Atheist whining

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The president of the American Atheists organization, David Silverman, was given the label of an atheist whiner by the American woman Natalie Rothschild.[1] See also: Atheism and public relations

The biggest challenge facing atheist public relations efforts is that most theists do not think about atheism and would prefer not to as they see atheism as an unreasonable, arrogant and unattractive worldview. As a result, many atheist campaigns, particularly one's by militant atheists, are designed to be provocative which often backfires and has the unintended effect of further lowering the public's view of atheism/atheists (see: Views on atheists). [2] Consequently, various complaints lodged by atheists are often not well received.

Hate crimes in the United States against atheists/agnostics are very low in number

See also: Persecution of atheists and Atheist bullying

Atheist Tom Krattenmaker was quoted in Time magazine as saying about American atheists, "Even though we’re despised in some parts of the country and discriminated against in some ways, we don’t really get bullied or picked on. That makes it harder to gain sympathy for our views."[3]

According to a 2007 Pew Forum survey, about 4% of Americans are atheists/agnostics.[4] A 2008 Gallup poll showed that 6% of the U.S. population believed that no god or universal spirit exists.[5]

According to 2013 FBI statistics, 6/10 of a percent of hate crimes were against atheists/agnostics.[6][7]

Claims of being an oppressed minority by American atheists are often not taken seriously

In the United States, a significant amount of atheists are white males and the American atheist community has been criticized for its lack of racial diversity and lower amount of females in its population (Western atheism and race and Atheism and women). The Pew Research Forum reported in 2013 concerning American atheists: "About four-in-ten atheists (43%) have a college degree, compared with 29% of the general public."[8] In 2012, the Pew Research Forum reported regarding atheists in America: "And about 38% of atheists and agnostics have an annual family income of at least $75,000, compared with 29% of the general public."[9]

Dennis Prager is a vocal opponent of atheist indoctrination in public schools.[10]

Also, atheists within the United States have developed a reputation of uncharitableness as they gave far less to charities, even if church donations are not counted (see: Atheism and uncharitableness). As a result of these factors, claims of being an oppressed minority by atheists are often dismissed even by fellow atheists.[11]

In addition, given the favorable treatment atheist activists often receive in the media and the atheistic indoctrination that occurs in public schools/universities, the notion of atheists as an oppressed minority is often rejected by Americans.

For more information, please see: Claims of being an oppressed minority by American atheists are often not taken seriously.

Atheist whining and leftist identity politics

In areas of the Western World where theists are in the majority, atheists on the left end of the political spectrum, using the strategy of identity politics, have made various attempts to portray atheists as an oppressed minority, but this has not much lessoned the low opinion and/or antipathy many theists holds towards atheists for multiple reasons (see also: Views on atheists). See also: Atheism and public relations

As alluded to above, the atheist population in the United States is skewed towards white, atheist men in both adherents and positions of influence within the atheist community (see: Western atheism and race and Atheism and women). So it is difficult for atheists to portray themselves as an oppressed minority.

Token efforts to extend racial minorities leadership positions in atheist organizations

See also: Atheist hypocrisy

On October 9, 2014, the atheist Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson declared:

Despite frequent tokenistic calls for “diversity” within the “movement,” there are virtually no people of color in executive management positions in any of the major secular, atheist, or Humanist organizations —notable exceptions being Debbie Goddard of Center for Inquiry and Maggie Ardiente of American Humanist Association. People of color are constantly bombarded with claims of separatism, reverse discrimination, and “self-segregation” when they point to the absence of social justice, anti-racist community organizing, coalition-building, and visibility among secular organizations. After the Washington Post article, the vitriol and denialism among the “We are All Africans” white atheists was off the chain. This illustrates yet again that sticking a few of us on conference panels or secular boards is nothing but cheap appeasement.[12]

Atheism whining contrasted with atheist acts of oppression and the arrogance of many atheists

See also: Militant atheism and Atheism and intolerance

Joseph Stalin, the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953, patronised the League of Militant Atheists, whose chief aim, under the leadership of Yemelyan Yaroslavsky, was to propagate militant atheism and eradicate religion.[13][14]

Historically, atheists have often used oppressive governmental actions to promote their ideology/worldview (see: Militant atheism and Suppression of alternatives to evolution and Atheism and mass murder). In addition, atheists are not known for the empathy and charitableness (see: Atheism and uncharitableness). And in many cases atheists organizations have acted in a manner that displays an emotional tone deafness for the consequences it will have on public opinion (lawsuit to remove a grieving mother's roadside cross erected in memory of her late son who died in an accident, attempted removal of the World Trade Center cross, lawsuits to remove beloved community Christmas manger scenes, etc.).[15][16]

Furthermore, atheists have earned a reputation for arrogance, anger and quarrelsomeness (see: Atheism and arrogance and Atheism and anger and Atheism and social intelligence and Atheist factions).

In addition, atheism is seen as symptom of moral decay and atheists have often promoted and engaged in immorality (see: Atheism and morality and Moral failures of the atheist community and Atheism and hedonism).

Another problem the atheist community faces in terms of its public perception is its intellectual cowardice that first became noticeable within the Western World since the 1980s and has continued to the present (see: Atheism and cowardice and Creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates).

American reporter Natalie Rothschild irritated by atheist whining

The War on Christmas refers to the controversy surrounding the celebration or acknowledgment of the Christmas holiday in government, media, advertising and other secular environments.

On March 6, in an article entitled God save us from atheist whining, the reporter Natalie Rothschild wrote:

This idea that closet atheists need to be coaxed out into the open, and that they need to claim the right to rally together as proud non-believers, has become a central tenet of the ‘new atheist’ movement. The approach comes across as a curious blend of therapeutic thinking and fearmongering, and it is expressed with a kind of fervour that would not be altogether alien to the deeply devout. Silverman, for instance, believes that the Christian right ‘has unleashed an unparalleled slew of efforts aimed at Christianising the country’. The same kind of shrillness is heard among those religious people who imagine that atheists are tearing down the social fabric of America and are conducting a ‘war on religion’.

In an article outlining the importance of coming out, Silverman speaks of the ‘fear of rejection’, the ‘shame’ and the ‘mental and physical’ toll experienced by closet atheists. Admitting you’re a non-believer is, Silverman says, ‘the first step’, but he implores readers also to be ‘proud, open, honest’ atheists and not ‘another closeted victim of the Christian right’. The advice here reads like a 12-step programme for people recovering from religion. Rather than a positive clarion call for secular values, this is a self-help scheme for people who see themselves as traumatised abuse-victims.

But are Silverman’s sentiments even borne out by reality? Are atheists really a beleaguered minority in the US? Is it really a great taboo today to profess that you do not believe in God?

The so-called ‘new atheism’ movement has been headed up by esteemed writers like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens, and supported by famous people like Bill Maher, Tim Minchin and - unsurprisingly - the band Bad Religion. In other words, this is an outspoken crowd that does not need to cower in fear or meet behind closed doors. The Reason Rally will take place on the Mall, for god’s sake, on the doorsteps of the US political establishment.[17]

See also: Atheism and social outcasts

Mary Kochran's article at Belief.net declares that whiny atheists are pathetic

Richard Dawkins
The Oxford University Professor Daniel Came wrote to the agnostic and evolutionist Richard Dawkins:: "The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[18]

See also: Atheism and cowardice

In 2011, Belief.net reprinted a portion an essay written by the American Mary Kochran entitled You Whiny, Sniveling Little Atheists Are Pathetic which declared:

You whiny, sniveling, little, pusillanimous cowards. You have the audacity to tell us Christians that we are “weak” and that our religion is a “crutch.” You are supposed to be so “courageous,” venturing forth boldly into the existential mystery of being alone, facing with stoicism the nothingness that awaits you at death, priding yourself on your realism and self-reliance. You are a bunch of feeble fakers.

Yes, you are outsiders. Go start your own...country. This one was started by Christians... It is Christians who established and largely Christians who fought and died to maintain the freedoms you enjoy. And Christians are still the majority. Apparently your vaulted belief system doesn’t equip you to handle being in the minority. That’s interesting, isn’t it? After all, this was and is a societal situation valiantly handled by millions and millions of Christians who suffered — and currently suffer — real oppression, violence, torture, economic deprivation, and cruel deaths. But you have to go through turning off the TV once in a while and so your precious puny feelings are hurt. How delicate and frail your mental architecture is!

You are a pitiful joke. Trembling over the mere mention of God. Running like babies to court because of your brittle feelings. “Oh, but judge, but judge, I saw a cross and I just can’t stand it.” “I heard someone say ‘Merry Christmas’ and it hurt my feelings.” “I just can’t sleep knowing there is a manger scene at the courthouse.” “The sight of the Ten Commandments makes me wet my pants.”

Now we see how inadequate and feeble you really are. Rage, therapists say, is the flip side of helplessness. And so we see your rage against religion in the public square for what it is: a product of your own insubstantial internal resources. Go look at yourself in the mirror if you can bear the pathetic, contemptible sight of yourself.[19]

Poor comments of atheists at YouTube, blogs and other internet properties

See also: Atheism and profanity

Many times atheists use obscene language and engage in other forms of poor commentary at YouTube, blogs and other internet properties. As a result, their comments are often not published. A Barna Group study found that atheist are more likely to see obscene language as being acceptable behavior.[20]

The Christian apologist JP Holding wrote about this matter:

Two weeks back I did an entry on a “censorship crybaby” on YT and how he (and others there) misuse the word “censorship” to gain the sympathy of others like them who feel put upon because the quality of their commentary is recognized for being as poor as it is. The crybaby has “responded” with a vid of his own now, though to call it a “response” would be to misuse and insult that particular word by attributing to the vid he made a dignity that word bestows which is does not warrant. Serious commentators would hesitate to use the word “response” in their own vocabulary for the next ten thousand years if I did that.

Not surprisingly, in 25 minutes of production – which included about a minute and a half of “dead air” at the end of his vid – the crybaby ignored virtually all of my critical points, and refused to admit several errors of his own (such as the claim that my reference to Congress in the free speech clause was “disingenuous” because some people didn’t live in America – an argument all the more embarrassing from the crybaby, inasmuch as I showed that in his native UK, the equivalent freedom is phrased just the same). My challenge to report me to censorship organizations was ignored, though that is to be expected since the crybaby was forced to admit that I indeed was not practicing “censorship” (but, he said, it doesn’t matter, he doesn’t like what I’m doing anyway, so I should stop!).

At any rate, I decided it was not worth a vid response of my own, but that for the record, a Forge post would be adequate.

I had made a point about a private YT channel as equal to what is called a “special library” – generally, a private collection of materials devoted to a specific topic, within which censorship is virtually impossible. The crybaby responded with the inane observation that my channel couldn’t fit this description because it is “not a library” but “more like lectures.” The idiocy of this response is par for the course for this poor fellow, and it is not hard to see why he prefers to offer victim rhetoric (as noted in entry two weeks ago) rather than arguments. In reality, films, including filmed lectures, are just one example of the sort of media that would be collected in a library. Beyond that, of course, the crybaby ignored my many points about the qualities of a special library that also match a YT channel: Not funded by taxes, set up for a special purpose and select audience, etc.[21]

Atheism and the War on Christmas

See also: Atheism and Christmas and War on Christmas

Robert Small wrote in his American Thinker article entitled Self-Righteous Atheists Are Misguided Killjoys:

It's that time of year again. 'T'is the season to be jolly -- or, if you're an atheist activist, to throw a wet blanket over the holidays.

In California, long the birthplace of national trends, they succeeded in getting a federal judge to ban not only Nativity scenes, but also secular displays from Santa Monica's Palisades Park. Un-decking the public halls and squares is becoming our new national tradition, because equal-opportunity speech isn't good enough for self-righteous atheists. They won't rest until all remnants of our Judeo-Christian heritage are wiped clean from civic life in their quest for secular purity.[22]

Richard Dawkins whining about being bullied and muzzled by feminists

See also: Richard Dawkins' loss of influence

The Elevatorgate controversy and Richard Dawkins' commentary about Muslims has generated bad press and public relations problems for Dawkins.

Elevatorgate is a term commonly used to describe a scandal involving New Atheist Richard Dawkins' 2011 comments made to atheist Rebecca Watson which are perceived to have been inappropriate by a sizable portion of the atheist community and to the public at large.[23]

On June 20th, 2011, Rebecca Watson of Skepchick uploaded a YouTube video in which she complained about a man in an elevator asking her up to his room for coffee at an atheist conference in Dublin, Ireland.[24] The incident occurred at around 4am in the morning.[25] Watson was upset by this incident and subsequently blogged about it.

Dawkins commented about Watsons' incident in an insensitive way and was widely criticized for it. Richard Dawkins lost a very large amount of public influence after the incident (see: Richard Dawkins' loss of influence).

After the incident, rather than stoicly take his losses and/or vigrorously intellectually battle with feminists concerning points of disagreement, he whined about being bullied and muzzled by feminists.[26]

Specifically, after his Elevatorgate controversy, Richard Dawkins told a reporter:

“I don’t take back anything that I’ve said,” Dawkins said from a shady spot in the leafy backyard of one of his Bay Area supporters. “I would not say it again, however, because I am now accustomed to being misunderstood and so I will . “

He trailed off momentarily, gazing at his hands resting on a patio table.

“I feel muzzled, and a lot of other people do as well,” he continued. “There is a climate of bullying, a climate of intransigent thought police which is highly influential in the sense that it suppresses people like me.”

Recent criticism of Dawkins has come from women, many of them within the atheist movement, which has long drawn more men to its ranks. His online remarks, some women say, contribute to a climate they see as unwelcoming to female atheists...

“I concentrate my attention on that menace and I confess I occasionally get a little impatient with American women who complain of being inappropriately touched by the water cooler or invited for coffee or something which I think is, by comparison, relatively trivial,” he said.[27]

Christian patience, forgiveness and long-suffering towards atheists

See also: Christian patience, forgiveness and long-suffering towards atheists

Although it is not reported in the press often, due the press preferring to focus on controversy and conflict, as it garners more viewership/readers, many Christians quietly pray for atheists/agnostics - even those of the militant variety such as Richard Dawkins.[28] The late atheist Christopher Hitchens had many Christians praying for him before he passed away and they were saddened when he died.[29]

Richard Wurmbrand, who endured years of torture by an atheistic communist government and wrote the wrote the book Tortured for Christ, indicated that he had a compassion even for those who tortured him by "looking at men .. not as they are, but as they will be ... I could also see in our persecutors ... a future Apostle Paul ... (and) the jailer in Philippi who became a convert."[30]

Jesus Christ said pray for those who persecute you and love your enemies (Matthew 5:44).

See also

Humor:

External links

References

  1. God save us from atheist whining by Natalie Rothschild
  2. Brendan O'Neill, The Telegraph, How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet, August 14th, 2013
  3. 5 Challenges Atheists Face, Time magazine, Hemant Mehta/Patheos, April 24, 2015
  4. Pew Forum Religious Landscape Survey - Key findings
  5. Belief in God Far Lower in Western U.S. Gallup.com. Retrieved on 2012-02-05.
  6. 2013 FBI hate crime statistics
  7. Atheism: The Next Civil Rights movement, Vlad Chituc, The Daily Beast, 4-6-2015
  8. 5 facts about atheists By Michael Lipka, Pew Research Forum, October 23, 2013
  9. “Nones” on the Rise - Demographics, Pew Research Forum, October 9, 2012
  10. How atheism is being sold in America
  11. &Disliked, Not Oppressed By Paul Thornton, LA Times, April 18, 2007
  12. Atheism and social justice: Sikivu Hutchinson on the first People of Color Beyond Faith conference, Chris Stedman, Religious Service News, Oct 9, 2014
  13. Michael Hesemann, Whitley Strieber (2000). The Fatima Secret. Random House Digital, Inc.. Retrieved on 09 October 2011. “Lenin's death in 1924 was followed by the rise of Joseph Stalin, "the man of steel," who founded the "Union of Militant Atheists," whose chief aim was to spread atheism and eradicate religion. In the following years it devastated hundreds of churches, destroyed old icons and relics, and persecuted the clergy with unimaginable brutality.” 
  14. Paul D. Steeves (1989). Keeping the faiths: religion and ideology in the Soviet Union. Holmes & Meier. Retrieved on 04 July 2013. “The League of Militant Atheists was formed in 1926 and by 1930 had recruited three million members. Five years later there were 50,000 local groups affiliated to the League and the nominal membership had risen to five million. Children from 8-14 years of age were enrolled in Groups of Godless Youth, and the League of Communist Youth (Komsomol) took a vigorous anti- religious line. Several antireligious museums were opened in former churches and a number of Chairs of Atheism were established in Soviet universities. Prizes were offered for the best 'Godless hymns' and for alternative versions of the Bible from which ... the leader of the League of Militant Atheists, Yemelian Yaroslavsky, said: "When a priest is deprived of his congregation, that does not mean that he stops being a priest. He changes into an itinerant priest. He travels around with his primitive tools in the villages, performs religious rites, reads prayers, baptizes children. Such wandering priests are at times more dangerous than those who carry on their work at a designated place of residence." The intensified persecution, which was a part of the general terror inflicted upon Soviet society by Stalin's policy, ...” 
  15. Atheists Demand Grieving Mom Take Down Cross Remembering Her Son by David French, Christian Post, March 13, 2014
  16. http://articles.cnn.com/2011-07-26/us/new.york.wtc.cross_1_atheist-group-american-atheists-cross?_s=PM:US
  17. God save us from atheist whining by Natalie Rothschild
  18. Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, The Daily Telegraph, May 14, 2011
  19. Arizona to Wisconsin atheists: Quit whining!
  20. Atheism and morality
  21. Rebutting a Redundant and Ridiculous Rodent and His Ranting, Raving, and Railing
  22. Self-Righteous Atheists Are Misguided Killjoys by Robert Small, Amnerican Thinker
  23. About Mythbusters, Robot Eyes, Feminism, and Jokes
  24. About Mythbusters, Robot Eyes, Feminism, and Jokes
  25. Richard Dawkins stands by remarks on sexism, pedophilia, Down syndrome, by Kimberly Winston | Religion News Service November 18, 2014 and syndicated to the Washington Post
  26. Richard Dawkins stands by remarks on sexism, pedophilia, Down syndrome, by Kimberly Winston | Religion News Service November 18, 2014 and syndicated to the Washington Post
  27. Richard Dawkins upset that public doesn’t like him by Warren Nunn, Published by Creation Ministries International 13 May 2014 (GMT+10)
  28. Christians Grieve Death of Christopher Hitchens; Share Hopes for Deathbed Conversion by Eryn Sun, Christian Post Reporter, December 16, 2011
  29. dc Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs. Jesus Freaks: Stories of those who stood for Jesus: the ultimate Jesus Freaks. Bethany House Publishers, 1999, p. 67