Little battles are forming everywhere on the internet. Some wacko nutbag who just noticed the War on Christmas for the first time gets all spitty and spatty on the blog. This is picked up by our intelligence services and passed on to a ration, thoughtful atheist blogger, who humiliates the self righteous moron. It is a little like the early days of the Evo-Creo debate.

Here’s an example.

Nutbag Christian:

The war against Christmas began a few years ago. By last year the movement had intensified and become threatening. This year, it will be warfare. Merchants have begun to remove the word Christmas from their advertising. The words “Merry Christmas” have been banned in some businesses and schools. Some of these temples of learning removed the word from their activities. Students observe “Winter Holidays”. Easter was devoid of Christian meaning and the period was called “Spring Holiday”.

It is suspected that these were the same schools where elementary children are suspended for hugging and where games are played with no winners and losers. Possibly they are the same educational palaces where children are given birth control pills but cannot receive an aspirin. Even Santa, far from a religious figure, has been banned in many areas.

[source: Navasotaexaminer.com]

Reasoned Atheist Response:

As the holiday season approaches, the partisans of the religious right are ramping up their annual “war on Christmas” rhetoric, which seems to grow more disproportionate with every passing year. The latest example is this absurdly ignorant column, whose author apparently has never heard of separation of church and state (she wonders if the reason government buildings do not display Christian symbols is to punish Christianity for the Inquisition).
[source]

Comments

  1. #1 Steve Matheson
    December 20, 2007

    Comments, corrections, critiques are all appreciated. Being a dick is unnecessary and will be punished.

    “OK, Steve is not so much a dick as a curmudgeon. Misguided in some ways, as to what is really important in life, etc., but he’s not a bad guy and he has a good blog of his own.”

    – the guy sitting on Greg’s other shoulder…..

  2. #2 pough
    December 20, 2007

    I noted the typos as well. As we all know, there are only two options when typos are made: careless ideologue or P-A-R-O-D-Y. There are no other options. I find it disturbing not only that there are possibly careless ideologues on Sb, but also that typos cannot be innocent mistakes. And I would consider the possibility that the post by Steve Matheson is a P-A-R-O-D-Y, but there are no typos!

  3. #3 HP
    December 20, 2007

    Clearly Steve and pough haven’t been reading Greg Laden’s Blog for very long: Greg’s posts are always full of typos. It’s like a signature — it’s part of his charm.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    December 20, 2007

    Steve: Bite me. Yes, it’s charm all the way down.

    (Do you know what Thomas Edison, who couldn’t spel fer crapp, did to people who gave him a hard time? He electrocuted them…..)

  5. #5 Steve Matheson
    December 20, 2007

    :-)
    pough, point taken. I don’t mean to propose the crude dichotomy you skewered, and I guess I thought that was obvious. What I meant: the blog entry looks shoddy, as though it was written without thinking. I have the impression that anti-religious ranting, when it’s plainly reflexively generated, is not typically mistaken for thoughtful commentary. (Perhaps you see it differently.) The typos reinforce the image of a “spitty and spatty” commentator banging on his keyboard without engaging CNS areas outside the limbic system. Critical readers of Sb might have formed an image like that when they read Laden’s irresponsible spin on the manslaughter conviction of a drunken Australian thug.

    And though I won’t claim to be without bias (I’m a Christian), let me add that I like the openness of the “new atheism” a lot. I don’t object to outspoken atheism on Sb at all. But I think Sb should worry about the kind of image that blogs like this one are projecting. It’s an ugly picture of science blogging, and an ugly picture of skepticism. Just my thoughts.

    To Greg: I did mean to criticize your crappy article, but I actually did not mean to accuse you of being any of the things I mentioned. Shitty writing combined with rabid religious rhetoric makes the author look like that. But I think it’s pretty clear you’re the real deal. FWIW. Signing off.

  6. #6 Steve Matheson
    December 20, 2007

    Greg–
    I’m charmed! :-) My last word: I assume you’ll ignore my criticism, but I hope you’ll note that it means that I care a lot about the Sb project and want it to do better. I wouldn’t make a picky-ass comment about typos on a worthless blog. Merry Christmas }:-)
    Steve

  7. #7 Interrobang
    December 20, 2007

    Greg,

    Your contention about Edison is actually not technically correct. According to Mark Essig, author of Edison and the Electric Chair, Edison didn’t actually electrocute people who gave him a hard time, but he did have a habit of giving them fairly nasty shocks. ;)

    If you would like, I’m sure I could set you up with some high-powered joy buzzers for the spelling flamers in the crowd, although be warned — I’m a former copyeditor myself, and once a copyeditor, always a pain in the ass. :)

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    December 20, 2007

    My understanding (and this could be urban myth) is that Edison and Westinghouse actually had a huge competition to be the company that did NOT supply the generator to run the first electric chair. It is said that in those days the word “electrocution” had not yet been invented, and as part of their competition, each of the companies (or the men leading them) proposed their rival’s epinome as the proper term.

    “You are hereby sentenced to be westinghoused to death”

    vs.

    “You are hereby sentenced to be edisoned to death”

    I can’t remember who’s generator was selected, but the word “electrocuted” came into widespread use then in order to not use the company’s name. (I’m vaguely remembering that it was Westinghouse that got the contract no on wanted.)

  9. #9 Left_Wing_Fox
    December 20, 2007

    Actually, the way I heard it, Edison’s company built the Electric Chair based on Telsla’s competing AC standard, to scare people into adopting their “safer” Direct Current standard.

  10. #10 the real cmf
    December 21, 2007

    Steve Matheson: what in hell is irresponsible about calling a spade a spade ( or a pitch forkk..) with that “Christian” killing a guy in Australia…? The Christians have infused law with injustice for as long as there has been either, and today, in penal colonies like Australia, that same law christo-patriarchal law is used as it always was, and favors the “good Christian” over the “heathen” the same as ever.The only minor difference is that they don’t stake men out in the desert sun anymore, or fill their lash wounds with salt water….

  11. #11 Steve Matheson
    December 21, 2007

    cmf: I couldn’t find anything that sounded credible in your rant, but I haven’t done any research on religion-based injustice in Australia (or any other “penal colony”). Since you appear to have done this legwork, I’m sure you’ll be more than happy to paste a link into a comment below.

    In the meantime, I’ll see Greg’s response as irresponsible — okay, how ’bout mildly irresponsible — especially compared to, for example, Brian Switek’s response.

    And that’s all I’ll say, since I’m treasuring my newly-upgraded status as ‘curmudgeon’, up from ‘dick’, which I hope is not the lowest rank, because I’d have a harsher term for, say, religious (or anti-religious) bigot.

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