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Pastor: Atheists Don’t Deserve Rights

The Pasadena Sun had an article about the military’s “spiritual fitness” program that discriminates against atheists and most of the response was positive. But as Justin Griffith, who first raised the issue of that program, points out, one pastor went completely off the deep end and declared that atheists have no rights at all. Here’s a portion of what the pastor said:

If you believe you’re nothing but worm-food at death, you aren’t going to jump on a grenade to save the platoon, or charge a machine-gun nest expecting to meet Jesus. You’re going to be reserved, second-guessing, and probably be a big fat chicken…

Listen, all religions are protected by our laws, but atheists don’t countenance America’s documents that mention God. They don’t actually deserve rights that even bizarre religionists have.

Go read the whole thing on Justin’s blog and be appalled. Then feel free to contact the asshole and tell him what you think of him — with no threats whatsoever, please; don’t give them any excuse at all to dismiss you.

Comments

  1. raven says

    If you believe you’re nothing but worm-food at death, you aren’t going to jump on a grenade to save the platoon,…

    I feel like tossing a genade in front of him and seeing:

    1. How brave he is.

    2. How eager he is to see jesus.

    Actually I don’t. The store I shop at doesn’t even stock hand grenades and I’m all out. And this pastor seems too dumb to take seriously much less bother with.

  2. Chiroptera says

    On the other hand, it wasn’t atheists who flew a couple of passenger jetliners into a couple of tall skyscrapers.

    All I’m saying is that people eagerly expecting a reward in the hereafter may not necessarily be the trustworthy ones.

  3. says

    The prefix “a” means “against,” does it?

    I guess asexuals are opposed to people having sex.
    Aphasics can’t stand when people use language.
    Acaudal animals want to cut the tails off all others.
    Achromatic photos seek to rid the world of color.
    Aphobic people think that no one should be afraid, ever.
    And agnostic people are determined to know nothing!

    Wait, if that last one is true…then the good reverend must surely be an agnostic.

  4. kermit. says

    Samurai favored Zen Buddhism as a religion, among the several commonly available to East Asians. Perhaps the main reason was because it had a tradition (and ostensibly, working methods) for a practitioner to learn to accept his or her death, to understand that life is fleeting, and all we have is a brief time on Earth. What matters is how we live in the here and now.

    With that taken care of, the samurai could go into battle with a focused mind, unencumbered by fear of death.

    The pastor does not strike me as one who has accepted his own death, even though he claims to believe it is not the end. Is wishful thinking then not proof against fear? Tsk.

  5. Ellie says

    Already emailed him to explain what the military might put on the tombstone of an Atheist soldier, and that my Dad was an Atheist in a foxhole. I don’t know if he will respond, but I’m going to guess, not.

  6. Ace of Sevens says

    So he’s explicitly arguing the purpose of Christianity is to get people to sacrifice themselves for the good of the government war machine? Marxists often argue along these lines, but it’s rare to see a Christian do so.

  7. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    slc1 #3

    I wonder if that asshole fucktard pastor ever served in the armed forces?

    I asked that very question in my comment to that jerk. I strongly suspect the answer is “no.”

    -ex-MM1(SS), USN

  8. Gregory says

    If you have to believe in invisible sky beings, talking snakes and a divine zombie for your life to have meaning, I’m not sure you are sane enough to have any rights.

  9. Childermass says

    If you believe you’re nothing but worm-food at death, you aren’t going to jump on a grenade to save the platoon

    I sort of thought that a soldier who jumped on a grenade knew that he was going to die anyways.

    And funny how cultures who don’t in general belief in life after death have had no problems fighting wars.

  10. chasbo says

    I believe this pastor is absolutely correct in his fear. It would be difficult (not impossible, but difficult) to raise an army to fight for oil. God is required. The spiritual fitness program is the how (one of the how’s). Mustering an army to fight for no apparent reason is the why. Aside from that, he’s an asshole.

  11. Mr Ed says

    If you believe you’re nothing but worm-food at death, you aren’t going to jump on a grenade to save the platoon, or charge a machine-gun nest expecting to meet Jesus. You’re going to be reserved, second-guessing, and probably be a big fat chicken…

    Wanting to see Jesus or your 72 virgins doesn’t get you medals it gets you put on suicide watch.

  12. peterh says

    As a person whose job it is (presumably) to deal with a broad variety (maybe not) of people, he shows an abysmal lack of understanding of the human condition.

  13. timberwoof says

    That pastor clearly does what most theologists do: out of ignorance, he makes shit up.

    He says that God made America but that atheists don’t deserve the same rights as everyone else. The Constitution, which presumably God wrote, doesn’t say that. So he’s putting words on God’s … pen. I think that makes him a blasphemer.

    I’m laying in a supply of ear plugs to defend against the inevitable screeching that Atheists were mean to him.

  14. says

    Justin Griffith is a chicken shit. Nothing to do with his race religion or sex. Just his mouth.

    Says the anonymous person posting on the Internet (on a different site than Justin’s, no less).

  15. Chiroptera says

    If you believe you’re nothing but worm-food at death, you aren’t going to jump on a grenade to save the platoon, or charge a machine-gun nest expecting to meet Jesus.

    Well, yeah, isn’t that kind of obvious?

    But if the Eastern Front of WWII is any indication, “expecting to meet Jesus” isn’t necessarily the only motivation someone would have to charge a machine-gun nest.

  16. Chiroptera says

    TCC, #19:

    Well, to be fair, No One isn’t advocating that other people shouldn’t have rights because they make anonymous comments on internet blogs. He isn’t advocating that Griffith doing something brave; he’s just pointing out the hypocrisy of Griffith criticizing others for potentially not doing something that he isn’t doing, either.

  17. bartmitchell says

    I posted this:
    My father, two tour Vietnam veteran, awarded the air medal for valor twice and twice given the Purple Heart says that your claim that atheist soldiers are ‘ going to be reserved, second-guessing, and probably be a big fat chicken’ is a bald faced lie. He went into battle over and over again, knowing that there was no god awaiting to reward him. He knew that it was his duty to his fellow soldiers to do his job, and he did it with unquestionable bravery. If there is a coward here, it’s you for not saying that directly to the face of an atheist soldier.

    I posted my real email. I hope this scumbag replies.

  18. bones says

    If the good pastor wants, I could help illuminate his views this Sunday morning on the sidewalk in front of his church with a giant gawdy sign that says ‘GOD HATES FAGS’

  19. iangould says

    So if atheists are such cowards how did the PLA fight the US to a standstill in the Korean War and how did the Viet Cong/NVA win the Vietnam war?

  20. No One says

    TCC says:
    February 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Justin Griffith is a chicken shit. Nothing to do with his race religion or sex. Just his mouth.

    Says the anonymous person posting on the Internet (on a different site than Justin’s, no less).

    TCC? Oh the irony…

  21. No One says

    I typed the wrong name at # 15… Bryan Griem not Justin Griffith. Apologies to Justin 1st and to the rest of the readers of the blog.

  22. says

    This atheist never served in the military, but I did do a tandem sky dive and I have gone on dives in waters teeming with reef sharks, all without begging Jesus to protect me. If I was so terrified of dying, I would never have done these things.

  23. sc_7bca544d596f84a5f56d0f9674c0e22e says

    I’m confused. Why should a soldier that believes in the “wrong” god, say, Buddha, is OK according to the good pastor, but not one who doesn’t believes in any gods, saints, avatars and angels ?

  24. jbhodges7 says

    Assume for the sake of argument that everything he says about atheists is correct. They still might be better soldiers than Christians. With Christians, you have the risk that they might actually read the gospels and discover that Jesus told his followers to not resist one who is evil, but instead turn the other cheek, give him your cloak also, go with him a second mile, love your enemies, and so forth; basically to practice nonviolent pacifism.
    See http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/the-ethics-of-jesus

  25. sqlrob says

    Jesus told his followers to not resist one who is evil, but instead turn the other cheek,

    You do understand that turning the other cheek in that culture would be a worse insult than flipping them off in ours, right?

  26. tfkreference says

    sqlrob: do you have a citation for your cultural reference? I hadn’t heard that interpretation before your comment.

  27. csrster says

    sc: “don’t actually deserve rights that even bizarre religionists have”

    Note the phrasing about “bizarre religionists”. I don’t think you’d have to dig far below the surface to find that this good pastor doesn’t have much time for religions other than his own brand of haploid-god-on-a-stick worship.

  28. Justin Griffith says

    Don’t worry about it ‘No One’. Shit happens. I was a little surprised, but you corrected it. No harm done, these things happen.

    I thought there was a chance you were a sock puppet for Griem at first!

  29. davem says

    If the pastor is right, there shouldn’t be any problem at all in raising a Christian suicide regiment for use against them thar pesky muzlims. Any takers? No, thought not.

    As an aside, my father told em about the only recipient of a Victoria Cross (UK’s highest bravery award) in his regiment. To sum up, he wasn’t too bright, and charged the machine gun nest when sensible soldiers were taking cover. Turns out he’d taken the order to take the machine gun all too literally.

  30. Michael Heath says

    No One @ 28:

    I typed the wrong name at # 15… Bryan Griem not Justin Griffith. Apologies to Justin 1st and to the rest of the readers of the blog.

    Well, the non-falsified evidence of psychological projection demonstrated in your first post @ 15 still provided temporary entertainment value prior to reaching your post @ 28.

    Since I’m late the thread I was hoping for a very dry response which TCC spot-on delivered @ 19. So, a net win for all.

  31. says

    Aside from his utterly stupid contention that atheists don’t deserve rights, the psychologist in me has had to look into the relationship between faith and fear of death. There is an interesting relationship between religious belief and fear of death. People who have been lifelong hardcore religious and people who are longtime atheists have the least fear of death in old age. People whose religious belief was halfhearted and people who came to fervent belief in later life have higher fear of death. Apparently, just-in-case belief or coming to Jesus at the end of the tunnel fails to allay fear of death, or may actually increase fear of death. Of course it could be the case that higher baseline fear of death may give rise to halfhearted belief, and late-life conversion.

    So I suppose you want an atheist or an ardent believer in the foxhole beside you, that is if you’re hoping someone will jump on a grenade for you. Of course, generalizing the research findings to actions in an emergency situation when there is no time to think is probably unwarranted. Instead there are probably situational and temperamental factors mediating that kind of self-sacrifice. In any case, if the number of Congressional Medals of Honor awarded is any indication, it would seem that jumping on grenades to save comrades is a rare occurrence. Most of us would hesitate, regardless of religious inclination.

  32. jnorris says

    Listen, all religions are protected by our laws, but atheists don’t countenance America’s documents that mention God.

    The most numerous government documents that mention God are our money so I’ll be worshiping them from now on. thank you pastor for the tip.

  33. dg0209 says

    Why does the pastor presume that only a believer can give his/her life for a worthwhile cause? John 15:13 is a wonderful sentiment, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” but to say this notion is reserved for Christians is unfortunate and not understood by myself or many others. My hope is that all people, atheist or believer, would see the value of giving their life for a worthwhile cause.

  34. naturalcynic says

    You do understand that turning the other cheek in that culture would be a worse insult than flipping them off in ours, right?

    do you have a citation for your cultural reference? I hadn’t heard that interpretation before your comment.

    …turn the other cheek, give him your cloak also, go with him a second mile, love your enemies, and so forth; basically to practice nonviolent pacifism.

    Jesus seems to be saying that one should assert a social equality along with a form of non-violent pacifism.
    Turning the other cheek would assert equality with the slapper. I may not remember this straight [it was a long time ago], but it was the custom for a superior [Roman] to give a slave a backhand slap. By turning the other cheek, one would force the slapper to give a forehand slap, which was reserved for social equals.
    “Go the second mile” refers to what a Roman soldier could do – force a civilian in a conquered territory to carry his pack for one mile. By offering to carry the pack a second mile, a civilian could assert a kind of equality by showing that the first mile was not an act of servitude and meant little or nothing.
    Offering a thief your shirt after he has stolen your cloak is is another assertion of a lack of respect for the inequality of power between the thief and the victim. It shows a lack of care about worldly possessions to the thief, lowering the value of clothing. Another aspect is that it left the victim naked, something of a taboo, also showing the thief your lack of value that you feel for worldly things.
    All these are meant to embarrass an oppressor.

    And the slapping thing, I can’t help but think about The Fish Slap Dance.

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