Seriously, Stop This Dumb Petition »« Elderly Atheists Have It Worse

Another Atheist Display Destroyed

In what is surely the least surprising news you’ll hear this week, yet another atheist sign has been destroyed. In West Milford, New Jersey, they decided to create a public forum for holiday displays on city property this year and some local atheists put up a sign that said “You KNOW it’s a myth. This season, celebrate REASON!” And a bunch of people lost their damn minds over it.

Now I’m not really a fan of this sign. I think it’s kind of silly to tell people what they do and don’t know (as opposed to what is or isn’t true; those are two different things). But that doesn’t really matter. It’s a public forum, which means anyone can put up a display of their choosing. The city thought that was a great idea right up until someone put up something they don’t like. And then:

Councilman Joseph Smolinski, Father Michael Rodak of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, and others called for the sign’s removal during Wednesday’s council meeting, saying it is antagonistic, divisive, and an anti-faith desecration.

“This sign is particularly offensive to Christians because it is … basically trying to say [the nativity story] it is a myth,” Father Rodak said, noting the crèche on the property.

“This is a sign of hate,” he added, prior to asking if the council would permit a burning cross or swastika on its grounds. “As a people we should stand up against it. Those are symbols of hate, and so is this.”

Oh yeah, it’s just like a swastika or a burning cross. Exactly like it. No differences whatsoever. Smolinski appears to have even encouraged someone to steal or destroy the sign, saying he was surprised that no one had done so yet and that he would “turn the other cheek” if someone did. Uh, that’s not what that phrase means. Turning the other cheek doesn’t mean looking the other way. Inevitably, someone destroyed the sign, as has happened to atheist billboards and displays all over the country. I’d love to see a list of all such cases. I bet it’s a pretty high percentage of such signs that are vandalized or stolen. Because that’s exactly what Jesus would do.

Comments

  1. davidct says

    Not my favorite sign either but putting it up gets attention. Tearing it down also gets attention again which it part of the reason for putting it up in the first place. Too bad the position made it so easy. It would have been nice to get a video of the devout christians in action.

    Why do we so often get compared to a nice Catholic boy like Adolf who wrote that he was only doing gods work.

  2. raven says

    IIRC, one in Pennsylvania was also torn down.

    My main complaint is that these atheist “displays” show no imagination and aren’t very holidayish.

    1. One group did a tree of knowledge, with famous science books for ornaments. You could also put on scientific instruments. I don’t have problems with holiday trees at all.

    2. An all dinosaur nativity scene. Everyone loves dinosaurs.

    3. There is an all Zombie nativity scene. It doesn’t work for me though.

    4. A winter Solstice scene would work. You don’t have to be a pagan to believe in the winter Solstice.

    5. Something else. Maybe something with kitties, puppies, and babies. There are a lot of clever and artistic No Religions.

    6. A Saturnalia one. I don’t remember what the Romans did for that holiday. IIRC, they drank a lot.

  3. raven says

    Inevitably, someone destroyed the sign, as has happened to atheist billboards and displays all over the country.

    Free publicity.

    Cost of sign = a few dollars.

    Xians acting like rabid weasels = priceless

  4. says

    I’d favor a different atheist sign, too. There probably are plenty of fundies who do know it’s a myth but suppress those thoughts. The scary thing, however, is that some of them manage to keep the seed of humble doubt out of their minds completely.

    As always, fundie Christians show their hooligan nature by engaging in childish vandalism and warping a statement of pacifism/non-resistance into a “no snitching” rule to discourage people from holding each other accountable for their actions and facing the consequences. Kind of reminds me of one line of thought I heard about from Christianity’s early years, that they aren’t beholden to any laws or moral code because they’re saved, and thus all is forgiven. It made a lot of people understandably worried about Christians being dangerous, unpredictable anarchists. That’s certainly the direction a lot seem to be going these days, now that they’re facing more vocal criticism.

  5. Rodney Nelson says

    “This sign is particularly offensive to Christians because it is … basically trying to say [the nativity story] it is a myth,” Father Rodak said

    So, Father, got any evidence it isn’t a myth?

  6. jasonfailes says

    We just want to send a clear loving Christian message that anyone who doesn’t believe as we do will be tortured for all eternity, without those stupid atheists spreading their hateful message that we’re wrong about that.

  7. John Hinkle says

    It’s a good thing this is not an Xian nation, i.e., Xianity being the state religion, and Xian “morals” encoded in our laws, or at least the way these bozos see it. Xian privilege would be one hundred times worse, and the rest of us would be, well, probably looking for another country to live in.
     
    And you know, even if the vandals were arrested, that would probably make for the (ghost) writing of a book and a 6-month long tour on the wingnut welfare circuit.

  8. Joey Maloney says

    Raven @3: 6. A Saturnalia one. I don’t remember what the Romans did for that holiday. IIRC, they drank a lot.

    That would be awesome – a diorama of a bunch of fat people in togas all shitfaced, hanging off marble columns, having drunk public sex, passing out and puking on each other, all under a big “Io Saturnalia” banner.

  9. says

    Look, these are just schoolboy pranks, y’know. Whenever a new buncha folks wanna become part of the “Ins”, they gotta put up with a little razzin’ and some sort of initiatin’, like they do in the college fraternities

    Why, I remember when we KKKristians could safely be whalin on the coloreds or the homoseckchules and then we got that whole Brown v School Board and The Civil Rights Act and all that crap and, now, well shit.

    If GOD’s own children can be hatin’ on somebody then the terrorists have alread won.

  10. says

    What would be the point of the “nice” signs?

    Trees with science books? That’s a Christmas tree to anyone except those who get it. Same with the other stuff, in differing degrees.

    Is the objective to quietly let other atheists know that they aren’t alone? Atheist fellowship?

    Or is the objective to let theists know that atheists exist, that we have just as much a legal right to be in the public square as they do, that their offense at having to be faced with the existence of people who don’t believe is NOT a legal basis for denying us equal access? That they DON’T get to bully others, monopolize public places and public discourse, and violate the Constitution?

    Both are valid goals, I guess, but I think one is more important than the other… and I think it’s also obvious that one goal was the entire reason for the legal fights that finally allowed atheist displays, and that goal that inspired that fight was NOT the desire to have our own nifty trees with test tube ornaments.

    One of the two goals is going to result in displays that don’t offend (but actually still probably will).
    The other NECESSARILY will result in displays that offend, given what we know about all it takes to provoke that offense.

    Personally, I can’t remember anyone saying, at the start of this fight, that what they really wanted was a pretty Saturnalia display.

    It IS a fight, after all. If the people you’re fighting aren’t unhappy (and all teary-downy-signy), they you’re losing.

  11. Olav says

    They do know it is a myth, I am almost convinced of that.

    My theory, which I am sure is not original, goes like this. They try very hard to convince themselves that it is not a myth, but no matter how deeply they immerse themselves in religious bullshit and regardless of the “strength” of their “faith”, reality keeps nagging at them. It really does keep them awake at night more often than they will ever admit.

    That is why they are so vehemently against signs like this and public atheism in general. It reminds them of their own doubts. Doubts that they need to deny constantly at the cost of traumatic levels of cognitive dissonance, just in order to not feel like they have been stupid, have been wasting their time, have failed their tribe.

  12. raven says

    Trees with science books? That’s a Christmas tree to anyone except those who get it. Same with the other stuff, in differing degrees.

    Not even close.

    If you label it:

    A Tree of Knowledge (like the one in the magic garden)

    and

    Brought to you by the Central Committee of the 9th International Atheist Conspiracy

    They will figure it out.

    If you want to get people to think, humor and subtle displays will be more effective than just smacking them with a metaphorical sledgehammer.

  13. Anthony K says

    I think it’s kind of silly to tell people what they do and don’t know

    It’s actually blatantly offensive, and frankly wrong.

    My theory, which I am sure is not original, goes like this. They try very hard to convince themselves that it is not a myth, but no matter how deeply they immerse themselves in religious bullshit and regardless of the “strength” of their “faith”, reality keeps nagging at them. It really does keep them awake at night more often than they will ever admit.

    That is why they are so vehemently against signs like this and public atheism in general. It reminds them of their own doubts. Doubts that they need to deny constantly at the cost of traumatic levels of cognitive dissonance, just in order to not feel like they have been stupid, have been wasting their time, have failed their tribe.

    A self-congratulatory narrative, and a likely inaccurate one at that.

  14. raven says

    A self-congratulatory narrative, and a likely inaccurate one at that.

    No.

    If they knew they were right, they wouldn’t have to lie all the time

    If they knew they were right, they wouldn’t have to kill nonbelievers and other religonists. Both of which were common before we took their heavy weapons and armies away.

    Xians lost their best defense when they stopped burning people alive on stacks of firewood.

  15. kosk11348 says

    A self-congratulatory narrative, and a likely inaccurate one at that.

    Accurate enough that even Mark Twain noted “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.”

  16. Anthony K says

    Quotes by Hitchens and Twain quote do not an argument make.

    It’s also the case that religious people know they’re right, and that we know they’re right, and we’re just being silly, spiteful, petulant brats acting out.

    It’s also the case that people, religious or not, destroy things belonging to people and groups they don’t like.

    It’s likely that many these human behaviours influence these sorts of acts. And yes, the privileged position of Christianity in our various cultures enables people to think it’s okay to destroy these atheist signs.

    When you’re talking about these acts, do you want to pat yourself on the back, or do you want to be accurate in assessing motives?

  17. davefitz says

    Holy Jesus on a churro! I hate that sign, especially in this context. It’s just dickish and offensive to tell people what they believe. Just as when my parents told me I wasn’t really an atheist, I was just confused. Let them have their holiday. If you want to display something for the holiday season, do something slightly celebratory. Stop wasting time and money shitting on Christmas. It’s not productive and won’t win anyone over. Concentrate on outreach programs, outside of that particular public forum.

  18. dmcclean says

    “This sign is particularly offensive to Christians because it is … basically trying to say [the nativity story] it is a myth,” Father Rodak said

    The fucking pope just wrote a book saying it is a myth, in other news. Dumbass.

  19. laurentweppe says

    This sign is particularly offensive to Christians […] This is a sign of hate

    This is more of a sign of despisement and it’s not offensive to Christians alone but also to everyone who think that being religious does not make one a shitty little liar.
    .
    Because that’s exactly what the sign means: “You KNOW it’s a myth” express the certainty that the person you’re addressing to is engaged in deceit.
    .
    For instance, I am very prone to say that everyone knows that the supply-side is a myth; a piece of shit meant to justify the protection of the upper-class undue privileges. This means that as far as I am concerned every member of the Church of the Supply Side is either an inept upper-class parasite who wants to keep on rigging the competition in his advantage or the lackey of upper-class parasites who want to keep on rigging the competition in their advantage. I’m not going to pretend that I want to “convince” supply-siders, I’m not going to claim that I feel smoething other than contempt toward the first group and condescending pity at best toward members of the second group; and I’m most certainly not going to pretend that I want to have gentlemanly debates with them: I don’t believe them to be honest and I want them beaten and forever reduced to political impotence.
    .
    I think that people should never try to hide their scorn behind false politeness in the name of “civility”, but at the same time, everyone should take responsability for their disgusts: If you despise someone, do not use coded language to say that you despise them without openly saying so.
    .
    So either the West Milford local does not despise every religious people in the universe and clumsily thought his sign was a clever way to express his atheism: in which case he’s an idiot in dire need of extra lessons in written expression. OR the West Milford local does in fact despise every religious people in the universe and believed his sign was a clever way to spit on everyone he despises without them noticing, in which case he’s still an idiot as well as a spineless coward. Now that does not justify stealing his sign , but if that guy had been my neighbour, I’d be tempted to put a sign of my own, one that says “This guy may be a spineless hateful coward and also most certainly an idiot

  20. magistramarla says

    Raven,
    The Romans spent several days feasting for Saturnalia, and businesses were closed for the holidays.
    There were public feasts paid for by the government (wouldn’t our congress hate that?).
    The feet of Saturn’s statue were “unbound”, symbolizing the return of his “Golden Age of Rule”.
    Saturn (also known as Cronus) was kept carefully under control after he was defeated by his children, most notably Jupiter (Zeus).
    Presents were exchanged, and small dolls and trinkets were given to children.
    Homes and public places were decorated with mistletoe and greenery.
    On one day, each wealthy household would appoint one slave to be “master for the day”, and the family would pretend to be the servants of their slaves for a while. Rules were relaxed, and the slaves were allowed to drink and gamble.
    I’m sure that I’ve missed some of the other traditions.
    It was mostly a huge celebration for the winter solstice, or Sol Invictus and was based upon much older traditions. Ancient people tended to celebrate together with their harvests that had been safely brought in during the coldest part of the winter. They rejoiced after the longest night of the year that once again the sun was regaining strength and promised spring weather to be coming soon.
    It always amazed my students how closely the traditions of Saturnalia resembled the xtian traditions with which they were familiar.

  21. maddog1129 says

    Apologies in advance for derail … I thought I had made an earlier comment that I can’t now find, but, can someone please direct me to the place (other than comments in a thread where they don’t belong) to contact the PTB about admin stuff? I’d like to comment on the blog format changes, and I know this isn’t the right place, so I’d like to go to where the right place is. Thank you.

  22. Alverant says

    So it’s OK for christians to be offensive by telling everyone else their beliefs are wrong, but Atheists can’t do the same thing?

    As for publicity, it’s not publicity if no one reports it. A baby Jesus goes missing and it makes headlines across the nation. An Atheist sign gets torn down and it’s lucky to be reported locally on page 5 plus a few blogs few non-Atheists read. Sorry but that’s not publicity.

  23. davefitz says

    Alverant – “So it’s OK for christians to be offensive by telling everyone else their beliefs are wrong, but Atheists can’t do the same thing?”

    No, it’s not ok for them to do it. Doesn’t mean we should. It’s ignorant for either side to engage in that.

  24. davefitz says

    I should clarify. It’s perfectly fine to tell someone their belief that prayer will cure their child of cancer. I am simply referring to ones belief in God, particularly in this context.

  25. says

    Bronze Dog,

    Good chance it isn’t fundies. This is Northern NJ suburb/exurb of nyc. Catholics probably by far the largest group–mostly Italians and Irish, followed by Northern European mainline protestants. Catholics, Jews and Muslims probably add up together to 80%+ of the population of Passaic County. As the Cranston RI debacle made clear, the local ethnic Catholics know how to act like jackasses as well as any fundie, which is strange because although they identify Catholic, they aren’t on the whole an especially religious people.

  26. anubisprime says

    maddog1129 @ 26

    I have no idea who to contact either…I tried the link suggested and got to jump through protocol hoops…and ended up on a rather strange email profile page which did not have a text field!

    Again apologies for thread excursion, but I must say the Left hand side advert block takes up half my screen and I have to scroll to the right every time I enter a thread…this is becoming a real irritant and has become a real issue.
    It is a dominating and unwanted intrusion…really naff and tacky.

    Totally off putting actually and makes it hard work just to read the contributors posts.

    It is a bust for me…

  27. maddog1129 says

    @ anubisprime … the link was missing a “t” on freethought. AFAIK, my e-mail went through okay with that correction.

  28. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    What do you all think of this sign?:

    Something on the order of “It’s all a myth, etc…”

    followed by:”

    And I bet you can’t resist destroying this sign because you know it?”

    Or:

    Do you really think that your God would sanction destroying this sign?”

    I know I’m putting this badly, but you get the idea – that they could be guilted into thinking about the topic or at least not destroying the sign.

  29. beezlebubby says

    davefitz:
    I’m sure you mean well and all, but I’m a bit put off that you seem to think that any approach to the problems of theistic or theocratic issues that is confrontational should be off-limits. I’m a big-tent atheist, and I think that ALL approaches have some degree of merit. Sometimes someone taking offense is their first step towards a more skeptical view,

    One way to look at this particular controversy is that SOMEONE in that town who might still be tenuously theistic might draw some courage knowing that there are people in that town he can reach out to for fellowship. Another read I have on the destruction is that such actions often disgust people who may disagree with the message but are moral enough to support the right to display the message. The fact that someone felt threatened enough to destroy or vandalize the sign is also a good thing, because it shows how badly they are losing the argument. Bystanders take notice of this, and it chafes against sound moral reasoning, lending more weight to the skeptical position.

    Of course, if it were me, I’d swipe a meme like “Axial tilt is the real reason for the season”.

    No disrespect davefitz, but I think it’s wrong to try and stifle approaches just because you don’t think they’re helpful or productive. You go ahead and be true to your kind and pleasant nature, and let the atheist vanguard do their thing. More approaches means more awakenings. Your position will probably yield more fruit, agreed, but we need shock troops too.

  30. Sastra says

    My own favorite idea for an atheist display (one put up as a protest against a large and solitary manger scene at, say, a city hall) is one which is both snarky in context but completely innocuous on its own: a lighted pink pig with wings, wearing holly and accompanied by a blinking sign which says “Happy Holidays.”

    Turned out I didn’t need it. But that skeptical pigasus would have been so cute.

    And funny. Never underestimate the power of humor. Anybody getting mad at happy holiday piggy looks like a Grinch. Ho ho ho.

  31. dmcclean says

    @36
    Citation provided, although I was admittedly exaggerating wildly for humorous effect: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20424676

    The book decries *some of* the myths about the (itself mythical) nativity.

    But he debunks several Christmas traditions, including the year of Jesus’ birth, which the Pope argues was miscalculated by a monk.

    Another sacred cow he tackles is the presence of animals at the birth in a stable in Bethlehem.

    He argues there is no evidence in the Gospel for that, but says images of oxen and donkeys have become such a staple part of the Nativity that they are now accepted.

    Admittedly the animals thing isn’t huge, but it actually is on point because according to the OP Father Rodak noted the creche on the property, which I can only assume included such animals.

    Also relevant to the creche claim, this time quoting a Religion News Service article on the book:

    The three wise men from the Christmas story, Benedict concedes, could be inspired by a “theological idea” rather than by a “historical event,” though he says he prefers a more literal interpretation of the biblical account.

    My point–stated without exaggeration–is that many aspects of the nativity myth are widely accepted to be mythical even by theologians, something Rodak would do well to note before flipping out over a fairly innocuous sign and comparing it to a burning cross or a swastika.

  32. laurentweppe says

    the local ethnic Catholics know how to act like jackasses as well as any fundie, which is strange because although they identify Catholic, they aren’t on the whole an especially religious people.

    Tribalistic fundies are not necessarilly the most devout. In France, the ratio of practicing Catholics who vote for the politicians allied with fundies is identical to the ratio of Atheists who vote for politicians allied with fundies. It’s among the non-practicing Catholics that you find the biggest support for pro-fundie politicians.

  33. says

    “Quotes by Hitchens and Twain quote do not an argument make.”

    Umm, I don’t think anyone was trying to make an argument based on those quotes. They may have been tossin’ it on their like parsley on a steak, but the argument is not based on any quotes.

    “It’s also the case that religious people know they’re right, and that we know they’re right, and we’re just being silly, spiteful, petulant brats acting out.”

    Huh? Does that sentence mean something?

    “Stop wasting time and money shitting on Christmas. It’s not productive and won’t win anyone over. Concentrate on outreach programs, outside of that particular public forum.”

    Fuck that. Being polite to assholes has been a losing strategy since the first person was polite to an asshole. I’m even less inclined to be polite to assholes when they are destructive, cowardly fucks. There is no “winning over” people like that.

  34. martinc says

    “saying … he would ‘turn the other cheek’ if someone did” [steal or destroy the sign].

    Read Bible? … Check.
    Understood Bible? …

    Oh well, one out of two ain’t bad.

  35. Rodney Nelson says

    democommie #42

    “It’s also the case that religious people know they’re right, and that we know they’re right, and we’re just being silly, spiteful, petulant brats acting out.”

    Huh? Does that sentence mean something?

    Yes it does. The vast majority of religious people are convinced their beliefs are correct. Many religious also believe that atheists know gods exist (specifically their favorite pet god) but we pretend there are no gods because we’re angry with the gods or want to act immorally or we’re just rebellious or whatever.

  36. says

    So I’m curious. If someone now went and destroyed the Christian display, and the city responded in a different manner (ie – made any attempt even to find out who did it, let alone punish them,) would that be grounds for a law suit?

  37. says

    Rodney Nelson:

    This:

    “It’s also the case that religious people know they’re right, and that we know they’re right, and we’re just being silly, spiteful, petulant brats acting out.”

    is a declarative sentence, not a question. If it’s stated as fact (which seems to have been done) it is incorrect and misleading.

    If it’s being posed as, “both sides do it”, it’s bullshit.

    The next sentence, btw:

    “It’s also the case that people, religious or not, destroy things belonging to people and groups they don’t like.”

    seems to be saying that “both sides do it”, as well; that is also bullshit.

  38. Anthony K says

    “It’s also the case that religious people know they’re right, and that we know they’re right, and we’re just being silly, spiteful, petulant brats acting out.”

    is a declarative sentence, not a question. If it’s stated as fact (which seems to have been done) it is incorrect and misleading.

    As incorrect and misleading as Olav and raven’s claims. Certainly true for some religious people, and for a certain value of “know”.

    It’s at least as true as “You know it’s a myth.” which is to say, not very unless more conditions are specified.

    If it’s being posed as, “both sides do it”, it’s bullshit.

    It’s not. It was posed as an alternative to Olav’s facile explanation. The issue I’m trying to address is how we try to accurately asses that behaviour. Saying “Oh, they’re just mad because they know we’re right, deep down” is just simplistic.

    The next sentence, btw:
    “It’s also the case that people, religious or not, destroy things belonging to people and groups they don’t like.”
    seems to be saying that “both sides do it”, as well; that is also bullshit.

    Did you follow the link? This isn’t an issue of “both sides do it”, it’s an example of non-religious people acting out it much the same way in order to further illustrate how inadequate Olav’s theory is, at least without any sort of supporting evidence.

  39. Anthony K says

    Lemme be clearer:

    I’m not victim-blaming. I know that atheist signs and displays get vandalised no matter how pleasantly non-confrontational. So, while I disagree with the message “You know it’s a myth”, it’s offensive because it’s inaccurate, not because I’m anti-confrontation.

    But that’s an aside. Based on observations that marginalised groups get dumped on by privileged groups in general, whether they be atheists, women, GLBT people, vegans/vegetarians, etc., it’s much more likely that this sort of behaviour is influenced by the relative power differential and tacit social approval of such acts than anything specific to religious people and the desperation of faith.

  40. says

    “As incorrect and misleading as Olav and raven’s claims. Certainly true for some religious people, and for a certain value of “know”.

    Wrong. Your orignal comment was supercilious and condescending. You’re beginning to sound like a fucking tone troll.

    “It’s at least as true as “You know it’s a myth.” which is to say, not very unless more conditions are specified.”

    Bullshit. The christian christmas narrative IS a myth. That’s all it is. It has no historical backing. Prove me wrong, otherwise just stop making that stupid fucking claim.

    Relligionist fuckwads expect people to put up with their crap; I don’t, fuck them. You may choose to believe any fantasy that makes you feel good–you may not choose to attack my belief or lack of belief because it says yours is a fable with no factual underpinning.

  41. Anthony K says

    Wrong. Your orignal comment was supercilious and condescending.

    So? Is my tone a problem?

    You’re beginning to sound like a fucking tone troll.

    That’s…ironic.

    The christian christmas narrative IS a myth.

    Where have I disputed that?

    What I’m saying is that you’re likely to be fucking wrong when you tell them what they “know”. Ed made this claim too:

    “I think it’s kind of silly to tell people what they do and don’t know (as opposed to what is or isn’t true; those are two different things).”

    Since I’m not a tone troll, nor am I opposed to confrontation, I’ll go even further: It’s fucking wrong, and so-called skeptics who say this kind of thing are just being fucking stupid.

    Prove me wrong, otherwise just stop making that stupid fucking claim.

    Prove you wrong about the claim that the billboard audience “knows” it’s a myth?

    You’ve got the burden of proof backwards.

    You may choose to believe any fantasy that makes you feel good

    That’s exactly what I’m criticising Olav’s theory for. Are we interested in the truth as to why vandalism happens, or are we interested in patting ourselves on the fucking back for being so rational as to deny the existence of gods?

    This:

    My theory, which I am sure is not original, goes like this. They try very hard to convince themselves that it is not a myth, but no matter how deeply they immerse themselves in religious bullshit and regardless of the “strength” of their “faith”, reality keeps nagging at them. It really does keep them awake at night more often than they will ever admit.

    That is why they are so vehemently against signs like this and public atheism in general. It reminds them of their own doubts. Doubts that they need to deny constantly at the cost of traumatic levels of cognitive dissonance, just in order to not feel like they have been stupid, have been wasting their time, have failed their tribe.

    is an atheist feel-good story.

    While I’ve no doubt that this is true for some proportion of theists, it’s hardly true for all of them, and assigning it as a motive for this particular act of vandalism is just foolish, as there are any number of any other plausible motives.

    Fuck, why not just say they hate us for our freedoms? That’s about as accurate.

    Bullshit. The christian christmas narrative IS a myth. That’s all it is. It has no historical backing. Prove me wrong, otherwise just stop making that stupid fucking claim.

  42. davefitz says

    beezlebubby – I don’t think confrontational approaches should be off limits. I just don’t see the use of picking fights in this manner. The idea of telling somewhat what they KNOW is off putting itself and doesn’t solve anything. You’re going to drive more people away than win converts. If you want to let people in your community know they have support or options, I’m all for it.

    Democommie – “Fuck that. Being polite to assholes has been a losing strategy since the first person was polite to an asshole. I’m even less inclined to be polite to assholes when they are destructive, cowardly fucks. There is no “winning over” people like that.”

    You’re equating people who love and celebrate christmas with assholes. And I’m not talking about being polite to those who destroyed the sign. I’m talking about putting up the sign in the first place. What’s the purpose? You’re confusing two different groups here.

  43. Anthony K says

    Bullshit. The christian christmas narrative IS a myth. That’s all it is. It has no historical backing. Prove me wrong, otherwise just stop making that stupid fucking claim.

    Whoops. I dunno how that got duplicated at the end of my last comment.

    Of course it’s a myth. But that’s never been what I’ve been talking about.

    What I’m talking about is deciding what other people do or do not “know”, not based on evidence, but based on wish-fulfilment.

    Theists tell me I *know* god exists, but I’m just denying it because I want to be bad, or something. That is not true. It’s wrong.

    Similarly, unless you actually have evidence for what Christians (in this case) think, it’s at the very least inaccurate to impute motives to them.

    I’ll make my comparison to the impersonation of Ophelia Benson more explicit:

    My theory, which I am sure is not original, goes like this. They try very hard to convince themselves that the feminist perspective is not true, but no matter how deeply they immerse themselves in free speech and regardless of the “strength” of their “rationality”, reality keeps nagging at them. It really does keep them awake at night more often than they will ever admit.

    That is why they are so vehemently against Ophelia Benson like this and feminists in general. It reminds them of their own doubts. Doubts that they need to deny constantly at the cost of traumatic levels of cognitive dissonance, just in order to not feel like they have been stupid, have been wasting their time, have failed their tribe.

    Now, that feels good to think, but is it true, when describing the motives of the anti-feminists and anti-plussers?

  44. says

    “You’re equating people who love and celebrate christmas with assholes.”

    Actually, you are. I celebrate Christmas with friends and family. Some of them are christians, some not. They do not GODbother me–more than once–about the reason for the season.

    “That’s exactly what I’m criticising Olav’s theory for. Are we interested in the truth as to why vandalism happens, or are we interested in patting ourselves on the fucking back for being so rational as to deny the existence of gods?”

    Are we interested in knowing why vandalism occurs? Are you interested in knowing why someone tries to run you off the road? I KNOW why people commit acts like vandalism–they’re pissed off. I really don’t give a fuck that they’re pissed off, or why they’re pissed off–unless I did something to them. You’re telling me that I can’t know what’s going on the heads of people but you seem to KNOW what’s going on in my head. Do you notice that pain in your shoulder, from patting yourself on the back.

    I looked at that link. Wow, just fucking WOW.

    I’m done with this.

  45. Anthony K says

    I really don’t give a fuck that they’re pissed off, or why they’re pissed off

    Then next time, if you don’t know what’s going on and don’t give a shit, shut your piehole and don’t waste my fucking time.

  46. says

    Modusoperandi:

    Hold me, I feel an attack of the vapors comin’ on! The AK-54 has destroyalated me!

    This:

    “Then next time, if you don’t know what’s going on and don’t give a shit, shut your piehole and don’t waste my fucking time”

    is deliciously ironic.

    Anthony, honey; Do go fuck yourself.

    Let me save you from a waste your time attempting to determine what my motivations are for telling you to go fuck yourself. I do so because I can and may.

    You want to preach to people, get a fucking religion, bro. Otherwise shut YOUR fucking piehole.

Leave a Reply