A thousand miles away from central Florida, a fair-skinned man with sky-blue eyes under severely cropped tresses, a distinguished editorial writer, vigorously typed his revulsion for what he called people of no faith. Instead of keeping his unfounded beliefs to himself or submitting them to his boss to be published, he posted his heinous commentary far away from where those impacted would see them.
In 800 words, he categorized a whole class of normally quiet folks as having no character, certainly nowhere near as great as his Christian one. He boldly spoke against — not Hispanics, Jews, women or, even, LGBTQ, which is “milquetoast” or passé these days for writers as cutting-edge he, but — a whole class of the fastest-increasing class of Americans to hate: atheists.
Little did the writer know that some damned atheist would read his piece and spread the word about what he wrote through the proverbial, social grape vine, while crying out loud, “Our local newspaper employs some kind of a religious nut job. He’s trying to hide his lies from us. And only we can challenge his detestable beliefs,” “detestable” being kind words for what the writer wrote.
The editor started his piece with statements about an atheist giving an invocation at a government, a.k.a., public, meeting. Then, he battled through references to Tehran, the Ten Commandments, theocracy, and freedom. So obnoxious was the editor that he even berated his own Christian brethren for letting atheists speak at government meetings to give those legendarily boring “invocations,” a word the distinguished editor found confusing as shit to describe, because he was too hard-headed to believe that words have complexity, just like the human spirit.
The editor asserted that atheists support the “slaughter [of] babies in the womb,” all without realizing there is no such thing as babies in wombs. Babies are living entities who breathe outside of the womb. Fetuses, the word Mr. Writer was looking for, don’t breathe air; therefore, only fetuses not babies hang out in women’s wombs.
He said this without considering that only psychopaths would suggest the killing of babies and by inference he suggested that atheists are psychopaths. He said this without condemning his own Judeo-Christian beliefs for condoning the killing of babies and infants. Or, did the writer forget portions of his Bible?
It’s 2019, the dawn of extremist opinions, confusing misnomers, unfounded statements, and lies. This article proffers to correct inaccuracies by the editorial writer, who gaslit his own faithful readers about atheists.
This article is not about an imaginary writer. It is about the published beliefs of a man named Bill Thompson.
On June 1 Mr. Thompson wrote a piece that appears was surreptitiously published outside of his own publication’s editorial board while bylining himself as belonging to that board. The article, posted in the Log Cabin Democrat, otherwise known as TheCabin.net, is owned by GateHouse Media, which operates in 39 states and is the same media giant that owns The Ledger, the newspaper that serves much of the west-central Florida area.
The Cabin’s market is Conway, Arkansas, or about 950 miles away from the market to which Thompson was pretend-reaching: Polk, Florida. Can we say, “Shadiness reigns?”
At its current Internet location, Thompson’s post can be read by anyone but it’s also where subscribers of The Ledger are unable to comment. It’s located at a place where folks aren’t likely to give a shit about the story but where similarly frustrated Judeo-Christians of the Baptist Belt just might.
As it turns out, reading Thompson’s erroneous description of a whole class of Americans explains the shade. It appears that Thompson published his words on The Cabin to ensure they were out there for use by the world and, possibly, to rile up his base. One thing is certain, though, Thompson didn’t intend for atheists in Polk to pick up on his story.
His entire article was premised on an invocation given by an atheist to the Polk County Board of Commissioners.
With a title that read like this, Atheists believe in nothing other than oppression of our Judeo-Christian roots, can you spot the failure in his writing? Is it possible that Thompson doesn’t know that no one ever in the entire history of manly mankind believes in absolutely nothing?
Even terrorists, pedophiles, and felons also know there’s more to life (maybe not the right life but a life nonetheless). Does Thompson know that? Was he playing stupid, general public man; or was his real purpose to foment hate against atheists among his Christian readers with his supercilious invective?
Invocation means “prayer” only to Thompson’s audience. A person of reason and basic reading skills can easily consult a dictionary to understand the full depth of the various definitions for the word invocation.
A person of reason, such as an atheist, knows that many words have multiple meanings. Heck! The same thing can be said about the word religion. Thompson probably wouldn’t concur but he’s the one who wrote it: “Atheists asserting their belief in nothing amounts to religious beliefs.” You betcha!
Religious beliefs have nothing to do with buildings or groups of people but with a person’s personal, most intrinsic and deepest belief system. Some Florida woman, for example, believes that driving on Sundays is tantamount to a Christian’s “sin.” That same woman hopes that Thompson starts reading a dictionary when it comes to defining specific words, like his use of “invocation.”
In this case, invocation means to invoke, such as in a wish or a hope. It’s basically a synonym for the word pray, such as asking for assistance from an authority; or asking for authority from a group of leaders, such as a board of commissioners.
Thompson’s article also negates that atheists too have five senses, which is kind of funny when you think about it. Don’t most human beings have access to five senses? And, if someone is missing a sense, does Thompson really think that sensory disability automatically makes people atheists?
Did Thompson gaslight his audience with a demon’s view of atheists? You betcha!
Atheists believe that people like Thompson are so farfetched that all atheists can do is wish that folks like him would grow up and that Thompson, specifically, would teach himself the truth about subjects before he goes on writing about them; because, you see, putting down a whole group of folks is no different than using one’s writing to suborn bullying and discrimination. That’s what Thompson did.
When atheists provide invocations, they’re not “encouraging more narcissism” among our politicians. They’re encouraging good things.
There is not a single atheist anywhere in America that can claim the Narcissism Tiara of Christian preachers. Think Joel Olsteen, Billy Graham, Jr., Jim Bakker, Kenneth Copeland, or Peter Popoff. (And what about Donald Trump?) Atheists aren’t telling commissioners to act like God and definitely not telling them to act like Thompson.
Atheists encourage our politicians to be more than the sum of their parts. They encourage them to respect the authority given to them by the people and that the people recognize their sacrifices in representing us. Apparently these messages of genuine support offended Thompson to the degree that he went off the rails.
Thompson ascribed a ridiculous and twisted reading of an atheist’s invocation while invoking a bullying technique known as making-fun-of-your-victim. Are you feeling “goofy” yet, Thompson?
Atheists do believe in “something bigger” than themselves. They believe in Earth for example. They believe it’s round. They believe in science. They believe it’s real because it’s proven to us to be so. And, they believe in truth in politics: that America is a democratic Republic, not a theocracy, and that folks like Thompson are unable to handle this truth. Or, perhaps someone should offer Thompson an education into Project Blitz so he can see up close and personal how Christians are actively working to make the United States a theocracy.
I’ve been a life-long atheist myself, at least since I became an adult, and believe it’s my religion every bit as much as any Christian believes there’s actually a god. To put this concept in its simplest terms: My world is my religion. My yard, the air I breathe, the food I eat, the water I drink, the yoga I practice, and the enjoyment I take in making Thompson’s “confusion” make sense to those who don’t understand atheism: These too are all part of my religion.
But 100% of atheists are not like the others. Therefore, to put a whole social class of people into one jar is not fair to even one human being.
As is taught in English 101: Stick with what you know. Mr. Distinguished Editor of The Ledger: us, atheists, know you can do it.