The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

With Malice Towards None

June 28, 2006 | 141 Comments

I’m extending my pledge not to malign God to people as well. From now on The Raving Atheist will be a malice-free site.

Arrogance, egotism, condescension, sarcasm, bullying, rudeness and downright cruelty have permeated many of my posts. Not merely the ones directed at the religious, but at other atheists, at agnostics, pro-choice advocates, anyone who disagreed with me. For the most part I was not trying to hurt anyone. I attempted to proportion my venom to the known sensitivities of the target. Those who enter the Blogosphere frequently thrive on controversy, so much of the time the “victim” was as much a willing participant as I. But some of my behavior was inexcusable, and made more so by the fact that I very well knew what I was doing, and its probable effect, before I pushed the “publish” button. Whatever remorse I later felt did not stop me from doing it again and again.

Arrogance and incivility are of course not the sole property of atheists. The religious can be smug as well. They can condescend, like any else, through smiling but clenched teeth, or affect a false modesty that is worse than arrogance.

And as I have argued before, the arrogance of an advocate is irrelevant to the truth of his or her argument. Often it serves a purpose, acting as a form of shock therapy for those whom civility will not penetrate. To be noticed at all in the Blogosphere often requires a certain level of obnoxiousness.

But in my hands, I now conclude, arrogance was not handled well. Overall, its benefits were outweighed by attempts to prove my superiority and other forms of self-aggrandizement. The truth suffered and often I was outright dishonest. I used the arrogance to paper over my weaker arguments or to promote ones I did not sincerely believe. I seized on my opponents’ errors, large and small, to humiliate them and distract attention from their more meritorious points. I unfairly smeared people with guilt by association rather than focusing upon them as individuals. Hypocritically, I embarrassed others by pointing out their own cruel or arrogant missteps.

I will be revisiting some of my offenses from time to time and will try, subject to the limits of my ego, to dissect myself as mercilessly as if I were my own worst enemy. With others I will turn the other cheek and identify some good in them even when I criticize. I will try to make it all interesting rather than boring but not at the expense of decency.

Perhaps this seems all too little, too late. I don’t deserve or expect to be trusted. I am not attempting to be disarming in the service of some other agenda. Yes, I am still anti-abortion, but my energies in that regard will be largely directed to volunteering, and I will branch off into other less controversial charities. You are as always free to ignore my writings on that topic and I will publish it instead at other venues if I believe it will serve no constructive purpose here.

So this is not a stunt. It is a sincere effort at change. Those of you who are waiting for the other shoe to drop will be waiting for a very, very long time.

Comments

141 Responses to “With Malice Towards None”

  1. Erik
    June 28th, 2006 @ 12:17 pm

    RA, I’m not sure I see a need for you to apologize about anything.

    Take, for example, the entry you had on the Pope describing homosexual lifestyles as “caricatures”. The satire in that entry was absolutely delicious, and far more effective than a point by point expose on why the Pope wearing a funny hat and gold robes is also a caricature. Was it biting? Sure. Was it over the top insulting? No way. If you are about to embark on serious introspection — a valuable process, BTW — then there’s no need to apologize for having brought this exact thing to others’ attention.

    The fact is that all of religious thoughts and efforts over the millenia — with the exception of ethics — are and have been a human tragedy of almost unimaginable proportions. The thought that people have been erecting boundaries between themselves and killing each other based on which myths they believe in is almost too much to bear. Is pointing this out to people really “inexcusable”?

    As far as I am concerned, anyone who enters the realm of human discussion places their convictions under the microscope of reason. Because without it, there is no conversation at all. Words either mean something or they don’t.

    What is “too little, too late”? What is “deserv[ing] or expect[ing] to be trusted”? Who on earth is not giving you the benefit of the doubt here?

  2. anonymous reader
    June 28th, 2006 @ 12:19 pm

    Remember “Bring on the ****ing unicorns?”

  3. Thorngod
    June 28th, 2006 @ 12:45 pm

    Human–all too human!
    But best wishes, & thanks for the opportunity to contend.

  4. June
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

    I was waiting for you to spread the other cheek.

    Oh, wait, it’s “turn” isn’t it?

  5. Gathercole
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

    Good luck, RA. I think you’re doing the right thing. It’s going to be tough, though: a lot of your readers probably came here originally for the vicious thrashings. I know I did at the beginning, even if they made me uncomfortable sometimes.

    But all that’s in the past. Now you’ve got a huge readership, and who cares how you got it? What matters is what you do with it. I think of you like Tommy Lee Jones: in the past, he was in Batman Forever and god knows what else. But now, with his name being well-known, he’s free to make more artistic movies with the confidence that people will give them a try.

  6. Jahrta
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:03 pm

    pussy

  7. Sean
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:09 pm

    “prove my superiority and other forms of self-aggrandizement”

    Isn’t the new you more of the same? I’m not against what you are trying to do, but it just seems you’ll be doing the same, albeit, in a more polite manner.

  8. Why?!?!
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:20 pm

    Just when I thought RA was overtaking Dawkins as my most respected, irreverant atheist, RA loses his fortitude. This blog used to validate my hope that other strong, unforgiving atheists existed. But now, we’ll all be forced to endure his politically correct, tip toeing, polite rhetoric rather than the forceful, unrelenting analysis we’ve come to admire. Even worse, the moronic God Squad will only be dismissed as illogical rather than philosophically sodomized and then mocked for their mind-numbing inanity.

  9. choobus
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

    I agree with Sean.

    The new RA is just like the old RA, but without balls. where he might previously have ridiculed some asinine argument from the God squad, now he will respectfully decline to mock weapons grade idiocy so as not to offend some cretins who are too fucking stupid to care in the first place?

    That’s like a penis that cannot become erect. No, it’s worse than that because this holierer than though bullshit is MORE arrogant than the witty and incisive RA we all used to enjoy. Now you either love God but are too much of a pussy to say so, or you are into some gaia concept of the universe, which is the intellectual version of moving to Kansas. That’s like having your uncle do you up the arse with a strap on and then trying to claim that it’s ok because only the plastic cock touched you.

    The least you can do is tear me a new one for this poorly constructed argument. That will probably impress your new godgenius friends. I don’t think they like me very much.

    Come on RA. Give in. Let your contempt flow. Your anger makes you more powerful than you can possibly imagine….

  10. PanAtheist
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:30 pm

    On Sunday the blogger formely known as the Raving Atheist said:

    “But I will not tell you what I believe. And I will not tell you why I will not, and you will never trick it out of me.”

    Today he said:
    “I’m extending my pledge not to malign God to people as well.”

    RA: YOU ARE NOW A GODIDIOT!!
    Politeness be damned!
    You have it coming, man!

  11. Tom
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:44 pm

    The same only more polite? That’s not the same.

    Disagreements on the web, conducted in a civil manner, have at least a chance of being productive. Epithets, expletives, and invective, go nowhere fast. They don’t tend to attract people who are really interested in a problem, but people who are interested in name-calling. You can probably remember from grade-school days how much good that does.

    So I applaud the changes you’re making, RA.

  12. Jahrta
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:46 pm

    I’ll say it again because the first time I did, it magically disappeared: RA, you’re a pussy.

  13. severalspeciesof
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:48 pm

    My jaw hurts from it hitting the ground. Your stance of not telling us what you believe should change, since you have now included “people” in your pledge not to malign, you do owe it to us to come clean, whatever it may be. Otherwise it is as though you are looking down at others with distain and arrogance, at the very least it begs to be compared to the child who holds their breath. (It’s a bad analogy, but time is short on my end)

    But good luck with whatever,
    whatever….sigh

  14. Tenspace
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:52 pm

    I guess this means no more godidiot references, no more dissecting the God Squad… just what will you be talking about, RA? I really don’t have enough information to make any judgement call.

  15. severalspeciesof
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:53 pm

    I take back the part of “you do owe it us…”. You don’t owe us anything. But the essence is still there. You would honor yourself along with many others if you were to ‘come clean’, what ever ‘coming clean’ is.

  16. reconciled
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:53 pm

    RA you are crazier than I. What about your basic assumptions? Do they still stand?

  17. reconciled
    June 28th, 2006 @ 1:59 pm

    This site is your fruit and unless you do away with the evil of the past, you are still evil. Read the evil you have spouted of God, no good can come of just saying you’ll say nothing else bad. You have said a lifetime of bad. Erase it all or you are just another hypocrite running his empty mouth.

    Matthew 7:
    15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.
    16 By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
    17 Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit.
    18 A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit.
    19 Every tree that doesn’t grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire.
    20 Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.

  18. SteveG
    June 28th, 2006 @ 2:01 pm

    Choobs
    >>Come on RA. Give in. Let your contempt flow. Your anger makes you more powerful than you can possibly imagine….

    You do know that the death star got all blowed up in the end, right? ;-)

    Panatheist,
    How does the second statement violate the first? Please explain. Or is that not your point, because if not, I can’t see what your point is. Can you clarify because ‘Lord help me, I am just not very bright.’ (homer simpson voice implied)

  19. None
    June 28th, 2006 @ 2:06 pm

    “With Malice Towards None” – what the hell did I do?

  20. Some Guy
    June 28th, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

    Can we talk about puppies?

  21. Steve G.
    June 28th, 2006 @ 2:16 pm

    reconciled
    I promise you, not all evil has come from this site.

    Besides the fact that I’ve met at least two people on this site who are now on their way to becoming Catholic in part because of the relationship we formed here, I’ve made numerous friends here who I continue to have discussions with who I’ve both learned from and who hopefully have gotten something out of the relationship as well.

    People in the forums have been helped in ways material and emotionally when the need arose.

    Many valuable friendships between them have likewise been formed.

    RA was instrumental in helping raise the money that saved the life of Ahsli’s friend’s baby.

    Further, the story for everyone involved here is not finished. Things are not so static that you can look at it without some subtlety and call it evil.

    Surely, there has been evil here, but even the most worthy believer’s blog wouldn’t be free from that charge.

    It’s not fair to try to saddle RA with such an all or statement. It’s simply untrue.

    In my view, throughout, faults included, RA has sought the truth, and many of the folks here calling themselves atheist do the same. Evil may come of that, but to brand the entire effort evil goes far beyond the pale in my estimation.

  22. choobus
    June 28th, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

    Shitsucker said :….or you are just another hypocrite running his empty mouth….”

    We know he’s acting like a christian, we don’t need a semi-retarded godidiot shithead like you to spell it out. You fucking arsehole. RA may have sworn off the incivility, but I have decided to take up the slack. So, reconciled, go reconcile your arsehole with your uncle’s cock you fucktard.

  23. reconciled
    June 28th, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

    nobody cares what you think. You are just one big dirty mouth. Go talk with yourself for a while

  24. reconciled
    June 28th, 2006 @ 2:28 pm

    Remember choobus when you and I whinned and cried because you got banned? You are just a big baby and need to grow up. All those useless foul words you use are meaningless. Come to Jesus He will set you free and cleanse your mouth and your mind of it’s filth.

  25. Shelley
    June 28th, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

    Woah…cause like, I really really appreciate the bible quotes. I have now changed my entire life, like right NOW. Do I get a special ring like Zan and Jana the Wonder Twins? Activate! Form of…a God Idiot! Shape of…a bucket of water to drown that God Idiot in!
    Oh wait.
    Nope, still in reality and atheist. D’oh!

  26. reconciled
    June 28th, 2006 @ 2:37 pm

    These are good words for you to ponder.
    7 “Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you.
    8 For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.
    9 Or who is there among you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
    10 Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent?
    11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
    12 Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

  27. woody
    June 28th, 2006 @ 2:53 pm

    Ok…. I pondered those words, and I think to date I have never read such a fucking pile of crap in my life. Can you tell me which part of the bible you copied them from? I would like to wipe my arse with them next time a take a shit!

  28. June
    June 28th, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

    Let’s not abandon TRA by the wayside. Obviously he has some mental disease and we must see him through this. Perhaps he has been in an accident and now has temporary amnesia, and we can re-pattern his brain by feeding him aggressively sacrilegious comments. Choobus already set the tone in a wonderfully filthy rant.

    If he keeps this blog open for unedited comments, we may have a chance to “correct” his kinder and gentler postings, to prevent him from becoming the laughing-stock of the blogworld.

    For openers, I suggest a contest for a new name for the blog. Here are my entries.

    The Trivial Atheist
    The Saintly Atheist
    The Dysfunctional Atheist
    The Irrelevant Atheist

  29. June
    June 28th, 2006 @ 3:05 pm

    And for Reconciled, I have my own favorite verse:

    Though his pride reaches to the heavens and his head touches the clouds, he will perish forever, like his own dung.

  30. Lily
    June 28th, 2006 @ 3:09 pm

    Reconciled:
    You are mistaken. RA does not need to and cannot erase what he has written in the past. It isn’t in his power. But, if he is undergoing conversion, God can and will erase it, in the only way that matters, and remember it no more.

    We need to be very careful not to be stumbling blocks by demanding more than God does in these kinds of situations.

  31. Eva, Mod.
    June 28th, 2006 @ 3:34 pm

    choobs, dearie, we still have our unadulterated usda prime grade a for atheist forums.

    june, good entries….we shall set up some kind of a vote…

  32. benjamin
    June 28th, 2006 @ 3:54 pm

    Lily said: “God can and will erase it, in the only way that matters”.

    When I was a child raised in the Catholic tradition, I confessed to stealing from a store. The priest told me to say some Our Fathers and Hail Marys. He should have told me to give back whatever I had taken. He should have prompted me to compensate the victims. Fairing things up with some imaginary god doesn’t do victims any good!

    Didn’t the side bar once list TRA as a hate site? It doesn’t anymore, but it still lists “blogs by godidiots”. Interesting.

  33. Erik
    June 28th, 2006 @ 4:00 pm

    June,

    I think there’s something else involved that makes the RA’s coming through this unlikely. I had a very strong relationship with a Catholic woman not too long ago. As things became more serious, we discussed the nitty gritty of religious compromises. She said she could live with me being in an atheist organization, but my active participation in organizing it and participating in the public face of the organization was a problem. I agreed to step down from those roles.

    I can only interpret the RA’s statements about his change of tone as being “too little, too late” and him not deserving respect or being worthy of trust as relating to such a kind of relationship. After all, what person who posts on this site would deny him those things?

    That’s why I suspect someone has told him, in essence, that “it’s them or me”, and he has struck his compromise.

  34. Damien
    June 28th, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

    I still see TRA under “Hate Site Watch”.

  35. Lily
    June 28th, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

    Benjamin: You are right and your priest does not seem to have done all he should have, if your recollection is accurate. Restitution is essential, where possible.

    But RA doesn’t have the power to remove everything he has written in the past; unless I am very mistaken, much of it is preserved on other blogs, recoverable with the Way Back Machine (or so I suppose), etc.

    In RA’s case, self examination and a firm resolve to do better are the essential ingredients for his new direction.

  36. PanAtheist
    June 28th, 2006 @ 4:31 pm

    RA:
    Real politeness is excellent.

    But one cannot be polite without being PERTINENT.

    And you have declared that yourself and your blog are now dedicated to being lacking in pertinence! (This blog has been increasingly impertinent for a year and more!)

    Everyone is an atheist.
    Many people are craven.
    Many are outright insane.

    Each and everyone of us shall end.

    Actions means everything changes and all but everything ends.

    Humanity can never have existed without actions and endings.
    The sun can never had shone without actions and endings.

    Everything you have ever done, and ever made, shall be undone. Forever and ever!

    Our planet *shall* break. Our solar system *shall* be torn apart. I expect the polyverse itself *shall* end, as it gives birth to another. Everything shall be ripped apart! The very principles that birthed us will tear us to pieces!

    I relish honest wonder!

    Theidiots bury themselves in their own tombs!
    But the polyverse shall rip into their tombs, and tear them to pieces!

    RA is not only dead!
    RA is inescapably, damned!

  37. Choobus
    June 28th, 2006 @ 4:36 pm

    SteveG, the death star only appeared to get blowed up. That’s just what they wanted you to think.

  38. Choobus
    June 28th, 2006 @ 4:46 pm

    Dear Reconciled,

    You can take your bible and rip out each page. Then roll these pages up 10 at a time into little tubes and STICK THEM RIGHT UP YOUR FUCKING ARSE you reprehensible shitgoblin. Indeed, existing in a colon full of shit, your arse bible would in effect disappear. Unfortunately the malfeasant troglodyte that is you cannot be so diluted, for you are to excrement as excrement is to cream. Furthermore, your analysis of my “useless foul words” is as wrong as it is shit. Jesus will clean my mouth? Will he also prevent gum disease? It is quite unnecessary for your fictional zombie god to cleanse anything. All he has to do keep all his uncle-fucking bible-thumping asshole followers quiet. If, by hard work, diligent study and a brain transplant you ever advance to the level of idiot, I will be happy to explain to you why, in the anal rape of religiosity, you are the arsehole, the pope is the cock and Jesus is the astroglide. In the meantime, the next time you are getting fisted by your local priest, ask him to hold onto a few wire coat hangers and you may begin to get some inkling of the situation. You shitsucking god-wanker.

    your bestest pal,

    Choobs

  39. brother
    June 28th, 2006 @ 4:55 pm

    Glad to hear it. One of the greatest hurdles Atheists have is that people think God is a prerequisite to morality. It will take a lot of ethical Atheists to turn that myth out of their heads. Good luck.

  40. Nokot
    June 28th, 2006 @ 5:02 pm

    Lily said, “In RA’s case, self examination and a firm resolve to do better are the essential ingredients for his new direction.”

    That’s right on the mark, I think, Lily. I don’t understand why some have called RA a “pussy.” Public self-criticism requires a great deal of fortitude and courage. This aspiration toward intellectual integrity is among the highest virtues in my estimation. I think we as humans, but especially as atheists, should appreciate self-criticism.

  41. Jim from New Jersey
    June 28th, 2006 @ 5:18 pm

    RA, I listened to that debate with you and “goose” on the abortion debate.

    I have to imagine that abrasive exchange had an impact on your worldview. That guy was definitely sounding like a caterwauling punk.

  42. Crosius
    June 28th, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

    So, what’s the point at which you can say something it false or logically inconsistent without counting it as maligning a belief?

    I’m trying to get some idea of the granularity, here.

    Given that some facts about religion are distasteful to members of that faith, will you be addressing those distasteful facts on this site, and in what capacity and to what degree will you be addressing those facts?

    Because if facts are going to be excluded from discussion because they might make someone uncomfortable, I don’t see how this site can maintain it’s reputation for shining the light of rational discourse into the dark corners.

  43. Aaron Kinney
    June 28th, 2006 @ 5:49 pm

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is all the work of Jesus Christ, surely. GODDAMN YOU JESUS FOR POSSESSING RA!!!! I’LL SEE YOU END UP IN HELL IF ITS THE LAST THING I DO, YOU GODDAMN MESSIAH!

  44. diogenes
    June 28th, 2006 @ 6:09 pm

    RA

    In one of mi late posts I was sort of ironic about your position. This was because it was very difficult to gauge what were you doing. Now it seems to be you are steering to new or a least different seas. If so, and whatever the directión, don’t worry about opinions. The main goal of an atheist is to be free to think the way he wants, how then can we deny you this right?

    A bientot !

    Reconciled

    Your post #17 is vindictive and full of wrath. But is healthy to read it because it allows us to remember that there still are some christians thinking the way they thought in the XV century and that the old testament clemency still applies.

    Lily

    Your are cool !

  45. reconciled
    June 28th, 2006 @ 7:29 pm

    RA,

    I apologize to you for the way I said what I said. I have been on a roller coaster ride with my faith for 3 Years now.

    For Whatever this is worth, no matter what you believe If there is a God He would absolutely welcome you in for all the good you have done.

    I wish for you that your journey will be filled with love!

  46. sdanielmorgan
    June 28th, 2006 @ 7:45 pm

    Reconciled, do you often substitute quoting for thinking?

  47. corsair the rational pirate
    June 28th, 2006 @ 7:48 pm

    booooooooooooring

  48. tenspace
    June 28th, 2006 @ 8:06 pm

    Nokot and Lily… regarding public self-examination. Don’t you think the weight is really taken out of it because of the anonymity? It’s easy to be self-deprecating when no one knows who you are.

  49. Chris Treborn
    June 28th, 2006 @ 9:12 pm

    Once again Choobus shows us the face of atheism. In a way we should be grateful to this degenerate fiend for showing us what happens when god is missing from your life. Still, what an asshole.

  50. Choobus
    June 28th, 2006 @ 9:28 pm

    Fuck off Treborn. It is the existance of vile christ-punchers like you that enables the turd of religon to keep floating in the toilet of human intelligence. I know you are just trying to be yourself; for most people that’s a good idea, but for you it’s not.

    RA said “…….or affect a false modesty that is worse than arrogance.” He knows what he’s talking about. That is the hallmark of a Christian. That and sucking shit.

  51. Nokot
    June 28th, 2006 @ 9:33 pm

    Tenspaces, that’s a good point. However, RA’s introspection is admirable and takes a bit of courage whether public or private, and to call RA a “pussy” is puerile and inaccurate.

  52. SteveG
    June 28th, 2006 @ 9:40 pm

    Chris,

    1 Peter 3 15: but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence;

    Enough already with the name-calling and nastiness. It is not supposed to be our way. None of us live up to that standard, but dammit we are too try, and you’ve done little but indulge in offering foulness where love and charity are called for.

    Remember that what we believe dictates that every single person here is a unique creation of God, and is in His image.

    If Choobus raises your ire, then it’s with him especially that you need to make the greatest effort to show charity.

    Now at least attempt to act like a Christian here or pipe down already.

  53. Choobus
    June 28th, 2006 @ 9:45 pm

    yeah Treborn you toe rag, beg my forgiveness and do Jeebus proud, assclown!

  54. SteveG
    June 28th, 2006 @ 9:51 pm

    Now Choobus, that aint right!

    BTW, always wanted to ask….What the hell does choobus mean anyway? (I am semi afraid to find out)

  55. Lily
    June 28th, 2006 @ 9:53 pm

    SteveG: That is a well timed reminder to me, too. I can fire up pretty easily too… But it isn’t my fault!! It isn’t my fault!! It is in my Irish and Italian genes. I have to have a temper.

    Yeah right.

    And in an odd way that leads me to answer your question, Ten.

    Anonymity may take some of the weight out of it but not all. At least, if I can judge from my own case, I am posting behind a pseudonym. But I still feel just as attacked when someone goes after me, as I would (or, think I would) if I were using my real name. After all, I am still hanging my real thoughts out for scrutiny and my thoughts are important to me no matter under what name I post.

  56. Choobus
    June 28th, 2006 @ 10:03 pm

    Treborn: I’m still waiting for my apology you non-cheek turning son of a bitch.

    Steve, to paraphrase a modern incarnation of Jesus (Forrest Gump) Choobus is as Choobus does!

    Lily, as one who claims to have studied the bible and ancilliary history and philosophy, what is your position on homosexuality? Is it wrong, or does Christianity have nothing to say on the matter?

  57. SteveG
    June 28th, 2006 @ 10:07 pm

    Steve, to paraphrase a modern incarnation of Jesus (Forrest Gump) Choobus is as Choobus does!

    I figured something along thos lines. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity. :-)

    Lily,
    I am a woppollock (1/2 sicilian, 1/2 pollock), so that excuse won’t cut it with me. ;-)

  58. Thorngod
    June 28th, 2006 @ 10:19 pm

    I don’t know what prompted me to wonder, but I’ve wondered also what “Choobus” signified. But being a latecomer, I thought maybe everyone else already knew.
    RECONCLED- Echoing sdanielmorgan, do you ever think and speak for yourself?

  59. qedpro
    June 28th, 2006 @ 11:20 pm

    I think RA has been kidnapped by some Christians and are torturing hiim. Or maybe he’s been brainwashed by some Godidiot Cult. This is his subconscience telling us something is wrong.
    Hurry everyone we must find him and help him.

    or is could be ajoke, eveyone knows God made Christians for Atheists to mock and scorn. Without them how would we have statistics showing that the average Christian fails their written driving test 3 times. Atheists are always wrecking the curve. Somebody has to even it out.

  60. Oz
    June 28th, 2006 @ 11:43 pm

    I bet he’s dying or something.

  61. Godless Heathen
    June 28th, 2006 @ 11:51 pm

    Choobus: You talk how I think. Im too scared to ever tell anyone something like what you say (ie those great analogies [the whole priests cock and the jesus astroglide story]) well I do when Im drunk. But those brainwashed idiots dont know about that cause having fun is a sin. look forward to hearing from the real raving atheist…hail choobus

  62. Holopupenko
    June 29th, 2006 @ 1:57 am

    Interesting…
         Let’s see: sexual depravity, foul language, hate speech, ad hominem, threats, will-to-power animating hate, fear, insecurity, fear of challenges to think, disregard for others’ opinions, atheistic inquisition, etc., etc. Did I forget insecurity? Let’s quadruple that one… All these and more coming from atheists who hypocritically accuse people of faith of the same.
         Keep going, guys! You’re doing more to turn rational, free-thinking, bright humans away from your ideas and behavior than most logical arguments can. You’re doing more to expose the foolishness of reductionism, eliminative materialism, metaphysical naturalism, physicalism, moral relativism — and more to support arguments for the existence of the human soul, free will, moral objectivity, and goodness — than most professional philosophers and theologians.
         Your actions speak FAR louder than your ideas, and your hatred is pathological. PLEASE continue to spew hatred against RA simply because he’s got the guts to live up to his own convictions and hold a different position from your own: you prove his point so, so well. The free advertising blitz you provide in support of people of faith is gratefully accepted! PLEASE call me and other people of faith gutter-kindergarten names, and please continue to committ the genetic fallacy of not arguing the points but questioning the source from where those points arise: the masochistic pleasure you obtain of undermining your own position would be laughable… if it weren’t so demonic.

  63. a different tim
    June 29th, 2006 @ 6:15 am

    This is bollocks.

    It’s impossible to, for example, address the apparent rise of creationist teaching without addressing the idea that creationism is factually wrong. If RA won’t do this for fear of offence, he is acquiescing in the “trivialisation of American law and politics” that this blog is supposed to be about. (creationists, if you will read “evolution” for “creation” in this – I’m not arguing this one here, merely raising it as an example). If RA still believes that “religious devotion trivialises American law and politics”, then, in a society which depends on debate and the free exchange of views for its political process, ignoring it for fear of causing offence is, well, morally wrong.

  64. Xianghong
    June 29th, 2006 @ 6:59 am

    Maybe TRA is suffering from Bipolar Disorder like what happened to Jeff of ReligionIsBullshit.

  65. Lily
    June 29th, 2006 @ 7:04 am

    a diff. Tim, et al.:

    I don’t know that it is RA’s intention never again to question that which must be questioned. We cannot possibly live and discuss matters of importance without giving someone somewhere offense But there is a huge gulf between mockery and rational criticism.

  66. a different tim
    June 29th, 2006 @ 7:43 am

    There is indeed, but he indicates a couple of posts down that he isn’t going to even discuss whether he’s still an atheist because “to announce I am still an unbeliever would effectively declare that I believe that the views I have vowed not to disparage are lies”.

    Sounds like he’s copping out of rational criticism to me.

  67. reconciled
    June 29th, 2006 @ 7:58 am

    RA,

    I apologize for my comments that, after thinking overnight, I realize were far from truth!

    I believe in a God of love. One who always has His arms awaiting us.

    For whatever you believe, may you be blessed!

  68. sdanielmorgan
    June 29th, 2006 @ 8:01 am

    I bet he’s dying or something.

    RA wouldn’t tell us if he was. That’s not a bad question to ask, though:

    RA, have you been diagnosed with a terminal disease?

    If so, I can, sort of, forgive your recent descent.

  69. Steve G.
    June 29th, 2006 @ 8:20 am

    Reconciled:
    I apologize for my comments that, after thinking overnight, I realize were far from truth!
    I believe in a God of love. One who always has His arms awaiting us.
    For whatever you believe, may you be blessed!

    Kudos to you! It’s the rare person who is humble enough to admit error, and thoughtful enough to make sure to openly make amends. Well done and thanks!

  70. SteveG
    June 29th, 2006 @ 8:27 am

    Reconciled:
    I apologize for my comments that, after thinking overnight, I realize were far from truth!
    I believe in a God of love. One who always has His arms awaiting us.
    For whatever you believe, may you be blessed!

    Kudos to you! It’s the rare person who is humble enough to admit error, and thoughtful enough to make sure to openly make amends. Well done and thanks!

  71. HomoCyclist
    June 29th, 2006 @ 9:29 am

    I just want to point something out to fellow Atheist friends:
    Have you noticed how the christians now are ‘defending’ and supporting RA’s ‘changing of heart’ and blessing him all over for his decision of not to malign ‘god’ anymore?
    Now RA is the hero of these christians.
    RA is pissing Atheits off, and making christians think they have converted him. Maybe they have.

  72. SteveG
    June 29th, 2006 @ 9:54 am

    HomoCyclist:
    No one knows or thinks for sure that RA has converted.

    But, is it so difficult to comprehend that if someone has been basically calling you an asshole for years, and suddenly that persons decides that’s not such a great thing to do, apologizes and indicates that they are changing their ways, that it might engender some good feelings on the part of the person who’d been on the other end of the ridicule and mockery. Blessing someone for that change is part of our way of saying thanks whether you accept it or not.

    My question to you is why everyone is so pissed off at him? He has not said he has converted. Mostly what he’s done so far is nothing more than attempt to speak with kindness and charity. Why does that infuriate you so?

    Is being angry a pre-requisite in your mind to being an atheist? I think I’ve seen enough evidence here to believe that is not the case for all atheists (and I’ve been around here a lot longer than you have).

    But it seems odd to me that the group claiming the highest level of rationality is branding RA as a heretic, and spitting venom at even the hint that RA has had a change of heart.

  73. Lily
    June 29th, 2006 @ 10:07 am

    Reconciled: I join SteveG in blessing you for reconsidering and making amends. That is a fine model for me, too.

    HomoC, et al. As I have mentioned recently, many of us have been acquainted with RA for a long time via other boards on which we have met him and enjoyed his intelligent discourse and wit. We (I think I speak for most) have always liked and respected him. So to see someone undergoing a change of heart and resolving to be a better person is wonderful beyond belief.

    As SteveG says, we don’t know that he is converting to our way of thinking. We do know that something important is going on in his life and we continue to support him and wish him the best.

    Why, oh why, can you “ethical” (religion? I don’t need no stinkin’ religion to be good) atheists not also support him?

  74. HomoCyclist
    June 29th, 2006 @ 10:34 am

    SteveG,
    It doesn’t ‘infuriate’ me. It just puzzles me that he claims himself to be a Raving Atheist and now he is practically admiting the existence of a god just by saying that his site would be free of malignance towards God. He is admitting the existence of god by saying that. When you are an Atheist, how can you not mock something that you consider not invalid and existen?
    Do you believe in the Chupacabras legend? Have you mocked it?
    I have, it is a legend! So it is ‘god’ for us Atheits.

    Lily,
    I support the RA because he seems like a very intelligent person to me. His personal beliefs or points of view I really don’t care, as long as those do not interfere with mine nor with my activity in this blog of his.
    He can support anti-abortion clinics, he can even respect the Christian god for all I care. It is his life and his blog and he can do whatever he wants with them. That doesn’t mean that I have or going to agree with him.
    And that doesn’t mean either that I am going to refrain myself from giving my own personal opinion about what I consider nonsense on his part.

  75. SteveG
    June 29th, 2006 @ 10:49 am

    It doesn’t ‘infuriate’ me.

    Fair enough. Your post certainly doesn’t contain any fury. Many others do, but I unfairly attribute that to you.

    It just puzzles me that he claims himself to be a Raving Atheist and now he is practically admitting the existence of a god just by saying that his site would be free of malignance towards God. He is admitting the existence of god by saying that.

    I think he’s been pretty clear that his refraining is out of respect for Christian friends that he’s made. How that is an admission of God, I don’t see.

    Analogy: Your best friend suddenly becomes a Christian. Is it required that you know openly and to their face mock and ridicule this friend of yours? Suppose you greatly value you this friendship, and other than your new disagreement you still enjoy the friend’s company and conversation.

    If you made the reasonable decision, based on the friend telling you that your words have wounded them, that you will simply remain silent on the issue, is that an admission on your part of God’s existence?

    When you are an Atheist, how can you not mock something that you consider not invalid and existence?

    By recognizing the humanity of the other person regardless of what they believe, and whether you think it is nonsense or not. By recognizing that even in the cyber world, the people on the other end of the keyboard are real people, with real feelings, ambitions, dreams, fears, fantasies, pain, joy, struggles, etc., etc. that are as real as your own.

    Do you believe in the Chupacabras legend? Have you mocked it?

    I am agnostic about it. But I get your drift, and the answer is a resounding no! I have not, nor would I mock it. I *might* if I thought it important enough discuss and argue against it, but I certainly wouldn’t mock a person who was convinced of it. In fact, if someone told me in all sincerity that they’d seen a Chupacabra, I’d tend to believe that they sincerely believed that either because 1)it was true, or b)they were sincerely mistaken.

    I for sure wouldn’t call them delusional, an idiot, or cast scorn and mockery at them.

    I rather take it for granted that I don’t know all there is to know, and because I’ve not had chupacrabas ‘proven’ to me does not mean they can’t or don’t exist.

    I have, it is a legend! So it is ‘god’ for us Atheist.
    And what do you gain, other than a sense of superiority in doing that?

  76. Lily
    June 29th, 2006 @ 10:55 am

    HomoC: I agree with you up to a point. I don’t think there is any reason for you or anyone else not to give your opinion in a discussion forum.

    But there are many tactful and respectful ways of disagreeing with someone. It isn’t necessary to do so with venomous attacks on a person’s itelligence, sexuality, physical attributes, etc., which happens all too often here.

  77. noah nywno
    June 29th, 2006 @ 11:44 am

    I can apreciate RA’s change of heart concerning how he approaches discussion on these issues. He may be going a bit too far by concealing his actual position, but it’s his call.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all discuss these issues without tearing each other’s throats out? Maybe he’ll start a trend.

    I wish you luck, sir.

    That being said, I understand why many atheists here feel the need to go on the offensive when Christians and other theists enter our room. This place is where some of us go to vent our frustration with a society that calls us “villians” on an almost daily basis.

    I, personally, wish there was no need for sites like this. I would prefer that my atheism be no more important to people than the color of my eyes. But everyday there are right wing commentators telling me I’m a traitor to this country for not beliving in God, religious spokesman telling me I’m to blame for all the worlds problems, bumper stickers which insult my intelligence and integrity because I dare to hold accepted science as true.

    Even liberal and moderate Christians insult us when they claim we need something (God) in our lives or make assumptions about our upbringing or state-of-mind. I have never met a single Christian who trully tried to look at me as a human being who has very real reasons for feeling the way he does. All have looked at me as a lost sheep that needed to be saved. That may be part of their belife, but it is still condesending and much more insulting than anything Choobus has ever said.

    So, Christians and other theists, I would love nothing more than for all of us to respect each other. But before you start pointing fingers at our disrespectful attitude, I suggest you start looking at yourselves first.

    Noah

  78. a different tim
    June 29th, 2006 @ 11:49 am

    “My question to you is why everyone is so pissed off at him? He has not said he has converted. Mostly what he’s done so far is nothing more than attempt to speak with kindness and charity. Why does that infuriate you so?”

    I think I’ve indicated why I’m pissed off with him, Steve. Post 61 and 64.

  79. Joel
    June 29th, 2006 @ 11:50 am

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, Noah. It’s hard for Christians to even comprehend what it is like to have people label you “evil” on a daily basis. There’s an underlying hostility there that is much more frightening and ominous that any verbal attack by atheists on Christians. Because we are in the minority in this country AND considered “traitors” or “evil”, it’s not too hard to imagine what would happen to us if the Christian majority obtained the actual power that they try so hard to obtain, despite constitutional protections.

  80. Bible Belt Atheist
    June 29th, 2006 @ 11:51 am

    Couldnt have said it better Noah. And to you Xians: Why do you believe? Im curious. This could also start a nice little discussion. And if a debate does happen lets keep it respectful.

  81. Choobus
    June 29th, 2006 @ 11:53 am

    what total wank.

    Reconciled, you may have repented your earlier ways, but you have wronged me sir, and you must apologise if your atonement is to be complete. You prick.

    RA, I really hope you have not got the aids or something terminal. Not only would it be a tragedy in and of itself, but it would also be truly pathetic if you switched teams in a desperate pascals wager type of ploy. If you have had some sort of turd inspired epiphany then that’s your journey to the center of the cistern, and I for one will enjoy laughing at you as you swirl down the bowl. But a desperate attempt to get that reacharound from Jesus on your deathbed? Almost as pathetic that dude from “the mask” opening his cyber dating e mail and finding no replies to his recently posted photo.

  82. reconciled
    June 29th, 2006 @ 11:56 am

    Choobus,

    You never fail to show your true heart. I hope one day you will be at peace!

  83. Choobus
    June 29th, 2006 @ 12:03 pm

    thanks reconciled, you’re a real pal. .

    I hope that in an instant of frozen time after you die you will finally understand how you have wasted your one chance at life, and momentarily (and mentally) kick yourself for being such a knob-end.

  84. HomoCyclist
    June 29th, 2006 @ 12:04 pm

    Steve G,
    I understand your point about being civil when talking about Theism. But also should be the same way when you guys Theist talk about Atheism. You keep mocking us and saying we are going to hell.
    A recent example of this absurdity was giving by Lilyy, who posts in the forum as a ‘guest’. She says that I ‘scare the hell out of her’ and also makes fun of my fellow Atheists names and my own calling me ‘homo’. Tell me Steve G, is this civil? Am I suppose to understand that this is what god teaches you?

    And when I make fun of the ‘chupacabras’ the only thing I acomplish is some goog jokes. Not a sense of superiority.

  85. SteveG
    June 29th, 2006 @ 12:10 pm

    ADT
    I think I’ve indicated why I’m pissed off with him, Steve. Post 61 and 64.

    But isn’t it his blog? Isn’t it his time to use as he sees fit? Does he owe anyone here a particular style or method of posting?

    He’s said that he’s going to try to keep it from being boring and given his level of intelligence, wit, and skill with turning a phrase, I tend to think he can pull it off. I suppose we’ll see, but I am wondering why after years of providing his time and thoughts to the atheist community, so many have turned on him so viciously. Some going so far as say ‘Convert already so we can be rid of you’, and much worse than that.

    Behind the name Raving Atheist is a human being whose poured himself into this blog. Do people think that he doesn’t feel the sting of the comments of readers who’ve been with him, in some cases for years?

    I understand that you are disappointed in ‘losing’ something you’ve enjoyed, but pissed? I don’t understand that?

    FWIW, your comments as always seem extremely measured so I am not directing that at you as such. But there are a lot of comments up above, in other comments from posts this past week or so, and in the forums, that are totally unhinged. That’s what I was referring to.

  86. This is hilarious
    June 29th, 2006 @ 12:11 pm

    To Reconciled, Lily and every other Jesus lover:

    Top 10 Reasons Why Beer Is Better Than Jesus
    10. No one will kill you for not drinking beer.
    09. Beer doesn’t tell you how to have sex.
    08. Beer has never caused a major war.
    07. They don’t force beer on minors who can’t think for themselves.
    06. When you have beer, you don’t knock on people’s doors trying to give it away.
    05. Nobody’s ever been burned at the stake, hanged or tortured over their brand of beer.
    04. You don’t have to wait more than 2,000 years for a second beer.
    03. There are laws saying that beer labels can’t lie to you.
    02. You can prove you have a beer.
    01. If you’ve devoted your life to beer, there are groups to help you stop.

  87. Lily
    June 29th, 2006 @ 12:19 pm

    HomoC:
    I am not maing fun of you by calling you Homo or HomoC. I am saving myself keystrokes. Good grief, you chose your name! Occasionally I do play with names– why not? You all do it too, and for the same reason… we are exercising our wit, such as it is. (Some of us are better at it than others)

    And your vicious remarks about Christians do scare me. Seriously. 100% You claim to be a doctor and if you feel that way about your patients, I want you to stay far away from me.

    That is neither uncivil nor uncharitable. It is the only rational response to your repeated remarks in many forums, which you mean seriously. It is preposterous for you to get all hurt and snippy about that.

    One thing I have never done and never even hinted at is that you or any other individual here or elsewhere is going to hell. I cannot possibly know that and would never presume to speak for God.

  88. SteveG
    June 29th, 2006 @ 12:36 pm

    Homocyclist:
    But also should be the same way when you guys Theist talk about Atheism.

    Absolutely! In fact I’d say that the standard for us is supposed to be quite a bit higher.

    You keep mocking us and saying we are going to hell.

    I have never, and would never tell someone any such thing. I can’t defend that kind of thing, because I find it despicable.

    I’ll stand by my record of commenting and posting here and on any other blog. I *hope* that despite a few slips of temper here and there, that the folks here who’ve had dealing with me in nearly 500 forum posts, and probably double or triple that number of posts on the front page, would have experience in my words the spirit of compassion, charity, patience, and all the rest I am arguing for.

    I am not perfect in this by any stretch, and have ‘lost it’ on occasion, but I do ‘try’ to live up to the standard I am proposing.

    A recent example of this absurdity was giving by Lilyy, who posts in the forum as a ‘guest’. She says that I ‘scare the hell out of her’ and also makes fun of my fellow Atheists names and my own calling me ‘homo’. Tell me Steve G, is this civil? Am I suppose to understand that this is what god teaches you?

    I suspect that if you were truly wounded, Lily would be sorry to have caused pain to you. She’s even said above, in post #53, that the reproach I gave to Chris is something she takes to heart as well. You’ll have to take that up with Lily to know for sure.

    And when I make fun of the ‘chupacabras’ the only thing I acomplish is some goog jokes. Not a sense of superiority.

    But when the butt of the joke is a belief held dear by other human beings, the laugh comes at a price. It comes at the price of the dignity of the mocker and the mockee.

    I’ll admit that I am not so worried about the dignity of the chupacabra. ;-)

  89. Thorngod
    June 29th, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

    noahno, Joel and HCyclist have flagged a trait that is conspicuous among Christians in general, a conviction (or at least a strong suspicion) that an atheist cannot be a “good” person. Atheists should take into account the fact that all Christians were reared in a Christian culture, even as most of us atheists were. They are taught from the cradle that God is the source of all good and the arbiter of all morality. Ergo, one who rejects God is evil. But there is still another reason behind the attitude of most Christians toward atheism. In matters religious, reason is anathema, and every question and every charge aimed at the believer by a reasoning atheist is a challenge the “believer” cannot answer in kind. Every intelligent “believer” knows that two plus two always equals four; yet his religion violates that logic and denies its applicability to his superstitions. I think the principal reaction of most atheists to theistic claims is frustration and incredulity. The principal reaction of most theists to atheism is fear and revulsion.

  90. Thorngod
    June 29th, 2006 @ 1:34 pm

    BUT, HCyclist et al, why should it bother you that Christians tell you you’re going to Hell…as long as they don’t try to hasten your departure? Surely you don’t believe there’s a Hell! I find that threat highly amusing, and can never avoid a broad grin toward the judge. Does he realize he’s accusing his “God” of being less merciful than I am? When I put the question to him, of course, it never seems to faze him. That’s the problem with “believers”! They just can’t reason!

  91. Joel
    June 29th, 2006 @ 2:09 pm

    Hcyclist, one follow-up to the argument is the frustration about being considered evil and immoral while living one’s life as a good and moral person. I volunteer so many places it’s hard to keep track. I go out of my way to make my community a better place, both as a prosecuting attorney and a citizen. I’ve been a Big Brother for 5 years, serve on my United Way board, all those things and yet no matter what I do, most Christians would say I was still evil and immoral. So, FUCK THEM!

  92. Joel
    June 29th, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

    That post was meant for Thorngod. Sorry.

  93. HomoCyclist
    June 29th, 2006 @ 2:12 pm

    Lily you said above:
    “if you feel that way about your patients”
    Please, go back to that post and re-read it again very carefully. I
    NEVER NEVER said that. And you know why? Because to me my patients are treasure. Their lifes are in my hands and it is my obligation and faithfull commitment to SAVE THEIR lifes, no matter what the they believe, who they believe, who they are, where they live, if they are white or black or brown, if they are Theists or Atheists. The porpouse of my profesion is to heal them and take their pain awar to very best of my medical capabilities.
    So please, please, DO NO EVER say a lie about me again. I would apreciate that very much. Do not put words in my mouth I have never said.
    Thanks.

    SteveG,
    The way you feel about the ‘chupacabras’, that is exactly the way we Atheists feel about god or jesus.
    You said above SteveG: I’ll admit that I am not so worried about the dignity of the chupacabra.”

    Thorngod said above:
    “BUT, HCyclist et al, why should it bother you that Christians tell you you’re going to Hell…as long as they don’t try to hasten your departure?”
    lol, I know Thorngod. I won’t let it bother me again. lol

  94. Joel
    June 29th, 2006 @ 2:14 pm

    Lily’s comment to HomoC implying that he would hurt theistic patients is a perfect example of how Christians think we are evil and amoral.

  95. HomoCyclist
    June 29th, 2006 @ 2:36 pm

    Lily you said above:
    “if you feel that way about your patients”
    Please, go back to that post and re-read it again very carefully. I
    NEVER NEVER said that. And do you know why? Because to me my patients are treasure. Their lives are in my hands and it is my obligation and faithfull commitment to SAVE THEIR lives, no matter what they believe in, who they believe in, who they are, where they live, if they are white or black or brown, if they are Theists or Atheists. The porpouse of my profesion is to heal them and take their pain away to the very best of my medical capabilities.
    So please, please, DO NO EVER say a lie about me again. I would apreciate that very much. Do not put words in my mouth I have never said. And if you have to say something that I have said in the past, please quote me exactly and put the reference or link.
    Thanks.

    SteveG,
    The way you feel about the ‘chupacabras’, that is exactly the way we Atheists feel about god or jesus.
    You said above SteveG: I’ll admit that I am not so worried about the dignity of the chupacabra.”

    Thorngod said above:
    “BUT, HCyclist et al, why should it bother you that Christians tell you you’re going to Hell…as long as they don’t try to hasten your departure?”
    lol, I know Thorngod. I won’t let it bother me again. lol

    IMPORTANT NOTE: I have to re-post my #90 post because I wrote several typos and re-writing it was the only way I could fix them. Sorry for the inconvinience this might cause.

  96. SteveG
    June 29th, 2006 @ 2:38 pm

    The way you feel about the ‘chupacabras’, that is exactly the way we Atheists feel about god or jesus.
    You said above SteveG: I’ll admit that I am not so worried about the dignity of the chupacabra.”

    But I DO care about the dignity and humanity of the person who thinks they’ve seen one. That was the point I am driving at.

  97. HomoCyclist
    June 29th, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

    Joel said:
    Lily’s comment to HomoC implying that he would hurt theistic patients is a perfect example of how Christians think we are evil and amoral.

    Thank you Joel, with these words you put together perfectly what I feel. I’d probably have to write 10 pages to explain what you did in 2 and a half lines.

  98. Lily
    June 29th, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

    Thorn, Joel, et al. You keep saying that Christians consider atheists to be evil and immoral despite your actual (good) conduct. I never experienced this when I was an unbeliever and I know that no Christian I know feels that way– or, at least, no one I know says he does.

    The world is a mighty big place. It is filled with all sorts of people who are more or less intelligent and more or less educated; some have kindly dispositions, some cantankerous ones. And so on and so on. You are painting with a mighty broad stroke to believe that we all believe the same thing and that we all feel the same way about you. Except here, I never give atheism or atheists any thought at all. I do not know what my coworkers’ and neighbors’ beliefs are, nor do I care.

    I don’t understand the theatricality of much of your complaining.

    Joel, you write “it’s not too hard to imagine what would happen to us if the Christian majority obtained the actual power that they try so hard to obtain, despite constitutional protections.”

    I have a flash for you. We wrote the Constitution and put those protections in place. We already do have the power. We always have. We are the majority. Yet I haven’t seen a good atheist lynching in the last … oh, I don’t know. 10? 12? days? How about never? Nor have I seen an atheist refused a job, refused service in a restaurant, forced to use “atheist” only public water fountains and restrooms.

    There are real disadvantaged and oppressed minorities out there. You just aren’t one of them, even though you have, undoubtedly, experienced rudeness. But to be in a minority is, necessarily, to be an outsider and to feel like it. The only help for that is to change the way you feel about yourselves.

  99. Joel
    June 29th, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

    Lily, perhaps I paint with too broad a brush but you ignore the realities of this country.

    Could there be an openly atheist and successful national politician? Hardly. If I ran for top prosecutor in my juridiction, it would undoubtedly come out that I was an atheist and I would NOT be elected. (I live in Montana).

    And your constitutional analysis is terribly flawed. The deistic writers of the Consitution insisted on protections of minorities, something fundies have had a hard time with for the history of our country.

    Go ask Roy Moore of Tom Coburn if they think atheists should hold government positions, judgeships, etc… unfortunately, these people exist, and have power. And they’re scary.

  100. Lily
    June 29th, 2006 @ 2:57 pm

    HCyclist:

    I don’t need to go back and read “a” post again (I don’t even know which one you have in mind). I have been reading you ever since you started posting here. Your posts are always vile and dismissive towards Christians and the patients you have who are Christians. You justify your outrageous outbursts as “venting”.

    I am willing to believe that you feel less contempt for your Christian patients than you have expressed. The tone of your latest message does sound sincere to me. But you simply cannot make the outrageous statements you make here about Christians in general and expect me to find you a doctor I would feel comfortable consulting.

    I told you in another message on the boards that I would never be able to trust a doctor who had so little empathy with a rather large segment of humanity. What is your objection to that? To me it seems like a rational decision. And if you really do value your patients, why are you so hostile towards them and their beliefs– even going so far as to accuse Christians, in general, and me, in particular, of being the ones who don’t pay their bills?

    Something just doesn’t add up.

  101. Lily
    June 29th, 2006 @ 3:10 pm

    Excuse me, Joel, but you make my point. THe Constitution was not written by atheists, but by people who believed in God. Who cares if some of them were deists? They were not atheists.

    Of course there are Roy Moores in the world! But Roy barely got a respectable number of votes in the recent primary. He is finished politically. He is in a distinct minority and the fact that you (corporate you) keep pointing to him when he is now irrelevant shows me that you really don’t understand the society you live in.

    Well, I am not looking to pick a quarrel. Only to point out that I think that many of you mistake the peculiarities of a particular location at a particular time for “THE WAY IT IS”.

    I have little doubt that you could win an election, if you didn’t run as an atheist but, rather, as a citizen of Montana with a well-thought out platform that was pertinent to the needs and concerns of your fellow citizens. But to demand that they embrace you as an atheist because you are an atheist is asking far more than is prudent or necessary.

  102. Joel
    June 29th, 2006 @ 3:14 pm

    Lily said “I have little doubt that you could win an election, if you didn’t run as an atheist but, rather, as a citizen of Montana with a well-thought out platform that was pertinent to the needs and concerns of your fellow citizens. But to demand that they embrace you as an atheist because you are an atheist is asking far more than is prudent or necessary. ”

    Not my point, Lily. I meant that regardless of my platform and skill, people would not vote for me if they found out I was an atheist. I certainly wouldn’t demand that they embrace me as an atheist. That’s ridiculous. And Tom Coburn is a United States Senator with the full powers of that office.

  103. Jahrta
    June 29th, 2006 @ 3:20 pm

    Lily,

    The only reason you haven’t seen more outward and tangibly applied aggression or discrimination expressed by religious people against atheists is that being an atheist isn’t something that is easily identified by a cursory glance. Some people consider this to be even more troublesome that how to handle the “gay problem,” as most gays have the common courtesy to speak with a pronounced lisp and wear lots of pink polo shirts and whatnot. These days it’s getting harder and harder to figure out who you should discriminate against. If you want any type of proof that people would (and do) discriminate against those who identify as “atheists,” look no further than that study performed at the University of Minnesota (my home state) that shows that people consider atheists to be nothing short of vile, despicable cretinous creatures who rank even lower than arabs in the eyes of “gawd-fearin'” ‘merkins.

    An openly atheistic (or “secular humanist”) candidate would never garner enough of the popular vote, no matter his or her voting record, personal background, looks, age, color or choice of underarm deodorant. The plain simple fact for this is that people are stupid panicky creatures who can’t handle the concept that someone out there who doesn’t share in their hokey unsubstantiated superstitious beliefs would like to lead the country, no matter their credentials or record of civil service.

    Lily – if there was an atheist candidate in either party (but let’s assume it would be a democrat, as the GOP would never endorse an atheist) who had a clearly defined financial, educational and defensive strategy for this country that you felt would bring about a golden age of prosperity for this nation, would you vote for him/her?

  104. Thorngod
    June 29th, 2006 @ 3:28 pm

    Lily- I’m very curious: You’re obviously very intelligent. How did an intelligent atheist become a “believer”? That has always seemed an impossibility to me. Were you an unthinking atheist– still quite young, perhaps, not yet fully capable of deep thought– or did something frighten you or cozzen you into the fold? I have honestly never understood how that might work. I don’t think C.S. Lewis was ever an intellectually confirmed atheist, and I truly find it all but impossible to credit such a conversion to anyone.

  105. Lily
    June 29th, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

    I don’t get your references to Coburn at all. I mean, I know who he is (vaguely) but I don’t understand his relevance here. You just got through saying that no atheist can be elected to national office and, in the same breath, point to a US senator who is an atheist (I guess that is what you mean). ???

    Perhaps your fellow citizens wouldn’t elect you but I think you will actually have to run for office to know for sure. Taking yourself out of the political process at the beginning is a nice way to keep from losing … or winning.

  106. Doug Purdie
    June 29th, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

    So TNR is diseased because he want to be civil? I can’t seem to follow that logic.

    If you are like me you are surrounded by believers – friends and family as well as foes. Is your mother Christian, your son, your next door neighbor? My answer is Yes, all three, and many others. Most of them are people I love and respect.

    Am I also diseased for loving and respecting them, treating them civily? I can’t imagine any of you hurling insults like “fucktard” and “godidiot” at your friends, co-workers or loved ones, so why would you hurl them at strangers?

    I guess it’s a lot easier to hurl insults at faceless web writers with a.k.a.’s than at people you must meet face-to-face on a daily basis. It’s also more cowardly.

    Go for it Raving. I’ll be visiting more frequently to see if you back your words with actions.

  107. Rob
    June 29th, 2006 @ 3:54 pm

    Lily, Joel made a minor typo I think, but one that changed the whole meaning of the sentence.

    “Go ask Roy Moore of Tom Coburn” should read “Go ask Roy Moore or Tom Coburn”.

  108. Lily
    June 29th, 2006 @ 5:27 pm

    This is too rich not to share. As requested, I am linking directly to her post:

    Homocyclist: Sad, lonely, dried-up, severely obese, stinky and pathetic full of hate old bitch=Lilyy.
    I think she wants Choobus to do it analy to her. (http://ravingatheist.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=4506&p=11) #157

    Anybody want to tell me why I am wrong to be hesitant to use this woman as a doctor?

  109. Shelley
    June 29th, 2006 @ 5:46 pm

    Oh great. Now anal sex is out if I want to be a Christian too. Damn!!

    Seriously though, I don’t understand and have never understood why Christian FUCKTARDS believe they have the patent on moral behavior and that we as atheists are evil.
    Now, if you’re a Christian and don’t believe that, then I’m NOT FUCKING TALKING TO YOU.

    I do many of the things Joel talked about like volunteering and I do my life’s work at a non-profit for dirt money. I’m kind to animals and children. I should not be forced to listen to self-righteous pricks talk about how “good” and “moral” they are because they have an invisible friend they call Jeh-heez-zus…
    I am so tired of Christian Fucktards.

  110. Lily
    June 29th, 2006 @ 9:40 pm

    Thorn: Flattery will get you … a not very convincing answer.

    I don’t exactly know that I can answer you. We live in a society that is thoroughly immersed in, for lack of a better term, Judeo-Christian principles. No one can possible escape that influence. Those of you who think you have are sorely mistaken. This influence can be as subtle as that exerted by our literature, poetry, art, and music or as heavy handed as that pounded into someone by a overly strict authoritarian sect. Then there are the symbols that we see everyday, the language that we use, etc. ad infinitum.

    What can I say about my own case? I was brought up in a non-believing home. My parents were not belligerent atheists and it would probably be more accurate to call them agnostics; they had no particular interest in Christianity, specifically, but other religions were not on their horizon. (Except for some reason, my mother loved Jewish history and was always very interested in historical and modern day Israel). They encouraged me in my unbelief and were horrified when I eventually converted.

    I converted by accident. In grad school my fellow TAs were almost to a man/woman Christians– of various sorts. We became very good friends and were a tight group. So I took them and their beliefs seriously. They certainly didn’t fit the stereotypes I had (and you all still have). It took about 3 years of me reading the Bible and anti-apologetic literature furiously, in order to refute them, when one day I realized that I had started to believe it.

    I still remember the passage I was reading when enlightenment struck, John 2:25. John describes how more and more people are coming to believe in Jesus and writes of him:

    While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many began to believe in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.

    My version read “He knew what was in a man” which still seems more pointed to me.

    Somehow, this made me aware of something that I had not consciously realized– the Gospels really paint an accurate picture of human nature in a way that other sacred books do not. Now, of course, I understand why. It is written as an eyewitness account of actual events at a specific time in history. At that time, that seemed like a fresh insight. It also made me, for the first time, see Jesus as an actual living, breathing human being who had to conduct himself skillfully among fans and foes alike, until it was time.

    I held out for another year or so, but once you are hooked, He just reels you in…

  111. Thorngod
    June 29th, 2006 @ 10:40 pm

    Shelly, what they do for God’s promise of gold and glory, you do out of human love and kindness. Pity them their delusion, and be entertained by their inanities. What is funnier than the twit who thinks Jesus helped her find the contact lens she lost when she tripped and broke her nose on the steps of the sanctuary! What is more hilarious than a temple full of Yahweh worshippers being unceremoniously emptied by one of Jupiter’s well-aimed lightning bolts? Or hordes of heaven-bound fools being robbed more than six ways from Sunday by God’s favorite televangelists? It’s comedy divine, and you may as well enjoy it, Shelly, because the show must go on and on and on.
    Praise Jesus! I will laugh in the house of the lord forever and ever.

  112. Thorngod
    June 29th, 2006 @ 10:49 pm

    Thanks for the bio, Lily. It was interesting, and was also close along the line I had projected.

  113. Choobus
    June 29th, 2006 @ 11:47 pm

    Lily,

    I liked your story; what would you call it, a spiritual journey from rags to riches? How about the bit you never told us: from slags to bitches: how I found God and made satan get behind me!

  114. Lily
    June 30th, 2006 @ 5:53 am

    As spiritual autobiographies go, it will never be a best seller, I am afraid. I wasn’t miraculously saved from fires, floods or bears. As for satan– how does the saying go? “Mock the devil and he will flee you”!

  115. June
    June 30th, 2006 @ 7:47 am

    Gosh, Lily, that’s a lot like I came to believe in Superman. At first, just a comic book about a man who is strong and can fly. Then, adventures that make him so real in my mind, his gentle manner and his love for Lois Lane and the many people he has helped so unselfishly. And with thousands of comic books telling the same story for 60 years – it just has to be true! And now the movie! It proves that he is real, and makes you want to run our and stop everyone on the streeet and shake them and tell them SUPERMAN IS REAL.

  116. noah nywno
    June 30th, 2006 @ 9:20 am

    Superman IS real, June. He live in our hearts and in the hope and and imagination of children everywhere.

    I belive that inside everyone, there is a “Last Son of Krypton.”

    (Sorry, but I’m a fan.)

    Noah

  117. Thorngod
    June 30th, 2006 @ 9:40 am

    Sorry, Lily. I sould have anticipated that. They do make a point.

  118. Lily
    June 30th, 2006 @ 10:00 am

    Sorry for what, Thorn? If you are talking about the silliness that is June… well, for once she is right. Superman rocks.

    Her understanding of history, archaeology, ancient literatures, comparative religion, philosophy, paleology, et al. may be wanting, but she knows her Superman!

  119. Erik
    June 30th, 2006 @ 10:10 am

    Lily,

    You wrote:

    “There are real disadvantaged and oppressed minorities out there. You just aren’t one of them, even though you have, undoubtedly, experienced rudeness. But to be in a minority is, necessarily, to be an outsider and to feel like it. The only help for that is to change the way you feel about yourselves.”

    First of all, there are places with institutionalized discrimination against atheists. They are not, for example, allowed to hold public office here in my home state of Texas, by law.

    Second, the above quote is just crap. Imagine if you applied it to Jews in Germany, or Palestinians in Israel. They should just get used to feeling inferior because that’s the way the majority views them? Like it or not, Lily, there are a very large number of believers who immediately make visceral judgments about someone if they find out that person is atheist. Atheists don’t feel the way they do because they are outsiders, but rather because they have experienced this sort of reaction many many times. Imagine if every time you mentioned anything about your beliefs, you got a Choobus reaction. So maybe the majority needs to change the way it feels about people who do not conform.

    Finally, a word about law. You might look up Tom Jefferson’s writings on the background of American jurisprudence. He was rather unequivocal in attributing the most important influence on American law to be the English common law, which derived from communal experience and usage of trade rather than any religious texts. No doubt, there are religious influences; but it would be a very tough argument to sustain that there were no common practices in England prior to the arrival of Christianity that are reflected in their common law.

  120. Lily
    June 30th, 2006 @ 11:30 am

    Erik– The Jews in Germany were an oppressed minority. They suffered far more than mere rudeness or social opprobrium from German society.

    When hordes of Americans start breaking the windows of atheist owned businesses; when atheists are denied seating in restaurants, business permits, or train passes, then I will join you in rioting for better treatment.

    If Texas does have a law, such as the law you described, it is clearly unconstitutional. The courts in this country have universally upheld the notion that freedom of religion includes freedom from religion. And, unless, I am very much mistaken, the Constitution forbids religious tests for political office.

  121. Erik
    June 30th, 2006 @ 11:42 am

    Lily,

    I agree, of course, that there is a serious difference in the level of oppression, or what ever the proper word is. But the principle is not all that different. What you have basically said to us atheists is “If many people are unjustifiably treating you with disrespect, well, get over it.”

    The Constitution forbids religious tests, but it arguably applies only at the federal level.

  122. "Q" the Enchanter
    June 30th, 2006 @ 11:49 am

    I’ll stay tuned as long as the content remains mostly rich and interesting. Who cares whether it comes under color of “civility”?

  123. "Q" the Enchanter
    June 30th, 2006 @ 11:49 am

    I’ll stay tuned as long as the content remains mostly rich and interesting. Who cares whether it comes under color of “civility”?

  124. "Q" the Enchanter
    June 30th, 2006 @ 11:49 am

    I’ll stay tuned as long as the content remains mostly rich and interesting. Who cares whether it comes under color of “civility”?

  125. SteveG
    June 30th, 2006 @ 12:19 pm

    Q:
    I am honestly curious. How do you think stands up so far in that regard…meaning do you think the content is still mostly rich and interesting since the decleration of civility? Or is that yet to be determined in your estimation?

  126. ThereseZ1
    June 30th, 2006 @ 1:35 pm

    Good for you! Trying to be gentler as well as more carefully thoughtful are heroic virtues. I will enjoy reading your good posts more when I don’t have to wade through the sarcasm to reach your intelligent arguments.

  127. Silly June
    June 30th, 2006 @ 1:57 pm

    Well, I met some folks from LA, and they converted me to believing in Harry Potter. He is more human than Superman, can cast spells, and doesn’t need a dumb old phone booth to change. So I will no longer be maligning Harry in my comments.

  128. Lily
    June 30th, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

    AHA!

    June takes the silly mask off. She has seen the light and is now one of us. Superman rocks but Harry rules!

  129. noah nywno
    June 30th, 2006 @ 2:55 pm

    YOU HAVE BISMIRCHED “THE MAN OF TOMOROW” WITH YOUR HARRY POTTER BLASPHEMY! I DECLARE JIHAD ON YOU!

    Sorry. The eternal comic book nerd in me just got riled up.

    I’ve never read the books, but I have liked the Harry Potter movies. I’m really starting to annoy my wife about going to see the new Superman though.

    Noah

  130. Noneya
    June 30th, 2006 @ 3:47 pm

    Raving Atheist:

    Thank you for attempting to be calm and reasonable on your blog. Such behavior is in short supply these days.

    Due to the obvious gravity and importance of these issues ( existence of God, etc. ) passions are all to easily inflamed. The vitriol of some of the comments is evidence enough of that.

    Folks, all Raving Atheist is saying is that he’s not going to be an A***ole about his beliefs. Some of you should follow suit.

  131. Choobus
    June 30th, 2006 @ 4:58 pm

    That’s not what he’s saying at all noneya. He is saying “Now that I have been hanging out with a bunch Christians in my crusade to save the unborn I no longer have the stomach to put my real views on their godidiocy out there because I have to deal with them crying abut like the fucking pussies they are. Also, since I’m looking to score some beaver from a christ-punching babe with some sweet juggs, I am going to sell out and start acting like a gutless shitgoblin, at least until I tap that ass.”

    That’s how I read it anyway.

  132. Thorngod
    June 30th, 2006 @ 5:12 pm

    Sounds plausable to me.

  133. Lily
    June 30th, 2006 @ 8:18 pm

    Jahrta sorry! I overlooked your post somehow. (Was it swallowed by the Spam Detector Monster?)

    You asked (to refresh our memories)

    Lily – if there was an atheist candidate in either party (but let’s assume it would be a democrat, as the GOP would never endorse an atheist) who had a clearly defined financial, educational and defensive strategy for this country that you felt would bring about a golden age of prosperity for this nation, would you vote for him/her?

    I would be hesitant. Not because he is an atheist but because he is a Democrat. Dems do not have a great track record for having good ideas. (Let’s defer arguing about that til later).

    Assuming that I believed his ideas really would bring about the kind of prosperity that would promote as just a society as is humanly possible for the greatest number of citizens– yes. I would vote for him– in a heart beat.

  134. 1angrychristian
    July 1st, 2006 @ 10:21 am

    As many comments as might be here I seriously wonder if you’ll see this, but I feel this needs to be said. I have never read your blog, but I am familiar with this sort of vehement hostility towards Christians and their thoughts, beliefs, and expressions. I encounter them in most of the communities (esp the “conservative” communities over run by liberals) that I post in.

    That being said, I believe that any Christian worth their salt though they might not trust you would forgive you. As it is taught in the New Testament that Christ forgave anyone who asked and said “Go, and sin no more”. According to our own beliefs no matter at what point you turn from being malicious and ask anyone who professes to follow Christ’s teachings biblically speaking they must forgive you.

    One point I would like to add to the idea that agressive and hostile debate “penetrates” those who do not listen to civil discussion is that you MIGHT be right in rare cases, but in more cases than not you only serve to make those who are hostile on EITHER side of your philisophical line more hostile than they were before. Those who oppose you will lean harder into their opposition, and those who support you will feed off of your aggresive arrogant hostile tactics.

    You simply feed the negative on either side.

    I support passionate debate, and passionate discourse, and frankly at times I am hostile. I do not pretend to be perfect. However, it is important to make an attempt to be civil and fuel a logical discussion and understanding of why people are on opposing sides of an idea.

    I do not know you, but your attempt to try and be logical and open with your intentions caught my attention. I hope that this is something you will put serious effort into. It’s difficult. I often struggle with it when debating with people on issues that I am very passionate about.

    Whatever the case I hope you are well, and I hope that this change in course sticks with you and that you find some peace in it.

  135. Rufus
    July 1st, 2006 @ 2:26 pm

    This is clearly not the same person who used to write here. No way. Look at the writing style on these recent posts with all the big words and long, boring sentences that never make any real point.

    Arrogance, egotism, condescension, sarcasm, bullying, rudeness and downright cruelty have permeated many of my posts. Not merely the ones directed at the religious, but at other atheists, at agnostics, pro-choice advocates, anyone who disagreed with me. For the most part I was not trying to hurt anyone. I attempted to proportion my venom to the known sensitivities of the target.

    The older posts here are almost all brief and reasonably to-the-point.

  136. Thelastfreethinker
    July 1st, 2006 @ 4:24 pm

    Wow. I have known this site since 2004, but now it has lost its punch. The raving atheist without anger is like a car without an engine, sex without orgasm, or some other cheesy comparison. Maybe one day Choobus can take over the site. Until then, things will be just…boring. Thanks for the memories, TRA, but your newfound pussihood just doesn’t appeal to me. And Choobus, keep up the good work. Is your name suggesting that Jesus is a Ch00b? If so, bravo.

    So long, cruel blog. I shall miss thee.

  137. Chris Treborn
    July 1st, 2006 @ 8:53 pm

    last free thinker, do not encourage choobus. HE is a vile and foul mouthed person and his nasty posts do nothing to add to this site. RA has decided to change his ways. Good for him I say. Why don’t you give him a chance instead of calling him a pussy. He’s still the same guy you liked, only now he’s more thoughtful and will perhaps attract more theists here so that interesting choobus-free debates can be had.

  138. Thorngod
    July 2nd, 2006 @ 2:31 am

    LFT, I hardly knew thee. You came like water, and like wind you blew. I don’t recall a former post by you. If you were still here, I’d bend your ear. Do you need RA to have your say? May the Bird of the Poo do a poo on you. To-weet to-woo! To-weet to-woo!

  139. Jordan Greenaway
    July 4th, 2006 @ 7:51 pm

    Trackback – Logical Cloud

    “The long running atheist blog named ‘The Raving Atheist’ has raised a bit of a stir. The blogger behind it has long poked at religion with his sarcastic stick. Now he’s pledged to change his ways!”

  140. Thorngod
    July 5th, 2006 @ 12:14 am

    Did anyone else notice the “angry christian” that just now blew through? On his way to a more promising fight, I suppose. He didn’t even bother to tell us why he was angry. Has God let him down, perhaps? Maybe he’s one of those Midwest Militia-type Christians, and angry at our fascist government. Or he could be a Latter Day Saint who got his favorite wife spirited away from him by Warren Jeffs. But chances are he’s just a run-of-the-swill “believer” who is getting raked over some hot coals by some of his fellow Christians and would like to vent his ire by barbequing a few heathens. Maybe he’ll pass this way again and we can lay into him. I don’t have any faith in the prospect, but I’ll hope.

  141. Thorngod
    July 6th, 2006 @ 1:29 am

    Did I say something verboten? It’s ben 24 hours now. Where the hell did everybody go?

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