The Brazos Valley Vuvuzela Atheist Marching Band

Brazos Valley (Texas) has an atheist marching band! And they play vuvuzelas.

This is offensive to Tina Corgey — the atheist part, not the vuvuzelas.

She’s upset because she has to explain to her kids that atheists exist.

Really.

… I spent many years teaching my children to love and respect other people and to love the fact that they were children of God and I don’t feel that they should be influenced in any other way especially not at a Christmas parade.

… I have older children… and they were curious and they asked questions and it was hard for them to believe and understand that there are actually people out there that don’t believe in God,” Corgey said.

Well, go %*^#ing teach them that we exist! What the hell.

The atheists weren’t insulting anyone, or mocking anyone, or being even remotely threatening to anyone. They weren’t even “influencing” people.

They showed up. That’s the controversy. It just proves that we don’t have to do or say anything to be controversial. Our mere existence is enough to drive some Christians crazy.

At least Keri Bean, the atheist band organizer, is a voice of reason in the news clip. The band performed “Jingle Bells” and said all sorts of holiday greetings — Merry Christian, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, etc — to the people watching the parade.

Sooooooooooo offensive, right?

(Thanks to Joe for the link!)

  • http://www.stumpanatheist.com Rev. Ryan Benson

    Exactly. How many billboards are my kids going to see threatening them with hell fire?

    Kids are gullible and they like to believe crazy shit, building up a wall of reason in the religious midwest will be no easy task.

  • Claudia

    How DARE atheists exist! I mean, I teach my children to love and accept everyone. What if they decide they should love and accept ATHEISTS? How wrong is that?

    Really, the parallels between GLBT folks and nonbelievers is downright spooky at this point. Homophobes also use the “I don’t want to explain that gay people exist to my kids” bullshit. I bet you Ms. Corgey doesn’t want to explain to her kids that gay people exist either.

    As an aside, how adorable is Keri Bean? She seems like the sweetest person in the world. She couldn’t be a better voice to counter the close-minded bigotry of the other woman.

    Also congratulations to Ms. Zent for walking the walk of what Christians claim to be. She also says Jesus embraces everyone, but unlike Ms. Corgey, she thinks that’s a value worth emulating, not merely talking about.

  • http://pinkydead.blogspot.com David McNerney

    So the new tactic in the atheist’s evil attack on Christmas is to march in a Christmas parade.

    Those devious bastards – is there no depth to how low they will sink.

  • http://twitter.com/achura Rooker

    We can still be offended by the “and they play vuvuzelas” part though, right?

  • http://www.youtube.com/aajoeyjo Joe Zamecki

    Tina’s reaction seems to scream out for more of these types of public appearances where non-religious folks show themselves. She’s being educated. We need to educate the rest of the Christians. In a friendly, confident and public way.

    Kudos to the band! :o)

  • Andrew

    I went to the station website to read some comments, and someone saying that they were Tina Corgey had posted a comment responding to a Sheilah so here it is in all its CAPED LOCKED bigoted glory!

    Posted by: TINA CORGEY Location: BRYAN on Dec 7, 2010 at 05:03 PM

    Posted by: Sheilah Location: Bryan, TX on Dec 7, 2010 at 01:34 AM I like how Tina Corgey’s comment goes DIRECTLY AGAINST what she’s saying. “I spent many years teaching my children to love an…d respect other people…” yet she shows ZERO RESPECT for these people. Good job Tina, I hope your kids learn to NOT act like you do.

    DEAR MS SHEILAH…I HAVE TAUGHT MY KIDS TO LOVE AND RESPECT THE FACT THAT THEY ARE “CHILDREN OF GOD”…I WAS NOT JUDGING THESE PEOPLE. I SIMPLY DO NOT AGREE WITH WHERE THEY CHOOSE TO APPEAR AND TRY TO PROVE A POINT SUCH AS THEIRS. CHRISTMAS PARADES ARE FOR CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS FOR PETE SAKE…CHRISTS BIRTHDAY! IF YOU DONT EVEN BELIEVE IN GOD…WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU BE THERE “CELEBRATING”??? IM SORRY TO THOSE THAT I HAVE OFFENDED WITH MY OPINION, AM I SORRY FOR MY OPINION…ABSOLUTLEY NOT…! I understand its a free country and people can believe as they so choose…but keep THAT non-believing stuff away from our CHILDRENS CHRISTMAS PARADE!

  • http://criticallyskeptic.blogspot.com Kevin, Critically Skeptic

    Is she going to be super-upset if her kids run into a Muslim? Or a Jew? Or a Buddhist? Or a Hindu?

    Coddle your kids when they’re young and when they grow up, they TOO, can be angry, hateful Christians.

  • http://www.youtube.com/aajoeyjo Joe Zamecki

    What point does she think they were trying to prove? They didn’t really say anything or have a banner that said something, right? It was just marching and music, right?

    I guess we need to be really simplistic and obvious in our messages.

    1. We exist.

    2. We are NOT trying to wreck your faith, infringe on your rights, or ruin your good time.
    3. Please pay attention to OUR words when judging OUR message.

    And if we’re just there and not speaking or holding signs, the message is merely that we exist. You can beat up a strawman, but it won’t lead to victory.

  • http://shadowgm.diaryland.com Bob

    Right, because I’m sure the parade was absolutely free of non-Christian symbols like candy canes, trees, Santa Claus and his elves, or that it wasn’t lousy with commercialism.

    And, really, if all it takes is a glimmer of a reality different than what you’re ‘teaching’ your kids to spout to upset everything, you’re not teaching them anything of lasting value.

  • Christophe Thill

    … I have older children… and they were curious and they asked questions…

    The children were curious! They asked questions! Surely, this is how civilisations end.

  • Carlos

    The reporter said something like “the group expressed their beliefs”… wasn’t it better to say “disbelief”? We humans have difficulties while seeing the world, because we are prone to see what we expect to see.

    On the other hand… is there a place where I can hear that band? I wonder how do they “play” the vuvuzelas =P

  • http://robbietaylor.net Robbie Taylor

    I was there, and to all who were offended –

    they didn’t play the vuvuzelas, they just used them as kazoos.

    Seriously, my atheist brother-in-law and I were there, with my wife and kids as well as my religious mother in law. We all cheered for the atheists when they walked by us, and my mother in law even talked down an older woman who was offended by the atheists’ presence. I was proud of her. I guess actually knowing atheists helps.

  • http://pinkydead.blogspot.com David McNerney

    CHRISTMAS PARADES ARE FOR CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS FOR PETE SAKE…CHRISTS BIRTHDAY!

    Whether that’s Tina Corgey or not: I get the impression she wouldn’t disagree with it, and it’s also the sentiment of a number other commenters.

    Which begs the obvious question: why are there firetrucks in the parade. I’ve checked the Gospels, and there is no mention of firetrucks.

    …there is an innkeeper who is quite possibly an atheist – but no emergency services of any kind.

  • http://criticallyskeptic.blogspot.com Kevin, Critically Skeptic

    @David McNerney:

    I find it funny that so many people still think Christmas has anything to do with the birth of Christ, as opposed to a celebration of the Winter Solstice the Roman Catholics preempted to say ‘look, pagans, you’re actually celebrating a religious holiday!’

    Couple hundred (maybe over a thousand?) years later, and the Christians are still preaching the same idiocy.

  • Ellie

    Why is it that religious people and the even the newscaster use words and phrases like “disgusted” and “in poor taste” when talking about atheists? I’m sorry but I am disgusted and think it is poor taste to use such language when trying to pretend you are better then others with different beliefs. Are they not even somewhat aware of themselves and their words and how they may be perceived or is it that they just don’t care? I just get really annoyed when I hear that type of language.

  • Claudia

    @Kevin, I really really don’t want to veer off topic on this thread, so I’m going to step in before Robert wakes up.

    There is no “true meaning” to the holiday. Did the Christians co-opt previously existent pagan holidays? Absolutely. Do you want to argue that the true meaning of the holiday is that we need to celebrate the Sun god? Didn’t think so.

    Christmas has been celebrated as a Christian holday for centuries upon centuries. It’s as disingenuous to pretend that Christmas has “nothing to do” with the celebration of the birth of Christ as it is to pretend that candy canes, Santa Claus and Christmas trees can be found in the Bible (only one can, the tree, and only to prohibit them Jeremiah 10:2-4).

    The winter solstice is enough of a universal celebration (in our hemisphere) and has become so irrevocably mixed up that it’s perfectly legitimate to say that people of all faiths and no faith can claim a stake in it. An attempt to exclude Christian celebration by pretending they have no religious claim is going to far IMHO.

    Let’s stick to denouncing and ridiculing hypocrisy, and celebrating solstice ;-)

  • JD

    I have to wonder if this person is real. Maybe she is, and maybe she lives in Texas to avoid having to deal with those evil atheists or any other religions that doesn’t believe what she believes. I’ve seen several families raised in such a tunnel vision way, and that kind of thing screws up the children more often than not.

  • http://www.correntewire.com chicago dyke

    i remember when i was a very young girl, and my father took me to a funeral. the man who had died was one of dad’s old college buddies, taken by cancer too soon. he was a Jew. sitting in the ceremony, i asked dad a lot of questions, because it was the first time i’d ever seen a yarmulke, or heard Jewish ritual. by the end, i realized how different the Jewish faith was from Christianity, and i asked dad about some specific ways in which the two were different. he told me, and i was sort of shocked. it’s not that i was raised to be a Christian, i wasn’t and my parents were always agnostics. but i was young, and i still believed in things like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, and that good people went to Heaven when they died. that day was the first time in my life when i realized what “superstition” really meant.

    Tina should be afraid. she is correct, and our very presence in public is enough to plant the seeds of doubt in perhaps one of her children’s minds. and bravo to the band members! way to have some fun and show some, ahem, “spirit” of the season. it’s enough to make me want to break out my mellophone and toot “rudolph the rednosed reindeer.”

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    Participation in events like this is important. After some time, folks will become familiar and more comfortable with the idea of atheists in their midst and hopefully will, to some degree, become desensitized to the whole thing.

  • kisakisa

    ive always been a kind, loving, and caring person and its always been my goal in life to learn ,understand, and accept everything i can in the world. maybe its just me, (obviously not if there are sites like this that exist) but for as long as i can remember i never could wrap my head around how people could hate each other because the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, or the god they believe in if they believe in a god at all. im bisexual, black(technically multi-racial), female, atheist, and wants to major in engineering, and just by mentioning this information there is already someone in the world who hates me for this and doesnt even know the type of person that i am.
    i say go Brazos Valley atheist marching band, maybe the people that hate you will one day explode from their shear stupidity and idiocy of their beliefs.

  • Michelle

    If you don’t want to explain things to children, don’t have any of your own.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Tina Corgey – stereotypical close-minded Christian. (Hopefully Christians like her will be less prevalent in each succeeding generation)

    Keri Bean – hopefully representative of a new emerging atheist stereotype

    Ms. Zent – hopefully more Christians will be like her in the future

  • steve

    Here this poor women is, having erected a wall around her children to protect them from all but her beliefs and along come people who completely contradict everything she’s taught them, since no god means there’s no basis for what she’s taught them… I can see why she’s upset! But…so what, what happened to “The Truth shall set you free” If nothing else, I personally hope that our mission to educate the public will bring them back to reason before the U.S. goes completely down the tubes due to conservo-religio politics which ignore reality.

  • http://www.twitter.com/WCLPeter WCLPeter

    People on the news site are complaining about the parade being a “Celebration of Jesus”(TM) and that the atheists had no reason for being in it.

    I find it funny though because every Christmas Parade I’ve ever been to always end with Santa and sometimes Mrs. Claus too? :) Sure you’ll see the odd church group with a Nativity scene on the back of a flat-bed but the parade is always ended by Santa.

    If it really was a celebration of Jesus, as they claim, wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to end the parade with Jesus? Or would that just upset the kids who are so looking forward to seeing Santa? :)

  • stogoe

    An attempt to exclude Christian celebration by pretending they have no religious claim

    That’s not what’s happening. What’s happening is we’re pre-empting their attempt to exclude non-christians.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000586562927 Donna Hamel (muggle)

    I swear to god (pun intended) that I’m going to adopt Horton’s clover as a motto and label it with ever growing louder, “We are here! WE ARE HERE! WE ARE HERE!

    Seriously think we need some version of the gays, “We are here, we are queer.” Because this seems to be the thing. Sweep those unbelievers out of society. Sweep them under the carpet and pretend the crumbs don’t exist.

    Claudia is spot on about it gets more and more like the homophobes attacking gays. We’ll have that joke Drew Carey made on his show years ago coming true next. “Go out and punch an Atheist in the nose.” Or worse.

    I’m getting angrier and angrier. Does it show?

    Of course, then along comes a lovely theist like that station manager and reminds me that there are nice people who happen to believe to. Shout out to her for being human and actually using that inane what would Jesus do to follow his example instead of twisting it to justify some meanness you want to perform. You go, girl!

    I need to hear from believers like this because I do not want to let the haters make me into what I hate in them because they make me defensive and make me feel like I have my back against the wall. Thank you for that hug, Ms. Zent. I needed that. (And I think I’ll go put that in the comment section to let her know.)

    And Keri Bean? She seems like one of those people who just spread happiness but genuinely instead of with fake cheerfulness that you wonder how anybody can dislike.

    Jeff P, I hope you’re right!

  • Samiimas

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a thousand times more. All the wining about ‘tone’ and ‘militancy’ is just a smokescreen, it’s our very existence that offends them and they won’t be happy until we’re gone.

  • Robert W.

    Please try to avoid stereotyping. Not all Christians are like Tina. Granted a lot are but I think Ms. Zent’s comments were spot on.

    Hopefully Tina will learn that her children’s faith can grow through questioning. It doesn’t always lead to a loss of faith just to ask questions and investigate what you believe. In fact, it can have just the opposite effect. you can teach your children about your faith without sequestering them from the world.

    Thanks Claudia, you saved me the trouble and no I won’t hyjack the thread.

  • AWayfaringStrainer

    I like the headline “B/CS Christmas Parade Brings Holiday Delight and Some Controversy” and the coverage for the most part, especially since they made our side look like sane ones. (Although I wonder if they stole the name from the college Bowl Championship Series, but I digress).

    At same time, it is frustrating that the media always seem to focus on the controversy. I think if a Jewish group participated in the parade for the first time, the station would have focused on the positive and interviewed mostly people who enjoyed having a more inclusive parade, even others in the community (such as Tina Corgey) were not pleased. Likewise, when a Christian group does something like collecting goods for Haiti, the media doesn’t look for controversy. It is presented just as feel good story. I will be happy when atheists are just presented as another group and they don’t feel compelled to have the counter view, especially as presented here.

  • http://luckyatheist.blogspot.com Michael Caton

    We have to assume this kind of reaction is going to continue a long, long time, until we’re much more mainstream (and we’re getting there). This woman’s way of reacting, i.e. find something about what they’ve done that’s objectionable, is a trick people use to avoid saying what they really mean, which is basic bigotry: “I don’t like X and X shouldn’t exist or at the very least shouldn’t be seen in public.”

    The problem with this kind of attempt to shield bigoted attitudes is that the only reason it would be a problem for her kids to see atheists is if she thought there was something wrong with atheists in the first place! Same thing with the old argument, “Blacks dating whites is okay, except they only do it to get back at the white race.” (Which means you had to assume there’s something bad about black people in the first place if dating whites is a form of degrading whites.) Or, “I don’t care if gays do what they do, but if they do it in public I have to explain it to my children.” (Which means, again, you thought they were bad in the first place, so why bother waiting for your kids to see them to complain? Because the bigotry is less obvious then, that’s why.)

    Fortunately for those of us who want to relentlessly call it out, bigotry comes oozing through the cracks easily and is tough to hide.

  • http://everydayatheist.wordpress.com Everyday Atheist

    @ Robert W:

    Your request to avoid stereotyping is fair enough. It’s true that believers run the gamut from the Tina Corgeys of the world to the Ms. Zents. But please also understand that the Tinas tend to be heard much more, and are more representative of the brand of believers that hold a lot of secular political power. The current Republican party is rife with this type of anti-intellectualism. Questioning, or even gaining the knowledge that another perspective exits, is viewed as a threat to “truth” and something to be avoided (and ridiculed). That mode of thinking tends to bleed over from purely religious discussions into all debates, to the detriment of us all.

    It also leads to the results many others have noted: nonbelievers are condemned regardless of what we actually say or do. Simply being who we are and believing as we do is all that is necessary to dismiss us.

  • Robert W.

    Everyday,

    I agree with alot of your comments.

    I will also say that it is pretty apparent that in an effort to jump on the controversy bandwagon, this station tried to make a problem where one probably didn’t exist. One lady expressing her opinion is not a controversy, but it is as close as Bryan Texas is probably going to get to the New York billboard and Ft. Worth bus ad issues.

  • Shane

    We should get a real marching band together, and register at xmas parades all around Texas!
    This was a great idea – kudos to Keri.

  • Richard Wade

    Tina Corgey expressed herself exactly as I have heard so many secret bigots do. She left the qualifier off her first sentence, making her statement a lie of omission:

    I spent many years teaching my children to love and respect other people…

    the part she left unsaid was,
    …as long as they’re exactly like me.

    So now, perhaps only earlier than she planned, she’ll teach them to openly despise and revile atheists, and probably to secretly despise people who don’t look like them, because that particular bigotry will get some folks mad at them. The atheists, however, are still free game. Have fun hating, kids!

    If she really wants to protect her brood from being exposed to the existence of people who aren’t clones of herself, she’ll have to leave her beloved Texas. I think there’s some place in south central Nevada that’s 150 miles from any settlement. As long as only she drives into town once a month for supplies, she could probably keep them safe from encountering another human being for years.

  • http://twoangryvoices.blogspot.com Aegis

    Donna’s right, we need a good public motto.

    ‘We are here, do not fear’ or something more catchy (because I am in fact a complete square, and can’t come up with catchy stuff to save my bearded life).

  • JoeBuddha

    Well, I’m offended. I’ve spent YEARS teaching my kids that there is no such thing as a vuvuzela, and here the Atheists come marching down the street PLAYING the darned things. Won’t someone think of the CHILDREN???

  • Craig

    Robert,

    It looks like its more than just “one woman.” They only interviewed one upset woman, but just go look at the comments on the news story. Plenty of people saying they’re offended, or think atheists just don’t belong there and shouldn’t be allowed.

  • Claudia

    @Craig, the people in the comments thread were baited though. The internet exists in a state of perpetual outrage.

    My bet is that the vast majority of the audience of the actual parade either didn’t notice the sign at all (Ever been to a parade? The signs all blend together, after a while) or noticed and thought some equivalent of “huh, ok”. A few people (atheists, agnostics) were probably pleased and a few people (fundies) were probably displeased, but I’ll bet only a tiny minority was pissed off enough to make hay like Ms. Corgey did.

    However then you put it in a news story where you are told, up-front that there is a controversy. People who think it’s totally unimportant aren’t going to comment. The many who are commenting against the atheists probably would have never found out about it, or wouldn’t have cared much, until they were told about it and found out that apparently they have to care. There seems to be a sizable minority of Christians who are defending the freedom of the atheists to gather in apparent good faith as well.

    I’m not excusing their bigotry, their ignorance, or their horrendous spelling and grammar, just that most of them were probably not at Ms. Corgey’s level of outrage, even if they are clearly at her level of stupidity.

  • http://nojesusnopeas.blogspot.com James Sweet

    have older children… and they were curious and they asked questions

    Oh noes, the children are curious! They are asking questions!

    Isn’t that what every good parent wants?

  • http://www.mindonfire.com xJane

    I think vuvuzelas are offensive…and I definitely think they could have chosen a less offensive way of being atheist (that is, being non-vuvuzela-playing atheists), but I think it’s great that they joined in this holiday parade!

  • http://people.tamu.edu/~kbean1988 Keri

    Aww, you guys are making me blush! (I’m Keri Bean!)

    I’m the same girl who coordinated the counter-protest a few weeks ago at Texas A&M that Hemant covered.

    A few things of note: 1) A Christian was actually in our group, playing with us. He is super awesome and totally accepting of us! When people would yell out things like “God loves you!” he would yell it right back and REALLY confuse people. 2) I wasn’t actually the leader of this group, I just got roped into doing it and somehow got all the media coverage. It wasn’t my choice to do vuvuzelas, but we used them more like amplifiers for our humming rather than the really annoying World Cup way, that way we weren’t *that* annoying.

  • http://alliedatheistalliance.blogspot.com/ pinkocommie

    The internet exists in a state of perpetual outrage.

    Very true, Claudia. I am happy that Christians such as Robert and others can at least recognize this kind of pearl clutching ‘how dare atheists exist in public – think of the children!!!’ reaction as negative all around. I think that’s a positive sign.

  • Spurs Fan

    First-great job Keri and thanks for posting! I’m an A&M alum and proud that the free thought community there is still going strong despite enormous religiosity surrounding Bryan/College Station.

    While I would agree that Ms. Zent presents a better opinion that Ms. Corgey, I think we are letting her off of the hook a bit. She could have said something to the effect of this: “There are all sorts of Christmas traditions that members of our community celebrate and this organization is just as much a part of that community as everyone else. They have a right to be here, just as other organizations do”. Instead, she used the “what would Jesus do” rally cry and said he would “wrap his arms around us”. No need for the coddling-we’re not abandoned orphans. She also mentioned that we would “rise above this”. What is “this”? The fact that an organization went through the proper channels to be in a parade and be represented as part of the community? Again, better than Corgey, but let’s not let these things slide.

  • Joshua

    “We’re here, we have no fear, get used to it.”
    “We’re here, we’re fair, get used to it.”
    “We’re here, not going anywhere, get used to it.”
    “We’re here, we’re there, we’re everywhere.”

    Just some potential mottoes.

  • bigjohn756

    I was so concerned that I would have to listen to some more vuvuzelas. Thank goodness, I wasn’t exposed to any more of that.

    I was also afraid that I was going to be exposed to some narrow minded Christian bigots spewing nonsense. Unfortunately, I was.

    What it all boils down to is that faith is so incredibly weak that even the tiniest suggestion that the beliefs of the faithful might not be true is treated with horror and denial.

  • http://people.tamu.edu/~kbean1988 Keri

    Our local newspaper also covered us and has a silly poll.

    http://www.theeagle.com/local/It-s-Christmas-in-B-CS

  • Runcibald

    I’ve checked the Gospels, and there is no mention of firetrucks.

    Apparently you skipped the part about the three wise men who came from a fire.
    (sorry, couldn’t resist, bad joke I heard as a kid :p)

  • Frances

    Frankly, I would think she would appreciate her children having been exposed to atheists now so she can answer their questions with lies like that we are horrible people they must avoid. If they aren’t exposed now and meet nice atheists later, they might draw their own conclusions. If she is determined to ruin her children by teaching them to be bigots she should be grateful for the opportunity to teach them about atheists herself. Otherwise they might see that we are good people and question the belief system she taught them.

  • Hipopotamo

    @Robert so glad to see you here and to see you are the voice of reason in the delicate issue of confronting children to the reality of the outer world. Andf I might add, we cannot shield our kids from it, so the least we can do is to prepare them and to avoid blinding them, lest they’ll be hurt in the future.

    @claudia, as usual, you drive the comments thread on topic and in interesting ways.
    And yes, we cannot claim the winter festivities as exclusively non-christian given that the Xian myth is so heavily ingrained in the festivity.

    @Robert, Yes, most probably rhis little Texas town has no other claim to major news.

    Now reading all this posts on Xmas and secular celebrations, the “war-on-Xmas” and stuff, I just cannot help but wonder.

    In Mexico I have seen the decorations put by the county officers: A lighted sign with two poinsettas and a nativity scene.
    poinsettas is the Americanized name for the Xmas eve flower, indigenous to Mexico, so it is proper to be on a state decoration.
    The nativity would be unnapropriate, but then on my country nobody really cares, or thing it is a bad thing. You actually expect to see manglers on official decorations.
    At my office we have posters with the company mascot dressed as several nativity characters. Again, nobody complains…

    So now, I feel kind of divided… I follow the Xmas-war saga on internet, I see what has always happened on my country, I see how far we are in terms of secularism…

    Well

    That’s all for now…

    Merry Xmas from south of the border!
    The Hippo

  • Hipopotamo

    @Keri kudos to you!
    And, if you want to know what real fanatism is, don’t forget to visit Hutto, Texas, the world capital of the hippopotamuses!!!

    My international group atually planned a visit to Texas just to see Hutto, get a Major proclamation of the hippo day, and participate on the annual Hippo parade!

    Cheers from the hippo

  • ewan

    Our local newspaper also covered us and has a silly poll.

    You should get PZ to add that one to his post; the TV station’s poll has been thoroughly Pharyngulated already.

  • Anonymous

    Should Christians be allowed to march in the annual Zombie Parade?

    _Yes, it’s only fair to allow everyone to participate
    _No, Christians don’t understand the true meaning of zombies

  • http://none michael

    we’re hear, our reasoning is clear, we occationally have a beer, so don’t sneer. just a thought on a good cheer.

  • Doug

    If she thinks the Atheists should have performed somewhere else does that mean she’s offering to use her living room as a proper setting for a marching band? Or perhaps she’d prefer if they got put on a train and sent East?

  • http://stupidliberalkid.blogspot.com Kjell

    She teaches her kids to love and respect everyone, but yet it’s offensive that someone with a different viewpoint dare to show up?

    Oh wait… I forgot… Christians are being persecuted by non-believers, in a WAR ON CHRISTMAS! *queue ominous music*

    Get screwed, Tina. I can’t wait to see what happens if/when one of your children comes out as gay/an atheist… WIll you still love and respect them then? I doubt it.

  • Troglodyke

    It’s true that believers run the gamut from the Tina Corgeys of the world to the Ms. Zents. But please also understand that the Tinas tend to be heard much more, and are more representative of the brand of believers that hold a lot of secular political power.

    Exactly. I’d be a lot less blustery about Xtians if there were more Zents and less Corgeys. And when I say this, the Zents say, “But there are! Many more of us are open-minded and loving than aren’t. We’re real Xtians, and they are not.”

    Sorry. Until Xtianity takes back the mantle of Jesus’ teachings and loudly shouts down the “minority” who are fundies (snort), I’ll still get my back up.

    Yeah, I’m sure it gets old, hearing “supposedly” friendly atheists trashing your religion. The thing is, it deserves the trashing. And if that offends you, ask yourself why.

  • Dan W

    I think all vuvuzelas need to be destroyed, personally.

    But anyway, this woman teaches her kids to love and respect people, but she’s offended that atheists exist? Hypocrisy much?

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    I love muggle’s idea so I made one of those posters to celebrate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000586562927 Donna Hamel (muggle)

    Damn it, hoverfrog. That is so great that now I’m gonna have to change my FB and my gravitar to that. lol. Thank you. I’m not that creative. (OK, I might be if I weren’t so lazy.)

    So many good suggestions just here in this thread of how we could go with this…

    michael has a great poem but since I don’t drink beer (or anything alcoholic). Eh, maybe without that line.

    I was going to say ooh, I like that to Aegis’ “We are here, do not fear” but then I also like Joshua’s “We’re here, we’re there, we’re everywhere.” Hemant, you’ll have to start a poll.

    meanwhile, hoverfrog, love the poster and I really hope you don’t mind my stealing it because I’m seriously going to change my gravitar as soon as I hit submit comment.

    Keri, thanks for the link! That parade looked like a good one! Lots of creativity and diversity.

  • walkamungus

    I read the whole thread yesterday afternoon (216 comments). My favorites:

    1. someone said atheists were all “petafiles” (think about it)

    2. someone said there was no difference between atheism and hedonism

    3. someone said there was no Constitutional guarantee of freedom from religion (this guy was promptly smacked down by someone who said, “Don’t be an idiot.”)

    4. a supporter of the atheists’ band said, of all the nasty, vicious, bigoted commenters, “You people make me embarrassed to be a Texan.”

    Go, Aggie Atheists! (from a UT grad, ’93)

  • Vas

    Perhaps this would be a good motto,
    “We’re here, we’re going to corrupt you’re children, if they are too young to corrupt we’ll roast them and eat them, deal with it.”

  • Vas

    On a more serious note… If this group is planning on doing the parade again next year maybe WE could help them out. The “marching Band” thing was a last minute thing and a sloppy kind of affair, but next year… Of all the atheist outreach type of things I’ve seen it strikes me that this was possibly the least offensive, I mean “playing” jingle bells and shouting merry Christmas is not confrontational or shoving our beliefs down anyone’s throat. So if they take the same approach next year perhaps we could help with donations so they could build an atheist Christmas float or something for the parade. It seems the only way to make people dislike atheists more than they already do is to have atheists hold vuvuzelas, even if you don’t really play them just the sight of them, (vuvuzelas) sets people off. If their only “statement” is good will for the season I’d be apt to support them in their efforts. The attitude was A1, the execution… well not so much. But it was a great start, everyone starts somewhere, let’s help them build on this, let’s help atheists nationwide with Christmas parade entries.
    How about a national atheist marching band… a real one, there must be enough atheists who were in band to pull this off. Lets start with these kids from Texas and build from there.

    Keri… what do you say? Ask your group if they would like our help. I bet more that a few of us would chip in.

    Hement any thoughts or advice on this idea.

    Anyone have a flatbed trailer to donate for a float?

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Muggle you’ll make me blush. I just sent you a friend request.

  • pansies4me

    How about: We’re not witches, we’re you!

    Sorry, Christine O’Donnell still haunts my dreams.

  • http://www.youratheistneighbor.blogspot.com keystothekid

    Religion works so well. She’s afraid of her teenage sons curiosity. Never question and you’ll never find fault. This is obviously something she doesn’t consciously realize.

  • JustSayin’

    Sorry. Until Xtianity takes back the mantle of Jesus’ teachings and loudly shouts down the “minority” who are fundies (snort), I’ll still get my back up.

    Amen, Troglodyke. Preach it, sister. ;-)

  • http://people.tamu.edu/~kbean1988 Keri

    @Vas Sure! We’d love some help. It should be easy enough to get in contact with me via the info on my website.

  • http://sketchasaurus.wordpress.com Natasha

    I like how Mrs. Corgey thinks she’s teaching her children to love and respect all people, but is finding herself so repulsed by this particular group. “Lesson for the day kids: only love and respect people just like you. Christian, white, and from Brazos Valley, Texas, U.S.A!”

    At least the station manager had the right idea. There’s a good example of a Christian actually being Christ-like. Good for her.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000586562927 Donna Hamel (muggle)

    Ack! hoverfrog, I just accepted a bunch of friend requests. Send me a note on FB and let me know which one was you! I gave you credit on my wall, btw.

  • Kodie

    She wants to believe she’s raising her children not to be bigots at all, and that would be so much easier if the people she hates would just stay hidden.

    Now she has to go and corrupt her dear children with exactly what there must be to hate atheists about. She has pretended for them to be loving and fair, and now they’re going to find out that she isn’t.

    Not my problem, ma’am.

  • Vanessa

    If anyone wants to start a real atheist marching band, I’m totally in. I’ll but out the ol’ trumpet. We could do parades all over the country!

  • jeni

    I can’t believe we made the Friendly Atheist blog! Heck yes, bigger and better next year. I think we’re in love with our name thoug, so the vuvulelas will stay… Suggestions?

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