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Got religion? How would you like a sharp stick in the eye from an atheist for it? Well, yeah, I didn't think so! It was a rhetorical question after all! Yet some atheists around here simply refuse to ask themselves that rhetorical question or, in asking, provide themselves only one answer: I. Don't. Care.

This strident self assuredness only reinforces itself in comment threads such that nothing is off limits and no suspicion runs too deep. Basically, if you believe in God or are otherwise religious, any other attitude, opinion, etc. seems to be, to borrow a verse, fruit of a rotten tree.

Now is that anyway to behave at a rock-n-roll concert?

(Borrowed another line there.)

I'm an atheist myself. But I'm writing this diary because some folks are giving atheism a bad name.

Think about it. Gallup just did a survey and found that 92% of Americans believe in God! 92%!

For 92% of Americans, God exists. With that kind of plurality, why don't we just lock up atheists? Answer: Secularism.

In short, secularism is the act of keeping religious doctrines out of public policy. Sometimes it's thought of as the separation of church and state. It is not atheism. In fact, a secularist approach would hold atheism in roughly the same light as its opposite religions. This is where some of my atheist friends seem to go off the rails. They seem to think atheism is the key to good public policy and they brush aside secularism.

Candidates for office, fellow Kossacks, and the public at large mostly hold some degree of religious belief and practice. Yet even where the most crucial public policy questions of the day are scientific questions such as global warming, secularism is more than adequate to the task of guiding the discussion.

It is fair game to ask candidates questions whose answers will define whether they intend to adhere to secularism. And it is fair to look at a candidate's record in that light. However, these questions should be asked of all political candidates whether they carry deep, tepid or no religiosity. This isn't a religious test. This is a test as to whether the candidate intends to uphold the constitution itself.

Progressives and liberals are now and have been in a pitched battle with conservatives in areas of social policy. Beyond the very legitimate goals of reproductive freedom, marriage equality, a color blind society, science education etc. for real people is the overarching goal of obtaining a secular society. Conservatives who fear a secular society often confuse it with an atheistic theocracy (if you will). Yet they seem to have no fear of theocracy itself as long as it is the one they impose.

So some stuff has gotten republished to the "Trolls" group and doughnuts have been a flying. Heck, I tossed one at one point. Thus the title of the diary. I think it's deserved. (Update: on the eve of publishing this diary, I've noticed one of the users whose behavior prompted me to write this now has that boney mojo!) There's a better way forward. One that does not insist on dividing the community along religious v. non-religious lines, but instead calls on this community's highest virtue. That's the adherence to secularism.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 0-)

    "We are stardust, we are golden, we are caught in the devil's bargain, and we got to get ourselves back to the garden." - Joni Mitchell

    by shaggies2009 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 05:00:31 AM PDT

  •  But (4+ / 0-)

    it's not true that all persons of faith believe the same thing.

    I don't care what anyone else believes.
    Not because I want, or need to change their minds, but because they have a right to believe it.

    Their belief, or lack thereof, does not affect mine in any way.  My sense of reality isn't that vulnerable.
    I believe there's room for every type of person, and their beliefs.

    Sort of the point of America.

    My belief that cheating and betrayal poisons a relationship is not a civic matter...

    Peace Shopper- Saving more than pennies :-)

    by Maori on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 05:09:39 AM PDT

  •  From a political perspective (12+ / 0-)

    It is important to note that repeated surveys have shown that two thirds of all voters in the US will not vote for a politician who does not believe in God. It's not important for a politician to be religious, or be a person of deep faith, but to proclaim that you are an atheist is a political liability in nearly all US elections.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 05:19:03 AM PDT

    •  Not sure this is true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, wishingwell
      It's not important for a politician to be religious, or be a person of deep faith, but to proclaim that you are an atheist is a political liability in nearly all US elections.
      I think that belief in God is not sufficient for a politician today.  One must at least be an occasional attendee and member of a recognized religion, preferably a Judeo-Christian one.  Pagans need not apply, and Muslims have a tough row to hoe.

      I could buy a parrot and train it to say, `tax cuts,' but at the end of the day, it's still a parrot, not a conservative.

      by MadRuth on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 05:33:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

      To succeed in American politics, it is essential to be a hypocritical phony.

      "Tu vida es ahora" ~graffiti in Madrid's Puerta del Sol, May, 2011.

      by ActivistGuy on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 12:48:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So then you oppose attempts on the left to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock

    yoke stronger safety nets to the Christian injunction to help the poor?  FWIW, I think the philosophy of secularism* entails that those attempts are per se illegitimate.  

    * Which CW would trace back at least to Kant's "What Is Enlightenment," in which he notes the public / private distinction and attempts to mark the boundaries.

  •  Heh. (6+ / 0-)

    Sometimes I think Richard Dawkins spends far more time thinking about God than I do.

    Evidently, He digs irony.

    I don't know who is more tiresome, the dogmatic theist or the dogmatic atheist.  It's close.  A real squeaker.

    Why don't you try reading the rules, Shankopotamus?

    by bugscuffle on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 05:25:08 AM PDT

    •  Describe the dogma of the atheist (11+ / 0-)

      I'd be curious to see it written out point by point.  

      The dogma of any particular religions is easy to find.  

      The only dogma I have as an atheist is this: show me some material proof.  When I have material proof, I will reconsider.  

      Now if someone wants to call me an agnostic, I'm cool with that.  I don't really care about that.  

      From now on, it's called "Freedom Kissing!" "Wolverines!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

      by otto on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:08:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, for instance (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        petral, terabthia2

        Christopher Hitchens wrote a book whose subtitle was -- I'm not making this up -- "How Religion Poisons Everything"

        Really.

        Everything.

        Why don't you try reading the rules, Shankopotamus?

        by bugscuffle on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:20:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Have you read it? (8+ / 0-)

          Seriously?

          Because he's right.  It does.

          There are some accidental benefits to be had from occasional religious insights which mimic intuition, but the largest function of theology as it is constituted is an attempt to use capital letter 'Truth' to hide the very real fact of moral uncertainty -- to fake one's way around the 'is/ought" limit of logic.

          I prefer to live with the uncertainty, thank you very much.  I have no qualms at all with the hypothesis that it would be a better place to live for most humanity if more people felt the same.

          "Confunde et vince." Come visit our chickens at http://bigmyrtle.blogspot.com

          by Walden Ponderer on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:35:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And, did he demonstrate that in the book? (7+ / 0-)

          I have read some Christopher Hitchens, and while he may be caustic, he is not afraid to be outspoken.

          Put yourself in the position of a non believer.  

          You are the 8% minority to the 92% majority (using diarist's figures).  

          If you have that great of an imbalance, who is most likely to speak up?  Is the quiet, polite, non-disturber going to speak up?  Is the get-along, go-along going to speak up?  Is the person who is concerned about a majority population carrying out retribution going to speak up?  

          No.  

          Now think of that person you have in a work meeting who is willing to speak up in to question a majority position.  

          Are you thankful that someone is willing to risk their personal credibility and security to speak up?  Or are you wishing that the person would just keep their criticisms to themselves?  

          Personally, if I think something is a bad idea, I'm going to let my colleagues know.  "Look, that thing could erupt in flames and kill the audience!" (I teach science in a public forum)

          Do you appreciate the fact that someone is willing to be outspoken against the overwhelmingly held majority opinion?  If you appreciate the fact that someone is willing to make a bold statement against a socially swayed idea in a small group like a workplace, wouldn't you agree that it's not that an atheist who is willing to make a statement of non belief in public should also be commended for the bravery?  

          I don't think that believers have sufficient understanding of the difficulty that an atheist has of holding the position publicly.  

          From now on, it's called "Freedom Kissing!" "Wolverines!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

          by otto on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:42:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  if we are to go by titles check by Amazon (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, yaque

          and see some of the things liberals and atheists are blamed for in the titles or just go to Ann Coulter's author's page

  •  You mean 92% of Americans SAY THEY (9+ / 0-)

    belive in God, right?

    I hate to quote David Frum here but this may be more apropos, coming from him, "Yes the American media always loves a freak show. But a political party does not have to cooperate."

    by alliedoc on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 05:30:51 AM PDT

    •  My partner is one of those people that has (6+ / 0-)

      a mushy, inchoate, non-sectarian belief in some amorphous god, and even she thinks there's something wrong w/ atheists (like me, for example).  So I think the point stands: people that believe in god need some limiting principle to their theism to prevent it from swaying their vote based on religious mandates.

      •  Now, what in the world (0+ / 0-)

        would be wrong in your opinion about someone's vote being based on their religious views of the world and their place/duty in the world?

        And what sort of "limiting principle" do you have in mind to impose upon people of belief to prevent them from voting their conscience?

        Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

        by Joieau on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 08:46:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Religious views like... (0+ / 0-)

          ...believing the Earth is 6000 years old
          ...believing in Intelligent Design, let alone that it should be taught in school
          ...them being in some mission from their god

          ...should prevent anyone from even being considered for public office. Partly because it's evidence of a clear lack of intellect, partly because it's guaranteed to result in bad policies and partly because it will result in discrimination.

          Voters who hold those ideas are dangerous too. When someone makes a great deal out of being an evangelical Christian, you certainly already know some of the things they stand for. You know where they stand in regards to evolution and that don't support good policies with regards to science in any area. You know where they stand about gay rights. You know where they stand about reproductive healthcare.

          Not so with Catholics for example. Many are just cultural Catholics and have a more open mind about things, so some further exploration of their opinions is warranted. A great deal of them support abortion for example

          •  So... (0+ / 0-)

            anyone who holds to beliefs bout the world that YOU deem "dangerous" must not be allowed to vote? That's pretty radical. How exactly do you plan to disenfranchise them?

            Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

            by Joieau on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:13:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  What about (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            terabthia2

            belief that the world is going to end soon. To my mind, that one is the most unforgiveable and downright dangerous for a person to whom power has been entrusted, and many evangelicals believe it.

            Wakeful people make better democracy.

            by Hammerhand on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:22:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

              It strongly appears in this thread that there are some atheists who claim to be 'liberal' (or enough so to lob such comments on DKos) but who harbor authoritarian/totalitarian tendencies every bit as ugly as those espoused by the Teabaggers, Bushies and Kochs of this country.

              You simply cannot have a constitutional democracy - with a first amendment - and keep ANYONE otherwise qualified to vote or run for office from doing so just because you don't like their religious beliefs. And people who harbor ill intent toward our constitutional democracy under such pretenses would surely be unsurprised if they were eventually disenfrachised because someone out there dislikes their non-beliefs.

              This is crazy talk. Wow.

              Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

              by Joieau on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 12:25:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  For the record (0+ / 0-)

                I am not an atheist

                Secondly, I in no way referred to the restriction and/or deprivation of any person's right to vote freely for a candidate as they see fit. As for my right to vote for a candidate by specific guidelines including their answers to certain questions, well, my right to freely choose for whom I vote is of course my right.

                Thirdly, I said nothing about "not liking someone's religious beliefs". I said that belief that the end of the world is happening soon is an unforgiveable and dangerous thing in any person to whom power is entrusted.

                Stupidity is one thing; delusion can be even worse; both are forgiveable. But IMO fatalism, when manifested in a person with power, is terrifying.

                Obviously this opinion has little practical value; I just really don't like or trust people that think the end of the world is happening soon; and that, too, is my right.

                Wakeful people make better democracy.

                by Hammerhand on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 12:51:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  shaggies2009

                  I originally repolied to johnny wurster in this thread, who wrote:

                  ...people that believe in god need some limiting principle to their theism to prevent it from swaying their vote based on religious mandates.

                  So I asked what kind of "limiting principle" he had in mind to prevent people from voting their conscience. Then Steve84 weighed in with his view that people with religious views (except for Catholics) are "dangerous" and should not be allowed to vote or run for office. I asked how he planned to disenfranchise them.

                  And that is what you responded that you also think people of belief are "dangerous," implying agreement that they should be disenfranchised.

                  My position is that no religious test should ever be required for candidates or voters in this country, either pro or con. Of course people will vote their conscience, and they have every right to do so. If you or I don't like the way they vote, then we need to counterbalance their votes with our own votes. We absolutely do not need to champion the idea that people who don't vote the way we do should not be allowed to vote. The line of twisted thought in this exchange has been to promote the idea that people with beliefs atheists don't like should not have the right to vote, or to vote their conscience.

                  My responses have been specific to that nutty idea.

                  Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

                  by Joieau on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 01:19:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  If I claimed to believe in god, it would be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yaque, lurkyloo

        like faking an orgasm.  I just don't feel it.  How many other people don't really feel it but because of societal mores, think they do?

        I hate to quote David Frum here but this may be more apropos, coming from him, "Yes the American media always loves a freak show. But a political party does not have to cooperate."

        by alliedoc on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:50:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And they don't all believe in the same god (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, terabthia2, yaque

      even among Christians you have those that believe in a fire and brimstone god, and others who believe in an all-loving and caring god.  There are others that see nature as their god, and so on.

      So the survey conclusion should not say "92% of Americans believe in God", but "92% of Americans believe in a god".

      Using "believe in God" is a way of falsely binding all these groups under one belief.

      •  think they do, as in, haven't really gone (0+ / 0-)

        to that place where they would know.

        I hate to quote David Frum here but this may be more apropos, coming from him, "Yes the American media always loves a freak show. But a political party does not have to cooperate."

        by alliedoc on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:51:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  religiosity in the EU is down to 16% (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, adrianrf, yaque

      and projected to drop to 8% in the next decade or so which also may explain the cultural gulf that exists between the US and the Euro countries of origin

      •  And, they all think that America is a fundie (0+ / 0-)

        country.

        I hate to quote David Frum here but this may be more apropos, coming from him, "Yes the American media always loves a freak show. But a political party does not have to cooperate."

        by alliedoc on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:52:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I love this. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maf1029, happy camper, Tonedevil, yaque

    How people step on here and think they can just bash atheists by saying they're atheists themselves. You can be religious or you can be an atheist, either one's fine with me, and the simple fact is that that's the attitude shared by virtually all the atheist posters on here. The DailyKos religious crusades are all most all ways started by a small minority of militant christens, personally I feel very sympathetic toward all the great liberal christens who constantly have there religion abused by these people.

    Now, I try, as a general rule (and not all ways successfully I'm the first to admit) not to be baited into the religious wars, but this treating of atheists like we're idiots is simply beyond the pale. I believe you're an atheist like I believe the sky is purple.

    Aren't they amazing? They could go on forever, aimlessly talking about pointless subjects. Even I'm beginning to admire them for it. -- Nagisa, A Lollipop Or A Bullet

    by Dom9000 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 05:34:10 AM PDT

    •  I have a solution for you atheists...! (6+ / 0-)
      "I believe you're an atheist like I believe the sky is purple."

      You guys should establish a group that inquires about people who claim to be atheists to make sure that only the pure ones get through. Since they'll be doing a lot of inquires, they should be called an Inquisition.

      As a Christian, I can testify that it worked great for us!

      /snark

    •  Wasn't going to do this but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heiuan

      now you're making me. Three words: Sam Wise Gingy

      That's who this diary is about.

      At every opportunity I use the "some" qualifier in front of "atheists" to describe what been going on lately. SOME is not the same as EVERY, dig?

      And then:

      I believe you're an atheist like I believe the sky is purple.

      Is that really necessary?

      "We are stardust, we are golden, we are caught in the devil's bargain, and we got to get ourselves back to the garden." - Joni Mitchell

      by shaggies2009 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 05:47:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And I love how (5+ / 0-)

      I am contantly told by SOME atheists that I am mentally defective for not being one.

      And when I point that out, I am condemed for bashing atheists.  But when an atheist insults a theist, it's never much of a problem.

      Actually, this whole theist/atheist debate is still running in the same circles around here it always does.  I've been guilty of it myself, so I should not throw too many stones.

      Maybe we should just accept that ther are different ways to look at the universe and get back to trying to make it better.

      Where did the rest of the elves go?

      by thepothole on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:04:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's interesting (8+ / 0-)

        I'm told by some believers that I will be cast into a pit of fire for all of eternity.  

        In terms of ultimate judgements on a stated position, what would be worse?  Being mentally defective for  a period of time on Earth, or being cast into a pit of fire for eternity for not believing in the specifics of a particular work of literature?

        Feh.

        I have no doubt that the proper book response to this is, "Not all Christians are like that!"

        From now on, it's called "Freedom Kissing!" "Wolverines!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

        by otto on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:15:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Otto, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          codobus, otto

          we've done this dance before.  

          I don't think the "lake of fire" thing applies to unbelievers, unless they really want it to.  And I don't think it of you.  And I will take the mentally defective as just as great an insult from you as the whole "you're going to hell" thing would be from me.

          If I was a Christian, that is.

          And yes, not all Christians are like that.  Just like not all atheists are like the other.

          Where did the rest of the elves go?

          by thepothole on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:45:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The US isn't a secular country (8+ / 0-)

    Very far from it. It doesn't live up to its ideals. Separation of church and state is rarely practiced. Or rather, it's constantly undermined and under attack. Governments at every level behave like it's a quasi-theocracy.

    There are plenty of countries that have state religions, but where it's almost unheard of for politicians to bring up religion in public. In Britain they'd usually be considered a bit crazy for doing so. There are countries with relatively traditional populations that have more secular governments.

    So, "secularism is the answer" sounds nice. But it's just not reality

  •  Because Of The Idiots (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Walden Ponderer, yaque, Simian

    Is why I quit using the term Atheist for myself instead going with non-believer.

    Plus I heard a guy on TV once said he rejected the term Atheist because "they don't have a word for people that don't believe in ghosts, or don't believe in witches".

    Made sense to me.

    Either you're wit' us or a Guinness -- Brilliant!

    by Unforgiven on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:01:54 AM PDT

    •  I'll usually say "Atheist" for simplicity (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      otto, shaggies2009, yaque, lurkyloo

      "Atheist" is a good conversation stopper when a deeper explanation is not appropriate, but if anyone wants to have an in-depth conversation about the subject, I might describe myself as a non-theist, anti-theist, or skeptic.  As you rightly say, the term is absurd, because there is no word for people who don't believe in unicorns or ghosts, holy or otherwise.

      If I'm feeling really petulant, I'll say I'm a gardener.  It's the only activity I can think of that is in any way spiritually invigorating, anyway.

      "Confunde et vince." Come visit our chickens at http://bigmyrtle.blogspot.com

      by Walden Ponderer on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:42:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm in the same boat (0+ / 0-)

        I don't really care if people want to dissect the differing definitions of words which describe non-belief.  

        From now on, it's called "Freedom Kissing!" "Wolverines!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

        by otto on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:45:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Empiracist." n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left.

      by Simian on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:28:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Whatever (6+ / 0-)

    To act like the overwheliming social pressure to believe in a God is somehow not worth confronting is irresponsible.  

    Any time that there is tremendous social pressure to conform to a false reality, I am going to say something about it.  

    I don't really care if someone tells me that I'm wrong for letting them know that God doesn't exist.  

    Any person of faith should be strong enough to overcome the doubt that gets cast on their beliefs.  It's "faith," after all.  

    I'm not sure what the complaint is.  

    Some Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs, Scientologists, Mormons, Zoroastrians... are assholes.  

    Some atheists are assholes.  

    There is nothing about a diary by an atheist that should be read as a comment on the entire set of people who are non believers.  

    From now on, it's called "Freedom Kissing!" "Wolverines!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    by otto on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:03:33 AM PDT

    •  It's the believers that keep (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      otto, happy camper, Tonedevil, adrianrf, yaque

      posting diaries on religion and atheists.   It's as if they keep looking for reassurance they aren't as gullible as their religious beliefs make them sound.  

      If you don't stand for something, eventually you stand for nothing.

      by dkmich on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:17:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's totally understandable (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dkmich, maf1029, Tonedevil, adrianrf, yaque

        It just demonstrates the tolerance for talking out loud about non belief- there isn't any tolerance for it.  

        Using the diarist's 92% figure, I would like the diarist to consider what it takes for someone to state their lack of belief in a public forum.    

        In any situation where you have 92% agreement on an issue, it takes a lot to make the statement publicly that you disagree with their position.  

        Think about some meeting at work with only 10 people.  If I were in a meeting with 9 other people, and they all agreed that we will definitely be able to do this project, and we should definitely hire all the people, and we should definitely train everyone to prepare for the project, but nobody was able to identify the actual existence of the funds for the project, don't you think you'd want that one person to speak up?  

        I know I'd want that person to stop the nonsense in the meeting.  

        Show me the money, I guess, would be my comment in that situation.  

        From now on, it's called "Freedom Kissing!" "Wolverines!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

        by otto on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:27:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The diaries I read (0+ / 0-)

      there certainly was

      There is nothing about a diary by an atheist that should be read as a comment on the entire set of people who are non believers.

      And:

      Some Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs, Scientologists, Mormons, Zoroastrians... are assholes.  

      Some atheists are assholes.

      Funny, I used the qualifier some in my diary too.

      "We are stardust, we are golden, we are caught in the devil's bargain, and we got to get ourselves back to the garden." - Joni Mitchell

      by shaggies2009 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:23:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you saw that? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        adrianrf

        You seem to think that what you noticed was placed there in some unintentional manner.  

        So this diary isn't about atheists, it's about assholes.  

        Do you have any text from the diary in question?  

        It appears to have been removed.  

        From now on, it's called "Freedom Kissing!" "Wolverines!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

        by otto on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:50:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's the oppressive factor of both sides that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nwreader

    disturbs me because it creates maybe too much hypocrisy that single minded people cannot see.

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    by roseeriter on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:04:45 AM PDT

    •  Funny thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil

      I clicked on the troll link put up by the diarist, and I didn't see any immediate diaries about atheism.

      You should click the link.  

      From now on, it's called "Freedom Kissing!" "Wolverines!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

      by otto on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:09:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You should follow his link. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      roseeriter, killjoy

      Troll group?   Talk about opinionated, narrow minded, judgmental, and intolerant, this group takes the cake.  The people who re-post there say more about themselves than the people whose diaries they post.  Every time I think this place has hit a new low in intolerance, here comes another record setter.  

      If you don't stand for something, eventually you stand for nothing.

      by dkmich on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:20:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well ok (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dkmich

        I take your point. I hope it's not seen as an endorsement of their every activity. I was just trying to say that these diaries and diarists have not had the best time here.

        Everyone gets undeserved HR's and maybe these folks have as well. But they certainly earned the vast majority of them IMO.

        I'm trying to suggest there's a better way. Focus on secularism.

        "We are stardust, we are golden, we are caught in the devil's bargain, and we got to get ourselves back to the garden." - Joni Mitchell

        by shaggies2009 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:34:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Solid reasoning in that diary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dkmich

          The diary by this commenter was a public call out of a user with an accusation of paid shilling.  

          Easy call.  Takes no time.  If the intent was to inform, it was lost in the public accusation.  

          It could easily have been written without using the name.  People would have known to whom the diarist was referring.  

          From now on, it's called "Freedom Kissing!" "Wolverines!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

          by otto on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:47:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  My bitch is that nobody can agree to (0+ / 0-)

          disagree.   They are right, god damn it, just ask them.  I know we are all over the board, and I know we don't think alike on a ton of topics.  But troll?  really?  people need to grow up.  No matter how strongly I might disagree with you or your position, this is America - land of the free, for at least another 20 minutes.  

          If you don't stand for something, eventually you stand for nothing.

          by dkmich on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 07:52:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's one of those signs (0+ / 0-)

        that the Party is in the decline stages of the partisan political cycle again when policing the forum becomes an obsession.  And whiny thin-skinned nastiness toward criticism becomes normal.

  •  Dude, this is so wrong. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    otto, Tonedevil, yaque

    If, that many people are reality challenged, then we don't change reality... we get them help... sheesh.  

    I'm not going to debate this dude.

    Free University and Health Care for all, now. -8.88, -7.13

    by SoCalHobbit on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:05:41 AM PDT

  •  athiesm is not a religion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper

    and anyone who treats it as such shouldn't be taken seriously.

    Also, I looked through the first 2 pages of diaries in the Troll group and failed to find any "atheist" diaries... did I miss something?

    In addition, this diary reminds me slightly of the "Atheism" page on Conservapedia: http://www.conservapedia.com/...

    I call myself an "Atheist" in very loose way. I don't believe in any "God" in the sense that there is an intelligent life form which dictated our existence. If there is anything close to a deity, it would be the energy that makes up everything in the universe. However, I don't believe that energy has intelligence. It has properties. I suppose some would say that is Agnostic... but I don't think that is right... because I don't view energy as holy, divine or sacred...

    I don't believe that religion is representative of anything other than a paradigm of humanity.

    •  I believe the diary in question was deleted (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stonedoubt

      I looked myself and couldn't find it, so I can only assume it was removed.

      Your wise men don't know how it feels to be thick as a brick - Jethro Tull

      by codobus on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:36:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      codobus

      Conservapedia?

      I haven't read the entire article but it looks like the same debunked trash I read about elsewhere.

      This diary is not actually about atheism. This diary is an advocacy of secularism.

      It's also about a couple individuals behavior that I object to. I don't want to do a call out diary, so I tried to keep names out of it. Though one guy had gotten the boney mojo by the time I was finishing this so I mentioned his name in a comment above.

      "We are stardust, we are golden, we are caught in the devil's bargain, and we got to get ourselves back to the garden." - Joni Mitchell

      by shaggies2009 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 06:54:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You should reconsider the title (5+ / 0-)

        The title of the diary undermines the argument you wish to make.

        I'm not questioning your stated position on the issue, but I am questioning whether you considered the entirety of your diary before you published.  

        The title says nothing about secularism.  It says nothing about public policy.  

        The title is an enticement to a debate on atheist diaries on Dkos.  

        If you didn't intend this to be the case, then you should change your title to reflect what you want the diary to say.  

        You linked a study, and a general troll page as your supporting information.  

        From now on, it's called "Freedom Kissing!" "Wolverines!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

        by otto on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 07:03:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But the diary is about (0+ / 0-)

          some atheist diaries. This one for instance. Not well received methinks. Could one have taken up the subject from a reasoned secular viewpoint and discussed the merits of a certain public policy without bashing religion? Yes.

          Maybe I was too cautious in not calling out. I guess I don't mind it now for this guy since he's banned.

          I appreciate the advice and understand the concern. The title of the diary is part of the problem statement and the rest of the diary proposes the solution of secularism.

          "We are stardust, we are golden, we are caught in the devil's bargain, and we got to get ourselves back to the garden." - Joni Mitchell

          by shaggies2009 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 07:30:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sam had been (6+ / 0-)

            trolling on this subject for some time. Lately he began spamming his anti-religion views in completely unrelated threads in diaries that had nothing to do with religion or atheism.

            Not to mention his obnoxious and condescending tone toward anyone he perceived as religious.

            Treating him as in any way typical of atheism, or of the attitude of atheist Kossacks, is a mistake. If you read his comments you'll find him getting multiple donuts from atheists as well as believers. The guy was an asshole to everyone who questioned his bad behavior.

            Really, he's not worth a diary, IMHO. Most everyone is just glad he's gone.

            "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

            by happy camper on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 07:57:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You claim to want a middle ground (0+ / 0-)

            But you openly attack the atheists, even when given an open invitation to back off, to amend the language of your diary.  You dig your heels in and up the aggressive tone toward atheists, and squeal how they are persecuting you, after you launched this diary that imputes 100% of the blame for this problem on the small socially-persecuted minority.  You sir are a humbug.

            "Tu vida es ahora" ~graffiti in Madrid's Puerta del Sol, May, 2011.

            by ActivistGuy on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 01:03:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Outliers shouldn't be used as support (0+ / 0-)

            The diarist you cite is clearly an outlier, and his style of interaction should not be used as a data point in support of your argument.  

            It really only weakens your argument to need to reach for an isolated and extreme example.  

            From now on, it's called "Freedom Kissing!" "Wolverines!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

            by otto on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 06:34:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  having watched "I don't have enough faith (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stonedoubt, Tonedevil, yaque, adrianrf

      to be an atheist" and numerous other such programs, in order to construct their straw men arguments, they have to have atheism function as a religion; otherwise their attempts to refute it fall flat.

      It is the same way they have to argue their Bible is unique and that the precepts it presents are unique to their book; once you admit that the Bible is the product of earlier civilizations and cultures and that much of what is perceived as unique is actually borrowed, the arguments as to its special validity are particularly weakened

  •  Some atheists are as tiresome (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terabthia2

    as the religious right (of whatever stripe).  People who are self-rightous in their belief that they, and only they, are keepers of the one true way are both tiresome and dangerous because they refuse to listen to other points of view and demand to be heard (and obeyed) while they disrespect everyone else.   They rarely grow in understanding or compassion and are often stumbling blocks to diversity and the inclusion of others (except as intellectual slaves).

    "Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe." Robert Browning in 'Ceuciaja'

    by CorinaR on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 08:37:54 AM PDT

  •  theocracy is the logical conclusion of religion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yaque

    "Militant" atheists believe that anyone who's truly serious about their religion - whatever religion - must inevitably embrace theocracy.  If you truly believe that a god exists, wants you and me and everyone to live our lives and structure our societies a certain way, and will torture us forever if we don't, then even for a mentally healthy person who is capable of feeling compassion, theocracy is actually even more clearly a moral obligation.  In the minds of people like Hitchens, Dawkins, Sam Harris, Ayan Hirsi Ali, etc., it's activist time-warped fundamentalists who are the true Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc., since they're the ones for whom their whole religion - not just the generically moral parts or the harmless rituals - that informs everything that they think, say, and do.  Then there's theonomy, where everyone lives and votes their religion even within the context of secular institutions that offer no special privileges to any religion.

  •  You're missing the point. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thepothole

    What was it Ghandi said; "I love your Christ, it's those eff'ing christians that piss me off!"  or something like that.

    It's not God we hate, it's the theists who've turned him/her into a petulant, war mongering, mysoginist homophobe isolationist bent on the eventual elimination of those who deter in the slightest from his predetermined course.

    How petty you've made him/her.

    apparently due to ancient hardware and the transition to dk4 I can't recc tip jars or comments any longer so in lieu of the 'standard nod' you'll see a variety of replies until this gets fixed or becomes a mighty big fucking pain in the ass

    by oopsaDaisy on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:54:33 AM PDT

    •  Really? The theists made him that? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radmul

      Even a cursory reading of the Old Testament reveals its god to be a petulant, war mongering mysoginist homophobe bent on the eventual elimination of those who would deter him from his predetermined course.  No proselytization is necessary:  it's all there in black and white.

      Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left.

      by Simian on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:37:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't that what I said? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thepothole

        Maybe I'm not reading you right, but I think we're on the same page, no?

        "Really?  The theist made him that?"

        Was there a typo in there?  No comprende.

        apparently due to ancient hardware and the transition to dk4 I can't recc tip jars or comments any longer so in lieu of the 'standard nod' you'll see a variety of replies until this gets fixed or becomes a mighty big fucking pain in the ass

        by oopsaDaisy on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:59:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry. Thought you meant (0+ / 0-)

          that theists who came later turned the God of the Bible into all those things. I didn't realize you were saying that the people who invented the religion created a God who was all those things.  So, you're right, we do agree.

          Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left.

          by Simian on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 06:51:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  So yeah, (0+ / 0-)

        way to make the same point.  Who wrote it?  Either God passed it on making:

        god to be a petulant, war mongering mysoginist homophobe bent on the eventual elimination of those who would deter him from his predetermined course

        Or the people with an agenda got it wrong.

        Where did the rest of the elves go?

        by thepothole on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 05:12:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  the faith is not as important as its appearance (0+ / 0-)

    much of American life has this lack of quality, IMO, since the days of Reagan.

    I know what my faith is.
    I don't get in fights about faith (I do get in fights about its abuse).
    I don't believe that bullying on behalf of one's faith (including agnosticism or atheism) is helpful or persuasive. I have seen it
    cause schism and drive volunteers away from Democratic Party
    programs and offices, though.

    LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:30:54 AM PDT

  •  I'm a proud secularist... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaggies2009

    ... who believes in (a) God.  

    I do, however, believe that the bible was 100% written by man in his craziness.  And I have total disdain for religion which is just an inverted form of politics.

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