Fundamentalist Atheism is both morally and intellectually bankrupt. So it’s convenient when a blog posting comes along that helps to illustrate both failings. Such a blog entry comes from Gnu atheist activist, Al Stefanelli.
According to his blog, he “is an author, writer, journalist and civil rights activist. He serves on the Board of Directors for The Clergy Project, and is the former Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc.” In other words, another dime-a-dozen Gnu.
Here’s a thought. Next time you’re in the grocery store and get to thinking about acceptable ways to scare the shit out of small children, try this exercise. Carefully approach a parent who is with a young child or children in the supermarket. It’ll help dramatically if the parent is wearing Christian jewelry or clothing. Doing this to another atheist is kinda pointless, but might end up in a new friendship. That’s not the goal here, though. What we are trying to accomplish is a
So, don’t just walk up to them and start talking, as you might startle the parent causing a *Palinesque ‘Momma Grizzly‘ scene. Be stealthy but not stalkerish, and definitely avoid the ‘**Schrodinger’s Shopper Syndrome,’ particularly around sale items.
After a pleasant and generic greeting, along with a compliment on how cute their kids are (***even if they’re ugly as hell), squat down and tell the child, loud enough so the parent can hear,
“Did you know that if you don’t behave yourself, you will be be tortured and burned to the brink of death and kept in severe and writhing pain forever and ever and ever, with no hope of ever getting away!”
Now, you will need to step away almost immediately, taking care to quickly move out of ****kick/punch/bitchslap range. So, practice is important. If successful, you will witness a conniption of epic proportions. While the entertainment value is considerable, it is less so if you end up injured. So, be ready to explain yourself almost immediately.
My, my. So someone who serves on the Board of Directors for The Clergy Project is encouraging other New Atheists to publicly harass mothers and their small children. The fact that he can encourage such public harassment of mothers and children is a beautiful illustration of the moral rot that is at the heart of New Atheism.
And don’t overlook the “community” that Stefanelli is appealing to. Atheist Rebecca Watson described them as follows:
Over the past several years, I’ve been groped, grabbed, touched in other nonconsensual ways, told I can expect to be raped, told I’m a whore, a slut, a bitch, a prude, a dyke, a cunt, a twat, told I should watch my back at conferences, told I’m too ugly to be raped, told I don’t have a say in my own treatment because I’ve posed for sexy photos, told I should get a better headshot because that one doesn’t convey how sexy I am in person, told I deserve to be raped – by skeptics and atheists. All by skeptics and atheists. Constantly.
Atheist Jen McCreight agrees:
I don’t feel safe as a woman in this community – and I feel less safe than I do as a woman in science, or a woman in gaming, or hell, as a woman walking down the fucking sidewalk.
This guy is publicly encouraging that crowd to go to grocery stores, look for some mother with young children, target them, and then harass them in an twisted attempt “to scare the shit out of small children.”
Moral bankruptcy for all to see.
As for the intellectual bankruptcy, Stefanelli attempts to rationalize such harassment of women and children as follows:
Richard Dawkins wrote about religion being worse than the sexual abuse of child. On his website, he talks about a story that a woman had sent him, that states in part,
“In the wake of the current scandal over child abuse by priests , I have had a letter from an American woman in her mid forties who was brought up Roman Catholic. She has two strong recollections from when she was seven. She was sexually abused by her parish priest in his car. And around the same time a little schoolfriend of hers, who had tragically died, went to hell because she was a Protestant. Or so my correspondent was led to believe by the then official doctrine of her church. Her view now is that, of these two examples of Roman Catholic child abuse, the one physical and the other mental, the second was by far the worst. She writes:
‘Being fondled by the priest simply left the impression (from the mind of a 7 year old) as ‘yuchy’ while the memory of my friend going to hell was one of cold, immeasurable fear. I never lost sleep because of the priest ? but I spent many a night being terrified that the people I loved would go to Hell. It gave me nightmares.’”
As he stated, I am also sure her experience is far from unique. Religion squashes the natural bent toward critical thinking that a child has. Religious indoctrination squashes a child’s natural spirit of inquiry.
Thar she blows! Dawkins accuses of religious parents of being child abusers and in some twisted ends-justify-the-means fashion, fans like Stefanelli think they can build on this to harass women and children.
But note that Stefanelli gullibly laps up Dawkins story and then repeats it as if it is absolute truth. We have already seen that when Dawkins was asked to provide evidence for this, he could only stammer on about some personal intuition he has. The man has and had no evidence. This has been demonstrated here and here. No Gnu has ever been able to show I am wrong on this. Why? The position is intellectually bankrupt.
Lesson of the day – So thanks to Dawkins spreading his misinformation, he has encouraged some of his followers to harass mothers with young children.