One Way to Respond to Street Preachers: Preach Right Back at Them

I know we shouldn’t stoop to their level, but when Mike Lee decides to give two Christian street preachers a taste of their own medicine by loudly reading from The God Delusion right in front of them, it’s pretty entertaining…

The good stuff starts around the 0:40 mark:

Can you believe it? The preachers didn’t like getting preached at. Shocking.

My favorite lines:

Mike: Do you want me to preach to you?

Preacher: Well, I don’t want you to right now…

Watch the video till the end to see how it all played out.

(Related: The Boot Protest)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://twitter.com/deanrobertsnet Dean Roberts

    OK, I’m a Christian and found that pretty entertaining.

    But let me say that where did the whole free speech go? I mean, I wouldn’t mind if you preached an ‘atheist gospel’ on the street. As long as I was allowed to preach my gospel too. (Not that I do street preaching by the way). 

    http://deanroberts.net

  • Karen

    I wish I could have been there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dubliner

    Was that preacher saying anything the passers by hadn’t heard a thousand times before? He’s just polluting the environment with his noise purely for his own sense of self aggrandisement.

  • http://chaoskeptic.blogspot.com Rev. Ouabache

    Everyone has a right to free speech. No one has the right to an audience.

  • Anonymous

    Free speech – in a legal rather than a more general or moral sense – means that the government doesn’t arrest you simply for having a particular opinion. They can still limit the way you make that opinion known if it infringes on other people’s rights – as long as they don’t shut you down entirely. Free speech also doesn’t mean immunity from criticism or counter protests

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.j.jordan Scott James Jordan

    Preacher: Well, I don’t want you to right now…

    I’m sure that preachers know that people don’t like being preached at, but do so anyway because “it’s for their own good” / “we love them” and other BS.

  • http://twitter.com/deanrobertsnet Dean Roberts

    And I agree with that, but this is just making a mountain out of a molehill. There’s no point in stopping people from preaching. I never would. Because I think that in a free country you should be allowed to openly have an audience and share your views. Just because you don’t like what this guy is preaching, it doesn’t mean he should be limited or stopped.

    Because I can only assume, but if you listened to an atheist evangelist on the street, I bet you’d all love it. I mean, I can’t say that for definite, but I bet you’d have less qualms about it than someone of a different faith, religion or belief. So I think we all need to calm down about the whole thing, really.

    http://deanroberts.net

  • Anonymous

    Entertaining but not overly constructive.  Where has the art of heckling gone, that’s what I want to know?  

  • Anonymous

    You can preach in your church and at closed events your church holds. If your message is so great, people will come. Or more likely, you have nothing to say that people don’t already know

    You can’t just go out on the street and harass random people. These two were especially obnoxious because they used a sound system. In some places there are laws against that kind of stuff. Or people are required to get a permit. When I’m just walking around, I don’t like being approached by people selling stuff or speaking for political causes either.
    But as usual religious people want to be exempt from following the law.

    A solution to balance people’s rights are free speech corners. Again, it’s perfectly permissible to limit the place and time where people can speak publicly.

  • http://twitter.com/deanrobertsnet Dean Roberts

    Hoverfrog, I have to agree, even being a Christian :)

    I do love to watch heckling. Though even that produces very little fruit on both sides.

    http://deanroberts.net

  • http://twitter.com/deanrobertsnet Dean Roberts

    Hoverfrog, I have to agree, even being a Christian :)

    I do love to watch heckling. Though even that produces very little fruit on both sides.

    http://deanroberts.net

  • Nick Hills

    Did that guy really STOP these people from preaching? No. He merely challenged them. They were using their sound system, so he was using a bullhorn.

    Simply CHALLENGING someone’s opinion isn’t violating their right to free speech. I mean, if someone was on a street corner with big loud speakers, “preaching” the Koran, I imagine you would want to publicly challenge this person, right?

    Or maybe you would just keep your head down and say nothing at all?

  • Captainawesome

    This video is funny to me because everyone in that video is being a total dick.

    It’s less funny to me when we get a Christian in the comments here who has a sense of humour and can hold an intelligent conversation and people are still being dicks.

    My thing is this- I have no beef with anyone shilling anything on the sidewalks. I don’t care if you’re selling Jesus, atheism, or a George Foreman grill. But if your product is lacking or your sales pitch is weak, expect to be called out by someone.

    That being said, I think there’s a difference between a street preacher and someone like Westboro Baptist who DEMANDS counter-protest.

    I don’t think any meaningful dialogue happens when two people use PAs to shout at each other, and if atheists want to be included and accepted in society it behooves us not to stoop to the level of those whose actions we object to.

  • http://www.suburbansweetheart.com/ Suburban Sweetheart

    Oh, this is so very annoying all around. But I’m still glad he did it. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Reed/692599362 Paul Reed

    I find it interesting that people like this just keep on talking away, even when there’s no way anyone’s going to hear what they’re saying. It’s almost like the act of preaching is more important than the message itself…

  • dauntless

    You keep saying you’re a Christian. I hope you realize that doesn’t give your message any credibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    Well I enjoyed that.

    I found the guy without a microphone even more annoying than the one that did. The kind of preacher that doesn’t even care if he can’t be heard. He was trying to talk over Mike who was using a bullhorn? Seriously? I’ve met one of those kinds of preachers on Xbox Live of all places. Wouldn’t shut up for even a second. Wouldn’t let anyone else’s opinion be heard. If anything, that just proves how afraid they truly are of other opinions. Good for mike for pulling out a bullhorn in that guy’s face. Absolutely deserved.

  • Rich Wilson

    Makes me appreciate places that have no amplification rules for buskers.

  • Anonymous

    Free speech means just that, free speech. I don’t believe in censorship, even when I’m hearing something that I don’t like.  To stop anyone from their right to spout whatever stupid nonsense they like is wrong, whether it’s a fundie religious preacher or a militant atheist or anything in between. 

    It should be up to the local authorities to specify what can be used in the way of amplification, where speeches etc. can be made and all parties should be required to comply with any regulations specified. 

    @twitter-24143444:disqus ;
    You are studying theology at Uni. Have you been given a special task for your course or are you practising for when you qualify? I ask because I’ve never seen you on any blogs before yet today you appear to be everywhere, it’s scary!!! -lol-

  • Anonymous

    As an atheist I have to say that athiest was incoherent, illogical, and a complete dick.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Casimir-Fornalski/652536670 Casimir Fornalski

    No, he wasn’t. He was simply pointing out the obvious to two very delusional people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Casimir-Fornalski/652536670 Casimir Fornalski

    He wasn’t stopping anyone from preaching. He was pointing out that their message was hateful and offensive and people were upset with them being there. They could have chosen to stay and blather on if they wanted to. They chose to leave.

  • tardis_blue

    I have to say I’m not entirely comfortable with what he did.  He basically bullied them into silence, which is less cool than them standing there preaching.  Yeah, the dude preaching with his little PA was annoying, and I wouldn’t have mind if Mike stood near them with his bullhorn and disagreed with them, or simply read from his book, but he didn’t do those things.  He got in their faces and was rude and belligerent  until they left–which was apparently his goal.   He claimed to speak for everyone there, even, which is extremely unlikely.  I’m sure most of the shoppers didn’t care one way or the other, and there were probably people who approved of the preacher.

  • Erinn Foley

    When my dad was in college (60′s), he made up his own pamphlet so that when the campus preachers would hand out literature, he could hand them his back, stating all the reasons to reject christianity.

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    Bit of an unnecessary jab, don’t you think?

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    Agreed. Why the hell are we on Patheos if all we’re gonna do is flame the people who come here from places of faith?

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    They didn’t really “approach” or “harass” anybody. They just stood there and said what they wanted to say, and anyone that wanted to stood there and listened. It’s not like they impeded people of the option to keep walking. I disagree with what they have to say, and in all likelihood if I had the time I would stay for a while to voice my disagreement, but the way this guy handled it was dickish.

    Also, nobody seemed to be in favor of free speech corners when they were installed at the Republican National Convention or on government property. When you move the places where it’s legal to practice free speech to small corners with little to no foot traffic, it has more or less the same effect as barring it.

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    I’ll just leave this here (it could be of use to some of the commenters as well): http://vimeo.com/13704095

  • Anonymous

    Dean Roberts hasn’t exactly been very cordial in previous discussions. The tone is friendly, but he’s rather obtuse when simple things are explained to him. He says he wants to learn things, but doesn’t act like it

  • http://profiles.google.com/asecretagentwoman secret agent woman

    I don’t generally mind street preachers – sometimes they are wildly, if unintentionally, entertaining.  I used to cut class to listen to a pair of hysterical preachers who would stand on the campus and call us whores and whore mongers.  Good stuff. But I do take issue with the use of a microphone – you should only be able to hear them if you elect to walk up and listen. Otherwise they are infringing on my right to be at peace and away from messages of intolerance.  I would have preferred that the guy stand next to him and read from “The God Delusion” rather than point the bullhorn at the other preacher’s face.  I think it doesn’t help to be aggressive in your protest.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

    Amplified preaching in a public place is just rude.   It’s not like anything they’re saying is news.  Every media outlet and the internet is saturated with Christianity; it’s not like someone is going to walk by and say “Oh, gosh, I never heard that Jesus died for me!”  The preachers think they’re going to get brownie points in heaven for intruding into the lives of others, and yet they’ll tell you that non-Christians in some far-flung undeveloped corner of the world are damned because, theoretically, they are able to find out about Jesus, but didn’t convert.

  • Anonymous

    Personally, I don’t want to walk down a street or walk around a street fair or open market having someone… ANYone… yelling at me.  Preaching from the bible, reading from The God Delusion, or reciting nursery rhymes.  It’s noise pollution no matter how you look at it.

    As for street preachers, I detest them…. truly detest them.  They are saying horrible, mean things that hurt people and brainwash children and it should not be legal.  Period.

  • http://profiles.google.com/asecretagentwoman secret agent woman

    Thanks for that link. I just watched the talk and think Plait is absolutely right.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    In their minds, they think God knows what they are doing and that is all that matters.  They mainly wan tto impress God that they are out there trying to spread the word.  They are there for the brownie points.

  • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

    There was someone at the college I went too who would stand with his little microphone and preach at folks walking by.  One of the guys in the electronics department made a little doodad, and whenever the preacher would start up, horrible feedback came through his microphone setup.

    Frankly, I think street corners should come equipped with such doodads.

    You have a right to speak.  You do not have a right to be provided with either forum or audience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Blaine-Higgy/1448513092 Blaine Higgy

    I don’t have any problem with a street preacher (of any topic) UNLESS they are using some sort of amplified sound system as this preacher was.

    If a street preacher wants to use the sound system that “god gave him” fine but ban the use of electronic boom boxes while street proselytizing.

  • usclat

    I have to say you’re wrong. He was coherent and logical if a bit over the top. 

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    That’s a pretty cool idea. I may do that myself.

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    “Otherwise they are infringing on my right to be at peace and away from messages of intolerance.”

    That’s not really a right. As atheists are fond of saying, you don’t have a right to not be offended.

    Now, is whoever owned the storefront this guy was yelling from decided that he didn’t want him there, it IS their right to make him leave.

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    “They are saying horrible, mean things that hurt people and brainwash children and it should not be legal.  Period.”

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
    prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
    speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
    assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    Ah, so the way to combat someone acting like an asshole is to pre-emptively act like an asshole. It’s the Bush Doctrine of Assholishness.

    As for the flaming, you’re right that nobody explicitly flamed him, but someone replied “You keep saying you’re a Christian. I hope you realize that doesn’t give your message any credibility.” It’s, at the least, not exactly respectful or friendly dialogue. The fact that a comment like that has 10 likes bothers me even more.

  • Anonymous

    Was he rude? Yes. Was he any more rude than the street preacher was? No. I don’t see anything wrong here. Two sides met to practice their freedom of speech and one side walked away embarrassed and defeated. Hint, it wasn’t the atheist side.

    I don’t believe we should limit free speech to certain areas or certain subjects as some people here have suggested. That’s ridiculous. I do however believe that you should be willing to face the consequences for your speech and that’s what happened here. If someone wants to speak badly about others I do not care if you’re a religion or not. You face scrutiny and criticism just like everyone else.

  • Nick Hills

    I wonder, is it possible to challenge the religious without having a bunch of people go “You’re a dick! What about free speech? You’re a dick” over and over?

  • Brittany

    Because those preachers aren’t being bullies? Sometimes the best way to get rid of a bully is to find an even bigger one. Mike doesn’t go off to that street corner every weekend to preach against Christianity. He did it one time to make a point, and it obviously worked since neither of those two preachers have been back since.

    I don’t think what he did was worse at all. Having seen several street preachers in my lifetime, I have to say that ALL of them have been rude to everyone who doesn’t agree with them. They stand there and shout hateful messages to people who just want to go about their day. Mike went in, asked them to stop, tried to make a point for them to stop, and when they refused to- he read a few lines from “The God Delusion,” and then told both of them that they are bigots shouting intolerance.

    Bottom line: they had it coming.

  • Greg

    The point of it wasn’t about limiting free speech, it was about showing the preachers a small sliver of how they make other people feel. 

    The hope would then be that they would think of the advice:

    “Treat people as they would wish to be treated.”

    (Or, if you prefer, the similar piece of advice that Jesus was reputed to have given later – the ‘golden rule’. (Although I’m not keen on that, because what if  a person is a masochist?))

    And if those preachers had then gained some insight from that exercise in empathy, then the world would maybe be a slightly better place! ;)

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t say he was stopping anyone from preaching. 

    As you say, they could have stayed and argued their point, that’s their right. All I’m doing is making a case that everyone should have the right to free speech and that the local authorities should be the only ones with the power to regulate what amplification should be allowed. 

    That means that anyone, even those coming out with nonsense, as most religious preachers do, even if it is offensive, have the right to have their say (how many times have we atheists said to the religious, ” you do not have the right NOT to be offended “). 

    The other point is that, whatever regulations are in place, they apply to all, no special privileges just for religion. One law for all is my motto, even though it means that I sometimes have to hear crap. 

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t say he was stopping anyone from preaching. 

    As you say, they could have stayed and argued their point, that’s their right. All I’m doing is making a case that everyone should have the right to free speech and that the local authorities should be the only ones with the power to regulate what amplification should be allowed. 

    That means that anyone, even those coming out with nonsense, as most religious preachers do, even if it is offensive, have the right to have their say (how many times have we atheists said to the religious, ” you do not have the right NOT to be offended “). 

    The other point is that, whatever regulations are in place, they apply to all, no special privileges just for religion. One law for all is my motto, even though it means that I sometimes have to hear crap. 

  • Greg

    Whilst I’m not a fan of that comment, I can understand why the person may have made it (and also why I think the person who wrote it probably made some faulty assumptions here). I don’t think you can say there was anyone even approaching flaming outside of that, though.

    Actually, if I had to write something along the lines of that comment, I would have said something like:

    “I hope you realise that doesn’t give your message any more or any less credibility.”

  • Greg

    He got in their faces and was rude and belligerent  until they left(…)

    Actually, that’s completely false. At the end of the video he says (well, types) that one of them left, the other didn’t, but neither haven’t been back there since.

    His self appointed task was to show them how they came across to other people for about a minute, and then leave (whether they stayed or not).

  • Greg

    The problem with Phil Plait’s ‘Don’t be a Dick’ speech, is it is entirely a strawman. He’s been asked to give examples, and he only comes back with things like ‘we all know atheists that act like this’ without actually offering anyone as an example. 

    Giving that talk was a bit of a dickish thing to do, actually.

  • Drew M.

    Ah, Mike Lee. You’ve completely won me over since the library video.

    Well done!

  • Drew M.

    Well, if you can’t fake intelligence, be genuinely dickish.

  • Brian Macker

    “It’s the Bush Doctrine of Assholishness.”

    Except for the fact that Saddam invaded Kuwait first and we were still in a state of war with him, a ceasefire, the terms of which he kept violating.   … or in the case of Afghanistan where the Taliban was harboring a terrorist that had attacked us.

    What would you call Obama’s doctrine on Libya.  He didn’t even bother going to the UN or Congress before dropping bombs there.

    Perhaps you should start calling it the …ClintonBushObama doctrine because they pretty much all do what you are finding offensive.  

  • dauntless

    Giving an example, are you?

    I hardly think what I said was as rude as you seem to think. He used his religion as a qualifying statement in multiple posts, as if it somehow changes the meaning of  the content of those posts.

  • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

    This is not a matter of offense. By using an amplifier, he is extending the reach of his words to the houses and stores nearby, who may not choose to want to listen to what he’s selling, be it Jesus or Amway. he has gone beyond expressing a point of view to becoming a nuisance.

  • Drew M.

    Yeah, I didn’t see that coming [/rolleyes].

    His qualifier wasn’t trying to give his post “credibility,” but rather to point out that while he’s usually on the other side of the fence, he isn’t on this case.

    “OK, I’m a Christian and found that pretty entertaining.”

    Translation: “As someone who normally might be offended by this, I found it entertaining.”Rinse and repeat for his other posts.In retrospect,

    I guess you weren’t dickish so much as moronic, in this particular case.

  • Pete

    Yep. I am pretty sure that it is called “Disturbing the Peace”. 

  • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

     If we want to try and draw parallels, if various atheists showed up outside my window reading Dawkins, Hitchens or Harris in turn, and using an amplification system, I might enjoy it for the first 10 minutes if I’m not doing anything, but if it is a constant thing (as street preachers tend to be) I would most definitely be annoyed, and would very likely call the police on them.
    Furthermore, I fail to see the connection with challenging someone’s position with limiting his own speech. Nobody has a right to unchallenged speech.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Lent/1086570036 Jason Lent

    This was obnoxious and does nothing to help attack the things the Christian was preaching. Anyone with sense should be able to realize the garbage he’s saying by simply letting his own argument try and stand up to informed criticism; quoting Dawkins only adds fuel to the  absurd Christian apologetic attacks on atheism.

  • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

    I disagree. Quoting Dawkins was incidental. This wasn’t an issue of substance, but of style. The preachers were faced with the same type of behavior they were engaging in, and surprise, they found it distasteful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Lent/1086570036 Jason Lent

    Quoting Dawkins wasn’t a criticism of on the grounds of substance, either. Essentially, if you’re going to argue with an idiot using the same tactics as the idiot, there is no winner to anyone watching from the outside. It is a matter of being able to provide cogent, well-reasoned criticism without appealing to similar arguments.

    Rather than open the book and read out the first line, a dialogue with the Christian would have been more effective at rooting out how weak his case is. Unless, of course, you see vigilantes getting into shouting matches with street preachers is something you consider relevant to the open criticism of religious claims.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Lent/1086570036 Jason Lent

    “Don’t be a dick” is one of the few things I disagree with Phil Plait on, especially considering how broad of a brush he uses when deciding which things are dickish.

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    Meh, fair enough, but if there’s not a law against it where he is he’s not really doing anything wrong, either.

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    Well then perhaps we shouldn’t have propped Saddam up because he was fighting the Iranians and we liked that. Then he wouldn’t have had the means to invade Kuwait, now would he? As for Afghanistan, the invasion made sense because the Taliban WERE hiding bin Laden. That’s not really where the “Bush Doctrine” comes from, though…it came from the leadup to the Iraq war. (Also, we should have left Afghanistan when the Taliban were toppled and it became clear that bin Laden was no longer there, but hey.)

    What would I call Obama’s doctrine? I’d call it the Bush Doctrine, and it was out of line when he did it, too. I’m not a Democrat, nor am I an Obama supporter. What you think you are attacking, you are not attacking.

    At any rate, the “Bush Doctrine” thing was an offhanded remark about a phrase that’s pretty commonly used and understood. It wasn’t meant to be any kind of partisan jab at Bush or to start a political discussion.

  • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

    Demonstrating the problems of a technique by copying it is a good way to highlight the problems with it. I think the point was well made that Mike knew the tactics he was using are obnoxious and that was the point of copying them, to show them.

    As for engaging the preachers in debate, that is a lost effort. There is a time and a place for religious debate and discussing with a guy with an amplifier on the street is not it.

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    Want an example? See the video Hemant posted. In fact, see pretty much every video that guy does. There’s several examples right there.

  • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

    He may not be doing anything illegal, whether it was wrong may be debatable.
    I can’t think of any valid justification of the preacher’s actions that doesn’t also allow for Mike Lee’s response, which is, all other things equal, most justified as it is a response to a provocation.

    That said, while I support this video being made, I don’t think such a bombastic approach is beneficial as a standard response. The point was made, no need to hammer it home.

  • Dan W

    Nice video. Gave the obnoxious street preachers an idea of how annoying their behavior really is.

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    It’s a shame that you don’t value common courtesy.

  • http://disrespectfultone.blogspot.com/ Daniel Schealler

    Walking down the street with some friends late on Friday night a few years ago. Waiting at the corner of the street for the walk signal. Preacher is preaching – then locks onto me for some reason.

    Preacher walks up close to me, and in an amplified voice:

    “You there sir! Are you aware that the devil walks among us with cunning guise and fair visage so as to tempt us unto the ways of sin and evil?”

    I leaned in even closer, and affected a gutteral, growly, demonic tone of voice.

    “You have no idea.”

    Preacher jumped in the air by a foot, and actually seemed a little bit frightened… Until he saw my friends laughing.

    It was hilarious.

    That is all.

  • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

    I value common courtesy, but I don’t accept it being used as a hammer to squash dissent, which is often the case in discussions of gods. Often it is enough to suggest that atheists are capable of living happy, moral lives without god belief to be branded offensive. I find that absurd. In this context, Plait making his speech so vague without actually citing what he was talking about is not helpful.

  • Greg

    But that’s exactly the point – he isn’t an example of the things Phil Plait says.

    In fact, if you think he is in this video, then clearly the point of it has whooshed a long way over your head.

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    Well, I agree that sometimes people take offense to simple statements, and that when that happens you’re not “being a dick.” But I don’t agree that Plait was all that vague. He makes it pretty clear that he’s talking about shouting people down, or calling them stupid for their beliefs, or insinuating that only an idiot would believe the things they do rather than engaging in a calm discussion with them. I honestly don’t see where so many of you are getting this idea that it was a vague speech – I thought it was pretty clear, myself.

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    No, I got the point of the video. The guy thinks he speaks for everyone (always a sign of a dangerous person) and, rather than try to politely voice disagreement with some street preachers, instead gets a bullhorn, points it at their faces, and shouts them down. The point was apparently that street preachers are stupid and don’t deserve common courtesy. Yeah you’re right. He’s not being a dick at all. The fact that the street preachers were being dicks doesn’t excuse his own dickery.

  • Greg

    No – you don’t get the point of the video then. Stop making crap up, and thus acting like a dick. (Although if your ‘dickish’ behaviour is intentional, then I’ll give you props for the intentional irony, even if you are still on the wrong side of the argument.)

    The point of the video was that doing what the preachers were doing:

    - telling people that they are sinners/going to hell/immoral/generally just being offensive/etc. etc. hooked up to a sound system so that they can’t be ignored -

    is not very nice. RA went up and spoke to them telling them this, and asking if they would stop – but they didn’t want to hear it. He then – for only about a minute, mind – gave them a taste of how it feels to be on the other side. He then stopped, and left, point made.

    You see how literally nothing you said fits in to what actually happened?

  • Anonymous

    I have had a problem with some of the previous videos from The Religious Antagonist, because he was picking on people like librarians and the homeless, and making atheists look bad.  This video was great, because he picked the right target.  He found a couple of guys who were being entirely and obliviously obnoxious, and gave them a big dose of exactly what they were dishing out.  I loved it!

  • Aquaria

    Because I can only assume, but if you listened to an atheist evangelist on the street, I bet you’d all love it. 

    Proof that you’re a dishonest theist (but then, I repeat myself).

    You are massively projecting your stupidity and delusions on us.

    You know what I, an atheist, want when I’m in public? To be able to get to and from where I’m going in peace and quiet. To be able to go about my business without some lunatic shouting–about anything, or handing me crap that’s a waste of paper and ink.

    So, no, you have no idea at all what an atheist would want or expect.

    Congratulations on being the typical smug, arrogant, hateful Christard.

  • MelanieDawn

    That was wonderful. Thanks for posting it.

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    Cool story, bro.

  • Donalbain

    http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10200.doc.htm

    Authorizes Member
    States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or
    through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in
    cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures,
    notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect
    civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the
    Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign
    occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests
    the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately
    of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by
    this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security
    Council;

    Sorry… what were you saying about the UN?

  • Greg

    Still wanting to act like a dick, I see. That’s fine, it doesn’t bother me.

    If you still disagree with what I said, then please tell me, though – I like being corrected. If you can’t do that, at least be decent enough to admit it. 

    And if you truly meant the phrase to signify that you couldn’t be bothered to read a reply to something you wrote, then just remember how hypocritical you are whenever you call someone a dick and try to post that ‘don’t be a dick’ talk.

  • http://disrespectfultone.blogspot.com/ Daniel Schealler

    As an atheist I have to say that Gorgonzola is delicious.

  • http://disrespectfultone.blogspot.com/ Daniel Schealler

    Hmm… Wonder what the cost-per-component would be.

    If someone could whip these up on the cheap we could probably sell them online.

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    No, I just did a quick cost-benefit analysis and came to the conclusion that the benefits of arguing on the internet with somebody I’ve never met and probably never will over the contents of a 3 minute YouTube video don’t outweigh the costs of my time and energy. It’s not really something worth fighting over, and doing so would make me kind of a dick. So if you want to think you’ve won, go ahead. Congratulations, you won an argument on the internet.

  • Crundy12

    Sorry, but I don’t agree with this at all. Had he stood across the road reading TGD until they came over and complained about how oppressed they are then it would have been fine. Simply saying “I don’t agree with you and so I’m going to shout you down” smacks of intolerance, which is apparently what he’s trying to defeat. Total atheist fail.

    Right idea, wrong execution. This guy does NOT speak on my behalf.

  • Greg

    Given I’ve gone out of my way to say I don’t care about winning an argument, that was really quite amusing. Tells me something about you, mind – especially as you couldn’t bring yourself to simply say something along the lines of ‘we’ll have to agree to disagree then’, but instead tried to make a sarcastic comment about how you don’t care what I have to say.

    Again: if I’m wrong, I actually like being corrected. What I don’t like is trying to discuss something with someone, and have them refuse to correct my arguments / concede the point if they can’t / or politely agree to disagree. They seem to be the only three civilised ways of conducting a conversation to me.

    (Incidentally, almost everything you’ve typed in the comments of this blog post has been ‘dickish’, so don’t worry about trying to stop yourself appearing like that now, it’s far too late.)

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    OK, fine. We’ll agree to disagree. Are you happy now?

    I’m not saying that I don’t care about what you have to say. I’m saying that I don’t particularly care about this specific conversation. If you feel I’ve been a dick, I apologize. You probably have lots of things to say on other topics that would interest me. This isn’t one of them.

    There. Are we done now?

  • Brittany

    Clearly you’ve never had to deal with street preachers yelling horrible things at you- even if you’re just walking by. 

  • David

    you pair of dicks

  • http://disrespectfultone.blogspot.com/ Daniel Schealler

    Let’s be gender neutral.

    They’re a pair of gonads.

  • MakeTheMostOfLife

    Im from the UK.

    I did a similar thing with a street peacher while on a
    visit to LA. An hour long back and forth in front of a big crowd. Was
    fun, we just don’t get the same caliber over crazy over here!,

    It really
    felt like it was worthwhile. Some of the crowd clearly had not been
    exposed to the counter points I made.  I don’t get why more people don’t challenge these guys on the street?

  • JoeBuddha

    FTW…

  • dauntless

    I have no idea what anyone is trying to say at this level of indentation.

  • http://disrespectfultone.blogspot.com/ Daniel Schealler

    It’s almost like the design is intended to stop us from carrying on a thread too long or something.

  • Jimmyscoops

    Freedom from Religion Foundation has some pretty great “Nontracts” that are exactly this idea. I have a stack of them that I often carry with me if I’m in an area where I know there will be religious people.


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