Mind Your Manners

JT Eberhard’s contributor, Christina, wrote today of an article regarding atheist billboards in Colorado and the reaction of a “research fellow” from Focus on the Family named Glenn Stanton.  He calls the billboards “bad manners” because they mock the beliefs of no less than 70% of Americans.  The billboards read as follows:

God is an imaginary friend; Choose reality, it will be better for all of us.

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Dispelling Egnorance

There’s a guy named Michael Egnor who has a blog he calls “Egnorance.”  I’m not making this up.  Anyway, he recently wrote a post directed at JT Eberhard asking a crapload of questions in the hopes that he’d be able to highlight how stupid he thinks the recent court decision on the Cranston High School prayer banner is.  Nevermind the guy isn’t an expert on the Constitution and nevermind he’s not a judge — he just has a really strong opinion on how wrong the experts on the matter are.  Well, because I’m bored and because it irritates me that these types of challenges sometimes go unanswered I’ll pick his post apart and address all of his questions to the best of my ability (JT already did).

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Jessica Ahlquist, Patriot

I haven’t weighed in on the Cranston prayer banner ordeal yet, but I’d like to take a moment to recognize this young lady as a true patriot and an American hero.  Jessica Ahlquist took a stand, not for her beliefs, but for the beliefs of every person in this country against an overwhelming tide of ignorance and hatred.  She saw a divisive, sectarian prayer hung in a public school and asked that it be removed so that students and educators of all faiths (or none) could feel equally represented and respected.  Jessica knew that this country was not founded on Christian principles but a desire to get away from an oppressive religious regime and allow everyone the freedom to choose what and how they’ll worship.  Jessica knows this.  Christians do not.

Jessica Ahlquist, Patriot

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Atheism Sucks!

I saw a video recently from some kid who seems to have it all figured out.  His thought process is a lot like mine was when I was a kid: my parents told me what to think, I adopted it as my own, and I knew I was right.  His video is titled, “Atheism Sucks.”  Dislikes on this video currently outnumber likes 3,113 to 89.  You can watch it here:

[Video Removed: s7QXhGLZW00]

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An Unabashed Merry Christmas

I have no reservations about saying “Merry Christmas” to people or having it said to me. The truth is, a majority of the population in this country celebrates Christmas. Even if someone doesn’t celebrate it they’re aware that this time of year marks the celebration of the major holiday known as Christmas. Saying “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas” is really interchangeable…unless you’re a hardcore, right-wing conservative Christian (also known as “Fox News host”). To me, “Merry Christmas” has become as generic as “Kleenex.”

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Dear Catholic League

JT Eberhard recently posted a story about an “Adopt-an-Atheist” program proposed by Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. I, like many others, think this is a great idea! I’d love to have the Catholic Church send a few unsuspecting saps my way to try to justify the behavior and beliefs of the Catholic Church, its clergy, and the whole of Christianity. If you’re an atheist and you want to be adopted by the Catholic Church, you can fill out this contact form and let them know.

Come at me, bro
Seriously, Bring It!

Here’s my invitation:

Dear sirs,

I recently got wind of the “Adopt-an-Atheist” program proposed by Bill Donohue and want to congratulate you on such a wonderful idea! As an atheist activist myself, I’d like to let you know that I’m effectively orphaned from gods and as such up for adoption. Since no gods have contacted me as yet, I avail myself to humans to rescue me from my spiritual broken home and make me feel wanted again.

You see, I’ve personally been guilty of anti-Catholic bias. More accurately, I’m biased against all untestable, unfalsifiable claims to the supernatural and the people in leadership positions who exploit the gullibility of other human beings. It’s not just Catholicism, if you want to know the truth. It’s all forms of manipulation, greed, abuse, oppression, ignorance, violence, intolerance, and bigotry. It’s a bias against people who enable others to harm children by looking the other way. It’s a bias against those who avoid responsibility for their actions by claiming that a cosmic “good guy” forgives them unconditionally so long as they apologize telepathically. I’m most certainly biased and I think the only way for you to show me the light is to adopt me and put some real time and effort into helping me see exactly why all of this is OK. You certainly have your work cut out for you.

I suppose the worst that could happen is that I talk some sense into whomever you send my way and you lose a tither. In that case, you shouldn’t look at it so much as the Church losing money but as the world gaining one more rational, responsible, compassionate human being. I said before that your idea is wonderful and I mean it. Send us some Catholics! We love the challenge.

You can reach me any time at jon(at)willisweb(dot)com or via my contact form on The Wayward Willis, http://willisweb.com.

Yours truly,
Jon

If they get back to me (their contact form says they have a high volume of requests so they may not answer all e-mails), I’ll most certainly be posting up the results here. I doubt anything will come of this because the religious community seems to be all talk and no action but you’ll hear it here first. Stay tuned!

Who Do You Believe?

Sitting in Sunday School and church, you’re constantly confronted with the idea that man’s knowledge is not only flawed (a point with which I wouldn’t necessarily argue) but foolish.  For example, 1 Corinthians 3:19 states:

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”

Whenever this comes up in a lesson or a sermon you always hear a resounding, “AMEN!” from the congregation.  While I was a believer I never really thought about the implications and I doubt that many believers really do.  In the light of debates over evolution, the Big Bang, and the ever-narrowing god-shaped gap in our knowledge it’s nice to be able to point to a verse and say, “See?  The things you think you know are utter nonsense in the face of god’s wisdom!”  The Bible is a never-ending source of derisive rebuttal to anything even remotely logical.  That’s why I loved it so much as a kid.  No matter with whom I was talking, I could always feel confident that my god considered them fools and I was right.

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Opportunity to Help!

Brother Sam Singleton is trying to produce a professional DVD. He’s got a Kickstarter project set up and is taking donations. You can give as little as $1 but you can also skip one trip to Starbucks and donate $5 instead. If you’re familiar with Sam Singleton then you know this is entertainment worthy of your time. If you’re not familiar with Sam Singleton then you need to head on over to his YouTube channel.

Sam’s Kickstarter Project

Atheist Predation

A Web site named Eternal Earthbound Pets claims to offer a service for the pets of Christians who will be raptured. For a fee, these people (atheists) will come and get your pet and care for it in the event of your rapture to Heaven. Kind and caring, right?

NO!


Indifferent cats are indifferent.

These atheists are preying on credulous believers who have been convinced they’ll be whisked away to Heaven and are concerned for the safety of their pets. It’s akin to trading someone a nickel for their hundred dollar bill because you can convince the other person that metal is worth more than paper. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

I’m seriously upset at these people and would love nothing more than to have their customers victims’ money refunded in full with an accompanying written apology. One of the big problems I have with this con is that, as atheists, these people have no reason whatsoever to believe that anybody will ever be raptured and are therefore selling a service that they fully intend never to have to provide. That’s dishonest. I could probably sell crocosaurus insurance to someone gullible but I wouldn’t. You know why? Because I have ethics!


Look at the size of them snappers!

To make things worse, their FAQ page touts their morality:

Q: How can we trust that you’ll honor your service agreement, afterall, you ARE atheists.
A: Being an atheist does not mean we lack morals or ethics. It just means we don’t believe in God or gods. All of our representatives are normal folks who love and live for their family, are gainfully employed, and have friends of varying beliefs. Some of us are married to believers. Many of us volunteer our time at food banks, animal shelters, meals on wheels organizations, etc. We fully endorse the “Rule of Reciprocity”, also known as “The Golden Rule.” We just happen not to believe in God(s). Belief in God does not ensure righteousness, nor does non-belief imply immorality. Jesus understood this. Please reference Luke 10, re “The Good Samaritan.”


ORLY??

So, as moral and ethical atheists who believe in the Golden Rule, you not only endorse but personally practice taking people’s money for services you’ll never provide and preying on their insecurities and irrational beliefs? How nice of you. I’m sure that given the opportunity to be someone else’s victim you’d jump on it, right? Do you even know what the Golden Rule is?

Another big hole in your scheme is that not even the vast, overwhelming majority of Christians believe that the rapture will be occurring on the 21st of this month – or anytime in the next 10 years. Nearly every Christian knows that this numerological woo-woo is the raving of a mentally deficient individual and you know it. Since you know that, offering this service also means that your entire business model is based on a false premise and cannot be considered anything other than fraudulent.

Regardless of how transparent this scam is, they appear to have at least 250 victims so far. At $135 each, these assholes have collected $33,750 (not to mention that people with multiple pets will pay an additional $20 each). While I feel that the people who have paid for this service are idiots and undeserving of respect I have even less respect (read: none) for the atheists running this site.

I’ve got an idea for you guys: go fuck yourselves. I actually am a moral atheist with ethics. You’re giving atheists a bad name.


Go fuck thyself!

Your Home is Not Your Castle

OK, this is going to be a little bit controversial but I want to assure everyone that my opinion wouldn’t change even if the subject of the story were a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or Martian. It has less to do with being an atheist and more to do with being an American and a human.


That’s Wachs, yo!

Ellenbeth Wachs is weird.
However, she has the right to be. She had apparently just come home from having chemotherapy and was trying to rest while a neighborhood boy (10) was playing basketball outside of her house. She asked the boy to stop. When the boy refused to quit, Wachs allegedly made moaning noises simulating sex, calling out, “Oh John!” from inside her home and was arrested on a charge of simulating a sex act in front of a child.

Now, I’m no expert but noises from inside a person’s home – even if the windows are open – shouldn’t count as a sex offense. What gets me about this is the precedent it sets. If Wachs can be convicted on this charge, then virtually every parent in the world could be arrested as sex offenders and have their children taken away for the same thing. I know my kids have heard my wife and me having sex before. Think about it, you put them to bed and tuck them in and you close their door. They don’t really want to go to sleep so they lie awake for a while. You close your door, get naked and it’s business time (I mean, come on, when you’re married you have to seize opportunity by the gonads)! I don’t care of what material your doors and walls are made – if you make a peep or your bed frame squeaks, you’ve just become an offender. Hell, a large portion of kids have walked in on their parents having sex. Not only is that traumatic to everyone involved but it raises the bar on the type of offense!


Mommy, daddy, make it stop!

Secondly, bringing this back to atheism, I feel that things like this are a setback in our campaign for acceptance. A lot of religious people already think atheists eat babies, dance naked in the woods, are addicted to pr0n, do lots of drugs and might be child molesters since we don’t have that Moral Compass™ their deities give them. A story like this only gives these people more fuel for their fire, allowing them to wag their fingers at us and say, “See? We told you so!” I don’t like it. The problem with prominent atheists being involved with something like this as compared to prominent Christians is that there are relatively so few outspoken, prominent, public atheists that one of them getting nabbed represents a significant percentage. When a Christian trips up, there are 4 billion more to minimize the effect.


Watch that first step!

What do you think? Do charges like this make sense? Is Wachs a sex offender now? Should you be able to do whatever you want in your own home?