American Atheists going soft…just kidding, they’re as excellent as ever.

Oh American Atheists.  They’re putting up some billboards down in Texas that *gasp* quote Republicans on things they actually said (and which much of their base passionately believes).

Hey James Randi, watch me predict the future.  I predict that before the day is out we’ll start hearing the screams of persecution from people who have been in the racial and religious majority their entire lives (which helps them to not have a fucking clue what persecution feels like).  When asked to point out how they are being persecuted, they will extend their arms with enough force to nearly shatter bone at these billboards which have the audacity to say they are wrong.  That is persecution in the minds of many believers: “you’re wrong.”  Think I’m being too harsh?  Give it 24 hours.

You’d think Texans would thank them for the service, since most of them will nod in agreement at most of the words on the billboards.  Yet, somehow, they will find a way to be offended.  Perhaps it’s the “Go Godless” message that’ll do it.  The implicit message of the billboards is “don’t be like these obviously stupid people.”  It’s a message that will sail directly over the heads of many Texans.  They’ll look at those quotes and see completely reasonable people.  But there are some who were already thinking those things, even as they dressed their children for church.  They will hear it, and that is what will make this worthwhile.

Oh, and American Atheists went after some other bad people, with no weapons save for the plain truth.

As long as one could agree that protecting child abusers is bad, this message should resonate with them.  However, for many people who disdain the abuse of children it won’t resonate.  It has nothing to do with the compassion in these people’s hearts – it has everything to do with the cross around perpetrator’s neck.

Like I said, nothing but the plain, honest truth.

  • http://davemuscato.com Dave Muscato

    I’m really excited to see you at the convention! Can’t wait!

  • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B

    The other people who will complain will be atheists who don’t like to be anti-religion – the accommodationists.

  • TexasTeacher

    JT your dad sent me this link. I am an hour from Austin. More details? Look forward to hearing you speak.

  • Jimmy

    I do not agree that the chrurch protected child abusers sign because it was some bad people in the church who did that, just as there are bad people in every large group or organization.

    • sqlrob

      Some? Second to the Pope that became Pope did the protection. That’s systemic, not some.

    • John Horstman

      Sorry, dude, but when every single case of abuse (Nearly every case? Does anyone have an example of the RCC making an abuse case public, firing the priest, and warning parishioners to keep their kids the hell away from him of its own accord?) is covered up by many different bishops (all the way up to the disgraced, resigned Pope, as sqlrob points out) over the course of decades (and quite probably centuries), that’s a systemic problem. It’s obvious that the church puts the perpetuation of its own power and hierarchy above the well-being of its most vulnerable members. Even if they didn’t intend to protect child abusers because they foolishly believed, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that lots of prayer could make a pedophile not want to fuck little kids, that’s still what the organization did – not just that, but it inflicted known child rapists on unsuspecting congregations without warning. I’m not sure where the line between enabling and conspiracy is, but that has to be pretty damn close to conspiracy to commit rape of a child.

  • Jimmy

    That may be true but it still does not mean the church did these actions unless you define the church as the leaders who participated in the abuse cover up, then I would agree with the sign

    • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      Leaders set policy. Therefore, it was the church’s policy to protect child predators.

      • cag

        When your business model is lying, coercion with violence (hell) and unfulfillable promises (answered prayers and heaven) and some of the options offered to the laity are self hatred (penance) and buyouts (tithe, offerings and special giving), it is not a stretch to agree with

        Leaders set policy. Therefore, it was the church’s policy to protect child predators.

        . Nor is it surprising to see apologists trying to twist the disgusting actions of the clergy in an attempt to diffuse the vileness. Well done, Zinc.

    • baal

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases
      The RCC leaders, including cardinals and bishops, have been covering up child abuse cases for a long while now. Some of them have even been prosecuted for either cover ups or abuse themselves. On that wiki link, there’s a world graph of incidents per country. You’ll notice the problem is world wide. Far from being a few bad apples, the entire institution is rotten. Other religions may be a little better or a little worse but this issue isn’t RCC limited.

  • Jimmy

    I agree that leaders do set policy but the church does not have any policy that says abuse cover up os okay and those leaders, to my knowledge, did not install policy to protect child predators.

    • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      And Enron didn’t have an official policy of fraud.

    • Compuholic

      Well, they didn’t report those predators to the law enforcement officials. Instead they covered up the incidents and simply moved the priests around. Since over 3000 incidents have been reported in the United States alone (and also considering that rape is one of the most underreported crimes) it is hard to believe that those were the actions of a few individuals who acted alone.

      It would have been easy for the pope to set an official church policy that all such allegations are to be reported to the local law enforcement officials. Indeed any human being with a shred of decency would not even need a policy in order to do that. Instead he not only did not do that but actively covered pedophile priests (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/10/pope-paedophile-priests-cover-up)

      • Compuholic

        It would have been easy for the pope to set an official church policy that all such allegations are to be reported to the local law enforcement officials.

        I should also add that he actually did the exact opposite. According to the article I linked above he made it clear in 2001 that child abuse is something that should be dealt with internally.

        This sounds pretty much like a policy for covering up such incidents to me…

    • eric

      I believe they do. Here is one example, but I think its generalizable: RCC dioceses have policies that they do not contact the police in cases where they suspect child abuse.
      They don’t legally have to, but many other organizations have policies in place to explicitly do this (public schools are the classic examples: teachers are mandatory reporters). The fact that the RCC – an organization that claims to work for God – went so far as to write policy saying don’t contact the police is hideous.

  • Jimmy

    if you are saying that enron is at fault for not having specific policies against fraud (and the church against abuse protection) I agree. It still stands that the actions of those leaders does not define what the organization believes in.

    • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      Actually Enron did have policies against fraud. They just ignored them, and Enron was considered corrupt and fraudulent.

      What is the measure of an organization? The ideals it states, or the actions that are taken?

      You’re saying we should judge an organization based solely on the beliefs and actions of those without the power to influence the organization, and not pay any attention to what those with the power to act actually do.

    • sqlrob

      That organization sets itself as the moral standard. It is acting immorally, and has abused children for millenia (first recorded 60 AD, still continues today). So yeah, they are immoral, and yes, this hiding of abuse defines them.

  • Jimmy

    Oh I misunderstood your enron comment, sorry.

    that is a good question, I would say an organization is defined by the actions of the members, but only those actions that line up with the ideals of the organization. That way the actions are what defines the organization, and can be judged good or bad. When a member acts opposite to their ideals I would consider this to be a corruption, which could define the reputation of the organization but not the organization itself

    • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      So you’re saying that an organization should never be judged by the actions of humans.

      • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

        Clarification: I’m trying to understand your stance by stating my understanding of it based on the conversation so far, rather than telling you what your stance is.

        • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

          Declaration: Text-based communication would be so much easier if we all adopted HK-47/Elcor speech patterns.

    • John Horstman

      Hello, No True Scotsman!

  • Jimmy

    hmm good point haha ill have to rethink my answer.
    what do you say an organization should be judged by?

    • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      Corruption is, to an extent, sadly inevitable in any organization with sufficient opportunity for corruption to flourish. In my opinion the way to judge an organization is by how it reacts to corruption. Does it (by the actions of those in authority) punish the corrupt? Or does it protect the corrupt and punish anyone who dares to protest? If it shields the corrupt, eventually the corrupt come to dominate the organization as those who would object leave, and those who seek opportunities for corruption join it.

  • Randomfactor

    Thou shalt not bear true witness against thy neighbor, I guess.

  • Jimmy

    Cag – if you are referring to me I want to let you know that I am not at all trying to diffuse any sort of vileness of anyone who is part of a church and has done an evil act. My original thought was, is the church defined by the wrong actions of its leaders? im not defending any criminals.

    • cag

      Jimmy, anyone who defends the church in any way at all, is defending an organization that extorts money via threats and coercion. In most jurisdictions that is criminal behaviour (the exception being the Vatican).

  • Daniel Schealler

    Last one should be the other way around: Myths end where knowledge begins.

  • http://www.arkfrontier.com Alex Ryan

    I believe the term you are looking for to describe the oncoming “persecution” is “fauxsecution” – the uncanny ability for a (religious) majority to take offense to (and thereby call for the banning, censoring, or cessation of) anything that makes them uncomfortable in the slightest.

  • eric

    Love the first bilboard. The second two don’t have as much punch and would’ve been better if they had quoted some (other) nasty policy rather than simply a politician making religious statements. That first billboard formula is good: [Nasty policy reader will recoil from, linked to bible]: Go godless instead

    • Ashton

      Eric, those aren’t just random religious statements, they’re theocratic statements.

  • Pingback: Two more “Go Godless” billboards going up in Texas.

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