I get crazy email sometimes, but this person seemed to have my best interests at heart. How about I share it with you guys, and see what you all think?

My name is Eric [redacted] and I have read much on what you have had to say on various subjects.

Gay rights

You have a rebelious nature. You are about the same age as my children, and I see a lot of immaturity in you.
You enjoy attacking people to much.
You demand your right to be heard and then are rude to those who disagree with you.

All of the various subjects that you believe so strongly in are all tied together under one real subject. Your desire to buck the system.

Most people do believe in God…. you do not and you consider anyone who does an uneducated backwards fool.

You believe in Gay rights….. Yet HIV/AIDS has shown that nature itself has cursed this life style.

You would fight for the right of a serial killer to be saved from the electric chair and later that day fight for a woman to have the right to kill an innocent unborn child.

I would ask a feminist this: If women are intelligent why is abortion even needed? Today we have so many different forms of birth control abortion should no longer even be needed.

Could it simply be that women are not using birth control and then saying they do not want children? If you want men to take the responsibility can a woman not say ” not until you put that condom on”>??????

Maybe what your belief system is really all about is being able to do whatever you want anytime you want with anyone you want and their being no consequences to any of your actions….

We use to call people that thought like that children….. maybe it’s time to grow up

My new email address is: [redacted]

I wish you good luck

You know, I feel it’s only fair to respond to people with the level of respect that their thoughtful arguments have earned. Which is why, Eric, I feel compelled to say this:


Hey, if there’s anything maturity has taught me, it’s to not waste my time responding to the insane judgemental ramblings of random internet strangers. Each sentence he wrote could get it’s own novel-length rebuttal, but what does it matter if it’s flying in one ear and out the other? The only reason I’m posting this is that I think it’s unfair to keep all this merriment to myself. Or so you could facepalm at the stupidity and develop your own counterarguments. Whatever floats your boat.

Though I do have to point out one thing: If I really wanted to rebel against my parents, I would have become a fundamentalist Christian Republican Sarah-Palin loving housewife. I think just typing that made my dad feel a disturbance in the Force.


  1. says

    Why are the people who always implicitly imply they are not “an uneducated backwards fool”the ones who compose emails or posts so poorly? Grammar and diction are the Debil!

  2. TimelordSimone says

    “If women are intelligent why is abortion even needed?”That’s one I’ve never heard before. Huh.

  3. says

    Anyone who uses multiple repeating punctuation marks (and an ellipse counts as one, not three) forces me to question their grasp on reality, or as Terry Pratchett has of said:Multiple exclamation marks,’ he went on, shaking his head, ‘are a sure sign of a diseased mind.’ — in EricFive exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind. — in Reaper Man’And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head.’ — in Maskerade

  4. says

    And I once again find myself feeling jealous. Why don’t I ever get good crazy mail? It’s *ever* so fun to respond to. (Hell, I personally WOULD take the time to respond to every point, if only out of the hope that the idiot who wrote it in would feel crushed. Either that, or thanks to my massive SIWOTI syndrome.)

  5. says

    To them, Parent means Christianist. :) No, not always. haha. My dad only ordered me to do one thing, not join the marines. and my mom said stay in school. so, for commandment #5 I am so 2-2.

  6. says

    Joé we’re not as cute and funny, and this is how they fumblingly express their admiration. Between the lines, Eric is really writing “I’ve prayed and prayed, why can’t I have kids like you?”

  7. Villy says

    There’s so much I want to say, but I don’t believe my brain would survive. It would probably melt out of my ears.

  8. matt says

    Could you compromise your selfish ethics enough to post this uneducated backwards fool’s email address? Please?

  9. says

    I suppose by his logic, nature has cursed the growth and development of children, by occasionally cutting their lives short via pertussis, guinea worm, cystic fibrosis, diptheria, leukemia, diabetes, fevers, tetanus, etc. etc. I suppose children are just as cursed as gay people in the end.

  10. says

    If evolution is true, then why did 9/11 happen?Its just a random “If X, then why Y?” generator that just runs constantly in the heads of idiots.

  11. Alex says

    This is the Internet, and my experience tells me this e-mail is written by a troll. The only thing I can say to this is: I lol’d.

  12. Godfrey Zone says

    When my husband died of cancer at age 30, having just finished his LLB, MBA leaving behind our 2 year old daughter I didn’t realize his awful suffering could be construed as a punishment. Well… actually, I did. I just didn’t think anyone WOULD actually think people die heinous untimely deaths as a punishment. The cruelty of the ignorant is unplumbed!

  13. says

    What a strange little man. I wonder what he expected to accomplish with this little rant. Did he honestly expect you to turn around 180 degrees because of the random writings of complete stranger?I counted at least 11 logical fallacies btw. That’s pretty impressive.

  14. Introbulus says

    Come on Jen, we all know the truth. The reason you’re posting this is because you haven’t had anything to post lately, and these sorts of ramblings are always good to spark a conversation. Though I get the feeling you’re right in saying that this is going to fall on deaf ears. I mean, most of us already disagree with everything *or most of the things* said in this e-mail. How much of a difference does it make to then talk about how inane these arguments are? Granted confronting people with the argument personally doesn’t do much either, because those who go out of their way to make their arguments heard are usually already committed to them on a level where they have no doubt and no room for questions. Though I suppose getting the information out there is about as good a defense as any. At least that way, those who are unsure or uninformed can find those thoughts and compare them. Whether or not a person finally agrees with you on the subject, at least they know that another option was there. Incidentally, it is said that those who see something in a person are often seeing a reflection of themselves. That they choose to project the state of mind they have onto the person they are trying to show. That would imply that this person knows that his arguments are flawed, but refuses to acknowledge that he is wrong, and therefore has to project the blame onto those who disagree.

  15. says

    @Introbulus Sometimes it is just nice to have some support. I am sure Jen gets a fuckload of this nonsensical email and I am sure it is draining to read it all. So I support her choice to publish this so we can ridicule together. Also Jen, G8Quake? Guess world leaders meeting in Toronto causes earthquakes now. All those men in suits. The horror!

  16. skepticalmedia says

    So many wish for the world to be black and white, yes and no, up and down. That is probably what makes religion so attractive to so many, it wraps the complexities of the world up in simple choices… simple choices for simple minds.

  17. javamann says

    He forgot to end the email in Forrest Gump style.”And that’s all I have to say about that”Personally In certain ways I hope my kids end up being like you.

  18. Lou says

    @ IntrobulusI believe we were forewarned that the blogger is busy & we would get such things to discuss. I would assume that (since we’re all here) that the discussion would not be about the substance of the e-mail, but why a person would send such an e-mail. Why, indeed? I say it is a compulsion to be contrary, which is the only reason I could fathom why someone would follow a blog that is so contradictory to his beliefs, and then comment in the apparent hope of making some change in the world. Pathetic, really.

  19. says

    LOL:”If women are intelligent why is abortion even needed? Today we have so many different forms of birth control abortion should no longer even be needed.”Obviously this man has never heard of rape. We all live in a perfect world where all sex is consensual, all birth control works 100%, and human error does not exist. I’d like to have a bit of whatever psychotropic substance he’s ingesting.

  20. Aussie Sceptic says

    Dear JenMy name is David and I have also read much on what you have had to say.You are also about the same age as my children, and I salute your rebellious nature. Progress is made by young people who ask questions. Some questions may be immature, some may even be misconceived. But keep asking, because without questions we never find answers.Aussie Sceptic

  21. says

    I’m just going to add that if all women were smart they’d all become lesbians, under his logic, because God has endorsed lesbians by making their rate of HIV transmission incredibly low. Also, lesbians shouldn’t need abortions (as all sex is consensual).

  22. nevare says

    “You believe in Gay rights….. Yet HIV/AIDS has shown that nature itself has cursed this life style”using this argument is like saying nature has cursed the african continent and its aids epidemic

  23. JJ says

    I think the death penalty for people who don`t know the difference between “too” and “to” or “there”, “their” and “they`re” or say “I seen it” would solve a lot of problems.

  24. Citizensmith says

    I don’t get the ‘demand the right to be heard’ part. I’m also on blogger and my blog doesn’t have the same capability. If people don’t want to read my blog they don’t. And yet yours seems to somehow be forcing this person to read it. Do I need to pay for that service or something?

  25. Zenlite says

    Specifically, I like that you said “implicitly imply.” [linguistic hug here]

  26. Zenlite says

    This doesn’t even get into the issue of what the author means by ‘intelligent’. Do they mean ‘smart’? What criteria are we using to judge this trait? Is it equal in all woman? Is sex even a meaningful determiner under whatever arbitrary qualitative index we end up using? Am I rambling in an attempt to satisfy my narcissistic craving for attention?These questions may one day be answered, but even if they are, one thing will be certain: Eric will not have a sufficient grasp on the English language, or basic critical thinking, to understand them.

  27. says

    Reminded me of this quote from How I Met Your Mother:Lily: Barney, how can you be in love and still be sleeping with anything that moves?Barney: I’m sorry I don’t follow you. That’s like saying, “how can an ant carry 20 times its body weight but Root Beer floats are still delicious?” Are the two even related?

  28. Zenlite says

    The very structure of his letter indicates an underdeveloped set of critical thinking skills suggesting little ability to parse causal links towards expected outcomes beyond those that could be deemed outright obvious.

  29. says

    He did get one thing almost right – we have so many birth control options that we shouldn’t need to perform many abortions. Unfortunately, assholes like that guy force abstinence-based education into the school system, so most kids don’t know about birth control options.And then there’s always rape, incest, etc – sad, but yet it is always there. Abortion could be reduced if the Christiofascists let us educate people appropriately, but probably never fully supplanted.

  30. Zenlite says

    Well, last I checked, God is the proper name of the Christian deity which leads me to believe, unless he had some other intention, that he was referring to Christians who, last I checked, are not the majority of the human race.

  31. Zenlite says

    Not to mention that all of the contraceptives I am aware of have a failure rate, from condoms to pills.

  32. Zenlite says

    And implies that the primary sufferers of AID are the LGBT community whereas I believe the current majority is African Americans in urban areas (I’d have to back check that though).

  33. says

    This guy sounds like a typical religious old fart who upholds obedience as a virtue and expect everyone to obey whatever the bible says.”Every dictator is a mystic, and every mystic is a potential dictator. A mystic craves obedience from men, not their agreement. He wants them to surrender their consciousness to his assertions, his edicts, his wishes, his whims—as his consciousness is surrendered to theirs. He wants to deal with men by means of faith and force…” — Ayn Rand.

  34. danielm says

    I can’t believe this person, with his bullet list of best questions evar, has never had one of them sensibly explained to him in a quiet, concise manner. Even I could answer every one of those questions on the spot…I think the only reason he still believes they are relevant is a) he’s among a crowd that don’t actually want the answers or b) sticks his fingers in his ears and goes “lalalalaa I CAN’T HEAR YOU” whenever anyone tries.and, srsly, spelling, grammar, diction kthxplz, if you DON’T want to look like an uneducated backwards fool…

  35. danielm says

    Ooh, I think you have to pay extra for the button that hijacks TCP/HTTP sessions worldwide and pops up YOUR BLOG in their faces.It’s called TCP_KANYE_IMMALETYOOFINISH, just made it into the latest TCP/IP standard.

  36. A-M says

    I’m so glad to hear that “HIV/AIDS has shown that nature itself has cursed this (gay) life style”. So as a straight lady I’m immune to AIDS? Awesome. Hey, someone should tell all those unfortunate african ladies giving birth to babies already infected with AIDS that it’s ok, only gays can catch it. Phew. What a relief.Even if there was an ounce of truth behind some of these opinions, that one statement is enough to make me disregard anything said by the writer. Regardless of your feelings towards (or against) homosexuality, how can you back up your arguement with mind-numbingly false statements???

  37. says

    Aww…Jen…you’re so good to us. Sharing the joy of laughter(at some ignoramuses expense) with us. It’s no wonder you’re so well loved.HIV and AIDS is punishment for being gay huh? That’s funny…cause I could swear the first cases cropped up because someone wasn’t careful when eating bush-meat, and then it spread from there. Imagine that.You know, with religion, the way it functions, it’s a wonder we aren’t being punished for being born with genitalia. Put to death for not evolving into A-Sexual life-forms, so we don’t have to commit such horrible, dirty, filthy acts, such as…*gasp*…sex. By all that’s HOLY….what is WRONG with us.And of course, it’s entirely the woman’s fault if a condom happens to be defective…after all, it’s not like condoms can ever break. And all forms of birth-control are 100% guaranteed to prevent pregnancy…they also inherently make you a billionaire, and make it rain gum drops and ice cream all around you. It’s true.And God? He HATES you because you don’t believe he exists. Fuck the fact that he supposedly loves ALL of his children equally…and is willing to forgive you of the most grievous of sins, such as murder, if you simply ask for it. You’ll burn in HELL. Because this all knowing, all seeing, all powerful, absentee father-figure that loves us all no matter what, HATES you.You know…when you think rationally, this all sounds pretty damn ridiculous. It makes DragonBall Z sound more plausible. Enjoy the laughter boys and girls, because the religious zealots will always be there for us to make fun of.

  38. BeansinaJar says

    Also implying that women should provide all birth control considering they are to carry the child?? It’s not that women are stupid or ignorant when it comes to birthcontrol, but they might sometimes expect men to also contribute to the ‘safe’ in safe sex… do men even know how much those little birthcontrol pills cost???!!!

  39. ghost79 says

    ya know, I believe in god. I’ve never felt that what you said has implied that I’m dumb. Many people who believe in god are dumb, many who don’t are dumb. My IQ’s also well into the 130s. Not super genious level, but enough to state I’m not dumb.The HIV/AIDs thing got me first. What the connection? The virus seems to attack without thinking about gender or sexual orientation. Yes, the gay community had a lot more cases in the beginning, now it’s just about equal.And the abortion comment. I just don’t understand how people get that thought in their heads. Abotion is there for many reasons, not the least of which is rape. And sometimes people make mistakes. While I think a person who repeatedly has abortions over and over again not learning from her mistakes is wrong, I don’t see how the government should have any involvement in deciding that.

  40. h.m says

    just to get the facts right:unborn children of an infected mother usually are not infected themselves but the birth process and breast feeding are high risks of infection. treatment can reduce these risks significantly

  41. Introbulus says

    He has a sense of humor. Also, he gave us beer because he wants us to be happy. That being the case, we have the option to abort a fetus because he believes that women ARE intelligent enough to make the choice for themselves on whether or not they are able to support the life inside of them, and if they are not, then they need to have the ability to choose, though not lightly, to support that life. Of course, that is merely conjecture.

  42. says

    While his whole email is filled with frustrating and facepalm-worthy bits, this line struck me as the worst:”I would ask a feminist this: If women are intelligent why is abortion even needed?”So, basically, this guy thinks that women are dumb, and it’s only because they’re so dumb that they get abortions.What about rape victims? Is it their fault for being raped, because they’re so dumb?The real irony, though, is that there are probably a fair amount of teenage abortions that happen as a direct consequence of religious people pressuring kids to take abstinence pledges, wear promise rings, etc., so the kids are woefully unprepared when they stumble upon the joys of sex. While some abortions are indeed the results of bad decisions, it’s often religious pressures that are to ultimately to blame. The parents, teachers, school board members, and politicians that still push abstinence-based sex ed — when it’s been shown time and time again to cause more harm than good — are way more at fault for these unfortunate situations, and much more deserving of being called dumb.

  43. Introbulus says

    To be fair, despite his ramblings, this is an accurate statistic as long as he is referring only to the United States. Christianity is still the major religious belief held in the US, second only to the Unaffiliated – both the atheistic and agnostic. At least, as long as Wikipedia is to be believed. Incidentally, I didn’t know the meaning of “agnostic” until looking it up today. It’s a rather nice feeling, knowing that there is a term that properly describes your own religious views. :)

  44. says

    Lesbians have the lowest risk of HIV/AIDS. Clearly Nature just doesn’t like penises that much, and only wants to see sex involving two ladies.Also, sickle cell anemia proves that Africans have been cursed, and so don’t deserve the same rights as others.

  45. Introbulus says

    It’s interesting you should bring that up, because it occurs to me while reading this post that the purpose that this e-mailer has in sending his e-mail may in fact be close to the purpose of this very blog – to be heard despite any oppression towards your viewpoint. In that sense, one positive thing we can say about the sender is that he is, at least, brave enough to send this e-mail to someone who will likely shoot it down, just on the off-chance that it will make some small difference. That’s not to say we have to agree with anything that he says, but it does add a new dimension to the motive of the writer.

  46. Introbulus says

    Not to mention “Its” and “It’s”, “here” and “hear”, and also “witch” and “which”.

  47. says

    “If women are intelligent why is abortion even needed?”Not to be nasty to women but not all women are intelligent. And even if a woman is intelligent doesn’t mean that she will use birth control 100% of the time and that it will work 100% when she does use it. And a lot of women are still bossed around by men.

  48. Meikel Dennis says

    Not to be nasty to men, but not all men are intelligent either (I know, I’m one of them). Intelligence has nothing to do with whether or not you use birth control regardless of gender. And why is everyone jumping on the bandwagon driven by an idiot by putting the birth control issue solely on the woman. Unless (as has been discussed in this thread) we are ONLY referring to lesbian sex, then birth control is also the purview of the MAN. There are multiple methods of birth control that a man can use ranging from the condom to the tourniquet (the last one only if you are REALLY desperate). In the case of why a woman would need an abortion it takes TWO to tango, not just the woman so the responsibility is shared.

  49. says

    It’s nice that so many are tackling the “AIDS is God’s punishment on teh gay!” argument, but seriously? Electric chair? Not even Texas is that evil (anymore).

  50. Sal Bro says

    “…[T]he purpose that this e-mailer has in sending his e-mail may in fact be close to the purpose of this very blog – to be heard despite any oppression towards your viewpoint.”Jen appears to have started this blog as a way of voicing her opinion to whoever might be listening. This emailer specifically targeted Jen with demeaning language about her age and sex. Your comments don’t add “a new dimension to the motive of the writer”; they try to equate the well-reasoned opinions of a young woman the with musings of an ignorant asshole who thinks the only thing females should have is babies. This isn’t English 101, and you didn’t just make yourself look insightful.

  51. Mix says

    I so agree. As a PhD student at a respected university, I’m fairly sure I’m not stupid. Usually, if I find myself offended here because someone has suggested Christians are stupid, it’s been from the comments, not Jen. I think that she’s just examining the nutcases who SHOULD be examined BECAUSE they use horrible logic to support their own oppressive claims (like the idiot above).Agree also on the abortion claim. I have no right to claim control over other people’s bodies in the same way that they have no right to control mine.

  52. says

    Yeah, I love the subtle sexism. “If women are intelligent…” because it’s basically stating that either all women are intelligent, or all women are stupid. It’s not possible there are stupid women, and *also* intelligent women! And since abortion is needed, then obviously there are no intelligent women! Such a brilliant insight into the female condition!I just *love* that phrasing. “You claim women can be intelligent, yet they are constantly choosing to have sex and getting knocked up, thus I have disproven your prior claim that women are intelligent.”Or to put it in terms he would actually use; “Get back in the kitchen.”

  53. danielm says

    Just to get the facts righter, in countries where anti-retrovirals are available, a treatment of such can drastically reduce the chance of a baby from being infected with HIV the mother to practically zero.But, anywhere in the world, both men and women, straight and bi and gay/lesbian can all catch HIB/AIDS through sex – being straight doesn’t mean you’re immune.

  54. says

    Why does it fall on women? Because women get pregnant and although we would like to say that it takes two to tango, the fact is that the man isn’t the one who gets pregnant. Yes, he shares the responsibility but the only thing that has to be there is his wallet. Without the abortion which do you think will have an easier time going to college or getting a job, the guy sending a check once a month or the woman taking care of a baby? That’s why it falls on the woman.

  55. Hkdharmon says

    Well, I guess he gave you your long-overdue talking-to, little miss fancy-pants!

  56. Introbulus says

    No, this isn’t English 101. This is a blog. A blog where our opinions can be shared. And if our opinions happen to be wrong, well that’s only natural. I’m not an expert on human psychology and I don’t claim to be right all the time. However, I will say that both the e-mailer and Jen have the same desire – to be heard. That’s all I’m trying to say in my post. I’m sorry if using more colorful words to get my point across rubbed you the wrong way, and I’m sorry if it came off sounding like I was trying to put Jen and this person on the same level of intelligence. I just thought it was interesting how two people with the same desire can have completely different viewpoints, with completely different levels of comprehension.

  57. says

    He sort of ignores that the AIDS epidemic blazed through the straight population because of blood transfusions. And that AIDS is transmissible through heterosexual sex, just not as often. And that the lowest chance of transmitting AIDS sexually falls to lesbians.Also; as far as the electric chair goes, I’m of the mind that there’s no reason to ban hanging, the electric chair, and the firing squad. Offer them alongside lethal injection. It’s the prisoner’s choice, afterall.

  58. Quatguy says

    “If I really wanted to rebel against my parents, I would have become a fundamentalist Christian Republican Sarah-Palin loving housewife.” – classic! I LoL when I read that. It sounds like Eric needs to travel more. I feel sorry for his wife/girlfriend and children (if he has any). It seems to me that rebellion is a natural and healthy aspect of growing up. It teaches you about the world. If you don’t rebel in some way, you are going to walk around the rest of your life never questioning your parents, your religious beliefs, your culture or yourself. Things will always stay the same and you will never improve. You will be an obedient robot. What kind of life is that?

  59. Sal Bro says

    I agree that their viewpoints and levels of comprehension are completely different. However, I don’t agree that their desires are the same. It goes beyond “being heard despite oppression”. Eric was seeking to continue oppression, not only of Jen’s opinions but on her ability to have them. This does not seem at all similar to the desires underlying Jen’s blog posts.

  60. Katy says

    Well, that’s why women should never leave it to a man to decide whether or not to use some form of birth control. Believe me, I think men should share in responsibility for birth control, but even if there were a male pill, I would definitely NOT just trust my partner to take it and not take my own precautions.

  61. John Wesley says

    @salbro1,I’m a liberal. I’m agnostic. I consider myself a feminist. People like you are why, for the most part, I hate my fellow liberals.You were being extremely rude when you insinuated Introbulus’s insights were freshman-level at best. As someone who has taught English 101, I am offended you think the discussion occurring in such a class has so little value that it can be used as an insult.Your assertion that “Eric was seeking to continue oppression” shows that you lack any understanding of the people whose ideology you oppose. Introbulus was at least trying to treat Eric like a human being, understand his motives, and find some common ground between him and Jen, someone we seem to respect and understand. I think Introbulus understands that, had he been able to do so, it would have been a starting point for a rational, civilized discussion of ideas between diametrically opposed viewpoints. You, however, prefer to paint Eric as caricature, a mask of malevolent modern oppression, and therefore dismiss anything he has to say as neither worth listening to nor discussing.Permit me to engage in a bit of speculation. Until Jen named the sender, I was quite worried that my own father had sent the e-mail. If Eric is as much like my father as his writing suggests, I can tell you that he did not send the e-mail in an attempt to “continue oppression.” I say the chances are good that Eric is an honest, hardworking, decent guy with loyal friends. He might even have a nice family. He comes across a blog on the internet that is getting a lot of attention at the moment by international media. On it, he reads about ideas and principles that directly challenge his worldview. Do you get that? His view of the world is under attack on this blog. Now Eric didn’t come across his ideas on his own. They’re probably supported by whatever community he lives in and certainly by whatever church he attends. Everything he knows about the world and his own place in it is challenged by this blog. That’s kind of a big deal. Eric has two choices, he can either question everything he has ever been taught, question his own existence and place in the world, or he can cling tightly to all the ideas that have brought him comfort. Religion is, in fact, the opiate of the masses, and this blog just asked Eric to give up his lifelong heroin addiction. That is just not going to happen right away. In order to further solidify his own beliefs and continue to feel like he understands the world and his own life, Eric reacts against the ideas in this blog by writing Jen an e-mail explaining to her how she is just a child who should just grow up and see the world as he does. Eric then gets to dismiss all these new and uncomfortable ideas as the ravings of a child and can now go about his life, once again secure in his own beliefs.Eric is not trying to oppress anyone. Eric is desperately trying to hang onto the world that he knows. Just because you and I know that his worldview is filled with irrational bullshit doesn’t mean Eric is any less human than we are. We need look for no more sinister motivation Eric’s e-mail than a desire to solidify one’s own understanding of the world by spreading it to others.

  62. MrPeach says

    Well done.I confess to occasionally trolling back at this type of person, and your words have made an impression. Perhaps I will try harder to be less dickish to this sort of poster and try to see things from his perspective.

  63. Sal Bro says

    “Your assertion that “Eric was seeking to continue oppression” shows that you lack any understanding of the people whose ideology you oppose.”I understand perfectly well the people “whose ideology [I] oppose”, as many of my family members would probably agree with Eric.Maybe you should re-read Eric’s message. He was not politely engaging Jen in a discussion about feminism, atheism, and gay rights:”You have a rebelious nature. You are about the same age as my children, and I see a lot of immaturity in you… All of the various subjects that you believe so strongly in are all tied together under one real subject. Your desire to buck the system.”Here, Eric is reducing Jen’s behavior to that of a rebellious teenager whose only motivation is to be contrary. Nevermind that she she regularly supports her arguments with evidence and reason.”Most people do believe in God…. you do not and you consider anyone who does an uneducated backwards fool.You believe in Gay rights….. Yet HIV/AIDS has shown that nature itself has cursed this life style.”Here, Eric is circularly reasoning that Jen’s opinions are wrong because they conflict with his own. Not to mention that he is calling Jen’s lifestyle choices (as she is open about having same-sex relationships) “cursed”.”You would fight for the right of a serial killer to be saved from the electric chair and later that day fight for a woman to have the right to kill an innocent unborn child.”Thinly veiled accusations about Jen being a serial- and fetus-killing apologetic.”I would ask a feminist this: If women are intelligent…”Apparently, Eric believes that it is questionable whether women are intelligent.”Maybe what your belief system is really all about is being able to do whatever you want anytime you want with anyone you want and their being no consequences to any of your actions….”Here, he is calling her thoughtless and selfless…”We use to call people that thought like that children….. maybe it’s time to grow up”…and again calls her infantile. “I wish you good luck”His closing makes this entire email passive aggressive, thus cushioning his patronizing reproach (effectively, it would seem) from any criticism.I am judging Eric on the content of his own words. You are correct that I am not making up pretty stories about his motivations or the fact that he’s really just a nice, misunderstood guy–his email does not provide any evidence for those assumptions. Feel free to “hate” me, but I believe that there is more evidence for my interpretation of Eric’s “desires”.

  64. says

    You becoming “a fundamentalist Christian Republican Sarah-Palin loving housewife” is a horrifying image…as if millions of neurons suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

  65. Jamey says

    It’s a common tendency for all sides in a debate to attribute psychological motives to the other side. After all, if you believe that the facts are plain and obvious to an open-minded person and you are assuming some minimal level of intelligence on the part of your adversary then you need an explanation of why they believe what they believe. Either some sort of bias due to self interest, a need to believe in an authority above them, unquestioning acceptance of traditions handed down to them in youth, a fear of death etc. At least atheists can offer some plausible psychological motives as to why people might believe in God. But fundamentalists when they try to psychologize atheists usually can’t do any better than Satan. I’m reading a little into the emailer’s use of the word rebellious. After all, Satan was the original rebel. That’s sort of the problem with fundamentalist Christians. Their theology has set them up to view everything through the framework of an eternal struggle between good and evil. The Devil is portrayed in the Bible as a seducer who uses reasonable sounding arguments to tempt people. So paradoxically, the more logical and reasonable you sound to a fundamentalist Christian, the more tempted (heh, interesting reversal of the word tempt there) they are to reject your arguments because they must be the work of the original silver tongued Devil.

  66. James says

    Hey Eric,Go preach to someone who cares. If you’ve read so much here on this blog, then you should know that skeptics like us will reject being preached to about anything just on principle. Try reading a little more deeply next time instead of skimming along the surface picking out buzz words like “gay” as if they were incests on the surface of a pond. If you’d bother to stick your head under and take a good look around you’d see things that would boggle your mind. But, I’m sure you will either just respond to this post and comments with some more preaching, or just leave.

  67. Janeteholmes says

    If I ‘found god’ my mother would disown me! Well not really but she’d never get over the disappointment. And if my children did I’d be very disappointed too, “where did I go wrong” I’d say …

  68. Janeteholmes says

    If you can’t say “I believe in god” then you’re an atheist, it’s as simple as that.

  69. ckitching says

    It’s not just HIV trasmission that is unusually low for lesbians, but nearly all sexually transmitted diseases don’t transmit well for them. But, as Hitchens is fond of pointing out, these kinds of religious people never recognise that lesbians even exist.

  70. moxicity says

    All’s fine and well with people rebutting Eric’s e-mail, but I do kind of think it’s pretty juvenile and petty to mock his grammar and style mistakes. It always annoys me that in these kinds of discussions, some people always take issue with grammar – hey, guess what, that’s not addressing the issue at hand. Typos to happen, and some people may not be very eloquent at typing on computers and etc. I’m not saying correct grammar is “liek omg whatevs”, but it’s not always an indication of intelligence. And *even* if it was, pointing and laughing at fundamentalists or silly, naive people isn’t very constructive or graceful. It’s just mean. (yes, call the waaambulance… liek whatevs.)

  71. Guest says

    “I think just typing that made my dad feel a disturbance in the Force. “lmfao. so much awesome embedded in this sentence!!!

  72. Mequella says

    Do you have to be one or the other? I’m the fundamentalist Christian that actually gets her news from (probably) legitimate sources and my sister is an atheist Republic Sarah-Palin loving housewife that adores Glenn Beck. Horrors of horrors.

  73. says

    It’s just a stereotype. Those particular habits/attitudes/identities don’t *always* coincide, but I’d wager that their Venn diagram would show a large area of intersection…

  74. Der Cat says

    “…Religion is, in fact, the opiate of the masses, and this blog just asked Eric to give up his lifelong heroin addiction….”That was actually fairly profound. And for once I am not snarking. Even about a year later, I am going to have to go and think about this.

  75. Der Cat says

    The Bible is a actually a real interesting read if you start pychoanalysing the characters and their motives, or so I hear. I think I may need to do that, but I’m not sure which version will offer up the best material for analyzation. I only read one version cover to cover…

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