The Best They Can Do Is Insult Us?
The level of anti-atheist propaganda is reaching a fever pitch of late. One can only assume that’s because we’re making inroads. The truth does sometimes hurt. In this shameless propaganda piece by Michael Brendan Dougherty about the Crystal Clear Atheism Conference, we are called just about every name in the book, and peppered with insults that come so fast and furious you almost forget that Dougherty has absolutely nothing to say. Almost.
Here is a summary of the slurs and defamations from just this one article:
We are shrill losers who don’t have jobs and live with our parents, wear bad haircuts, are anti-social, dippy, plagiarizing and unoriginal, hypocrites (because Sam Harris and Dan Dennett dabble in meditation), don’t really actually disbelieve, are rebellious, Pavlovian (going after intellectual “red meat” with no thought), idol worshipping, randy and sexually frustrated (waiting to get into our empty hotel rooms without supervision), anarchist, bizzare, proselytizing, boring on dates, making evangelical war on Christian popular music, lawless, annoying, socially inept, worse than the Inquisition, archconservative supporters of the Bush doctrine, ignorant of religious people, running out of energy, nursing resentments, full of knowingly false hopes, and finally, so bored and dispassionate that some of us have to fight to stay awake.
And that doesn’t even touch most of the mirror-image rhetoric about the “religious” tactics of atheism. Oh, and the title of the article “Secular Fundamentalists.” Which only proves to me once again that conservative religious writers can’t see through any other lens than their own, and engage in relentless psychological projection–which is just a fancy grown-up way to say “I know you are but what am I.”
May the Flying Spaghetti Monster strike me down with his noodly appendage, if I ever write an article this intellectually weak or full of gratuitous insults. Mockery is one thing when artfully employed to make a point–I use it often myself. But it falls completely flat if pressed in the service of falsehood and self-contradiction. That’s right, there’s not one single solitary substantive argument in the whole piece. If I’d written it, I’d be royally ashamed of myself.
Here are the excerpts. If you don’t believe it could be this bad, or this repetitive and unoriginal, go read it for yourself.
screeching…Young men with haircuts fit for their mothers’ basements…atheists even have their own dippy hostess…cribbed-from-Voltaire insults against the pious…After only one night together, the leaders of unbelief are exposed as potential monks and mystics…comes close to acknowledging the existence of God then raises its fist—a finite gesture of rebellion against an infinite tyranny…Tossing the crowd a little red meat…But apparently denying God’s existence doesn’t preclude idol worship: “I got to smoke with Christopher Hitchens!…the teens in attendance seemed thrilled with the prospect of little supervision and empty hotel rooms…versions of the letter A that look like the symbol for anarchy and a circle with the bizarre Greek formulation “atheos.”…helpful for reverse proselytism…A nice thought, she admits, before hectoring about evolution and how there are “flaws” in the human eye. I bet she’s fun on dates…the evangelical war on popular music (in the form of Christian rock)…In an apparent nod to authenticity, the Gandhi of impiety was recently detained by Arizona police…Go out into the world and make annoyances. I worry what I might say if he sneezes in my presence…The Inquisition at least allowed defendants the chance to recant—often many chances…He keeps the Crusades but dumps St. Augustine and just-war theory in favor of the Bush doctrine…Dawkins seems to be ignorant of religious people as a species…the atheists seem to have run out of energy…Apparently, you can bring home the good times of nursing resentments against your churchgoing neighbors…There is hope, the atheists remind each other. But the enthusiasm seems forced…It is Sunday, the day atheists stay in bed…In the fourth row, a man in a black t-shirt is slumped over, fighting the urge to sleep.
All that vitriol from a supposedly moral and upstanding conservative Christian? And we’re supposed to be the fundamentalists?