No, We Won’t Be Quiet About Our Atheism

(In response to this post)

About M J Shepherd

Matthew graduated Louisiana State University in 2009 with a BA in studio art and a minor in art history. He has been drawing cartoons and comics online for several years.

  • kelemi

    Being an atheist is okay.
    Being an atheist and shaming religions and spirituality as silly and not real is not okay.
    Being a Christian is okay.
    Being homophobic, misocynistic, racist, or otherwise hateful person in the name of Christianity is not okay.
    Being a reindeer is okay.
    Bullying and excluding another reindeer because a he has a shiny red nose is not okay.

    • Bitter Lizard

      Being an atheist and shaming religions and spirituality as silly and not real is not okay.

      So we’re supposed to lie? Are we supposed to lie about all things that are stupid, or only stupid things that result in lots of people getting killed?

      • kelemi

        Live and let live. I am as critical of the religious zealots as I am the atheists. The religious zealots believe they are telling the truth.

        Do it in a civil manner. The profane, condescending manner of both is turning people off. You have a message. Fine. Get it out the right way.

        No, don’t lie, but don’t bully either. Remember, the religious zealots don’t believe they’re lying wither.

        • Bitter Lizard

          I’m well-aware that people who are full of shit think they’re telling the truth as well. Just because people who are wrong think they’re telling the truth does not mean people should cease telling the truth. And I realize that telling the truth is off-putting to some people. You being full of shit is off-putting to me. I’m not infringing on your right to live or believe by pointing out that you’re talking nonsense.

          • kelemi

            And I’m not infringing on your right to live or believe by pointing out that you’re talking nonsense.

            • Bitter Lizard
            • islandbrewer

              Really? Makes sense to me. Do you just need more explanation and hand-holding while you read?

              • Bitter Lizard

                Oh yeah? Well you’re an explanation!

            • phantomreader42

              And yet you claim that we’re not allowed to call nonsensical religious beliefs nonsense. Why can’t you even PRETEND to follow the rules you’re trying to force on atheists?

        • Trattotta

          “Do it in a civil manner”

          The problem with that idea being that religionists characterise as “uncivil” any recognition of the mythical nature of their ideology.

          Don’t control others’ speech. Respect free expression. If your myth can’t survive in a free marketplace of ideas, it doesn’t deserve to.

          • Robin

            My daughter refuses to speak to me cause I said I am an atheist, I didn’t yell it or put her down because she believes in god. When people stop putting it in my face and telling me how stupid I AM then I will stop telling them they are stupid.

            • Bitter Lizard

              Theists get pissed off because atheists exist (see: billboards with the word “atheist” on them). There’s no point in trying to sugar-coat things or bend the truth to try and placate them because they’re going to act like a bunch of shitheads regardless.

          • kelemi

            As a libertarian, I have great respect for freedom of and from religion. I belong to a political discussion group. One member is a fundamentalist preacher and another an atheist. We have a great exchange of ideas. we in no way wish to control others’ thoughts or ideas, as long as nobody else is hurt by them.

            • Trattotta

              You are responding to a post about *silencing* with complaints about tone.

              The point is – opposing religion is deemed unacceptable tone by religionists. What you’re promoting is silencing.

            • TheMarkness

              You are being far too middle-of-the-road to be posting in this thread. If you have a point, you sure aren’t making it.

              • kelemi

                Actually I did. Respect other people’s beliefs.

                • CassandraJK

                  No. Not just no, but fuck no. I absolutely will not respect beliefs that cause real, physical harm in this world (followers of the big three Abrahamic religions, I’m looking at you). Beliefs that justify harming others deserve ridicule, never respect.

                • TheMarkness

                  But you don’t seem to be able to do that, so how is your point valid?

                • Cluebyfour

                  Respect other people’s beliefs.

                  Respect is earned, and your beliefs aren’t worthy.

                • kelemi

                  Your bullying deserves no respect either. You obviously have nothing better to do than bully people.

                • Cluebyfour

                  Your bullying deserves no respect either.

                  Thou shalt not transfer thine imaginary friend’s characteristics on to others.

                  You obviously have nothing better to do than bully people.

                  Please stop confusing me with your imaginary friend, kelemi.

                • kelemi

                  This so called imaginary friend that you talk about Hasn’t bullied me, like you have.

                  You obviously are a very unhappy person who loves to bully people.

                • Cluebyfour

                  This so called imaginary friend that you talk about Hasn’t bullied me, like you have.

                  Yeah, I haven’t threatened to throw you into a fire for eternity unless you get on your knees and kiss my ass; or, hell, any other bullying for that matter.

                  LOL

                  You obviously are a very unhappy person who loves to bully people.

                  Yes, kelemi, I’m very unhappy that I don’t wake up every day believing I’m an incorrigibly evil piece of shit who deserves to be tortured for eternity unless I suck up to your imaginary friend.

                  [rhetorical question] Psychologically project much? [/rhetorical question]

                  LOL

                • kelemi

                  You are unhappy. Figured as much. I never said that you deserve to be tortured, Nor anyone else. In addition to being a bully, you are a liar. No surprise there. I doubt you have any good qualities. I suspect you have a criminal record too. Was it robbery or murder?

                • Cluebyfour

                  You are unhappy.

                  I know someone who needs to pray for a new sarcasm detector! Yes I do!

                  I never said that you deserve to be tortured, Nor anyone else.

                  Oh, but you do, kelemi, every time you claim allegiance to christianity, you flaming goddamned hypocrite.

                  … you are a liar. No surprise there.

                  That’s about the I-lost-count-of-how-many-times-you’ve-called-me-a-liar without backing it up. No surprise there.

                  LOL

                  I doubt you have any good qualities. I suspect you have a criminal record too.

                  But hey, at least I’m not you. :)

                • Anat

                  Why? I respect people’s right to believe all sorts of stuff, but I don’t have to respect their actual beliefs. If people believe harmful stuff those beliefs are not something to respect.

        • icecreamassassin

          Look – I do get what you’re saying and all, but, honestly, I would hate to ever be in the position of having to say:
          “sorry that you had to suffer; sorry your family had to die; sorry you can’t marry the person you love; sorry your children are getting a sh*tty education; sorry your friends have been ostracized; sorry that you’ve received death threats; sorry your grandmother cries every night because she thinks her grandchildren are going to suffer for all of eternity. I’m sorry for all of that, but at least I don’t have to be sorry for hurting someone else’s feelings.”

          • kelemi

            I believe that people should be allowed to do whatever they want, as long as it’s voluntary, and nobody else is harmed. That said, I agree with your point.

        • skeptical_inquirer

          You’re really minimizing the problem of how much religious zealots’ talk keep hurting not only non-religious people but people who aren’t as zealous as they are.

          Seriously, we are in big, big trouble because people live their lives and run government expecting the End Times to come or trying to institute a theocracy. And we need to really speak against that kind of stuff.

          I don’t want to end up in a Republic of Gilead just so I can boast about my politeness card.

          The whole ‘you’re not polite’ accusation is often used against civil rights type movements.

          • kelemi

            On the other hand, Martin Luther King was a Baptist minister.

            • islandbrewer

              … which is a total non sequitur.

              • skeptical_inquirer

                It also ignores how much backlash women got for daring to protest loudly for the right to vote. Being polite and quiet and waiting for rights to fall from the sky is not the way to be empowered or considered equal.

            • skeptical_inquirer

              MLK was considered rude and uppity for daring to do peaceful protests and for expressing frustration at being considered a 2nd class citizen. Why you think that makes sense as a response, I truly do not understand!

              • kelemi

                Many people on this site seem to think that all people of a religion are bad.

                • skeptical_inquirer

                  Being quiet and polite does nothing. A lot of gay groups got really loud due to the AIDS crisis because a lot of people wanted them to die quietly. They got loud and demanded that money and research be done to do something about this disease, to save their friends & family. While there’s no cure, there’s now treatment that keeps it from being a quick death sentence.

                  Calling people out when they merely follow the letter of etiquette but quietly believe that you deserve to suffer & die and will vote through the polls & the pocketbook for that mostly because they’ve been taught to consider gay people not worth saving . . . Well, I don’t see anything bad about calling people out even if it does hurt their feelings.

                • kelemi

                  Now I under stand the point. During the 1960s, the Blacks tried being nice. Now it’s gays and atheists.

                  You feel that being nice, for now doesn’t work. I get that.

                  I do support atheists’ and gay rights, as well as women’s rights.

                  There are non-atheists out there who support your rights. Know who they are.

                • Matt D

                  “I do support atheists’ and gay rights, as well as women’s rights. There are non-atheists out there who support your rights. Know who they are.”

                  Do you think any of the groups you’ve decided to “support” are going to dismiss centuries of abuse merely because you say things have changed? Do you think we don’t find it odd that one group says “support” us while another right down the street says, “don’t”?

                  The bottom line is simple. You are divided, and I’m fully aware of this, even if you are not. Until this is fixed, I don’t trust you anymore than I would a schizophrenic.

                • kelemi

                  When you had decades of indoctrination, propaganda and conditioning, and had no reason to thik otherwise, some people can change easier than others.

                  And I trust you as much as you do me.

                • Matt D

                  “When you had decades of indoctrination, propaganda and conditioning, and had no reason to thik otherwise, some
                  people can change easier than others.”

                  I don’t know what this means, or how it relates to my statements.

                  “And I trust you as much as you do me.”

                  I’m not part of an organization with a history of murder, torture, abuse, and greed, so I’m fine with outsiders being able to judge who’s standards and ethics are more trustworthy, between the two of us.

                • Matt D

                  Tough cookies.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          “The religious zealots believe they are telling the truth.”

          Is that true?

          • kelemi

            YES!

            • http://empiricalpierce.wordpress.com/ EmpiricalPierce

              Consider this hypothetical: The Flat Earth Society is quite popular in America. They tell everyone they can that the Earth is flat and that if you go too far in one direction you’ll fall off the edge and die. People who believe them become afraid of travel and tell their friends and families not to travel too far, and the problem of travelphobia is spreading throughout America. Should we just shrug and say “Welp, they can believe what they want to believe” or work to oppose the harm caused by this falsehood?

              Because there’s a very important fact you’re overlooking: Falsehoods are inherently harmful, the bigger the worse the harm. Or do you think Andrea Yates would’ve drowned her children to save them from hell if she had never been told the fiction of an afterlife of reward and punishments?

              Religions like Christianity are as obviously false to those who have sufficiently studied their texts and history as Flat Earthism is to those who have sufficiently traveled.

              • kelemi

                Point taken.
                Your tone is excellent.

                Flat earth and Andrea Yates are well said in your point.

                • phantomreader42

                  So, kelemi, you like Pierce’s tone? What do you have to say about the CONTENT? The SUBSTANCE? The actual MEANING of the actual words?
                  Oh, yeah, nothing at all. You are tone trolling personified.

              • Isilzha

                Congrats, Empirical, your tone is on the Kelemi approved list!

                • phantomreader42

                  And, as always, kelemi doesn’t even recognize the EXISTENCE of any CONTENT, only the tone.

            • skeptical_inquirer

              Not always. I suspect a lot of them are just sociopathic folk who love seeing a way to milk people out of their money. Take a look at some of the houses the tele-evangelists have, never mind the amount of money coming in and the private jets.

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

          I have been told I’m being unacceptably rude for saying:

          1) I am an atheist.

          2) I don’t believe in God.

          3) I think belief in anything without evidence is silly- that means unicorns, gods, faeries, ghosts, homeopathy and demons (list is non-exclusive).

          4) Christianity isn’t special- I don’t believe in any religion.

          5) Christianity is inherently immoral- bloodline guilt and substitutionary atonement are pretty awful things.

          So tell me. What is civil argumentation, when my mere existence strikes many as unacceptably uncivil?

          • kelemi

            I did not tell you that you were rude for being an atheist. I respect your right to believe or not believe in a God.
            I am just as critical of certain religions as you. There were also atheists who were bad people, the best known being Stalin.

            Civil means agreeing to disagree, but stating disagreements in a tone that is not inflammatory or condescending.

            • Bitter Lizard

              STALIN! ATHIEST FUNDAMENTILISTS NEDE TO STOP PIRSICTUING ME WITH THERE TONE!

              Sorry, at some point this became an involuntary reaction for me. At least I didn–whoops, spoke too soon.

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

              I repeat my question: If the statement “I do not believe in God” is inflammatory and unbearably rude, in what language may I make my disbelief known? If I find believing in anything without evidence to be silly, in what language may I make this opinion known?

              I am fully aware of what civil language is, thank you. I’m not an idiot, your insinuations to the contrary notwithstanding. I merely ask what language you consider to be properly civil.

              • kelemi

                The statement “I do not believe in God” is neither inflammatory nor unbearably rude,

                What is inflammatory is when someone describes a person agreeing or disagreeing with that statement as a troll or a fascist.

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

                  Well, that came out of nowhere, since I’ve done neither.

                  In what language may I express my displeasure with people accepting things without evidence or in the face of contrary evidence?

                  In what language may I express my opinion that Christianity’s basic tenets are inherently immoral?

                • phantomreader42

                  Perhaps kelemi would find interpretive dance an acceptable form of expression? As long as it was done silently while locked in a closet.

                • kelemi

                  I didn’t say that you did, but a lot of the other readers did.

                  You may express your displeasure in any language you want, as can I.

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

                  That’s nice. I’m so glad I have your permission to use whatever language I want. That, right there? That’s condescending.

                  Now, please answer my questions.

                  In what language may I express my displeasure with people accepting things without evidence or in the face of contrary evidence?

                  In what language may I express my opinion that Christianity’s basic tenets are inherently immoral?

                • kelemi

                  And once again you are a liar.

                  You asked what language to use. Do you mean English, German, what language?

                • phantomreader42

                  Since you’ve made it painfully clear that you are incapable of reading for comprehension, and unwilling to even try, I’ll break it down for you. I don’t expect you to actually read it, but it’s a fun opportunity to mock you.

                  1. You claim that atheists are allowed to exist and to express themselves, as long as they don’t call religious belief silly or say that gods aren’t real.
                  2. Atheists, by definition, do not believe gods are real (your refusal to address this fact is noted and stupid).
                  3. Feminerd is an atheist.
                  4. Therefore, Ferminerd, being an atheist, does not believe gods are real.
                  5. In addition to not believing that gods are real, Feminerd believes that believing things that are unsupported by evidence (or worse, contradicted by it) is silly.
                  6. Feminerd also believes that christian dogma, including substitutionary atonement and bloodline guilt, is not only false but immoral.
                  7. Feminerd has been accused of not being civil for expressing these beliefs.
                  8. You have repeatedly insisted that Feminerd is allowed to express her beliefs, as long as she does so in a “civil” manner.
                  9. Judging by the demands of “civility” you have made in this thread, there exists no way Ferminerd’s beliefs could be expressed that you would consider “civil”.
                  10. Despite repeated requests, you refuse to explain what expression of Feminerd’s beliefs detailed here would be acceptably civil by your bizarre definition of the term.
                  11. Therefore, either you cannot come up with a way in which Feminerd could express herself and meet your demands (which makes your claims referenced in items 1 and 8 lies), or you can but you refuse to state it and are being deliberately obtuse (behavior that is itself dishonest).
                  12. Neither of those possiblities is civil.
                  13. Therefore, YOU are not civil.
                  14. Therefore, all your whining about “civility” is a load of worthless bullshit, and everything you say is a self-serving lie.
                  15. Therefore, it is time for you to fuck off, then fuck off from the place you fucked off to, then fuck off again, then keep fucking off until you get back here, then fuck off once more.

                • kelemi

                  I see that you subscribe to the idea that if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bullshit.

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

                  What would you consider a properly civil way to express my displeasure with people accepting things without evidence or in the face of contrary evidence?

                  What would you consider a properly civil way to express my opinion that Christianity’s basic tenets are inherently immoral?

                  You are fully aware of what I meant- ignoring my questions isn’t really going to get you any points or make you look reasonable or civil. Of course, calling me a liar for pointing out your condescension isn’t helping your case either.

                • Terry Firma

                  Strawman. You just completely shifted your original argument. You were initially telling us that “shaming religions and spirituality as silly and not real is not okay.” Your words. Now you’ve moved the goalpost.

                  Shaming religious believers implies that there is something to shame them about, and there sure is, as they live their lives by unsubstantiated poppycock — and millions of them expect everyone else to do the same, or else.

                  I will shame and mock the especially vocal, dangerous, and irrational ones until my dying breath, partly because (I won’t lie) it’s fun, and partly because they act like the furthest thing from the “live and let credo” that you say you espouse.

            • TheMarkness

              “Civil means agreeing to disagree, but stating disagreements in a tone that is not inflammatory or condescending.”

              I dare you to post in a christian or fundamentalist or creation-apologist thread with the same thing I just quoted whilst posing as an atheist, and report back with your findings. You think atheists are giving you a hard time with your demeanor? Let me know when you start receiving the death threats from them.

              Don’t believe me? Need proof? Run a google image search for “fox news atheists” and click on the FIRST image at the top left.

              You’re pushing your moderate-politics in the wrong thread, hombre. Take a nickel’s worth of advice – atheists aren’t your problem.

        • Isilzha

          Do you not understand the “do it in a civil manner” argument was (and still is) used against women and minorities fighting for equality? You want to silence people because you don’t like the “tone” or “attitude”. Funny how I heard the same sort of crap from my abusive husband. You know what…my tone and attitude are just fine, it’s the message you don’t want to hear. I could deliver it in the most dulcet tone, my tongue dripping golden honey, with an attitude of sweetness and light, but it wouldn’t matter because most xians are offended just by the existence of atheists.

          • kelemi

            I am perfectly willing to hear the message.

            I supported the Vietnam war from 1965 to 1967. The premise was that we were fighting communism. I was called a war monger, fascist, capitalist lackey. Fact was, I couldn’t picture anyone freely choosing communism. Then in 1967, a class mate told me some facts about Vietnam that I didn’t know. It changed my opinion about Vietnam. He didn’t resort to name calling or condescending language.

            As to your abusive husband, I empathise. My sister’s first marriage was to an abusive husband who was a flowery speaker.

            Still, when you want to convince someone, name calling and condescending language are best avoided. You want people on your side.

            • Isilzha

              Again, when you point to someone and say “you’re not being civil” then it’s not about the message or the content of what someone is saying. This tired argument gets trotted out every freaking time an atheist says ANYTHING.

              The “tone troll” thing really hits a nerve for me. It’s been used as a way to silence many different groups of people fighting for their basic rights. I’ve witnessed the tactic firsthand from my abusive husband. Telling others to be “civil” is a manipulative tactic used to silence them, make them back down.

              • kelemi

                Yes, you are the troll in this case. Of course, to you, anyone who disagrees with you is a troll.

                • Isilzha

                  Hey, you don’t like my “tone”…well, you know exactly what you can do with it! You have dozens of people basically telling you the same thing (and using a range of “civility”, tone, sarcasm, and whatever), but you’re the one who is refusing to listen.

                  Again, what you’re trying to do is a classic manipulative technique that’s frequently been used as an attempt to silence a group of people. You certainly didn’t invent it and aren’t the first to try it here. You also won’t be the last.

                • baal

                  Isilzha went out of her way to give you an explanation. It’s too bad you didn’t get the point. In fewer words, accusations of tone being a problem must be done with specificity and not as a generally applicable argument. This is due to history and culture you’re ignoring or are unaware of.

                • phantomreader42

                  But baal, an explanation involves SUBSTANCE! kelemi is congenitally incapable of percieving substance under any circumstances. kelemi literally cannot see ANYTHING but tone! It’s a really bizarre disability.

        • Matt D

          Really? Because it appears to me that you’re trying hard to distance yourself from religious zealotry, without giving us any examples of your criticism or “civil” conversations. And as a bonus, you’ve taken to lumping Atheists with people you find distasteful, merely because you don’t like the tone, which by the way doesn’t impact facts.

          • kelemi

            I am as critical of religious zealots (Westboro Baptist Church) as I am the atheistic ones. The subject here is Atheists. I get the same response from religious zealots as I do the readers of this column.

            • Bitter Lizard

              You say this over and over. It’s nice that there’s some things that are so basic that practically everyone agrees on them–the sun is hot, water is wet, kelemi is awful, etc.–but I don’t see how this fact proves anything.

            • baal

              Please show me a persistent atheist group that pickets funerals with hateful and hate filled signs and makes it’s income off of suing folks who assaulted it’s members. Your equivalency between the WBC and ‘extreme atheists’ fails for want of an equally bad atheist group. If you can’t see that, then your perspective if wrong and you should reconsider how you look at the actual real world facts about the various groups. I suggest looking to the real world actions undertaken by various groups as well as what the leaders in the several communities say and those communities don’t speak against.

              • kelemi

                I never said that Atheists picket funerals the way Westboro Baptist does.

                I did say that I get personal hateful responses from Atheists as well as religious zealots.

                I am actually more critical of the religious zealots than I am of atheists.

                My being in a 10 person political discussion group that includes a fundamentalist and a atheist gives me a clear perspective of what atheists think and encounter. The atheist member has the best knowledge of the bible that I have ever seen. I have deep respect for this person.

            • Matt D

              ” I am as critical of religious zealots (Westboro Baptist Church) as I am the atheistic ones”

              Excellent, then you should have no problem showing me some of this criticism, so where is the evidence of you making arguments against religious zealots?

              Do you have links to the blogs where you do this? Videos, forums, Twitter, etc? Once you provide me some references, and I examine your arguments and their responses, then we can get to the bottom of this and work to solve it.

        • TheMarkness

          Sooo…you’re telling us that you’re better than everyone else, and we should look upon you as a paragon of moral superiority?

          Your argument is very similar to the “not in my backyard” fallacy. If you aren’t going to be bothered to communicate your disagreements with religion in a manner that shows intolerance of tyranny, then don’t presume you have permission to tell others they cannot either.

          “Live and let live”, as you would say. Follow your own advice.

          • kelemi

            I do live and let live. Atheistic zealots like you don’t like that.

            • TheMarkness

              No, you do not, and your comment history proves just that.

              You post veiled ad-hominem attacks, you make straw-man arguments, you defend irrelevant points that you made, you berate anyone who disagrees with you, you speak from authority, you post ad-hoc rebuttals to arguments that nobody is making against you, and you fail to grasp what the author of most articles are saying.

              It’s as though you have some sort of soap-box agenda that you feel everyone should be paying attention to that has nothing to do with anything.

              Live and let live? No, sir, you do no such thing…you just can’t bear to accept or admit it, because you are a coward.

              • kelemi

                Actually I do. The militant atheists are the ones who don’t. When someone out of the blue insists that I belong to a cult, I respond. When someone says that there is nothing good about religion, I respond.

                • TheMarkness

                  “When someone out of the blue insists that I belong to a cult, I respond. When someone says that there is nothing good about religion, I respond.”

                  Why, of course you do! I’ve read your comment history! This is why you don’t “live and let live” like you tell others to! This is why everyone that has replied to you has called you out for being a hypocrite. Just admit it and move on, at least you’ll salvage what little respect I have left for you.

                • kelemi

                  I do not tell others what to or what not to. It is you and your militant atheists who won’t live and let live. I do object to rude profane language from people of religion and atheists alike.

                  I do not belong to a cult. You and they lie. I am free to think as I like and agree or disagree with anyone, including the pastor. I am free to leave anytime I like.

                  I suspect that no matter what I say, you won’t like it. Why don’t you admit that there are atheists that do what you accuse me of doing? Or is it okay for them to do it, but not me?

                  Your double standard is duly noted.

                • Cluebyfour

                  I do object to rude profane language from people of religion…

                  Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
                  They are corrupt, They have done abominable works,
                  There is none who does good.

                  You were saying something about duly noting someone’s double standard?

                  You’re so cute when you’re projecting, kelemi.

                  I do not belong to a cult.

                  In virtually every sense of the word, you most certainly do, Admiral Denial; you most certainly do.

                  LOL

                • TheMarkness

                  • “I do not tell others what to or what not to.”

                  Yes, you do. You said “Live and let live”. Then you went on and told me that you denied saying that, but then admitted it again when I quoted it. You are a liar. Moving on:

                  • “I do object to rude profane language from people of religion and atheists alike.”

                  Your comment history shows you do not object, and our tête-à-tête backs that inconvenient little contradiction up.

                  • “I do not belong to a cult. You and they lie. I am free to think as I like and agree or disagree with anyone, including the pastor. I am free to leave anytime I like.”

                  I never accused you of belonging to a cult, nor did I ever accuse you of being mentally deficient in any way, however, the last part of that statement might be evidence of an addictive personality disorder, as all my years of psychology study and years of working with mental health patients – including codependent and schizophrenics suggests. I’d have that looked at by a counselor or psychologist.

                  • “I suspect that no matter what I say, you won’t like it. Why don’t you admit that there are atheists that do what you accuse me of doing? Or is it okay for them to do it, but not me?”

                  If you are talking about proselytizing, I never said atheists don’t and you do. You must have me confused with someone else you are attempting to argue with, which further shows how many fights you are picking that you can’t win. Nor did I ever commit a double-standard fallacy by claiming atheists refrain from proselytizing, however, I cannot speak for them, for atheism isn’t a religion, a social circle, a class or status, a club, a cult, or any kind of collective that pushes for an ideological order or accord. It appears that in all your gunning from the hip, you managed to neglect a key point in your argument – that atheism is merely a position on a claim and nothing more. Those who proselytize do not speak for atheism – because atheism is not a thing to be spoken for or represented as an ideology or collective concept that regards faith or worship or even fellowship in order to remain valid within society itself.

                  Allow me to inform you on how atheism works, so you can be better prepared in the future when you decide to converse with an atheist. The following is a conversation that takes place between someone who believes in a god or higher power or some sort of supernatural force that binds the universe and everything living in it, and an atheist:

                  Believer: “God(or insert-moniker-here)exists, and I believe in him. Through faith I am certain, and through faith and devotion, He gives me strength.”

                  Atheist: “Can you prove your claim through empirical or physical evidence?”

                  Believer: “If you have faith in your heart, you will have all the proof you need.”

                  Atheist: “If you cannot provide me with empirical or physical evidence to verify your claim, then I have no reason to accept your claim as truth, so I reject your claim.”

                  *end scene*

                  There is no proselytizing coming from this atheist, even though there is proselytizing coming from the believer. The atheist doesn’t lash out at the believer, he simply rejects his claim for a lack of evidence requested. Because the believer is the one making the claim, it is the believer that is encumbered with the burden of proof. Because one cannot prove a negative, the atheist is left with one of two choices; either accept the believer’s claim without evidence, or discard the believer’s claim for a lack of evidence. That’s it. That’s all there is to atheism. It is a position on a claim, nothing more.

                  Anything else is the human condition playing out in a series of conversational equations resulting in illogical discourse. Totally unnecessary.

                  In the future, if you wish to berate those for proselytizing, please start with the believers who consistently attempt to inject their religious beliefs into legislation – like evangelists, catholics, and calvinists. Once you tackle that mountain, berate the atheists all you like, and I’d have no argument against you. Until then – pick your spots. You got trampled on this thread. Stop being pig-headed and admit it. At least you’ll save yourself a shred of dignity.

                  See you around, Kelemi!

                • kelemi

                  First, while you did not accuse me of being in a cult, other militant atheists have.

                  Second, I have criticized zealots of other religions. My original quote included this quip: Being a Christian is okay. Being homophobic, misocynistic, racist, or otherwise hateful person in the name of Christianity is not okay.

                  I belong in a political discussion group that includes both atheists and fundamentalists. I have criticized Christians and Muslims in other articles.

                  I have had atheists lash out at me. In a column about what Christ would do, I mentioned his need to care for the poor. Several atheists called me stupid or worse.

                  It is a two way street. I try to understand and be civil. I may not always succeed.

                  I liked the support I got from several atheists for my opposing the war on drugs, being the world policeman, and keeping religion out of government. This column doesn’t show it, but other columns show my stand on these issues.

                • Cluebyfour

                  Actually I do.

                  If you did, you wouldn’t be here.

                  When someone out of the blue insists that I belong to a cult, I respond.

                  By denying that you belong to a cult; denial on par with a child standing in front of his mother swearing up and down he didn’t take a cookie as crumbs are falling out of his mouth.

                  LOL

                • kelemi

                  I see that you are a great liar. Saying that you don’t belong to a cult means that. Your analogy to the child is bogus. I guess that when all else fails, you resort to lying.

                  Congratulations on being a great liar.

                • Cluebyfour

                  I see that you are a great liar.

                  I see you conveniently left out the part where you actually identified the lie(s) you’re accusing me of uttering; which makes you the liar, kelemi.

                  Saying that you don’t belong to a cult means that.

                  You saying you don’t belong to a cult means you’re in denial.

                  LOL

                  Your analogy to the child is bogus.

                  Only in your pathetic little world of denial, kelemi.

                  I guess that when all else fails, you resort to lying. Congratulations on being a great liar.

                  There you go projecting again, kelemi. You really should get that looked at. It’s become infected.

        • Brilliancy

          Your argument based on tone is weak and pathetic. In the seven levels of disagreement only two are lower: name calling and personal attacks.

          Please come back latter with an actual argument. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out… Who am I kidding, I hope you fall down the stairs.

          http://abagond.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/disagreement-hierarchy.jpg?w=500&h=379

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            I’d rank wishing harm upon those whom you disagree with a few tiers below the base of that chart.

          • baal

            I agree with C.L. I loved your comment until the last line.

        • J5K

          No. You cannot simply “live and let live”. Religions are not some benign, silly force to ignore. They are the root of all that is wrong with society and are one of the worst cancers upon humanity.

      • Guest

        Wait, Why can Christians say other religions are silly and not real (by definition of Christian), yet atheists can’t?

    • Pattrsn

      According to any religion, all other religions aren’t real. All atheists do is say neither is yours.

      • kelemi

        I have no problem with that. We can agree to disagree, in a civil way.

        • Pattrsn

          I don’t personally pick fights with theists, however if one tries to convince me of the truth of their religion I’m likely to disagree by pointing out the absurdities in their beliefs. But only if they try to convince me, or if they use religion to argue in favour of discrimination/oppression. Otherwise I’m a big believer of live and let live.

          • # zbowman

            ^This. The second someone proselytizes, then it’s open season. Until then, as long as the beliefs aren’t hurting anyone either directly or otherwise (or being used to justify or rationalise said hurt) then who cares?

            • phantomreader42

              zbowman:

              The second someone proselytizes, then it’s open season. Until then, as long as the beliefs aren’t hurting anyone either directly or otherwise (or being used to justify or rationalise said hurt) then who cares?

              Has there been a single time in the last thousand years that christianity has NOT been in use to justify or rationalize hurting people? Serious question.

              • # zbowman

                Uncertain. But I’m talking on an individual level; if someone’s beliefs aren’t causing them to have negative effects on the people around them, then I’m not going to kick up any dust.

        • Trattotta

          You don’t get to be the arbiter of what is “civil”, and whether being “civil” is necessary or appropriate.

          I certainly don’t see any requirement to be “civil” when someone presents with the lie of “knowing there’s a god”, and demands privilege for themselves and restriction of others’ rights on that basis – as “mainstream” and “moderate” religionists do.

          • Bitter Lizard

            I don’t think I’ve ever seen a religious apologist use the word “civil” in reference to religious debate in a way that wasn’t hypocritically loaded against anyone who disagrees with them.

            “Hey, I believe that this book that says you deserve to suffer forever and ever for not agreeing with me is the divine word of a perfect being.”

            “That’s ridiculous.”

            “Quit being so uncivil!”

            • kelemi

              Actually, you’re the one not being civil.

              • Bitter Lizard

                I fully accept that I’m one of the ruder people on this group, but please explain exactly what I said that was wrong to say and explain why it was wrong to say it. And if you really do just care about “tone” and not silencing opinions you don’t like, please explain exactly what wording I could have used to communicate the same thing that you would have found appropriate. I’m genuinely interested, as vague as you’ve been about what constitutes “civility”.

              • phantomreader42

                And we all know that you don’t actually care at all whether or not anything Bitter Lizard said is TRUE, as long as you can manufacture an excuse to whine about civility.

                • kelemi

                  Actually I do care if it is true. His tone takes attention away from the content.

                  You don’t seem to care about the content.

                • phantomreader42

                  You have not, at any point, shown the slightest interest in addressing the content. All you do is whine about tone. Your complete and utter inability to look at anything of substance is not a magical curse placed upon you by people saying naughty words. It’s YOUR problem.

                • kelemi

                  Actually, I do. You and your fellow atheists are the whiners.

          • kelemi

            You think the fact that a God exists is a lie. The religious person thinks that God doesn’t exist is a lie.

            Remember, it’s not only what you say, but how you say it that counts.

            I belonged to a political discussion group that included an atheist and a fundamentalist preacher. We had a good civil exchange of Ideas.

            I get attacked by both atheists and fundamentalists.

            • Trattotta

              “Remember, it’s not only what you say, but how you say it that counts.”

              Nonsense. You don’t get to be arbiter of what other people want to say, or how.

              Your distinction of “fundamentalists” is wrong in this respect – its “moderate” religionists demanding silence. They won’t be getting it.

              • kelemi

                No, it’s the fundamentalists demanding silence.

                • phantomreader42

                  Fundamentalist Tone Troll kelemi lied again:

                  No, it’s the fundamentalists demanding silence.

                  Which would make YOU one of those “fundamentalists”. Of course, since you’ve redefined the word “fundamentalist” so it has no more meaning than “blurdiggeldy-florp”, that really doesn’t say much.

                • kelemi

                  Can’t come up with facts, so you resort to name calling.

                • phantomreader42

                  …says the asshat who redefined “fundamentalist” to apply it to anyone who doens’t immediately kneel and lick his filthy boots in the name of his twisted version of “civility”.

                • kelemi

                  Thank you for proving my point. All you know is name calling.

            • phantomreader42

              Tone Troll kelemi whined:

              I get attacked by both atheists and fundamentalists.

              Well, the important thing is that you’ve found a way to feel superior to both

              • kelemi

                Ah yes, resorting to name calling. I didn’t whine, but the people responding to my comment are whining.

                People who resort to name calling usually don’t know what they’re talking about.

                • BadKitty

                  You’ve called people stupid at least two, maybe three times. Does that count? Just curious.

                • kelemi

                  I never called any of the responders stupid. You are a liar.

                • 3lemenope

                  “All you know is name-calling” implies that the person you are addressing knows no other thing but name-calling, which would be reasonably described as a state of stupidity. You didn’t do yourself any favors by revealing that your beliefs include that people who name-call “usually don’t know what they’re talking about”.

                  Are you saying it is better to subtly imply you think a person is stupid than to say it outright? Why?

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Except he has said it outright as well on this thread. He’s lying, poorly.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Bullshit. I gave you a little benefit of the doubt before based on how unbelievably dense you are, but now it’s pretty obvious that you’re the liar. You called phantomreader stupid, to give just one example, and there was a whole conversation about your hypocrisy when you did it so it’s not like you forgot. Anybody can scroll through the comments and see this. Do you think Jesus is happy that you lie, kelemi?

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Do you think Jesus is happy that you lie, kelemi?

                  Trademark infringement, you owe me a banana.

                • kelemi

                  I never did any of the things you mentioned. So, it is quite obvious that you are the liar.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Fine. I took two screenshots. Are you still going to deny saying this?

                • kelemi

                  Merely responding the way they did. I see that it’s okay for them to do this, but not me.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  You entirely miss the point, as usual. They didn’t lie about it. You lied, and you got caught. That’s the whole point. You are calling other people liars when you were just caught in a bald-faced lie.

                • kelemi

                  They most certainly lied. Or at least, they didn’t come up with facts. You have a double standard. It’s okay if you or other atheists do it, but I can’t.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  When you’re in a hole, stop digging, kelemi. Just apologize for being a liar and move on.

                • kelemi

                  I responded the way they did. I apologize for the misinformation. Now you and the others should apologize for the names they called me. They started it, not me.You still seem to have the double standard that it is okay for you to resort to name calling but I can’t.

                  You don’t know when to do good cop and when to do bad cop.

                • baal

                  Kelemi, you can’t say “i don’t say ‘stupid’” and then say ‘stupid’*
                  *but you did it first so that’s ok. The other folks using the word didn’t say they don’t use it. It’s not a double standard to hold people to their assertions.

                  Me, I avoid it having been convinced by Dan Finke’s argument on the word.

                • kelemi

                  I did not say it first, the other person did. You didn’t mention that the responder was trying to provoke me. I only said it after they did. You are telling a half truth.

                • baal

                  Be the better person and stay with your word and don’t use it even when provoked or ‘doing it second’.

                • kelemi

                  You have a good point here. I try to avoid name calling and profanity. I don’t always succeed, but I will try to. I wish others would also do likewise.

                • 3lemenope

                  Who cares who said it first? Why would that matter for the question under inquiry?

                • Guest

                  I see you’ve gone back and edited the comments I was referring to.
                  Aren’t you lucky you can cover your tracks in order to call other people liars? Interestingly enough, I agree with you most of the time and the only objection I had was the fact that you use same obnoxious behavior you’re lecturing other folks for.

                • kelemi

                  What comments are you talking about? I don’t remember editing any. What obnoxious behavior are you talking about? I responded harshly after being provoked. I got far more obnoxious responses than I gave. Most were cordial.

                  Okay, I am glad that we agree on most issues.

                • BadKitty

                  Ah, I’ve been away from the thread, and it’s so long now that I had trouble finding your original “stupid” comments, which I see you’ve already been called out about:

                  “Can’t come up with facts so you resort to sarcastic and condescending language. You are obviously the stupid one.”
                  … and …
                  “Stupid statement if ever there was one.”

                  Your response was to call me a liar (which I obviously wasn’t); and to the other person who pointed this out, you said it was okay to respond in kind. You either call people stupid, or you don’t. I like your philosophy of discussing things rationally and without name-calling, but rising to the bait and doing what you lecture others against pretty much makes you sink to their level instead.

                • kelemi

                  Yes, anyone who disagrees with you is stupid.

                • BadKitty

                  Well,no. You disagree with me, and I don’t think you’re stupid. But you did get a little sarcastic just now. Is that really necessary?

                • kelemi

                  Compared to the venom, profanity that your atheist buddies throw at me, it’s real mild. Your double standard is duly noted.

                • BadKitty

                  No double standard here. I don’t approve of venom-slinging from anyone. And those jerks aren’t my “buddies.” My point was only that you complain about people being sarcastic, but are sarcastic yourself. I can understand you being sarcastic with me if I had been with you, but I wasn’t in this exchange, therefore (by your standards of giving as good as you get) your sarcasm was uncalled for. I thought maybe you got carried away because so many people attack you, but maybe you just couldn’t bring yourself to say, “no, it wasn’t necessary for me to say ‘anyone who disagrees with you is stupid.’” I’m just trying to have a conversation with you because your point of view is interesting, but it seems to be turning into a jousting match. Perhaps I shouldn’t have brought up the sarcasm thing, or maybe I should just give up.

                • kelemi

                  You are right, I took what others did to me out on you. I apologize.

                  I was overwhelmed by the venom and bullying. I take it that you got similar treatment from others in the past.

                  My original posting was that I found fault with both militant atheists and militant Christian fundamentalists. Most of the responders only saw my criticism of certain atheists.

                  I belong to a political discussion group that includes both atheists and religious people.

                  I appreciate the support I got from atheists over my opposition to invading Iraq in 2002 and the war on drugs. I went to an international school in 1959 and 1960, and got to meet people from all religions and atheists. We respected each others’ thoughts.

                • BadKitty

                  Thank you, kelemi! I appreciate you.
                  Fundamentalists on either side can be extremely difficult to engage in a decent conversation.

                  One of my closest online (and now real-life) friendships was made after a dramatic, spirited yet civil “discussion” about whether or not my city is gay-friendly. There is no reason why folks with differing opinions can’t share their thoughts respectfully, but some take advantage of the occasion to be abusive. Actually, when people get out of hand with what you so aptly call venom and bullying, I admit that I’m at times guilty of poking them with a stick to see what happens. I’m not proud of that, but … well, there it is.

                  As you said, there is too much nastiness on both sides. I guess it’s human nature, but I try not to be that way, and I thank you for doing the same!

                • kelemi

                  A writer named Cluebyfour is one of the bullies I talk about. Here are 3 of his attempts.’

                  Cluebyfour
                  1
                  Yes, anyone who disagrees with you is stupid.

                  Translation: “I am sorry for calling you a liar, BadKitty. I did indeed, contrary to my vehement, repeated denials of such, call people stupid, and I now realize that by calling you a liar I was merely digging myself a deeper hole by stacking lies on top of one another like it was going out of style in my run o’ the mill pathetic attempts to deflect attention away from the fact that I am an incorrigible hypocrite, just like my imaginary friend Jesus.”

                  Fixed it for ya.
                  2

                  Respect other people’s beliefs.

                  Respect is earned, and your beliefs aren’t worthy.

                  3
                  I appreciate the support I got from atheists… [...] I… got to meet people from all religions and atheists. We respected each others’ thoughts.

                  Not according to Psalm 14 you don’t/didn’t, you flaming goddamn hypocrite.

                  LOL

                • BadKitty

                  Wow. That’s uncalled for. But it seems they enjoy thinking of the worst possible things to say to you.

                  It’s not that these people don’t understand what you’re trying to say. They like to argue, and are determined to keep the argument alive despite the truth that you are trying to share. I’m convinced that these forums are often used by some participants for the sole purpose of practicing their verbal abuse skills on others in an anonymous way. What could be more clear than stating that “both militant atheists and militant Christian fundamentalists” can be disrespectful and out of line? And yet they argue with what amounts to, “No, you!”

                  It’s obviously no more acceptable to tell Christians that they’re deluded than it is to tell atheists that they’re immoral, yet apparently there are those on both sides that feel this is not only acceptable, but required in order to be “truthful.” I guess it depends on how deeply the individual has been personally affected by these truths. I can also see how atheists are defensive about being called heathens and devil-worshippers, and that lashing out is a natural (albeit ineffective) response. I have real friends of almost every belief, and have never found it necessary to insist that their personal truths coincide with mine. Who can claim to know the unknowable truth in the first place?

                • Cluebyfour

                  I appreciate the support I got from atheists… [...] I… got to meet people from all religions and atheists. We respected each others’ thoughts.

                  Not according to Psalm 14 you don’t/didn’t, you flaming goddamn hypocrite.

                  LOL

                • kelemi

                  We agree to disagree. You are a liar as well as a bully.

                • Cluebyfour

                  We agree to disagree.

                  We agree to no such thing, “liar.”

                  You are a liar

                  Yeah? Where?

                  C’mon, kelemi – pony up the evidence to back up this claim you’ve seen fit to level at me dozens of times, invariably failing to back it up with a shred of substantiation.

                  1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things;

                  as well as a bully.

                  I’m asking nicely, again: Please stop confusing me with your imaginary friend, kelemi.

                • kelemi

                  Here is the definition of a bully
                  1. To treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner.
                  2. To make (one’s way) aggressively.

                  That’s you.

                  You never ask nicely. Bullies don’t do that.

                • Cluebyfour

                  Here is the definition of a bully
                  1. To treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner.
                  2. To make (one’s way) aggressively.

                  That’s you.

                  No, kelemi; that’s you painting your betters with your imaginary friend’s characteristics.

                  You never ask nicely.

                  Except for twice in the last ten minutes, “liar”.

                  Bullies don’t do that.

                  Yeah, your imaginary friend never says, “Please.”

                  LOL

                • kelemi

                  You definitely fit the definition of a bully, no matter how yoiu twist words.

                  You are a nice guy LOL.

                • Cluebyfour

                  You definitely fit the definition of a bully, no matter how yoiu[sic] twist words.

                  There you go projecting again.

                  LOL

                • Cluebyfour

                  Yes, anyone who disagrees with you is stupid.

                  Translation: “I am sorry for calling you a liar, BadKitty. I did indeed, contrary to my vehement, repeated denials of such, call people stupid, and I now realize that by calling you a liar I was merely digging myself a deeper hole by stacking lies on top of one another like it was going out of style in my run o’ the mill pathetic attempts to deflect attention away from the fact that I am an incorrigible hypocrite, just like my imaginary friend Jesus.”

                  Fixed it for ya.

                • Cluebyfour

                  (THIS is why it’s a good idea to blockquote the comments one is responding to, so slimy little creatures like kelemi can’t eliminate the comments in question.)

                  I responded harshly after being provoked.

                  So much for turning the other cheek, eh kelemi?

                  You make your imaginary friend Jesus cry.

                  LOL

                  By the way – you called me “a great liar” ( http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/10/01/no-we-wont-be-quiet-about-our-atheism/#comment-1075432077 , etc., et al), and failed to cite the lie(s) you are claiming I produced. Can you please for once in your self loathing little life live up to your ill-conceived convictions and back up your claim?

            • Isilzha

              Hey, look everyone, he had a “good civil exchange of ideas” on a political discussion group with an atheist and fundamentalist preacher. Look, 3 people had a civil conversation! That’s never happened before. Oh, but it’s not like a teenager will get death threats from xians after getting a prayer banner removed from a public school. Let’s just civilly ask for that to stop; it’s super effective!

              Kelemi, you’re missing the concept that there’s plenty of room in this world for messages to be delivered in many different ways. There are people who are super polite and those who are not. There are people who think that some issues are petty and chose to ignore them and there are others who believe letting “minor” issues slide without protest or comment just opens the door wider for more serious issues. However, YOU don’t get to decide for anyone one else about HOW they will say anything and YOU don’t get to decide how others react. YOU are not the audience for every message!

              • kelemi

                Can’t come up with facts so you use sarcasm.

                There was more than 3 in the discussion group, there was 10.

                I know I can’t decide how people will react. But there is a saying, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. You want people to see your point, but don’t understand why they react the way they do when people use sarcasm, or inflammatory language or name calling.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  You are about as irony-impaired as you could possibly be. It’s almost like having CommentMaker back.

                • kelemi

                  More sarcasm I see.

                • islandbrewer

                  Except without the occasional smug little, “Imma gonna go to Jesus when I die!” quip. But yeah, his reading comprehension is about the same. Must have gone to the same schools.

                • allein

                  Where’d he disappear to, anyway?

                • Bitter Lizard

                  He came back for like a day recently, and then back into the ether. Kelemi will do for now.

                • allein

                  I saw him last week I guess, but I was a day or two behind in my reading so I didn’t think it was worth jumping into the conversation.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Probably back in County by now.

                • phantomreader42

                  Tone Troll kelemi whined:

                  I know I can’t decide how people will react. But there is a saying, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

                  A saying that is not actually true. But of course, it’s already been very well established that you don’t CARE about the truth, only about “tone”, and only OTHER PEOPLE’S “tone”.

                • kelemi

                  I disagreed with you, so I’m whining. Bullshit.
                  I do care about the truth. People in this group usually don’t tell the truth, just use name calling, as you do. Also sarcasm.

                  You seem to be the one who doesn’t care about the truth.

                • phantomreader42

                  I don’t like your tone, kelemi. Not very civil.

                • kelemi

                  I don’t like your tone either, but you are the one who’s not civil.

                • Derrik Pates

                  You mean folk wisdom is at best unreliable? Just like religion? Why, I never.

                • 3lemenope

                  But there is a saying, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

                  Do you know what’s fun? Testing that saying. Take a bowl of honey and a bowl of vinegar, and place them in a fly-infested area. Check in an hour which has caught more flies. Do you think that the saying is correct?

        • TiltedHorizon

          I understand the message Kelemi but to disagree with religion means one eventually has to explain why. Which is hard to do without ruffling a feather or two.

          I’m happy to be polite but some people seem hellbent on proving themselves right, leaving any polite explanation to the contrary to be interpreted and reacted to as shaming assholism on my part.

        • LocheticLogos

          Religion needs to be shamed. Ridicule is an excellent tool to point out the ridiculous. Religion and belief in gods has contributed so much harm to humanity. Its time we put an end to it. You are right. We will agree to disagree on this point. I think you are wrong.

          • kelemi

            Religious people think Atheism needs to be shamed.
            However, I like your tone. We still agree to disagree.

            • Chuck Farley

              The difference being that religious people attempt to affect laws and government to that effect. I’ll point to a recent attempt to allow for secular chaplains in the military. First an amendment to allow secular chaplains was defeated with much rhetoric about how horrible atheists are. Secondly a second amendment banning secular chaplains was passed with much rhetoric about how horrible atheists are.

              Religious people currently have a position of privilege, Atheists are struggling to be treated equally. Part of the struggle will be atheists pointing out the problems with religion. The religious should get used to hearing criticism, I know the atheists have.

            • LocheticLogos

              Do you mean that some people think that atheists that proselytize should be shamed or anyone that lacks a belief in god or gods? Further, do theses same people think that other religions need to be shamed, after all, they are believing incorrect doctrines aren’t they? People believing in a specific religion (not a deist) are placing themselves above everyone else since they will be the recipients of blessings in the afterlife. All others will either burn or suffer some other less than desirable circumstance (because they didn’t believe correctly). It’s these alignments that create an elite attitude which allows these people to think of there fellow non-believing friends as something less than human. It’s time to put an end to this nonsense. I try to be polite, but I’m assertive, just as much as they are. I remind them from time to time that Jesus said you should beat some of your slaves harder than others.

        • Spuddie

          Civility is a 2 way street. When we see it from the theists on a regular basis, then your complaint can be taken seriously.

          Instead atheists hear insults, attacks on their stance, threats, attempts to marginalize atheists under the color of law and in some cases violence against them.

          So lets just say, your point has been duly noted and taken under advisement until it comes a time when it becomes relevant.

    • Tratotta

      “Being an atheist and shaming religions and spirituality as silly and not real is not okay.”

      Yes, yes it is. If religionists experience “shame” over the real nature of their ideology, that’s not a licence to put expression of some ideas out-of-bounds. Speaking honestly as a non-cultist is not equivalent to “bullying and excluding”, and suggesting such an equivalence is entirely false.

      • kelemi

        I get attacked by both atheists and fundamentalists. Most are civil in their disagreement. I respond in a civil way. I do not like Bullying. It is not merely speaking honestly. It is about the tone. Both the atheist and fundamentalists who respond with inflammatory tone are bullying.

        • islandbrewer

          What exactly do you consider bullying? Using icky words with four letters? Name-calling? What?

          I’ve never seen any actual bullying by atheists, no genuine threat of death or bodily harm, phone calls to the home, attempts to shame someone constantly 24/7, while I’ve seen legions of examples by theists. The closest I’ve seen atheists come to bullying is on online forums, using their horrible horrible opinions.

          • Bitter Lizard

            He said himself that “silly and not real” is unacceptable. “I know you are but what am I?”, on the other hand…

          • kelemi

            I’ve gotten those phone calls in the past for Opposing invading Iraq, opposing the “Patriot Act” and opposing the “War on Drugs”.

            I haven’t gotten calls because I defend a person’s right to be an Atheist. However, the tone of many Atheists’ letters comes close to bullying.

            • Bitter Lizard

              You didn’t answer his question.

              • islandbrewer

                Jinx!

            • islandbrewer

              … which still fails to answer my question.

              • kelemi

                Bullying comes in degrees. The tone of words, if extreme is bullying. Mocking the person repeatedly, whether by phone or responses to columns is bullying.

                Simply disagreeing is not bullying. It’s the tone that translates to bullying.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  How is the word “silly” extreme?

                • islandbrewer

                  I GET IT NOW!

                  What you describe as “bullying” is merely people accurately portraying how adamant or passionate they are in their opinion using words or descriptions that demonstrates their anger and frustration.

                  What you’re doing, around here, is trying to be dismissive of people’s opinions because that breach your personal standard of etiquette, don’t use kid gloves, and use an (in your opinion) inappropriate tone.

                  Around here, this is referred to as “tone trolling”:

                  http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Tone_troll

                  You’re welcome!

                • kelemi

                  What you’re doing, around here, is trying to be dismissive of people’s
                  opinions because that breach your personal standard of etiquette, don’t
                  use kid gloves, and use an (in your opinion) inappropriate tone.

                  I was civil, you had the inflammatory tone.

                • islandbrewer

                  Case in point.

                  Thank you.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Don’t you find it a little ironic that you keep accusing people of being “inflammatory” when you’re clearly the one pissing the most people off on this thread by far? Kind of makes it seem kind of subjective, don’t you think?

                • kelemi

                  I may piss people off, but I am not using inflammatory or condescending language

                • islandbrewer

                  Um, you most certainly are coming across as condescending, choice of words notwithstanding.

                • kelemi

                  CIVILITY IS NOT CONDESCENDING.

                • islandbrewer

                  (1) If you’re using a standard qwerty keyboard, there’s a key to the left of the “A” called “Caps Lock.”

                  (2) I’m not confusing civility for condescension, no matter what font you’re using. You’re tone is condescending.

                  (3) No, I’m not complaining about your tone, just pointing it out.

                • kelemi

                  So, in other words, if someone disagrees with you it’s condescending, but if you disagree with someone it isn’t condescending.

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

                  Actually, the fact that you insist that actual arguments don’t matter, but only their tone, is condescending.

                  The fact that you won’t listen to what anyone says unless it meets your personal subjective standards for civility is condescending.

                  The fact that you take anger and passion for reasons to dismiss people’s reasons and arguments is condescending.

                  The fact that you felt the need to tell me what civil discourse is, when I asked you what you considered examples of civil discourse, is condescending.

                • kelemi

                  I see that you lie about what people say. I consider facts as well as tone to be important.

                  The fact that the readers see the need to be condescending says a lot.

                • islandbrewer

                  Nope, try again. If you use a condescending tone, regardless of your agreement or disagreement, it’s condescending. That you can only see my tone as inflammatory, or that we disagree, and have yet to actually engage any of my arguments, is telling.

                  … and kind of whiny.

                • kelemi

                  I am always willing to agree to disagree. That is not being condescending.

                  Many of the responders respond to name calling. I don’t.

                • islandbrewer

                  Your call to your standard of “civility” and demand that others refrain from expressing themselves except in manners that you approve of is what is condescending.

                  You’re making a straw man by pretending that it’s because you disagree.

                • kelemi

                  I respond civilly. I would like others to do likewise, but realize it isn’t always possible.

                  You’re the one making a straw by pretending it’s because you disagree.

                • islandbrewer

                  … “man”

                  It’s called a strawman. It’s where you mischaracterized an argument that the other side is making.

                  You’re the one making a straw by pretending it’s because you disagree.

                  Where did I ever say it was because I disagree with you? See, here’s a quote from you:

                  So, in other words, if someone disagrees with you it’s condescending, but if you disagree with someone it isn’t condescending.

                  See, that’s your argument. That you are making.

                  ..*sigh*

                  And this is why you are so inflammatory. Because you just don’t fucking get it.

                • kelemi

                  No, you don’t.

                • islandbrewer

                  *facedesk*

                  What the fuck are you even attempting to say, now?

                  Fuck, kelemi, my dog is better at reading comprehension than you are. You’re the epitome of either intentional miscomprehension our outright stupidity. You have, by your incoherency, abdicated any expectation of being treated like a rational commenter in the English language. I hereby dub thee, Commentmaker 2.0.

                  Now here’s the part where you whine and retort “Ah, resorting to insults and name calling! I never do that! All wonder at my superior civility!”

                • Bitter Lizard

                  I love kelemi. He’s my new favorite. I especially love how he thinks “I know you are but what am I” over and over and over again is a proper tactic for an adult to use in an argument.

                • baal

                  “Many of the responders respond to name calling. I don’t.”
                  Other than calling them stupid or liar.

                • phantomreader42

                  LYING IS NOT CIVIL!

                • kelemi

                  So why did some of the people lie about what I said.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Nobody lied about what you said, you just started accusing people of being liars randomly to be inflammatory.

                • kelemi

                  2 cases of lying

                  phantomreader42

                  So, according to you, we’re allowed to be atheists as long as we don’t ever, ever, EVER speak of it, or disagree with any religious person in any way under any circumstances. Fuck that bullshit, and fuck anyone stupid enough to think it’s a good idea.

                  Trattotta

                  You seem to think “fundamentalists” are doing something wrong. If you claim to know “god” is real, though – you’re a “fundamentalist” to me.

                  Offended? Don’t like my “tone”? Tough. Religionist ideology is no more immune to opposition than any other strain of politics.

                  I won’t submit to demands for “civility” – ie, silence – from fascists, homophobes, misogynists, or religionists.

                • phantomreader42

                  Those aren’t actually cases of lying, and you’d know that if you were capable of reading for comprehension instead of just screeching about how horribly rude it is to suggest that atheists be allowed to speak without written permission from YOU.

                • kelemi

                  They are cases of lying, and you know it.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  You could make the argument that phantomreader was misinterpreting what you meant to say, but that’s largely because you’ve been really opaque in your arguments, which requires interpretation on the part of those responding to you. Lying means attempting to deceive someone, and I don’t know exactly who you think phantomreader was trying to deceive. Trattotta was just explaining his or her definition of “fundamentalist”. Being clear about one’s definitions is not lying, even if their definitions differ from the ones you use. In fact, I’d argue that it’s more dishonest to be evasive about defining your terms.

                • phantomreader42

                  kelemi, the only person lying about what you’ve said is YOU. Lying is not civil. Stop it.

                • kelemi

                  No, Some of the responders are, not me.Tell them to stop.

                • baal

                  “CIVILITY IS NOT CONDESCENDING.”

                  Hrm, oddly enough, condescension has nothing to do with tone, civility, or politeness.

                  Condescension is an attitude of patronizing superiority; disdain. I can show disdain or that I’m more elite than you in simple words, romantic (flowerly) language, with polite insults or even regular English. The only requirement is that I at least imply that you are beneath me. So merely being civil is not enough insurance against a charge of condescension.

                • 3lemenope

                  SCREAMING IS NOT CIVIL.

                • kelemi

                  Stupid statement if ever there was one.

                • islandbrewer

                  “Stupid”?

                  Fates forfend! *clutches pearls*

                  Such an utterance smacks of … incivility!

                  Fetch for me now my fainting couch, for I feel a case of the vapours!

                • Bitter Lizard

                  inflammatory: arousing or intended to arouse angry or violent feelings

                  We’re all just using language, but your language is the language that is creating the most angry feelings. Therefore, your language is the most inflammatory by definition. What the fuck did you think “inflammatory” meant?

                • kelemi

                  My language is creating the most angry feelings because I disagree with them. I did not use inflammatory or condescending language the way that the responders did. They are being inflammatory.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Please define “inflammatory”, since your definition is obviously not the one the dictionary or anyone else on the planet uses. You have some serious reading comprehension issues.

                • kelemi

                  Inflammatory language is a form of speech that is used with the intent to stir up emotions, elicit anger, or invoke a physical reaction. Name calling is one form, but the use is generally wider in scope, in the sense that it is used to attack, oppress, or denigrate groups of people, or focus hate or anger on a public figure.

                  http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Inflammatory_language

                  You have some serious reading comprehension issues.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Ah, so it appears you are neglecting the part of the dictionary definition I posted that says “inflammatory” refers to things that arouse anger, and sticking to the definition that “inflammatory” has to refer only to the intent to stir up anger. So it’s okay that your language is inflaming more than anyone else’s is because, what, you’re doing it on accident? I don’t even see how that’s possible, as you have to know by now the kind of reaction your nonsense elicits.

                • kelemi

                  No, but you are ignoring the dictionary definition I posted.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  I didn’t ignore it. And it wasn’t from a dictionary.

                • islandbrewer

                  Nope. You are making people angry because (1) you’re ignoring the arguments they’re making, and (2) focusing on their tone and lack of civility. Then (3) you’re throwing in a stawman about how people are angry because you merely disagree.

                  Being oblivious and obtuse is what makes you inflammatory.

                • kelemi

                  Actually, I am not ignoring their arguments. They respond with name calling, rather than fact.

                  I get it that they’re atheist. I don’t deny the right to be one. But they don’t respect people who have a religion any more than people of religion respect them.

                • Tainda

                  As an observer to this discussion, you are very condescending and resort to name calling as well. Pot meet kettle.

                • kelemi

                  I have not resorted to name calling. You are a liar.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Calling someone a liar is name-calling, dumbass.

                • kelemi

                  Not if it’s true, which in your case it is.

                • Tainda

                  Isn’t calling someone a liar name calling? Especially when said person wasn’t rude in any way and didn’t deserve to be called a liar. You fail.

                • kelemi

                  Calling someone who knowingly makes false statements makes them a liar. Most of the people responding were extremely rude, resulting in name calling. I did nothing to provoke them.

                  I pass, you fail.

                • phantomreader42

                  My thanks to Ross for the following, not that any tone troll is capable of reading or comprehending it:

                  It doesn’t matter what the content of your claims are, it’s only whether or not you used one of the seven magic words. For example “I hope that you are murdered, slowly, by someone sticking a knife in you and slicing open your gut then removing your internal organs one at a time” is a perfectly polite thing to say. On the other hand “Your argument is pretty fucked up” is horrible obscenity which I will not dignify with a response. “I think that it should be legal for rich people to hunt poor people for sport”: polite. “You’re full of shit.”: Obscene and lets me ignore you. “I have nothing against gay people personally but I just think they should be rounded up into concentration camps and systematically exterminated”: valid debate. “Poop just came out of my asshole”: foul-mouthed cretinery.
                  See, you can say anything, as vile as you like, and as long as you avoid the SEVEN SPECIAL WORDS, no one can accuse you of being impolite.
                  It’s so much easier than developing an actual sense of morality.

                  kelemi, since you’re obviously too fucking stupid to understand, THE THINGS YOU ARE SAYING ARE INFLAMMATORY AND CONDESCENDING! THE FACT THAT YOU SAY THEM WITHOUT NAUGHTY WORDS DOES NOT CHANGE THIS!! But of course, I wouldn’t expect you to be able to fathom how someone could object to the content of your statements, when you suffer from some bizarre incapacity to percieve content other than naughty words.

                • kelemi

                  Can’t come up with facts so you resort to sarcastic and condescending language. You are obviously the stupid one.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  So is it inflammatory to call people names only if you aren’t kelemi?

                • kelemi

                  I don’t use inflammatory language, your fellow atheists do.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  You didn’t answer my question. Let me break it down. Do you consider it “inflammatory” when atheists call you stupid? Do you consider it “inflammatory” when you call them stupid?

                • kelemi

                  I did answer the question. Since you reworded it, I consider it inflammatory when I call atheists stupid, and I consider it inflammatory when they call me stupid.

                  I avoid calling anyone stupid. Do you?

                • Bitter Lizard

                  You wrote, to phantomreader “You are obviously the stupid one.”

                  I responded, “So is it inflammatory to call people names only if you aren’t kelemi?” And you replied, “I don’t use inflammatory language, your fellow atheists do.”

                  I reworded the question, and you responded that you “consider it inflammatory when I call atheists stupid” but say you “avoid calling anyone stupid.”

                  See the problem here, especially when you’re going around accusing other people of lying?

                  P.S. No, I don’t avoid calling people stupid if they’re stupid.

                • kelemi

                  And you don’t avoid calling people stupid if they aren’t.

                  What is your definition of stupid, someone who disagrees with you?

                • Bitter Lizard

                  I call people “stupid” because they exhibit stupidity–for example, by calling someone stupid and then pretending they don’t call people stupid a few comments later.

                • phantomreader42

                  Have you ever been within a mile of a mirror, kelemi? How many hours a day do you have to practice to get this fucking stupid and irony-impaired?

                • kelemi

                  Yep, more sarcasm.

                • islandbrewer

                  You are obviously the stupid one.

                  and

                  I avoid calling anyone stupid.

                  Gosh, there’s a name for this. I know there has to be.

                • Heidi McClure

                  Mocking religion (an idea) ≠ mocking a person. Just wanted to clear that up for you.

          • baal

            Actually, i find the hordite pile-ons and purity tests for anyone not rabidly foaming at the mouth and calling for heads to roll (well, jobs to be lost) or mr.daylight’s demands to sign his purity pledge to be bullying. So too their efforts to set convention guests when they are not on the convention committees.

            I do, however, find most of kelemi’s appeals to civility to be out of order. He seems to dislike any conflict as opposed to defining what makes for acceptable conflict.

            • islandbrewer

              Yeah, I was thinking about that – I’ve been the victim of those pile-ons on rare occasion, and I’ll grant you that it’s arguably bullying, but I’m pretty sure that kelemi isn’t talking about that.

            • kelemi

              I see that you resort to lying about what people say. You can disagree with me all you want.

              I belong to a political discussion group that includes an atheist and a fundamentalist. We voice our opinions in a civil manner. We constantly agree to disagree. Acceptable tone doesn’t involve inflammatory or condescending language. THis applies to all in the group.

              • baal

                “Seems” implies that the words that follow are an opinion. I’m not lying when I state my opinion.

                • kelemi

                  No, you lied about what I said.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Please cease this inflammatory language.

                  (Just kidding. We need more posters who are as inflammatory as you to keep things interesting. Keep on inflaming everyone, kelemi, I’m enjoying it!)

                • kelemi

                  I will if you will.
                  If nothing else, the responses are interesting.

                  BTW, I am a strong believer in freedom of religion. The responders here are as willing to defend their beliefs as I am mine.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  I will if you will.

                  So you’ve admitted to inflaming, but not that you’re being “inflammatory”. I’m curious how you square that circle.

                • kelemi

                  I did no such thing. Did you?

                • Bitter Lizard

                  I said “keep on inflaming everyone” and you said “I will if you will”. And now you’re claiming that was not an admission to inflaming people? Or are you claiming that you admitted to being inflammatory? Either way, it’s wrong, but your relationship to the English language is…funny.

                  I admit to being inflammatory. I’m inflammatory to you just like you’re inflammatory to practically everyone else you’ve interacted with on this thread.

                • baal

                  I come from a profession where we avoid the L word like it’s the plague. Why? It’s considered unnecessarily inflammatory.

                • b s

                  “I come from a profession where we avoid the L word like it’s the plague.”

                  Lederhosen?

              • 3lemenope

                Why are you attempting to export the rules and expectations of your political discussion group here, where they are not applicable?

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          I don’t like bullying, either. That’s why a fair number of my comments involve uncivilly telling bullies who are feigning civility to fuck off.

          • kelemi

            Good, I feel the same way about people who bully me.

        • Trattotta

          You _are_ “bullying”. You’re attempting to hound others into communicating in a manner you deem acceptable. You can forget it.

          • kelemi

            You _not_me_are_ “bullying”. You’re attempting to hound others into communicating in a manner you deem acceptable. You can forget it.

            • Bitter Lizard

              How can Trattotta be bullying and you not be bullying if you’re just cut-and-pasting almost the exact same thing Trattotta says?

              This is like the third time you’ve done this, by the way.

              • phantomreader42

                Because kelemi is exempt from any and all of the rules kelemi demands others follow, for special magic reasons that us dirty peons are not worthy to know. :P

        • phantomreader42

          Lying is not civil, kelemi. Whining about “bullying” when people dare to disagree with you while ignoring actual bullying is dishonest and not civil. Redefining words without notice is dishonest, stupid, and not civil. You are not being civil, kelemi, just trying to use phony civility as an excuse to shut people up. And that is not honest, or civil, or acceptable. Nor has it been successful.

          • kelemi

            So you are lying. I did not whine. I simply criticized some atheists for their Civility. People like you eventually resort you lying. You get offended when someone takes atheists to task. Your double standard is duly noted.

            • islandbrewer

              Actually, ignoring the content of what someone is saying and the merit of their argument, and instead complaining about their tone, comes across as whining.

              Just saying.

    • phantomreader42

      So, according to you, we’re allowed to be atheists as long as we don’t ever, ever, EVER speak of it, or disagree with any religious person in any way under any circumstances. Fuck that bullshit, and fuck anyone stupid enough to think it’s a good idea.

      • kelemi

        No, you are allowed to be an Atheist and voice your opinion, just as a religious person is. You can agree or disagree. You seem to have the idea that your way is the only way, just as the Fundamentalists do.

        The tone is what people object to.

        • islandbrewer

          As is popular to say on some atheist blogs, “Your objection to tone is noted.”

          • phantomreader42

            you left out “…and stupid.”

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          We have strong evidence that they object to our existence, not our tone. Our tone is the excuse they use. When we are civil, they just change their excuse.

          • kelemi

            Who is “they”?. I certainly don’t object to your existence.
            I belonged to a political discussion group which included religious people as well as atheists. We respect each other’s opinions and voice our disagreements that way.

            Your tone is an objection. I also object to it from religious people.

            I got threatening calls because I opposed invading Iraq, the Patriot Act, forbidding atheists from holding government jobs or jury duty.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Who is “they”?

              *points at Michael Enright, the guy this thread is about*

        • Trattotta

          You seem to think “fundamentalists” are doing something wrong. If you claim to know “god” is real, though – you’re a “fundamentalist” to me.

          Offended? Don’t like my “tone”? Tough. Religionist ideology is no more immune to opposition than any other strain of politics.

          I won’t submit to demands for “civility” – ie, silence – from fascists, homophobes, misogynists, or religionists.

          • kelemi

            I am not a fascist, homophobe, misogynist, or religionist. I believe the earth is millions of years old. This is not what a fundamentalist believes. You obviously don’t know what a fundamentalist is.

        • phantomreader42

          Tone Troll kelemi lied:

          No, you are allowed to be an Atheist and voice your opinion, just as a religious person is.

          No, according to YOU, I’m not. Here’s what you said before:

          Being an atheist and shaming religions and spirituality as silly and not real is not okay.

          Being an atheist means not believing in gods. It means, by definition, not thinking that the claims that religious people make about their imaginary friends and the rules they demand everyone live by are real or worth obeying. According to YOU, I’m allowed to be an atheist, but not to express any belief that suggests that the religious are wrong, which requires remaining completely and eternally silent. You aren’t demanding the same of ANY religious person, not even when they threaten nonbelievers with death and torture.

          Tone Troll kelemi has obviously never been in the same room as a dictionary:

          You seem to have the idea that your way is the only way, just as the Fundamentalists do.

          You have just redefined “Fundamentalist” in such a way that it loses all meaning. That’s not the way words work, High Priest of Humpty Dumpty. Are you functionally illiterate or just lying?

          Tone Troll kelemi’s first honest statement:

          The tone is what people object to.

          Yes, I’m perfectly aware that you only care about tone, and could not in a million years ever convince yourself to address the actual substance of the issue. All you can do is whine about atheists using naughty words, while not objecting in any way to religious dogma asserting that the vast majority of the human race deserves to be burned alive forever, or that people of the wrong race or religion or sexual orientation or other minority do not deserve basic human rights. Those things, you don’t even notice. REAL atrocities don’t even register in your mind. But the instant someone says “fuck”, you suffer a terminal case of the vapors. That’s just fucking stupid. And I know you’ll whine and scream and babble nonsense about that one word, but you will NEVER address the content, only the fact that I used a naughty word. Your ilk have never given a flying fuck about substance, you only care about “tone”. Fuck your tone.

          • Bitter Lizard

            Please leave your message after the tone: “Motherfuck your tone!”

            • baal

              This whole interlude has called to mind (and now I cannot forget) a song I heard just over the weeked (I totally missed the meme). It’s NSFW and well, generally shocking to watch the vid on youtube.

              In short, a guy wearing a texas flag as a banana hammock (oh ray comfort where are you?), with extreme (even jesus like) facial hair singing words that rhyme with with duck and buck. If you search for ‘goat and your mom’ + ‘quack like a duck’ it’ll be the first hit or so.

              If you choose the wrong path and go watch the video, notice the shockingly huge audience way far in the background and the guy stepping up to see if it’s all legit.

          • kelemi

            I see that you lie about what people say. You also resort to name calling. You also didn’t report what I said about Christians.

      • Spuddie

        Its like the typical attitude they have towards gays. Its OK provided you don’t ever act upon it in public and accept unnecessary social sanction and discrimination for doing so.

    • Isilzha

      Yes, it’s totally wrong to shame religions that promote misogyny, neglect of children by denying them medical care in favor of praying, and works to hide sexual abuse of children. How horrible that some people want to stand up against religious people who want to make the US a theocracy or at a minimum want the government to endorse their particular brand of superstition. Yes, how silly and mean to call something imaginary as “not real”.

    • allein

      I somewhat disagree with your first line, but upvoting for the reindeer.

    • Sweetredtele

      Wait, Why can Christians say other religions are silly and not real (by definition of Christian), yet atheists can’t? Huh…

      • kelemi

        I believe in respect of religion, or lack of one. I don’t like either Christians or Atheists bad mouthing other religions.

        • Sweetredtele

          You don’t get the point. Why say something about atheists saying religions aren’t real when Christianity BY DEFINITION say other religions aren’t real (and silly)? That’s hypocritical, to tell atheists not to do something religious people constantly do.

          Edit: Are you saying all religions are real? If not, please retract that statement about it being not okay for atheists to say religions are not real.

          • kelemi

            Actually, I don’t want religious people to do those things either.

            • Sweetredtele

              Then they would have to accept every religion and all the possible gods as true. You can’t have it both ways. Almost every religion says other religions are not real- you yourself say that/do that if you are a christian.

              So tell me, why do you do those things if you don’t want religious people to do those things?

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
      This scourge upon humanity known as religion IS “evil”, and it needs to be shamed for the superstitious nonsense that has plagued humanity for the past 2,000 years. If we are to grow as a species religion must be eradicated. If you want to believe in a higher power, that’s your business. If you want to have organized religion that indoctrinates children and perpetuates this vile, despicable, manifesto of fear and intolerance that causes far more harm than good, then it becomes my business. So yes, being a Christian is “ok”, as long as you keep it to yourself. If you don’t I will mock, shame, ridicule, and expose this contemptable rubbish for the afront to human decency that it is.

    • Chris Moran

      Shaming one’s ridiculous beliefs is NOT on par with shaming what someone was BORN as. Faith and spirituality ARE silly. Being gay, or non-white, etc are not silly.

    • northierthanthou.com

      It seems to me that “shaming religions and spirituality as silly and not real” contains a multitude of different possibilities, some objectionable, and some not. Should we mock people for every religious belief they profess? No. Are we entitled to say that the objects of those beliefs (or at least the vast majority thereof) are not real? Yes. Are there specific beliefs and practices that deserve more than theoretical rejection? Yes.

    • J5K

      You are making a false comparison between being honest about how ridiculous religions are and the bullying that Christians engage in daily. Sorry, but if me pointing out the truth about your religion shames you, then maybe you aren’t such a Christian after all and should just break free from whatever shackles are forcing you to stay attached to that hateful, and abusive cult.

      And leave the reindeer out of this.

  • GodlessPoutine

    Awesome! What are the rights on this image? Could I post it on my blog as well if I give credit?

    • M J Shepherd

      Credit to Hemant and me and link back, should be good.

  • Robin

    When I stop hearing praise god at evey turn then I will be quiet!

  • LocheticLogos
  • Unstoned

    Well done! However, as an amatuer cartoonist myself, I am a little perplexed on the framing. Specifically, I don’t quite get what that big thing on the right is. If it’s the spaceship, then it would have been great if you had made it a little more obvious. That said, I understand the challenges of trying to convey the message in what little space you have.
    And as a Christian, I appreciate the humour and the constant “well what if?” challenges from the atheist community. They are important as they present arguments from the stance of human rationality.

  • Graham Ash-Porter

    Spot on! borrowing…


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