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Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Image.

The other day, looking for a short break from my labors, I came across a rather fascinating little quiz entitled, "Which enemy of the Christian Church are you?" Having been told on several occasions that I am an enemy of Christianity, I thought I would take this little quiz and see what it indicated. As it happens, the outcome will likely not surprise anyone:



On the one hand, this does speak well of the validity of this instrument as I am, indeed, an atheist. On the other hand, I'm a little uncomfortable seeing atheists described in such uncompromising terms. Do I believe I'm right? Hell yes. Is that an excuse to cop an attitude? Not so much, no. Even more baffling to me, however, is the depiction of atheists. Okay, trenchcoats? Sunglasses? The DNA helix I sorta get, but what's with that dude in the back with the firearm? I can only surmise that they're going for some sort of Matrix "You've seen through the illusion" reference, but it's still a smidge weird.* Why is it that atheists are always depicted as some sort of cross between intellectuals, hipsters, and the trenchcoat mafia? Then again, given how I've previously represented myself, maybe I shouldn't complain:



It's not that I'm complaining, either, it's just that I think we atheists have something of an image problem. As I've remarked on previously, atheists aren't well-liked and, often, for fairly bizarre reasons. This has come to the fore with the recent hubbub over Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan. For those who don't know, both women were webmasters for the John Edwards campaign and both, as it happens, have written some fairly pointed things about religion on separate blogs. The right wing has been going absolutely batshit looney as a result, claiming that this is an example of the Left's hypocrisy. Specifically, arguing that for Liberals it's okay to mock men, Conservatives and Christians, but not to mock women, Liberals or non-Christians. Never mind that Marcotte has some legitimate criticisms of Catholic doctrine as it pertains to birth control. Never mind the sort of shit that spews forth from the right on a regular basis: left-wing atheists** are hypocrites.

Folks, all I'm going to say right now is this: the entire controversy is goddamn stupid. Should the Edwards campaign have hired these women? Well, probably not. However much I support their right to say what they will, and my position on free speech is pretty goddamn consistent, the U.S. is a predominantly Christian country. As an atheist who has been critical of religion in the past, I more or less know my chances of being elected to public office are zero. I'm sure Bobby Henderson knows the same thing. If he doesn't, it isn't because people haven't told him. So, from a political standpoint, Edwards screwed up. That said, the Right is just being childish about all of this. Oh, really? Were your feelings hurt? Do you want a lollipop? Considering how you responded when another group was similarly offended, it's mighty hard for me to care about your objections now.

Grow up. Maybe we atheists have an image problem but it could be worse.

We could be like you.


* Neo: You mean when I give up religion I can dodge bullets?
Morpheus: I'm saying that when you give up religion, you won't have to.
Neo: ...
Neo: You're an idiot.

** As a side note, I haven't actually confirmed that these women are atheists. I'm assuming they are because the Raving Atheist is referring to them as such.

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1 Comments:

Blogger plain(s)feminist said...

OK, first of all, *I* got atheist too, and I'm totally not. Hmph. Not that there's anything wrong with...I mean, some of my best friends are...but I'm just not.

And second, all I learned from that whole Edwards thing is that I won't be voting for Edwards.

Friday, February 16, 2007 11:18:00 PM  

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