Rick Warren? Shame On You, Obama!

Via multiple sources (Greta Christina, Pam Spaulding, Glenn Greenwald, Americans United, as well as others), this unpleasant news: President-elect Barack Obama has apparently chosen megachurch pastor Rick Warren to give a speech at his inauguration day.

If you’re not familiar with Rick Warren, or if you only know him as the author of The Purpose-Driven Life, here’s a few of his greatest hits:

• Warren has been a dedicated enemy of marriage equality, equating gay rights to incest and pedophilia (source), and was a fervent supporter of the pro-bigotry Proposition 8. He is against civil unions for gay couples (source). He has even, arguably, given his support to African Christians who want homosexuality to be illegal (source).

• He’s also rabidly anti-choice, comparing abortion to the Holocaust (source).

• Just for good measure, he’s said that atheists are not qualified for the presidency:

“I could not vote for an atheist because an atheist says, ‘I don’t need God,’… They’re saying, ‘I’m totally self-sufficient by [myself].’ And nobody is self-sufficient to be president by themselves. It’s too big a job.”

• And, oh yes, he’s a creationist.

If Warren seems more approachable or more reasonable than the hate-spewing religious right leaders we all know, it’s only because he presents his bigotry in a kinder, gentler facade. His church does occasionally discuss other issues, such as AIDS in Africa or global warming, but it takes more than that to earn my respect when he still spends so much time and energy pounding the religious right’s standard causes.

In fact, Warren has said that only five issues are “non-negotiable” – his opposition to abortion, stem-cell research, cloning, gay rights and euthanasia – which puts him firmly in the camp of the other religious hatemongers. Apparently, if push came to shove, he would discard efforts to help the suffering of AIDS orphans, prevent the genocide in Darfur, or avert the looming threat of climate change in order to prevent gay couples from having civil unions. For all the high-minded media talk about the “new evangelicals”, Warren is not substantially different from the old guard, and his beliefs are grounded in the same bigoted and ignorant worldview that motivates his predecessors. He’s said himself that the difference between himself and Jerry Falwell is mainly “a matter of tone” (source).

Inviting him to speak at the inauguration is a terrible decision. The fact is, I understand why Obama made it – I think I grasp the political considerations that went into it – and I still think it’s a bad decision.

I suspect Obama thought that, by inviting Warren, he would seem sensible and centrist in the eyes of the public, and might peel off some evangelical voters from the Republican coalition. And since Warren’s speech is a symbolic gesture only, he probably thinks that his policies once in office will make up any lost goodwill among progressive voters.

As I said, I assume that was the Obama team’s political calculus, but I think the real effects will be different. I think this invitation will be viewed as a slap in the face by liberal and progressive Americans – the very people who supported Obama’s bid for the presidency and worked to put him into office. And while it may generate some fleeting goodwill among evangelical voters, I have no doubt that the vast majority of them will vote Republican in the next election anyway. Meanwhile, the lost goodwill among Obama’s supporters may not be as easy to win back as he apparently thinks. It’s very likely that he’ll need us again to pressure Congress to support his proposals. Will we be willing to work again for him, having been denigrated in this way?

Insulting your allies for the sake of a futile gesture to your sworn enemies is a bad idea and bad politics. And I suspect the blowback has been far more intense and sustained than Obama’s team anticipated, causing controversy and embarrassment where they had hoped to avoid both. Although I still consider Obama’s election a tremendous net positive for America, this shameful pick may be a sign of how much work we’ll have to do in the next eight years to prod our leaders toward implementing a truly progressive agenda.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Leum

    Like you, I was very disappointed by Obama’s decision. As Greta says, asking Warren to give the invocation is not sitting down and talking with Warren, it’s endorsing and legitimizing his views. I sent a letter to Obama:

    Dear President-Elect Obama:

    I was disappointed to learn that you have asked Mr. Warren to deliver the invocation for your inauguration. Mr. Warren holds many anti-progressive views; this was shown most recently by his endorsement of Proposition 8 in California, which removed the right to marry from gay and lesbian families.

    By asking Mr. Warren to speak at your inauguration you are implicitly saying that the rights of non-heterosexuals are unimportant to you and your administration. Please reconsider your decision to have Mr. Warren speak for you and for the nation.

    Sincerely,

    [Leum]

    Wish I’d mentioned his anti-abortion and creationist views when I sent that letter. Those wishing to e-mail our President-Elect can do so here. I’ve heard some people argue that having Warren speak was up to an inaugural committee made up of Senators, but I’m sure that they wouldn’t've had Warren speak if Obama had asked them not to.

  • John Nernoff

    Amazing. For all of history, the first thing anyone will see in a new centrist-liberal Presidency for change and fairness is a miserable, tired, bloated, self-important, bigoted and swaggering reincarnated Jerry Falwell mooning over “God,” Christ and the morality of ancient superstitious sheepherders. What a horrible spectacle and and a depressing start of a once hopeful Obama era.

  • KiwiInOz

    Yeah, but at least some of the Religiots are getting their knickers in a twist over the gay and lesbian band that he will have marching/performing at his inauguration parade.

  • Matthew

    It’s sad to see people giving up so quickly on such a great hope. One disappointing decision and everyone throws in the towel. Great supporters you are. I think one of the changes we need to start with is giving grace to the presidents that we elect. Do you have any idea what his job is like?

    And what a strong anti-christ attitude John! If Hitler were here you would be dead already! So quit complaining and start doing something to support your new elected president!

    Words are powerful and thoughts create energy that can effect people anywhere. That is why Bush is having such a hard last 2 years, everyone in America or, a good portion and, all across the globe are projecting hate toward him! Have you seen him on TV? He is like a Rocky after 10 rounds! He isn’t saying it’s easy but he made it this far! And he was our president for all these years because he was strong enough!

    If you don’t support your president and his decisions, like Obama said “Agree to disagree” but work together and figure out some thing that is positive. He has alot more on his plate than just your target market.

  • http://www.myspace.com/driftwoodduo Steve Bowen

    I suppose it is inevitable in the U.S that some kind of religious endorsment is expected for the presidency. Shame it had to be this guy.

  • hb531

    I was shocked at first when I heard this, but upon later reflection, I see it as not really a big deal. It’s more strategic in my opinion. Folks, this is a christian nation, whether we like it or not. Obama’s choice is an attempt to send a message that his administration is inclusive of all Americans, which it should be. If he can make the christian majority feel better about him, that’s great. It’s better than alienating such a huge portion of our county, especially at a time when we need to work together.

    Let the religious right have a spot at the table so they can have the opportunity to discuss their absurd ideas among other more rational ideas. Then it will be clear just how ignorant they are.

  • TheMightyThor

    Let the religious right have a spot at the table so they can have the opportunity to discuss their absurd ideas among other more rational ideas. Then it will be clear just how ignorant they are.

    Truer words never spoken.

  • http://spaninquis.wordpress.com/ Spanish Inquisitor

    Folks, this is a christian nation, whether we like it or not.

    It may be a nation comprised primarily of Christians, but it’s not a Christian government.

    For once I’d like our President to acknowledge the fact that it is a secular government that he’s running, that prayer is an individual and private matter between a person and his particular supernatural entity of choice and has no place at government events, that government will run quite well without constant invocations to the same non-existent entity, and that picking one particular god by necessity excludes all the others (and the possibility of none) and therefor excludes the people who believe in them, and oh by the way, also voted for him.

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com OMGF

    We shouldn’t forget that in the debates both Obama and Biden said that they do not support gay marriage.

  • velkyn

    I also sent a letter to Obama. Just how “inclusive” can we be until it makes an standard of decent and good meaningless? Shall we invite a skinhead to speak at the inauguration? Surely, one could have found a person with Warren’s good points and not the bad.

    HB, quit spreading that lie about the US being a Christian nation! We aren’t and never have been. If it were so, why didn’t the creators of the Constitution say “For laws, See Bible”. And if it were a nation comprised “primarily of Christians”, SI, why do all of these Christians think any sect but their particular one isn’t Christian at all? Funny how Christians claim these huge percentages of themselves when convenient, but when it comes down to “are these true Christians?” darn few make the cut.

  • http://makingmyway.org Robert

    We know that Warren and Obama see eye to eye on at least a few things:

    IFILL: Let’s try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay marriage?

    BIDEN: No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths the determination what you call it.

    Vice-presidential debate on October 2, 2008.

    Really, if you’d been paying attention, Warren’s selection should not be all that much of a surprise. Personally, I see it as a quid pro quo for Warren inviting Obama to his pastor’s forum.

    Or did you miss that too?

  • hb531

    @ Spanish Inquisitor, velkyn

    I am well aware that the government is secular in theory, however, we all know that most people are christian. Hence my use of “christian nation”. We also know that their beliefs are irrational, hence my understanding that they are a cohesive unit with some issues and independent with others (such as biblical interpretations). Therefore, I think they join ranks, generally, on key issues such as the socially conservative ones. Mr. Warren aligns these people on these issues. Look at the prop 8 mobilization effort. Too bad the pro-LGBT folks couldn’t mobilize in such a way.

    Mr. Warren holds sway over lots of these people. Obama chose him (or allowed him to be chosen) to speak. The fosters the notion that his administration will be open to dissenting opinions, something Bush’s administration would not do.

    As for allowing skinheads to speak: nice extreme example. But let’s deal with reality, mkay?

  • http://superstitionfree.blogspot.com/ Robert Madewell

    I don’t know. I’m kinda on the side that see it as a symbolic gesture. After a few months Warren’s speech will be forgotten, and the religious right will still be saying hateful things about Obama. However, I am interested in hearing exactly what Warren will say. It could be an opportunity for him to spout his nutty beliefs. Maybe, he’ll say something that’ll make people say “Wait a sec, that can’t be right!”

  • velkyn

    hb, “reality” is not what you are describing. Even *I* know that “all” Christians don’t do anything as a unit. I see little different between a skinhead espousing hatred for Jews and Warren espousing that same hatred. It seems that the skinhead is already seen as evil where Warren is wrapped in the assumed “goodness” of religion.

  • Polly

    …I have no doubt that the vast majority of them will vote Republican in the next election anyway.

    Exactly. Which is why I think this is a stupid move from an otherwise slick politician.

    Unless, of course, he has much more in common with Warren than we’re willing to believe.

    During the campaign, I didn’t like much of what I heard coming from Obama. This is unexpected and disappointing, but does fit the whole picture I have of him. I merely held out some slight hope that once elected he’d feel free to be a little bit different.

    But, he isn’t.

  • http://chromiumoxidegreen.blogspot.com Maria

    I’m not so sure whether this was directly Obama’s decision, or one by a congressional committee of some sort, and if it were made by someone else, I can see how it would be more difficult, politically speaking, for Obama to reject Warren after he’s chosen and the public is aware of it, than it would have been to have just chosen someone more reasonable to begin with. In any case, it is pretty ridiculous that Warren and his views are getting such an endorsement at the inaguration.

  • Wayne Essel

    Who would be a better choice? How would you want this done?

    This isn’t fascetious. I’m curious. I agree that Warren is too far right.

    Regards,

    Wayne

  • Wayne Essel

    Maybe a better way to word that last question would be “What would make you feel like an owner/particpant in the innauguration process?”

    Wayne

  • Juliana Marie

    I emailed my 2-cents worth (forgot to save the text in the webform). Besides complaining of Warren’s selection, I added why have an invocation at all, since we’re supposedly a secular nation. I don’t expect a change in his selection, but hopefully his issue-trackers record one more tick in the “non-religious voter” column…

  • Christopher

    I said it before, and I’ll reiterate it one more time: politicians are firmly in the pockets of special interest groups – whatever power promises them more money/votes/dirt on rivals gets the perks and manipulates the politician to its will. Obama is no exception, contrary to the popular belief of all those political idealists out there he is just another politician and Warren merely represents another special interest asserting dominance over the political sphere.

    I knew form Nov. 2nd onward that Obama was going to bow to pressure from the special interests – in spite of his promise of “change” – because his job isn’t serving the “good” of the public: his job is (and always was) to get elected, so he will do what he must to keep his office. To those who honestly believe that he would be different from the others, you have my sympathies but don’t say that you weren’t warned in advance…

  • http://panicon4july.blogspot.com/ Will E.

    I’m trying to be neutral on this, despite my loathing of Rick Warren (his “debate” with Sam Harris a year or two ago was stomach-turning), because I recall being disappointed when Billy Graham did the invocation for Clinton’s second inauguration. That came to nothing, as I hope this will, and Graham is a *hell* of a lot more famous than Warren.

  • goyo

    I don’t know why everybody’s so surprised. Obama never hid his religious views during the campaign.
    Obama and blacks in general have a strong religious culture.
    I believe after the Rev. Wright scandal, this is a very strategic move by the Obama camp.

  • http://panicon4july.blogspot.com/ Will E.

    But is it really such a strategic move? The left tries to appeal to the right but you’d never see the right try to appeal to the left. They couldn’t give a fuck. You think if McCain won, he’d be having John Shelby Spong up there for *his* inauguration? Fuck no. (I guess maybe I’m not as neutral as I’d like to be.) This won’t win much if any support from the people who didn’t vote for Obama; it’s simply upsetting his base.

  • Kaltrosomos

    Obama has been slapping progressives in the face since he won the Democratic primaries. This doesn’t surprise me much. Obama is a politician rather than a leftist saint. Don’t expect him to be something he isn’t.

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    If this was merely a symbolic move, it was really bad symbolism. “Let’s begin a historic Presidency — a Presidency supposedly based on inclusiveness and ending divisiveness — by giving a great, high honor to a hateful, divisive bigot.”

    And if it was a strategic move, it was really bad strategy. “Let’s court people who already hate us, by alienating people who are strongly inclined to support us and treating them as if we can take their support for granted. Especially people (LGBT people) who recently suffered a terrible blow and are already feeling angry, raw, and alienated.”

    it was a bad move all around. Obama grossly underestimated how easy it is to lose the good will of people who support you. All it takes is a hard slap in the face.

    As to what Obama could have done about it after the hullabaloo started: No, he couldn’t rescind the invitation. But he could have privately asked Warren to voluntarily step down, with an “I don’t want to distract from this historic day” excuse.

  • KShep

    I think the choice of Warren to speak is a slap in the face of progress. It’s great that Obama is trying to join people together and all, be “inclusive,” etc. but he’s reaching out (and giving an open mic and a huge international audience) to a jackass who isn’t interested in reaching back. Warren has made it clear he’s nothing more than Robertson with a friendlier public persona—–a con artist of the highest magnitude who would send this country back to the dark ages if given the chance, all the while pocketing millions. I just can’t generate an ounce of respect for assholes like that.

    Obama is only angering his own base, as someone above mentioned, the religious right won’t vote for him in any case. There isn’t any rule about invocations, most inaugurations haven’t had one, so why bother?

    Big mistake.

  • http://wilybadger.wordpress.com Chris Swanson

    I am annoyed, and not surprised, that in all the debate and dicussion I’ve seen about this on TV I haven’t seen even one person questioning the need to have a religious statement at a secular ceremony for someone elected to a secular position. Oh, well. I’ll just whine on my blog about it. :)

  • John

    Matthew, a good response to this article.

    Perhaps Obama is going to be all right. He must be pinching himself to see if this is all true. He was basically unopposed in the Senate election, now he will be president. I didn’t want him, but he is our president, and I’ll be 100 percent for him.

    Leum, thanks for the link, but I will write Obama a snail mail letter – it just may get read. e-mail is too easy and lazy, and there must be thousands of them.

    “In fact, Warren has said that only five issues are “non-negotiable” – his opposition to abortion, stem-cell research, cloning, gay rights and euthanasia – which puts him firmly in the camp of the other religious hatemongers”

    Of the five issues above, the legal killing of the unborn is the most abhorrent. Strange thing is, Obama voted for partial birth abortion, and also voted to withhold medical treatment for children born alive after a botched abortion. Perhaps Obama is just being political or just maybe he intends to become one of the greatest presidents after the fashion of Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest and openly Christian presidents ever.(no, I am strong supporter of the non establishment clause)Good luck Obama in trying to keep 300 million egocentric people happy.

  • nfpendleton

    The symbolism is moot–this is again Obama spitting in the face of a group of very real Americans (GBLTs) and an insult to anyone who believes in medical and ethical progress. This was STUPID, STUPID, STUPID.

    There’s an old saying, “Don’t sh*t where you eat.” He would do well to remember this; being an elected official, our system requires us to take an antagonistic watchdog stance on everything he does and says. This can’t start too early. He’s not a great hope, he’s not a messiah. He’s a human being with an espoused set of political views that some fear he is conveniently shedding since the people voted him into office, under the tired guise of “reaching across the aisle.”

    I’d be so bold as to say someone should look into the basic legality of having a religious speaker “blessing” the inauguration of our president in the first place. A case should be made against such nonsense. No time like the present. Tradition be damned.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com Teleprompter

    Yes, I was upset when I discovered that Warren is delivering the invocation for Obama’s inauguration. You know what, it’s a prayer. He’s not giving a speech. It’s almost insignificant. Yes, it is symbolism. Obama was many more religious voters than Kerry did four years ago — this is NOT bad strategy. Obama promised to be the President for all Americans, and now he’s doing what he said he’d do. He didn’t say he was going to be a leftist George W. Bush. He said he’d cooperate with other ends of the political spectrum, and now that’s exactly what he’s doing.

    Yes, Obama could’ve gotten someone more moderate than Warren. Is it a logical premise to then deduce that Obama isn’t a liberal and won’t help progressives? No, it isn’t. Folks, quit panicking and get over yourselves. This is nothing more than a conciliatory gesture designed to get some of these “I-think-Obama-is-a-closet-Muslim-drill-baby-drill-Sarah-Palin” types off of his back for at least five minutes.

    Obama is trying to at least build a facade of unity. It’s not bad strategy.

    John, you have no idea do you? You know nothing about global warming. Scientists have verified that ten of the ten hottest years on record have all occurred since 1970.

    You’re saying that since there were a few cold winters in the 1970s, it’s impossible that the Earth is getting warmer? Please. Study what scientists have learned about global climate change before you continue commenting on it.

  • Leum

    Teleprompter: if you haven’t read Greta’s brilliant article on this, do so (linky). The problem with Warren’s giving the invocation is that it’s one of the highest honors he could be given. In a time of trouble, in which a religious man will want God’s help more than ever, he chooses Warren to ask God for help. It is not insignificant, and it’s insulting to Obama, and American Christians in general, to say it is.

    I’m not panicking over this, just disappointed that Obama (hopefully*) fails to realize how significant this choice is. I think that Obama’s presidency will be something I can look back on as a turning point in American history, by voicing our concerns, we can help ensure that it that.

    *If Obama does realize it, then we are going to have some serious problems with gay rights, women’s rights, and science education in the next four years (although nothing like as bad as the last eight, or as bad as four under McCain/Palin would have been).

  • http://thechapel.wordpress.com the chaplain

    Obama is (probably) a Christian, so it’s not surprising that he’s following the tradition of having prayers spoken at his inauguration. The issue we should be focusing on, as others have already pointed out, is not who is praying, but why anyone is praying at all. An inauguration is a purely civic ceremony. If government people would remember that and keep the superstitious crap out of it, then Obama and his team could spend their time doing more critical tasks than balancing the number of liberal and conservative pastors (both Protestants, by the way, so we’re not being broadly inclusive here) who will be bringing their superstitions to our secular ceremony.

    I’m not throwing in the towel on Obama’s presidency, by the way, but I am watching him and I intend to do everything in my power to hold him accountable. He won my vote this time around, but he will have to spend the next four years earning it again. This one decision does not lead me to believe that he won’t do so. He made a mistake and he’ll make more before it’s all over. The best I can do is watch how things balance out overall and speak up, when necessary, to either praise or admonish him as circumstances warrant.

  • John Nernoff

    This somewhat confusing and disappointing situation raises a deeper and more trenchant issue; what is it about the supposedly rational human mind, which Obama evidently has, that permits irrational, frankly crazy notions to enter and spoil the logical progression of good ideas and useful procedures? Why is Obama overtly religious, if only mildly so? Is it a ploy to enable him to “get along” with the majority — a useful trick to not impair vote getting? If so, doesn’t this make him into a devious hypocrite? If not, and he is sincerely pious, by what logical and intellectual mechanism did he accept the supernatural? This phenomenon has been called mental compartmentalization or bimodal thinking (or other terms I can’t quite remember). One part of the brain doesn’t synchronize with the other part.

    Can anyone explain this, or am I overreacting?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Ebonmuse

    Who would be a better choice? How would you want this done?

    My preference would be for no religious invocation at all. That’s a custom that only began in the twentieth century, and the president is supposed to be representing all American citizens, not just the Christian ones.

    However, if an invocation absolutely must be given, I’d much prefer someone with a genuine progressive record, like a civil-rights leader such as Joseph Lowery. Lowery is going to speak at Obama’s inauguration, but Warren is still being given pride of place.

  • Alex Weaver

    John, you have no idea do you? You know nothing about global warming. Scientists have verified that ten of the ten hottest years on record have all occurred since 1970.

    You’re saying that since there were a few cold winters in the 1970s, it’s impossible that the Earth is getting warmer? Please. Study what scientists have learned about global climate change before you continue commenting on it.

    I see you’ve met John. While your advice is sound, the way he’s conducted himself so far suggests that he will respond to being asked to educate himself before commenting about the way Clark Kent would respond to being asked to insert five kilograms of kryptonite as a rectal suppository.

    For instance:

    Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest and openly Christian presidents ever.

    Um, about that…

  • canadacow

    Shame on Obama? He’s paired the invocation of his inauguration with a benediction by Rev. Lowery, someone who is also a Christian but has the bare minimum in common with Warren with regard to theology and social beliefs.

    It’s obvious why Obama has chosen to do this, and in the same position Obama is in, I would do exactly the same thing. See, I still know swarms of conservatives and evangelical Christians who swear up and down that Obama is a Muslim. The Conservapedia still has a sub-section about how “Obama would likely be the first Muslim President” (See here: http://www.conservapedia.com/Barack_Obama )

    So what’s to happen when “one of their own” get’s up there in front of Americans and gives the invocation for Obama? Well, for starters, millions of evangelicals heads will explode. But, but, but he’s a Muslim! (Of course, in all serious I figured out a long time ago that saying “Obama is a Muslim” was just the conservative codeword for saying “Don’t vote for him! He’s black!)

  • John

    Alex,

    One more thing, I haven’t studied Lincoln all that much. I have read his Gettysburg Address. I suggest you broaden your reading, and visit other sites, not only atheist ones – try reading The Gettysburg Address, and then tell me about Lincoln’s lack of religion. Atheists, religious, and political sites are all selling their own beliefs, and therefore are to be taken with “a grain of salt.” As The Bible says, “each man must build his own house.”

    I have educated myself by visiting this site. I particularly enjoyed reading “The Jesus Puzzle” link, and some comments have sent me off in a different direction of inquiry.

  • KShep

    I think I’ll stay out of the global warming discussion. :^)

    But I do want to post this, which is from Bill in Portland Maine on Daily Kos. He really puts Warren’s idiotic beliefs in perspective:

    Rick Warren: We must love gays. But only the sick ones.

    Obama spokeswoman Linda Douglass defends Warren thus and so:

    “Warren has been a passionate advocate on behalf of the poor and has really led evangelicals to champion the interest [sic] who suffer from HIV and AIDS…”

    Interesting coincidence. Last week a local pastor here in Maine, Neil Farrar, wrote an op-ed against gay civil rights in which he echoed the same thing to distract from the fact that his main arguments are crap:

    My own father, as a singles pastor in a megachurch in Texas during the ’80s, told me of the countless times that he would go to the hospital and visit young men in AIDS wards who were dying; he told me how he would hold these men in his arms as they gasped in terror for their last breath. Fear did not take my father there, but rather love.

    Here’s my question: why is love and compassion so freely offered by conservative Christians when a gay person is dying, but so stingily withheld when a gay person is healthy and headlong in the pursuit of happiness? Why are we only worth a damn to them when we’re gasping in terror for our last breath? What kind of mind makes such a distinction? Healthy one minute: “Damn you.” Sick the next: “We love you.” Talk about passive-aggressive.

    Homosexuality is equivilent to incest and pedophilia in Rick Warren’s mind. The countless gay couples legally married in California and Massachusetts are non-existent to him. That marriage in America is, ultimately, a civil institution, not a religious one, is immaterial to him. That marriage has been redefined constantly over the centuries matters not a whit to him. That reparative therapy is a disaster because homosexuality is an immutable characteristic falls on deaf ears. That many gays and lesbians are faithful Christians who love and contribute to their churches is lost on him.

    Gay people do absolutely everything our country asks of them. From paying their taxes to donating their time and money to their communities; from raising happy, well-adjusted kids to covertly (for now) serving in uniform and putting their lives on the line in defense of Rick Warren and his followers. And yet the only way to get these conservative Biblical cherry-pickers to pat us on the head is when we’re down for the count.

    What cowardice.

    Don’t get me wrong. Anyone who offers aid and comfort to people with HIV/AIDS—indeed, any affliction—deserves praise and thanks for doing that. No question about it. But why must gay people have to become profoundly weakened before the Rick Warrens and Neil Farrars of the world extend a hand and finally treat us as brothers and sisters? Why can’t they embrace us—and our partners and families—right now, and acknowledge our ongoing and significant contribution to the American story? Why are they so damned afraid of us when we’re thriving?

    Warren is just another fear-mongering megalomaniac who holds himself up as “Mr. Compassionate” when it helps keep the cash rolling in but in reality couldn’t give a rat’s ass about anyone who thinks differently. I’m not holding my breath, but I hope to see the day when a political leader finally has the stones to tell someone like Warren that giving other people the same rights you have doesn’t mean your rights have to be taken away.

    Would have been nice if Obama could have promoted “diversity” by having people who actually support it speak at his inauguration.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Ebonmuse

    Global warming denialism is not on-topic for this thread.

  • http://brian.carnell.com/ Brian Carnell

    Why is it surprising Obama would do this? He spent years attending a church run by a man who believes that black brains and white brains are wired fundamentally differently. Hell, Rick Warren is almost moderate in his views.

    After all, look what Obama himself said about gay marriage,

    “I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

    How is that any different substantively than what Rick Warren believes, other than people who are fans of his seem to see themselves in Obama and diminish or dismiss the importance of these sorts of public statements.

  • Leum

    Disappointing, not surprising. I’m not at all surprised that Obama picked Warren, I just don’t think he should have done so. Just because someone does the expected doesn’t mean we shouldn’t criticize it, otherwise they’ll never change. And with Obama, there’s a chance that our criticism will actually prevent similar choices in the future, which is more than we could say for Bush (and we still criticized him, even knowing it was futile).

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Ebonmuse

    “I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

    How is that any different substantively than what Rick Warren believes, other than people who are fans of his seem to see themselves in Obama and diminish or dismiss the importance of these sorts of public statements.

    Although Obama has said he’s not in favor of gay marriage, he’s voted for civil unions for gay couples and said he opposed Prop 8. He’s also in favor of gay adoption and repealing DOMA. None of those are positions shared by Warren. Substantively, their positions are actually quite different, which makes it all the more disappointing that he’s chosen a bigot like Warren to speak for him.

  • http://thewarfareismental.typepad.com cl

    What Mathew and some of what Teleprompter said. What Ebon said about Lowery, too. Anyone happen to catch Warren on Colbert Report a few months back? I’m not the biggest fan of some of the public statements I’ve heard from Warren.

    However, to balance the Holocaust comparison, Warren also said about abortion:

    “It’s not something I protest out on the street about. It’s something you deal with individually as rational civil people…”

    The guy’s not down at the local doctor’s office blocking footpaths and doorways, which is always a plus.

    Also, if you follow the “Warren’s a creationist” link in the OP, Nation reporter Sarah Posner has taken Warren majorly out-of-context when she says,

    “..he declared that voting for a “Holocaust denier” (i.e., someone who is pro-choice) is a “deal-breaker” for many evangelicals.”

    Now, Posner may well have access to source material we don’t, but here’s Warren in context speaking to Jewish American Senator Charles Schumer:

    “And I went around the room and when I came to Chuck Schumer I said, ‘Chuck, how bad, if you had a candidate and he was right in every single area that you agreed with but he’s a Holocaust denier? There’s no way you’re gonna vote for a holocaust denier,’” Warren recalled telling the Jewish American politician. “That’s a single-issue issue for you.”

    Warren used the term to draw an analogy for the importance of abortion as a single-issue issue for himself and his congregation – not to compare pro-choice people to Holocaust deniers. It’s easy to miss things like that when clearly motivated by distaste for religion, though.

    As for Obama, many have noted he’s pledged to be the President for ‘all Americans,’ yet it seems people here think their opinions deserve special preference from the man, as if he should pander specifically to their worldviews. Like someone said, quit panicking and get over it. At least outwardly, I see Obama as somebody sincerely seeking to mend cultural rifts. No matter who he picked, some position will be emphasized, which means all others are de-emphasized. I mean let’s realize how hard the man’s job is.

    OTOH, I think progressives’ dissatisfaction may be somewhat empathize-able. The last thing you want to see is more of the same if you’re a progressive, and Obama’s choice could be viewed as a step in this direction. But to the extent that people seem to be flipping out? Not IMO.

    I think Obama might even denounce some of the hateful criticisms in this thread. Now, I’m no fan of the religious right, believe me, but doesn’t anyone here realize that we have but one planet to live on together and learn to get along? While I realize the dichotomous and divisive nature of American macropolitics, along with other nonsense, all this talk about ‘sworn enemies’ and much of what’s been used to describe Warren seems mildly hypocritical while simultaneously denouncing Warren as a hateful bigot.

    As an aside, I see far too many people who whine and complain about ‘hate’ and ‘bigots’ around here, but seem equally willing to give it out to their own pet pariahs, typically Christians. The message many send here perhaps without realizing it is, “Hate should not be tolerated – unless of course it’s against those that we hate.”

  • John

    Well done cl

    “As an aside, I see far too many people who whine and complain about ‘hate’ and ‘bigots’ around here, but seem equally willing to give it out to their own pet pariahs, typically Christians. The message many send here perhaps without realizing it is, “Hate should not be tolerated – unless of course it’s against those that we hate.”

    I couldn’t have said it better

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Ebonmuse

    As an aside, I see far too many people who whine and complain about ‘hate’ and ‘bigots’ around here, but seem equally willing to give it out to their own pet pariahs, typically Christians.

    I haven’t noticed any atheists around here saying that Christians should not be permitted to marry, adopt children, or hold office. I have noticed plenty of sharp criticism of Christians by atheists, which is sometimes called “hate” or “bigotry” by people who really don’t understand the meanings of those words.

  • http://thewarfareismental.typepad.com cl

    Ebon,

    Wow.. you’re really going to insinuate that DA is immune from the same poison the rest of the world so easily chokes on? Or that I misunderstand the definitions of hatred and bigotry?

    If you want to deny the true hate and bigotry that occasionally flows around here, that’s fine, and I can understand why. Also, definitions of hate and bigotry do not mandate political action as in your examples; do you understand the meanings of the words? And I’m not talking about the sharp criticisms. Those are fine and welcome in my book. Lastly, mentioning the very real religious hatred and bigotry that exists in society is irrelevant and does nothing to address my claim of similar sentiments here. Such attempts to divert the argument could be perceived as red herrings.

    From Wikipedia: Hate “…describes intense feelings of dislike. It can be used in a wide variety of contexts, from hatred of inanimate objects (e.g. homework, vegetables) to hatred of other people, or even groups of people.”

    Also from Wikipedia: “A bigot is a person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles or identities differing from his or her own, and bigotry is the corresponding attitude or mindset.”

    Nope. Not one scintilla of that around here! ;)

  • Leum

    I am sick and tired of people saying I ought to tolerate intolerance. I am more than tolerant of the right to say homosexuality is an abomination, but that doesn’t mean I have to tolerate having people take away the right to marry. If Warren had merely said that gays were going to Hell, or that it was a bad lifestyle, cl’s criticism would be valid, but Warren’s gone further. He’s refused to tolerate gays having basic rights, and tolerating that is incompatible with real tolerance.

  • KShep

    As for Obama, many have noted he’s pledged to be the President for ‘all Americans,’ yet it seems people here think their opinions deserve special preference from the man, as if he should pander specifically to their worldviews

    This is hilarious. No atheist or secular progressive I’ve heard of has demanded “special preference.” We just want the president-elect, in fact ALL politicians, to stop pandering to people like Rick Warren. It should be plain to see for any thinking person, but it’s people like Warren and his followers who are the ones demanding special preference, and getting it, often to the detriment of society at large. You betcha we’re tired of seeing progress derailed so that a politician can pander to a group of blathering fools.

    Now, I’m no fan of the religious right, believe me, but doesn’t anyone here realize that we have but one planet to live on together and learn to get along?

    Yes, most of us atheists do indeed feel this way. Isn’t it the religious who are forever attempting to enshrine hate and discrimination into law? I don’t recall any atheist attempt to legislate any religious belief out of existence, but religious people have time and again tried and succeeded at forcing their convictions onto the general population. And you want US to try and get along? Make no mistake—we ARE trying to get along—the Rick Warrens of the world are trying to prevent that from happening. Isn’t that obvious?

    As an aside, I see far too many people who whine and complain about ‘hate’ and ‘bigots’ around here, but seem equally willing to give it out to their own pet pariahs, typically Christians. The message many send here perhaps without realizing it is, “Hate should not be tolerated – unless of course it’s against those that we hate.”

    Funniest thing yet. Please try and get this into your head: atheists don’t generally hate anyone. You will be hard pressed to find any sweeping, unsubstantiated attacks on religious people here or on any atheist forum. We do attack religion in general all the time, without apology, as it wholeheartedly deserves it. But you seem to want to equate attacking religion with attacking religious people. There is a distinction. Religious people don’t usually merit an attack until they use their belief to cause harm—like Rick Warren does. Religious people aren’t called hateful, bigoted con artists until they reveal themselves to be hateful, bigoted con artists.

  • http://thewarfareismental.typepad.com cl

    Leum,

    If Warren had merely said that gays were going to Hell, or that it was a bad lifestyle, cl’s criticism would be valid, but Warren’s gone further. He’s refused to tolerate gays having basic rights, and tolerating that is incompatible with real tolerance.

    Problem is, my comments aren’t about Warren’s hatred or bigotry, so their validity does not rest on Warren’s character. Furthermore, are you suggesting Warren’s hateful or bigoted character precludes the possibility of hateful or bigoted characters on DA? Red herring, and I’ll disagree.

    KShep,

    No atheist or secular progressive I’ve heard of has demanded “special preference.”

    Then,

    We just want the president-elect, in fact ALL politicians, to stop pandering to people like Rick Warren.

    IOW, “I’m an atheist or secular progressive, and I want Obama to pander to who I approve of, not who Obama approves of.” Good luck with that.

    …a group of blathering fools.

    IOW, I am intolerant of those unlike me.

    Isn’t it the religious who are forever attempting to enshrine hate and discrimination into law?

    No. The hate-filled enshrine hate and discrimination into law, and several possible motives operate upon them besides religion.

    …the Rick Warrens of the world are trying to prevent that from happening. Isn’t that obvious?

    That may well be true. Problem is, my comments aren’t about Warren’s hatred or bigotry, so their validity does not rest on Warren’s character. Furthermore, as posited to Leum, are you suggesting Warren’s hateful or bigoted character precludes the possibility of hateful or bigoted characters on DA? Red herring, and I’ll disagree.

    Please try and get this into your head: atheists don’t generally hate anyone.

    I’ve not made an argument about atheists in general. I’ve made an argument about particular comments on a particular website. So you’ve changed the scope of my original argument, then rallied against it, IOW, strawmanned me.

    You will be hard pressed to find any sweeping, unsubstantiated attacks on religious people here or on any atheist forum.

    Again you change definitions. Please define “sweeping, unsubstantiated attacks” and I may be able to respond. You seem to be arguing I can’t produce examples of hate and intolerance against believers here, and that’s a road you really don’t want to go down, IMO.

    We do attack religion in general all the time, without apology, as it wholeheartedly deserves it.

    I agree, and for that I thank you.

    But you seem to want to equate attacking religion with attacking religious people. There is a distinction.

    No, actually that’s your mind at work. Again, I made a comment in a limited time-space context, to apply to particular people at a particular site. Read the original comment and look for the appropriate quantifiers.

    Religious people aren’t called hateful, bigoted con artists until they reveal themselves to be hateful, bigoted con artists.

    Incorrect in general, and also in the specific scope of my argument. I’ve been called “hateful” here, in the total absence of hateful, bigoted statements, or anything remotely suggesting I was a con-artist.

    Now, I’m no fan of the religious right, believe me, but doesn’t anyone here realize that we have but one planet to live on together and learn to get along?

    Yes, most of us atheists do indeed feel this way.

    Well good, a point on which we agree!

  • Leum

    cl,

    No, I’m not saying that DA can’t have hateful or bigoted atheists on it (no comment on whether it does or does not, don’t want to go down that road in either direction). What I am saying is that your comments sounded very much like that ridiculous line of “stop refusing to tolerate my intolerance.” Not your exact words, probably not even your intention, just how it came it (probably in part because I’ve been reading some very nasty articles lately. It’s bad for me, I should stop).

  • KShep

    IOW, “I’m an atheist or secular progressive, and I want Obama to pander to who I approve of, not who Obama approves of.” Good luck with that.

    Oh, man. Putting words in my mouth? Pathetic. Read what I wrote again:

    This is hilarious. No atheist or secular progressive I’ve heard of has demanded “special preference.” We just want the president-elect, in fact ALL politicians, to stop pandering to people like Rick Warren. It should be plain to see for any thinking person, but it’s people like Warren and his followers who are the ones demanding special preference, and getting it, often to the detriment of society at large.

    Where does it say I want Obama to pander to anyone?

    IOW, I am intolerant of those unlike me.

    Another attempt to put words in my mouth. I didn’t say any such thing. Read it again:

    You betcha we’re tired of seeing progress derailed so that a politician can pander to a group of blathering fools.

    Knock it off.

    The hate-filled enshrine hate and discrimination into law, and several possible motives operate upon them besides religion.

    Right, sure, but a lot (if not most) of them have religion as their common motivator, which was my point, maybe not so well spoken. I hope you’re not actually arguing that religion doesn’t motivate people to discriminate.

    I’ve not made an argument about atheists in general. I’ve made an argument about particular comments on a particular website.

    So? That doesn’t negate my point.

    So you’ve changed the scope of my original argument, then rallied against it, IOW, strawmanned me.

    Learn what a strawman is.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Ebonmuse

    IOW, I am intolerant of those unlike me.

    No, cl, criticizing people with whom you disagree is not intolerant, not even if the criticism is mean and nasty and hurts their fragile feelings. Tolerance does not imply agreeing with someone, or even liking them, which of course is why it’s called “tolerance” and not “acceptance”.

    “Intolerance” in this context means attempting to rework society’s laws to show favoritism toward people who share your beliefs or punish people who do not. This is a distinction even a child should be able to grasp. Saying “Christians are brainwashed sheep” is nasty, but not intolerant. Lobbying the government to ban Christians from marrying each other, or adopting children, is intolerant.

  • http://thewarfareismental.typepad.com cl

    Leum,

    No, I’m not saying that DA can’t have hateful or bigoted atheists on it (no comment on whether it does or does not, don’t want to go down that road in either direction).

    Understood, and wise. I don’t either.

    KShep,

    Where does it say I want Obama to pander to anyone?

    It’s implied right here:

    We just want the president-elect, in fact ALL politicians, to stop pandering to people like Rick Warren.

    So, you want Obama to give special preference to your distaste or bias against certain (or possibly all) religious speakers. Yet, some people prefer Rick Warren. You are implying Obama should favor your preference over theirs.

    Learn what a strawman is.

    A strawman occurs when you misstate or misrepresent your opponent’s argument, then knock it down (feel free to offer your definition). I made comments pertaining only to a few commenters at DA, and you took them out of scope:

    Please try and get this into your head: atheists don’t generally hate anyone. You will be hard pressed to find any sweeping, unsubstantiated attacks on religious people here or on any atheist forum. We do attack religion in general all the time, without apology, as it wholeheartedly deserves it. But you seem to want to equate attacking religion with attacking religious people.

    Aside from the fact that your second sentence is entirely false, again, I made comments pertaining only to a few commenters at DA, and you took them out of scope. I wasn’t equating attack of religion to attack of the religious. You misrepresented my argument, and argued against said misrepresentation. Now what would you call that?

    At any rate, my simple claim is that no belief system or group is immune from hateful, bigoted speech or action, and such occasionally occurs right here amidst us on DA, even from some of the very same folks who are so apt to cry about it the inverse context.

    Ebonmuse,

    According to Dictionary.com, tolerance is “…lack of toleration; unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs, persons of different races or backgrounds, etc.”

    Does your definition of tolerance permit ad hominem insults? IMO, whenever we make ad hominem insults, we’ve left tolerance and respect far in the dust. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, on and on down the line. Of course, you are free to disagree, and apparently do. The plain fact is, even morally inclined humans show varying degrees of intolerance from time to time, and there’s no need to hide it! Rather, we identify and correctly interpret such as incorrect, and we move on.

    “Intolerance” in this context means attempting to rework society’s laws to show favoritism toward people who share your beliefs or punish people who do not.

    Are you saying no atheists do this? I hope not, because that’s simply false. Even redefined as such, atheists can be and often are just as intolerant as the next group. It’s too bad this pill is so hard to swallow around here!

  • http://www.croonersunlimited.com Jim Speiser

    Warren: I’d like to have a position in your administration where I can influence policy on gay rights.

    Obama: Nope.

    Warren: Well, I’d like it if someone holding my views were appointed to a policy-making position.

    Obama: Sorry.

    Warren: I thought you were going to reach across the aisle and give us anti-gay types a seat at the table! Give me SOMETHING here!

    Obama: You can read a 90-second prayer at the inaugural. After that, we get down to REAL business and its bye-bye hatemongers.

    Prediction: This will all be forgotten in a few months.

  • KShep

    It’s implied right here:

    No, it’s not. Talk about your strawman.

    I’ve watched other threads where you continually construct strawmen, misrepresent what people have said, and then whined when the mean ol’ atheist hurt your little feelings. Guess it was my turn today.

    I’m done with you.

  • http://www.thewarfareismental.info cl

    KShep,

    I’m done with you.

    You do retain the right to take the easy out.

    No, it’s not. Talk about your strawman.

    You didn’t state your preference against people like Warren, then state that you want Obama to pick a speaker not like Warren? Yes or no? You stated Obama shouldn’t pander to people like Warren (ie, that you disapprove of). That is asking for special preference; that Obama would not prefer those you do not prefer.

    As regards your strawman, if you can’t or won’t admit that you changed the scope of my argument, then argued against it, nor can I help that.

    As regards your claim of my strawman, it may be correct. I go by the standard definition of tolerance which entails respect for the individuals. So I took liberty and assumed you did as well. If your definition of tolerance doesn’t entail respect for the individuals, then you could be right – I would be strawmanning you. Does your definition of tolerance permit for painting an entire group as “..blathering fools?” As much as I might disagree with a Jew or an atheist on some matter, I might address their arguments, but I’m not going to call them “..a group of blathering fools,” because that’s disrespectful, IOW, intolerant. And I further agree that respect for an individual by not insulting them does not entail acceptance of their ideas, as Ebonmuse rightly points out.

    I’ve watched other threads where you continually construct strawmen, misrepresent what people have said, and then whined when the mean ol’ atheist hurt your little feelings. Guess it was my turn today.

    I’d think that the person I was arguing with would catch them, but maybe not. If that’s the case, then by all means speak up. When I misspeak, I say I misspoke. When I make a bad argument, I admit I’ve made a bad argument.

    Besides, nothing you’ve said steps to the original argument I made anyways, which is that atheists (on DA and elsewhere) can and do fall victim to hate and bigotry just like anyone else. Will you really deny that?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Ebonmuse

    Are you saying no atheists do this?

    Yes, I am. What atheist group has asked for any special rights or privileges that they think should not be available to religious people?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Ebonmuse

    Since we apparently need to resort to arguing about the definitions of ordinary English words, here’s a further comment:

    Also from Wikipedia: “A bigot is a person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles or identities differing from his or her own, and bigotry is the corresponding attitude or mindset.”

    Yes. And intolerant means what, now?

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intolerant:

    Pronunciation: -rənt
    Function: adjective
    Date: circa 1735
    1: unable or unwilling to endure
    2 a: unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters b: unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rights : bigoted

    I rest my case.

  • Alex Weaver

    Alex,

    One more thing, I haven’t studied Lincoln all that much. I have read his Gettysburg Address. I suggest you broaden your reading, and visit other sites, not only atheist ones – try reading The Gettysburg Address, and then tell me about Lincoln’s lack of religion. Atheists, religious, and political sites are all selling their own beliefs, and therefore are to be taken with “a grain of salt.” As The Bible says, “each man must build his own house.”

    I have educated myself by visiting this site. I particularly enjoyed reading “The Jesus Puzzle” link, and some comments have sent me off in a different direction of inquiry.

    The actual text of the Address:

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    I’m counting two words in that entire piece that are more consistent with any form of theism than with the author being a humanist freethinker. Did I miss something?

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com OMGF

    One more thing, I haven’t studied Lincoln all that much. I have read his Gettysburg Address. I suggest you broaden your reading, and visit other sites, not only atheist ones – try reading The Gettysburg Address, and then tell me about Lincoln’s lack of religion.

    Yes, broaden your reading by not reading anything except the Gettysburg Address…Huh?

  • velkyn

    Ah, supposedly Rick Warren has removed the anti-homosexual stuff from his church’s website http://www.saddlebackfamily.com/smallgroups/index.html. Unfortunately, for him, lovely technology does keep records of such things(at least for a while): http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:PXTZQFA_15kJ:www.saddlebackfamily.com/membership/group_finder/faqs_saddleback.asp%3Fid%3D7509+http://www.saddlebackfamily.com/membership/group_finder/faqs_smallgroup.asp%3Fid%3D7509%23q_49&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=safari

    Quote
    “Because membership in a church is an outgrowth of accepting the Lordship and leadership of Jesus in one’s life, someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at a member at Saddleback Church. That does not mean they cannot attend church – we hope they do! God’s Word has the power to change our lives.

    In equal desire to follow Jesus, we also would not accept a couple into membership at Saddleback who were not willing to repent of the sexual sin of living together before marriage. That does not mean this couple cannot attend church – we hope they do! God’s Word has the power to change our lives.’

    Ah, the lovely sentiment, homosexuals can find God but only in the way we say is the “right” way. Now, has Rick had a change of opinion on what God wants? Or is he just hiding his “light” under a “bushel” until people forget what he really believes?

  • Nes

    velkyn,

    That page can be permanently found at the Internet Archive, so long as they don’t ever ask them to remove it (or block it with robots.txt). You can watch the evolution of the page by searching for it in general. It’s interesting that the homosexuality question started as #4, then jumped way down to #48.

  • John Nernoff

    N: As part of this series by Ebonmuse, perhaps he, or someone, could summarize Warren’s book “A Purpose Driven Life” and critique it. Is it amazing or not, that it sold 40 million copies, at least, and that so many people subscribe to its simplistic ideas that I have read about?

  • http://www.trustreason.com nondescript

    I was initially dismayed by Obama’s choice here, but it follows a pattern. If you remember during the campaign, one of the big differences between McCain and Obama was whether they would talk to their enemies. This falls within the same line.

    Rick Warren has many and noted faults. One of his virtues, though, is in inviting Obama to his church, which brought similar critique from his side. Obama is returning the favor here in letting Warren talk. It is an act of diplomacy. If Obama didn’t do this, then the Right Wingers would have more fuel to oppose other Obama policies.

    What is good here for us is the diffusing of the religious wedge issue. If we open up dialogue regardless of religious stance, we have a better chance of establishing a more reasoned basis for policy. In the past, the religious had their own language and we had ours. There was mostly only talk amongst their own groups, i.e. preaching to the choir. There was no common basis established to discuss issues across sectarian or secular lines. In allowing Warren to talk, Obama is making a first step to opening up such dialogue. He is doing so from a position of power, which will allow him to set the tone and rules for such discussion.

    This is very different from Bush’s tactics, which were mostly a divide and conquer policy. While Bush built up such wedge issues to try to establish voting blocs, Obama is diffusing them.

    We’ll see if he actually follows through on this as president, but I’m hopeful. His earlier speeches make me think he really gets it when it comes to separation of church and state.

  • LindaJoy

    During the campaign I sent Obama a copy of The Family by Jeff Sharlet. I asked him to read it and then to do the right thing by refusing to attend the National Prayer Breakfast hosted by this group. I never even got a form letter acknowledging receipt of the book or letter, even though the head of his Faith Team signed the postal receipt. I will wait until the Feb. breakfast event and see what happens, but I am not hopeful. If anything violates the separation of religion and government, it is this group. I think Obama will go, which will say tons about his understanding of the Establishment Clause.

  • http://dimension-less.blogspot.com Brad

    Are you saying no atheists do this? [-cl]

    Yes, I am. [-EM]

    EM, are you trying to say that the number & power of atheists that advocate favoritism are practically negligible, or are you saying there is literally not one atheist or atheist group that is advocating favoritism? If the former, I think you should be clearer with terms, especially with a cl in the debate. If the latter, how do you defend a universal negative, especially regarding a group of people?

    I think there are plenty of examples of prejudice and generalizations from atheists on this site. Even towards other atheists… anyone remember discussions of anarchism, communism, relativism, and nihilism? Laced in, too, are instances of hate and even bigotry. I won’t say this “flow” is anywhere near as alarming as in the religious-cultural sphere, but it exists here. Prejudice comes in the form of one commenter assuming more than is warranted about the beliefs, mental states, or intentions of another commenter. Generalizations occur in the form of sweeping statements about groups of people. Hate comes in the form of expressing a large degree of negative feelings for this or that aspect of religion, or religion in general. I’m not going to say there is no hate warranted at all for anything religious, of course. And bigotry comes in the form of expressing some kind of superiority and using it as a premise for this or that statement e.g. Atheists are smarter than Christians on average.

  • http://thewarfareismental.typepad.com cl

    So some of the holidays are coming to a close and I can get back to some unfinished conversations here. Hopefully we all got some well-needed respite from life.

    Brad,

    It’s fitting to see the freethinker flower on your homepage, for you prove time and again to be effectively immune to religious-like favoritism:

    Prejudice comes in the form of one commenter assuming more than is warranted about the beliefs, mental states, or intentions of another commenter.

    Bravo, and I admit I’ve fallen victim on occasion.

    Generalizations occur in the form of sweeping statements about groups of people. Hate comes in the form of expressing a large degree of negative feelings for this or that aspect of religion, or religion in general.

    Again, couldn’t have said it better myself. Dan Barker, the FFRF and the Olympia fiasco comes to mind as a recent example.

    I’m not going to say there is no hate warranted at all for anything religious, of course. And bigotry comes in the form of expressing some kind of superiority and using it as a premise for this or that statement e.g. Atheists are smarter than Christians on average.

    On point again.

    Tangentially, I’d purposely pre-decided that on my blog I would not link to sites that share my points of view. I find it silly when I go to some site that promotes belief X, Y, or Z and then you get the blogroll of every other site that promotes belief X, Y, or Z, yet refuses to link to any site that might promote competing belief A, B, or C, or perhaps even a differing interpretation of belief X, Y, or Z. So I was thinking about that for some time, and I concluded I would just link to anyone whose tact and debate style impressed me; people who may not necessarily share my beliefs, and may even strongly oppose them, yet still remain respectful, objective, and willing to call mistakes from themselves or whoever made them regardless of that person’s beliefs; people who will break from the herd mentality that exists here and elsewhere in ostensibly free-thinking forums; people for whom coming to the defense of their opponent because it is the right thing to do is more important than polemics. So thank you for linking to my blog off your homepage, and I’m glad to reciprocate, of course, assuming you want your page linked to. As regards my experiences with atheism-vs-theism on the internet, I’ve now met three people from the atheist side who I deem tolerant. For the rest, there’s something to be gleaned here – that is, if you want to truly effect change in reasonable believers, or even impress them – be the light you want them to see in the world, instead of constantly yearning to snuff theirs out. The latter is the strategy of false religion.

    And speaking of tolerance…

    Ebonmuse,

    So you’ve introduced further definitions of terms that don’t differ significantly enough from mine to warrant new material. By all definitions of terms given, atheists can be (and often are) hatemongering, bigoted, intolerant, etc. etc.

    I think there are plenty of examples of prejudice and generalizations from atheists on this site. Even towards other atheists… anyone remember discussions of anarchism, communism, relativism, and nihilism? Laced in, too, are instances of hate and even bigotry… Generalizations occur in the form of sweeping statements about groups of people. Hate comes in the form of expressing a large degree of negative feelings for this or that aspect of religion, or religion in general. (Brad)

    Yep. Just on the most recent post concerning LRH, I found a very mild example,

    I have to say, of all religious organizations that I have actual hate for, the Church of Scientology is way up there. I really can’t tell if I should see it’s leaders and figureheads as victims or villains.

    Interesting. I don’t know if the leaders and figureheads of Scientology are victims or villains, yet I have actual hate for the organization, which is composed of the same leaders and figureheads whose culpability I have already admitted ignorance to? IOW, I prejudge and hate that which I lack sufficient knowledge of? That’s what I’m reading in the subtext, and it scares me. Admittedly, and as said before, such is only a mild example; a Pace Picante version of what’s really going on in the subtext around here, that is, if you’re looking. Much better examples abound, including those Brad mentions and some ample gems in my personal archives as well. In fact, one of my all-time favorites comes from you:

    My tone is derogatory, and I do think that anyone who still believes in demons is ignorant and credulous and deserves to be mocked… It’s a cruel, childish and primitive superstition that any rational person should be ashamed of himself for holding. (Ebonmuse to cl, On Laughter)

    To which I replied:

    Interesting response. So at what point is it okay to denigrate another human being because they believe in a different reality than you? I say that’s their freedom of religion and speech which is as important as yours and what this country stands for, and so long as they’re not interjecting such into politics or education, then what right have you to assume the moral high ground, especially since each walks a different path and none of us can prove anything? If one believes in angels, are they equally “ignorant, credulous and deserving to be mocked?” If someone who fell from a cliff sincerely believes an angel intervened and saved them, is that person complicit in a “cruel, childish and primitive superstition” and should they be “ashamed of themselves” for thinking such? Do you ascribe such harsh judgment to anyone who believes in any non-material beings? Either way, thanks for the banter and no hard feelings.

    When the Phelps’ and Haggards’ and their ilk act like insulting and derisive hatemongers, they receive due and appropriate criticisms from secularists, atheists, and even some religionists, no? For example, when a certain Senator is publicly ridiculed for being an atheist – I find that insulting, derisive, and mildly hatemongering, don’t you? Again, Dan Barker and the FFRF come to mind, and I find it far more insulting, derisive, and hatemongering to insult an entire worldwide group composed of billions who practice over thousands of different faiths by painting them all with a single derisive and insulting brush stroke, especially when coming from the ostensibly rational and tolerant side of the debate. Agree? Disagree? Oh wait – unless you’ve changed your mind since your latest post on the matter, you disagree, so don’t bother answering.

    I rest my case. (Ebonmuse)

    Answer Brad’s questions!

  • Nes

    John Nernoff,

    Assuming that you were directing this at me:

    Is it amazing or not, that it sold 40 million copies, at least,

    Not really. The DaVinci Code has over 60 million in print, and that one’s a load of horse manure.

    Also, Wikipedia and a reviewer on Amazon both disagree with your number; they only say 20 million.

    and that so many people subscribe to its simplistic ideas that I have read about?

    As I know nothing about the book, nor what these “simplistic ideas” are, I can’t comment on this portion. If the “simplistic ideas” are common sense wrapped in religious talk, for example, then no, it’s not amazing at all.

    Interestingly again… most of the 1-star reviews on Amazon, at least on the first few pages of such, are fellow Christians!

  • http://dimension-less.blogspot.com Brad

    Thanks for the kind words, cl. I have yet to fully form my own blogging philosophy; as you can see, I am still forming my blog itself but I am linking to it prematurely.

    If I may pose one point, I note that in Soviet Russia and modern Communist China, there is favoritism for atheism. (To be more accurately, secularism, but my point stands I think.) I also note that OMGF’s blog is called “Why I hate Jesus” (which cl pointed out elsewhere). Granted, OMGF said he calls it like he sees it.

    I don’t know if the leaders and figureheads of Scientology are victims or villains, yet I have actual hate for the organization, which is composed of the same leaders and figureheads whose culpability I have already admitted ignorance to?

    Yes. The form and composition differ. Example: a horrid emotional fight between a couple differ from the two individuals themselves. I do not hate the people in the Church necessarily, I hate the evil things some/most up there are doing and the Church-institution that gets them to do what they do. I presume you read the “evils of religion” part of my comment that came later – and these evils don’t include any people, but things done to people. (I note here that Jesus upturned the tables when religious leaders transformed a church into a commercial center… did Jesus hate the leaders themselves if he knew they were misguided and he was the “son” of a perfectly benevolent God? I also note the religious phrase, “hate the sin but not the sinner”.)

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Brad,
    You can’t actually hate something that you don’t believe exists as has been pointed out numerous times on my blog (a blog that I didn’t start or choose the title to BTW, but hey, feel free to continue your disdain for me with whatever you can dig up). If you can’t figure that out, that’s not my problem.

    cl,
    Stop wasting your time attacking Dan Barker and the FFRF. They are working for you and your religious freedoms just as much as they are working for me and mine. They’ve done nothing to show any sort of hatred and intolerance, except for put up a message that you have misinterpreted to be hateful and intolerant. In fact, Barker has spoken routinely about battling the hateful messages of Xianity and being more open and tolerant.

  • http://dimension-less.blogspot.com Brad

    OMGF,

    Completely my fault for not fact-checking; I’ve embarrassed myself. However, I didn’t mean to imply that you literally hate Jesus, nor do I mean to imply any emotional reaction to your blog/comments – sorry I made it appear otherwise.

  • LindaJoy

    What’s with the Dan Barker and FFRF bashing? I am currently reading his new book, Godless, and it’s very good. It reveals a very compassionate and intelligent man who still manages to maintain friendships with his former christian co-workers. And the work of FFRF is absolutely invaluable. It’s one of the best organizations around when it comes to defending the constitution and representing atheist/agnostic freethought.

  • KShep

    What’s with the Dan Barker and FFRF bashing?

    Because some people will often find what they’re looking for, no matter where they look.

  • http://thewarfareismental.typepad.com cl

    Kshep, LindaJoy, OMGF…

    See, the thing is, I’m not bashing Dan Barker and the FFRF. I agree with the following statement:

    Hate comes in the form of expressing a large degree of negative feelings for this or that aspect of religion, or religion in general.

    Do any of you? If you do, you would agree with my criticism. Bigotry is bigotry wherever it comes from. And a generally non-bigoted or tolerant person or group can occasionally issue a bigoted or intolerant statement. The Olympia thing is just the most recent example of something that fit Brad’s bill as described in the quote.

    So no need for all the alarm, really. I’d forgotten all about Dan and his group until I checked back to this thread. They’re of little concern to me.

    And any of you can feel free to tackle the real issue here, which is the questions Brad actually raised, among other things. I’d be interested in hearing others dance around them, because the plain fact is that people of all stripes are guilty of intolerance and bigotry, not just the religious.

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com OMGF

    cl,
    Quite plainly, I don’t agree. If I say that the doctrines of Xianity are hateful and cruel, does that make me intolerant? Now, if I say that Xianity or religion is a tool used to subdue the masses and enslave people’s minds does that make me intolerant? You seem to be saying, “Yes” to the second, although I can’t see why. Intolerance is not the same as pointing out facts, pointing out injustice, or pointing out when another is intolerant. Further, having negative feelings for something does not necessarily entail hatred or bigotry or intolerance.

  • http://thewarfareismental.typepad.com cl

    OMGF,

    Intolerance is not the same as pointing out facts, pointing out injustice, or pointing out when another is intolerant.

    I agree. However, in your examples, you are not pointing out facts; rather, you are presenting your own opinions of religion as facts when they are not such, and cannot be such. You confuse subjective opinion with objective fact, and you foist your subjective opinion onto others as objective fact. Such is an intellectual atrocity IMO and that’s why I give Barker and the FFRF a little flack.

    Further, having negative feelings for something does not necessarily entail hatred or bigotry or intolerance.

    Correct, but having negative feelings certainly can entail hatred or bigotry, and often does, on DA and anywhere else people exist – which was my point all along.

    I’m just boggled as to why that’s so hard for some around here to accept, most notably our host who maintains that “no atheists do this.” I lose respect for arguments supporting a certain belief system when its adherents cannot look at that belief system objectively and admit it suffers from the same plagues as any other belief system.

    All atheists are people, correct? All people are prone to errors in judgment, correct?

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    cl,

    However, in your examples, you are not pointing out facts; rather, you are presenting your own opinions of religion as facts when they are not such, and cannot be such.

    It is a fact that religion has been used and still is used as a tool to enslave and close minds. Do you really deny this? Even so, it can be an instance of pointing out injustice.

    Correct, but having negative feelings certainly can entail hatred or bigotry, and often does, on DA and anywhere else people exist – which was my point all along.

    It can, but does it? I don’t see a lot of that on DA.

  • http://thewarfareismental.typepad.com cl

    OMGF,

    It is a fact that religion has been used and still is used as a tool to enslave and close minds. Do you really deny this?

    No. I deny the statement you originally made.

    It can, but does it? I don’t see a lot of that on DA.

    You don’t see a lot of it on DA? So you do see at least some it seems, and as such you refute Ebon’s claim that “no atheists do this.” So we agree enough for my concerns, it seems.

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com OMGF

    cl,

    No. I deny the statement you originally made.

    I make lots of statements. Which specific one do you take issue with?

    So you do see at least some it seems, and as such you refute Ebon’s claim that “no atheists do this.”

    Please point out where Ebon made this claim. You seem to be misunderstanding what his claim actually is/was. He clarifies in his comment here.

  • http://www.thewarfareismental.info cl

    OMGF,

    I’m almost certain you are not reading or thinking carefully, and moving way too fast for true intellectualism to take place.

    I make lots of statements. Which specific one do you take issue with?

    This one:

    religion is a tool used to subdue the masses and enslave people’s minds…

    which you changed to,

    It is a fact that religion has been used and still is used as a tool to enslave and close minds.

    As for,

    Please point out where Ebon made this claim. You seem to be misunderstanding what his claim actually is/was. He clarifies in his comment here.

    I understand Ebon’s claim perfectly, which is that atheists are above the second part of the definition of intolerance he offered. Nonsense! You yourself argued to me before that absolutely zero religious iconography should exist in public space. That is intolerant! You yourself said that I was deserving of hate in some minor intellectual disagreement we had. That is hateful! No biggie though, we were in a heated discussion and it’s really no skin off my back. I understand human nature, and that people of any and all stripe are equally prone to hatemongering, bigotry and intolerance, here on DA and elsewhere – other atheists have already admitted this to varying degrees in the thread – if you or Ebonmuse won’t agree with this simple truth, I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do!

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    cl,
    So, you don’t object to the statement when I tell you it is a fact, but you do object when I say it isn’t a fact?

    I understand Ebon’s claim perfectly…

    No, you obviously don’t. He didn’t say that no atheist ever exhibits hatred or bigotry, but that no atheists are asking for special privileges that should not be available to religious people. That you take that to mean that no atheist can be a bigot or intolerant is flat out wrong.

    You yourself argued to me before that absolutely zero religious iconography should exist in public space. That is intolerant!

    No, it is not. It is the only way to ensure that no group is given preferential treatment. It is the very opposite of intolerance. Putting religious iconography in public spaces gives preferential treatment to the religious over the irreligious. Since you support that, do I get to call you a bigoted, intolerant, and hateful?

    You yourself said that I was deserving of hate in some minor intellectual disagreement we had.

    Actually, I said you were deserving of scorn and mockery and derision because you were odious (paraphrased). But, this has NOTHING TO DO WITH EBON’S STATEMENT, thus proving once again that you didn’t understand what he said, your claims to the contrary not-withstanding.

    That is hateful!

    Towards a single person or towards a group? Is it intolerance to hate or be mean to a single person?

    I understand human nature, and that people of any and all stripe are equally prone to hatemongering, bigotry and intolerance, here on DA and elsewhere – other atheists have already admitted this to varying degrees in the thread – if you or Ebonmuse won’t agree with this simple truth, I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do!

    If you persist in making straw man arguments, there’s not much I can do either.

  • http://www.thewarfareismental.info cl

    OMGF,

    So, you don’t object to the statement when I tell you it is a fact, but you do object when I say it isn’t a fact?

    I object to you presenting opinions and/or isolated observations as blanket truths, which you did in the first statement:

    religion is a tool used to subdue the masses and enslave people’s minds…

    I disagreed, and I object to you saying you are merely pointing out facts, when what you point out is not a fact, then attempting to pass off another statement as equal, when it is actually tweaked ever-so-slightly but oh-so-significantly, which you did with the second statement:

    It is a fact that religion has been used and still is used as a tool to enslave and close minds.

    Now that is a fact, but the first statement is a subjective generalization that is not true in all cases – a stereotype.

    He didn’t say that no atheist ever exhibits hatred or bigotry, but that no atheists are asking for special privileges that should not be available to religious people. That you take that to mean that no atheist can be a bigot or intolerant is flat out wrong.

    I didn’t say Ebon said “no atheist ever exhibits hatred or bigotry.” Note what I actually said:

    I understand Ebon’s claim perfectly, which is that atheists are above the second part of the definition of intolerance he offered.

    and what is that second part?

    2 a: unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters b: unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rights : bigoted

    Note that Ebon cherrypicks which part of the definition we get to argue, and notice that Ebonmuse did say that no atheists do this, right here:

    Are you saying no atheists do this? (cl)

    Yes, I am. (Ebonmuse)

    So I clearly understood the man, in context.

    Actually, I said you were deserving of scorn and mockery and derision because you were odious (paraphrased). But, this has NOTHING TO DO WITH EBON’S STATEMENT, thus proving once again that you didn’t understand what he said, your claims to the contrary not-withstanding.

    Hmph. At any rate, when did I say that your claim I am deserving of hate related to Ebon’s statement? I didn’t. It doesn’t. So your proof fails. Ebon is in the context of rights-denial. I’m addressing two separate issues here, so please retract your strawman charge.

    If you persist in making straw man arguments, there’s not much I can do either.

    I’ve articulated Ebon’s argument correctly. He’s claimed that zero atheists are unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression in religious matters, and that zero atheists are unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rights. Again, no strawman.

    Incidentally, in Theocracy Watch XIII, Ebonmuse claimed that Monique Davis saying Rob Sherman “had no right to be here” was “bigotry” and “disgusting and virulent hatred against those who do not think or believe like them.” I agree, and when atheists tell believers similar things, for example that expressions of their faith have no right to exist in public places, I believe such still constitutes bigotry, and disgusting and virulent hatred against those who do not think or believe like them.

    My argument is very simple: Atheists are just as prone to any definition of hatemongering, bigotry and intolerance as anyone else. Will you really deny this?

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com OMGF

    cl,

    Now that is a fact, but the first statement is a subjective generalization that is not true in all cases – a stereotype.

    I’m not playing the subtlety game with you – it’s too tedious.

    So I clearly understood the man, in context.

    If you understood, then you are clearly arguing against straw.

    Hmph. At any rate, when did I say that your claim I am deserving of hate related to Ebon’s statement? I didn’t. It doesn’t. So your proof fails. Ebon is in the context of rights-denial. I’m addressing two separate issues here, so please retract your strawman charge.

    Then address it as such in the future, and don’t run them together the way you did. And, if you realize that Ebon is not addressing such arguments, don’t include further arguments against his position then act later like you meant it to be separate. Admit that you were sloppy.

    Incidentally, in Theocracy Watch XIII, Ebonmuse claimed that Monique Davis saying Rob Sherman “had no right to be here” was “bigotry” and “disgusting and virulent hatred against those who do not think or believe like them.” I agree, and when atheists tell believers similar things, for example that expressions of their faith have no right to exist in public places, I believe such still constitutes bigotry, and disgusting and virulent hatred against those who do not think or believe like them.

    And you would be conflating. Saying that person X has no right to express their opinion in an open forum is bigotry, etc. Saying that no one has a right to co-opt the government to push their religious views is not. I’m sorry that you can’t understand the difference, but stop calling me hateful, bigoted, and disgusting for advocating that NO ONE RECEIVES SPECIAL RIGHTS. Again, I ask that since you seem to be advocating that religious symbols can be advocated that you are pushing for special privileges for the religious over the non-religious, so do I get to call you hateful, bigoted, and intolerant?

    My argument is very simple: Atheists are just as prone to any definition of hatemongering, bigotry and intolerance as anyone else. Will you really deny this?

    Yes. As Ebon pointed out, and you haven’t defeated yet, atheists are not seeking to deny rights to certain classes of people, yet that’s what we see you (apparently) and other theists doing.

  • http://thewarfareismental.typepad.com cl

    Ebonmuse,

    Just so you know, you have two separate posts with the same title of “Theocracy Watch XIII.”

    OMGF,

    As I’ve pointed out, Ebonmuse has cherrypicked the parts of the definition of intolerance that he feels “no atheists” commit. Notice that the definition of intolerance is not limited to the denial of civil rights!

    Saying that person X has no right to express their opinion in an open forum is bigotry, etc. Saying that no one has a right to co-opt the government to push their religious views is not.

    Ah, I see. Since when is the House State Government Administration Committee floor an open forum as opposed to a government entity? And since when is the mere presence of a nativity scene alongside other religious icons tantamount to “the government pushing their religious views?” I agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling. I’m sorry you don’t. Perhaps you should write a letter to them?

    My argument is very simple: Atheists are just as prone to any definition of hatemongering, bigotry and intolerance as anyone else. Will you really deny this?

    Yes.

    All I can say to that is, “WOW^100.” I’ll freely admit that those who share my belief system are as prone to any definition of hatemongering, bigotry and intolerance as anyone else. Why you cannot or will not follow suit is interesting, and reeks of special pleading.

    As Ebon pointed out, and you haven’t defeated yet, atheists are not seeking to deny rights to certain classes of people…

    Did you not just tell me that all people who want to display religious icons during the holidays should not have those rights, even though the highest court in the land has determined that such displays can exist for purely secular purposes?? I mean really, thank you for making this so easy.

    ..yet that’s what we see you (apparently) and other theists doing.

    I can’t speak for other theists, but I’ve no desire to take away atheist’s rights, because “atheist’s rights” are all of our rights.

    BTW, when you tell someone they are “deserving of hate” because you disagree with them, such is at least equally hateful, bigoted and intolerant as telling someone they have no right to be in a certain place, right?

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    cl,

    I agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling. I’m sorry you don’t. Perhaps you should write a letter to them?

    Argument from authority. The SCOTUS also ruled in favor of slavery at times in the past. Simply because they rule for one way or another doesn’t make it right.

    All I can say to that is, “WOW^100.

    And, all I can say is nice quote mine. You should deal with the full argument and not break it into parts when it is not warranted.

    Did you not just tell me that all people who want to display religious icons during the holidays should not have those rights, even though the highest court in the land has determined that such displays can exist for purely secular purposes?? I mean really, thank you for making this so easy.

    No, that’s a strawman. I said that people don’t have the right to co-opt the government to push their religion. You are misrepresenting me and my argument.

    I can’t speak for other theists, but I’ve no desire to take away atheist’s rights, because “atheist’s rights” are all of our rights.

    Then stop advocating for the inclusion of religious symbols on government grounds, because – as I’ve previously explained – it creates a situation where the government is showing preference for religion over irreligion.

    BTW, when you tell someone they are “deserving of hate” because you disagree with them, such is at least equally hateful, bigoted and intolerant as telling someone they have no right to be in a certain place, right?

    I never did that. Once again you misrepresent me. I’ve already corrected you on this and yet you persist in misrepresenting me. This is highly dishonest. Perhaps you are speaking in generalities? If that is the case, then I fail to see what you are getting at. I highly doubt that you are doing the latter, and I take this as a very serious matter. Do not print lies about me.

  • http://thewarfareismental.typepad.com cl

    OMGF,

    First:

    And, all I can say is nice quote mine. You should deal with the full argument and not break it into parts when it is not warranted.

    Here’s the full context:

    My argument is very simple: Atheists are just as prone to any definition of hatemongering, bigotry and intolerance as anyone else. Will you really deny this? (cl)

    Yes. (OMGF)

    I didn’t know it was possible to quote-mine a single-word statement, and how does one break a single-word statement into parts?

    Second:

    Did you not just tell me that all people who want to display religious icons during the holidays should not have those rights, even though the highest court in the land has determined that such displays can exist for purely secular purposes?? I mean really, thank you for making this so easy. (cl)

    then,

    No, that’s a strawman. (OMGF)

    but,

    Then stop advocating for the inclusion of religious symbols on government grounds, because – as I’ve previously explained – it creates a situation where the government is showing preference for religion over irreligion. (OMGF)

    Interesting.

    Third:

    BTW, when you tell someone they are “deserving of hate” because you disagree with them, such is at least equally hateful, bigoted and intolerant as telling someone they have no right to be in a certain place, right? (cl)

    and my new, all-time personal favorite from you to date:

    I never did that. Once again you misrepresent me. I’ve already corrected you on this and yet you persist in misrepresenting me. This is highly dishonest. Perhaps you are speaking in generalities? If that is the case, then I fail to see what you are getting at. I highly doubt that you are doing the latter, and I take this as a very serious matter. Do not print lies about me.

    problem is,

    …I’m mocking you because you are odious. Comment by: OMGF | November 24, 2008, 9:18 pm (emph. mine)

    Seems in this version of the script, you’re Nixon, and I’m Frost. Does not odious translate to “deserving of hate” in your dictionary? If you don’t like it when people expose the hateful statements that you’ve made, instead of accusing them of lying, perhaps you should simply watch your mouth!

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    cl,

    I didn’t know it was possible to quote-mine a single-word statement, and how does one break a single-word statement into parts?

    By separating it from the text that clearly outlines what I was saying “Yes” to. Highly dishonest.

    Interesting.

    Yes, interesting that when your arguments go awry, you have to resort to such dishonest tactics. You’re still doing it. Not to emulate you here, but the two statements of mine that you quote are NOT equal. You’d do well to take some of your own medicine here you quote-mining, dishonest liar.

    Now, will you actually deal with what I said? I highly doubt it. You’re too busy ignoring what I say, inputting strawmen, whining, and looking for excuses to call me bigoted and intolerant. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Seems in this version of the script, you’re Nixon, and I’m Frost. Does not odious translate to “deserving of hate” in your dictionary?

    It translates to disgusting, vile, repugnant, detestable, etc. And, although I don’t make it a point to say that I hate, because I really don’t, you’re rather vile, tedious, and a royal pain in the ass. But, let’s look at once again how you’ve quote-mined me.

    You’re contesting that I said you are deserving of hate because I disagreed with your argument, yet this is NOT what I said or why I said it. Even if you take the word “odious” to mean what I didn’t intend (instead intending other definitions that what you use, way to look before you leap) I did not do so because I disagree with your argument. I said that you are what you are because you are a nitpicking, quote-mining, annoying little POS. This proves it. You are dishonest. I had hoped that with all your high-fallutin’ talk about parsing sentences to get at meanings that it would be more than one dimensional, i.e. that we had to parse your sentences to make sure we knew what you meant and that you would do the same. But, that’s not the case. You feel free to continually claim that we don’t know what you mean and accuse us of all kinds of things, but think nothing of intentionally distorting our message in order to win a debate point or whine or be a martyr. This is despicable and dishonest. I guess my original assessment of you was spot on.

  • http://thewarfareismental.typepad.com cl

    Mr. Nixon,

    By separating it from the text that clearly outlines what I was saying “Yes” to. Highly dishonest.

    Yet, as the blockquote feature demonstrates, you responded “Yes” directly to the statement I quoted. No separation occurred!

    It translates to disgusting, vile, repugnant, detestable, etc. And, although I don’t make it a point to say that I hate, because I really don’t, you’re rather vile, tedious, and a royal pain in the ass. But, let’s look at once again how you’ve quote-mined me.

    Hmmm…. sounds similar to, “What we were all doing was not illegal…” But Mr. Nixon, is that the full definition, or are you only quoting the parts of the definition that support your point, ie, quote-mining? In fact, does not the root of the word come from the Latin for hate?

    Odious: Arousing or deserving hatred or repugnance, hateful… (Merriam Webster)

    Odious: Via French odieux, “odious”, from Latin odiosus, from odium, “hate”, -osus, “-ous”, from odisse, “to hate”… (Wikipedia)

    Odious: Highly offensive; repugnant; disgusting… deserving or causing hatred; hateful; detestable… (Dictionary.com)

    …but think nothing of intentionally distorting our message in order to win a debate…

    If you don’t want to be perceived as a bigot, perhaps you shouldn’t use words whose root meaning comes from hate? I mean really, you put your own foot in your own mouth this time.

    I said that you are what you are because you are a nitpicking, quote-mining, annoying little POS.

    That’s fine, and remember, no one’s forcing you to continually talk to me. I’ve certainly had some negative reactions to you as well, but I don’t feel the need to resort to sandbox methodology and talk like this. I’m sorry you’re so angry, but again, perhaps you should just watch your mouth? No biggie.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    You’re right cl, no one is forcing me to talk to you. You are a dishonest scumbag. Simply because I can’t stand you doesn’t make me a bigot. The fact that you continually distort my position and my words to try and win debate points is beyond the pale, especially when you level charges of the sort you’ve leveled. Even if I hate you, hating you doesn’t make me a bigot, no matter how big your martyr complex is.

    And, yes, it is a biggie. Don’t call me a bigot for standing up for equal rights. Don’t lie about what I said and how I said it, as you just did yet again. Count me in the ranks of those that don’t wish to deal with you anymore you lying troll.