Monday, August 20, 2007

Godlessness goes kitsch

Richard Dawkins continues his secular crusade with “The Out Campaign”:,1471,The-Out-Campaign,Richard-Dawkins

Among some of the choice vignettes:

“Related to it is ‘Reach OUT’ in friendship and solidarity towards those who have come out, or who are contemplating that step which, depending on their family or home town prejudices, may require courage.”

This sentiment exhibits an odd combination of cultic paranoia and patronizing condescension, as if unbelievers are hiding under their beds as they quiver in fear of marauding Christian death squads.

“Put a bumper sticker on your car. Wear a T-shirt. Wear Josh's red A if you like it as much as I do, otherwise design your own or find one on a website such as;”

I actually decided to spend a little time browsing this website. At first I thought it would be merely puerile and kitschy. And, indeed, there’s plenty of that on display, such as the Featured Dog T-Shirt, with atheistic slogans.

How does Dawkins think that promotes the image of atheism as the rational alternative to Christianity?

But, as it turns out, the puerility and kitsch factor represented the highpoints. From there it rapidly descends to such items as the “Infant/Toddler T-Shirt devil child.”

Why does Dawkins think that making a little kid wear a “Devil Child” t-shirt is an appropriate way of promoting atheism?

Frankly, how is that any different from Hamas members who dress up their toddlers as junior suicide bombers?

Then you have a whole selection of baby bibs, such as the “Smekkur,” which depicts a crucified alien, or the “Hunt Morons for sport” baby bib.

Why is Dawkins inciting violence against Christians?

There’s also the “Satan fish symbol” baby bib, as well as “Daddy’s Little Heathen” bib (with a red-horned halo).

Aside from the question of whether babies should be turned into posters and billboards for atheism, why does a website promoting atheism resort to so many Satanic motifs?

Are we intended to associate atheism with Satanism?

And how does the “Baby Blue F****U” (expletive not deleted on original) baby bib promote atheism? How does Dawkins think that a baby bib dropping the F-bomb is a great way to advertise atheism?

Are we intended to associate atheism with the F-bomb?

The same site also has a lot of Nietzsche quotes emblazed on bibs and t-shirts and buttons and baseball caps.

If Dawkins wants to make a proto-Nazi who died of syphilic dementia the posterboy for atheism, that’s fine with me.

“Chill OUT (exhort others to do so). Atheists are not devils with horns and a tail, they are ordinary nice people.”

Except that if, to develop his own paranoid comparison, Dawkins imagines that he and his fellow dubitantes are in a situation comparable to the French Resistance under the Vichy regime, then we’d expect our atheistic devils to keep their tails tucked inside their pants, with their horns sanded down and well-hidden beneath a baseball cap.

“The nice woman next door may be an atheist. So may the doctor, librarian, computer operator, taxi driver, hairdresser, talk show host, singer, conductor, comedian. Atheists are just people with a different interpretation of cosmic origins, nothing to be alarmed about.”

Except that if you take a look at Dawkins’ social blueprint, there’s plenty to be alarmed about:


  1. I love the irony of someone who promotes a website featuring Satanic symbolism for infants who then says: "Atheists are not devils with horns and a tail, they are ordinary nice people."

    Seems to me that the anti-theists out there (by which I refer to the likes of Dawkins, Hitchins, Harris, Stenger, etc.) are not only promoting, but reveling in the atheists-as-devils theme.

    And while we're at it, I noticed the following on the jacket of "The God Delusion" by Dawkins. (Yes, I know that authors have no control over what's put on their jacket--this comment isn't about Dawkins, but about the anti-theists in general.)

    Bible-thumpers doubtless will declare they've found their Satan incarnate.

    That's from Kirkus Reviews. Now while I could point out that this demonstrates that atheists are going out of their way to make the link between Satan and atheists, the more fundamental point is this: If the radical, right-wing, Christian, Repbulican, homophobic racists (which are all synonyms, of course) had written a review that said: "N------ doubltess will declare they've found their Uncle Tom incarnate" in Kirkus Reviews, a) the review would never be published; b) the author would be fired; c) if by some chance the conspiracy enabled the reveiw to be published, Je$$e Jack$on and Al $harpton would immediately start street protests so that; d) the author of said review would never be able to publish anything again.

    Obviously, the same thing happened to this guy. I mean, Christians are marching in the streets left and right and all. Just look at 'em all...

    See how persucuted those poor atheists are? It takes real guts and real courage for them to come out of the closet, I tell ya.

  2. Apparently the perpetual questioning Dawkins has advocated ("I just want people to ask questions!") has in fact reached a satisfactory stopping point: with buying a t-shirt.

    And as for his joke of calling indoctrination child abuse, I imagaine he must be feeling an overwhelming amount of guilt right now at the thought that his attempt to spread atheist propoganda is going to influence young children to adopt that worldview as the inexorable truth. After all, Dawkins has never been inconsistent, right?

  3. (sigh) Nothing he says or does surprises me in the least...

  4. Another irony is why all these "free thinkers" need to be spoon-fed zippy slogans. How can they be free thinkers if they are so inarticulate that they need to be coached on what to say? Can't they form a coherent sentence on their own?

  5. there is not and never will be a true atheist "movement".you cannot build a real movement on the back of shadowboxing against the beleievers in a supposedly non existant God. Atheism is a tremendous and silly misallocation of resources. Atheists, should, if they really had a true burden for the poor, simply devote their lives to the healing of the sick, feeding the hungry, comforting widows and oppressed, fighting illiteracy, diging wells, etc. Instead, they prefer to sit on their behinds and be keyboard commandos, largely making philosophical arguiments against Christianity. Atheists are rebels without a cause. They have picked the wrong bogeyman. Modern Christianity, warts and all, is far far far down the list of "greatest evils" afflicting the world. And the track record of atheism in political power is so historically abysmal(mao,stalin, the bamboo and gulag archipelagos, pol pot, khmer rouge, eastern bloc dictators, cuba, north vietnam, albania, north klorea, etc) that atheists owe the rest of the world an apology.
    And there is no ploiite way to say htis so I will just sayit, atheists fall all over themselves trying to show that they do just as much volunteer work and give just as sacrficially to the poor as Christians do. Sadly this is just a "big lie", even Hitlers' propaganda chiefs would be proud. Three replicated Barna studies,two independent studies of volunteer rates of devout Christians etc, and a lifetime of observation , clearly indicates that atheists quite frankly just dont show up to do significant, long term volunteer work. Try this experiment, showup in your community to ANY volunteer charity and stick around and month after month, see who actually shows up and does the heavy lifting. ANY charity, AIDs, illiteracy, meals on wheels, habitat for humanity, volunteer tutoring, over many many months I guarantee you, whether in San Francisco or even in a heavily atheistic academic community, it will ALWAYS be the devout CHristians who will year in and year out do the heavy lifting of charitable volunteer work. That is why there will never be a real atheist movement. It exists almost exclusively in electronic magnetic data on the internet,with a phantom army that fires only ethernet virtual bullets slowly passing out as the evening watches loom.

    Meanwhile, real human beings, build hospitals, orphanages, feeding centers, libraries, and places of charity all over the world, and run them,and wash the laundry, cook the food, hook up the IV's, do the surgeries, .....