Monday, September 28, 2009

Non-theists just whiny brats?

I didn't post earlier because I'm having a kind of sour day, mainly because I opened the newspaper to find this lovely letter to the editor:

Non-theists are ‘little more than a club of whiny brats’
Publication Date: 09/28/200

To the Society of Non-Theists:

All right guys, so apparently it is rude and bad for a man to come here and share his opinions with others who wish to listen. Oh, but I thought this was America, not North Korea.

And also, taunting said man with open mockeries of his beliefs is how you attempt to argue his opinions? I thought this was a college, not a kindergarten. You all seem like little more than a club of whiny brats merely exploiting the trend that in today’s “cool” society, it’s perfectly acceptable to prosecute and heckle Christians. Oh, you think I’m full of crap, and that you guys somehow acceptably embody non-theism and encourage tolerance amongst all peoples without merely harassing any single group? Why don’t you go pull your pirate and spaghetti bit in front of the Islamic Center all day (they are theistic, after all), and see how many people won’t see you all as bigoted assholes?

I’m all for open, equal debate, but the way your group goes about things is very childish and more anti-Christian than non-theist.

Josh Phillips

Junior in the College of Science

Sigh. I could write a book in reply to this, but yet again, I am limited to 300 words. I'd love to elaborate here, but I'm frantically studying for my Physics exam (electromagnetism is magic, MAGIC I tell you!) so here's the letter I sent in reply:

Josh Phillips: First, I want to clarify that the quote of me saying Brother Jed was disrespectful so the Society of Non-Theists could be rude too wasn’t a misquote: it was a complete fabrication. I didn’t even talk to the reporter about Brother Jed, nor would I say something so immature. We had our Pastafarian Preaching planned for that day before knowing Brother Jed was coming. Furthermore, we never stopped Brother Jed from speaking – we fully support free speech, which is why we can talk too.

Now that that’s out of the way…Josh, I think you need to look up the meaning of “satire.” We were trying to look as silly as possible because that is exactly how fire and brimstone street preachers like Brother Jed look. One of our goals was to show that waving signs and yelling isn’t the proper place for civil discourse about religion. That’s why we preached the Flying Spaghetti Monster rather than atheism. The vast majority of our events are civil discussions or lectures on theism and atheism. However, it’s impossible to communicate with someone whose beliefs are based on emotion. Faith, by definition, is not based on evidence. We can present rational arguments until we turn blue, but that doesn’t matter to many theists.

As for your Christian persecution complex… You live in a country where you’re privileged that your religion enjoys the majority status. Someone disagreeing with Christianity isn’t discrimination. If Hindus made national laws outlawing eating beef, or Muslims changed our motto to “In Allah We Trust,” we’d be protesting them just as much. If you want to understand persecution, ask a Christian in China, a Bahá'ís in Iran, a Muslim in America, Hindus in Kashmir, Jews all over the world…I think having your feelings hurt will pale in comparison.

Not sure if mine will be printed - haven't gotten a phone call yet. Apparently many other members sent in a response letter, though, so hopefully some reason will get into our student newspaper. Ironic how this happened right after one of my friends, who is a Christian, told Christians who claim persecution to stop their whining.


  1. Very well-written, once again, Jen. Hope they publish it and shut that whiny twit up. (Though, why they ran that stupid fabricated quote to begin with still eludes me.)

  2. Joe, I actually have some special insight into the inner workings of the Exponent because a good friend of mine was the Copy Editor there last year. She was the one ultimately in charge of what letters get printed and what don't. The staff is basically moderate to liberal, so a lot of times when they see ridiculous letters like this, not only do they have to be unbiased in printing both sides, but they giggle with glee knowing this person's silliness is about to be exposed to the entire campus. Basically the only time they can't/won't post letters is when it's blatantly libelous.

  3. Excellent reply, although I'm not sure it was strictly necessary, as his letter mocks itself perfectly well.

    The persecution complex is one of my pet peeves, actually. I think it's one of the major hurdles we face... what bothers me the most is when our fellow atheists invoke it on the religionists' behalf; I know far too many accommodationists.

    In any event, here's to hoping they publish your letter.

  4. Don't you know? Christians are persecuted in this country because they aren't allowed to do things like use government resources to promote their religion.

    Ah, for the good old days...

  5. I'm totally amused by this, especially the part about satire.

    Apparently, some irrational Bible attached Christians aren't smart enough to understand words, movies, and plays can have a second meaning other than the literal one. lol.

    It reminds me of the crewmen in the Flying Dutch in the Pirate of the Caribbean. When they stay in the ship long enough, they lose their sense of self, sometimes drop their brain, and sometimes their brain gets stuck with the ship while their body is somewhere else.

  6. Funny how the "Burn in hell unless you believe exactly as I do" set is always so touchy when you don't give the utmost respect to their beliefs.

  7. Of course, Buffy, if you don't "give the utmost respect to their beliefs" in that case, it means you are being mean and persecuting them.

    That whole "Burn in hell" thing? Oh, they are just trying be helpful...

  8. Well of course, it's only hypocrisy when we do it. When they do it, it's called defending the faith or testifying for Jesus, or some such nonsense.


  9. I didn't notice it the first time through, but he had a pretty telling typo in there. I totally agree it's acceptable to "prosecute" Christians. They aren't above the law.

  10. I support the prosecution of Christians and I'm not ashamed to admit it! Especially Fred Phelps and his ilk.

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  12. Haha. Does he not understand the definition of WHINING? Oh that's right hypocrisy doesn't unsubstantiate your arguments if you are faithful, I completely forgot. Oh and "See you all as BIgoted assholes!" sorry does that sound bigoted to you? A little like persecution perhaps? LOl what a wanker.

  13. william Stevens IIIOctober 1, 2009 at 1:14 PM

    When a large group, with power, uses said power to suppress others, it can be called many things. Racism is the most recent name. I don't think, what is being done to the LGBT community, has a name. Certainly, we atheists, should also have a name for our process of suppression. I find it interesting that merely asserting that god doesn't exist is enough to be accused of hating people who believe he does. Right now, we are in the minority, so when we have people denigrate us, it feels more like a form of racism.
    Jen it is hard to be on the receiving end of these attacks. But, know that other feel your pain and support you. Our movement Begins at last!!!

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