Thursday, February 19, 2009

Atheism is Offensive

That's what I've learnt. When the religious want to pray over us, use their religion to deny us rights, declare us unfaithful, unwise and untrustworthy, this is fine and acceptable. When they want to declare us immoral, there is no hue and cry in the media. When they want to force our children to endure their prayers in taxpayer funded schools, they are considered brave and righteous.

When we, the atheists, tell them to stop indoctrinating the credulous minds of our children, we are considered oversensitive. They can tell us that we are raising our children poorly and this not considered insulting but rather "an expression of a viewpoint".

But if we ever, ever, go so far as to publicly say that we don't believe in their god, or any god ...

Well, that, that is offensive. According to Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson, a representative of the people:
“I don’t think we should be demeaning people in advertising at OC Transpo,” she said. “I think the words are offensive to everyone who believes in God, regardless of what religion they are. To me, as a Christian, it is demeaning. It grates on me.”

Demeaning? How is the statement that it's okay not to believe in god demeaning? Every Christian church and Muslim mosque makes its own public statements. The billboard frequently tells us that god gave us his only son, or that there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed was his prophet. I happen to think that Marianne Wilkinson's religion is very demeaning, but you don't see me telling her to take down her signs.

What does she even mean when she says that the phrase "There probably is no god" is demeaning and offensive? Is life of lesser value because other people don't agree with your religion? Is your belief so weak that it can't weather a spoken word against it? How is it offensive? How does it attack you? No one is stopping you from believing what you want.

And "it grates" on her. Really? The idea of people not-believing your beliefs grates on you? And you're in politics? If that's the way you feel, that just awareness of my very existence "grates" on you because we disagree, then I shall verily enjoy "grating" on you for as long we both are alive.
Speakers included resident Theresa Milligan, who said she felt the wording of the ads was “an implied statement of hatred against all people who believe God exists.”

Hatred? I hate you because I don't think that your god exists? No, dear, that's not it. There's nothing implicit in atheism that says that atheists hate those who believe. Most of the time, we atheists view most of you with a sad shake of our heads. But if you want to see which side of the street generates hate, insult and offense, try some bible passages:

Psalms 14:1 "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."
Lev 20:13 "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."
Matt 27:25 "All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!" "

Yes, clearly the atheists, with their declaration of disbelief, are the big haters here. Clearly, our vicious and malicious offences are nothing in comparison to the biblical ideas that disbelievers are "fools", homosexuals should be put to death and the Jews killed Jesus.

h/t Galloping Beaver

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Altavistagoogle said...

I don't believe in God (because he doesn't exist), but I do find the bus ads grating. The same way as those bible pushers at my door and those Mormon TV ads.

Who finances this campaign? Don't they have better things to spend money on. What is next, Atheist temples and Atheist homelands?

Greg said...

To be honest, I can't be certain the ads are a good idea. Religion is on the wane. Church attendance is down. People are less fundamental in general.

But the moment you start waving atheism around, they get all bent out of shape. Then it becomes akin to telling a 16-year-old daughter whom not to date. She'll date the loser just to spite her parents and cling to him longer than she should.

It might be much more effective to let religion die out naturally.

Regardless, however, I support freedom of speech. If bible passages can be on buses, so can the phrase "There's probably no god". And I definitely have words for a public representative who feels that my existence is offensive and demeaning.

Naumadd said...

It is entirely correct and without intended malice to say belief in an alleged "supernatural" and all of those so-called entities associated with the same is clearly a symptom of developmental retardation of various sorts in those who believe such things. For some individuals, there is clearly remedy available through education and therapy; for others, none. It is right and proper that the message relating those good values of accurate observation and logically-consistent reasoning be shouted from every rooftop and from everywhere else there is need of that message, of those values. It is right and proper there be an advertising campaign supporting an "atheistic" view insofar as it speaks of the viewpoint of a healthier and more matured human being. Allowing irrational beliefs to become and remain the standard in human culture rather than the rational viewpoint is equivalent to allowing the insane to control the operations of the mental institution.

It is long overdue the genuinely sane take back management of the planet. They need not and must not submit to the protests of the insane which, as it happens, would simply be additional insanity.

"Atheists" are under no obligation to remain silent or apologize to those so predictably offended.