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Are You a Pro-Gay Bigot?

Rob Tisinai

February 16th, 2013

I’m still working on the follow-up post on bigotry that I promised the other day as part of my response to Vogt. In the meantime, I figured I’d share something I wrote a few years ago before joining Box Turtle Bulletin. I came across this list of twenty questions on a conservative web site under the title, “Are You a Pro-Gay Bigot?” The questions reveal quite a lot about about the author’s mentality. Here are the questions, with my own answers to each.

1. Do you believe in free speech about homosexuality for everyone except conservatives or Christians?

No, I believe in free speech for everyone.

2. Do you participate in name-calling of those who object to homosexuality — names like bigot, hate-monger, etc.?

No.  It takes more than an objection to homosexuality.  Here are the people I call bigots:

  • People who bully, assault, and kill gays because of their sexual orientation.
  • People who think gays should be imprisoned or put to death.
  • People who devote their professional lives to stripping gays of their rights.
  • People who make sweeping generalizations about the character of gay people.
  • People who automatically believe any anti-gay statement they read, while shutting their eyes to contradictory facts and evidence.

3. Do you believe ‘gays’ have been deprived of the right to marry? Doesn’t pretty much everyone have the right to marry now — to a person of the opposite sex?

a.  Yes I do.

b.  No they don’t.  Here are three responses:

  • Do you really think we’ve achieved equality and freedom just because I have the right to do what YOU want me to do?  That’s not equality or freedom — that’s putting you in charge of me.
  • Your question is based on the principle that if everyone has the same rights, then everything must be okay.  But does this principle hold true?  Apply it to religion:  Suppose we passed a Constitutional amendment shutting down all non-Christian places of worship.  Your principle would suggest that no one has been deprived of their rights because everyone has the same right to enter a Christian Church — and if everyone has the same rights, then we’re fine.   That would be ludicrous, so your principle is flawed.
  • If only same-sex marriages were allowed, and all opposite-sex marriages were invalidated, would straights think they’ve been deprived of their right to marry?  I’d like to see someone do on a poll on that question.

4. Do you believe those who object to homosexuality are motivated by fear or ignorance? Do you believe they could never be motivated by compassion for the people involved, and if they say so, they must be lying?

a.  For the most part, yes.  I was raised to be afraid of gays and was kept ignorant of the facts by my parents (who were trying to “protect” me and had themselves been taught untruths), by my church, by my public school teachers, and by the media.  I think this is true of most people, not just me.

b.  I do believe some anti-gays are motivated by compassion — a compassion based on ignorance and fear.  They’re trying to “rescue” me from something they fear, they know nothing of, and they’ve been lied to about by people they trust.

5. Do you believe some people will just inevitably be homosexual, and that there’s a set percentage of the population that will always be ‘gay’, and that this won’t increase, even if a culture embraces ‘gay’ sex? Do you think homosexual experimentation could never become ‘chic’ and popular? Is there no risk for the people involved or our culture if this happens?

a.  Of course.  There’s me, so that’s at least one.  And while it’s possible that more people will engage in gay sex if the culture embraces it, we won’t see an increase the number of people who are actually gay.

b.  Anything could become “chic and popular.”  Especially if it has the lure of the “forbidden” around it.

c.  All sex carries a measure of emotional and physical risk.  That’s why we need realistic and genuinely useful sex education, not “abstinence” programs that lead kids into risky behavior (like unprotected anal sex) because that way they can still think of themselves as virgins.

6. Do you automatically dismiss any conservative comments about homosexuality without listening? Do you believe you are well-informed, while refusing to learn about what homosexuals actually do and the risks involved?

a.  No.  I dismiss lots of conservative comments because I do listen.  And then I write a blog post detailing the factual and logical errors.

b.  I do believe I am well-informed, despite the best efforts of conservatives to deceive the public about what homosexuals actually do.

7. Do you believe that the tragedy of any suicide by someone involved in homosexuality is the fault of conservatives? Is the best solution to these tragedies to demand that everyone in America accept homosexuality?

a.  No.  People — straight and gay — commit suicide for many reasons.  I do believe, however, that quite a few suicides (especially teen suicides) are the fault of those people — liberal or conservative — who perpetuate lies about homosexuality.

b.  I believe many teens now dead would still be alive if their parents (and our culture) were more accepting of homosexuality, rather than telling kids that all gays are despicable, selfish people who prey on children and can never know love.

8. Do you automatically dismiss the idea that anyone could be a former homosexual, despite the hundreds of groups started by ex-‘gays’ and the thousands who live in America?

Please define “former homosexual.”  Many ex-gay groups say they cannot take away your homosexual urges but can help you stop acting on them.  That’s an odd definition of “former homosexual.”  Sounds like a celibate gay to me, and yes, I do believe some gays are celibate.

9. Do you believe that homosexuals are born that way? Do you refuse to consider the evidence against this claim? Have you ever looked at the connection between child sexual abuse and later homosexual attraction?

a.  I don’t know.

b.  The “evidence against this claim” tends to be weak.  People point to a lack of definitive evidence in favor of the claim, and erroneously call that evidence against it.  They also say things like, “We’ve mapped the human genome without finding a gay gene, so it doesn’t exist,” which does nothing but illustrate their ignorance of what genome-mapping means.  Or they assume “born that way” means “100% genetic” and ignore research on things like pre-natal hormones.

c.  Have you ever looked at the connection between child sexual abuse and later heterosexual attraction?

10. Do you believe that only churches that accept homosexuality have interpreted the Bible in the ‘correct’ way? Do you feel it isn’t necessary to read the relevant Bible passages yourself, all of which are straightforward in condemning homosexual acts? Do you believe it’s impossible to be “kind” and oppose homosexuality?

a.  I only have access to a translation of a copy of a copy of the Bible, so I can’t speak on the correct interpretation of the Bible.

b.  Again, I can’t read ancient languages, and even if I could, no one has access to the original documents, so no one can really read the relevant passages themselves, much less claim they are “straightforward.”

c.  No, I think it’s possible.  There’s so much deception from the anti-gay leadership, it twists the kind impulses of some people into tragically ugly statements and actions

11. Are you quick to say “Judge not, lest you be judged” ( Matthew 7:1) and similar passages, without understanding the Christian theology behind it, and all the while being very judgmental yourself?

No.

12. Do you sincerely believe Jesus would have accepted homosexual sex acts? Do you believe Jesus is cool with whatever anyone wants to do? Do you believe there’s such a thing as ‘sin’ and if so, how is it defined? Are you the one who defines sin for yourself? Do you have no need of a savior and if not, wasn’t Christ’s death and resurrection pretty pointless? Despite all these contradictory and self-constructed beliefs, do you consider yourself a “Christian”?

a.  I don’t know and neither do you.

b.  No.

c.  I think of sin as a religious concept that differs from religion to religion.  I do believe in right and wrong, and I think “wrong” is defined by treating others as objects and things for your disposal rather than as human beings who deserve the same kindness, generosity, and respect  you would want for yourself.

d.  Life is hard and we all long for a savior sometimes.  Christ’s death wasn’t pointless because it gave rise to a religion that has, in various times and various places, inspired humanity to greatness and led it to horrific acts of evil.  I don’t have evidence that the resurrection happened.

e.  I do not consider myself a Christian.  But what contradictory beliefs are you talking about?  You didn’t even know the answers to my questions when you wrote that.  Is this a thought-provoking questionnaire or merely yet another listing of stereotype and prejudice?

13. Do you believe sweeping stereotypes, like that all ‘gay’ people are innocent victims or that all conservatives must be mean and stupid?

No.  Do you believe the many negative sweeping stereotypes about gays?

14. Do you close your ears and figure it’s a conservative plot if you hear that at least 2/3 of all the HIV transmission in the United States still involves males having anal sex with each other?

No.  But if conservatives believe this then I have to wonder why so many of them oppose realistic sex education.

15. Do you believe anyone who objects to homosexuality is automatically “hateful,” while you seethe with hate yourself?

No.  And I’ve written at length to that effect.

16. Do you believe it’s okay for thirteen- year- olds to learn at school that they have the right to have homosexual sex with each other? Do you close your ears when concerned parents are outraged? Would you call such parents “ignorant” and accuse them of “censorship”?

a.  I don’t know what you mean by “they have the right.”  I do believe that thirteen year-olds should be taught the information they need to protect themselves from doing permanent harm to themselves, and I’m amazed anyone could advocate otherwise.

b.  No.

c.  I would call the parents ignorant if they were ignorant, but not if they weren’t.  I don’t throw around the term “censorship” lightly.

17. Do you believe that, after several thousand years where most cultures have prohibited homosexuality, only now the ‘real’ truth is emerging? Do you believe this is not an arrogant, narrow or immature position?

a.  Have most cultures prohibited homosexuality?   Certainly ancient Greece and Rome, from which our own culture derived, did not have blanket prohibitions on homosexuality.  And what do you mean by “prohibit”?

b.  No, for two reasons.

  • I do not think it’s arrogant, narrow, or immature to think for yourself.  I find your question appalling, frankly.
  • I also find it a bit frightening that you think it’s arrogant, narrow, and immature to move beyond the moral code of our ancient ancestors, who once believed it was fine to rape women as long as they belonged to a different tribe.  Do you think we were arrogant, narrow, and immature to outlaw rape?

18. Do you believe that ‘gays’ are the target of widespread violence that goes unpunished in the United States? Do you understand that hate crimes stats don’t support this claim and that laws already exist to punish all crimes, no matter why they are committed? Would you be unconcerned about overall civil liberties if trumped -up charges of so-called “hate speech” were used to silence people?

a.  Yes.

b.  No, I do not understand that hate crimes stats “don’t support” this claim.  Yes, I do understand that laws already exist to punish all crimes — do you realize that this statement is an empty tautology?

c.  I am in fact concerned about countries in Europe outlawing hate speech against gays, Christians, and so on, and I’ve written to that effect.  Fortunately, in the US, there is no such thing as a legal charge of “hate speech,” and the First Amendment prevents such a thing from happening here.  I wish conservatives understood that, too.

19. Do you believe that conservatives are making a big deal out of a behavior that has no harmful effects on individuals, families, communities, or societies? Do you scoff at any claims that serious public health issues are involved, like sexually transmitted diseases or risks to children?

a.  I believe that many conservatives are making a dishonest deal out of something — not a behavior, but an intrinsic human trait — that can be a source of joy and of harm (just like heterosexuality).

b.  I do not scoff at serious public health claims.  I believe we need realistic sex education about sexually transmitted diseases and risks to children associated with sexuality in general (not just hetero or homo).

20. And–very big question: Is your need for other people’s approval greater than your appreciation of truth? Do you refuse to consider an unpopular viewpoint because it might make you appear unenlightened to some people? If your mind and heart changed about this issue, would you have the courage to be a rebel for a worthy cause, to speak up and inform family, friends–and fellow humans who are involved in homosexuality?

a.  We all struggle with this issue throughout our lives.  You can be sure an openly gay person has struggled successfully at least once, by coming out of the closet and living in truth rather than hiding for fear of losing the approval of the people around them.

b.  No.

c.  Yes.  And in fact I get enormous satisfaction from being a small rebel in a great and worthy cause — the crusade for truth, dignity, and equality.  Wait — are you people claiming to see yourselves as rebels?

Comments

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Gene in L.A.
February 16th, 2013 | LINK

Short answer: I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “pro-gay bigot.” Unless there’s a concomitant antagonism against its opposite, one can’t be a bigot by being pro-ANYTHING.

Snowman
February 16th, 2013 | LINK

Whoever wrote that list seems like they thought highly of themselves and their opinions.

Hazumu
February 16th, 2013 | LINK

Most of those questions are not questions, but direct statements worded as questions, and when rendered as direct ststements, they’re pretty much indefensible.

Ben In Oakland
February 16th, 2013 | LINK

“5. Do you believe some people will just inevitably be homosexual, and that there’s a set percentage of the population that will always be ‘gay’, and that this won’t increase, even if a culture embraces ‘gay’ sex?”

Now THERE’S a trick question– conflating being gay with “embracing gay sex.”

No, we don’t want you to “embrace gay sex.” What we want is for you to consider that our sex lives are not your business, and embrace gay PEOPLE.

palerobber
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

awesome — thanks.

JCF
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

“Do you feel it isn’t necessary to read the relevant Bible passages yourself, all of which are straightforward in condemning homosexual acts?”

Talk about question-begging! FAIL.

JCF
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

Not to mention this one:

“Despite all these contradictory and self-constructed beliefs, do you consider yourself a “Christian”?”

JCF
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

“do you realize that this statement is an empty tautology?”

Oh, WHICH ONE, Rob? There are empty tautologies through out this “questionnaire”!

***

Just wanna give a shout-out to Gene in LA who nailed it in one:

“Unless there’s a concomitant antagonism against its opposite, one can’t be a bigot by being pro-ANYTHING.”

But that’s the thing about Christianism: far from being a simple faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (whatever you may feel about that claim, that’s Christianity), Christianism IS a “concomitant antagonism against its opposite” (anything which isn’t Christianism!). It has NOTHING to do w/ Jesus, besides the 5-letter word.

Hunter
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

I don’t know that I would have the patience to go through this list and answer these “questions” (and Hazumu is right — they’re not really questions). I tend to be personally offended by unexamined assumptions, particularly when those assumptions are presented as unassailable truths.

You’re absolutely correct: this list says a great deal about the questioner.

Coxhere
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

Throughout this “questionnaire,” the questioner uses a religious verb: BELIEVE. At times the questioner also uses the verb “feel” incorrectly. But I don’t think that the questioner at any time uses the word THINK. Please go back and see how many times the questioner uses the word “think” when asking questions. Isn’t this interesting?

When I am asked if I “believe in” something, I respond with no, I don’t “believe in” much at all. I say that I think something. I say that I value thinking and that I want to be a understood as a thinker.

If a person asks if I “feel that. . . ” the question is, again, about thinking. Do I think. . . . The word “that” is the key. I don’t “feel that” anything. Feel is followed simply by a feeling words such as happy, joy, sad, angry.

The responses were excellent and well thought-out in this posting. However, I think that we fall into the questioner’s trap of using “believe” and “feel that.” These are Christian verbs! I want such a person to know that I THINK. (A questioner does not deserve to know my religious beliefs.) In conclusion, this homophobic questioner doesn’t think. S/he merely “believes.” And belief is almost always irrational.

gsingjane
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

Do I believe that there are a lot of pro-gay people who are atheists, and who harbor tremendous hostility toward people of any faith, particularly Christianity, who conflate being atheist with being pro-gay, and denigrate and discard, often in extremely unfortunate terms, the opinions of any person of faith?

Yes.

Priya Lynn
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

Gsingjane, the vast majority of atheists are progray and if you encounter an anti-gay person they’re almost certainly religious – at least in western countries.

Pacal
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

Since no one else said it. I noticed that in the questions there was the assumption that Gay = male. Once again Lesbians are forgotten. Typical.

gsingjane
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

That might be so, but it doesn’t follow that only atheists are pro-gay. It’s sad, disappointing and incredibly frustrating that so many pro-gay people conflate being atheist and being pro-gay as if being Christian and pro-gay were mutually exclusive. They aren’t. Some of the very best work being done today, to introduce LBGT acceptance to the wider community, is being done through the liberal churches.

People can believe whatever they want. But, I continue to fail to understand why so many in the gay community work so hard to alienate and disparage people who only want to be friendly supporters. From a strategic point (if no other) it makes no sense.

Priya Lynn
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

Gsingjane said “That might be so, but it doesn’t follow that only atheists are pro-gay. It’s sad, disappointing and incredibly frustrating that so many pro-gay people conflate being atheist and being pro-gay as if being Christian and pro-gay were mutually exclusive.”.

Oh, I agree, it doesn’t follow that only atheists are pro-gay, there are a lot of pro-gay religious people (I don’t know if its a majority of christians, but it might be). That being said its pretty safe to conflate being an atheist with being pro-gay. I’ve been on the internet since about 2000 and I’ve only encountered two openly atheist anti-gay people. I’ve read a lot of thousand comment threads on gay topics on atheist sites and never seen a single anti-gay comment from anyone but a religious person.

Hue-Man
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

These “questions” are based on the classic “When did you stop beating your wife?”

Anti-gay bigots claim that gays and lesbians hate religion; this is patently false. As far as I’m concerned religion is like any other delusion – hoarders, birthers, apocalyptics, McCain in his lawn chair; as long as they stay away from me and mine, I don’t really care what they believe. Hate requires emotional involvement which is wasted on religionists.

Dante
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

“the vast majority of atheists are progray and if you encounter an anti-gay person they’re almost certainly religious – at least in western countries.”

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. There is no shortage of homophobic atheists, the internet is full of them.

And the majority of people in the U.S. who support civil equality for GLBTQ people are Christians, and 70% of GLBTQ people in the U.S. are Christians.

http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/13-culture/282-spiritual-profile-of-homosexual-adults-provides-surprising-insights

“Although most adults affirm the importance of faith in their life, regardless of their sexual orientation, straight adults (72%) were more likely than gay adults (60%) to describe their faith as “very important” in their life. And even though most Americans consider themselves to be Christian, there is a noticeable gap between heterosexuals who self-identify that way (85%) compared to homosexuals (70%). ”

The amazing thing is that despite homophobic theology, only about 12-15 of GLBTQ people lose their faith.

But let’s not forget the fact that atheism is a prejudice, just like homophobia.

And Hue-man – remember that homophobes assert that homosexuality is a mental illness, the next time you choose to inflate your ego by announcing that religion is ‘like any delusion’.

Frankly, you and your peers are operating on the same moral level as the author of the survey Rob dissected.

Priya Lynn
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. There is no shortage of homophobic atheists, the internet is full of them.”.

LOL, yeah, right. Its just my exceptional luck that I just about never come across any of them.

“But let’s not forget the fact that atheism is a prejudice, just like homophobia.”.

Fact eh? You have a very strange concept of facts and prejudice.

Priya Lynn
February 17th, 2013 | LINK

Dante, did you used to post here under a different name (perhaps David if I remember correctly)?

MCB
February 18th, 2013 | LINK

@Priya – thanks for the “at least in western cultures.” I sometimes get confused questions about how Japan can possibly be so homophobic when they’re so irreligious. The answer is simple: all you need is sexism. You need the belief that all men are this way, and all women are this way (and not as good as men), and some version of homophobia will arise.

In many places, religion is one of the greatest preservers of sexism, whenever texts written centuries ago are treated as unchanging, fixed markers of all values. It’s not a coincidence that the churches and synagogues who accept homosexuality also tend to accept things like female leadership or historical criticism of the Bible.

Even in societies like Greece, Rome, and Medieval Japan that accepted *some* forms of homosexuality, these were typically seen through the light of sexism. The bottom always had to be lower in status than the top, because he was taking the woman’s role. As for lesbians – does it even count as sex if there’s no penis involved?

Which is why East Asia, as nonsectarian and unscriptural as it is, can still be homophobic as hell. Men are this way, women are that way, and any violation of that pattern makes you unacceptable. This includes not just homosexuality, but also remaining single, having a woman be the head of the household, etc. Sexism is built into the very *languages* of East Asia, and with that comes homophobia. Things are thankfully changing in that regard, but slowly.

As for anti-gay atheists… if you mean actively opposing gay rights, no I’ve never met any. I have met plenty who carry around a lot of sexist and heteronormative privilege and bias, though. But while they can be repugnant trolls online, they generally aren’t trying to get everyone to accept their scriptural interpretation, or trying to get people to change their orientation, etc. etc. No, the Religious Right is still the main enemy of gay rights in the West, everyone else is just a tiny sideshow.

Marcus
February 18th, 2013 | LINK

Priya, I’m guessing you’ve only lived in Western societies.

Rob, you’re awesome.

Anthemius
February 18th, 2013 | LINK

The whole “atheism is a prejudice” is complete nonsense. The author of that statement doesn’t know what atheism is.

The “atheists are soo tolerant of gays” is also nonsense.

Priya Lynn
February 18th, 2013 | LINK

MCB I didn’t know the Japanese were homophobic. That was a great explanation of the connection between sexism and homophobia.

Marcus, you are correct, I’ve only lived in Canada.

Anthemis said “The whole “atheism is a prejudice” is complete nonsense. The author of that statement doesn’t know what atheism is. The “atheists are soo tolerant of gays” is also nonsense.”.

Anthemis I did some checking and the person that posted that is the same person that used to post anti-atheist rants under the name “David” – he’s quite the character. He has a seething hateful intolerance of atheists and believes the mere act of not believing in a god makes all atheists bad people.

He claims atheism is an attack on christianity because atheists believe theists’ beliefs are incorrect. He says atheism is by its nature bigotry and intolerance because atheists think christian beliefs are incorrect. It never occurrs to him that by the same criteria he uses to judge atheism as intolerant bigotry and an attack on religion HIS religion must be an attack on atheism and intolerant bigotry because christians think atheists’ beliefs are incorrect. He thinks atheists are not entitled to their beliefs because it is unacceptable to think another person’s beliefs are wrong, the only allowable belief is the belief in religion.

David/Dante is by a long ways the most intolerant anti-atheist christian I have ever come across. Blinded by hate, he can’t see his own ironic hypocrisy.

Richard Rush
February 18th, 2013 | LINK

Dante said, “But let’s not forget the fact that atheism is a prejudice . . .”

I assume it then follows that the scientific theory of evolution is largely the result of prejudice, and nearly all scientists working in that field are driven by prejudice and bigotry against believers of creation stories. Apparently, the concepts of empirical evidence and reason are just devious tools to support prejudice against religious beliefs.

Ben In Oakland
February 18th, 2013 | LINK

For the last time:

being an atheist doesn’t mean I hate religion.

Being an atheist doesn’t mean that I hate religious people.

Being an atheist doesn’t mean that I either I believe there is no god or know there is no god.

being an atheist simply means that the question of god is irrelevant to my life, just like the question of the Christian god is irrelevant to a buddhist’s life, or the question of leprechauns is irrelevant to the life of someone who isn’t Irish.

Like any thoughtful atheist, I would give worlds to see incontrovertible proof that there is a god.

Hell, I’d settle for a leprechaun.

Timothy Kincaid
February 18th, 2013 | LINK

Ben,

I think that you are describing an agnostic. If I have my terms correct, an atheist believes there are no gods while an agnostic simply doesn’t actively believe in any.

Priya Lynn,

“I’ve only encountered two openly atheist anti-gay people.”

Julia Gillard certainly makes up for the small number.

Priya Lynn
February 18th, 2013 | LINK

Never heard of her.

Timothy Kincaid
February 18th, 2013 | LINK

Richard,

“I assume it then follows that the scientific theory of evolution is largely the result of prejudice…”

I don’t think that evolution/creation is really a particularly accurate delineator between religious and atheist people.

Certainly those who do believe in a 7 day creation are religious and those who are atheist do not. But it is probably also true that a large majority of those who identify as religious believe in evolution.

(Personally, as I’ve said many times, I think that they are just two ways of saying the exact same thing. One in literal scientific terms, and one in poetic and representative terms. The thing that I marvel about is that the pattern of change from nothing to now – light, matter, land/water, life in the water, life on land, animals, humans, obtaining the ‘knowledge of good and evil’, man learning to til the ground and leaving the ‘garden’ – was so accurately told in the creation myth.)

Timothy Kincaid
February 18th, 2013 | LINK

Julia Gillard is the Prime Minister of Australia. She is an atheist. She is also a fierce opponent to marriage equality and a significant reason why it is not the law in Australia today.

chiMaxx
February 18th, 2013 | LINK

No, Timothy: It’s atheism.

It means that you don’t foreclose the possibility that there might someday be evidence of a god or gods (or ghosts or vampires or leprechauns or unicorns or superheroes or intelligent life on other planets that wants to communicate with us).

Choosing to put them in a mental box labeled “highly improbable in the absence of actual evidence” rather than “impossible,” doesn’t make one any less an atheist.

And it allows you to enjoy them all with a certain distance as just cracking good stories, good for a night around the campfire or, in the hands of a skilled storyteller, a tale where they serve as rich metaphors for human struggles that are hard to articulate directly, but nothing more.

Timothy Kincaid
February 18th, 2013 | LINK

chiMaxx, thanks for the clarification.

I guess many of the more emphatically self-declared atheists I’ve encountered are more of the evangelical sort, out preaching their beliefs about deities and the absence thereof. I guess it makes sense that – like most religions – there are a large body of less strident or extreme adherents who simply don’t announce it as often. I made one of those errors similar to looking at the Pope and thinking I saw a typical Catholic.

Reed
February 18th, 2013 | LINK

Thanks for this, Rob. It made my week.

Ben In Oakland
February 19th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy, one could define things that way. I call myself an antheist simply because it takes too long to describe what an it-doesn’t-matterist is.

I’m not an atheist because I actually believe “there is no god.” I’m pretty sure there isn’t, but the question doesn’t have a lot of meaning to me, simply becuase there is very little useful evbidence that there is, which is why I mentioned leprechauns. I could equally have mentioned Zeus or Xenu.

and I would never express certainty on the issue, except for the statement that if there IS a god who created the entire universe, he’s in no way as obsessed about my dangly bits as a certain class of his followers are.

Strictly speaking, I’m an it doesn’t matterist. It matters to an agnostic, it matters to an atheist. It doesn’t matter to me.

Timothy Kincaid
February 19th, 2013 | LINK

Ben,

Then I will happily categorize you and an antheist (mostly because that itdoesntmatterist could require either hyphenation or unsightly line justification)

Andrew
February 19th, 2013 | LINK

I liked your answers to this questionnaire, for the most part. I’m not sure I would have resisted some of the baiting, necessarily – some of the questions have underlying assumptions that could, frankly, be interpreted as insulting. I think you handled those instances very thoughtfully. Thanks for publishing that.

Ben In Oakland
February 19th, 2013 | LINK

You hate me because Im a terrible typist and somewhat dyslexic.

Priya Lynn
February 19th, 2013 | LINK

“Julia Gillard is the Prime Minister of Australia. She is an atheist. She is also a fierce opponent to marriage equality and a significant reason why it is not the law in Australia today.”.

I hate her.

Timothy Kincaid
February 19th, 2013 | LINK

oh lord, that was a typo!! he he
I thought you had come up with a new term for yourself… very well, atheist you are.

Ben In Oakland
February 19th, 2013 | LINK

What a relief!

Though i do like the new term.

Antheist: n. from American “an’ I don’t believe it matters.”

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