Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Puttig the "fun" in fundamental.

This is, by far, one of the most assinine e-mail exchanges I have ever had. Recently, I outed myself on a local, newspaper blog-site. I really, really want to start an atheist organization in my area. I love the ACA (Atheist Community of Austin) and will always be "President of the Matt. D. Groupie Fan Club"... but, I'm really craving some local fellowship.
So...this possummomma decided to test the waters. I placed a link to this blog and an introductory post, asking if there were "any other atheists" in town. I did this yesterday evening and within twelve hours my inbox was pushing maximum capacity. Many of them were positive responses. I met a few local atheists and hope we can get together soon. However, because I'm like the bug lite on the patio on a warm summer evening,... I attracted a few fundies. So, I'd like to introduce you all to my fundy-friend-Dick (I was going to change his name...but it's so much better this way. I'll just leave out his last time to preserve his privacy). *Everybody wave "hi!" to Dick.*
This is a Christian town. If you don't like it move! I'll help you pack. Go back to where you came from.

Wow, Dick. How very Christian of you. I guess it never occured to you that I might have been a resident here for ten years. If you're the welcome wagon for this "Christian town", then I'd say we have our answer for why Bakersfield is considered one of the least tolerant places in California. *thumbs up*

PM- I don't care where you go. Just get the hell out of here. This is gods town and you can take your family with you. We dont need are kind mixing with your kind. I read your blog. Same bullshit. Different libral. Tolerance is overated. - Dick

Well... hello again, Dick. Are you for real? You know,...some people tried this mindset out in the south. It didn't go so well for them. First "OUR" kind start moving in. Then, we start riding buses. Then, we start demanding equal rights. Then, *gasp* we might start voting and speaking out in public. We might actually...*whispers* marry into your families. SEE DICK RUN. RUN DICK, RUN!
By the way, Dick. This whole intolerance bit is way over-rated. Maybe you should actually try to get to know me and concentrate on our similarities before passing judgement.

PM - Youre not black. You are an atheist. I have black friends and they believe in Jesus. You wanted a community of your commy friends so you worm your way into this town. Forget it sister. I dont need to know no rapist to know atheists are godforesaken trouble.

(NOTE TO THOSE WHO REMEMBER, "HE-WHO-SHALL-NOT-BE-NAMED": What is it with this town and the "atheist=rapist" argument???)
Oh. Your. God. I'm not black?!
Ok. Now that I've actually verified that you ARE a real resident of this city (you should really take care about the information transferred, along with your e-mails, when you act like a total ass), I feel like I should educate you a bit.
Atheism does not equal communism. Atheists are not rapists. Atheists are, quite simply, people who do not believe that there is sufficient evidence to support the claim that god(s) exist. Rather than rely on the Bible for our morality, we've, in most cases, examined morality and truth with a higher scrutiny than most Christians. Atheists tend to have high moral standards. We don't have any desire to take away your religion or "worm our way" into places we are not wanted. We are, however, residents of this city and have a vested interest in making it a place that we can safely and effectively raise our children to be productive, thinking members of society. Have a nice day, Dick.

Listen here sissy. This is a CHRISTIAN CITY. Do you see all of those churchs. They are there for decent folk who respect GOD and JESUS. We are the majority not you. Your kids will bow down to our kids and with any hope will find GOD with or without you. I bet your kids are complaining libral jerks who can't wait to leave you and go some place where they can receive the love of GOD. Fuck your morality and fuck you.

I'm trying to ignore the fundy. Someone please take my keyboard away... must. not. bait. the. fundy.

What a stunning representative of Christian society. Gee...why would anyone want to divorce themselves from THAT?

**Edited to add: I really am not afraid of this person. A quick google search of his name revealed that he's most likely an old coot' in a nursing home who's family bought him a computer and turned him loose. Very unlikely to come possum huntin'. ;) No worries.


Mark said...

I'd be scared to live in the same city as that guy. I'm surprised how relaxed you are about it.

nullifidian said...

I agree with Mark.

To be honest I'm glad that your fundie has his bible and his churches: he's obviously a sociopath and they're probably the only things keeping him in check, morally speaking.

pie.rat said...

Yeah, I've never understood the whole "I get my morals directly from a book, and I am therefore a more moral person than you" argument. It's really disturbing that some people honestly believe that basing your morals off of basic principles of decency is a bad thing.

Anyway, wow, what an ass. What an awful attitude.

Toni said... sorry I can't do it, it isn't in my nature... Dick dear, go fuck yourself! Or better yet, get someone else to do it, a good lay couldn't possibly hurt you.

PM- You are a much more patient person than I am kudos to you. If anyone EVER called me SISSY I would probably pull out the "C" word in my next e-mail to them. Yeah, you are a better person than I am.

Whalehugger said...

I've come to the conclusion that Dick's reaction will be what we face as more and more of us "out" ourselves to the world. When I was a Christian (not that long ago, actually - I'm a late bloomer), whether I liked a person's religion or not, I did my best not to judge them and let others go their own way, whether pagan, fundie or atheist.

Now that I've read and accepted the atheist argument and still continue to learn, something fundies don't like to do, I worry about what will happen if this becomes known. On one side of our house is a home-schooling, bible preaching family, and across the street is a fundie minister. The latter is the more dangerous one as we've already crossed paths with him when a tree came down. Nothing like being threatened with the wrath of God when it was an act of God that brought the tree down in the first place! If he knew that Mr WH and I are atheist, no telling what he'd try...

What I fear most is for my job. I don't want to lose it but I don't want to lie about my atheism if the question should ever come up in passing. You're a braver person than I am, PM, and I'm glad to look up to you and others like you to get my spine back where it belongs.

Bifrost said...

Hey, I know this guy. His last name is Head isn't it?

Watch him. He may be of the same ilk as he who must not be named.

Love your blog.

Paul said...

Apparently, spelling is over rated as well. Let me ask you a question, Dick. When you were born, all those years ago, and your parents named did they know?

Natasha Yar-Routh said...

Oh Bakersfield, you’re practically a next door neighbor. I live up in Frazier Park on the south edge of Kern County. I can’t say Dick’s reaction surprises me, we have a overabundance of churches in our little community.

I wish you luck in getting a atheist group together, Bakersfield so needs one.

Oh and Dick, to quote Xander Cage, ‘Don’t be a dick Dick’

Anonymous said...

It's a wonder that Dick finds time to send you e-mails with his editor and logician positions filling so much of his time.

atheist = rapist = commy = "libral"


What a heartwarming example of "love thy neighbor."


Nick said...

WOW. In your email, you mentioned alarm at being athiest in a Redstate like mine, Nebraska. I live in Omaha, and its very metropolitan. All/Most the Christians are of the Catholic variety. Evolution/Global Warming/Big Bang, these aren't problems as Catholics aren't Biblical Literalists. There aren't that many fundies here, the area's just replete with Bush goose-steppers (the op-ed page of the paper is unreadable).

Bakersfield seems more threatening. These people are batshit. My advise would be to keep doing what you're doing, ignore the Scary fundie. You wouldn't want another OfWilliam incident at your first meeting.
Then again, you could always send him info about the Republic of Gilead. I think he thinks he already lives there.

Taylor said...

Wow. The depth of religious fervor, intolerance, fear, and hatred never cease to amaze me. I can't say I'm surprised, though - I live in the Bible Belt rural South (near our good friend Jerry Falwell) so I'd probably get the same reaction here.

It sucks that you have to waste your time dealing with idiocy like his - because there is no rationalization or reason to be found. And I'm pretty sure the lil' possums won't be bowing to anyone anytime soon!

I'm not quite sure what about the word atheist denotes rapist, but whatever. This man is obviously a lunatic, and makes a strong case for why some people should never be allowed to reproduce. If he emails you again, I'd tell him...well actually, I don't know if I'm allowed to type what I'd tell him.


Larry Myers said...

This Penny Arcade comic pretty much sums up the received email:

Carlie said...

It's ironic that the thing atheists fear most is being outed to Christians, because we know how many of them would love to beat the shit out of us if they got half a chance. Nice loving religion they have there, isn't it?

Robert said...

Man, I have to admit to a perverse pleasure in watching fundamentalist people get all crazy over someone being an atheist. You get to see all the glorious frothing hypocracy in one entertaining hissy fit (well over the internet its fun, in person... not so much).

I think you can see the tangible results of religion best when you see the vitrol that its adherents spew (and often they don't even spew it all that well, they just do it with conviction).

ceinwyn said...

That was pretty horrifying, but also hilarious. Usually, it's "I pity you, you'll burn in hell." I just loved the listen Sissy, part! Your kids will bow down to my kids...LOL. His kids will serve your kids fries, if his grammar is any indication.

Karen - Jusgottastamp said...

Wow. Just--wow. I don't know what to say except that maybe you should file a harrassment complaint.


Dave said...

"Nice loving religion they have there, isn't it?"

Atheism is not a religion; it is the lack thereof.

Atheists and fundamentalists could have a true debate if they stood on the same premises: what is proven. The bible can not be considered proof, seeing as how it was written by some primitive desert nomads (as Pedro Timóteo puts it).

Taylor said...

I forgot to ask - wtf does being white or black (or asian, or indian, or alien, or wtf ever) have to do with it? Does it matter?

Vincent said...

It's an analogy to the civil rights movement and the fall of anti-miscegenation laws.

The best tack is probably to ignore him. An alternative might be to reply with simple bible quotes indicating one should love one's neighbors, how Jesus hung out with prostitutes etc. No comment, just reminding him of his hypocracy.

Andrew said...

Mr. Head is likely a troll; or he just has an IQ of 75.

Coming from a fundy family in Texas, I have to say that I have never seen anything like this (in real life). That is why I think this guy is just trolling or at least half-trolling.

No one in my fundy family would ever say things like Mr. Head says because they are mostly very intelligent (albeit compartmentalized intelligence). So maybe Mr. Head is just legally retarded.

Bifrost said...

I think when you respond to people like Dick, your are engaging in a pointless conversation. He is not going to change because he is unwilling to change. He has chosen to remain ignorant and superstitious under the guise of religion. In order to educate someone they must first recognize their own ignorance and be willing to seek out answers. When you respond to ranting madmen, you only invite more rants from someone not interested in a civil discourse. Remember he who should not be named and the scare he provided by an act toward your family. There is no indication that Dick is any less fanatical. My personal course of action, because I am more timid than most, would be to ignore the ranters that respond and contact those whom I could learn from or who would want to learn from me. But then I'm not you.

I also think that another title for this post could have been
"Exposing the MENTAL in Fundamental"

Aerik said...

What really scares me about people like the dick Dick, is that if America is a Christian nation, then we are in the same sense that we are a white nation, and the same goes if you replace 'nation' with 'town' or 'city'. If majority = might = right, then Dan should be doing the same thing to all the darkies in town, right? Yet he doesn't. Either an argument from x works all the time, or it works none of the time. Clearly the argument from popularity does not work, and since Dan does the old "well I have black friends" crap, we can see he doesn't think it works. This is sheer Xian bigotry through and through.

bifrost, I dislike commenters like you. You say you agree with every argument of the blogger, yet at the same time everything they say and do about it is wrong. You're a wolf in sheep's clothing (sorry for the cliche).

Godless Geek said...

You gotta love it when Christians do things like this and think it actually helps their case. Don't let this guy get to you. He's not worth it and he'll never change his mind.

I posted a link over from my blog.

Humanist Mama said...

Sometimes I wonder if they really think about what they are saying.....wait a minute, of course they don't think when they're talking about their religion :) My brother in law once told me with a straight face "tolerance is bad we need to stop tolerating people to make this world a better place." I guess that's what they are drilling into people's heads now at church.

Anonymous said...

Paul: Apparently, spelling is over rated as well. Let me ask you a question, Dick. When you were born, all those years ago, and your parents named did they know?

First LOL of the day. ;) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Dear DickiePoo,
I hope you don't mind me calling you DickiePoo, but I feel like I already know you. You seem so ... what do I want to say ... impaired?... no ... it's more like, um ... retarded?... no ... unhinged? ... not quite ... Oh, I got it now, it's, um ... stone cold fuckin' nuts. Yeah, that seems about right. It meshes.

Plus, DickiePoo feels kinda fun to say. DickiePoo! Yahoo! DickiePoo! Hey, say that three times real fast while you convulse a bit and people will think you're speaking in tongues. Praise the Lord. Ookie, Dookie, Dickie, Pookie, Ahkie, Eekie, Uckie, Duckie. Is it possible to speak in tongues accidentally?

And besides that, DickiePoo sounds sorta vulgar. DickiePoo, PooDickie, DickiePoo, Pooh, Poooo. Ya think I could be a Pentacostal at heart? It's all in the vowels, you know. Let us bray. Every eye is bowed, every head is closed. After the service we'll could have a potluck. Braise the lard.

If I can be serious for just a second, DickiePoo, goddamn you're stupid! This is not a Christian nation, you don't live in a Christian community, and whatever sect you're part of it's a minority slice of Christianity. Are you aware that many atheists attend church services for fellowship? Are you aware that there exist entire Christian denominations that are atheist? If not, then, in addition to being stone cold fuckin' nuts in general, you are also ignorant of what it means to be a Christian in a world that has around 24000 distinct Christian denominations.

DickiePoo, think about the Europeans who massacred American Indian Nations to steal their land. Think about the Christian decimations of the Incas, the Aztecs and the Mayan nations for the noblest of reasons -- greed.

Being a Christian is not special at all. In fact, when I read the Bible -- I know you're stone cold fuckin' nuts but, you know what that is, right? -- I just want to throw up. Gems like the prophet who curses children who tease him, inducing God to have all 42 of them ripped to shreds by bears are real barf makers. I find Christianity so reprehensible, that if I discovered in some profane delusion that the Christian God was real, I would elect to go to hell. So many of my fellow men have been dehumanized throughout Christian history by those professing belief in that maniac God, that I'm convinced that the only way someone can claim to believe it today is to be stone cold fuckin' nuts, just like you, DickiePoo.

I'm curious. Does it make a pop on those rare occasions when you pull your head out of your ass?

Jacob said...

Wow - I'm thinking of trying the same experiment in my area, just to see whether there are any rabid Christian fundies like Dick around the place.

Love your responses, Possummomma. Classic.

And while I'm here: I love your blog. I've been reading it for a long time and have been meaning to comment. Keep it up.

aimee said...

Just be cautious if you ever do meet up with these fellow atheists that one of them could be rabid DICK in disguise, I don't know if he would be that smart though. Just keep an eye out and stay safe.

Chakolate said...

I always wondered about the folk who think that since most Americans are Christians (a dubious claim) that makes this a Christian country. The largest sect of Christianity is Catholocism, so does that make this a Catholic country?

I feel kinda sorry for this guy. You have to feel very insecure to come out with so much vituperation on a stranger who's never done you any harm.

Carlie said...

Dave - the "them" I was talking about was the Christians. Looking over my post again I can see that my sentence structure was too ambiguous with too many theys and thems; I meant that the Christians would beat up atheists if they got a chance.

Eamon Knight said...

The largest sect of Christianity is Catholocism, so does that make this a Catholic country?

By national demographics, I believe the USA would be a "Baptist" country. If you want to see a "Catholic" country, look to the north or south of you (though Canada in practice is pretty secular).

AlisonM said...

Interesting that he equates atheism with rape, since the rules of rape are quite clearly outlined in the bible (and even condoned! Check out the story of Lot, and whoever the heck that was in Judges - good and righteous men throwing women out to rapists to keep 'em out of their hair.) If he gets his morals from the Bible, he should also be in favor of keeping slaves and stoning his kids to death for sassing him. Sheesh. We atheists are actually immoral for treating other people better than fundies do, eh? Been lettin' people off waaay to easy, we have. . .

Anonymous said...

Here in Lansing, MI a group of us founded Mid-Michigan Atheists and Humanists, focused primarily on separation of church and state issues. We did not incorporate simply due to the hassles and overhead that would be incurred by the members. We have no dues, relying instead on donations and some basic fundraising, book sales and the like, but could get by without it.

After a couple years of gathering, we have about sixty regulars at our monthly meetings. We found a restaurant which has a small, largely unused, banquet facility that they allow us to use at no additional cost if most of us eat - that has never been a problem since they offer a fine buffet.

The meetings, mostly people connecting with like-minded others, consist primarily of people talking in small groups with a short whole-group discussion just before things wind down. Almost all of the conversation revolves around broadly human issues - morality, politics, education, and poverty, for instance - not simply rational non-belief. Occasionally, we have a speaker(sometimes me). Once we had an atheist Christian minister(they are more numerous than most will accept) who does a one-man Clarence Darrow show.

Being close to Michigan State University, we try to tap into the freethinkers there. For instance, we've recently asked Robert Pennock, of Dover Intelligent Design trial fame, to address the group. He's also MSU faculty advisor to the MSU Freethinkers Alliance.

One project currently under development is a television show on cable public access. They teach us to use the equipment, provide the studio space, and will run our shows for no charge. We hope to be on-air in July.

I hope this is useful. I'll forward you more information, including the e-mail address of the group organizer, Jim Hong. He's a great guy, and I'm sure would be glad to answer specific questions you might have about the group or its organization.


Ben said...

I've had some success starting an atheist group at You might want to give it a look.

Eamon Knight said...

What Ben said. We've got a pretty good Brights meetup going where I live (loosely connected with the Humanist Association).

Personally, I dislike the "Bright" nym, but it's the people and the interaction that counts, whatever it's called ;-). Likewise, it seems a bit weird to organize around the banner "atheist" -- it's like organizing a "non-hobbyist" club for people who don't collect stamps, don't play with model trains, don't watch birds, don't keep fish, don't....etc.... You need a positive concept like Humanism or skepticism to provide a focus.

Corbie said...

See Dick.
See Dick fume.
See Dick spout fallacies. (Can *you* say "fallacies"? I knew you could!)
You have waaaaay more patience than I, Possummama! I think about email #2, I would have given up and sent a nice, simple, "FOADIAF" to ol' Dick. Completely ignoring his lame attempts to correlate Atheism with rapists and "commies," I particularly liked (well, "like" is too strong a word. "Burst out laughing out loud," would come much closer.) his comment, "This is a CHRISTIAN CITY. Do you see all of those churchs.(sic)(sic)" Poor, poor Dick is too busy reading his Bible, watching whatever televangelist turns his crank and trying to figure out this whole Internet thing to realize what a completely inane statement that is. Dick, my dear, hie yourself to the nearest phonebook and look at the listings for Bakersfield. Checking the online version of the same, I find that there are 164 churches listed for your fair city. I am, of course, omitting synagogues and the one mosque as they aren't Christian. I admit that it does seem like a lot, but wait! Bakersfield has 270 attorneys-at-law listed, 206 accountants, 260 physicians and 200 grocers. Churches seem to be a tad outnumbered by these more secular pursuits. I guess I can tell Dick, "Don't have an 'Esq.' after your name, mister? This is a LAWYER CITY. See all those attorneys? You better get out of town by sundown." Not to mention that if you add up the churches (164), synagogues (4) and mosques (1) and divide that number into the total population (295,536 by a quick Google search, minus, say, 6 for Possummama and her family), each of those edifices would have to be able to handle 1,749 people. Odds of that happening, you think?

The part that really pissed me off was this: "... Your kids will bow down to our kids..." Say WHAT??!? What kind of smug, arrogant, self-righteous ass would say that kind of thing? Oh......right, a typical Christian.

Best of luck to you, Possummama, with Dick and all the other "dicks" who are sure to turn up in your mailbox. And good luck on forming your group! I wish we had something like that around these parts.

tina said...

I have been reading a lot of different blogs and I was looking for atheist ones mostly, very interested in other people's opinions on religion. I have came across several hate mails that religious people post. It just boggles my mind to read some of the hate spewing from their mouth. It's no wonder more people are turning away from religion. These people scare me.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zen Druid said...

Greetings and friendly wishes to the Possum clan;

These encounters are so catch-22.
The frustrating thing is the lack of humor in these situations.

I might have mentioned a speculative influx of Iraqi refugees to the south Valley. Come to think, the whole Valley has a Mesopotamian atmosphere; they'd feel right at home. Always good to make friendly with the war refugees, right? *wink*nudge*

I would avoid encouraging the troll by exchanging emotional bait with him.

[sending from the central Valley]

Anonymous said...

ANONYMOUS: Listen up, asshole!

I don't know who the fuck you think you are, but you're so far off base on woof-woof that I would personally love the chance to come kick your anonymous ass.

I don't really care what woof-woof did in the seventies. It was thirty years ago. She made mistakes and she owned them. Unlike your pathetic little ass, she did took responsibilty for her words and deeds and made changes. That takes an enormous amount of courage- which YOU so obviously lack. You don't even have the balls to put your name on your post.

Woof-woof has been a loyal friend for eleven+ years. She's compassionate, funny, and a fantastic mother. She was even a bridesmaid in my wedding. So, I'm fully aware of woof-woof's past behavior...and I don't care!! Her girls are beautiful, smart, and kind. Her husband adores her. I LOVE HER LIKE A SISTER!! She may have made some mistakes and had a bit of fun as a young adult, but she grew up and righted the wrongs. YOU, on the other hand, are currently a huge asshole and maybe, some day, you'll stop being a pussy and tattletale.

angrypenguin said...

Religion is based on fear. This is clearly one very frightened man.

TGA said...

It never ceases to amaze me how those who are supposedly the most ardent religious folks are so often the most vile, divisive, braindead, and hateful jerks.

Marcy said...

The guy talks about the love of God, and then says, "Fuck you." You know, fundies never cease to amaze me.

Their sense of morality is absolutely fucked. "You'd better believe in Christian charity and the love of God, or I'll kill you!" And the fact that they totally don't get how ridiculously stupid that is really blows my mind.

I read this post via Way of the Mind, and I think I'll pull up a chair and stay awhile.

Paige Storm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paige Storm said...

Ok, I believe in God ( and before someone jumps on me for that, I'm on your side on this ;-) but this is ridiculous! Someone mentioned earlier that athiests base their morality on the basic principles of decency. I think that clinches Dick's problem right there... there are people that come to their beliefs after serious thought and consideration of many possibilities and people who believe what they've been told to believe, or scared into believing. Dick is obviously in the later, and unfortunately those aren't genuine beliefs/morals. Doing something or not doing something because you're afraid of burning in hell is a whole different ballgame than not behaving a certain way because you genuinely feel that it's wrong. Two of my "Good Catholic Girl" friends from high school went to church every sunday, didn't believe in sex before marriage, etc. etc. etc. and spouted those beliefs over and over as their own.... as soon as they were out from under their parent's roof they went nuts. You wind up with people who talk to the talk but can't walk the walk. If Dicks was truly a Christian believer, he'd figure out that Jesus wouldn't have acted that way.... Just an aside, don't knock mentally handicapped people, or those with low IQ's by putting Dick in the same category. They are far kinder and his mental defect is far more profound ;-)

Patti said...

Forget the gangs!People like dick scare me. There are far too many roaming the streets of Bakersfield to make it safe anymore. They hurl quotes and slogans like spears and claim to be doing it to save your soul. I'm confused.

It must have been fun playing with little dicky, but he needs to take a hard look at himself and see if all systems are running properly-he may have a screw or two loose.

Summer Squirrel said...

This kind of behavior is supposed to make me want to share the same faith? You're right, these guys just don't get it. Not too bright either.

Honjii said...

With all these comments it seems as if it's all been said. But here is yet another example of how a brain, once it has been so thouroughly indoctrinated, is no longer capable of rational thought.

Somebody please send in a team of de-programmers.