Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dear John (Ahlquist commenter),

(Note: During the recent influx of readers due to the Ahlquist screenshots, we've gotten a few emails. I will respond to this one here and perhaps others at a later date. John doesn't understand why I'm not talking about the good things Christians do. I'll try to explain. I'm doing this here so that others who have similar questions can read this and try to understand.)

Dear JFFF,
I recently read your blog in regards to the Christian hatred and contempt towards Jessica Ahlquist, and I must say that I am appalled. Not by your blog, but by the utter disgrace those people showed towards the young woman fighting for her rights as an American citizen. But I must say after reading your blog that I have found one thing wrong with your line of thinking, which is counter to the American Rights you wish to uphold. And before I continue, I am unsure as to what you were trying to say with your link to the No True Scotsman. Were you trying to say that we can't discount what a minority of our religion does, and they represent us as a whole? One bad apple ruins the rest of the barrel? Or were you trying to state that you do not believe all Christians would act the same way?

Dear John,
Neither. Typically when anyone mentions deplorable actions of Christians the instant and cliched response is, "Well they aren't TRUE Christians." This response falls into the No True Scotsman Fallacy. It's fallacious to dismiss them as "not really Christian" simply based on your opinion that they don't live up to your specific set of requirements. This doesn't mean that Christians are all the same. Nor does it mean they represent you as a whole. But you cannot say they ARE NOT real Christians. To do this is to create a circular argument that is unfalsifable.

If you believe that all Christians act in the same way, do all atheists? If an atheist was to walk into my neighborhood and kill my daughter, should I believe that all atheists would act in the same manner? No, I would assume that it was a man acting of his own accord. It is the same way that I do not view all Muslims as Western-hating terrorists that wish to kill us all.

No and no. Though Christians do in fact have a dogma whereas atheists do not, they do tend to interpret the bible differently from person to person as it is convenient to them. However, if an atheist committs murder, I would not then dismiss the action with, "Oh well, that person isn't a *true* atheist." That person, should they not believe in god(s), would indeed be an atheist and no amount of me disliking their actions would change that. See also: The No True Scotsman Fallacy. The actual argument arises in what causes one to committ murder. I would posit that one doesn't kill in the name of or due to atheism, but the same cannot be said for the religious.

If you believe that all Christians would not act the same way, then I apologize for the defensive nature.

Apology accepted.

However, in your blog you seem quick to criticize all Christians as constitution-hating, atheist-bashing monsters. "It is apparent that Christians only believe in tolerance so long as their religion is allowed to violate the constitution." In that sentence, the way it is written makes it seem you lump all Christians into one category. I can tell you now that not all Christians believe what Jessica Ahlquist did was wrong. I believe the separation of church and state is a great thought that our country was based on. Should atheists be forced to look at a prayer while at a public school? No. Should "Under God" be in the Pledge of Allegiance? No. Should students be allowed to pray while on school grounds? Yes. The key word in that last one is "allowed." Christians should be allowed to pray in public, and they are.

We agree, mostly. But I would note that yes I am quick to criticize Christians, but am certainly aware there are "moderate" Christians in existance. However, if the moderates aren't willingly and promptly speaking out against constitutional violations and "bashing" then they perpetuate it and are still no better than the other. Silently and passively accepting these things is not to be commended either.

Christians should be allowed to pray before a school sports game, but atheists say that it's unconstitutional. If a group of the athletes wish to pray before the game, it's their choice, not mandated by the school. Now if the school mandates it, then the mandate needs to be removed. But attempting to force Christians to stop personal displays of our religion in the open is also unconstitutional. The separation of church and state is just that. At any point where a state favors a religion is unconstitutional. The state is required to be fair to all, giving all the same rights.

The state is not to favor any religion, right. The prayer before a public school's sporting events is typically done over a tax-payer funded PA system, which is one reason why it is unconstitutional. Another would be that captive audience prayer has been ruled on by the Supreme Court on numerous occassions.

Now back onto the topic I was attempting to get at in the beginning. You characterize all Christians as hatemongers and back it up with photo's from social networking sites. Great. But what makes you better than those "Christians" who stated they want to harm a young woman who stood up for her constitutional rights?

Obviously because I'm not making threats. Obviously because exposing vitriol towards a 16-year-old who's enduring all of this simply because she stood fearlessly against the grain to promote the constitution, her rights and our rights, is important. If you can't see why then I'm afraid I'm wasting my time here.

All you did with that blog is incite hatred towards the Christian religion. Why?
I call bullshit. Evidence that all this blog did was incite more hatred please. Because from what I've seen it has further raised awareness that this is what happens every time atheists stand up for their rights.

Are all Christians evil hatemongers that think everyone has to follow their religion? No. I don't and I'm a non-denomination Christian. I may be non-denomination, but I'm still Christian. I do not believe everyone HAS to follow Christianity. Do I believe atheists will go to hell? Yes, but if you chose to not believe in the religion, that's your choice. I won't think anything less of you for it. Heck, I encourage you to use your brain.

And yet you choose to follow a religion which would subject those who use their brains to eternal fire and damnation.

As a Christian and a member of the United States Armed Forces, I fight for what this country stands for. I hold all of our rights dear to heart and believe no religious belief should hold any sway over any other. And yes, atheism is a religious view. It is a view that all religions are bogus and science has proven it.

Two things:
1. I applaud you for fighting for our rights.
2. Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color.

So I challenge you, since you are a blogger with a following, to give both sides of the coin a showing. Your blog was about hatred and contempt from Christians towards a young woman. Try writing a blog about kindness that Christians do for others. Not just other Christians, but people of other religious views. You wrote the blog "Good without God." That was atheists helping atheists. Do a blog about Christians helping atheists, Muslims, agnostics, whatever. Give five examples. Show me that you yourself are not a hatemonger towards Christians and/or other religions, but a true believer in American Rights.

I am a believer in human rights. And it is within my rights to criticize something (i.e. religion) that I find insulting, dehumanizing, a threat to education and a danger to society as a whole. I do not feel an obligation to convince you of what I am or am not. The charitable things Christians do are not difficult to find seeing as how believers aren't exactly ignored or demonized for being Christian and are not hiding in closets for fear of said demonization. There is, however, a deficit in society's knowledge/undersanding of aheists. I'm raising awareness for them because religion has seen its fair share of the limelight. And though its ugliness is quick to be swept away and covered up, others and myself will continue to point out its horrendous failures so as not to let them go unnoticed.
"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." -Seven Weinberg

Also, I must ask one question. Can you prove that all those people in the images you posted are Christians? If so, then that just sickens me.

Yes, but I will not be wasting my time doing so. You can do the research for yourself and if you find that they are not, get back to me.

And lastly, if you wish to post my email in a blog, please remove my email address. I do not wish to receive emails from your followers. However, if you wish to contact me, I do not mind receiving emails to begin a discussion.

No email posted.

Best regards,



  1. Great post. I am amused by his challenge. Kind of presumptuous of him.

  2. "All you did with that blog is incite hatred towards the Christian religion."

    Really? All this blog did was aggregate a multitude of the responses, and point out what was being said. The vicious commenters incited hatred all on their own; drawing attention to that does not paint these people in a bad light. Saying those things in the first place paints these people in a bad light, and I question John's ethic if drawing attention to this matter is what he has a problem with. Just because he might deem Christians as also good, should not make them immune from others pointing out their bile and their mistakes. It's a safe bet that more are jumping on this train of "but what about the good?", rather than contacting their Christian peers themselves and tackling this hatred and harassment (which they apparently do not endorse) from an *inside* perspective.

  3. The louder you scream there is no God the more idle Christians you awake. You are doing Gods work in his way you think you are not. Thank you. God loves you too. Scream louder wake us all up. Amen!

    1. That's fine, so long as they realize they are not above the law.

    2. That's funny.. I wonder what accounts for the ENORMOUS growth of atheism in the US, UK, and world today then, if not more people learning that the whole 'God' thing is a myth and a scam. It's how *I* switched from theist to atheist, and I've seen a LOT of stories over the past few months that mostly all say the same thing, a new story every day!

      It's funny, I haven't yet seen a story that involved *actual study of reality* and still ended up with the author choosing theism. Oh, if they 'study' nothing but religious apologetics, they pick one sect or another, but if they actually study the universe around them as well - biology, geology, physics, cosmology - theism falls by the wayside, and -sometimes- it's dropped like a red-hot serpent, as the studiers find out what they were getting themselves into, and what they'd be giving up in the real world to do so.

      This page is great, thanks! The only 'moderate' christians who show up, what do they do? They spend their time arguing with the blog owner about how awful atheists are instead of focusing on the bullies. It's amazing what excuses they'll come up with to avoid the realization that those little thugs are the christians, but it's pretty obvious for the rest of us. You're not fooling us, Jason, but thanks for the demonstration of good old Christian love!

      And Jason? Learn to spell Atheist, would you?

    3. I have really enjoyed reading this; your tempered responses demonstrate an intelligence that's very refreshing. I have been going through the nasty comments and tweets about Jessica's fight and I have yet to see anything that even remotely conveys a Christian ideal OR a good reason for having the prayer banner in schools. It's like these folks are just mad that it was taken down but they don't have a good reason for it being there in the first place. What is the justification for forcing Christianity on the other citizens of the community?

    4. i like how he wants proof that the commenters were christians. well lets see. given the fact that we are dealing with mostly teenage and young adults who are raise in rhode island i would suspect that most of them are caucasians with a spattering of blacks and hispanics. i think that spells it out for you right there. that demographic is going to present the gauntlet of christian cults to confront. everything from catholicism to baptist and maybe even a couple of greek orthodox christians. if you belong to one of those three ethnicities and you were born in the western hemisphere you were most likely raised as some kind of christian.

  4. "atheism is a religious view" - True

    "Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color" - Also true.

    Having a religion, and having a viewpoint on religion are *not* the same thing.

    1. I was just going to point this out. Since atheism is a religious stance (not a religion in and of itself, mind you), it is therefore, for example, protected by the Civil Rights Act, which was carefully worded to include atheists. It really confuses some people, though, when you say that, because they think it validates their insane notion that atheism is a religion itself.

  5. Why is it the atheist blogger's responsibility for showcasing Christian kindness? John, if you want to showcase Christian kindness, why aren't you creating your own blog?

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