Today’s creepy old weirdo bemoaning christian persecution is the archbishop of Wales, coming to us from across the pond from BBC News. In fact, he’s good for a two-for, because he also regurgitates one of our favorite christian bullshit charges, “atheist fundamentalism”. Usually it’s just “atheism is a religion” but when they have their panties truly in a knot or want to go one higher and crank their bullshit up to “11″ they spew “atheist fundamentalism”. It seems this guy’s panties are twisted over calling x-mas “Winterval” and no nativity plays at schools.

First, let’s look at how he defined this “atheist fundamentalism”. He said it…
“advocated that religion in general and Christianity in particular have no substance, and that some view the faith as superstitious nonsense”.
Hmmm, that sounds like common sense to me, not fundamentalism. Let’s stop for a moment and check the definition of fundamentalism from Merriam-Webster:
fundamentalism: 1 a: a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to Christian life and teaching
b: the beliefs of this movement
c: adherence to such beliefs
2: a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles
And if you clicked the link earlier about charging atheism is a religion you’d have seen this definition:
atheism: the rejection of claims for the existence of a god or gods for lack of evidence
So what would “atheist fundamentalism” be? Strict and literal adherence to the belief that you need evidence before you can accept a claim for the existence of a god or gods? That’s the only thing I get when trying to combine those two words into anything remotely sensible and of course even this is silly since nearly everyone repeatedly everyday requires evidence before accepting a claim (well except for those people gullible enough to think that person emailing them from Nigeria really will give them millions of dollars in exchange for just a few thousand). This is referred to as “common sense”, only for some reason most of the world, when it comes to god claims, abandon their common sense. So if we atheists are to be damned as “fundamentalists” because we have such a strict adherence to common sense that we keep it even when faced with god claims, then so be it. However, the archbishop wants to imply that we have some big book of bullshit like him that we mindlessly follow, and perhaps on page one is that christianity has no substance and that it’s superstitious nonsense. No sir, those are merely conclusions one comes to if they use their common sense, and relax, we think of all religions that way, not just christianity.

After the archbishop gave his examples of how christians are persecuted, he said:
“All of this is what I would call the new “fundamentalism” of our age. It allows no room for disagreement, for doubt, for debate, for discussion. It leads to the language of expulsion and exclusivity, of extremism and polarisation, and the claim that, because God is on our side, he is not on yours.”

Now this is more confusing than his so-called atheist fundamentalism. No room for disagreement, for doubt, for debate, or for discussion? Is he serious? Is that not the motif of all religions, to crush dissent, demand belief and censor anything in disagreement? The Golden Compass movie is being boycotted by catholics and other christian groups, the books series that gave life to the movie has been recently banned from a catholic school library, the pope earlier this year said his religion is the only true one, kids have to get their genitals snipped, can not get potentially life saving vaccines (or in some cases any medical care like a blood transfusion), are taught abstinence instead of the values of birth control, and frankly I think I could keep writing for days and not even come close to all the examples of how this is the game plan of religion. If it were true that christians were actually getting a taste of their own medicine, then perhaps they deserve it but the truth is they aren’t. What he objects to is what his comrades in the states object to, losing their privileged and unjustified position everywhere in society, especially when it’s at the expense of others. Yes, you are being expelled from the places you wrongly claimed and excluded from opportunities to continue to exclude.

To further elaborate on this old nut’s delusions, here are some other choice statements:
The nativity story in St Luke’s Gospel had a “message of joy and good news for everyone”.
“God is not exclusive, he is on the side of the whole of humanity with all its variety.”

Ah yes, the “good news”. Don’t get me started about that, but the delusion that his little baby cult story is somehow “good news” for everyone is absurd, as is the notion that his magic man is on the side of everyone. Yeah, everyone that believes in him, well, who believes in him the “right” way, oh, and make sure you’re not gay, and it would be better if you had a penis, but other than all that, yeah, on the side of everyone.

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14 Responses to “Creepy Archbishop Condemns "Atheist Fundamentalism"”

  1. This is where I can’t take seriously what people high up in their religious organizations have to say. They have opted for a career in religion, so their occupation depends on the validity and continuity of that religion. No god, no paycheck, so to speak.

    It’s like listening to celebraties shilling for corn flakes. You know they’re getting paid for it, and probably don’t eat that brand anyway.

  2. On the one hand, these sorts of statements are annoying BS. On the other hand, they demonstrate that atheists are being heard by lots of ordinary people, a fact that rightly worries religious leaders. If the ordinary folks stop believing, stop attending churches, stop giving their money to churches, then – as SI noted – church leaders are out of work.

    As long as atheism was the province of stodgy philosophy professors, the clergy didn’t pay much attention to them. Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Dennett, et al, have brought atheism out of the ivory towers and into the hands of the common folks by speaking in plain language. They’ve also made atheism concrete by showing its relationship to real world conditions. People don’t care about the “classic” intellectual arguments for God’s existence. Those are simple mind games. People do care, a lot, about the detrimental sociological, psychological, medical and other effects of religion. This is the language that the “new atheists” are speaking, effectively and clearly. They are showing that god-belief is not harmless and that it affects, in thousands of ways, how we live. That scares the religious leadership. And they should be scared. Very, very scared.

  3. Ironic, isn’t it, that religionists wanting to denigrate atheism do so by calling it a “religion”–or in this instance “fundamentalism?” I suppose if religionists want to stretch those terms beyond their recognized meanings (both pertain to those who believe in god(s)), they’ll then have to come up with a whole new vocabulary in order to talk about this stuff, speaking for instance of religious atheists and non-religious atheists. I can only smile watching them chase their tails.

  4. Philly, in much the same way the Christians call ID a science, the also call atheism a religion. Hell, at least they’re consistent. It’s maddening, but with so many flawed premises, they surely cannot get anything of substance past many people for long before their nonsense is manifested. Obviously this guy is ignorant of the checkered past concerning what Christmas was (as little as 150 years ago in Brittan) compared to what it is today. I say let them all have their holiday season, at least they will be too busy being materialistic to fuck up anything else for at least a month. Also, I don’t think Christian Fundies are very concerned about classical definitions, – you know, [words have meanings kind of stuff], they are masters at appealing to the ignorant masses, (they’ve been doing it for hundreds of years), so no surprise there. Is it any wonder that Christians are conspiracy theorist nuts, especially now that they know about our secret BBB (Big Book of Bullshit).

    “All of this is what I would call the new “fundamentalism” of our age. It allows no room for disagreement, for doubt, for debate, for discussion. It leads to the language of expulsion and exclusivity, of extremism and polarisation, and the claim that, because God is on our side, he is not on yours.”

    They are after all the masters of the above quotation, aren’t they?

  5. Well I can’t say it enough, one of the major focuses for humanity has to be education. An educated mind does not easily fall victim to nonsense, isn’t gullible to lies and contradictions, is empowered to help himself and the world rather than merely rely on hopes and prayers and of course develops a self esteem that will not easily allow for being subjugated.

  6. Well I can’t say it enough, one of the major focuses for humanity has to be education.

    I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, I’d like to start an initiative: No Christian Left Behind. Unfortunately, they already started that one themselves.

  7. I would suppose I am an atheist fundamentalist. I believe in no deities. Period. No big philosophical foofraw, no chopping logic, just that by the standards that most believers use on the rest of the world and my own observations and experiences, it doesn’t hold up.

    No (un)sacred writings to venerate, no credo, no trappings, authority, or taking of collection from those in pews. Just go my own way and manage. When I come to the end of the road, that’s it.

    Maybe it’s ironic, but I think Dickens said it best in his story, A Christmas Carol”. The ghost of christmas present has two children under his robe, one is “Ignorance” and the other is “Want”. He discribes the most dangerous of the two as “Ignorance”. I think he knew what he was talking about.

  8. I wish you’d get a new post, that guy is creeping me out. Hide your little boys.

  9. I’m a fundamental, militant, religious atheist. Pretty soon we atheists are going to split into different sects and then we’ll have all different kinds of denominations of atheism. Independent, Fundamentalist Atheists, Southern Atheists, Freewill Atheists, Roman Atheists, Orthodox Atheists.

    I’m not really sure how all that will work, but I’ll bet the christians will figure it out for us.

  10. Most of the people who are "twice born" look at belief and non-belief as two sides of the same coin. If it has to do with the worship and faith in a deity it's religion, if it's non-belief, it's STILL an expression of religion as far as they're concerned.Billy, about ten years ago the religious were trying to sneak bible reading back into the schools, they actually had a coalition all set up, but it all fell apart over which version to use. Douay (SP?), King James, New English, Good News, RSV. I'm told there were nearly fist fights over it among those "loving" people.Had an uncle who was a baptist minister, and he had a bible in Greek and would translate. In every congregation he had, at least one party would brace him about it, they'd demand the King James one that had the language Jesus actually spoke. And they wanted to hear nothing about Greek, Aramaic, or other things.

  11. I’m not really sure how all that will work, but I’ll bet it will be better and more peaceful world than with all of those RELIGIOUS SECTS!

  12. I guess that part of the discussion becomes, as you point out, the definition of fundamentalism.

    A fundamentalist, to me, is someone who believes that one book (and only one book (and only one translation of one book)) is absolutely infallible. The one book cannot (CANNOT) be wrong.

    Of course, then you have to deal with all of the different versions of the one book. In high school biology, I was partnered with a young lady who was the daughter of a local fundamentalist preacher. He had opted out of the Southern Baptist Coalition because they were too liberal. This girl continuously picked on me because I had not been born again (I am six feet tall and stopped growing in 9th grade — being born again would kill my mom). One day I asked her which bible she used.

    “The bible.”

    “Which translation?”

    “We use the REAL bible.”

    “Really? I had no idea you could read Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Aramaic.”

    She went ballistic and informed the entire class, loudly, that I was damned to hell for all eternity. I tried to look innocent (successfully) and she was kicked out of school for a week or two (gave birth to a child nine months later (proverbial preacher’s daughter, I guess)). She eventually split with her dad’s church.

    My point in this story is that there have been so many translations (and mistranslations from the daysbeforewordspacingpuncuationandcapitalization) and add-ons (the bits of Paul where he tells women where to go) that no one knows what the book said at the beginning. So what translation does a fundamentalist use?

    I do not think an atheist can be a fundamentalist. I (like many of you, I am sure) read voraciously. Sometimes I come across something that rearranges my ideas (or ideals) or creates a new Truth for me. I have yet to come across a book about which I could say, “This book, and only this book, contains all the truth I will ever need and this book is absolutely infallible.” That book does not exist. It cannot exist.

    To me, a fundamentalist is not only one who believes in biblical innerency, but also in forcing (FORCING) all others on earth to believe exactly the same thing about his translation of that one book.

    I, therefore (and in a real roundabout way) dismiss the term “Atheist Fundamentalism.” Free thinking and rationality do not lend themselves to dogmatic belief.

  13. First off, maybe you could be a fundamentalist human secularist, maybe. I say that only because it at least is a philosophy and has some core ideas that perhaps one could dogmatically adhere to. Generally it’s secular humanism that these people are thinking of when talking about “atheist world view”. Obviously, there’s no atheist world view since atheism just means you’ve yet to find a god claim that’s been sufficiently backed up with evidence. That says nothing about whether you are naughty or nice, treat people bad or well, or anything.

    Of course atheism and any mode of thinking that has atheism as a base such as secular humanism, is pragmatic, not dogmatic. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I saw if some big magic man appeared in Times’ Square, declared himself “Bob, your god, creator of all” and did some things to back up the claim, we’d at least consider the possibility. We wouldn’t stick our fingers in our ears, close our eyes and just shout, “you don’t exist!” These fundies would, or call him a devil or something.

  14. Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that guy in Nigeria…? He’s not real? Dammit!

    Atheism isn’t a religion any more than theism is a religion. Theism describes someone’s religious beliefs– monotheist (eg. Judaism), polytheist (eg. Wiccan), or even atheist (eg. Zen Buddhism).

    You can’t be an atheist fundamentalist anymore than a theist fundamentalist.

    Some theists are fundamentalist Christians, others are Reform Jews. Fundamentalism only has to do with how strictly you adhere to the specific doctrines of your particular worldview. It’s not even necessarily religious per se, as you could just as easily be a fundamentalist marxist.

    The problem is the word itself has become a political hand grenade people throw around in an attempt to discredit people, and, consequently, the word has become meaningless.

    Plus… I gotta get my money back from that freaking Nigerian.

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