Troll policy discussion »« The poor are lazy, the rich are selfless, says Ben Stein

Kilstein is in flyover country

Just a reminder that tomorrow, Friday evening, Jamie Kilstein will be performing at Freethought Festival 3 in Madison, WI. This video is definitely NSFW, but it’s hilarious.

I am tempted to just hop in my car and make the 7 hour drive to Madison…but I’m going to be trapped in grading all weekend instead. I do not want to be a grown up anymore.

By the way, he makes a good point that I’ve noticed, too. Piss off the Catholics, they’ll swarm you with letters accusing you of persecuting them, with lots of “I’ll pray for you” noise, and only an occasional death threat. Piss off the anti-feminists, especially the sexist atheists, and you will get real rage-hate of a magnitude I never saw from the Christians. It’s actually the most appalling and disappointing failure of movement atheism, its failure to strongly support equality.

Comments

  1. davidchapman says

    Piss off the anti-feminists, especially the sexist atheists, and you will get real rage-hate of a magnitude I never saw from the Christians.

    Wow! Really? That’s scary stuff. :(

  2. raven says

    Piss off the anti-feminists, especially the sexist atheists, and you will get real rage-hate of a magnitude I never saw from the Christians. It’s actually the most appalling and disappointing failure of movement atheism, it’s failure to strongly support equality.

    Sounds as disappointing and appalling as it gets.

    1. On average the Nones are better than the fundies. They’ve set the bar so low that it couldn’t be hard.

    2. But not all that much better apparently.

    3. It would be nice to see some hard social survey data. Stories aren’t totally useless but they aren’t data either.

    The internet is a huge Kook Magnifier and it could be 10 emotionally stunted guys sitting in their parent’s basement.

    I’m not say this is the case. It’s a hypothesis, not a conclusion. Data Rules!!!!

    4. What is the percentage of hostile, misogynistic slime molds in the general population, xianity, and/or fundieland? I suspect it is just as high or higher than the Nones. After all, xianity has been misogynistic since it was invented. Look at the NT bible. Look at the Catholic church boys club.

  3. Marshall says

    Totally agree. Btw PZ, is there a way you can implement a little “typo suggestion” feature, so we can tell you if you’ve made a typo without alerting everyone? “…it’s failure to strongly support equality” –> should be “its.”

  4. Seth says

    The only part I didn’t like was when he implied that man-on-man rape was an example of homosexuality…that a homophobic man would have to ‘get over’ his homophobia to rape another man. This is manifestly false, as almost every man-on-man rapist typifies the hyper-macho straight dude who turns their victims into women (the worst thing that such a man can imagine doing to another human being).

    Rape is not about sex or sexuality. It’s about power. The very term ‘rape’ shares its roots with ‘rapine’ and ‘rapaciousness’, and it means ‘to take’. What’s taken isn’t an orgasm, what’s taken is someone else’s agency, someone else’s humanity. A man raping another man does not make the rapist gay. It makes him a rapist.

  5. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    So I’m unfamiliar with Kilstein, but if that’s indicative of his material generally, then i wish to hear more of him :)

  6. says

    Sounds as disappointing and appalling as it gets.

    1. On average the Nones are better than the fundies. They’ve set the bar so low that it couldn’t be hard.

    2. But not all that much better apparently.

    I’ve described the phenomenon as “settling for second worst.” For some people, the purpose of improving yourself is so that you look down on someone else, not its own purpose. They want to say they’re better than fundies and woos because they don’t buy into silly stuff like Creationism and the Chupacabra. But overcoming sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry? Why bother? They can just tell themselves that the fundies are worse because they’ve actually killed people over it while they “merely” hurled insults and threats.

  7. Steve LaBonne says

    This is why I think A+ atheists, however “gnu”, should be a bit less disparaging of the position of people like Chris Stedman. If what we care most about is building a more sustainable and just world- and we’d better, if we want our species to survive- our most numerous, passionate, and organized allies will be found among the likes of UCCers, Episcopalians, and my fellow UUs, and some of our most determined enemies among libertarian dudebro atheists.

  8. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @Steve LaBonne

    I’ve no problem working with liberal religionists on important causes, but if the question of faith comes up I’m not going to pretend I think their position is anything other than silly. This is my policy for life in general, and it works pretty well. I have Christian friends and Pagan friends and “I have faith but not religion” friends and a “I have faith but not religion” girlfriend, and we all get on just fine, despite the odd disagreement.

  9. Steve LaBonne says

    Thumper @9: That’s fair and works both ways. I wouldn’t take kindly to being lectured by a theistic UU on the error of my ways. But that’s extremely unlikely to happen- we would both know that we have more important things to think about.

  10. screechymonkey says

    Steve LaBonne@8,

    I have no problem with the Chris Stedmans of the world seeking allies where they think it’s fruitful. But it’s a little bit of revisionist history to imply that this is what Stedman et al. got criticized for. Stedman made* a regular habit of bashing other atheists for taking a different approach than the one he approves of. Which is his right, of course, but if you dish out disparagement you should expect some back.

    By comparison, I don’t recall ever hearing Barry Lynn (who isn’t even an atheist) or Americans United for Separation of Church and State come in for criticism from even the Gnuiest of Gnu Atheist blogs. And in my estimation, that’s because AUSCS doesn’t make a habit of picking fights with atheists who take a different approach from them.

    *-my subjective impression is that he isn’t doing this as much, if at all, these days. Certainly Ophelia seems to be getting along with him better judging by recent Twitter conversations. Which is why I have some trepidation about dragging up old fights, but I think your post required a response.

  11. Steve LaBonne says

    screechymonkey @11- I agree both that Stedman needed to modify his original message and that he has done a pretty fair job of doing so. And to be clear, I do view this as a two-way street- the attitude of Lynn and AU, who have worked diligently for the rights of nonbelievers, is what I expect from allies in the liberal religious world. I don’t appreciate some of the atheist-bashing that’s come from the UUA in recent years and I would certainly not sit quietly if I heard any of it in my congregation. Fortunately I have no reason to expect that I will.

  12. Al Dente says

    screechymonkey @11 did a good job of describing why Stedman is not well regarded by gnu atheists. In my case, I cannot have any respect for a supposed atheist who cuddles up to theists and who trashes atheists who don’t think theists’ asses are kissing sweet. I also dislike his outright lying about gnu atheists.

    I have no problem with working with liberal theists on matters of mutual interest. If I can help it I will have nothing to do with Chris Stedman.

  13. Steve LaBonne says

    On Stedman- he was out of line with his gnu-bashing when he first came on the scene and he deserved the enemies he made. But I give people credit when they change their tune and he has changed his substantially. On relations with religious liberals I will simply observe that nobody is going to work with you in a meaningful and productive way if your attitude toward them is thinly disguised contempt.

  14. cactusren says

    Thumper @6: you can listen to Kilstein and his wife Allison Kilkenny every day on Citizen Radio. It’s a mix of news, interviews, them riffing on random topics, and their cats running around in the background. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m a fan.

  15. =8)-DX says

    @raven #2

    Yes, data is important, but until we have the comprehensive studies, I think we have to evaluate actual experiences.

    From what we’ve seen online and from my personal experience, the differences are:

    Xtians tend to hold more misogynist ideologies:
    – abortion is bad.
    – premarital sex is bad.
    – women controlling their own reproduction is bad.
    – women not wanting children is bad.
    Atheists (from xtian backgrounds) often emphasize other bad ideas:
    – sex is good so sexual language is always ok (had a discussion with an atheist who totally didn’t get this).
    – women not wanting to have sex are prudes/damaged by religion.
    – atheists are rational freethinkers so they can’t be blinded by prejudice.

    Other than that, rape culture is a society-wide problem, based on broad cultural stereotypes. I live in a mostly nontheist culture (CZ) and everyday misogyny is widespread and common to the point of banaal. In fact I haven’t noticed any difference in this comparing my local community to general internet audiences, apart from the aformentioned religious topics. Suffice to say, the movements that have pushed for better awareness of women’s issues, rape culture and equality in general have not been specifically atheist/humanist efforts, but rather broad cross-culture, cross-religious feminist movements. So to expect atheists are (even on average) different than the general public on these issues is highly naive.

    Sadly to say, it seems to me that “rape culture” could be translated as “prevalent male culture”. I’m trying to be less of the problem and more of the solutino myself =/

  16. says

    @Steve, UUA atheist-bashing is not on my radar. Please elaborate.

    An acquaintance in my congregation enlightened me that many congregations are much more “Christian” than one would expect. Ours is not one of them; any deism or theism is self-service, supported but never promoted. The overall vibe is highly humanist and vaguely new-age. As an atheist, I must sometimes remind myself that my peers are not necessarily godless.

  17. =8)-DX says

    Just to clarify: although many misogynist idead can be traced to (and are intertwined with) religious roots (one look at the OT shows you a model of patriarchy), these ideas have become so intrenched in culture, that even after removing religion, one gets the same message from patriotism, art, music, film, literature, upbringing and cultural normativity in general. Taking away religion doesn’t rework all of that, that takes work, self-education and a constant process of learning to break down and reject one’s own stereotypes.

  18. Steve LaBonne says

    davidgentile- I don’t have time right now to get you links but if you have access to a copy of “A Chosen Faith”, one of John Buehrens’s chapters has some notorious examples of what I’m talking about. Because of that and because it’s frankly pretty boring, I don’t like to recommend that book to people curious about UU.

  19. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    And that’s how you make jokes about rape. I’m impressed, I was pretty sure it couldn’t be done.

  20. nohellbelowus says

    It’s actually the most appalling and disappointing failure of movement atheism the group of atheists who disagree with me, its failure to strongly support equality.

    That’s what I hear. Well, gotta run… have a lot of FTB pop-up ads to close.

  21. says

    I notice that Annie Gaylor, my ol’ friend, is going to be speaking on church/state matters.

    It just so happens that Forbes has just published another article about her case challenging IRC 107, authored by contributor Peter J. Reilly. The Government and its amici have just filed appeal briefs.

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterjreilly/2014/04/10/clergy-out-in-force-to-defend-their-housing-tax-break/

    We’ll have to wait awhile, for the FFRF to file its reply brief, before we know who are going to come out as amici for the FFRF position.

  22. anuran says

    @raven2

    1. On average the Nones are better than the fundies. They’ve set the bar so low that it couldn’t be hard.

    2. But not all that much better apparently.

    That’s a really big and unwarranted assumption. Whether you’re religious or not has much to do with your personal connections to other religious people, community, basic ways of investigating the world which you learned back when everything was still magic, your intellectual comfort zone, degree of uncertainty with which you feel happy and a number of other things. There may even be a genetic component (hypothesis, unproven, yadda yadda yadda)

    Compassion, hostility, density of mirror neurons, charity, selfishness, tribalism, seeing connections between people rather than divisions? Those are human characteristics which come in at a much more basic level than how many gods you believe in. Christianity can give you “Kill them all. The Lord will know His own”. It can also give you

    Blessed are..

    …the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (5:3)
    …those who mourn: for they will be comforted. (5:4)
    …the meek: for they will inherit the earth. (5:5)
    …those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled. (5:6)
    …the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. (5:7)
    …the pure in heart: for they will see God. (5:8)
    …the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God. (5:9)

    So get off your high horse and stop feeling superior. Odds are you’re no better or worse than the average Christian. Comparing yourself to the average authoritarian gospel grinder is like comparing yourself to the average bacillus on AVFM; it sets the bar so fucking low the audience is going to need spelunking gear to see it.

  23. raven says

    1. On average the Nones are better than the fundies. They’ve set the bar so low that it couldn’t be hard.

    2. But not all that much better apparently.

    Anuran: That’s a really big and unwarranted assumption.

    Still a troll, I see.

    It’s not an unwarranted assumption at all. It’s backed up by a large amount of statistics and is factually true.

    Just look where all the leaders in povery and social problems in the USA are. It’s always the south central USA. Fundieland. Where social problems are ranked by religion, the fundies are always on top.

    So get off your high horse and stop feeling superior. Odds are you’re no better or worse than the average Christian.

    Are you drunk? It’s been obvious for a long time that there is something seriously wrong with your mind. Rather than make atheists look bad, you really should join an ugly xian cult. You will fit in much better and make them look bad instead.

    And BTW, stop stalking me. There is a line and you are around 7th or 8th.

  24. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Steve LaBonne #10

    That’s fair and works both ways. I wouldn’t take kindly to being lectured by a theistic UU on the error of my ways. But that’s extremely unlikely to happen- we would both know that we have more important things to think about.

    Firstly, apologies for the long wait in replying, I logged off not long after leaving my #9.

    I think liberal religious people are much less likely to proselytise, and therefore much more likeable. I have a number of liberal religious friends, as mentioned; all of whom know I’m atheist and none of whom have ever tried to convert me. None of them take themselves or their religion too seriously. Which is nice.

    Basically, I don’t really mind if people are religious. I think it’s silly. I think it’s downright daft. But everyone’s silly in some way or another; that I can forgive. What matters is that they’re nice people; whether that’s in spite or because of their religion doesn’t really matter to me. It’s the proselytising tosspots and the arseholes who try and use their religion as a reason to be an arsehole who I particularly dislike.

    @cactusren #15

    Thanks! I’ll be giving that a listen later :) see if I get on with it.

    @raven #24

    Anuran: That’s a really big and unwarranted assumption.

    Still a troll, I see.

    Disagreeing with you doesn’t make Anuran a troll. Besides, they’re right; it is an unwarranted assumption. You have no data to back it up. I’d like to assume that Atheists are better in general, as in the misogyny isn’t as widespread in our community as it is in fundieville, but I have to admit that I have no way of knowing whether my wishful thinking is true or not.

    I also think =8)-DX was sort of right at #16; the misogynists within each community are misogynist in different ways. That might make comparing how widespread misogyny within each community is that bit harder.

  25. Steve LaBonne says

    Getting back to davidgentile@17: here’s a handy compendium of the kind of stuff I’m talking about. Fortunately my church, while historically Universalist and not overall strongly humanist in tone, also has little Christian flavor and has an active Ethical Humanist group headed by one of the most respected leaders in the congregation. Our minister is a really great guy who is all about Standing On The Side Of Love and not at all about pushing Buehrens / Forrest Church- style piety.

  26. David Marjanović says

    Atheists (from xtian backgrounds) often emphasize other bad ideas:
    [...]
    – women not wanting to have sex with me right now are prudes/damaged by religion.

    FIFY.

    Well, gotta run… have a lot of FTB pop-up ads to close.

    *eyeroll* Adblock.