the godfather, or grandfather, or one of the prime people that ended up actually killing the unity of the movement


A friend let me know that there was a discussion that briefly mentioned me last night, between Ember and Thomas Sheedy. Sheedy is a long time regressive conservative atheist who founded a group called Atheists for Liberty, and Ember put his views in the spotlight for a couple of hours. Sheedy was glib and articulate for a repulsive monster, but I think everyone could see right through him. He was babbling on about transgenderism, wokeism, Dave Silverman (he was framed!), Boghossian, Turning Point USA, and how he was committed to defending atheism über alles and that all this progressive ideology destroyed atheism, while his right-wing ideology was fine, and that it didn’t spill over into his atheist activism, unlike those weird Atheism+ freaks.

Somehow, he thinks promoting Trump and Desantis is compatible with his overweening support for a secular America. He’s completely blind to the fact that he is ideologically driven by forces that are inherently in opposition to atheism.

The bit where I’m mentioned is brief and not at all a big part of the conversation, and is at about the one hour mark in this video.

Sheedy says I am the godfather, or grandfather, or one of the prime people that ended up actually killing the unity of the movement. Cool. Not true and rather silly — lots of people found themselves dissatisfied with the movement, and I wasn’t a leader — but still rather flattering.

Comments

  1. raven says

    He (Sheedy) was babbling on about transgenderism, wokeism, Dave Silverman (he was framed!), Boghossian, Turning Point USA, and how he was committed to defending atheism über alles and that all this progressive ideology destroyed atheism,

    Sheedy who?
    I’ve never heard of him.

    I have nothing in common with this person and have spent my life opposing everything he promotes.
    He is identical to the worst of the xians, the fundies.

    Atheism is destroyed?
    Atheism is doing fine whereas US xianity is losing 2 million members a year.
    Ironically, the reason US xianity is disappearing is…US xians, mostly the fundie perversion of xianity.
    When xian became synonymous with hater, liar, hypocrite, bigot, and sometimes killer, a lot of people didn’t want to be one any more.

    The other reason why atheism is doing OK is because of the gods.
    They don’t exist and do nothing in the real world which makes them hard to believe in.
    If the gods actually existed, we would not have to believe in them, because we would know they are real.

  2. raven says

    Actually, Sheedy is wrong.
    No Surprise.

    Most atheists are liberals and progressives.

    Pew Research 2014

    Republican leaning 15%
    Neutral 17%
    Democratic 69%

    Most atheists lean Democratic by a huge margin.
    It is 15% GOP to 69% Democratic.

    This data is from 2014 but I doubt if it has changed much.
    If anything, probably the percent liberal or progressive atheists is going up.

    Sheedy is just a crackpot on the lunatic fringes.
    The fact that he is an atheist is as relevant as what brands of soft drinks he buys.

  3. Matt G says

    If you’re an atheist whose politics line up almost perfectly with hardcore Christians, maybe, just maybe, some reflection is in order.

  4. mathman85 says

    “Atheists for Liberty”. Why do all reactionary organizations have Orwellian names?

  5. raven says

    I just found some updated data from the Pew Religious Landscape Survey.
    The number of atheists who are liberal/progressive is high and still going up.

    Pew Research 2023

    Republican leaning 19%
    Neutral 3%
    Democrat leaning 78%

    No wonder I never heard of Sheedy.
    He is a MAGA monster, wrong, and on the wrong side of history.
    Nobody worth knowing.

  6. says

    “Liberty” meaning free to do whatever I want, but you, you over there, you can only do that thing if I say you can.

  7. Matt G says

    timgueguen@9- Yeah, it’s almost as if “freedom” and “liberty” aren’t principles for the right, but expressions of self-interest. Almost….

  8. microraptor says

    Any time I see an organization that uses “freedom”, “liberty”, or “patriot” in the name I immediately assume the worst about them.

  9. raven says

    Any time I see an organization that uses “freedom”, “liberty”, or “patriot” in the name I immediately assume the worst about them.

    Or the word “family”.

  10. says

    Funny how these organizations are always for liberty and freedom and family, never against.
    Almost like the name means. . .nothing.

  11. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I always wonder what exactly right-wing atheists are fighting for. Christian nationalism without having to be a Christian? The right to be a non-denominational asshole?

  12. Dunc says

    It’s interesting* that right-wingers always demand that everybody else should compromise in the interests of “unity”. You care about unity so much, why don’t you compromise?

    OK, more like “entirely unsurpising”…

  13. Hemidactylus says

    I see Atheists for Liberty has a presence on Agnostic.com but it looks like nobody has posted to their group since December 2021. Most of the people on the Agnostic site that I notice are centrist to progressive. There are a few right wingers but they seem in it mostly for liberal triggering. Maybe Atheists for Liberty didn’t find Agnostic.com very fruitful and moved on. Or they are a very small demographic within atheism-agnosticism.

  14. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Or they are a very small demographic within atheism-agnosticism.

    Numbers-wise, there are very small, but unfortunately, they tend to be the ones with the money, which is why so many organizations catered to them for so long.

  15. flex says

    Funny. I would have thought that it would have been clear that free-thought is incompatible with “unity of the movement.”

    Having thrown off the yoke of religion, we are expected to put our head in the noose of authoritarianism?

  16. says

    Wow, that is fine praise indeed. I agree, you should definitively add that to your CV.

    If I don’t know what is right I start by listening to the hateful idiots. Then I do the complete opposite.

  17. cheerfulcharlie says

    Statistics show that Generation Z has twice as many agnostics and atheists as America as a whole. 19%. And are also supporters of the Democrats over Republicans 2 to 1. So Progressive politics has hardly destroyed atheism.

    Survey Center on American Life, a project of the American Enterprise InstituteIt’s not only a lack of religious affiliation that distin-
    guishes Generation Z. Gen Zens are also far more likely
    to identify as atheist or agnostic. Eighteen percent of
    Gen Z affirmatively identify as either atheist (9 percent)
    or agnostic

  18. says

    Was this one of those “Atheism-” wankers who was so loudly demanding that atheists should never do or say anything about any subject other than non-belief in gods? I remember that lot getting very old very fast. It was like their entire worldview was dependent on atheism being as irrelevant as possible anywhere in the real world.

  19. stevewatson says

    This thing about PZ/feminism/Rebecca Watson/wokeism/whatever “destroying the atheist movement” is mind-bogglingly stupid. It assumes that the speaker possesses the One True Atheism, and those horrible lefties have lead all those other atheists astray — which implies that those atheists were kind of stupid anyway, so why did the speaker want them in their movement that’s supposed to be about skepticism and critical thinking? (The obvious further implication being: because I want to be the one telling people what to think and do, and sell them books and get invited to cons and be generally fawned over).
    And if the above sounds like Christian attitudes towards “false teachers”, well that’s because it’s pretty much the same phenomenon.

  20. says

    No, you fools, I destroyed the atheist movement when I started attacking the original Slymepit! Geez laweez, don’t you young people remember ANYTHING anymore?!

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