Randy Thomasson: “no such thing as gay”

Timothy Kincaid

March 9th, 2010

thomassonI love anti-gay activist Randy Thomasson. He makes our work so much easier and he is always worth a chuckle. Remember when the campaign for Proposition 8 called him “extreme” and sued him to make him go away?

Thomasson, currently of SaveCalifornia.com, always has opinions. So, of course, he has some thoughts about newly-out-but-still-anti-gay drunk-driver Roy Ashburn. Not surprisingly, Ashburn is now a bad bad man. But that’s not all, he’s also mistaken.

Now he’s completely “out.” Monday morning on the radio, Republican State Senator Roy Ashburn of Bakersfield said “I’m gay.”

But Roy Ashburn is mistaken. No one is “gay” because the so-called “gay gene” does not exist.

Oh, Thomasson, you funny fellow. Without a gay folk to battle (for donations, of course) you’d starve to death.

I’m guessing that the “amusingly irrational gene” exists in your family in abundance.

Burr

March 9th, 2010

Well gee then that settles a lot of things!

For instance, there’s no Christian gene, so there’s no such thing as a Christian.

Henry

March 9th, 2010

poor randy. those pesky homosexuals are EVERYWHERE. he can’t seem to get rid of them.

Evan Hurst

March 9th, 2010

Exactly, Burr.

It makes me sad that none of these people ever took like…high school biology? I’m trying to remember when we covered the rudiments of genes, and how they work, but you cover pretty early that lots of characteristics aren’t covered by one simple gene.

homer

March 9th, 2010

I’m invisible! You are just seeing a mirage.

Burr

March 9th, 2010

Come to think of it, there’s no straight gene either. :P

Emily K

March 9th, 2010

the only people who still seriously talk about the existence (or non-existence) of “a gay gene” are anti-gay homophobes trying to disprove what is right in front of their faces: that gay people exist.

Montana

March 9th, 2010

“Family Values” California state senator representing Kern County, Republican Roy Ashburn (guess how he votes on gay issues?), goes to a gay bar near the Capital, picks up a scantily clad buddy, gets drunk, drives and receives a DUI. In my opinion the Republican Party has been taken over small portions of the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” (people who love to push their beliefs on others while trying to take away rights of those they just hate) and that’s who they need to extract from their party if they real want to win. Good Luck, because as they said in WACO, “We Ain’t Coming Out”. They are good at “Follow the Leader”. They listen to their dullard leaders Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush and Savage and the rest of the Blowhards. The world is complicated and most republicans (Hamiliton, Lincoln, Roosevelt) believe that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now its about dancing around the claim that government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. Although most republicans are trying to distant themselves from this fringe they have a long way to go. I guess Ashburn is the first on the list “2010 Republican Summer of Love”. Remember last year list of “2009 Republican Summer of Love”: state assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), SC Board of Ed Chair, Kristin Maguire (AKA Bridget Keeney). Do I hear Tammy Wynette, “Stand By Your Man” playing in the background? I remember not so long ago that other Orange County song favorite, “Stand By Your Tan” (for Tan Nguyen). But that’s another Orange County fool.

Bruce Garrett

March 10th, 2010

There is no left-handed gene either. In fact, the congruence of handedness among identical twins is even less then for homosexuality. So the evidence is clear. No one is left handed.

RCM

March 10th, 2010

Does anybody know what the definition of the word “gay” is in the American dictionary? Does that definition state that it is genetic?

Ben in Oakland

March 10th, 2010

I wish there were no such thing as Randy Thomasson

Mykelb

March 10th, 2010

Is this guy for real? As if science has identified a straight gene or a bi gene or a trans gene? WTF? Nutball of the highest order.

Not so randy

March 10th, 2010

Did no one tell his parents? Randy is an adjective, not a name.

Ray

March 10th, 2010

I got “unfriended” by SaveCalifornia’s Facebook page yesterday after I reported a commenter calling for gays to be guillotined. Then they named me by name as a “homosexual activist” and cited NARTH as the source of their authority on the gay gene.

NARTH!!!!!

JimInMa

March 10th, 2010

So what makes anybody think they know there’s any gene for anything? What makes him a genetics expert? It’s laughable when people talk like they know everything there is to know about a subject like that! How about any subject at all!

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Right Jim. Given that scientists don’t know what the vast majority of genes do its incredibly premature for anyone to claim there is no gay gene or genes involved in sexual orientation. Once scientists (at some distant point in the future) know what every gene does then people can talk about whether or not there is or isn’t a gay gene(s).

CLS

March 10th, 2010

No such thing as a Christian apparently, since no Christian gene has been discovered.

Richard Rush

March 10th, 2010

In Randys’s Magic Kingdom truth does not depend on authentic evidence, reason, or logic. Things become true or false through repetitive proclamation while ignoring inconvenient factors. The result is Magic Truth. So it is very easy for Randy to say, “. . . Roy Ashburn is mistaken. No one is “gay” because the so-called “gay gene” does not exist.” And the gullible masses in the Magic Kingdom will nod their heads in affirmation.

JT

March 10th, 2010

So if I’m following this man’s logic. Something does not exist unless you can provide incontrovertible proof of it’s existence. Scientists have not found a gay gene…it must not be there. Wow, it’s so rare to find an atheist anti-gay activist.

David

March 10th, 2010

“Randy Thomasson: “no such thing as gay””

The penultimate example of denial.

Frijondi

March 10th, 2010

About anti-gay atheists — believe me, they exist. When you get right down to it, anti-gay sentiment is about 1) a nasty but common human tendency to dislike difference, and 2) rigid beliefs about who men and women are, particularly in relation to one another. Some of (2) results from the human categorizing tendency that leads to (1).

Religion is not a requirement for this, it’s just what these attitudes have historically crystallized around. But if it weren’t religion, it would be something else. The nineteenth century is littered with atheists who thought women were sub-human. They have plenty of intellectual heirs today (think of Ayn Rand and her followers), and they tend to be viciously homophobic as well.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Frijondi said “The nineteenth century is littered with atheists who thought women were sub-human.”

“littered with”? Atheists were pretty uncommon in the nineteenth century so I find that hard to believe, I’ve certainly never heard of any. While I’ve encountered once anti-gay atheist in my time on the internet they seem to be pretty rare.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

That should be “one anti-gay atheist”, not “once anti-gay atheist”.

werdna

March 10th, 2010

“The penultimate example of denial.”

So what’s the ultimate example?

Frijondi

March 10th, 2010

Atheism as an intellectual movement originates in the 18thc (some say the 17th, startng with Spinoza); it really took off in the nineteenth century. It wasn’t rare then at all. In “The Gay Science,” Nietzsche (an atheist who considered women more or less sub-human) tells a parable about a madman who runs into the public square shouting “God is dead!” In the story, people laugh, saying everyone has believed that God is dead for such a long time that only a madman would consider it newsworthy. What Nietzsche was driving at was that many, if not most, intellectuals of his day were atheists, or at the very least, highly skeptical about religion, but had not considered the full implications — they had not developed an understanding the world that was not somehow derivative of religious views.

Schopenhauer is another famous 19thc atheist philosopher; he had a great deal of influence. His views on women, however, are just as bad as Thomas Aquinas’s — in fact, they’re worse — he really subscribed to the “woman as incubator and nothing more” POV. Aquinas at least grudgingly admitted that women were capable of some spiritual development.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Frijondi, the number of athesits was estimated at 3.2 million in 1900. While that might seem like a big number it was a very small percentage of the population and as such atheists were relatively rare (.178 percent of the population)

http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,956,Why-the-Gods-Are-Not-Winning,Edge-Gregory-Paul-amp-Phil-Zuckerman,page1#36316

So, you’ve got one 19th centure athiest that you claim thought women were sub-human. Thats far from the 19th century being “littered” with such people.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

That’s 3.2 million atheists out of a world population of aproxiamately 1.8 billion. Atheism most certainly did not “really take off” in the 19th century.

Frijondi

March 10th, 2010

Priya, your opinions are contrary to those of most historians. Please go read a standard work on the 19thc intellectual history, instead of Richard Dawkins’s website, before trying to refute a summary of views that are not controversial among people who do research on this period.

I am not trying to pick a fight, I am interested in dialogue. Do not let your dislike of Christianity, which is your own business, blind you to the fact that many Christians are on the same side as you regarding social issues.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

FRijondi, unlike you I posted facts, not opinions. Unless you’ve got a randomly sampled statistically significant representative population survey of atheists attitudes towards gays you’re simply spouting your wishful thinking. Anyone who thinks about the hundreds of anti-gay voices we have today will be hard pressed to think of many atheists (I certainly can’t – virtually every one is a religious person.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

I should add Frijondi, that you claimed such putative anti-women/anti-gay atheists have “plenty of intellectual heirs today”. Where are they? What proof do you have? As you noted, you certainly won’t find them at Richarddawkins.net.

Frijondi

March 10th, 2010

Priya, a quick visit to a non-scholarly website is not a substitute for an in-depth knowledge of a historical period. The latter takes time.

Negative attitudes about gays tend to be closely related to traditional attitudes about gender — although there are some notable exceptions, such as Betty Friedan’s homophobic remarks “The Feminine Mystique,” and the misogyny of some gay men. By and large though, sexism is the underlying cause of homophobia. Some forms of religion promote those attitudes about gender, some do not. In the last thirty years, there has been a resurgence of sexism in Christianity that counters the liberalizing trends of earlier decades.

You do not have to look very hard to find atheists who are also deeply sexist. There’s no inherent contradiction between the two. If you think that stamping out religion will make the world a better place for women or gays, you will be sadly disappointed. It’s the human tendency to categorize, to be hostile to difference, and to take pleasure in the idea of inequality that’s the problem, and if certain types of Christians weren’t promoting these attitudes right now, someone else would be.

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2010

There have been a number of atheist states ranging from Revolutionary France, through the Soviet era and to current states such as South Korea. None were known for their support of their gay residents.

It probably would be accurate to say that the most supportive nations are those who are somewhat secular but largely historically influenced by Luteranism.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Frijondi, you’ve made a couple of absurd claims which I’ve easily disproven – that atheism was not rare in the nineteenth century and that it “really took off” then. Your mere assertion that you’re an expert won’t make you one, your credibility has been destroyed and making baseless assertions about atheists now or in the nineteenth century won’t score you any points.

You are way out to lunch, you most certainly do have to look very hard to find sexist, anti-gay atheists. I’m sure you wouldn’t dispute that it would be easy for anyone to list dozens or hundreds of anti-gay christians but you’ll be extremely hard pressed to name many such atheists.

I never said anything about stamping out religion – keep beating up that straw man.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Timothy, let’s see your list of prominent western anti-gay atheists.

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2010

Priya Lynn,

I have no list of prominent western anti-gay atheists. But, then again, I never claimed to.

In your evangelical zeal for promoting your religious beliefs, you are thrashing at straw men.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Tinmothy, religious beliefs are beliefs in the supernatural – I no such beliefs, that’s your thing.

Frijondi

March 10th, 2010

Oh, good grief.

I have to go talk to some Jehovah’s Witnesses now.

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2010

Priya Lynn,

‘Religious beliefs’ are beliefs about religion, about the existence and nature of God or gods, about the afterlife, about the miraculous, and so forth. And boy do you have them.

Of all of those who comment here, there is no one who is more strident in their beliefs or more ardent in their zeal to evangelize for them.

Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever met a Christian who was as narrow focused or obsessive over their Christianity as you are over your atheism. The Taliban could take lessons from you.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Uhuh, Timothy. You’re implying that there are lots of anti-gay atheists There are 427,000 signatories to the Manhatten declaration. How many atheists can you find that have made a similar stance against gay equality?

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2010

Nope, not implying that at all.

Step back from the pulpit.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Timothy, to evangelize is to try to convert someone to a religon. I’m not trying to convert anyone to any religion or belief, I simply state the truth and whatever people choose to believe is fine with me. It is you whom I’ve seen evangelizing, asking Jim Scott to see your version of jesus. Beliefs about religion are not religious necessarily religious beliefs. A belief is not religious unless it accepts religion – I do not.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Timothy, if you’re not implying that anti-gay atheists are common then your point about communist atheist states being anti-gay is irrelevant.

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2010

You crack me up.

I’m not trying to convert anyone to any religion or belief, I simply state the truth and whatever people choose to believe is fine with me.

I swear, I’m sure I’ve heard that exact sentence from an evangelical fundamentalist Christian out to preach Jesus to a world caught up in sin. The only difference between you and them is that you are out to preach NO Jesus to a world caught up in religion.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Timothy, you’re the one trying to convert people to your religion – that’s evangelizing. I’m not trying to convert anyone to a religion. You’re an evangelical Christian.

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2010

Priya Lynn,

You zeal has blinded you.

I have no opinion about whether anti-gay atheists are common. But it does appear to me that historically they certainly didn’t seem to treat gay people any better than religious people and in some instances worse.

Like most folk who find salvation in their faith, you really really REALLY want to believe that those who share your views on God(s) are better than those who don’t.

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2010

LOL

Nope. Just as I’m not trying to list anti-gay atheists, I’m not trying to convert anyone to my beliefs.

In fact, most folks here probably have very little idea of what it is that I do believe – including you. That is because, unlike you, I don’t feel compelled to interject my religious views into every subject no matter how unrelated.

I guess I’m just not as evangelical as you are.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

No such thing as salvation Timothy. If you have no opinion on whether anti-gay atheists are common then your comments about communist atheist regimes are irrelevant.

I do know that in all my time on the internet I’ve encountered hundreds of atheists expressing a support for gay equality and only one atheist opposing it. Unless you or Frijondi have some proof that my impression is wrong neither of you are in a position to make any claims about there being many anti-gay atheists.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Timothy said “I’m not trying to convert anyone to my beliefs.”.

Not true Timothy – remember this?:

http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/06/15/2211

“Yes, and as I have said over and over, you refuse to follow Jesus’ commandments.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

and

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied:
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Jim,

You have repeatedly ignored it when I have mentioned these commandments. You act as though I’ve not written anything at all.

Perhaps that is because these Scriptures tug at your conscience? Perhaps it is because you fear that you really don’t love Christ at all?”

I’ve seen you do this many, many times with many Christians you disagree with. You are projecting, accusing me of evangelizing when that is the very thing you are guilty of.

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2010

Now, now, Priya Lynn.

If you want to keep pretending that you aren’t trying to propagate your beliefs, you probably shouldn’t start sermons out with “no such thing as salvation”. People might think you are on a mission.

And, quite naturally, you don’t think that anti-gay atheist regimes are relevant to whether atheism yields itself to anti-gay policies.

You see, Priya Lynn, unlike you I recognize that the mindset behind fundamentalism – the demand that everyone agree with an orthodox belief – is the basis for totalitarianism, whether that be the belief that the Pope is the vicar of Christ, the belief that Sunni doctrine is the doorway to Allah, or the belief that religion is the opiate of the masses. It’s the same thinking that is behind the partisan battles over things that have nothing to do with fiscal or even social ideology. It’s the worldview that drives Linda Harvey and Peter LaBarbera and Bash Back.

It is the insistence that everyone obey, that you are absolutely correct, that your view is “the truth”, that you KNOW the unknowable, and that anyone who disagrees can be dismissed.

I’m not trying to convert you or anyone else, Priya Lynn. Not even Jim Scott. That he and I debated between us the meaning of some Scriptures is relevant to the two of us, not to you. When debating evangelical Christians, I use the language of Christianity.

But because you are missionary in focus, you find it hard to believe that others are not as fired up for God as you are fired up for “no god”.

It simply seems unfathomable that I’m not out as out to spread the good news as you are. But the truth is that I don’t care what you believe or don’t believe. I really don’t.

But I do care that it so consumes you that you find yourself incapable of being courteous to others. I care that it compels you to rudely thrust yourself and your views on people who are doing you no harm.

And I care that it justifies in your mind your decision to far too frequently disrupt what could otherwise be useful dialogue here at Box Turtle Bulletin.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Straw men Timothy, keep beating those straw men. I have never insisted that anyone obey me or demanded that all agree with me – you’re imagining that because it makes it easier for you to think you’re being reasonable.

You can claim you’re not trying to convert anyone, but your own words betray you: “So – here’s the tough one, Mr. Scott – if you want people to fight against injustice against you, you are commanded by Jesus himself (not a suggestion) to fight against injustice to others.

You don’t have a choice. If you want to see Heaven, Mr. Scott, Jesus has commanded you to treat others the way you want to be treated. In this case, it would be to take up the cause of equality for gay people.”.

You regularly try to convert people from their religious beliefs to yours.

And its ironic that you accuse me of being incapable of being courteous. It is you who compared me to the Taliban in this thread, I’ve certainly not made any comparable assault upon your character. You claim it is rude to express the belief that Chistianity is a myth and yet fail to see that statements by people like you that its factual aren’t any different in terms of “rudely thrusting yourself and your views on people who are doing you no harm”.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Timothy said “And, quite naturally, you don’t think that anti-gay atheist regimes are relevant to whether atheism yields itself to anti-gay policies.”.

What the handful of leaders of such regimes think about gays says nothing about what the populations they rule think. As you’ve unequivocally stated that you have no idea if anti-gay atheists are common, that there were such regimes is irrelevant.

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2010

Ah, Priya Lynn.

More with the cut and paste and deliberately ignoring what I actually said about using the language of conservative Christianity when talking to conservative Christians.

But ignoring what is said in order to prove your point is very common with evangelists out to spread their ‘good news’ so I’m not surprised to see it.

And, like all fundamentalists, you define rudeness in the context of your faith. To you, when someone believe in a deity, it is as offensive. They don’t have to be preaching to you, they don’t have to be proselytizing, they may not even know you are in the room. The mere existence of their belief is offensive.

Yet, to you, attacking them for it is not. You’re just “sharing the truth”.

It is amusing how fundamentalist religious belief is always so similar, be it Christianity or Islam or Atheism or any other faith based system. Although none of us can ever truly know the unknowable, some folks just can’t accept that.

However, over the years I’ve noticed a funny thing. Those who yell “Amen” the loudest are the ones who are the least truly firm in their faith. It’s a lot like anti-gay activism – often it’s a mask for secrets. Those with a “street ministry” are often the ones who are secretly beating their wife or molesting their kids.

I wonder, does it work the same with atheism? Are the ones who simply cannot stop themselves from preaching their beliefs hiding a secret? Could it be that the reason they obsess about how faith is nothing more than a fear of eternal punishment really just a cover for their own fear that it might be true?

Of course, I’m not saying that about you, Priya Lynn. We all know that you are not really obsessed about how Christianity is “fear of eternal punishment”, it’s just something you say sometimes.

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2010

Oh, sorry, Priya Lynn. Now I understand.

When Christian nations in history have behaved abominably, it is a reflection on their religious belief. When atheist regimes have behave abominably, it “says nothing about what the populations they rule think.”

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2010

OK, I’ll let you have the last word, Priya Lynn.

First let me say that I have nothing against Atheists, just as I have nothing against Jews, Christians, or Hindus.

But I am annoyed by evangelicals of all stripe that are certain that they are right to the exclusion of all others and that what they say is “the truth” which justifies behaving boorishly.

I don’t like it in Jim Scott, I don’t like it in David Benkof, and I don’t like it in atheists.

OK, Priya Lynn, the floor is yours.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Timothy said “More with the cut and paste and deliberately ignoring what I actually said about using the language of conservative Christianity when talking to conservative Christians.”.

That’s irrelevant to the point we were disputing. You claimed you were not evangelizing, the cut and paste proves you were trying to convert Jim from his religious beliefs to yours – that’s the definition of evangelizing. Your claim that this is not relevant to me is false – its absolutely relevant to your false claim not to be an evangelical.

Timothy said “To you, when someone believe in a deity, it is as offensive.”.

No, its not offensive to me, you however claim it is offensive to you when someone says they don’t believe in gods. I’m stating that there is no difference in offensiveness between the two positions – you want to falsely claim there is.

Timothy said “Yet, to you, attacking them for it is not. You’re just “sharing the truth”.”.

How is my saying there is no god an attack on you? If you believe that then it follows that your saying there is a god is an attack on me – do you believe that? My stating my beliefs is no more an attack on you than your stating yours is an attack on me.

Timothy said “However, over the years I’ve noticed a funny thing. Those who yell “Amen” the loudest are the ones who are the least truly firm in their faith. It’s a lot like anti-gay activism – often it’s a mask for secrets. Those with a “street ministry” are often the ones who are secretly beating their wife or molesting their kids.”.

You accuse me of being rude and incapable of being courteous and here you imply that I’ve got a secret on par with being a wife-beater and child molester, not to mention your previous comparison of me with the Taliban. I’ve made no such assaults on your character.

When it comes to accusing others of evangelizing and being rude you are truly projecting your own actions on them.

Thanks for letting me have my say, I’ll leave you with the last word as your attacks on me speak to who is the one who’s been rude.

Priya Lynn

March 10th, 2010

Timothy said “When Christian nations in history have behaved abominably, it is a reflection on their religious belief. When atheist regimes have behave abominably, it “says nothing about what the populations they rule think.””.

I never said any such thing.

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2010

OK, Priya Lynn, you’ve had the last word.

Frijondi

March 10th, 2010

I kind of hate to stir the embers, but the Jehovah’s Witnesses have left, and I’ve been visiting a favorite non-scholarly website, too. Here’s an interesting post by an atheist, followed by a bunch of comments interesting comments by atheists:

http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2010/03/sexism_in_the_a

Most of this is about sexism, rather than homophobia per se; however, most homophobes will justify their views on sexist grounds if you start asking questions.

Gotta go, the Mormons are knocking. And I’m having drinks with the local Objectivist Society later.

David

March 10th, 2010

Once again we get to see how very tiny the difference is between fundamentalist atheists and homophobes:

both consistently used identical tactics, from out-right lies to personal attacks and statements of fact that redefine other people’s lives, to name only a few, and then pretend that they are victimized by any rebuttal whatsoever.

The most glaring of all though, is that both atheists and homophobes entire position is nothing more than a complete rejection of other people’s life experiences. Homophobes explicitly reject what GLBTQ experience of our own lifes, saying ‘I’m not gay so no one is, there is no such thing as gay’. And atheists explicitly reject what people of faith experience in our own lives saying ‘I haven’t experienced God, so no has, there is no God’.

Richard Rush

March 11th, 2010

David,

There is little, if any, equivalence between the experiences of GLBTQ and religious persons.

The reality of sexual attraction exists entirely within each individual person. The are no independent external issues involved. And this reality occurs uniformly in all cultures, although its apparent degree of expression differs due to social forces.

But the reality of religion involves independent external issues in addition to the experiences occurring within individual persons. The question of a god’s existence is not answered by these experiences. There is an objective factual answer out there somewhere – a god either does or does not exist. The number of people believing one way or the other without empirical evidence contributes nothing toward answering the question. And unlike sexual attraction, there is little uniformity of religious belief among different cultures, other than just the existence of some form of religion.

David, your apparent expectation that religion should be immune from questioning and criticism (or even mockery and ridicule) is unreasonable. As long as religions insist on extending their controlling tentacles into all aspects of people’s lives, there is going to be backlash. And some of that backlash is going to strike at the foundational beliefs that underpin the presumption of religion’s authority. So instead of just lashing out at atheists, time would be better spent by discovering and providing empirical evidence to support religious beliefs.

Ben in Oakland

March 12th, 2010

David; I also have to disagree.I think all religion is silly and unprovable, but i have no objection to people believing whatever they want to believe.

They wouldn’t even be ocming on to my radar if they didn’t keep insisting that whatever version of od or gods they believe in have it in for me in particular.

Not to mention– whatever is presented without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. I would be more than happy to believe in a god or gods if there were a reasonably good reason for doing so besides; “I said so” or “This book written 2000 years ago says so”.

But then, belief wouldn’t be required, because knowledge is available.

Timothy (TRiG)

November 9th, 2010

Greta Christina, who has remarked that the atheist community needs to get its act together on women and racial minorities, has also remarked that homophobia is very rare in the atheist community. The atheist community has little overt prejudice, but racism and sexism certainly exist (that said, the atheist blogs I follow are getting better and better at talking about it, calling it out, and slapping it down), so why is homophobia so blessedly absent? I don’t know, but I suspect it has something to do with the fact that homophobia is an overt prejudice of many religions, so athesists are more aware of it.

TRiG.

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What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.