Brief Update

First of all, here’s a funny comic that I found over at God Lizard. I had to shrink it slightly to fit my margins. You can visit the original if you need it bigger.

Atheist Eve

Secondly, I just fished a funny comment out of the spam filter. It’s from somebody calling him/herself atheismisdead. He/she/it links to a YouTube video about PZ Myers. Apparently I’m responsible for his blasphemy.

Then there is a link to a forum where atheismisdead spits and fizzles and foams at the mouth.

This comment is attached to my recent article “Attention Creationists”. Apparently he didn’t absorb its message. Anyway, the comment is amusing. It missed being profiled in the Recent Comments sidebar, because it was no longer “recent” when I fished it out of the filter.

I don’t know if this person calling himself “atheismisdead” is the same person who runs the blog of the same name. I took a fast look at that blog and found this funny graphic:

Child abuse

Sorry. It is abuse. You are an abuser. It often (but not always) leads to a lifetime of warped thinking and repressed emotions.

Finally, you might be anxiously awaiting the next installment of Darwin Was Wrong. I’ll see if I can get that written tonight. You’ll notice the frequency of articles will slow down for the foreseeable future, to maybe one every few days. I’m spending too much time on the computer and need to get away from the soul-stealing internet. I’m taking a photography class now, in the hopes that I might actually become competent at something other than offending Christians.

24 Responses to “Brief Update”

  1. Jeff Hope Says:

    Funny. A commenter by the same name left an incoherent comment on my blog.

    http://atheistsanswer.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/truthiness/

    Have you been visited by zdenny yet? What a nut.

  2. Jeff Eyges Says:

    The “atheismisdead” spammer is Dave Mabus, alias Dennis Markuze (if you Google him, you’ll find many references). He’s seriously mentally ill, to a point at which he makes Larry Fafarman seem sane by comparison. He’s gone after PZ in the past, so PZ put him in the dungeon. He remains dormant for a while, then a few neurons (very few) fire, and he goes on a rampage. He’s been spamming every atheist blog he can find with this same message.

    Jeff, I’ve only seen zdenny on one other blog, Ken Pulliam’s:
    http://formerfundy.blogspot.com/
    He is a piece of work, isn’t he? I think he should tell him to piss off, but Ken just ignores him.

  3. Dotyrs Says:

    Uh… “I had to shrink it slightly to fit my margins.” Sounds a bit, I dunno, “weird.” ;-)

    I enjoy your blog. Keep it up! (But keep it within your margins!)

    -Robert

  4. yeah OK Says:

    OK, I’m an agnostic, been interested in religion all my life from sort of a Martian anthropologist point of view even when I dropped my own beliefs (I started out Christian but mostly came to it on my own in the first place, my parents never pushed religion at all)… and yet… you’re an ass.

    Just because someone raises their kids Christian doesn’t make it abuse. If you think it “represses emotions,” clearly you have never been to a revival service. Perhaps it is only emotional to a Vulcan. I really don’t know.

    Your kind of thinking is exactly like what Christians used to believe about animists (i.e., American Indians and similar)… that they taught their children the WRONG things and were being ABUSIVE, only according to Christians it was ’cause Amerindians were endangering their children’s souls. THEIR solution was to round the kids up and ship them off to parochial school. End result, a whole generation of traumatized kids who lost their languages and cultures.

    Is that what you have in mind for Christian kids? Compensating for your own cultural poverty (face it–you have it) by taking away their wealth?

    Whatever. Tell you what. Mind your own damn business and I won’t care how your kids turn out. Assuming, of course, they never harm me or mine.

    Deal?

    Somehow I suspect not… but I gotta try.

  5. Jeff Eyges Says:

    yeah OK,

    You really don’t think teaching children that the vast majority of human beings will be tormented unimaginably for all of eternity, while they sit in Jesus’ lap, pointing and laughing, is child abuse? You don’t think that damages them irreparably?

  6. WMDKitty Says:

    @JeffEyges — I agree. Though I’m not sure if the trauma was from the imagery of hellfire and torture, or the sheer boredom of sitting through Mass. Either way, it was a waste of my childhood.

    It’s not that Christians teach their kids the “wrong” things… okay, yes, yes… it IS, but only because those wrongheaded ideas have all been thoroughly debunked by science, and propagation of said ideas not only holds back society, but promotes fear and hate of the “other”, often culminating in crimes against the “other” by “good Christians” trying to “save” them.

  7. Jeff Eyges Says:

    …propagation of said ideas not only holds back society, but promotes fear and hate of the “other”, often culminating in crimes against the “other” by “good Christians” trying to “save” them.

    Even when it doesn’t, it still causes them to become damaged, fragmented adults whose capacity for forming lasting relationships is seriously compromised. Why get close to people if you’re going to lose them for eternity?

    Also – and I should have mentioned this before – most grow up paralyzed with fear over the state of their own salvation. This is the reason Pascal’s Wager has such power over them, why it seems eminently reasonable to them and why they can’t for the life of them understand why it doesn’t seem so to us.

  8. Ron Britton Says:

    Yeah OK:

    Do you always talk out of your ass, or just when you leave comments on blogs?

    Just because someone raises their kids Christian doesn’t make it abuse.

    Sure it does. I don’t know if it’s abuse in 100% of the cases, but it is abuse in quite a few cases. The intensity of the abuse varies from family to family. The extent of the damage can vary from child to child even within the same family.

    If it’s not abuse, then why are there so many religious-recovery support groups? You’ll find a partial list of them here.

    If it doesn’t repress emotions, then why is the United States, which is the most religious of the developed nations, the most socially retarded and backward in its mores? Why was two seconds of Janet Jackson’s nipple such a scandalous event? Why was Bill Clinton’s blow job an impeachable offense? We are a mentally ill population. Only the Taliban is more sexually repressed than we are.

    Your kind of thinking is exactly like what Christians used to believe about animists…. Is that what you have in mind for Christian kids? Compensating for your own cultural poverty (face it–you have it) by taking away their wealth?

    First of all, that cultural-poverty side-comment is an unsupported claim based on your own biases, prejudices, and ignorance.

    As to your main point, you are so typical of the mental midgets who come across this site for the first time, read one article, get offended, and then make up entire stories about my global agenda.

    Are you really so stupid that you think I’m advocating taking parents’ kids away from them and shipping them off to atheist re-education camps? Or is your argument so feeble that you have to resort to this straw man?

    Tell you what. Mind your own damn business…

    I am. I’m merrily minding my own business. I’m entitled to an opinion, though, and I have the right under the First Amendment to express that opinion. You came to my blog. You sought me out.

    Apparently “mind your own damn business” is great advice to give to an “offensive atheist” who never takes his dangerous opinions outside of his own blog, but you don’t have similar words for the various Christian churches who pollute our landscape with billboards and our airwaves with commercials telling us that we can’t be good without God. Telling us that we have to raise our children with religion, because “only religion can give them a moral foundation”.

    That is overt intrusion and intentional interference by those churches into my life and the life of my family. Where is you high-handed condemnation of that?

  9. godlizard Says:

    I read the most heart-wrenching account of religious abuse, from Daylight Atheism
    http://www.daylightatheism.org/2010/01/stigmata-scars.html
    Here’s a little taste:

    The sky was always falling. We were constantly under threat of demonic attack. We expected Armageddon to befall us at any moment. As children, these threats of annihilation all around us were all too real. Demons could murder you, rape you and torture you, psychologically or physically or sexually. The desire for the death and destruction of mankind permeated the doctrine. Of course, this theater of horrors was exacerbated and intensified by my father’s abuse and my mother’s deranged denial.

    The author, Sarah Braasch, is very clear on the subject: religious abuse is psychological abuse.

    Religious abuse exists. Religious abuse is real. Who knows how many unacknowledged walking wounded limp through early adult life, struggling to put themselves back together again. Of course, there are varying degrees and types of religious abuse, just as there are varying degrees and types of sexual and physical abuse. Religious abuse is a form of psychological abuse. As a society, we are loath to acknowledge this fact. We are loath to acknowledge that raising children in religion is abusive.

    But we need to admit it, it’s not just the children who die of an infection because their deluded parents insist on refusing antibiotics and praying over them, or the children who die during violent exorcisms who are victims.

    There is an unfortunate tendency in society to make allowances for religious abuse, to view the parents as well-intentioned and any ill-effects to be unfortunate tragedies. Religious intent is not an excuse, and it is not a mitigating factor.

    By nature I tend to be conciliatory and avoid conflict, but whenever that tendency strikes me, I’ll go back and read Sarah’s post again, and remind myself that it is unacceptable to sit quietly by while religious extremists torture their children.

  10. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Why get close to people if you’re going to lose them for eternity?

    Oh come on, Jeff. That’s just silly. Christians have just as many friends/family/relationships as anybody else. There’s no evidence that it leads to despair because a friend might go to hell when you think they won’t. That’s not to say they won’t try to convert you. But even that is pretty few and far between. Shit. I can’t remember the last time somebody (other than online) tried to ‘save’ me or pray for my soul.

    I certainly agree there are some abusive trends, but I don’t think we need to protray every Christian as eternally damaged. Clearly that is not the case as most people, of ALL faiths or lack thereof, are well adjusted, happy, productive people.

  11. Parrotlover77 Says:

    There is an unfortunate tendency in society to make allowances for religious abuse, to view the parents as well-intentioned and any ill-effects to be unfortunate tragedies. Religious intent is not an excuse, and it is not a mitigating factor.

    I agree that there religious abuse, it is a problem, and it needs more attention. That said, not every child in every religious family is psychologically abused.

    I was raised Christian, but I’ll be damned to say I was abused. There was never any fire and brimstone. It was just, it’s Sunday, let’s go to Church (a fairly progressive Methodist one), hang out with friends, go home. It was a pleasant and happy experience, except the boring 30 minute sermon (yea, kids love that part). When I reached the ripe age of 8 or 9, I was no longer forced (persay) to go to Church. I could go or not. No pressure. No pressure for anything. I got confirmed a few years later, and, again, it was pretty fun as I was with friends and family.

    I became agnostic, not due to abuse, or hatred of god, or for revenge. I lost faith because what the church told me just didn’t square up with reality. Eventually I realized, hey, all that is probably not true, so I’m not going to worry about it (just like the bus ad).

    So yea. As I’ve always said. Fundyism = bad, fight against it for the sake of the world. Religion = unnecessary, but not necessarily bad. Faith / ‘meaning of life philosophy’ = if it floats yer boat and doesn’t bother anybody else.

    So like kumbaya and all that.

  12. Ron Britton Says:

    PL:

    I was raised Christian, but I’ll be damned to say I was abused. There was never any fire and brimstone.

    I’m not saying that is the definition of abuse or that is required for abuse. I’m saying that most adults who were raised religious are carrying mental baggage because of it. Compare our “morality” to Europe. They’ve banned capital punishment. We revel in it. They don’t freak out if they see boobies. We do. They have a healthy attitude toward sex. We don’t.

  13. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Well, for God’s sake, PL, you’re essentially arguing against yourself. You were brought up in a liberal Methodist Church. You know as well as I do that the people we’re talking about wouldn’t have considered your parents to be Christians! And we aren’t portraying every Christian as “eternally damaged” (although I do think the underlying message as expressed by all but the most liberal clergy is essentially unwholesome) – just the conservative evangelicals/fundamentalists. I’ll also be the first to make these complaints about ultra-Orthodox Jews.

    You understand what’s going on here; you know the topic at hand, the demographic group we’re discussing – b/c it’s the same group we’re always discussing. You really know better than to make the statements above.

    I agree with Ron, and I stand by everything I said. It’s abuse, and it shouldn’t be tolerated.

  14. Ron Britton Says:

    I agree with Ron, and I stand by everything I said. It’s abuse, and it shouldn’t be tolerated.

    No. We have to tolerate it. Intervention is interference. I can stand on the sidelines and tell them they’re abusing their kids, but I can’t interfere in their parental rights unless they’ve crossed the line of egregiousness (Such as praying instead of providing medical care).

  15. godlizard Says:

    Yes, we have to tolerate it, even as we stand around talking about it using our “outside voices”. But talking about it helps, if only to raise awareness among those who work with children, to be alert for signs of this kind of psychologically abusive parent
    (example: http://failblog.org/2010/01/06/field-trip-fail/ )
    and provide support and a shoulder to cry on. NOT to interfere, just to listen and care.

  16. Jeff Eyges Says:

    No. We have to tolerate it. Intervention is interference. I can stand on the sidelines and tell them they’re abusing their kids, but I can’t interfere in their parental rights unless they’ve crossed the line of egregiousness (Such as praying instead of providing medical care).

    Oh. Well, I’ll interfere, then. I have no problem telling people what to do!

  17. Parrotlover77 Says:

    you know the topic at hand, the demographic group we’re discussing

    Jeff/Ron – My post was directed to godlizard, not you guys, that’s why I quoted. I just needed to clear the air that there are plenty of religious folks who, by any definition, are not psychologically abusing their kids! It should be fairly easy to differentiate a standard religious upbrining where a kid can eventually make decisions on his or her own and is free to say BULLSHIT versus an abusive YOU NEED TO FEAR GOD type of upbringing, but the waters seemed (to me) to be getting pretty muddy in this thread.

  18. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Well, the one above that was directed at me.

  19. ericsan Says:

    Parrotlover: I disagree with you. Teaching dogma to children corrupts their capacity to learn critical thinking and as such is grave abuse. All parents teaching religion to their children should be put in jail and reeducated.

  20. Ron Britton Says:

    Ericsan:

    I hope that last sentence was a joke. Do you really want to live in a society where the government has that much power? What’s to keep the government in control of the “correct” people? What if the fundies get ahold of power, and they get to decide who gets thrown into reeducation camps?

  21. ericsan Says:

    Ron, I’m offended you thought I was being serious! I thought the reeducation camp reference alone would be enough to make it obvious I was making a joke :(

  22. Syldoran Says:

    Poe’s Law, ericsan . . . Poe’s Law.

  23. Parrotlover77 Says:

    That’s a bit of a reverse Poe’s Law since ericsan was making a joke that atheists should be the one doing that.

    That’s the first time I’ve seen that. Disturbing.

  24. Gnostic Says:

    It isn’t Christianity – or any other religion – it is the take on it that is the problem. The idea of all caring about each other and there is some basic Principle that holds everything together and in a way IS everything is fine (and modern scientific, if not 19th century). Kids might find the abstraction hard so give it a name, call it ‘God’. Call the ‘spirit of Christmas’, that is generosity and ‘goodwill’ ‘Santa’ and make him a Disneyfied Woden (because the ‘real’ Father Christmas stuffs bad kids in his sack). Fine, that’s an image kids can understand better than abstractions. The problem is especially in the US, kindergarten is as far as their ‘spirituality’ ever got. They still see God and Santa as literal ‘people’ instead of representations of attitudes, whether they believe in them or not. They care far more about Genesis-as-history than about ‘Love thy neighbor’. THAT is the problem.