Lou didn't care much for having a Christian step in to tell him he was the person being too uncivil.
The non-delusional have been trying for a couple of centuries now to have a quiet, rational discussion with the religious and what’s it’s gotten us is more, not less, marginalization. What it’s gotten us is a society hell-bent on theocracy and longing for the dark ages. What it’s gotten us is suffering of innocents and willful ignorance that is cartoonish and nearly unparodiable.
Phil debated whether Lou's post meant he should just give up on us atheists.
So, rolling all this around, what should I do? I’ve stayed in the fight thus far, in part because I do believe that America as a nation can benefit from a lot more discussion, and a lot less internal warfare. I am also of the belief, based on what I was taught in church, that my response as a Christian needs to be acceptance of everyone, and the extension of as much understanding, compassion, forgiveness and tolerance as I can to those who do not share my beliefs. And, if they are being discriminated against, in any way, I have to stand with them against that discrimination.
(Still no recognition, though, that I woke up Friday morning to being told I should die as soon as possible. Just for the record, Phil, when one of my atheist friends sees that and doesn't say anything, I know they've gotten similar treatment. When you don't say anything, as part of that majority, but instead talk about your feelings, I don't even know that you've seen it, much less whether you care about it.)
Jason put together a nice summary of the different issues at play in the discussion.
Thirdly, not every theist is as irrational as the people who are actively trying to abridge our rights, however they are also not stepping up to the plate when people say things like “atheists are worthless fuck stains and should die”. However, they do get the vapors when someone dares to suggest that all religious folks feel the same way. In the thread over at Almost Diamonds, you’ll see a so-called reasonable theist jump as soon as he realizes Lou gets paint on him in his characterization of religion as a whole as damaging to human rights. I know a number of very reasonable theists who are able to reconcile their belief systems with the universe as it exists and as science has come to understand it; and this is fine. As an agnostic atheist I do allow for the sliver of possibility that something “caused” all this; I just don’t feel the evidence as presented at the moment by theists is compelling (or even truly amounts to anything worth considering in fact). So, to those that do not directly attempt to abridge the rights of gays, the faithless, women, or any other group that is not WASPy enough for their liking, I apologize in advance when you get tarred with the same brush as the whackjobs, but if that’s the case, then you’re obviously not doing enough to distance yourself from said whackjobs. Get in the fight or get out of the way!
Skeptigirl points out to the moderate Christians that they can do more good by actions other than telling atheists to "play nice."
Many don’t understand, or won’t, that when we try to get Christianity out of school, we’re not attacking Christianity. If they want to believe that Jesus was awesome, great. But they should do it at home or in church where it belongs — they should not force kids in public school to have to sit through revised science and history classes for the sake of Christianity. This isn’t only about atheists — it’s about every single other religion that’s marginalized by this practice. And I don’t for one second believe that if they were in our position, they wouldn’t fight buildings being adorned with Muslim scriptures or Greek/Roman mythology being taught as literal interpretations of creation.
Rystefn tells them what we hear when moderate Christians think they're being so reasonable.
Every day, I hear some asshole say we’re alienating potential allies by being so vocal. Really? There are people out there whose willingness to see us get the freedoms that are our right hinges on how polite we are? You know what I say to that? Fuck those people! I’m not interested in trading angry oppressors for kinder, gentler oppressors. I will not allow my rights to hang on the whim of another, whether that other wants to deny them as a matter of course, or simply because I said the word “fuck.”
And finally, Dan does his gentle best to explain what civil is all about.
You see, I’ve been missing the fact that the moderates have been out there all along, and they do have the majority over the fundamentalists. I was just confused about the name. You see, the other members of the church have a name that they’ve used for the moderates all along, but I had failed to make the connection. Not to worry, though, as I’ve got it now.
Anybody I missed?