Down In Front, Kittens (And Other Things That Are More Positive Than Atheist In-Fighting)

Look, just skip to the end of this blog-post and check out the cute kitten video, if you like.

Perhaps it’s that time of the year, but I’m rather fed up with online debates and fights and name-calling and nasty behaviour, particularly amongst people who have ideological similarities and common goals (not pointing out anyone in particular, just a general observation) – and I’m just going to post this instead and head out tonight to the cinemas and enjoy myself instead. Nyah.

What are some of the uplifting things have I noticed? I discussed this post with fellow FreeThought bloggers, raising a few concerns which I think were well-taken (it’s a post that, I’m certain, will become very popular – if it hasn’t become so already). I am glad that the conference is four months away and more than likely all of this will have died down and I’ll just consider it another example of how fellow atheists do indeed care about each other’s well-being and are considerate of online safety in general.

I’m dismayed that there hasn’t been much notice taken of this blatantly anti-Islamic statement by Ernest Perce V, PA State Director of the American Atheists:

I will say to you Islam, “I do not respect your filthy, repugnant, and vile views. I will not allow you put fear in my mind or those whom I know! I will not be silent with my disdain and disgust for your culture or your terroristic ways. I am an American Atheist, and I am not afraid to deal with you openly and in the same manner that I treat christianity. I am not afraid to publicly blaspheme your pedophile prophet Mohammed of Islam. I will do this on a corner, in a crowd or a parade! While so many others draw mohammed, I am Mohammed in open public! Am I worried about being attacked or death threats? I’m more worried that if I stay silent that the energy and emotion within me will be worse to me than being attacked or even death threats! So do your worst and I will do mine.” – Ernest Perce V, PA State Director

However, Daniel Loxton and Chris Steadman has Tweeted about it already, and I’ve since learned of this blog post – Reaction To A Hateful Post on Open Road Journal:

Now returning briefly to my personal story, My sister, much to my chagrin, wears a head-scarf in Houston, she gets called towel-head, stared at and mocked everywhere she goes. A teacher recently even tried to hold an ‘intervention’ for her telling her she was in America now and free to ‘escape’ from her ‘controlling’ husband. Now and then, she gets told to ‘go back to her country’, even though she was born in Illinois. I can see she has made a voluntary choice to follow a faith that is very difficult to follow in this country, it’s not a choice made lightly or with fundamentalist blindness. I have had long discussions with her, but I respect her right to dress as she does even if I do not agree with her. Are atheists respectful for those of us like her, those ‘fools’ who subject their bodies to crazy clothing because of an ancient Abrahamic stricture? Can you offer her something positive, instead of mocking her belief and driving her away? How can I introduce her to you, if that is what is posted boldly on your website? 

Chris Steadman had a blog-post from 2010 for suggested reading, which relates to the PA State director’s statement.

In other good news – I really enjoyed this blog-post: Skeptiko Host Alex Tsakiris on Monster Talk / Skepticality, and More on How to Spot Pseudoscience.

…and now I’m worried that writing about my thoughts at all is indicative of a ‘narcissistic update’?

I don’t know nor particularly care at this point. I must be a narcissist, damnit.

Regardless, I hope you have a good weekend. Here’s your kittens:

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.


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