Sunday, July 3, 2011

Atheists are being persecuted, again...

From CNN:

Atheists flying ad campaign meets strong resistance
By Katie Glaeser, CNN
(CNN)–It's a battle of belief - and the right not to believe - in a country founded on freedom.
"I'm a patriotic American. I served my country. I get out there and celebrate the Fourth, too," Blair Scott, who calls himself a proud atheist, proclaimed
"This America belongs to everyone."

Even if you don't know the issue at hand, you can guess what's going on: somebody said or did something atheists don't like, and atheists are whining that their rights are being violated... they're being persecuted... ad nauseum....

Blair, the communications director for the New Jersey-based American Atheists, said atheists in the United States often feel alienated...

Nailed it. Atheists often feel "alienated".  And of course people who hold beliefs with which most people disagree have a right... a right... not to feel alienated. 

... and face accusations of being anti-American because of their lack of belief in God.
This is two issues:

1) Do atheists face accusations of being anti-American because of their lack of belief in God?

I'm not aware that any significant portion of the American public believes that atheists' godlessness makes them anti-American. Most Americans dislike atheism, and most Americans rightfully resent the thuggish tactics that atheists use to censor free speech and free exercise of religion. 

But I know of no evidence that Americans interpret this as atheists' lack of patriotism, as opposed, say, to a streak of totalitarianism or a lack of civility, or even mere narcissism. 

2) Are atheists anti-American because of their lack of belief in God?

I certainly don't believe that atheists are anti-American as individuals. There are thousands of atheists under the graves in Arlington and Gettysburg and the American cemetery at Omaha beach.  There are thousands of atheists serving with distinction in our armed forces today. Brave men and women of all faiths, including atheists, have given the last full measure of devotion throughout our Nation's history. To assert that atheists as individuals are inherently anti-American would be reprehensible slander. 

It is, however, a slander I have not heard, except from atheists.

CNN on Mr. Scott:

To combat those notions, his group is using Independence Day to say atheists love their country, too.
Good. Calling off anti-Christian litigation that denies Americans their right to freedom of speech and free exercise of religion would be a welcome gesture.

But the way they're spreading their message might have Americans looking to the sky this Fourth of July and finding something besides fireworks to stir emotion.
Planes with banners that read "God-LESS America" or "Atheism is Patriotic" will be flying over 27 states on Monday. While people might be leery to see the messages overhead, the $23,000 campaign has had a struggle with those who are supposed to bring it to life.
Great. On the day we honor our Country, atheists fly banners honoring themselves.

Justin Jaye of Fly Signs Aerial Advertising, who is orchestrating the flights for American Atheists, said out of the 85 people in the country who fly these sign-pulling planes only about 17 have agreed to fly the messages.

That many? I wouldn't think any pilot would be willing to fly that swill. It's a hard economy, I guess...

"I've been in this business for 20 years and I've never run into so much resistance on people flying," Jaye said. "I've had pilots who are actual atheists who said, 'Justin, I am an atheist and I won't fly it because I can't wear a bulletproof vest.'"
Oh yea. Atheists are such victims... people shoot at them all the time... 

Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, says the reaction to the organization's campaign before it takes off shows how much work the group still needs to do. "This is a clear reminder of why we need to keep fighting because the bigotry against us is so thick that a lot of the pilots are afraid to fly our banners," he said.


  [big-uh-tree]  Show IPA
–noun, plural -ries.
stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.

Hmmm.  That's a pretty good description of the legal activism of atheists directed against Christians for the last 50 years.  If you want to see atheist bigotry, try mentioning God or saying a prayer at a high school graduation. If you want to see atheist bigotry, try asking about the weakness of atheism's creation myth Darwin's theory in a science class.  If you want to see atheist bigotry,  put a Nativity scene on town property at Christmas.

"Bigotry" is a succinct description of atheist legal strategy for the past half-century. 

And I doubt that the reason pilots won't fly atheist banners is that they are "afraid".  A more likely reason is that they don't like atheism.
Jaye said while some feared for their lives, others feared for their marriages. He had one pilot say his wife would divorce him if he made the flight.
This is funny. The assertion that pilots-- the majority of whom are serious Christians if they're average Americans-- won't display atheist advertising because of fear for their lives or their wives is batsh*t.  More likely, they fear for their souls.

Red Calvert, a pilot and president of Pro-Air Enterprises in Indianapolis, said his reasons to decline the flight were based on his personal beliefs.
"I respect our country and I respect our churches and we've got enough problems in our country without stirring up some more," he said. "If those people want to do something they believe in, fine, just don't include me."
Mr. Calvert believes in freedom of conscience and respect for the beliefs of others. He's not an atheist. 
The American Atheists hope to draw attention and spur public discussion through their campaign on Monday.
Yep. Drawing attention is their entire purpose. 
"It's going to remind people that atheism is at that ballgame and at that beach and at that parade. We are patriotic people," Silverman said.
Atheists are trying to overcome the widespread American belief that atheists never attend ballgames, go to the beach, or march in parades. 

Atheists are patriotic people, just like the rest of us. I didn't say they are as smart, or as respectful of the rights of others, but they love America, too, even if they don't believe that there is any objective basis for our rights.

But it's a free country, despite the atheists' best efforts. And for that,  we should be very grateful.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!


  1. Oh, so you hear that being any of these things will get you beat up by Bible believers.

    That's super. Now, unless you've got some overwhelming evidence for the mere assertion, your belief in it is bigotry.

    BTW, literate people tend to capitalize "America".

  2. I've watched the bigotry on TV (topgear driving around with unsavory graffiti on their cars being persecuted for it), I've read about it in books (Dom Joly's Dark Tourist), and my logical mind can logically understand why such people could hold such views... BUT, you are correct in assuming I have not experienced it myself.

    Overwhelming evidence is, to my mind, displayed in this blog post by the one claiming bigotry.

    Wikipedia says "A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs."

    'animosity towards those' that wish to display their beliefs for all the world to see. kinda fits don't you think?

    Anyone saying 'you cant pray in schools' is misinformed, anyone saying you cant 'mention God or saying a prayer at a high school graduation' is telling the truth, but it is the complaining about that which is displaying the bigotry and is being UN-aMERICAN. lol.

    AND! i didn't say bible believers, I said 'bible belt', which I assumed meant an overly christian area where those that give lip service to religion would use religion to be intolerant to those of differing beliefs. The truly godly people in these places would not, I'm sure, have anything bad to say about gays. And it is the religious ethos in the bible belt that excuses these people's behavior, in a more civilized part of the country officers of the law would not help religious people to marginalize others, they would stand up for the individual being wronged.

    BTW, i live in england, originally from south africa, and capitals are for girls! lol

  3. Wow, a South African Englishman knows enough about the American South to pass accurate, sweeping judgments on the basic character of all who live there.

    But, rest assured, he is not a bigot.

    He's just deeply confused, as is typical of the vast majority of South African Englishmen. I've read about Apartheid, and I think it's safe to conclude that our South African Englishman is also a vicious racist. It goes with the territory, yes?