There’s another atheist organization in the swamp


Here we go again. We have a new gang of atheists with the same old meaningless buzzwords: Atheists for Liberty. It’s for Americans who care about Enlightenment Values, specifically Atheists • Agnostics • Freethinkers • Non-religious • Skeptics • Independents • Conservatives • Libertarians • Classical Liberals • Centrists. I notice there are a few labels missing from their list, like liberals, progressives, and humanists, and that becomes even more obvious when you look at their “principles”, which are basically dogmatic conservative Americanism. Of course they worship Free Speech! But mainly because they hate social justice. Even much of the atheist community which used to pride itself on steadfast free-thinking principles, has fallen victim to the poisonous, emotional forces of Intersectionality, Social Justice, and “Wokeness”.

They never get around to saying what “Enlightenment values” are, but it sounds good. I expect that what they really liked about the Enlightenment was the eurocentrism, the racism, the slavery, and the colonialism. Bring back the 18th century!

The founder bios say a lot, too.

Thomas Sheedy is President and founder of Atheists for Liberty. Sheedy is an entrepreneur from Long Island, New York. He is an undergraduate in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs at the University at Albany, where he serves as an Auxiliary Officer for the University at Albany College Republicans. He has appeared on multiple podcasts, blogs, and YouTube video interviews, and has participated extensively in student atheist activism. Sheedy was an Assistant State Director for American Atheists, President of the Long Island Atheists, Event Organizer for Center for Inquiry Long Island, President and founder of the Ward Melville High School Secular Student Alliance, and a member of the Center for Inquiry Student Advisory Committee from Fall 2015 to Summer 2016. Additionally, he is a member of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State‘s Youth Advisory Council. In 2015 he received the Richard and Beverly Hermsen Student Activist Award from the Freedom From Religion Foundation and was FFRF’s student of the year. He also holds memberships with Turning Point USA at SUNY Albany, Louder With Crowder Mug Club, the National Rifle Association of America, The Ripon Society, and the American Conservation Coalition.

Yikes. American Atheists, FFRF, and Americans United, you disappoint me, coddling this viper in your midst; CFI, I’m not surprised; TPUSA and the NRA, this is exactly the kind of young asshole I expect from you; Louder With Crowder Mug Club, that must be comic relief, right? Crowder is one of the dumbest conservatives on YouTube, and you just pay him money to join that club.

Guess who the advisors to Atheists for Liberty are.

Go ahead, guess.

They’re the usual suspects in the atheist community.

Yeah, it’s Shermer and Boghossian. It’s also been endorsed by David Silverman — he might be jealous that they’re going to be at CPAC. Mythicist Milwaukee loves ’em.

Hoo boy, atheism sure has plummeted in respectability, hasn’t it?

Comments

  1. Saad says

    atheist community … has fallen victim to the poisonous, emotional forces of Intersectionality, Social Justice, and “Wokeness”.

    As opposed to the totally logical forces of dudebros fainting at the news of a black James Bond or a woman having a main role in a sci fi film.

  2. wzrd1 says

    So, lemme get this straight. Atheism with mandatory group compliance with their sectarian views.
    Wow, atheism turning into a pseudoreligion, follow the wealthy or be excommunicated!

    As for the NRA, I miss the mid-60’s and earlier NRA, when the organization was about sporting use of firearms, outdoors activities, conservation and yes, hunting and fishing. Alas, they supported the gun control act of 1968, the industry hijacked the organization and we have the victory through superior volume of fire crowd running the organization into the ground.

    Still, this organization does to itself what other far wing crowds do, ruin their point by speaking their mind.
    This by giving a free pass to the most objectionable people and organizations, which have torpedoed prior peer organizations and they oddly expect that the auto-destruct charge won’t destroy their organization because of hand wave.
    On the other side of the spectrum of idiocy, a recent post on DailyKos, where the diarist posted about a poor, defenseless bear, which would happily tear off the face of the hunter and eat it. Defenseless, save for being able to eat someone’s face…
    Yeah, the most unkind thing to do to a fool is allow them to speak their mind. A corollary to, “It is better to remain silent and be thought the fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”.
    Well, back to more sane matters, like scheduling a few job interviews and planning dinner.

  3. says

    Thomas Sheedy was also one of Silverman’s first hires when he worked for AAI. Sheedy was on “Team Sliverman” when he filed his lawsuit and Sheedy admitted in a Facebook post that he was faking being concerned about Social Justice Issues when he was President of Humanists of Long Island which I don’t see listed in CV.

  4. says

    wzrd1 @4

    On the other side of the spectrum of idiocy, a recent post on DailyKos, where the diarist posted about a poor, defenseless bear, which would happily tear off the face of the hunter and eat it. Defenseless, save for being able to eat someone’s face…

    Yeah, gonna need to see a link for that because there are definitely instances where bears can be described as “poor, defenseless” when it comes to interactions with humans and our adeptness at cruelty and killing.

  5. whywhywhy says

    #7
    Given the context, I interpreted ‘entrepreneur’ as ‘conman setting up a interest group in order to collect large donations from rich folks and cater to their bigotry in return’. But I can see where ‘unemployed’ also works.

  6. says

    Nice. A recent example of the incompetence that popular beliefs about emotion create. Now if I can only finish a good outline of topics for a post about it.

    ‘Even much of the atheist community which used to pride itself on steadfast free-thinking principles, has fallen victim to the poisonous, emotional forces of Intersectionality, Social Justice, and “Wokeness”.’

    Those things aren’t “emotional” in contrast to things like freethinking which is just as emotional a process (includes feelings about what we percieve while we freethink).
    This continues to look like conflation of emotion and feeling with irrationality or illogic. I have yet to get a single person using emotion in this way to show me the specific rational or logical problems with the expression of emotion that they percieve. As a result of I were around the person expressing this I would pressure them to back up their disparaging characterizations with specific examples of “emotional forces”.

  7. says

    @Susan Montgomery 12
    I’ve seen lots of uses of “freethought” that are little more than the literal meaning used to manipulate the ignorant.
    For example responses to criticism that don’t quote or otherwise identify the specific criticism on the order of “so much for ‘freethought’ blogs”.

    I’ll have to explore the statements more Tobe sure, but it’s telling that the quote mentions no characteristics of freethought to compare or contrast with the things the writer feels negatively about, ‘…Intersectionality, Social Justice, and “Wokeness”.’ The use of “freethought” appears to be entirely rhetorical.

    That bit about the author feeling negatively about specific things? It’s amazing how difficult it can be to get someone like that to acknowledge the feelings as things worth talking about in parallel with the feelings in other people that they believe to be problems.

    It’s difficult not to fall into my own exaggerated rhetoric and “the brokenness of language” but it’s not that simple despite the stuff mucking with our ability to have a proper understanding of feelings and emotion.

  8. says

    It’s long, but I hope people interested in this topic will read my piece on the Atheists for Liberty and Enlightenment values.

    Teaser! Here’s how their hero John Locke articulated the Enlightenment values with respect to atheism:

    those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of a God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist. The taking away of God, though but even in thought, dissolves all; besides also, those that by their atheism undermine and destroy all religion, can have no pretence of religion whereupon to challenge the privilege of a toleration. As for other practical opinions, though not absolutely free from all error, if they do not tend to establish domination over others, or civil impunity to the Church in which they are taught, there can be no reason why they should not be tolerated.

    Yep. It’s ethnic cleansing and/or reeducation for atheists; certainly they cannot avail themselves of any protection of the laws. In any case, whatever is precisely intended, atheists should not even be tolerated. That’s your Enlightenment values right there, Atheists for Liberty.

    …Whoops!

  9. DanDare says

    Makes me think of Bloomberg. Republicans infiltrating Democrat ranks. The point of doing that is that voting Democrate is then meaningless even if that guy gets in.
    I don’t know what your remedy is. Bloomberg was evicerated in the debates but you need real, alternate, good faith candidates to do that.

  10. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Why don’t they just be honest with everybody and name themselves Douchebags For Notoriety?

  11. Samuel Pepys says

    wzrd1 #4:

    Atheism with mandatory group compliance with their sectarian views.

    Seems to be something of a hallmark of Atheism groups of one stripe or another. One fondly remembers the famous – though maybe now “infamous” – Richard Carrier’s bold benedictions on the nascent Atheism Plus:

    There is a new atheism brewing, and it’s the rift we need, to cut free the dead weight so we can kick the C.H.U.D.’s back into the sewers and finally disown them, once and for all …

    Though, more broadly, the Wokeus Dei are not exactly unfamiliar with that methodology. Almost as if dogma – sectarian and otherwise – and its attendant intolerance is no respecter of any group boundaries: my tribe, right or wrong.

  12. Samuel Pepys says

    Hoo boy, atheism sure has plummeted in respectability, hasn’t it?

    LoL – indeed. Almost, one might suggest, as if there was a flaw or two or many, possibly fatal, at the heart of the whole enterprise. And which may include, at least as contributing factors, that many of its champions have, like most of us, clay feet. No doubt, many of them start off with the best of intentions – c.f. “roads to hell” – in setting up various organizations, but too often they seem to wind up being driven by dogma and self-aggrandizement – tails and tales wagging the dog.

    Reminds me of a Booker T. Washington quote:

    There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.

    Seems to have a much broader relevance these days, “grievances” being something of a growth industry.

    However, more broadly, it seems the biggest flaw is the general level of intolerance in many atheist groups – “the sheer certainty of its adherents” as Andrew Doyle said in the context of the “JK Rowling controversy”. Although that is hardly unique to them. And likewise that many atheist’s gun sights aren’t calibrated for much more than the anthropomorphic Gawd of the Bible and the Quran. Kind of amusing in a way to see such atheists and fundamentalist theists squabbling like an old married couple more exercised by their mutual animosity than by taking care of the kids – so to speak.

  13. chrislawson says

    wzrd1@4–

    I can understand the nostalgia for a time when the NRA wasn’t just a morally-necrotic branch of arms-manufacturer marketing, but never forget that the NRA (and Ronald Reagan!) only wanted to limit gun ownership in 1968 because they were scared of black Americans getting guns.

  14. chrislawson says

    Intransitive@5–

    Too true. Anyone who self-identifies as a centrist is an idiot by definition. This is not the same thing as having views that happen to fall near the centre of a political spectrum, nor is it the same as being a moderate.

    Essentially centrism means one of two things: a political strategy or a political philosophy. As a strategy, I can see why people might fall for it, but the evidence is that centrism does not work. The Republican Party has not been damaged by leaping as far to the right as possible. If centrism was an effective strategy, there would have been no Republican presidents since Reagan’s first term.

    Centrism as a political philosophy is even worse. It means choosing your political views based on averaging out the extremes of the political spectrum of your time. Centrism gave us the Missouri Compromise, Democrats voting for the Second Iraq War, and Nick Clegg vaporising his own party.

  15. John Morales says

    chrislawson:

    Anyone who self-identifies as a centrist is an idiot by definition.

    By which definition?

    (Is this purported definition unique to you?)

  16. Silentbob says

    Are any other old-timers getting flashbacks to Steersman from Samuel Pepys?

    So Sam, basically your thesis is that the uppity Negroes and other such types are ripping us off with their lucrative “grievances”?

  17. says

    @#23, John Morales:

    A centrist says “it doesn’t matter what the contents or the effects of policy are, what matters is avoiding the extremes”.

    Take climate change: one “extreme” is to deny it exists. The other is to say “climate change exists and we have to fight it as hard as possible because otherwise it will end civilization and probably kill us all”. All of the evidence is on the latter side — to a centrist, that doesn’t matter; instead we need an ineffectual, industry-friendly plan which might possibly reduce carbon emissions several decades from now.

    That’s suicide. If you don’t consider suicide in the name of ideological purity — and make no mistake, evaluating policy on its place on the political spectrum rather than on outcomes or evidence is ideological purity — to be stupidity, then there’s no helping you.

  18. John Morales says

    The Vicar @26, that’s a rather idiosyncratic definition, but if so, your claim is equivalent to “those who are not extremists are idiots”, which is evidently wrong.

    Take climate change: one “extreme” is to deny it exists.
    […]
    That’s suicide.

    Um, “suicide”?
    … ah.
    I take it that you have a similarly idiosyncratic definition of “suicide”.

    If you don’t consider suicide in the name of ideological purity — and make no mistake, evaluating policy on its place on the political spectrum rather than on outcomes or evidence is ideological purity — to be stupidity, then there’s no helping you.

    Heh. Not the most compelling argument I’ve ever heard.

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