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Atheists making atheists look bad

Originally published at Quantum Matrix Scribe. Please leave any comments there.

Over the weekend, I saw a Tweet from Melissa Clouthier, who is an excellent source of news and goings on in the conservative Twittasphere. Some of her Tweets though, provoked me a little bit, because it touches on that topic of atheism that no theist really understands:


View the story “Confusion over atheist “dogma”" on Storify

There are numerous myths and fallacies going on here.

First, there is the idea that atheism has a symbol. It really doesn’t. There are a bunch of different ideas–the atom, the Happy Human, the Invisible Pink Unicorn–but we really don’t have a symbol.

Second, there is the idea that going on the TV to defend your views is “awfully religiousy.” I wonder if Melissa would say the same thing about conservatives going on TV to defend tax cuts, or sports analysts defending their opinion of some idiot has done in whatever league they cover, or a business executive defending his company’s actions. “Awfully religiousy?” Hardly. Defending one’s views on TV is not the purview of the church.

Third, atheism just doesn’t have dogma. All atheism is is a lack of a belief in god. It is no different, really, from the Christian’s lack of belief in Osiris, or Zeus, or Optimus Prime. They’re atheists too, just not in one particular direction. Atheism has no rules for how to act, it has no rituals, it has no real ceremonies or doctrine. It has no dogma. There are totally non-spiritual secular humanists, there are bona fide spiritual atheists, there are folks who go join Ethical Culture, there are other religious humanists, and some people decide to join the Unitarian Universalist Church and have fun with crystals. There’s even Christian athiests. (They’ve always puzzled me too.)

Point is, there is no atheist dogma. Other than not believing in any deity (even saying that deities don’t exist is not technically required, though unlike most athiests I think the “positive vs. negative atheism” debate to be a distinction without a difference), there is nothing to follow to be an atheist.

But when I read Melissa’s link to Mediate, I could see why she was a bit…confused.

That’s because it’s yet another instance of atheist acting like fucking retards:

The president of an Atheist group appeared on Fox News Channel with Megyn Kelly on Friday to denounce the inclusion of the 9/11 cross in the memorial at Ground Zero to the exclusion of other, non-religious religious symbols.

American Atheists President David Silverman said that the cross at the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero is in a museum paid for by public funds and amounts to the endorsement of Christianity by the government.

Silverman outlined the many ways in which the 9/11 memorial was public. “And they have the gall to say that this is not a public event? Well, we differ,” said Silverman. He said that atheists suffered as much as anyone on 9/11 and they demand representation.

“But you did not have a symbol that was found in the wreckage of Ground Zero,” noted Kelly.

“That’s because there are no symbols of atheism,” said Silverman.

He said that a number of crosses were recovered from Ground Zero because the original World Trade Center was assembled from cross beams. “That does not give Christianity the right to usurp the rest of the nation and to have a memorial solely to itself in our national memorial,” said Silverman.

First of all, jackass, this is not a memorial “solely to itself.” It just so happens that the overwhelming number of Americans and victims of 9/11 were Christians. That’s just how it is.

Second, don’t you think it’s rather silly that, if we have no symbols for atheism, that we should then be calling for an atheist symbol to be placed there? Can you feel the cognitive dissonance…now?

Look, more than anyone I want to see America give up it’s old, superstitious, religious habit. That’s not going to happen, though, if atheists get out there and be antagonistic douchebags. This is like when athiests complain and stage protests over a nativity scene in a public park. Yes, I get the principle behind your argument, separation of church and state, but it doesn’t really apply. Those public spaces are fora for people to put out their ideas and beliefs, including Christianity. Instead of whining about it, maybe you should do some public education about atheism, or better yet, put up a booth for HumanLight.

There are legitimate things atheists should be pushing back on. When students are bullied and harrassed in school because they’re not religious, or expelled or otherwise punished for it, that’s something to push back on. When there’s an atheist family being harrassed or discriminated against, that’s legitimate. When government officials start writing laws based on religious doctrine, that’s legitimate.

But protesting the 9/11 memorial because they have some crosses there? Dude, that’s just douchebaggery. It seems to me that more and more athiests in America want to push back against the overwhelming Christian hordes by beating people over the head and trying to be attention whores. That’s the last thing atheists should be doing. I, for one, do not care what others believe, as long as they are not shoving their religion down my throat. And putting up crosses at a freaking memorial is not that.

But what really got me was this:

Kelly challenged Silverman’s assertion that many atheists were suffering from “dyspepsia” and “headaches” because of the cross. Silverman said that he had members who would testify in court that this was the case.

WHAT. THE. #*&%

Okay, raise your hands if you think that belongs in a Southern Baptist church, not an atheist organization. Uh-huh. Thought so.

This guy should not be taken seriously by any news outlet ever. American Atheists should sack him and find someone new; I realize they’ve been going through presidents fairly quickly since Ellen Johnson left back in 2008, but this Silverman guy sounds like a hustler who shouldn’t be in charge of what should be a respectable organization.

It should also be noted that American Atheists is not the equivalent of, say, the Catholic Church. The organizations closer to that are the American Humanist Association and the Ethical Culture movement, as well as a few others. American Atheists is strictly a “separation of church and state” organization. They have a political action commitee and focus on political issues. They leave “tending the flock” (so to speak) to other groups.

Which means, naturally, they want to stir as much crap up as possible. But really, going for the “the cross is giving us headaches” argument. Just give the theists more power over you, why don’t you. Make us look all like feeble little whining idiots, why don’t you. Make us all look bad, why don’t you.

You don’t speak for me, Silverman, and neither does your organization. Shut up. Also, this: