North Dakota State University

There’s now an college atheist group at North Dakota State University! The student newspaper on campus ran an article about the group here.

The new club is not looking to start any debates or cause trouble, [club founder Dacotah] Melicher said.

“The old atheist group had to deal with protesters and people who were close-minded, but if a group like Campus Crusaders [sic] for Christ (CRU) wants to have an exchange of speakers or a debate to talk about the difference, I think it would be a good idea,” Melicher said.

Tyson Muhs, a senior majoring in physical education, is a member of CRU and said he would attend a debate but not participate because he does not know enough about atheism.

“I respect them for the beliefs they have, but I don’t think it is right,” Muhs said. “If they want to form a group and talk about their issues, more power to them.”

On a side note, there are 9823243 spelling mistakes in the article. And the headline reads: “Lawmakers question $40 million in university system travel”… what’s going on in North Dakota’s journalism school?

[tags]atheist, atheism, North Dakota State University, Dacotah Melicher, Campus Crusade for Christ, CRU, Tyson Muhs[/tags]

  • Patrick Craig

    Here’s a letter I wrote to the Spectrum tonight:

    To whom it may concern:

    Heather Martel, Co-News Editor, has a recent piece in the Spectrum called “Lawmakers question $40 million in university system travel.” That article had nothing at all to do with “university system travel,” instead it was about a new campus organization for “athesists, agnostics and secular humanists.” Could you explain just what an “athesist” is? I think Heather meant “atheist,” but I’m not sure. Could you also explain why the article’s title has absolutely nothing to do with the campus “athesist” organization?

    I present three possible options for why this article appears the way it does. With no animosity intended, please let me know which of these options is the correct one:

    Option 1: Some kind of debilitating medication was coursing through Ms. Martel’s veins as she created and posted the article, and she was unable to concentrate on getting the title or much of the spelling correct.

    Option 2: Ms. Martel didn’t bother using the “spell check” options in her word processor, either because spell check was “broke” or she decided that using white-out on the screen was more effective than using the built-in spell checker.

    Option 3. Ms. Martel thought it would be some significant statement of disagreement with the evil athesists’ position if she deliberately botched this article all to heck and presented it as an “oopsie.” Are we dealing with religious discrimination here?

    Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.


    Patrick Craig
    American Athesist

    Before y’all jump my ass, let me clarify three things:

    1. Yes, animosity was intended. That animosity is based upon the possibility of Option #3 in my letter being accurate.

    2. I have no unrealistic expectations that I will hear back from these people. If they are not unreasonable theists, they will simply not like the tone of my letter. Fine.

    3. Referring to an earlier comment post you made on my blog, Hemant: I do realize that my strategy “probably isn’t helping much.” By your point of view, then, should Dawkins just shut the hell up? He’s probably not helping things either…

  • Richard Wade

    Patrick, I wouldn’t jump your ass for that letter, it’s hilarious. Well placed satire does help things, in my opinion. The editors are probably laughing too.

  • Patrick Craig

    Thanks, Richard. Yours is one of the very few responses that doesn’t criticize the crap out of my particular style of activism. I try so desperately to get The Point across, but no one appears to be listening. No one, that is, except for you. :)

  • Patrick Craig

    *UPDATE* I went looking for our new athesist friends at NDSU via the university’s web site. On the main page there’s a “search” field, I went to this and put in the term “atheist” (sorry for the misspelling). After wading through the wonderful results referring to such things as “Stalin and his atheist henchmen” and “militant, godless atheists” I finally got to a link for the student organizations. Two things I found of interest:

    1) ATHEISTS, AGNOSTICS, AND SECULAR HUMANISTS is found under the category “Intercultural.” Not that I necessarily object to this, but WTF? anyway.

    2) No web site is yet listed for these poor people. Is one on the way? If not, I will volunteer my “bubble gum and duct tape” home web server to host them until they get something more stable. Contact info?

  • Patrick Craig

    *YET ANOTHER UPDATE* I got a response back from the Spectrum offices at NDSU! Can I share it here, or should I first get permission to quote the letter writer?

    Richard, unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?) I got my butt chewed by this person. I will put a little time between me and my response so I can consider what I should say and how I should say it. Suggestions, anyone? :)

  • Richard Wade

    Patrick, your response should depend on what exactly the chewing-out said. Where it is correct or on the right track, use the technique you talked about on the “Evolution, Creationism and Subway” thread, concession. For the rest, let your intention of solely wanting communication show through.

  • Patrick Craig

    Advice taken, reply sent.

    Basically the “chewing out” had as its basis that my correspondent apparently possessed no sense of humor. My letter was labeled “unprofessional and uncalled for.” I clarified myself in my reply by explaining the concepts of “blonde jokes” and “satire.”

    Hemant (and everyone else), the title mixup for the Spectrum article was made by the web editor for the publication. As for the spelling errors, those were the doing of the Spectrum’s Editor-in-Chief. She did thank me for bringing the problems to her attention, but no apologies. I guess my “unprofessional and uncalled for” remarks steamed her too much…

  • MTran

    Patrick Craig,

    People who can’t laugh at themselves are pathetic losers. I found your letter to be rather mild compared to the caustic stuff that gets printed in the campus newspapers I’ve seen. But what can I say, I tend to find nearly every thing, event, or person to be ripe for satire or sarcasm. Including myself.

  • Patrick Craig

    I found your letter to be rather mild compared to the caustic stuff that gets printed in the campus newspapers I’ve seen.

    Thanks, MTran! And my unprofessional self was actually starting to feel bad about what I said… ;)

    It is, indeed, the saddest thing in the world when one can’t laugh at oneself. My Atheist YouTube/Google videos are designed (largely) with laughter in mind, and so few are getting that point. I think I’m gonna design a T-shirt with the following logo:

    “What the hell is going on here?”