Militant Bullshit

A few weeks ago, there was a commotion downtown. Heavily armed Police swarmed the area close to the main station; roads were blocked, and sirens were blaring.

Onlookers kept their distance to the cordoned-off area and speculated about what was going on. Due to the proximity to the main station, many thought it was a terrorist attack – after all, ISIS had just threatened exactly that. Others supposed a demonstration of some other militant group – Salafists, Separatists, or Fascists – gone awry. Or perhaps some gangsters had robbed one of the many banks located at the Banhofstrasse?

There were a million different theories flying about – many of them laughably wild. I particularly liked the idea that perhaps irate bee farmers let loose a swarm of hornets (Swiss government had just struck down a proposed bill to support ailing bee farmers).

But as exotic and outlandish these theories were, no-one ever voiced a particular notion: that perhaps militant atheists were to blame.

There’s a reason for that. Everyone knows that there is no such thing as a militant atheist, at least not in the true meaning of the word ‘militant’. That is why, after a bomb blast, an attack on a group of people, or some other violent crime, no police resources are diverted to gather evidence against atheists, no security forces are sent out to round up known atheists, and no DA ever thinks about investigating militant atheists.

‘Militant Atheist’ is just a phrase dishonest people use to shift blame, to demonize atheists and to make perpetrators out of victims. It’s one of the few surefire tell-tales to identify a religious demagogue.

Oh – the commotion? A large-scale exercise. So what did they rehearse?

Well, certainly not evacuation procedures for when militant atheists attack.

Neal Larson: Moran

Neal Larson is angry at ‘militant atheists’. Why? It’s not entirely clear, but after carefully reading his ‘Militant Atheism Rears its Ugly Head‘, I conclude it’s because these terrible, ungodly people dare to speak up for themselves.

Since we should never assume malice where simple incompetence suffices, let’s be kind and assume that Neal really lost his marbles writing this.

First, he flat out states that he

would refuse to vote for a proud and vocal atheist for high office, regardless of any offsetting credentials.

But he would vote for proud and vocal theists who flaunt their faith – who make a show of going to church, and make it a point to use phrases like under god during allegiance, …so help me god for their oath, or finish their speeches with God bless America. Because double standards are a sign of healthy morals, right? I guess his regardless of any offsetting credentials is the cherry on top to underscore his open-mindedness.

He then unintentionally proves that he doesn’t know the difference between private and official roles, claiming that a school official who leads everyone into prayer over the intercom is merely someone who privately affirms their faith. A little later he bemoans the fact that many Americans are falling prey to political hyper-correctness, who then outlaw phrases like ‘bless you’. Doing that would indeed be silly – but it is in no way something that Atheists would demand. It’s what religious people do because they erroneously believe that saying ‘bless you’ would offend Atheists. It doesn’t. And here’s a hint: we don’t mind people saying ‘merry Christmas’ either. We know how to interpret kindness, thank you very much.

But those are only small fry. Neal goes full-on Moran with this:

While atheists are certainly capable of doing good works, those good works are not inspired by an absence of belief in God. How could they be? If atheists do good, it is in spite of – not because of – their atheism, so let’s stop acting like not believing is just another super awesome way of believing.

Can you be more condescending while spouting world-class stupidity? His complacent ‘How could they be?’ alone is weapons-grade stupid, merely underscoring the fact that Neal has skipped Ethics 101. So he’s never heard of Euthyphro – his (rather obvious) loss. But to really kick this into a universe of stupidity of it’s own is to accuse Atheists that they believe Atheism to be a religion. Not understanding non-belief is one thing. But confidently stating an idiocy of this magnitude is really asking for it.

He then whips himself into a truly righteous anger, condemning the activities of some atheists:

Particularly insidious are the atheists who get a sense of satisfaction eroding the faith of others and behave as though it is a favor to rattle another’s belief in a higher power.

Although I, too, have qualms about ‘proselytizing’ Atheists, I would like to pose the following two questions to Neal:

  1. Do you think that Christian missionaries are equally reprehensible?
  2. How do you define the word hypocrisy?

At the end of his text, Neal forgoes the classic ‘Hitler’ argument (which I was expecting), likening atheists to jihadists instead:

I think we could all be more tolerant of unintrusive atheism, because who doesn’t have doubts? But let’s separate them from the purveyors and jihadists of Godlessness

It requires an extraordinary level of incompetence – or, ideed, malice – in times of daily beheadings, rape and torture by jihadist ISIS and militant believers who kill for their god, to use either term in conjunction with atheists who until today have never killed, tortured or raped anyone in the name of unbelief.

What a piece of self-important, hypocritical, holier-than-thou drivel. It’s difficult to believe someone can be that incompetent.

Write less, think more, Neal.

Moral Midget

Turkish deputy PM Bülent Arınç has shown that the qualifications for his current job do not include intelligence. In a public speech during an Eid el-Fitr celebration, he said:

Chastity is of critical importance.

Why? No reason, except that Arınç thinks chastity is an ornament. Why are ornaments of critical importance? Apparently, they just are.

Then he goes completely off the rails

[A woman] will know what is haram and not haram. She will not laugh in public.

Am I the only one who thinks that it does not bode well for your country if your own Number Two Official thinks that half of your country should not be laughing in public? This guy really needs to lighten up.

Now cue the world’s tiniest violin as Arınç continues

Where are our girls, who slightly blush, lower their heads and turn their eyes away when we look at their face, becoming the symbol of chastity

They never existed except in your backward, misogynistic fantasy, Number Two. If women flinch when you look at them it is because they are afraid you’ll hurt them. If that’s what gets your juices flowing, book the next professional submissive who is willing to take you; let women express their joy in any way they damn well please, and expect them to meet your gaze levelly. Anything else is a sign that something is wrong.

Another sign that morals are decaying is, according to moral expert Arinç the fact that

Women give each other meal recipes while speaking on the mobile phone.

Well, I agree that I feel inconvenienced when someone in a tram next to me exchanges a recipe. Truth be told, though, I much prefer that to the average guy who gives a point-by-point account of his latest (and completely made up) conquest. Yet Arınç seems to be OK with that – it’s women who should shut up in public.

When do moral ignoramuses get it that sex, appearance, public expression, and, of all things, open displays of happiness have nothing to do with morals? What is wrong with you?

And this guy was elected?

Good God…?


If you know the Ten Commandments, you know this one:

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor

This is, of course, part of Christian doctrine – and if you are to believe the, uh, believers – an absolute. Don’t lie, period. No weaseling around, right?


What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church… a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.

In light of above reasoning, it should be no wonder if the church got angry at such blatant sophistry. They would rightly denounce it as ‘relativism’, when clear-cut commands are intentionally undermined by smart-assed equivocating, trying to evade the issue. What will the world come to if any half-decent atheistic schmuck with a softcopy of ‘Hitchslapped’ can bang out an excuse for lying?

Except, of course, that above relativistic doublespeak comes from none other than one of Christianity’s (well, the Protestants, anyway) most revered priests: Martin Luther (not Dr. King).

It wasn’t Stephen Colbert who invented ‘truthiness’ – it was Luther; the church has long since mastered it’s use. Colbert only gave it a much deserved name.

Before, it was called quod licet iovi, non licet bovi

Christian Rights

A few days ago, I stupidly wrote in Militant Stupidity that

Most importantly, though, there are no longer religious rights – i.e. special rights attained only through adherence to a particular religion – in the UK.

And boy, was I wrong. Not in that it shouldn’t be that way, but wrong because I failed to see that obviously, in the UK, as in most other european countries, this unfortunately is not true.

In the UK there actually are some religious rights. For the sake of clarity, with religious rights I mean special rights that you can only claim when you say that you have a certain religious belief. In addition to the fact that it breaks the ‘one law for all’ principle, religious laws have another peculiar property: There is no actual way to prove that you are a believer – you can fake belief as easily as a religion can fake their god. There is no way to prove a negative. This alone should be grounds to immediately deep-six those paragraphs, but I digress.

Anyway, there are two important religious laws in the UK that apply only to self-proclaimed religious people, and they are:

  • you must be a Christian (rather: Church of England-brand Christian) or you cannot become King/Queen of England. Since you must also have a direct blood line to the throne, few people will ever come in conflict with this silly law.
  • Members of the Roman Catholic Christian Belief, and more to point, their Organization, are exempt from a lot of important laws: The non-discrimination acts against women, gays, and people of certain marital status.

Therefore, being a Christian in the UK does indeed engender special privileges; some privileges even allow you to act in ways that would immediately land you in hot water if you weren’t religious – without adding any new responsibilities. How nice is that!

So yes, the UK does have religious rights. How silly of me to have gotten this wrong. Seeing how the US have just screwed their women over the same issue, my oversight is doubly embarrassing.

For the record, I should have said:

Most importantly, though, there should never be religious rights – special rights that apply only to people who claim to adhere to a particular religion – in the UK.

Sorry about that.

Saudi Korea

If there is one hypocrisy greater than religion, it is the western ‘friendship’ with Saudi Arabia. Not only has the Saudi King gone on record in front of the UN assembly that human rights are alien to him – which the UN recognized by appointing Saudi Arabia a seat at the UN Human Rights Council – it’s a matter of public record that in Saudi Arabia women are subjugated and homosexuals are persecuted.

Doing no-one – especially not moderate muslims – a favor, the King, taking a page from the Spanish Inquisition, now has redefined terrorism as

calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based

You read that right. In Saudi Arabia it is now considered an act of terror if you call into question a superstition – while traditional tell-tales or terror, like for example, using violence to induce fear in the populace, are absent from that definition. Somehow fitting for a state religion that has a lamentable reputation of doing just that.

What bothers me most: the moral mendacity of governments that make a distinction between Saudi Arabia and North Korea.