Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Fox and Friends" Snipes at Atheists

The American Humanist Association (AHA) has launched a holiday advertising campaign, with ads in major newspapers and posters on Washington, DC buses proclaiming, "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake."

AHA spokesman Fred Edwords told the Associated Press, "Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of nontheists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion."

The hosts of Fox and Friends naturally saw this as something to snipe at. Brian Kilmeade found it particularly hilarious and offered a variety of possible slogans to promote sympathy for the feelings of lonely atheists.

He began with, "A lot of times during the holidays, we don't think enough about people who don't think enough about the holidays."

He then offered, "There's nobody's birth to celebrate, so give an atheist a hug."

His third suggestion was that "atheists should get together and not celebrate all at once."

But the accumulated paradoxes finally made Kilmeade's head explode. "I really don't understand this story," he expostulated. "I don't understand the campaign. They don't want -- leave them alone!"


As an atheist, I do not feel left out of Christmas. I celebrate the season with my family and friends as the non-religious holiday it mostly has become.

If you're interested, here is the information on the holiday campaign from the American Humanist Association.

14 comments:

Ceroill said...

Perhaps this is the place to post the lyrics to Walt Kelly's parody of "Deck the Halls".

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla, Wash, and Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley, Swaller dollar cauliflower Alleygaroo!

Don't we know archaic barrel, Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou.
Trolley Molly don't love Harold, Boola Boola Pensacoola Hullabaloo!

Bark us all bow-wows of folly, Polly wolly cracker n too-da-loo!
Donkey Bonny brays a carol, Antelope cantaloup, 'lope with you!

Hunky Dory's pop is lolly gaggin' on the wagon, Willy, folly go through!
Chollie's collie barks at Barrow, Harum scarum five alarum bung-a-loo!

Duck us all in bowls of barley, Ninky dinky dink an' polly voo!
Chilly Filly's name is Chollie, Chollie Filly's jolly chilly view halloo!

Bark us all bow-wows of folly, Double-bubble, toyland trouble! Woof, Woof, Woof!
Tizzy seas on melon collie! Dibble-dabble, scribble-scrabble! Goof, Goof, Goof!

csm said...

All I have to say in reply is: We have met the enemy and he is us!

Ceroill said...

Here's a question that occurs to me every year about this time. If Christians are so convinced that theirs is the only true religion, and are secure in their faith, then why are they so upset with other expressions of faith, or with none? Shouldn't it just roll off their backs as unimportant?

csm said...

Well, Bob, I suppose the answer to that question is all over the map and depends a lot on the individual. I think there are many who are insecure, as you seem to be implying. I think also, that there are some who are busy bodies and just cannot accept that others do not believe and have to try to "save the souls" of the non-believers. Some probably feel attacked - but that is nucking futs - I mean xians are in the majority here and no one is trying to make them stop praying or worshiping their invisible sky daddy. And then there are those that are just fucking annoying.

Any category I missed?

BAWDYSCOT said...

Yeah, the fundamentalist. These are the people who think they are 100% correct leaving behind the notion that if you have faith there has to be a kernel of doubt. A kernel of doubt is inherent in the definition of faith in anything, not just religion.

Verification word: untan

coreydbarbarian said...

csm: "Some probably feel attacked"...
bawdy: "the fundamentalist"...

from my understanding, christian fundamentalism is rooted in the fear of annihilation. this cannot be overstated: fear is the foundation of fundamentalism, be it jewish, muslim or christian.

to make sense of this, consider the enlightenment period of 1680 - 1800-ish. science was elevated to its current level of prestige, and religious fanaticism demonized. ever since, religions have felt "attacked".

in the case of christian fundamentalism, the scopes "monkey" trial (1925) added further indignation to an already beleaguered minority. after scopes, christian fundamentalists went underground, creating a counter-culture and identity all its own, but defined by their fear of annihilation.

the sad part is that fundamentalists only make up about 1/4th of american christianity. and i'm pretty certain their attitudes & practices are reviled by the majority of christians, too.

sorry to sound like a know-it-all. may i once again recommend karen armstrong's "the battle for god" (2000)? she explains it all much better than i could.

p.s. sorry i haven't been contributing lately, guys. i'm driving a truck full-time now, thanks to this economic fustercluck we're in. but hey, i'm working again, so that's a good thing. :)

coreydbarbarian said...

loved the pogo references, btw. :D

csm said...

Hey Corey, if you drive thru Sugar Land, TX honk your horn, maybe I'll hear it, think of you, and smile!

G said...

coreyd,

I'm going to disagree with you about the roots of fundamentalism. But I have a feeling it is because your definition of "fundamentalist" (and there are a handful of different definitions used) is different than the one commonly accepted.

Christian fundamentalism's roots are in the late 19th & early 20th centuries. It was (and in general, remains) a movement within the church that firmly holds to the "fundamentals" of Christianity. In particular, fundamentalists are those Christians who hold to the inspiration & inerrancy of the Bible, the virgin birth, the atoning death of Jesus Christ, His resurrection, and salvation by grace through faith.

The "movement" began as a response to the growing liberalism in some corners of the church and "higher criticism" from the German theologians. It had nothing to do with fear of annihilation.

Even though the "movement" began only a century ago, it wasn't actually anything "new." The purpose was to hold fast to the traditional, orthodox, protestant Christianity that had been the norm for hundreds of years (and which was, in itself, a movement to go back to the traditional, orthodox Christianity of the first two centuries).

coreydbarbarian said...

oh, g.

i'm going to be very brief; just got home from a short haul, and i've got to be back on the road in eight hrs.

so..

we are working from the same definition. i recognize that the fundamentalist movement took its first "baby steps" with the publication of the pamphlets known as the fundamentals very early into the 20th century. and it was most definitely a response to liberal christians and the german higher criticism. i think the missing link here is that the trend toward a liberal christianity and the higher criticisms themselves were brought about by the enlightenment.

to clarify one point: when referencing annihilation, it should be interpreted as the annihilation of their faith and way of life, not strictly their physical beings.

and i must disagree with you on fundamentalism being nothing new. i do see your point, but...how do i say this?...the enlightenment elevated reason above myth, logos above mythos. (and i don't use the term myth in a derogative fashion; i value it highly as a source of deeper truth).

like i said, you've got to read "the battle for god". it's a wonderful (if dry) historical overview, from 1492 to 2000.

i'll tell ya what, g. email me at barbariansforhigherlearning@yahoo.com and i will gladly mail you my copy of the book to the address of your choosing. it's the least i can do for a friend. :)

coreydbarbarian said...

ok. this has been bugging me since i laid down last night.
i started to make a point in my last post, then forgot to finish the point. please allow me to finish the thought.

i started with, "and i must disagree with you on fundamentalism being nothing new. i do see your point, but...how do i say this?...the enlightenment elevated reason above myth, logos above mythos. (and i don't use the term myth in a derogative fashion; i value it highly as a source of deeper truth)."

now, since the enlightenment actually changed our mode & method of thought, it follows that modern religious movements are also changed in this modern era. one example of this can be found in protestant fundamentalism: today's reader interprets the bible in a much more literal & rational way than folks did before. with a premodern spirituality, the approach employed was much more mystical, allegorical. it would be a mistake to apply today's interpretive methods to documents of antiquity, be they biblical or not.

to quote karen armstrong, "Fundamentalists have turned the mythos of their religion into logos, either by insisting that their dogmas are scientifically true, or by transforming their complex mythology into a streamlined ideology. They have thus conflated two complementary sources and styles of knowledge which the people in the premodern world had usually decided it was wise to keep separate. The fundamentalist experience shows the truth of this conservative insight. By insisting that the truths of Christianity are factual and scientifically demonstratable, American Protestant fundamentalists have created a caricature of both religion and science." p. 366

gotta run, but i hope that fleshed out my point a little bit better than before. cheers!

coreydbarbarian said...

hey csm!

didn't mean to ignore ya b4. just got caught up in my train o' thought.

my new job won't really take me out of the indiana / michigan / ohio realm, but i found a suitable compromise to your request today:

i'm honking at ya everytime i drive past a texas roadhouse restaurant or past anything with sugar in the name (ex: sugargrove church). i laugh, folks flip me the bird, and i send "good vibes" in your direction. does that work for you?

if i ever get back down to texas, i'll honk atcha for really-real, but that might be a long while, because all my exes live in texas, ya know. ;)

csm said...

It actually warms the cockles of my heart (wherever those may be) that you are honking in my name and pissing people off... keep up the good work, my friend.

csm said...

Hey Corey, I'm in Novi, Michigan for a night on business. If I hear a truck horn tonight I'll believe it is you (whether it actually is or not is unimportant)!