One is from Nicholas Kristof and one is from batshit lunatic Ron Moore (the former judge who placed a Ten Commandments megalith in the Alabama Supreme Court). First, Kristof:
Now that the Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars, let’s hope that the Atheist Left doesn’t revive them. We’ve suffered enough from religious intolerance that the last thing the world needs is irreligious intolerance.
Enough evidence exists for Congress to question [Muslim Keith] Ellison’s qualifications to be a member of Congress as well as his commitment to the Constitution in view of his apparent determination to embrace the Quran and an Islamic philosophy directly contrary to the principles of the Constitution. But common sense alone dictates that in the midst of a war with Islamic terrorists we should not place someone in a position of great power who shares their doctrine. In 1943, we would never have allowed a member of Congress to take their oath on “Mein Kampf,” or someone in the 1950s to swear allegiance to the “Communist Manifesto.” Congress has the authority and should act to prohibit Ellison from taking the congressional oath today!
Has any atheist ever said that any of the many conservative Christians in Congress should be removed solely because he or she is a conservative Christian? Of course not. The religious right does not reconsider, they rearm. They’re still loony.
I think you made an error in your post. “Batshit lunatic” only appears once, when clearly it should have been used at least twice.
Its not a case of them rearming. They never put the arms away in the first place! From the way many of these people talk, they think this is ancient Rome and Christians are still being fed to lions.
you are wrong
his name is Roy Moore
all else OK
just trying to set you straight
I’ve corrected the above paragraph – should have read just a bit like this:
‘Enough evidence existed for Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary to question Roy Moore’s qualifications to remain Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, particularly his commitment to the Constitution in view of his apparent determination to embrace the Bible and a Christopathic philosophy directly contrary to the principles of the Constitution. Common sense alone dictates that in the midst of a war against Science/Common Decency we should not place someone in a position of judgment who blithely rejects the separation of Church and State. In 1941, we were tragically caught off guard by an enemy who was determined to see democracy and American Freedom fade from the world. Today, 65 years after so many gave the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country, we find that the biggest threat to our freedoms come from within our own borders. Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary was right to remove Moore from the State Supreme Court in 2003!’
“Yep, son, We have met the enemy, and he is us…”
Roy Moore goes beyond merely saying that Ellison should be removed; he implies Ellison’s creed is comparable to the neutronium-plated standard in batshit racist political screeds.
As for Kristof, I think he secretly fears We of the Atheist Left will take it into our heads to ban his beloved teddy bear, the sweat shop.
Dam Christians. They are all guilty.
The remarks of some prove the group is guilty!
By the way, Sam Harris in The End of Faith says even worse things about Muslims that Roy Moore does.
I don’t seen any liberals critizing Harris.
I don’t seen any liberals critizing Harris. – Christensens Clones
Take a gander at some of the more religiously oriented sites in left blogostan. You’ll see plenty o’ criticism of Harris.
Of course, as to Kristof’s remark: it makes perfect sense from a certain point of view in which societal acceptance of certain behaviors amounts to oppression of those who do not accept those behaviors. Of course this point of view is also quite silly: is the fact that the government provides health certifications, etc., for restaurants that serve shrimp a sign that the government is intolerant of Jews? This point of view is also, obviously, un-democratic, and frankly un-Christian. But a lot of so-called Christians in our country, nebech, think this way …
While the first part of the Kristof quote is pure loony, the second part is a valid point. One does not have to look to far to find atheists who advocte banning religion. There are tolerant christians and atheists and there are intolerant christians and atheists (also just about any other religious view you can name). As a theistic scientist, I’ve come across some atheistic scientists who think that holding any theistic beliefs disqualifies one as a “real scientist.” A greater number of atheistic scientists are tolerant, but some are not.
The real problem is not “Conservative Christians,” but the intolerance promoted by many in that community. So long as we attack people for being “Conservative Christians” – or perhaps use that label as a shorthand for certain intolerant views – we will never win them over to being more tolerant. Labels like “Christopath” may be catchy, but remember that they can also be a bit offensive to moderate Christians. “Bigot” isn’t as catchy, but the real problem isn’t that Roy Moore is a Christian – it’s that he’s a bigot who tries to justify himself with religion. I’ve also encountered bigots who tried to justify themselves with atheism. As scientist, we should be more precise about the problem 😉
Where, exactly, are these ‘religion banning’ atheists I see trotted out so much? I don’t think they actually exist. Or maybe they’re just made of straw.
“Stripping Religion of Undeserved Reverence” and “Publicly Mocking the Stupidity of Religion” aren’t the equivalent of banning religion.
What stogue said, I’ll second. Most atheists are free thinkers who want everyone to have the right to make up their own mind on whether ghosts exist or not.
When I think of ‘special rights’, I don’t think of gays or other minorities, I think of churches and tax breaks. I’m all for non-profits all all kinds being given special consideation for helping the disadvantaged, but not if they’re going to use those breaks to fuck over any of the rest of us.
Just shows that Moore doesn’t even know the Constitution, let alone the principles. Article VI states:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States. (empasis mine)
As a theistic scientist, I’ve come across some atheistic scientists who think that holding any theistic beliefs disqualifies one as a “real scientist.” A greater number of atheistic scientists are tolerant, but some are not. – edward
As a fellow theistic scientist, I’ve only come across “real scientists wouldn’t believe in God, ’cause belief in God is unscientific” (whether the premise supports the conclusion and what the premise and the qualification of “real” in the conclusion even mean is highly debatable) types (or at least those who would say so aloud) on the ‘nets. And even they are not “forcing” me to be an atheist — they are just saying it’s illogical, irrational or some such.
I frankly don’t see anyone in this country seriously trying to ban religion, privalege atheism and few even aim to replace American-style secularism with French-style laicite. AFAIC/AFAIK, the “atheist who wants to ban religion” is a strawman, unless one takes the tack (as some — even it seems appearantly does Kristoff — do take) that your free exercize entails you being able to use public resources to impose your beliefs (or otherwise make normative your beliefs, which have no basis in other than your peculiar revealed morality) on others, which is, from the point of view of the fundie crowd, a serious obligation as they believe that they are saving us from hellfire.
As I said, such beliefs are un-democratic and un-Christian, but they do exist. I’ve not met any atheists who’ve expressed equivalent beliefs about their atheism, and the only ones I’ve known who’ve even come close, I’ve only “known” over the internet.
I posted on a couple of Moore’s more irritating sentences
from a historical perspective at: http://anotherhistoryblog.blogspot.com/2006/12/roy-moore-on-keith-ellison.html
By the way, in the army (early 70’s, Vietnam), he was apparently known as “Captain America.”
I don’t think it’s a strawman because I’ve met a few such atheists in person. Unfortunately, there is an element of human nature that can drive us to cast out that which is different, and atheists are not immune to it. Right now, I would agree that those who want to make the U.S. a “Christian State” and spend public money on churches and indoctrination are a far greater threat. However, those who want to impose their views on others come in all stripes.
As far as the special staus of religious groups – I’m in two minds. I think there is no question some religous groups abuse their status for political gain – Robertson being on the top of the list. But it is also true that secular laws and such have been used to oppress minority religous groups. It’s a fine line and I’d tend to err on the side of protecting the rights of people to practice as they like. I also think atheists have the right to be atheists, gays have the right to be gay, etc. I’m sure the fundie crowd thinks my own historically Christian sect is as condemed to hellfire as any atheist: we do same-sex marriages for one thing.
wow, great thread!
In my own humble experience (so this is not to be construed as ‘evidence’) I’ve noticed the more aetheistic/agnostic members of the science cirlces I’ve met have become increasingly strident in their views. While I don’t perceive a schism forming, I do see more browbeating of theistic scientist’s capabilities, than collegiality should allow. I have yet to meet anyone wishing to ban religion, yet that strawman has a certain bigtop flair that is catchy. On the other hand, I sense that this stridency is in part a reaction to the current administration’s choice to appoint unqualified ‘faith based’ reactionaries to government agencies or offices such as the Family Planning Program, EPA, NASA or the FDA.
Still, Edward is correct to point out we will only continue to ingratiate ourselves among experts and colleagues if we dismiss anyone soley for their faith.
The existence of intolerant Atheists is not the same thing at all as “revival” of “culture wars”, such as continue to be waged by the so-called “Christian” so-called “Right”.
Atheists, intolerant and tolerant combined, command neither numbers nor organization nor wealth sufficient to be noticed, unless somebody like Kristof focuses a telescope on them. In any case, were they to try, they would no longer be “Atheist Left”; they would be “Atheist Right”.
Both halves of Kristof’s first quoted sentence are lies. He is just baiting a fallacy for the time when incompetent political appointees are removed from sinecure.
Both halves of his second quoted sentence are true, though.