I was reading Gretchen Koch’s review of the American Atheist convention in Oklahoma city (net positive), and she links to a Christian pastor’s review of the same (not positive at all). Koch’s article is a thoughtful balance of concerns about atheism’s problems and the good aspects of community.
The Christian review is a collection of familiar tropes. Atheism is just like a religion because they have speakers and try to persuade people that they’re right! Welcome to the real world, guy: then auto dealers and the society for developmental biology are religions, because they have meetings with speakers and argue.
Then he scorns the attendance.
The organizers were impressed with the fact that 850 people attended the conference. But I have attended a dozen church conferences in the past year that have more people than that. In some ways, I think the church has little to worry about from such a small, insignificant organization, but in other ways, I am very concerned because their goal is nothing short of transforming our entire nation from one with Christian foundations to a completely secular nation where the religious would be forced to keep their beliefs confined to the inside of their homes.
This is correct. 850 people is not that many; the Society for Neuroscience annual event draws in 20,000+ attendees, just to put it in perspective. Atheism is a minority view, so don’t be surprised when events are smaller than some rally filmed by Leni Riefenstahl. But it doesn’t mean that they can’t be influential, especially when the majority view is becoming increasingly repellent. Donald Trump’s support by evangelical Christians does so much hard work for us.
Stop me if you’ve heard this canard before.
The reason most people are atheists is because they want to have the freedom to sin. At the atheist conference I saw people promoting abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, premarital sex, and polyamory. The most common theme at the conference was, “There is no god” but the second most common theme was, “I want to have sex unhindered by religious morality.”
The theme is actually more like “Consenting adults ought to be free to find happiness in their own way,” but OK, yes, we do want to get rid of narrow, dogmatic religious morality that too often disregards the happiness and consent of its citizens to meddle in personal matters.
How about this oldie?
The atheists also celebrate homosexuality which is weird because if evolution is true as atheists believe then the gene for homosexuality should disappear within a few generations.
If god is true then why haven’t all the gay people been on the receiving end of a thunderbolt, huh? My answer to his fallacy is that, like all behaviors, there are biological compromises. Fine-tune the specificity of human mate preferences too much, and you get a population that doesn’t want to breed with anyone. And, since we’re a social species, maybe loving people of your own sex is just fine and even advantageous in building a community.
American Atheists are mad about the recent school shootings, but their founder Madalyn Murray O’Hair is the one responsible for taking prayer out of schools. When an objective moral standard is removed from education and prayer to Almighty God is forbidden in the classroom, then lawless behavior is the inevitable result. Who is responsible for school shootings? I think the American Atheists are.
Takes your breath away, doesn’t it? Taking prayer out of schools has nothing to do with school shootings; and it’s not true that prayer has been removed, because anyone can still pray all they want in school, you just can’t have an authority dictating to you how and to whom you must pray. This pastor is some kind of generic Protestant. I wonder how he’d feel if a Catholic were to decide on the prayers to be dictated in the schools, or even more horrifying to him, a Muslim? Separation of church and state has been a blessing that allows every weird sect to flourish in this country, including his profitable ministry.
But to blame atheism for the shootings? Over the top. Fuck you, Daniel King.