Five Atheism-Related Stories from the Past Week That Left Me Shaking My Head…

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses five stories from the past week that left me shaking my head:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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.

  • Iron Hat

    I couldn’t disagree ( and help being a little offended) more with the statements Hemant made claiming “there really isn’t such a thing as militant atheism” and that “this is an example of it if it existed”. There is indeed a brand of atheism that can be defined as militant meaning aggressive and or confrontational atheism. An individual or group need not be violent or commit acts of terrorism to be considered militant. I consider myself a “militant” atheist simply because I refuse to be apologetic or “quiet” about my disdain for the blind belief in god or gods and all the hyperbolic and corrosive ignorance this belief system spreads. I never go looking for confrontation and I actually try real hard to avoid it, however, I do not subscribe to a “turn the other cheek” philosophy.

    • John

      You should Google the words “militant” and “military” and get back to us. Thanks.

      • the moother

        You can’t expect people with empty heads to actually be able to use the google. Can you?

    • Bitter Lizard

      The problem is the double-standard. Theists use the word “militant” on any atheist who is outspoken about their convictions, but don’t use it in the same way to describe outspoken Christians or Muslims. When you hear “militant Christian” or “militant Muslim”, it generally refers to theists who actually commit violence because of their beliefs. The use of “militant atheist” in this context is an Orwellian tactic used by theists to imply that an atheist saying impolite things on a blog is equal to a Muslim flying a plane into a building or a Christian bombing a clinic. It’s a really sick, dishonest way to create false equivalence.

      That being said, I do call myself a “Militant Athiest” on occasion mostly to make fun of the idiots who do this.

    • Michael Davis

      I think what he is trying to say is that your level of behavior would not be far outside the norm, if at all, for many christians. Why to they get to add a pejorative term to what they call you when they act the same way or, even worse, resort to violence and harassment? He’s talking “militant” in the same terms as, say, Hamas, who is shooting people. Remember, the video was about an explosion/bomb.

    • SeekerLancer

      No doubt there are people out there who are confrontational and even evangelical about atheism, but “militant” is a strawman term used to make it seem like the worst atheists are the same as the worst religious extremists. When used as an adjective in front of every other religion it denotes violence.

      But with atheists it’s used to a ridiculous degree considering even people like Hemant are considered “militant atheists.” Its use is an attempt to falsely accuse someone of hypocrisy where none exists and shame them into shutting up about their secular opinions.

      It’s all language spin designed to color people’s perception.

    • phantomreader42

      Would christians being as “aggressive and or confrontational” as a so-called “militant atheist” be described as “militant christians”? No, they would not. Therefore, the adjective “militant” is so poorly-defined and inconsistently applied as to be meaningless in this context.
      As long as atheists get called “militant” for merely existing, while the religious would have to commit mass murder to be called “militant”, the term “militant atheist” is a meaningless load of bullshit.

  • JA

    I’d like to know why one even needs a license to perform marriage ceremonies, since the ceremony is just a formality now and the marriage is not official until the marriage license is signed, yet here you can just go to the courthouse with your fiance and a couple of witnesses and obtain a license and be legally/officially married once its signed.

  • Jatterbu

    It’s pronounced ore -y -gun dammit. Sorry I’m a bit militant about that.

  • Paula M Smolik

    I saw a picture of the same dress. That was way too slutty to wear to a wedding. But dressing like a skank isn’t just for atheists. It’s wrong for everyone. I’m an atheist, and I’m not going to wear something like that at a wedding.

    • ZenDruid

      Don’t worry, nobody is going to force you.

  • Librepensadora

    On the story about the bloggers: The definition of hurt feelings as a crime always reminds me of the New England witchcraft trials of the late 17th Century. If you did not like a woman, all you had to do was claim she was a witch and her life was effectively over. She would be executed and you got (at least a share of) her property for purging yet another of Satan’s minions from the community.

    If you hate someone enough to want them dead, all you have to do is say that they hurt your feelings by something they said about your religion. Against this crime there is no defense. “I did not say that,” or “That’s not what I meant” do not count. That is why it is so frightening to watch the UN seriously considering adding ‘blasphemy’ to its list of crimes.


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