Friday, December 09, 2011

I’m up for (Christian) adoption!

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“Adopt an Atheist” banner

As you may have heard, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has a new project. He wants Christians to “adopt” atheists:

Approximately 80 percent of Americans are Christian, and 96 percent celebrate Christmas. Of the 20 percent who are not Christian, non-believers make up the largest segment, though the number of self-identified atheists is tiny. David Silverman, president of American Atheists, knows this to be true, which is why he is frantically trying to inflate his base. “We want people to realize that there may be atheists in their family,” he told the New York Times, “even if those atheists don’t even know they are atheists.”

We think there is some merit in David’s idea, even if he has things backwards, as usual. Today we are launching our “Adopt An Atheist” campaign, the predicate of which is, “We want atheists to realize that there may be Christians in their community, even if those Christians don’t even know they are Christian.”

It’s rather telling that Donohue accuses Silverman of “ha[ving] things backwards” without even bothering to mention what error Silverman is supposed to be making. Indeed, Silverman is exactly right; as a majority of atheists will readily attest, one’s deconversion from religious belief is routinely a long, complicated and emotionally taxing process filled with confusion, and it is not at all uncommon for people to claim to be religious by default without actually taking the time or effort to honestly assess their current state of beliefs. It is truly Donohue who has it backwards – “as usual”.

Anyway, here’s what this campaign comprises:

Here’s what our campaign entails. We are asking everyone to contact the American Atheist affiliate in his area [click here], letting them know of your interest in “adopting” one of them. All it takes is an e-mail. Let them know of your sincere interest in working with them to uncover their inner self. They may be resistant at first, but eventually they may come to understand that they were Christian all along.

If we hurry, these closeted Christians can celebrate Christmas like the rest of us. As an added bonus, they will no longer be looked upon as people who “believe in nothing, stand for nothing and are good for nothing.”

Notice Donohue’s weaselly wording and how revealing it is: He doesn’t say that atheists actually are “people who ‘believe in nothing, stand for nothing and are good for nothing’”. He says that they’re “looked upon” that way. Of course, he neglects to mention, as condescending jackasses expectedly do, that people like him are the ones doing all the hostile “look[ing] upon”. It’s preachy Christians and other select anti-atheists who go around making atheists’ lives a misery in any way they can (and that link only shows U.S.-centric discrimination; you don’t need my help to find much worse and wide-spread instances abroad, such as in the Middle-East). It’s intolerant scoundrels like him who treat atheists as second-rate citizens unworthy of adequate civil liberties and equal protections, as the “Other”, as sub-human garbage in general.

Whingers like Donohue like to get all sorts of colors in the face when so much as hearing about purported anti-Christian discrimination (while rarely taking the time to check – or even caring – if these reports aren’t complete bullshit). Yet, in the face of actual double-standards being applied to nonbelievers across the United States (and the world at large), all we get from them is a resounding silence. When was the last time a Defender of the Christian FaithTM has ever stood up for atheists’ rights?

Now, contrary to expectations and despite Donohue’s typically arrogant tone, I actually like this idea. Really, I do. Not because most atheists might actually be helped in discovering their true beliefs – the last thing that would possibly help in that regard is more insufferable theists trying to bash them over the head with a Bible; if anything, they’d just be helping fence-sitting nonbelievers over to our side – but because this is a wonderful opportunity for communication via both sides of the religious divide.

I mean, of course, that it’s a great time for atheists to sink their teeth into a new wave of unaware, inferiorly prepared God-botters and leave them gasping for mercy at the end of countless rounds of losing to our superior arguments, rational ideas and scientifically-founded beliefs. (That, or chasing them away in ignominious retreat; either way’s fine by me.)

And so, I hereby declare that I am placing myself up for adoption by any Christian(s) who feel they can get an ardent nonbeliever to switch sides and abandon godless heathenism.

I’m dead serious. You think you can sway me? Let me know through email or comments. I mean it. Really.

The rules: I shall post any such attempts at converting me on the blog for all to see publicly (because such hilarity is best performed before an audience), along with my response. You may use any and all arguments, claims, tactics and strategies you like (so long as they adhere to the blog rules). I shall examine the substance and tone of every argument presented and respond accordingly. I promise to be honest, straightforward, and perfectly blunt (would you expect any different from me?).

Of course, I’m not expecting many (if any) takers, so for the time being, I shall keep a link to this page posted under the “About Me” section of the left sidebar. Who knows; maybe we’ll get a bite or two. Such fun that would be.

Edit (12/09/11 10:23 PM ET) – Fixed a typo.