I’m going to be speaking at the Midwest Freethought Conference in early August, and right wing Christian radio in Nebraska has caught word of this. They are upset that the meeting is being held on the University of Nebraska campus, and that some evil dork is going to be there.
It seems a group called the “United Coalition of Reason” is funding the billboard, and I am waiting for university officials to get back to me with answers on how this event will be funded — right down to costs of air conditioning, lights, security, parking attendants, clean-up, etc.
Even if no taxpayer funds are being used for this, is this really the type of event that UNO wants to align itself with? On the other hand, since the campus allows Christian Student Fellowship to meet weekly in the student center, they have to allow this travesty, don’t they?
After all, PZ Myers is going to be there! He’s the god of atheism!
And then they include a photo of me, looking like unto a god: fat, homely, sloppily dressed, with a goofy expression on my face while holding a toy panda bear.
This radio goon’s points are absurd. Atheists are citizens of Nebraska, and they have a right to use state facilities with fair recompense, just as do Christians. You do not get to demand special scrutiny for an atheist group that you do not impose on any other group. And yes, representing a significant chunk of their students and faculty and staff seems like an eminently reasonable goal for UNO to want to align itself.
And, you know, I do not take myself that seriously; I have no illusions that I’m a particularly special individual, let alone a god, and even the people who use my site as a gathering place and my words as a focus for discussion do not hold me in exaltation. I’m expecting to die in a few years, a most ungodlike behavior, and the atheists who congregate here will simply move on to some other genius loci than Pharyngula. That’s the nature of things: ephemeral and varied.
Jeez. We don’t even have a cult of personality in the atheist community. Gods? If one tried to arise here, we’d spit on it until it drowned.