Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cooler heads prevail.

Well, I think it's safe to say that I was a bit more than moderately "skeeeeveed" out (last night). I had been able to compartmentalize, fairly well, for two days. Last night... I don't know what happened, but I had this fierce desire to just circle the wagons. Someone else implied it (the momma' bear thing), but let me expand on it: There is nothing more precious to me than my children. Knowing that my pride and big mouth had brought the crazies THAT close to home was...humbling. The irony is: I don't allow the possums to have instant messenger accounts and their e-mails are filtered through my husband's account. Yet... I had solidly put my child in the middle of the very drama I'd always tried so hard to protect her from.

I don't regret posting the essay.
I don't regret all of the fantastic dialogue that has resulted.
I love the connections that have been made here and the thoughtful feedback.
I just need to let this go. Thus, although I know you all want details and such: those are available elsewhere and I'm sure I'll be ready to talk about the situation again when it isn't so fresh.
Until then, I'm going to return to my normally drama-free blog on being an atheist in a mini-van. I hope you all will buckle-up and come along with me on the ride.

32 comments:

Nance said...

So, have you seen the brouhaha about the CNN show on atheists:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/02/the_evershifting_plans_of_cnn.php

Nance

Nance said...

http://tinyurl.com/29w88d

Maybe that'll work better.

Nance

Atheist in a mini van. said...

So, have you seen the brouhaha about the CNN show on atheists:


Yes!! I can't believe those guests that Paula Zahn(?) had on. I saw, on the IronChariots wiki board that Richard Dawkins is going to be on the show soon. I hope he "re-educates" some of those "experts".

Nance said...

8:00 EST tonight, I believe.

If he's not bumped by the Anna Nicole Smith news.. .

Nance

Sean the Blogonaut said...

One thing I regret about not having pay television, is missing out on this kind of programme.

darrell said...

I dunno if I'd regret it too much. It may be the pessimist in me, but I doubt this show is going to be very engaging or interesting. It's clear that Paula Zahn and CNN must have received a bunch of backlash for having a "panel" on atheism without a single atheist and having it basically descend into a "why do atheists invite hate on themselves" discussion. I mean imagine if you replaced the word "atheists" with "Jews"...Paula Zahn probably wouldn't have a job right now. But since it was just atheists and everyone hates us anyway they're going to try to mend some fences with a "balanced" version of the previous report. We get Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens to represent American atheists...and neither one is an American. Great. Way to go CNN.

On the other hand, a drunken Hitchens will probably say something offensive to the conservative guests. That could be funny.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

We get Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens to represent American atheists...and neither one is an American. Great. Way to go CNN.


Very good point. I wonder why they didn't contact the FFRF or some similar foundation to find an American atheist? Still...I don't think Dawkins will wrong us. ;)

darrell said...

Oh I don't doubt it about Dawkins, as long as they don't edit the hell out of him and quote mine. I was more directing my scorn at CNN for not being able to find an American atheist. Or maybe they just don't want the public to know how we're reasonable and normal people and we're right in their backyards.

Saurian200 said...

Oh come on everyone...

It's not like there is some kind of orginization made up of American atheists, or maybe named American Atheists or anything like that.

Oh, wait...

Atheist in a mini van. said...

LOL @ Saurian.
Apparently CNN has never heard of google. ;)

Producer: Um...we need to find some atheists.
Producer 2: Atheists? What the heck are those?
Producer: Oh you know...those horrible people who don't believe in God.
Producer2: Well, there aren't that many of them... I mean...where would we find one?
Producer: I dunno'. Try an internet search for atheist.
Producer 2: Well, there's this guy, Dawkins...

"American+Atheist" just illuded them. ;)

darrell said...

I should point out that I made a mistake: Hitchens emigrated to the US from the UK in 1981...so technically he's been an American slightly longer than I have. My bad. I still think he's an idiot though.

Nance said...

PZ Myers posted that the show has been pushed to Friday.

Something about priorities. . .

Nance

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Yeah, I actually got an e-mail from CNN (probably because I sent them a note about being ticked) that said it would air on Feb. 12th.

Carlie said...

Even worse, Dawkins himself GAVE names to CNN of prominent American atheists they should be contacting instead, and they were adamant about using him (according to his comments on his blog). It must make them feel better to think that atheists are people with accents from somewhere else, and only arrogant old white guys at that. If it were a panel of midwestern soccer minivan mom atheists, I think the cognitive dissonance would make their heads explode.

Nance said...

midwestern soccer minivan mom atheists,
***
I'd love to see that! :)

Nance

Atheist in a mini van. said...

midwestern soccer minivan mom atheists,...

Damn. I missed it by about 1500 miles. :/ I guess, somehow, California atheists are kind of expected. Not as much cognitive dissonance.

Milo Johnson said...

The real lesson is that the world is always a hairs-breadth away from being a dangerous place and one must always stay aware. Hopefully, this crazed person will take the hint and simply find another subject to obsess over. However, regarding the close of your edit of the previous post, please don't get "normal," I wouldn't visit any more!

Atheist in a mini van. said...

However, regarding the close of your edit of the previous post, please don't get "normal," I wouldn't visit any more!

Well, normal for me is always slighly "abnormal" for the majority. Hopefully you will stick around? ;)

Santini said...

I found your blog via a thread in a German cell phone forum, or it's general chatter channel.

Being an agnostic myself, I was kind of shocked about the CNN feed. I always thought that Americans (and American Christians, for that matter) were very liberal towards all other religions and (dis)believes.

Well...I was very wrong.

I just wanted to say: all the best to you and possums #1 thru #4.

Santini

scott said...

The panel that Paula Zahn put together is no real surprise -- this seems to be the way that she and CNN manufacture news. She did the exact same thing with a show on Chinese adoption. The panelists? Nobody who had ever gone through an adoption process, that would have been silly. Instead she got 3 African Americans to make racist comments about the reasons why Americans adopt from China instead of Africa. Just like with the atheist topic, there is a large community of people who feel very passionatly about adoption issues. So she stirred the pot, got lots of heated reactions, and more shows out of it. Never took any blame for terrible coverage of an issue. Seems like the same kind of hit job here.

Zipi said...

I conjecture CNN chose to have Dawkins because they expect him to be angry, aggresive, and hateful, since that is what is said of him on certain forums (quite far from the truth).

Berlzebub said...

Not to worry, P-Momma (I still love writing that). I'll still be checkin' in from time to time. Actually, without all the anxiety, it'll probably be easier to have a real discussion on here. Some of the traffic that the issue was drawing was taking away from your blog. Although, it was exciting (but not in a good way), a personal blog should be about the person.

Anyway, I heard earlier that it was going to be on Friday night (tonight), but you're about the fourth that said it won't be on until Monday. *sigh*

Oh well, thank FSM for TiVo!! :-)

-Berlzebub

Virginia aka Ginny said...

[i]I found your blog via a thread in a German cell phone forum, or it's general chatter channel.[/i]

Wow, it's been interesting to see how people have found you. Who would have thought a German cell phone forum would be one of them!

Saurian200 said...

According to CNN's website tonight's episode will be about Barack Obama.

So, it looks like it really will air Feb. 12th.

Rev. BigDumbChimp said...

So, it looks like it really will air Feb. 12th.

Right on Chuck's B-day. That should rile a few people.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Welcome to all the new readers!

I think when most theists think of Dawkins, they think of him during his Haggard smackdown.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ussdzdnj_dE

The producers of Zahn's show probably have never picked up a book by Dawkins. They don't realize that he's pretty mild mannered and tolerant of stupidity in others. I wish they'd invite the two African American panelists to be on screen with him. I'd love to see Dawkins correct that lady on her erroneous assumptions about atheists.

pussreboots said...

I'm just amazed you've reacted as strongly and bravely as you did. Of course your family must come first. I don't know that I'd act as well as you did in similar circumstances.

Russ said...

P-Momma,

I am a complete materialist who is quite convinced of the impossibility of the existence of anything supernatural, and though they are a rare strain there are those who are members of the Christian clergy who also feel the same way. One such clergyman is Harry Cook, an Episcopalian minister in Michigan. Harry has been in the ministry for more than 40 years, and has been a secular atheist/agnostic humanist all that time. For some reason, now, the time has come for the Episcopalian church to put Harry on trial for heresy - that's right, heresy, after more than forty years. Harry's essay describing the situation "What Took So Long?" is at

http://www.harrytcook.com/essay.html

Harry is nobody's fool. He's watched the storm brewing for a long time and he's ready for a fight. He's almost looking forward to hearing how the Diocese will defend the indefensible.

Visitors here will especially like this quote from Harry:
"As for the Bible, as I have said before on this website forum, I have given the best of my intellectual gifts to its research over more than 40 years, never once being led to consider that it was the word of any god."

Clearly, Harry is not your run-of-the-mill variety Christian.

If you've got a moment, Harry T. Cook, Christian clergyman and fellow rationalist could use a word of encouragement. Your comments can go on what Harry calls his guestbook.

Harry is a great voice, a great fighter, for reason, rationality, science and critical thinking. The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan seems to have decided to enforce its supernatural borders, and Harry is apparently now behind enemy lines.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

If you've got a moment, Harry T. Cook, Christian clergyman and fellow rationalist could use a word of encouragement. Your comments can go on what Harry calls his guestbook.

Off to read... and comment.

Azkyroth said...

The line about not letting the kids have instant messenger accounts and reading their email made me cringe. If your oldest is 12 I suppose it's forgivable, but I grew up with virtually unfettered interent access and aside from enriching my writing in some unusual ways it doesn't seem to have adversely affected me.

I'm more concerned about your comments blaming yourself for the evil and dysfunctional behavior of...who? William? Someone else? Your posts are very vague. That's a deeply unhealthy attitude and it's exactly the ones they want to encourage. I understand your concern for your family's safety, but giving in to bullies is going to do more to endanger it than protect it in the long run. Internalizing their rhetoric will be even worse. :/

Atheist in a mini van. said...

The line about not letting the kids have instant messenger accounts and reading their email made me cringe.

I guess I shouldn't point out that we don't own a gaming system either? ;)

The kids don't have instant messenger because, at their ages, what would be the point? They have phone and e-mail,...not to mention the tried-and-true method of just walking over to a friend's house. As for reading their e-mail... I didn't say we read it, but we do keep track of who they're receiving e-mail from.

I'm more concerned about your comments blaming yourself for the evil and dysfunctional behavior of...who? William?
I'm not blaming myself for his behavior. I was feeling a little guilty for stooping to his level and arguing with him, since that seemed to escalate his zeal. I was feeling a bit stupid for having linked some sites that led him directly to our home/neighborhood.

Aerik said...

Scarlett, you can't ever blame your "pride" or "big mouth" to get the crazies get close to you. William went out of his way to bring his bigotry to you, not the other way around. He does not have a fundamental right to not be offended by you, and for the blame to be on you is blaming the victim. Don't do that to yourself.