example #467 of left-wing douchebaggery

Politically speaking, I'm an anarcho-syndicalist. I'm a content and joyous atheist, a vegan, and shit, I don't even own a car because of that whole "being oil's bitch n' polluting the environment" thing (besides, I pollute enough just by smoking). However, this doesn't mean I always get along with liberals. In fact, quite often I find myself downright annoyed with people on the left. For whatever reason, people in this country are scared shitless to criticize theism. Criticizing Islam is all the rage amonst right-wingers, but these same right-wingers make nary a peep about Christianity. Yeah, yeah, yeah "Muslim terrorists," blah blah blah. They miss the point: religion is not the problem—thuggery is.

When people want to discredit atheism, they often cite Stalin, claiming that he committed genocide because he was atheist. This is nice, but there is no atheist doctrine that says, "Kill thousands." And the argument that atheists cannot be moral because there is no God from which they derive morality is equally flimsy as the Bible says nothing about abortion, yet scores of Christians are "pro-life" because their religon supposedly dictates that they be such (forget all that stuff about Jehovah, aka, Jealous, killing the entire human race save for one man and his family and a zoo; I dunno, how do you get "pro-life" out of that?). And when people want to discredit Islam they go on and on about jihad and so forth, but I could just as easily say the same thing about Judeo-Christianity. And so? There are moderate Muslims who interpret jihad figuratively, just as there are moderate Christians who interpret Jesus' talk of dividing families figuratively. The difference with these religons and with atheism is that there is no atheist book that says "kill," simply because there is no atheist book, period. Atheism does not dictate morality. That is not the point of atheism. My morality is derived from empathy. I don't want to hurt anyone because I know what it's like to get hurt. It's as simple as it. I don't need Jealous, Allah, Odin, etc. to tell me this.

Stalin committed genocide because he was a fascist dictator. Not because he was atheist. Not because he was communist. Not because of this and not because of that. It's because he didn't care. People were merely pawns to him and if they got in the way, they were "talen care of." Are you going to say that Pinochet committed genocide because he's Catholic and a capitalist? It goes both ways, doesn't it?

If we are talking about strict knowledge, I am an agnostic atheist. Agnostic because I do not know with certainty that "God" exists or does not exist (cue the solipsist who says that you cannot know with certainty that anything, other than the self, exists). First, define "God." You put 50 Christians in a room, ask them to define "God," and I'm pretty sure you'll get at least 45 different definitions. So we need to start there. What is God? Then, if by some divine intervention (muahaha) we reach a consensus on what/who God is, how can we know that this God exists? Well, you can't. You can't know either way, hence the agnosticism. (The positive atheist will claim that, indeed, you can know for certainty that God does not exist. But I'll leave that to the positive atheists.) This is where faith comes in. And this is why I'm an atheist: I lack that faith. I just don't have it. Thus, I am an agnostic atheist. And no, atheism is not just another "belief." Lacking a belief in the existence of Thor, the God of Thunder, is just another belief? So, like, you believe in Thor, the God of Thunder, in some way, then? Yeah, didn't think so. (And can you see how sloppy and ridiculous that line of reasoning is?) Somone who has sex is sexual; someone who does not is asexual. Asexuality is the deficiency of sex. One does not have sex. It is not another form of sex, it is the absence of sexuality. Atheism is the deficiency of belief. I do not have belief. It is not another belief. Why is this so hard to understand? However, I'm not sure this is analgous since sex is a tangible thing, whereas faith is not. But still, I hope the point is made.

All right, now that that is out of the way, onto the douchebaggery. I present Melinda Barton at the Raw Story:

The religious nutballs on the extreme right have kept us rational lefties so busy that we've neglected an important although onerous duty -- cleaning the atheist whackjobs out of our own attic, the extreme left. (Of course, extremisms of the religious or atheistic nature are only a small part of the sum total of extremism. Every form of thought has its own whackjobs of varying stripes.)

Why face off with the atheist whackjobs? Because extremism is extremism is extremism. No rational movement dedicated to intellectual courage and honesty should maintain a relationship with those for whom intellectual laziness, dishonesty, and cowardice are a way of life. Doing what must be done to insure the integrity of the left will require identifying our extremists, countering their mythologies, and acknowledging the dangers they pose to a truly liberal society.

First, what is an atheist whackjob? The term secular for the purposes of this article will refer to those who disbelieve all religious and spiritual claims, not to those who merely support a separation of church and state. Although all secular (by this definition) extremists are atheists, not all atheists are atheist extremists.

Blah blah blah. (Oh, you can check out Barton's blog here where she regurgitates the "atheism is a belief" turd.) The article isn't anything you haven't read before from conservatives. There is little point in debating this article since the comments it engendered have done a sufficient job. Also, the always entertaining and insightful PZ Myers offers a juicy takedown of Barton's pukery. Personally, I just haven't the patience to dissect this piece of shit and point out the horridly putrid parts of it.

The left is grasping at straws. Increasingly I've noticed liberals trying to buy that ever crucial religious ticket. We frantically bend over backward to let any old fuckface voice his opinion. Well, not everyone's opinion matters. You know, some people just talk out of their ass. So what if you're a "person of faith"? I'm sorry, but you're not oppressed. You're not the minority. You're not a martyr and you're not put-upon. You're part of a privileged majority. And you're going to complain about a fringe minority in an already minor sect of society? Atheists are what? 5% of American society? And you're going to complain about a fraction of that? Jesus fucking Christ.

I know the Raw Story is trying really hard to be "fair and balanced." And I'm sure the editors are patting themselves on the back for stirring up controversy. Good for them. Brilliant. But that's boring. Paris Hilton is controversial—so? Controversy is easy. It would have been much more interesting if the Raw Story put out an article from a thoughtful theist perspective. I'm positive such a thing exists. Unfortunately, the Raw Story seems to think that this is the best theism has to offer. Funny, that.

Now, if you'll excuse me, as a proper atheist, there are women I have to coerce into getting abortions, flags that have to be burned, crucifixes that have to be dumped into toilets, wars to start, and genocides to get underway. In the immortal words of Prince Humperdinck, "I'm swamped."