This is not ok

A few days ago a couple churches in Bend, OR were vandalized.

This is unacceptable.  It is religion that tries to win by intimidation, mob rule, and essentially any tactic other than having the best arguments.  Just look at what has happened with Jess Ahlquist when she asked her school not to break the law: the religious people in her community, in droves, engaged in a massive smear campaign against a high school student.  Whoever did this has lowered us to their level, and has given them a grand opportunity to smear atheists which they will no doubt attack like a school of piranhas (thankfully, the Friendliest of Atheists has already reached out to the churches and brought a gaggle of atheists with him).

Religion begs to be disrespected, and we should have no problem doling out contempt for it en masse.  However, we should do it with our minds and our own resources.  Put up our own billboards that say religion is a crock.  Verbalize your irreverence for faith whenever you feel so moved (especially if it’s in public and especially if they have opened the door for you to do so).  Hell, flat out call a spade a spade and point out that when people believe idiotic things that they are well on their way to being idiots, if they’re not one already.

Be pissed off – if you’re not, you’re not paying attention.  Religion is injurious to humanity and we should be downright furious about that.  But don’t transition it beyond an ideological war.  It makes it sound like we can’t win on the strength of our ideas alone.  We are better than vandalism.  Whoever did this is wrong and nobody I want to consider an ally.

And to all you other atheists out there, it’s time for us to show we have the moral high ground.  We piss and moan about how the Catholic Church shields pedophile priests on account of loyalty to their own.  Well our loyalty should be to morality, not to other atheists.  Let’s hear some loud condemnation of the assholes who did this with all of the abrasiveness we exhibit for wretchedness from the hands of religion.  This type of thing is wrong regardless of whether the perpetrators believe in god.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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