Bill Donohue has noticed that there are a lot of atheists running around and getting all up in his face, so the Catholic League is launching a counter-insurgency program, an Adopt An Atheist campaign, which I find kind of sweet and stupid.
Today we are launching our “Adopt An Atheist” campaign, the predicate of which is, “We want atheists to realize that there may be Christians in their community, even if those Christians don’t even know they are Christian.”
Uh, Bill…we know there are Christians in our communities. They’re all over the place, and they’re always rather loud about it. This is a campaign designed to ape what American Atheists do, and it puts Bill Donohue in an unfortunately defensive situation, in which he’s basically reacting to Dave Silverman by doing what Dave Silverman does…and it’s not going to work for him at all.
Here’s what our campaign entails. We are asking everyone to contact the American Atheist affiliate in his area [click here], letting them know of your interest in “adopting” one of them. All it takes is an e-mail. Let them know of your sincere interest in working with them to uncover their inner self. They may be resistant at first, but eventually they may come to understand that they were Christian all along.
If we hurry, these closeted Christians can celebrate Christmas like the rest of us. As an added bonus, they will no longer be looked upon as people who “believe in nothing, stand for nothing and are good for nothing.”
When atheists heard about this deal, they scrambled to beg to be “adopted”. He’s already hooked Cuttlefish, Greg, and JT, and heck, sign me up, too. Why? Because the comedic opportunities are freaking ripe. Donohue’s hooks are improperly baited — all they’re going to snag are happy atheists who’d love to see a fanatical Catholic willingly get in range for a mix of rational discussion, critical evaluation of Christian absurdities, and outright mockery.
Bill Donohue doesn’t seem to realize that he and Dave Silverman are in highly asymmetric situations (which doesn’t surprise me — Donohue is not a particularly insightful fellow). The Catholic church’s problem is not that people are unaware of them; as the largest single Christian denomination, Catholicism has name brand recognition. Their problem is that people know all about the Catholic church, and they run away screaming from it.
Its fusty medievalisms are the stuff of gothic horror novels and Dungeons & Dragons games, not contemporary life. Its most notable claim to fame recently has been raping children, and I think anyone can tell you, getting your brand name associated with child abuse, enslaving women, and providing a cushy old folks home for unrepentant pedophiles is not good marketing.
And along those lines, proposing to “adopt” people, something we usually associate with children…that’s not a good reminder to throw out there, Bill. When I first heard of this misbegotten plan to have a Catholic ‘adopt’ people like me, it wasn’t that they’d teach me to appreciate the true story of Christmas, but that my virginal anus was under threat.
Besides, I already celebrate Christmas the right way: with cephalopods on a fake tree, lefse and krumkake, kissing a pretty girl, and lounging about indolently all day long. We’ve successfully stolen the meaning of “holiday” away from the believers: instead of a day of sacred obligations, it’s now a day of freedom from obligations of all sorts — it’s a day off, when we can just relax and do what makes us and others happy.
And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?