don’t force it on me. keep up the good work Aron and Lilandra.

  6. Chemical Wolf says

    I was going to point out that Todd Friel is perpetually brimming with barely-suppressed anger, desperately in love with the sound of his own voice, and basically just uses his Christianity as a bludgeon to mock and belittle anybody who doesn’t hold his paleoconservative political and social views. But really all I think I need to point out here is that this is a man who claims to be impressed by how bright Ray Comfort is. Just try to let that sink in for a minute.

  7. StillAwake says

    Don’t overlook his other sly little regressive attitude towards women. “Ladies, I read a study because it suited me to do so. Apparently if you get a visible tattoo you are more likely to get hit on by men at the beach. So while you’re considering a tattoo and what it means to you personally- I, as a man- would like to remind you that as a woman you should also consider how it makes MEN feel and act. Because what you do to your body is important to you. And MEN.”
    I’d be curious to know why he thinks body art is okay? He says something about tattoos being okay in the bible. I thought Leviticus outlawed them?
    Anyways. What an idiot.

    I feel like when we do the right thing and we know we are right it can still hurt (or even just severely frustrate) when they attack us. Stay strong Lilandra. Your awesomeness is not lost on us.

    • Monocle Smile says

      Wow, that is beyond slut shaming. That’s pretty much blaming the victim.

      • quidam says

        He says something about tattoos being okay in the bible. I thought Leviticus outlawed them?

        Lev 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD

        A Christian who doesn’t know what’s in the Bible? I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked!

        What a tiresome program – but very appositely named. Wretched indeed.

  8. says

    Me they refer to only as “the Biker Monkey”.

    Since the racism and misogyny towards Lilandra has been well covered, thought I’d mention that I’m once again reminded of an old troll I had: I directed him to one of Aron Ra’s science videos and the only response I got was asking my why I would trust someone who “looks like a hooligan.”

    For all of the religionists’ claims of high ideals and valuing the human spirit, they really know how to be shallow and superficial. Sure, Aron Ra could shave himself, but that would only let them miss out on the lesson about judging books by their covers.

  9. cuervodecuero says

    Speaking of hooligans and judging, perhaps you’ve seen this.

    Carlsberg Bikers

    PS: Ms Lilandra did a commendable job of leading her panel about Asian freethinkers. Maybe it’s the teacher in her.

  10. says

    I watched your discussion with PZ during the FTBConscience and enjoyed it very much, and your discussion of not only the dishonesty, but downright mean-spiritedness of creationist apologists was pretty much spot on. I’ve debated creationists on many occasions – formally and informally – and it seems as though not one of them can get through 80 minutes of debate without name-calling, or engaging in rude or spiteful behaviour. It’s more than a little pathetic, but I guess we can’t really expect anything better, given the absolute intellectual poverty of their position.

    What bothers me more, though, is that in each of these debates I’ve had, where the creationist has resorted to personal insults and attacks, none of those audience members who were sympathetic to the creationist position ever called them out on their behaviour. They are so desperate to have their position validated by the creationist debater it seems, that they’ll forgive any breach of moral or ethical conduct, so long as they continue to hear things that validate their position. Yes, it’s true that we’re probably all guilty of it, but it’s especially galling to see it from a group that is so desperate to claim and hold the moral high ground.

  11. sigurd jorsalfar says

    But really all I think I need to point out here is that this is a man who claims to be impressed by how bright Ray Comfort is. Just try to let that sink in for a minute.

    That made me laugh harder than that time I heard Cokie Roberts say how impressed she was with how bright George W Bush was.

  12. timanthony says

    I have often thought that a better way to attack creationists and other fundies is that rather than assume they really believe what they say and then calling them misguided (stupid), it might be far more productive to assume they DON’T believe their own religious claims, and call them liars for not admitting they ‘actually’ believe the evidence-supported view. That forces them to either deny being a liar and instead emphasize their own beliefs, which are embarrassing when stated bluntly, OR, in order to avoid being targeted for a a large amount of ridicule, admit they don’t really believe it. Of course, they won’t pick the second option. BUT, they will be a lot more circumspect in their professed ‘believing’ from that point forward. And that interferes with their ability to proselytize. Which should be one of our main goals – preventing new infections.