Gimpy little zebras?

Jacques Berlinerblau wastes no ink in his new book trying to flatter his fellow nonbelievers.

“American atheist movements, though fancying themselves a lion, are more like the gimpy little zebra crossing the river full of crocs,” he writes in “How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom.”

Yeah, but they also come across as “gimpy little zebras” when they claim to be so deeply offended by the slightest of religious expressions.

One more thing: “They fail to recognize that mocking religious people in public is entirely inimical to the goals they wish to achieve.”

Then, he offers what could stand as a summary of the whole book: “If atheists want to live in a secular country, they will need allies. Those allies are called religious moderates.”

If they want to live in a secular country? What kind of delusional nonsense is this? We already live in a secular country, unless someone is trying to define a “secular country” as one where there are no religious people. But that would be an irrational goal. And what’s more, has there ever been a time when the United States is more secular than it is now?

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5 Responses to Gimpy little zebras?

  1. Crude says:

    I wish the “religious moderates” would, between Dawkins and this guy and others, realize that they’re regarded as ‘useful idiots’ by aggressive atheists, and start rethinking who they should be standing in primary opposition to.

  2. physphilmusic says:

    I wish the “religious moderates” would, between Dawkins and this guy and others, realize that they’re regarded as ‘useful idiots’ by aggressive atheists, and start rethinking who they should be standing in primary opposition to.

    What do you mean by “religious moderates”? Politically or theologically? Dawkins and Myers have at times classified as “moderates” religious people who accept evolution. In that sense, I consider myself a religious moderate, and also because I don’t cling to certain doctrines such as Biblical inerrancy as dearly as many on the right do. And yet I consider it natural for a person like me to stand “in primary opposition” to delusional pseudo-scientific deceivers like Dawkins, Myers and their minions, as well as not back down from fighting against the aggressive political maneuvers of liberals.

  3. Crude says:

    What do you mean by “religious moderates”? Politically or theologically?

    Yeah, I should have explained that a bit more. Especially since I could be called a moderate.

    I have in mind a specific type of moderate: the sort whose primary discussions about Christianity tend to be vigorously attacking other Christians. So it’s not just the TE (I’m a TE myself, and I believe Mike is too) I have in mind – it’s the TE whose main contribution to discussion is to constant attack YECs and Intelligent Design, yet they keep their mouths shut regarding atheist abuses of science and biology. I think they come in several forms, but it almost always is, “the self-described religious person who, 99% of the time, argues aggressively, even angrily, against some perceived religious conservative, and who treats atheists as allies against said conservatives”.

  4. eveysolara says:

    The problem is that a lot of these moderate TEs were once YECs/OECs and they feel duped. They also feel responsible and duty-bound because they also inadvertently duped others. So they criticize creationism as much as if they are trying to receive some kind of redemption.

  5. Crude says:

    So they criticize creationism as much as if they are trying to receive some kind of redemption.

    See, I’d understand that. The problem is that you end up with guys who do nothing but criticize YECs, OECs, ID proponents… I mean, it’s changed from what it used to be, but Biologos used to exemplify this to a T. Where 99% of the time you have angry attacks on YEC, OEC, even ID and particularly Behe (who should be the least objectionable guy for someone who dislikes YEC). 1% of the time, vague assurances that evolution is compatible with Christianity, and maybe roundabout sort of suggesting that Richard Dawkins and company are brilliant guys who make great points, but maybe they can sorta turn it down a notch. (I recall one sad event where Coyne blasted Biologos – I forget which guy, possibly the one who was in charge prior to Falk, but after Collins – and his response was this kind of wimpering ‘we’re on the same team aren’t we? come on’ thing.)

    Ken Miller is another good example. There’s Ken Miller, the Catholic Biologist. Whenever I see Miller talking, it’s 99.9% odds that he’s going to be angrily attacking ID proponents, and Behe in particular, .1% odds he’s going to be meekly, vaguely assuring people that evolution is compatible with Christianity. There was one time (and Mike may remember this) when Miller made some noise about how the real problem isn’t evolution, it’s with guys like Dawkins – PZ Myers responded by calling Miller a creationist. Apparently the two had a private conversation afterwards, and that was the end of Miller going after Dawkins anymore.

    And there’s the problem. It’s not just the YEC or OEC criticisms or general liberal/moderate v conservative criticisms, it’s doing so to the exclusion of all else. Let me put it to you this way: the fact that the atheist in the OP, Richard Dawkins, and other atheists can openly talk about alliances with ‘moderates’ is instructive. Because it really communicates that for some moderates (and it’s not just TEs), atheists – even Gnu atheists – can be allies.

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