If you’ve got several spare hours, I’d recommend watching Steve Shives’ series “An Atheist Reads The Case for Christ” and “An Atheist Reads I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist”. They’re great deconstructions of a couple of books that I and many other atheists often have thrown in our faces as ‘good’ arguments for Christianity.
Father Dwight Longenecker, a Catholic priest, wrote a rather ridiculous screed against atheists on his blog. When atheists began to respond to him and challenge his bigotry, he deleted the post and replaced it with another one where he threw a whiny tantrum about how the atheist trolls were being mean to him. When people continued to challenge him, he deleted that post as well, hoping it would all fade away.
Well, it won’t. This is the internet.
Fascinating and terrifying stuff: “Can Religion Justify Bullying Children?” (a talk by Sean Faircloth.) If you’ve got a spare half hour or so, I highly recommend giving this a watch. Never let it be said that fundamentalist Christianity isn’t a threat to nonbelievers or believers of other stripes.
It’s not often that I feel inspired to respond to things I read in the newspaper.
Well, that’s not quite right. There’s enough madness in any given issue that I usually have a response to it. But a response in writing, submitted to the same newspaper? That’s a rarity.
So when a fellow atheist passed this story in the Albany Times Union on to me, I was mostly unimpressed. At first. And then I read the entire thing, and got to thinking.
I originally wrote this response in an e-mail to the opinion editor of that newspaper, but it’s been a couple of weeks now, and I haven’t heard back from them about whether or not it’d be published. So what the hell? Let’s publish it here.
Last night at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York, I carpooled over with a couple of friends from the Capital Region Atheists & Agnostics meetup to attend a debate between Matt Dillahunty, president of the Atheist Community of Austin and regular host/co-host of The Non-Prophets and The Atheist Experience, and Jay Lucas, an evangelical Christian apologist and director of The Isaac Backus Project, which is described as “an apologetics ministry dedicated to equipping and encouraging Christians to declare and defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Eight days ago, a lifelong Christian posted on Reddit’s /r/atheism forum, saying that he was going to spend a week trying to think like an atheist, so he could get to better understand our perspective. Yesterday, he wrote a follow-up post summarizing the experience. In short: he no longer considers himself a Christian, distrusts the authority of the Bible, and has tons of questions (about his own Christian beliefs) left unanswered.
Early last month, PZ Myers over at Pharyngula posted a link to a survey by a radical anti-gay group (maybe it’s just a single person? I can’t tell) asking silly questions about whether the government should force companies to hire gay people, and things like that. To fill out the survey, you had to enter an e-mail address, so I put in one of my throwaway ones in the hope that I’d get some entertainment out of the things they send to their mailing list.
I almost didn’t make it this week. My job has been keeping me busy late into the evening lately, though hopefully that’ll be ending soon. In any case, I missed out on both dinner and the video, but the small group chat more than made up for that bit of disappointment. Finally, we hit on a few meaty subjects!
Week #5 has come and gone, and I’m finding this Alpha Course significantly less interesting than the other one I went to…