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Dec 14 2011

Anger doesn’t make the irrational more sensible

I actually enjoyed this little rant by a fervent Catholic, Mary Kochan: You Whiny Sniveling Little Atheists Are Pathetic! She’s in a rage because the Freedom From Religion Foundation challenged the declaration of a “Day of Prayer” in Arizona (a case they lost, by the way).

Let’s get this straight. The atheists are suing because they had to turn off the television to avoid the topic of religion or news announcements about the Day of Prayer. They had to alter their conversation to avoid the topic of religion. This made them feel like “outsiders”.

No. We atheists are quite accustomed to silly people praying, and we see religion on TV all the time; it’s entirely within everyone’s personal rights to believe whatever they damn well please, as long as it doesn’t infringe on others’ rights to do likewise. The case was about an elected official using the apparatus of our common government to endorse sectarian religious belief. We don’t mind altering our conversation to avoid religion, and sometimes we’ll alter it to confront religion. It looks like the atheist case was poorly argued, but the crux of the problem is the violation of the establishment cause.

Once upon a time, in a country containing diverse religious views, Catholics and Baptists could appreciate the fact that the absence of a state religion allowed both to flourish, and would have been standing right up there with the atheists demanding that the government not meddle in religious belief. Now, though, as atheists get louder and more prominent, they instead find common cause in this myth of a “judeo-christian nation” to start using government to enforce belief. Let’s hope for their sake that the Mormons never take over the government!

But let’s move on to Ms Kochan’s entertaining fury, built on a false understanding of the substance of the complaint, and in which she throws in further stupidities.

You whiny, sniveling, little, pusillanimous cowards. You have the audacity to tell us Christians that we are “weak” and that our religion is a “crutch.” You are supposed to be so “courageous”, venturing forth boldly into the existential mystery of being alone, facing with stoicism the nothingness that awaits you at death, priding yourself on your realism and self-reliance. You are a bunch of feeble fakers.

Yes, you are outsiders. Go start your own damn country. This one was started by Christians, you puerile dimwits. It is Christians who established and largely Christians who fought and died to maintain the freedoms you enjoy. And Christians are still the majority. Apparently your vaulted belief system doesn’t equip you to handle being in the minority. That’s interesting, isn’t it? After all, this was and is a societal situation valiantly handled by millions and millions of Christians who suffered — and currently suffer — real oppression, violence, torture, economic deprivation, and cruel deaths. But you have to go through turning off the TV once in a while and so your precious puny feelings are hurt. How delicate and frail your mental architecture is!

You are a pitiful joke. Trembling over the mere mention of God. Running like babies to court because of your brittle feelings. “Oh, but judge, but judge, I saw a cross and I just can’t stand it.” “I heard someone say ‘Merry Christmas’ and it hurt my feelings.” “I just can’t sleep knowing there is a manger scene at the courthouse.” “The sight of the Ten Commandments makes me wet my pants.” Now we see how inadequate and feeble you really are. Rage, therapists say, is the flip side of helplessness. And so we see your rage against religion in the public square for what it is: a product of your own insubstantial internal resources. Go look at yourself in the mirror if you can bear the pathetic, contemptible sight of yourself. Our merest martyr shows you to be a wimp – fourteen-year-old Kizito of Uganda singing hymns while being burned alive. But you, you anemic, lily-livered worms – you quail at pushing the off button on the remote! Hah!

Right there in the second paragraph is the justification for the FFRF’s lawsuit, and she doesn’t even notice it. She wants to use religion as a criterion for citizenship, something clearly in violation of the letter and spirit of the American constitution. There certainly were Christians involved in the founding of the United States, but also freethinkers — and the US Constitution is largely a product of the Enlightenment, not Christianity. If Christianity had its way, we would be living in a theocratic monarchy, like those in the Bible, not a representative democracy.

The praise for the bullying capability of a majority is ironic, too. One of the concerns at the founding of the country was giving protection to minorities — they tyranny of the masses is always going to be a worry in a democracy. Perhaps Ms Kochan would be more appreciative of that if she recognized that America was also largely founded by Protestants, and Catholics through most of our history have been a mistrusted minority, despised as Papists, and the focus of a great deal of hatred, particularly when Catholic immigrants started to enter in large numbers. It’s kind of amusing in a sad, bitter way to see members of an oppressed minority now sidling up to downplay their differences and claim membership in the biggest gang of bullies, in order to shout down another minority. The worm has turned.

It’s also telling that in her last paragraph she has to invent imaginary quotes. My response on seeing a cross publicly displayed is a sneer of contempt, a roll of the eyes, a snide curl of the lip, not fear. But I recognize that the deluded are also citizens with the right to erect whatever personal exhibitions of their foolishness they desire. I don’t object to “Merry Christmas” at all, and even say it myself now and then — the War on Christmas is a nonexistent Christian boogeyman that makes atheists laugh. I lose no sleep over Christian myths, nor am I incontinent at the sight of the ten commandments, that irrelevant collection of silly rules that are unenforceable and mostly ignored even by believers, except for the few that are actually common to every lawful society, including that of atheists. We aren’t afraid of Christians, but we are rather tired of seeing their useless delusions promoted as solutions to real problems.

It’s also ironic that her own post full of rage and fury tries to make the claim that rage is a symptom of helplessness. Oh, really? Just how self-unaware are you, Mary Kochan?

And that parting snipe is so Catholic — to find smug satisfaction in the brutal, painful death of a fellow believer is beyond barbarous. It does not justify your superstition to have people suffer pointless agony while under its spell — atheists find greater virtue in living for our ideals.

123 comments

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  1. 1
    abadidea

    Someone has a bulky thesaurus and isn’t afraid to use it.

    Has this person ever even met an actual atheist? Or were they talking to a straw-stuffed scarecrow…

  2. 2
    ChristineRose

    Oh, she’s met atheists. It’s just that they were all nice reasonable people and she knew that in their heart of hearts they were actually Christians.

  3. 3
    captainahags

    Throwing random vocabulary words does not a coherent argument make. It’s amazing how many people just don’t get the difference between a desire to ban religion in public (a desire which I don’t think anyone has) and a desire to stop allowing government to force religion on the public (which everyone should have.) Ms. Kochan, if you’re so certain that you have The Truth, a direct line to the One Almighty God, and that he’s going to judge everyone after they die, why do you get worked up over the fact that some people don’t want you to be able to erect monuments to it on public property, or force us to take a day to worship? If we’re going to be judged anyway, why don’t you just shut the hell up, and let things run their course? Or are you perhaps afraid that we won’t be judged, and maybe what you cling to isn’t real, but merely the desire to feel as if there’s still something bigger than you controlling your life?

  4. 4
    scorpy1

    Audacious cowards?

    Someone get her a dictionary of synonyms and antonyms.

  5. 5
    Rumtopf

    Wow, I read the comments. So much hate, for people who claim to be all about love.

    And just once, just fucking once, I would love to see Catholics get that angry over priestal child abuse. Priorities!

  6. 6
    ChasCPeterson

    Note that the reactions she imparts to her straw-atheists are all emotional. Hurt feelings, rage…
    It’s projection: I am irrational, therefore everybody is irrational.

  7. 7
    Marcus Ranum

    Christians that we are “weak” and that our religion is a “crutch.”

    Weak and stupid, and your religion is not just a crutch: it’s a crutch, self-abnegation and masochism rolled together so you can beat yourself with it.

    That better?

  8. 8
    irisvanderpluym

    I guess this is one of those religious people I’m supposed to respect and accommodate? And whose Christian morality is supposed to impress me? Yeah, I’m not not really feeling that.

  9. 9
    Glen Davidson

    Apparently your vaulted belief system doesn’t equip you to handle being in the minority.

    I’d never have a belief system that wasn’t vaulted, that’s for sure. Indeed, mine all have spires as well.

    “Belief system” is a tad curious for, say, nonbelief, too. But if I have one, it’s vaulted, no question.

    Glen Davidson

  10. 10
    Marcus Ranum

    Has this person ever even met an actual atheist? Or were they talking to a straw-stuffed scarecrow…

    Methinks that she’s simply airing an argument that she’s been having with herself. Most people who try to see both sides of a position wind up adopting (to a degree) the opposing viewpoint so that they can get an idea what it feels like. It seems to me that she knows religious people are weak and that it’s a crutch and so forth – that’s why she’s projecting that viewpoint on her strawperson abstract atheist. She’s right, of course, except that most atheists don’t have the level of anger she imputes to us, because it’s not our problem: it’s hers. If I had to hold such absurd and contradictory ideas as religion in my head, I’d be angry and frustrated, too.

  11. 11
    Marcus Ranum

    Indeed, mine all have spires as well.

    What you really want is the “flying buttocks”* like a classic gothic cathedral.

    (*I once heard a tourist explaining the architecture of Notre Dame de Paris in those terms, and it’s been a family joke for decades since)

  12. 12
    raven

    In the last few years, 22 million people have left the US Catholic church, 1/3 of them.

    Which brings up an interesting question.

    Who in the hell is left and why?

    I suspect it is a mixed bag. Old people who aren’t interested in changing their life around. Apathetics who don’t really care. Wild eyed Catholic religious fanatics who still hate Protestants. Like Mark Judge and Mary Kochan.

    Maybe PZ can do another series. “Why I’m still a Catholic despite everything that is wrong with that church.”

  13. 13
    Glen Davidson

    Yes Mary, we tremble before your mighty–and rather odd–words.

    Laugh, tremble, whatever you have to believe it is.

    Glen Davidson

  14. 14
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Apparently your vaulted (sic) belief system doesn’t equip you to handle being in the minority.

    My vaulted belief system is highly domed, and parsimoniously adorned. It eschews dilapidated rococo ornamentation in obsequious thrall to slavish reason. Contrariwise, the seamless faux heavens gleam with ameliorated erudition, an horizonless expanse of velvet-black potential.

  15. 15
    Don Quijote

    I can’t help but think she was hoggling as she wrote that.

  16. 16
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I guess this is one of those religious people I’m supposed to respect and accommodate? And whose Christian morality is supposed to impress me? Yeah, I’m not not really feeling that.

    Yeah. You’ve got to wonder where all the sniveling accomodationists disappear to when stuff like this comes up.

    I got a kick out of that article though, honestly. She’s clearly trying to pretend she’s at the same intellectual level of prominent atheists (i.e. Dawkins), so she whipped out the thesaurus and used a lot of words she clearly had never attempted before. Its amusing in the same way Beck, O’Reilly et al are amusing – hate-mongering liars too dumb to know how dumb they are, giving us unending evidence of their dumbassery.

    Notice how she had to rely on a “martyr” from the other side of the planet to make her case that catholics are so macho. Couldn’t find one stateside, evidently. Can’t imagine why.

    Personally, I like it when dumbasses make fools of themselves and she did it like a champ.

  17. 17
    Gregory in Seattle

    Profanity is the last refuge of the ignorant.

  18. 18
    tuckerch

    If anyone was attempting to bury me alive, I can’t see the outcome being very much to their liking.

    Of course, the already opened burial pit would be handy for me to use for the bodies.

  19. 19
    frog

    Hmm, yes, I like to think I live in the vaulted halls of atheism (they look at lot like the mines of Moria). From the outside the walls have lovely flying buttresses of Reason and Logic. We’ve got a vast cistern full of Knowledge, too.

    Don Quijote@ 15: What is hoggling? I tried Google, but it just thinks I’m misspelling “haggling.”

  20. 20
    Don Quijote

    frog@19: Look up Franc Hoggle in the dungeon.

  21. 21
    Das Boese

    Interesting that she should choose a “martyr” from the nation of Uganda who died in the 19th century.

    The country which, today, is mostly known for their despicable persecution of LGBT people, encouraged by fundamentalist Christian missionaries, which has created international outrage with a bill proposing to punish homosexuality with death. It’s also a great example for the failure of religiously-motivated HIV/AIDS policy relying on abstinence and promoting male circumcision as an alternative to condom use, with infection rates on the rebound.

    Good job, Mary!

  22. 22
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Gregory:

    Profanity is the last refuge of the ignorant.

    And the first refuge of the knowledgable who simply don’t give a fuck.

  23. 23
    Becca Stareyes

    In a weird coincidence, I was reading an article on the history of prayer in US schools. It noted that some of the first people to oppose obviously religious lessons in public schools — such as using the Bible for reading and writing lessons — were Catholics, over a matter as simple as the preferred translation. As PZ noted, 150 years ago, a Catholic like Ms. Kochan would be a religious minority, probably being told to go back to Europe or start her own country. Certainly she shouldn’t expect the majority to cater to her weird Papist beliefs.

    I wish she’d learn a little history; that is why religious freedom (which is freedom from worship as much as freedom to worship) is necessary, because it protects all of us. Ms. Kochan doesn’t have to count on the US Catholic Church having enough people to give a damn, or a Protestant majority that counts Catholics as ‘one of us’ if she is free to worship as she chooses — she just has to accept that the same protection she has against discrimination and being pressured into conforming to the majority applies to others, regardless how near/far they are from her own beliefs.

  24. 24
    anchor

    They’re so endearing when they’re angry.

  25. 25
    hockeybob

    I have several catholic friends who swoon with glee whenever the name Tim Tebow is mentioned, and whenever I bring up the demonstrable fact that he is a marginal NFL quarterback at best, they immediately commence their “white-knighting” defense of him, claiming the only reason I “hate” him (WTF?!?) is due to his religious beliefs. I counter with the facts that A) I despise his egregiously arrogant and ignorant acts of public piety, where he completely disregards his god’s own words (Matthew 6: 5-8, anyone?), and B) Tebow’s father’s baptist mission has as one of their doctrines that catholics are not at all christians, as they are papists, and they must be saved.

    They never seem to grasp that last part – that, according to the guy they are staunchly defending, they are as much a godless heathen as I am. Their steadfast refusal to acknowledge this fact is troubling, yet comical.

    (An atheist friend responded like this; “If someone took the same level of devotion towards any other subject, it would be considered obsessive compulsive disorder. Imagine if Tebow used every media appearance to talk about Rubik’s cube, and how amazing the Rubik’s cube is, and how he loves the Rubik’s cube more than his wife.

    But his obsessions and compulsions are about Jesus, so it’s perfectly okay.”)

    With Tebow’s widely reported poor Wunderlich score, solving one Rubik’s Cube would be a lifelong task for him – he’s got enough trouble trying to remove the cap from a gallon of milk, let alone solve a square puzzle.

  26. 26
    Active Margin

    It’s a funny thing, that rage.

  27. 27
    Active Margin

    And also this:

    “Ooh! Those flashing eyes, those pouting lips. You know something princess? You are UGLY when you’re angry.”

    (I figure there has to be at least one other Spaceballs fan in here somewhere)

  28. 28
    No One

    Mary Kochan used to be a jehovah witness. She’s “gone soft” to catholicism apparently. Next stop new age woo, and then on to clear thinking.

    ‘Cmon girl! Use that deductive reasoning! Freedom is around the corner…

  29. 29
    frog

    Raven@12:

    I certainly can’t speak to the broader population of Catholics, but in my mother’s case, it appears to be a focus on the smaller scale.

    She still watches mass on Sunday mornings (her mobility is a bit limited for attending mass personally more than a couple of times a year). She still gives an annual donation to her local parish. It’s a post-Vatican II parish. The church is round, not cross-shaped, and the neighborhood is New York liberals. I note this because I think that makes it easier for her to ignore the bad aspects of the Catholic organization.

    I think she considers the sex abuse cases to be somehow separate from everything else, in a sort of “There are bad apples, but there are still many good people doing good works” way. I have been gently pointing out that her donations of money are supporting an organization that has been covering up abuse and doesn’t show any credible signs of reforming.

    I think she still hopes the church will clean up its act. People are aces at separating things in their heads if it makes them more emotionally comfortable.

  30. 30
    anchor

    Not only doesn’t it make the irrational more sensible, it doesn’t appear to correct any of their oddly mistaken views:

    “Trembling over the mere mention of God.”

    Trembling? Like when someone mentions, “Look out for the dogshit”? Response: looks under his shoes and shrugs?

  31. 31
    chigau (違う)

    Back in PhysEd class I hated the vault.
    I always landed on my head.

  32. 32
    Gregory Greenwood

    Mostly I find Mary Kochan’s school yard level rant little more than mildly amusing. She clearly doesn’t understand the meaning of several of the words she is using, and her grasp of history is, shall we say, somewhat patchy.

    Among the expected claims of theist martytdom and the straw atheists she is so enthusiastically burning, one passage did stick out;

    Yes, you are outsiders. Go start your own damn country. This one was started by Christians, you puerile dimwits. It is Christians who established and largely Christians who fought and died to maintain the freedoms you enjoy. And Christians are still the majority. Apparently your vaulted belief system doesn’t equip you to handle being in the minority.

    Leaving aside the usual ‘christian nation’ lie, this seems to be a pretty unambiguous statement that atheists are not, or should not be, considered citizens. The implication is then clear that atheists also should not receive the rights and constitutional protections of citizens. So long as Kochan remains just another moron ranting into the ether, this really isn’t a big deal. But if Kochan or someone like her was ever able to achieve a sufficient level of power in society, then her statements take on a different aspect. For a frothing theo-fascist like this woman, it is but a small step to go from demanding the expulsion of unbelievers to calling for a pogrom against the godless (likely along with believers in other religions, members of other christian sects, homosexuals, immigrants and people who object to priestly child rape etc). That is one of the things that atheists worry about – that the creeping theocracy in the US governmental system is already eroding civil liberties and compounding the discriminatory attitudes toward atheists, and may one day put a bulls-eye on the back of every non-believer. This isn’t a paranoid delusion or an expression of a whiny martyr complex, but rather a completely rational concern.

    On the subject of martyrs, Kochan’s disgusting obsession with some kind of perverse ‘martyrdom olympics’ is strange to say the least;

    Our merest martyr shows you to be a wimp – fourteen-year-old Kizito of Uganda singing hymns while being burned alive. But you, you anemic, lily-livered worms – you quail at pushing the off button on the remote! Hah!

    As PZ says, glorying in the suffering of your co-religionists is rather unpleasant, and says nothing about the accuracy of the factual claims of your religion.

    While I have no desire to stoop to Kochers level, her statement also seems to imply that no one has ever suffered or died because of their atheism, a manifestly untrue claim. In many parts of the world, apostasy and atheism are punishable by death, and in still more, while there may be no official death penalty, publically admitting to godlessness is still tantamount to signing your own death warrent due to the murderous extremes of militant theists that are left unchecked by governments that are fundamentally disinterested in affording the shield of law to unbelivers. Theists most certainly have no monopoly on suffering oppression of freedom of conscience.

    I also find it curious that she causlly dismisses this victim of brutality as being ‘our merest martyr’. Why ‘merest’? What makes the suffering of this poor child somehow lesser than the others who have died in the name of catholicism? Or anything else for that matter? Doesn’t Kizito deserve better than be to be wheeled out as a disposeable rhetorical device for Kochan? Does she feel no compassion, no horror in the face of this tragic loss of a young life? Does she even care at all about this savage murder except as a discursive cudgel that she ineptly attempts to bludgeon atheists with?

    It seems to me that, once again, we baby-eating, godless abominations actually care about the suffering of theists rather more than the theists do.

  33. 33
    Active Margin

    It seems to me that, once again, we baby-eating, godless abominations actually care about the suffering of theists rather more than the theists do.

    Some of the best Christians I’ve know have been atheists.

  34. 34
    chigau (違う)

    Profanity is the last refuge of the ignorant.

    Tone trolling is the first refuge of those without an argument.

  35. 35
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Profanity is the last refuge of the ignorant.

    Great. another hoggling tone troll. Where’s the pearl-clutcher’s fainting couch when you need it?

    Doesn’t Kizito deserve better than be to be wheeled out as a disposeable rhetorical device for Kochan? Does she feel no compassion, no horror in the face of this tragic loss of a young life? Does she even care at all about this savage murder except as a discursive cudgel that she ineptly attempts to bludgeon atheists with?

    Kizito deserves better than to be used as a tool of bigotry. But this is an xtian we’re talking about. Is there any other religion that hoggles so hard at the merest mention of death, mayhem, destruction, oppression or torture? That is the very basis of their jihad envy.

  36. 36
    a3kr0n

    You might not be afraid of Christians, but I’m afraid of Christians, that’s why I’m a3kr0n.

  37. 37
    Moggie

    Kizito of Uganda? Does she really want to go there? Because the Ugandan martyrs were essentially victims of a three-way power struggle between Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims in the Ugandan royal court. Their martyrdom is an excellent advertisement for why countries should strive to keep their governments secular – the FFRF’s argument!

  38. 38
    Gregory Greenwood

    Active Margin @ 33;

    Some of the best Christians I’ve know have been atheists.

    There is a certain brand of theist who has the annoying tendency to say that with a straight face. The kind of believer who is terribly impressed that, despite having no basis for morality due to our awful godlessness, we atheists still manage to care about the wellbeing of our fellow humans. The worst examples of this particular subtype of god-botherer go on to marvel that we even manage to show compassion toward homosexuals, as if treating homosexual people as human beings requires some special superpower or something…

    I despise the condescending mentality of theists who feel that atheists deserve a pat on the back for not being the subhuman monsters they clearly expect us to be.

  39. 39
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Show me what passes for fury among your misbegotten kind.

  40. 40
    alysonmiers

    Yes, you are outsiders. Go start your own damn country. This one was started by Christians, you puerile dimwits. It is Christians who established and largely Christians who fought and died to maintain the freedoms you enjoy. And Christians are still the majority. Apparently your vaulted belief system doesn’t equip you to handle being in the minority. That’s interesting, isn’t it? After all, this was and is a societal situation valiantly handled by millions and millions of Christians who suffered — and currently suffer — real oppression, violence, torture, economic deprivation, and cruel deaths.

    Folks, I am impressed. She goes from, “Yeah, we’re the majority, and we’ll push you around ’cause we can!” to “Christians are persecuted and oppressed!” in a single paragraph. The self-obliviousness is breathtaking.

  41. 41
    Michael

    I think someone is channeling the Monty Python Architect Sketch: “You whining, snivelling little toadies…”

    It wasn’t quite up to the Argument Sketch: “Don’t give me that you snotty-faced heap of parrot droppings!…Your type really makes me puke you vacuous, toffee-nosed, perverts!”

  42. 42
    Active Margin

    Gregory Greenwood @38

    I couldn’t agree more. And one of my other favorites is when Christians marvel that I’m an atheist who is well versed in scripture and the like.

    It’s like I’m a dancing bear. So cute. If only I’d try harder to believe…

  43. 43
    r.c.ellis

    atheists find greater virtue in living for our ideals.

    This is powerful. Too often bravery is equated with foolishly and unnecessarily rushing headlong into death. And this brave Catholic woman sitting at her typer has the effrontery to call a 14 year Ugandan boy their “merest martyr.” He was burned alive at the age of 14, but in her world view he is the least of the martyrs. The least in importance. Well, if that’s how it plays out in her religion, then I am content in my cowardice to have no part of it.

  44. 44
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    LOL @ alysonmiers

    Christians who suffered — and currently suffer — real oppression, violence, torture, economic deprivation, and cruel deaths.

    At the hands of other christians or other theists. What was I supposed to gleen from this paragraph? Other than the fact that she has no real graps of history, and no real grasp on logical consistancy.

  45. 45
    Blondin

    Doesn’t she know you catch more flies with honey? Someone should give her a “Don’t be a dick” talk.

  46. 46
    dianne

    Just one question: why is Kizito their _merest_ martyr? Seems to me that being burned to death at 14 would put one into one of the…er, less mere? what is the opposite of “merest” anyway…categories of martyr. But maybe those spots are reserved for anglos.

  47. 47
    Anthony K

    Our merest martyr

    …is not you, Mary.

    But, if we’re going to play that game, Joseph Kony is also a Christian, so I guess that makes you a murderous thug.

  48. 48
    shouldbeworking

    Ohhhh, someone needs a nap or a remedial lesson in her religion’s petty details like ” the golden rule” and bearing false witness” .

    As for my frail mental architecture, well, I can comprehend the evidence for evolution. I guess my mental capacity is still stronger than hers. But her blood pressure is higher, I’m sure.

  49. 49
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    He was burned alive at the age of 14, but in her world view he is the least of the martyrs.

    Really, there are some truly spectacular martyrs out there. One of the merest of these was St. Mervin of Spain who was martyred for proudly saying “Merry Christmas” to all passersby in a hamlet near Rondo in Moorish territory. As part of the First War on Christmas, the locals captured the gibbering merrymaker, and trebucheted him 700 meters into the side of Mateo Castle. Although badly broken, St. Mervin did not die, but began to softly sing Christmas carols to himself. He was then beaten, stomped, tickeled, purple-nurpled, smurf-burnered, and atomic wedgied by the vicious mob for fourteen days straight. Still, he sang. “Merry Christmas” and “pah-rum-pum-pum-pum. Pummmmm” were his only spoken responses to his accusers. Finally, the Lord showed mercy on him, allowing him the dignity of death at last on Christmas morning, after he had been wrapped festively, placed under a tree and roasted alive slowly with tea candles.

    St. Mervin isn’t even on a calendar. Google him. You will find nothing. This kid from Uganda is going to have a hell of a time competing for calendar space, is all I’m saying.

  50. 50
    codyreisdorf

    “Sir, your derangement is impressive!”

    It is wholly bizarre how fully unaware these people are. How is it that I, a strident antitheist, could make better arguments for their beliefs than they can? If I were trying to mock her I wouldn’t have been able to make her sound so stupid. After all the name calling she does at the top, the psychology bit blew me away.

  51. 51
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Perhaps Saint Mary of Myocardial Infarction meant “merest” to mean “youngest”? I mean, her writing is rife with inconsistency, so it wouldn’t surprise me if she was using him cudgel while insulting him in the same sentence, but maybe she meant youngest.

  52. 52
    jonnyridley

    So inconsistent. Firstly we’re venturing forth boldly into the existential mystery of being alone, then a paragraph later our vaulted belief system doesn’t equip [us] to handle being in the minority. Which is it?

    And then:

    facing with stoicism the nothingness that awaits you at death

    I can’t quite understand how it takes any stoicism to face, er, nothing. Especially after I cease to exist.

  53. 53
    Ingdigo Jump

    Piouty is the last refuge of the ignorant.

    FTFY

  54. 54
    Gregory Greenwood

    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle @ 35;

    Kizito deserves better than to be used as a tool of bigotry. But this is an xtian we’re talking about. Is there any other religion that hoggles so hard at the merest mention of death, mayhem, destruction, oppression or torture? That is the very basis of their jihad envy.

    Good point, if made with a somewhat disturbing mental image. There are very good reasons why we describe christianity as a ‘death cult’, and it is not only because it infuriates fundies so (though that is a definite bonus).

    —————————————————————-

    Zinc Avenger @ 39;

    A fellow Dawn of War fan, I see. I once listened to a fundie chastise science fiction as immoral, and in particular rant about 40K, and my first thought was; ‘He’s just jealous – he wishes his religion had fanatical, seven foot tall, genetically engineered post-human templar of its own…’

    —————————————————————-

    Active Margin @ 42;

    I couldn’t agree more. And one of my other favorites is when Christians marvel that I’m an atheist who is well versed in scripture and the like.

    It’s like I’m a dancing bear. So cute. If only I’d try harder to believe…

    I know the feeling. These types of theists aren’t your standard, hatred spewing, fire-and-brimstone-fatasising fundies – in a way they are even worse. They treat atheists as deficient. As ‘almost-people’ that just need a little nudge to accept the supposedly self-evident ‘truth’ of their deity, much as homosexuals allegedly need a ‘little nudge’ to accept that they really want to have sex with people of the opposite gender to themselves, and feminists* just need a ‘little nudge’ to accept that their lives will only have meaning once they surrender to the will of a man and get the ‘good seeing to’ they are so obviously in desperate need of…

    —————————————————————-

    * Of course, for such people the idea of male feminists just wouldn’t compute at all.

  55. 55
    humanape

    I unsuccessfully tried to register for the asshole’s website. I wanted to write the following comment (and a few other things).

    The screaming asshole called normal people “cowards”.

    It’s Catholics and terrorists who have a cowardly belief in a magical heaven.

    The idiot for the dead Jeebus also wrote “Go start your own damn country.”

    I didn’t serve in the United States Army so Catholics could make America a theocracy. Respect our Establishment Clause or get out of my country you theocratic retard.

    Even more annoying was the atheist wimp who wrote “I know how important belief can be in someone’s life. I see faith sustain my mother. So I don’t understand the minority of atheists who want to rid the world of religion.”

    Maybe, Mr. Suck-up Atheist, if you had to choose between being burned alive or exploding into a red mist after crashing into the pavement 100 floors below you, you might understand why normal people would like to eradicate religious stupidity. And maybe if you were a biology teacher in the brain-dead Bible Belt and you had to endure harassment and threats from cowardly Christians, you would agree the world would be better off without the Christian Death Cult.

    Human Ape

  56. 56
    feralboy12

    You are a pitiful joke. Trembling over the mere mention of God. Running like babies to court because of your brittle feelings. “Oh, but judge, but judge, I saw a cross and I just can’t stand it.”

    If she wants to know what we’re so afraid of, she should read her own third paragraph; you know, the one where she wants to kick us out of the country. But I guess we’re not supposed to feel threatened by that.
    I’m having a Theoden moment: “So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?”

  57. 57
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Profanity is the last refuge of the ignorant.

    And yet, there are times, such as when one destroys a brand-new $150 dollar hat, that a good and wisely used bit of profanity is not only appropriate, by cathartic and theraputic. So fuck off, asshole, and stop treating adults like they are children.

    And for Mary Kochan? You really need to read some history books about the founding of the United States of Amerca. There was a lively debate regarding whether or not to call the US a Christian nation and it was voted down. Much to the relief of Baptists, Catholics, and other oppressed religious minorities.

  58. 58
    truthspeaker

    Profanity is the last refuge of the ignorant.

    What an ignorant fucking comment.

  59. 59
    Sastra

    There seems to be a willful kind of blindness involved in the failure to recognize the difference between “out in public” and “done with public funds as an expression of governmental support.” And it’s almost as if Kochan’s understanding of constitutional democracy goes no deeper than “majority rules.”

    Gee, maybe it does.

  60. 60
    Gregory Greenwood

    feralboy12 @ 56;

    I’m having a Theoden moment: “So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?”

    Fortunately, we have an option that Theoden didn’t – merciless mockery. More effective than Anduril, and without the need to wash troll blood out of your clothes afterwards. Puncturing the pomposity of fundie nitwits like Kochan not only serves the purpose of highlighting what an ahistoric, bigoted idiot she really is, but also has the added bonus of being great fun. I find the impotent, inchoate rage evident in posts such as her’s both funny and strangely therapeutic.

    The very fact that all she has is petty namecalling shows how far Western civilisation has come – the days when her ilk could silence dissenting voices by the liberal application of casual, state-sponsored murder are long gone, and she really can’t handle that. As Hitchens says, when christians lost the ability to burn heretics and apostates at the stake, they lost their most (no, that’s not right, they lost their only) compelling argument.

  61. 61
    raven

    You are a pitiful joke. Trembling over the mere mention of God.

    A common mistake of theists.

    We atheists get along great with the gods. Couldn’t be better. The gods have been so quiet for centuries that…it’s almost like they don’t exist.

    OTOH, we are more than a little nervous about the followers of the gods. Historically they have been a rather violent homicidal bunch.

    Oddly enough, exactly zero of the Catholic martyrs have been killed by the other gods or demons. They’ve all been killed by humans, almost always by other believers in Invisible Spooks of one sort or another.

  62. 62
    michaelswanson

    You can’t win with these ignorant assholes. Look at this comment from her article.

    The “Freedom from Religion” atheists, who brought the suit against Governor Brewer, keep different company: Lenin, Stalin, and other failed dictators who slaughtered millions of their own people.

    I’m a member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, and a proud one. I will defend freedom from and of religion to my dying breath. I contend that Russian communism was a cult of personality, i.e., a religion disguised as faithlessness, in which the state replaced god as the center of authority, demanding religious-like perfect obedience. I put it on equal ground with the past tyranny of the Catholic church and current tyranny of state-run Islam in Middle East – and I despise them equally. I despise tyranny in all its forms, and believe that the state should never the power of life and death over its citizens, that all should be guaranteed liberty and security. But it doesn’t matter. Stalin didn’t believe in god, I don’t believe in god, therefore Stalin and I are the same. You can point out endless examples of faithful people that committed endless atrocities, but they’ll just trot out their “not a true Christian” bullshit and smugly think they’ve won. They always think they’ve won the race because they simply define the finish line as wherever they stand.

    Idiots.

  63. 63
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Mary has spoken in many settings, to groups large and small, on the topic of destructive cultism

    That’s what you’d expect from a Catholic expert.

  64. 64
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Profanity is the last refuge of the ignorant.

    And comments like this are the first refuge of those unable to put forth an argument.

  65. 65
    Sastra

    You are a pitiful joke. Trembling over the mere mention of God. Running like babies to court because of your brittle feelings. “Oh, but judge, but judge, I saw a cross and I just can’t stand it.” “I heard someone say ‘Merry Christmas’ and it hurt my feelings.” “I just can’t sleep knowing there is a manger scene at the courthouse.” “The sight of the Ten Commandments makes me wet my pants.” Now we see how inadequate and feeble you really are.

    You are a pitiful joke. Trembling over the absence of any mention of God in state-run schools, courthouses, and laws. Running like babies to court because of your brittle feelings. “But judge, judge, there’s no taxpayer-supported cross on government land and I just can’t stand it.” “I heard someone say ‘Happy Holidays’ and it hurt my feelings.”I just can’t sleep knowing there is no manger scene at the courthouse.” “The sight of a city hall or school building without a Ten Commandments makes me wet my pants.” “If gay people get married it destroys my idea of marriage.”

    Now we see how inadequate, feeble, self-absorbed, intolerant, privileged, and silly you really are.

    Goose.

  66. 66
    Crow

    The comments on her site are so obviously filtered. Not a single dissenting opinion. Just one accomodationist thanking her for her opinion and asking “Please don’t forget us nice unbelievers when you’re praying.”

    I would almost have more respect for faithists if they straight up admitted they don’t need reasons to believe their myths. Pretending to have an argument that nobody can elucidate is just so…wormy, for lack of a better word.

  67. 67
    stonyground

    Christians who bleat about persecution really do need to be made aware that the most prolific persecuters of Christians have been other Christians. That fourteen year old martyr that she cites, I’m guessing that it wasn’t atheists doing the burning. Not only that, the unfortunate child must have taught from birth to believe that it is really important for all eternity that you believe the correct bucket full of superstitious shite and don’t change over to a different bucket even if bad people threaten you with a hideous death. Not only that but America’s founders had witnessed this kind of thing first hand and that is why they wrote religious neutrality of the government into the constitution. Her rant suggests that Catholics would start burning people pretty quickly if they got themselves into a position of power in a cosmopolitan country.

    Sorry to be OT for a moment but there is an advertisement for the organisation ‘English Heritage’ in the margins here. My family are all members which means that we get to visit historic sites all over England for free. Darwin’s house appears in the graphic, visiting it was the closest that I have ever been to a spiritual experience.

  68. 68
    ricardodivali having sniffles over stiffles

    The comments on her site are so obviously filtered. Not a single dissenting opinion. Just one accomodationist thanking her for her opinion and asking “Please don’t forget us nice unbelievers when you’re praying.”

    Perhaps she’s “fearful” of something?

    My god, if this woman projected any harder we could use her to flash up adverts against the moon.

  69. 69
    chigau (違う)

    Brother Og
    What is it about your hat that is worth $150?

  70. 70
    Anthony K

    Profanity is the last refuge of the ignorant.

    [As Alex Trebek] “Ooh, the question we were looking for was ‘What are cliches, aphorisms, and other stock sayings?’ Let’s see how much you wagered, Gregory.”
    [Podium reveals no other comments or substance of any kind from Gregory]
    “Ooooh, everything. A bold, if not smart move. Well, we’ve loved having you.”

    So anyways, what the fuck is with one-hit-wonders like Gregory? Is he counting coup or something? Is he somewhere gloating how he wandered into the lion’s den and escaped alive?

    Gregory, the merest of you was burned alive for his beliefs. You’re just…like…well, I can see why someone like you would think it important to believe that God loves you.

  71. 71
    Anthony K

    The comments on her site are so obviously filtered.

    Through the perforated rectal membranes of innocent altar servers, no doubt.

  72. 72
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Interesting that she’s oh-so-brave that she doesn’t allow any dissenting comments on her blog. It’s clearly the height of catholic bravery to not be able to take what one dishes out.

  73. 73
    rtmillic

    I am going to post a quote by a user named Brian on the blog Joe My God in response to this very article. It sums up the spirit of this screed perfectly.

    “Yes, you are outsiders. Go start your own damn country. This one was started by WHITE PEOPLE, you puerile dimwits. It is WHITE PEOPLE who established and largely WHITE PEOPLE who fought and died to maintain the freedoms you enjoy. And WHITE PEOPLE are still the majority. Apparently your vaulted belief system doesn’t equip you to handle being in the minority. That’s interesting, isn’t it? After all, this was and is a societal situation valiantly handled by millions and millions of WHITE PEOPLE who suffered — and currently suffer — real oppression, violence, torture, economic deprivation, and cruel deaths. But you have to go through turning off the TV once in a while and so your precious puny feelings are hurt. How delicate and frail your mental architecture is! You are a pitiful joke.”

    It’s religious bigotry pure and simple. Nuff Ced.

    And when are Christians going to get it thorugh their heads that not having the government recognize prayer =/= oppression?

  74. 74
    Anthony K

    Interesting that she’s oh-so-brave that she doesn’t allow any dissenting comments on her blog. It’s clearly the height of catholic bravery to not be able to take what one dishes out.

    Hey, she’s got nothing to prove. Kizito burned for her beliefs. That makes her brave by proxy, all ensconced in her blog fortress.

    But she’s got nothing on me. My people were among the first to throw off the Soviet shackles. By Catholic logic, that makes me responsible for the fall of the Berlin Wall. Several of me died for those freedoms, but in the end, I survived and triumphed.

    Dig that beam out of your eye, Mary.

  75. 75
    scottlesch

    She is using a lot of Newt Gingrich words that are common to internet right wingers. It’s a rich pallet of “pitifull” “weak” and “pathetic” used with babyish mocking.

  76. 76
    anchor

    @raven: “The gods have been so quiet for centuries that…it’s almost like they don’t exist.”

    shhh…don’t let on. It might traumatise them.

  77. 77
    Crow

    Maybe god attended the Milford Academy from Arrested Development, “Where children are expected to be neither seen nor heard.”

  78. 78
    Anthony K

    And when are Christians going to get it thorugh their heads that not having the government recognize prayer =/= oppression?

    Honestly? They won’t. Ever.

    I was going to suggest that they won’t until they experience real persecution, but look how glibly she talks about someone else’s horrific martyrdom. Does his death make her feel grateful to be able to worship in peace and security? Does his sacrifice humble her?

    No. Not in the least. She uses him to bolster her own “I’m part of the majority, and if you don’t like how I do things, then tough” attitude.

    God, I have to leave this thread. It’s hard for me to continue to think of Mary Kochan as a human being who deserves life and liberty as much as I do. I am frankly overwhelmed with loathing and contempt for this person.

  79. 79
    chigau (違う)

    Loathing and contempt:
    The real reason for the season.

  80. 80
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Brother Og
    What is it about your hat that is worth $150?

    Actually, for a 10x felted fur campaign hat, that is pretty cheap. A 10x Stetson cowboy hat will run $200 to $300.

    This is the classic Park Ranger winter hat. Some rangers can get an entire career out of one hat. Here, we are lucky to get three or four years because of cinders and soot.

  81. 81
    Sqrat

    “Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion?” – John Adams, second president of the United States

  82. 82
    Gregory Greenwood

    Gregory @ 17;

    Profanity is the last refuge of the ignorant.

    I may try to avoid doing so, but I can think of several situations where profanity is an eminently reasonable response – cases where catholic child rape apologists try to claim the moral high ground being a case in point…

    Whether or not a given commenter employs language that some may consider profane is irrelevant – all that matters is the substance of their post. A well thought out, strongly evidenced and intelligently argued post, however heavily garnished with colourful language, is infinitely preferable to politely phrased meaningless drivel. Further, it is quite possible to say disgustingly bigotted and dehumanising things that are intended to exclude and silence others without ever once employing profanity.

    Frankly, your post consists of a dreadfully vacuous pseudo-aphorism. Profanity neither strengthens nor weakens a post’s rational or evidential basis. It’s presence is not proof of ignorance, nor is its absence evidence of refinement or erudition. Don’t get so hang up on the supposed etiquette of online debate, and instead focus on the substance.

  83. 83
    scaryduck

    Even by the rules of her own game, she’s lost the game

  84. 84
    Rey Fox

    Calmer than you, Dude.

  85. 85
    chriskg

    I think everyone has been fooled. This is clearly a Poe and she is a comedian. No one is really that crazy…are they?

  86. 86
    'Tis Himself

    Sastra #65 for the win (not surprisingly).

  87. 87
    leonpeyre

    @Gregory Greenwood #60:

    I find the impotent, inchoate rage evident in posts such as her’s both funny and strangely therapeutic.

    Really? Her’s? I mean I understand, kinda, why a lot of people confuse its and it’s, but her’s? What’s next, people? Hi’s? A little piece of me died reading that.

    [/rant]

    Sorry everyone, I had to get that off my chest. Gregory, your post (among others) was otherwise outstanding and spot on. Mockery is one of our best and most important weapons, and those who ask us not to mock religious beliefs are doing no less than asking us to fight at a handicap–against an opponent, let’s not forget, who doesn’t mind breaking the rules in order to win.

  88. 88
    David Marjanović

    all ensconced in her blog fortress.

    [...] Several of me died for those freedoms

    *holds microphone to Brownian* What kind of feeling was it to win this thread?

  89. 89
    Worldtraveller

    Out of curiosity, does she allow comments at her site? >:-)

  90. 90
    Gregory Greenwood

    leonpeyre @ 87;

    Really? Her’s? I mean I understand, kinda, why a lot of people confuse its and it’s, but her’s? What’s next, people? Hi’s? A little piece of me died reading that.

    In the immortal words of Homer; Doh!

    Gah! And the typo-monster claims another victim…

  91. 91
    Worldtraveller

    Yes, you are outsiders. Go start your own damn country. This one was started by Christians, you puerile dimwits. It is Christians Whites Whites who established and largely Christians Whites who fought and died to maintain the freedoms you enjoy. And Christians Whites are still the majority. Apparently your vaulted belief system doesn’t equip you to handle being in the minority.

    Yep. pretty much reads the same.

    Damn uppity rant from the privileged majority.

  92. 92
    Evader, the parasite-infested branch on the evolutionary tree

    Ah the Spirit of Christmas™ strikes again!

    So much love for all of God’s Creatures™ from all the Christians™.

    (yes, I just discovered the TM/trademark option key)…

    I love how PZ keeps his cool and breaks it down. I guess after all these years he is somewhat numbed to this high level BS.

    Anyway, Happy Holidays Professor!

  93. 93
    Worldtraveller

    Dammit, buggered up the coade.

    Yes, you are outsiders. Go start your own damn country. This one was started by ChristiansWhites, you puerile dimwits. It is Christians Whites who established and largely Christians Whites who fought and died to maintain the freedoms you enjoy. And Christians Whites are still the majority. Apparently your vaulted *snicker* belief system doesn’t equip you to handle being in the minority.

    Yep. pretty much reads the same.

    Damn uppity rant from the privileged majority.

  94. 94
    chigau (違う)

    fastlane
    see also #73

  95. 95
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    > I mean I understand, kinda, why a lot of people confuse its and it’s, but her’s? <

    -I don't get the confusion between "its" and "it's " given the simple solution to figuring out which to use. To be fair though, after high school English classes, how many people continue to use the skills they were introduced to? I imagine the vast majority of information teenagers are exposed to (in English class alone) doesn't stick around in the long run (I for one cannot remember how to diagram a sentence).

    Back to the topic at hand (or a slight aside, really). Recently I've been listen to the Catholic Radio station on AM 12-something. I know, it sounds quite perverse. Maybe it's a manifestation of a sado masochistic tendency on my part. I find listening to the arguments made by Catholics on this radio show helpful in illuminating my opposing views. It exposes me to viewpoints I'd likely never hear of (at least not first hand, since I don't attend church and don't tend to hang around people who preach to me). A few weeks ago, they had a morning talk show and the FFRF was mentioned. What was laughable was hearing the Catholics "correcting" the FFRF, by mentioning that the United States Constitution provides "freedom FOR religion". They acted as if the FFRF is composed of a bunch of idiots that aren't aware of the First Amendment, but all they wound up displaying is their sheer ignorance at the difference between the name of an organization striving to achieve freedom FROM religion and a founding principle of our country. I had to compose myself otherwise I would have hit the car ahead of me due to uncontrollable laughter.

    Tony

  96. 96
    Worldtraveller

    chigau @94. Yeah, that’ll teach me to finish reading the thread before posting.

    Always the bridesmaid…. =P

  97. 97
    chigau (違う)

    fastlane
    I have learned that if I come into a thread after about #50, the chances are very good that someone wittier and eruditer has already said what I want to say.

  98. 98
    Crudely Wrott

    My takeaway lesson from this screeching screed is the simple phrase,

    Hell hath no fury like a dogma denied.

    *I’ve a sneaking suspicion I’ve heard something like this before . . . =)*

  99. 99
  100. 100
    epikt

    sunnydale75 says:

    To be fair though, after high school English classes, how many people continue to use the skills they were introduced to?

    If there were some annoyingly pedantic twit reading the thread, he’d probably grump that you should have written, “how many people continue to use the skills to which they were introduced?” Fortunately, there’s nobody obnoxious like that around here.

  101. 101
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    Wow, that is a seething, boiling cauldron of vicious contempt, isn’t it? The ferocity of her hatred is almost frightening in its deranged intensity. It makes me uneasy to think that at any time any one of us might be walking by someone capable of this level of viciousness. It makes me angry and worried that, as a society, we still insist on protecting this sort of depravity and according it grossly undeserved “respect”.

    Worst of all, I am pretty sure my in laws (who are coming to visit next week) would heartily agree with Mary, based upon the angry remarks about the “war on Xmas” that I was forced to endure last holiday visit!

  102. 102
    echidna

    Gergory@17,

    Censoring language is a control technique perfected by the religious. That it is somehow due to a lack of intelligence or vocabulary or content is totally refuted by the Pope song by Tim Minchin. His very well thought out message is that profanity is far less offensive than protecting child rapists, and yet some will find his song more offensive than the RCC’s behaviour. I’m describing it, because I suspect you might be too faint-hearted to read the lyrics.

    http://www.lyricsmania.com/the_pope_song_lyrics_tim_minchin.html

  103. 103
    truebutnotuseful

    Mary Kochan wrote:

    This [country] was started by Christians

    And it was so important to the founding fathers that the U.S. be an exclusively Christian nation that they made damned sure to include the requisite provisions in the Constitution. It’s all there, black and white, clear as crystal!

    Err…OK, the location of the pertinent section seems to have escaped my memory at the moment. Can someone who knows the Constitution a little better than I link to the part about us being a Christian nation? I know it’s in there somewhere! I mean, Mary Kochan certainly couldn’t be lying about this being a Christian nation, could she?! She’s a Catholic, fer Chrissake!

    It is Christians who established and largely Christians who fought and died to maintain the freedoms you enjoy.

    Mary Kochan: if you should find your way to these comments here, on behalf of the many thousands of non-Christians who fought and died for the U.S., I hereby invite you to metaphorically insert a vaulted architectural feature up your asscanal, and turn left when you’ve reached the first junction.

    Perhaps Mary should apply for a position at her local cineplex – put those projection skills to some good use.

  104. 104
    Usernames are smart

    Did Mary even READ her book of Bronze Age fables and myths, ’cause she must beleive she’s going straight to hell with her potty mouth. And she won’t be invited to any of the good parties there, either.

    Let us review:

    Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

    1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

    Ecclesiastes 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

    Isaiah 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

    Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    Matthew 6:2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

  105. 105
    cwayne

    Mary Kochan. A misguided, hateful, dangerous, ridiculous person. An asshole to boot.

  106. 106
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    After all, this was and is a societal situation valiantly handled by millions and millions of Christians who suffered — and currently suffer — real oppression, violence, torture, economic deprivation, and cruel deaths.

    Why do I feel like she didn’t have the Egyptian Copts in mind when she wrote that? Oh noes, those poor American Christians– they always suffer the most!

    MichaelSwanson (from the full article):

    The “Freedom from Religion” atheists, who brought the suit against Governor Brewer, keep different company: Lenin, Stalin, and other failed dictators who slaughtered millions of their own people.

    Wait… Stalin was a failed dictator? He was dictator of the Soviet Union from 1941-1953 and his reign ended when he died in his sleep. I’ll give Mary Kochan some credit for not Godwinning the argument, though. I guess.

    What a fucking moron.

  107. 107
    cadrpear

    cf. Matthew 5:21-22

    According to her god, she has basically gone on a killing spree. Just one of the reasons her god is fucking ridiculous, of course, as here I sit, none the worse for wear after reading her (rather incoherent) vitriol. Of course, her god is a sham, so nothing will happen when I say this:

    Mary Kochan, thou fool.

  108. 108
    bcskeptic

    I laughed my fuckin head off at her rant.

    But that’s only because enlightened thinking, and the sacrifices of past brave non-believers have paved the way for me to laugh.

    In the past (and in other parts of the world), being at the receiving end of that rant would’ve meant an excruciatingly painful death. Gulp. So, not so funny, and why it is important to keep hammering away on the delusional nutcases.

    On a related note, I saw one of those “keep the Christ in Christmas” bumper stickers today…and then it dawned on me that in the 3rd or so century, Christianity was made the official religion, and anything else was heresy punishable by death. So really, this time of year for celebration and feasting was hijacked by the Christians, and now they’re fuckin whining that we don’t want it in our faces all the time! Push back I say!

  109. 109
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Look, lady, there’s nothing wrong with needing a crutch, it’s just that you keep taking your crutch and beating people about the head with it! (And whining about how you’re “under attack” when you’re rightly called out for it.)

  110. 110
    Ragutis

    But she’s got nothing on me. My people were among the first to throw off the Soviet shackles. By Catholic logic, that makes me responsible for the fall of the Berlin Wall. Several of me died for those freedoms, but in the end, I survived and triumphed.

    Wait, I thought that was me.

  111. 111
    Harry Organs

    I love how she accuses others of rage while foaming at the mouth like a rabid bulldog.

  112. 112
    Amontillado

    We love you Miss Hannigan–er, Miss Kochan.

  113. 113
    irisvanderpluym

    Sastra 59:

    There seems to be a willful kind of blindness involved in the failure to recognize the difference between “out in public” and “done with public funds as an expression of governmental support.”

    There seems to be a willful kind of blindness about many basic distinctions, e.g., “I personally disagree with your religion” = “I am persecuting you.” Or “A majority of U.S. citizens identify as Christians” = “The United States is a Christian Nation™” These kinds of thought distortions are emotional, reactionary and narcissistic, like those of spoiled toddlers who believe the world should revolve around them. They receive plenty of confirmation for this point of view of course, and they even see it when it isn’t there.

    chigau (違う):

    fastlane
    I have learned that if I come into a thread after about #50, the chances are very good that someone wittier and eruditer has already said what I want to say.

    Yeah, me too. And it’s usually Sastra. Not that I mind one bit.

  114. 114
    dartigen...

    Something makes me think this woman does not use the Internet outside of her blog.
    It’s not very hard to find plenty of stories about atheists who have performed charitable works or acts of great bravery.
    It’s also not very hard to find an abundance of mostly-horrific stories about religiously-motivated wars and murders, not to mention abuse of human rights and generally horrific stories coming out of the Catholic church.

    Someone above noted that some ridiculous number of people have left the Catholic church just in the last 12 months. They must be leaving for a reason.

    But self-censorship is pretty powerful; sometimes, more powerful than a Google search.

    A little OT, but these ongoing religious arguments are starting to remind me a lot of other arguments – Ford vs Holden, Mac vs. PC vs Linux, Xbox 360 vs PS3 vs Wii, consoles vs PCs…
    Why are people made so angry that people have different opinions to them?
    (Granted, I’ve yet to see evidence that any of those rivalries has caused actual violence and/or suffering out in the world. Religion has. I’m okay with other people’s religious beliefs; it’s when they cause trouble for other people that I don’t like them.)

  115. 115
    richarddawkins

    Goodness! And they call me strident. “Rage, therapists say, is the flip side of helplessness.” Well, you said it, Mary Kochan.

    You whiny, sniveling, little, pusillanimous cowards. You have the audacity to tell us Christians that we are “weak” and that our religion is a “crutch.” You are supposed to be so “courageous”, venturing forth boldly into the existential mystery of being alone, facing with stoicism the nothingness that awaits you at death, priding yourself on your realism and self-reliance. You are a bunch of feeble fakers.

    The nothingness awaits you at death, too, Mary Kochan. The difference is that we face up to this obvious fact, rather than clinging to comforting make-believe like a whimpering child.

  116. 116
    IndyM, pikčiurna

    But she’s got nothing on me. My people were among the first to throw off the Soviet shackles. By Catholic logic, that makes me responsible for the fall of the Berlin Wall. Several of me died for those freedoms, but in the end, I survived and triumphed.

    Wait, I thought that was me.

    Could be me, too, Ragutis…

  117. 117
    briandavis

    It is Christians who established and largely Christians who fought and died to maintain the freedoms you enjoy.

    And who was it that they were fighting more often than not? Oh, right. Other Christians. From nations that didn’t leave any ambiguity about whether they were officially Christian nations.

    How could I have ever overlooked the fact that it’s our Christian heritage that makes us unique?

  118. 118
    lansellion

    The article’s argument is even more ridiculous because Kochan apparently doesn’t understand constitutional law or the fact that the FFRF needed standing to bring their lawsuit. They weren’t really complaining about being outsiders, that was just legal language to try to get standing to challenge the obvious constitutional violation. Thus Kochan’s argument is a straw man, atheists aren’t complaining about feeling like outsiders, those complaints were merely necessary requirements of a lawsuit.

  119. 119
    elind

    “Mary Kochan, former Senior Editor for CatholicExchange, joins us a Editor-in-Chief. Raised as a third-generation Jehovah’s Witness, Mary worked her way backwards through the Protestant Reformation to enter the Catholic Church on Trinity Sunday, 1996.”

    Worked her way backwards? Presumably while shopping for whatever suited her temperament best, which says little for the dogma adopted.

  120. 120
    marella

    I posted a comment. I tried to keep it cool so it would get past moderation.

    Wow, I thought it was atheists that were meant to be angry and bitter. What a furious rage you have worked yourself into! I thought the separation of church and state was a well established principle in the USA. You do realise that if there was a vote to decide the religion of America the Catholics would not win, don’t you? There are far more Protestants than Catholics and they’d outlaw Catholicism as quick as they could, just before all the different denominations started fighting amongst themselves as to who had the truth.

    That woman was really mad!

  121. 121
    madisonburnett

    “go start your own country” sounds a bit too close to “go back to Africa” for my comfort

  122. 122
    TimKO,,.,,

    What I’d like to ask Mary Kochan
    “So your okay with Arizona paying for and erecting a Shinto shrine? How about declaring and frequently referencing an official observance of Ramadan, which you’re free to not observe?”.

    As for “go start your own country”, Jefferson already did. These Catholidiots (who as PZ points out only recently began self-identifying alongside protestants) like to have it both ways.

  123. 123
    notinmyname

    @fastlane:
    14 December 2011 at 3:52 pm

    “Out of curiosity, does she allow comments at her site? >:-)”

    ## She does – but in order to post on her site, one has to be logged in, as here. It was an A-grade rant, but that’s the only good thing about it.

    So far, there are 21 posts on the thread following her article – including several posts by her; all at:

    catholiclane.com/you-whiny-sniveling-little-atheists-are-pathetic/

    Hope that helps :)

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