Louis C.K., still pretty cool (probably) »« Reply to Stephen Feinstein, round two

In which the question “Is there a stupider and more embarrassing atheist than Patrick Greene?” is definitively answered

Via Hemant, I am made aware of this brilliant little nugget of joy. See if you can parse the logic in all this. Perhaps I can’t because I spent my valuable college years drawing talking animals for the school paper rather than boning up on things like the Löwenheim–Skolem theorem. But the sense of it all eludes the humble powers of my primitive brain meat.

The director of the state chapter of American Atheists plans to desecrate the Koran when the state House of Representatives reconvenes in September if the House doesn’t drop its “Year of Religious Diversity” resolution under consideration in its State Government Committee.

Ernest Perce V, who recently was under fire for a controversial Harrisburg billboard he designed and paid for protesting the “Year of the Bible” resolution the House adopted this year, said he plans to whip, or flog, the Koran in the Capitiol rotunda at noon on Sept. 24 should the House not agree to nullify the resolution before it reconvenes from summer recess that day.

…Perce said he plans to thrash the Koran witha nine-tail whip 85 times and a single whip six times to protest the resolution’s number.

“I am a nonbeliever and for (the House) to assume we respect these books is [asinine],” Perce, a Harrisburg resident, said. “I will let other atheists come with me (to protest). I want Christians to lash the Koran, too.”

Allow me to express the depth of my bewilderment through the always-useful internet proxy of an adorable animal photo.

How, exactly, this will accomplish anything is beyond me. Well, I don’t mean “anything” anything. Because it has accomplished at least one thing, which is to put Perce’s name smack at the top of the shit list of every dude on Earth with a kufi and an AK. I mean anything positive and favorable toward what I presume is the hoped-for outcome: to wit, getting across the message that church/state separation is really for the best, and by the way, all those stereotypes you have about atheists being raging assholes are just unfair and wrong.

Yep. Yep. Well played, Mr. Perce.

Hemant reports that he has been talking to Dave Silverman, and Silverman is most assuredly not down with this, and is not lending Perce his or AA’s support. No, we don’t respect “holy” books or the often abominable belief systems they inspire. But there’s such a thing as productive ways to express your disapproval of public policy. And choosing one that does nothing but alienate not only Muslims but pretty much anybody not named Geert Wilders or Ann Coulter, which also stands to drown the whole atheist community in the backwash into the bargain, probably isn’t what a rational person would call “productive.”

Let’s leave the public displays of histrionic hate to the Terry Joneses and Shirley Phelpses of the world, shall we? And Dave? Looks like AA needs to do a little house-cleaning.

Comments

  1. nohellbelowus says

    That’s not an adorable animal photo. That owl looks like it just stumbled out of a hotel bar at 4 AM.

    ;)

  2. Serenco says

    Nice, never realised you were like an anthro artist Martin. My respect for you just went up even more lol.

  3. says

    As much as we point out how ridiculous religious claims are that have divided religions into sect after sect, it doesn’t seem to surprise me when I find that people who share my views on religion do almost equally inane things.

    Lately the divisiveness in the atheist community’s is becoming more and more apparent on what we actually think when it comes to our non-belief.

    Some approach their non-believe with an air of “Whatever nonsense you want believe is fine as long as you keep it yourself”, while others on the other end of whatever quasi-spectrum of human ranges there are; are willing to whip holy books for fanfare. But it even divides deeper than that lately, especially when you start to add in other social issues that people try to attach to their atheism.

    I think I will keep my atheism at the level of just being atheism, and my other isms away from it.

  4. says

    I’m 150% anti-theism…it doesn’t mean you have to be an enormous creep about it. And certainly if I’m going to desecrate religious stuff, I’m not going to single anyone out if I can avoid it. I don’t see Islam as being especially violent, and I’m disgusted with Christians and Jews committing crimes in the name of their faith.

  5. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    Yeah, it’s pretty hard not to look like a racist when you’re just going after the brown people religion. Can we all at least agree not to desecrate any Korans unless we’re also desecrating other scriptures at the same time? The accusations of islamophobia will be easier to rebut if there’s a bible and a Tanakh on the pyre too.

  6. says

    Oh, FFS.

    There’s taking advantage of one’s free speech by protesting a clearly illegal (with bonus points for stupid and pointless) decision by a government using one’s creativity – and then there’s needlessly and carelessly enraging religious ragebois who’ll ignite and effigy and kick off a riot at the drop of a fucking hint.

    No, we shouldn’t hold ourselves back just because certain people are known to have short tempers, shorter fuses and brittle egos. But we also should be able to find more creative, more illustrative and more effective ways of protesting government foolishness than whipping a fucking book.

    Here’s the other thing about this lackwitted protest: Most people watching the coverage (if this even goes ahead, because now I’m giving it 50/50) won’t even know why the hell he’s doing it; they’ll just know some godless nutjob is whipping a Koran. The media focus isn’t going to be on what this guy is protesting and whether the grievance is legitimate; it’s going to be about Hey, would you look at this fucking nutjob atheist – boy, aintcha glad he aint your neighbour. After that, it’s going to be about how aforementioned ragebois are getting their jihad on (and aintcha glad they aint your neighbours too) and how interfaitheists strongly disapprove.

  7. Berend says

    Well written! Geert Wilders is a mad monkey. He is also known as the Bokito of Dutch politics. (Bokito being a silverback male who escaped from his enclosure and savaged a woman before recapture). Mr. Perce can of course pursue his flogging action, freedom of speech. But he certainly wont be helping the cause with it.

  8. NoApologetics says

    file under performance art or agent provocateur.

    Zombie Muhammad incident, slave billboard, now cat o’ nine tails Koran…

    aye-yi-yi, I don’t know if he gets his funding from the NEA or CIA.

  9. Konradius says

    He is actually an atheist and identifies as one. Which is totally ok here in the Netherlands.
    And believe me, the guy is not illuminated in any way.

  10. George From NY says

    CIA. Were it the NEA he’d be licking Islam’s boots like the rest of our spineless, tax-parasite, so-called “arts community.”

  11. George From NY says

    Those accusations will occur regardless from those precincts of modern Western society in which White Guilt, as it used to be called, has metastasized into craven PC double-standards and cultural masochism.

    The fact that terms like “Islamophobia” are seriously used indicates how bad it’s gotten, as if mockery or criticism of a religious belief system, no matter how crass or malicious, is comparable to race prejudice.

    It’s very telling to watch the kind of folks who could not mention things like “The War on Christmas” or “Family Values” without sniggering – as well they should, for these are silly and dishonest agitprop buzzwords – turn on a dime and solemnly intone warnings against “Islamophobia.”

  12. 'Tis Himself says

    Perce said he plans to thrash the Koran witha nine-tail whip 85 times and a single whip six times to protest the resolution’s number.

    I’m particularly impressed by the symbolism of the two whips and the number of times each will be used. It tells me … tells me … um … well … tells me … look, can I get back to you on what it tells me?

    Anyway, the whole thing is inspirational. It’s just dripping with inspiration. I can’t think of anything that inspires me more than whipping a Koran. I haven’t decided what I’m inspired to do, but there’s no doubt I speak for all of us reading about Perce’s proposed whipping that we’re inspired. I haven’t been this inspired by an atheist piece of propaganda since that slavery billboard in Philadelphia. And Perce was the moving force behind that as well.

    Oh yeah, I just figured out what the symbolism of the whipping tells me. I shall announce it forthwith. <discrete throat clearing> Ladies, gentlemen and Mr. Perce, the symbolism of the two whips and however many times each will be used is that Ernest Perce V is a showboater who doesn’t understand how to make a point that anyone but he can grasp.

  13. Mike de Fleuriot says

    And using the Qur’an for compost is different how? Because that happened in a private backyard, and was done for private and personal reasons, which few people got to hear about or see….

  14. Comment1 says

    “I want Christians to lash the Koran, too.”

    Sounds like he’s specifically opposed either to diversity or Muslims.

  15. DaveL says

    Because nothing shows your devotion to reason like the kind of incoherent street theatre we’ve come to expect from mentally ill homeless people.

  16. James says

    I can understand why he’s pissed, he was thrown out of court after he was assaulted. That would probably make me frustrated enough to do something stupid too.

  17. Sarah says

    Yep, just as stupid and embarrassing as when PZ Myers desecrated a catholic wafer and a Koran – “How, exactly, this will accomplish anything is beyond me” seems a fair comment on the both of them.

    “Let’s leave the public displays of histrionic hate to the Terry Joneses, Shirley Phelpses and PZ Myerses of the world”

    FTFY

  18. deedle says

    dysomniak didn’t say it wouldn’t happen. dysomniak said:

    ‘The accusations of islamophobia will be easier to rebut if there’s a bible and a Tanakh on the pyre too.’

  19. Kilian Hekhuis says

    Though he may be an atheist, he’s always rambling about the “Judeo-Christian values” the Netherlands are built on. I’ve never heard him attack the fundamentalist Christians in parliament. He’s a gigantic hypocrite.

  20. says

    I have to ask, what’s the difference between this and” The PZ Incident”, with the cracker, etc?

    Turning into a threat is kind of bizarre – “Do it or the book gets it!”, and he seems to be singling out the Koran, but I’m having some difficulty understanding when it’s okay to do a demonstration or not.

  21. says

    I’m with you on this 100%. If you want to grab attention by doing something that offends someone’s religious “sensibilities,” saying something that articulately debunks a religious claim, or shows the silliness or insanity of a belief seems like a better strategy. Like maybe reminding people that a certain “miracle” in India turned out to be just a leaky pipe, and some poor sod had to flee the country to avoid being killed for saying so? But that’s just me…

  22. Yellow Thursday says

    It seems to me that, by making it a threat, he’s agreeing with the meme that the book is sacred. If it’s just a book, then it does no harm to whip it. It’s only if Perce tacitly agrees with the concept of the book’s sacredness that the threat makes sense.

  23. says

    Yeah, it’s really telling when we laugh at Bill O’Reilly’s stupidity and phony victimhood, then get a little more serious when we see the potential for REAL victimization of Muslims who have done no wrong. What’s your point again?

  24. Eric says

    Although I agree that whipping a Koran in public is silly and pointless, I also don’t think Atheists hiding their head in the sand with regards to pretty clear threats from political religion is to our advantage either. Political religion is a clear threat to our values, freedom of speech, and our own freedom of belief. “Live and let live” is a wonderfully liberal concept, but when you are faced with an opponent who doesn’t share that point of view you may be forced to take some action to defend your way of life. I was a bit taken aback at the mention of Geert Wilders in a negative light. I would like to invite those who think him the “far-right” (what media calls anyone they don’t like) nut he is portrayed as to venture over to the Netherlands and have a look at just what political Islam is up to in the free world. It is far from “live and let live”. The punishment for Atheism in Islam is death!

  25. John Kruger says

    Yeah, pretty weird. I get that he does not like the Koran, but not much else.

    I would prefer making a public display of opening up that book and reading out some of the craziest shit it has to offer. PZ and the cracker was a direct effort to highlight the insanity of transubstantiation, Greene’s display is something like taking communion wafers and making jewelry out of them. Just off topic and weird, a vague show of disrespect with no other point to make.

    Doing something expressly forbidden, like drawing the prophet, I can understand. I can even understand burning the Koran in protest, though I do not like the other symbolism that comes with book burning. Standing up to threats by acting in direct opposition to them makes a certain amount of sense. Doing something hard to understand that gets no greater point across is not a good use of a protest demonstration.

  26. says

    I love the idea of reading it.

    That is f-ing brilliant really – other sacred books with really horrible stuff in them could be brought as well and read from.

    How could anyone be outraged at that? – If they were outraged, they would be showing themselves as *not* wanting their own book to be revealed.

    How unoffensively offensive. :)

    Too bad this guy didn’t actually talk to other atheists/secularists and ask what that group thought was a good idea to represent them.

    AA is becoming the go-to group for FOX and others to get “outrage ratings” – that’s not cool. Then they bring S.E. Cupp on as the “reasonable” and thoughtful atheist – who happens to be a bigot against atheists.

    PR one-two punch of stupid.

  27. says

    I don’t see this as stupid or histrionic hate, but a childish comedic public display of discontent. I never find the actions of other atheist offensive because everybody’s Atheism is unique to them. I am often reminded to say ”So what!” It his freedom of speech.For me!,I rather use bumper stickers. HAHAHAHA

  28. OverlappingMagisteria says

    The difference to me is that PZ’s cracker desecration was related to the point he was trying to make. Nothing is sacred so he treats the stale cracker just like a stale cracker should be treated.

    This guy’s point is against the Religious Diversity resolution and his actions are only very vaguely (if at all) related to that. If you want to protest the resolution, do something related to the actual resolution (Print out the resolution and whip that if you’re really fixated on beating something.)

  29. OverlappingMagisteria says

    Agreed! Reading some of the often ignored violent bits from the Bible and Qur’an would be much more productive. It might actually make people say “Wow, maybe those books don’t deserve the respect we give them.” Instead, people will say “That crazy guy is whipping someones holy book. What an ass.”

    PS. I have to correct you: This nut’s name is Ernest Perce. Greene was that other nut who first threatened to sue Ray Comfort over a bumper sticker, and then temporarily “converted” to Christianity after some Christians were nice to him.

  30. A Hermit says

    There’s a big difference between speaking out on an issue in spite of the fact that some might be offended and doing something just for the sake of offending people.

    PZ Myers and the cracker incident just barely squeaks into the first category I think as it was a direct response to Catholics making death threats towards a student who had allegedly mis-treated the “host”.

    Perce, on the other hand, is just looking for attention. He’s the Fred Phelps of the atheist movement. The unfortunate part of atheism not being a religion is that we can’t excommunicate him…but we can sure as hell call him out on his stupidity.

  31. says

    What’s more, in his attempts to hold on to the special kind of power-without-responsibility he’d brokered with two more mainstream parties, he ended up selling the country out to the worst Christian Fundamentalist splinter group that, unlike radical muslims, had any seats in parliament. Humanism in the Netherlands is worse off for Wilders’ presence in the Netherlands’ political life.

  32. Yiab says

    I’m curious, why the reference to Löwenheim–Skolem? Is this jackass a mathematician, or are you just saying you can’t even count the number of ways this activity is a bad idea?

  33. Sarah says

    “PZ and the cracker was a direct effort to highlight the insanity of transubstantiation”

    Bullshit. Were you even reading sci-blogs at the time? He was doing it in response to the furore at the University, where someone was punished for taking one, to punish Catholics for daring to care about something that he knows is worthless, and thus he could demonstrate his ‘rational’ credentials whilst shredding his ‘humanist’ ones.

    How exactly does stabbing a cracker with a nail demonstrate the inanity of transubstantiation? That’s right, you fail logic forever.

  34. says

    Did you read the resolution? Because it actually IS related to it.

    And lest you all forget, in addition to nailing a communion wafer, PZ tore several pages out of a Koran thus “desecrating” that.

    Why the disparate treatment? Is it simply that you don’t like the messenger rather than the message?

  35. says

    @22: At least two of us (Kilian and me), probably more are in the Netherlands, and we know pretty well what’s going on, thank you very much. Geert Wilders and his party of wife-abusers, thugs and Stormfront posters represent and enable the far right. They also care so deeply about fundamentalism that they sold the country out to a Christian splinter party that doesn’t even let women become members.

    Political Islam, on the other hand, has no power here and is universally despised. Are you getting your information from Fox News?

  36. Rory says

    You just sound so credible in this post that I’d really like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  37. Rory says

    While I remain divided on Crackergate, you have to admit, a dude flogging a book 90 times in front of the state capitol is a whole different level of nutty.

  38. Rory says

    The kid who ‘stole’ the wafer got in trouble for ‘mistreating the body of Christ’ or some such inanity. The idea was that the wafer was something sacred, to only be handled in a certain way, in accordance with Catholic beliefs.

    I think PZ’s point was that since he’s not Catholic, they don’t get to demand that he respect their weird beliefs, and so if he wants to abuse the cracker and toss it in the trash, he’s free to do so. I seem to recall he included some pages from the Koran (and also ‘The God Delusion’) specifically to show that he wasn’t singling out Catholicism, but that he was going after any sacred cows.

    You don’t have to agree that it was a good move (I go back and forth depending on mood and phase of the moon), but it did make a certain amount of sense. I’m not sure that whipping the Koran does, but that’s just me.

  39. George From NY says

    My point is that while an absurd term like “Christophobia” will likely never pass ‘our’ lips, ‘we’ are perfectly willing to take the equally risible “Islamophobia” seriously – lest “potential victimization” occur, as you put it.

    Puh-leeze.

    The greatest “potential” for harm here comes precisely FROM these “victims” – Muslims themselves – rather than their supposed persecutors.

    Greene’s little agitprop stunt could well be better designed, in terms of maximizing PR impact and message-shaping.

    But the idea that Muslims are actually endangered by this, as opposed to those refusing to handle their mythology with kid gloves?

    Tell it to Molly Norris, if you can find her.

  40. says

    I get mine from living here, and following the news from my country as presented by news sources in my country.

    In fact, just an hour ago I ventured into a shop full of swarthy moooslims with moustaches, and picked up a pizza there. Somehow, I survived. Earlier in the day, my wife and I went to a house where we saw a door lying around in their yard, and a woman in a headscarf opened up. We asked if we could have that door for our house, she said “sure”, and we picked up the door and left, making sure that my wife dressed modestly and walked five paces behind me. At no point did it occur to me to wet my bed thinking of how oogedy-boogedy policital islam is and how those moooslims were going to kill me for not being an infidel. Of course, I haven’t gone to bed yet, so that might still happen.

    Now, which of the things I said in my previous post was wrong?

  41. says

    For the record, “making sure my wife dressed modestly and walked five paces behind me” was supposed to be struck out to show that it was a joke. Shoulda used Preview.

  42. Sassafras says

    The difference between this and what PZ did is that PZ didn’t just wake up and decide to act out on hatred of Catholics, it was in response to a frightening incident in which a young man didn’t eat a communion wafer so he could show it to a curious friend, and was suddenly the focus of hateful bullying by Catholics, where he was sent death threats and attempts to ruin his academic career, over a cracker that he wasn’t even intending to desecrate. So PZ gave the assholes a larger, stronger target. Then after the Catholic crybabies said that he was only picking on them and would never dare offend Muslims because they would murder him, he added the Quran, and pages from The God Delusion for good measure, to prove that it wasn’t specifically anti-Catholic.

    It wasn’t an outlandish stunt just to prove a point, it was in response to real harm being done to a human being.

  43. mike says

    Maybe I missed something in the article, but when you said–”get a little more serious when we see the potential for REAL victimization of Muslims who have done no wrong”–who or where are these Muslim victims and where is the potential for any harm?

    I son’t think he should be flogging any books but I don’t see how he is specifically harming anyone.

  44. Leo says

    No, I have not read the resolution. Can you perhaps tell us the context that you believe makes all of this make sense?

  45. Sassafras says

    The kid wasn’t just “punished”, he was the subject of a hate campaign from Catholics (including on the national stage thanks to Bill Donohue and Fox News), with death threats and attempts to remove him from student government and calls to have him expelled altogether, and he wasn’t even intentionally desecrating the cracker! I can’t think of anything less humanist than to sit by and watch as a real human being is attacked by religious zealots.

  46. leftwingfox says

    My point is that while an absurd term like “Christophobia” will likely never pass ‘our’ lips, ‘we’ are perfectly willing to take the equally risible “Islamophobia” seriously – lest “potential victimization” occur, as you put it.

    The difference is that there is a level of mainstream crazy levelled against Muslims in America that is not levelled against Christians.

    Rachel Ray wearing is wearing a scarf is showing solidarity for Palestinian terrorist groups with vaguely similar neckwear! The Ground Zero monument is going to be Crescent shaped! Halal Soup is a sign of Creeping Sharia! The President is a secret Muslim!

    The same people making these sorts of crazy accusations are then called upon as the voice of legitimate opposition to the “Ground Zero Mosque”.

    “Islamophobia” is no different than “Antisemitism” in that construction. Yes, one can criticize the misogyny of the Jewish ultra-orthodox, the cruelty in circumcision or kosher preparation of meat, or the policies of Israel, without believing that certified kosher food in the grocery store is a hidden tax by the international jewish banking conspiracy. There’s going to be people trying to score points with the phrase, and try to dismiss legitimate criticism as paranoid hatred, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a useful distinction between people dealing with the REAL issues of a religion, and the people dealing with the IMAGINED issues.

    I have no doubt that there is “Christophobia” in areas where Christians are a vulnerable minority, and blamed for every slight and oppression, no mater how delusional. There might not be a word for that, but I have no doubts it exists.

  47. John Kruger says

    Heh, OK.

    I’m not holding PZ’s production up as the height of excellent protest, I just had some idea what he was communicating – treating crackers as holy is ludicrous. In contrast, I have trouble figuring out what whipping a book is supposed demonstrate.

    I stand corrected on the transubstantiation thing, but I was not too far off.

  48. leftwingfox says

    Right, and when PZ pierced the cracker in solidarity, people called his workplace to demand his dismissal and sent death threats.

    It’s the reason I can get behind Draw Mohammed day; if a cartoonist had done some nasty or forbidden drawings, and the response was “That was mean, please don’t do that.” then people piling on in solidarity are just going to look like a bunch of assholes. But the response was actual murder attempts made on the lives of the artists. There’s NO justification for that in any sort of pluralistic society.

  49. says

    I have no doubt that there is “Christophobia” in areas where Christians are a vulnerable minority, and blamed for every slight and oppression, no mater how delusional. There might not be a word for that, but I have no doubts it exists.

    There is – absolutely. Christians are being targeted because Christianity is associated with “the West” and therefor with U.S. military action and culture, etc. (as well as other complex reasons, I am sure)

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/10/us-egypt-clashes-coptic-idUSTRE7992W420111010

    Don’t forget a Christian politician (the ONLY Christian politician) in Pakistan was killed for his stance against blasphemy laws. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/8356278/Pakistans-only-Christian-minister-assassinated-over-blasphemy-row.html

    “Islamophobia” absolutely exists in the U.S. because there are LARGE groups of people in the U.S. who think “terrorist” the moment they see the word “Muslim”, collectively attempt to deny the same rights to Muslims as other religious groups, and some of them see Islam (the religion) as the other side of a war they are fighting against SATAN. Haven’t you heard that some Christian groups are actually actively trying to literally out-breed “muslims” as if positive eugenics will same the souls of the world?

    It’s really unfortunate – because thoughtful criticisms of specifics of the Muslim religion, the Islamic theocracies, etc are drowned out by a sea of stupid – as in Michele Bachmann level theocratic Christian imperialism stupid.

  50. says

    This is only part of the text but it is the relevant portion.

    “WHEREAS, Among the religious traditions practiced in
    Pennsylvania, there are many sacred or holy texts, such as the
    books of the Bible, Talmud, Koran, Book of Mormon, Veda,
    Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, The Four Books and Five Classics of
    Confucius, Tao-te-ching (The Way and Its Power), Tipitaka and
    others;

    and WHEREAS, These revered books impart great wisdom and beauty to believers and are appreciated and respected by nonbelievers as well; therefore be it

    RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives recognize and

    celebrate the religious diversity…”

    I don’t pretend to speak for Ernest but he has stated that his point is to show that he does not respect these books and they hardly “impart wisdom to believers”

  51. says

    Ayup. Some people probably should have an externalized ethical system. I think part of the challenge of movement atheism is to couple it with secular-humanist ethics, and ally with secular progressive groups to underline that commitment. Atheism by itself is just the absence of god-belief, and doesn’t imply any further philosophical position. Any crackpot who doesn’t believe in god for whatever reason is an atheist.

    Atheism doesn’t confer a moral principle or impose an ethical system — and clearly Perce can’t live right without one.

    At the same time, I kinda feel sorry for the guy. Don’t get me wrong: flogging the Koran is a dumbass gloryhound move. But I hate religion, too, on most days — including Islam. I can’t fault Perce’s motives, just his boneheaded execution.

  52. says

    Hate to say it but after looking into his story, I kinda feel sorry for Perce. He was the ‘Zombie Mohamed’ who was physically attacked in public by a Muslim zealot, and then told by the judge that he pretty much deserved it for inflaming religious sentiments with his blasphemous garb.

    So he was attacked and humiliated and lost his court case. He is a bit like the Terry Jones of atheism, now — an embarrassment to his own crowd. Except that unlike Jones (or any of us sitting in keyboard judgement on him) he has a personal grudge. Maybe it’s unhinged his already dangling door.

    I feel sorry for him because he comes off in the media as racist, when I think he’s a dolt who had 14 minutes of fame and came back for his last helping — and yet he has a legitimate grievance against both the church (Islam, in his case) and the state (of Pennsylvania).

    I kinda think Earnest Perce V is a quagmire of moral ambiguity and dangerous nuance and he’s probably damn good for us to face now, rather than later. (Here’s my blog post with more about why I feel sorry for Perce.)

  53. Sarah says

    Yep, it’s a whole other level of crazy bigoted and anti-humanist. Really stepping it up a notch.

  54. Sarah says

    Yeah, terrifying. So what is it he did to punish the university for getting involved with this case, and to stop the trolls and harrassers? That’s right, attack all Catholics indiscriminately, and engage is childish bigoted hate-crimes. Wow! Success!

  55. Sassafras says

    Oh wow. You think what he did was a hate crime? That’s incredibly insulting to everyone that’s actually been the victim of hate crimes.

  56. Sonorus says

    Wait.

    We don’t respect religious books? They are important cultural and historical artifacts. It is important to study culture, religion, art, history, philosophy, etc to understand another culture whether it is modern or ancient.

    No I don’t think the various holy books hold the universal truths that the various believers of those books do. That does not mean I don’t have respect for them as books.

    Besides, I’m not a fan of banning books, much less burning or desecrating them. I have far too much respect for the written word and for world, especially ancient, history for that. I think we all should. Let’s not let anger at the stupid things religious people can do make us do the same idiotic things they once upon a time (and even now) did/do to each other. I like to think we are better than that. At least I think I am.

  57. F says

    It wasn’t “whipping a Koran” that hurts innocent Muslims, it’s the automatic bigotry against all people and things Muslim. Not that there aren’t things wrong with Islam, but bigotry is not synonymous with “critical examination” or “protest”.

    “Islamophobia”, whether taken at face value or as intended by the sort of forced-multiculturalists who coined the term, is problematic, and not a favored concept around these parts, contrary to the beliefs of people who hate Islam (rightly) because of what it has done to them, but who paint all people of a liberal bent with a broad brush of somehow being defenders of Islam. They exist, and are a problem, but not so much around here.

    No, the stupid stunt is not what endangers Muslims. It’s the other stuff you dragged into the conversation to which Raging Bee responded. Clearer?

  58. F says

    OTOH, good luck with bringing these whips into the rotunda and using them. Even if everyone present is a right-wing Christian who hates every other religious flavor.

  59. F says

    And don’t forget the copy of The God Delusion. And the context.

    You believe there is such a thing as desecration?

  60. says

    Can those that find this obnoxious and useless start vocally identifying as a secular pluralist – and defend that civic space…? This is just disgusting hatred – Not in my name!

  61. NoApologetics says

    It’s called Philistines Today
    look us up on-line, GeorgefromNY is our editor

  62. StevoR says

    Good blog post there, Banned Atheist. Agreed.

    Also can we throw away this silly notion that Islam = a race.

    The are Islamic extremists of all skin colours and I strongly suspect that more “brown people” (& aren’t Arabs most white-skinned anyhow?) are actually Hindu rather than Muslim. If you consider Central and South Americans and Mexicans as “brown people” then theyre’s probably even more catholic “brown people” (whatever that means) than Muslim ones too.

    Muslims are being judged and feared and fought based not on the colour of their skins but on the fact that they’re y’know trying to masscare another people using terrorism and war and death threats. Have we forgotten Salman Rushdie and the Danish cartoonists and that Dutch activist who was murdered for criticising Muslims treatment of women to name just a few already?

    IOW, opposing Islam – a particularly nasty ideology and /or religion is NOT the same as being racist.

  63. StevoR says

    That’s :

    Muslims are being judged and feared and fought based not on the colour of their skins but on the fact that they’re many of them are very notoriously y’know trying to massacre and conquor or convert other people using terrorism and war and death threats.

    For clarity. Bold added.

    Yes, it isn’t *all* Muslims but it *is* more than enough of them.

  64. Jim Gregory says

    “I don’t see Islam as being especially violent”

    Hmmmm…. Let’s see; stoning for adultery; murder for apostasy; honour killings; decapitation for insulting the prophet; fatwah for writing a book; amputation for theft; suicide bombers… Nope, nothing especially violent there.

    Moron

  65. says

    Someone mentioned it looked like someone stumbling from a bar, in my mind it looks like any raver at 6 am as they stumble on to the after-party…oh the 90′s, they were wonderful years. On a more serious note, the deliberate desecration of a book has no purpose what-so-ever, even if you do not believe what it says.

    Remember, books don’t kill people, people kill people. Let your vote protest, work hard at changing people’s views. Be constructive not destructive, destruction only leads to anger.

    If we all work hard to educate, to prove that we are not Satan’s little helpers. As we do good deeds for our societies, then change will come.

    Build a park, plant gardens, assist with charity groups, start a charity,work with the homeless or the youth (especially the youth as young mind crave new things and tend to be open to new ideas)then society will see being Atheist is not an evil thing, that we have better morals and ethics than their Christian friends.

  66. Chris Martinez says

    I concur! I’m one of those “New” Atheists who just want us all to get along. Hold hands and sing. La, la, la and so on…lol. I get what this guy is trying to do but it does make the rest of us look a little… STUPID. I learned a long time ago that the average IQ in America is around 94. That means that half of us are below that number. ; ) Ops

  67. Cylis B. says

    To the larger issue of the bill itself. Though I really WANT to say I’m against it, I can’t bring myself to say that I entirely am.
    I think the wording and (to a lesser extent) the intent of the bill is as ill thought out as Perce’s protest. The underlying premise, though, I think is innocuous enough.
    Religious culture and heritage of all stripes, is (for good or for ill) part of our national culture and heritage. Insofar as the bill acknowledges and embraces the diversity of that heritage, I think its just fine.
    The problem with the bill is it falls short of truly recognizing secularism, and church-state separation, as an equal and necessary part of that national heritage. So personally, as an atheist and a secularist, I’m disappointed… but I can’t justify saying I’m hurt or angered.
    And by the same token, unless we atheists DO want to proclaim the ideology as a “religion,” then not including it in a specifically “religion” based bill, doesn’t make it unconstitutional. Remember, our constitution prohibits the direct promotion or exclusion of any particular religion… not recognition of the practice in general.
    **Full disclosure: I DO fully recognize that the wording and underlying intent of the bill skirts really close to that line, I’m just saying the authors were canny enough to not actually cross it.**
    For me, the fact that the “Year of the Bible” bill was scrapped in favor of this one… is PROGRESS, and I will take even the tiniest bit of that anywhere I can.

  68. Cylis B. says

    After a little bit of research on a Supreme Court case I vaguely remembered just after I hit “submit” on my last comment… I rescind most of that post’s content.
    The case that came to mind was Lemon v. Kurtzman of 1971, in which the Court iterated what is known as the “Lemon Test,” which is basically this:
    1.Government action must have a secular legislative purpose.
    2.Government action must not have the primary purpose of advancing or inhibiting religion.
    3.Government action must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion.
    Any legislative action that violates one or more of these tenants is to be deemed unconstitutional.
    I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve slowly been subdued by the background noise of “as long as we don’t promote/hinder a “particular” religion, we’re good”… no matter how clear I know the “Government doesn’t touch religion, PERIOD” precedent actually is. Ooo, I’m such a bad atheist!
    So an apology, and a restatement is in order:
    -The bill is grossly unconstitutional (though I’m still OK with the general principle of recognizing and embracing all aspects of our cultural history).
    -I am made angry by it (damn my swiss-cheese memory, an hour ago I was only slightly miffed, and much less embarrassed).
    -Perce is still a moron. Spelling out the Lemon Clause in the Capital Rotunda with as many holy text has he could find?… That, I’d be cool with.
    -I still think contending with this bill is a damn sight better than the “Year of the Bible” one… but still very sad, none the less.
    -I am sorry for posting faster than my tired old memory can sometimes keep up with.

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