Militant Atheists

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Hello, I’m Al. I’m an atheist. I believe that supernatural gods do not exist.

Jambie Cakes presents: Atheism on the march! Our boys have had their hands full fighting in the name of the lord and/or lords. The enemy? Militant atheists. Yes, the scourge of militant atheism has reared its head in every corner of our nation. Added to the long list of atheist and agnostic atrocities are: writing best-selling books, vocally claiming disbelief in gods, public speaking engagements, making pro-atheist Internet videos. The violence has been ceaseless. The godless forces have vowed not to relent until we cave to their maniacal demands for objective evidence of god. Every citizen should be on the lookout as we stem the tide of: Atheism on the march!

So I’m a bit confused about the term “militant atheist”. This is a term that’s been bandied about recently, especially since Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and other authors have published very popular books on atheism. It’s kind of weird because “militant” has a very clear definition of violence and war and physical force, and this is all completely absent in the recent rise of atheism in our culture. Out of our entire langauge, it’s a very odd word to choose. There is a very blunt demand that if religion makes statements about the nature of reality, faith alone isn’t enough to be convincing. Atheists and agnostics are also dispelling the idea that the idea of heaven and hell are necessary for a moral life. And they also call for religion staying out of government as much as theists would want government to stay out of religion.

But militant? At worse it seems you can be mocked or offended by an obnoxious atheist, but that’s not violent. I mean, these guys are referred to as the militant atheist, but what do these intellectuals’ militant atheism look like?

The case for a divine Jesus isn’t convincing! (machine gun gesture with hands) Nothing happens when you die! (pantomiming throwing a gernade)

What’s so militant about atheism now? Writing books? Filing lawsuits to stop the government from endorsing religion? They’ve stooped to using the rule of law, those sick, militant monkeys.

I don’t think calling Richard Dawkins and others “militant atheists” is a fitting label, especially because we know what militant islam and militant christianity looks like:

(cut away) Hi. So, the next two clips of this video are graphic footage of 9-11 and a 1997 abortion clinic bombing. At first, I didn’t plan on including them in this video because those images are the sort of emotional tear-jerking that I want to avoid. But I am going to include it, because it’s important to show what is meant by the word militant in this context: gruesome, horrible violence. And this is why I take so much offense at how book-writing and public speaking are brought under this militant umbrella. It’s a disgusting double standard. So about the clips, I want to say that these actions are rightfully condemned by mainstream religious groups too. Remember, we are distinguishing belief, and militant belief, and that goes both ways. That’s all.

(repeat clip) I don’t think calling Richard Dawkins and others militant atheists is a fitting label, especially because we know what militant islam and militant christianity looks like:

(cut away) Hi again. Actually, as it turns out I don’t have the stomache for adding those clips after all. You can find them on the web if you’re into watching scenes of that sort of thing. Anyway I keep reminding myself that good and bad things done in the name of atheism or religion, in a sense, don’t really matter anyway. What matters is if the claims made by religion are factually true or not. But I already shot the previous scene and I think I made some good points, so I kept it in.

Several other atheists buy into this definition also, saying that people like Dawkins are too confrontational and give atheists a bad image. Because godless atheists had a great image before. Dawkins himself tries to usurp this term by saying atheists should become “militant”, in the sense that we should speak out instead of politely shutting up. I suppose he’s hoping to take the term away from people who would like to equate “militant atheist” as meaning the same as “militant islam”.

I want to be absolutely clear: I think I can convince people that atheism or agnosticism is a much more reasonable position than ones that religions propose. I can make that argument. But I can’t argue against mudslinging, which is really the point behind calling someone a militant atheist. I’m not exaggerating anything, the word has a very specific meaning in the context of belief and ideology. I have said and will continue to say that the claims made by religion are often unconvincing, and in some cases, just plain silly. I will say that the American government shouldn’t endorse Christianity in ways that Christians wouldn’t want tax dollars spent Wicca or Scientology. But I don’t say that John Q. Church-goer who speaks out about his belief is in the same league as some Army of God terrorist or jihad-declaring lunie. This label of the militant atheist for nonviolent authors and speakers is asinine mudslinging. So stop using the term already, or else…

Thanks for watching.

(captioned) There will inevitably be comments like “but Stalin was an atheist!” These comments prove my central point: Richard Dawkins isn’t Stalin, Christopher Hitchens isn’t Pol Pot.

But this doesn’t matter to people who sling “militant atheist” at these authors and modern atheists/agnostics. It’s a propaganda technique to equate every atheist with militant atheist, and reasonableness doesn’t enter into it.

I’ll address this in a future video.

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