• OK, it's on.
  • Please note that many, many Email Addresses used for spam, are not accepted at registration. Select a respectable Free email.
  • Done now. Domine miserere nobis.

Atheists are crybabies too.

Agent Intellect

Absurd Anti-hero.
Local time
Yesterday, 21:59
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
4,116
Location
Michigan
American Atheist organization upset about a cross shaped piece of rubble from ground zero being put in 9/11 memorial museum.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...use-it-exists/2011/08/04/gIQAFTyFuI_blog.html

The group actually claims that its members are experiencing “dyspepsia [upset stomach], symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish,” not from the devastating destruction of life caused by the terrorists on 9/11, but as a “direct and proximate result of the unconstitutional existence of the cross.” That’s not a line from a blog post, a press release, or a fundraising letter; that is the actual legal argument presented by the American Atheists in their complaint.
 

Jordan~

Prolific Member
Local time
Today, 02:59
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
1,967
Location
Dundee, Scotland
Physiological symptoms caused by the violation of the American constitution? What's going on there, then? That screams 'religion': symbol fetishism, a sacred-profane dichotomy...

The article itself is a bit herpaderpy, but this is very interesting from an anthropological perspective: it doesn't at all resemble a dispassionate enforcement of legal impartiality ("Sorry, but it's just not appropriate to display the Ten Commandments in front of a courthouse"), but rather a conflict of religions: the quoted part of the case seems to be circumlocuting around, "This offends us because of our religion," ironically.

So I wonder what's going on here. The sanctification and fetishism of the constitution? The sanctification of godlessness? Or a fed-up sizeable minority who have to put up with castigation lashing out against mainstream culture? I want to sit people down and ask them questions!
 

Trebuchet

Prolific Member
Local time
Yesterday, 18:59
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Messages
1,018
Location
California, USA
Thanks, Agent Intellect, for including the related links in your post. I was all prepared to agree, after reading the journalists' account, that the American Atheists were unreasonable, but then I read the text of the complaint.

I think the American Atheists actually have the right of it. There was one really badly written paragraph in the complaint that said the existence of the cross caused dyspepsia, etc., but reading it in its larger context made it clear that it was the existence of the cross at the public memorial, not within the wreckage. The reason for the upset was:

Named plaintiffs have suffered, inter alia,
dyspepsia, symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain
and anguish from the knowledge that they are made to feel officially
excluded from the ranks of citizens who were directly injured by the 9/11
attack and the lack of acknowledgement of the more than 1,000 nonChristian individuals who were killed at the World Trade Center.
(emphasis mine)
Anyone who lost a loved one at the WTC, or was emotionally overcome by the attack, might well have physical complaints if they feel their own pain is being ignored and excluded because they aren't Christian. I don't feel such discomforts but I won't say they are lying.

The entire complaint is well-thought-out, comes from people of different faith backgrounds, and sounds correct to me based on the US Constitution. As a non-Christian, I also find it upsetting when Christians act like they are the only people in the US, or the only ones injured by the 9/11 attacks.

Leaving aside the dyspepsia, I agree with them that if there is a Christian memorial display, there should also be ones for Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, all other religious groups, and Atheists who are usually treated like they don't exist in the US. And that is what they are asking for, using proper legal means to get it.
 

thoumyvision

Mauveshirt
Local time
Yesterday, 20:59
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
256
Location
Saint Louis, MO

xbox

Prolific Member
Local time
Yesterday, 14:59
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
1,103

Agent Intellect

Absurd Anti-hero.
Local time
Yesterday, 21:59
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
4,116
Location
Michigan

ApostateAbe

Banned
Local time
Yesterday, 20:59
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
1,274
Location
MT
I am not a member of American Atheists, but I feel like joining them and paying dues just so I can vote against all of the hair-brained things they say. Reasonable balanced-thinking people are less likely to be part of activist groups, but they need to join up, or else they will be represented by the blithering idiots whether they like it or not.
 

H +

Redshirt
Local time
Today, 02:59
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
20
The Americans were pissed off about the "Ground Zero Mosque" calling it a symbol of victory for extremists. Then what is a Cross over the deathplace of Atheists and Muslims?
 

ummidk

Active Member
Local time
Yesterday, 20:59
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
364
Lol I'm a pretty big supporter of not giving a shit, and this seems really pointless. I agree with Jon Stewart that if it brings comfort to these people I don't see the big deal, but I also loled at the quote on there from the President of the group about how instead of stopping the attack he gave them two pieces of metal shaped like a cross in the rubble.


The Americans were pissed off about the "Ground Zero Mosque" calling it a symbol of victory for extremists. Then what is a Cross over the deathplace of Atheists and Muslims?
You raise a good point here, but I'd be on the side of not giving a shit about the mosque as well. Also I think there arguments against the mosque are a result of them lumping in all the muslims with the ones who bombed the towers, which is just silly.
 
Local time
Yesterday, 18:59
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
30
Heh. I think in both cases the "Why do you care?" rule should apply.
 

Cognisant

Prolific Member
Local time
Yesterday, 14:59
Joined
Dec 12, 2009
Messages
8,883
No doubt the AAO handled this badly.

On the other hand using religious iconography as a memorial to a national disaster of a supposedly secular nation, in which people of various faiths and beliefs have died is not only in poor taste it's also setting a disturbing precedent, or rather continuing one.

Leaving aside the dyspepsia, I agree with them that if there is a Christian memorial display, there should also be ones for Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, all other religious groups, and Atheists who are usually treated like they don't exist in the US. And that is what they are asking for, using proper legal means to get it.
Exactly, this isn't about atheism as much as it is about blatant inequality.
 
Local time
Yesterday, 21:59
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Messages
26
Location
East coast of the US of A
No doubt the AAO handled this badly.

On the other hand using religious iconography as a memorial to a national disaster of a supposedly secular nation, in which people of various faiths and beliefs have died is not only in poor taste it's also setting a disturbing precedent, or rather continuing one.


Exactly, this isn't about atheism as much as it is about blatant inequality.
This, although I'd argue the group president, as quoted in the Jon Stewart clip, makes a good point about how good of a GOD is being worshiped.
 

Anthile

Steel marks flesh
Local time
Today, 03:59
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
4,015
Americans being overly sensitive about religious matters that are actually non-issues and purely symbolic? Who knew. Also, the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" is neither a mosque nor anywhere near Ground Zero - so much for that.
 

Peeps999

Active Member
Local time
Yesterday, 21:59
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Messages
144
Location
Indiana
I don't really mind the cross but what do you think Christians would do if the metal was shaped as a pentagram. What if satanists(which I'm not) wanted that in the museum?
 
Local time
Today, 11:59
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Messages
98
Location
Melbourne
I don't really mind the cross but what do you think Christians would do if the metal was shaped as a pentagram.
^^ lol very true.

I think a memorial museum is just the place for it. I presume in such a museum there would be recognition of the various faiths and non-faiths whose members died on that day.

I would object if it were, say, plonked in the middle of ground zero turning it into some kind of Christian thing. That would be extremely poor taste, not to mention turn the US into a laughing stock.

I think the thing about the American Atheist Organisation is that they feel they are not as respected as other people who have religions and are therefore sensitive about it. It does appear that discrimination does exist against atheists in that country.
 

H +

Redshirt
Local time
Today, 02:59
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
20
I don't really mind the cross but what do you think Christians would do if the metal was shaped as a pentagram. What if satanists(which I'm not) wanted that in the museum?
I've already thought about this and I figure the Wiccans would want to claim it, but then the Satanists would say it was actually an inverted Pentagram, then go on to bash the Wiccans for feminizing america etc etc national controversy.

Sure would be a hilarious turn of events for once though.
 

Cognisant

Prolific Member
Local time
Yesterday, 14:59
Joined
Dec 12, 2009
Messages
8,883
*meets a Wiccan in a bar*

Are you a good witch or a bad witch? ;)
 

Cavallier

Oh damn.
Local time
Yesterday, 18:59
Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
3,674
Americans being overly sensitive about religious matters that are actually non-issues and purely symbolic? Who knew. Also, the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" is neither a mosque nor anywhere near Ground Zero - so much for that.

and to top it off the "Mosque" in question was planning on renovating many years before 9/11 even took place.
 

Trebuchet

Prolific Member
Local time
Yesterday, 18:59
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Messages
1,018
Location
California, USA
It does appear that discrimination does exist against atheists in that country.
Very, very much. People mostly aren't willing to admit it publicly. With the exception of the occasional local office, it is essentially impossible for an atheist to win an election. Pretty much anyone running for a major office is asked what religion they follow, and for much of the US, there is only evangelical protestantism.

A Jewish neighbor and I were enjoying a gripe session about Christian privilege in this country. That is the default assumption that everyone is Christian, or at least gives lip service to it. It is the assumption that charity, kindness, forgiveness, and other virtues are "Christian virtues." It is the assumption that Christian holy days will be US holidays, and while others can often arrange their own religious observances, it requires extra work and explanations and a sense of "otherness" that Christians never experience. It is watching your kids explain to kindly adults that, no, we aren't looking forward to Santa's visit, because he doesn't come to our house.

I've felt it myself. I am usually careful who I tell about my beliefs, because I do get attacked for them. (Not physically, I am happy to say, for some in the US that is a real risk.) Many American Christians can't see anything wrong with putting the Ten Commandments in a public building. My own mother-in-law once said, "Of course no one would object to that. Those atheists are just trying to get attention."

So the atheists protesting this cross aren't protesting just the cross. They are trying to stop being even more marginalized than they already are, by going after a highly publicized Christian symbol in a public monument. It does look silly, but pushing against the tide usually does.
 
Local time
Today, 11:59
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Messages
98
Location
Melbourne
Very, very much.
Yeah, I'm glad I missed that bullet. Australia has some issues with this but not like US. We have had 2 atheist PMs and... arguably the PM most fondly remembered (Hawke)... was agnostic.

I am usually careful who I tell about my beliefs, because I do get attacked for them.
The most likely response this would elicit in Aust is a shrug. Except perhaps family and the odd person.

It is the assumption that charity, kindness, forgiveness, and other virtues are "Christian virtues."
Yeah, the dominant hegemony. I see this same thing with Australian patroitism. To care for your fellow human etc and whatever good value you like is to be Aussie. To jump a queue etc or whatever you don't like is to be unAustralian.

And yeah, anytime you try to draw attention to your cause, you are labelled a crybaby or whatnot.

Back to the cross:

What is it that the American Atheist wants to do with the 'cross'? Clearly to me, however stupid the idea is that 'God' may have chosen this moment to finally come out of heaven and shape steel beams into a cross, steel beams that probably are attached to each other at right angles in any case, after allowing the planes to hit.... it is important to a lot of people and of historical importance therefore. So, where?
 

Trebuchet

Prolific Member
Local time
Yesterday, 18:59
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Messages
1,018
Location
California, USA
What is it that the American Atheist wants to do with the 'cross'? Clearly to me, however stupid the idea is that 'God' may have chosen this moment to finally come out of heaven and shape steel beams into a cross, steel beams that probably are attached to each other at right angles in any case, after allowing the planes to hit.... it is important to a lot of people and of historical importance therefore. So, where?
I suppose in a Christian church. Personally, although I spoke in the American Atheists' defense and agree with their position politically, I don't care about this "cross" particularly. Lots of people are Christian; it is fine for them to turn to their religion for comfort. I see no problem with Christians having a special religious memorial place. It just really shouldn't be the only religious display in the public memorial, partly because it receives public funding, which isn't proper in the US, and partly because it makes non-Christians feel marginalized.

Some people will be offended whatever we do, and we have no obligation to avoid offending people. But, I think we have an obligation not to go out of our way to offend.
 
Local time
Today, 11:59
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Messages
98
Location
Melbourne
I see no problem with Christians having a special religious memorial place.
Yes, that could be a quite appropriate place. It would be difficult, having so many variants of the Christian religion, but that seems appropriate.

I haven't heard of this cross before this thread. But if it is so big over there, wouldn't it be missed from a museum? Isn't it a museums job to attempt to depict an event/series of events/history etc in as full as possible?

I don't know. I'm kinda struggling with this one. I could see it being done in a tasteful way or a bad taste way.

In a place such as a museum or media, it would be not quite correct to deny important parts of culture and history. But, I don't know.

In other places I would jump up and down. In Aust, some of the biggest secular issues are around religion and schools, and public funding thereof.

Consider this. It is Australian, but I'm sure you can relate it to something American.

We have a historical convict place in Port Arthur. Like any tourist thing, you can get tours, there is old buildings etc. One of the buildings is a church. The church is upkept, part of the whole thing, important to a convicts life, thus important to Aus history. I'd be appalled if the government refused to help it on the grounds that it is a church. it is part of history, and would be missing something important if it was excluded.

That might be ancient history, but looking forward 200 years, may they feel the same about that cross in the museum?

Then again, it is a memorial museum. Perhaps the point is not so much to show historical accuracy but to have meaning today, to go in and remember and feel. if it was overtly Christian that would be dispicable, deny all others.

Actually, I'm going to leave all I just posted lol, but whilst writing I have come full circle and agree, that it is wrong to have it there in a memorial museum.
 

Trebuchet

Prolific Member
Local time
Yesterday, 18:59
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Messages
1,018
Location
California, USA
Just like in Australia, there are historic churches in the US, from the colonial era ones in Philadelphia or Boston, to the Spanish missions here in California. They are well-preserved and the tours are always interesting. Many are used for archaeological research, while others are kept as the very place where some important person did something famous. The churches generally still have services available, too. They are not often a target for atheist organizations' protests.

I don't know. I'm kinda struggling with this one. I could see it being done in a tasteful way or a bad taste way.
Americans have a reputation in other countries for bad taste. We are considered loud, egotistical, informal, brash, and parochial. We are, to some extent, all of those things, but like all stereotypes, it is not a complete picture.

However, when it comes to religion in public places, especially when people with different beliefs think they are being ill-treated, there are no depths to the possible bad taste.
 
Local time
Today, 11:59
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Messages
98
Location
Melbourne
Americans have a reputation in other countries for bad taste.
Haha yeah you do lol. Aussies aren't known to be refined either lol.

But I wasn't specifically refering to American taste. I meant more, like, if you set it a certain way, it could give an overall feel, like you are walking into a Christian place, if you draw more attention to it than other exhibits, put it at the door, for example, and set the tone as a religious feeling place, or alternatively if it was simply one of the exhibits...
 

Trebuchet

Prolific Member
Local time
Yesterday, 18:59
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Messages
1,018
Location
California, USA
But I wasn't specifically refering to American taste. I meant more, like, if you set it a certain way, it could give an overall feel, like you are walking into a Christian place, if you draw more attention to it than other exhibits, put it at the door, for example, and set the tone as a religious feeling place, or alternatively if it was simply one of the exhibits...
I see what you mean, but I do think American taste has a lot to do with it. People here like absolutes. It should, or should not, be on display. The museum should, or should not, be a Christian place. Most Christians that I know would not be happy to have a small Christian shrine in one of the areas, but would instead want it right at the front, or maybe outside the main entrance. Religion here turns into a territorial fight.

All the Australians I have ever met have been funny and friendly. Not being refined, myself, I can't say how they rated on that score.
 
Top Bottom