Total Drek

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Best speech you will ever read by a guy who resembles Lex Luthor.

Recently Scott Dikkers, Editor of The Onion, gave a speech at the national convention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. You'll remember the FRFF from previous posts. In any case, Dikkers gave what I think is one of the finest speeches on atheism that I have ever read. At least, for a guy who looks like a supervillain:


(Photo by Brent Nicastro)


In any case I think you should go read it but, just to whet your appetite, I'll include a few excerpts:

I’d like to start out, if I may, with a few insults. I’d also like to show you some articles from The Onion, the newspaper that I founded and then edited for 15 of the past 20 years. Then, I’ll tie it all together with a heartwarming defense of rational thinking.

So, I saw this U. of Minn. survey that came out a while back. Perhaps you saw it as well. It asked Americans, who do you trust? And they broke it down into categories: Do you trust a Christian? Most said yes. In fact, Christians were at the top of the list. Do you trust a black person? A Muslim? A homosexual? etc.

The group that came out at the very bottom of the list–and I’m talking about below terrorists, below sexual predators, below the guy who skins babies alive and wears the skin as a mask and then dances in the moonlight while gargling the blood of his infant victims–after that guy, was atheists.

(And when I say “atheists,” I mean atheists, agnostics, freethinkers of every stripe, because the culture as a whole thinks of us as the same.)

We are the single-most reviled group of people in the country. Maybe the world. By far.

What we have to ask ourselves is, what can we learn from the terrorists and the serial killers? Well, for starters we need to find out who does their PR. We’ve got to ask the racists and the rapists, what’s your secret? Child molesters, how did you get to be America’s sweetheart? Show us how it’s done. Maybe we could move up a notch or two if you’d share with us some of your winning people skills.

...

It’s not fair the way atheists and agnostics are treated.

Atheists are blamed for some of the greatest genocides of the 20th century. Hitler, Stalin, Mao. People think that these lunatics were simply fulfilling the dictates of the moral vacuum of atheism. These guys are an albatross around my neck every time I get talking to a religious person. Pointing out how many millions have been killed by religious extremists usually devolves into an argument where we’re just adding up numbers of dead in columns, and that’s not productive. Can’t reasonable people simply agree that human beings in the grip of any ideology can be real jerks? Especially if they are bat-shit insane?

We can do better. We can turn the tide of public opinion that runs so disproportionately against us. First, we need a mascot–a puppet, or some kind of lovable character. Christians have the character of God. He’s got a fuzzy white beard. He’s cuddly. He loves everybody. He’s like your grandpa. He’s like Santa Claus.


It gets a little more serious, but the ending is superb. Go read it. NOW!

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1 Comments:

OpenID carldyke said...

"(And when I say “atheists,” I mean atheists, agnostics, freethinkers of every stripe, because the culture as a whole thinks of us as the same.)

We are the single-most reviled group of people in the country. Maybe the world. By far."

Now I understand what happened on that scatterplot chimp cartoon thread. At last, a victim identity to call my own! And not just any victim identity, but the uber-maxi-boss-in-your-face-primo victim identity! Yessssss. Thanks, Drek!

Friday, February 27, 2009 4:15:00 PM  

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