Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Pastor Tom vs. Blasphemy Day

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Uh-oh. We evil atheists have once again stirred up the ire of overzealous religious nuts, this time with Pastor Tom Estes, who seems to take offense to the planned "Blasphemy Day" that is to take place this September 30th. While atheists regard this day as A) an expression of free speech, B) criticizing what we deem is fit to be criticized, and C) just a bout of juvenile fun (okay, that last one is how I see it, anyway), Christians tend to view it as A) they're attacking us!, B) why are they so mean to us?, and C) atheists are MEAN!.

Pastor Tom, who heads the ridiculously-named blog "Hard Truth: Exposing the Adverse Effects of Atheism on Our World" (note that it used to be taglined with something about "the awakening of critical thought" or something, if memory serves), is one such offended Christian – but then, there's nothing we atheists do short of breathing that seems to offend the poor pastor, as one can tell just from skimming his blog. I generally tend to avoid that amalgamation of denseness due to it being so unbelievably boring (he doesn't even give us the pleasure of being amusingly thick or hypocritical, most of the time), but a little tweet from Jen brought my attention over to his latest post, in which he decries "Blasphemy Day" and, of course, atheists. How could I resist?

Okay, enough of a setup. Now to dissect the stupidity! Always good fun.

I want to let my Christian readers know about a holiday that atheists are trying to have instituted; it's called Blasphemy Day.

Ooh, so we're trying to implement a new holiday now? Hey, I know – why don't we use it to replace that religious "Christmas" holiday we atheists hate so much and want to see wiped off the calendars? (And yeah, that was snark, people.)

I know this is probably hard for many of you to believe there is actually a group of people proposing an idea like this, but it's true.

Well, we atheists often find it hard to believe how people like you and your lot rejoice in "knowing" that we'll be frying in hell for all eternity, but what the hell.

Then, Estes starts quoting various places concerning "Blasphemy Day" and, as you can imagine, wreak total havoc in the "getting-the-point" department:

Let me share some excerpts from their Facebook Group page:

Free speech is the foundation on which all other liberties rest. Without having the right to express our opinions, however unpopular, those willing to use political clout, violence, and threats will stifle dissent, and we must all suffer the consequences of this. As George Bernard Shaw quipped, “Every great truth begins as a blasphemy.”

Every great truth begins as a blasphemy? Really? Every single one? The more I read remarks from people that atheists respect, the more I see why they are so misled. They are following those who aren't capable of leading a dog to food. It's really no wonder they've led so many people down a logical path which declares, "The world is so perfectly designed, it must be evolution." And if you doubt that any atheist subscribes to that thinking, read anything Dawkins says.

Notice how he goes on a rant about how wrong, misled and foolish we are, yet without actually mentioning what it is that's supposed to be wrong about what was said. For one thing, only a simpleton like Estes wouldn't understand what "every great truth begins as a blasphemy" means. Here's a hint: indeed, every great truth (ie. every pronouncement of fact that was, at the time of its revelation, as groundbreaking as it was controversial – the Sun not being at the center of our universe, that all species come from common ancestors, that all people are equal, what have you) was decried as blasphemy before people finally started to realize, "Hey, that actually makes sense".

And then, that quote about us atheists believing in evolution (strike one: you don't "believe" in evolution, you accept it as a fact) because ... the world is "so perfectly designed"? What the hell sort of reefer is Estes on? We accept evolution because it fits the evidence, and that part about the world being "so perfectly designed" ... oy vey.

Here's more:

The UN, rather than standing up for free speech, has given in to pressure from Islamic nations and has proposed a resolution to essentially ban criticism of religion. The UN, in its pursuit of "tolerance" for religion, wants to strip everyone, everywhere, of their freedom, even their obligation, to criticize what they oppose.

The UN wants to strip everyone of their right to criticize what they oppose? Everyone? Could this be more stupid? And it's an obligation to criticize religious groups? Does that mean when I drive by a mosque, I should feel morally obligated to go and make fun of them, rather than respectfully leave them be? Interesting, I didn't know that.

... Indeed, Pastor Tom, that load of waffle you just said couldn't possibly "be more stupid". No-one is talking about obligating anyone to criticize religion, if they don't want to. The point is that people should have the right to mock what they're against – kinda like how you're mocking atheism and atheists, whereas atheists mock religion(s).

One more blurb from the vilatheists (I like this term) :

How do you pronounce that? "Vil + atheists"? "Villa + theists"? Do tell, Tom. If you're gonna use such a bad pun, we should at least know how it's properly pronounced (so we can intentionally mispronounce it, thereby mocking it, of course).

Unlike one’s political affiliation or favorite sports team, religion demands – and has been granted – unique and unswerving immunity from criticism since its very inception. Labeling anything deemed critical of it “blasphemy”, religions have effectively defined the boundaries for what can and can’t be said about them. I propose we knock down this barrier and break this spell. Religion is no more undeserving of criticism than anything else, and if people’s insecurities are upheld as a reason to stifle the expression of the equally sincere feelings of others, and indeed, the pursuit of truth itself, we will have forsaken our ideals in favor of one-sided and entirely undeserved sympathy.

Here would be my question for these vilatheists, why is it okay to make fun of someone based on their religious beliefs, and not their skin color? Let me explain this comparison. We don't mock people because of their race for a couple of basic reasons; (I know there are more than two, but these are the most pertinent) First, they were born that way, and you don't mock someone for something they were born with. Second, because it is so enraging. You have to be a real jerk to attack someone in a way that you know for a fact will either hurt their feelings, or make them angry. Any normal person just wouldn't do that. You don't go out of your way to make someone angry.

Whoa ...

Okay. First of all, the reason why we should criticize religion is that religion is nothing but a silly, irrational and hilariously false system of beliefs, brainwashing and superstition to try and explain what science already does explain, better than religion ever could. (And note that I said that we make fun of religion, not religious people. We attack what is silly, stupid and/or hateful, so if someone takes their religion to absurd lengths (or depths), then yes, we can and shall attack them, but not on the sole grounds that they're part of a religion.) It also leads to all sorts of hateful crap (wars, hate crimes, etc.). Whereas, the reason why we shouldn't attack others for their skin color is that it's just melanin in their epidermis. Not their or anyone else's fault.

Second, I would like to give Pastor Tom Estes the Internet Medal of the Most Hypocritical Dunce Evar for that second part. You know, the one about "not attacking others just if it would hurt their feelings or make them angry". Right. Your endless bashing of atheism (and especially, atheists in general) doesn't accomplish that (or seek to, rather). (I'm rolling my eyes now.)

I would add, though, that the fact that criticism could hurt some feelings is simply no good reason at all not to launch said criticism. If yelling at Nazis made them sad in their little black harts, would it make us the wrongdoers for saying that they were evildoers? Seriously, Estes, do try and make some shred of sense.

Why is it so hard to just to leave people alone, and show common decency?

Sorry, just had to post that so we could laugh for a few minutes at the sheer irony. (Though, to answer the question, we bug others because A) we're programmed to, and B) some of them royally deserve to be criticized.)

This is just more evidence that atheists hate Christians. Think about it, why would it be justified on any level to set a day aside to intentionally mock people in order to either hurt their feelings or make them angry?

Because their beliefs are silly and stupid, and we find that laughable. And also, to make a point: that nothing is sacred and/or immune from criticism, from religion, to science, with people and anything else in the universe in between. In fact, religion may just be the concept that's the most deserving of criticism in human history. I honestly cannot think of any other human creation that spreads more stupidity, ignorance, false pride and malevolence, than human religions have throughout their long, grisly, blood-soaked track records.

(But don't tell that to a religionist – you might offend them!)