ATHEISTS used STUPID PROTEST! It was not very effective…

So, I recently read about some Atheistic jackasses using a display on university grounds to insult the entirety of well…religion. Every religion. At the same time. They did a rather crap job of it mind you, but at least you can’t fault them for aiming low.

For those not in the know, The University of Wisconson’s Atheist and Humanist Association (or AHA) decided to make a faux-graveyard for “dead” Gods (i.e. everything that isn’t Christian, Jewish, Islamic, or Hindu in origin), and than make the implications that the “living” Gods of today share the same fate. The organization, I suspect, was a bit surprised when the entirety of Paganism had something to say about this. Loudly and frequently. After a few days of thinking on their display myself, I realized that, while I find them pretty crass and rude, they’re also laughable. Honestly, I can’t be bothered to be offended by this to any great degree.

90722_slideNot, let me make this totally clear, out of apathy; the people responsible for this aren’t worthy of any passion or energy. This was not a calculated attack by insidious and clever villains; this was a couple of collegiate level douche-bags who think they know everything and, in almost the same breath, proved that they barely have the capacity to make a bloody sign. I bet they also read Ayn Rand and think she’s bloody brilliant*.  These are intellectuals who couldn’t even both to fact check the things they’ve said. What can I say about them that their own lack of forethought doesn’t say better?

There were historical inaccuracies that could have been fact checked by doing anything more than one search on Wikipedia while drunk on Jagerbombs, they said modern Paganism “shouldn’t have been offended” for some reason**, and the graveyard is getting co-opted into a mass-polytheistic shrine. We’re talking full commitment to mediocrity here.  Some people are saying blasphemy, and while that’s definitely an accurate word for what’s going on here, these people are too laughable for me to direct my anger at. Ritual work and devotional work in opposition of their pitiful demonstration will be done, but that’s one of the reasons I’m able to be cavalier; I have faith that our sincere devotion trumps their purposeful ignorance and willful rudeness.

I’m a little irked that there are people who would marginalize the Pagan spectrum of belief in an effort to demean the faiths of others, mind you. Acting like any given religion doesn’t exist in order to prove a point was, I thought, the technique of radical zealots. I mean, isn’t that the sort of gross generalization that Atheists and Humanists are supposed to be avoiding? Doesn’t that make them just as bad as the religions who they take the most issue with? Even so, they don’t phase me much. I am bothered about something, however, and it’s only tangentially relates to the actions of these crass and boorish fools.

You see, I find it wonderfully fitting that some people chose to use this impromptu graveyard as a massive shrine. This is a delightful example of a wonderful tradition; taking bullshit and turning into diamonds. Give our Gods tombstones and tell us they’re dead? Jokes on you, buddy! It’s a shrine now! You demonstration did nothing but give us open air church the size of a football field! We are getting theism all of your idiotic, ill-conceived, ill-researched protest! Keep it up? We win! Take it down? We win! That sort of win-win situation will put a smile on my face every time.

Aha

No!  Not THAT AHA!  Bad Google!  Bad Google!

Amusing observations aside though, why did the AHA build us a mass polytheistic shrine? More to the point, why didn’t we?

This wasn’t our goal, our creation, or our idea. It was nothing more than an opportunity to co-opt the idiocy of some frat boys that were using google image search and a printer. I find that incredibly concerning. The blasphemy issued by people who failed to do anything of merit did more to create a worship space than many of us have. The irony of taking their dross and making something beautiful out of it makes me smile, but it begs a question; why weren’t we just making something beautiful for ourselves and for our respective faiths?

What bothers me is that they created more for us than we have. Chew on that for a while. See how it tastes. I certainly have…and I don’t like the flavor of it at all.


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*Spoilers: She is an idiotic hack, with a joke of a philosophy. So no. Not brilliant.
**My suspicion is that Pagans shouldn’t make a fuss is because they were trying to make a statement to Muslims, Jews, and Christians…and were probably surprised that they instead insulted everyone who has believed in a Pagan religion. More proof that these kids are as goofy and pointless as clown shoes.
***The majority of Pagans I knew, at that time, were huge stoners. Nothing like paranoia and the munchies to make people come up with some extremely bizarre theories.

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6 thoughts on “ATHEISTS used STUPID PROTEST! It was not very effective…

  1. bluehufsa says:

    Christianity deserves to be insulted.

    • I disagree. Passionately.

      The vast majority of things done, both in history and in present day, by Christians in the name of Christianity have nothing to do with their faith…except maybe as a flimsy justification to embrace hatred or make a grab for power.

      Most of the evils of Christianity are equally disliked by true Christians. An excellent example would be Pope Francis. This is a man saying, to all of Catholicism, that they should be focused on the teachings of Jesus as opposed to present day political issues. He also stepped forward and called fundamentalist Christianity a sickness, he has rejected many of the comforts of his position in favor of my spartan accommodations, and acts like he believes his faith in all ways that we can see.

      I would not insult him for his faith, even if others of his faith cannot measure up to the standard he has set. I question the motivations of any who would.

      I don’t seek to insult even those who abuse the teachings of the Bible in order to embrace their greed or their hatred. They do not deserve to be insulted; they deserve to be exposed. The world should see these people as they are, and insults will not do this.

      To draw a parallel, I don’t want to insult televangelists; I want to expose them for the hypocritical liars that they are. Insults just draw me into their useless pettiness, while the truth makes the world a better place for everyone.

      Lastly, I think the entirety of Paganism focuses entirely too much energy on Christianity. Our energies would be better spent focusing on ourselves, in my opinion.

  2. Great big worship spaces like that (Effectively: Polytheist Churches) are definitely on my long term personal agenda. Biggest thing holding me back though, beyond the day to day concerns of making sure I keep a full time job and a house with a full pantry: just bringing people together on a regular basis in my local area.

    I have plans to work on that over the next few weeks, posting on community bulletins and such to see if there’s something I’m missing, but as of now it’s a good hour and a half’s drive from where I am to the nearest Polytheist friends I have.

    … also… while I think I can make a pretty good hack of inventing the wheel on my own, I’m finding that while there’s tons of resources for how to go about building an individual practice, either I’m missing something or there isn’t so much on building community practice.

  3. Doug Freyburger says:

    Christianity has a long term public relations plan to dominate and define any religious discussion. So my reaction to these guys is “How Christian of you to let them define your discussion for you”. I get your point that Christianity shouldn’t be insulted, but it should definitely be called out for this PR campaign and not allowed to dominate any religious discussion. Just watch some atheist discussions some time and see how Christian oriented they are. Try pointing out their points are only valid relative to Christianity or the JCI family or monotheism and see how the atheists react. They generally have no idea how deeply they are entrenched in the Christian PR campaign to define the discourse in Christian terms.

    If Christianity is not to be insulted over their campaign their organizations do need to be called on it and the campaign resisted. my religion is defined in its own terms not using theirs.

    At least these guys included Hindu as a large religion which is more than most atheists. of course they did use the Christian concept of false or dead gods. Even if they did intend to tell something to the Christians they still did it in a way that let Christianity dominate the discourse – “How Christian of you to let them define your discussion for you.”

    • My issue starts and end at “insulted”; criticism, on the hand, is perfectly fair. Energy wasted on insulting doesn’t do anything to them, and only makes ourselves worse.

      What I don’t understand, from Atheism’s point of view at least, is why they care what anyone else believes in the first place. If you don’t believe? Fine! If you want to talk about your lack of belief? Fine! If you don’t want to be witnessed to constantly like you’re an evil bastard for having a belief that is not in line with the social norm? Hey, me too! I don’t get the need that some seem to have to be proactively combative about the issue. That baffles me.

      • Doug Freyburger says:

        I figure it baffles you because you’re heathen. We aren’t for everyone and we don’t hassle anyone for not being heathen.

        As far as atheists I don’t know if it’s a result of the Christian PR campaign so they have been programmed to think all religions are alike and thus hassle back anyone who’s a deist, or if it’s a weak minded strategy of not bothering to learn about any one faith so they fire falsely thinking they are “returning” fire.

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