Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

Already, I am Quite Sick of This

I’m already exhausted from today in having to reiterate my defense of the First Amendment rights, especially the First Amendment rights of assholes, given that I think they are wrong; and wrong on so many levels.

General Petraeus, in a rare move for a professional soldier to speak out on matters politically domestic condemns the spectacle saying that it “is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems.” He even suggests that lives may be at stake as a consequence of Reverend Asshole; I am wearied to think that he may be right.

Which makes it all the more wearying to have to defend stupid assholes and their grotesque publicity stunts.

Reverend Asshole: I recognize your rights to be an asshole, but fuck you, Sir!

Of course, he isn’t the only one at fault here. I find the impulse to violence (or the threat of violence) as a reaction to perceived insult to be most childish. This is right out of school-yard bully playbook, but instead of bloody noses, suspensions, and calls home to mother, it’s guns and bombs, fear and intimidation, indignant assholes and self-righteous pricks. And to people who come to the defense those who intimidate with violence on the grounds of cultural “respect,” I don’t know how much longer I can take it.

And then sometimes, a religious leader speaks on the subject like an adult (unlike a petulant child):

Ramzy Kilic, regional director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Tampa said… “He just wants to provoke the Muslim community…Why give him attention? No one pays attention to the drunkard walking down the street.”

I learned this lesson by sixth grade. Ignore the assholes teasing you from the back of the bus, and they’ll stop doing it.

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Ron Strelecki

What I find incomprehensible is the paradox set up by proposing to burn the book. Either you believe the book is NOT the holy inspired word of god, in which case: why bother burning it? Or you believe it IS the holy, inspired word of god, and burning it is an affront to god, in which case: DON’T BURN IT! So, which is it? Does it have magic powers, in which case, you shouldn’t burn it, or does it NOT have magic powers, in which case, burning it is only a political act designed to enrage “idolaters” (pointlessly… why bother… Read more »

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