Saturday, October 15, 2016

Religionist Frothing at the Mouth

Over at Shadow To Light, Mikey wages a never-ending campaign of hatred against "New Atheists", or Gnus, as he often calls them.  Now he's picking on a kid for simply advocating secularism in the home.  That's all.  This 17-year-old, known as Cosmic Skeptic, seems pretty level-headed to me.  Did he say anything hateful or unkind toward religion or religious people?  No.  Did he make some snarky remark, or use ridicule?  No.  He simply expressed his opinion that parents should allow their children to make their own decisions about religious beliefs without being coerced into any particular religion by the parents.  And for that, Mikey has branded him with the pejorative label of "Gnu".

Cosmic Skeptic's position seems quite reasonable.  Consider that Mikey would undoubtedly disapprove of anyone trying to coerce his own children into any belief system, with one single exception: his own religious belief.  That's OK.  What do you think Mikey would say about an attempt to indoctrinate his children as Muslims, for example?  Would he think that this is good for the child?  Doubtful.  But Mikey does think that indoctrinating his child with his own religious beliefs is perfectly reasonable.  Cosmic Skeptic thinks that parents should take a secularist stance - not to favor any one system of belief, but instead to let the child come to his own beliefs when he is ready to do so. 

Not only is this quite reasonable, but most Christians will insist that this is exactly what they themselves have done.  They would never admit that their own religious beliefs are the result of indoctrination or parental coercion.  Ask any Christian.  He'll tell you that his beliefs are based entirely on reason.  Indoctrination has nothing to do with it.  Why, then, would Mikey object to parents taking a secular stance?  If their religion is so reasonable, surely the child will eventually come to that conclusion through his own rational process, without being indoctrinated.  Could there be some hypocrisy going on here?  Perish the thought.

One thing Mikey gets dead wrong is the idea that secular equates to atheist.  He insists that Cosmic Skeptic is advocating atheism.
So even if you are a Christian, you are supposed to raise your child as an atheist  (keeping in mind that we are told atheism is simply a lack of God belief which, in turn, is simply secularism).
But that's not true at all.  Secularism is a neutral position with respect to religion.  It implies having the freedom to believe what you choose, not having some particular religion, or atheistic beliefs, forced upon you.  The USA is considered to be a secular state, because of our freedom of religion and the separation of church and state.  Does that mean that religion is not allowed?  Of course not.  We are, by and large, a religious nation.  But the state does not coerce us to follow any particular religion or lack of religion.  The USSR was not a secular state.  Russia became a secular nation when state atheism was dropped, and freedom of religion was adopted.

In Mikey's twisted view of reality, a secular stance is seen as authoritarian.  He seems to think that failure to indoctrinate your children into your Christian faith is the same thing as forcing them to become atheists.
This Gnu insists that parents should be as secular/atheistic as the public school system. ... Look, I don’t share these authoritarian tendencies.
I guess that means that teaching children science instead of having them all recite the same prayer in the classroom is forcing them to be atheists.  And suggesting that parents take a secular stance in raising their children is equivalent to forcing the parents to take an atheistic stance.
But this younger generation of Gnus, indoctrinated by Richard Dawkin’s ideology on these matters, have more of an authoritarian nature.  They insist that religious people behave and talk as secular parents around their children.  They insist that religious parents raise children by acting as if atheism was true.
No, Mikey.  Nobody's forcing you to do anything.  Nobody is advocating anything like that.  Cosmic Skeptic certainly isn't advocating anything of the sort.  He's just expressing his opinion.  You need to rinse the froth from your mouth and take a breath of fresh air.  You are not the only person in the world who is entitled to have an opinion.

So what's the real reason for Mikey's visceral objection to secularism?  I think it's because he knows what all his fellow Christians know.  Deep down inside, they understand that the only way to ensure their child will grow up to have their faith is to indoctrinate him while he's young, just as they have been indoctrinated when they were young, before they had the intellectual capability to make a rational choice.  Mikey sees the writing on the wall.  He knows that failure to indoctrinate children makes it much more likely that they will not carry on the faith, and will not pass it down to their own children.  That's what Mikey fears.  That's what he's foaming about.

And that explains Mikey's irrational hatred of anyone who disagrees.  Why he would call this kid who expresses such reasonable and surprisingly mature views a Gnu?  Let's be clear about this.  It isn't Cosmic Skeptic who is behaving badly here.  Mikey is seething and frothing at the mouth and calling him a Gnu because he had the temerity to express his opinion.  And Mikey doesn't agree.  Mikey just can't help but let his loving Christian spirit shine through. As usual.

At this point, Mikey runs away.


  1. 1. Isn't "Gnu" Atheist a term that was coined and promoted by atheists? You seem to talk about the term in a negative light like it was put upon you by Christians.

    2. It's funny how you commend him for not being snarky or not using ridicule. With the way I have seen you act in the past on various message boards, maybe you can learn a lot from him.

    3. From reading that again, I think that Mikey doesn't want his kid to be indoctrinated with Moral Relativist crap (the belief that morality is what each individual wants it to be).

    1. 1. That word was first used years ago by atheists to refer to themselves. That usage didn't last long. Ever since that time, it has been used exclusively as a pejorative term by Religionists.

      2. If you want to talk about my behavior, you can start by showing examples. But this article wasn't about me.

      3. The whole point is that Cosmic Skeptic is talking about NOT indoctrinating children with ideological crap. You and Mikey both seem to think that if you don't teach your child religious beliefs, then you must be teaching anti-religion. Not true. Teaching him to think logically without the ideological baggage is sufficient.

    2. JBsptfnOctober 16, 2016 at 7:47 AM

      " Moral Relativist crap (the belief that morality is what each individual wants it to be). "
      Morality is relative, since there is no identifiable external absolute reference point for morality for each of us.

      Morality is a sensibility, an emotion, a personal sense of ought, should, ought not, should not.

      Through communication we find that most of us share a broad similarity in our personal moralities, so much so that most people suffer under the delusion that morality is somehow objective or absolute.

  2. 1. OK, whatever.
    2. There are plenty, but I don't have time to share them.
    3. We don't think that. We don't want to indoctrinate them with Moral Relativist crap, as I said before.

  3. This post has generated some discussion in which Mikey's followers have grossly distorted Cosmic Skeptic's intended meaning of "secular". They insist that it implies being ideologically aligned with an atheistic worldview. TFBW even goes so far as to say that I'm (re)defining “secular” and “secularism” to suit [my] argument. But that's exactly what TFBW is doing. Yes, I did look it up. It means not being governed by any religious authority or rules. It means being outside the auspices of the church and the clergy. In the manner that Cosmic Skeptic used it, it certainly does not imply favoring any particular worldview. He used the word in a sense that is consistent with the way we speak of governments. A secular state is one that has freedom of religion and doesn't impose any one belief system over another. This is exactly what Cosmic Skeptic means when he says he thinks that parents should be secular in raising their children. The whole point of that discussion is allowing the child to make up his own mind, not having it imposed on him. But Mikey wants to twist the truth and make it sound as if it is an authoritarian enforcement of atheistic thinking. And it appears that TBFW is trying to do the same thing. Bullshit. That isn't what Cosmic Skeptic is saying at all.