Pharyngula

Thankfulness

i-f502776f78d422bf09f97df71248c74e-atheist_bashing.jpeg

I have many things to be thankful for. One is that I’m not the brain-damaged idiot who wrote this appalling editorial in the Newnan Times-Herald.

Thanksgiving must be a terrible time for atheists. They have no God to thank.

They do not have the privilege of gathering with family and friends to express gratitude by saying: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” An atheist on his deathbed faces serious uncertainties. Gazing upward, he pleads: “Oh God, if there is a God, please save my soul — if I have one.”

I’m also thankful that atheists are not sitting down and taking this nonsense anymore. If you read the comments on the column, you will discover that readers simply eviscerated this clown. Where the column is depressingly stupid, the replies are wonderful and heartwarming.

Oh, yes — I’m also thankful that on Thanksgiving I will be getting together with my family to express gratitude to the real people who count, rather than some imaginary thug in the sky.

Comments

  1. #1 Sven DiMilo
    November 25, 2008

    Sorry to comment OT, but I’m pretty excited! Apparetly, I’ve been selected to receive a free Apple iPhone!!!! Talk about thankful (hey, on topic after all)! Ha! Envy me, suckers!

  2. #2 Angel Kaida
    November 25, 2008

    This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for atheists beginning to stand up for themselves. I’m thankful for Crackergate, for those kooky Catholics showing their true colors. I’m thankful for the Out Campaign, and I’m thankful for this blog.
    Great comic, by the way.

  3. #3 Monado in Toronto
    November 25, 2008

    Right on! I’m thankful for my friends, my loves, my kin, my senses…

  4. #4 sparkomatic
    November 25, 2008

    Gee PZ, does this mean you can be a militant atheist and still have the capacity for loving family and friends? I thought we were supposed to devour our young.

  5. #5 donna
    November 25, 2008

    I am thankful we are not going to be led anymore by idiots like Bush and like Sarah Palin, although she is great as a humor source. The turkey video was lollifying!

  6. #6 Tualha
    November 25, 2008

    Does it strike anyone else as odd that out of 28 comments posted over the course of two days, every single one is from an atheist? That not one single theist seems to have wanted to defend their point of view? Something funny going on there…

    Anyway, I am quite thankful to PZ for posting this, and to the 28 proud atheists who spoke up.

  7. #7 Jimminy Christmas
    November 25, 2008

    I will be sitting down to a delicious meal with my family and friends. After which I will be thankful for our friendship, our collective culinary skills, and the greatest gifts of all: beer, football, and high-definition television!

  8. #8 Allen N
    November 25, 2008

    As my friend who helped me be more open about being an atheist puts it, forget thanking Jeebus and the Big Sky Daddy and thank the real people. Those whose hard work and caring made this possible. Oh…and especially the food. I don’t recall any choir of angels, Daddy-O, Laddy-O or Spook helping out to pay for or prepare the feast. Shit – they don’t even show up to load the dishwasher.

  9. #9 Monado
    November 25, 2008

    Wow! And nothing from Pharyngulites. I was going to add how empty my life is, as an aClausian, because I don’t have Santa Claus to thank, but that seems superfluous after all the thoughtful, direct, outraged, impassioned, and gracious answers.

  10. #10 Hank Fox
    November 25, 2008

    Unsurprisingly, comments on the column are closed. Wouldn’t want those uppity atheists to express their indignation TOO MUCH, would we?

    If you’re interested, though, you can direct a comment via their Sound Off form (50 words is their limit), or you can email the newspaper at editor@newnan.com.

    I wrote and pointed out how much flack they’d be getting if this guy had been so casually insulting to women, or gays, or African-Americans, or Jews, or even just Republicans.

  11. #11 spgreenlaw
    November 25, 2008

    I am grateful for tofurky. Also all that sticking it to the sky-daddy stuff previously mentioned.

  12. #12 Holbach
    November 25, 2008

    What sappy puke, and so ripe with the usual falsehoods by the sappy insane religionists. One wonders if they are apt to print this crap because they are so threathened by rational people who have no need for their puke beliefs and are so happy to tell them so. It’s the same inane bullshit that is offered when an atheist is dying and finally appeals to an imaginary god for salvation of his imaginary soul. They are not able to comprehend the farcical statement they constantly offer when an atheist dies: “Here lies the atheist all dressed up with no place to go.” Of course it is offered as ridicule, but the blatant point is lost to these religious morons. Of course there’s no place to go, you halfwits, and not one of you mental slime has ever come back to say so. And they wonder why we heap ridicule and mirth on their deranged skulls.

  13. #13 Anthony Popple
    November 25, 2008

    What makes this opinion so surprising is that the author is identified as a columnist. It looks like the man couldn’t hold his thoughts together long enough to form a solid paragraph. And, his bigotry appears to be the closest thing he has to original thought.

  14. #14 Jimminy Christmas
    November 25, 2008

    Though the holiday’s origins can be traced to harvest festivals that have been celebrated in many cultures since ancient times, the American holiday has religious undertones related to the deliverance of the English settlers by Native Americans after the brutal winter at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
    Amazing! Apparently the Native Americans who were living in what would become Massachusetts in 1621 were evangelical fundamentalist Christians! We are all truly blessed!

  15. #15 genesgalore
    November 25, 2008

    he’s not brain damaged, he’s just brainwashed.

  16. #16 grolby
    November 25, 2008

    That’s one bizarre notion. Most of my family, while not particularly religious, are neither atheistic. Yet, Thanksgiving has always been a strictly secular holiday for us. Even on the Irish Catholic side of my family, it’s been about rich food, football and fart jokes for as long as I can remember. Maybe a quick grace before the meal, but that’s as far as it ever goes.

  17. #17 Hank Fox
    November 25, 2008

    Tualha #6: “Does it strike anyone else as odd that out of 28 comments posted over the course of two days, every single one is from an atheist? That not one single theist seems to have wanted to defend their point of view?”

    Tualha, I’m guessing it was simple complacency. Theists have been hearing — and saying — stuff like that for millennia. It wouldn’t occur to them that there was anything offensive in it. And the newspaper cut off comments in two days, so there wasn’t time to rally the defensive troops.

  18. #18 Entgegen
    November 25, 2008

    “Rat fink”?

  19. #19 Insightful Ape
    November 25, 2008

    Reprehensible. The arrogance of the “columnist” is mind-numbing. What makes this idiot think I am going to second-guess myself when I am deadly sick and probably not thinking straight, once I have had my whole life to ponder and decide where I stand? It is like the nonsense “deathbed conversion” story of Darwin.

  20. #20 ggab
    November 25, 2008

    I’m thankful for the lovely and talented PZed, and for Dawk and Crackergate for introducing us.
    I have a great house, a successful business, a wonderful family, a stunningly beautiful wife (really, I do), I have artistic talent, a childlike curiosity, interesting freinds, a creative spirit, tons of hobbies to busy my simple mind, a freakin big screen tv, a huge library and love being able talk about my views and opinions openly.
    I gotta tell you, i don’t see a problem with being an atheist on any day of the year.
    A special thanks to all of you who have been so interesting and funny. I am even thankful for the occasional troll for keeping things jumping.
    Life really is a fantastic adventure. I’m roughly halfway done with it and it hasn’t disappointed yet.
    Thank you everyone.

  21. #21 Hank Fox
    November 25, 2008

    spgreenlaw #11: “I am grateful for tofurky.”

    To paraphrase Richard Pryor (“Silver Streak”): “Tofurky is just jackoff. Turducken is pure pussy.”

    A turkey stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken, stuffed with sausage? There really is a god.

    Too bad we’re no longer able to enjoy the prize winning 17-layer birdie burrito of 19th Century France (from the Wikipedia “Turducken” link above) — a bustard stuffed with a turkey, a goose, a pheasant, a chicken, a duck, a guinea fowl, a teal, a woodcock, a partridge, a plover, a lapwing, a quail, a thrush, a lark, an Ortolan Bunting and a Garden Warbler, the last of which was stuffed with a single olive.

    Probably served with lots of wine, to get the taste of bustard out of your mouth.

  22. #22 spgreenlaw
    November 25, 2008

    Hank,

    Enjoy that coronary.

  23. #23 Sastra
    November 25, 2008

    Some people seem to think that you cannot appreciate something without having a person to literally thank. Yes, at Thanksgiving we thank the people and friends who have given so much to ourselves and others. But we also take time to appreciate whatever good circumstances we can experience and enjoy — health, or good weather, or the beauty in nature, or what have you. We don’t have to personalize everything into a cosmic social situation where some Parent has given us, the Child, a treat, and needs to be thanked. ‘Daddy put the moon in the sky special, just to look pretty for you, so what do you say?’

    That’s actually pretty self-centered. The moon is not an actual “gift.” That’s not to say astronomers and the rest of us can’t appreciate — be thankful, be glad — for it.

    “If you have no one to thank for the entire world, then how can you be thankful?” is right up there on the shallowness scale with “If there is nobody to obey, then how can you be moral?”

  24. #24 defectiverobot
    November 25, 2008

    What’s more offensive is that he’s considered a columnist. What, exactly, was the column about? What does union protections granted to women workers have to do with thankless athiests? If I write inane, stream-of-consciousness non-sequiturs and pass them in to a newspaper, can I get paid for it?

    Oh, and I’m thankful to the Flying Spaghetti Monster for spaghetti, which is what I’ll be eating on Thanksgiving.

  25. #25 Isherwood
    November 25, 2008

    The comments that followed that steaming pile were well-written and salvaged an otherwise wasted electronic file. Kudos to the writers.

  26. #26 cicely
    November 25, 2008

    Sven DiMilo @ 1:

    Sorry to comment OT, but I’m pretty excited! Apparetly, I’ve been selected to receive a free Apple iPhone!!!! Talk about thankful (hey, on topic after all)! Ha! Envy me, suckers!

    And I say Ha! to you, for I have been selected to receive not one, but two free Apple iPhones!!!! One for clicking onto this site, and another for the site I clicked onto 5 minutes ago!!!!!

    I’m assuming that somewhere, there’s someone with a freight truckload of cheap knock-offs of Apple’s iPhone, illegally smuggled into the country, and possibly stolen, that they are desperate to get off their hands in a big hurry.

    sparkomatic @ 4:

    Gee PZ, does this mean you can be a militant atheist and still have the capacity for loving family and friends? I thought we were supposed to devour our young.

    See, this is what happens when you miss meetings. How could we possibly raise up a Godless Horde to Take Over the World if we don’t raise ‘em ourselves (probably in dank basements, though there’s some disagreement over optimum growth conditions for Spawn of Satan), carefully indoctrinating them in the Ways of Darkness?

    It’s the young of the religious that we devour. Subject to local availability.

    With appropriate condiments.

  27. #27 xebecs
    November 25, 2008

    No, Hank, not just a single olive. In fact, it’s olives all the way down.

  28. #28 Emmet Caulfield
    November 25, 2008

    Great cartoon and great takedown by the atheist commenters.

  29. #29 cicely
    November 25, 2008

    Hank Fox @ 21:

    If you’re impressed by the turducken, check out the turbaconducken (turducken wrapped in bacon): http://bacontoday.com/turbaconducken-turducken-wrapped-in-bacon/

  30. #30 Jeanette Garcia
    November 25, 2008

    No friends, no family, no turkey, nothing to be thankful for? NOT!! I am so thankful for the large group of friends and family, many of them Atheists, some of biblical inclination, Jewish/Christian, but still all caring of each-other and happy to be together for this Thanksgiving feast in my home. Even better, everyone will be sharing in the preparation, presentation, eating and clean up. YES!

  31. #31 Macron
    November 25, 2008

    Most theists thank God for every meal anyway, so Thanksgiving is not special for that reason.

  32. #32 Chris Sanford
    November 25, 2008

    What about the evidence for the Bible?? What about the kings who were named by name 200 years before they came to power (Isaiah 45). Psalms 22 says they have pierced My hands and My feet. This was 800 years before crucifixion was even practiced and 1100 years before Christ came to earth. The mathematical odds for Jesus to fulfill 7 prophesies (keep in mind He fulfilled hundreds) would be the same odds as you covering the entire earth in 4inchX4inch white tiles, with a gold star hidden underneath only one tile, and you walking up on the very first try and finding it. Oh and by the way you are blindfolded. Now you may say impossible, can you imagine what the odds would be for Him to fulfill hundreds of prophesies which He has done!!! 1/4 of the Bible is prophetic and of all the prophesies that have to do with past events all have come true, not one of them has failed. God’s Word has a 100% track record how can one disbelieve with this kind of evidence??

  33. #33 watercat
    November 25, 2008

    This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful the Christians aren’t burning us at the stake anymore. I appreciate that.

  34. #34 Bart Simpson
    November 25, 2008

    Dear Lord, we paid for all this food ourselves, so thanks for nothing.

  35. #35 spurge
    November 25, 2008

    Are you going to spam every thread with your idiotic babble Chris?

  36. #36 Rey Fox
    November 25, 2008

    You mean prophesies written in a book were fulfilled in a later book? WOW! Writing is amazing!

  37. #37 Hank Fox
    November 25, 2008

    Chris Sanford #32: “…how can one disbelieve with this kind of evidence??”

    Easy. I’m a rational person, and require REAL evidence rather than THAT kind of “evidence.”

    And stop using up all the question marks and exclamation points.

    (BTW: The thought of an entire planet covered in 4X4-inch white tiles makes me think of “purity balls,” for some reason.)

  38. #38 Sven DiMilo
    November 25, 2008

    Wait, if I’m blindfolded, why does it matter that the tiles are white? And if the entire surface of the Earth is covered with tiles and the gold star is hidden underneath one, what difference does it make if I’m blindfolded? And…hey, wait a minute…is this a trick question?

  39. #39 Cuttlefish, OM
    November 25, 2008

    Comic Sans writer
    Could have just used Google: “An
    Atheist Gives Thanks”

    http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2007/11/atheist-gives-thanks.html

  40. #40 SC
    November 25, 2008

    It’s tiles all the way down.

  41. #41 Sven DiMilo
    November 25, 2008

    Getting to know Chris:

    Name: Chris Sanford
    Age: 28
    Birthday: November 13th
    College: Louisville Bible College
    Major: Preaching
    Favorite Color: Green
    Favorite Book: The Word of God
    Favorite Scripture: Acts 20:24
    Favorite Food: Cookie Delight

    (careful folks–he’s majoring in preaching)

  42. #42 ggab
    November 25, 2008

    Sven
    “(careful folks–he’s majoring in preaching)”

    At or to?

  43. #43 Wowbagger
    November 25, 2008

    Funny, when I thank someone for something I usually make sure they actually exist before I do – which leaves out the christian’s god, of course.

    Chris Sanford – let’s see: one made up book has made-up events which correspond to predictions in another made-up book. I’m pretty sure I can do something similar:

    I predict the word douchebag will appear in this post.

    Waiting, waiting…

    Chris Sanford is a douchebag of epic proportions.

    So, you gonna worship me or what?

  44. #44 Reed Miller
    November 25, 2008

    I get the strong feeling that those comments are the result of some favorable moderation as well. Not just because every single comment is from an atheist, but the overall quality of them is uncommonly good. Also, it’s not unlikely for newspapers to have someone moderate their comment sections to avoid the many cringe-worthy replies you get otherwise. It wouldn’t even have to have been biased towards anything other than honestly rational responses to that article (I can’t think of a single positive reply that would qualify).

  45. #45 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    November 25, 2008

    Oh and by the way you are blindfolded. Now you may say impossible, can you imagine what the odds would be for Him to fulfill hundreds of prophesies which He has done!!! 1/4 of the Bible is prophetic and of all the prophesies that have to do with past events all have come true, not one of them has failed. God’s Word has a 100% track record how can one disbelieve with this kind of evidence??

    here we go….

  46. #46 Fernando Magyar
    November 25, 2008

    Posted by: Tualha

    Does it strike anyone else as odd that out of 28 comments posted over the course of two days, every single one is from an atheist? That not one single theist seems to have wanted to defend their point of view? Something funny going on there…

    What I find even sadder is that not a single theist wanted to disagree with that point of view. So much for love thy neighbor I guess.

  47. #47 Emmet Caulfield
    November 25, 2008

    The thought of an entire planet covered in 4X4-inch white tiles makes me think of “purity balls,” for some reason.

    It makes me think of the replicator planet in season 6 of Stargate SG-1.

  48. #48 AJ Milne
    November 25, 2008

    And stop using up all the question marks and exclamation points.

    Nostradamus foretold Jesus in his weekly newspaper column ‘Incomprehensibly vague predictions credulous morons will later proclaim true’!!! Psalm 156 would have predicted the 2000 Florida ballot recount affair complete with final tallies if there were a psalm 156!!!!! The odds I’m taking my meds are approximately the same as if you were to cover the Earth in antipsychotic drugs to a depth of fifteen tablets and one of them was green and I didn’t take that one either!!!! Why don’t any of the punctuation keys on my laptop work anymore????????????

  49. #49 Kel
    November 25, 2008

    I’m not a Yank, but I’ll still partake in the giving of thanks.

    I’m thankful to my parents, for if they hadn’t had sex, I or my brothers wouldn’t be here. I thank them for the support they have given me over the years and the shit they’ve had to put up with me doing.

    I thank the greater community around me, for the wider social attitude has shaped who I am and permits me to live in a manner of freedom.

    I thank all those great thinkers who have shaped human knowledge, their dedication to understanding this godless endeavour has brought progress in this society and given an intellectual pursuit.

    I thank all those who contribute to this blog, to PZ Myers for his excellent and thought-provoking posts and to all the commenters who both brighten my day and challenge me to push myself further in my thinking.

    To all those who have touched my life, or will do so in the future I thank you for making me me.

  50. #50 Jeanette
    November 25, 2008

    Thank you, Sastra.

    Thankfulness is more thankful when we’re thankful to something that is real, not to an invisible friend that we have somehow not lost in childhood.

    Thank you to PZ Myers, and to all who speak out for reality, and to my friends who help me (I’m not rich enough to get by without them), and to the members of my group who actually chip in $1. or more per year to help out with fees, and those who showed up or spoke out at our rally for separation of church and state, and for those who voted for Barack Obama, and for those who speak out against the ignorance of religion on this and other blogs, and thank you to Cuttlefish for your new book, and for evolution for bringing us here, and for the sun, and for Charles Darwin, for figuring it out, and for other scientists who have given us medicine and transportation and technology, where religion has not…

    actually, what the hell do religionists have to be grateful for? Just their invisible friend. We should declare Thanksgiving to be an official atheist holiday, since we’re the only people who have anything to be thankful for, really.

  51. #51 Sparkomatic
    November 25, 2008

    @26
    Actually that does make a lot more sense…its just that I find too much religion is hard to swallow, indigestible and ultimately it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

  52. #52 Chris Sanford
    November 25, 2008

    Why is the evidence for the Bible so quickly swept under the rug? What about kings who were named by name 200 years before they were even born (Isaiah 45). Psalm 22 says they have pierced My hands and My feet. This was 800 years before crucifixion was even practiced and 1100 years before Christ came to earth. The mathematical odds for Jesus to fulfill 7 prophecies (keep in mind He fulfilled hundreds) would be the same odds as you covering the entire earth in 4inchX4inch white tiles, with a gold star hidden underneath only one tile, and you walking up on the very 1st try and finding it. Oh by the way you are blindfolded! Now you may say well that is impossible, can you imagine what the odds are for Jesus to fulfill all the prophecies He did?! They are astronomical, they cannot be fathomed. Only God knows perfectly the future and has shown that He certainly knows by predicting with pin point accuracy events well into the future. 1/4 of the Bible is prophetic and of all the prophecies that have to do with past events all have come true. not one of them has failed. God’s Word has a 100% track record when it comes to pronouncing what will take place. How can one disbelieve when there is that much evidence??

    I am God and there is no other, I am God and there is no one like Me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done.
    Isaiah 46:9-10

  53. #53 Emmet Caulfield
    November 25, 2008

    here we go….

    Uh huh. Looks like we’ve got a live one.

  54. #54 Kel
    November 25, 2008

    Godbotting? I never…

  55. #55 Sven DiMilo
    November 25, 2008

    Dude, you already posted that same paragraph in this thread (#32). Please come up with some more creative godbotting. You’re already boring.

  56. #56 ggab
    November 25, 2008

    Emmet, that was fantastic.
    PZed, you gotta see this.

  57. #57 chuko
    November 25, 2008

    The comments on the column were the most heart-warming thing I’ve read in years.

  58. #58 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    November 25, 2008

    Chris. The fact you’ve had to post that same exact thing twice without actually providing any support for the looney tunes you are regurgitating really makes you come off like a fucking lunatic.

  59. #59 SC
    November 25, 2008

    Emmet, how do you find this stuff?

  60. #60 Wowbagger
    November 25, 2008

    Dammit. Why do these loons always show up when I’m on the PC that doesn’t have Firefox and its sweet, sweet killfile?

    Chris Sanford, I proved I’m just as capable of nice and accurate1 predictions as your god. Why aren’t you worshipping me? Be warned, I get angry2.

    1Thank you Mr Pratchett for that one – and for showing me the power of footnoting.
    2Though not as angry as your current god – he’s a real monster. Pillars of salt! That’s awesome.

  61. #61 John Morales
    November 25, 2008

    Chris Sanford:

    Only God knows perfectly the future and has shown that He certainly knows by predicting with pin point accuracy events well into the future.

    Why, yes! That’s one of the claims.
    But God is also claimed to be not just omniscient, but omnipotent. So, not merely predicting, but making the future.

    All the evil, all the suffering, is part God’s plan, in your weird theology. Nice!

  62. #62 Dahan
    November 25, 2008

    I’m willing to bet that on my death bed, I’ll have a lot less uncertainty about what’s going to happen to me than this idiot does.
    I know non-existence is my future. He’ll be wondering if he was a good enough bigot to see his Sky-Daddy or if it’s going to be eternal torment as his lot.
    Hehe! Better him than me.

  63. #63 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    November 25, 2008

    I am God and there is no other, I am God and there is no one like Me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done.
    Isaiah 46:9-10

    Look, the thing about my family is there’s five of us. Marge, Bart, Girl Bart, the one who doesn’t talk, and the fat guy. How I loathe him. – Homer Simpson

  64. #64 Dust
    November 25, 2008

    Several years ago I worked for a used bookseller and was able to give my then under 10yrs nephew lots of wonderful kids books. So one Thanksgiving at his house (a good atheist house) we each took a turn to tell what our thanks were, and my nephew said he was thankful for all the books I had given over the years.

    Wow, if we had been busy thanking some big sky daddy instead we all would have missed a wonderful moment, and one I especially treasure.

    I don’t work for the bookstore any more, but still love to give my nephew books. Last X-mas I gave him a nice boxed set of the ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy. He liked it, his dad especially liked it, and I borrowed them for my second reading of that fabulous story.

    BAH—I’d rather thank real living people than sky fairies anyday.

  65. #65 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    November 25, 2008

    I’m thankful for Al Gore, who invented the internet so that I was able to find Pharyngula.

    I’m thankful for the Minnesota Atheists, who have given me a shot at radio broadcasting.

    I’m thankful for WordPress’s developers, so that I could let the entire world see how much of an idiot I am through my blog.

    I’m thankful for HP for selling laptops.

    I’m thankful for a lot of things, but I certainly don’t see myself at my deathbed doing this:

    An atheist on his deathbed faces serious uncertainties. Gazing upward, he pleads: “Oh God, if there is a God, please save my soul — if I have one.”

    I see myself more likely trying to get the doc to turn up the juice on the morphine drip.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
    (From an atheist.)

  66. #66 JeffreyD
    November 25, 2008

    I am thankful I made it through the first anniversary of the worst time of my life.

    I am thankful we apparently have a new shuttlecock to smack around, Chris Sanford.

    I am mega thankful that Ann Coulter’s jaw has been wired shut. Things like this make me wonder is there is not a benevolent god after all. (snicker) And no, I feel no sympathy for the evil person’s pain – I am not that nice of a person.

    Ciao y’all

  67. #67 Emmet Caulfield
    November 25, 2008

    ggab, SC,

    I saw it around last Christmas and Rev. BDC’s “here we go” reminded me of it. EvilZoe has a few other hilarious vids from around that time, like her Ode to Trolls.

  68. #68 AJ Milne
    November 25, 2008

    I just checked it out on the back of a napkin, and I’m pretty sure the mathematical odds of fulfiling seven prophecies are actually slightly closer to the odds that if you were to cover Arizona and New Mexico with cherry red bowling balls to a depth of seven meters, the EPA would become extremely annoyed.

    Can someone else confirm? The math was pretty involved, and I may have failed to factor out a couple of the holyshitthisguyisfuckinginsane terms or maybe missed an opportunity to reduce a manwhatinhellisheon coefficient or two…

    Thanks awfully in advance.

  69. #69 Macron
    November 25, 2008

    Kings aren’t selected randomly.

  70. #70 Derek
    November 25, 2008

    Actually, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for Atheists percisely BECAUSE they have no God to thank.

    Why would I be thankful for the existence of the kind of God that is portrayed in the three major monotheistic religions? Why would I be thankful for the existence of any sort of being that requires that I worship or bribe them in order NOT to be tortured forever in some sort of afterlife? The movie 300 pretty much covers my thoughts about where beings that require some sort of offering from me (in exchange for a promise not to hurt me) belong.

  71. #71 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    November 25, 2008

    I’m thankful we don’t have to hear from the wicked witch of the north for at least a little while.

  72. #72 chuko
    November 25, 2008

    Not that Chris’s arguments are worth answering in detail (Chris, pick up a real history or science book at some point), but just for trivia’s sake…

    As it turns out, the Hebrew word translated as “pierced” in Psalm 22:16 (“they pierced my hands and feet”) actually means “like a lion”, and that’s really the only detail that makes it sound like a crucifixion at all. The psalm isn’t identified as a prophesy, just a psalm.

  73. #73 Zarquon
    November 25, 2008

    Kings aren’t selected randomly.

    No, you’ve got to have a watery tart lob a scimitar at you.

  74. #74 spurge
    November 25, 2008

    That is no basis for a system of government!

  75. #75 ggab
    November 25, 2008

    There’s some lovely filth down here.

  76. #76 Sven DiMilo
    November 25, 2008

    I am thankful for the delightful team of Dilbert and Denyse “Buy My Book” O’Leary asking the hard questions about the theory of evolution, here.

  77. #77 Dust
    November 25, 2008

    Wowbagger @ 43…I predict the word douchebag will appear in this post.

    Waiting, waiting…

    Chris Sanford is a douchebag of epic proportions.

    So, you gonna worship me or what?……………..

    I would like to thank Wowbagger for making the prophesy that he that would make a prediction about the word ‘douchebag’ before the word ‘douchebag’ actually appeared in his/her post.

    And even more thanks Wowbagger, for inviting me to worship you. ‘Cause worship you, I do. Thanks.

  78. #78 tresmal
    November 25, 2008

    Chris: The ancients who wrote the bible had a non-supernatural technique that explains the “miracles” of the bible. It’s called “making shit up”. Tip: While getting your “preaching” degree, try to get an education on the side.

  79. #79 Wowbagger
    November 25, 2008

    Dust, #77, wrote:

    And even more thanks Wowbagger, for inviting me to worship you. ‘Cause worship you, I do. Thanks.

    Hey, no problem. Now, the part I always feel a bit awkward about – how do you feel about tithing?

  80. #80 Jimminy Christmas
    November 25, 2008

    What about the evidence for the Bible??

    You see, right about here is where you make your first mistake.

    Also, WTF DOES THE BIBLE HAVE TO DO WITH THANKSGIVING? Moron.

  81. #81 Nerd of Redhead
    November 25, 2008

    Love the cartoon. Reminds me of a few of our trolls. Hypocrites all.

    I’m thankful the Redhead won’t be cooking a full turkey (she decided to make turkey pasty instead) this year. Even a small bird lasts us waaayyyyy to long.

  82. #82 Dust
    November 25, 2008

    I would like to thank Wowbagger for not asking me to tithe, and Wowbagger can be gratefull that I did not flip him off with both hands (had the tithing suggestion be made.)
    also.

  83. #83 Wowbagger
    November 25, 2008

    I would like to thank Dust for not flipping me off with both hands – and for making me giggle uncontrollably.

  84. #84 Hank Fox
    November 25, 2008

    Thanks Giving:

    Thanks to PZ Myers of Pharyngula, and all the great commenters here.

    Thanks to Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov, Terry Pratchett and Richard Dawkins. Thanks to Ray Bradbury, and Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey and Diane Duane, George Chesbro and Jim Butcher. Thanks to David Brin and Larry Niven. Thanks to Robert Service and Mark Twain. Thanks to Arthur C. Clarke, and to Chris Clarke.

    And what the hell, thanks to Stan Lee, and Siegel and Shuster! Thanks to Bill Watterson, Berkely Breathed, and Walt Kelly.

    Thanks to Mrs. Nicholas who took my friend Johnny and I to the library every Saturday when I was a kid. Thanks to Miss King, geometry teacher, who taught me that sometimes there really is only one right answer. Thanks to my “dad,” Dan Farris, for the years of tolerance, and to Lou and Mary Roeser, for the years in the saddle.

    Thanks to U.S. voters, for electing Barack Obama, and finally ridding us of the stupid, vile, lying freak (and his stupid, vile lying cronies), in the White House. Thanks in advance to all those who will try to hold them all accountable. (And thanks to John McCain for picking Sarah Palin, and to Sarah for being such a ditz.)

    Thanks to Ralph Nader. (Ralph, you may be out of favor these days, but I will never forget the good you’ve done.)

    Thanks to John Muir, and Teddy Roosevelt, for wilderness.

    Thanks to every bird and lizard and furry thing that has given me delight by allowing itself to be seen on all those outdoor hikes. Special thanks to the bears, and special-special thanks to Mr. Bear, my shaggy brown mountain neighbor, for strolling past my door on so many summer nights. And speaking of bears, thanks to Tim Treadwell, for living and dying in intense self-determination.

    Thanks to every doctor who ever lived, for being willing to go to school for decades to keep us all alive and healthy. But also thanks to the people who invented contraceptives, for helping us to not overrun the planet. Yet.

    And thanks for all those who went to Vet School instead, for your loving attention to all our dogs and cats – with special thanks to Dr. London, Dr. Moak, Dr. Bart and Dr. Karyn.

    Thanks to Charles Darwin! Thomas Jefferson. Abraham Lincoln. John F. Kennedy. Martin Luther King, Jr. A special shout out to George Washington for saying “No, thanks” to an offered crown.

    Thanks to Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox, Monty Python and Mel Brooks, George Carlin and Bill Hicks!

    Thanks to Leonardo da Vinci, just for existing on this planet at some point. Ditto to Bill McKenna, not just for existing but for being good enough to live in my same era and earthly vicinity.

    Thanks to my friend Carl Buell, for his years of brilliant friendship to both me and my dogs. And thanks to Ranger and Tito, the aforementioned dogs, for all the outdoor fun, and whole lifetimes of love and friendship.

  85. #85 Jimminy Christmas
    November 25, 2008

    I concur with the thanks to Carl Sagan. And PZ, of course ;)

    Sorry, I just started reading Pale Blue Dot again over the past few days, so I’m in a Carl Sagan mood.

  86. #86 Ivan
    November 25, 2008

    The Times Herald comments email address:

    soundoff@newnan.com

  87. #87 Rey Fox
    November 25, 2008

    “I am God and there is no other, I am God and there is no one like Me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done.
    Isaiah 46:9-10 ”

    I am the messiah! Humperdido!
    Ennis 21:6

  88. #88 Hank Fox
    November 25, 2008

    Ahem. Okay, that may have been a bit much.

    When I start writing, I can’t always stop myself.

  89. #89 llewelly
    November 25, 2008
  90. #90 llewelly
    November 25, 2008

    Jimminy Christmas:

    Also, WTF DOES THE BIBLE HAVE TO DO WITH THANKSGIVING?

    I don’t know, but I’m thankful to have learned the bible largely balderdash and bronze-age myths.

  91. #91 mothwentbad
    November 26, 2008

    Yes, my weekend will be quite impoverished indeed by my not having a God to thank on this honorary anniversary of the beginning of the end of countless native civilizations of the Americas.

  92. #92 BobC
    November 26, 2008

    I just visited the Newnan Times-Herald website. I was planning to tell the columnist Jim Griffith what he can do with his childish Christian death cult and his “Heavenly Father” but unfortunately “COMMENTING ON THIS STORY HAS ENDED”. Christian pigs love censorship.

  93. #93 Katkinkate
    November 26, 2008

    Posted by: Chris Sanford @ 52 “Why is the evidence for the Bible so quickly swept under the rug? … (Some talk of prophecies) … How can one disbelieve when there is that much evidence?? … Isaiah 46:9-10 ”

    1. You’ve provided no evidence, only myth, legend and hearsay.
    2. A verse in a book proclaiming “I am the only God,” does not automatically make it so.
    3. ‘The Bible’ is not a recognisable source of authority for those who don’t believe in it’s authority. Quoting bible scripture as evidence is useless. May as well quote from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. At least the story is better.

    “He who breaks a thing to find out what it is, has left the path of wisdom.” Gandalf (at least Gandalf makes sense)

  94. #94 Katkinkate
    November 26, 2008

    Oh yeah, also, as an Australian I don’t celebrate the American Thanksgiving, but I would like to thank all of you involved in this blog, from PZ and my fellow minions to the trolls who provide sparring partners that keep our intellectual faculties sharp. Thank you for all your hard work keeping this blog alive.

  95. #95 mandrake
    November 26, 2008

    Hm, Thanksgiving…
    I may or may not have a job (long story), the cat has kidney disease and won’t eat, my love life is a train wreck when it is not nonexistent, and my apartment looks like it was rented to a small fraternity for a week.
    OTOH:
    Thank you to my friends and to the atheist community of teh intertoobz, so I know I’m not the crazy one.

  96. #96 Paper Hand
    November 26, 2008

    I agree completely with this post. I find Thanksgiving far more meaningful (if somewhat harder) now that I take it as an opportunity to consider what REAL people I have to be thankful to. It’s easy for religious people to just take all the things they have to be grateful for and pin them on the Great Sky Fairy. It’s a lot harder to actually consider who you really have to be thankful to. Very much worth it, though.

  97. #97 BobC
    November 26, 2008

    Of course Jim Griffith is a brain-damaged idiot, but it’s important to remember he’s also a typical Christian. Imagine believing Mr. Jebus was the son of the Magic Fairy of the Universe. There is no belief more idiotic and childish. Christians are the most insane and most stupid people in human history.

  98. #98 waldteufel
    November 26, 2008

    My family will be sitting down to a great meal, our love for each other, and our shared appreciation for life.

    That’s all we need. We don’t need a fucking imaginary sky fairy.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  99. #99 Gary
    November 26, 2008

    It is disappointing to see that commenting has been “ended” so quickly. I would like to have shared that we invite a pastor friend and his family to Thanksgiving every year (nearest family in Germany). For his tolerance and our friendship we are thankful. It is hoped that Mr. Griffith may have learned something from that but I have a feeling he might find that this would not be something to be thankful for. How could an atheist and a Lutheran Pastor be thankful for their friendship?

  100. #100 mandydax
    November 26, 2008

    I’m thankful to my dad, who instilled in me a love of science.
    I’m thankful to my mother, who turned that into a love of Star Trek.
    I’m thankful to Al Gore for inventing the internet. ;)
    I’m thankful to Cornell College for four great years of close friendships.
    I’m thankful to those friends for using the internet to reconnect and keep those friendships strong.
    I’m thankful to my friend Dave du Jour from college for pointing me to Wil Wheaton’s blog.
    I’m thankful to Wil Wheaton for writing such an engaging blog, and pointing me to Bad Astronomy.
    I’m thankful to Phil Plait for writing Bad Astronomy and nurturing that seed of skepticism that my dad planted in my youth and for linking to other skeptical and science blogs like Pharyngula.
    I’m thankful to PZ for his tireless defense of reason and using his tentacular reach to point to even more of the skepticism my mind craved, for introducing me to Richard Dawkins, and for pointing out this article and its comments.
    I’m thankful to Richard Dawkins for writing The God Delusion which allowed me to free myself from the specter of God.
    I’m thankful to Jim Griffith for writing that ill-informed article because of all the comments it generated.
    I’m thankful to all of those commenters for sharing their heartwarming opinions that showed just how wonderful being an atheist is.
    Most of all, I’m just thankful that I get a chance to be alive. When I consider the lines of gametes that could have been people and never were, it really does put wonder into my own existence, despite the anthropomorphic principle. ;)
    I’m thankful for Mark Twain’s rebuttal of the deathbed argument which Richard put into his book: “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
    Thank you for reading this, and have a joyful and safe Thanksgiving.

  101. #101 David Wiener
    November 26, 2008

    I give thanks for PZ, and for living in an age when free thinkers are not killed out of hand. I still have to explain to my kids that their cousins are ok even if they are totally immersed in Jebus. I’m thankful that the long term trend seems to favor us, but I’d sure like it to hurry up a bit.

  102. #102 Soapy Sam's Monkey
    November 26, 2008

    Jim Griffith, meet Dan Dennett:

    Thank goodness!

  103. #103 Leigh Williams
    November 26, 2008

    Hank Fox, I am thankful that I got to read your delightful essay.

    I am thankful that Boy Twin has discovered Isaac Asimov and has begun a lifelong, albeit now one-sided, friendship with him.

    Nerd, forget the pasty. Tell Redhead that we can be thankful that some good engineers invented the Deep Freezer, in which the Thanksgiving Bird can be stored in the equally miraculously engineered Freezer Baggies (after suitable dismemberment) — thereafter to be resurrected anew throughout the year as turkey enchiladas, turkey and dumplings, turkey pot pie, and other wonderful low-cost meals appropriate to our shitcanned economy. All at a cost of 99 cents per pound of protein. Now THAT’S a friggin’ miracle. Amen.

  104. #104 mikeg
    November 26, 2008

    thanks jerry

  105. #105 oaksterdam
    November 26, 2008

    I’m in full agreement with Hank Fox’s list. Even his geometry teacher. And I thought I was Mandrake for a second there. But my cat has ok kidneys I think. Although internal problems would explain the mean streak.

    Me? Tonight I’m very thankful to the chefs of Chez Panisse, the distillers of Knob Creek and The Gaslight Anthem of fuckin’ Jersey.

    I was thankful for Wowbagger until the worship option opened up. Time for Hymns! Everything to eleven! 1-2-3-4! Bang and howl and then bust your shit up! Or am I at the wrong service?

    Happy thanksgiving you lovable evil atheist conspirators.

  106. #106 Teleprompter
    November 26, 2008

    I give thanks to my family and bringing me into this world, and being patient and supportive enough not to take me out of it. ;D
    I give thanks for my friends who understand my sense of humor, haha.
    I give thanks for Pat Condell and all the other YouTube atheists for making me laugh during what could have been a dark time.
    I give thanks to PZ Myers for his outstanding blog.

  107. #107 Monado
    November 26, 2008

    Apparently the Times-Herald is thankful that new markets are opening up for tobacco.

  108. #108 Pat
    November 26, 2008

    Wow.. that column wasn’t even coherent. Claiming we lack a God to thank, then talking about how much the world sucks… when who’s to blame for that, according to their religion?

    “Thank you, God, from whom all blessings flow. And all punishments, be they arbitrary, capricious or cryptically inscrutable. I’m sure we’ve done something to deserve it, so thanks for inflicting random violence on us to keep us on our toes. It works so well for abused spouses and children, I’m glad you’ve added it to your repertoire.

    Amen.”

  109. #109 kamaka
    November 26, 2008

    “Christians are the most insane and most stupid people in human history.”

    Perhaps. Muslims are very insane and stupid, too.

    Gazing upward, he pleads: “Oh God, if there is a God, please save my soul — if I have one.”

    This is certainly some stupid and insane editorialising.

    Some years ago, I was on what I thought was my death bed.

    This was my thought: Oh, shit! This is it!

  110. #110 Anton Mates
    November 26, 2008

    Psalms 22 says they have pierced My hands and My feet.

    Only because Christians translated it that way.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They_have_pierced_my_hands_and_my_feet

  111. #111 tyler j. hutchison
    November 26, 2008

    Oh, yes — I’m also thankful that on Thanksgiving I will be getting together with my family to express gratitude to the real people who count, rather than some imaginary thug in the sky.

    I on the other hand will be expressing my gratitude to an imaginary thug in the sky.
    Thank you 2pac for giving us cranberry sauce and thank YOU Notorious B.I.G. for giving us these delicious sweet potatoes. You really should share your secret recipe with us sometime.

  112. #112 OilBoy
    November 26, 2008

    Tualha #6: “Does it strike anyone else as odd that out of 28 comments posted over the course of two days, every single one is from an atheist?

    Im an atheist, and I noticed this too. Actually, ALL the comments were gramatically correct, properly punctuated, and the same general tone.

    Am I being paranoid ?

  113. #113 Leigh Williams
    November 26, 2008

    I am also thankful to see my friend Jeffrey_D back among us, safe and, I hope, sound.

    Good to see you, buddy. Ciao back right at ya.

  114. #114 clinteas
    November 26, 2008

    Thanks to every doctor who ever lived, for being willing to go to school for decades to keep us all alive and healthy

    Youre welcome !

    As to Thanksgiving,no such thing here,but every year around this time Im amazed at the arrogant assumptions being spewed forth by ignorant religionists about the empty wasted loveless atheist lifes,and how unbelievably rich and great and superior the theists experience is.

    Bunch of fucking liars that can not admit to themselves that their life is a sham and a lie and fucked up.

    And I have enjoyed this thread and the giving thanks posts from people a lot,thank you all !

  115. #115 csrster
    November 26, 2008

    The gentle whirring noise you may hear is Tolkien spinning in his grave after someone claimed that the Lord of the Rings was better than the Bible. Although having read LotR about 25 times more than I have read the Bible, I have to agree.

  116. #116 Kaela Mensha Khaine
    November 26, 2008

    Was this nonsense actually written in english? I read it – twice – and I did not understand, what he wanted to say. It was a series of unrelated, nonsensical religious statement … I am confused.

  117. #117 RickrOll
    November 26, 2008

    I’m thankful for the fanily i have, and for the friends i’ve made.
    I’m especially thankful for finding a blog where i’m able to Not have the last word on everything, and that there are so many other well-infromed people to talk to as well. I’m thankful for the Mollies, and i’m even thankful for the trolls. They make me laugh, they make me cry. I feel life because of their staggering stupidity, and it makes me cherish my own limited intelligence that much more because of it.

  118. #118 featheredfrog
    November 26, 2008

    What? Has Bill Donohue become a reborn Atheist? It certainly sounds like someone calling a column atheist bashing without fully reading it.

    “heaven protects working girls…but they’re still losing their jobs”

    “meek shall inherit…but will they stay meek?”

    In fact, every single line/part of that column (NOT an editorial, btw) reads to me as “you can be religious if you want to, but watch out for that religion”. The Only part I found somewhat objectionable was the deathbed sentence, and as it’s humorous, it can pass.

    In short this was a column that _criticizes_ the “only the religious can be thankful”

    Try reading the WHOLE thing critically, we really don’t NEED our own Bill Donohue – it would dilute our message and needs.

  119. #119 uncle frogy
    November 26, 2008

    I will be going to some friends house on “The Day” to eat and enjoy company it will be a little different this year as one of “The Throng” has died this month.
    I could make a list thoes I am thankful for also but it would be too large to post.
    All these hollydays coming up make me think of the people I know and love (even some I do not like much) fondly.
    Thanksgiving always reminds me of the people who were here when the europeans arrived in the new world and there wonderful experience with “christians” and the money and “ownership society” still today not so nice.

    I will be preparing in the few weeks left of this year for the winter solstice I have taken the notion of doing a vigil I guess that is what you could call it have done it for a few years now. I go over to my sons house and we and anyone who wants to stay up all night sitting around a fire outside under the sky eating and drinking and talking. Marveling at the events and circumstances that led to now and these events and circumstances. In honor of the countless generations that have sat and looked at the “wheel of the sky” and sat on the longest night waiting for the return. We eat the food and drink the drinks that all flow on and on in time like the “a great river”.
    We may know more true details of what we see, the stars, and the tilt of the earth and the seasons and our Galaxy and the unnumbered other galaxies out there then those in the dim past but to be here is no less humbling and awe inspiring. It is still exalting to see and know it is so very brief my time.

    The godbots are like a children who wake up screaming in the night and realize that they will die and hear fearful noises and daddy and mommy come in and tell them story so they will sleep and not be afraid and now they do not want the lights on because then the dream story would go away and the monsters of fear would get them and it is just be the bed room really. they can’t help but yell at anyone who turns on he light!

    change is a function of time

  120. #120 Pikemann Urge
    November 26, 2008

    Christopher Hitchens has a great joke that is somewhat relevant: Why should atheists be pitied? Because they have no-one to thank while getting a blowjob.

  121. #121 Ruprecht
    November 26, 2008

    @109, kamaka | November 26, 2008 2:28 AM
    “O God — if there be a God — save my soul — if I have one.”
    As far as I know the quote is actually from Arthur Schopenhauer. Can’t find the original in German, though. But it’s certainly not from the Newnan Times-Herald.

  122. #122 Ruprecht
    November 26, 2008

    @Myself, #121
    It was Schopenhauer al right. It’s an aphorism called “Prayer of a sceptic” (“Gebet eines Skeptikers”):

    “Gott, — wenn du bist –, errette aus dem Grabe /
    Meine Seele — wenn ich eine habe”.

    In German it sounds way better — it rhymes.

  123. #123 Walton
    November 26, 2008

    I wrote and pointed out how much flack they’d be getting if this guy had been so casually insulting to women, or gays, or African-Americans, or Jews, or even just Republicans.

    The first three are not at all analogous to atheism; one can’t help one’s gender, race or sexual preference. As regards the fourth, it depends on whether you mean Jews in the racial or in the religious sense. People do go around insulting and mocking the religious observances of Orthodox Jews, for instance, and get away with it.

    As regards the fifth, what planet are you living on? Columns attacking Republicans are a dime a dozen (as are columns attacking Democrats; I’m not being partisan here).

    As was correctly pointed out on another thread here this week, no belief system ought to be above criticism. You have every right to criticise Christianity, and there are, indeed, a plethora of valid criticisms (the non-historicity of parts of the Bible, the problem of evil, the archaic and brutal character of the OT, the behaviour of some Christians who seem to conveniently ignore all Christian ethical teaching except for the parts about gays…). But similarly, you can’t deny Christians the entitlement to criticise you. If you’re entitled to call them stupid or insane for their beliefs (as Holbach, inter alia, does in pretty much every single comment), then they are entitled to be similarly disparaging towards you.

    Attacks on the grounds of race are, rightly, beyond the pale in modern civilised society (and attacks on the grounds of gender and sexual orientation are rapidly becoming so); but attacks on the grounds of religious or political belief are, as you yourselves have pointed out, entirely legitimate in a free society. People may be inherently worthy of respect, but beliefs, in themselves, are not.

  124. #124 raven
    November 26, 2008

    lying fundie moron:

    /4 of the Bible is prophetic and of all the prophesies that have to do with past events all have come true, not one of them has failed. God’s Word has a 100% track record how can one disbelieve with this kind of evidence??

    Because it isn’t true. The track record of the bible on prophesies coming true is rather lame with many not coming true.

    This is just a fundie lie that they tell, secure in the knowledge that while they haven’t read the bible, no one else has either and no one cares anyway.

    The bible also claims the earth is 6,000 years old, flat, and the center of the solar system. It is 4.5 billion years old, round, and orbits the sun.

  125. #125 PixelFish
    November 26, 2008

    Newt Gingrich apparently has been frothing along similar lines in this article here: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=29638 Apparently, Thanksgiving is a “uniquely American holiday” and must be rooted in God! Turkey with a side dish of religion!

    I can’t help wondering if (for some people) the insistence on thanking God for everything and anything is at some level an unconcious desire to avoid being burdened with the link of gratitude to a real person. After all, by thanking God, you’re acknowledging that he is blessing you because you are worthy of being blessed, but you don’t actually have to reciprocate anything meaningful back to the guy in the sky.

    As I noted on my blog, I don’t think my friends and family are the result of God magically deciding I’m worthy of a reward. They’re not my puppy biscuit for being me. Who they are and what they are is a direct result of a real live human being’s choices, not the gift of the magical sky fairy. Other things I would be thankful for (like my education or my job or my city) are the result of humans–real people somewhere–working hard. They deserve my gratitude, whether or not they can actually feel it. Mythical sky being? Not so much.

  126. #126 clinteas
    November 26, 2008

    Walton,

    good to see a mostly coherent comment from you for once.

    one can’t help one’s gender, race or sexual preference

    Id actually love to know whether that is true for sexual preference,has anyone found that out yet,born gay and all that?
    I certainly wasnt born bisexual,I dont think so anyway….Nuff said LOL

    But similarly, you can’t deny Christians the entitlement to criticise you.

    As has been pointed out here a few times recently,Christians seem to feel a godgiven right to critisize and comment anytime,anywhere,anywho,while at the same time regarding criticism of themselves as militant,or censorship….

  127. #127 Wowbagger
    November 26, 2008

    Clinteas, I think we’re missing out. We have to come up with some Australian equivalent of Thanksgiving that we can celebrate – and at which we can make a point of not thanking a non-existent god.

    All I require is that it involve beer.

  128. #128 clinteas
    November 26, 2008

    Wowbagger,

    I dont know a lot about this TG tradition in the first place,just that at the same time every year this religious shit comes up…

    I reckon we here and probably most sane people all over the world can just naturally,without having a fixed date for it,be grateful and appreciative of people and the stuff they do to enrichen ones existence….
    And yeah,lets have beer with it.

  129. #129 Gilian
    November 26, 2008

    As for all the responses to this religious newspaper nutter being Athe´sts, mayhaps the Newspaper-blog editor is an Athe´st and got his/her’s subtle revenge on their colleage ?

    I can remember visiting the museum in Istanbul,the display case which held relics from Mohammed the prophet was setup in a similar way, with devout muslims praying to foot-print casts all attributed to the prophet, whilst the casts themselves ranged in size from 20 to 60 cm *all* from the prophet. Dude apparantly had magical feet :) Anyways, always remembered the arrangements of these relics, which made it painfully obvious that they could never have come from the same source.

    We are blessed (sic) with having less religious holiday stuff here in the Netherlands, although apparently the religious parts of our Government think it’s a good idea to measure the pubic hair grow of children ( I kid you not ) Something about Leopards and spots spring to mind… anyway, I’m rambling…
    Have a nice time over there :)

  130. #130 Walton
    November 26, 2008

    clinteas: As has been pointed out here a few times recently,Christians seem to feel a godgiven right to critisize and comment anytime,anywhere,anywho,while at the same time regarding criticism of themselves as militant,or censorship….

    That may well be true of some Christians, but by no means all. I know lots of Christians who are very much open to criticism of their religion, and will discuss things civilly and rationally.

    As a rule, it helps – on both sides – if discussions are conducted in a civil manner and without using insults. Calling religious people stupid and insane (I’m aware that many people here don’t do this, but Holbach, for instance, does so in virtually every comment) is not constructive, and is only going to make them hostile. (Just as I understand the anger of atheists when the likes of Dole or Gingrich start attacking you as un-American.) It is perfectly possible to have a civil and rational discussion about the merits of particular religious beliefs, without trading insults.

    Here is an example of how such discussions ought to take place:

    Christian: Jesus died for our sins. You should repent and turn to Him.
    Atheist: But how can you know Jesus died for our sins? We don’t have any sound historical evidence about Jesus’ life; all we have are a few third-hand accounts written by evangelists some decades after the fact. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and you haven’t produced any.
    Christian: Fair point. But I have faith in the reality of Jesus, and I’ve felt the power of the Holy Spirit at work in my life.
    Atheist: How do you know your experience of the “power of the Holy Spirit” is real, and not just a psychological construct? And isn’t saying “I have faith” just an admission that there’s no solid evidence?
    Christian: I just know, somehow. It’s a deeply personal experience that I can’t really explain.
    Atheist: But I haven’t had such an experience myself; I’m not convinced that your experience with God is real rather than imagined; and I’m not willing to believe without more solid evidence to back up your claims.
    Christian: Fair enough. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    But, sadly, this is how it usually happens on the Internet:

    Christian: Jesus died for our sins. You should repent and turn to Him.
    Atheist: Why should I? You haven’t given me any evidence that Jesus died for my sins or that he even existed. You’re just a credulous religious idiot.
    Christian: Stop criticising my beliefs! You’re one of these radical un-American militant godless liberals who wants to ban Christmas!
    Atheist: Is that the strongest argument you can make, twerp? Insane fundie creotard religidiots like you should just fuck off and die in a ditch.
    Christian: I will pray for your soul and hope that you repent and turn to Christ, otherwise you are condemned to Hell!
    Atheist: Fuck off.

    Is it just me that finds the first type of discussion preferable to the second?

  131. #131 Heraclides
    November 26, 2008

    Another (atheist) take on thaking those who deserve to be thanked is “Thanking those who deserve thanks” (http://openparachute.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/thanking-those-who-deserve-thanks/)

    The article is worth reading, but some of the comments have gotten side-tracked by the local religious troll :-/

  132. #132 clinteas
    November 26, 2008

    Insane fundie creotard religidiots like you should just fuck off and die in a ditch

    I like the whole World War 1 type scenario with that one though…

    It’s a deeply personal experience that I can’t really explain.

    ARGUMENT FROM ANECDOTAL EXPERIENCE (I)
    (1) I once experienced something I can’t explain.
    (2) [Atheists offer several possible, natural explanations.]
    (3) You’re just guessing! I was there.
    (4) Therefore, God exists.

  133. #133 Walton
    November 26, 2008

    Clinteas, I wasn’t suggesting that an argument from personal experience is a good argument. Rather, I was demonstrating how it is possible to have a civil and respectful dialogue about religious ideas, without compromising one’s own standpoint.

  134. #134 clinteas
    November 26, 2008

    Walton,

    and as a i said,that was pretty good going for you,and was appreciated.

  135. #135 SC
    November 26, 2008

    Christian: Fair enough. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree…And while I continue to cling to ideas which I myself cannot rationally support, I hope you don’t mind if, based on those indefensible beliefs, I campaign against gay marriage, stem cell research, reproductive freedom, sex education and sexual freedom, secularism, and so on, or keep silent while my church or coreligionists do so. I mean, there’s nothing deepy personal about those issues. Hope that’s not a problem for you!

  136. #136 Wowbagger
    November 26, 2008

    Is it just me that finds the first type of discussion preferable to the second?

    It’s probably the conversation I’d prefer to have – but if someone created a blog on which that was the standard I can’t imagine I’d visit more than once. Confrontation is far more entertaining.

    Oh, and that was a passable Holbach* impression, too.

    *probably covers BobC as well

  137. #137 clinteas
    November 26, 2008

    Good on you SC,I tend to go mellow at times,thanks for reminding me of what he’s really saying in the end…

  138. #138 Tony Sidaway
    November 26, 2008

    I wrote and pointed out how much flack they’d be getting if this guy had been so casually insulting to women, or gays, or African-Americans, or Jews, or even just Republicans.

    Sure, but isn’t that just like when a Christian with fatwa envy says we wouldn’t dare say such things about muslims?

    I think it’s obvious from the response to that column that these ignoramuses are going to be finding it harder to spread their stupid prejudices around.

  139. #139 Holbach
    November 26, 2008

    Walton @ 130 and 133
    There is no need or use of dialogue with people who believe in things that do not exist but constantly state that it should be discussed anyway to express why they believe in such insanities. Civil and respectful dialogue has no bearing on even bothering to discuss nonsense with minds so devoid of obvious reason. Basic reality and cognitive reason belabor this blatant fact to such a degree that one wonders how you are able to survive living a life of abject insanity. I would discourse with a turnip than even consider wasting my time and inclination on a mind that holds such superstitious nonsense. You have compromised your mental ability to think correctly and not your standpoint as you stated.

  140. #140 Emmet Caulfield
    November 26, 2008

    Walton @130,

    I’m afraid your Christian wasn’t nearly sanctimonious or deluded enough — s/he didn’t once say “I’ll pray for you” or “I have a personal relationship with Jesus”.

  141. #141 Wowbagger
    November 26, 2008

    SC,

    Clinteas and I (and probably Kel, Bride of Shrek and all the other Oz posters here) can add ‘…and fuck up your already second-rate internet by making the limp-dick government suck up to us and implement the idiotic internet filtering system.’ to the list of crimes perpetuated by ‘nice’ xians.

    Assholes.

  142. #142 SC
    November 26, 2008

    *probably covers BobC as well

    Not quite – it’s missing the word “subhumans” and the genocidal fantasies.

  143. #143 Emmet Caulfield
    November 26, 2008

    Sure, but isn’t that just like when a Christian with fatwa envy says we wouldn’t dare say such things about muslims?

    I think fatwa envy is slightly different in that it entails an implicit fantasy of death or physical harm rather than one of social opprobrium.

  144. #144 Morgan
    November 26, 2008

    chucko @ 76:

    As it turns out, the Hebrew word translated as “pierced” in Psalm 22:16 (“they pierced my hands and feet”) actually means “like a lion”, and that’s really the only detail that makes it sound like a crucifixion at all.

    “They like a lion my hands and feet?”
    “I accidentally the whole bible?”

  145. #145 Kel
    November 26, 2008

    Clinteas and I (and probably Kel, Bride of Shrek and all the other Oz posters here) can add ‘…and fuck up your already second-rate internet by making the limp-dick government suck up to us and implement the idiotic internet filtering system.’ to the list of crimes perpetuated by ‘nice’ xians.

    Yeah, fuck them seriously! Did you see this? The anti-censorship campaign is going to be even harder now that the religious morons are seen supporting such a fucking stupid idea. I’m really pissed off at Labor right now, wish Stephen Conroy would go far away from any position of power.

  146. #146 SC
    November 26, 2008

    Clinteas and I (and probably Kel, Bride of Shrek and all the other Oz posters here) can add ‘…and fuck up your already second-rate internet by making the limp-dick government suck up to us and implement the idiotic internet filtering system.’ to the list of crimes perpetuated by ‘nice’ xians.

    Grr.

    If only Walton had been there to discuss it rationally, imagine how differently that might have turned out…

  147. #147 clinteas
    November 26, 2008

    @ 141,

    Who,what??
    Nah,we’re just weird I reckon,our legislative and government despite a clear majority of the popular vote depends on a xian freak and a wishiwashi independent who will vote with whoever pays him the better free holiday…
    And as far as the Internet is concerned,why should China have all the fun??

    @ Emmet Caulfield,

    youre the man….

  148. #148 Kel
    November 26, 2008

    If only Walton had been there to discuss it rationally, imagine how differently that might have turned out…

    There are no suicide booths in the vicinity, don’t push such horrid propositions as a hypothetical…

  149. #149 Walton
    November 26, 2008

    If only Walton had been there to discuss it rationally, imagine how differently that might have turned out…

    It might have. My argument would be made from a libertarian standpoint: while eliminating online child porn is certainly a worthy goal, do we really want to give government the technical power to censor Internet content in general? Given the value of the Internet for the free and open discussion of political ideas, and its consequent function as a safeguard against authoritarianism, the last thing we want to do is give government extensive control over it. It’s using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. It’s like responding to growing rates of vandalism by giving police the summary power to shoot anyone seen wearing a hoodie.

    Were I an Australian, I would be a member of the Liberal Party, but regardless of their view on this issue I would be campaigning against the censorship measures.

  150. #150 clinteas
    November 26, 2008

    @ Walton,

    Were I an Australian, I would be a member of the Liberal Party

    *facepalm*
    Paging Nick Gotts !!

    SC,

    im off to bed,one might,if one felt so inclined,contact me at terminate111 at the hot place(not the biblical one).LOL

    And if this becomes law,it wont stop anyone from watching what they want to watch,but will slow everyone else down.Im reading with interest that my provider IInet is against it,good on them.

  151. #151 SC
    November 26, 2008

    It might have. My argument would be made from a libertarian standpoint: while eliminating online child porn is certainly a worthy goal, do we really want to give government the technical power to censor Internet content in general?

    I know! No one but you rational libertarians would ever think of that!

    (Please stop – this repeated rolling is causing a strain on my eye muscles.)

  152. #152 Kel
    November 26, 2008

    It might have. My argument would be made from a libertarian standpoint

    No, it would not have worked. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that any government wants to hear from a libertarian standpoint. This this has never been about the freedoms, it’s a backroom deal to appease the one senator who is a member of the religious right in order to get his backing in future bills that pass through the senate. All arguments you could give have been given, the rejection of this bill is going to come from it’s technical impracticality as iiNet will be exposing rather than any means of freedom.

  153. #153 Wowbagger
    November 26, 2008

    The anti-censorship campaign is going to be even harder now that the religious morons are seen supporting such a fucking stupid idea.

    What I think is going to happen is that the trials are going to come back and the business community are going to see just how much it screws with the internet they now depend on for business. Then they will have a quiet word in Mr Rudd’s ear, and it’ll disappear.

    Not quietly, though; they have to give the appearance of having tried their darndest to get it to happen so that Fielding and the Jebusites think they’re actually making a difference.

    Once they come up with a practical reason not to implement it, such as a drop of more than 80% in speed, plus numerous ways to circumvent the filter as well as reminding the clueless that the majority of what they’re trying to prevent – child pornography – comes via P2P (which is unaffected by the filter), they’ll make it go away.

    But I don’t want to take any chances. Any Australians interested in helping fight it should go to the GetUp.org site here and sign the online petition.

  154. #154 SC
    November 26, 2008

    im off to bed,one might,if one felt so inclined,contact me at terminate111 at the hot place(not the biblical one).LOL

    Will do, soon. Sweet dreams!

  155. #155 Kel
    November 26, 2008

    child pornography – comes via P2P

    Even if they block P2P, they won’t get rid of child pornography. All they’ll do is push it further underground. There’s cryptographic protocols such as freenet that make tracking any information impossible. No-one comes across child porn by accident, so by keeping the information at a point where it can be sought out, it can be more easily controlled and monitored. Really they are shooting themselves in the foot by pushing it further underground, but given the drugs policy it’s hardly surprising.

  156. #156 Allen N
    November 26, 2008

    Walton:

    It seems that your stand for civility is disconnected from the reality of religious belief. Bible punchers are the way they are because they have selected mysticism over verifiable reality. Take evolution for example. You can teach about geology, physics, let them handle fossils and what do you get? A 6000 year old earth, claims that all science is a fraud, and fossils were planted by the devil to mislead you. Reason simply will not work. There is no discussion possible – rather like teaching a pig to dance. Frustrates you and irritates the pig. So long as belief is held equal to observable reality, then you’re getting nowhere.

    To be meek and mild in the face of the attacks from the christers is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. Be clear on this – I have no doubt that atheists, along with the gays and others would be relegated to second class citizenship if the religistsas had their way.

  157. #157 AkSourdoe
    November 26, 2008

    Oilboy #112 & Tualha #6-

    I can vouch for my comment over there. As for the comments being grammatically correct, properly punctuated, and the same general tone, hmm – wasn’t there something said about Xians being attacked by the educated segment of the population?

    I might have to leave myself out of that demographic though – I meant to correct my comment to “…the stick of a hell for me to love and respect my family…”

  158. #158 JackC
    November 26, 2008

    I hate getting here late. Nearly everything earlier said by the sane ones (ok – using a little poetic license there) was what I wanted to say as well.

    Count me as an Atheist that considers Thanksgiving the ONLY valid “holiday” in existence. I get to gather with a family of my making – not the one I was born with. This one is far better as it is the result of long effort at instilling the virtues of free thought, understanding of life and the rejection of dogma.

    I am thankful that the fruits of my long labour have produced children that understand that life is to be lived well – not in following some clueless moron spouting fear and uncertainty. I am thankful that they understand for themselves.

    There is no need whatsoever to “offer” this thanks to some other non-provable existence. I am quite happy to enjoy my wine and congratulate myself on what is proving itself to be quite an excellent life, all things considered.

    And I too am very thankful for PZ and his efforts here and elsewhere, as well as nearly all others mentioned. Save maybe Nadar. I can’t abide the man. I am thankful to know there are many others like me and moreso.

    And I am TRULY thankful to know in the depths of my heart that there is, in fact, no Ultimate Authority that steals the appreciation of all we have done away from us.

    JC

  159. #159 Dr. Steve
    November 26, 2008

    OK. I read that editorial and was filled with a sense of “meh”. This is obviously some lightweight trying to make some dumb jokes – those 3rd-grade level, weak attempts at humor about the meek inheriting the Earth and lion-lamb stuff. Really painfully and embarassingly bad sense of humor.
    But he stepped on a land mine trying to score off of atheists. While this does reflect the kind of off-hand persecution that atheists are sick of – being the only class of people left against whom discrimination is not only permitted but encouraged – I don’t think this guy was writing a diatribe against atheists. Rather he was failing miserably at trying to be funny.
    Kind of like an old man that tells a racist joke – then tries to explain it when nobody laughs. It’s worthy of both pity and rage, but pity moreso.

  160. #160 dustbubble
    November 26, 2008

    There are turkeys in the bible? Must have a read of it some day, maybe it’s more interesting than I thought. Could be there’s spuds. And pie …

  161. #161 AKSourdoe
    November 26, 2008

    Dr. Steve #159 – My feeling was that the writer not just failed to grasp the concept, but had never even been introduced to it. So I didn’t respond as forcefully as I might have otherwise. I looked over the rest of the site before I made my comment, and after seeing the general level of conservatism present (Socialists! Pledge of Allegiance Banned! And Bears! Oh my) decided to make my comment as upbeat and inarguable as possible. Others commenting may have had the same reasoning.

  162. #162 CrypticLife
    November 26, 2008

    Walton, I appreciate what you’re advocating. Often, however, that kind of conversation leads to nothing.

    Have that conversation over the Pledge of Allegiance, for example, asserting that it bothers you that your own children are coerced into statements accepting a deity of the implied rejection of national identity (should they refuse to say it), and the theist will frequently simply say, “Well, I believe in God, so I think ‘Under God’ should stay in the Pledge”. There’s a level of core irrationality, even in those theists who remain civil, that needs to be shaken.

    When I am insulting towards theists or mock their views, it’s not to be friends with them. It’s not to convince them to become atheists, or to convince them I’m a nice person (I am, though). It’s to convince them that others can consider their views completely ludicrous, and cannot be dismissed out of hand. And also to convince them of my sincerity — speak mildly and many will assume you’re simply confused and will change your mind once you become wise and experienced (a fantasy that they’re often prone to repeating with the “all will bend on knee before the Lord” after death “argument”).

  163. #163 CrypticLife
    November 26, 2008

    Walton,

    Oh, and also — usually in online discussions I’m not talking only to whoever I’m addressing. I’m talking to witnesses. This is also why I generally spare vitriol, but if a theist comes out and makes an outright, unprovoked attack based on no information such as the bigot writing this column, they deserve a slambasting.

  164. #164 Jeff
    November 26, 2008

    I’m thankful to Hank Fox for introducing me to the Turducken!

  165. #165 Paul Nerves
    November 26, 2008

    I love how they’ve completely forgotten that the first US Thanksgiving was proposed by George Washington in 1789… to celebrate the Constitution! I’m still thankful for that.

  166. #166 JeffreyD
    November 26, 2008

    Regarding #113, Leigh Williams, hiya Leigh. (smile) I hope you are also well. Been a hellish year, but thankful for family and friends who got me over the barrier islands and into harbour. For a while I was hemorrhaging friends and family at a steady rate, but that seems to have slowed. I hope it has stopped.

    Holbach, I am thankful for you, not kidding, I like your straight forward approach. Wow and Clint and SC and Patricia and Blake and Rev and Janine and leaving out many people I enjoy on this blog and am thankful to know, even at a distance. BTW, where is Kseniya?

    Walton, as I stated in another comment fest, will be in London and the UK generally a good bit coming up. Possibly in mid-Dec, but certainly some next year. Would love to actually meet you and deprogr….errrrr, buy you a tea or beer. Let me know and I can drop you an email address.

    Ciao for now, have to go find my elastic waist pants for tomorrow.

  167. #167 Vic
    November 26, 2008

    This douchebag columnist is from Newnan, Georgia, so that kind of casual offensive bigotry is hardly surprising.

    What would be surprising, and wonderful, is if all those commenters on that article were local.

  168. #168 marilove
    November 26, 2008

    I am thankful that it rained today and likely will tomorrow!!! It feels like winter! (I live in Phoenix hahaha.)

  169. #169 Strange
    November 26, 2008

    Warning! Shameless plug for my readerless blog ahead…

    Apparently, we atheists are now at war with Thanksgiving.

    http://cuboidofstrange.blogspot.com/2008/11/war-on-thanksgiving.html

  170. #170 Alex
    November 26, 2008

    I’m late to the party I know but the Thanksgiving holiday is not such a big deal where I live in the UK. Besides I prefer to spend time with my family every day and express my gratitude for their presence by doing nice things for them. If anyone deserves thanks it is the real people in our lives and not some mythical deity.

  171. #171 Richard
    November 26, 2008

    You’re always bashing them. Why can’t they bash you for a change? But I am glad atheists are responding to such criticism.

  172. #172 Stephen
    November 26, 2008

    “Thanksgiving must be a terrible time for atheists. They have no God to thank.”

    The delicious irony: neither do the theists.

  173. #173 Monkboon
    November 26, 2008

    Newbie poster, long-time lurker here… not that anyone asked me, but I’m particularly thankful for the 22nd amendment to the Constitution of the United States. And cheese. Love the cheese.

  174. #174 Walton
    November 26, 2008

    CrypticLife: Have that conversation over the Pledge of Allegiance, for example, asserting that it bothers you that your own children are coerced into statements accepting a deity of the implied rejection of national identity (should they refuse to say it), and the theist will frequently simply say, “Well, I believe in God, so I think ‘Under God’ should stay in the Pledge”. There’s a level of core irrationality, even in those theists who remain civil, that needs to be shaken.

    I agree entirely that “I believe in God” is not at all a good argument for keeping “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, since it doesn’t justify why, in a free and secular society, everyone should be forced to say it. (Why don’t they just make that part optional?)

    But at the same time, I think you may be generalising somewhat about theists (though I appreciate that there are big cultural differences between the US and UK in this regard). Many are generally rational people. In my experience, people in general are very good at compartmentalising their minds; many never examine their religious beliefs with the same level of intellectual rigour that they apply to their professional lives or political views. Thus someone can have perfectly rational, sensible ideas about secular matters, while at the same time holding to an irrational religious standpoint.

    I know a number of Christians who believe wholeheartedly in a secular society and the separation of church and state. There is a fundamental qualitative difference between the statement “I believe X” and the statement “I want to impose X on everyone else through the coercive medium of state power”. The understanding of the difference between the two statements is at the core of all free societies.

  175. #175 A. Eustice
    November 26, 2008

    How asinine. I’ve never understood Thanksgiving as Thanks-giving-to-God. Why not be thankful for family and friends or have enough humility to be thankful for the animals who died for this all-too-American ritual? Also, although I am an atheist, as a student of philosophy, I understand what type of being “God” must be, meaning what kinds of predicates “God” must definitionally entail, if such a being were to exist. The suggestion that God could make mistakes is abjectly stupid and, I think, technically blasphemy. Since God cannot contain any imperfection whatsoever and being capable of making mistakes (an imperfection) is (duh) the condition for the possibility of making mistakes, it follows that God can commit no error. It’s almost as if Christian have gotten so dumb at this point that they don’t even understand their own best arguments, as we find in Aquinas, nor do they even seem to understand their own religion. I mean, is that really too much to ask? I mean, when atheists better understand what “God” must mean (in order to deny his existence all the more effectively) than you, it’s time to just shut up. It’s as if it’s not enough that schmucks want to elect other schmucks to higher office, they want their God to be a schmuck, too. If God does exist, and that’s a big if, I sure hope he’s not a Heavenly Sky Schmuck. I would prefer it if he were omniscient.

  176. #176 Magnifico Giganticus
    November 26, 2008

    Wow! That guy got beat down with a feather pillow. That is the kind of commenting we need in response to that kind of ignorance. First rate.

  177. #177 Fatpie42
    November 26, 2008

    I’m fairly sure this comment will be lost amongst the many others, but I thought it would be cool to post this very similar cartoon to the one you’ve posted from the archives of the ultra-awesome “I Drew This”:
    http://www.idrewthis.org/d/20050418.html

    And here’s another old classic from the same blog:
    http://www.idrewthis.org/d/20050304.html

  178. #178 Jonathon
    November 26, 2008

    As someone who lives in Atlanta and has lived in Georgia for my entire life, I am sickened by this editorial and its ridiculous assertions.

    Newnan is a small city to the southwest of Atlanta. It is a bedroom community and fairly conservative. So, no surprise.

  179. #179 Dr. Steve
    November 26, 2008

    OMG.
    I just read of of this doofus’s other stuff and recognized one of his dumb jokes.
    Under the article he calls “Life is Full of Questions” http://www.times-herald.com/opinion/op-ed/Life-is-full-of-questions-588466 is basically a verbatim reproduction of an old Rich Hall sniglet (without attribution of course). I left two comments. The first indicating that I had recognized his plagiarism but could not remember the source, and the next…..
    “OK, I found it. After only a few minutes of searching I found “your” vacuum and string joke. It’s from a series of humorous books “Sniglets” by a comedian named Rich Hall. Sniglets are words that don’t exist but should.
    Your question about vacuuming appears almost verbatim under the defintion of “carperpetuation”.
    I guess you have something else to be thankful for this Thanksgiving – other people’s work.”

  180. #180 Rev
    November 26, 2008

    Long time reader, first time poster. Admitted theist. (waiting for gasp…=) This guys comments are foolish, but truthfully, most theists don’t think like this (Can we agree that there are foolish theists and atheists alike?). Yes, I am thankful to God — year around, incidentally — for the blessing of life, and I’m thankful to friends and family for reason too numerous to list. I’m thankful for this blog and it’s intelligent expression of a belief system that forces me to think differently (although, still theistically) (is that even a word?) about atheism and its followers. I’m thankful for enriching conversation, too, and maybe through it all we can help each other find Truth. I’m glad for a atheistic expression that forces me to think outside my normal box; maybe in time a gracious theistic expression will do the same for many of you. Happy Thanksgiving!

  181. #181 Dr. Steve
    November 26, 2008

    I just called and left a message for the editor of that newspaper a Ms. Ellen Corker – contact number 770-253-1576 (both pieces of info freely available on the web) – identifying the instance of plagiarism I pointed out in post #180.
    Anyone care to back me up?

  182. #182 Sastra
    November 26, 2008

    Rev #180 wrote:

    I’m thankful for enriching conversation, too, and maybe through it all we can help each other find Truth.

    A purely secular “amen” to that. Happy Thanksgiving, Rev, And a Merry Christmas, too! (“Christmas — it’s not about religion, it’s for Everyone!”)

  183. #183 Roger Stanyard
    November 26, 2008

    Interesting comment about how we commie, poverty striken atheists in Britain miss out on Thanksgiving Day.

    Maybe it’s because, In November, we have Bonfire Night where we burn effigies of a devote Christian.

  184. #184 thalarctos
    November 26, 2008

    the last of which was stuffed with a single olive

    An olive? Isn’t that just a little over the top?

  185. #185 Nick Gotts
    November 26, 2008

    I thought we [atheists] were supposed to devour our young. – sparkomatic

    A gross exaggeration. Nibble them around the edges a bit, at most.

  186. #186 Brandon
    November 26, 2008

    “A gross exaggeration. Nibble them around the edges a bit, at most.”

    That’s how I eat pop-tarts.

  187. #187 Knitterman
    November 26, 2008

    I just wrote, at length (too long to cut and paste) about this on my blog (http://www.raywhiting.com/MyLife) taking issue with his opening premise.

    But I wonder if part of his Op-Ed piece wasn’t tongue in cheek. He seemed to be making fun of some rather sacred notions.

  188. #188 Arobo
    November 27, 2008

    Pz we all know u pray in middle of the night.Like a scared lil bitch u r

  189. #189 clinteas
    November 27, 2008

    We’ve got a live one LOL…(all your fault Emmet)

    Or just a drive-by troll probably

  190. #190 Seeker
    November 27, 2008

    I am God and there is no other, I am God and there is no one like Me. [...] Isaiah 46:9-10

    I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!
    I am the walrus! Coo-coo-ca-choo!
    I am your father!
    I yam what I yam. *ce ce ce ce*

  191. #191 Felix
    November 27, 2008

    Haha, that commentary reads like Ray Comfort wrote it.

    Rev #180
    Excellent and welcome comment. I would say, let’s not try to find truth, let’s try to keep searching – it’s more exciting that way ;) .
    Seriously speaking, those who Know Truth are the ones who are a danger to all others – and Truth itself.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Holidays, Christmas, Secular or Religious, that’s what life is for!

  192. #192 Malcolm
    November 27, 2008

    Walton,
    You dialogues above (#130) seem rather unrealistic to me. Here’s how my last conversation with a Godbot went:
    Christian: Jesus died for your sins. Repent and be saved.
    Me: Yuck! That’s disgusting.
    Christian: What?
    Me: Human sacrifice. Why did anyone need to die.
    Christian: The Lord sacrificed his only son because he loves you. Jesus died to wash away your sins.
    Me: That’s sick. That’s not love.

  193. #193 Malcolm
    November 27, 2008

    Oops!
    Didn’t mean to send that yet.
    Oh well, you get the point.

  194. #194 Tommy Stubbins
    November 28, 2008

    PZ, you’ve been trolled. A little word about the atheist/agnostic distinction might be appropriate, but that was fairly clearly a work of satire about religion; atheism was just the “religion” mentioned in the first two paragraphs.

    It goes on with

    There was a time when it was said, “Heaven protects working girls.” Now some have a union, minimum wage law, fair employment practices, unemployment compensation, workers comp, health insurance, maternity leave and pension plan. And yet they are losing their jobs because of the economy.

    I would hardly call that a piece of religious orthodoxy. I can equally imagine a bible-thumper complaining that it’s denigrating Yahweh’s work. I mean, come on:

    This shows that when God created man, our Heavenly Father wanted to let us know He was big enough to make a mistake, or perhaps this is a better explanation: “God made man at the end of the week when He was tired.”

    I think this is a bit of the very thin-skinnedness that annoys both of us when practiced by catholics protesting the mocking of crackers. I can imagine it going on about Moses and the Promised Land and how having to fight for it for 60 years makes YHWH seesm to be a bit of an inidan giver. (Another insensitive term; everyone run!)

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