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Author Topic: Oh! Those darned radical Islamist Atheists!
Glenn Arnold
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I guess Gingrich can get in on some of Bachmann's fun.
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rivka
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[Roll Eyes] That's dumb, even for him.
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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This smells of The Onion and makes me cry. I am appalled that such a blatant oxymoron can be seriously uttered by a prospective presidential contender.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
...prospective presidential contender
Oh don't worry, he won't be doing much contending. I'll be surprised if he survives the primaries.
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adenam
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*face-palm*
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Samprimary
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quote:
Prospective 2012 Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich rattled his sabres March 7, telling a friendly Fox News interviewer that U.S. power could suppress Col. Qaddafi’s air power “this evening.”

“All we have to do his suppress his air force which we could do in minutes,” said the ex-House Speaker.

Gingrich followed up with a sarcastic remark implying a lack of focus on Libya by President Obama, contrasting Obama’s restraint with the aggressive, out-front no-fly-zone advocacy of France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy.

“I ws very frankly disappointed that Sarkozy did not share with us his Final Four picks,” Gingrich remarked. (Obama had gone on ESPN to share his bracket-by-bracket March Madness forecast.)


Now that Obama has enforced a no-fly zone, and knocked out much of Qaddafi’s air defense, Gingrich is taking a different tack.

“I would not have intervened,” Gingrich said Wednesday on the “Today Show”. “I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Qaddafi. I think there are a lot of other allies in the region we could have worked with. I would not have used American and European forces.”

Gingrich is a dirtbag in all ways shy of being a literal bag of dirt (which has some utility, like in gardening or renovating).
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Samprimary
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also

quote:
Originally posted by C3PO the Dragon Slayer:
This smells of The Onion and makes me cry.

i see what you did there
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AchillesHeel
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That is adorable.

But really, as an atheist I can attest to just how immoral and evil we are. We dont kill because someone insulted our favorite fictional characters and we accept that our children may grow up to be homosexual, and not even feel like disowning them for it.

We atheist's are truely destructive and disgusting people.

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Geraine
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Yeah I'm not getting my hopes up for 2012 right now. Bachmann and Gingrich will run for sure, as will Palin. None of them have a chance in hell to win.

Romney I'm a *bit* more optimistic about, but I am not sure he will run.

It's not looking like it is going to be a good election year in 2012 for Republicans. I'm not even excited to hear the debates.

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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
That is adorable.

But really, as an atheist I can attest to just how immoral and evil we are. We dont kill because someone insulted our favorite fictional characters and we accept that our children may grow up to be homosexual, and not even feel like disowning them for it.

We atheist's are truely destructive and disgusting people.

What a lovely and tolerant response...
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Rakeesh
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While I certainly agree AchillesHeel's response was somewhat spiteful, Armoth, in context - the context being that evil secular atheists are going to tag team with (even more evil? Equally evil?) radical Islamists and take down sublime America. That's what's being talked about. If AchillesHeel were talking to religious people in general, I think your irritation would be merited.

Talking in response to the words of a deceitful, hypocritical schmuck like Gingrich on the other hand, though...well.

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Armoth
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Still, Rakeesh. Why go there? I find the comment offensive, and I don't think that a good excuse was that he was offended first.
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MattP
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Sarcasm and derision seems like a fair way to respond to people who attempt to marginalize and demonize you in such a blatant and bigoted manner.

I'm just appalled that it's still OK to refer to atheists in this way - as if we are some sort of "other" which threatens to destroy our society. It long ago became impolitic to say that about Jews or Catholics. Ironically it's our relative lack of influence and representation that makes it OK to spread fears about us taking over.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Sarcasm and derision seems like a fair way to respond to people who attempt to marginalize and demonize you in such a blatant and bigoted manner.
Pretty much this, Armoth. Why go there? Probably because a group one belongs to was, well, marginalized and demonized in a way that's pretty commonplace. Is it the best, most effective way to respond? Well, of course not. Are religious people in any position at all, really, to get offended when atheists respond to ridiculous, constant, offensively hateful stereotypes? Even ones that don't make sense at all? (Gotta love the secular atheist - as opposed to what other kind of atheist, I wonder - and radical Islamist team-up?)

Not really. Not while also appearing sensible at any rate, I don't think. It's up to everyone to make their own determination of course, it just seems pretty silly to me. For much the same reason, on a smaller scale, that I don't blame my sister for getting irritated (when she does) by blond jokes-because she hears them more often than most people, and sometimes they're pretty offensive, and sometimes they're very offensive from very stupid and offensive people.

It doesn't seem very reasonable, to me, to approach someone who responds to what amounts to a frothing in-your-face demagogue with angry sarcasm and say to the person attacked, "Your comment was offensive."

ETA: The more I think about it, the more I find that reaction - which is pretty commonplace - pretty strange. Take a maligned minority, in this case atheists, and have someone from the majority - in this case, theists in general and Christians in particular - insult or otherwise offend upon `em. Our culture, and most cultures I've read about, have pretty clear expectations about how the minority must respond in that situation and it generally never includes anger, outrage, or offense. Much less anything rising to the level of the initial offense, even when it's recognized that the minority in question is maligned.

We see it happen with women all the time. Plop a lady down in the workplace or out on the street, and subject her to a textbook example of sexual harassment. Should she respond to unwanted advances with heaps of scorn, or an unwanted touch with a sharp slap or punch, there's an excellent chance she'd be villified and scorned herself-and her 'victim' would be, well, exonerated.

Now I'm not saying this Gingrich quote is sexual harassment or anything, but the dynamic really feels similar, Armoth. Speaking for and probably to far-right conservative Christians, Gingrich demonized atheists quite badly. Achillesheel responded by sarcastically mentioning some of the more infamous failings of extreme religious people past and present. Strip religion out of the question, if a Dallas Cowboys fan insulted the, I don't know, Redskins (for a good old fashioned rivalry) in personal terms and a Redskin fan responded by bringing up a bunch of embarrassing stuff the Cowboys had done, I'd be very surprised if you thought it was offensive.

[ March 30, 2011, 01:12 PM: Message edited by: Rakeesh ]

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Kwea
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It is possible for an atheist government to be placed in danger by Islamic extremists, right?

I mean, I think Newt is...well, a newt... but it seems like people are deliberately warping what he said just they can be outraged at his ignorance.


Just wait 5 min for him to say something that is actually that stupid.

[Big Grin]

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Rakeesh
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It seems to me the statement was quite stupid even if every bit of it was taken entirely literally, Kwea.

First of all, we are a secular government already-that's stupid, ignorant point number one. The jackass was in Congress no less, so at that point I'm inclined to amp the charge up well past stupidity and into something worse. But he's sure to throw in that dreaded word - 'secular' - to scare up religious conservatives.

The second profoundly stupid point he made was in suggesting that there's any danger our government is going to be all, mostly, or even a slight minority atheist in nature any time in the near future. By what mechanism is that supposed to happen? Are all the other voters just going to stay home for a whole series of elections? Are the sneaky atheists just going to steal a series of elections? Just will themselves to power somehow?

But even if we accepted stupid, offensive points one and two of the overall statement, we're still left with a ridiculous bit of hackery: once the secular atheists have taken power, how are the radical Islamists to take power from them? Are the secular atheists going to let power be taken from them by whatever mechanism they gained power from the overwhelming majority of theists? Or are they going to make common cause with the perfidious radical Islamists? Why would they do so? They're already in power, so presumably it would have to be some sort of victory of the radical Islamists.

We don't have to wait five minutes. It actually was that stupid.

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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
Sarcasm and derision seems like a fair way to respond to people who attempt to marginalize and demonize you in such a blatant and bigoted manner.

Still doesn't score you any points. Bringing your sarcasm and derision to a neutral site like this thread, where nobody has started bagging on atheists yet, is rude.
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Rakeesh
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I suppose much depends on how AchillesHeel intended the response. If he meant it towards all religious people in general, the rudeness rises sharply. If he meant it towards far-right religious folks...well, frankly especially when they start baggin' on atheists, they don't have a whole lot of room to talk. And there is a tendancy there to reject homosexuals, and to inject religion into warfare.

So I'd say there's some slight rudeness, but extremely understandable rudeness. Understandable to the extent of wondering why a guy would wander up and criticize the guy responding to the insult, rather than the one insulting.

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rivka
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Did Newt join Hatrack while I wasn't looking?
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Rakeesh
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He's the topic under discussion, though-that's what AchillesHeel was responding to. And we respond 'directly' to politicians on HR all the time around here.
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Wingracer
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Does anyone have a link to the entire statement or interview? I think his meaning is quite different from how you are all interpreting it, though I agree that it is still a pretty dumb thing to say. It is hard to say for sure without the context though.

I suspect what he means is that America is becoming a secular atheist society and that will make us more vulnerable to domination by fundamentalist islam. Not that the two will tag team to overthrow us. But I could be wrong.

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Wingracer
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Well, I found a bit more complete account of his statements and now I am even more confused about his meaning. Sounds more and more like an incoherent rant.
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shadowland
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
I find the comment offensive

His comment only seems offensive if you make certain assumptions about his motives and target. But since those motives have not been made known, I don't know what usefulness there is in choosing to be offended by the comment.
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Strider
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I'm confused about this Wingracer. Why would a government controlled by atheists, weary of any religious influence in politics, be MORE vunerable to be taken over by Islamic extremists? The atheists are the ones out there suing on issues to do with separation of church and state, trying to remove religious influence from schools and the halls of congress.

Or am I missing something?

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Wingracer
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I am too strider. That was my initial take on what he meant, not my own beliefs. But after seeing a bit more of his statement, I am even less sure of his meaning. I just don't get it.
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Wingracer
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Perhaps what he means is that both are a threat, but not that they would tag team us. I have no idea. Who cares? The guy seems off his rocker to me.
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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
That is adorable.

But really, as an atheist I can attest to just how immoral and evil we are. We dont kill because someone insulted ***our favorite fictional characters*** and we accept that our children may grow up to be homosexual, and not even feel like disowning them for it.

We atheist's are truely destructive and disgusting people.

I found this unnecessarily rude, even if in response to comments about Newt and his ilk. Opposed to religious belief--that's fine. You can use a little more restraint, though. There are plenty of people here who have religious beliefs but who don't agree with Newt. No need to alienate them.
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Rakeesh
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I guess I just don't find that very rude or insulting, since I take it as a given atheists think God is a fictional character anyway. Furthermore, to me it seems a bit peculiar for a theist (aside from the very most open-armed theist) to find that sort of remark rude or objectionable, since it's very likely they too think and have even said - either among themselves or outwardly - similar things as, "Your belief in God is mistaken or fictitious."
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kmbboots
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I am delighted that even as a non-atheist, I can make the same claims! Woohoo!
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advice for robots
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Like I said (or tried to imply, I guess), it's not what was said. I can take that. It doesn't ruin my world to hear someone say God is a fictional character. I'm not overly offended by it. I just didn't think saying it was necessary. It's like choosing the Flying Spaghetti Monster as your example when bringing up belief systems. Ha ha, I get it, this one has as much value to you, the athiest, as the Judeo-Christian God. But do you really have to?
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Armoth
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To me, it's just not an appropriate way to respond. I understand that Atheists feel like the minority, but I grew up in a very secular world, and also feel like a minority when it comes to my religious beliefs.

I understand the reaction, I just don't think it's appropriate, and should a person have the capacity to rise above, I think they should, for the sake of affording tolerance and respect to those who have a different opinion.

I think it would be despicable of me, when insulted by an atheist, to call him a self-indulgent delusional elitist who clings to false-constructs to find meaning in his life. Even if I was very angry or hurt.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I think it would be despicable of me, when insulted by an atheist, to call him a self-indulgent delusional elitist who clings to false-constructs to find meaning in his life.
Leaving aside the obvious -- that you'd be opening yourself to some pretty serious ironic payback if you did that -- why would it be despicable?
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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I think it would be despicable of me, when insulted by an atheist, to call him a self-indulgent delusional elitist who clings to false-constructs to find meaning in his life.
Leaving aside the obvious -- that you'd be opening yourself to some pretty serious ironic payback if you did that -- why would it be despicable?
Because I have respect for the opinions and calculations of others. And I think that the tolerance and respect we all have for one another is a value that allows all of us to share this world together.
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I am delighted that even as a non-atheist, I can make the same claims! Woohoo!

QFT.

I can find straw men among atheists too, if you want me to AchillesHeel....

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Because I have respect for the opinions and calculations of others.
So you don't believe that atheists are self-indulgent delusional elitists who cling to false constructs to find meaning in life?

If you don't believe that, why would you consider saying it?

If you did believe it, why would saying so be despicable?

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AchillesHeel
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Newt is clearyly trying to galvanize the christian right by demonizing muslims rather than terrorists and also atheists for being... well not christian. I find it offensive that because I dont believe god or any comparable version therein that I must be a moronic amoral scumbag with solopsism on the mind. Sarcasm is my favorite defense mechanism, and when a christian calls atheism evil my knee jerk reaction is to point out the evils of much of the religion.

Im sorry about offending anybody, it was not my intent. I am not ashamed of the fact that I dont believe, its a choice I made on my own and I dont take kindly to being attacked due to it. The only person I meant to offend was Newt Gingrich.

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Armoth
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1) I believe it is true for some, not all

2) Among those for whom I believe it to be true, the comment is non-productive, only insulting. If I want to constructively criticize someone else, I will earn their trust, and be mindful of their ego when suggesting something which may be critical to them. Harshly criticizing someone in such a way is selfish - it makes me feel better about myself by putting that person down, without paying any mind to their ability, at that time, to hear the criticism.

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Tresopax
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Perhaps more important than the inappropriateness of the response, saying theists "kill because someone insulted their favorite fictional character" also just serves to reenforce the Gingrich view that atheists don't understand and are a threat to theism.

So it's only a helpful thing to say to theists if your goal is to make theists think poorly of you... just like Gingrich's comments mainly serve to demonstrate either that he doesn't understand radical Islam and atheism or that he's simply willing to say ridiculous things to play to the crowd.

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PSI Teleport
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Aw, c'mon, Tom. I think my mother is a narcissistic, infantile money-grubber, but I don't say that to her face. Not even to get her back for insulting me. There doesn't need to be a better reason than the fact that I'm not three years old.
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AchillesHeel
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Armoth, atheist's as a whole have no interests beyond existance and at the very least personal peace, I was reacting to the accusation the we are detrimental to society as atheist's. I indicated no belief system, no social group or class and I truely regret offending you or anyone else, I am sorry.
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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
Newt is clearyly trying to galvanize the christian right by demonizing muslims rather than terrorists and also atheists for being... well not christian. I find it offensive that because I dont believe god or any comparable version therein that I must be a moronic amoral scumbag with solopsism on the mind. Sarcasm is my favorite defense mechanism, and when a christian calls atheism evil my knee jerk reaction is to point out the evils of much of the religion.

Im sorry about offending anybody, it was not my intent. I am not ashamed of the fact that I dont believe, its a choice I made on my own and I dont take kindly to being attacked due to it. The only person I meant to offend was Newt Gingrich.

cool. thanks.
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MattP
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quote:
I grew up in a very secular world, and also feel like a minority when it comes to my religious beliefs.
Powerful politicians don't tend to get away with saying scary things about the Jews destroying America. I realize that time is not far gone in the US, but it is gone. Atheists are still fair game, so I hope you'll excuse us if we occasionally respond ...colorfully... to such sentiments.
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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
I grew up in a very secular world, and also feel like a minority when it comes to my religious beliefs.
Powerful politicians don't tend to get away with saying scary things about the Jews destroying America. I realize that time is not far gone in the US, but it is gone. Atheists are still fair game, so I hope you'll excuse us if we occasionally respond ...colorfully... to such sentiments.
I don't mean to take away from the unfairness and pain involved in your situation. But that doesn't mean that I don't have it hard either.

I live in a very liberal state, and don't get me wrong, I love NY, but in class, people say plenty of offensive stuff about religious people, and it's not exactly fun times.

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AchillesHeel
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I can relate to that Armoth, being atheist straight-edge and independant in Arizona is not exactly comfortable and its hard to get along with people sometimes. But I am jealous of how one can instantly have a community of family where ever one goes based on faith and methods of worship, its not like we have atheist meetings.

Edit to add.

I just found an atheist dating site, with that considered I guess there must be some meetings around. Just dont let Newt know that we have organized.

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advice for robots
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Respond colorfully, but to the person who made the comments, and not with a bash on theists in general. Nobody at Hatrack merited the sarcasm this time.
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Rawrain
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
I can relate to that Armoth, being atheist straight-edge and independant in Arizona is not exactly comfortable and its hard to get along with people sometimes. But I am jealous of how one can instantly have a community of family where ever one goes based on faith and methods of worship, its not like we have atheist meetings.

Edit to add.

I just found an atheist dating site, with that considered I guess there must be some meetings around. Just dont let Newt know that we have organized.

That disturbs me greatly....
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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
I can relate to that Armoth, being atheist straight-edge and independant in Arizona is not exactly comfortable and its hard to get along with people sometimes. But I am jealous of how one can instantly have a community of family where ever one goes based on faith and methods of worship, its not like we have atheist meetings.

Edit to add.

I just found an atheist dating site, with that considered I guess there must be some meetings around. Just dont let Newt know that we have organized.

I hear that. My best friend is an atheist, he used to be a very passionate Orthodox Jew. He misses the tremendous sense of community that religion provides for. I try to encourage him to get involved in something. But it's not really the same - there's something familial that isn't easily recreated.

I wonder if that can be replicated for athesist somehow...

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AchillesHeel
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Maybe its more attainable in more liberal places, and in social circles that uneducated persons like myself dont regularly attend. When I tell people that its hard for me to date because I dont like intoxication in any form save requisitly medical and I prefer well read women they tell me to go to a mormon church, I tell them that Im atheist and they just shrug thier shoulders.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... Should she respond to unwanted advances with heaps of scorn, or an unwanted touch with a sharp slap or punch, there's an excellent chance she'd be villified and scorned herself-and her 'victim' would be, well, exonerated.

Maybe this is part of why I find this conversation alien. I would have thought that the incident would be captured on cell phone video and she'd be cheered. *shrug*
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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by Rawrain:
quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
I can relate to that Armoth, being atheist straight-edge and independant in Arizona is not exactly comfortable and its hard to get along with people sometimes. But I am jealous of how one can instantly have a community of family where ever one goes based on faith and methods of worship, its not like we have atheist meetings.

Edit to add.

I just found an atheist dating site, with that considered I guess there must be some meetings around. Just dont let Newt know that we have organized.

That disturbs me greatly....
Um, which part?
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