Tuesday, July 3

not to cast a negative light...

This was in my email box this morning:

Participated for the first time this year in the blogswarn "Against Theocracy." I will never do so again. Now as I read the other essays, I see too many atheists used the opportunity to skip the actual subject matter and blog against religion, instead. I didn't know that's what I was participating in -- that fanatical denial of other people's beliefs is exactly why I don't want our nation run by zealots in the first place. I regret that this is the result of your efforts. It seemed a good idea and I passed the link around. Now, I'm sorry I did.

I don't expect you to change anything but I'm sure you must be curious about why people participate and why some never return. For me, linking my friends to essays calling them retards and idiots for having faith in God was not something I wanted to do. I thought the project was about supporting separation of Church and State.


My reply:

...could you point out specific posts where you saw this. I'd like to leave a comment there along the lines you spoke of.

I'm also going to publish your email (no names) at my own blog. I think it's important that this point be made, too. There's no shortage of egomania in the blogosphere and what you've documented is merely that. Paul said, "none of these things move me"...we need to be less impressed with what those who are wrong or hateful are saying and simply love more.

37 comments:

  1. "...could you point out specific posts where you saw this. I'd like to leave a comment there along the lines you spoke of."

    I would refer to damn near everything posted by Infidel1753 under the post Blog Against Theocracy: Worship or Not. He (or she) has taken the fundamentalist position that everyone who disagrees with him or her is stupid (the fundies would say damned) and therefore underserving of respect, tolerance or even basic polite manners. Sadly, he/she is not the first atheist I have met with such a militant, self-righteous, zealous attitude, seemingly more concerned with mocking than faithful than in defending their own philosophical opinion and blissfully unaware that they are undermining their own arguments in favor of protecting the rights of those who hold minority opinions. I can certainly understand how Christians (or other people of Faith) would be reluctant to participate in an event that subjected them to public mockery and abuse.

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  2. I think there's an important point to be made here: different people oppose theocracy for different reasons. Some people don't object to religion (or are religious themselves) but still don't want it mixed with politics. Others (such as myself) consider religion self-evidently absurd and object to the idea of government policy being influenced by objectively-nonsensical thinking. You may disagree with this, but the plain fact is that this is one of the major reasons out there for objecting to theocracy.

    I saw nothing in the guidelines for the Blog against Theocracy project which said that only certain reasons for being against theocracy were "acceptable" while others were not. Many people have come to the honest conclusion that religious belief is irrational and harmful, and inevitably anyone who holds this view will be against theocracy. In an anti-theocracy project, such views will naturally get a lot of airing. If certain categories of motives for opposing theocracy are to be deemed unacceptable, this should really be added to the guidelines in the future.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this persons comments. I too had similar feelings about the tone of the discussion, but wasn't driven to say anything. What can I say, I'm a lurker. Whether or you think religion is rot, the real enemy to keep focused on are the religious fundamentalists of all faiths whose only interest is to drown out dissent, and destroy that which is different.

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  4. He (or she) has taken the fundamentalist position that everyone who disagrees with him or her is stupid (the fundies would say damned) and therefore underserving of respect, tolerance or even basic polite manners.

    Untrue. See what I actually said. First, I was speaking of respect for belief, not for people. One can lack respect for a belief and still respect a person who holds it, if they have other positive qualities. Second, I never said anything about tolerance or intolerance. I certainly don't think that belief in religion (or in unicorns, for that matter) should be prohibited, only that I find it impossible to feel any respect for such beliefs, and it is unreasonable to demand respect for them.

    This person is too busy being hysterical to get the point of the analogy I was making. If you met an adult who truly believed in the existence of unicorns or Santa Claus, could you respect that belief in any meaningful sense? Could you make yourself feel respect for it by an act of will, even if you wanted to? Well, that's the position I find myself in where religion is concerned.

    Whether or you think religion is rot, the real enemy to keep focused on are the religious fundamentalists of all faiths whose only interest is to drown out dissent, and destroy that which is different.

    I'm all for that. My initial comment on the thread in question was basically just agreeing with Blue Gal's comment about anti-evolutionary fundamentalism being an embarrassment. I only elaborated further than that when I got attacked for saying this.

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  5. The Jesusistan refrain has always been that anyone who dares question them is "persecuting Christianity."

    The arrogance revealed here is breathtaking. WHO gets to decide WHICH Christianity is "the" Christianity? Is it the "Christianity" practiced by Jesusistanis like Dobson and Perkins, the owners of the old KKK mailing list? Many "values" types seem to think so.

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  6. The Original Whiner2:46 PM

    I wanted to say I was reassured after talking to Bluegal. Clearly the intent of the project is meant to be "Separation of Church and State" and I'm all for that.

    To Infidel, I can only say your motivation is at odds with the intent of the First Amendment. It is not meant to allow you to squash religious people for being knuckle-dragging morons, any more than it is meant to allow poodle worshippers to force us all to curl our hair because anyone with brains can see that's the right way of living.

    The First Amendment's intent is to stop theological and philosophical differences from causing harm and bloodshed among the populace by allowing each of us to make our own decisions on spiritual matters. Your stance that everyone in the world must, absolutely, be completely wrong if they don't agree with you is exactly the ground our forefathers did not want our government to tread.

    But, atheism, like any other school of thought will have its fanatics and they're not always representative. I particularly liked this essay in the swarm. It's written by an atheist but that doesn't seem to be as important to the author as upholding the individual freedom our Constitution should grant us all. That's where our common ground exists. That's where we should stand.

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  7. To Infidel, I can only say your motivation is at odds with the intent of the First Amendment. It is not meant to allow you to squash religious people for being knuckle-dragging morons, any more than it is meant to allow poodle worshippers to force us all to curl our hair because anyone with brains can see that's the right way of living.

    Again, this is misrepresentation. I did not "squash" anyone or advocate forcing anyone to do anything. I expressed vigorous criticism of something popular, which is exactly what the First Amendment is supposed to protect.

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  8. "One can lack respect for a belief and still respect a person who holds it, if they have other positive qualities."

    You do not respect me by referring to my cherished beliefs as "utter nonsense."

    'The Jesusistan refrain has always been that anyone who dares question them is "persecuting Christianity."'

    JollyRoger, I said nothing about "persecuting" anyone. I am merely calling for the common courtesy of refraining from mocking and belittling the belief systems of people you don't agree with. If I can restrain myself from insulting atheists at the Blog Against Theocracy, then surely you and Infidel can refrain from mocking me. After all, the entire point of the Blog Against is solidarity against religious fundamentalism. Religious belief is NOT the same as fundamentalism.

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  9. The Original Whiner3:15 PM

    I expressed vigorous criticism of something popular, which is exactly what the First Amendment is supposed to protect.

    And so the First Amendment leaves it to each of us to use good judgment about venue and purpose when we are expressing ourselves.

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  10. TOW: And so the First Amendment leaves it to each of us to use good judgment about venue and purpose when we are expressing ourselves.

    Which does not change the fact that you completely misrepresented what I said.

    As for "venue and purpose", if the person who owns this site (Blue Gal) thinks what I'm saying is inappropriate, I'll stop saying it here.

    TLC: If I can restrain myself from insulting atheists

    You certainly have not restrained yourself from doing that.

    then surely you and Infidel can refrain from mocking me.

    Point out where I mocked you, as opposed to attacking ideas.

    After all, the entire point of the Blog Against is solidarity against religious fundamentalism.

    A sentiment I already agreed with, though it gets a little difficult when there's such a chip-on-the-shoulder, hair-trigger eruption of venom at almost any expression of an atheist viewpoint (which by definition means considering religion to be false).

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  11. "You certainly have not restrained yourself from doing that."

    I do not believe I have attacked atheists in general or atheism. I thought I was careful to limit my criticism to my impression of SOME atheists. I do not presume that all atheists are the same, as you apparently assume all people of faith are the same (i.e., morons).

    "Point out where I mocked you, as opposed to attacking ideas."

    I thought I pretty much made it clear that if you call my beliefs nonsense, you are mocking me, just as fat white sports fans in fake "war paint" and feathers mock me by mocking and disrespecting my culture. If I said atheism advocates child molestation, wouldn't you be offended?

    "A sentiment I already agreed with, though it gets a little difficult when there's such a chip-on-the-shoulder, hair-trigger eruption of venom at almost any expression of an atheist viewpoint"

    I have no problem whatsoever, let alone any sort of chip, with any atheist viewpoint. I firmly believe that freedom of religion is meaningless without freedom from religion. I have a problem with people erupting venom at my viewpoint, for no apparent reason, in an inappropriate venue (i.e., one dedicated to solidarity against religious fascism). If we were on a blog dedicated to debating philosophy or religion, I would expect you to attack my position, though hopefully with something a little more substantive than "your religion is STOOPID!"

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  12. My perspective is that of a lefty Christian. Just wanted to toss that out there before I launched into the fray.

    Folks... we are intentionally stirring together 2 of the most combustable ingredients for strife and consternation known to mankind: Politics, and religion. In fact I feel comfortable in asserting that these are THE 2 greatest causes for disagreement among groups of humankind since we were clubbing each other over the head to establish our respective hunting grounds.

    We are encouraging each other to discuss our takes on these two volatile aspects of our lives and in the end agreeing with each other as to how the two ought to relate with each other.

    If in the course of reaching agreement we disagree with one another as to how we reach the conclusion, that is to be expected. In fact we may well expect that disagreement to become heated because of the sensitive nature of the discussion. But let us remember that we do reach the same conclusion here.

    I welcome the input of my athiest brother, or as the case may be, sister in the discussion. Their contribution may be a bit over the top and illicit a reaction from myself in defense of my own beliefs, but at the end of the day they are going to go to the voting booth too (probably) vote for the same ticket I do.

    In fact I think it would be pretty freaking boring if all the blog against theocracy posts were echoes of "I'm a good Christian sort who is also against theocracy". I would have really appreciated a few other religions perspectives, which may not have validated my own theology, but would have validated my political outlook.

    We can expect some divergence amongst ourselves, or expect us to present the world a pretty boring spectacle. All of us being grown ups and wanting to express ourselves in the blogosphere should expect divergence from our own point of view. In fact that opposition may be heated. It should challenge us, not send us off in a funk. Respond in kind... I'm sick and tired of liberals getting gored and passively taking it, and that's what is so great about what we do. Us lefty bloggers are giving it back to them, and we are making a difference. So even if the horns that are goring you are coming from the left, give it back in kind.

    Lets just all get along, and enjoy debating one another as we go forth to kick GOP butt.

    Sorry for the book.

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  13. I thought I pretty much made it clear that if you call my beliefs nonsense, you are mocking me

    There's a huge difference between attacking ideas and attacking individuals.

    I do not believe I have attacked atheists in general or atheism.

    You insulted and misrepresented me personally (see your first comment at the beginning of this thread) and seemed eager to generalize.

    I do not presume that all atheists are the same, as you apparently assume all people of faith are the same (i.e., morons).

    I am really getting tired of you putting words in my mouth and then reacting to that instead of what I actually said.

    It seems pointless to continue. I'm just repeating myself, and it won't have any more effect the tenth time I say it than the first time.

    Thanks bhfrik for the rational perspective.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. "It seems pointless to continue. I'm just repeating myself, and it won't have any more effect the tenth time I say it than the first time."

    This is true; no matter how many times you claim you are not insulting me by calling my beliefs "nonsense" and Bronze Age mythology, I will not get it.

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  16. I have to add my two cents.

    I am definitely not one who minces words, and I can be painfully blunt when writing. (Or speaking for that matter). From that perspective I see Infidel's point very clearly. Dance like no one is watching.

    I honestly think when it comes to this issue people hear what they want to hear anyway regardless of what you say or how you say it.

    Having said that, I have also fucked myself royally being blunt. In fact, I lost someone very important because of my drive to say what "I gotta say", and there are times when it's best to temper yourself if not for others, for yourself. (I'm still working on that one. I think I called Libby supporters "fucking idiots" in a post last night).

    This is as bhfrik said a "combustible" issue, and that's putting it mildly. Religion is potentially the most lethal creation in history. People willing kill and oppress their brothers/sisters in the name of "God." And they'll do so without conscience or remorse. At the same militancy in any form is dangerous.

    Sometimes I feel "Militant Atheists" are every bit as "Religious" as Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans etc.

    I've seen the same foaming at the mouth rage in Atheists that I see in Christians. In fact, I don't think they are really "opposed" as much as they are inverted images of one another. Any one who "needs" to "prove" God doesn't exist is not much different than someone who "has" to "prove" he does.

    But ultimately I have to side with Atheists when it comes to Religion and the Government. Atheists are not taking over any time soon, but the Fundamentalists are getting perilously close to fucking things up.

    It cannot be allowed. It simply cannot. The stakes are too high, and in the end my daughter is far more important than someone else's feelings.

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  17. "Some people don't object to religion (or are religious themselves) but still don't want it mixed with politics. Others (such as myself) consider religion self-evidently absurd and object to the idea of government policy being influenced by objectively-nonsensical thinking."

    Here is how I might have worded this comment, to make my point without appearing to be attacking anyone personally: 'Some people don't object to religion (or are religious themselves) but still don't want it mixed with politics. Others (such as myself) do object to religion (or do not hold a religious belief themselves) and object to the idea of government policy being influenced by religion.'


    BAC

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  18. @fairlane: Excuse me for picking a nit. There is no such thing as a fundamentalist atheists. Fundamentalism is the strict and literal adherence to a set of principles or beliefs. In terms of Christianity fundamentalism is essentially the belief in the inerrancy of the Bible.

    However, atheism is simply a lack of belief in gods. When someone says, "I am an atheist" they are telling you nothing about themselves aside from the fact that they do not hold a belief in gods. Beyond that, what they actually believe is anybody's guess until they tell you. They might ascribe to beliefs about which they are fundamentalist in their outlook, but they can't be fundamentalist about their atheism. For example, one might say Objectivism is a fundamentalist and politicized variant of metaphysical naturalism, but not all atheists are metaphysical naturalists and not all metaphysical naturalists are Objectivists.

    @Infidel753: You could have chosen your words better to match your audience. That's not to say you needed to mince your words, just take a cue from BAC and phrase them less aggressively.

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  19. The Original Whiner12:41 AM

    I feel people are still missing the point. The issue is not atheism vs religion. The issue under discussion for the blogswarm would be "Why the government must support individual freedom." That's what the first admendment is about. Remember the suggested topic? "Separation of Church and State is Patriotic."

    To take that opportunity and use it instead to tout the superiority of one's own personal religious beliefs or the inferiority of another's misses the point entirely.

    It doesn't matter what any one of us thinks about God or the lack thereof. What should matter, when separation of church and state is discussed, is whether each of us respects the other's right to hold personal beliefs.

    Gotta tell ya', it's atheists who have stumbled on that one for this project and that's why I protested in the first place. I didn't read a single essay by a person of religion who used it to preach. But the atheists? Some really didn't get the idea.

    "Only my philosophy is correct" is not the same as "I may not agree with what you say but I will fight to the death for your right to say it." I think it's the latter principle we are meant to support. Maybe another day and another opportunity would be the appropriate moment to write an essay on "Why I Hate All Religion."

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  20. Here Liberals are once again derailing themselves over what amounts to "Political Correctness."

    This is what confounds me. Am I the only one who understands our country is being run by complete CRIMINALS? While you argue over "He hurt my feelings" and "No, I didn't you big stupid face", the REPUBLICANS are making a mockery of this country. Bush just Commuted the sentence of a man engaged in TREASON! TREASON in order to start a war. Do you understand how ridiculous this petty bickering is compared to that?

    There is no Shangri-La, get that silly idea out your heads. This isn't College, this isn't brunch at Aunt Daphne's house. Fucking get a grip!

    Here's a suggestion, I do this all the time, instead of reading something you know you are going to find "Offensive" how about closing the page and moving on with your life? Within two or three sentences you can get an idea where the author is going, and whether or not you want to go there with them.

    This is the real world. These people running our country don't give a fuck about your little feelings.

    The world is never going to be PERFECT. People are flawed. It's what makes us who we are, and for people who talk so much about "Independence" and "Freedom" you sure seem extraordinarily pre-occupied with controlling one another.

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  21. Anonymous7:42 AM

    Here's a suggestion, I do this all the time, instead of reading something you know you are going to find "Offensive" how about closing the page and moving on with your life?

    How about all the people who are unaware of the issue? I believe that's the point of a blogswarm -- to widen public awareness of an issue and to gain fresh supporters for it. The last thing you want visitors doing is "moving on with their lives" after reading a few lines, because it turned out the blog wasn't about the subject advertised.

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  22. It's called the "Blogswarm Against Theocracy." Opposition to Theocracy, opposition to religion taking control.

    It's not called the "Knitting Club Against Theocracy" or "June Cleaver Is Golly Gee Upset With Theocracy And If They Don't Cut It Out She'll Be Forced To Say Darn."

    Once again, do you think Republicans give a shit about you and your little feelings?

    This is a war. Literally. These people want absolute control over every aspect of your life. I am unaware of Tyranny ever being defeated by Political Correctness.

    "Uh, Mr. Hitler we decided we don't approve of you saying those mean things about the Jews. They're people just like you or I and they have feelings. Can you please try to be nicer before you pack them into the Cattle Cars?"

    "Why sure. I didn't realize I was being offensive. I truly appreciate you pointing that out to me. I'll get Goebbels on the phone and straighten this out immediately. Let me be the first to apologize on behalf of the Nazi Regime for this blatant disregard of others and their tender hearts. If anything we Nazis are a tolerant lot, and we wouldn't want anyone to be upset before we callously threw them into an oven. It makes it harder on the guards you know? We're already having trouble with many of them going insane or spending every day in a drunken stupor. Hey, while you're here would you like to take a nice hot shower? I hear you don't have running water where you live..."

    "Gosh, I knew you were really a kind man. You're just misunderstood. I'd love a shower. Maybe after I'm finished we can go have a Latte and discuss Molly Ivins."

    "That's sounds peachy. Let me get you a towel. Do you want one with a Star of David or a Pink Triangle? I wouldn't want to give you the wrong towel and hurt your feelings again."

    "Oh Adolf you big softy. You wouldn't happen to have one with a picture of St. Francis feeding the squirrels would you?"

    "Let me check. You know, I'm so glad we had this talk. I admit, I feel much better. First thing Monday morning I'm going to make an appointment with my Therapist. I've been feeling a little angry and stressed lately, and stress is a killer as they say. Can't enact genocide on the world if your heart and mind aren't into it."

    "So true. Maybe instead of Lattes we should sit here and have some Chamomile Tea. You can tell me all about your childhood."

    "I'll bake some cookies. I think I have 'When Harry Met Sally' on video."

    Liberals will never have 100% continuity, there is too much diversity within the sphere of "Liberalism." One thing we all have in common is our opposition to these fucks in the White House.

    What's more important? A couple of posts that don't sit well or a President who is so deluded he thinks he rules through the "Will of God?"

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  23. Anonymous2:14 PM

    Once again, do you think Republicans give a shit about you and your little feelings?

    I don't really care. I'm talking about making what is supposed to be a public awareness campaign effective.

    Someone sees the link to "Blog Against Theocracy." He or she thinks, "I'm not for theocracy. Good, I'll go read essays from like-minded people. Maybe I'll get some good ideas about how to deal with the issue and at least I'll get other people's thoughts on the matter."

    Is that what they get? Sometimes but among the thoughtful, insightful posts are a good number that are atheists calling them delusional shitheads. And so they go, but they may well remember that atheists are intolerant and that they don't want to be involved in political causes with them -- because jerks can make quite an impression.

    That's no way to make progress. So, if swearing at people and ranting about why your personal beliefs are superior to anyone else's is the most important thing to you, go ahead. But know that you are doing damage to the cause by selfishly promoting your own beliefs and turning away vast numbers of the public who were really interested in the subject being advertised: religious freedom for all.

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  24. @Anonymous wrote:
    "Sometimes but among the thoughtful, insightful posts are a good number that are atheists calling them delusional shitheads."

    Please show me links to these posts where atheists are calling believers "delusional shitheads". I haven't seen them, but then I haven't seen all of the BAT posts. You can reach be via the feedback form on my site.

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  25. Anonymous12:10 AM

    The "shithead" remark was a comment on one of the inflammatory blogs, so I don't know how that could be moderated. Of course, if the article had actually been about "Freedom of religion" instead of "Why the religious are dolts" it might not have generated that kind of response in the first place. Sorry, I don't remember which article it was. I was reading early this morning, so it would have been around that time frame.

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  26. Blue Gal,

    I'd just like to say thanks for doing this, and thanks for letting Jones Town participate. I wasn't around last year so I don't know how this year compares, but I read several very good posts, and hopefully made a few new allies.

    Thanks

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  27. "This is a war. Literally. These people want absolute control over every aspect of your life."

    Yes, and clearly the most effective way to fight it is to attack your allies. After all, it worked so well during WWII when FDR ordered the bombing of Moscow on Dec. 8, 1941.

    " I am unaware of Tyranny ever being defeated by Political Correctness."

    Oh, I had forgotten the definition of "political correctness", namely anyone expressing an opinion that the majority doesn't like. Likewise, I'm sure I should just suck it up about a professional football team in the nation's capitol being named after a racist slur. So don't fucking tell me what I can or cannot be offended by. I didn't try to censor Infidel or any other atheist; I pointed out that insulting people who are ON YOUR SIDE is probably not a very effective strategy. Do you choose teams for a pickup game of basketball by yelling, "Hey fatass! You're with me!"? And please for the love of God, spare us the "politcal correctness run wild" bullshit. The reaction against a handful of batty college professors with idiotic speech codes is now 100 times worse than the stupidity that spawned it. Now slack-jawed, inbred racist morons can spew whatever libelous horseshit pops into their empty little minds and justify it merely with the preface "Now, I know this might not be 'politically correct,' but..." And it's even worse when it comes from people WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ON THE SAME GODDAM TEAM. If liberals spent a tenth of the energy they spend attacking people who agree with them 90% of the time going after the people who disagree with them 100% of the time, the country wouldn't currently be run by Forrest Gump's right-wing cousin!

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  28. Guess what? I believe in a God of my understanding. It doesn't make me stupid, nor does it make me an idiot. It is part of my life, and I get meaning from my own spiritual path. It's MY path, not yours. I do not berate you for YOUR belief as an atheist. I respect your beliefs, and would hope that you respect mine.

    The blogswarm is completely about the First Amendment: keeping religion in ALL its guises out of politics. Nothing else. When Jefferson wrote that amendment, he recognized the dangers of a theocracy. Telling others how to believe or not believe is dangerous.

    So the email that Blue Gal posted was very much about respecting differences - and that is something that the religious right fails to do. Please don't fall into the same kind of extremist thinking as the far right by calling those of us who do believe idiots!

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  29. Please spare me the self-righteous soapboxing. Just as you say you can be "offended" by whatever you want, Infidel can say whatever the fuck he wants.

    If he wants to say he hates all Christians and hopes they are rounded up and thrown in a furnace he has the right to say that. That's what the "Freedom of Speech" means. Whether we agree or not.

    But he didn't say anything of the sort. And I found nothing "offensive" in what he wrote. He even patiently attempted to explain himself in here, but was shouted down.

    I read 15-20 of the posts, and I didn't find one of them offensive. Some I didn't 100% agree with, but as an adult I'm perfectly fine being challenged.

    How many did you read, and why is it the only ones you want to talk about are the ones you find "offensive?"

    Obviously you didn't look at mine. I attacked Bush and Republicans. I said nothing about Christians at all.

    But it's okay to disrespect Bush and "those other Christians" isn't it? Say whatever you want about them, but don't say anything I might find "offensive!"

    If Infidel said, "Those right wing Fundamentalist Christians are fucking idiots." What would be your reaction?

    "Right on Infidel!"

    What you're saying is Infidel can say what he wants as long as you approve.

    From my perspective it is you who is being divisive. You took a moment that is supposed to be about "Us" and made it about "You."

    Do you feel better now?

    People like you piss me off, but Bush and Co. scare the shit out of me. I can handle being pissed off, but I don't like being afraid of my government.

    And I don't watch football by the way or NASCAR or Wrestling or Television for that matter.

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  30. 'Just as you say you can be "offended" by whatever you want, Infidel can say whatever the fuck he wants.'

    Well, of course he can. I never said he couldn't.

    'That's what the "Freedom of Speech" means. Whether we agree or not.'

    Really? 'cause I was kind of unclear on the subject. Thanks for clarifying it.

    'He even patiently attempted to explain himself in here, but was shouted down.'

    I don't recall shouting at anyone, until I used ALL CAPS with you, but that was only after you deployed the F Bomb.

    'How many did you read, and why is it the only ones you want to talk about are the ones you find "offensive?"'

    All of them and because those are the ones I wanted to talk about.

    "Obviously you didn't look at mine."

    Actually, I did. Read the whole thing. My lips moved.

    "I attacked Bush and Republicans."

    Good on you.

    "I said nothing about Christians at all."

    I never said you did. I said Infidel did.

    'But it's okay to disrespect Bush and "those other Christians" isn't it? Say whatever you want about them, but don't say anything I might find "offensive!"'

    Nope. Say what you please about whomever you please. I do criticize those who claim to be Christian yet follow the blasphemous "health & wealth" gospel, but the Bible commands us to attack such apostates and blasphemers. However, I try to avoid passing judgment on someone's personal faith, since I do not feel qualified to do so. If Bush says he's a Christian, I will take him at face value, tho' I reserve the right to critique his adherence to the faith.

    'What you're saying is Infidel can say what he wants as long as you approve.'

    Nope. He can say whatever he wants, too. Hardly needs my approval. My point, my ONLY point, was that it's probably a bad idea to insult people who are on your side.

    'From my perspective it is you who is being divisive. You took a moment that is supposed to be about "Us" and made it about "You."'

    No, Infidel chose to belittle and mock my faith in a post dedicated to solidarity against religious fascism. He chose to make it about differences rather than focusing on sames.

    "Do you feel better now?"

    Well, my achilles tendon is hurting a little bit, but otherwise, I'm doing pretty good.

    "People like you piss me off"

    Too goddam bad. May I suggest you take your own advice and not read what I write, then?

    "but Bush and Co. scare the shit out of me."

    Me too.

    "And I don't watch football by the way or NASCAR or Wrestling or Television for that matter."

    I really don't a load of flaming dingo's kidneys what you do with your spare time. I like football and the occasional NASCAR race, plus stickball and mama's frybread. Who the hell cares?

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  31. Anonymous7:30 PM

    'Just as you say you can be "offended" by whatever you want, Infidel can say whatever the fuck he wants.'

    Yes, of course we can say anything we want at any time. The question is whether we should. The First Amendment doesn't mean we should disconnect all sense of occasion when we flap our gums. Instead, it puts the responsibility for sense on our shoulders.

    For instance, it would be inappropriate to read a political tract at a wedding when you're supposed to be toasting the bride. You could. There's no law against it. It just wouldn't be the right time or place, and wouldn't get a good response because of it.

    Just use sense and an awareness of audience and purpose.

    - Is the purpose of this swarm to convert people to atheism or Christianity? Nope.

    - Is it effective to insult people you are hoping will join you in a cause? Nope.

    - Is insulting people who believe differently than you a good way to illustrate tolerance in action? Nope.

    - Is it insulting to say that people who believe differently than you are delusional? Yes.

    - Is the main purpose of the swarm to promote religious freedom as guaranteed by our Constitution and to gather people who agree? YES! BINGO!

    As for insulting the fundamentalist Christians and even the theocrats... probably not the best idea for this project. It would be wonderful to reach people in that group with the idea.

    I don't have high expectations that would happen, so I wouldn't call them the main target audience. But for the purpose of a blogswarm promoting freedom, I wouldn't insult them. They are free, too, no matter how much I disagree with them. If they are not, we aren't really supporting The First Amendment -- we're promoting our personal beliefs over another's. That's not what it's about. That's the opposite of what it's about.

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  32. WOW! Looks like I better go back home and get my Geiger counter.:) But I'm not here to poke fun. BG, in my opinion, it took courage to state your opinions as you did: I admire that. And I say the same of the other poster. I'm here via a link at Betmo's place. I read your, and Betmo's post several times, along with all comments on both several times, and they prompted me to make this post. I'm not a "hit watcher", I could care less about hits. I don't think I have all the answers. I just want to help. Our goal is to get this awful horror out of our country's seat of power before the country is ruined, is it not?

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  33. Awwww... Looks like I missed all the fun! After perusing all the comments and posts linked by love (*wink*) in this little shitstorm, (and regardless of what each of we little bloggers, each of we "individuals", might think, this really is a tiny lil shitstorm), I only have a couple of comments.
    We're all on the same side in BAT. It doesn't matter a whit if we use God or Goddess, fuck or idiot or any number of other words that some may find offensive. We are all doing our part. Saying that one voice or tone is damaging to the BAT, is just one more way of silencing.
    It's like that ol' saying: "Opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one, and they all stink". There's another saying, "Take what you need and leave the rest."
    Personally, I enjoy the diversity of this blogswarm, even when I find myself offended by an opinion. When I'm offended it's an opportunity to look at myself and my personal prejudices. It's an opportunity to examine my opinion and although often affirms it, occasionally tweaks my perspective a bit, which is always a good thing. If I find a post is waaay over the top for me, I'm pretty much, "whatever..." and on to the next post.
    In closing, lemme remind those of ya'll who do know, and inform those who don't. I'm a witch. A spell casting, healing and hexing, magick making, broom carrying witch!!! As such, both athiests and christians tend to think my beliefs are stupid or delusional at best, and pure fucking evil at worst. Frankly, I could give a shit. And if everybody doesn't chill the hell out, I'm warning ya... I'm gonna lay a big fat whammy on ya'll!!!
    Muahahahahahaha....
    *comment x-posted at TUA's and Betmo's Place

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  34. Ummm... one more thing. I like peanut butter and mayo sandwiches with dill pickles and onions. Anybody who doesn't is an idiot.

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  35. Anonymous7:55 AM

    You also should avoid a career in Public Relations, Marketing, or Sales.

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  36. In Jesus name, I commend you on creating such a spirit filled blog.

    Amen

    P.S. Was this originally written in tongues?

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  37. I don't know what's been written in this latest blogswarm against theocracy because I read too many posts in the last blogswarm against theocracy that would be better classified as blogswarm against nonatheists.

    We lefty Christians out here in our mainline churches who are struggling against the billionaire-financed IRD could be your natural allies in supporting the Bill of Rights and opposing theocracy if only the militant atheists could lay off equating every Christian with Jerry Falwell.

    My apologies go to anyone who wrote an insightful, informative post against theocracy per se, but the dump has too many used Pampers for me to want to poke around in it.

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I really look forward to hearing what you have to say. I do moderate comments, but non-spam comments will take less than 24 hours to appear... Thanks!