A heartwarmer for Monday

September 17, 2012 • 6:21 am

Reader Veronica Abbass wrote a short post on Canadian Atheist called “A parade and an apology,” and posted this picture and caption:

Yesterday [Sept. 15], Peterborough, Ontario held its 10th Pride parade. Members of CFI Canada participated in the parade and were surprised to see three men standing on the curb carrying big yellow signs that said,

“I’m sorry for the way we Christians have treated you.”

It’s a good week that starts with both atheists and Christians supporting gays.

27 thoughts on “A heartwarmer for Monday

  1. It’s worth noting that it’s exactly this sort of coalition-building that A+ has slammed the door on.

    Yes, I’m sure many A+ people would welcome Christian support of LGBTQ rights.

    But they’e also made it most clear that they’re not at all interested in, for example, working with those they’ve (mis-)labeled as misogynists in keeping creationism out of schools.

    It’s their right to associate or not with whomever they please, but they’re exercising said right in a most immature and counter-productive manner.



    1. Tend to agree.

      However, lots of new social movements are initially highly exclusive of even mild dissenters and eventually mellow out to include people who don’t tow every dotted ‘i’ or crossed ‘t’ of the party line. This was true of feminist, LGBT, and black power movements earlier in our history.

      1. If they mellow, fantastic. But I’m not seeing any movement in that direction — quite the contrary, if anything.

        Remember, there’re also plenty of social movements that start out taking a hard line and making it even harder. The Tea Party is a recent example, and there’re some really unpleasant examples from not quite a century ago.

        The dividing line seems to be between groups that coalesce around solving an injustice for all, even their enemies; and those that go in with the attitude of, “You got yours, so now I want mine.” Compare, for example, Dr. King’s civil rights movement and Malcom X’s Nation of Islam (that, to his credit, he later abandoned).


    2. Ben, you spend WAYYYY too much time slamming folks trying to get A+ moving along.

      Yes, I saw you get attacked by SOME of them, but your arguments were nothing but hypotheticals.

      sorry, but you’re taking this way too personally.

      I don’t see even the people who attacked your ideas over on Pharyngula still talking about you.

      at all.

      yet, here you are, every day, trying to trash something you don’t want to be a part of because someone was mean to you.

      kinda petty, no?

      1. And the A+ crowd is still obsessed with Richard’s “Dear Muslima” post and do nothing but slam him whenever he’s in the news. Kinda petty, no?

        So long as A+ people are going out of their way to gratuitously and unfairly insult progressives and civil libertarians — PZ just promoted a post by Physioproffe that used every dirty trick in the book — you can expect the people the A+ movement is maligning to complain.



        1. And the A+ crowd is still obsessed with Richard’s “Dear Muslima” post and do nothing but slam him whenever he’s in the news. Kinda petty, no?

          gross mischaracterization of the what and the why.

          you do yourself no favors, but that’s ok.

          I only was trying to alert you with an independent observation on your behavior. You’re a smart guy, but you’re not on track here.

          feel free to keep whinging though, I’m sure if you keep doing it, maybe someone reading it who hasn’t even heard of A+ will actually bother to fact check what you’re saying and learn something.

          1. gross mischaracterization of the what and the why.

            Funny, that’s what everybody A+ is maligning is saying about what A+ is saying.

            I even provided an example from just this past weekend. A Capital-L Libertarian defended his staunch support of civil liberties in the context of Libertarianism. Physioproffe blatantly misquoted him out of context to portray him as a racist misogynist idiot, and PZ cheered on the character assassination of the strawman.

            Now, I have plenty of problems with the Libertarians on matters relating to economics and the role of government, but they’ve reached all the same positions on civil liberties as the progressive movement has. Attacking Libertarians on the real-world results of the various political experiments in Libertarian-style fiscal and government policy is fair game, even to the point of identifying where their fiscal goals are counterproductive to their civil liberties goals.

            But lying about them in ways to make them appear to be racist misogynistic idiots?

            The picture at the top of this page shows that atheists and Christians can and should stand together in support of LGBTQ rights. But Physioproffe and PZ just this weekend reaffirmed that, though progressives and Libertarians can and regularly do stand together in support of civil liberties, A+ will viscously attack progressives and Libertarians both when they support civil liberties.



          2. Ah, so it is personal for Goren.

            Good point, Ichthyic, there is no thing as bad publicity.

            Dawkins’ problem is that his forte is not how he acts on the web. Yet the web is where many young people gather regarding atheism, so from that point, he blew it. Focusing on whether anyone dares to label him a woman hater is missing the point–his web presence is a liability as he seems to have no desire to rectify his style. And this is the guy who used consciousness raising from the Women Liberation Movement to increase awareness regarding the rights of atheists. LOL.

            1. Stylistic advice doesn’t carry much weight when it comes from people who strawman their enemies in order to justify calling them asshole douchebags and tell them the proper way to insert rusty porcupines into their nether regions.

              And I thought we were supposed to care more about substance than style, anyway? Or is A+ only about appearances?

              Rather than keep dragging this farther and farther afield, let’s bring it back on point, shall we?

              Let’s say the local College Libertarians put on a rally opposing the teaching of Creationism in public schools. How many of you would do as the Christians did in the photo above and join with them, and how many of you would follow the model that PZ and Physioproffe set this weekend and hurl slanderous invective them?


              1. “Stylistic advice doesn’t carry much weight when it comes from people who strawman their enemies in order to justify calling them asshole douchebags…”

                oh, isn’t that just the truth!

      2. yet, here you are, every day, trying to trash something you don’t want to be a part of because someone was mean to you.

        It’s not fair to attribute someone’s views to personality defects. There are many of us who share Ben’s views on A+.

        The secular community criticizes the religious folk who fail to condemn the extremists in their midst, so we would be hypocritical to make the same mistake.

    3. I know there are strong opinions on every side of the A+ controversy, but I am way past caring anymore about what any of them are.

      Could all y’all please take your differences outside?

            1. Wha…? Where the Hell did that one come from? And what the Hell is worng with kids these days?

              Sure would explain a lot about the younger generation, though…but, really?



  2. The Dallas Pride Parade was held yesterday [Sunday]

    On her tumblr Peyton reports:-

    I was at Dallas Pride today, and witnessed something that almost brought me to tears. If you can’t read the sign, it says “God loves everyone, I’m sorry for how you’ve been treated!” I stood next to the lady for a good portion of the parade- she was so sweet and oh my gosh just so nice. She really stood out- and all of her friends there really made an impact, just based on people’s reactions upon seeing them. I nearly cried on the spot- there truly is good somewhere in the world

    See her report HERE

    I’m wondering if there’s some sort of International [or North American] Christian project behind this? Perhaps inspired by the WMD Foundation’s I’m Sorry project?

  3. It’s nice to see and it’s also refreshing. I’m so bored of the same old canned left / right atheist / christian this side / that side arguments I could vomit. It’s time to shake things up.

    1. Amen!

      All the rest of you certainly have your problems, but that doesn’t mean we both can’t plug our noses to work with each other on the things we agree upon.

      I’m proud that the ACLU goes to court to protect the First Amendment rights of Nazis and other pariahs. That’s a good thing!

      As is atheists and Christians joining hands to protect the rights of the LGBTQ, especially seeing how LGBTQ people fall on the religious spectrum in pretty much the same way as us straights.

      Are there religions with religious reasons for being homophobic? You betcha! But there’re lots of other religions with religious reasons for being sane, compassionate, and embracing on the matter as well (even if they draw upon the same source texts as the nutjobs). And, yes, the UCC with “Love thy neighbor” is not at all the same religion as Westboro Baptist with “God hates fags.” Indeed, except for the religion and divisiveness bits, the UCC and A+ are in near-perfect agreement on any matter you might mention.

      So, if human rights is not a religious question (except insofar as every religion takes a stance on almost every question), why should atheists and Christians be any more reluctant to stand side-by-side on human rights matters than, say, Catholics and Morons do? If they can work together to pass Proposition H8, why can’t atheists and Christians march together in a pride parade?



      1. Well said Ben, as people here have shown, atheists may do everything they can to demonstrate the harm of religion. But you all would also stand up in a heartbeat to defend freedom of religion and free speech. I think many people know where those lines should be drawn. It’s common sense.

  4. Yeah, Peterborough, I was near there on Saturday, wish I had known, would have gone by.

    Not sure what that has to do with A+, where they there? Always a drag when other don’t think exactly the way you do Ben.

    1. Not sure what that has to do with A+


      it has nothing to do with it.

      Ben is upset because people at pharyngula yelled at him.

      1. No, I’m upset because A+ is using all the dirty tricks in the book against progressives and civil libertarians of all stripes. That I experienced it personally just made me aware of what was going on, but every single time I’ve looked at A+ ever since, I’ve seen nothing but more of the same.

        If I didn’t know better, I’d think A+ was a Fifth Column set out to discredit atheism and progressivism from within. Sadly, no such nefarious conspiracy is necessary — we seem to be perfectly capable of screwing ourselves over without outside help.


  5. Ottawa Canada (down the road a ways from Peterborough) has also marched with signs and t-shirts saying “STOP FAITH-BASED BIGOTRY” for the past few years. Last year, a Christian of my acquaintance bought one of the t-shirts, saying “you don’t have to be an atheist to want to stop faith-based bigotry”. Sadly, even up here in the liberal North, there are plenty of people (on both sides of both issues) who can’t grasp that concept.

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