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Grothe Smears Vocal Atheists Again (Peter Irons episode)
Posted: 24 August 2007 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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It’s friday so I’m just about to crack on with the latter.

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Posted: 24 August 2007 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Now I’m really curious. What were the harassing words targeted at the director (better not have been directed at Victor, they don’t wanna open that can of ass whippin). Since I’ve seen this incident followed by “Moreover, well into the 20th century, atheists ....” (the “moreover” creating a link) and now to “verbal harassment, and even violence, as with the North Carolina case of the man beaten outside a bar for his outspoken atheism.”

Could someone post a link to the story on the North Carolina atheist lynching (I mean , beating).

[ Edited: 24 August 2007 04:25 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 24 August 2007 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Sorry to bring things back to the previous point about DJ saying that atheists might deserve it, but I have an interesting corollary to investigate, wo whit I issue this challenge:
A mars bar to the first person who can find me an example of theist-bashing.  Terms and conditions apply and they are that the theist-bashing has to have occured as a result of an atheist taking exception (being an angry man, if you will) towards their theistic beliefs.

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Posted: 24 August 2007 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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or how about a group of atheists flying planes into buildings because of No God…

or atheist moms drowning their kids in tubs because No God told them to…

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Posted: 24 August 2007 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Good old no God.  I hear he doesn’t move in non-mysterious ways.

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Posted: 24 August 2007 05:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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I pledge dis-allegiance to the flag… under No God…

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Posted: 24 August 2007 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Oh no Christ!  I think under the current administration, it would pledge disallegiance to you just for saying that.  Ahem, where it not an inanimate object that I just personified for the purposes of rhetoric.

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Posted: 24 August 2007 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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dkoepsell - 24 August 2007 04:59 PM

...sorry, it was South Carolina, and I was wrong, he was beaten AND robbed… but then, given the bumper sticker the men who beat him for having, DJ may say he deserved it..

David:

It seems unlikely that I’ll be able to even make a dent in the snowballing, but I’ll try:  nowhere and not once did I say anyone deserves any beating, punching or bashing. In fact, I have explicitly and numerous times stated just the opposite. People having offensive bumper stickers do not deserve any violence. Nor does a CFI employee telling a Christian who is offended by his postering up atheist fliers to “fuck off” deserve any violence against him. Again, I never said as much and in fact repeatedly said the opposite. Your repeated suggestion that I did is either a continuous and impenetrable misunderstanding (I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt) or a mischaracterization or smear (which wouldn’t be ethical, and which I therefore choose to disbelieve you would do).

I’ll try occasionally to chime in to remind people that nowhere and not once did I even remotely suggest anyone deserves violence, as people seem committed to continue havng an argument against a position I have clearly have never held.

But as rationalists and humanists we should be cool-headed enough to admit that sometimes someone commits inexcusable violence toward an atheist (such as the offended Christian inexcusably punching Justin in the face) for reasons other than his atheism (reasons such as Justin telling the angry man to “fuck off”).  I bet that were you flyering, David, you would not have been punched in the face, and I bet you wouldnt have told an angry man to “fuck off.”

Do you think it was appropriate for an executive director of one of our Centers to tell someone who is unjustifiably angry at his posting flyers for one of our events to “fuck off.”?  Do you think his telling the angry guy to “fuck off” was merely an instance of Justin expressing his atheism?

[ Edited: 24 August 2007 06:14 PM by DJ Grothe ]
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Posted: 24 August 2007 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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It’s okay, this is the djgroethe roast.

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Posted: 24 August 2007 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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He was punched in the face for saying something some people might find baiting

Atheism is offensive, and rightfully so

You “appear” to be right, these were the closest I could find.

Pretty damning though, Eh?

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Posted: 24 August 2007 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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dkoepsell - 24 August 2007 06:19 PM

Wow, you’re really good at missing the impact of what you say, or perhaps trying to spin things in your favor after saying something off the wall.  Two things you said lead us to believe you were excusing the violence.  You said the man may have been “baited” into punching Justin.  Why wasn’t Justin “baited” into saying “fuck off” by the harassment he was experiencing?  You suggested that a punch in the face wasn’t a “beating,” which is nonsense, and seems to be an attempt to downplay the violence.  The harassment, DJ, was clearly in response to the content of the poster regarding Victor’s talk, and the punch was a response to Justin’s rejoinder for the harassment.  Was Justin just asking to be harassed by virtue of the content of the poster?  Are you saying the guy wouldn’t have harassed me?

So, using your example, if a gay person was postering for a pro-gay event, and then was harassed by people objecting to his or her homosexuality, and quipped “fuck off” to the harassers, then got punched in the face, somehow you would argue that the initial harassment was no longer gay-bashing, and neither was the physical violence?  Are you serious?  Get real.  If you tried to make that argument in court, you’d be held in contempt.

David: To quote something I said earlier in this thread which you might have missed:

“As a gay man, I know that if I were flyering for a GLBT group meeting when I was in school, and someone was fussing about the flyers, I would be offended. They would be wrong. But if I told them to “fuck off,” and goaded them, if they punched me because I verbally attacked them or insulted them instead of putting up fliers which was my right, I wouldnt consider it gay bashing.”

Having talked with a few other gay activists about this exact incident, including another gay man who works for CFI and is a lawyer, I find agreement that it would be very hard to argue that Justin getting punched for telling a guy to “fuck off” to be an instance of “atheist bashing,” just as if I told a homophobic guy to “fuck off”  when he objected to my gay flyers and he punched me would not be an instance of gay bashing. Gay bashing is when someone singles out someone else for no other reason than his or her being gay and is violent toward him or her. Justin wasnt punched because he was an atheist. He was punched because he got angry when a guy harangued him for postering about an atheist event and he became verbally combative with the other guy, telling him to “fuck off.” There are many guys who would punch me if I told them to ‘fuck off.” But they wouldnt be punching me because of my atheism, but because of my verbal attack. And let me repeat what I have said I think eight times before in this thread: such physical violence is never excusable, and no one ever deserves it. But I think it is explainable in terms other than “atheist bashing.”

Not everyone knows how to deal with unpleasant situations or angry people, and as you know, many people are hot-heads, prone to tantrums, blow-ups, yelling and cursing. The escalation of tensions during such events shouldn’t be blamed solely on the victimization of one group by another group.

Justin was verbally (not physically) harassed for postering up a flyer, or at the very least challenged verbally by people who disagreed with either him or the thrust of the Stenger event. But Justin had a right to put up the posters, and probably wasnt verbally attacking the beliefs of others or harassing them in the process (would it matter if Justin admitted to verbally harassing the Christian from the get-go, unprovoked?). Since Justin had permission to put up the fliers, there is recourse for the harassment that Justin experienced, just as there is for any unpopular group putting on an approved meeting on campus if they were harassed. But telling people who are unjustifiably angry at you to “fuck off” (which itself is indefensible as a CFI director) is not the appropriate recourse. And we really should try to avoid explaining the escalation of the tense situation solely with appeals to perceived or real widespread anti-atheist bigotry. We should admit that the situation is more complex, and due to many factors, including the confrontational nature of both parties.

Again, I doubt you would have been punched while putting up posters, and I doubt that you would have told someone who didnt like your posters to “fuck off.”  I think it should be uncontroversial for us to admit that sometimes some atheists are disliked not because of their atheism, but because they are unlikable characters. Further, I think that atheists should avoid seeking victim status and diminishing the plight of the truly oppressed.

[ Edited: 24 August 2007 07:01 PM by DJ Grothe ]
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Posted: 24 August 2007 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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I’m very sorry, but if that incident regarding your gay flyering happened, it would be an incidence of gay bashing and you as a good decent person should never, under any circumstances have to put up with it.  And regardless of whether you should have to or not, I would be very annoyed if you did.  There are enough decent people who would step right in there to help you, and you should not let tha kind of abusive person get away with it and feel that they have got away with it.  If you think it would be acceptable from a moral point of view, you have self confidence issues and you really need to toughen up.  How the hell would your family feel if you didn’t defend yourself in this matter?  How would your boyfriend or civil partner feel if the worst happened to you; work colleagues, us (your audience), anyone who cares about you?  It’s not acceptable.  And if anything of that nature happened to you and you didn’t press charges or felt that you were in the wrong, just imagine how the rest of us would feel.  Just imagine how the next guy or girl it happened to would feel.  Betrayed, that’s how.

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Posted: 24 August 2007 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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narwhol: It appears we’re not actually engaging on this point—if I was flyering for a gay event (and I have done so many times as a gay college student years ago) and someone didnt like it, and I told them to fuck off as a result, we would both be in the wrong—there is recourse for me if someone gets verbally abusive to me for putting up permissable fliers if controversial flyers, but the recourse isnt telling an angry man to “fuck off.” This has nothing to do with confidence (I’ve been described as having no deficits of ego strength) but of practicalities, and maturity.

In the real world, adults often have to put up with being unpopular for standing up for their beliefs or identities. I have stood up as a homosexual for years (having come out of the closet when I was 15 years old), and as an atheist for many years as well. Vocally. But I stood up for myself in ways that never included engaging in verbal attacks on those I thought werent respecting me.

If I ever did engage in a verbal attack against someone who was upset about me putting up gay fliers, and I told them to fuck off, I wouldnt consider it an example of gay bashing if they punched me, and neither would some of the thinkers and writers on gay rights and gay activism that have influenced my thinking in this regard. Gay bashing is unprovoked. Telling an angry man in person (not online where such over-the-top reactions are pervasive) to “fuck off” is instead a provocation. Telling someone to “fuck off” is not an instance of expressing one’s atheism, but of verbal violence. And sadly, violence sometimes begets violence. Great peacemakers like Martin Luther King Jr. have sermonized persuasively about this.

[ Edited: 28 August 2007 01:47 PM by DebGod ]
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Posted: 24 August 2007 08:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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DJ, we’re never going to engage on this point.  If you’re putting up fliers for an event that has nothing to do with someone else’s bigotry about you.  And FYI a gay event is in no way contraversial - each to their own to those whose own it isn’t they can walk away.  And if someone harrasses you about it, ten to one they are saying totally inhuman things whereas “fuck off” is two fairly commonplace and absolutely harmless syllables that express your disapproval and tell them to go away; both of these etymological and semantic purposes are entirely appropriate to such an interfering little oxygen thief.  Society would not be served, enriched or even kept the same in any way by you being punched for it.  In fact I’ll even go as far as to say that it would make any decent person’s experience of society the poorer for it.  Punching you in the face for attaching a poster to a wall and uttering these four inoccuous phonemes, would, however, debase your experience of the world and seeing it happen would sicken any decent person to their stomach.  Punching people in the face for timbres that propagate from their mouths due to the shapes of their oral cavities and the tensile properties of their vocal chords is wrong, period.  Words, concepts, and even rationalities, sexualities, disabilities or the melanin contents and isomerism in peoples skins don’t hurt people unless they make a concious choice to make these things upset them.  And people who do, and who get cause physical damage and pain to other people because of their own decisions don’t enrich society one little bit.  They make society a worse place.  I don’t want these people. I’d like to get rid of them.  I’d like to get rid of them so that I don;t have to put up with them.  I’m bigoted like that. I’d like to get rid of them by changing them into something only slightly different.  If they were to choose not to go down that route and continue to cause violence to harmless people getting on with their lives, I’d like to get rid of them by locking them up.  What I’d never ever like to do is to say well, maybe a harmless person is provoking them.  I just don’t have that in me.

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Posted: 24 August 2007 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Damn!  I guess I really don’t have any chance.  :(  Too bad, I think your voice is extremely nice, DJ.  Oh well, I’ll just consider you a safe flirt with a very handsome voice.  wink

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