Atrios was getting some heat (most of it misplaced) for saying he was sick of the Christian whiners on the Left who make up stories of their martyrdom in the Democratic party—the same nonsense I was snarling about. While Atrios can say he’s not hostile to religion—he’s just apathetic—I can’t, and reading some of the other reactions to the whole business just confirms my contempt.
I like Avedon Carol, but she just doesn’t get it. Explaining that the Right has successfully portrayed the Left as “godless” and then talking about how wrong they are because the Left is full of good religious people and that there are atheists on the Right too is simply perpetuating the idea the Right wants spread—that atheists are bad, a taint on the culture, and that a good way to demean a movement is to mention that its got atheists in it. Thanks, but no thanks. Can we instead just try to get across the message that freethinkers are good people we aren’t ashamed of for a change?
At least Carol isn’t quite as exasperating as this guy:
We’re not politicians here, but that’s exactly what groups largely led by the religious community do: the Interfaith Alliance, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, etc etc Come on, guys. No one is trying to convert you–we’re just asking for the most basic respect. We need to keep this coalition intact…Together, we stand for much: for religious freedom as well as freedom from religion, for our own passionate beliefs but also for tolerance and respect for the beliefs and rights of others.
Yes, yes…we know. Some Christians do good things. So do some atheists. We give people the respect they deserve for the actions they do…so why also demand respect for the absurd granfalloon called Christianity? When this fellow “Faithful Progressive” works for the separation of church and state, or for civil liberties, or to help the poor, I’ll give him the thumbs up; but when he pulls this smug act of declaring his piety and expecting respect for his delusions, sorry, pal, but no way. Christianity is a crock.
This raises the larger problem I have with many liberal blogs–many of which seem to forget that politics is about building coalitions, building a team and not just cleverly dissing those who irritate you. No matter how tiresome Atrios may find Steve Waldman or Digby Amy Sullivan (or the Booman Tribune yours truly); no matter how tiresome I might find Duncan’s poorly considered sophomoric theology–we are all on the same team, dammmit! Why don’t these bloggers who should know better get that?
I like that: “sophomoric theology”. Theology is sophomoric, attempts to rationalize the absurd with reality, the glorification of foolish beliefs that will be dignified by pretending they are serious. Nice team-building, too; it’s the usual cluelessness of the majority that doesn’t realize that their assumptions hold no validity and that they are relying on the mutual gladhanding of their fellows to hold up their illusions.
So, no, the final word is that I will never give his religion a bit of respect. I will tolerate it. I will respect his right to practice his religion. But I will not hesitate to express my scorn every time one of my “allies” in this “coalition” thinks the way to better the country is to promote more belief in false fantasies.
Ophelia links to an excellent summary of the materialist/naturalist/scientist position. That’s where I stand, and that is my objective—respect that, Christians.