Is the ‘How Not to Defend Atheism’ Jogger for Real?

True story: One of my work colleagues emailed me the following video, (jokingly) adding, “You’re doing it wrong.”

The video shows some crazy atheist barefoot jogger screaming at a preacher at UC Berkeley.

In the first minute alone, the unnamed atheist tells the preacher he should be going to prison and calls all religious people (a.k.a. “God-botherers”) anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynistic, and war criminals… before screaming “Atheism forever!” Later in the video, he yells, “Christians are responsible for slavery!”

There’s also this bit:

“I’m sick and tired of Christians being tolerated,” he asserted. “You need to do something about the Christians here, I don’t feel comfortable. This is a free speech zone, and I’m exercising my right to free speech by telling them the truth about Christianity and all organized religion.”

The video, originally uploaded on April 27 by Brian Erwin, is (appropriately) titled “How Not to Defend Atheism.” It went viral last week, receiving over 200,000 views relatively quickly, before being flagged by viewers and taken down by YouTube. (You’re seeing a re-uploaded uncensored version above.)

But here’s the more important question: Is it real? What atheist would ever do anything like that? It’s not that atheists are incapable of acting as dickish as this guy, but he is completely over-the-top, playing off of every stereotype people tend to attribute to “angry atheists.”

If it’s acting, it’s really bad acting.

If it’s for real, the guy’s reaching levels of self-parody.

As I’m watching this, it just feels like I’m watching an act instead of a genuine rant. I mean, no atheist represents the views of all other atheists, but

Here’s my (completely hypothetical) theory: This is some conservative pretending to be an atheist, knowing he would be videotaped, maybe even planning on being videotaped. The jogger knew this video would be uploaded. Maybe the jogger even helped spread the video around, all in an effort to discredit atheists. I mean, Christians are used to atheists picking apart people like Mark Driscoll and Pat Robertson and James Dobson, and many Christians surely cringe at the idea of being associated with those bigots. Here was a chance for atheists to feel the same way, while making everyone else look better in the process.

I’ve contacted Erwin to see if he can provide any more information.

So far, in numerous Reddit and YouTube threads, no one has identified the name of the jogger. They all seems to be taking the video at face value, as if it’s completely serious.

I’m not saying a Christian did this. I’m just not tossing out that possibility until I find out more information about who this jogger is.

And if I’m wrong? Well, shit… Atheists, don’t do that.

***Update***: Brian Erwin, who filmed the encounter, explained to me via email why he thinks this is a real scene:

For the jogger to have staged it, he would’ve had to have been practicing for weeks and waiting for someone to come out and stand on my campus with a sign trying to prove the existence of God. I just can’t see someone taking the time to practice something like that, over and over, in hopes that a religious person will one day show up with a sign attempting to prove God.

The sign holder also could not have been in cahoots with the jogger because I sat and spoke with him for about two hours after class and listened to him speak to all the students who asked about his sign and pamphlet. He’s from Los Angeles and he is not a frequent in Upper Sproul. He was taken aback by the jogger and was actually wondering if the guy was insane or able to have a reasonable two-way conversation. He too could not believe what was happening, which is why he asked if it was a thespian tryout, but as the bombardment kept coming, he realized it was real and decided to stay quiet to avoid an altercation.

Next is the joggers “acting.” It’s too spot on to be fake. He’s very passionate about his message and when I was there, I got the idea that he really believed the words that he said and was really offended by the sign and message. He talks about being bullied in school, being on drugs, and the most critical part of his protest was unfair treatment for being gay. It’s clear that he’s a militant atheist, but he’s also a wounded homosexual. The bulk of his conversation is his hatred for laws that hinder gays from having equal rights. I can understand that the hysterical aspect could raise some eyebrows, but the fact that if that one aspect changed, no one would question it (if he was calmly saying the same things and the Christian was simply listening and not responding), shows that it’s genuine. That is, him yelling everything can’t be the only reason for suspicion.

The next thing I can’t see is what he stands to gain by this. He makes both religious people and atheists look bad. So there’s no gain for him if both parties are wounded/offended. There was also no guarantee that I’d be there to film it, and even with all the cameras, there’s no guarantee that any of us will post on YouTube. And there’s no guarantee that if any of us post, anyone will search and find it. My video went two months with no views. I don’t even know how it was discovered. I just woke up one morning and it was viral.

Next is the chance he takes of being tazored and arrested. Our campus is known for protests, police brutality, students being tazored, etc. No rational person practices being an atheist and comes out ready to get tazed and arrested for the fuck of it.

From the 3000 comments the video originally had, the only people I saw really questioning or denying the authenticity were atheists, and I can understand that because I know how it feels for someone to put the camera on a wacky religious person and be embarrassed for being associated with that person. But the video just goes to show that there are wackos on both sides of the spectrum, and when I think about that day, it was as if the embodiment of the hatred on YouTube and other online discussion forums was brought to reality, and I was amazed to witness it. The authenticity of the jogger is not so hard to fathom once all the forums and comments from sites like YouTube are taken into account. It just finally happened in person. People always rant like that online, but when they come out in public, they act calm and reasonable, but this atheist decided to be true to himself and state all of the things he probably says on the internet, in person, and with the same intensity he says them online.

Finally, things like this happen on my campus all of the time, so if I’m there, you can expect more videos of both religious people and atheists doing funny things (because I just consider it a very humorous video and my reason for uploading was to share a laugh with the world).

So if you think it’s staged in the sense that he got together his arguments before confronting a religious person, then I agree. But if you think it’s staged in the sense that he’s not really an atheist or gay, or that he really is religious but pretending to be an atheist, etc, and he just came out for attention with no motive, then I disagree.

Brian’s points make a lot of sense and I’m inclined to side with him. (I’m certainly not accusing him of anything.) For some reason, though, the jogger still seems fishy to me. He’s like an Angry Atheist Poe.

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.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Note the barefootedness (a Christian pretender wouldn’t come up with that, but a guy could just be walking around there barefoot) and the Nixon/Marijuana and other unrelated tangents. This guy’s real. He’s just not healthy.

    The “other guys” like to claim that extremists on their side are moles, and it’s almost never true. Don’t let your amygdala get swollen like theirs. :P

    • Grady

      Of course they are real. In Kansas City, we have some atheists who…for years…have posted about Christians being Psychotic, Delusional, and telling them to crawl under a rock and die…ad nauseum.
      And a lot of it done on the blog of the former religion editor of the KC Star.
      Now they post on Atheist Meetup Discussion boards about “batshit crazy religious brains exploding” and stuff like their “Godless Pistol Wavers” groups.
      We must never let these swine get political power over us.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Yes, Jon, we’re aware of your obsession with some local people. We’re also aware of your sock puppetry and Christlike dishonesty.

    • Michael W Busch

      He’s probably entirely healthy. He’s just impressively wrong about many things.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        I’m kind of torn there. The pauses suggest he’s thinking (badly) about what’s coming out of his mouth, but the topic shifts are bizarre.

        What’s up with the cameraman pointing the camera up when the guy talks about the sky?

      • iceblue

        I’m not a psychologist, but some sort of personality disorder? I’m not really sure.

        • Michael W Busch

          Do not attempt remote diagnosis with near-zero data. It is not helpful, and contributes to the false equating of being wrong and obnoxious with being mentally ill. Those are not the same thing.

  • A3Kr0n

    It reminded me of the Religious Antagonist.

  • Bo_Rebel

    Doesn’t he call himself Jewish?

    • BrandySpears

      He also called the guy “goyim”.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Now you’re just trolling. I guess only having one account banned wasn’t enough for you. Poor stupid Christwad.

    • Beth Clarkson

      Yes. From the south. There are Jewish atheists from the south, Jewish may be indicating his ethic group not his religious beliefs..

  • Seattle Atheist Vicki

    My guess is real and either ill on or drugs. Christians don’t have a monopoly on crazy. We just need more calm, rational atheists being vocal so this isn’t the only atheist people encounter.

    • Grady

      But atheists aren’t rational. The ones I have met are haters.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Your comment history across all boards with DISQUS, on this and your other sock puppet accounts, demonstrates that you’re projecting. Also a liar. Jesus would be proud.

        • Grady

          So what? There are 6 people in this house, and we all blog.
          Gawd Damn you are dumb.

          • RobMcCune

            He’s not as dumb as the guy who tried to this excuse for posting under multiple accounts:

            There are 6 people in this house, and we all blog.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Until I called you out on it, “Grady” ONLY replied to back up the others. Never at any other time. You’re as bad at sock puppeting as you are at loving Jesus.

      • RobMcCune

        You think their bad, you need to meet this unhinged lunatic from Kansas City called Grady. He’s like the guy in the video, but his fits last for weeks.

    • Michael W Busch

      He does not need to be “either ill or on drugs” to be incredibly mistaken and obnoxious.

      But yes, it is important for people to understand that atheists are generally entirely normal people.

  • Mario Strada

    So they have hundreds of nutjobs, with a few dozen of the mentally ill level and we cannot have one single nutcase? I don’t feel this guy speaks for me or any atheist, but I never feel anyone speaks for me or all atheists, even when I like the speech.

    Of course, it could be a reverse poe or it could be real.
    So what? Finally the Christians have scored a goal in the great soccer game of douchebaggery. Big deal. They’ll need to find many more like this guy to even get close to even.

    • Grady

      No True Atheist.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        It’s sad that you’re too stupid to even invoke that fallacy correctly, Jondrake.

    • Michael W Busch

      Please don’t equate “incredibly mistaken and gratuitously offensive” with being mentally ill. They are not at all the same thing.

      • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

        I am not qualified to diagnose someone’s mental health, but in case he’s not a poe (or some doing a little street theater or something else equally fake), as we say in Texas…that boy just ain’t right.

        • Darren C

          He seems irrational, but a lot of his points are spot on. Religions are damaging. I’d like to say I’d do better if I were going to yell at a preacher in public, but i’m not sure I would.

          • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

            If you’ve never lived in a big city and walked past one of these street preachers, let me tell you that your chances of encountering one who isn’t nutty as squirrel poo are close to zero. They’re whack-jobs and confronting them is a total waste of your time. Ignoring them is the best option and what pretty much everyone does. It’s worse when they are are the subway and you just have to look away or keep reading your book or magazine. At least on the street you can get away.

  • Rain

    Why don’t preachers hang out at bowling alleys? Why does it have to be on campus. That’s what I want to know, lol. Other than that, the jogger guy seems real and I feel bad for the guy.

    • Darren C

      Lol, Preachers hang out on campuses because people who go to college have a much larger chance of questioning the existence of god, value of religion, etc. That’s why religion is dying; because people are getting smarter.

    • SeekerLancer

      Campuses are a good place to find people who don’t agree with them and evangelizing to those people is their ultimate goal.

      Though some groups similar to Westboro Baptist have the more insidious goal of hoping that someone like the guy in this video will snap and do something worthy of litigation. Even better if they get local law enforcement to step in because they’re causing a scene so they can claim their freedom of speech is being censored by the government.

      When I went to college a Christian group called Repent America nearly incited an angry mob due to their confrontational style of preaching. They were escorted off of campus by the police but their impending lawsuit failed because they were blocking the sidewalk in front of classrooms which was not allowed. Regardless this got them the media attention they wanted which is something going to a bowling alley wouldn’t provide.

      We developed a “silent witness” program for the next time they came to campus. Volunteers held umbrellas between them and the students creating a buffer zone to prevent another uprising. This worked brilliantly and they got pretty angry that nobody was paying attention to them this time around so they tried to sue saying the volunteers were blocking their message with the umbrellas. This didn’t go anywhere because the police on campus and anyone else who was around that day could testify that the message wasn’t blocked and anybody who wanted to listen could do so.

  • Darius

    Had this been a theist behaving this way I wouldn’t suspect fakery. It could only be bias that would lead me to different conclusion here. There is nothing about Atheists that make us intrinsically more rational than anyone else. In this video I immediately recognize tribalism and the assumption that the preacher is the outsider of the situation. I think the ranter was expecting applause. This is what happens to an individual’s mentality when outsiders are demonized, and he exists in an echo chamber where no opposing views are present. Throw in a little bipolar disorder, and I have not trouble taking this at face value whatsoever.

    • Michael W Busch

      You did not need to contribute to the social stigma against mental illness to make your point.

      • Darius

        I don’t mean to stigmatize anyone. Are you disputing that people with untreated bipolar disorder sometimes act in ways that they otherwise wouldn’t?

        • Darius

          To be clear, I am not asserting that he has any mental illness. I am simply saying that there is nothing that makes what we saw in that video so incredible that I would assume it to be a fake.

          • Michael W Busch

            And I agree with you that the video certainly could be entirely real. But you didn’t need to invoke mental illness to make that point.

            • Darius

              I know, but overkill is part of my style. My intent was not to stigmatize or assert anything about the man.

              • Michael W Busch

                That’s the problem with a lot of subtle stigmatization – it isn’t intentional.

                • Darius

                  And that is the kind I can’t get too worked up about. I won’t censor myself due to guessing games about how others my misinterpret my meaning.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Unintentional subtle stereotyping – be it sexist, racist, ableist, or any other form of bigotry – contributes to serious problems. This should encourage everyone to be very mindful of their words. It’s not censorship as much as it is being specific.

                • Darius

                  I believed I have clarified.

                • Carmelita Spats

                  It is censorship and comedians loathe it. It can get so ridiculous that words are taken out of nineteenth century novels, photographs are destroyed, paintings defaced and when my neighbor says, “He couldn’t make a plug for a dog’s asshole with a shit for a pattern” I have to get on to him about the fact that this is ableist language. George Carlin said it best, “I’m not sure that’s the way to fight discrimination. I’m not sure silencing people or forcing them to alter their speech is the best method for solving problems that go much deeper than speech.” So when I hear, “In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”, I now have to correct the person, “In the kingdom of the visually impaired, the partially-sighted person is fully empowered.” Or, “the opera isn’t over until the full-figured woman sings.” I remember the day my bucktoothed neighbor told me he had an overbite. That was the day I traded my glasses for prescription eyewear. What I thought was a trailer park is now a manufactured home community which means that on the Jerry Springer show we’ve actually been watching manufactured-home-community trash. In spite of language, my “laugh lines” still look a helluva lot like crow’s feet and I’m much happier for facing this fact.

        • Michael W Busch

          You have no grounds for assigning any specific diagnosis to the man. Nor is such a diagnosis particularly associated with being loud and obnoxious in public.

          And saying “he’s an obnoxious loudmouth, therefore he must be mentally ill” is stigmatizing mental illness.

          • murphium

            Michael, thank you for what you said in this thread, and for sticking with it to make your point. I was going to quote your best parts, but it’s best left whole.

          • Darius

            Just in case you’re interested in why I brought up bipolar disorder, I have a family member with this condition. In my experience, if he is off his meds and in a manic state I would not be surprised to see behavior similar in overall character if not content to the man in the video. Again to be absolutely clear, I do not claim that the man in this video has this condition, and I would never stigmatize anyone suffering from a mental illness of any kind. This does not mean however that it is inappropriate to be frank about what the symptoms of such conditions may be.

            • Carmelita Spats

              You did nothing wrong. You just got a church lady scolding. He also has problems with the word “idiot” as it is ableist language. I now have to be more specific when I want to tell my neighbor that he is an “idiot” so I just tell him that a buzzard shit him on a log and the sun hatched him. I’ve also told him that he couldn’t organize a piss-up in a brewery but this might be ableist language. I’ll have to check.

              • Kodie

                The point is not to obey Michael when he keeps reminding people what not to say, but to think about the words you use in everyday habitual language. The point about idiot isn’t that it’s now “safe” language because it’s archaic and no longer a medical term, but that the word went out of favor in medical usage because it was so quickly corrupted by people who want to compare someone they disagree with with a person who has a medical condition. And every time you just say that guy is crazy, you are excepting mental illness from other illnesses you wouldn’t dare use as an insult. It’s not censorship and he’s not being a church lady. You can use those words if you want to be defiant to kind thinking, and lazy. He is just trying to make you think why you rely on poor language that throws people worse off than you under the bus. You’re just being salty and thoughtless.

            • Kodie

              The only way you can conceive of the kind of behavior demonstrated in the video is to draw on your experience of an extreme state of unmedicated mania? Yes, manic people can display outrageous behavior in public with no self-awareness they are causing a scene, but that’s irrelevant here.

              • Darius

                Strawman a bit?

                • Kodie

                  I doubt it.

              • Darius

                I think you’re missing the point of my mention of it at all. My intent was to force those who would make special arguments for someone from ‘The Group’ to admit that the same rules apply to us all.

                • Kodie

                  “Throw in a little bipolar disorder, and I have not trouble taking this at face value whatsoever.”

                • Darius

                  Please explain your reading of that then, because I honestly don’t understand your objection. Perhaps it was worded poorly. Have I not been clear enough about my intended meaning?

                • Kodie

                  My translation is: “all us atheists are not perfect like we’d like to believe; some of us may have a mental illness, after all, which would explain this over-the-top scene realistically to my satisfaction.”

                • Darius

                  I’m sorry, I could have worded my post more clearly. The explanation is meant to be the bit before that. The part you quoted was meant to be such an obvious and unnecessary additional possibility as to put the question to rest once and for all.

              • Darius

                You are being uncharitable here at the very least. I have already stated that I don’t assert that the man in the video has a mental illness. This being so, I obviously can conceive of alternate explanations for his behavior.

                • Kodie

                  I don’t think I’m being as uncharitable as you are. The point is to get you to think about what you are saying before you go ahead and say it. I’ve known severely mentally ill people, including bipolar and psychotic. I agree some of them can say some outrageous things, no filter, I have called the police on the psychotic because he needed help. He was harassing a neighbor, and it all got out of hand in a way, and it was the 4th call to the police in a week, who dismissed the problem as domestic violence and suggested I get myself away to a safe place, and then left. It was the only way to get him to the hospital to get him diagnosed and treated. He was behaving paranoid and brought a boxcutter to meet with his father in case he had to fight to the death and became obsessed with proposing marriage to said neighbor and thought he could hear her through the walls summoning him to do so, even though we hardly ever had any contact with her and weren’t friendly. He bought a full matching suit down to the socks and shoes and thought they were in love. That’s not what we’re talking about.

                  People are very quick to seek patterns here. Yes, mentally ill people who are unmedicated have, at times, acted strangely in public. Most of us have a friend or relative afflicted and seen them at their worst, and I have seen threads related to outrageous videos where people try to figure out what disease could make a person act that way that “normal” polite society never does. I guess most people do not relate to having emotions, and not giving a fuck. If you see someone who is not perfectly reserved and moderated, jump to conclusions, voice your conclusions, where the only reason someone might not be perfectly reserved and moderated is a severe mental disorder. I realize your post was not to go, “man, that dude is craaaaazy!” in judgment, but to compare his behavior to someone you know, who has a disease that can be very difficult to regulate, but is not something he can otherwise help, as a way to sort this guy into a category where you can comprehend acting out in public.

                  The call to awareness of ableist language is supposed to make you think first. I like to think atheists who are engaged in these conversations would want to be more aware of how they express themselves and strive to be more accurate, less judgmental, and learn about their flaws, quick judgments, and attitudes rooted more in habit and culture than active effort, and try to be more sensitive about othering. I like to think so, I don’t always get what I want either. It’s not to shut you up and talk like I want you to talk, or Michael, or whoever else is addressing these ingrained habits manifested in a small word here or there, it’s an attempt to motivate you to think first, and if you think about it, and you still want to attribute your credibility of this guy’s behavior to your understanding of bipolar disorder, at least you would have thought about it instead of firmly standing your ground on what you intended by what you said because of some bullshit like “PC” or “censorship” that you oppose on thoughtless principle.

    • BFG9000

      If you’ve ever seen Landover Baptist Church, it would be pretty obvious that it is a farce being put on by atheists. Don’t be so high and mighty just because you are one of the prophesized people who will spread logic and rationality to all who believe in Richard Dawkins.

  • Mr Moto

    This is UC Berkeley, at the Sather Gate entrance where “unusual” behavior is the norm. It is probably quite real, and nothing compared to the rest of Telegraph Ave right across from where this person is ranting.

    If you want to compare the behavioral standards of your neighbor to Berkeley don’t. It is a unique and wonderful and irrational place that defies categorization.

    • Darren C

      Yes, don’t compare similar things, because everything in my world is unique. Give me a break.

  • TheGunslinger

    I feel that this guy is for real. Maybe he just seen the light (do not know what light it was) on that day of barefoot jogging.

  • Grady

    I think I am seeing evolution at work.
    The evolution of Atheist blogs into actual Hate Sites.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Raging because you got caught sock puppeting, and yet too stupid to stop giving yourself away by repeating the same unrelated gibberish as you did on your other accounts. You’re a sad, pitiable wretch.

      • RobMcCune

        show us what Good People atheists are.

        That’s easy we won’t become a hateful liar like Grady, then we’ll be miles ahead of christians.

        • RobMcCune

          Says the guy who spends years on a hateful crusade.

          • RobMcCune

            You want to set up gulags, and you think everyone else hateful? Project much?

    • RobMcCune

      So you oppose the post condemning this person’s behavior? Sounds like your just looking for reasons to hate.

  • indorri

    I’m more inclined to take this at face value: I don’t think it’s likely to be an acting Christian due to the lack of codewords that permeate Christians that pretend to be atheists.

  • islandbrewer

    Yeah,, no video of Sather Gate or Sproul Plaza would look realistic without at least one over-the-top screaming reality-challenged ranting guy in it.

  • Kodie

    I think he was just having a bad day, had enough of these preachers, or whatever, and it triggered him. It’s been bottled up inside him. I get the sense that he is not like this every day, and he just got triggered. I don’t like to be encountered by preachers on the street, and I do react pretty rudely but I keep moving, I say “fuck off,” or whatever. What I’m afraid of is exactly this kind of scene. I think it’s real. I’m afraid if I had to get in an argument with a Christian preacher live, I would feel as though attacked, and probably let loose an incoherent compilation of atheism’s greatest hits without some idea where I was going. In fact, just about every day out of the house for me, I fear I will end up on youtube if someone pushes my buttons. I have gotten angry in public before, and I forget that people have cameras now. I don’t think it’s normal, but I don’t think he’s ill, either.

    • Darren C

      I agree 1000%!! The worst is when people tell me to have a blessed day or or “God Bless you”. I think if I had a rampage like that, mine would probably be even less coherent than his, but the shoes I would have on would make me seem less irrational.

      • Darius

        XD

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    It’s fake. Sorry but I’m a lousy enough actor to know bad acting when I see it. This is bad acting. I don’t know who made it or why, but it’s not real. Also, someone just happens to be videorecording this exchange? Sorry, no.

    • Guest87

      In this day of age, when people start acting nuts, people tend to pull out their cameras. You can see multiple people filming in the video. I’m sure there was a brief exchange of small words between the jogger and the preacher and the cameraman thought, “oh, this will be good,” and turned it on just as the rage monologue commenced

  • Wild Rumpus

    The only thing that I have in common with this guy, is that neither of us believe in gods. That is all. We don’t share a credo or a dogma or a belief in the supernatural. We also don’t believe in flying pink unicorns or Russel’s teapot, so I guess we have that in common… but other than that, all I see is a really frustrated, slightly deranged guy that doesn’t represent me in any way.

  • CC

    Maybe I’m too much of a bleeding heart, but I saw and heard someone who
    is filled with pain. He said a lot of things that clue the listener in
    that he may have had a really difficult life thus far (from the south, bullied
    in school, gay, etc.) He’s obviously intelligent and has kept up with much
    of what has happened and IS happening which alone can drive you nuts, such as
    comparing us to mass murders and telling us we are the cause of all the ills in
    society and that’s not even touching the homosexual side of the issues. It appears that he’s feeling backed into a corner. He just seemed like he needed to get it out and seeing the guy holding the sign broke the dam. He even stated that he was already feeling better about 3/4 of the way into the video.

    To me he symbolized someone who has reached the edge which can happen and
    has happened on both sides and I hope that somewhere soon he will get some help in dealing with his pain before anything really horrible happens. I don’t think it’s fair to say he’s a militant atheist just by seeing him lose it and throw out a few things that might make our skin crawl. I’m not a militant atheist, but I have felt very much like this guy sometimes. A feeling that there is no hope, that I’m not being protected from religion encroaching into government. Fear that my teenage children will go through life having to defend themselves against the hate. It can be a very scary and an alarming feeling. A feeling that makes me want to scream sometimes too.

    BUT, first and foremost I’m a human being who cares deeply about others and would have looked out for both of those men.

  • Amazing Atheist

    Wow, nothing but like buttons on here. Where the fk is the DISLIKE button.

  • Amazing Atheist

    Oh really? Your going to moderate the comments, and remove anything that doesn’t suit you? Way to be pro free speech dude. I’m an Atheist, but I am removing you from my facebook. Unlike.

    • Brian Westley

      Good. Fuck off.

  • http://www.helensotiriadis.com/ helen sotiriadis

    it looks real to me.

  • Danny Klopovic

    Anecdotaly – yes such atheists exist and I have been on the receiving end of similar rants. I suspect lurking behind the question as to whether this rant is for real is a prejudice that no atheist could ever be that crazy. Had it been any religious person engaging in the same behaviour, atheists would simply nod and say “figures”.

    Though I must say that I’ve only ever experienced that sort of ranting 3 times from 3 different men – the majority of atheists I know are nothing like that.

  • SeekerLancer

    This seems pretty rehearsed but I can’t really say if it is real or not. Some people are just strange and some people just have bad days.

  • kelemi

    When trying to convince others, it’s not only what you say, but how you say it.
    This blurb says it well:

    Being a Christian is okay. Being a homophobic, racist or otherwise hateful person in the name of Christianity is not okay.

    Being an Atheist is okay. Being an atheist and shaming religions as silly and not real in a hateful obnoxious way is not okay.

    Many Fundamentalists and Atheists make the mistake of responding in a hateful obnoxious way. The end result is to turn people off. You have a right to your opinions, but if you want to convince others, say them in a peaceful way.

    You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

    • Darius

      The guy in the video is over the top for sure. But what I find more objectionable is that his arguments are so very, very bad. In fact they don’t amount to anything more than “Religion is bad, m’kay.”

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      That’s why bees catch so many flies all the time!

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      • kelemi

        Good one. I’ll try to fit it in my quotes to use. Thanks!

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      Having done some research on this, I must say that this is incorrect. You actually catch far more flies with vinegar than honey; flies don’t actually like honey that much, but they love vinegar.

      The rest of your point probably still stands, I just thought you’d like to know that flies make poor choices sometimes :).

      • Kodie

        You could probably catch even more flies with poop, if catching flies is what you want to do, I mean, if you’re considering your audience to be flies, you will catch just about all the flies you want with poop, and nobody but flies.

  • Tobias2772

    Atheists are a significantly large group. Within this group we are likely to have extremists just like any other group. This guy could easily be real – and embarassing to those of us who value rationally thought and reasonable discourse. Every group has their wackjobs. I, personally think that we have less than most groups.

  • Burpy

    I’m inclined to believe that this is real. He made some good points, and some bad points (most notably the bits about allowing Christians to live). But the delivery… 2 out of 10.

  • JKPS

    Have you been on /r/atheism? There are a lot of awesome atheists there, but there are some batshit crazy ones, too. I don’t see why this couldn’t be one of them.

  • josell66

    This is not a joke at internet. Any militant atheist at internet looks almost exactly as this guy.

  • baal

    “in person, and with the same intensity he says them online.”
    yep.
    And when I’m reading ‘mean’ people on line or folks who advocate authoritarian positions or think that violence is ok, I think of people like the guy in the video.

    That said, I do enjoy short rants and view them as a type of literature. Long ones like the vid above come off as mental instability even when meant in earnest (I don’t think this guy is a Poe). Avoiding being dismissed out of hand is something to watch for when engaging in public debate.

  • Free

    Seemed to me that this man was being very honest with his feelings his world view and taking the opportunity to take his shot. As a Christian, I was left with sympathy for this man. Not pity. I was able through his rant to understand the frustration of what I would think would be the feelings of many atheists. Things they would want to say and say it with passion. I do not agree with all off his assessments or with his core world view but I understand his passion. Of course there are better ways to gain credibility. One thing I agree with him and atheists on is religion for religion sake sucks.

  • Ogre Magi

    I think it is high time someone publicly stood up to christians

  • A. Wyatt Man

    You didn’t hear him use the word “goyim” and “goyisha”? This is all about him being Jewish, you idiots. Typical bandwagon atheist behavior, you hammer on about Christians shelving logic on the existence of God, which is not really provable one way or the other, then you see what is obviously a tribalistic Zionist (that’s the Jewish equivalent of a Nazi, just incase you’d missed the entire Arab-Israeli conflict) and you’re willfully ignorant about why he’s so rude to Christians. Try reading the Talmud or the Qur’an if you want to see venomous, hate-filled supremacist ideologies.

    This is why I started calling myself agnostic ten years ago. Most atheists are anti-theistic in the most abominable way, and are content tolerating Islam and Judaism because they’re not as culturally relevant and thus harder to bash. That’s like being against rape but saying murder is okay. If you oppose religious authoritarianism, then do it across the board. If you want a license to persecute Christians, go join the Free Syrian Army.

    I’m glad to see that an opportunity to speculate about the root of this person’s behaviour has devolved into autistic shitfighting over whether or not it’s rude to point out that people with mental illnesses are abnormal.

    Fucking grow a pair.

  • Critic

    i’m not saying atheist are perfect but to be an atheist takes a great deal of time and research, we didn’t one day wake up and disprove the existence of a GOD or GODs, you can’t just do such a thing over night. so i’d say for an atheist to act in such a way it is highly impossible. but for a religious person to act and take his time in defending their religion it is highly possible. hell look at 9:11. enough said.

  • Dude

    Well if you look outside your bubble, you’ll see a lot more to this. Unfortunately, he’s not the only one. There are people of all shades and colors.

  • Peter Zachos

    Brian Erwin’s emailed response seems very detailed and thought out. Almost too thought out.


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