Livid believers try to torch FFRF sign

December 20, 2013 • 1:14 pm

Speaking about the nonexistent right to not be offended, get a load of this.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) objected to a yearly Christmas sign in downtown Pitman, New Jersey that read “Keep Christ in Christmas.”  So they put up their own (below left):

The results were predictable. As reports:

Pitman is host to an oversized “Keep Christ in Christmas” banner that hangs over Broadway. Johnson said it has hung in the center of the town’s business district during the holiday season for more than 40 years.

Since 2011, the Foundation for Freedom From Religion has asked to have the banner removed or have Pitman put up a similar banner for non-believers.

“All we wanted was equal time and equal prominence,” said the foundation’s spokesman Andrew Seidel. “Otherwise, they’re violating the Constitution.”

Pitman’s mayor and town council repeatedly rebuffed the foundation, Seidel said.

“So rather than sue this town, we decided to take a different tack and put up a billboard,” he said. The foundation leased a Clear Channel-owned sign that stands near the intersection of West Holly Avenue and Lambs Road.

Pitman residents were livid, Johnson said.

. . . An off-duty police officer witnessed the latest assault on the sign Tuesday about 11:45 p.m., said Chief Robert Zimmerman. Two white men pulled up in a silver and blue Ford 150 pickup truck with a ladder rack. They poured gas around the supports, set it ablaze and quickly fled.

“They were not successful,” Zimmerman said. “The posts are steel and didn’t ignite at all.”

. . . Seidel, the foundation’s spokeman, said the attempt to burn the sign constitutes a hate crime under New Jersey statute.

“It was an attempt to intimidate people on the basis of their religion, a case of bias intimidation,” he said, pointing out that Sunday was the 222nd anniversary of the First Amendment, which guarantees all Americans the freedoms of religion and speech.

I think that’s a bit poorly worded, because Seidel made the tacit admission that nonbelief is a “religion”.  Believers could have a field day with that! He probably should have said “on the basis of their lack of religion.”

But Christians: pay attention! Do you see any atheists torching Christmas signs or nativity displays? Have you ever heard of that? On what grounds does your religion, supposedly a loving one, grant you license to attack the property of atheists, when we never do that to you?

And here’s a video of Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-President of the FFRF, defending heathen signs two years ago on Laura Ingraham’s show. Ingraham is as nasty a piece of right-wing work as they come, and seems unable to let Annie Laurie speak, but Gaylor holds her own:

There’s nothing that angers Christians more than seeing a nonbeliever try to assert her rights under the First Amendment.

h/t: Tom

139 thoughts on “Livid believers try to torch FFRF sign

  1. I await the follow-up story in which the two truckers are jailed for arson. I sure hope that cop got their plate number.

    1. The cop was temporarily blinded by the light of a loving g*d. So he couldn’t read his cousins’ plates.
      The stench of collusion is strong on this one. And it needs to be stressed publicly, now. The cop in question has the choice of admitting to collusion (which is, I hope, a serious crime there) or gross incompetence.

              1. Indeed – she was the great-grandmother of Prince Felix Yussupov (who was my third cousin). So yes, my cousin is indeed the one who murdered you – and you most definitely needed murdering! 😀

    1. December 25th is also the birthday of Thor! Seems like a popular date. It’s almost as if all these religions were ripping each other off or something…

      1. I think it is simply due to the winter Solstice and the perception of the “rebirth” of the Sun and its return. I seem to remember that most of the ancient religions were Solar-based, the sun symbolizing life and light, hence a father figure.

  2. Laura Ingraham is simply, like most Fox News interviewers, a bully. She would either have to be respectful or not work in journalism at all if she were in a true news room.

    The thing that bothers me the most about all this is that it wasn’t long ago that we didn’t have partisan news stations and there really was a desire for a fair and balanced approach. Now it’s just about entertaining through disrespect and bullying. I blame Jerry Springer and the 80s for starting it all.

    1. It saddens me greatly that people like Ingraham (Ingrate Ham) flourish. I imagine legions of people in front of their TVs cheering her on. This is what a majority of Americans think discourse is supposed to be, I fear.

      1. Too damn’ right. As Diana has said, Ingraham is plain and simply a bully. It’s about time the US public recognized that this is true of so many TV pundits.

          1. True. I hope though that they turn off non bully Christians. I’ve heard David Silverman say he goes on Fox so that Christians can see who is speaking for them and he has received letters from Christians who say that they don’t agree with what he says but they also don’t agree with the way he is treated.

            So in this way Annie Laurie Gaylor is doing it just right.

  3. Laura Ingraham has learned the interview techniques of O’Reilly, so rude and presumptuous. Gaylor was talking Ingraham would just ignore, interrupt or make cheap little jokes to her self ” I love it when I’ve got my cross on at these things.” Eww.
    I have never seen Annie Laurie Gaylor before. She was so cool and patient “reason is always in season.” Not at Fox. More atheists should go on Fox news for these types of interviews. Fox interviewers are so poorly behaved, acting like spoiled kids. Atheists generally come away looking cool and intelligent. And you lovely Americans can upload those clips to Youtube so us unfortunate English people get to see them.

    1. Shuffell got it right. (As did McPherson above with her “bully” remark.)

      But for these very reasons, one hopes that Ms. Gaylor gets out of the business of making TV appearances. Surely at the FFRF there is SOMEONE with school debate experience, or preferably even mock trial.

      Ms. Gaylor seems like a very intelligent woman with good command of her facts, particularly in the more esoteric aspects (like funding of the Catholic Church). She probably writes a tremendous essay.

      But she has no business being in the ring with a seasoned “debater” like Ingraham. Every time Gaylor started to say something intelligent, there was Ingraham, shouting her down with her “I have a question.” And Gaylor seemed to shrink away. She seemed like she was hearing some of these questions for the first time. There were several questions that needed a “yes,” or “no,” before a short explanation. Gaylor started: “Well…” All of the atheists that I know are ready to counter-punch on all of these questions, without a warm-up. Surely the FFRF has some of those. One wonders if Fox invited Gaylor specifically, because they know that.

      1. Hitchens was on with Ingraham, and of course her Philistine modus operandi was like water off his duck’s back. (I recall with great satisfaction his raking Joe Scarbrough over the coals.)

        What would it matter with what initial word Gaylor responded to a given question by the noble Ingraham? Ingraham is going to inescapably interrupt, be rude, etc.

        This is a bloody ruder Amuricuhn society, refulgent in its heightened sense of self-regard and “exceptionalism.” Obama was given grief (by the likes of the mouthy N.Y. Times columnist Maureen Dowd) because he was trying to be nice, respectful, civil, “Presidential,” etc., in the first so-called “debate” with that avatar or magnanimity, Mitt Romney who, as apparently has been his wont as a CEO of a private corporate tyranny, has been accustomed to interrupting and cutting off (whom he perceived to be) subordinates. (The most honorable Joseph Wilson of that most beneficent of U.S. states, South Carolina, shouted “You lie!” at Obama during a State of the Union address.) Debates need to be in the format of the Nixon-Kennedy debates.

        Faux News would like to drag Gaylor down to the level of their talking head Philistines.

        I subscribe to her apparent position of trying to be as reasonably civil as ones opponent will allow one to be.

        1. And it is precisely because of Ms Gaylor’s civility and composure that the “interview” didn’t work for Ms Ingraham. Gaylor spoke softly and thoughtfully throughout. She understood, I think as well as Igraham, that the goal is not to win the argument against her interlocutor; the goal is to cast doubt and to persuade the audience. By appearing reasonable and ordinary, she invited people to listen and to take a second look.

          Well done Ms Gaylor.

      1. Why spend money on what amounts to a giant bumper sticker contest? That only feeds the inanity of the interminable pop culture war. Better to spend it where it counts… legislative action, lobbying, advocacy, etc. Their successful challenge of the Ball State Creationist kerfuffle was money well spent. I don’t think this is.

        1. Pop culture is … popular. Grass roots. And if you think it matters too much and is too powerful, then that only makes it a forum to pay attention to.

          I think the wisest strategy is to spread the resources around, work all the angles.

          1. Okay, then why not do something that challenges instead of merely provoking a predictable reaction? “Reason is never out of season,” or “Nobody’s taking Christ out of Christmas,” for example.

            1. False choice. Different signs are appropriate in different places.

              Perhaps you should put one up that complies with your particular framing.

              1. Then perhaps try to find some other way to contribute without sniping at what is the most successful organization for free thought advocacy in the US. They’ve been at this a long time and have considerable experience in determining what works and what doesn’t.

              2. Sniping? I thought I was offering a considered alternative to what I see as an ineffective tactic. I support the FFRF, and (mostly) applaud what they do. I just think they’ve misfired here. That isn’t sniping.

            2. “Keep the Saturn in Saturnalia” has the advantage of making a point while being humorous — rather like displays of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I suspect the same people who blew a gasket over this sign would be just as upset with “Reason is never out of season.”

              As for “Nobody’s taking Christ out of Christmas” — well, actually, we are.

            3. Why not learn something about the FFRF before attacking? They’re constantly bringing lawsuits against violations of the establishment clause.

              1. I think Richard would say he already knows something about FFRF and supports them but just doesn’t like the tone of this particular billboard. He thinks it makes atheists look demonic in deeply religious Louisiana.

                I don’t agree with him on this, either.

              2. I’m glad you made me go back & read Richard’s posts more attentively. I had indeed misread him. Sorry, Richard.

        2. Better to spend it where it counts… legislative action, lobbying, advocacy, etc.

          They do all those things also. No reason not to bring the unfairness of the town banner to the attention of the public. Just the fact that the billboard motivated religionists to try and burn steel posts makes it worthwhile to me.

        3. Are you kidding?

          Because it raises awareness in the community. People come to learn that atheists exist. Atheists are encouraged to come out.

          1. People already know atheists exist. The problem is they think atheists eat babies. This kind of thing just plays into the hands of those who want to make sure people go on thinking that.

            1. Many religious people have no idea that there are atheists in their communities. They don’t know them as actual people, just as cardboard characters used by preachers to refer to the most awful possible persons. Signs like this raise public awareness of why slogans like “Keep Christ in Christmas” are absurd.

              Saying signs like this keep people thinking that atheists eat babies is absurd.

              1. I’d still say it was absurd. In any case, perhaps the people up in Pitman, NJ, are able to recognize the point of the sign.

        4. Many of these billboards are funded by local donors expressly for the purpose of giving a positive free thought message in their own communities.

  4. How ironic that the “Keep Christ in Christmas” banner hangs in the business district – the true meaning of Christmas.

      1. During the Christmas season, I occasionally see some businessman, with his business’s name prominently-enough displayed at the bottom of the screen, bloviating Christian pieties.

        No doubt, the expense of this is charged as an advertising expense of doing business on his U.S. federal income taxes.

  5. Got to admit that Ms. Ingraham has her Faux News routine down pat. Must have been taking lessons from O’Reilly.

    The only reason I can think of as to why people like Ingraham give interviews is so they can hear themselves blather.

  6. “I think that’s a bit poorly worded, because Seidel made the tacit admission that nonbelief is a “religion”. Believers could have a field day with that!”
    Under some circumstances, it seems as if atheism can score rhetorical advantages – and legal protection – by representing itself as a “religion.” A tad duplicitous – but maybe it’s the strategy that the lawyers are recommending.

    1. Atheism may not be a religion, but it’s certainly a system of religious belief. Namely, there is no Big Guy in the Sky. No little guys at the bottom of the garden, either.

  7. That spot has signs galore! What does the one held by Santa say? Is Santa for or against the president and why?

  8. Mz Ingraham went on and on about Christians’ kindness, graciousness, generosity, etc., but displayed not a single one of these qualities, while Annie Laurie Gaylor displayed every one of them! :p

  9. Christmas craziness. Behavior like this is to be expected until Christians constitute a small minority in society. Then events like these will be regarded only as an act of vandalism. And there would be no need to put the FFRF rebuttal in the first place, since no public place will have Christian symbols.

    1. Curiously, when I was growing up in an ultra-religious small town I never saw one of those “Keep Christ in Christmas” billboards, or any other especially Christian display. I don’t recall seeing anything overtly religious on any public building nor even in the downtown business district. Just some bows and tinsel on the street lights, but nothing to even tell you what the holiday was. I have not done the historical research to back this impression up, but my feeling is that these things only started springing up after the 1980’s, when the religious right became a significant political movement. Before then it seemed to me like there was less religion in public spaces. Now, when I go home to visit my mom, I see several of these billboards on the way from the airport to her house, and overtly religious displays everywhere that I am sure were not there when I was growing up there. It feels very reactionary to me somehow.

      1. I’m old enough to know that your impression is incomplete, at least regarding the parts of the world in which I grew up. (Wisconsin and Indiana, small towns, semi-rural, and suburbs)I remember “Keep Christ in Christmas” in the 50s and 60s.

        But it wasn’t as ubiquitous, and the big-money boys at Faux News hadn’t yet taken over the Republican Party and spread the poison so far.

      2. Religion always becomes more ‘popular’, socially obvious and has a lot more sway during times of economic downturns. If we (the whole planet mostly) experience a notable improvement, you’ll see a lot less about it. But when you cannot feed your family, heat your home, find medical help, etc, a lot of people see it as the only thing they can turn to. It’s a lot like child and spousal abuse that way.

  10. Ok, here is a contrary opinion here.

    There are far more believers than non-believers and the law of large numbers applies.

    The larger a population, the more likely the population is to contain kooks.

    The atheist community is smaller and on the whole, more educated.

    If atheism were to become more common, we’d see more atheist kooks.

      1. “There are anti-GMO people who happen to be atheists. There are plenty of MRA types who are atheists.”

        Unfortunately I am familiar with the “foaming at he mouth” anti-GMO crowd; not sure of what MRA types are though.

          1. MRA is for ‘mens’ rights activists’. These are men who are extremely misogynistic, thinking that men naturally lead and women are to be subservient. Think of the most crude frat boy stereotype, then X100. Even the mildest expression of feminism is to be derided with incredibly vile language as such things are a terrible threat to the natural order, as they see it. You can find links to their groups in reddit, if you are curious, but you will want to take a shower afterward.

    1. blueollie wrote:

      If atheism were to become more common, we’d see more atheist kooks.

      Well, yes, that seems reasonable. I don’t think that’s a contrary opinion though, is it?

    2. Are you saying that if there were more of us that at least a few of us would be unbalanced enough to try to burn down Christian signs?

      Well, sure. I have no doubt there would be. I’ve known a lot of people and there is no philosophy or religion powerful enough to wash the asshole out of everyone. In a big enough group someone would go off the rails.

      But what fraction compared to the fraction of the religious is the more interesting question. Is the hostile response to atheist signs merely the expression of a few outliers, which any large group will have, or is it somehow entailed in the belief system? I’d say the latter, since religion is a sort of totalistic all-or-nothing authoritarian system that is based, in a very real sense, mainly on fear. Yoda had it right when he said, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate.” Next to fear the biggest pillar of religion is authority, and the authoritarian mindset cannot abide dissent. Given the nature of religion, I’d be very surprised if it did not inspire a greater fraction of it’s adherents to extreme reactions than atheism which lacks these intrinsic flaws.

      1. Well, I guess there must be quite a few unbalanced militant atheists in the American South. I understand burning crosses were quite a common occurrence in those parts at one time. 😉

    3. I’m sure we see atheist kooks now. It’s a diverse group so there are bound to be some.

      However, I don’t think that if populations were reversed that you’d see similar behaviour from atheists as you see from Christians with this sign. You only have to look at the more atheistic countries of the world as evidence that this would be the case.

  11. You can count me among the many atheists who absolutely love Christmas. I have no problem hearing and even returning a friendly “Merry Christmas.” I even enjoy the religious Christmas songs and would miss them if they were gone.
    I think many Christians have no idea that most atheists are in no way hostile to Christmas and celebrate it in pretty much the same way that Christians do (after all, most of us used to be Christians ourselves). The only people I’ve met who are grumpy about Christmas are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Of course, we couldn’t care less about baby Jesus in his manger, but Christmas has become much bigger and more generalized than that. Interestingly, I find that many of the south Asians I know even like Christmas.

  12. You gotta laugh at this bit:

    “They poured gas around the supports, set it ablaze and quickly fled. // ‘They were not successful,’ Zimmerman said. ‘The posts are steel and didn’t ignite at all.’”

    As anyone but a knucklehead might have told these dimwit hooligans.

      1. I think almost all countries have laws against hooliganism — i.e., the commission of hooligan acts. The terminology probably various a bit between the Anglophone countries: hooligans, thugs, vandals, younameits.

      2. There are certainly laws against leaving fires unattended, which is a lot more dangerous than mere vandalism.

        They take that sort of thing very seriously in California, for instance.

        1. To clarify, is “hooliganism” the specific wording used in any U.S. legal document charging one with and describing a (specific type of) crime?

          We don’t hear the word used in the U.S. I gather that a “hooligan” is more or less a “lout” (which we really don’t hear here either).

          1. We don’t hear the word used in the U.S. I gather that a “hooligan” is more or less a “lout”

            Oddly enough, we’ve just been watching the 1951 US movie The Fat Man, and the word hooligan appeared in the dialogue twice in plain English — i.e., was plainly regarded as just a normal conversational word. Perhaps the usage has faded here since then?

              1. The word is alive and well in Europe, including the UK.

                I know! I’m a Brit who lives in the US. I’d thought “hooligan” might be one of those unconscious linguistic hangovers I still discover myself using (for some reason, for example, it took me forever to learn to say “parking lot” rather than “car park”); but to judge by The Fat Man, the word “hooligan” is indeed well recognized here, even if perhaps the usage is antiquated.

            1. Yes, hooliganism is said in Canada but what I find peculiar is that we have “Mischief” as a criminal offence. Really something so bad seems to have such a light word – like playing a mild practical joke.

          2. “Hooligan” seems like a common enough US word to me. But our closest legal term might be “vandal.” Or perhaps, rather than a name, we use the description “criminal mischief” for approximately the same concept.

    1. They may yet be candidates for a Darwin award (or is that called something else–when you take yourself out of the gene pool?)

  13. I think the main reason you see “Christians” and not atheists doing stuff like burning down billboards they don’t like is because they suspect they are incapable of defending their positions reasonably, and consequently they retaliate with violence.

    Opinions to the contrary welcomed.

    1. I think the main reason you see “Christians” and not atheists doing stuff like burning down billboards they don’t like is because they suspect they are incapable of defending their positions reasonably, and consequently they retaliate with violence.

      I’d say that’s almost certainly correct. Violence is a very common response of people who, for one reason or another (and on occasion they can be rationalists confronted by, say, someone as stupid as a Fox News host), find themselves incapable of prevailing through intelligent discourse.

      (And, yes, I’ve seen rational people driven to violent despair when confronting the determinedly stupid.)

      1. Hm. Rereading that comment, what I meant to say was violence is more often the response of stupid people who realize they can’t win an argument through reason and so resort to violence.

        1. A few, perhaps nominally less-prone to violence, will first charitably, repeatedly interrupt you, cut you off, or tell you to “shut up,” before indulging in violence.

    2. Insecurity, yes. But more generally I think it’s a mismatch in passion. Religion, after all, is based on emotion, on passion and fear and so on, so it’s unsurprising that they have an overblown emotional reaction to affronts to their passion-based world view. In a sense, they just care more, since believing in Jesus is more important to them than not believing in Jesus is to most atheists.

      1. I think you make an excellent point. I hadn’t really thought about the idea that a worldview can be grounded in emotion as well as reason. But of course it can. That’s probably why persons who rely on their feelings to tell them what’s true aren’t fazed by rational arguments much of the time.

  14. “the nonexistent right to not be offended” I believe the proper expression is “to take offense”. It is one’s choice to be offended. So if you want to be, knock yourself out but don’t complain about it.

    1. “the nonexistent right to not be offended” I believe the proper expression is “to take offense”. It is one’s choice to be offended. So if you want to be, knock yourself out but don’t complain about it.

      I kind of disagree strongly here. If my friends are called niggers, spics, slant-eyes, whatever, I think they have every right to feel offended. And if their kids have to face this sort of abuse, often encouraged by adults, I feel even more strongly. I think you ought to check your ideology before being so dogmatic.

        1. Yes, but I agree with realthog that Dave’s post reads as if no one should have the right to take offense.

          Jerry phrased it right the first time.

          1. Actually, no, I did not mean at all that people do not have the right to be offended if they feel that way; it is a choice to be offended as not everyone will react in the same way to an insult, over which you do not have control.

  15. I do not know that there’s nothing that angers Christians more than seeing a nonbeliever try to assert her rights under the First Amendment. So many things anger them that that’s a difficult call.

    A few years ago I was exposed to a most puzzling reaction of Christians’ indignation regarding Christmas celebrations. My younger daughter grew up with the internet and developed friendships that were vastly more global than I could have conceived of when I was young. She had (and still does) friends in every country, culture and belief structure that has any knowledge of the English language. She was also educated (formally) in private Catholic schools (because, being privately funded, they were not subjected to the whims of any current political and/or governmental body that held power at the time.) Consequently, although a lot of people find it hard to believe, she received a well rounded education that included all the most current mathematical, scientific, historical and social views held in these subjects and even some of the not-quite mainstream theories. The theology course open to her (and by high school the students were required to complete three courses to be eligible to receive a diploma) were ‘Death and Dying’, Comparative World Religions’, ‘Business and Civic Ethics’, ‘Life 101’ (which taught things like making a budget, the cost of weddings and the differences between weddings and marriage, the responsibilities of adult Americans, the responsibilities and life changing effects of parenthood, etc.) In addition, these schools had (and still have) a disproportionate percentage of first or second generation Eastern Asian Americans. As there are no restrictions concerning a student’s religious affiliations, a large number of her classmates were not Christian. Consequently, from early in her life she understood the differences worldwide of how Christmas was regarded in many places in the world. I was somewhat surprised to learn how many non-Christians countries and religions celebrated Christmas (American-style Christmas) with the whole nine yards, Santa Claus, lights all over the houses and lawns, Christmas trees, parties, caroling and the rest. Not only those living in the US, but all over the world. My daughter explained that as more and more cultures began economic and diplomatic ties with the US and were exposed to American Christmases, they first thought we were weird, but began to celebrate with us. Not as a celebration of the birth of the Christian savior, but as a celebration of hope for world peace and goodwill to all mankind. I thought that was lovely. But many Christian groups became outraged that these people were trying to usurp and denigrate ‘their holiday’ and in some way trivialize and corrupt ‘their celebration.’ How is this a bad thing? Are not “Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all (hu) mankind mentioned prominently in the biblical passages concerning the birth of Jesus? Are not the ‘literalists’ being a little picky on which parts of the bible must be taken literally and which should be discarded? I have never been able to follow this logic. I supposed I am only a savage heathen.

    1. They get pissed if non-Christians celebrate Christmas, and they get pissed if non-Christians don’t celebrate Christmas.

      When you think of it, “Keep Saturn in Saturnalia” isn’t in any way criticising Christmas (which it doesn’t even mention), it’s just criticising a _slogan_.

      Personally, I like Christmas (as I like any holiday!) but I do so on the basis that it’s a survival from a traditional pagan festival.

      1. Current traditions probably have more to do with Yule than Saturnalia (it is easier to spell), but I’m right there with you. I just would really like to know who decided to put the two major American holidays in the middle of cold and ‘flu season?!

    2. ” . . . because, being privately funded, they were not subjected to the whims of any current political and/or governmental body that held power at the time.”

      Did your daughter have the option of not attending a given religious service if she so chose? At least in the U.S., in theory, a given “current political and/or governmental body” cannot force that on a student, unlike a private corporate educational tyranny, whether Catholic or Southern Baptist.

      1. There were a couple of masses held during class time in various schools throughout the years, but the student body (and faculty)was always sufficiently diverse in religious beliefs that no one tried to force anyone to attend any particular rituals.

  16. While poorly worded, I think it’s possible that Seidel intended his “their” to refer to the vandals, not to atheists.

    “It was an attempt [by the vandals] to intimidate people[,] on the basis of their [the vandals’] religion…”

  17. First she belittled atheists because they are a minority only 14000 members in FFRF and 80% of our country is Christian. Then went on to talk about how Christians are used to being picked on. By whom? That teeny tiny minority?

  18. Evolution is true. I’m a Protestant and I maintain that the Creation Myth was framed so that people living thousands of years ago, who couldn’t even FATHOM the big bang, would have an understanding as to who God is.
    Yes it would be a lot more convenient if Genesis was written by a modern scholar, but no such minds existed yet. Any Christian who does not think that God could come up with the big bang or evolution might not be a strong believer at all!
    The “seven days” may be symbolic. The number 7 denotes completeness in the Bible, kind of like we would say “She’s a perfect ’10’.”

    1. Couldn’t your all perfect, all knowing, omnipotent god have gotten some to write more clearly? Couldn’t he have managed to get a little bit in there about how slavery is a bad idea, for instance? Anyone powerful enough to create the big bang and everything since surely could have managed to write a more internally consistent story, no?

    2. Any Christian who does not think that God could come up with the big bang or evolution might not be a strong believer at all!

      No and no.

      No if this is a theist claim, that there is an unknown magical agency mechanism in physics of cosmology or evolution. The processes and so their theories are entirely physical, as they must.

      No of this is a deist claim, that there is an unknown magical agency mechanism in physics of symmetries and action of mechanics laws. Again that wouldn’t be the physics of it.

      And even if it was somehow permissible, the gaps-for-magic are gone now. The remaining gap for an initial deist of theist magic is diluted to > 10^150 parts by inflation, a pure physical mechanism. That places christianism ideas on par with homeopathy, who has chosen to have their similarly purported magic diluted to 10^60 – 10^400 times.

      Most variants of christianist ideas of “evolution” is tantamount to evolutionary creationism (also inappropriately called “theistic evolution”). It is the great cop out of the sect of catholics, for one.

      But that doesn’t make it acceptable as a description of the science. In my honest opinion it makes it more invidious as opposed to honestly admit that the science as it is known is unacceptable to religionists no matter what.

      1. When I think about it, while I responded to the factual claim (“[magic being is responsible for] big bang or evolution), isn’t the whole sentence a deepity by the way?

        E.g. it isn’t supposed to make sense (is a religionist who accepts science a “weak” believer, or say a “strong” buddhist?), it is supposed to make religious feel good akin in the fashion of glossolalia.

  19. …There’s nothing that angers Christians more than seeing a nonbeliever try to assert her rights under the First Amendment….”

    This is commonly true but not completely true. I offer Barry Lynn and Americans United as evidence that there are some Christians who are strong allies in this fight.

  20. Also

    “On what grounds does your religion, supposedly a loving one, grant you license to attack the property of atheists”

    Isn’t it even worse – the property of the company that rents these signs out? Or am I missing a fine point in how this sign rental works?

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