left biblioblography: What Exactly IS A Militant Atheist, Anyways?

Monday, August 13, 2007

What Exactly IS A Militant Atheist, Anyways?

Back in May, I took one of those goofy tests (fun, but probably as worthwhile as any of those found in any of the magazine racks), which estimated me at 83% scientific, and 83% militant.

Then I read this bit of codswallop at Pharyngula, and the few brain cells remaining to me began to rub together.

Just a taste:

To those of us who identify with liberal and progressive cultural movements, whether religious or humanist, there are potentially worrying trends here. The intensity with which new atheist identities are being forged through a hatred of imagined religious others is matched by the hatred felt by some conservative religious groups towards those they perceive as godless.

Hey, sorry, I just have a problem with stupidity, is all. Scratch that, I have a problem with stupidity that envisions itself as intelligence.

Back to that test.

The only reason I can fathom, in that it hoisted me up to 'militancy', is that I do indeed tear down religious pamphlets. Yep, that's right: I'm an intolerant liberal, all rightie.

Funny, but when someone uses the word 'militant', it conjures up (in my mind, at least) visions of black clad vigiliantes sneaking about at night, churches burning, mobs bearing pitchforks and torches, bricks flung through bible book store windows, tracer bullets mowing down the 'faithful'...you ken me drift, I think.

The dictionary defines militancy as:

"1. The state of being militant; warfare.

2. A military spirit or system; militarism. H. Spencer."

The thesaurus lists the synonyms as:

    1. Hostile behavior: aggression, aggressiveness, belligerence, belligerency, combativeness, contentiousness, hostility, militance. See attack/defend.
    2. Warlike or hostile attitude or nature: bellicoseness, bellicosity, belligerence, belligerency, combativeness, contentiousness, hostility, militance, pugnaciousness, pugnacity, truculence, truculency. See attack/defend.

Hmmm...militant it is.

So be it.

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karen said...

Last week when I went to the grocery store, I was approached by a young teen as i got out of my car. He politely said "hello" and began to hand me one of the religious booklets from the armload he was carrying.

I just said, "No thanks." and walked on.

But in my mind, those booklets were thrown all over the lot and the boy was running away as fast as he could.

Part of it was he looked too small and innocent to lash out at. Part of it was I was in a huge hurry, because I was way late in going to buy short ribs to cook and supper time wasn't too far away. (They didn't get nearly tender enough, BTW.)

I took that test, but can't recall if it said I was militant at all.
But I do mentally bomb churches when I pass them. ;)

Krystalline Apostate said...

Well, sweetie, we do all have those mental moments from time to time.
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L Mencken.
There's a vast difference between the thought & deed.

karen said...

That's what my therapist keeps telling me. :)
It's OK to have the thoughts, so long as I don't act on them.

Hey, you were in one of my dreams lately. Don't remember the details, but it was sort of on the lines of us stepping out of the famous painting of the picnic. I can't remember the artist or the title of the painting.

Have been having flying dreams nightly for over a week. Think it's the new sleep meds I'm on. WHEEEEEE!

robd said...

A militant Atheist will tell you
you will go to Hell if you do not convert to Atheism.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Karen - so you're dreaming about me? Wait till the erotic dreams hit...no, waitaminnit, reality never syncs up w/dreamlife.

robd - no, a militant atheist'll tell you you're going nowhere when you die, regardless. ;)