From the Dept of "I'd Rather Be...," Atheism Rulz Ed.
Grandpa probably had a million sayings that sum up my feelings about a tossaway line in this post. "I'd rather be dead than a slave," and "shit or get off the pot," and "god hates cowardice" come to mind. I suppose I understand some of the arguments in favor of agnosticism over atheism (or belief), but they've never held my attention for too long, except for one (I just don't care). But if you do care about "the religion question" and you do think it's important to be informed and accurate, this kind of shit has got to stop:
As I've said, I'm not a huge fan of Dawkins' work in this field but the difference between writing mean books and killing people is pretty clear.
Any excuse to kick a proud, public atheist to score those 'moderate' and 'Serious' beltway creds, eh Matt? I don't know what else he's said about Dawkins, or if he's read his work, but one of Matt's readers sums it up perfectly:
Matt, you couldn't be more off-base about Dawkins. He is committed to rationalism and free thought. To say he is "mean" is like saying scientists are "mean" for teaching evolution and not creationism. You may think you are being a big, inclusive liberal by attacking those who are so mean as to point out facts, but you are just letting the fringiest of the nutcases dictate the debate.
I liked this one too,
Yeah, what do you have against Dawkins? Why do you feel compelled to issue the disclaimer? Dawkins doesn't want to ban anything, he just wants to persuade people by means of reason. Religious people get offended when atheists dare to point out the absurdity of religious belief, but they think it's perfectly okay to for them to proselytize.
I don't know if you're religious or not, but show some courage -- you don't have to distance yourself from Richard Dawkins in order to decry the idiocy of the "Reverend" Gomes (who I do not revere).
One of the reasons I'm so militant about my atheism is because I realize how many people will never pass up a chance to shit on me because of it, and rather than be passive about that I'd rather force people to do so admittedly and recognize that I am not in fear of them. I know that even some "progressive" people are deeply afraid of the idea that I have the same right as Hucksterbee to bring my perspective into the public square. That is one of the bigger weaknesses of our side; we've still not unlearned the habit of needing someone to blame, to pick on when things get tough, to distract us from the real solutions to all our problems. So atheists still sit in the back of the progressive bus.
Anyway, I just wanted to express my disgust with yet another important writer failing to be truly progressive on a crucial issue. Go ahead, be intellectually lazy and cowardly if you want, that mushy middle is a warm and soft place. But brave people know, there really is a War on Christmas, and if you're going to take part in it, you've got to choose a side. Otherwise, your contribution isn't really meaningful.