More than a Quiverfull

In the video below, women thank Michelle Duggar for being such a great mom. Mrs. Duggar has 19 children. They are featured in the TLC reality TV series, 19 Kids and Counting.

The Quiverfull movement is a fringe patriarchal movement that believes in having more than six children so that they can be raised to be an army for God.

Quiverfull parents try to have upwards of six children. They home-school their families, attend fundamentalist churches and follow biblical guidelines of male headship — “Father knows best” — and female submissiveness. They refuse any attempt to regulate pregnancy. Quiverfull began with the publication of Rick and Jan Hess’s 1989 book, A Full Quiver: Family Planning and the Lordship of Christ, which argues that God, as the “Great Physician” and sole “Birth Controller,” opens and closes the womb on a case-by-case basis. Women’s attempts to control their own bodies — the Lord’s temple — are a seizure of divine power.

Thank You Michelle Duggar from Douglas Phillips on Vimeo.

An amazing tribute of gratitude to Michelle Duggar presented to her at The Baby Conference when she received the 2010 Mother of the Year Award.

Atheists are a lot of fun

I recently came across a blog post called, “Top 8 Reasons Atheists are No Fun.” It kind of aggravated me, so I thought I’d refute some of the stereotypes it made.

1. They are very demeaning to Christians

One thing you’ll quickly notice about adament atheists is how demeaning they are to Christians. They will call them idiots, morons, and mock their beliefs with vitriol. You simply don’t see this type of thing from the other way around though.

I can honestly say I have never done this. I know several other atheists who haven’t either. Much like Christians, those people on the extremes can’t have a rational discussions and name calling flies around rather quickly. I personally have had people tell me that I’m going to hell, that I am dumb for not believing in God, that I should be ashamed of myself and that they hope I’m happy that I’m going to rot in hell.

There are assholes in every race, creed, color, and ideology. Lumping everyone into one little box is stupid, no matter what side you’re on.

2. They always seem angry

Atheists always seem kind of pissed off. They have loads of hatred and scorn. Check out for example Penn Jillette. He is part of the comedy routine Penn and Teller. He spews hatred, completely unbridled. Atheists always seem to have a chip on their shoulder.

Okay, you got me here. I am angry a lot of the time, but this has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with life in general. I get angry about generalizations. Politicians piss me off. Stupid people piss me off. Arrogant people piss me off. I get very angry at the fact that I am one small person in the world who really has little to no control about helping the world, making the world a better place, or holding politicians accountable for the shit they say and do. Sometimes, I get angry at the justifications that religion tries to make over their actions in the world, such as the actions of the Catholic church over the past few thousand years towards pedophilia in their church.

I can’t ignore all this, however, and walk around like it’s a hunky-dory world, because it isn’t. And it sucks sometimes that I can’t turn it off.

Other atheists seem angry because they have to constantly repeat the same thing over and over. They are always asked for justifications and have to repeatedly dispel half-truths and outright lies.

3. Their “raison d’etre” seems to be to prove they are just as good as Christians morally

I’ve seen some pretty weak attempts by atheists to show they are just as morally good as Christians. They constantly have a need to prove themselves. But this attempt at overcompensation derives from their feelings of inferiority. Any atheist can stroll through any major city and notice that the vast majority of hospitals, schools, and other institutions of societal good come from people who believe in God. Faced with this stark realization, atheists go out of their way to prove they are “just as good”.

Atheists don’t care if they are morally superior or inferior to Christians. Sure, there are some that think this way, but there are also some Christians who think this way too. Any Christian can stroll through any major city and notice that the vast majority of hospitals, schools, and other institutions of societal good come from people who do not believe in God.

Atheists usually do these things because it is the right thing to do. They don’t fear a smack down from an almighty god that will punish them if they don’t do the right thing. They do it because the desire to help others is a basic human trait.

I have met many Christians who feel superior to me simply because they believe in god and go to church. This, somehow, puts them a notch up from me. These folks also feel free to sin all week because their sins are forgiven on Sunday. If that’s how they feel, so be it. At least I know up front that they’re a hypocrite. If I act as some Christians do, I’d have to live with that the rest of my life. I don’t get a forgiveness card from anyone.

Atheists do, however, wonder why they aren’t considered superior to many religions when religion has justified hatred towards others that believe differently, slavery, war, bigotry, racism, misogyny, torture, rape, pedophilia, etc. and, then, they realize that it’s because people are people. We are all the same, despite the fact that we have flaws.

4. They seem selfish

Because atheists see themselves as the greatest thing in the universe, they become rather selfish. Morals are self-derived. If something feels good to them or benefits them, then it’s good, otherwise it’s bad. If there is no God, humans are the highest form of existence, and atheists would place their own personal existence above others. Atheists do not want to sacrifice for the greater good, but rather want to revel in sensual pleasures.

I am not the greatest thing in the universe. I am only a tiny speck in the universe and, quite frankly, the universe could give a shit about my existence. I don’t do things because they benefit me or because it makes me feel good. One only needs to take a closer look at the world and you will see many atheists who sacrifice for the greater good, even at the cost of their lives. It has nothing to do with feelings. The original author thinks that atheists seem selfish. This is a personal opinion of a feeling and not based on facts.

The question should be, why do Christians give money to charity? Are they doing it because it makes them feel good? Do they do it because god is watching and they’re supposed to do it? Do they want to genuinely want to help their fellow man? What are their reasons?

5. They try to remove faith but it seems like a pointless activity

This is really a two parter, so let’s deal with it that way.

Why would atheists spend so much time and energy trying to eradicate faith. Mao, Stalin, and others did the same when they suppressed religion in the name of atheism, and we can see the terrible results there.

Atheists spend much of their time trying to explain why they don’t believe because those that do believe do not want to listen. Atheists would rather deal with facts rather than revisionist history. Just because Mao and Stalin were atheists doesn’t mean they were murderous dictators because they were atheists. Please stop dispelling this myth [] . It’s tiring having to repeat over and over what the truth is.

Christians should be careful to throw this out as it is difficult for them to defend, especially in light of the Inquisition and the Crusades.

If they believe people are following a “fairy tale” like the toothfairy or Santa Claus, then what harm is that? If these fairy tales makes the person more generous, kind, loving, and selfless, why bother removing this faith? Why don’t atheists spend as much time promoting lack of belief in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny to children as they do to eradicating faith?

Atheists generally don’t teach their children about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. They believe that it is a fairy tale and disingenuous to teach children falsehoods. If your belief in these things and/or the Bible or Koran are the only things that make you more generous, kind, loving, and selfless, then aren’t you just as guilty as what you accuse atheists of? An atheist is generous, kind, loving, and selfless because it is the right, human thing to do. If your religion is the only thing preventing you from being an outright jackass, then maybe the problem is with you and your religion.

We’ve also already lived through the Dark Ages. I don’t want to go back to a time where religion dictates everything. That’s the harm in believing in things that don’t exist.

6. Atheism makes the world a cold, heartless place

Atheism presents a very darwinian view of the world. Survival of the fittest. Atheists tend to attribute all their good fortunes to their own effort and see those they deem inferior to them as not as valuable. It becomes everyone for himself, and all this makes the world a cold and heartless place.

This is so far from the truth, it’s almost mind boggling that someone would believe this. As an atheist, I value all life, particularly because this is the only life we get. No one is inferior to me. Every life on this planet is valuable to me. I have traveled quite a lot in my short life and the only place I have seen that has been cold and heartless so far is the Vatican. Vatican City is extremely wealthy, yet the three times I have been there I have seen guards pushing homeless people out of the way because they are a “distraction” to the tourists. If Christians are so warm, why is this acceptable? Why haven’t Catholics left the church in response to abusive priests? Why don’t they demand that these priests be held accountable? How are these actions not considered cold and heartless?

My good fortune is my own effort. I got my job from my own volition. I purchase the goods and services I like and want because I take responsibility with my money and only obtain what I can afford. I don’t sit and hope that someone will give me what I want. I need to earn it. Otherwise, I’m just being lazy in expecting things to be given to me.

7. When everything is about science, people are reduced in value

Without our belief in a creator, atheists tend to view everything from the point of view of chemistry, biology, evolution, etc. People are no more special than a trout. They are just two different species. God didn’t create us in a special way. We are all just accidents in a cold universe. Therefore those who are deemed “unsuitable” are no longer owed any special treat. The elderly, handicapped, and otherwise challenged individuals are easily seen as cosmic mistakes. This reduces the value of all humanity.

Seriously? How many atheists do you know that believe and act this way? If this were true, then I dare you to go to France and speak to those hundreds of thousands that protested against cutting benefits for the elderly. You will find many of them were atheists. I used to work with a handicapped boy. A born-again christian wife and husband adopted him. They reminded him often that he was going to die before he was twenty and how much lesser of a person he was because of his muscular dystrophy. These people were hypocritical in their actions every day. Tell me again how it’s only atheists who don’t care about life.

8. They lack in charity and use profanity

Atheists have no aversion to using profanity and vulgarity to make their point. Holding nothing sacred, they see blasphemy as a joke. Lacking charity, they feel they can express their opinion in any way they see fit, no matter how offensive. They see their behavior as “tough love” and denounce those who raise issues with their behavior as “softies”.

Again, these are just the fringe people at the extremes. Just like the Westboro Baptist Church is not representative of all Christians, neither are people that enjoy putting others down. I can also attest to Christians who behave this way. While they did not swear, they found every opportunity to put others down. Their opinion was right and it was just “too bad” if you didn’t want to hear it. Where I live now, Christians are especially brutal to Native Americans and Mexicans. I won’t repeat some of what they say, but I’m sure you can imagine it.

The entire post from “Catholicisism for Everyone” states in its very first post that atheists are demeaning towards Christians and then proceeds to show how Christians are demeaning towards atheists. There is no attempt to gather facts or even get to know an atheist or how they really think. The post if full of generalizations to further their already preconceived beliefs. If an atheist truly does demean a Christian, remember, they’re a human being just like you. No one is perfect. There are jerks everywhere, including in Christianity. Generalizations only help to separate one from another and never bring people together.

Atheism is simply a lack of belief in a deity. Please, hang out with a few. We’re a lot of fun. Really.

Pat Condell’s hate mail – dramatised

Outspoken youtube atheist Pat Condell receives some pretty crazy hate mail. In this video, an actor reads some of it. Not suitable for children or anyone offended by strong language.

After listening to this, I am hard pressed to find the statement that Christians are loving, moral people believable. Sadly, I find this type of behavior all too often on the internet from religious people.

American Crusaders

This is a documentary about the post-911 rise of extremist Christianity in America with a disturbing look at proselytizing in the US military. The two videos are around 50 minutes long in total and are originally from Russia Today. The website, God Discussion, tried to summarize them so it’s easier to skip around if that’s what you like.  Read their summary here.

PART 1 of 2

PART 2 of 2