This is Scary

And not just because the website is Baptists for [Sam] Brownback 2008.

*shudder*

***Update*** It’s most likely a parody, but with Brownback supporters, can you ever be certain…?

Referring to the idea of using the Scarlet A to represent atheists, Pastor Tobin Maker writes this:

I remember how the brilliance of this “A” idea was seared into my consciousness when I first read The Scarlet Letter in my college days. It led me to wonder why such a device is not used in today’s society. Would it not be a wonderful thing to be able to recognize sinners and unbelievers of every stripe by merely noting the colorful badges sewn onto their clothing?

Today, in an America filled with adulterers and baby-killers, an even worse sinner casts a shadow over them all—the atheist. Yet atheists are difficult to spot. They hide their sinister cult behind masks of smiles, science and soft, pleasant voices. Your next door neighbor might be an atheist. You just can’t tell.

Imagine if it was simple to identify atheists and their tainted works. Would it not be grand? Think of how much easier it would be to protect your children’s eyes, ears and souls from atheistic influences if their websites, books, movies and yes, even their very clothes, were clearly labeled with a bright scarlet “A”.

I think he’s serious. Yeesh.

Nice of him to say our “cult” has “masks of smiles, science and soft, pleasant voices.” How often do you hear a conservative Christian say that? :)

I’m not understanding the final paragraph, though. Haven’t the ideas of banning books and having an M (for Mature) rating for video games/TV shows shown people that if you try to censor something from your kids, they’ll just want it more?

Also, can someone tell me what constitutes atheist clothing…?

I’d write more, but I’m hungry and the fetus I’m having for lunch is nearly thawed.

(Thanks to Bargal20 for the link!)


[tags]atheist, atheism, Baptists for Brownback, Sam Brownback, Scarlet A, Pastor Tobin Maker, adultery, baby-killer, sin, Christian, conservative, fetus[/tags]

  • Vincent

    Where can I buy one of those masks of science?

  • http://atheistrevolution.blogspot.com/ vjack

    Looks like this nut is going to get his wish: http://richarddawkins.net/store/

  • Kristi

    I’m 99.999% sure that website is a parody/satire. If you read some other posts, it becomes pretty obvious that they’re completely mocking right-wing religious zealots :)

  • http://www.skepchick.org writerdd

    Makes me want to buy a pile of A shirts and wear them every single day. Jeez. What an a-hole.

  • stogoe

    Also, can someone tell me what constitutes atheist clothing…?

    My guess would be any fashion that’s post-Puritan/Colonial.

  • Polly

    I’m not sure anyone as ignorant as this about atheists would even know about the Dawkins T-shirts. This has to be a parody.

    Edit: This from the legal disclaimer seems to indicate such

    “Many antogonists on the political Left would like to call it political satire so perhaps everything posted here should be understood in that context.”
    I realize I’m not solving the crime of the century here, but there you have it.

  • http://lfab-uvm.blogspot.com/ C. L. Hanson

    Also, can someone tell me what constitutes atheist clothing…?

    I’ve got this one covered here.

  • Richard Wade

    Like Kristi and Polly I’m sure it’s parody. It is so over the top and several of the comments that follow on his website seem contrived as if they were written by the same person under pseudonyms, perhaps Pastor Tobin Maker himself.

    The problem with parody that doesn’t clearly declare itself to be so is that it can be taken literally by both supporters and opponents of whatever it is attacking. The emotional rancor increases and the possibility for productive dialogue is reduced. Shelly the Republican is an example. Parody is a very useful and powerful method of expressing an opinion, but unless it clearly declares itself it becomes self-defeating.

    Sadly there are some people who use ambiguous parody to deliberately foment conflict between opposing groups. That is an anti-social act. Some of you may remember Angelica in the Nickelodeon cartoon series “Rugrats,” who delighted in manipulating the smaller children into arguments with each other. She was a sociopath.

    Don’t fall for this.

  • Shana

    Well, let’s up it’s a parody, because this sounds disturbingly like a desire to brand people with their beliefs as they did in Nazi Germany…..

  • http://www.skepchick.org writerdd

    aren’t paradies supposed to be funny?

  • Maria

    I’m not understanding the final paragraph, though. Haven’t the ideas of banning books and having an M (for Mature) rating for video games/TV shows shown people that if you try to censor something from your kids, they’ll just want it more?

    You’d think people would have figured that out by now…..

    The website does seem like a parody. What’s scary is some of the people writing in comments who think it’s real…….like the one who thinks atheists should have an A tatooed on their foreheads…….

  • Richard Wade

    aren’t paradies supposed to be funny?

    They can be funny if you’re not the one being mocked. Sometimes they’re supposed to seem real and incite a fight. Then it’s only funny to the writer.

    The website does seem like a parody. What’s scary is some of the people writing in comments who think it’s real….like the one who thinks atheists should have an A tatooed on their foreheads…

    Most likely the more bizarre comments are written by the writer of the article, pretending to be a reader. It’s just another part of the parody.

    Think about it. If we had so totalitarian a theocracy in this country that authorities could put tattoos on atheist’s foreheads, they’d just put a bullet there instead.

    With so many of the comments clearly phony it’s a waste of time to read them or respond to them. That is a site for suckers.

  • http://www.shelleytherepublican.com Tristan J. Shuddery

    Shelly the Republican is an example. Parody is a very useful and powerful method of expressing an opinion, but unless it clearly declares itself it becomes self-defeating.

    Richard, kindly save us from your speculation. I’ve suffered enough hate-speech and unwarranted attacks from readers of this web-site. I wish Hemant could keep his readers comments within the bounds of what is normally considered polite.

    Baptists4Brownback are quite clear that they are a grass-roots campaign who are UNAFFILIATED with the Brownback campaign. Just because you happen to disagree with their uncompromising point of view does not necessarily mean that they are satire or parody.

    I’ve found that labels like “satire”, “parody” and “irony” are words that liberal atheists uses to mask the cognitive dissonance they feel when being forced to confront ideas they find personally discomforting. Perhaps you should take a moment to read some of B4B’s sensible and sobering articles before you dismiss them as objects of ridicule next time?

    Tristan

  • Lee

    Yup… I’m sure the site is bogus. I checked out some of the links that the site had and ran across this little jewel: http://amightywind.com/fastfood/hell/cihsongstreamRA.html

    The Citizen in Hell song is something I’d like to have playing in the background while I’m handing out Halloween candy, although the recording is poor in quality.

  • http://manaboutthehouse.wordpress.com Alasdair

    I don’t know about the site, it’s all a bit too sustained for it to feel like I would normally expect this sort of religious / political parody to be.

    Parody or not it serves the same ultimate purpose, it will cause some to rally to a cause, that is those sad individuals with such extreme and misguided views. Meanwhile it will cause others to be reviled and affirm a position against a particular group of people … unfortunately in this case American Christians in general, in so far as each individual will need to prove themselves before I can possibly accept them as anything else – unfortunate but true.

  • everyone’s a pundit

    Parody can also be used to illustrate the absurdity of an idea by following it through to a reasonable/logical conclusion.

  • http://www.skepchick.org writerdd

    aren’t paradies supposed to be funny?

    They can be funny if you’re not the one being mocked (unless, of course, said person has zero sense of humor). Sometimes they’re supposed to seem real and incite a fight. Then it’s only funny to the writer.

    No, a real parody should be funny even to the one being mocked. Mocking does not necessarily equal parody.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    Has anybody pointed out to Pastor Tobin Maker that if you substitute the word “Atheist” with “Jew”, “Negro”, or “Gypsy” he sounds an awful lot like a certain short mustachioed Austrian whose party ruled Germany in the late 1930s and early 1940s? Not that I think it’d help but it might influence some of his supporters who had not made the connection.

    Is he not concerned that the scarlet A might actually end up like the pink triangle that homosexuals so successfully adopted from their Nazi persecutors? I know he didn’t come up with the idea but I’m sorely tempted to get a scarlet A just to annoy him even though I don’t think that many people will understand what it symbolises.

    As to the symbolism of the scarlet A I much prefer the sunburst image from the Brights organisation…even if it does look like a bit like a furniture polish advert.

  • Josh

    Ha…I read The Scarlet Letter while a sophomore in high school as an English assignment. What college did this pastor attend? Liberty?

    “I’d write more, but I’m hungry and the fetus I’m having for lunch is nearly thawed.”
    Scrumptulescent! ;)

  • http://nl.youtube.com/profile_play_list?user=PassionOfTheAtheist POTA

    Check the link to my YouTube playlist! Is some stuff in it that atheists will like! ;)

    http://nl.youtube.com/profile_play_list?user=PassionOfTheAtheist

    Greetings from Amsterdam


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