December 19, 2011

The atheist creche in the Wisconsin Capitol rotunda.

We checked out the Christmas displays today...

100 comments:

TosaGuy said...

"Although we never became religious, by our late teens we had concluded that it was silly to be a militant atheist." -- James Taranto, speaking in the columnistic we.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204466004577102592761978970.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

Capt. Schmoe said...

Isn't celebration of the winter solstice primarily a pagan thing? Yet another religious (though ancient) reference by proselytizing atheists?

Roger Zimmerman said...

Nothing for Jews, Muslims, Hindi, Buddhists, Ba'hai or Kwansaan's (sp?)?

Ann Althouse said...

"Nothing for Jews, Muslims, Hindi, Buddhists, Ba'hai or Kwansaan's (sp?)?"

Those groups need to come forward with displays. The state didn't put up the displays. It accepted them. It's individual speech, not govt speech.

Ann Althouse said...

There's absolutely no question in my mind that those groups would be allowed to put up displays too.

Deekaman said...

Interesting that they would invoke the Biblical "Thou Shalt Not Steal".

Without religion, is there any right or wrong? I do not recall any other ancient reference from which those come. Yes, there were Babylonian laws and codes and the like, but they were arbitrary, depending on the despot at the time. Those from God seem to have been universally accepted. Even by atheists.

The Farmer said...

Oh man - those atheists just made me question everything I believe in! I'm giving up religion and joining up with the smart people!

Kunoichi said...

Interesting that they quoted Einstein about not believing in a personal god, since Einstein also was adamant that we was NOT an atheist, and lamented that atheists would quote him to justify their beliefs.

Kevin said...

Is it wrong that I cracked up in laughter when Ann called the "Fighting Bob" LaFollette bust as "Dear Leader?" Admittedly, with a lot of liberals in Madison, there is a cult presence of worship towards the man.

phx said...

Would Satanists be allowed to put up a display?

phx said...

Without religion, is there any right or wrong?

These guys never learn.

garage mahal said...

I bet that bust of Fighting Bob wants to barf when Walker walks by.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Only some fool leftist would try to persuade public opinion with a cutout of anarchist and domestic terrorism supporter Emma Goldman.

MayBee said...

They certainly don't manage to make Atheism seem like a beautiful thing to accept into your life.

purplepenquin said...

I think the reason they put up a "Thou shall not steal" sign is because in years past they have hung just a sign, which was then stolen.

As for our laws regarding right&wrong coming from religion, anyone care to guess how many of the 10 Commandments are actually law-of-the-land in America? No fair looking 'em up...see if you can just figure it out.

Simon said...

If atheists want to be wrong in private, that's their (somewhat juevenile) business, but why they feel obliged to impose it on the rest of us is beyond me.

Simon said...

MayBee said...
"They certainly don't manage to make Atheism seem like a beautiful thing to accept into your life."

They come across as grim, glum bores who want everyone else to be as joyless as they are. I don't know if the world would be a better place without the evil joysuckers of the FFRF, but it sure couldn't be any worse.

DADvocate said...

So there really is a Venus in the display. That's funny.

Yes, celebrating is a pagan thing. The Romans called it Saturnalia. The ancients realized that days started becoming longer again after the winter solstice and that symbolized a rebirth of life to them.

I suppose I'm supposed to follow the teachings of these men they suggest rather than Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha or Bokonon. How different is that really?

Simon said...

purplepenquin said...
"As for our laws regarding right&wrong coming from religion, anyone care to guess how many of the 10 Commandments are actually law-of-the-land in America? No fair looking 'em up...see if you can just figure it out."

Everything that violates the ten commandments is sinful—i.e. wrong—but not everything that is wrong can or ought to be illegal. So your question really misses the point; the ten commandments reflect the fundamental points of the moral law, and human law (civil or ecclesiastical) has at various times sought to enforce some, all, or none of that law, to varying degrees of success.

MayBee said...


They come across as grim, glum bores who want everyone else to be as joyless as they are.


They do, especially compared to the loveliness of the tree.
These people need some lessons on competitive marketing.

garage mahal said...

Simon
Weren't you "wrong" up until just a few yrs ago? Correct me if I'm wrong, and I don't mean to intrude, but I recall you being agnostic.

Mumpsimus said...

Charles Darwin had absolutely nothing to do with the Out Of Africa theory.

Moneyrunner said...

Is that really the best that Wisconsin’s atheists can do? Appeals to authority via a few quotes? A grade-school display? The Playboy Philosophy updated for gender-neutral consumption? Christmas is sad for atheists and they want us to know it.

Deekaman said...

I look at it this way: If I'm wrong (not that I am), when I die, I lose nothing....won't know the difference.

If the atheists are wrong? Well, eternity is a long time.

(I'm sure I'll hear about this one)

Jason (the commenter) said...

They've got nothing on that Christmas Tree.

Michael Haz said...

God is omnipresent and invisible, facts that must really tick off the Freedom From Religion zealots.

While they are at the is-no-God display at the Capitol, God is in their apartment checking their shoes and food and books and albums and such. Looking in the medicine cabinet, even. He can see right through the door!

Sometimes he mismatches their socks. Or eats the last piece of cold pizza and leaves the plate and plastic wrap in the 'fridge so they'll blame a roommate.

When they say "It's a holiday taken from the Pagans!!1!!" God thinks "Hey, you seen any Pagans around lately, original descendants, not wannabees?"

And when Annie Laurie Gaylor is driving home from the is-no-Christmas thingie, He will cause their care radio to be tuned to Madison's WOLX so he can send this one song, again, in hopes that she'll take the hint.

DADvocate said...

He will cause their care radio to be tuned to Madison's WOLX so he can send this one song, again, in hopes that she'll take the hint.

Great song. I had an idea for a story of a car with a magical radio that played whatever oldie was appropriate for the situation. Changing stations didn't change things. The radio played what it wanted.

m stone said...

If I'm wrong (not that I am), when I die, I lose nothing....won't know the difference.

If the atheists are wrong? Well, eternity is a long time.


Can't argue with that, although motive is something, but we're all given that.

mccullough said...

That Christmas tree really ties the rotunda together.

Simon said...

garage mahal said...
"Simon, [w]eren't you "wrong" up until just a few yrs ago? Correct me if I'm wrong, and I don't mean to intrude, but I recall you being agnostic."

Yes, indeed—quite wrong. Horribly wrong. You know, it's funny; we're talking a lot about Hitchens these last few days, and in some ways, I had a similar journey to his. As a young person, although not for as long as Hitch, I would have considered myself a socialist. And at a certain point in my life—much earlier than Hitch came to it, I was probably twenty—I started to question the premises undergirding my political views and quickly realized that they were, well, total bollocks. And like Hitch, for reasons that now escape and puzzle me, it did not occur to me to do the same thing to the premises undergirding my religious views. It wasn't until a few years ago that I realized that that had to be addressed, and when it was, I realized that those assumptions and premises were total bollocks too.

(This isn't the time for a conversion story, so I'm sketching in very little detail.)

Michael Haz said...

The FFRF adherents totally misunderstand the concept of risk management.

It's a simple concept.

Draw a two row by two column grid. Name the columns 'God Exists' and 'God Does Not Exist'. Then name the rows 'I Believe In God' and 'I Don't Believe In God'

Here's the simple analysis of risk:

'I Believe In God' + 'God Exists' = No Risk.

'I Believe in God' + 'God Does Not Exist' = No Risk.

'I Do Not Believe In God' + 'God Exists' = Total Risk.

'I Do Not Believe in God' + 'God Does Not Exist' = No Risk.

Atheists have no exposure to risk (of eternal damnation)in three of four possibilities, and total risk in the fourth. That's a one-in-four probability of being totally, fully and eternally wrong.

The smart thing to do would be to cover the fourth position by fully eliminating it as a risk. In that manner, the probability (or "P" for data wranglers)of being eternally right would be P = 1.0, a fully risk-free situation.

But they aren't that smart, are they?

Seeing Red said...

There are no devils? John Wayne Gacy, Richard Speck, Ted Bundy, Stalin, Hitler and the rest were what then?

How can an atheist use Venus? Wasn't that a religion? She had followers, temples, and the accutrements?

That thing doesn't make sense. And it's racist - we call came from Africa, let me show you dead white people.

edutcher said...

If the FFRF's think they're so smart, they also might want to reconsider Darwin, given how many holes have been poked in his theory.

And why do they need to borrow a Greco-Roman goddess and a Jewish law?

garage mahal said...

I bet that bust of Fighting Bob wants to barf when Walker walks by.

No, LaFollette was a Republican fighting Democrat corruption. He'd embrace Walker as a brother in arms.

purplepenquin said...

I think the reason they put up a "Thou shall not steal" sign is because in years past they have hung just a sign, which was then stolen.

As for our laws regarding right&wrong coming from religion, anyone care to guess how many of the 10 Commandments are actually law-of-the-land in America? No fair looking 'em up...see if you can just figure it out.


Try again. Blue laws, as well as laws against murder, perjury, libel, slander, and theft, account for many of the Commandments, as did laws regarding alienation of affection (adultery) and filial obligations to the parents.

That some of those have been struck down by the Leftist bench doesn't cancel the fact they existed (and might do so again one day).

Jason (the commenter) said...

They've got nothing on that Christmas Tree.

Excellent point, although are we allowed to call it a Christmas tree?

Mumpsimus said...

@Deekaman:
"I look at it this way: If I'm wrong (not that I am), when I die, I lose nothing....won't know the difference.

If the atheists are wrong? Well, eternity is a long time."

This is Pascal's Wager. The problem with it is, you must decide to believe something you don't in fact believe (or pretend to believe it, and hope God will be fooled).

Jason (the commenter) said...

Michael Haz: Draw a two row by two column grid. Name the columns 'God Exists' and 'God Does Not Exist'. Then name the rows 'I Believe In God' and 'I Don't Believe In God'

1. Saint Peter has a special list for people who base their faith on bets.

2. Draw a two row by two column grid. Name the columns 'God Exists' and 'God Does Not Exist'. Then name the rows 'God only rewards those who doubt his existence' and 'God doesn't reward those who doubt his existence'

PfMoen said...

the display definitely needs a Festivus Pole and a time for the aairing of grievances.

garage mahal said...

Appreciate the response Simon. My intent wasn't to knock you over the head with your reply.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Michael Haz said...

But they aren't that smart, are they?

What about the column for The flying spaghetti monster exist, and while he doesn't mind atheists, he sends all believers in Christ to eternal, pasta-y, damnation? How does that effect the risk matrix?

Palladian said...

I hate Christmas, and I don't even consider myself an atheist!

Simon said...

garage mahal said...
"Appreciate the response Simon. My intent wasn't to knock you over the head with your reply."

Oh, no, that's fine—it's a perfectly fair question and I don't mind talking about it, I just wanted to balance between giving a pertinent answer without hijacking the thread. :)

Michael Haz said...

Jason - it isn't a bet if it's a sure thing. :-)

MadisonMan said...

If atheists want to be wrong in private, that's their (somewhat juevenile) business, but why they feel obliged to impose it on the rest of us is beyond me.

The same can be said of any belief.

No one knows who is correct. There is only belief.

It's always cracked me up, btw, that the FFRF people live in a Dutch Colonial with crosses built in to the windows.

Jeff said...

The problem with Pascal's wager is it only covers Christianity. What about Judaism? Hinduism? Buddhism?

If there is a possibility of multiple religions being correct, (but MY religion is real, not like the others), then the 'fake it til you make it' desired outcome of the wager starts to make even less sense than it does.

DADvocate said...

No one knows who is correct.

I know, but I'm not telling.

gail said...

Thank you for the visit to the decked out Capitol. I had to learn more about the beautiful Christmas tree: it's a Balsam Fir from the Brule River State Forest (NW WI), 36' tall. Atheist display demonstrates a lot of beliefs...does that make it a religion?

I've prayed for people's hearts to be opened to Jesus, and left the how-to up to Him.

Sam Hall said...

When Einstein learned of Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle, his reply was "God doesn't play dice".

Does that sound like an atheist?

ricpic said...

What a surprise that the atheists' baby not Jesus is a black baby not Jesus and not a white baby not Jesus. Yeah, what a surprise

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"[Simon said that if atheists want to be wrong in private, that's their (somewhat juevenile) business, but why they feel obliged to impose it on the rest of us is beyond me.] The same can be said of any belief."

Must I use a sarcasm tab whenever I use parody?

ricpic said...

The comment that has lasted with me for decades concerning not only atheists but the whole array of smug anti-traditionalists was a comment made by Pat Buchanan that "There is nothing to love in the world they bring." Nothing to love. I can't tell you how that resonated with me when I first heard him say it. And it resonates to this day.

Simon said...

ricpic, I have a lot of difficulties with Buchanan, but I recently skimmed the chapter of his latest book pertaining to the Catholic Church, and I found it very difficult to fault his analysis. I'll end up reading the whole book on one of next year's many flights.

themightypuck said...

4 choices doesn't make each have a p of 1/4. Likewise God Exists doesn't mean not believing in him is dangerous.

MadisonMan said...

not a white baby not Jesus

Shouldn't Jesus be arab-looking? That is, not really very white?

Titus said...

What if you don't belong to any organized religion but are also not an atheist?

My God is a nice pair of large tits.

Simon said...

Titus said...
"What if you don't belong to any organized religion but are also not an atheist?"

Well, it's like saying, what if you're not a member of the royal navy but also don't believe that it doesn't exist. What happens? Well, it continues to exist, and you think what you will. Its existence isn't contingent on your assent, you know?

garage mahal said...

I'm a soft atheist. None of the displays bothered me in the least. They never do. Curious, though, the whole thread has concentrated on the FFRF creche, and almost ignored the Christian displays. They don't seem to be blowing anybody away in their greatness either.

Titus said...

I meditate in my fabulous loft.

But I would not feel comfortable going to some "church" with people. I would not feel comfortable at a pride march either-never been, nor would ever go.

I hate any large groups of people congregating together.

Sorin said...

Desiring to spread his atheism this man gets a smack down…
An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and
He turned to her and said, "Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker
If you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."
The little girl, who had just started to read her book,
Replied to the total stranger, "What would you want to talk about?"
"Oh, I don't know," said the atheist. "How about why there is
No God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?" as he smiled
Smugly.
"OK," she said. "Those could be interesting topics but let me
Ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same
Stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns
Out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that
Is?"
The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl's
Intelligence thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."
To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified
To discuss why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after
Death, when you don't know shit?"
And then she went back to reading her book.

MadisonMan said...

The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl's Intelligence

Why is it called intelligence simply to observe excrement?

The Crack Emcee said...

Capt. Schmoe,

Isn't celebration of the winter solstice primarily a pagan thing? Yet another religious (though ancient) reference by proselytizing atheists?

You caught it, but only figured out half of it:

That wasn't put up by atheists, but NewAgers trying to pass themselves off as atheists.

And, glancing at the rest of the comments, it looks like the rest of these, oh, so knowledgeable scholars of atheism bought it, too:

"Sexy Sadie, what have you done? You made a fool of everyone,..."

Phil 3:14 said...

I miss the drums

Quaestor said...

Militant atheists up to their typically jejune antics.

I not a believer, but I have little tolerance for such smug posturings as this gratuitous insult to the harmless observance of Christmas, a holiday dear to the hearts of sincere believers and to millions of others like myself who treasure the season for the warm feelings of charity and fellowship it engenders.

What does the Freedom from Religion Foundation hope to accomplish with this childish display? Do they suppose some heretofore Christian is going to stroll by, gaze on their exhibit, and be moved to some sort of materialist epiphany?

A true story and an apropo experience: I few weeks ago I encountered a roadside evangelical. I pulled up to a traffic light to for a long wait for a left turn. Standing on the lane median, not three feet from a drivers-side window was a nice looking, well-groomed chap holding a placard reading "Where Will You Spend Eternity" or something of that ilk. He looked at me, and held out one of those little illustrated tracts, his eyes inviting engagement. On the floor to the right of my seat I had my 150th anniversary edition of On the Origin of Species, never mind how it came to be there. I lowered my window and held up the book. This is my holy book, I said. I've read yours but you guys won't read mine. There I was sitting in my car, wearing my punky leather biker jacket with all the zippers and snaps, mouthing off to a perfectly nice guy who, though misguided, evidently had my best interests at heart, and I basically tell him to get stuffed.
I made a point of boasting of the incident to my friends that night. I was a total jerk and proud of it. Claire Potter is a total asshole, and if she took offence at Ann on account of my tomfoolery, she can get well and truly stuffed, and I'll applaud the deed. But the roadside evangelical did nothing to warranty my gratuitous assholery.

My advise to any wavering believers out there is to continue to attend church and keep your doubts to yourself lest you be wrongly associated with the arrogant jerks of the FFRF.

The Crack Emcee said...

Just for future reference:

If there's misdirection - from one religious idea to another - whoever's doing it isn't an atheist.

I would've thought you guys could figure that much out for yourselves,...guess not.

traditionalguy said...

Surprisingly, that display was well done and a fair presentation of the Atheist mind set.

And if there was no personal Creator God, then they would be right.

But supernatural events do happen, and inquiring minds are not disciplined enough to ignore them by fiat that they are not happening.

Why else does a fair look at popular culture reveal that nearly all cartoons and 50% of the dramas done in Hollywood deal with the supernatural that everyone knows doesn't exist such as demons, angels, witches, zombies, astrologers and psychics?

The atheists are brave to hold to such a narrow focus, at least in their public denunciations of religions as myth. I expect they all look into those supernatural things in secret. Occult means something done in secret.

The Crack Emcee said...

Quaestor,

Militant NEWAGERS up to their typically jejune antics.

FIFY.

Chuck66 said...

Madison, or Madwackistan...the hate capital of the upper Midwest.

Chuck66 said...

If I want to buy a book on Atheism at Barnes and Noble, where do I go? To the religion section!!

If Atheism isn't a religion, then why do Atheists in the armed forced demand their own chaplin?

The Crack Emcee said...

traditionalguy,

Surprisingly, that display was well done and a fair presentation of the Atheist mind set.

Bullshit - atheists wouldn't mention the fucking solstice.

But supernatural events do happen, and inquiring minds are not disciplined enough to ignore them by fiat that they are not happening.

Supernatural events do not happen. What is unknown to an atheist is labeled "unknown" until further evidence is acquired. Why would you tell such a lie? Oh yeah, your "faith" told you to,...I told you:

The evil is part and parcel of your belief.

Why else does a fair look at popular culture reveal that nearly all cartoons and 50% of the dramas done in Hollywood deal with the supernatural that everyone knows doesn't exist such as demons, angels, witches, zombies, astrologers and psychics?

Because they sell tickets, that's why. Meanwhile, atheists have been debunking all of it for over a century. But that isn't part of the believer's reality, is it? No - it's so much easier to tell lies about us,...to prop up your "belief."

It's time to stop, Tg,...

edutcher said...

MadisonMan said...

not a white baby not Jesus

Shouldn't Jesus be arab-looking?


No, Semitic. YMMV.

traditionalguy said...

Crack...Your argument that supernatural events from a spiritual cause can not happen does not work on men and women who have experienced them.

Again, the existence of counterfeits does not disprove the existence of the genuine article which they are counterfeiting.

I wish your material world was all that did exist. Life would be more certain, but we would miss a lot too.

Quaestor said...

Chuck66 wrote:
If Atheism isn't a religion, then why do Atheists in the armed forced demand their own (sic) chaplin?

Yes, that is odd, especially since Chaplin (Charlie) was already an atheist. Sorry Chuck, I made a cheap joke out of your typo. I'm sure you meant "chaplain".

Atheism with a lower case a is not a religion. It's not an "ism" in the sense that atheism is not an ideology. It's not a positive anything. It's the absence of something, namely religion. Nevertheless Atheists, the capital "A" variety (or as Crack would have it, Newagers -- really, Crack, don't you think this category is getting to broad?) seem bound and determined to make a religion out of atheism, with a creed, an orthodoxy, and a priesthood. Beware of them.

Here's a parallel. Anarchy from its Greek roots means without rulers. Anarchists, however, mean something quite different by the term. If the capital "A" Anarchists even get their hands on power none of us will think we live in a society without rulers.

As for books on atheism being shelved in the Religion area of Barnes & Noble... well, we all know what kind of brainiacs (snark) work at B&N.

Quaestor said...

Correction - too broad

bgates said...

Shouldn't Jesus be arab-looking?

On account of being born in an area that would be invaded by Arabs hundreds of years later, you mean?

anyone care to guess how many of the 10 Commandments are actually law-of-the-land in America?

There's murder, theft, and false witness; I recall the unions demanding credit for enshrining Sabbath in the law a while ago; and Democrat insistence on leaving Social Security alone to bankrupt the country occasionally leans on "Honor thy father and mother". On the other hand, they're as opposed to the Tenth Commandment as they are to the Tenth Amendment.

I know we're not supposed to use at least the middle name of the god-king, but there aren't any legal penalties attached as of yet.

The Crack Emcee said...

traditionalguy,

Crack...Your argument that supernatural events from a spiritual cause can not happen does not work on men and women who have experienced them.

Tg, I know you understand science:

Anecdotal experience is not evidence.

Methadras said...

And atheists once again reveal their stupefying ignorance trying to be passed off as reason.

wv = priester

Chip Ahoy said...

Where is Bill Ted?

Where's the time-traveling phone booth that brought these people together? What kind of excellent adventure is this?

Carnifex said...

As usual Crack nails it. This is not a display from/for atheist, it's a display from/for anti-christians.

I myself, while believing whole heartedly in God, angels, and devils, find the concept of "organized" religion bothers me.

And I used to be an alter boy.

As a good Catholic boy I, considered the priesthood at one time.Found out that I was more like Titus when I hit puberty though.

Once a tit man...(so to speak)

Good and evil exist seperate from humanity. They are the reason God gives us choice. If there were only one or the other we would be the automatons make us out to be. Relating Godly evil to human actions is akin to relating a grain of wheat to the loaf of bread.

To think God cares if we eat fish on Friday, or no pork for Jews and Muslims had more to do with material power, and sanitation than anything.

We are Gods children. I really believe this. I also believe that like any good parent, he set us up, and then cuts the apron strings. What we make of our lives is up to us.

To the Anti-Christians, I say you need to admit what you are, and look into yourself, and why you hate so much.

For the true atheist, I hope you can find your way home, even though you don't know you're lost.

For the zealots, even if they don't believe as you do, they are Gods children too. Remember the parable of the beggar at the door. Treat ALL people with love and respect.

Oh! that old "why does God allow (insert tragedy here) in the world?" chestnut.

God answers all prayers. Sometimes the answer is no.

Dante said...

I was told, very politely, by a Baptist a few weeks ago, that because:

a) It didn't matter what my morals were
b) Even though I'm remorseful for my many sins
c) I am an atheist

I am therefore going to burn in hell for all eternity.

That's not anti atheist at all.

The Crack Emcee said...

There was a study recently that found atheists are trusted about as much as rapists. But what "atheists"? The idiot NewAgers who put up this display or me? I know, merely from how many people on this thread accept NewAgers as atheists, no matter what I say, they're talking about the NewAgers - my sworn enemies. But I've got to take the brunt of the assault on them, too, because few want to "believe" atheism is anything but what NewAgers display.

I don't see Christians as my enemy - I see "belief" as an outdated concept. As below educated people who should know better because, in every other facet of their lives, they don't pay nonsense any respect. You don't make toast by throwing rice in the dishwasher. You don't try to fly to the store. And people don't walk on water, get turned into pillars of salt, or receive visits by angels. Those are all very nice stories for illiterate desert-dwelling people in the ancient Middle East, with no clue about germ theory, physics, psychology, computer science, space exploration, or anything a bright 10 year old is capable of understanding today - and it is my firm conviction such lunacy should have no place, especially, for adults in the coming year 2012.

Yet people are so wedded to it they'll kill - and, possibly, destroy the entire planet over it.

That shit is just sick,...and, as an atheist who's very much aware of the "spiritual battle" religious folks and the pagans are engaged in, I want no part of any of it. To a certain extent, you're all insane, but your pride won't let you admit it. That's really all it is:

You can't admit you're crazy.

And that's a major human frailty right there because no one can help you - and, thus, ourselves either.

You've got us trapped,...but I want out.

Carnifex said...

@ Dante

Shoot, that ain't nuthin'. I knew a young girl, beautiful, absolute stunner, fine skin, high firm breasts, deep brown eye's. Sweet as a puppy dogs lick. Warm hearted, good student. This girl was literally perfect but for one thing. Because the pediatrician at her birth screwed up, she was a quadraplegic.

Her Daddy took her to this evil little Baptist Church. The minister there told her she was that way because God was punishing her mother.

They had to restrain me from going down there. I was literally going to kill him, when my Dad tackled me. This was back in my younger days when I was much more of a hot head.

People like those are why I shy away from organized religions.

Jose_K said...

They dont believe in the existence of God but they get anger at any religiuous representation. Do they do the same with dragons, witches and every single fictional being?

Joe Schmoe said...

What, no cardboard cutouts of Hitchens? Too soon?

Paco Wové said...

Quaestor - I hate it when people do the whole Darwin-analogous-to-God thing. Yes, I know, it's a joke, but it also happens to reinforce the worst prejudices of a lot of creationists. Not helpful.

Pogo said...

Christianity is to atheism as Bedford Falls is to Pottersville.

Paco Wové said...

"That's not anti atheist at all."

Actually, Dante, it's not. You don't have to like it or agree with it, but in what sense is it "anti atheist"? My baptist neighbors may well believe I'm going to hell - don't know, never asked - but I see no evidence that their beliefs affect me in any way.

Tank said...

Relative to this post, a suggestion for a "law" post:

Is it constitutional for Christmas to be a national holiday (as Bill O'Reilly loves to say, as if this trumps all arguments)? How can this not contravene the establishment clause? Would a challenge be successful? Who would have standing to make such a challenge?


Yikes, it's like a bar exam question.

Christopher in MA said...

Quaestor - that's an interesting story, but I hope you realize that Catholics, in the main, certainly do read "Origin" and have no problem with it.

The big man himself, Benedict, said in 2007 that the debate between creationism and evolution was an "absurdity:"

"They are presented as alternatives that exclude each other. Ths clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof of evolution, which appears as a reality we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such."

Shanna said...

So there really is a Venus in the display. That's funny.

I know. Why not Mithras instead, if you're going to go all roman?

PatCA said...

When I see this conflict, mistakenly portrayed as a fight for equality, I think of the story of Cain and Abel.

This is not equality; this is sibling rivalry -- and nothing good comes from sibling rivalry.

Dante said...

@The Crack,

I had the same reaction to the Atheist display. It's quite confused.

@Paco,

It's a swipe at Ann with her "Why are atheists so anti-religion?" Or whatever she said. These religions have a very hot place for me, an atheist. Those are the beliefs.

I'll also point out that growing up as a kid I detested chanting "One nation Under God" while growing up. To me, it's a lie I have to hear five days a week for years. Second, it is others forcing that lie down my throat. Third, it is a constant reminder of the religious group think, and I'm excluded from that group. Judging from religious folks tolerance for Atheists, it's also a reminder of a "hated" status.

It's as bad as being required to say "Allah Akbar [sic?]" as a Christian.

I find Ann's judgement on this issue quite poor. She can have her faith, fine, but she should not assume everyone believes what Daddy told them as a child, and hold them to ridicule.

Ann Althouse said...

"I find Ann's judgement on this issue quite poor. She can have her faith, fine, but she should not assume everyone believes what Daddy told them as a child, and hold them to ridicule."

You're not very good at combing through the evidence. Please cite where you find me attesting to this "faith" or even that my list of things wrong with the creche constitute ridicule based on somebody's failure to believe what Daddy told them as a child.

I'll save you the trouble. You can't do it. Care to eat your words?

Simon said...

Carnifex said...
"People like those are why I shy away from organized religions."

You shy away from organized religion because you had a bad experience with a baptist church? How do you interpret "organized"? It's hard to imagine a less organized denomination than the baptists—they have an ecclesiology that's all-but incompatible with the kind of organization that one usually thinks of under that heading.

"To think God cares if we eat fish on Friday…."

I think it depends. It was never about fish but about penance, which is why most Catholics are now allowed to substitute some other act of penance (Paul VI authorized the bishops' conferences to authorize substitutions, and in the US, they did; in Britain, they did for a while and just revoked the permission, which I think is a good thing). You aren't saved by it, and if you're doing it with bad motives, well, it's no good. But I think that small acts like that, done with sincerity and contrition, are good. I do "fish friday," and I'll tell you that it's not meat that I'm offering up but choice.

Dante said...
"I was told, very politely, by a Baptist a few weeks ago, that because: a) It didn't matter what my morals were. b) Even though I'm remorseful for my many sins. c) I am an atheist. I am therefore going to burn in hell for all eternity."

This will sound harsh, but he's right. You aren't saved through remorse or virtuous living, although those things are important; you're saved through Jesus Christ. No one reaches the Father but through the Son (Jn 14:6). I wish I could tell you it was different, and because I can't I wish there was something I could say that could change your mind. But that's just the truth of it, and I do you little favor by sugarcoating it.

Quaestor said...

Correction - I AM not a believer, but I have little tolerance for such smug posturings as this gratuitous insult to the harmless observance of Christmas...

How the hell can I leave out a whole verb?!? I've got to using Blogger's editor and use Word or LibreOffice or something that can proofread for me. I am totally blind to common typos until at least a few hours pass.

Quaestor said...

Paco Wové wrote:
Yes, I know, it's a joke, but it also happens to reinforce the worst prejudices of a lot of creationists. Not helpful.

My critiques:

a) Creationists by definition need no evidence to reinforce their prejudices so my joking or refraining from joking will alter matters not a whit.

b) You evidently didn't read my post through to the end, because if you had you would have read my mea culpa. Self-chastisement was the whole point of my story, ergo your comment is both redundant and not helpful. Okay?

Dante said...

@Ann, you showed considerable approbation for the nice "nativity scene," the baptist "Jesus Sign", etc. So perhaps you are approving of these things for reasons other than faith. Let's see what you have to say about Atheists.

"The atheists have this sign, which is here." By saying "The atheists" you exclude yourself. Right?

You then go on to say "So it's really hostile to religion
Even though there are no hostile atheists sign"

When I say "Daddy" I'm speaking figuratively, of course, in which the subsequent generations assume the truths. It isn't as if God or Jesus Christ Himself is coming down to tell us of his existence, you know. Clearly somewhere along the line Atheists have broken free. Since you collected us all together with your "The Atheists" comment, I feel I have a right to take umbrage.

Simon said...

Dante said...
"It isn't as if God or Jesus Christ Himself is coming down to tell us of his existence, you know."

Uh... He did. We're less than a week shy of the commemoration of His birth (technically the incarnation would be the commemoration of his arrival).

Dante said...

@Ann

What I wrote is 100% correct. It's nitpicking, but it's also true saying that "You can keep your faith" does not mean you have any. Of course, I think you have evidenced a disdain for those who do not have faith, by lumping in all Atheists "The Atheists" in your words. While I appreciate the deconstruction of the display by those atheists, I do not appreciate the lumping together of Atheists as if we are represented by that display.

Also, I suppose I should let Crack deal with this, as he is more deft. Nonetheless, I think you should acknowledge your words are stereotyping. If it's not what you meant, an acknowledgement would be fine.

Dante said...

"I'll save you the trouble. You can't do it. Care to eat your words?"

Having now read your recent discussion I see this is some roundabout way of asking for an apology. But I did provide evidence. Do you still feel you need an apology?

You asked for evidence, I provide it. You don't apologize. Care to eat your words, Ann?

Ann Althouse said...

Dante said..."@Ann, you showed considerable approbation for the nice "nativity scene," the baptist "Jesus Sign", etc. So perhaps you are approving of these things for reasons other than faith."

I'm just pointing things out politely at that point, not saying anyone is right or wrong and certainly not saying anything about my personal religious beliefs, which I know I don't talk about on the blog.

"Let's see what you have to say about Atheists." "The atheists have this sign, which is here." By saying "The atheists" you exclude yourself. Right?"

I previously referred to "the Baptists," but they were not all the Baptists in the world, so the inference that I'm saying all the atheists in the world isn't justified. It's the Freedom from Religion Foundation and they are purporting to speak for atheists.

"You then go on to say "So it's really hostile to religion Even though there are no hostile atheists sign""

Yes, I'm criticizing this group for imagining that an attack is balance.

"When I say "Daddy" I'm speaking figuratively, of course, in which the subsequent generations assume the truths."

You're actually being pretty hostile, you know. Own it.

"It isn't as if God or Jesus Christ Himself is coming down to tell us of his existence, you know. Clearly somewhere along the line Atheists have broken free. Since you collected us all together with your "The Atheists" comment, I feel I have a right to take umbrage."

You haven't answered the question I asked.

@Ann "What I wrote is 100% correct. It's nitpicking, but it's also true saying that "You can keep your faith" does not mean you have any. Of course, I think you have evidenced a disdain for those who do not have faith, by lumping in all Atheists "The Atheists" in your words. While I appreciate the deconstruction of the display by those atheists, I do not appreciate the lumping together of Atheists as if we are represented by that display."

No, what I have done repeatedly is criticize the subset of atheists that go on the attack against religion instead of doing something else with their time and energy.


(cont'd)

Ann Althouse said...

(continuing)

"Having now read your recent discussion I see this is some roundabout way of asking for an apology. But I did provide evidence. Do you still feel you need an apology?"

I didn't ask for an apology. I asked you to eat your words: to take back what you said, which was: ""I find Ann's judgement on this issue quite poor. She can have her faith, fine, but she should not assume everyone believes what Daddy told them as a child, and hold them to ridicule."

You ascribed a "faith" to me and you implied that I have that faith because I've unthinkingly accepted what people told me. That's not supported by anything and it is insulting and intended to be insulting. It was backed up by absolutely nothing that I've every written on this blog, which you should acknowledge.

"You asked for evidence, I provide it. You don't apologize. Care to eat your words, Ann?"

You did not provide it. You've just tried to construct some offense that I supposedly made in saying "the atheists." I certainly agree that I didn't mean all atheists, and there are many posts of mine that show I don't think like that. If my words spoken on the spot have that as a possible interpretation, I disavow that interpretation. I can't eat any words, because the notion is only that I should have larded my speech with added provisos.

You are the one who said things about me and when invited to look closely at what you said and to see that it was wrong will not simply admit it. You went into an insulting mode and you try to justify yourself for some reason. Try clicking on my "atheists" tag and reading what I've said on the subject. I took the trouble to respond to you and to invite you to look into this more deeply, and I am giving you personal attention again, so I really think you owe me more than you are giving here.

Dante said...

Ann,

First, I wanted you to know I originally discovered you on some bloggingheads.tv diavlogs you did. I was interested in your way of trying to express ideas, that seemed clear to me, but that were either completely lost on your debate partner or paternalistically (pompously)ignored as unworthy of addressing. A friend of mine recommended your site as a good place with interesting commentors.

You will note a person on this set of posts saying that it is a certainty that because I am an atheist, I'm going to experience eternal damnation. I provide no hostility to him. He has decided to accept some group's version of morality and reality, and feels that following rules will save him and or bring him to enlightenment. He is certain that if I don't change my beliefs, I'm going to hell.

My primary complaint with your note is the way you stated "The atheists." I'm not inventing it, I heard it. And you were anything but charitable in your interpretations. For instance, to me the inclusion of Venus was to point out that in the past there were other myths many adhered to. The parallel is we no longer believe in the old myths, even find them ridiculous, but have replaced them with new myths. It's pointing out a hypocrisy most aren't even aware they have.

"The Atheists" struck me in the same way as someone saying "The gays," and then going on to list a series of habits most would find disgusting. If it isn't what you meant, great, for my part that's my beef. I still wonder why you later quoted a person as saying some atheists were "militant." I would say "obnoxious" at most, but you chose to quote "militant."

Regarding the rest, I'm not hostile to the religious. I know I don't have any answers in my Atheism. Science too is a belief system, and merely an approximation of reality. I do not appreciate the manipulation, but I do appreciate many of the lessons learned. I do not think of this as religion, I think of this as knowledge gained by man's journey through the ages.

Regarding your note that there are no "Anti Atheist" statements, I note the Baptist display of Jesus Christ. Yes, it is only two words, but what those words really are is a warning. Believe, or live in damnation for eternity. I find that manipulative approach execrable, and far more egregious than the atheist display. "Believe as we do, or burn in hell for eternity." How's that for hostile?