American Atheists Billboard: A Public Menace and a Failure to Understand
atheists will get no argument here about the mythology of the incarnation and
birth of Christ story. I agree with AA until the point where they go over the
top and become a social klutz. This billboard posting illustrates the
difference between recognizing a myth and understanding what Joseph Campbell
would describe as the power and function of myths and how they serve society!
Skeptics that properly understand the function of myths wouldn’t be posting
billboards like this!
subject may be too deep for shallow minded skeptics, but I want to implore
freethinkers to dig deeper by analyzing this billboard and consider the
function and desirability of myth! In my opinion, a healthy, balanced
skepticism allows for the free flowing perpetuity of myth with a watchful eye.
Myth that turns into fundamentalism should be our focus!
This is how I see the path that the American Atheists have taken.
= Christians enjoying/celebrating what to them is significant
= Belligerently crashing a traditional Christian celebration
= I’ll call it
“atheist transubstantiation” belligerence magically transforming itself
into Christian appeal for atheism. It’s like the jerk walking away with the
pretty girl…i.e. a ghetto fantasy.
AA stated as the threefold purpose of the billboard:
1) To address those atheists who “go along to get along”, and to encourage them to come out of their closets
To attack the myth that Christianity owns the solstice season
To raise awareness of the organization and the movement.
Translation of AA’s Point #1: "To
address those atheists who “go along to get along”, and to encourage them
to come out of their closets"
to me that AA President, David Silverman isn’t satisfied with well-adjusted
atheists getting along with the rest of society. So lets incite (Silverman
uses the word encourage) the troops towards Christmas crashing and peer
pressure those not yet angry into an endorsement of AA psychosis. Isn’t this
crowd psychology tactic provocation towards which is commonly understood as
the madness of crowds?
along such an undesirable atheist trait? Should one be required to be socially
toxic to prove courage?
There is a thick headedness amongst some skeptics that equates a relationship to be ideological compromise. This is a fundamentalist trait.
gets along with Christianity without going along. This site is tough on the
Bible and treats the Christian’s revelation as a literature book. I
challenge you to prove otherwise!
need to abandon perpetual warfare and stop sabotaging our opportunities to
communicate with knuckle headed items such as this billboard. Saints are
people that often evaluate emotionally before permission is granted to allow
an outsider to get rational with them. We can’t dance when we are so far
know, I can usually talk about most anything with my wife because she knows
that I love her. If one of us happens to be angry with the other, the
willingness to listen seems to get impaired. Emotional evaluations usually
take precedence and need a passing grade before we get the ear of others.
Translation of AA’s Point #2: "To
attack the myth that Christianity owns the solstice season"
point is hilariously funny! Show those Christians your fundamentalist vigor by
wresting away a pagan association…AA is showing it’s alpha male logic on
the battlefield. Surely this display of atheistic reasoning will persuade and
win over the Christians to atheist supremacy (sarcasm). I suppose the AA
scored some worthless solstice credit in point #2…woo hoo!
Translation of AA’s Point #3: "To
raise the awareness of the organization and the movement "
awareness of the organization and movement? Beware is more like it! The
billboard addresses Christians…AA states in point #1 that they are
addressing atheists. AA missed its target here! Atheists already know it is a
myth, many Christians don’t. Question, is the AA lying, stupid or just being
a menace? Once again we have another case of atheists provoking because it is
evident that they cannot talk with Christians.
challenge skeptics to get deeper than mere debunking activities. People of
faith are all around us and we should adapt to our environment and embrace
humanity for what it is. Many folk turn to irrational belief to derive a
benefit to fill an unmet need. We should love, understand and try to help them
if we feel nurturing tendencies.
wished that we could conceivably get all parties involved to sit down together
in a roundtable discussion about the functions of myth, literature and
religion. Especially skeptics! Why? Because skeptical society doesn’t really
understand or esteem non-evidential capital the way it should.
a student at Tennessee Temple University, I had an aversion to literature and
mythology while preparing for the ministry. My thinking back then was, “Why
should a minister of the life changing gospel of Christ be bothered with myth,
fiction and other worldly entertainment? I thought two semesters of literature
classes were irrelevant to a minister. Jane Austen and mythology never saved
anyone…but Jesus could! I was so wrong and yes…ignorant about the matter.
out that those classes eventually expanded my thinking. But it took a
departure from faith and my being immersed into a post-communist and largely
non-religious society to recognize the importance of the lesson that the
religious myth provided.
“Was Robin Hood was a good or bad guy?” Ask a poor Latvian kid with little
religious exposure and they will usually respond with the evolutionary
survival mindset that he was a hero. Who teaches the difference between right
and wrong in an atheistic or non-religious society and how effective are their
results? I clearly witnessed the absence
of religion and associate it with a lesser desirable society that lacks moral
in regards to myth, myths serve to help organize society. Mircea
Eliade argued that one of the foremost functions of myth is to establish
models for behavior.
years after leaving Christianity and the ministry, I still believe that mankind's
greatest problems are of a spiritual nature. Deep within man are factors that
influence a man towards actions that others can judge to be either good or
bad. Don’t get spooked by my usage of spiritual (the emotional state or mood
in which the interpreter and manager of sensory information processes and acts
upon the input in time)…I just can’t find a better word to describe the
direction of thoughts and perception that influence behavior.
the case of Tiger Woods. The man had most everything going for him: elite
skills in a popular sport, a loving family, a beautiful wife, fame and
influence with more than enough money for a lifetime. The common man has a
hard time understanding why he couldn’t keep it “between the lines” in
what many would picture as a blessed life.
Tiger lacked contentment and appreciation for what he had and got greedy
wanting something more than the original agreement he had with his wife. The
“other women” had spiritual problems as well. Tiger’s problem wasn’t
religious but it was spiritual because he broke that agreement with his wife
which in turn wrecked his family.
employs mythological creations to teach values and encourage mankind to do
what is right and proper. It teaches mythological lessons that should inspire
us to avoid learning the lessons of life through experience and the school of
hard knocks! We should understand the myth that religion employs and allow it
to fulfill it’s intended teaching and inspiring function that serves to
better mankind. So what if many religious followers fail to comprehend the
myth as long as they are influenced to do what is right and proper? Skeptics
should wink and nod in approval while saving their wrath for fundamentalism.
The literalism of fundamentalism misses the point of the religious schoolmaster which is to nurture the decision making process in a positive non-punitive manner. The goal shouldn’t be to avoid a mythological hell or get into a fictitious heaven. Religion and myth are tools that shape society in order to keep it from becoming too disorderly and to curb lawlessness. Fundamentalists (religious and atheist) don’t understand the nuances of life!
Brian Worley Ex-Minister.org December 9, 2010 All rights reserved