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October 30th, 2007


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11:51 am
Why one particular atheist is angry.

I agree with pretty much everything she had to say.
So I'll just add, "amen."
Current Location: work
mood: calmcalm

(83 bits of drivel | babble incoherently)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:coraline
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:03 pm (UTC)
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wow. right on.
[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC)
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Sorry, but my reaction is "LOL, stupidest thing I've ever read."

I've been a bunch of different religions and I've been no-religion, but she's just throwing a whole batch of different and complex social issues in one trash bag, massively oversimplifying to the point that she's nonsensical, and crying persecution.

Not impressed. I'm not impressed when religious sects do it, and I'm not impressed when unreligious groups do it. It's dumbing down the issues.

YMMV.
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC)
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Hmm, I totally disagree. Of course, I come to that blog post already on her side, so I acknowledge my bias, but the vast majority of the issues she talks about are tied inalterably to religion and its impact on society. Where are you getting nonsensical? And really, I'm not sure how she's supposed to avoid oversimplication in a 4,000+ some word blog post about the history of religion. Be that as it may, I didn't find her points to be inaccurately summarized. Could you explain more what you're talking about here (or in my blog, if you'd like).
[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC)
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For example, I think the complex issues surrounding abortion can be summed up better than with a photo of a wire coat hanger.

As a woman, I'm insulted.
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
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The comment you're referencing is "I'm angry that women are having septic abortions -- or are being forced to have unwanted children who they resent and mistreat -- because religious organizations have gotten laws passed making abortion illegal or inaccessible."

I would agree with you if the sentence was "I'm angry at religious organizations for being the sole cause of all abortions (unsafe or otherwise)." But I think her point is clearly illustrated in the last clause. She's upset that religious organizations have shaped abortion legislation according to their personal beliefs about right and wrong, thereby affecting millions of women who don't share those religious beliefs.

As you said, abortion is a complicated issue. There are a million ways to discuss it-- but I would strongly argue that in this country the religious debate has severely influenced political health care decisions.
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
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It's not about the issues, you're missing the point.
It's not about diving deeply into, say, the complex issue of abortion and everything that surrounds it. It's exactly what it sets out at the beginning; an explanation of and defense of atheist anger, and an answer to the question we get all the time of "why are you atheists so angry?"

Consider it the flip-side of the coin that says "everyone not in $RELIGION is going to hell, and there's no redemption, so it's ok to kill them in the name of $GOD."
You may not be sitting on that side of the coin, but that doesn't mean the coin's not there.
[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
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It's not the flip side of the coin. It's intolerance and bigotry, dressed up with the name of no-god instead of God. She's practicing exactly what she claims to be condemning and blaming a vague "religious people" for.

Oh, the irony.
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
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I just reread the whole thing. Nowhere in the entire post does she blame anyone remotely vague, or assault an entire group or religion.
Every paragraph is a very specific grievance about a very specific issue.
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
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Wow. Hmm. Where to start.
She's obviously angry, but I think "intolerance and bigotry" is a swing for the fence! She's angry about ways in which religion has affected societal rules and issues, and because her personal experience with people of various religions has been false justification and condescension. I don't see how that's intolerance. What is she intolerant of, not being taken seriously?

Bigotry would be if she clung to her ideas and didn't take others into account even when shown the error of them. As she stated, she was a religions major and had read the Bible. Using Christianity as one example, it seems pretty clear to me that she's taken other ideas into account in forming this blog post-- but has, of course, come out with her own opinions on the topic. Force of opinion doesn't necessarily imply bigotry. And there are several specific issues she names which are anything but vague. Could you post more specifics of this hypocrisy you're seeing? Because it just seems like you're upset about some perceived tone in the article, instead of particular things it said that you felt were false.
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC)
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Wow. Reposting for extra viral transmission...
[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
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And she thinks only atheists are upset about 9/11 and that Christians believe the red stripes on a candy cane "represent Christ's blood"?

These sweeping generalizations she makes about "religious people" are straw-man arguments. "Religious people" don't treat prayer as a personal shopping list for God. At least none of the ones I've ever met (including Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, and Druids) do. This reads like a caricature.

And even if that were the case, why would she care if she really doesn't believe in God?
[User Picture]
From:secretlyironic
Date:October 30th, 2007 08:21 pm (UTC)
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If you've never met a biblical literalist, if you've never seen a classroom history timeline that begins with Adam and Eve in 10,000 BC, if you've never had someone tell you that Christianity is not a religion but the One Truth, if you've never seen Mel Gibson interviewed to the effect that his wife, all non-catholics, and all mainline Catholics after Vatican II are going to burn in hell... then maybe you don't quite grasp what that woman is talking about. Growing up around that kind of crap can poison you against even the mildest, kindest, most intellectually engaged religious people.

The following links do not represent the only kinds of religious practice in the US today, but they certainly represent actual people, and not just a few of them:
http://www.slate.com/id/2176547/
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5464505634137914176
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpWTujwSlj8
[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:October 30th, 2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
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Extremism is bad in any form. The people in the links you cite come off the same way the poster in question does.

But extremists are not the best measure of most people. Mel Gibson certainly doesn't speak for all or even many Christians. And I'd hate to think that the blogger in question spoke for most atheists.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 31st, 2007 02:16 am (UTC)
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Christianity is not a religion but the One Truth

Well, I would be pretty surprised if a Christian took any other stance, actually.
[User Picture]
From:axessdenyd
Date:October 31st, 2007 02:21 am (UTC)
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...that last comment was me, it's only anonymous 'cause I didn't notice I was logged out.
[User Picture]
From:wanderyng1
Date:October 30th, 2007 08:22 pm (UTC)
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And she thinks only atheists are upset about 9/11

I don't think I saw anything in her article that said she felt only atheists had the right to be upset about 9/11. Nor did I see anything saying that she felt all Christians thought candy canes were covered in Jesus Juice. She expressed anger towards a particular incident. Each statement was a seperate bullet point on her list of grievances.

All I saw in this article was someone writing a rant with a particular slant. If I rant about the general religious leanings of this country, I'm usually looking at it through Jew-colored glasses. It's my general religious inclination, so I frequently look at things from that stance. She rather vociferously claimed herself an atheist; ergo she writes from that slant.
[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:October 30th, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
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She's claiming anger at 9/11 as an atheist issue.

She starts out her post:

1. Why atheists are angry;
2. Why our anger is valid, valuable, and necessary;


I was baptised Methodist, confirmed Presbyterian, was married to and was divorced by a Jewish man (grew up with him; more people in my neighborhood had bar and bat mitvahs than didn't, nearly converted), have been Eclectic Wiccan and Neo-Druid, and and been to Buddhist ceremonies and Catholic mass. Spent a long time agnostic. Now I'm going to church again.

There aren't too many people who match my particular spiritual history, but I'm not going to go yelling about the marginalization of [see paragraph above]. When I get angry about things, I take responsibility for it as an individual; it's not [see paragraph above] anger.

I think she's being silly, and I hate it when overprivileged people play the victim because they think it's trendy.
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:October 30th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
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ok, let's just take the single comment that you point out there.
"I'm angry about 9/11."

We can either see it as an atheist issue, eg: "I'm angry about 9/11" because it was perpetrated by Islamist fundamentalists.

Or we can see it in the context she placed it, as a contextual-preface to the statement following it about how whatsisface believes 9/11 happened because God hates America for harboring fags, sodomites, etc.
"I hate that 9/11 happened. I also hate that this dude claims it happened for x reasons."


I think she meant the latter, but I don't see how you can get pissed at that comment either way. They were Islamists fundamentalists, and killed $X people because their religion told them it was not only ok, but that they would be 'saints' if they did. The group responsible has said as much.
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:October 30th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
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easy with the icons there killer.
I'm all about spirited discussion, but let's not get personal, m'kay?
[User Picture]
From:johncoxon
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
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Of course, what that is doing is taking a bunch of issues that have arisen as a result of certain religious people and certain religious organisations and labelling it all as God's fault, which is unfair. I am of the belief that God exists, but wouldn't term myself as religious - does that make it legitimate for the kind of overarching assumptions made in the entry to which you link to be levelled at me? Also, what does making a bunch of overarching assumptions prove? That the people she's angry with aren't the only ones who can discriminate?

I'm sorry, but to me, it's a load of tosh. I'd condemn any similar article about atheism on exactly the same grounds.

(Also, the statement that I discuss in this entry was made by an atheist in a discussion on this topic on a friend's journal, and I had massive trouble following her logic. The comments are, in my opinion, worth looking at.)
[User Picture]
From:johncoxon
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC)
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Oh, as an added point, why can't religious people be angry about twats in the world who are religious? Why is it just atheists that she says should be angry? I'm fucking furious about some of the discrimination in that article, does that not count because of my faith (and if so, how is that argument not discriminating against me)?

I'm just curious. It seems very knee-jerkish to me.
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:35 pm (UTC)
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the whole POINT is that it's a knee-jerk.
It's also defensive, not offensive. She's not denying anyone else their anger about things, she's explaining her own.
Context = important.
[User Picture]
From:johncoxon
Date:October 30th, 2007 05:32 pm (UTC)
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But by making her anger at these injustices about being atheist, she's lumping all non-atheists into a category she can label as 'not angry about this' - can you honestly not see that?
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:October 30th, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
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I don't see that either. She's explaining her anger as an athiest, not denying you your anger about the same issues (nor even denying you your anger back at her over the same issues if you disagree).

You don't have to be an atheist to be mad about the same things she mentions, even if you're mad for the same reasons.
[User Picture]
From:johncoxon
Date:October 30th, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
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Yes, but it's as an atheist. Why? Why not as a human?

Do you have to put the vast majority of these injustices into that context to consider them unjust? No. Thus, it's her choice to make it about her atheism, and her choice to deal with what will happen when people who are not atheist, such as myself, read the article and come away feeling like they're being blamed, even if that wasn't the intention of the article.

I'm sorry, but I don't see it. It's just stirring the shit, from my point of view, and I'm astounded that so many people on my friends-list think it's the shizzle. If anyone posted a similar rant against atheists, I'd have exactly the same viewpoint on that.
(Deleted comment)
Why one particular atheist is angry. I agree with pretty much… - another LJ. or: how i learned to stop worrying and love this life-thingy

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