Pharyngula

Fascinating letter to the editor

Comments on this one are a little superfluous, don’t you think? Alice says it all.

It?s time to stomp out atheists in America.  The majority of Americans would love to see atheists kicked out of America.  If you don?t believe in God, then get out of this country.

The United States is based on having freedom of religion, speech, etc., which means you can believe in God any way you want (Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, etc.), but you must believe.

I don?t recall freedom of religion meaning no religion. Our currency even says, ?In God We Trust.? So, to all the atheists in America: Get off of our country.

Atheists have caused the ruin of this great nation by taking prayer out of our schools and being able to practice what can only be called evil.  I don?t care if they have never committed a crime, atheists are the reason crime is rampant.

Alice Shannon
Soldotna

Comments

  1. #1 RedMolly
    March 6, 2007

    This smacks of the kind of apocryphal “Yeah! You tell ‘em!” e-mail forward my mother-in-law gets and sends around. There’s nothing like a trip to Snopes’ “Inboxer Rebellion” section to disabuse yourself of any rosy view you may have of humanity.

  2. #2 Mooser
    March 6, 2007

    Why this stubborn unwillingness on the part of atheists to engage in a little harmless hypocrisy? It does you no harm (what, afraid God will know?) and makes it easier to pick their pockets or break their legs, as the case may be.
    Sir Francis Drake was a master of religious dissembling, and he did alright.

  3. #3 Neil
    March 6, 2007

    Hi,

    Wasn’t “In God We Trust” introduced on money during the civil war coins, and onto paper money in 1955?

    I thought that the motto of the USA was “e pluribus unum”- ‘Out of many, one’, decided by Congress on July 4th 1776.
    Isn’t this motto on the Great Seal, on the scroll being carried by the Eagle? That’s a great sentiment! You don’t hear it often though.

    I may be wrong, I’m British, and we weren’t taught alot of US history in school.

  4. #4 Hank Fox
    March 6, 2007

    This is funny, of course. But let’s not laugh too hard. There are people out there, probably plenty of them, who actually believe this stuff. And will act on it, both at the polls and in person, if they get the chance.

    I have this loose social theory – call it “Conservation of Hate” – where there’s always one or more outgroups at whom stupid people aim their hate.

    Can’t freely and openly hate the Jews anymore, or the blacks, or the gays. But atheists?

    They’re still fair game. In fact, you can have actual community and political leaders in the U.S. invoking the evils of atheists. It goes without saying that you can still get a group of talking heads on TV running down atheists, with zero atheist viewpoints included for “balance.”

    We have a ways to go.

  5. #5 MikeM
    March 6, 2007

    Excellent summation of the original letter and the reactions to it right about here:

    http://atheism.about.com/b/a/258794.htm

    Yes, it is a real letter. I’ve seen the scanned image of it (that someone posted).

  6. #6 Michael
    March 6, 2007

    Hold the phone. I had a comment almost EXACTLY like that in my hometown paper (the Delaware News Journal). With a different attribution.

  7. #7 Dan
    March 6, 2007

    Hooray, fascism!!!!

  8. #8 Brando
    March 6, 2007

    Delivered with such eloquence! “Yeah, and once we kick out the atheists, we can kick out those vile Muslims, then work on those wayward progressive Catholics, and then…”

    More and more I see the genius of Mike Judge’s “Idiocracy”

  9. #9 SteveF
    March 6, 2007

    Facist.

  10. #10 Evan
    March 6, 2007

    So I can be a Baptist, Catholic, or even a Methodist?

    Wow, it’s a rainbow of choices. A veritable cornucopia. I wonder if Lutheran would pass, or are they too nice?

  11. #11 sparc
    March 6, 2007

    Maybe this time we Europeans will benefit from this reverse brain drain. You are always welcome here.

  12. #12 Nevyn
    March 6, 2007

    I have an amazingly clear picture in my head of trying to talk sense to Alice as she stands there with her fingers in her ears going, “LA LA LA LA LA!!! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!! LA LA LA LA”

  13. #13 Steve LaBonne
    March 6, 2007

    But she wouldn’t feel like that if all those mean fundamentalist atheists like PZ and Dawkins would just shut up. Isn’t that right, “Neville Chamberlain atheists” (Larry Moran’s wonderful description)?

  14. #14 quork
    March 6, 2007

    I don’t recall freedom of religion meaning no religion. Our currency even says, “In God We Trust.”

    This is why I oppose IGWT on the money, “under God” in the pledge of allegiance, etc. Each step in itself may be insignificant, but every step is used as justification for the next.

  15. #15 MartinC
    March 6, 2007

    I thought they come for the Jews, communists and trade unionists first?
    Have we been moved to the head of the queue?

  16. #16 Rey Fox
    March 6, 2007

    “Mel Gibson Voices Strong Opinion* On Jews”

    * That Is Just As Valid As Any Other Opinion, Of Course

  17. #17 Ed Kohler
    March 6, 2007

    This tone of letter is actually quite common in Alaska. I lived in Fairbanks for a while, and read letters like this every week. Most of them came from North Pole, AK.

  18. #18 prsr
    March 6, 2007

    Well, I suppose you americans should be pleased that Alice at least acknowledges atheists, even if you do cause rampant crime without ever breaking the law. I suppose US atheists have some kinda mafia thing going where all the illegal stuff is done by innocent impressionable christians?

    I hope you’re all extra careful filling out your tax forms :)

  19. #19 Keith Sader
    March 6, 2007

    You know what? I agree with the sentiments of this letter-writer. Let all of us atheists depart these sad shores. Let us take with us all of our contributions to arts, sciences, and cultures. After all, this type of mass exodus worked so well for Germany of the 1930s-1940s.

  20. #20 cbutterb
    March 6, 2007

    What newspaper is this from? Neither you nor the other blog cite a primary source. Sure it’s not a hoax?

  21. #21 M. Derosier
    March 6, 2007

    Somewhere I heard a very telling statement… “You won’t find any atheists in prison.”

    Think about why that’s true. I doubt it’s due to a change of heart on the atheist’s part.

  22. #22 Liberal Dem
    March 6, 2007

    I have grown numb to the intolerance of right-wing christians. Perhaps we will meet in heaven to discuss the phrase, “Love one another”; perhaps not.

  23. #23 Martha
    March 6, 2007

    It’s time to stomp out mutes in America. The majority of Americans would love to see mutes kicked out of America. If you don’t speak in words, then get out of this country.

    The United States is based on having freedom of speech, religion, etc., which means you can speak in words any way you want (Southern, Eastern, Fargo-ian, etc.), but you must speak.

    I don’t recall freedom of speech meaning no speaking. Our currency even has words. So, to all the mutes in America: Get off of our country.

    Mutes have caused the ruin of this great nation by taking shoutting out of our libraries and taking vows of silence can only be called evil. I don’t care if they have never committed a crime, mutes are the reason crime is rampant.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist the obvious.

  24. #24 Martha
    March 6, 2007

    It’s time to stomp out mutes in America. The majority of Americans would love to see mutes kicked out of America. If you don’t speak in words, then get out of this country.

    The United States is based on having freedom of speech, religion, etc., which means you can speak in words any way you want (Southern, Eastern, Fargo-ian, etc.), but you must speak.

    I don’t recall freedom of speech meaning no speaking. Our currency even has words. So, to all the mutes in America: Get off of our country.

    Mutes have caused the ruin of this great nation by taking shoutting out of our libraries and taking vows of silence can only be called evil. I don’t care if they have never committed a crime, mutes are the reason crime is rampant.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist the obvious.

  25. #25 Kseniya
    March 6, 2007

    I don’t recall freedom of religion meaning no religion.

    Sigh. Such hateful ignorance.

  26. #26 O-dot-O
    March 6, 2007

    If you Google “stomp out atheists in America” you’ll see references to that letter going back to at least 2001. Looks like it has been floating around for a while…

  27. #27 JLem
    March 6, 2007

    The majority of Americans would love to see atheists kicked out of America.
    Have they done a poll I don’t know about?

    Yeah – back in November 2000 and then again in November 2004.

  28. #28 Paul
    March 6, 2007

    @cbutterc:

    From the pic on the referring blog, I’d hazard a guess at Alaska (“Kenai River”).

  29. #29 CalGeorge
    March 6, 2007

    The majority of Americans would love to see atheists kicked out of America.

    Have they done a poll I don’t know about?

  30. #30 The Atheist Jew
    March 6, 2007

    Does believing Thor is God count to Alice?

  31. #31 O-dot-O
    March 6, 2007

    By the way, “Soldotna” is in Alaska.

  32. #32 Craig
    March 6, 2007

    “The United States is based on having freedom of religion, speech, etc., which means you can believe in God any way you want (Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, etc.), but you must believe.”

    “…though I am a committed Christian, I believe that everyone has the right to their own religion, be you Hindu, Jewish or Muslim. I believe there are infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.” – Steven Colbert

  33. #33 Sonja
    March 6, 2007

    It is because of this kind of hatred that I believe Atheists may be the most “closeted” group in America. What we have in common with gays/lesbians is that we aren’t easily identified by our appearance (such as racial/ethnic groups that are victims of hatred).

    We need to follow the example of the gay movement and come out of the closet to our family members, friends and communities. Yes, this will initially lead to a period of greater hatred (some people don’t mind having Atheists around as long as they know their place). But inevitably we will become a more accepted minority.

    I can imagine the sitcoms now — circumstances force an Atheist and a Christian to share an apartment in Houston and hilarity ensues.

  34. #34 Morgan
    March 6, 2007

    http://www.peninsulaclarion.com/letters/

    You’ll find it there under the section for January 29th.

    Whether it’s original to its submitter, or a parody sent around like a chain letter, or a form letter recycled by people who actually agree with it, is another question; but it does seem to be a real letter that really did appear in a newspaper.

  35. #35 quork
    March 6, 2007

    This tone of letter is actually quite common in Alaska. I lived in Fairbanks for a while, and read letters like this every week. Most of them came from North Pole, AK.

    It sounds like that Santa Claus character is still tweaked off that we don’t believe in him either.

  36. #36 Evolving Squid
    March 6, 2007

    I have to admit… I read that article, and it made me say out loud, “Jesus H. Christ!” despite (or in spite of) my being an atheist.

  37. #37 qetzal
    March 6, 2007

    Why this stubborn unwillingness on the part of atheists to engage in a little harmless hypocrisy? It does you no harm (what, afraid God will know?) and makes it easier to pick their pockets or break their legs, as the case may be.
    Sir Francis Drake was a master of religious dissembling, and he did alright.

    I think Mooser has a point. After all, we’re atheists. We have no morals, so dishonesty (not to mention stealing and leg-breaking) doesn’t bother us.

    /sarcasm

  38. Yeah! We should send all of those evil atheists to Alask…. oh, wait. Never mind.

    Original source seems to be the paper linked below. Registration required, but google it and you can read it in the cache.

    http://www.peninsulaclarion.com/stories/012907/letters_20070129001.shtml

  39. #39 CalGeorge
    March 6, 2007

    If you Google “stomp out atheists in America” you’ll see references to that letter going back to at least 2001. Looks like it has been floating around for a while…

    Yikes! Plagiarism!

    Kick atheists out of U.S.
    Web posted Monday, October 22, 2001

    It’s time to stomp out atheists in America. The majority of Americans would love to see atheists kicked out of America. If you don’t believe in God, then get out of this country.

    The United States is based on having freedom of religion, speech, etc., which means you can believe in God any way you want (Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, etc.), but you must believe.

    I don’t recall freedom of religion meaning no religion. Our currency even says, ”In God We Trust.” So, to all the atheists in America: Get off of our country.

    People like Gail Pepin (The Chronicle, Oct. 11) have caused the ruin of this great nation by taking prayer out of our schools and being able to practice what can only be called evil. I don’t care if she has never committed a crime, she is the reason crime is rampant.

    To The Chronicle, please do not give atheists a voice. You do more harm than good.

    Gloria ”Wendy” Ray, Aiken, S.C.

    http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/102201/opi_046-8549.shtml

  40. #40 Steve_C
    March 6, 2007

    Cut, paste, repeat.

    Sounds like evangelical tactics.

    Customize the last sentence for your own purposes.

    Wonder who was the original author?

  41. #41 madsocialscientist
    March 6, 2007

    Re Sonja: I have another sitcom concept for you. Atheist and Mormon missionary end up as college roommates. Hilarity ensues (of course, in reality, it’s just uncomfortable).

  42. #42 Rey Fox
    March 6, 2007

    The weird comment order thing is happening again. There are several at the top of the page that weren’t there this morning. Comment #30 responds to Comment #32. And nothing is as it seems…

  43. #43 Ick of the East
    March 6, 2007

    Oh, come on. This is just a silly chain letter.
    I mean, it’s not like somebody important such as George Bush (the Smarter) said it.

    “No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”

    Oh yeah. That.
    Never mind.
    .

  44. #44 matt
    March 6, 2007

    Ahh now I can’t resist. Someone mentioned you don’t find atheists in prisons?

    (heheh)

    Could that be because all the criminals are religious? Maybe the atheists don’t hurt others the way the christians and muslims and jews and zoroastrians and scientologists and hare krishna’s do?

    Nah, it’s a stupid thought. But a fun one.

  45. #45 DouglasG
    March 6, 2007

    I may be off base here, but wasn’t it Christians who removed prayer in school? Has there been a single atheist judge?

    Also, since “E Pluribus Unum” is on our $1 bill, does that mean that everyone in the US should speak Latin? Should we kick out everyone who doesn’t speak and/or understand Latin out of the country?

    Ignorance and its many flavors…

  46. #46 Brian Bartel
    March 6, 2007

    A viewpoint from Soldotna, Alaska can hardly be considered mainstream United States.

  47. #47 Zeno
    March 6, 2007

    So the letter is being recycled by people who like the sentiments so much that they try to take credit for it? I suppose plagiarism is okay if you’re doing it for God’s sake. He’ll understand it was necessary to break the commandments in order to save the commandments.

  48. #48 quork
    March 6, 2007

    And nothing is as it seems…

    “Things are seldom what they seem. Skim milk masquerades as cream.”

  49. #49 Austin Cline
    March 6, 2007

    I posted about this letter a couple of weeks ago. I also quote a number of responses (all negative) which the newspaper received in the following days:

    http://atheism.about.com/b/a/258794.htm

  50. #50 The Physicist
    March 6, 2007

    “I do believe her though I know she lies”-“These
    are but wild and whirling words”

    What can one say?

  51. #51 Captain Pike
    March 6, 2007

    She sounds just like the GOP to me.

  52. #52 dorid
    March 6, 2007

    whew, good thing I’m a Pastafarian! I guess no one will want to put ME on a boat out!

    anyway…

    Atheists have caused the ruin of this great nation by taking prayer out of our schools and being able to practice what can only be called evil. I don’t care if they have never committed a crime, atheists are the reason crime is rampant.

    Guess Alice never saw THIS ARTICLE FROM THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION AND SOCIETY

  53. #53 Madam Pomfrey
    March 6, 2007

    What is it about right-wing loonies and Alaska? (Honest question; I’ve never been there.)

  54. #54 Kristine
    March 6, 2007

    I may be wrong, I’m British, and we weren’t taught alot of US history in school.

    No matter how much you were taught, you probably know more than most Americans in this country.

    The United States is based on having freedom of religion, speech, etc., which means you can believe in God any way you want (Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, etc.), but you must believe.

    And apparently that also means you can say any damn crap you want, but you must speak.

    So Alice was just doing her Constitutional duty, everyone, and couldn’t think of anything else to say. Kind of like getting a book report into English class before the deadline. Nothing more to see here.

    I like the suggestion beneath her rant (“Let’s just keep fishing”).

  55. He’ll understand it was necessary to break the commandments in order to save the commandments.

    They’re literalists. It doesn’t say “Thou Shalt Not Plagiarize”, so it’s okay. :)

    So if the letter reproduced in #44 is the original original, it came out of Aiken. I’m not really surprised – Aiken always seemed like a cesspool of fundamentalism to me.

  56. #56 MikeM
    March 6, 2007

    People really do buy into this trashy crap, though. I used to work with people who bought into the whole thing about Y2K bringing the end of the world, and abiotic oil, and so on.

    Someone near my neck of the woods is now peddling “Holy Drinking Water” (and I’ll resist the urge to add “Batman!”).

    http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/news-article.aspx?storyid=77318

    Read the consumer warning label. If you’re a sinner, you may get burning eyes. oooOOOOOOOooooooooo. Let that be a warning to you non-believers out there.

    Yeah, these posts are waaaay out of order. My first post SHOULD have been around #23 or so. How’d it get to #5? If it’s rising that fast, can I say “Number 5 with a bullet!”?

    Just asking.

  57. #57 Dan S.
    March 6, 2007

    “Things are seldom what they seem. Skim milk masquerades as cream.”

    “Let be be finale of seem.
    The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.”

  58. #58 Kagehi
    March 6, 2007

    So the letter is being recycled by people who like the sentiments so much that they try to take credit for it?

    No, its recycled by Ann Coulter clones that literally think that intellectualism is, “cutting and pasting opinions from other people I like, then claiming their my own, because I am personally too stupid to think them up.” Her recent statement about Edwards must have given her an migraine for a week, due to the strain of having to think it up, unless of course she simply copied it from someone else too.

  59. #59 CalGeorge
    March 6, 2007

    Speaking of crime:

    The top crime neighborhood in the world isn’t in Sao Paulo or Lagos. It’s not the Bronx in New York, or even Wedding in Berlin. It’s the small city ruled by Pope Benedict XVI, which apparently sees more criminal cases per capita than any other part of the world.

    The Vatican’s attorney general Nicola Picardi released the astounding statistic at the start of 2007: The tiny nation’s justice department in 2006 had to contend with 341 civil and 486 criminal cases. In a population of 492, that measures out to 1.5 cases per person — twenty times the corresponding rate in Italy.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,460967,00.html

  60. #60 CalGeorge
    March 6, 2007

    I can only conclude that the Pope is the reason crime is rampant.

  61. #61 Kseniya
    March 6, 2007

    I do believe her though I know she lies

    Uh…. Alice Shannon is your lover? Or are you saying that you accept her words as truth, although you know they are not, because they make you feel better, and in your faults by lies you flattered be?

  62. #62 Kseniya
    March 6, 2007

    A viewpoint from Soldotna, Alaska can hardly be considered mainstream United States.

    Perhaps not, but how can you tell? Are you saying that an opinion emanating from what seems to you to be a remote location is invalid on the basis of geography? Sure, Ted Kaczynski lived alone in a cabin in the woods — but so did Thoreau. The paper subsequently received letters from Soldotna residents condemning the Shannon letter. Don’t we hope that those letters do represent mainstream American thinking?

    What about a viewpoint from Aiken, SC? Are the exact same words more mainstream if they come from the Lower 48, as these apparently have? Where does the Mainstream United States live, anyway? Columbia? Springfield? Hollywood? Chicago? Dallas? Medicine Hat? The Bronx?

    Perhaps you mean “A viewpoint like that can hardly be considered mainstream United States,” and, like you, I believe very much it is not – but because it’s a minority opinion, not because of its point of origin. Wingnuts are everywhere, even here (Massachusetts). You’ll find their opposites just about everywhere, too. It’s just a matter of proportion. Welcome to Purple America.

  63. #63 Crosius
    March 6, 2007

    I don’t care if they have never committed a crime, atheists are the reason crime is rampant.

    If crime is “rampant,” and athiests aren’t committing crimes, how are they responsible? Are they making the religious so deleriously angry they can’t help themselves?

  64. #64 Gelf
    March 6, 2007

    I don’t recall freedom of religion meaning no religion.

    Fairly sure Alice’s faulty memory isn’t my concern.

  65. #65 Setec
    March 6, 2007

    God has explained why atheists are responsible for non-atheist crime in the comments on one of His posts on His blog:

    The last point is a subtle but important one. Atheists make up about 10-15% of the total population but only 0.2% of the prison population; basically, they almost never commit crimes or go to jail. Christians see this and run out to commit crimes just so they won’t resemble atheists. The crime rate skyrockets. If atheists committed their fair share of murders, rapes, and robberies like everyone else, you wouldn’t have this problem.

  66. #66 CalGeorge
    March 6, 2007

    A fun statistic from 1926:

    Of 25,726 persons imprisoned in twenty-seven state penitentiaries, 6028 professed Roman Catholicism and 13,854 Protestantism. These constituted 77.3 per cent of the whole number. The remaining 22.7 per cent was made up of Jews, Mormons and others; also of a few foreign cults and many who professed no religion.

    The Church and Crime in the United States by C.V. Dunn, in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 125, Modern Crime: Its Prevention and Punishment. (May, 1926), pp. 200-228.

    Umm… seems like historically, a majority of the crime has been committed by the religious types.

  67. #67 Kristine
    March 6, 2007

    If crime is “rampant,” and athiests aren’t committing crimes, how are they responsible? Are they making the religious so deleriously angry they can’t help themselves?

    Shimmy = sinny.

    Got that? Write it down! ;-)

  68. #68 Leon
    March 6, 2007

    I don’t recall freedom of religion meaning no religion.

    Hello! Thomas Jefferson wrote exactly that. But I suppose that would be too intellectual a source for someone of Alice’s caliber.

  69. #69 Brandon
    March 6, 2007

    Well, of course atheists are hated. And what better way to illustrate it than to bring everyone’s attention to prayer in school during your Presidential run … sigh …

    Edwards: Jesus Would Be ‘Appalled’

    “Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards says Jesus would be appalled at how the United States has ignored the plight of the suffering, and that he believes children should have private time to pray at school.”

    “Edwards also said he was against teacher-led prayers in public schools, but he added that “allowing time for children to pray for themselves, to themselves, I think is not only OK, I think it’s a good thing.”

  70. #70 Steve_C
    March 6, 2007

    He meant personal prayer. Which I have no problem with as long as it’s not an organized thing.

    At least Coulter got dropped by one paper…
    Not sure what took them so long.

    Also, LIBBY GUILTY on 4 of 5 counts!

  71. #71 David Marjanovi?
    March 6, 2007

    Comments on this one are a little superfluous, don’t you think?

    *innocent whistling*

    Most of them came from North Pole, AK.

    LOL! What a place name.

  72. #72 David Marjanovi?
    March 6, 2007

    Comments on this one are a little superfluous, don’t you think?

    *innocent whistling*

    Most of them came from North Pole, AK.

    LOL! What a place name.

  73. #73 stogoe
    March 6, 2007

    Students do have time to pray at schools. It’s called ‘right before the test is handed out’.[/snark]

    More accurately, it’s known as ‘whenever the hell they want to, as long as it’s not disrupting class.’ Which I guess means that those who have to shout their prayers to their hard-of-hearing god might be constrained slightly.

  74. #74 Krystalline Apostate
    March 6, 2007

    For a bunch of folk that think they’re on the higher moral ground, there’s scant evidence to prove it.
    Personally, I’d like to hear someone voice that opinion w/in earshot. They’d hear what-for, that’s a fact.

  75. #75 Stanton
    March 6, 2007

    “We need to go back to the good old days where we could arrest and torture people who didn’t have the God-given decency to look, or think like us! That’s what made us special, and that’s what those evil secularist atheistic satanists want to take away from us!”

  76. #76 Ichthyic
    March 6, 2007

    every time I see this kind of idiotic rant, all the “love it or leave it” slogans, I always challenge the purveyors of this hatred to put their money where their mouth is.

    You so desperately want me out of your face?

    fine, just pay me enough to completely resettle in the country of my choice, and I’d be happy to leave you to your misery.

    It doesn’t get rid of their inane hatred and ignorance, of course, but it does the next best thing:

    it shuts them up right quick, every time. None of these idiots actually want to take responsibility for their own beliefs.

    it would be sad if it weren’t so pathetic.

  77. #77 CalGeorge
    March 6, 2007

    Aha! And speaking of recent crimes by nutty Christians:

    By TOM DAVIES
    Associated Press Writer

    BEDFORD, Ind. | A church trustee who neighbors said was bitter over his recent divorce told his ex-wife he had their daughter “and you’re not going to get her” shortly before the small plane he was piloting crashed into his former mother-in-law’s house, killing him and his 8-year-old daughter.

    Police said Eric Johnson, a student pilot who had soloed before, strapped daughter Emily into the passenger seat of a leased, single-engine Cessna on Monday morning. Less than two hours later, the plane smashed into the home of Vivian Pace, the girl’s grandmother.
    […]
    Pastor Paul Neuman of the Calvary Lutheran Church in Bedford said Eric and Emily Johnson were regular attendees at the church, where Eric was a member of the board of trustees and helped with remodeling and landscaping.

    http://nwitimes.com/articles/2007/03/06/updates/breaking_news/doc45ed90e7409dc419456215.txt

  78. #78 CalGeorge
    March 6, 2007

    I wonder if regular church attendee Eric thought his 8-year-old daughter was going to heaven after her body was smashed to smithereens in that plane crash.

    Was he praying for forgiveness when he killed them both? Probably.

  79. #79 Ktesibios`
    March 6, 2007

    Students do have time to pray at schools. It’s called ‘right before the test is handed out’.[/snark]
    More accurately, it’s known as ‘whenever the hell they want to, as long as it’s not disrupting class.’ Which I guess means that those who have to shout their prayers to their hard-of-hearing god might be constrained slightly.

    Not a problem. They can just text or IM it from their cell phone or laptop.

  80. #80 Kseniya
    March 6, 2007

    “…with God as my co-pilot…”

  81. #81 Leon
    March 6, 2007

    That’s sad, tragic, and to me, unimaginable–completely apart from how angry and outraged it makes me feel on the religious-indignation scale. Two years ago I would have felt different, but as a parent, I just don’t see how someone can do that sort of thing to their innocent child, who trusts and depends on you for their well-being.

    More on the religious-indignation thing, though: I’m sure Eric felt certain he and his wife would end up in different places in the afterlife and thus not have to see each other again, but did he also think he’d be in a position (i.e., heaven) to see his daughter again, after what he just did?

  82. #82 Wobert
    March 6, 2007

    I wonder what the Mad Hatter and other assorted mythical characters would make of Alice in wonderland?

  83. #83 MarkR
    March 6, 2007

    In their defense, there are 11 letters rebutting Alice’s letter. There are ignorant fuckwits like this everywhere, and they’re usually the ones with the loudest mouths.

  84. #84 Krystalline Apostate
    March 6, 2007

    I’ve found more religious whack-a-doolery.
    The fun just never ends, does it? (he said with a sigh).

  85. #85 Don Rauch
    March 6, 2007

    Alice must be one of them Islamofascist terrorists; or else she’s just a Coulter conservative.

  86. #86 Jim Wright
    March 6, 2007

    I’ve lurked around here for a while and don’t usually post but there’s a couple of comments I can’t let go by without saying something.

    Don’t think Alaska is full of right-wing frothing-at-the-mouth fundie Christian asshats. There’s plenty around sure, but I’d say that they aren’t even close to a majority. There’s plenty of atheists too and just about everything in between. Most people here a fairly tolerant of each other. My experience is that for REAL Christian fanaticism, you’ve got to go south of the Mason/Dixon line.

    Jim Wright/Palmer Alaska.

  87. #87 Jim Wright
    March 6, 2007

    Just for the record, there’s no “Alice Shannon” in the Soldotna phone directory. Not conclusive, of course, but it does make me suspicious.

  88. #88 Ichthyic
    March 6, 2007

    Mick-

    see post 80.

  89. #89 KiwiInOz
    March 6, 2007

    Ichthyic – are you now trying to get the purveyors of hate to fund your trip to NZ? That’s not a bad idea, if I say so myself.

  90. #90 Caledonian
    March 6, 2007

    it shuts them up right quick, every time. None of these idiots actually want to take responsibility for their own beliefs.

    Would you be willing to pay for a child molester to move to another country?

  91. #91 Ichthyic
    March 7, 2007

    Ichthyic – are you now trying to get the purveyors of hate to fund your trip to NZ? That’s not a bad idea, if I say so myself.

    heh. sad to say, I’ve been trying this tack for about 3 years now.

    as stated in my earlier post, none of these people will put their money where their infinetly wide mouths are.

    which, as a small fringe benefit, has worked like a charm to at least shut them up whenever i challenge them on it directly.

    One of these days, I might take it to the next level and start advertising in right-wing newsmedia; there’s gotta be SOMEBODY who really wants to spend a relatively small sum to get rid of a die-hard liberal, anti-war, darwin lovin’, ivory-tower livin’ atheist.

  92. #92 Ichthyic
    March 7, 2007

    Would you be willing to pay for a child molester to move to another country?

    surely, if i could afford to do so, and I ever felt the need to ask one to leave “my” country. I’d gladly pay to be rid of the likes of Ann Coulter and Pat Robertson, too. They haven’t made the offer, and I haven’t asked them to leave. There’s the big difference.
    All these offers of “love it or leave it” pretty much come from the hard right, who are so convinced the country belongs to them and them alone. I never really felt the country “belonged” to anyone.

    did you?

  93. #93 Chinchillazilla
    March 7, 2007

    Maybe this time we Europeans will benefit from this reverse brain drain. You are always welcome here.

    Posted by: sparc

    Sweet. I was gonna come anyway, because if people are going to talk about how much I suck, at least they can do it in a hot accent.

    So, to all the atheists in America: Get off of our country.

    I’m not ON your country, unless your country happens to be a carpet or broken computer chair. Or possibly very, very tiny, so tiny I can’t even see it. Mini-America?

  94. #94 Mick
    March 7, 2007

    @Ichthyic:
    Sorry I didn’t see your post that made mine redundant. Perhaps we should join forces and start a non-profit.

  95. #95 Caledonian
    March 7, 2007

    Quite frankly, I think you’re lying when you say you’d pay the costs to have Coulter removed from the country and set up elsewhere.

    I also suspect that you wouldn’t be willing to pay to have, say, a skilled and devoted teacher brought into the country and established.

    My suspicions do not constitute an argument, granted, but I find it highly unlikely that you’d pay out that much money for anything that didn’t directly benefit you in a serious way.

  96. #96 Ichthyic
    March 7, 2007

    Sorry I didn’t see your post that made mine redundant. Perhaps we should join forces and start a non-profit.

    heh, that was actually what I was thinking, rather than the redundancy issue.

    what an odd thing it would be to start a non-profit with the goal of raising funds from right-wingers to be able to support the translocation of “liberal atheists”.

    I really don’t think there is anything out there quite like it.

    at the very least, it would do wonders to garner attention towards the ridiculous nature of the “love or leave it” proselytizers.

    I could be motivated to do this; it wouldn’t be the first NGO startup I’ve been involved in setting up.

    what the hell, I’ll make a thread over on ATBC where we can swap ideas.

  97. #97 Ichthyic
    March 7, 2007

    Quite frankly, I think you’re lying when you say you’d pay the costs to have Coulter removed from the country and set up elsewhere.

    you entirely missed the actual point of my response. You also missed the question I asked you at the end of it.

    My suspicions do not constitute an argument

    you mean you intended to present an argument at some point? I thought you were just trolling.

  98. #98 Ichthyic
    March 7, 2007

    Ok, I made a thread where anyone can swap ideas on the subject of an ngo related to this issue:

    http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=45ef287d74eef943;act=ST;f=14;t=4589

    no pressure; just drop by whenever an idea comes to mind, and who knows?

  99. #99 George Cauldron
    March 7, 2007

    I like that letter’s assumption that there are only two kinds of people in the world: Christians and atheists.

    Fundies don’t seem to get out much.

  100. #100 jba
    March 7, 2007

    “I like that letter’s assumption that there are only two kinds of people in the world: Christians and atheists.”

    Ive even spoken to ones who dont think atheists are real. They think that we *know* that they are right and are just being willfully evil.

  101. #101 Phobos
    March 7, 2007

    As bad as that letter is, it’s probably worse that there’s an editor that would actually publish it.

  102. #102 Keith Douglas
    March 8, 2007

    madsocialscientist: I had a Mormon colleague while I was at CMU (and I think my prefs on such matters are clear to those who have read my remarks here previously). I found it quite interesting having lunch with him from time to time. (I also had a Roman Catholic priest as a colleague, which made for an interesting comparison.)

    Dan S.: Woah. You know where that line comes from?? I had encountered the line “the only emperor is the emperor of ice cream” in my Oxford Dictionary of Quotations many years ago and wondered …

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