Yes to the Snarkiness! December 15, 2007

Yes to the Snarkiness!

This letter-to-the-editor just reeks of sarcasm.

I love it 🙂

The headline’s nice, too.

“How to avoid atheists”:

In her Dec. 7 letter, “Beware of book,” Kathy Momic tells us that children should be protected against atheism.

She probably isn’t acquainted with an atheist but “knows” that atheists are possessed by the devil, don’t know right from wrong and don’t believe in anything.

There are certain precautions she can take to protect herself and her children from these agents of Lucifer.

She could join an organization that does not admit atheists, e.g., the Ku Klux Klan, the Mafia, Christian militia groups. She could join a God-fearing terrorist group that blows up abortion clinics and high-rise buildings (Oklahoma City, World Trade Center); or she could restrict her friends to those spewing venomous hate upon individuals the Bible says should be put to death, e.g., non-believers and homosexuals.

To be on the safe side, there are havens of atheism that she should avoid: Ivy League universities; the Nobel laureate laden National Academy of Sciences; organizations concerned with the environment or civil rights; and Scandinavia, where the percentage of atheists is at least three times that of the United States.

She should stay in the Bible Belt with the highest religiosity (and highest violent crime rate) in the country.

The absurdity of religious myopia was exemplified after the 1997 school shootings in Paducha, Ky. In defense of the young killer who somebody called “godless,” his pastor at the Lutheran Church said, “Michael Carnael is a Christian. He’s a sinner, yes, but not an atheist.”

I wonder if that made his victims less dead or the crime less wrong.

David N. Miles

Orange Beach

[tags]atheism, atheist[/tags]

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  • I wrote about the “Axial Tilt is the Reason for the Season” gag, saying some “Snarky Fellow” created it. My mom writes a comment, “What does snarky mean?” And I get the chance to write back, “Rudely sarcastic or snide.”

  • Vincent

    I went to an Ivy League university and it was not a haven for atheists.
    Perhaps more tolerant, but it had an official university chapel. Heck, Harvard (where I did not go) has a freakin’ Divinity School.

  • Billy (A Liberal Disabled Vet)

    She could try hanging out with our local republican party for the county. Or at a mega church. Of course, with all the drinking, whoring, gay sex in the bathrooms, and election rigging going on, who has time to check for atheists?

  • I went to Marquette, a Jesuit University (also, not an Ivy League university), and there was still an abudance of atheists. Most of the tenured professors were clearly atheists; they couldn’t come right out and say it, but they weren’t all that subtle in promoting reason over everything else (often challenging “faith statements” by asking for a logical defense) and exposing the lies of the Church.

    Also, where is the push to protect kids from religion? That would make much more sense.

  • “Snarky” isn’t necessarily rude …. but snide, definitely.

    And, yes, that letter is aboslutely fantastic. Many thumbs up.

  • Stephen

    Good letter. Gets his point across without being too vitriolic. Of course, you can’t turn off the vitriol completely when you’re dealing with intolerant jerks.

  • The Unbrainwashed

    I just graduated from an Ivy League school as well. I was somewhat surprised at the amount of religiosity at the school, especially given how liberals tended to dominate the political landscape (I didn’t go Brown though). Even one of my professors, as fundamentalist as they come, has written articles in favor of intelligent design (ironically, he’s also my favorite professor despite my thinking he’s insane). The campus atheist society was brimming full with 8 members and disbanded after my first two years there.

    However, I do think religion was viewed more critically than at less prestigious universities. In one of my discussion sections last year, intelligent design and paranormal research were openly mocked. So I assume there’s a balance. It’s often the case at universities that the loudest people are assumed to be the majority. Religious people are obvious, they have campus crusade, services, chaplains, and other shit. Atheists tend to be quiet and thus more difficult to detect on a college campus. I assume that was the case at my university.

    I also found a study from the 50’s i think, that showed better universities have lower instances of god-belief.

  • Mriana

    She probably isn’t acquainted with an atheist but “knows” that atheists are possessed by the devil, don’t know right from wrong and don’t believe in anything.

    UNBELIEVABLE rubbish! Of course, I think that was his point as I read the rest of it. Unfortunately, there really are people who think like this and it’s sad. 🙁

  • Richard Wade

    No to the Sloppiness

    I can’t find any way to access the Dec. 7 letter at Times that David Miles is rebutting. Does anybody know how?

    Without that access, this post is not fair to Kathy Momic and not fair to us. It’s sloppy. I probably would disagree with her but I don’t get a chance to decide for myself. I only have David Miles’ characterization of it. We don’t know if Miles is quoting, paraphrasing, spinning or flat-out distorting. Analyzing his snarkiness and his effectiveness has no meaning if we cannot compare his letter to hers. For people here to be clucking about a letter that they have not read is pretty absurd. It’s no different than someone condemning the movie “The Golden Compass” when they haven’t seen it, they have only heard other’s uninformed opinions. Let’s not be sloppy.

  • Here’s the link to Momic’s letter.

    I updated the post!

  • Richard Wade

    Thanks Hemant, sorry if I was harsh.

  • Karen

    This part of her letter made me LOL:

    Don’t take my word. Get your information on the Internet.

    Oh, man. 🙂 And this:

    We all need to keep our children safe. All the God-fearing masses need to be made aware of this.

    The “god-fearing masses” – wow. Let’s all keep our children safe from new ideas! Get the pitchforks and man the battlements, everyone!

  • Richard Wade

    Now that I have read Kathy Momic’s letter I think that David Miles’ rebuttal is poorly done. His snarkiness is neither a weakness nor is it a strength for the letter. He completely misses the opportunity to argue against Momic’s main fallacy, that she and the people she is appealing to should condemn a book or movie without having read or seen it. Challenging this would be more to the point and is far more difficult for people with her opinion to defend.

    Momic does not make any blanket statement about atheists in general. She only attacks what she says is Pullman’s motives. She attempts an indirect quote:

    Pullman has said it is not possible that there is a God, and he has great difficulty understanding the words “spiritual” and “spirituality.” Pullman wants children to read the books and decide against God and the kingdom of Heaven.

    Miles does not challenge her by pointing out that she has not cited this and she seems to imply that she got her information “on the internet,” another fallacy he could point out, snarkily or not. The “kingdom of Heaven” phrase is a big clue that it’s part of the rumor that has been discussed on this and other blogs recently. Miles could have torn that to pieces.

    What he does is to set up straw man arguments about what he portrays as her ridiculous attitudes and beliefs about atheists in general. So he does exactly what he implies that she is doing, and she hasn’t done that. His letter isn’t really about her letter at all, but just his indulgence in venting against unnamed anti-atheist Christians in general. Miles’ letter isn’t going to convince anyone to change their opinions or attitudes about Pullman, “The Golden Compass,” atheists or the practice of condemning unread books and movies. If anything it just galvanizes people into whatever their present opinion and attitudes are.

  • [R. W.: ] Now that I have read Kathy Momic’s letter I think that David Miles’ rebuttal is poorly done.

    Enjoyable to read, yes – but in addition to the above, he also spells “Paducah” wrong… 🙂

    – Miz L. (Kentucky native with a penchant for spelling and grammar)

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