Worse than atheists

In case you've been feeling dumped upon because atheists seem to be the current target of contempt by so many, there is still one group that might be lower: Dungeons & Dragons players. At GenCon, D&D players raised $17,000 to donate to the late Gary Gygax's favorite charity, The Christian Children's fund…only to have it turned down because sales of the heathenish D&D contributed to the amount.

If you are a D&D player and an atheist, then I'm sorry, this won't cheer you up, because obviously you are the lowest slime in the universe.

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Maybe they should have folded the cheque inside a Jack Chick tract?

I am hoping to eventually get involved in D&D, while I'm still a student. And then I will be both, but I'm used to people being down on me, so that's fine.

I sort of figured that the people who think D&D is evil had all died out by now. Guess I was wrong. What a bunch of asshats.

Poor Gary must be rolling in his grave. (And if you chuckled at that, welcome to our pool of atheist role-playing slime.)

By Terry Small (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

The one and ONLY time I ever played DnD, we were setting up the characters and I was rolling for "Charisma" - I rolled three ones. My opponent said "Wow! I have never seen anyone max out in THAT direction!"

Never played since.

JC

I see CCF's commercials on TV all the time, and just because they have "Christian" in the name, I hesitated about donating. Then I felt guilty about that hesitation - after all, there are plenty of Christian organizations that do real charitable work without a lot of evangelical baggage. But it looks like my first instinct was correct.

Good for the Fisher House Foundation for not rejecting the generosity of the D&D players. I assume that The Christian Children's Fund took Gygax's money in the past - why the change of heart?

Fantasy is only ok when sanctioned by the church, becomes dogma, and people actually believe it.

Whimsical, for fun fantasy, that isn't real and nobody actually believes, is evil incarnate.

I'd like to see CCF explain to a parent why they chose to let their child die. What Bible passage would CCF refer to?

I'm an atheist and a D&D player. I suppose I -do- qualify as the lowest slime in the universe!

But man. I wish I was there at that charity auction. They sold a six foot wide d20 filled with the dice of the gamers whose lives Gygax touched in the past. I'd have gladly tossed my whole bag in.

The thing went for $1500. It's here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLJ4xnAXBdc

Ah - I found the Bible passage:

"Happy is he who dasheth thy infants on the rocks."
Psalms 137:9.

Let me join the chorus of atheists who (used to) play D&D (and enjoyed plenty of prenuptial sex).

Not only that: I liked the Harry Potter books, too!

Man, I feel dirty now.

By Aureola Nominee, FCD (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Thanks for bringing this to our attention (though I'm sure we'll hear lots about it in the gaming channels too). I used to give substantial amounts to the CCF, but since it was tainted by the D&D curse, perhaps they'll want to give it back to me! Anyway, I've just written to them and told them not to expect any more.

On the plus side, Ministry Watch condemns CCF for not being evangelical enough because they administer real aid instead of "spreading the gospel." I'm not condoning CCF, but they could be worse. Still, I'll be expressing my thoughts concerning their uncharitable actions to them.

By Mrs. Peach (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

The main difference between people (children and adults) who play D&D/read Harry Potter/et cetera and the religious nuts who try to ban these things because of satan or whatever: the people who do these 'satanic' things are capable of telling the difference between fantasy and reality.

I'm an atheist married to a Christian D&D player- does that make me a covert operative?

Christians need to wake up and realize that D&D is a great tool for promoting the lifestyle they want us all to lead.

Can you think of a better contraceptive than getting kids involved in D&D? D&D is not about devil worship and satanism. It's about embracing your inner geek.

I'm an atheist and I play World of Warcraft. Does that count?

By One Eyed Jack (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

gosh...by the lights of this situation I am triple damned! Gay, D&D player, and an atheist.

It's interesting to note that 'ministrywatch.org' notes in its pages on the CCF that it is, 'secular' and that xtians should consider giving to some other charity that supports 'spiritual assistance' as well as physical. Which is just a way of left handedly pointing out that CCF doesn't evangelize while it assists unfortunate people.

Makes it seem even more odd that they refused the D&D money or perhaps they are smarting from being looked down on by the holier-than-thou crowd?

Those poor starving children must be pissed. They can't have breakfast tomorrow because the donation was tainted with D and D? Wow.....

By Former PZ Student (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Hey, that news story is on my favorite webcomic site! I love the Order of the Stick...
And wow, that is truly fvcked up. They turned the money down? At a charity? When they had been taking it from G. Gygax for so long? Now I know I'm utterly reviled by my country. Damn D&D for being so darn entertaining.

By Kiltedbrick (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

I'm a big fan of games, including D&D, and an atheist... so I guess I'm part of that total slime. Also, over the years, I've taught D&D to a fair number of people (particularly when I lived in the States... suburban living is so utterly boring otherwise), so it's nice to know that I've widely contributed to the corruption of American moral fibre...

"The malevolent slime creeps toward you, making an odd sucking, rasping sound as it moves. The trail of slime behind is glistens. You hear the faint jingling of coins banging into one another as the mass roils. What do you do?"

"I cast Lance of Faith! I roll a" [roll] "22."

"The bright light from Lance of Faith hits the slime. It sizzles a bit. It crawls forward and engulfs you; you feel your skin rapidly dissolving away." [roll] "You take 73 points of damage. Next."

"I pull out the dice bag next to my scabbard and tell it to roll for initiative. I set out some miniatures that look like the party. Minus the cleric, of course, sorry about that John."

"The slime stops, and ejects a veritable army of tiny quivering slimes that line up to face your miniature figurines. A d20 pops out of it and lands on a 12."

OMG!!! I'm doomed!!!

I'm both, and I've never understood the antipathy towards D&D some Xians have: I'm way more superstitious and open to silly woo during a D&D game than real life. "I'm not sure were to go next, I'm going to pray to my God for guidance. Crap, these dice aren't working, let me try some other ones." And so on.

As for the charity not taking the money and using it to hopefully benefit malnourished children, I'm going to paraphrase one of Lister's greatest lines: Yeah, CCF. Right. Absolutely. Now all the corpses that litter that country can just lie there safe under the knowledge that they starved to death under a flag of faith and can now happily decompose in a land of piety. You smeg head.

CCF is not considered an actual charity by the IRS, and they don't even claim to be a viable charity. You'd think the lawyer that drafted the will would have verified it. He would not be able to get a charitable deduction on his estate. There are plenty of other charities out there to benefit children so hopefully they will find one. CCF shows where its priorities are by not taking the money. And by that, I mean the children are not its first priority.

By DeeMonkey999 (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

There is nothing lower today than an Arab atheist socialist D & D player living in fake America.

By Christopher (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

not sure if PZ would get this in an email in time, but there is a poll up on PBS NOW page on whether or not you believe Sarah Palin is "qualified". Urg. It's currently just a bit ahead in 'yes' votes...http://www.pbs.org/cgi-registry/poll/poll.pl

sickening, I'm speechless

By architeuthis (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

I've got you all beat !

I'm an atheist, a gamer, a D&D player, a socialist, AND a french surrender monkey !

Just a few more people like me and the world will surely be doomed :p

Well, this is right in the spirit of Campbell Brown's treatment of Elizabeth Dole's accusation that Kay Hagan is an atheist. Her answer is that this is yet the lowest this election has seen, calling someone an atheist. She is no such thing (she's Presbytarian).

Let's see... Atheist, D&D player (forever), married before having children. Damn! I failed having bastard children. But then, I am a bastard myself.

D&D player (haven't played in a while, but still have my dice), Atheist and supporter of equal rights for same-sex couples. I don't think they'd like me very much at all.

By Leigh Shryock (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

I know you don't like smilies but :(

I take pride in being the lowest slime of the universe as percieved by others whose perspective is so skewed by their own beliefs that they can't even tell the book they worship is completely filled with lies and morally objectionably ideas.

Never understood the aversion to D&D. Since it first came out in first ed. bluebook form, the whole idea was that you're good guys, and you're goinng out to kill bad guys.

I have several christians in my gaming group- and they are just as pissed about this as I am- if not moreso; Seeing something like this didn't suprise me at all, but they felt like they were just backhanded.

By Christoph (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Never understood the aversion to D&D. Since it first came out in first ed. bluebook form, the whole idea was that you're good guys, and you're goinng out to kill bad guys.

not me. I was always chaotic evil or at least neutral evil.

Can you think of a better contraceptive than getting kids involved in D&D?

Hate to tell you this, but approximately 60% of the people I've ever had sex with I met while gaming. Not D and D, however. That was what the mainstream types did, not the hard core geeks. D&D et al is the only way geeky types ever do get laid...by meeting other geeky types.

Come to think of it, I met the others in a co-op where I was living. So I guess I'm a communist, D&D playing, premarital sex having atheist. I feel the sudden urge to hide in a fundie's closet and spring out at them while yelling "BOO!" cause I'm clearly the monster they fear.

Of course, there are in fact many slime and slime-based creatures that exist in D&D, to the extent that the walls, floor, ceiling, and even the space inside of a given room can all be trying to kill you at the same time. We're in good company.

Gary may have been confused on the fantasy v reality issue, but he wanted to do some good. I guess if the money were from NAMBLA, they might take it - isn't that the Christian thing to do? Hopefully the money will find its way to a deserving reality-based charity.

Not quite understanding this. What is it that the morons object to about Dungeons and Dragons?

IIRC, it is a game of some sort. One of countless.

Is this in the Harry Potter league? "Because Harry isn't bombing medical clinics, beating up evolutionary biologists, yelling 'kill him' whenever Obama's name is mentioned, and harrassing secondary school science teachers, he must be evil?"

It seems that there's a bereaucratic reason for this, not a superstitious one.

A gamer posted the information here.

It seems we've all jumped the gun a wee bit.

Edit: In response to complaints received, people have been receiving the following explanatory letter.

Christian Children's Fund made the decision to decline the gift from Gen Con, LLC as the request presented to us gave the appearance that CCF (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of a gaming convention, which CCF was not. As many non-profit organizations, CCF is selective in its endorsements or support in order to maintain the integrity of its name and logo. We cannot lend our name to an event for which we have no involvement. This decision should in no way be interpreted as CCF holding an opinion on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts or the game Dungeons and Dragons.

Maybe they should give the money to the no on 8 campaign

Hmm, I'm a gay atheist who has played D&D for 21 years. I don't even want to know where that leaves me. :)

@Reynold: "We cannot have the appearance of endorsing you, because we must maintain our image. No offense." That 'no offense', is more insulting than the situation to begin with.

By Leigh Shryock (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

When I was a DnD player, I was still nominally a Christian. But now I'm an atheist who hasn't played in ages. I'm so confused. Have I gone up or down or maintained my level on the slime scale?

@31

"I've got you all beat !

I'm an atheist, a gamer, a D&D player, a socialist, AND a french surrender monkey !"

A whole surrender monkey? You were lucky! We had to make do with a paw.... And pay CCF for the privilege.

I am an atheist, but in my previous D&D campaign I explored religion-based themes -- a spurned snake-god searching for new followers, a corrupt church hierarchy intent on "purging" the lands of a race it considered evil, and the like. Perhaps a lot of this sounds fairly cynical, but there were also portions of my religious communities that were both fair and open-minded.

I would like to think that some Christians oppose D&D because it encourages people to think critically about man-made mythologies and power structures, but that's way too generous. Those who oppose it do so out of irrational fear based on rumor and untruth.

By Wonderpus (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

And what if I'm an atheist, play D&D and like to have LOTS of sex even tho I'm not married?

If I remember my Bible, that's blasphemy, witchcraft, and fornication: a Leviticus triple whammy. You will surely be stoned to death, your blood shall be upon you (whatever that means).

The CCF? The same people who used to have those late-night "look at the starving kids that you can help" ads?

Well, if they're turning away the D&D players' money, I guess the kids are doing alright.

-jcr

By John C. Randolph (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Bjørn Østman @34,

Ooh, ooh, I'm red all over, too, just like Obama!
(I wish I could play the gay-card. That one really rocks.)

This is D&D, not Magic the Gathering. You roll the gay dice!

Oh man, I love sex.

The one thing that I learned from this is that people who play D&D got laid. I was wrong and apologize for the preconception. : )

hahahahaha I'll have to let my live-in-non-hubby know that he's the lowest of the low! Actually he doesn't play D&D any more. If he did his mid-thirty self might have to live in his mother's basement. He now plays City of Heroes.

This is good news, though - it means the money can be given to a *worthy* charity now, and the christian bigots avoided next time.

If I remember my Bible, that's blasphemy, witchcraft, and fornication: a Leviticus triple whammy. You will surely be stoned to death, your blood shall be upon you (whatever that means).

That might explain the mobs outside my place at this very moment :S

Mailer Misrepresents Sen. Obama Who is Opposed to Proposition 8; Misleading African-American Voters is Clearly the Goal of Deceptive Prop 8 Campaign

An official Proposition 8 mailer clearly targeted to African-American voters completely misrepresents and lies about Sen. Barack Obama's position on Proposition 8. In fact, the Obama campaign felt compelled to release a new statement tonight making it absolutely clear that he and Joe Biden oppose Prop 8 in the strongest terms.

The mailer, from the Proposition 8 campaign, twists Sen. Obama's comments about marriage to suggest support for the unfair initiative -- when just the opposite is true. In a June 29 letter to the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, Sen. Obama wrote that he opposes the "divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution."

By hate is not a … (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Saving throw against stupidity fail.

Here's my lowly stats:
Atheist: check
Played D&D?: check
French surname: check
Pre-marital sex: check
librul: check
intellectual elitist: only if you count community college, and the California State University system.

walls, floor, ceiling, and even the space inside of a given room can all be trying to kill you at the same time.

aaah... that brings back memories of gelatinous cubes...

anyway, what if you're an atheist who doesn't like the DnD and D20 systems because they severely limit the RPG experience...? does that make me more or less slimy...?

Yet another proud atheist and role-player (including D&D) so I guess I am a slime.

But at least we know that slime can evolve...

By Paul Reinerfelt (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Tell that to my level 16 Ranger / Stormwarden!

I'll Twinstrike + 5 lightning dmg / round their ass!

[Or we can go old school, and I'll use my lvl 20 1st edition Wizard...that's back when wizards were WIZARDS.]

My favorite D&D character is my Level 21 Paladin of Tyranny who was made famous at Level 12 for slaughtering the last surviving dwarf so I could trade his soul for the daughter of this blind bard chick who bossed me around.

Ouch. Nothing like blind, unwarranted hate!

By Sydney S. (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

As a long-time D&D player, lifelong atheist, skeptic, college graduate, artist and video game player I pretty much expect to be vilified or mocked in part by every segment of the political spectrum at some point each day.

By Nichodeemous (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

The... the filthy...

Sorry. Can't say what I think without swearing, so won't say anything.

Isn't there anything I love that some life-hating Christian retard won't piss on?

I just sent a big, long, letter to the group. Maybe it will get some attention with them since I am a Director for Dragon*Con as well, which donates tons of money each year to many charities as well.

Mentioned that I'd put it on our 'black list' until they make a public statement that it was a error on their part and apologize.

Raven @ 45 "Not quite understanding this. What is it that the morons object to about Dungeons and Dragons?"

If you weren't raised this way, it's difficult to follow their "thought" processes.
1. Harry Potter books, D&D, and movies with supernatural themes teach kids that the supernatural is cool, and sometimes they are even tricked into thinking that witches and wizards can be decent people.
2. Witchcraft is real.
3. The kids make deals with the devil, they magically fling knives at their mothers, make more money than Daddy, and dress like sluts.
4. Then they go to Hell, and your grandchildren too, who are likely mixed race or worse, liberals.

When my daughter was about 12, I told her that many Christians thought role playing games led to deals with Satan, and real magical powers, She thought about it for a moment, and remarked "Kewl".

I never played RPG, but I am a partnered-but-not-married atheist who reads corrupting books, watches movies, and IIRC, loves sex.

I'm an atheist and a D&D player. In fact I will be driving 80 miles today to play D&D at the house of a creationist christian friend that I have been playing D&D with for 18 years. Also at the table will be a mormon and his wife who have been my friends since college.

I first heard about this over at http://www.giantitp.com/ (Order of the Stick is a very fun web comic if you've ever played D&D) and for one of the very few times in my life, truly felt personally offended.

And 70# posts and nobody has mentioned Chick Tracts?!? Because apparently the people over at the Christian Childrens Fund believes them.
http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.asp
(Yes, Chick Tracts are for real. They are not Poe. They have been around for decades.)

By ThirdMonkey (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

It's interesting to compare the attitude of fundamentalists about D&D with the attitude of the Medieval church about pagan mythology. Back in the Dark Ages, the old gods and their tales came to be regarded as harmless and literary. Indeed, we owe what we know of Norse and Irish mythology to a series of churchmen who preserved and even elaborated this imaginative material as a valued part of the traditions of their ancestors. The difference between their tolerance and the contemporary paranoia of some evangelical Christians about D&D and Harry Potter may result from the fact that the Christians used to be winning and now they're losing.

IIRC, loves sex

That was pretty funny.

I too only played D&D once...rolled max for courage and minimum for intelligence and spent about an hour blundering bravely and stupidly into violent confrontation.
It wasn't that much fun.

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

The Christian Children's fund

"There is no such thing as a Christian child, or an Islamic child."
- Richard Dawkins

I hear there's an awful lot of Santaclausian kids out there though.

#73

Thank you, Derek. Their claim that their objection was to a gaming convention but not gaming or gamers is ludicrous. What other association does GenCon have to which they object?

PZ posted:

If you are a D&D player and an atheist, then I'm sorry, this won't cheer you up, because obviously you are the lowest slime in the universe.

I resemble that remark.

Just figure it means I'm doing something right.

No kings,

Robert

By Desert Son (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Reynold #46

Christian Children's Fund made the decision to decline the gift from Gen Con, LLC as the request presented to us gave the appearance that CCF (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of a gaming convention, which CCF was not. As many non-profit organizations, CCF is selective in its endorsements or support in order to maintain the integrity of its name and logo. We cannot lend our name to an event for which we have no involvement. This decision should in no way be interpreted as CCF holding an opinion on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts or the game Dungeons and Dragons.

This just reeks of bovine feces. CCF wasn't involved in GenCon. Okay, fair enough. But the folks at GenCon weren't asking for CCF's involvement or endorsement. As a memorial to Gary Gygax, attendees at GenCon ponied up $17K to give to Gygax's favorite charity. CCF was not endorsing Gygax, GenCon or D&D, rather Gygax endorsed CCF.

I used to donate to CCF. My last donation was a couple of months ago. I have just written a letter to CCF telling them that I will not (that's WILL NOT) be donating to them ever again. If they want to be ungracious assholes, I'm happy to reciprocate.

By 'Tis Himself (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

No, trust me, adult adoptees who no longer drink the kool-aid are the most reviled, lowest slime in the country. Not only is it perfectly acceptable to be openly hostile to us, it's actually legal to deny us basic human and civil rights.

Being treated like D&D enthusiasts would be a huge step up.

Add me to the liberal gay atheist D&D gamer club list.

By JonathanL (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

I think I did it all wrong. I went to a charismatic Christian school (ORU), and played D&D while I was there.

I became an atheist after graduating, and while I haven't played D&D since then, I've moved on to other pen and paper rpgs, like Aberrant, a superhero rpg.

VHM, you'll have to explain what you mean by "no longer drink the kool-aid". But no, you're not the most reviled, because most people (including me) have never given the subject of adult adoptees any thought whatsoever. You can't say the same about D&D, atheism, etc.

'your blood will be upon you' means we will kill you in a bloody fashion, and it is your own fault we did it. No guilt is on the killer.

Ironic how they think we're a threat because of the fiction we enjoy.

I <3 OOTS -- I actually got involved in a brief SIWOTI flame-war in the forums over a comic that incorrectly referred to a tautology as circular logic.

I miss Gen Con -- I haven't been there in a couple years (having a newborn tends to make convention-attendance harder, even if it's only 90 miles away).

Isn't there anything I love that some life-hating Christian retard won't piss on?

I was going to say cats. Then, I remembered that some xian group, maybe the JWs, said cats were evil creatures.

IIRC, Moslems have something against dogs.

And some Asian ethnic groups eat both.

Something must have gone drastically wrong here: D&D is supposed to turn people in to witches not atheists!

Things what make me inferior:

Atheist - check
D&D player - check
Woman - check

I appear to be a failure of life. *eye roll*

I can only go for liberal atheist D&D gamer geologist. That gives me a +3 vs creationists though.

I've got two kids and I've got them playing D&D just to keep our evil deviance going.

By Citizensmith (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Perhaps those at The Christian Children's fund who rejected this donation are unfamiliar with the Christian holy texts. May I recommend as a starting point for their studies the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Andy

PS To state my position, I am an antitheist.

@91

Cats were killed by the christians in the 1200's (they were considered diabolical). This made the Black Plague much, much worse as the cats were the ones killing the rats carrying the plague.

I'd post a link, but my last post with a link is still in moderation.

By PlainJane (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

"intellectual elitist: only if you count community college, and the California State University system."

er no Brad you're safe...

Christian Children's Fund made the decision to decline the gift from Gen Con, LLC as the request presented to us gave the appearance that CCF (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of a gaming convention, which CCF was not. As many non-profit organizations, CCF is selective in its endorsements or support in order to maintain the integrity of its name and logo. We cannot lend our name to an event for which we have no involvement. This decision should in no way be interpreted as CCF holding an opinion on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts or the game Dungeons and Dragons.

Ye gods, this has got to be the worst piece of double-speak I've seen in quite a while. Well.. today, at least, there is a presidential campaign going on, after all..

"I'm rejecting you, but please don't take that as a sign I'm rejecting you," indeed.

On their web site, CCF seems quite happy to take money from businesses of any and all stripes; nowhere do they warn that you somehow have to be "involved" with CCF to give them cash - http://www.christianchildrensfund.org/content.aspx?id=660 .

By James Haight (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

I'd like to add my voice to the list of atheist ex-D&Ders who are outraged at this. Whatever the reason (and I too don't buy the "endorsement" bullshit) how can any charity reject money, and a not inconsiderable sum at that, on the grounds of it's source and still claim to care about the thing they are raising funds for.

I never give to charities with "christian" (or muslim or any other delusion) in the name, as I firmly believe they have an alternative agenda - otherwise why would they put their delusion's name in the charity - and this has strengthened that position with me...when you donate, make sure you're donating to a charity that is actually doing what you want the money to be spent on, rather than pushing their own faith...and yes, I know many religious charities do good work, but so do many charities that have nothing to do with religion, and those charities don't have the inherent emcumberence of a faith based position and agenda.

Rog

Oh crap, I am the lowest slime in the universe =(

YES! Triple threat! Gay, atheist, D+D player! Wheeeee!

By sabazinus (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

James Haight: My guess is that they're claiming GenCon was too free with their name/logo/whatever, and that people could have read some sort of official partnership/sponsorship into the deal.

To which my reply would be: So?!?

This sounds like a very cheap excuse, and typically shortsighted of them. Mistakenly being seen as a partner is only a problem when you want nothing to do with the partner, so the implication is as obvious as it was before the excuse.

I wonder what Gabe & Tycho (gamers of Penny Arcade and Childs' Play charity fame) will do with this.

I'm slime! Whoo-Hoo!

Gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling, it does.

@ 52:"I would like to think that some Christians oppose D&D because it encourages people to think critically about man-made mythologies and power structures, but that's way too generous. Those who oppose it do so out of irrational fear based on rumor and untruth."

It isn't entirely based on rumor and untruth. The truth is rather stupider: Many fundaloonicals believe that imagining demonic encounters invites demonic posession, that occult paraphernalia (which they consider D&D to be) is literally infested with evil spirits, and that pretending to be a wizard can lead to actually becoming a "real wizard" (very bad- see Leviticus 20:27).
Mind you, imagining yourself to be a "real wizard" -and I've met a few of those- strikes me as being a damn sight dorkier than being a gamer.

@ #68: "My favorite D&D character is my Level 21 Paladin of Tyranny who was made famous at Level 12 for slaughtering the last surviving dwarf so I could trade his soul for the daughter of this blind bard chick who bossed me around"

Are you one these late edition heretics, or are you just making shit up? Paladins are by definition Lawful Good and would never stoop to such vile behavior!

I'd rather be a pudding, Ted.

lol! how evil of someone to stand up for their values? personally, I don't mind D&D but i have friends who do abstain

not like anyone here would accept money from Answers in Genesis....

By Johan Swart (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

#93:

I appear to be a failure of life. *eye roll*

Eye roll? Wouldn't they tend to roll off the table?

Christopher @ 28:

There is nothing lower today than an Arab atheist socialist D & D player living in fake America.

I'd have to imagine that an Arab atheist socialist D&D player living in Real America might get a bit more trouble for it :P

The irony. I was visiting friends yesterday whose downstairs lodger is training to be a (Christian) Youth Minister, and he was out back building scenery for his Warhammer game.

Weird that christians would be opposed to it, considering how fond they are of abstinence; when I was as a teenager there was nothing more likely to keep girls away than them knowing a guy played D&D.

Of course, in these enlightened times, things appear to have changed. Maybe it's time to dig my gem dice out and go looking for some ladies. Unfortunately for me I don't think my charisma's gotten any closer to 18 since then...

By Wowbagger (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Johan Swart #107 wrote:

lol! how evil of someone to stand up for their values?

Although hypocrisy is generally counted a bad thing, you can't say whether someone's "standing up for their values" is a good thing without context. Sometimes what someone values, is the wrong thing to value. Their factual understanding of how reality works is mistaken.

In this case, the belief that Dungeons & Dragons somehow represents real magic or evil -- is stupid.

It's always interesting when delusional godbots like JS post. I've seen the words before, but I usually can't make hide nor hair out of the sentences due to their mental state. I just can't dumb my thinking down enough for them to make sense.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Johan Swart #107 wrote:

lol! how evil of someone to stand up for their values?

Considering what your values are, Swart, the irony of what you wrote is quite profound.

Johann probably tried to join a local campaign but couldn't because no-one would allow him to use his 7th Level Nazi Stormtrooper character.

By Wowbagger (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

when I was as a teenager there was nothing more likely to keep girls away than them knowing a guy played D&D

Click the link up in comment #62...then check Episode 2.

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Wasn't there a similar situation a while back, where some breast cancer fundraiser rejected a nice check for breast cancer research which came from a Prostitute's Rights Group? I think either PZ or Ed Brayton blogged on it.

I think that, from time to time, atheist groups donate to a worthy cause, and their money is rejected because atheism is so evil. I suspect that The Christian Children's Fund would also have refused a check from atheists.

So the question really hasn't been answered, has it? Are D&D gamers really "worse than atheists?"

I think there needs to be a test of some sort: each group can offer checks in increasing amounts, until the CCF finally cracks and takes one of them. The remaining group offers a check of similar value.

If it is rejected, we then know who the winner of Worst Group is. If it's accepted, I think we'd have to say it was a tie.

I'm an atheist Muslim.

Sven DiMilo, #115

Click the link up in comment #62...then check Episode 2.

Heh heh heh - yeah, we weren't quite that bad.

By Wowbagger (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

@105 So what the fundies and the bible are actually warning us against is that playing D&D can lead to LARPing, which is really evil.

So I suppose Stratego is the gateway drug?

By BridgeDweller (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

"I'm an atheist Muslim."

Me too, I don't believe in Islam either.

Then again I'm an atheist-Hindu, atheist-Jew, etc. also.

By Brian Macker (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

I play computer and console RPGs. Is that the same level? Can I get a ruling here? Where's the pit boss?

By Quiet_Desperation (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Johan Swart wrote:

lol! how evil of someone to stand up for their values? personally, I don't mind D&D but i have friends who do abstain

not like anyone here would accept money from Answers in Genesis....

But that's just it, Johan. What values? What exactly about D&D is inconsistent with Christianity? A moral person shouldn't except money from Answers in Genesis because they are proven liars with a long track record of despicable dishonesty. This is comparable to D&Ders how?

lol! how evil of someone to stand up for their values? personally, I don't mind D&D but i have friends who do abstain

not like anyone here would accept money from Answers in Genesis....

What a perfectly horrible ananolgy

So far the Republican party said they don't want my money and now a Christian charity doesn't want my money. I'm more than happy to oblige.

Actually according to this blog there is nothing lower than a libertarian. So stop whining. It has the ring of hypocrisy.

Your distain for libertarians is about as rational as a fundies distain for an atheist. They use pretty much the same arguments too. Like atheists are selfish, and only believe what they do because they want to do as they please.

By Brian Macker (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Hey PZ, your new video is up on YouTube. Who did your make up? You don't look a day over 30!

I was going to comment on Reynold #46, but 'Tis Himself #82 said what I was thinking, only in a much nicer way.

I was born into a painfully creationist, fundamentalist family with the Church of Christ on the maternal side and the Southern Baptist on the paternal side. Does anyone recognize the repercussions to the children of such a marriage (my mother converted my father)? Worse! I live in the suffocatingly pious (as in 'Marked by false devoutness; solemnly hypocritical: a pious fraud.') state of Texas. Worse than that! I was educated here. Fortunately, I survived, but only because I was an above average reader and still tend to go through several books each month.

I was visited by 'the curse' just prior to turning ten, and had my first taste of carnal sin around thirteen (it's those selfish genes you know). Until ninth grade I was an honors student (for what that's worth in Texas). I made an F in Algebra (I cried for weeks) even after they swore I could pass intermediate algebra without ever taking elementary algebra. I tried to get them to put me in the right course on the first day of school, but they refused, my mother let it stand, and that wasn't the worst of it all. At fifteen I denounced the church, in the church, during church, at the same time that my father was at the podium embarrassing me in front of the entire congregation in order to resign his Eldership. I don't believe any more of the contents of the KJV than I do of my copies of the prose and poetic eddas - not now, and not then. At sixteen I left home because I was tired of not being spoiled.

Now, I pal with pantheists (sexed-up atheism) and atheists (when I can find them). I've read all the Harry Potter books, Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan, Francis Crick, Giordano Bruno, and we certainly can't forget the KJV - the most amoral book of them all. All the games I play are D&D based games. I think sex is the greates stress/headache reliever in the known world. I'm bisexual. I have a four-legged familiar named Booger. Oh! And I have a bastard child. So I guess if God is real (snort!), I'm fucked. But even if he (oops 'He') was, I'd never bend knee to such a malevolent bastard.

I really feel angered over the hungry children that won't get fed and watered with all that money just because of who or where that money originated from. The only thing I can say, from my lengthy experience with christians [lower-case intentional], is that it is par for the course. How bloody fucking sad...

By Sexed-up Athiest (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

HA! I'm not only an atheist and a AD&D player, but I'm also left-handed, gay, and a librul! How's that for minority?

But seriously, those Christianites at the Fund are just coyote ignorant. Just take the money, say thank you, and go help some kids who need food, clean water, and shelter. It's what Jesus would do.

Yeah, all I can say is, as a bisexual atheist D&D afficionado, this election has really done a lot to clear up my lingering guilt about being a white male. Turns out my accidents of birth don't make me a class-1 citizen after all! It's kind of relaxing.

Call me a nazi if you like, but it's not like I call you people baby-eating Stalinists. See the jump i made from atheism to that? That is exactly what you do to people like me. And as if being South African is such a bad thing? Sheesh, you guys have SO much to learn.

Cheers.

By Johan Swart (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

I was going to comment on Reynold #46, but 'Tis Himself #82 said what I was thinking, only in a much nicer way.

I was born into a painfully creationist, fundamentalist family with the Church of Christ on the maternal side and the Southern Baptist on the paternal side. Does anyone recognize the repercussions to the children of such a marriage (my mother converted my father)? Worse! I live in the suffocatingly pious (as in 'Marked by false devoutness; solemnly hypocritical: a pious fraud.') state of Texas. Worse than that! I was educated here. Fortunately, I survived, but only because I was an above average reader and still tend to go through several books each month.

I was visited by 'the curse' just prior to turning ten, and had my first taste of carnal sin around thirteen (it's those selfish genes you know). Until ninth grade I was an honors student (for what that's worth in Texas). I made an F in Algebra (I cried for weeks) even after they swore I could pass intermediate algebra without ever taking elementary algebra. I tried to get them to put me in the right course on the first day of school, but they refused, my mother let it stand, and that wasn't the worst of it all. At fifteen I denounced the church, in the church, during church, at the same time that my father was at the podium embarrassing me in front of the entire congregation in order to resign his Eldership. I don't believe any more of the contents of the KJV than I do of my copies of the prose and poetic eddas - not now, and not then. At sixteen I left home because I was tired of not being spoiled.

Now, I pal with pantheists (sexed-up atheism) and atheists (when I can find them). I've read all the Harry Potter books, Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan, Francis Crick, Giordano Bruno, and we certainly can't forget the KJV - the most amoral book of them all. All the games I play are D&D based games. I think sex is the greates stress/headache reliever in the known world. I'm bisexual. I have a four-legged familiar named Booger. Oh! And I have a bastard child. So I guess if God is real (snort!), I'm fucked. But even if he (oops 'He') was, I'd never bend knee to such a malevolent bastard.

I really feel angered over the hungry children that won't get fed and watered with all that money just because of who or where that money originated from. The only thing I can say, from my lengthy experience with christians [lower-case intentional], is that it is par for the course. How bloody fucking sad...

By Sexed-up Athiest (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

But that's the church, isn't it? They'd rather have people die than appear to condone something like D&D.

Maybe it's a protestant thing - the papists don't seem to care where their money comes from. 'Mother' Theresa was content to take vast sums of money from criminals - and she even refused to give it back when the truth was revealed.

Of course, not much of that went to actually help the people who needed it, since Jesus (apparently) thinks suffering is noble and beautiful - and the pope probably needed some more artworks for the Vatican.

By Wowbagger (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Thank you for writing to Anne Goddard and sharing your concerns. Anne was traveling when she received your email. We discussed your concern and she asked that I respond on her behalf Please know that we take your email very seriously.

There appears to be a misunderstanding which I would like to correct. When Gen Con contacted CCF about its auction, we were pleased to accept donations. However, we couldn't lend our name for publication because our policies have specific criteria for endorsements. We were unaware that this had caused any problem or concern for Gen Con until we began receiving emails. This decision was in no way intended to be a reflection on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts or the game Dungeon and Dragons. We have the utmost respect for the gaming community and were touched by the generosity expressed through your auction. We were disappointed that we were not the recipients of the donation but we were pleased that another worthy organization benefited.

We realize this has become a topic of discussion in the gaming community and we hope you will help us by sharing this response.

The needs of children are great and we welcome your support. Should you wish to learn more we invite you to visit our website at www.christianchildrensfund.org.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to voice your concern. Your passion for gaming and your support for children are admirable.

Sincerely,

Cheri Dahl
Vice President, International Communications and Fundraising

Christian Children's Fund
2821 Emerywood Parkway
Richmond, Virginia 23294
(804) 756-2702

cherid@ccfusa.org
www.christianchildrensfund.org

Never played D&D, but dabbled in Choose Your Own Adventure books (you do the maths).

Didn't particularly care for HP - at least not enough to ever borrow the subsequent books nor seek out the films I dind't watch with my mother. (She rather liked them, though. She said. I guess that was nice all things considered.)

Never engaged in premarital hanky-panky either. (Nor post- nor intramarital).

No, it has not made me believe in gods.

@Tis Himself #82:

This just reeks of bovine feces. CCF wasn't involved in GenCon. Okay, fair enough. But the folks at GenCon weren't asking for CCF's involvement or endorsement. As a memorial to Gary Gygax, attendees at GenCon ponied up $17K to give to Gygax's favorite charity. CCF was not endorsing Gygax, GenCon or D&D, rather Gygax endorsed CCF.

I used to donate to CCF. My last donation was a couple of months ago. I have just written a letter to CCF telling them that I will not (that's WILL NOT) be donating to them ever again. If they want to be ungracious assholes, I'm happy to reciprocate.
You do realize that I don't approve of their actions, right? I was just wondering if we had jumped the gun. I posted this to a few different sites, and the reactions seem to be varied:

The average seems to be that the reasoning the CCF uses is weak, others see it as a lawyerly precaution in case the group they accept money from turns out to be complete freaks or something.

I just wanted to make sure we all knew the full story first. Still, I'm going to be donating to other groups, not them.

I didn't think you did agree with them, Reynold. I was giving my response to their mealy-mouthed "we respect you, but we're not going to take your filthy money because we don't want to be seen as actually respecting you."

By 'Tis Himself (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

As an atheist and a game enthusiast, I have wondered what makes someone who claims to pride themselfs on rational thought, be involved in fantasy type games.

Science fiction and war type games are for the most part based on extrapolated science, fantasy games not so much.

Just wondering.

By Eric Atkinson (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Rev BDC @38: I'm mildly impressed. If the DM is competent, it's generally much harder to play a chaotic evil character since the bulk of PCs and NPCs are against them.

Ironically, I don't think there's much doubt Gygax biased the game rules in favour of Good over Evil.

By John Morales (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Eric the moron@142

As an atheist and a game enthusiast, I have wondered what makes someone who claims to pride themselfs on rational thought, be involved in fantasy type games.

Science fiction and war type games are for the most part based on extrapolated science, fantasy games not so much.

Just wondering.

Fun.

Blockquote fail

EA:

I have wondered what makes someone who claims to pride themselfs on rational thought, be involved in fantasy type games.

Because rational thinkers can distinguish between fantasy and reality. And for the same reason rational thinkers can enjoy fiction. And because it encourages imaginative thinking, problem solving and social interaction.

There's three reasons off the top of my head. :)

By John Morales (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

To Malcolm the moron;
Fun
Ok, is that all?

By Eric Atkinson (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Eric Atkinson@142

I think it's that it becomes a good, viable escape, and the fact that they're, as Malcolm said, damned fun. I can't really come up with an explanation other than that. It's like reading, really, only with social interaction and food.

Mytho

And what if I'm an atheist, play D&D and like to have LOTS of sex even tho I'm not married?

Then you're as fictional the things Christians believe in :p

Fun! Yeah, that's the best reason of all.

By John Morales (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

I enjoy fiction too, but not the kind where the plot depends on "magic"

I guess I'm just no fun.

By Eric Atkinson (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

absolutely disgusted.. sent them a grumpy email and let them know I hope they realize their choice may cost children their lives.

By clsazekiel (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Eric Atkinson@151

Meh. To each his own, really. I like magical stuff. I can tell the difference between fantasy and reality, and I can accept that another world can have magic and various other junk going on within it.

Though, most science fiction out there now has plenty of its own magic. It really depends on where you want to draw the line. Artificial gravity without spinning, faster-than-light starships, reactionless drives, laser-based weaponry with power plants that somehow aren't better used as grenades...

Reminds me of the time when I was in high school trying to play Doom against one of my friends. Right after we started he suddenly had to disconnect because his parents found out. They claimed it was "all D&D." The funny thing is he was allowed to play it by himself. It was the multi-player aspect that was evil.

PZ, I think your last sentence should conclude "lowest green slime in the universe."

By Rob Barrett (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Well that's just frickin' charming. I'm a roleplayer, if not a D&Der (they get ALL the bad press, humph!), and an atheist, so here's to a life free of charity-giving since I'm obviously pondscum who laced those papery-slips with atheist-roleplayer vibes.

But that would mean those sick kiddies we raised money for recently might turn to atheism, or RP! Oh no! The terrible tradegy of it all...!

That's really insanely stupid on account of the CCF. I guess they were worried that each bible they distribute to the starving would have to come with a 12-sided die. Jesus sits down to eat his meal and suddenly a Roman patrol bursts in. "I have a warrant for your arrest Jesus"
*rolls die* - 4*Jesus casts water into wine*The Romans get drunk, decide not to arrest Jesus and he lives happily ever after.

@Eric Atkinson - re: is rational thought and fantasy at odds?

It's a good question.

I would say that much of the rational process is concerned with deciphering perception from truth. Fantasy is one of many ways to explore and challenge that conflict.

Fantasy, like any work of fiction, presents itself as if to say: I am lie, a complete fabrication, but why, dear reader, does so much held within my pages appear to be so true? It's a central paradox for the rational endeavor. Fiction, regardless of genre, asks this question by its very existence. It's what fiction is. To that extent, fantasy is just different window dressing on the same process of investigation.

I think the consumption of half-truths is an important, possibly essential, part of rational discourse and discovery. What's truth to someone who's never heard a lie? Or said another way: truth doesn't shine until it sits in a bed of bullshit.

OK, I am going to have to agree with the Christians on this one. D&D people are the worst possible form of malevolent slime.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_hlWl1PKfo&feature=related

:-D :-D :-D

On the plus side, Ministry Watch condemns CCF for not being evangelical enough because they administer real aid instead of "spreading the gospel."

<headdesk>

likely mixed race or worse, liberals.

Progress! :-)

(Order of the Stick is a very fun web comic if you've ever played D&D)

Even if you haven't.

By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Man, I'm probably lowest of the low. D&D player, atheist, Star Trek geek and liberal.

I don't like Harry Potter, I prefer Pratchett- and that's got Real Gods- the sort that are a good advert for atheism. Plus I would rather play the Serenity/Firefly RPG. Do I have to hand in my big red "A"?

I prefer Pratchett- and that's got Real Gods- the sort that are a good advert for atheism.

The Discworld gods take a dim view of atheism. Unless you're a golem or a troll or otherwise immune to lightning bolts, atheism is not a survival trait.

By 'Tis Himself (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

:: puts the smackdown on the Christian Children's fund with his +5 Lawful Good aligned Flaming Holy Avenger longsword ::

Strangely enough, the last 2 editions (3/3.5 and 4) have stripped out a most of the multicultural deity and demon names, and in fact they have re-vamped the entire map of the planes for the same reason. Demons and devils are now called Infernals, and Devas and Angels etc. are now called Celestials. They have gone to great lengths to genericise and fictionalize any religious or mystical references.

It never ceases to amaze me the absolute idiocy of some people. To not accept someone's good-faith effort at CHARITY? That's just retarded!

Good luck to all the other Dungeon Bashers out there, have a great day!

Arti

Arwen@ #164, you're not the lowest of the low! That spot on the geek hierarchy is reserved for People Who Write Erotic Versions of Star Trek Were All the Characters Are Furries, Like Kirk Is an Ocelot Or Something, And They Put a Furry Version of Themselves as the Star of the Story. ;)

Eric the buffoon @147

To Malcolm the moron;
Fun
Ok, is that all?

Yep. That about covers it.
I also read Pratchett and OOTS. For fun.

I, too, am among the lowest of the slime; atheist, D&D player and DM of more than 20 years, married to another player/DM, mother of a D&D playing/GMing son, and co-subverter of his entire circle of friends to the evil ways of D&D....

Posted by: Moggie | November 1, 2008 3:59 PM

#93:

I appear to be a failure of life. *eye roll*

Eye roll? Wouldn't they tend to roll off the table?

Nonono; those would be the now-seldom-seen d100s. About the size of a golf-ball, and with similar rolling characteristics.

Posted by: Eric Atkinson | November 1, 2008 7:03 PM

As an atheist and a game enthusiast, I have wondered what makes someone who claims to pride themselfs on rational thought, be involved in fantasy type games.

Science fiction and war type games are for the most part based on extrapolated science, fantasy games not so much.

Just wondering.

and

I enjoy fiction too, but not the kind where the plot depends on "magic"

I guess I'm just no fun.

Yes; fun, ability to tell reality from fiction (at no non-proficiency penalty), exercising of the imagination, socialization and all that, but also...imagine how different a world would be where magic (of some defined system/set of rules) actually worked. How would it affect all the other aspects of that reality? How might it alter social constructs? Science fiction and fantasy aren't necessarily so far different as you think, especially "soft" (as contrasted with "hard") SF.

Check this out: http://www.studiofoglio.com/cgi/growf.cgi?date=20070617 (be sure to also go to the next strip).

My final comment on the subject....Mutant Trolls! *grin*

MASSIVE BLOCKQUOTE FAIL

And I don't understand it. It looked fine in Preview; I checked.

JS is just as delusional as ever. There is nothing to learn from the crazy godbots such as JS as they are some of the largest liars in the world. Now JS, if you care to get rational, listen to us.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

cicely, it's not your fault.
Previewing massages the input in the text box.
In this case, the problem was probably more than one line break between paragraphs.

A safe and mindless way to make sure what gets posted is what you preview is to copy the text box input first, then repaste before submitting.

By John Morales (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

I'm not surprised to find that I am the lowest form of scum in this country but I AM surprised that a christian organization turned down MONEY from ANYONE! They have principles - even if they are based on ignorance and fear.

By Eric Paulsen (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

I think the ScienceBlog parser has a few flaws. I've noticed formatting problems if I leave a lot spaces after a period, but prior to a return. All of a sudden, three paragraphs get jammed into one.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Been out all day, and wish I'd had time to comment earlier... This really surprises me not at all. I managed to buy a book called "Turmoil in the Toybox", and the author considered everything to be satanic. Smurfs, He Man, Pokemon, you name it. In some ways, I think he considered things like the Smurfs to be even worse, because it was just so cuddly and cute, while teaching all kinds of "values" not consistent with a Life in Christ (TM).

D&D was dangerous, yes, but you could see through it.

Smurfs were worse, because it was dangerous while seeming so innocent.

I swear I'm not just making this up.

http://www.debased.com/content/literature/t/turmoil.html

WOW this was a blow to my dexterity.

As an atheist and a game enthusiast, I have wondered what makes someone who claims to pride themselfs on rational thought, be involved in fantasy type games.

Science fiction and war type games are for the most part based on extrapolated science, fantasy games not so much.

Just wondering.

If you think that (almost all) SF and war fiction aren't fantastical then you aren't paying attention.

Most SF: adolescent male wish-fulfillment fantasy
Most Fantasy: adolscent female wish-fulfillment fantasy.
Most war fiction: chickenhawk pr0n.

Graculus, Sturgeon's Law: "Ninety percent of everything is crap". Anyway, most so-called SF is dressed-up fantasy.

By John Morales (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Weird that christians would be opposed to it, considering how fond they are of abstinence; when I was as a teenager there was nothing more likely to keep girls away than them knowing a guy played D&D.

Shit. Why didn't someone give me the memo to stay away from those guys? I wouldn't have married this one if I'd known!

Seriously, D&D guys are the best. Of all the things a husband could have an interest in, D&D is really one of the most innocuous. Plus, after Mr. Aquaria reads aloud a few paragraphs from a rule book, I'm out like a light. Best Valium substitute ever, at least for me.

Atheist. Roleplayer. Liberal. I'm all for gay marriage and sexual and racial equality too, so I'm definitely off their Christmas list.

Most of the time, I play D&D with a bunch of Catholics. Interestingly, in the game we mostly play, my character's a religious fanatic, while most of their characters are not at all religious (and some are quite the opposite).

Funnily, though we never discuss religion IRL, we get through a fair bit of religious discussion in game -- it's a handy way to discuss religion without people getting too emotionally invested in the direction it takes.

not like anyone here would accept money from Answers in Genesis....

I'd gladly accept money from Answers in Genesis, but I'd spend it on "booze-n-broads" (B&B?), maybe some new polyhedrals after reading this thread. Any money diverted from their odious agenda is well spent.

I think the GenCon folks should've donated that money to the church of St Cuthbert of the Cudgel, or maybe to this place of worship:

http://jrients.tripod.com/otus/otus.html

So, when should we schedule the big D&D orgy? How about the Winter Solstice? Should we allow furries?

By Longtime Lurker (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

I'm a liberal, pro-choice, pro-stem cell research, evolution knowing, video game and D&D playing, pre-marital sex having atheist who is supportive of the gay community.

I'm trying to think of other things that would qualify me further for the "monstrous creature who scares the religious right" but I'm not gay or female, and I appear for all intents and stereotypes, to be a WASP.

By the way, w00t w00t on OOTS. That comic is hi-larious.

Also, being that it's my first post: Thanks to PZ for having this blog. It's a really good place for me to look for like-minded perspectives on science and religion.

By Finch Evolved (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

Aquaria, #182, wrote:

Shit. Why didn't someone give me the memo to stay away from those guys? I wouldn't have married this one if I'd known!

It'd depend on whether you grew up somewhere slightly more cosmopolitan than rural northern Queensland, Australia - which is pretty much the local equivalent of Hicksville, Texas. In my town if you didn't play the local version of football (rugby league) you were some form of subhuman. Being seen with books at school was bad enough; being seen carrying them around on the weekends was asking for trouble.

Still, Bride of Shrek - who's from that area as well - and I managed to turn out okay (we're Pharyngulites at least) so it's not an insurmountable obstacle to enlightenment.

By Wowbagger (not verified) on 01 Nov 2008 #permalink

All I can say is go for the eyes Boo, go for the eyes.

By CosmicTeapot (not verified) on 02 Nov 2008 #permalink

Uh Huh. Right. "we can't accept your money. . . "
The unstated message there is : "We don't want to be associated with you"

As for the Fantasy vs Reality vs Science Fiction thing, just one comment: read what amuses you and don't worry about who thinks it's crap or who thinks it's purile wish-fulfillment.
Personally I think trying to analyze fiction genres is akin to Freudian dream analysis. "This way lies Madness." or at least a big dead end. But, if that's your thing, don't let me stop you.

I agree with that completely, DLC. I'm a fan of just about everything except romance novels and novels about vampires, as well as a few other things. Really, I see no reason to try to give people a hard time about what they like to read. It makes no sense to me; every genre has someone who hates it and can argue against it.

"And what if I'm an atheist, play D&D and like to have LOTS of sex"

You may LIKE having lots of sex, but a D&D player who has lots of sex is a statistical impossibility, as we all know ;-)

By katastrofa (not verified) on 02 Nov 2008 #permalink

Longtime Lurker at #184: "So, when should we schedule the big D&D orgy? How about the Winter Solstice? Should we allow furries?"

If I were a nasty person, I would say "Furries? Please, even we scum have some standards..."

Since I'm not, I say "Solstice's okay, but no furries; I spent weeks getting the chocolate fudge off my fur last year!"

Sanity

Then you're as fictional the things Christians believe in :p

LOL! yeah, I agree that being in that particular position would make me a endangered species, but I take the utmost labor on finding people that enjoys the same things as I do. Hence, the continuity of my species is not that much endangered ;)

katastrofa

You may LIKE having lots of sex, but a D&D player who has lots of sex is a statistical impossibility, as we all know ;-)

My point exactly. And I play also Lineage 2 and then some. And I'm also too old to fit in the stereotype :D

Rev BDC @38: I'm mildly impressed. If the DM is competent, it's generally much harder to play a chaotic evil character since the bulk of PCs and NPCs are against them.

Ironically, I don't think there's much doubt Gygax biased the game rules in favour of Good over Evil.

Yeah i know. I think i did it to piss off the DM. He was an ass most of the time. Of course he held the power so i paid for it.

And I notice the CCF doesn't have the courage to mention this on their own site. Shouldn't they be proud that they sentenced starving children to death rather than accept charity from people so depraved as to play a game?

By phantomreader42 (not verified) on 02 Nov 2008 #permalink

I'm an atheist and my best friend is an atheist D&D player. All my (atheist) friends in my christian high school were D&D players.
I've also enjoyed many a sin with my atheist D&D player (ex)boyfriend.

These are the funniest, kindest, most loving people I've ever met!

I'm EVIL and i have SO MUCH FUN!!!

I'm an atheist and I still play DnD. I was also at GenCon this past year and contributed to the fund-raising. This makes me angry.

Wow, I just finished my first session of D&D in months last night, and then I read this news. How disappointing.

Checking in as another Atheist who plays AD&D. I also played my fair share of ZORK and the ENCHANTER series by Infocom as well back in the day. We also got into the Star Wars RPG when it came out. Haven't really played since my college years, though.

I happily and proudly claim my title as lowest slime in the universe. And my level seven halfling rogue has some issues to discuss with the Christian Children's Fund.

Playing Zork and Enchanter on an Apple IIe. Good days.

By Nerd of Redhead (not verified) on 02 Nov 2008 #permalink

Welcome to the Abyss. Although you can still get into a lower of its 999 (or was it 666?) layers adding some more salt to your atheist/roleplayer damnation.

Being a biker gives you also lots of credits. Rocker too, especially of the heavy ones. And what can we say of those who prefer to comulgate with Kali's Mist, Jah's flesh or Zuggtmoy's beloved than with the more common cracker and wine that have the "nihil obstat" of religious authorities and the Clinical State? In any case, I'm getting all the tickets to avoid having to spend an eternity playing harp in a nightgown while contempling the face of the divine dictator.

Ethernity (that's another one, being a geek... ;-) is very, very long. Even more so. Even a god cannot design tortures that would not bore the damned dead after an eternity of them. So something more is needed to keep the condemned entertained. I don't know if there are bikes in Hell or if sex works there, but any additions to the old sex, drugs and rock&roll formula would be welcome after an eternity in the hands of the divine tormentor.

The Eternity in Hell campaign, join now or be bored forever and ever ;-)

By El Guerrero de… (not verified) on 03 Nov 2008 #permalink

Damn, I played D&D a few times, I'm expecting the Spanish Inquisition to barge in any minute now.

I wonder why there isn't a christian counterpart. Or did I miss it and there already is a "Narnia & Lions" game?
I would expect there was, since they've been badmouthing this game for twenty years.

Hey, the D&D monster lineup has always had something like 10 varieties of slime (and related monsters of similar viscosity), all of them dangerous and some of them pretty badass.

If I'm going to be considered slime, might as well be the D&D variety.

By AndymanEC (not verified) on 03 Nov 2008 #permalink

I have you all beat:
I'm an atheist, a D&D player and I'm French.
Now who's the scummiest?

I wonder why there isn't a christian counterpart.

There have been sporadic attempts; Holy Lands pops up at the top of a Google search for "christian role-playing game", although the description doesn't inspire me to download even a free product.

Like their heathenish counterparts, Christian RPGs are just nowhere near as popular.

By fmitchell (not verified) on 03 Nov 2008 #permalink

Ex-Christian, atheist, D&D (and GURPS and Star Wars) player, bisexual, non-marital-sex-having, feminist, woman, Arts degree holder, Canadian, speaks French.

What kind of viscous ooze am I? I hope it's something cool and lethal.

By Intransigentia (not verified) on 03 Nov 2008 #permalink

I did receive a response from CCF.

"When Gen Con contacted CCF about its auction, we were pleased to accept donations. However, we couldn't lend our name for publication because our policies have specific criteria for endorsements. We were unaware that this had caused any problem or concern for Gen Con until we began receiving emails. This decision was in no way intended to be a reflection on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts or the game Dungeon and Dragons. We have the utmost respect for the gaming community and were touched by the generosity expressed through your auction. We were disappointed that we were not the recipients of the donation but we were pleased that another worthy organization benefited.

We realize this has become a topic of discussion in the gaming community and we hope you will help us by sharing this response."

Not sure if this makes me feel better or not.

By CheezeBoy (not verified) on 03 Nov 2008 #permalink