I got this email Friday, entitled “You and Your Blog” Bear with me here, it’s a bit long-winded:
I was wondering if you were Catholic or not as there is no other rational reason to defend them and their thousands of years of bloody history.
And IF you are a Catholic, you DO realize the odds are very high ONLY reason you are is because of WHO raised you.
Yep, IF you are a Catholic, the odds are extremely high you were “programmed” into being a Catholic rather than a Protestant, Jew or Moslem.
And, you were also programmed believe in a single god. Of course, had you been programmed into the Hindu faith, rather than your believing in one non-existent god, you’d believe in many non-existent gods.
Next, as I saw you had a link to my long time friend and fellow Atheist Eugene’s blog “The Volokh Conspiracy” This, and some of your other comments, indicate to me you may be one of the Many, Many Millions of Former Christians who have successfully DE-Programmed themselves and you are now an Atheist as well.
FYI In my view, Atheists ARE the most discriminated against minority in the US in spite of Atheists being the Leaders, and/or among the leaders in every field other than religion. (And maybe “rap” music)
(Of course, more than a few Atheists were leaders on the field of religion for years before they came to their senses.)
The following is a “copy and paste” of an email sent to a friend in reply to one he had sent me about some ‘Prison Minister’ comparing the Moslem Religion to the Christian one. One line in it was about how this minister “Walks With God”
WALK WITH GOD?
HUMANS HAVE INVENTED, THEN NAMED AND WORSHIPPED TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND OF THEM SO FAR
AND THERE IS NO PROOF ANY OF THEM ARE REAL
THE ONLY REASON STEVE, YOU ARE NOT A JEW IS BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT RAISED BY JEWS THE ONLY REASON YOU ARE NOT A MOSLEM IS BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT RAISED BY MOSLEMS
AND, THE ONLY REASON YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN MANY GODS IS BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT RAISED BY HINDUS
THE BIBLE INSTRUCTS IT’S BELIEVERS TO KILL ALL NON-CHRISTIANS
NOT ONLY FOR MANY YEARS DID THE CHRISTIANS DO JUST THAT, THERE ARE CHRISTIANS WHO WOULD DO THE EXACT SAME TODAY!
SO JUST WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM????
“ALL GODS ONLY EXIST IN THE MINDS OF THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THEM!”
“NO GOD EXISTS IN THE PHYSICAL REAL WORLD OR IN THE COSMOS”
Neil C. Reinhardt
“A 76 year old Pro Iraq War Agnostic Atheist Activist, 101st Airborne Vet and an Iconoclastic, Philosophizing, Beach VolleyBall Playing Grumpy Old Son Of A Beach!”
I am one of many Conservative Atheists who are PROUD TEA PARTY Supporters
And a member of All of the following:
So, right off the bat, it’s obvious Mr. Reinhardt hasn’t bothered to do any search of the blog on the topic, but he’s got no problem telling me how brainwashed I am, and volunteering to show me The Way.
I’ve already had a few hundred words to say on the topic, so I responded, briefly:
Why do I “defend Catholicism”? Because in generaI I am in agreement with Theodore Dalrymple (himself an atheist) on the topic of religion.
Well! This apparently struck Mr. Reinhardt as rude. I didn’t think it was as rude as his first condescending email, but hey everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, no?
So, on Saturday I get not one, not two, but three emails from Mr. Reinhardt at 12:18AM, 12:58AM and 1:02AM. I suspect insomnia.
Logic is MY friend.
And LOGIC sez:
I can be not only be BOTH an Atheist AND an Anti-theist at the same time, I can be, as I am, a Agnostic Atheist Activist.
Fair enough, though I’m not sure how one can be an “Agnostic Atheist,” but “Activist”? Surely. That much is obvious.
ANY NON-PROGRAMMED intelligent, rational, logical and CARING person who HAS A CLUE about all the Wars, Hate, Discrimination, Persecution, Starvations, Torture and Murder, Death ALL caused by various RELIGIONS,
IS AN ANTI-THEIST!
“The Christian God is Cruel, Capricious, Vindictive and Un Just.”
My MANY many years of Experience, plus a wide variety of them, means I am much more experienced than are most who are 76, much less anyone younger.
FYI – Being an Atheist ONLY MEANS
A. YOU are capable on using facts, logic and critical thinking skills on the subject of the actual existence of one, or more, gods!
B. Very, very sadly, on ANY other subject then the above, the typical Atheist is just as likely to Refuse To Learn, and/or to Deny ANY facts which disprove their position as are Fundamentalist Christens to do so on subjects like evolution and homosexuals.
The TYPICAL Atheist denies the many facts proving the Iraq War is Fully Justified,
While many, to most, Atheists may be Pro Choice and yet not be Pro Abortion when there is no rational, logical or intelligent reason not to be.
FUCK THE SMALL “A” BULLSHIT
Christian, Jew, Moslem, Hinduism and on and on are all capitalized. You can bet your ass more more Atheists will be capulizing the word ATHEIST!
I seem to have struck an infected nerve.
Email #3 was a reference list of non-atheists talking about how wonderful Mr. Reinhardt and his logic are. I won’t bother to reproduce that email, but I felt prompted to respond to it about 11:30AM. That response apparently vanished into the aether, as about 7:30PM I received two more missives, entitled “No Response? ‘Oh So Sarcastic One'”.
Neil’s a subtle guy, huh?
Here’s the first of those:
(Of course, your use of logic is not too hot either.)
As all those who actually have sufficient knowledge of religion, it’s many negative effects and how people who are without religion are as just good, if not better, than religious people, are all KNOW Theodore Dalrymple IS WRONG! (Want to translate that into English? – Ed.)
(Thus, so are you.)
And, IF you want to know why I know I AM more qualified to make comments on various subjects than are most, I can most certainly provide the reasons.
Sorry I’m not an orthodox member of your personal religion.
Well, not really.
I really shouldn’t poke him through the bars. His response:
your reply is just more proof your use of logic is pathetic
I have NO religion
You write pages in your blog and yet you seem to be totally incapatible(sic) of more than little barbs directed toward me
what is wrong child, afraid of being proven wrong?
Unable to resist, I poked him a bit more:
Yes, you do. You are an evangelist for anti-theism, and you’re pushing the level of Fred Phelps in offensiveness. You’re insisting that I must not-believe the same way you do.
With all due respect for your age, I’m not a child, nor am I the one acting childishly. You might want to check your mirror, sir.
I did send you one response already today, to your email titled “Re: OTHERS ON ME.” Did you not receive it?
Here it is again, if you didn’t:
“I count among my readers a devout Jew, a Ph.D in astrophysics who was raised in an atheist, socialist household who has come only recently to be a practicing Lutheran, a devout Born-Again Christian of one of the Southern Baptist splinters, and several other atheists.
“I personally don’t feel a need to evangelize my atheism. Obviously you do.
“Yes, I recognize the evils that religion has been at the root of throughout history. I also understand the effect that religion has had on civilization as a whole – it is, I believe, primarily responsible for civilization. Religion is an organizing force. It’s no surprise that it was the foundation of the first governments. And it’s no surprise that later governments separated themselves from the restrictions of the ecclesiastical leadership.
“But certainly I recognize what religion has done.
“I also have seen what atheistic governments have done. 100+ million deaths in just the 20th Century alone. Helluva start for a youngster, don’t you think?”
That last question is not rhetorical.
I find it interesting that you have friends who are believers. Does that mean you only treat non-orthodox atheists this rudely?
My reply was at about 7:40PM. At 12:40AM he replied. At length. In allcaps:
YOU SAID “I find it interesting that you have friends who are believers. Does that mean you only treat non-orthodox atheists this rudely?”
Well, “Oh So Lacking In Memory”
Your reply to my first email to you was RUDE and SARCASTIC with NO valid reason to be so. (In his opinion. – Ed.)
Does the word HYPOCRITE ring a bell?
(It should as you are one.)
So I returned what I had gotten,
YOU SAID: “Yes, you do. You are an evangelist for anti-theism, and you’re pushing the level of Fred Phelps in offensiveness.”
LOGIC CHILD, LOGIC!
Because I strongly support the use of Facts Over Dogma. Logic Over Emotion,
Knowledge Over Ignorance and I also use critical thinking skills, I KNOW religion
causes many more problems than it solves. (Your NOT knowing it has no effect of it’s validity!)
Does NOT make it a religion!
YOU SAID “You’re insisting that I must not-believe the same way you do.”
HERE YOU DEMONSTRATE YOUR NEED FOR GREATLY INCREASED READING COMPREHENSION SKILLS!
YOU CAN NOT QUOTE ONE SINGLE THING I HAVE WRITTEN, AND/OR SAID WHICH SUPPORTS THAT STATEMENT!
YOU SAID “With all due respect for your age, I’m not a child, nor am I the one acting childishly. You might want to check your mirror, sir.”
YEA, I CALL SOME THAT WHEN THEY HAVE CHOSEN TO PISS ME OFF
HAVE SAID SOMETHING WHICH AN INTELLIGENT, KNOWLEDGABLE, LOGICAL AND RATIONAL PERSON WOULD NOT HAVE SAID.
YOU SAID: “I did send you one response already today, to your email titled “Re: OTHERS ON ME.” Did you not receive it? Here it is again, if you didn’t:
DIDN’T RECEIVE IT
YOU SAID: “Excellent! “I count among my readers a devout Jew, a Ph.D in astrophysics who was raised in an atheist, socialist household who has come only recently to be a practicing Lutheran,”
THAT POOR GUY, ANYONE WHO HAS FREELY CHOSEN TO BELIEVE IN:
A. ONE OR MORE OF NON-EXISTENT, MAKE-BELIEVE 25,000 GODS HUMANS HAVE INVENTED, THEN NAMED AND WORSHIPPED SO FAR.
B. CHOSES TO BELIEVE IN THINGS WHICH ARE IMPOSSIBLE,
C. CHOSES TO BELIEVE IN THINGS WHICH ARE BREAK THE LAWS OF PHYSICS AND NATURE
C. CHOSES TO BELIEVE IN THINGS WHICH NO ONE WITH ANY COMMON SENSE WOULD NOT BELIEVE
IS NOT PLAYING WITH A FULL DECK. THEY HAVE BATS IN THEIR BELFRY, THE LIGHTS ARE ON AND NO ONE IS HOME.
THEY ARE WHACCKO!
YOU SAID “a devout Born-Again Christian of one of the Southern Baptist splinters,
A PROGRAMMED RELIGIOUS ROBOT
YOU SAID: “and several other atheists.”
IF VERY SADLY, THEY ARE TYPICAL ATHEISTS, THEY ARE JUST AS WILLING TO REFUSE TO LEARN, AND/OR DENY ANY FACTS WHICH PROVE THEM WRONG AS CHRISTIANS DO ON EVOLOUTION, ABORTIONS & HOMOSEXUALS
“I personally don’t feel a need to evangelize my atheism.”
HEY IF YOU LIKE BEING A MEMBER OF THE MOST DISCRIMINATED MINORITY IN THE US AND NOT STANDING UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS, IT IS YOUR CHOICE
OF COURSE, IF ALL WERE LIKE YOU, THEN THE BLACKS, THE WOMEN AND HOMOSEXUALS WOULD STILL BE BEING TREATED AS POORLY AS THEY WERE BEFORE ENOUGH OF THEM STOPPED BEING LIKE YOU AND ACTED MORE LIKE ME.
SO YOU SHOULD NOT BITCH ABOUT THOSE WHO ARE IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING ATHEISTS FAIR AND EQUAL TREATMENT.
“Obviously you do.”
YEP, BECAUSE I CARE ABOUT RIGHT OVER WRONG! GOOD OVER EVIL! IN DOING THE RIGHT THING!
OBVIOUSLY YOU DO NOT!
YOU SAID: “Yes, I recognize the evils that religion has been at the root of throughout history. I also understand the effect that religion has had on civilization as a whole – it is, I believe, primarily responsible for civilization.”
NO PROOF OF THAT
“Religion is an organizing force. It’s no surprise that it was the foundation of the first governments.”
RELIGION DOES, AND ALWAYS HAS SUPPRESSED FREEDOM AND VERY GREATLY SLOWED PROGRESS.
And it’s no surprise that later governments separated themselves from the restrictions of the ecclesiastical leadership”
THE US WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE FIRST. ONLY THE CHRISTIANS KEEP SCREWING OVER OTHERS
“But certainly I recognize what religion has done.”
REALLY? WHY ARE WE IN WARS TODAY? DO THEY HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION?
WHY ARE NEARLY ALL TERRORISTS RELIGIOUS ONES?
JONES TOWN – HEAVENS GATE, WACO
BOMBING HEALTH CARE CLINICS, GAY BARS AND THE OLYMPICS!
WHY ARE THEY BLOCKING STEM CELL RESEARCH AND USE?, OR COMPREHENSIVE SEX EDUCATION WHEN FACTS PROVE IT REDUCES SEX CRIMES, STD RATES, UNWANTED PREGANCIES AND ABORTIONS?
AS WELL AS HEALTH AND WELFARE COSTS AND CRIMES.
“I also have seen what atheistic governments have done. 100+ million deaths in just the 20th Century alone. Helluva start for a youngster, don’t you think?”
“GIVE ME A CHILD UNTIL THE AGE OF SIX AND THEY ARE MINE FOREVER” (That’s not an answer, that’s evasion. – Ed.)
WHILE NOT ALWAYS TRUE OR THERE WOULD NOT BE MULTI-MILLIONS OF FORMER CHRISTIANS WHO ARE NOW ATHEISTS/
YET, THOSE EARLY CATHOLIC CHURCH TEACHINGS MAY BE PART OF WHY MARX, STALIN & CASTRO, ALL EDUCATED BY JESUITS, TURNED OUT LIKE THEY DID.
ATHEISTS DO NOT TELL OTHERS THEIR BELIEFS BAR THEM FROM DOING THINGS THEY THEN DO
HITLER WAS A CATHOLIC, NEARLY ALL GERMANS AND ITALIANS WERE CHRISTIANS DURING WWII
DO YOU SEE THE ATHEISTS WHO ARE GIVING MULTI BILLIONS OF $$ TO HELP OTHERS?
CARNEGIE: – FREE LIBRARIES AND 90% OF HIS FORTUNE
TURNER: ONE BILLION
GATES: BILLONS A YEAR
BUFFET: WELL OVER 3O BILLION
WHAT IS SAD IS I SENT MY FIRST EMAIL IN THE HOPES OF OUR BEING FRIENDS. ONLY YOUR SARCASTIC REPLY SURE ENDED THAT.
And I’m just crushed by that.
You can almost feel the flecks of spittle flying, can’t you? Then at 4:05AM and again at 4:31AM and AGAIN at 4:34AM he fired off three more emails. The first was an essay cut-and-pasted I won’t inflict on you. The second was this fire-and-brimstone:
I will back off of the subject of religion and quit pointing out ALL of the Bad Things Christians Do when:
1. When religious people are not so ignorant (as they have in the past) as to say Atheists are not really Atheists, they only “Claim” to be Atheists.
This is an INSULT as it infers that I, and other Atheists, are either so stupid we do not know what we believe OR we are lying!
2. When religious people stop saying totally stupid things like:
“There are no Atheists in foxholes” when there have been American Atheists fighting in every war the United States has ever been in.
3. When Atheist and Agnostic are capitalized just like the names of ALL religions are.
4. When somehow those who do the hiring find out we are Atheists and it does not cause us to not be hired.
OR cause us to be fired after we are hired.
OR stop us from being promoted.
5. When people knowing were are Atheists does not get our business boycotted.
6. When writing an article or a letter to the editor in which we state we are an Atheist does not get us fired. OR get us HATE Mail (all unsigned of course) and HATE phone calls.
7. When bring a court case to enforce the Separation of Church and State does not elicit HATE Mail and/or HATE phone calls and/or DEATH threats from some “loving, turn the other cheek” hypocrite Christian.
8. When being an Atheist does not get your property vandalized JUST because you are an Atheist.
9. When being an Atheist does not get your children harassed and/or beaten up JUST because you are an Atheist.
10. When being an Atheist does not get your pets hurt, stolen or killed JUST because you are an Atheist.
11. When being an Atheist does not get you beaten up JUST because you are an Atheist.
12. When being an Atheist does not get you KILLED JUST because you are an Atheist.
13. When EVERY State in the U.S. treats Atheists just as well as they treat Christians.
14. When they STOP having Witch Trials in the United States. (Last one I know of was in Oklahoma in 2006.)
15. When they take their religious propaganda OUT of OUR pledge and OFF of OUR paper money.
(Thus putting our pledge and our paper money BACK to where they were in 1954.)
16. When they STOP trying to put THEIR (or any) prayers in schools where they do not belong in the first place.
17. When the American taxpayer STOPS having to pay EXTRA taxes to illegally support religion in the U.S. (It was an average of $900 a year BEFORE Bush got into office & so it HAS TO BE higher now.)
18. When Christians STOP LYING about the religious belief of our Founding Fathers
19. When Christians STOP LYING about the Founding of our country.
20. When Christians STOP LYING about the principals they United States was founded on.
21. When Christians STOP barring progress by doing stupid things like preventing embryonic stem cell research and stopping the sale of birth control pills.
(NO ONE makes the Christians do any thing they do not want to do and they have NO RIGHT to force others to live by their rules.)
During the Dark Ages, Christians held up progress for many hundreds of years. Had they not done that we would be hundreds of years ahead of were we are now! This most probably would have meant there would be NO CANCER now & many kinds of other fantastic medical advances would have been accomplished.
22. When Christians STOP DENYING scientific facts!
23. When MOST Americans Atheists are NO longer so VERY AFRAID of what our Christian neighbors will do to us if they know we are Atheists, they will be very open about being Atheists.
TODAY, MOST American Atheists are SO AFRAID of what Christians might do the them if they know they are Atheists, they do not make it publicly knowledge they are Atheists.
Some Atheists will not even tell their close “friends” and/or their families because they are afraid of the poor treatment they will receive. (And that is a SHAME!)
24. When an Atheist, who has made it publicly known they are an Atheist, can be elected to any public office ( including the Presidency ) in the United States as easily as a Christian can be.
(I’m very sure I’ve forgotten some things where Atheists are put at a disadvantage ONLY because we are Atheists.)
We American Atheists have been nice, meek and screwed over in the United States for more than long enough!
Just like the Blacks, Women and Gays before us had to take action to stop being stepped on, so should we. Once they decided to stop being nice, meek and not being heard from. Once they decided to stop putting up with being treated as lower class citizens, they then took the steps they needed to take.
Now, some of we Atheists are so sick and tired of the way Christians have been treating us, WE WILL CHANGE THINGS or Damn Well DIE in the attempt!
“There was a time when the Christians Ruled The Known World, it is called THE DARK AGES!”
H. RUTH GREEN
I thank you for your time and may we all, “Live Long and Prosper!
Please, Take Care!
Nice touch there, that last. And then this:
Calling Atheism a religion is asinine!
(And something only the programmed religious robots would come up with.)
Atheism doe NOT fit one definition of religion I have ever read much less the definition as accepted by the vast majority of people.
And aside from from the fact religions have to do with beliefs in supernatural, all the members of any religion all share MORE than ONE belief in common,
The ONLY belief all Atheists share in common is they do NOT believe in one, or more, of the 25,000 named gods which humans have invented so far.
Atheists have NO dogma, NO guide book telling them what rules to follow or what to believe.
NO instructions, as the Christians do, telling them to KILL ALL OF THOSE who do not believe as they do.
I have found, other on the subject of the existence of one, or more gods, Atheists are NOT any more rational or logical as religious people are.
And I have found religious people to be as rational and logical on ALL subjects OTHER THAN THEIR OWN RELIGION and the existence of THEIR god or gods, as are most Atheists.
Sadly, I find many Atheists are just as prone to deny any facts which prove them wrong as religious people are. Just like religious people, their little illogical minds are made up and things like facts make no difference to them.
As far as Agnostics and Atheists go, I submit the following.
For some reason, (totally beyond me) it seems many people don’t seem to either know, or they are totally unable to comprehend, the difference in the definitions of “KNOW” and “BELIEVE”
They seem not to fathom those two words do NOT mean the same thing.
So I will attempt to explain it in the most simple terms I know.
The last time I started a car, I KNOW it started. The next time I attempt to start a car, it may, or it may not, start.
Therefore, while I BELIEVE the car will start, there is NO WAY for me to KNOW if it is going to start or not UNTIL I try to start it.
Agnostics should ask themselves a very simple question:
Do I BELIEVE in a god?
The answer is EITHER “YES” or “NO”
(It is NOT “sometimes” and anyone who says it is ain’t worth wasting any time with as they are clueless.)
If they answer “Yes, I BELIEVE in a god”
they are NOT Agnostics,
they ARE theists!
If they answer “No, I do NOT BELIEVE in a god”
they are NOT Agnostics,
they are Atheists!
An Agnostic KNOWS there is absolutely NO way to KNOW if there is a god or not.
As I also know there is NO way for me to KNOW it there is a god or not, I AM an Agnostic.
An Atheist believes there is insufficient evidence to BELIEVE in a god or gods.
As I have never found any evidence what- so-ever one, or more gods exist, I AM ALSO an Atheist.
Thus, I AM an Agnostic Atheist.
And while I’ve convinced some Atheists / Agnostics to join me in self identifying as being BOTH an Agnostic AND an Atheist, I have also met some who figured it out on their own before we ever met.
A “thinking” Christian (Oh boy, what an oxymoron that is) would state they were an Agnostic Christian.
As there is NO way for them to KNOW if there is a Christian God or not AND they BELIEVE there is.
I actually met a Christians who was bright and logical enough to call himself an “Agnostic Christian” (Sure wish I could remember who it was.)
HOW COMES EVIL?
Either God wants to abolish evil and can- not; Or, he can but does not want to;
Or, he cannot, and does not want to;
If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent! If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked!
If he neither can, nor wants to,
He is powerless and wicked!
But if God can abolish evil, and wants to,
How comes evil into the world?
EVIL is not only what humans do, it is the diseases, plagues, volcanoes, floods earthquakes, fires, tornados, hurricanes, etc. ect any real ALL Powerful and ALL Knowing who was also Kind, Caring, Just, Compassionate and Decent god would stop from happening.
Therefore, the only logical assumptions are either the god of the Christians does NOT exist OR he/she/it is really totally incompetent.
“The Christian god is cruel, capacious. vindictive and unjust.”
Actually, that last quote goes like this:
The Christian God is a being of terrific character – cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust.
I’ve never argued otherwise. But I prefer this Jefferson quote, as I believe it has more bearing on the topic at hand:
Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?
So this morning I fired off another reply:
This is truly fascinating. In my first response to you, all I said was “Google is your friend,” and you’re all butthurt over that? And now you’ve descended into multiple emails, calling me “child,” shouting in ALLCAPS, and you can’t understand why I don’t take you seriously?
I think I’m going to get an amusing post out of this. Thanks so much.
This being that post. I do try to keep my promises.
But at 9:40 this morning, I couldn’t pass up making one point:
Really, this is just too good not to comment on:
Calling Atheism a religion is asinine!“I will back off of the subject of religion and quit pointing out ALL of the Bad Things Christians Do when:
“1. When …
“3. When Atheist and Agnostic are capitalized just like the names of ALL religions are.”
(Bold, my emphasis. Capitalization, yours.)
Contradict yourself much?
No, your religion doesn’t postulate a supernatural Supreme Being who requires our adulation and supplication, but it does apparently have a strict moral code that you’ve designated yourself the enforcer of, and determined that I am heretical to.
And you wonder why I dismiss you?
I’m familiar with fanatics, being one myself – won’t change my mind, won’t change the subject, won’t shut up – albeit on a different subject, but I at least learned a while back that shouting at people and sending them unsolicited tracts is very seldom of any use.
Good day to you sir.
Which prompted his final shot at me:
IT OBVIOUS YOU ARE TOO ILLOGICAL AND IRRATIONAL TO HAVE A CLUE
Don’t go away mad, Neil. Just go away.