September 6, 2012

THE CENTRAL TENET OF ATHEISM BEING THAT EVERYONE BUT YOU IS AN "ANUS" (profanity alert)

Is American atheism heading for a schism? : A new movement, Atheism+, has prompted non-believers to spit venom at one another rather than at true believers (Peter McGrath, 9/02/12, guardian.co.uk)

It took 700 years from Constantine renaming Byzantium in his own honour to papal legates circulating letters of anathema that split the Roman and Orthodox churches. Atheism, in its public, online life, has started exchanging internet anathemas - perhaps we should call them inathemas - in little more than a decade.

People are being told to wipe the spittle off their chins, take their heads out of their asses. The Life of Brian's lines about the various fronts for the liberation of Judea are being oft-recycled. 140 character brickbats are being thrown on Twitter under #atheismplus.

PZ Myers, soft-spoken in person but trenchant in print, said of A+ critics:

"It really isn't a movement about exclusion, but about recognising the impact of the real nature of the universe on human affairs. And if you don't agree with any of that - and this is the only 'divisive' part - then you're an [***]. I suggest you form your own label, '[***] Atheists", and own it, proudly. I promise not to resent it or cry about joining it. I just had a thought: maybe the anti-Atheist+ people are sad because they don't have a cool logo. So I made one for the [***] Atheists: A*"

Fellow Freethought blogger Richard Carrier goes further. When one commentator suggests "atheism does not have the luxury of kicking people out of its movement", Carrier gives him a rare old quilting in most splendid prose:


"Yes, it does. Atheism+ is our movement. We will not consider you a part of it, we will not work with you, we will not befriend you. We will heretofore denounce you as the irrational or immoral scum you are (if such you are). If you reject these values, then you are no longer one of us. And we will now say so, publicly and repeatedly. You are hereby disowned."

How like Pope Leo's letter to the patriarch of Constaninople in 1053 accusing him of "many and intolerable presumptions, in which if - as heaven forbid - he persist, he will in no way retain our peaceful regard". Even at this most serious moment for the future of Christianity, the pope managed to resist the urge to call the patriarch immoral scum, an [***] and a [***].
Posted by at September 6, 2012 4:52 PM
  
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