Follow-Up on Larry Darby, Formerly of the Atheist Law Center:

Let's just say there's little doubt about where he stands -- for some comments of his about "Zionist-Occupied Government" on a discussion list that I run, see, e.g., here, here, and here.

Mr Diablo:
This guy speaks for us agnostics even less than Michael Newdow. Sadly, the bloggers on this board will likely make him a representative of agnostics/atheists as Lyndon LaRouche or David Duke are your run of the mill Democrats/Republicans.

Back to my war on Christmas.
12.14.2005 12:53pm
Speaking of the war on Christmas, the latest news is that 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt ruled the private celebration of Christmas unconstitutional Monday. Read about it on the Onion.
12.14.2005 1:02pm
Read about it on the Onion.

And then briefly on WorldNetDaily before someone looks up the definition of "sarcasm" and pulls the link.
12.14.2005 1:04pm
therut (mail):
The militant athiests have the same problem as any militant group. They want to make everyone in their image. I am not surprised in the least at his zionist remarks and attitude. He paints any Christian in the same light. Same thing with PETA founders, abortion militants, CODE PINK, Ramsey Clark, David Duke, etc. The real question is why do these people get so much MSM press time and adulation.
12.14.2005 1:05pm
Ofc. Krupke (mail) (www):
Sadly, the bloggers on this board will likely make him a representative of agnostics/atheists as Lyndon LaRouche or David Duke are your run of the mill Democrats/Republicans.

I know how you feel. It's like having Pat Robertson thrown at you if you're a church-going conservative. None of it fair.

Back to shoving my beliefs down others' throats.
12.14.2005 1:12pm
This guy's just a nut. Saying he's the average athiest would be silly.
12.14.2005 1:12pm
Gordon (mail):

Reasonable minds can disagree about how to apply the Religion Clauses in a given case. But the goal of the Clauses is clear: to carry out the Founders' plan of preserving religious liberty to the fullest extent possible in a pluralistic society. By enforcing the Clauses, we have kept religion a matter for the individual conscience, not for the prosecutor or bureaucrat. At a time when we see around the world the violent consequences of the assumption of religious authority by government, Americans may count themselves fortunate: Our regard for constitutional boundaries has protected us from similar travails, while allowing private religious exercise to flourish. The well-known statement that "[w]e are a religious people," Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306, 313 (1952), has proved true. Americans attend their places of worship more often than do citizens of other developed nations, R. Fowler, A. Hertzke, &L. Olson, Religion and Politics in America 28—29 (2d ed. 1999), and describe religion as playing an especially important role in their lives, Pew Global Attitudes Project, Among Wealthy Nations U.S. Stands Alone in its Embrace of Religion (Dec. 19, 2002). Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: Why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?

If atheists really want to promote their creed, they should be advocating for an American version of the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Grand Supreme Ayatollah. Based upon results, that would kill off religion better than any attempt to do a Grinch job on Christmas.
12.14.2005 1:18pm
Ex-Lib (mail):
You know, it's hard to admit, but at one time, I was a registered member of the Libertarian Party. It's embarassing because back then they were about as nasty as they could be to religious members (myself included), and today, the party has become a nest of conspiracy-theorists and radical anti-Semites raving about how the Pentagon brought down the WTC with a missile on the orders of Israel.

I would be very surprised to meet a radical, anti-religion type who didn't identify himself as a Libertarian and rant every once in a while about THE JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSS!
12.14.2005 1:31pm
Bob Bobstein (mail):
Man, Hank, I came here just to post that link. Didn't somebody around here predicted this would happen?

Newsflash: Atheist Activist Unpopular, Unhinged. Next: Libertarians in the News...
12.14.2005 1:37pm
Kim Scarborough (mail) (www):
Somebody should make a "wacko checklist". Three items I know would be on it:

1) Saying historic personages whom you don't like were Jewish, even if they weren't, e.g. Lenin;

2) Saying that one isn't really an anti-Semite because Arabs are Semites (quite common; see for instance Bobby Fisher);

3) Writing, or quoting people who write, 2500 words without a paragraph break.
12.14.2005 2:11pm
sbw (mail) (www):
Ya, know... tolerance means I can respectfully listen to an invocation at an event as an expression of that person's effort to deal reverently with the world. It means I can live with saying "under God" in the Pledge of Allegience because some Congress put it there (giving benefit of the doubt) with fair intent. It means I don't mind other people not saying "under God" when they recite the pledge. It means I can respectfully listen to an invocation that isn't religious, and I can look at the joy public displays at Christmas time bring to people and not be offended.

What is missing amongst the vocal on all sides is tolerance. And the world is the worse off for it. ... Fortunately, all it takes is a change of mind.
12.14.2005 2:16pm
Wintermute (www):
I don't feel any guilt by association here, because I simply don't feel any association with the linked individual. It is not necessary to descend to rant to hold the position that the US Gov't should not support Israel or overlook its nukes. In fact, it's best to sound very calm and judicious in stating that position. My law partner is Jewish, and my best friend from childhood is TN's only Jewish legislator. Both know I feel this way about Israel, but it doesn't affect our relationships. Given the power lineup on this issue, I fully expect to die without seeing significant change, although I will raise my insignificant voice on the matter until then and hope we don't get dragged into another war over it.
12.14.2005 3:54pm
Robert F. Patterson (mail):
Someone who believes in God considers this belief so fundamental to his/her existence, life, code of conduct and obedience to law, that for him/her, an atheist represents the very contradiction of everything they hold dear. I know several atheists, some of whom I actually love and respect very much. But do I want someone who is diametrically opposed to all I believe, as my lawmaker? If I am a REpublican, and support what that party stands for, would I go out of my way to support the election of a DEmocrat. or vice versa? Some of these polls aimed at measuring prejudice make no sense whaatever.
12.14.2005 4:09pm
Jerry (mail):
Sounds like this guy is next in line for President of Iran.
12.14.2005 4:11pm
Mr Diablo:
Robert, the simple answer is that as a Congressman your job is to protect your constitutents from cognizable threats/harms -- not save their souls or prepare them for eternity.

Although, Jesse Helms, in my four years of living in North Carolina, did prepare me for eternity. I became gay just because I didn't like him.

In all seriousness, I don't know any militant atheists. I do know a lot of people though who have no interest in state/federally funding religious institutions. Unfortunately, they get unfairly lumped in with the nutjobs everytime that the GOP needs a quick enemy.

Of course, we won't have a legitimate debate on any of this, not as long as Bill O'Reilly is preparing legions for the War on Christmas. (Which, by the way, was perfectly responded to on the Daily Show both last week and this week.)

Let's just agree to hate those who want to convert people... of course, that will mean that those who believe they are commanded to convert will be offended. But aren't they all just, you know, jerks?
12.14.2005 4:27pm
John R. Mayne (mail):
Hey, Mr. Darby's last link makes lots of sense. Eugene's always calling for repeal of free speech laws, and citing cases where speech has been insufficiently controlled. It's part of his Zogginess.

I'm sure it's the Zoggers who are unfairly convincing the damned that Mr. Darby is Bobby Fischer without the latter's mental balance. I, for one, find Mr. Darby exceedingly credible, and I plan to advance his cause with the $16 million I'm getting from a Nigerian who will be sending it to me as soon as I send the final demurrage and money cleaning fees.

--JRM, who now knows why his cereal gets Zoggy in the morning. It's a conspiracy!
12.14.2005 4:28pm
sbw (mail) (www):
Sorry. I thought I put my comment above on the library thread.
12.14.2005 4:51pm
Buck Turgidson (mail):
One of these days, Eugene will have to come out of his intellectual bubble. But on to Mr. Darby.

The militant athiests have the same problem as any militant group.

Has it occurred to anyone that Darby's views on religion are an outcome of his other positions, not their cause? That he opposes organized religion BECAUSE he is f@#$%** Nazi, not vice versa? How does this make him representative of atheists, even militant ones? And his views have absolutely nothing to do with attitude toward atheism on the part of pseudo-Christians who think that USA is a Christian nation.

OK, back to war on Krutchmas...
12.14.2005 5:04pm
That dude is a nut, for sure. But I wonder, am I a hateful dude if I question the wisdom of our elected leaders believing the apolcalypse and the anti-christ are nigh and the epicenter of the END is Israel?

Having grown up southern baptist I'm well aware that the conventional wisdom among many evangelical christians is that we are in the last days, and that current events in the middle east portend the imminent coming of Christ. I've always personally felt that such believers probably aren't going to be the best policymakers. For example, who cares about carbon dioxide emmissions when the tribulation is about to unfold?

Now, of course it's not fair to impute these ideas to politicians who haven't directly expressed them, but I think it's something worth injecting into Eugene's ongoing debate. Part of the reason some may feel less than comfortable voting for folks who describe themselves as evangelicals is the very common belief among them that the world is close to ending.

To sum it up, prophesy isn't a sound basis for policy. But when you have politicians who proclaim themselves as believers in "every word" of the bible, I think you have to take a closer look at what they believe the bible says. To be sure, a lot of voters vote for Bush and other evangelicals precisely because his religious beliefs may intersect with his policy choices. But that's precisely what worries me. And I think that's a separate concern from simple religious prejudice.

I'm a big supporter of Israel as the strongest democratic government in the middle east. And I detest the bigotry exhibited by Mr. Darby. But I think there's a question that must be asked of people who are fundamental believers in any religion (not just Christianity), "to the extent that your policies are based on your belief in the impending apocalypse, you and I may have some disagreements. Could you clear up your thoughts on how believing in a certain prophetic end game might affect your decisionmaking?"

We all may tsk tsk over intelligent design and creationism and evolution, but ultimately it may be more important to know what our leaders think about the end of the world than its beginning.
12.14.2005 5:43pm
Robert F. Patterson (mail):
Dear Diablo:
Is there a reason why you, or anyone, thinks that we should do what is right and avoid what is wrong? One does not need to be religious to agree with that, does he? But ultimately, why is it right to do what is right, and to avoid what is wrong? Have you ever asked yourself that?
If a person is an atheist, why would he need to obey the law? You say, because he will be punished if he disobeys the law. But why does the state punish someone for disobeying the law?
Why was Hitler, or Stalin, or anyone less unpopular, wrong, because he persecuted the Jews? DOes an atheist have any reason to say: Hitler was wrong because he persecuted the Jews. Why was he wrong? Not because he was defeated. He would have been wrong even if he had conquered the world. But WHY?
12.14.2005 7:37pm
Buck Turgidson (mail):

If a person is an atheist, why would he need to obey the law?...
DOes an atheist have any reason to say: Hitler was wrong because he persecuted the Jews. Why was he wrong?

Am I the only one who noticed the resempblance in names between Pat Robertson and Robert Patterson? But let me get back to the point.

Apparently, Bob is of the opinion that an atheist can have no moral principles of his own, no ethical responsibilities, no ability to make a judgment between right and wrong because he lacks a religious conviction that leads to these concepts. Apparently, ethics does not exist independent of the Judeo-Christian wolrd. Makes one wonder how the humanity survived prior to the Christian conversion of Rome, doesn't it?

What a load o'horseshit. It is simply amazing to me how some people get up in the morning. But it does explain a few things. It explain why most evangelicals and many other Christians cannot and will not think for themselves--they need guidance from those who know. The fact that most of their authority figures are greedy, bigoted hypocrites, who would just as well steal, gamble and rape as they would spread the word of god, seems to matter little to these sheep, because without their leaders they'd be lost, completely unable to distinguish right from wrong. A wonderful example of a self-indictment.

Bob, let me point out to you that even the Biblical legal canons were predated by a number of legal codices, not the least of which is the Code of Hammurabbi. None of these were based on religious principles--if anything, they were edicts created by individual leaders, usually tyrants, of sorts. In fact, much of the Christian ethics is based on non-religious ideas of its predecessors. Sure, it was bent to Christian needs--e.g., the fabrication of Aristotelian monotheism. But the point is that the philosophical writings of non-Jewish and non-Muslim writers before the second millenium CE were not even remotely religous in nature.

This kind of garbage makes me really angry. Just makes me want to feed some Christian ass to lions :-) Simply unbelievable!!!
12.15.2005 12:16am
Smithy (mail):
The militant athiests have the same problem as any militant group.

Agreed. Fortunately, they are a minority militant group and their efforts can easily be overriden by legislation and/or application of the Patriot Act. No doubt the FBI has a lot of information on their activities and if it can be proven that they are engaging in anti-American activities, they can be shut down.
12.15.2005 1:12pm