1. bob42 says

    There’s a substantial difference between being critical of peoples’ beliefs and being critical of what those beliefs compel them to do.

  2. Vern says

    It’s hard not to make fun of the south when you see the politicians who get elected who try to put religion into the government and schools, when governments try to fund private religious groups for nonsensical things like an ark encounter and you see people who claim their god is merciful when natural disasters hit and destroy property and take lives. It’s not just a stereotype, it’s something that’s actively going on and is constantly being put out in the limelight.But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help them. Although we may consider those people foolish and unrational (not a word, but I didn’t want to use “irrational”,) they are people and deserve humane treatment which means help in times like these.And while it may sound mercenary, this is a good time for atheists to step up to the plate and show that we don’t need an iron age book to determine what good morals are about.

  3. says

    I have no objection to having the federal government help Texans in the wake of the fires, but I won’t let my sympathy for the people who were hurt interfere with my inclination to point out how hypocritical it is of Governor Perry to accept that federal help after threatening to secede.

  4. says

    Thanks for that, Jen. I’m from the South (in Tennessee near Chattanooga, actually, just twenty miles or so from the AL border), currently living in Colorado but getting ready to return in a couple of weeks.It is true that there are plenty of crazies in the region–just look at the whackadoos that wind up governing the states, and you have a pretty good idea. However, people forget that there is a growing base of rational secularists, myself and many, many friends among them. At the same time, you can look at Nebraska, Indiana, Florida, and see much of the same religious nutjobbery that permeates the South–it’s everywhere, people.However, I must say that one thing that bugs me about the comments here so far is the idea that a person is less of a person just because they may sacrifice rationality for strange superstitious or political beliefs. Perhaps one side effect of growing up there is learning that even the political and religious crazies can be wonderful, beautiful people, worthy of befriending. And even those who aren’t…they’re still human beings. Things like loss of homes and lives are not something that should be idly laughed at.As for me, I’ll be returning home, thankful that all of my friends–and community members–are okay, and hoping for the best for those who have lost more.

  5. bamoyers says

    Agreed– with you, and with the OP, Jen. I grew up in Iowa. I don’t get quite the same crap that people from the south tend to, but I’ve heard more than one quip about Iowans being somehow backwards and overly-religious.

  6. The Girl Jack says

    I’m three exits down the road from Glade Spring, in Virginia, where the number of dead is at 21 and rising. I’ve spent the last two days working in the wreckage.I’ve heard a lot of “the Lord spared us”, “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away”, “we’re doing God’s work”, praying, blessing, etc., for the last few days. A few people have talked about how God is using the fucking tornadoes to teach people about giving and sacrifice and crap. This grates on me. It drives me nuts. I go back to my dorm room and rant to my roommate and curse into my pillow and write about it. And yet not once have I been tempted to make an issue out of it in public. At any other time, I would be eager to strike up a conversation about the problems of belief, and to criticize the heavily religious atmosphere of the area I go to school in. Right now, though? Now is not the fucking time. Now is NOT the fucking time.If you’re going to slam the fundie South, go ahead. I do. It’s important that we show people that you don’t have to use religion as a crutch to get through tragedy, and that they sound pretty douchey talking about the inscrutability of God’s plans. But do not be an asshole to people who have just lost everything. Express your frustrations in a way that doesn’t make you sound like an arrogant toerag. Because joking about how the South’s God is punishing them and how they deserve it and all the rest of that crap makes you a fucking douchebag. Don’t you even fucking consider for a minute feeling less sorry for these people because they’re religious. Don’t you even suggest for a moment that these deaths or this disaster is somehow making the country better because religious people have died, and religious people are suffering. They’re people.You don’t have to profess belief in a god. You don’t have to put up with being roped into prayer circles. You certainly don’t need to hide your atheism. But if you’re attempting to correct the worldview of someone who two days ago was huddled in their basement as the house fell down around them while you’re helping them dig their child’s rocking chair out of the remains of their neighborhood, you need to shut the fuck;dr, I found a dead woman and a dead dog under a mattress in her bathtub today, and I thought maybe I shouldn’t take that opportunity to shout, “Hey, God’s not real. You guys are delusional and I bet this dead woman was a moron. Her dog too.”

  7. Rollingforest says

    Well, I for one agree. Mocking people for the fact that their beliefs don’t explain why their loved ones died is just a bad idea. Maybe if you were talking about in general, but pointing to a specific event where the listener’s families are currently suffering is wrong.

  8. says

    Amen. I find it best to keep with the “Don’t be a dick” philosophy. Religion is no more irrational in the South than in any other region, and generalizing about religious Southerners after a tragedy doesn’t help anyone.

  9. pete084 says

    I’m willing to bet that there are quite a number of people who were asking very atheistic questions, like: Where the fuck was god when we needed him, despite the apologists trying to justify god moving in mysterious ways. I think some have quietly come to the conclusion that there isn’t an all knowing, all seeing deity after all, not when faced with the realities of the storms and fires of recent days.

  10. Tony says

    Looking at the statements of fuckwits like Pat Robertson and saying “where’s your god now?” is not making fun of the south. It’s making fun of Pat Robertson. It’s ALWAYS a good time to make fun of Pat Robertson.

  11. Zuche says

    You may have a point, if every likely listener thought Pat Robertson had a monopoly on that god. That applies even if Pat Robertson thinks he does have that exclusive.

  12. Lymie says

    “There’s nothing I can say better. ” But you could have said it better, that post is really badly written. And what examples are there of someone making fun of the South, anyway? Most atheists I know don’t try to persuade religious folks to change their beliefs. The opposite is not the case (WatchTower at the door yesterday. glurg.)

  13. says

    I agree, that post was written by a man who has no competence with the English language. Jen you could have said that much better

  14. Sarah says

    I agree with you two. That was really poorly written and offered no real incite to anything in particular. When one of the examples the writer provides is a tweet, it is hard to take the rest of the blog entry seriously. On a FB group I frequently participate in, we never mock the people that experienced this tragedy. We try to make some sense on how they can think “this is his will” in the face of disaster. We never come to a conclusion because it doesn’t make any sense.

  15. says

    Indeed, it seems like very little research was put into that piece. At the very least the author could have spent some time searching for more than just tweets from the Westburo Baptist church.

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