Of course I support the FFAF’s right to exist

Y’all remember the Freedom from Atheism Foundation, right? Hokey copycat organization that parrots the Freedom from Religion Foundation badly, trying to shut down atheism in the public sphere? I wrote a post with a tepid endorsement of their right to exist, while also pointing out that they were stupid and silly.

Well, now they’re selectively citing that post to claim that atheists support their group. I don’t “support” them — I think they’re a gang of idiots. The True Pooka has been digging into their organization and has found a lot of examples of their fudging the amount of support they get.

In case it flies by too fast, or is too small at your screen resolution to read, here’s my reply to his query about whether I was being sarcastic.

You are correct. I’m serious in saying I support their right to exist, which is the lowest possible bar I can set for any organization. I also support the right of the KKK to exist — I want the demented fuckwits out in the open. I otherwise think their whole site is a load of bullshit.

So sure, you can cite me saying that I’m not trying to shut you down, but that’s different from “supporting” you — I “support” FFAF to the same degree I support the Discovery Institute.


  1. Tapetum says

    It’s actually pretty consistent of them (more so than in many things). They conflate “allows to exist” with “supports and approves of” all the damn time. It’s part of what gets the usual parties so frothy about same sex marriage. In their heads, allowing other people to get married at all, means you support and approve of those marriages. Likewise, allowing abortion to be legal means you support and approve of abortion. There’s no room in there for “I disapprove of this thing, but others should be allowed to do it.” or even “I disapprove of this thing, but making it illegal isn’t an effective way of opposing it.”

    It’s a pretty screwy way of viewing the world.

  2. Snoof says

    Tepetum @3

    It’s the old “legal = moral” equivalency. I figure it’s a symptom of authoritarian thinking, which doesn’t distinguish between the two.

  3. says

    I honestly think that you thought about your reply longer than they’ve thought about the entire issue.

    Bigotry is something they think is mandated, so any justification (disapproval, legal action, whatever) is just an excuse. I mean, isn’t an excuse what automatically happens when you have both mandatory and prohibited beliefs?

    Then again, I have no idea what it’s like to be them.

  4. brucegee1962 says

    “Everything not prohibited is mandatory.”
    T.H.White, The Book of Merlin. Written above the entrance to the fascist ant colony, when Arthur is transformed into an ant.

  5. B-Lar says

    Surely, the standard you walk past is the standard you accept?

    Although… I suppose that only works if you walk past silently.

  6. Tapetum says

    B-Lar@7 – I’m willing to accept “people I disagree with are allowed to organize and rally around causes I don’t support” as a standard. Doesn’t mean I won’t fight to make sure their goals don’t come to fruition – so I’m not accepting their goals. Just that they have them.

  7. Rey Fox says

    Well considering that these types all seem to project their desire of violently suppressing anything they don’t like onto everyone else, then I guess it probably does short-circuit their brains somewhat to hear that you “support their right to exist”.

  8. cswella says

    @7: B-Lar

    Surely, the standard you walk past is the standard you accept?
    Although… I suppose that only works if you walk past silently.

    Walk by silently, with both middle fingers raised.

  9. John Horstman says

    @Snoof #4: Bingo; this also shows up any time people run around talking about making abortion illegal as though that would actually stop any/all abortions, instead of just making them much more dangerous and resulting in the imprisonment of women (and any men or genderqueer people capable of pregnancy) for failing to successfully gestate fetuses to term (even when they really wanted to do so).

  10. F.O. says

    Didn’t their book say something about “false witnessing” or something?
    Not that it has ever stopped the pious from the worst that humanity can do…

  11. Azuma Hazuki says

    Ooh, you know Pooka! He’s one of the people on FB who’s spent a LOT of time helping me learn things, and he has a very deep background in studying theology from a Jewish perspective (which makes him great for taking down the supposed Messianic prophecies…).