Pharyngula

Atheist Christmas?

The Humanist Community of Central Ohio sent out a suggestion to various towns to declare 12 February Darwin Day, in honor of the man and his science. Nice gesture, I think; it’s a small token of appreciation that doesn’t cost anyone anything. The city of Whitehall went for it, but then something odd happened — people complained.

So they watered it down to declaring February a month of science, and added Galileo’s name to the list of honorees. OK, that’s a bit craven, and their intent is transparent, but it’s a reasonable compromise. Go for it!

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for the creationists. Now they want to remove Darwin’s name! What a silly thing to do.

And now “expert” opinion has weighed in: Ray Comfort, professional dipsydoodling dingleberry.

“They’re trying to deitize Darwin,” he said. “This is the atheist Christmas.

“It’s a God-given right to be an atheist, but they need to lighten up and let us talk about creationism, too.”

Ray must have a one talent, the ability to open his mouth and say things so stupid that one can scarcely believe he said them.

Why would atheists want to ‘deitize’ anyone? It’s just not something atheists think about.

This is to be a celebration of an important individual in science: I know Ray believes science to be unchristian, though.

Atheism is a god-given talent? Now my head is spinning.

I have not noticed any impairment of the creationists’ ability to talk, and honoring Charles Darwin’s birthday does not somehow silence them. They have complete liberty to preach their nonsense even on secular holidays. Now, will they lighten up and allow us to talk about science in their churches? I don’t think so.

Comments

  1. #1 Jeremy
    January 28, 2009

    All praise Charlie D. I’m going to go sacrifice a finch in his honour and then silence some creationists.

  2. #2 BdN
    January 28, 2009

    Now, will they lighten up and allow us to talk about science in their churches? I don’t think so.

    I recently tried this line with a friend’s creationist girlfriend. Unsurprisingly, she starred at me like I was a complete idiot. I guess I just don’t understand how it is inherently different…

  3. #3 The Atheist Missionary
    January 28, 2009

    Darwin and his pitbull are anathemas to creationists because they know the end of their silliness is nigh. It wasn’t The God Delusion that got these jokers riled up – it was the Ancestor’s Tale.

  4. #4 Rae
    January 28, 2009

    That…that makes my brain hurt.

    Doggammit- why won’t the creationists just shut the frak up? Why must they vomit stupidity at every chance they get?

    Seriously. ::headdesk::

  5. #5 bobxxxx
    January 28, 2009

    However, she watered it down to “Science Month” and added Galileo’s name in a compromise two weeks ago.

    There’s that word “compromise” again. It’s very wrong to compromise with idiots, including Muslim terrorists and Christian creationists.

  6. #6 mouse
    January 28, 2009

    Join us for discussing Comfortbabble, stay for the refreshments and BBQ…

    http://www.wearesmrt.com/bb/

  7. #7 Wowbagger
    January 29, 2009

    What a bunch of maroons.

    The more fuss we make about it the higher the chances are that some idiot theist’s tiny-brained head will actually explode. So, with that in mind, we should be thinking of exactly how we can rub their stupid faces in it.

    On Feb 12 we should all go over to Ray Comfort’s blog and wish him happy Darwin Day, and ask him if the Darwin Day Tortoise brought him any gifts.

  8. #8 Alex
    January 29, 2009

    HAPPY MONKEY!

  9. #9 BdN
    January 29, 2009

    I don’t know if he would be “comfortable” with this monkey on his back… (sorry, stupid…, I know)

  10. #10 Prillotashekta
    January 29, 2009

    Meanwhile, the University of Iowa and Iowa City do a very public and moderately-well advertised Darwin Day each year, complete with public lectures.

  11. #11 Your Mighty Overload
    January 29, 2009

    Whoopsie at 5 foolishly said;

    Faith is faith is faith, PZ. The Christians have theirs in an alternative to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You have yours in Science and its prophets, including Messrs. Darwin and Dawkins.

    No, “faith” in the scientific method and “faith” in religion are totally different things. Faith in science boils down to things like evidence, repeatability of experiments, and logic.

    “Faith” in religion boils down to blindly putting one’s trust in a single book (which makes quite ridiculous claims). Religious tenants cannot, by definition, be tested for, and they come about through mediums such as “revealed wisdom”.

    To put it simply, scientists use the word “believe” to mean something along the lines of “I think this is correct, because it explains the majority of the empirical evidence” compared with the believers “I think God exists because it makes me feel happy”.

  12. #12 Denis Loubet
    January 29, 2009

    Even if there was any truth in the idiotic claim that it was the “atheists Christmas”, then GIVE US OUR FUCKING CHRISTMAS you bastard!

    Why does Ray Comfort hate Christmas so much?

  13. #13 James F
    January 29, 2009

    Odd that “Atheist Christmas” is being observed by close to 900 religious congregations. Then again, this is coming from a guy who used a cultivated banana to argue for intelligent design.

  14. #14 DrBadger
    January 29, 2009

    “It’s a God-given right to be an atheist

    Wow, you can’t make that up… it takes a special type of stupid to say something like that.

  15. #15 Eric
    January 29, 2009

    The church across the street is “celebrating” Darwin on February 8th. If I can wake up on a Sunday before noon… I just might go!?!

    ASSEMBLY: ?The Greatest Story Ever Told?

    Speaker: The Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons

    Happy Birthday, Charlie! February 12, 2009 will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, arguably the most significant figure in modern western intellectual history. This seems an appropriate time to revisit Darwin?s ground-breaking insight into the origins of earth?s creatures, including humanity, and consider the impact that his description of evolution through natural selection has had upon our culture and our self-understanding during the past century and a half. We will celebrate with a soup lunch and birthday cake following the Assembly, and a special collection will be received for the Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance and the Prairie Star District.

    http://www.firstunitariansociety.org/sunday.htm

  16. #16 CalGeorge
    January 29, 2009

    Jacquelyn Thompson also tried to ban pit bulls. Good for her.

    “Jackie’s personality is such that she’s not reluctant to be in your face and let you know what she thinks about something. I have to admire people like that,” said Dick Janusz, a longtime Whitehall resident.

    http://dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/06/04/Pit_bull_fighter.ART_ART_06-04-08_B1_N5AD6OO.html?sid=101

  17. #17 Richard from Red Deer
    January 29, 2009

    I suspect that the Ray Comforts of this world are a dying breed that are so vocal precisely because they are desperately clinging to straws and know that they are losing the battle. The atheist movement into public view over the past few years has them pissing their pants

    The simple fact that they are repeating themselves endlessly with arguements that even their flock are starting to grow weary of appears to me to signal the demise of creationism.Over the course of another 30 years I would think the sun will mostly have set on them until they approach the popularity of the heavens gate cult.

    Until then it will be fun to watch to see what other mindless proponents take the stage. Islam is a likely candidate what with the hijaacking of the UN human rights.

    Time will tell.

  18. #18 Hugh M.
    January 29, 2009

    Good ol’ Darwin. He really touched a nerve with those guys. 150 years on, and they’re still working on their rebuttal.

    As Zaphod might say. Ten out of ten for trying, but minus several million for good thinking.

  19. #19 SteveM
    January 29, 2009

    Didn’t we just have a national holiday celebrating someone’s birthday? Is the USA “dietizing” Martin Luther King? Does Columbus Day dietize him? What a blithering idiot.

  20. #20 Eric
    January 29, 2009

    The church across the street is “celebrating” Darwin on February 8th. If I can wake up on a Sunday before noon… I just might go!?!

    ASSEMBLY: ?The Greatest Story Ever Told?

    Speaker: The Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons

    Happy Birthday, Charlie! February 12, 2009 will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, arguably the most significant figure in modern western intellectual history. This seems an appropriate time to revisit Darwin?s ground-breaking insight into the origins of earth?s creatures, including humanity, and consider the impact that his description of evolution through natural selection has had upon our culture and our self-understanding during the past century and a half. We will celebrate with a soup lunch and birthday cake following the Assembly, and a special collection will be received for the Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance and the Prairie Star District.

    http://www.firstunitariansociety.org/sunday.htm

  21. #21 Ryan F Stello
    January 29, 2009

    Well, at least they agree that deitizing something is an insult to one’s intelligence.

  22. #22 Erp
    January 29, 2009

    There is some science in the pulpit

    Evolution weekend is in February and over 880 congregations (Christian, Jewish, UU, and Ethical Culture) have signed on to talk about science.

    http://www.butler.edu/clergyproject/rel_evolution_weekend_2009.htm

    Now it probably will be science and religion but it won’t be creationism.

    Stanford has a Darwin Day event on February 8
    http://sites.google.com/site/darwindaycelebration/
    which should be fun.
    Separately, Stanford Memorial Church has a sermon on Religion and Science that morning given by Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann.

  23. #23 Hugh M.
    January 29, 2009

    #17 ^^ I’m inclined to agree.

    All their stories are carved in stone. While science can evolve as observations improve, all they can do is deny the evidence.

    I expect the death throes to be violent and protracted. =(

  24. #24 BdN
    January 29, 2009

    OT and probably already discussed since it was published on monday but our dear Vatican slamed Obama because of his “repeal of the ban on U.S. funding for foreign family-planning aid groups that offer abortion services” Archbishop Rino Fisichella saying that it is
    “the arrogance of someone who believes they are right, in signing a decree which will open the door to abortion and thus to the destruction of human life”

    Well, does it mean that Archbishop Rino doesn’t think himself, or Vatican, for that matter, are right ? Cause if they did think that, they would be arrogant, no ? And if they don’t think they’re right, why do they bother telling us what they think ? Oh, wait, I get it. GOD knows what is right. But how do THEY know if they rightly get what He thinks ? Arrogant fatheads.

  25. #25 Talented Chimp
    January 29, 2009

    Isn’t it “deify”, not “deitize”? It is in my universe at least. Is he simply making up words off the top of his head? We’ll lighten up if you enlighten up!

    And #10, it’s “tenets”, not “tenants”. Although they might be just as hard to eradicate as well.

  26. #26 Nicole
    January 29, 2009

    Galileo already has a whole international year of astronomy. Is that because astronomy is so cool?

    *runs and hides*

  27. #27 Kobra
    January 29, 2009

    I’m at a loss for words right now, so I’ll just mention this:

    http://www.kobrascorner.com/raycumfart/

  28. #28 Soapy Sam's Monkey
    January 29, 2009

    Creationists are so much more creative than scientists. A scientist probably would have just used an ordinary old boring word like deify, but Ray obviously has a lot more pizzazz. His latest effort is not quite up to the standard of “cdesign proponentsists,” but it’s a welcome addition to the lexicon nonetheless.

  29. #29 gypsytag
    January 29, 2009

    It’s a God-given right to be an atheist?

    I don’t understand. A right means you’re allowed to be an atheist.

    clearly ray’s god doesn’t think that right exists because he feels compelled to sadisticaly torture us for eternity for doing so.

    And actual right would imply that there would be no reprecussions wouldn’t it?

  30. #30 kamaka
    January 29, 2009

    Here, we are going to praise the Darwin-Deity with beer and readings from the One True Bible on that sacred day.

    *Bows head*

  31. #31 gypsytag
    January 29, 2009

    It’s a God-given right to be an atheist?

    I don’t understand. A right means you’re allowed to be an atheist.

    clearly ray’s god doesn’t think that right exists because he feels compelled to sadisticaly torture us for eternity for doing so.

    And actual right would imply that there would be no reprecussions wouldn’t it?

  32. #32 gypsytag
    January 29, 2009

    sorry for the double post but i’m getting submission errors.
    ray’s god must be smiting the blog.

  33. #33 cactusren
    January 29, 2009

    Comfort packs so much stoopid into 32 words, I don’t know whether to laugh or to weep for the future of humanity…

  34. #34 Kobra
    January 29, 2009

    @33: If Cumfart has kids, weep. If he has not yet procreated, there might be slim hope.

  35. #35 BdN
    January 29, 2009

    @32

    Just hit back button and reload.

  36. #36 Nils Ross
    January 29, 2009

    So Ray Comfort, a Christian, is giving Atheists stick because he thinks they’re trying to deify a regular person. Even aside from the fact they’re not, why are Christians allowed to do this but no one else is?

    I mean, come on. At least Darwin wrote his own book.

  37. #37 Hugh M.
    January 29, 2009

    I don’t know much about these things. Isn’t it that this god thingy says it’s okay for soulless critters to be atheist? But once you have a soul, you have to believe, or else? I’m probably mistaken, but that was the gist of the matter as I understood it.

    If it’s been our right, all along, to be atheist, how come it was such a struggle to obtain those rights? What’s with all the persecution of those who aren’t of the faith? Is it that some new evidence has come to light in the past few years? Special revelation, perhaps?

  38. #38 Hann
    January 29, 2009

    Since some people are mentioning Darwin Day events in the comments, I figure I should mention that Harvard students are putting together a number of events for the day as well – check out http://darwinday.fas.harvard.edu (we’re still updating the site)

  39. #39 Hann
    January 29, 2009

    Since some people are mentioning Darwin Day events in the comments, I figure I should mention that Harvard students are putting together a number of events for the day as well – check out http://darwinday.fas.harvard.edu (we’re still updating the site)

  40. #40 Iason Ouabache
    January 29, 2009

    Ya know, this is going to sound crazy but maybe if we ignore him Ray will just go away. I get the feeling that he just says stupid stuff on purpose because he is a massive Attention Whore.

  41. #41 BdN
    January 29, 2009

    Comfort=Cracky Chan with a mustach

  42. #42 Ray Cumfart
    January 29, 2009

    @41: Bullshit! Cracky Chan was a bigger attention whore, but nowhere near as stupid.

  43. #43 BlueIndependent
    January 29, 2009

    Anyone want to bet how long it will be before someone will try to draw a supposedly valid distinction between the atheists getting shot down on this, and the complaints that tore asunder the “relationship” between the creation museum and the science museum in Cinci?

    Does anyone want to make a further bet as to how many posts this thread will balloon to once somebody does?

  44. #44 Miguel
    January 29, 2009

    That’s great if the City of Whitehall wants to acknowledge and support the celebration of Darwin Day, but government approval isn’t necessary. Anybody can openly celebrate 12 February as “Darwin Day”, regardless of who agrees or disagrees.

    And, of course, nobody should give a rat’s arse what Comfy thinks anyway. Seriously, if some creonut blurted out “Hey, yous ain’t allowed to celebrate your birthdays, coz yous is atheists!”, we’d all just laugh and get on with business as usual.

    So let’s all say “Happy Monkey” on Darwin Day (and let the creonuts writhe in impotent frustration)!

  45. #45 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 29, 2009

    It’s a God-given right to be an atheist…

    Um, no. Rights are not given. Rights are taken.

  46. #46 Rey Fox
    January 29, 2009

    More bloviation. And projection. Endless projection. There are other ways of looking at people other than “deitizing” them or declaring them heathens.

    Again, I am left to wonder how these people function in the world. Whenever they talk, this is pretty much what I hear:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QHj9cyhY0c

  47. #47 BlueIndependent
    January 29, 2009

    Anyone want to bet how long it will be before someone will try to draw a supposedly valid distinction between the atheists getting shot down on this, and the complaints that tore asunder the “relationship” between the creation museum and the science museum in Cinci? And then claim it’s well-deserved get-back on the part of those poor, beaten-upon creationists after the shameful ruination atheists wrought on the creation museum’s reputation?

    Does anyone want to make a further bet as to how many posts this thread will balloon to once somebody does?

  48. #48 SourBlaze
    January 29, 2009

    Belief in a deity can hardly be called atheism.

  49. #49 Robert Thille
    January 29, 2009

    I’d like to “dietize” Ray Comfort, because then he’d cease to exist.

  50. #50 BlueIndependent
    January 29, 2009

    “Belief in a deity can hardly be called atheism.”

    Well, they don’t see that as a problem, because they think atheism doesn’t really exist, and that atheists are actually making gods out of Darwin or others we supposedly attribute untouchable status to.

    So they basically make it largely impossible to have any real discussion about anything because they flatly refuse to accept an equal starting point for discussion between two opposing parties, and to move forward from there. They know if they do, they lose, so they stick with the mental ground their asses sit on.

  51. #51 BdN
    January 29, 2009

    @42

    I agree she was probably far from being as stupid as he is. I was kinda referring to the “crackhead” aspect of Ray and his banana camwhoring.

    Crackfag.

  52. #52 Kobra
    January 29, 2009

    @52

    Well, to be fair, I never got into Cracky Chan. I just didn’t see any lulz in any of that business. (This was back when I spent 3 hours a day on /b/.)

  53. #53 Kobra
    January 29, 2009

    Obviously, I meant to refer to post number 51, not myself.

  54. #54 Jadehawk
    January 29, 2009

    “dietize” sounds like “put on a diet”. the rest makes even less sense.

  55. #55 Longinus
    January 29, 2009

    Does Ray Comfort even have any dignity? I assume that if he does he would feel embarrassment & shame…clearly he doesn’t.

  56. #56 Wowbagger
    January 29, 2009

    Does Ray Comfort even have any dignity?

    He’s a Christian, with a moustache. Do you even have to ask? If he’d played cricket for New Zealand in the 70s I could maybe understand it, but he didn’t so I can’t.

  57. #57 BdN
    January 29, 2009

    deitize… bad phonetic plural of deity ? As in “my name is Legion: for we are many.”

  58. #58 Liberal Atheist
    January 29, 2009

    It is telling that reason, scepticism, respect for evidence and logic all are things that offend them.

  59. #59 rufustfirefly
    January 29, 2009

    Ray Comfort has three grown children. I assume he has grandchildren, so I imagine it is too late. As for his blog, he wants hecklers. He says they draw a crowd. Then he can spread his lies and bullshit. He’s also said that there is no evidence that would make him accept evolution because that would make his god a liar. So there is no point in attempting rational discussion with him. I try to ignore him, but he makes it difficult.

  60. #60 Bride of Shrek OM
    January 29, 2009

    Sorry all this is OT but

    Clinteas

    If you get this can you resend your email addy. I can’t find the thread it was on. Failing that send me one to fieryredhead70 at hotmail

  61. #61 Ragutis
    January 29, 2009

    Posted by: BlueIndependent | January 29, 2009 2:09 AM

    “Belief in a deity can hardly be called atheism.”

    Well, they don’t see that as a problem, because they think atheism doesn’t really exist, and that atheists are actually making gods out of Darwin or others we supposedly attribute untouchable status to.

    Actually, it seems that a lot of them think that atheists deny god, that we just choose not to worship their imaginary pal. They can’t seem to get that atheists simply don’t buy the whole deity premise. How many times have you heard stuff like: “Why won’t you let God into your heart?” “Why have you turned your back on Jesus?” That someone sees it all as the Bronze Age mythology it is is simply inconceivable to them.

    As for Comfort, ridiculous as usual. He’s comedy gold to anyone with half a mind (and strong stomach for stupidity).

  62. #62 Richard Harris
    January 29, 2009

    Deify Darwin?

    Okay, how about a doxology for Darwin?

    It could start, “I believe in the everlasting Truth of evolution by natural selection.”

    But of course, science doesn’t work like that. I guess the likes of Ray Comfort, their brains addled by their Bronze Age mythology, just don’t realize that.

  63. #63 Wowbagger
    January 29, 2009

    Re: Amerpohl

    I pity your mother, John. You fucking clown shoe.

  64. #64 Kel
    January 29, 2009

    Darwin should be disinterred from Westmister Abbey, cremated and his ashes scattered in Morris Minnesota. He is a disgrace to British science in particular and to evolutionary science generally.

    I agree, what Darwin did for evolution was an embarrassment!

    poe right?

  65. #65 Ben
    January 29, 2009

    “I thought it was a great opportunity to show that we value science, we value inquiry and we encourage our students to open up to the world.”

    A few council members replied with shouts of “Not my children!”

    Am I alone in thinking that this is one of the most depressing things I’ve ever read?

  66. #66 Ailean
    January 29, 2009

    Pope Benedict has reinstated a Holocaust-denying bishop.

    What is the world coming to?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6C9BuXe2RM

  67. #67 H.H.
    January 29, 2009

    In the article, Councilwoman Jacquelyn Thompson is quoted as saying:

    “I thought it was a great opportunity to show that we value science, we value inquiry and we encourage our students to open up to the world.”

    A few council members replied with shouts of “Not my children!”

    Seriously? A councilwoman says that we as a society value inquiry and other people on the council object? Holy Christ, why are these people even sending their kids to school? Just because it’s the law? This exchange really just sums it all up for me.

  68. #68 Alan Macdonald
    January 29, 2009

    The nice thing about being an atheist (or Jew or Hindu), is that you don’t evangelize. My non-belief does not need support by getting others to follow my world-view, just an open and logical mind will suffice.

    Darwin was profoundly insightful to come up with this wonderful theory of the complexity of life given the knowledge at that time. Why after 150 years to we have to defend this concept against primarily people who follow these dubious and hijacked teachings of a bronze-aged individual, with no proof whether he even existed?

    Keep fighting the good fight PZ, as well as all the majority of those that follow your great blog ….

    Alan

  69. #69 Alan Macdonald
    January 29, 2009

    The nice thing about being an atheist (or Jew or Hindu), is that you don’t evangelize. My non-belief does not need support by getting others to follow my world-view, just an open and logical mind will suffice.

    Darwin was profoundly insightful to come up with this wonderful theory of the complexity of life given the knowledge at that time. Why after 150 years to we have to defend this concept against primarily people who follow these dubious and hijacked teachings of a bronze-aged individual, with no proof whether he even existed?

    Keep fighting the good fight PZ, as well as all the majority of those that follow your great blog ….

    Alan

  70. #70 Scaryduck
    January 29, 2009

    It’s a God-given right to be an atheist

    For sale: One irony detector, slightly exploded

  71. #71 AKobold
    January 29, 2009

    Interesting that the “month of science” happens to be the shortest of them all.

  72. #72 Ragutis
    January 29, 2009

    Is it… could it really be… THE John A. Davison?

    Quick someone step on it, and get the VMartin repellent ready.

    Kel, look in the dungeon. Not a Poe, just a nutter with delusions of competence.

  73. #73 Kel
    January 29, 2009

    That’s John A Davison? If so good. Some person recommended I read your writings as a counter to evolution. Now I just finished reading Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin, and in there he presented several lines of evidence that link the human body to a fishy past. Now this person gave me the strong impression you had writings which discredits all evidence presented. If so, would you care to share them? Shubin made a very compelling case so I would like to see why you think the case is faulty.

  74. #74 Sigmund
    January 29, 2009

    Stop bashing our greatest ally.
    I think Ray Comfort is brilliant.
    His “Two Creationists, One Banana” video has probably turned more wavering believers into atheists than Richard Dawkins and Bertrand Russell combined.
    Moderate Christians must recoil in horror every time they see his pant-wettingly ridiculous arguments and realize that he’s on their side.

  75. #75 Masks of Eris
    January 29, 2009

    Deify Darwin?

    “And here come the graduate acolytes, carrying on their shoulders the golden dog statues, then the Keeper of the Finch — such beautiful plumage — and after him the High Priest, splendid in his giant white beard and 19th-century bowler, according to the Church worn by the Supreme Evolver Himself while among us, an acme of sexual selection —”

    “Sexual selection? That’s heresy!”

    “An unbeliever!”

    “Persecute! Kill the heretic!”

    etc. etc.

  76. #76 Muhamad
    January 29, 2009

    Being an Englishman, I’m not familiar with “deitize”. Could it be an oddball Americanism? :-)

  77. #77 Evolving Squid
    January 29, 2009

    Why must they vomit stupidity at every chance they get?

    Because they genuinely believe they are doing you a favour by proseletyzing. Fundamentalist Christians *MUST* force their religion on other people, in the same way that fundamentalist Muslims must force theirs on other people. It’s part of their code.

    Worse, it’s backed, at a basic level, by a certain perverse sense of altruism in the Christian case – if they save your soul, they’ve done you am eternal favour. Of course, if you don’t believe in souls, all they’ve done is piss you off and spread teh st00p1d. At least the Christians have mostly stopped advocating the death of the infidel… mostly.

    I say “perverse sense of altruism” because I’ve always felt there’s a lot more to it than that. At the highest levels of Christianity – the Pope, televangelists, etc. there is a great deal to do with preservation of privilege and power through control. The motivations at that level are different than your street-level, door-knocking, Jehova’s Witness or Pentecostal. Still, I believe (yes, it’s unfounded :)) that the street level people proseletyze in part because, deep down, they know they’re being forced to feel guilty just for having been born and feel a sense of satisfaction if they can get someone else to feel guilty too, or at least unburden them from the yoke of happiness.

  78. #78 Ubi Dubium
    January 29, 2009

    Being an Englishman, I’m not familiar with “deitize”. Could it be an oddball Americanism? :-)

    Being an American, I’m not familiar with “deitize” either. Could it be an oddball stupidism?

  79. #79 CRS
    January 29, 2009

    A bit off topic but amusing: Pam at House Blend blogged about the definition of “saddlebacking” (as in Saddleback Church).

    Is that the cry of righteous indignation I hear or just Rick Warren farting out his mouth again?

  80. #80 theinquisitor
    January 29, 2009

    I guess president’s day is an attempt to “deitize” Washington too? They just can’t help projecting can they? They piss on their own feet.

  81. #81 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 29, 2009

    If Ray Comfort was a super hero, I’m pretty sure his special power would be the ability to decrease anyone’s IQ by merely saying something to them.

    Ray Comfort is Stupid Man.

    Same big S on his chest… unfortunately it’s backwards and its an R… written in crayon.

  82. #82 Allen N
    January 29, 2009

    #3, 17, 23

    I think you are wrong about any impending demise of the religistas. The fact is, what religion offers (happiness, group membership) is at such a low cost (not thinking, just having faith) there is NFW atheism can compete.

    I cannot envision a path by which non-belief becomes acceptable in this country, at least in government. There will be a lesbian hispanic president before there will be an open atheist in the oval office, Obama not withstanding.

  83. #83 Allen N
    January 29, 2009

    I am not implying that I think Obama is an atheist, BTW. He panders just fine to the godbots on the right. And left, for that matter.

  84. #84 MF
    January 29, 2009

    It’s the fact that a Christian is using ‘deitize’ as a pejorative that makes it so funny.

  85. #85 LisaJ
    January 29, 2009

    Has anyone started their Christmas shopping yet? I haven’t and I’m totally stressed… I hate when the holidays sneak up on you like that.

    This Ray Comfort guy is just unbelievable. I’ve heard it (or seen it, I guess) said here before that you have to wonder if he’s just one big poe, because the things he says are so incredibly idiotic. This display of thoughtless whining really makes me wonder about that possibility.

  86. #86 Cuttlefish, OM
    January 29, 2009

    For anyone for whom stupidity
    Leaves you weak at the knees–
    Take Comfort.
    Please.

    (big tip of the cuttlecap to Henny Youngman, of course!)

  87. #87 GB
    January 29, 2009

    Love this quote from the article:

    “I thought it was a great opportunity to show that we value science, we value inquiry and we encourage our students to open up to the world.”

    A few council members replied with shouts of “Not my children!”

    Pity those children. Twenty years from now they’ll be in the unemployment lines wondering what they did wrong.

  88. #88 Rick020200
    January 29, 2009

    Please for the love of all things science, we must all ignore Ray Comfort. He is, as #40 stated, an attention whore. He is a professional troll.

    Seriously PZ, if Ray were to spout that crap in the comments on your blog you’d ban him as a troll. But he gets to reap ad revenue because his trolling is done on his own blog. At least this time you didn’t link to his post. I agree that its funny to watch him turn his dunce cap into a megaphone, but it really is not productive to continue talking about him. “Ray Comfort is an idiot” is simply old news.

  89. #89 DrBubbles
    January 29, 2009

    “Is it fair to the hundreds, if not thousands, of other scientists”

    We’re doomed. We are *so* doomed. When this guy finds out how many scientists there really are, there’ll be pitchforks & torches on a scale that hasn’t been seen for centuries.

  90. #90 Vic
    January 29, 2009

    Teach the controversy! Teach science in church!

  91. #91 arekksu
    January 29, 2009

    there is already an “Atheist Christmas”. it’s called “Christmas”.

  92. #92 Nathan Miller
    January 29, 2009

    An Atheist Christmas? You know, I think they might be onto something; let’s run with this for a moment.

    I can just imagine a new gift-giving tradition in which the gifter cannot simply hand over a present. (S)he must leave enough misleading evidence to convince the giftee that the gift was merely a result of the intersection of happenstance and the already-extant physical and social laws that govern daily life. The goal would be to erase any credible evidence of the gifter‘s role or intention in the exercise, making the “irreducible complexity” of the gift look reducibly complex.

    The knowledge that this new holiday exists will cause adherents to begin making paranoid-but-grateful accusations and factual assertions based on deeply felt hunches and private revelations.

  93. #93 SteveM
    January 29, 2009

    It’s a God-given right to be an atheist

    I really hate to be defending “Stupid Man”, but this is the idea behind faith and “free will”. As discussed in another thread, the story is that God gave Man “free will” so that Man could choose whether or not to believe in God. So, from that, it is a god given right to be an atheist. The thing is, instead of ridiculing Comfort for this (there are plenty of other things to ridicule him for), we should emphasize that even he can see that we have a right to be atheist (whether they think it is god given, while we think it is just natural, doesn’t really matter)

  94. #94 RedGreenInBlue
    January 29, 2009

    ScaryDuck:

    For sale: One irony detector, slightly exploded

    A chance to own The Most Holy Irony Detector, sacred relic of the One True Author of Teh Funnest Story Ever Told, Innit?

    Praise JEBUS!

    (In case clarification is needed: I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in a decade as when I read it. I couldn’t even get to sleep that night because it would pop back into my head I’d start sniggering all over again…)

  95. #95 Kristine
    January 29, 2009

    The word is “deify.”

  96. #96 Moggie
    January 29, 2009

    #95:

    I really hate to be defending “Stupid Man”, but this is the idea behind faith and “free will”. As discussed in another thread, the story is that God gave Man “free will” so that Man could choose whether or not to believe in God. So, from that, it is a god given right to be an atheist.

    Sooo… God created us with free will, so that we can choose not to believe in him. And when we avail ourselves of this right, which he, being omniscient, knew we would do… he burns us in a lake of fire, for all eternity. Because he loves us. Oookaaay…

    If this is a “right”, then you also have the “right” to be a mass-murderer. The subsequent punishment is an irrelevant detail.

  97. #97 Mike in Ontario, NY
    January 29, 2009

    I think we should take the lead from our Xian brethren. After we deitizitify Darwin, we should shift his birthday to December 25th and co-opt the date from something more popular and long-standing.
    It would comfort me, in a Mormon sense, to think upon all the people unwittingly celebrating Darwin’s birthday on 12/25.

  98. #98 Attila
    January 29, 2009

    We already have December 25th taken for Newtonmas.

  99. #99 hje
    January 29, 2009

    I agree with Rick020200 @ 89: Ray has an infinite capacity to say stupid things, so just ignore him here.

    Here’s a modest proposal: Go to Ray’s site and post the most ridiculous thing you can think of. Talk about anything, be completely off topic: Bigfoot, UFOs, the Bermuda Triangle. etc. Don’t be profane, just be thoroughly and verbosely off the wall. Think about the kind of conversations on the old Art Bell Coast to Coast AM radio talk show.

  100. #100 jynnan_tonnyx
    January 29, 2009

    So giving someone a day named after him is “deitizing” [sic] him? So, by that logic…

    “They’re trying to deitize Martin Luther King,” he said. “This is the black Christmas.

    “It’s a God-given right to be black, but they need to lighten up and let us talk about white supremacy, too.”

  101. #101 Pierce R. Butler
    January 29, 2009

    Comment # 10 by Your Mighty Overload implies that there was once a comment # 5 by Whoopsie that has since been raptured to Comment Heaven.

    In the past, such smitings have often been accompanied by a peal of thunder and pronouncements of anathema by the Puissant Zoologist. Now it would seem that those who transgress are dispatched with barely a poof of smoke.

    Is this a new covenant imposed from on high since the Prophet Zoroaster returned from Mount Calgary? Somehow in my sinful putterings in petty mortal concerns, I missed the grand revelation – can anyone here direct a humble and trembling pilgrim to the new Commandment(s)?

  102. #102 Glen Davidson
    January 29, 2009

    “Deify” works, but “apotheosize” might be better for what Raytard was trying to articulate (at least it has the ending of his bastard word).

    Is he a preacher because he simply can’t do anything right? Not saying all clergy are like that, but he seems to have gravitated to it because he’s so incompetent.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  103. #103 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 29, 2009

    I think we should take the lead from our Xian brethren. After we deitizitify Darwin, we should shift his birthday to December 25th and co-opt the date from something more popular and long-standing.

    Nature and Nature’s Laws lay hid in Night
    God said, Let Newton be!
    And all was Light.
    – Alexander Pope

    In the past, such smitings have often been accompanied by a peal of thunder and pronouncements of anathema by the Puissant Zoologist. Now it would seem that those who transgress are dispatched with barely a poof of smoke.

    You misunderstand. When people who are already banned manage to morph for a little drive-by trolling, their comments are killed on sight. Has always been handled that way. John “A” Davidson and his disgusting suckup VMartin have been banned for a long time, and the latter really loves him some morphing, and then some more.

    Mount Calgary

    LOL! :-D

  104. #104 John Sherman
    January 29, 2009

    Let’s cut Ray a little slack. He said it was our God-given right to be atheists. Well, this is exactly what a Christian who believed in the First Amendment would say. I may not agree with him on God, but we seem to see eye-to-eye on the First Amendment. Most Christians nowadays would not acknowledge our right to be atheists. In fact, most wouldn’t acknowledge our right to be anything except their own particular flavor of Christian.

  105. #105 SLW13
    January 29, 2009

    You know, I want to thank Mr. Comfort for clearing this up for me. I never knew that I was deitizing someone whenever there was a day in their honor. My secretary will be THRILLED to hear that, in April, on Administrative Professionals Day, I’m not just appreciating her. I’m WORSHIPPING her like the goddess she is.

  106. #106 Julie Stahlhut
    January 29, 2009

    <>“It would comfort me, in a Mormon sense, to think upon all the people unwittingly celebrating Darwin’s birthday on 12/25.”

    Actually, there’s an easier way around it. We just start celebrating Lincoln’s Birthday again (instead of Presidents’ Day.) Since Lincoln and Darwin were born on the same day, we crafty underhanded science folk can sneak one in under the radar.

    Muhahahahahahaha.

  107. #107 ndt
    January 29, 2009

    Posted by: Your Mighty Overload | January 29, 2009 12:10 AM

    Religious tenants cannot, by definition, be tested for, and they come about through mediums such as “revealed wisdom”.

    I think you mean religious tenets. There’s nothing wrong with religious tenants as long as they pay their rent on time.

  108. #108 Bob L
    January 29, 2009

    Looks like Ray Comfort has figured out a way to make a living as a full time Poe. Lines like “God given right to be an atheist” have to deliberate.

  109. #109 Bill Morse
    January 29, 2009

    It’s a shame to see the children misbehave yet again. I’ve been since childhood. My ecologist father was always fond of pointing it out. And I’ve been having fun acknowledging it myself here and here. You’ll forgive me for having him share his day with Lincoln. Personally I think that’s why the US switched to President’s day.

  110. #110 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 29, 2009

    Very brave, PC. Knocking Christianity. Humanism is equally nonsense. Same shit. Different tune.

    Oh please tell us how humanism is the “same shit”.

    PRETTY PLEASE!?!?

  111. #111 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 29, 2009

    Chimpy, do not encourage the asshole to fart some more.

  112. #112 Nerd of Redhead
    January 29, 2009

    I thought SO was giving us the same old shit. He never said anything of substance. Of course, that requires and intelligence.

  113. #113 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 29, 2009

    Chimpy, do not encourage the asshole to fart some more.

    sorry. sorry.

    Sometimes I can’t help it.

  114. #114 ndt
    January 29, 2009

    OK, everyone, do me a favor. When you get the “Submission error” message, read the whole message. It explicitly says “Do not try to submit your comment again.”

  115. #115 Sili
    January 29, 2009

    Nature and Nature’s Laws lay hid in Night
    God said, Let Newton be!
    And all was Light.

    It did not last: the Devil howling ‘Ho!
    Let Einstein be!’
    restored the status quo.

  116. #116 The Observer
    January 29, 2009

    It is the same shit about equality, non-discrimination, and human brotherhood.

  117. #117 BdN
    January 29, 2009

    Very brave, PC. Knocking Christianity. Humanism is equally nonsense. Same shit. Different tune.

    Who is PC ?

  118. #118 AJ Milne
    January 29, 2009

    Why must they vomit stupidity at every chance they get?

    Now, let’s not be too hard on ‘em. It’s essentially a virus…

    Y’know… Sorta like cholera. Only it comes out the other end.

  119. #119 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 29, 2009

    It is the same shit about equality, non-discrimination, and human brotherhood.

    Right.

    Is this you?

  120. #120 AJ Milne
    January 29, 2009

    (… And yes, I know cholera isn’t a virus… Note to self: keep in mind who reads these threads…)

  121. #121 Marion Delgado
    January 29, 2009

    Look at the humble banana peel. Wisely designed by an intelligent creator to be the perfect thing for Ray Comfort to slip and fall on.

    It’s the humorless Calvinist’s Nightmare!

    The only thing more perfect in nature is the Croco-duck.

  122. #122 Rey Fox
    January 29, 2009

    “Humanism is equally nonsense.”

    At least I can go out my front door and actually see humans walking around.

  123. #123 BdN
    January 29, 2009

    It is the same shit about equality, non-discrimination, and human brotherhood.

    Does this mean I can discriminate you because of your unequal intellect ?

  124. #124 Janine, Leftist Bozo
    January 29, 2009

    BdN, I think you meant “inferior intellect”.

  125. #125 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 29, 2009

    Oh for the love of all that is not pretended to be holy.

    Set your irony meters on their lower sensitivity levels as this is nuclear powered ironic idiocy

    Ray has the incredible gall to think up, construct and then write this sentence.

    So let?s be careful when we mock things of which we have no understanding.

  126. #126 Nerd of Redhead
    January 29, 2009

    I didn’t even need my irony meter to be on for it to get blown by that Ray statement.

  127. #127 Die Anyway
    January 29, 2009

    I’m reading today’s posts in reverse chronological order so I first got a good chuckle out of “saddlebacking” but this comment “It’s a God-given right to be an atheist,…” just made me laugh out loud.
    In My-hometown every 5th car has a Xian fish of some variety and is not considered to be flaunting anything or remarkable in any manner. I have an Evolve fish on my vehicle and that is condsidered to be agressive, in-your-face and downright unsociable.

  128. #128 Pablo
    January 29, 2009

    Apparently, International Mole Day (Oct 23) is an attempt to dietize moles, too.

    Those crazy scientists.

  129. #129 Rey Fox
    January 29, 2009

    “So let?s be careful when we mock things of which we have no understanding.”

    God is all-powerful and all-knowing and all-loving, but totally invisible and undetectable, but you should get on his good side anyway or he’ll torment you for eternity! Also, 2,000 years ago in a backwater of the Roman Empire, he impregnated a virgin with himself, lived as a human, and then had himself sacrificed for a couple days and came back as a human and then went back to heaven, all just to prove a point!

    What’s so hard to understand about that?

  130. #130 Sven DiMilo
    January 29, 2009

    Dietization of moles is not a bad idea. They got some meat on ‘em.

  131. #131 AForce1
    January 29, 2009

    Oh my! Christians have celebrated the “birth” of Jezuz every year for over 1000 years but they are outraged that some people want to mark on one occasion, the anniversary of some one they think merits it. What a threat that poses, eh?

  132. #132 Matt Heath
    January 29, 2009

    OFFS, Still Observing we went through this before. Human dignity and human dignity are, of course, “mere” notions developed by humans. They are abstractions of what’s usually called “not being an arsehole”. If you don’t wish to honour these principles then you are an arsehole. Furthermore if you actively break these norms you should experience the worst treatment a society which acknowledges them can reasonably inflict on you.

    There you go. No need for faith in metaphysical entities. Just you being an arsehole.

  133. #133 Nerd of Redhead
    January 29, 2009

    SO, still not getting it. No hope for you whatsover.

  134. #134 Matt Heath
    January 29, 2009

    me@137 Second “dignity” should be “rights”

  135. #135 Just This Time
    January 29, 2009

    @ 71

    Yeah, well, it’s also Black History Month, so let’s deitize ourselves some Black scientists.

  136. #136 Helvetica
    January 29, 2009

    We would all be better off if nobody gave a damn about each other and we all lived in a hellish free-for-all wasteland, ala Mad Max, where might makes right.

  137. #137 Bob L
    January 29, 2009

    Still Observing,

    You clearly haven’t read The Bible if you feel “equality, non-discrimination, and human brotherhood” is central to it’s teachings. While it tends to argue for theoretical equality within the community of believers The Bible also demands the exclusion and persecution of outsiders. Witch burnings, execution of wrong thinkers and holy wars aren?t something added later no matter how much the Christians try to pretend.

    And even if equality, non-discrimination, and human brotherhood are all BS they are nice BS to aspire to, don’t you think?

  138. #138 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 29, 2009

    The existence of humans doesn’t imply “human dignity” or “human rights.”

    Eh, no — but me being a human implies human dignity or human rights.

    I’ve explained this to you before, banned one. No matter if I’m a dangerous madman like you and completely lack empathy, I want to be treated as if I had inherent rights & dignity. What is the easiest way to convince the whole world of that? By telling them they, too, have inherent rights & dignity and treating them accordingly. Simple.

    Do try to think before you set your whole life in a particular direction.

    Look at the humble banana peel. Wisely designed by an intelligent creator to be the perfect thing for Ray Comfort to slip and fall on.

    It’s the humorless Calvinist’s Nightmare!

    Thread won. Everyone can go home.

  139. #139 Chiroptera
    January 29, 2009

    Still Observing, #136: Christians believe in equality, non-discrimination, and human brotherhood because their invisible sky fairy told them to and threatens unbelievers with damnation in Hell.

    Not quite. Those Christians who do believe in equality, non-descrimination, and human brotherhood do so because it is common human nature to accept the social norms in ones cultural milieu and/or because empathy with our fellow humans is a common (if not universal) feature of human behavior. The stuff about God’s commands and rewards and punishments are simply justifications after the fact.

    -

    What’s your excuse?

    You see, that’s the thing. God-non-believers don’t need excuses to do the right thing.

  140. #140 Just This Time
    January 29, 2009

    @ 98

    Sooo… God created us with free will, so that we can choose not to believe in him. And when we avail ourselves of this right, which he, being omniscient, knew we would do… he burns us in a lake of fire, for all eternity. Because he loves us.

    Despite the sarcasm you’re exactly right. Hence the dire urge to proselytize.

  141. #141 Brownian
    January 29, 2009

    It’s a God-given right to be an atheist, but they need to lighten up and let us talk about creationism, too.

    You had 6,000 fucking years to kiss Yahweh’s ass. Enough’s enough.

  142. #142 Matt Heath
    January 29, 2009

    “And even if equality, non-discrimination, and human brotherhood are all BS they are nice BS to aspire to, don’t you think?”
    He doesn’t. He’s an arsehole.

  143. #143 SteveM
    January 29, 2009

    Sooo… God created us with free will, so that we can choose not to believe in him. And when we avail ourselves of this right, which he, being omniscient, knew we would do… he burns us in a lake of fire, for all eternity. Because he loves us. Oookaaay…

    If this is a “right”, then you also have the “right” to be a mass-murderer. The subsequent punishment is an irrelevant detail.

    I have 3 answers to this:

    1: yes, the insanity of it is what made me an atheist.
    2: I’m using a loose definition of “right”, that does not include consequences after death, only to consequences in life. (actually , I’m not sure that’s really a looser definition)
    3: it’s a misunderstanding that atheists get thrown in Hell. Hell is reserved for believers who disobey and do not repent, and atheists who do “evil”. “good atheist” go to limbo, not in hell but also not able to ever know the “presense of God” which is heaven.
    4. [I have 4, 4 answers] screwit, its just sophistry anyway.

  144. #144 kemist
    January 29, 2009

    professional dipsydoodling dingleberry

    I’m so stealing that. Would look pretty cool on a business card.

  145. #145 Marion Delgado
    January 29, 2009

    I choose to believe all the celebrating February 12 will be for MY birthday.

  146. #146 T. Morley
    January 29, 2009

    “Dipsydoodling dingleberry.” I like.

  147. #147 Just This Time
    January 29, 2009

    @ 146

    “good atheist” go[es] to limbo

    Protestants generally wouldn’t believe that limbo exists. It’s either heaven or hell.

  148. #148 Ragutis
    January 30, 2009

    Posted by: Just This Time | January 29, 2009 8:47 PM

    @ 146

    “good atheist” go[es] to limbo

    Protestants generally wouldn’t believe that limbo exists. It’s either heaven or hell.

    Actually, even in Catholicism and the Orthodox strains, isn’t limbo just for unbaptized infants and the OT patriarchs?

  149. #149 novparl
    January 30, 2009

    @ Helvetica.

    Yeh, it’s survival of the fittest. That’s what they’re celebrating.

  150. #150 BdN
    January 30, 2009

    @ Helvetica.

    Yeh, it’s survival of the fittest. That’s what they’re celebrating.

    There’s nothing in “survival of the fittest” that precludes being humanistic, i.e. caring about other members of the same species with whom you live. In fact it is quite the opposite since it is a feature of all social animals, sociability being in turn adaptive mainly because of ecological constraints.

  151. #151 BdN
    January 30, 2009

    Oups, sorry, tags misplacement.

    @ Helvetica.

    Yeh, it’s survival of the fittest. That’s what they’re celebrating.

    There’s nothing in “survival of the fittest” that precludes being humanistic, i.e. caring about other members of the same species with whom you live. In fact it is quite the opposite since it is a feature of all social animals, sociability being in turn adaptive mainly because of ecological constraints.

  152. #152 BdN
    January 30, 2009

    Posted by: Just This Time | January 29, 2009 8:47 PM

    @ 146

    “good atheist” go[es] to limbo

    Protestants generally wouldn’t believe that limbo exists. It’s either heaven or hell.

    Actually, even in Catholicism and the Orthodox strains, isn’t limbo just for unbaptized infants and the OT patriarchs?

    It’s even worse knowing that limbos “appeared” only in the XIIIth century and have been declared obsolete by the Vatican 2 years ago…

  153. #153 Dan Sprockett
    January 30, 2009

    Hey PZ. I’m frustrated that the one time you come to Ohio I’m busy with my own Darwin Day events. I commented on this news piece too, on my new blog:
    http://molecularfossils.blogspot.com/2009/01/darwin-celebrations-elsewhere-in-ohio.html#comments

  154. #154 SteveM
    January 30, 2009

    “good atheist” go[es] to limbo

    First, if you’re going to correct my typo, try correcting it so it fits the context of the sentence.
    Either:
    [a]“good atheist” go[es] to limbo
    or
    “good atheist[s]” go to limbo

    Second, okay, I concede the point that limbo is not an option.

    slight tangent: But didn’t Augustine dispute the concept of Hell as fire and eternal torment, that instead it is just the absence of God’s presence, just as darkness is not something in its own right but simply the absence of light?

  155. #155 Muhamad
    January 30, 2009

    laughing at the response to “being an Englishman”, and the wit of Cuttlefish. Good one.

  156. #156 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 31, 2009

    It’s even worse knowing that limbos “appeared” only in the XIIIth century and have been declared obsolete by the Vatican 2 years ago…

    For the twentieth time, no, the Vatican did not declare limbo obsolete. All the pope did was saying “there are reasons for prayerful hope” that it doesn’t exist or is empty.

    Outright saying it doesn’t exist would mean to say that there are ways to go to heaven without knowing Jesus, and that would contradict the dogma of extra ecclesia nulla salus “outside the Church no salvation”, which is based on John 14:6:

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Theology: conclusions that logically, strictly logically, follow from untested premises.

  157. #157 Moon Jaguar
    February 1, 2009

    An interesting fact: children in Whitehall have the worst reading readiness scores in Franklin County, seat of Ohio state government.

    Coincidence? When you have city councilmen shouting “not my children!” when confronted with (gasp!) actual education, I think not.

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