left biblioblography: WHALING ON WALMART - THE HIGH COST OF LOW SACRIFICES

Saturday, September 02, 2006

WHALING ON WALMART - THE HIGH COST OF LOW SACRIFICES

There’s a petition going around, and the first paragraph reads thusly:”We, the undersigned, respectfully request that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. cease distribution of the book known as the Holy Bible. We make this request after careful consideration, having examined numerous passages in the Holy Bible that are repulsive, stridently offensive and/or illegal. The following five examples reveal the obscene nature of this book and help you to understand why we are making this request.”

It’s a good idea, I agree with all of the points, and I would like nothing more than to see this ‘literary work’ off the shelves.

I am not going to sign it, however. Let me explain.


Thus far, atheists as a rule are viewed as naysayers. It seems that our press is WAY less than favorable. Everywhere I turn around, it seems like we’re always saying ‘no’ to someone. Sometimes I agree, sometimes not. Case in point: the War on Easter. Sure, it was more of tongue-in-cheek effort (from what little I garner), but to the droves of the hoi polloi, it appears to be a nasty attack on children on an egg hunt. I personally think that ole Peter Cottontail has actually helped dilute the meme. When I was a kid, we did the Lent thing (not very successfully, I might add), our ‘celebration’ consisted of cavity causing chocolate bunnies and coloring eggs. Our energies are better-spent educating folks as to the pagan origins, rather than mount what seems to be a soiree aimed at a bunny.

The War on Xmas is another one. Here we have a deeply entrenched holiday (we can safely skip over the pagan origins at this point) in most Western countries, and it’s losing it’s meaning rapidly. Between the over-commercialization, the sad-sack wino Santas that seem to grow with each passing year, it’s viewed by the unwashed masses as an attack on old Saint Nick (“You got a problem with a jolly old guy who give kids PRESENTS? You gotta be kiddin’ me!”), and it’s losing a lot of its meaning. Not to mention the tradition of families getting together on select dates.

We need to take into account the perversity of human nature, as well. Chances are, more people are likely to step up antagonistically to bat, and we may cause more interest instead of less. This may very well spur sales, rather than nullify them. I think more people will actually go out of their way to purchase the bloody things (though if you really want to, you can actually get a freebie), just to toss a silent vote into the fray (“I showed them nasty ole atheists, I did!”).

Don’t get me wrong: I want religion gone, to be sure. Right now, however, our public relations campaign seems to be primarily one of negativity – and most Americans don’t really care about right and wrong, they want warm fuzzy feelings, even if the root of those feelings is a load of crap. Try taking something away from someone that makes them feel good – even if it’s bogus – and watch the fireworks begin. This is on an individual as well as a collective level.

My point here is that we need to contribute more positive items to the world. Charity work, volunteer work, throw some money at a recurring problem, hell, give out free copies of the Atheist Manifesto, or The End of Faith (‘cause let’s face it, you can get all sorts of bibles for free, or next to nothing – sure, you get what you pay for and all, but when it comes to the Almighty Dollar, people ain’t gonna pay extra for something unless the novelty value is extreme, and most think that we believe in ‘nothing’ – where’s the value in that?).

Short version, is what I’m always trying to teach my 17-year-old niece – pick your battles. Choose the ones you can win.
Or, to quote Sun Tzu’s Art of War:”Do not camp on difficult ground. Unite with your allies on intersecting ground. Do not stay on open ground. Be prepared on surrounded ground. Do battle on deadly ground.

The way to win hearts and minds is not to deprive, but to provide. Alternatives. Different paths. Open a gate, open a mind, or plant a seed.

One last quote, and I’m done:”You have to be the change in the world you want to see.”

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15 comments:

Mesoforte said...

Something I find interesting is once you make people think a bit, they destroy their religion themselves. If I talk about how they think about a diety, they'll think it to death. I even have a long recommendation of books for them to read. ^_^

Krystalline Apostate said...

MF:
Something I find interesting is once you make people think a bit, they destroy their religion themselves.
Edumucation ;).
It was sitting down & doing the 'math' that did it for me.

say no to christ said...

Yeah, it was the same thing for me. I have my best friend and a couple of pagan friends from middle school to thank for planting that little seed in my head. Unfortunately it isnt always that easy for others. You can dig the hole but the biblical force field blocks the seed from getting in that hole. My husbands cousin whom I love to death and I know she is a good hearted person, but she is a blinded fool and refuses to except the real world. She still thinks being gay is a choice and that Bush just needs to stay the course. Of course she has lived her whole life in NC and church was a two time a week thing her whole life as well. She is one of the nices people I know till she starts spewing what her preacher tells her during sunday service and then she just sounds mean and hateful.
She has changed one view that she had. Not so long ago she still believed that men had one less rib than women and that Eve really did come from Adams rib. She didnt believe me when I told her the Y was actually an incomplete X and that the sexes are not that different. That all babies start out exactly the same till the third or fourth week when the hormones are delivered and if the hormones are male the overies will drop down and become testies. She looked at me like I was out of my mind, but the last time I talked to her she still insisted being gay was a choice and bush should stay the course and that atheists need to quit whinning about god in the constitution, BUT she did admit that the Y was an incomplete X(sorry guys dont take that the wrong way)and even went on to inform me that the Y chromosome is shrinking. I'm not sure about the shrinking thing, but I do know the Y is in a little trouble lately.

So is that the seed maybe?? It has been over 10 years since my deconversion and I hadn't been indoctrinated as hard nor as much as she had growing up.

Krystalline Apostate said...

SNTC:
Actually, I borrowed the seed concept from the bibble itself.
Some seeds land on stony ground, some are eaten by birds, but some take root. (bloody thing is good for somethin' occasionally)
You should've just shown your friend the ribcage of a man vs. a woman. Same amount of ribs, both sides.
Whining about god in the constitution? Bloody thing has no mention of gawd whatsoever. Bush stays the course, we're gonna be owned by our debtors.
But you've been down that road no doubt, & so I digress.
So we just have to chip away at the littler corners sometimes. Erosion's a little longer than dynamite, but just as effective.

say no to christ said...

Too bad there isnt an atheist acid to make that erosion go a little faster for my husbands cousin. She has not had it easy. Her mother wont have anything to do with her cause her mother feels she doesnt live a godly enough life. She and her husband divorced about four years ago and the men she has dated are over bearing control freaks. She really wants to be an independent woman but she insist on finding a "good christian" man. And it is those men who want to own her. It just frusrtates me cause I can see why her life is not what she wants it to be. You can not be an independent woman and believe that every word of the bible is true. Shit, if we inforce biblical laws the way she thinks we should she would be ousted and maybe even stoned too death for wanting to control her own life and she certainly wont find a man that respects her independence if she insists on finding a christian man with her beliefs. It's like self abuse. Ok, I'm done complaining. Thanks for letting me rant a little our last phone call didnt go well and it has been bothering me.

Krystalline Apostate said...

SNTC:
Shit, if we inforce biblical laws the way she thinks we should she would be ousted and maybe even stoned to death for wanting to control her own life and she certainly wont find a man that respects her independence if she insists on finding a christian man with her beliefs. It's like self abuse.
In accordance to the bibble, she's not supposed to get remarried anyways, is she?
It sounds like a miserable life to lead.
Maybe you should take a different approach, & suggest that (w/o the religious trappings) that she may be a tad masochistic? It sounds that way.

Da Rat Bastid said...

KA,
I wanted to tell you I respect your point of view about this petition. It may not be the right time, and Wal Mart is guily of more serious crimes than just censorship.
Union busting comes to mind.
So, let me ask you, when will be the right time, and what else needs to happen to bring real heat on this criminal organization?

Krystalline Apostate said...

DRB:
So, let me ask you, when will be the right time, and what else needs to happen to bring real heat on this criminal organization?
I think we need more of a counterpoint than just saying "NO!" to everything they want/have/think they need. Provide some alternatives. Maybe set better examples?

Aviaa said...

KA,
I think we need more of a counterpoint than just saying "NO!" to everything they want/have/think they need. Provide some alternatives. Maybe set better examples?

I very much agree- from the outside, skeptism can sometimes look pretty dry and bleak. However, the non-theistic community seems to be fairly splintered, making those “alternatives” harder to develop/demonstrate (though I think humanism has done a pretty good job in many areas).

Would you suggest any particular alternatives or ways of setting examples?

Krystalline Apostate said...

aviaa:
However, the non-theistic community seems to be fairly splintered, making those “alternatives” harder to develop/demonstrate (though I think humanism has done a pretty good job in many areas).
Fairly splintered is putting it mildly. We need more Godless marches (last 1 in 2002), we need people to tell the media in no uncertain terms that they're atheists (note how most celebrities that are atheists, this is never mentioned) - in short, more face time.

vjack said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
vjack said...

I just posted my comments/reaction here: http://tinyurl.com/n63yq

Krystalline Apostate said...

vjack:
Hey, thanks for the nod. I do appreciate it.

Aaron Kinney said...

Hey Ka,

Good post. While I respect your decision, after considering your well thought out points, I must still disagree for reasons that I did not make clear, nor consider the prime justificatiosn for signing the letter, in my original post.

But thats the cool part about being individualistic atheists: we can disagree and still be friends! :)

http://killtheafterlife.blogspot.com/2006/09/to-sign-or-not-to-sign.html

Krystalline Apostate said...

aaron:
Good post. While I respect your decision, after considering your well thought out points, I must still disagree for reasons that I did not make clear, nor consider the prime justificatiosn for signing the letter, in my original post.
Thanks. Hey, I value your opinion as well.
But thats the cool part about being individualistic atheists: we can disagree and still be friends! :)
Hey, being hardcore doesn't equal being a fanatic. ;)