Arkansas Atheist Group Holds a ‘Stone An Atheist’ Fundraiser

At the University of Arkansas, the secular group Occam’s Razor — Get it?! The Arkansas Razorbacks? Never mind — recently held a “Stone an Atheist Day” fundraiser. The idea derives from Leviticus 24:14, which refers to a command from God to Moses: “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him.”

The ‘stoning’ of an atheist (McKenna Gallagher – The Arkansas Traveler)

… The group set up on the Union Mall and students who donated one dollar were allowed to throw two water balloons at members of the group.

Junior Jacob Hilton was among the students who participated in this event.

“I think it’s a hilarious idea,” said Hilton. “I’m just glad it’s not what the name originally made me think it was.”

While the fundraiser was generally well received, there were some students, including senior Lucie Monroe, who did not approve of the event.

“I wish them luck on their fundraising, but I feel that this is offensive to both Christians and Atheists,” said Monroe.

The fundraiser is offensive to Christians, I would guess, because it stems from a Bible verse… and Christians hate it when you quote their Bible back to them.

It’s offensive to atheists because… well, I haven’t figured that part out yet.

The group ended up raising over $100 while advertising their own group in the process.

It’s not the first time this fundraiser has worked out successfully. Other groups have done it also.

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://www.facebook.com/brian.westley Brian Westley

    It’s offensive to atheists because… well, I haven’t figured that part out yet.

    Because Christians own the idea of stoning, just like crosses represent Christianity, unless they don’t want it to represent Christianity and instead just have a cross represent “dead person underground here”, or when it represents some other pretzel of a concept to make an illegal religious symbol legal in some context. As St. Dylan said, “Everybody must get stoned.”

  • Edmond

    I wonder which group Lucie Monroe calls herself part of–Christians or atheists? Whichever she is, it’s unlikely that she can accurately speak for members of the other group. The atheists themselves don’t seem to mind….

  • Art_Vandelay

    Really guys? Parkas? Why don’t we just start letting people actually getting stoned start wearing armored suits while we’re at it?

    • Drew M.

      Poncho. Parkas are coats with hoods.

      • JohnnieCanuck

        Warm coats with hoods. Too warm to wear unless there’s snow on the ground or, as I’ve observed, if you’re a Californian in October with the temperature in the 70s (Fahrenheit).

        When it comes to actual stones, a parka would be much like having quilted armour. It would help.

  • Jh

    Any athiest groups in Washingtonmight want to take this idea in a different direction…

    get stoned with an atheist day?

    Anyway, hilarious idea and great they’ve made so much money.

  • WallofSleep

    “… I feel that this is offensive to both Christians and Atheists”

    Offensive to Christians how? Because water balloons were used instead of real stones?

    • http://www.facebook.com/brian.westley Brian Westley

      I think that’s the “designated hittee” rule.

  • http://twitter.com/Ashley_Stephens Ashley Slye Stephens

    If this were held in Colorado, they could purchase a weed brownie to give to an atheist.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    those who heard him are laying their hands on the blasphemer’s head… that doesn’t sound very far away from the target. how far away are the stoners going to be? baseball pitching distance? across the river? three tents’ length? it sort of makes a difference, yo.

    i’m sure some biblical scholar has already argued this, but it reminds me of Mo modifying the Koran, re adultery. it was banned, but later the standards got changed so that there had to be an unreasonable number of live witnesses to the act, thereby cutting down camp and village-disturbing and time wasting trials about supposed adulteries.

    i wonder if this was something similar. cause i sure as shit am not going to be standing right next to him while 100 camp dwellers with variously good arms toss rocks at the blasphemer.

    • JohnnieCanuck

      Just what I was thinking, too.

  • Bdole

    I’m just worried this might catch on with some of our dominionist co-nationals.

    Funny timing, I was just rereading Leviticus yesterday. You know, just to make sure my bacon cheeseburger made from hyrax-coney meat blend was OK.

    Turned out not.

    Luckily (providentially?) I had access to my neighbor’s parakeet and wringed its head off, crop first, to atone for my transgression.

    Well, wouldn’t you know it, I got blood all over my brand new shirt, a nice cotton-polyester blend…crap!
    Now I need two birds.
    Or,
    Anyone know where I can find some ox offal?

    • meekinheritance

      Penn & Teller have a television series (also available from Netflix) about ox offal. Apparently it’s everywhere!

      • Unegen

        That’s…not what offal is.

  • liu

    I’m not sure there’s an atheist alive who would find this offensive. They’re just saying that because otherwise it would just sound like them whining. Which of course it is.

    • Unegen

      It’s mildly offensive because it implies that atheists ought to be stoned and that we all know it and are just kidding ourselves.

      And if that sounds like whining, I suggest you avail yourself of a Q-tip and unclog your ears. And then shut the eff up.

  • CDP

    Every time I read an atheist blog, I feel like I must lower my IQ. Atheists pull these verses out as if nobody is aware of their historic contexts (or could it be that modern atheists being intellectually challenged, are the only ones unaware). It isn’t like the world of c. 800 – 1000 BC was a place like a modern gay pride parade in San Francisco, and only in the book of Leviticus would one hear of such things. Oh wait, I forgot where I am. This discussion would take rational thought and understanding complex historical facts and understanding. I guess I’ll leave and find a place where reasoned discussion is more likely, perhaps Jack Chick’s blog.

    • Claude

      You’re no fun at all.

    • Edmond

      Why was it EVER a good idea to punish people in this way? Whenever it was practiced, it was God’s idea (according to the Bible).

    • Baby_Raptor

      The context argument is used *all the time* against christianists. It’s only ever allowed for things that you lot have already decided don’t matter anymore, like slavery or racial inequality.

      The rest of the time, the bible is inerrant, and every word means now exactly what it meant then, and not taking is thus is a sin against God.

      And frankly, I doubt many christianists actually know the historical context of their book anyway. Ya’ll are good at insulting, and good at piecing together long words to make short arguments, but once someone breaks through that…

      Anyway, maybe you should just stop reading Atheist blogs, then. Your IQ must be pretty low as is to think that you can rationalize a religion, so we don’t want you losing anymore points.

    • Carmelita Spats

      I love Chick tracts…Raise my IQ, then…Please provide evidence for an incarnational-trinitarian-atoning-resurrecting-ascending-soon-to-be-returning-god who was his own father and sacrificed himself to himself or is that “metaphor” that requires the genius of biblical exegesis and “complex historical facts”? Why do you pray to a figure of speech? I think your god is Constantine but enlighten me.

    • phantomreader42

      So, CDP, pray tell us what “complex historical facts” make it okay to throw rocks at people until they die simply because they do not genuflect to your imaginary friend on command! Go ahead, bless us with your glorious divine wisdom! OR just admit you and your sick death cult are full of worthless shit.

    • Epinephrine

      Because no Christian would stone someone to death in the 21st century just because the Bible said to.
      http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/70-year-old-stoned-to-death-because-the-bible-says-to-stone-gays/news/2011/03/18/18138

      Hmmm… I guess that’s a pretty crap argument.

    • baal

      Welcome CDP!
      Far from ‘nobody is aware of’ we get a somewhat steady diet of various politicians and ministers citing the same verses for being against gay-anything or women wearing pants & leaving the house. We do pull out the cite to horse semen volume and donkey flavor of the same since it’s 1) hilarious 2) points out the hilarity that ensues from xtian Rosharch bible quoting.

    • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

      Funny how the Bible is the inspired word of an timeless and omnipotent deity… until you point out the horrific shit it contains. Then you’re supposed to give it the same contextual leeway that you’d give to a any other piece of fully man-made historical literature.

    • http://www.facebook.com/randall.kramm Randall Kramm

      Perhaps you don’t pay attention to the bullcrap going on in the rest of the world, but it is going on to this very day.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Well, now at least I know I’m not the only Atheist in Arkansas. That’s encouraging.

    No shed tears over the christianists whining that it’s offensive. Everything they dislike is “offensive.” It’s the only reaction they have.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaroncljones Aaron Jones

    I’ve been wanting to do this with my schools SSA. Come fall, if any of you go to UNC Pembroke, expect this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

    To be honest, I don’t find this offensive, but I do think it’s distasteful. I really don’t think it’s right to make light of horrible violent situations that may have actually occurred in the past, and still occurs today in some places. This strikes me as too similar to, for example, staging a fake lynching to raise money for the black student union, and I think most people would be pretty uncomfortable with that. But that’s just my opinion, I wouldn’t try to stop it or complain about it if it happened around here, I just probably wouldn’t participate. (Of course I’d probably also faint from shock if our little local po-dunk college ever got an atheist club! So the very fact that they existed at all might be enough for me to support ANYTHING they did!)

    • http://www.facebook.com/randall.kramm Randall Kramm

      Actually, it’s horrible violent situations that have happened in the past and _are_ happening today. Just pay attention to the news.

  • DougI

    Maybe she thought it was offensive to Christians because she was reminded that Christians are persecuted by no longer being able to stone Atheists?

  • http://www.facebook.com/astrobrad Brad Braddock

    People get shit thrown at them all the time for different reasons. President Bush Jr, got shoes thrown at him when he visited the Middle East, so they really like to throw things at people over there. We’re just trying to make more awareness to the fact that if you’re going to stand up for a cause and be a leader, then you might as well wear the proper protection (depending on your audience), like Occam’s Razors did when we put on goggles and ponchos. People of faith just need to remember one thing, atheist will find a loop whole to interact with you in society, if it’s not by throwing things at us or trying to save us, then what else do you propose?

  • A Christian

    I thought y’all were supposed to be “friendly”? I am a Christian and got excited thinking, “Hey! People I can rationally discuss with concerning complex subjects” (that quality has been a rare find for me trying to talk with other Christians).

    But based on your articles and comments, this just seems like a place to bash Christianity for fun. You are all friendly to each other, at least.

    http://www.myfathershouse.squarespace,com

    • r.holmgren

      The “Friendly Atheist” means nothing more than he smiles as he mocks and demeans you for the world-view you hold.
      thesauros-store.blogspot.com

      • http://www.facebook.com/randall.kramm Randall Kramm

        What, people can mock and demean Atheists but we can’t point out that the things held against us and done against us _to this day_ are stupid? The ‘radicals’ in Egypt, among other places, are doing just this sort of thing, only for _REAL_, to Atheists, Christians, women, children.. Grow up.

  • Nikolai082700

    Lucie Monroe: Campus spokesperson for POSA (Perpetually Offended Student Alliance)

  • baal

    I was initially apprehensive after mis-reading the headline. I thought christians were stoning atheists for a fundraiser. Like why pay them for what they’ll do for free?

  • The Other Weirdo

    Most Christians couldn’t give a good god damn for the OT, except the parts that talk about stoning teh gayz™, and maybe Job, and maybe Genesis, and possibly Exodus, or Psalms, and a bunch other books nobody ever reads but a for few passages. They would be better off reenacting the more exciting parts of the NT, where Jesus doesn’t bother getting provisions for the multitude that’s following him, where he curses a fig tree in a snit, rambles on about not storing provisions for the winter, and how the world was about to come to an end. They could also put on a stage production of Revelation, letting the world see the sort of nasty torture porn fantasies lurking in the Christian soul.


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