Recently the atheist student organization on the campus of the University of Texas – San Antonio held what I would surmise as a publicity stunt. In the public form of the school campus the group offered to exchange porn for bibles. There are several issues, most of which are associated with immature behavior and what I would term adolescent level judgment.
Offering to exchange porn for the Christian bible would almost be the equivalent of offering to exchange a Boston Red Sox fan a Yankees hat for outfielder Dave Roberts’ glove. Not only is this sacrilege and insulting it is structured to be an insult and to infuriate a group that they obviously disagree with. Based on the student’s response of holding prayer groups on the spot they have accomplished this task.
In breaking new we recently find out that the Republican National Committee has published and presented a PowerPoint presentation depicting our President and several members of the Democratic congress as comic book characters or children’s story villains. According to the reports this presentation was provided to the “large donors” of the RNC and was intended to be a scare tactic to drive contributions to the party and its members. In my view, there are very little if any differences in both activities.
Resorting to an extreme tactic to either make a point or drive donations simply shows poor judgment and an extreme lack of character. Poking someone in the eye and then insisting that they listen to your position or opinion is not only absurd it is a most telling sign of one’s mental capacity to engage in a civil disagreement.
Why am I disturbed by this behavior? Two reasons… one being this collage group is claiming to represent a position that I subscribe too and two they are resorting to tactics that insult not only the Christian position but the intellectual position of atheists around the world. “Drawing attention” to one’s self or agenda by acting like a group of school children should not be on the table as an option to pursue.
Intentionally engaging in activity you know is the most offensive activity you could possibly engage in to insult and degrade another person or group of people is always, in every instance, without exception a bad idea. There is no sociological, psychological, or anthropological evidence that this activity will lead to anything other than a fight, a war, or a terrorist attack. This is so egregiously wrong that it should be removed from anyone’s list of options that happens to have a maturity level above a ten year old.
It has been suggested that anyone who would agree that the Christian bible is itself “smut” should back this campaign. There are variations on the definition of the word smut, none of which I would use to describe any theological text. Regardless of you opinion of the Christian bible, supporting a position that places yourself or a group in a position of advocating an activity that is the most insulting to someone you disagree with is simply absurd. One would expect that we could disagree without being disagreeable.
It has also been suggested that it is in fact the religions extremist are themselves responsible for the perception of the porn industry and thus anyone else who does not subscribe to their rhetoric would not find porn objectionable. This is simply an ill conceived argument. I am personally aware of people who follow no particular theological practice that find issue with many points the Christian dogma condemns.
Going after our own…
My position of displeasure and disappointment in this group as well as my vocal condemnation is a direct result of my position of “cleaning one’s own house”. I do constantly remind my Christian and Muslim friends that it is their responsibility to stand up against what they themselves claim is a bad representation of their own respective faiths. (Pat Robertson or Alhaji Mutallab for example…) If someone is misrepresenting, degrading or outright insulting or damaging a mutual position it is the responsibility of every person sharing that position to not only work to condemn the activity but initiate activity to counter the destructive activity itself.
To the students of the University of Texas – San Antonio atheist group, I strongly encourage you to withdraw from any future activity that even remotely resembles this type of engagement as well as issuing a full public apology not only the any religious theology you have obviously insulted but to the entire world of atheists who have now damaged by your actions.
- Peace, Chad