Atheist “Antics” AND Secular Change by Kim Rippere
Recently, I wrote about antics not being perceived as a mature aspect of the atheist and secularist movement. That others see these antics and can easily dismiss our movement because of the tactics used.
I singled out the use of “unholy” water as an example of an antic. I received “feedback” from a few organizers and participants: Brandi Braschler, John Porgal, and EllenBeth Wachs.
As a disclaimer, I am on the Board of Secular Woman with Brandi. We have exchanged perhaps 20 words total on this topic.
More recently Ernest Perce said that he was going to whip the Qur’an. From the Washington Post: “On Monday, Perce threatened to bring a whip into the Pennsylvania Capitol and use it to desecrate a Qur’an if the House doesn’t void the resolution by the time it reconvenes from summer recess in September.”
My reaction wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. Even after reading Hemant Mehta’s article, I just couldn’t get that riled up about the whipping. Actually, I found myself smirking!
Then a friend sent me a link to this video.
The video just made me think, that is was no big deal. Hmmm.
Where is my scorn? My embarrassment? My self-righteousness? It was missing.
Like any good critical thinker I did some introspection to figure out what is different about these two actions: sprinkling unholy water and whipping the Qur’an. Doesn’t take long to realize there is no discernible difference and that trying to find a shade of gray that would allow me to pronounce them different lacks any level of integrity. Hmmmmm. Then the difference became apparent!
Me. Yes, me. Something about how I perceive antics changed.
I am a tolerant, except to intolerance. I try not to judge and to assume to best in people. In a diverse variety of life’s aspects you will find me writing or talking about continuums and there being a place for us all along that continuum. You will find that as my friend in real-life, via Facebook, and through every other medium.
Yet, in retrospect, I find that my posting and view on antics was not at all what I would expect. What is there to say, but I expect better from myself. And finally, and most importantly; I apologize.
One thing to point out is that the change did not come because of the “feedback.” It came because of something internal to me. Perhaps this is why I prefer to the Socratic method to debate. So many times change comes from within.
For this section, I have put “antics” in quotes. That word no longer feels right. It is filled with judgment and disdain.
So, how am I thinking about “antics” now? They are one method to making a point.
1. Religion and faith are emotional not deductively rational.
2. Atheist and secularists are trying to make cultural and societal changes in emotionally charged aspects of life.
3. “Antics” drive at emotional responses.
4. Reasoned “arguments” do not drive emotional responses.
5. “Antics” are NEEDED.
Do I wish that reasoned arguments receive the same attention? YES! But, they do not and never will. Is the attention always good? No. But, when it happens randomly it has the potential to have impact.
Do I see myself participating in “antics.” Not as my first choice. I do see at least one in my future though. If for nothing other than to grow as a person.
The tagline for my personal blog is “Always Evolving.” Here is one clear instance of that evolution.